China’s Communist Party Elite Says Goodbye to Marx, Hello Feng Shui

Enthusiasm for fortune telling and Feng Shui is common in Chinese communist officialdom as party members lose faith in communism.
China’s Communist Party Elite Says Goodbye to Marx, Hello Feng Shui
People light incense during the Laba Festival at Ciyunchansi Temple on Jan. 27, 2015 in Huai'an, Jiangsu Province, China. Enthusiasm for fortune telling and Feng Shui is common in Chinese communist officialdom as Party members lose faith in communism. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

As Feng Shui and other traditional beliefs make a comeback among top officials of the Chinese communist regime, sixty years of mandatory atheism is showing its cracks.

In the Chinese regime’s ongoing disciplinary campaign, many of the thousands of officials sacked for corruption were also caught engaging in activities decidedly inimical to the Communist Party’s materialist ideology—fortune telling, consulting Buddhist monks and Taoist masters, Feng Shui, and the like.

According to a Feb. 4 commentary published in regime mouthpiece People’s Daily, some communist leaders “consult neither Marx nor Lenin, but instead various ’masters’” when they face challenges in their lives and careers.

The article criticized Party functionaries for seeking their solutions in the supernatural, accusing them of “confused faith and demoralized spirit.”

“Such phenomena cannot be ignored. Some leaders and cadres are obsessed with burning incense, prayers, and engaging in Feng Shui. Their offices are littered with ‘auspicious stones’ and piles of fortune beads.”

Feng Shui, also known as geomancy, is the ancient tradition of orienting objects such as buildings, furniture, or plants in a spiritually harmonious or auspicious manner.

Party cadres ought to be clear on matters of faith.
People's Daily

Though the Communist Party promotes atheism and materialism through state propaganda and education, “superstitious” activities are commonplace in the Party itself.

Li Chuncheng, disgraced former deputy Party head of Sichuan Province, spent tens of millions in public funds to have a Daoist master hold an exorcism for him, according to a report by regime mouthpiece Xinhua.

Zhou Yongkang, who formerly headed China’s vast internal security forces, had his own personal Feng Shui master, Cao Yongzheng, who was also his “most trusted man,” according to the mainland Chinese magazine Caixin. Zhou is now under official investigation, allegedly for corruption and misuse use of power.

Other officials consult experts to help them determine the lucky days on which to begin and conclude their projects.

The Communist Party bars its officials from holding religious beliefs.

“Such superstitious trends have long been denounced,” reads the People’s Daily commentary. “Party cadres ought to be clear on matters of faith.”

The rampant practice of so-called superstitious activity in the communist elite reflects the emptiness of Marxist ideology, according to political commentator Zhang Dongyuan, speaking to the Epoch Times.

After dozens of years of atheist propaganda and indoctrination, not only did the people refuse to abandon their faith, but huge damage was wrought upon traditional Chinese society and culture, Zhang said. Chinese officials profess the tenets of Marxism-Leninism only to advance their careers, but few if any have true faith in communism.

“It’s failed completely,” Zhang said.