CLASS POLITICS: In Nanjie's lone school, windows overlook a marble statue of an idealized worker, a counterpart to a massive white-marble statue of Chairman Mao in the town center. The school teaches common subjects -- math, history, geography -- as well as an intense course in communist ideology. Large posters of Mao, Lenin, Marx, and Engels decorate its walls. Many Chinese citizens, and even the Communist Party itself, view Mao's economic and social policies as flawed, if not failed; they caused significant internal turmoil and a famine that killed millions. Some Nanjie residents take a more charitable view. One told van Houtryve that Mao's "thoughts have the power of the thoughts of God."