We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Like you care, right? The purpose is really to highlight a novel, Brothers, by Da Chen.
I seem to read novels as 1/3 of what I read, but I will read whatever is put in front of me, and whatever serendipity provides me with. Nothing on TV engages me. I always bear in mind that somebody worked darn hard to write that book.
Da Chen is an American author, raised in China during the Cultural Revolution. Besides being a compelling story, the book offers lots of insight into how China really operates - especially inside the political aristocracy.
One thing you learn right away is that in most Socialist and Communist nations, power and money and chicks and perks and mansions with military guards and vacation homes and the best food and drink and fancy cars accrue to the pols and their kin instead of to the productive. They create their own ingrown, inbred aristocracy with the power of the money, the government, the bureaucracy and the military to support and maintain it. They re-create Feudalism with the Mandarins and the "masses." We, dear readers, are supposed to be "the grateful masses."
(At the time that he writes about, 80% of China's adults were government employees. Not any more, happily. Canada is now up to 20%, last I heard, and headed up. Government employees are easy to control - and very easy to tax.)
Agree with the escape reading. Love it. I learn something from every escape I make.
But this description reminded me of a book I read by a woman who was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. I can't remember the name of it, but I do remember the feelings that came over me as I read - same as I just got reading this description. Darn, I wish I could recall the title..... horrifying book in its truth.