From the Wall Street Journal:
Children of the Revolution
China’s ‘princelings,’ the offspring of the communist party elite, are embracing the trappings of wealth and privilege—raising uncomfortable questions for their elders.
By JEREMY PAGE
One evening early this year, a red Ferrari pulled up at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Beijing, and the son of one of China’s top leaders stepped out, dressed in a tuxedo.
Bo Guagua, 23, was expected. He had a dinner appointment with a daughter of the then-ambassador, Jon Huntsman.
The car, though, was a surprise. The driver’s father, Bo Xilai, was in the midst of a controversial campaign to revive the spirit of Mao Zedong through mass renditions of old revolutionary anthems, known as “red singing.” He had ordered students and officials to work stints on farms to reconnect with the countryside. His son, meanwhile, was driving a car worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and as red as the Chinese flag, in a country where the average household income last year was about $3,300.
The episode, related by several people familiar with it, is symptomatic of a challenge facing the Chinese Communist Party as it tries to maintain its legitimacy in an increasingly diverse, well-informed and demanding society. The offspring of party leaders, often called “princelings,” are becoming more conspicuous, through both their expanding business interests and their evident appetite for luxury, at a time when public anger is rising over reports of official corruption and abuse of power.
State-controlled media portray China’s leaders as living by the austere Communist values they publicly espouse. But as scions of the political aristocracy carve out lucrative roles in business and embrace the trappings of wealth, their increasingly high profile is raising uncomfortable questions for a party that justifies its monopoly on power by pointing to its origins as a movement of workers and peasants.
Read the whole thing here.
SiriusXM conservative radio host Andrew Wilkow has a phrase that he uses that applies quite well here:
Socialism is for the people, not the socialist.
What it means is that the socialist who rules will live how he likes, enjoying the trappings of being the ruling class (since he is), and that the people will have their wealth redistributed. Of course the socialist will have to take the people’s money in order to finance his own way of life, and no cost is too high, as the socialist is there to serve the people – and the people would of course want the socialist to have anything he wishes at their expense, so he can keep providing them with the glorious utopia he promises.
Rife’s rearry rough at the top for those tasked with running sociarist workers’ paradises, no matter if they’re Chinese, American, or North Korean.