Slogan Doctor: Beijing Olympics: 'One World, One Dream'

It's hard to decide whether the slogan of the Beijing Olympics is sinister or banal.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Appeals to unity by an authoritarian state in which having a different dream is a dangerous pursuit do not have a great history. In 'One World, One Dream' there's an echo of 'Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer'. Used by Coca-Cola or Honda, the slogan would be just fluffy global idealism, which is how the Chinese government wants to be seen. But Beijing can't help its own instincts. The slogan, launched in 2005, purports to have been distilled from 210,000 suggestions, endless rounds of mass discussion, polling, testing and consultation. But in February, a Beijing resident sued, claiming he had coined the slogan and e-mailed it to the organising committee. In having the action dismissed, the committee revealed that its chairman had come up with 'One World, One Future' and that a US branding consultant changed it to 'One World, One Dream'. None of this was reported in the Chinese media. One Slogan, One Big Lie.

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