What was old ( and bad) is new again (and still bad)

BEIJING — Chinese people switching on their 7 p.m. television news might have done a double take, suspecting that the state broadcaster had mistakenly plugged in a tape from the 1970s before the death of Mao Tse-tung.

For 24 minutes, the flagship Chinese news — probably the television program with the largest viewership — showed President Xi Jinping presiding over an extraordinary public session in which Communist Party cadres in engaged in self-criticism.

Self-criticism, the Communist Party’s equivalent of group psychotherapy, is a venerable tradition that has largely lost steam since the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when people denounced themselves and one another, donning dunce caps and delivering beatings. Although party members are still required to practice self-criticism, it has been in recent years largely pro forma. In fact, they can buy self-criticism essays online if they don’t know what to say.

Via Mao-era style of self-criticism reappears on Chinese TV @  latimes.com.

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