“Landscape as an aesthetic product functions symbolically on behalf of an elite”—-True.
“Its visual aesthetics at once express and occlude particular socio-economic relations”—-True.
But what makes the issue hard to deal nowadays is, if Marxist’s theory is correct in exposing the inherent power, the ugliness of capitalism, and calls for action—the revolution by the oppressed social class, then there must be some unbearable reasons for the working class to hold the insurrection, whether it’s similar to any revolutions happening before, the Frances, or the nearer Soviet Union. However, unlike what Cosgrove has depicted that “Death has a sanguinary face in Arcadia”, or “the land is figured as a bleak and cold terrain in which there is a palpable sense of a way of life coming to an end” (2008: 76-77), the real conditions do not go to that extreme: Survival is guaranteed; you can rent a small room within a set of an apartment, normally already being modified in order to earn higher profits; you can buy food using your salary, though you can’t save much of it (to be honest I once resided with and even was one of them). What’s more, the elitists’ landscape is even shared as public sphere, where common people walk across, stop for a rest, or even tramp on the grass. In a word, conflicts are “blurred”, whether deliberately, or unintentionally.
Engineering works: I’ve found the parallel: Similar to Versailles’ water supply work, which cost a large amount of labour, the Great Wall in pre-modern China was also built in such inefficiency, though the purpose might be different. It is the manifestation of the central government’s power and control—this is correct, but it serves as other goals as well, for example, the defence against the invasions. The Great Wall survived after hundreds of years, but as embarrassing as what Germany has encountered when trying to rebuild their Heimat (home) landscape, the Great Wall seems to act as the evidence of ethnic conflicts: The conflicts between the Han ethnicity and the other minories. This, is not welcomed by the current ideology.
If sheep farming is the characteristic of native British landscape, then what is ours? I would immediately think of the Inner Mongolia ones mentioned in the first diary. But that’s far from enough. The large territory does offer varieties of landscape style, whether they are desserts, prairies, hills and plains, but if there is a lack of a unique representation, there is going to be a worry about uniformity, and the control, which I don’t dislike to be honest. I think of uniformity as a way of spreading the meaning for life, what we live for and fight for. That’s why I don’t resist wars and am aloof against pacifism. Wars are justifiable in some ways and those fight in the wars shouldn’t be forgotten. They fight for the land, for where they were born, and for the landscape which has nurtured them.
I have to stop here. But I include photos and a sketch depicting the landscape in front of the so-called ruling class office areas in China (but I’ve already doubted whether it should still be called in this way, since the reason why this financial institution exists in China is, in my analysis, just, taken a global perspective. Hence I started to think if landscape can act as a buffering area between the conflicting classes, geographically, and mentally as well.