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The Global Economic Crisis Is Proving Good For Business

from The Economist

Ideological debate in China

The Little Red Bookshop

Feb 5th 2009 | BEIJING | The Economist print edition

Whose little-read leftist texts may be coming back into vogue

Illustration by Claudio Munoz

IN A small bookshop on the ninth floor of an office and residential building in Beijing’s university district, the staff wear Mao badges. Works extolling the late Chinese leader, damning capitalism and attacking globalisation are laid out on shelves. Scour the “non-mainstream economists” section for some of the most popular ones. Staples of most bookshops—volumes on how to succeed in business, play the stockmarket or get into an American university—are not on sale.

The Utopia bookshop is a refuge for China’s leftists, the term used to describe those nostalgic for Mao Zedong’s rule and worried that the country is abandoning its communist principles. This is the place to buy the selected writings of Mao’s late widow, Jiang Qing, and other members of the Gang of Four who were imprisoned after the chairman’s death. A three-volume critique of China’s property law, enacted in 2007 and much disliked by leftists because of its supposed bias in favour of private-property ownership, goes for 200 yuan ($30).

A bookshop manager says the global economic crisis is proving good for business.

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Posted on February 7, 2009 by Editor

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