I’ve picked this story up from the internet, wherein Chinese naturists at Hainan (the country’s only naturist beach) have been ordered to cover up because it was in contravention to Communist ideals. As the author, correctly, picks up, it’s not something that Karl Marx would have mentioned in The Communist Manifesto. And, as the author also correctly identifies, this will have much less to do with Communism as it will with Confucianism which historically didn’t, apparently (I don’t know enough to make any sort of informed judgement) celebrate the human body int he way that, say, the Ancient Greeks did.
Chinese naturists on Hainan island
As with yesterday’s story about Boko Haram, this is another of those where ‘the authorities’, a fun-less minority who dare to impose their will on a less zealous population, and twist the words of whatever may be said in tomes about the particular belief system they hold (a very screwed up vision of Islam, from the leaders of Boko Haram, a very screwed up vision of Communism from the Chinese authorities). But then, it doesn’t have so much to do with sacred or political belief systems anyway. No, instead I think that something like naturism in China, or education in Nigeria, challenges a desire to see a lack of personal freedoms. Education will free you, free your soul. Naturism will free you, free your soul and body.
And for those who want to keep an iron grip on a population, freedom, of deed or thought, is a very dangerous thing indeed.
SLN has an almost global reach. The only locations where our -let’s be honest here- almost irrelevant existence can’t be consumed for entertainment purposes are those locations where zealots, in either the arenas of the secular or political, exercise power over their populations. China, parts of the Middle East and Central/Western Africa remain closed to us (with the likelihood being that it’s internet coverage in Africa that prevents us, or anyone else, from beaming ideas into those countries). We’ve had a couple of hundred views from Iraq, for goodness sake!
It rather seems -and I’m certainly not setting SLN up as the yardstick by which this should be measured, more of SLN’s capacity to reach an audience reflecting internet availability in a general sense- it seems ideas, information and communication are simply too dangerous for Iran and China to fathom. In a small sense, naturism frees us. We are quite regimented in life, even in ‘the west’, and it’s somehow liberating to cast off our cares with our clothes and -as long as we’re sensible in the sun- benefit from exposure to it. We feel better, probably exercise more, eat better, release endorphins and come come relaxed and refreshed. Just imagine if a population were to begin casting off its clothes and, with it, the shackles of communism?