Sorry, but you have to do a real stretch to get materialism out of Marxism.
Practical realities always defy simple political slogans. So the practical reality in China is that everyone scratches out a living the best way he can. As people gain some welath, that will no doubt change.
The only "similarity" I see between the practical reality in China and the Republican Party platform would be one of self reliance, and personal responsibility. In China, because individuals would have a tough time surviving otherwise, and in the US in general, because that has been the American way ever since the early pioneers. For the same reason that it's the practical reality on China today.
As far as IDEALS go, the Democratic Party in the US is the pary of left wing politics. They are the kindred brethren of the Socialist and Communist Parties in Europe. Just listen to the rhteoric of Francois Hollande, for example, compared with Barack Obama, and the similarities are obvious.
By the way, I get a super kick out of Sprite0022's comments. Always revealing to see what the stereotype of a culture is, from another's point of view.
I do not like the equation of materialistic = Marxist. In my opinion Americans are more materialistic than anybody else in this world. For that matter all the nations decide their policies on materialistic views.
"So, I wonder. Am I alone in thinking that China — supposedly the last great stronghold of Communism — seems to have an awful lot in common, philosophically, with the Republican Party?"
No you are not, Junko. The political spectrum goes into full circle. The extreme left and the extreme right are surprisingly very close. That is why you had people like the late Christopher Hitchens (RIP) for example who started his life as a Trotskyist and ended up a Neo-Con!
To go back to dream question, I believe in a universal human dream, not an American, Chinese or other. Chinese people nowadays want economic progress first and foremost, that's a basic human need which all humans value first and foremost. According to Maslow, security, love and belonging come after, then esteem and self-actualisation.
Americans for instance did not yearn for their independence from the British because they ideologically valued freedom. American independence was dictated by economic interests first and foremost. Of course, the narrative changed afterwards to sell the idea to the masses but underneath all, it was about economics.
Before I am accused of having a materialistic (Marxist) view of the world, I must say that I do recognise that there were instances in history where economic interests did not dictate behaviour, but these are expections rather than the rule. Anyway, I could go on forever about this subject, but this site is not the proper outlet...
Right... because free speech is so much easier when the government puts controls in place to limit your access to information on the internet and can shut down cell networks when unrest occurs.
I humbly bow before you incredible debating skills.
let me clarify,
1. chinese has the de facto freedom of speech in criticizing govt. same as americans. americans can't threat to kill your president as well. chinese govt change policy many times due to (internet) feedbacks.
2. one thing americans really have an advantage IS:
better access to PORN magzines and DVDs, you can subscribe em or get em from street markets easily.
that's sth americans does have a advantage and be proud...
uh.. I have to say the movie plot came from real life. don't try to pretend chaste.
all the world knows what's frat party for americans.
how many americans remain a virgin when getting married? maybe 2 %?
why on earth they get married. ans: they need to raise the poor kids which was more of an accident...
Individually, “Chinese Dream” for a Chinese adult is to be admired/respected by his/her peers.
As a nation, “Chinese Dream” is to be the superpower that U.S. was. i.e. every other country need to take the Chinese national interests into consideration when making decisions, just like they normally bowed before American pressure. Having military bases in other countries. Making RMB the standard currency for international merchandise transaction, (especially in oil and other commodity deals).