El comunismo consumista de China

China ha cambiado espectacularmente desde mediados del decenio de 1980. No es sólo el aumento del número de autopistas, vallas publicitarias y rascacielos lo que desconcierta a quien llevan mucho tiempo visitando el país. Incluso una visita a una librería puede impresionar a cualquiera que llegara por primera vez a China hace decenios, cuando parecía inconcebible que obras de teóricos no marxistas pudieran llegar jamás a superar a las de los marxistas. Se ha permitido incluso a una compañía teatral representar "Rebelión en la granja", la famosa alegoría antiautoritaria de George Orwell, que en otro tiempo los lectores del bloque socialista sólo podían conocer en ediciones clandestinas.

Los cambios son más profundos, naturalmente. En el decenio de 1980, no había mendigos en las calles de las ciudades y la principal divisoria social separaba al pequeño número de personas bien relacionadas políticamente, quienes gozaban de un estilo de vida privilegiado, del resto de la población. Ahora, hay a la vez mendigos y una clase media pujante. Solía ser difícil encontrar algo que hacer un sábado por la noche en Shangai. Ahora, la revista Time llama a esa ciudad el lugar "más animado" de la Tierra.

Mientras me preparaba para mi primer viaje a China hace veinte años, la tenebrosa obras maestra de George Orwell, Mil novecientos ochenta y cuatro, parecía una lente útil para observar esa "república popular". El control en China no era lo suficientemente rígido para considerarla la encarnación de un Estado con un Hermano Mayor autoritario y que todo lo vigila, pero había paralelismos: desde el desprecio de muchas formas de disfrute y diversión "burguesas" a las campañas periódicas de propaganda que insistían en que dos y dos eran cinco.

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