I came across the phrase “erect around” in the following sentence of the article titled “Campaign 2012: China or America” appearing in New Yorker magazine (April 6), which deals with the elections of the top leaders of two superpower countries in the world taking place this year:
“In the United States, modern political parties strain to project spontaneity and authenticity onto that which is, in fact, highly ritualized: an onward procession of bumps and setbacks and gaffes that rarely veers outside the lines.
In China, it is the other way around: the Party strains to project solemn ritual onto that which turns out to be brutally untamed. This year, the artifice of calm erected around the hidden cut-and-thrust fell away at the hands of Chongqing Communist Party boss, Bo Xilai.”
I don’t think I’ve ever met the expression, *“erect calm." Though I'm familiar with "stay (keep) calm," I'm unfamiliar with the expression like "erect calm," or "erect serene / tranquilness / noise / clamor" around something. To me "calm" doesn't seem to be the thing to be "erected," though it can be secured or built.
Is "erect calm" around something a popular expression? What does the line, “the artifice of calm erected around the hidden cut-and-thrust fell away at the hands of Chongqing Communist Party boss” exactly mean?.