Passed this on the way out this morning:
Our goal: look to money, look to thick profits
Chairman Mao, as some stories have it, refused to even touch money. After his death, Deng Xiaoping launched China’s ‘Reform and Opening’ and ‘Modernization’ Era under the slogans: “Liberate thinking, seek truth from facts, join together and unanimously look forward” (解放思想、实事求是、团结一致向前看). He probably meant “look forward” to mean something like, “let’s not dwell on all that nonsense of the past few decades, but instead get on with making a better future.” The bumper sticker simply switches out “front” (前 qián) for “money” (钱 qián), turning “look forward” into “look to money” — both phrases are pronounced exactly the same: xiàng qián kàn.
There are a million anecdotes to illustrate the way Mainland Chinese unapologetically prioritize money. The most recent one is from some study reported in a magazine (I forget which), indicating that Chinese tie material wealth to happiness at more than twice the global average.
P.S. – I suspect there’s more to the bumper sticker, but that’s all I’ve got for now.
P.P.S. – Here’s a Chinese forum thread admiring the same slogan on a custom license plate: 我的目标-向钱看-向厚赚-牛B720
P.P.P.S – What would the equivalent bumper sticker say in your home country, if it were equally honest?
P.P.P.P.S. – Like Propaganda?