The Cultural Iconoclast: Liu Xiaobo
‘We decide to hunger strike! We have to protest! We have to appeal! We have to repent!’ These are the slogans of the 2 June Declaration of Hunger Strike. Liu Xiaobo, a young cultural critic, joined the hunger strike and supported the pro-democracy movement of 1989. Liu became prominent in the mid-1980s for his exceedingly critical stance and vehement attack on Chinese tradition and the socialist regime. Because of his critical acts, he was regarded as a cultural nihilist. Liu was also criticized as ‘overly self-centred’ because he vehemently attacked the character of Chinese intellectuals, Chinese tradition, Chinese people and even himself. Compared with the previously discussed intellectuals, Liu Xiaobo is unique in his social location because he was never an establishment intellectual as Fang Lizhi, Yan Jiaqi and Liu Binyan were. His critique goes beyond attacking the CCP to attacking other intellectuals, officials, the general public and even himself. His critical stance made him a solitary figure in Chinese intellectual circles.
KeywordsChinese People Cultural Revolution Social Location Chinese Tradition Critical Stance
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