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China: An Unkind Century

Most of the millions persecuted, unjustly or otherwise, in the Anti-Rightist Campaign really did oppose Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward," his "People's Communes" and to a lesser extent the "Socialist comprar viagra Education Campaign," collectively known as the "Three Red Flags." These were the beginning of Mao's drive to collectivize China's economy in one fell swoop from 1958 through 1962. The "Three Red Flags" were not only disastrous to the economy, they were catastrophic to humanity. The "Three Red Flags" killed 36 million Chinese – even by current Chinese scholarly reckoning 15 -- before it was over.

The Cultural Revolution

And no sooner had one ideologically-driven disaster decimated China's benighted people, than Mao Zedong (his feelings hurt when the Party forced him to take at least unpublished blame for the disasters) unleashed another. The "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (Wuchanjieji Wenhua Da Geming) was Mao's revenge against the "revisionists" and "capitalist roaders" in the Party who had challenged him.

Yet, for the sake of the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao's rivals needed Chairman Mao in his role as custodian of the "universal truth of Marxism-Leninism" – a role he cloaked, with the support of the People's Liberation Army, in the aura of an infallible demigod. In the summer of 1966, this demigod instructed tens of millions of Chinese adolescents across the land to rise and overthrow all things old and foreign, and to "struggle" against their high school teachers and college professors, their local government officials, their local police, their parents, their factory bosses, and to rise up in rebellion against those who resisted.

And they did what Mao told them. Unsurprisingly, widespread chaos ensued. First, Mao had literally hundreds of his major and minor political rivals arrested, including the number-two in the Party (Liu Shaoqi), a Korean War hero (Marshal Peng Dehuai) and the Party's secretary general (Deng Xiaoping). Across the length and breadth of China, youthful Red Guard factions battled rival factions in open warfare; student rebels stormed schools, factories and government offices indicting top provincial cadres and lowly private citizens alike for counterrevolutionary crimes – and exacting their retribution. The most mindless stage of this mass psychosis lasted three years, and ended in 1969 with the Army deporting millions of youth "down to the countryside" to continue their "socialist education."

But a Cultural Revolution mentality continued to rule China until Mao's death in September 1976. Within weeks of Mao's death, his wife and top aides – the notorious "Gang of Four" – were arrested for their roles in the decade of upheaval. At their trial in 1980, the state tried and convicted them of direct personal responsibility for the deaths of 34,800 innocent people. That number included 16,222 members of the "Inner Mongolian Peoples' Revolutionary Party" who were executed on trumped up charges (another 346,000 were "persecuted"). 16

The Cultural Revolution and China's New Leadership

The number, of course, was vastly greater. The violence, terror, theft, destruction, arson and, death resulting from the Cultural Revolution left uncounted millions dead and touched literally hundreds of millions of Chinese 17 . . . including the current leader of China, General Secretary and State President Hu Jintao, and his heir presumptive Xi Jinping, to name a few.

In 2009, Hu Jintao is nominally the most powerful man in China. Yet, even he lauds the memory of Mao Zedong and declines to criticize the "leftist" excesses of the Cultural Revolution. 18 Those excesses were too much for even the Party to overlook, and on June 27, 1981, the Central Committee passed a "Resolution on Party History" that placed the entire blame for "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" squarely on Mao, himself. 19 Yet the man who occupies the Party's three top titles (General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman of the Party's "Central Military Commission," and Chairman of State of the People's Republic of China) still looks to Mao Zedong as the legitimating figure of the regime.

What hold does Communism have over such men, and over 1.3 billion fellow Chinese, that they have allowed themselves to be co-opted by its ideology of total authority over mankind?

 

 

Author Bio:

John Tkacik has spent four decades studying and working on China, Taiwan and Mongolian affairs in academia, in the U.S. Department of State, in private business, and with The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He was the editor and primary contributing author of two books, “Rethinking One China” (2004) and “Reshaping the Taiwan Strait” (2007), both published by Heritage.

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China
Location:  East Asia
Capital:  Beijing
Communist Rule:  1949- Present
Status:  Under Communist Rule
Victims of Communism:
65 million