Under Mao Zedong, China experienced profound social and economic changes. Industry increased, prostitution and opium use was reduced, and many experienced an increase in social standing as land was redistributed to the peasants, prior to collectivization. But many of the policies that were enacted had negative, even disastrous consequences, which were never properly apologized for or rectified. In 1981, 5 years after Mao’s death, the Chinese Communist Party stated that Mao was essentially 70% good and 30% bad. But Mao’s disconnect from the actualities of his policies, paranoia towards his status in the Party and his public image, and lack of foresight in regards to the consequences of his decisions had extreme ramifications on China that not only led to the death of millions, but fundamentally undermined legitimacy of the government. Through the specific policies of the Hundred Flowers campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s lack of understanding of his actions, and his poor treatment of those who criticized him are very apparent. And while not all of Mao’s policies and actions were disastrous, his errors outweighed his merits. In actuality, Mao’s actions were more likely 80% bad and 20% good.
Even with her previous experiences at Beijing University and at Big Joy Farm, Wong still held some belief that the Chinese system wasn’t as bad as it was sometimes made out to be. This event proved to her that it was. “The enormity of the massacre hit home…Although it had been years since I was a Maoist, I still had harbored some small hope for China. Now even that was gone” (259). As a reporter Wong was able to view the progression of the protests in leading up to the massacre, and in viewing it understood that the Chinese people were much more independent than they had previously demonstrated over the past 50 years. She had continuously seen the Chinese people following what they were told between learning in school or with physical labor, yet this protest was one of the first large scale displays of the unacceptance of the regime by the people, and the government did not know what to do with it. But because of this, Wong was able to recognize that the people were not reliant on this way of life that they had previously been bound to, but truly could lead for themselves and take control. The massacre awakened Wong both to the reality that the government was not acting to benefit the people, and that the people were more than capable of acting for
In 1921, the Chinese Communist party arose, bringing about the ideologies of Karl Marx, along with the removal of class exploitation and oppression. Mao’s Ideological crusade, the Cultural Revolution in 1966, was designed to jolt China back toward mass mobilization, and utopian idealism. The Cultural Revolution was, a revolution for the Communist party as it was their goal to eliminate counterrevolutionary ideology and eliminate all right-wing influence. However, Mao’s ideas of riding China of capitalistic influences with violence and retaining power by manipulation was out of tune with the ideas of the CCP because it ultimately led to a breakdown in culture, technology, and human resources through decentralization and manipulation.
Few people would deny that the Cultural Revolution is one of the most significant events in China’s history, with its extraordinary effects on many groups of the population. The main aim of the revolution was simple: having risen to power, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wanted to reform the Chinese population so that they followed the communist ideology – the favour of absolute social equality. While the initial impression of this aim seems positive, many people nowadays consider that there were few benefits of the Cultural Revolution, due to the turbulence that it caused between 1966 and 1976. Whilst it could be considered that there was initially some reform of the Chinese people, it
China has been a communist country since the communist revolution took place in 1949, since then China has been ruled by the dictator Mao Tse-Tung. However the Chinese dictator died in September 1976, he was hailed abroad as one of the worlds’ great leaders. Certainly one of the more impressive aspects of the Chinese communist government, has been the willingness of the people to protest against it (3, pg. 4).
As many other countries around the world China has its long history of a struggle for equality and prosperity against tyrants and dictatorships. The establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949 seemed to have put an end to that struggle for a better life. “The Chinese people have stood up!” declared Mao Tse-tung, the chairman of China’s Communist Party (CPP) – a leading political force in the country for the time. The people were defined as a coalition of four social classes: the workers, the peasants, the petite bourgeoisie and the national-capitalists. The four classes were to be led buy the CPP, as the leader of the working class.
“As one of the Red Guards in the middle school, I was given power through Mao to torture and humiliate our teachers, headmaster or anyone we didn’t like. I didn’t know it was wrong. I thought I was doing the right thing to continue the revolution, to fight and win the class struggle”- Zhao, Lin Qing. As a teenager Zhao was a Red Guard in Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution. When asked what her impression was a member of the Red Guards, Zhao answered with two words: “naïve and senseless”. She refused answering anything more about her experience. She said, “The memories are still too painful to recall.”
Bob Fu conveys clearly the inexorable control that Communist leaders in China have over their people. For example, after Fu and his friends participated in the Tiananmen Square protests, Fu was coerced, day in day out, to write a confession of his purported misdeeds against China and her people as a “counterrevolutionary” (79-82, 85, 87).
