Daniel Eichelberger
I received a letter from my son yesterday, he saysthere is now famine in the countryside and thismay be the last time he c...
I can respect Mao for his communist ideals, but he needs to see when things are out ofcontrol and react accordingly, as we...
School has become a joke. A coupleweeks ago, half my students ran offto another one of Chairman Mao’srallies in Tiananmen ...
Another reason I am becoming indifferent to teaching is that in school, I don’t so much teach materialanymore as much as I...
China is in turmoil. The otherday I was strolling down thestreet with my old colleaguewho didn’t happen to have hislittle ...
The entire country is now living in fear of the Red Guards. Over the past month, one of myneighbors has committed suicide ...
The nation is in shock, though many have foreseen itcoming. The once revered Lin Biao is dead. The newshas rippled through...
No doubt, the ensuing months and years are going to be a time of anti-Lin Biao propaganda. Already,anyone and everyone tho...
No doubt, the ensuing months and years are going to be a time of anti-Lin Biao propaganda. Already,anyone and everyone tho...
He is dead. And with his death hascome nation-wide grief and shock.Being the face of China for the pasteternity, few peopl...
I may travel to see his body in the Great Hall of the People, where an exhibition will be opening. Ihave never been a loya...
 Wang, Wenqin. "Experiences of a Rusticated Youth." NHD Weekly. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. Trueman, Chris. "The Cultur...
 "Rong Guotan." CPC Encyclopedia. N.p., 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 13 May 2013. "Mao Ze Dong Poster." Shopitoff. N.p., n.d. Web....
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Sjdkf

242 views

Published on

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
242
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
96
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Sjdkf

  1. 1. Daniel Eichelberger
  2. 2. I received a letter from my son yesterday, he saysthere is now famine in the countryside and thismay be the last time he can write. I worry for him,for famine causes starvation and violence, butthere is little I can do here in the city, where thereis still little sign of famine.Ive predicted this to be on the horizon for awhilenow, as communal farms of the scale Mao hasrequested are sure to be discouraging for all thewell-to-do farmers that are now on the same levelas the poorest peasants, which I suppose is part ofcommunism, though its logic is flawed as it meansthat brains and hard-work have the same outcomefor oneself as slacking off. While the Great LeapForward had the right principles, the way it wasexecuted with the communes was certainly not theway to go. Collectivization was implemented asan attempt to speed up the growth of oureconomy, but now I fear China can only maintainor regress after our botched attempt to improvethings.My son, Hua Qilin’s school photoin 1953
  3. 3. I can respect Mao for his communist ideals, but he needs to see when things are out ofcontrol and react accordingly, as well realize that communism isnt and never will be theperfect system that Karl Marx envisioned it to be. Just because the farms that voluntarilyincluded a few families working together were a success, doesnt necessarily mean thatforcing large groups to work together will have the same effect.Hopefully, the famine wont spread to the cities, but its hard to say if things dont starthappening beginning with the top of the food chain, Chairman Mao. He needs to quicklyrealize his mistakes and adjust, although I suspect at least the larger cities will be kept well-fed as more famine in the countryside would be much more desirable to the governmentthan urban unrest.Theres no telling whats going to happen to China in the coming years, but we can only hopethat the government makes the right decisions. The Great Leap Forward has failed andnow we must move on to the next phase in Chinas development, but I fear it may nothappen until the rumored famine is over and our country steps onto more stable ground.Meanwhile, I will continue to hope for the health of my only son and wait with bated breathfor more news from my son, one of the only uncensored sources of information I still haveaccess to.
