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Special Feature: Mao Today: A Political Icon for an Age of Prosperity

Red Allure and the Crimson Blindfold

Geremie Barmé
p. 29-40


This essay takes as its starting point the precipitous fall of Bo Xilai in March 2012 and discusses the context of the abiding significance of China’s red legacies, in particular Maoism, in understanding the People’s Republic of China today. While thinkers labour to salvage Marxism, the red legacy constitutes a body of cultural, intellectual, and linguistic practices that are profoundly ingrained in institutional behaviour in China. This study explores to what extent this version of the red legacy leeches out the power of other modes of left-leaning critique and independent thought, and abets the party-state in its pursuit of a guided, one-party neo-liberal economic agenda.

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Bibliographical reference

Geremie Barmé, « Red Allure and the Crimson Blindfold », China Perspectives, 2012/2 | 2012, 29-40.

Electronic reference

Geremie Barmé, « Red Allure and the Crimson Blindfold », China Perspectives [Online], 2012/2 | 2012, Online since 30 June 2015, connection on 24 March 2018. URL :

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About the author

Geremie Barmé

He is the founding director of the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) at The Australian National University and author of many books, is the editor of the web-journal China Heritage (

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