Found 2 comments on HN
dmix · 2019-06-17 · Original thread
I never really understood how Chinese people could live under such a regime until a read a long-form book about life in China by a New Yorker journalist who lived and reported from the for many years:

It's really hard to grasp how effective information control, combined with 20-30% of the population being "party members", and other means of control can completely convince (or more likely blind) the population from external realities.

It's hard because you can see how smart and capable Chinese-Americans (or Canadians, or whatever) are at anything they set their mind to, where it almost seems like something is missing in their culture vs the West.

The general lesser educated and poor swath is easier to understand how they can be lied to and believe. The key is the smarter-than-average Chinese who do end up getting access to outside information are thoroughly convinced by the state early on that 'western propaganda is merely constantly trying to denigrate China's great, big, neverending achievements. But not only that, they amplify all of the negative things the western countries do poorly like class or race relations or other things citizens are constantly complaining about in the media, and try to pretend they are covering up those while hypocritically trying to judge Asian countries.

It's really quite a genius type of system when you look at how successful it is, which legitimate the US contributed to with all of the pysop/intelligence community stuff that they mastered. But of course it's 100x easier in a system where media and education are entirely controlled, not just partially like in the US (the Chinese aren't just dumb drones is what I'm saying but I'm not convinced the state can maintain this delusion forever).

vinceguidry · 2014-09-11 · Original thread
An excellent book to read on this topic is Age of Ambition - Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China[1]

It discusses the topic of banned phrases like "river toad". In many cases what's happening is Chinese citizens find ways around the censors by searching for homonyms and other permutations of censored topics. Some of them are quite hilarious.


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