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This is bad: Chinese “library officials” burn books that contradict party line.

Jonny Diamond

December 9, 2019, 11:35am

Sure, in America we live in an autocratic dystopia where powerful college professors can just go around tweeting mean things at helpless New York Times op-ed columnists, but things are also bad in China. According to the Washington Post, “Library officials” (but not actual librarians?) piled up a bunch of material described as “illegal publications, religious publications and deviant papers, books, picture books and photographs,” and set them on fire in a good old fashioned book burning. Then, of course, they posted about it on social media. The story is slowly losing oxygen in China, as reports are being shut down and online records scrubbed; it would seem that the gesture wasn’t entirely appreciated by the Communist Party powers-that-be, despite a recent Ministry of Education directive “calling on school libraries to cull teaching materials.”

Have the “library officials” been canceled? Look for their anonymous cri-de-coeur op-ed at Quillette in a couple weeks.

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