Events August 2019


Revolutionary Optimism in 1950s Chinese Culture

Wendy Larson
When Chinese revolutionary culture reached its zenith in the 1950s and 1960s, revolutionary optimism became a strongly encouraged emotional perspective, attitude, and expression. It was touted through literature, film, images, and virtually every aspect of daily life. The valourising of happiness took place with equal fervency in the United States. Both countries had similar—if not identical—strategic reasons for promoting, building, and constructing happiness as the most acceptable public emotion. Emerging from the Enlightenment, socialism and capitalism embodied the modern ideals of progress and improvement characteristic of scientific rationalism, which drove their embrace of happiness as the most effective and efficient emotional state.
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