Real Communists don’t golf. That appears the message this month from those brilliant Chinese Communist Party functionaries. The latest edict from the Party has banned all 88 million of its members from joining golf clubs or gyms. The move appears part of the latest anti-corruption campaign in China, which is targeting these clubs as common places for bribes and special dealing. Of course, it is little problem to achieve that same corruption deals at a restaurant or a Mah Jong parlor. However, the way that central planners think is that you can fight corruption by attacking a common place for corrupt discussions. It is akin to fighting insider trading by barring limousines.
Party members have also been told to refrain from extravagant dinners and purchasing moon cakes using public funds.
Members are banned from “obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs”. By the way, the rule does not appear to bar going to such clubs as a guest and having the very same corrupt meeting.
The inclusion of gyms may not necessarily mean more honest Chinese officials but it is likely to produce fatter officials.
Mao of course could just swim roughly ten miles because he was . . . well Mao. He certainly showed why you do not need gyms to be a super Communist. A Taiwanese reader figured out that Mao had achieved this feat by swimming three times faster than the top Olympic swimmer.