Originally, Liang’s “parents were deeply involved in all the excitement of working to transform China into a great Socialist country” (4). Over a serious of unfortunate events, though, he became the child of a “Rightist’s cap” mother and a “Reactionary Capitalist stinking intellectuals” father (9, 51). Impacted by the shattering of his family and horrific bloodshed created by fighting, Liang Heng began to question the Cultural Revolution. He claimed that his “family had scarified so much… but it had given [them] nothing in return” (148). Liang Heng presents his shift in ideology to demonstrate that most Chinese were no longer in support of a Communist nation. His “troubles were common enough and anyone could see there was a discrepancy between the glorious words of the newspapers and [their] painful reality (232). Even Liang Heng’s father, after many years of devotion, found that he could no longer defend the Party’s policies after he experienced the ill-treatment of the peasants in the country
“There is danger0from all men.0The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man0living with power to endanger the0public liberty.” says Ayn Rand. The novel Forbidden City by William Bell tells us a real story about students and civilians democracy in0Beijing, China in 1989. The government no0longer works for people when the movement0becomes violent and a power struggle between the government and people appears. In a word, power0can take over0freedom when a certain0group of people controls it all, but it can’t control people’s0thoughts forever. Firstly, the setting shows the background0which is thousands of students were doing hunger strike in Tian An0Men Square because of freedom. The Character Lao Xu is one of the leaders in the activity of hunger strike Lao Xu sacrificed because saving students. Finally the conflict between China0and citizen shows that government cannot ignore any citizens and controls their thoughts.
During the second half of the twentieth century, many citizens in China fell victim to economic and social hardships as a consequence of the Great Leap Forward. As a result, Mao Zedong was marginalized and new power arose. However, fearing that traditional chinese culture and “ bourgeois ideology” were at risk of recurrence, Mao established the Cultural Revolution as his final attempt at abolishing his concerns. The Cultural Revolution brought about many young, loyal Maoists ready to risk it all in order to establish a new regime that rid chinese society of what Mao believed to be impurities. Among these revolutionaries included Red Guards and some members of the sent-down youth. In the memoirs, Call Me Qingnian but Not Funü: A Maoist Youth in Retrospect and Images, Memories, and Lives of Sent-Down Youth in Yunnan, it is expressed that the Cultural Revolution greatly affected the lives of the revolutionaries, and although both stories entail different circumstances, the Red Guards and sent-down youth experienced both different and similar feelings of optimism as well as concern and apprehension for the future during a critical time in both chinese history and their personal lives.
A line of thousands of Chinese communists hiked up the mountains of Northern China. The years of struggle and harsh life they lived did not deter these fighters. Their goal was to create a better future for the common Chinese citizen by using communism; something which their leader called “a hammer which we use to crush our enemies.” He stayed true to his word. This bold and charismatic leader was at the head of a mass revolution in which China was forever changed. He led a movement which transformed China into the powerful and influential nation which they had never envisioned for themselves. This man’s name was Mao Zedong. Mao’s actions drove forward the process in which he turned both his nation and himself into world leaders.
“The Party: The Secret World Of China’s Communist Rulers,” by Richard McGregor is a book which provides detailed insight into the Communist Party of China, revealing many of the secret underpinnings of how the party is run, and explores the question of how they have continued to stay in power for so long. While other strong socialist powers, such as the Soviet Union and Eastern Germany, fell at the end of the 20th century, the CPC was able to stay in control and ultimately come out of that period even stronger. In McGregor’s own words “the party picked itself up off the ground, reconstituted its armor and reinforced its flank. Somehow, it has outlasted, outsmarted, outperformed, or simply outlawed its critics, flummoxing the pundits who have predicted its demise at numerous junctures.” Instead of letting its own ideologies weaken its power, the CPC has continually adapted and transformed its policies and goals in order to maintain their stronghold over the nation. Through his impressive list of Chinese scholars and political contacts, McGregor is able to lay out the fundamental workings inside the Chinese government and the impressive actions they’ve taken to remain such a powerful organization.
The cultural revolution is a strange period in Chinese history laced with intense struggle and anguish. The cultural revolution mobilized the all of society to compete for all opposing factions that they belonged to (Ong, 2016). Mao mobilized the young people of society during a background of political turmoil, which helped Mao to mobilize the students in order to enforce his political legitimacy and ideas (Ong, 2016). Mao’s charismatic authority created his personality cult and most defiantly leant a helping hand in mobilizing the red guard movement (Ong, 2016) (Weber, 1946) (Andreas, 2007). No matter which faction of the red guard they belonged to, they all mobilized against their common enemy; the better off, upper class. (Ong, 2016). Multiple ideologies within the youth led red guard movement explain why the movement gained momentum and became incredibly powerful (Walder, 2009).
As an effect from the civil war, the Chinese has changed in many ways, and when inspecting these changes, one can see that a lot of these changes have helped turn China into a dystopian society. As a result from the civil war in China between Communists and Nationalists, and the Communist victory, China has remained a single-party with Communists in control. The Chinese government also supplies their citizens with very little personal rights and freedoms, castigating many who oppose them. Also, China’s government works in way that in China, one’s personal relationships would matter much more than one’s position in the politburo, the main group of decision makers. To add on, there are multiple parts to this government that do do different things,