  4. 4. School has become a joke. A coupleweeks ago, half my students ran offto another one of Chairman Mao’srallies in Tiananmen Square, andsince then they’ve been rowdy,disrespectful and rebellious inclass. Yesterday, a member of theRed Guard stared me down when Iasked him to be quiet, and I’mbeginning to fear what is to come forthe school and me, should thiscontinue. I’ve began to witnessviolence in the streets and acolleague of mine was beaten sobadly he can no longer see out ofone eye, just because he let slip tohis class that he wasn’t sure Maowas always right.Mao’s first Dazibao, ‘Bombard the Headquarters’, is first and foremost an attack on LiuShaoqi, but many have also the headquarters to represent any and all authority, like schoolsand professors. If this continues to go on as I’m sure it will, I will have to quit my job as aprofessor and hope to find another way to support myself as it has become extremelydangerous to be a professor during these times.One of Mao’s first Dazibao
  5. 5. Another reason I am becoming indifferent to teaching is that in school, I don’t so much teach materialanymore as much as I lead pro-Mao chants and have them write required essays on the virtues ofcommunism, the flaws of capitalism, or essays denouncing some character or another, including oneabout Liu Shaoqi just two days ago.Chairman Mao seems to be either oblivious to the violence going on, or, the more likely scenario, it’sexactly what he has planned. No troops or party officials are making any effort to stop the violence; ifanything, they are adding fuel to the flame. What a lot of them haven’t seemed to realize yet is that itwont be long before Mao and the Red Guards set their sights on the officials as well, purging any andall officials that are suspected to be rightists in any way. It may be something they don’t want to thinkabout yet, but it is the inevitable.I haven’t heard from my son in the years following the famine, but whether he is still alive or became avictim of the famine, it may be better than him being in the cities now. As the son of a professor, hewould be singled out and the chances of him being unable to convince the angry Red Guards that heis a supporter of Mao are high. He would likely lose his life, or at least suffer mightily on the whims ofthe Red Guards.I understand Chairman Mao’s philosophies on igniting this revolution, but it’s going to cost ournation much blood and tears if it is allowed to go on for an extended time. For my sake and the sake ofthe people of China, I hope this is a only a quick phase in our history, but I suspect that may be askingfor too much.
  6. 6. China is in turmoil. The otherday I was strolling down thestreet with my old colleaguewho didn’t happen to have hislittle red book at hand. Wewere stopped by Red Guardsthat ordered us to produce ourbooks and when he couldn’t hewas beaten beyond recognitionand I fear for his life. Beforeleaving, the Red Guards toldme that unless I wanted to endup like him, I should stay awayfrom bad influences that don’tsupport Chairman Mao. I was atrembling mess inside, but Iwas able to keep mycomposure and tell them I wasunaware of his treachery andbade them farewell with a“long live Chairman Mao.”A Red Guard rally that later turned violent.
  7. 7. The entire country is now living in fear of the Red Guards. Over the past month, one of myneighbors has committed suicide and two old colleagues have gone into hiding. I’ve beentiptoeing around the Red Guards, constantly in fear of my life, as intellectuals such as myself aretargets for persecution. Our school was shut down after the principal was beaten to death duringa mini-riot during which many of the Red Guards were intent on showing their support throughextreme violence.The Red Guards aren’t only feuding with authority; they are also having mini turf wars amongstthemselves, where factions of Red Guards fight each other. Nobody is safe nowadays because ofit. It was a couple weeks ago that I saw a group of six Red Guards jump another one to send themessage that they have the power in this area. It becomes obvious things are out of control whenMao’s ‘greatest weapons’ are fighting with each other.Chairman Mao must stop this before the entire nation spins out of control. He is obviously awareof the chaos that is ensuing, but he isn’t doing anything about it. I know this was a play to regainhis power, but his point is proven now and he must take control of the Red Guards, which is byno means something that should be hard for him as they adore him and he has the army at hisdisposal. The revolution continuing on like this will only mean the loss of more good lives andMao should soon start focusing on improving our nation rather than solidifying his power. As forme, I’m content with keeping a low profile and pretending I’m fully supportive of Mao’s actionsuntil the situation with the Red Guards cool down.
  8. 8. The nation is in shock, though many have foreseen itcoming. The once revered Lin Biao is dead. The newshas rippled through the country like a shockwave andshock is exactly what it has caused. That, anduncertainty. Lin Biao was a hugely influential leaderand respected by many. Mao’s feud with him has casta shadow over the nation and for the first time, thereare many that are questioning the legitimacy of theCultural Revolution.Lin Biao has been quickly climbing the political ranksand was hungry for power. Those are not goodcombinations in Mao’s mind, and thus these recentevents. We’ll never know what truly happened withLin Biao, but only the stories and rumors that are putout by Mao, which may or may not be true.Lin Biao and his wife were said by some to haveattempted to an assassination on Chairman Mao bysabotaging his train, which failed due to a change ofroute. His plane then crashed in Mongolia as he andhis family attempted to make their escape.Lin Biao’s picture released in thenewspaper after his death
  9. 9. No doubt, the ensuing months and years are going to be a time of anti-Lin Biao propaganda. Already,anyone and everyone thought to be associated with him or close with him is being arrested. Partyofficials, family members, army officials and anyone else who has ever been connected with him arebeing hunted down and purged.Along with the news of his death, came the expected criticisms of his actions and blemishing of hisimage. Although it isn’t too widespread yet, Jiang Qing is already manipulating his image to makehim the scapegoat for some of the problems during the Cultural Revolution, and no doubt it will getworse in the next few years. How exactly his death happened are still just rumors, as nothing officialhas been released at this point.Although Lin Biao’s death has stirred things up somewhat, China is certainly better off now than itwas during the most severe years of the Cultural Revolution. The Red Guards have been dismantled,and our school has reopened, though it is led by the military. Still, many of the things we do areinfluenced by Mao, but it is somewhat better than before. One thing thats somewhat bothering me isthe Down To The Countryside movement, which is sending many of China’s youth to do manual laborin the countryside, a movement that I find to be pointless and unrewarding for either side. From whatI hear, it isn’t helping the peasants, but rather giving them extra mouths to feed, and the students aresuch bad workers they don’t contribute very much. Students are students and peasants are peasants, Idon’t see why they must be brought together.Now that things are starting to improve, I’m considering a trip to the countryside that would let melearn what has become of my son, and whether he is still alive. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to teach andexpect to be having to assign lots of anti-Lin Biao essays in the near future.
