Notes and words for “The Culture of Chinese Communism and the Secret Sources of its Power” by Kerry Brown.

1 Words

  English Russian
1 reappraisal переоценка
2 stride шаг, интервал
3 repudiated отречься
4 heady опьяняющий
5 a raft of пачка чего-то
6 a prong зубец
7 epitome олицетворение
8 cachet капсула
9 onus бремя
10 cogency неоспоримость
11 subliminal подсознательный
12 flagrantly ужасно, возмутительно
13 contestation оспаривание
14 contention раздор
15 afflict причинять боль, проблемы
16 prelapsarian до Падения Человека
17 harrowing душераздирание (букв. боронование)
18 precarious ненадёжный
19 squabble перебранка
20 be riven быть расщеплённым
21 propinquity сродство
22 quell подавлять
23 contention раздор
24 eschew избегать, сторониться
25 rashness опрометчивость
26 assail атаковать
27 evince выявить наличие
28 posit постулировать
29 verbal garb словесное обрамление
30 relinquish уступить
31 bide your time выжидать
32 kilter исправность
33 sniffily (перен.) высокомерно
34 wherewithal необходимые средства
35 fount источник, ключ (водяной)
36 acme кульминация
37 brunt главный удар
38 inextricable безвыходный от запутанности
39 tussle схватка (также мед. схватки)
40 hurl швырять
41 riven by раздираемый
42 caesura цезура
43 quandary затруднительное положение
44 larceny воровство
45 pilfering мелкое воровство
46 tutelage опекунство
47 to be felled быть срубленным
48 malfeasance злодеяние
49 awry косо
50 toe the line подчиняться требованиям
51 to curb взнуздать (метаф.)
52 consternation оцепенение от испуга
53 buck the trend сломать тренд
54 afflict подействовать негативно
55 nag away ворчать
56 venally имеющи склонность к мздоимству
57 mainstay оплот
58 abnegation отречение
59 vacillate колебаться
60 impudence наглость
61 bequeathed завещать
62 dunce (hat) “шляпа дурака”, наказание в английских школах
63 searing жгучий
64 harrowing боронование (мет. душераздирающе)
65 intricate запутанный
66 scuttled затопленный путём открытия люка (scuttle)
67 gnawing грызущий
68 dishevelled взъерошенный
69 emaciated истощённый
70 scoffing саркастический
71 incensed восхваляемый (ему возжигают фимиам)
72 indictment обвинительный акт
73 trenchant язвительный
74 insolence наглость
75 to vent испускать
76 venality продажность
77 prurient похотливый
78 lurid пылающий, сенсационный
79 fungibility взаимозаменяемость
80 swirl кружение
81 sheen блеск
82 strenuously напрягшись
83 consternation испуг
84 coruscating сверкающий
85 ferreting охота с хорьком
86 benighted застигнутый ночью
87 predicament затруднительное положение
88 pitting заставить соревноваться
89 volte-face поворот кругом (фиг.)
90 felled срубленный
91 languish изнывать
92 hinterland глубокий тыл
93 gnomic гномический
94 vacillation колебание (втч мнений)
95 stint ограниченный набор (работы, финансирования)
96 complacent самодовольный
97 variegated разносторонний
98 snuff out затушить
99 revile поносить, ругать
100 falter дрогнуть, запинаться
101 portends предвещать
102 gleaned подчёрпнутый
103 circumscribed чётко ограниченный
104 tepid тёпленький
105 precinct округ, участок
106 ruminate раздумывать
107 moribund умирающий, заброшенный
108 curt грубо краткий
109 purblind недальновидный
110 ferret разнюхивать
111 wryly косо (о взгляде)
112 risible смешливый

2 Remarks

2.1 No party occupies all the political spectrum, except the Communist Party of China

Is that true nowadays? What about Navalny’s?

2.2 Its world-view had been proved by history to be right in the act of granting it power.

The Divine Right of Kings?

2.3 Are there other parties like this one?

Vietnamese? What about Korea, Japan? Triads? Yakuza?

