(Image courtesy of Foreign Policy, whose article on Chinese humor is well worth reading on its own merits!)
An important part of Maoist practice, not obvious in Communist practice in general, is the art of self-criticism. Apparently, this practice is spreading.
I noticed Mr. Yglesias doing this the other day. It's an odd conceit: 'How shall we be more civil, as our righteous leader instructs, given the evil of our opponents?'Here, there is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, her presence on the national stage can improve our discourse, help solve our problems or improve public life. But that does not forbid one from noting the great example she has shown in rearing a child with Down Syndrome, whatever his provenance, or noting her effectiveness as a demagogue, or from admiring her father's genuineness or her skill in exploiting new media. I've consistently tried to do this without undercutting my still-raw amazement that an advanced democratic society could even contemplate putting such an unstable and irresponsible person in a position of any real power.His approach to the new civility, he says, will be "generous anger: a classically Orwellian term." The idea is "to make strong and lively points without demonization."
Generous anger! It's a little weak, honestly, compared with caritas. Of course, I stand accused (by RCL) of taking a 'sadistic pleasure' in that; so perhaps I shouldn't speak to the matter.