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Mao Blooms In Fairy Tale Of China Village

Chicago Tribune

Posted May 15, 2000
Tags Hamilton In the News
Nanjie is an industrious village where all workers live in identical apartments, earn nearly equal pittance and study the teachings of Chairman Mao. At the noodle factory, they march in the afternoons. There is no unemployment, and it is against the rules to keep a messy house. Violators are punished... Nanjie is not really very communistic after all. Instead, the village boss has shrewdly converted Marxism into a management tool to control and motivate workers... "The real message of these model villages is not about communism but communitarianism--how to respond to rapid socioeconomic changes collectively," said Cheng Li, a China scholar at Hamilton College who studied a village that based its development on Confucian values.

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