2.4 Very long sentences!

2.5 how the CPC has become parasitical on nationalist messages and missions that make it clear its justification is in delivering these rather than Marxist objectives

Shall the party be obliged to deliver it’s initially declared objectives?

2.6 early leaders knew what they didn’t want, and what they disliked about the China they were living in and experiencing in their day-to-day lives. But there was widespread disagreement about what they were actually aiming for

What about all of us? Don’t we all feel way more confident about things we do not want?

2.7 The state constitution, agreed at the National People’s Congress in 1982, and subsequently (but not comprehensively) revised several times since

What about the old constitution of ~1950?

2.8 The language in which the book is written is peculiar.

Is it “Chinese-ish” English?

2.9 The USSR did not, for instance, have a vast dynastic past to look back on.


2.10 Agrarian revolution.

China has a very fertile land. People seem to be growing stuff everywhere easily. Is this a fundamental difference?

2.11 On the contrary, it embraces what was once sniffily called feudal China, and at times also seeks to exploit it.

What about everyone else? Aren’t we all getting into the era of imitated nations? Just because everyone is ready to pay for what they “want to see”?

2.12 This permits the use of an example from theology to illustrate quite how the politics, administration, and country fit together.

Isn’t this exactly how things worked in the USSR? Many people admit that the CPSU effectively worked as a religious organisation, when the Marxist dogmas happened to under-perform.

Furthermore, doesn’t any totalitarian entity work like this? The Annenerbe, the FaLunGong, etc…?

2.14 The most radical proposal of the imported ideology and practice of Marx and Lenin, as interpreted by Mao and Liu, was to contradict, or subvert, this self-centredness in traditional Chinese social structure, and to replace the morality of the world centred on the self by that centred on a collective organization.

What about the new Party slogan about Xi being the “core of the party”?

2.15 it seemed of all the networks that proved hard to control and most irresistible that based on blood relations was the strongest and most prominent

2.16 Deep China.

Didn’t the “Deep America” elect Trump after all? Doesn’t every country have a “Deep Country”? Is there a “Deep Russia”?

2.17 Its sustainability in power demands allegiance from their whole selves, not just their material bodies, because reliance on the latter will always run the high risk that the CPC will go the same direction as the USSR, and be expendable.

People in the USSR also didn’t believe in anything they were speaking of. And were equally content.

2.18 Communist ideology at this time was ‘an effective instrument of training’, an ‘educational process which elevates the system of training above simple discipline’. ‘For training the cadre and party member, Chinese Communist theory … provides a comprehensive theory or learning to ensure the thorough remoulding of each individual’

What about Hofstede and cultural codes?

2.19 Mao the man made many mistakes. But Mao Zedong Thought remains valid and true. This strange bifurcation between a person of flesh and blood and his or her abstract intellectual contribution solved a major problem.

This has been used in the USA in the form of Confederate Generals’ statues. Why don’t “we” as Russians or whoever, reuse this general mantra? A person has agency only as long as he is alive. Afterwards it is natural and perfectly morally acceptable to scavenge all the possible legacy he has left as legacy of the nation.

2.20 Leaders across the country were judged on their ability to ‘preserve stability’, with an extensive apparatus of state security which started to cost more than national defence.

So the “extensive apparatus” became more expensive in China too!

2.21 Democracy Wall movement over 1978 to 1980.

2.22 The simple fact is that, as of 2018, no Communist one-party system had proved sustainable.

What about Vietnam?

2.23 Lockywolf: this text has to a noticeable extent, demystified the Cultural Revolution in my thoughts. More than the October Revolution.

2.24 They are not just epic aesthetic statements but also ideological ones, designed to create a specific emotional response, of awe, pride, a sense of being part of the great national drama that is unfolding as one walks around these stage sets.

Soviet Union had those too.

2.25 As a political force seeking support in the countryside, somehow a bridge needed to be made to this vast community who had only folk art to reach them.

3 After-discussion summary.

We discussed the book at the book club with Frank Tsai, and the discussion was not productive really. The people kept referring to some old things in the Chinese history, that I feel are not relevant to the daily life.