Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces 八荣八耻

The latest policy buzzword to hit China’s political scene in March 2006, “Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces” encapsulates Hu Jintao’s effort to carry out a campaign of moral rectification, improving the overall behavior of people at all levels of Chinese society. Mostly for political show, the policy is designed to mollify Leftist elements within the Party who have spoken out against the excesses brought on by China’s commercialization drive. The first reference to the term came on March 4 as Hu made a speech on “Socialist honor and grace” to the Chinese Political Consultative Conference. On March 6, China’s top propaganda official, politburo member Li Changchun, called on all levels of Chinese society to implement the “spirit” of Hu Jintao’s policy speech in order to “form the stable moral basis for a Socialist harmonious society”. Hu Jintao listed the “Eight Honors and Disgraces” as follows: “Loving the Mother Country is honorable, harming the Mother Country is disgraceful; Serving the People is honorable, neglecting the People is disgraceful; Upholding science is honorable, blindness and ignorance are disgraceful; Hard work is honorable, idleness disgraceful; Unity and cooperation are honorable, using others for profit is disgraceful; Honesty and keeping one’s word are honorable, seeing personal gain and forgetting justice is disgraceful; Respecting laws and regulations is honorable, disobeying laws and regulations is disgraceful; Suffering for the struggle is honorable, conceit and lasciviousness are disgraceful”.

David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).