Platitudinous pukey police Party peace pablum for the people

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It's no wonder that the people are losing patience with the Party:

 "‘A toddler could write this’: senior Chinese policeman’s Peace Mantra book, praised by authorities, is ridiculed

    Investigation and apologies over ‘intellectual’ officer’s book, which provincial government and state media had said was recommended reading
    Sharing of the book’s repetitive content leads to online debate about unthinking praise for officials"

By Jun Mai, SCMP (7/30/20).

The "intellectual" author of the volume is He Dian, the second most powerful officer of the public security department in the northeastern province of Jilin.  The title of his 336-page tome is Píng'ān jīng 平安經, to which the English name Peace Mantra has become attached.  Since it's such a phony work, we might as well give it a more accurate apocryphal Sanskrit title, Śānti sūtra शान्ति सूत्र.

A chapter titled “Let China’s railway stations be safe” reads: “Let Beijing Railway Station be safe, let Xi’an Railway Station be safe, let Zhengzhou Railway Station be safe, let Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station be safe …”

Yet despite its content, the book was endorsed and recommended by a long list of local government offices and Communist Party-approved groups after being cleared for publication by the state-controlled publishing watchdog.
The province’s department of emergency management had said on social media that the book was “worth a read”. Jilin’s Recital Association, a state-led group, held a seminar last month about the book, featuring more than a dozen local scholars and poets.
State media outlets in the province even circulated a review of the book that claimed that reading it could improve officials’ understanding of why they entered public service, and help scholars’ grasp of philosophy.

Chuangchunfenghuotai, a Weibo user, wrote: “It’s not only a sign of cultural deprivation, but also a snapshot of how officials put on political shows.”

Lu Jin, a television host and writer, wrote: “There are countless examples like this among the officials, and they almost don’t seem embarrassing until they are made public. Like if one leader at the table said he likes the fatty pork, everyone else at the table will praise the pork and have a few big bites.”

In his résumé on the provincial police force’s website, and in coverage by local media, He is described as an intellectual with a doctoral degree, more than 30 published books and frequent contributions to top domestic academic journals to his name.

On a smaller scale, but in some respects an even more egregious scam than He Dian's fatuous tome, is former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh's book sales scandal:

Just how many ‘Healthy Holly’ books were there? Memo offers most detailed account of Baltimore mayor’s fraud scheme

By Luke Broadwater
Baltimore Sun |
Feb 14, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Screen shots of He Dian's mantra-sūtra here and here.

[h.t. Mark Metcalf]


  1. Victor Mair said,

    July 30, 2020 @ 12:40 pm

    I was going to end the title with "pro populo", but thought that would be overdoing it.

  2. Michael Watts said,

    July 30, 2020 @ 5:50 pm

    What are the connotations of naming your book 经? Does that not seem like a little much in the way of over-the-top self-aggrandizement?

  3. Victor Mair said,

    July 30, 2020 @ 6:45 pm

    That is his title, and indeed it is presumptuous: "classic" or "sūtra".

  4. Philip Taylor said,

    July 31, 2020 @ 2:23 am

    "What are the connotations of naming your book 经?" — I cannot help but feel that this is one of the cases where the use of "one/one's" is virtually mandated. As original written, I immediately assumed that it was a reference to one of Victor's (many) books rathen than (as I now realise was intended) a/the book of He Dian.

  5. Chris Partridge said,

    July 31, 2020 @ 2:50 am

    Reminds me of Australia’s most prominent cultural icon, arts supremo Les Patterson, who gave himself a huge grant to write a poem. It began:
    ‘What is it that we like more than tarts?
    The Yartz!’

  6. Mark Mandel said,

    July 31, 2020 @ 12:30 pm

    What's the Yartz? Maybe it's obvious in Oz, but it's unknown in the US.

  7. John Swindle said,

    July 31, 2020 @ 4:29 pm

    A quick Google search suggests that to yartz is to vomit (Urban Dictionary) and the Yartz is "uncultivated" Australian (Babylon's Online Dictionary) for "the Arts." search page.

  8. John Swindle said,

    July 31, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

    For "search page" please read "".

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