Taking Stock after Geneva: What Is the Iron Curtain For?
In October of this year London was visited by the “Classic Theater of the People’s Republic of China.” Despite certain adaptations to the tastes of a Western audience, the company provided a fine representation of the traditional dramatic art of China in dance and mime, and won very favorable comments from the critics. To such a cultural exhibition the unwary British citizen could go in the reasonable expectation that here at any rate was something in which current politics were not involved—for the Chinese classic theater was surely something that had existed before Mao Tsetung was ever heard of. But the innocent theatergoer was not destined to escape so easily. In the printed program he received an invitation to join the Britain-China Friendship Association—the Communist front organization in Britain devoted to the glorification of the Communist regime in China. The glamor of an ancient and exotic beauty was thus being employed to arouse interest in the country of its origin and direct this interest into certain political channels. Such are the uses of “culture” in international relations.
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