N. S. Lyons:

At this point, you might be wondering why Communist Party media apparatchiks now sound a bit like mid-2000s American Evangelicals. But it’s worth knowing that the CCP recently discovered — to its shock and horror — that many of China’s people have been gripped by a deep sense of nihilism about their society rather than by boundless love and appreciation for the Party’s leadership. Among the online youth, for example, “sang culture” (roughly the equivalent of “doomerism” in the West) has proliferated. This has kicked off a scramble, led by top Party political theorist Wang Huning, to “create core values” to fill this uncomfortably God-shaped societal hole with the comforts of a synthetic ideological alternative.