  10. 10. No doubt, the ensuing months and years are going to be a time of anti-Lin Biao propaganda. Already,anyone and everyone thought to be associated with him or close with him is being arrested. Partyofficials, family members, army officials and anyone else who has ever been connected with him arebeing hunted down and purged.Along with the news of his death, came the expected criticisms of his actions and blemishing of hisimage. Although it isn’t too widespread yet, Jiang Qing is already manipulating his image to makehim the scapegoat for some of the problems during the Cultural Revolution, and no doubt it will getworse in the next few years. How exactly his death happened are still just rumors, as nothing officialhas been released at this point.Although Lin Biao’s death has stirred things up somewhat, China is certainly better off now than itwas during the most severe years of the Cultural Revolution. The Red Guards have been dismantled,and our school has reopened, though it is led by the military. Still, many of the things we do areinfluenced by Mao, but it is somewhat better than before. One thing thats somewhat bothering me isthe Down To The Countryside movement, which is sending many of China’s youth to do manual laborin the countryside, a movement that I find to be pointless and unrewarding for either side. From whatI hear, it isn’t helping the peasants, but rather giving them extra mouths to feed, and the students aresuch bad workers they don’t contribute very much. Students are students and peasants are peasants, Idon’t see why they must be brought together.Now that things are starting to improve, I’m considering a trip to the countryside that would let melearn what has become of my son, and whether he is still alive. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to teach andexpect to be having to assign lots of anti-Lin Biao essays in the near future.
  11. 11. He is dead. And with his death hascome nation-wide grief and shock.Being the face of China for the pasteternity, few people still remember lifewithout Mao, and don’t count meamong them. The days the news cameout, I remember the variousexpressions I saw on people’s faces,including expressions contorted withgrief, blank with shock and some thathad wide, unbelieving eyes.What is going to happen to Chinanow? Before we know that, we mustwonder who is going to take power.Chairman Hua Guofeng is the leadingcandidate for the right wingpoliticians, while Jiang Qing and thenewly named Gang of Four are alsostruggling to take power. One thing iscertain, however, whoever loses thepower struggle will also likely lose theirlives or be imprisoned.Grieving neighbors after Mao’s death
  12. 12. I may travel to see his body in the Great Hall of the People, where an exhibition will be opening. Ihave never been a loyal supporter of Mao, but nor do I think he was a horrible man, and in a way Ithink it would be a good experience for me to see the man that has done so much for China. Howhe is remembered will no doubt be influenced by propaganda, but in my mind, he was both amonster and a genius.I suppose only now will truly be the end of the Cultural Revolution. Although things havesomewhat returned to normal after 1969, the Cultural Revolution still raged in the hearts of manyChinese, but it has died along with Chairman Mao.Already, propaganda is being put out to ensure Mao’s legacy will be remembered forever. HuaGuofeng and his followers are blaming all of the excesses and problems during the CulturalRevolution on Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four, leaving Mao’s legacy completelyunblemished by mistakes. In the end, it isn’t at all surprising, judging from the propaganda andcover-ups of the past. A few years ago, Jiang Qing and her followers started the ‘Criticize Confucius,Criticize Lin Biao’ campaign, that essentially blamed them for many of the problems thathappened during the Cultural Revolution. During that time, I had to assign countless essays andprojects to my students on how Lin Biao was horrible, how Confucius was wrong, how they weren’tpatriotic and many other things that made them look bad and Mao look good.Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen to China now, but I believe we are done with therevolution and can start to rebuild and grow again as a nation. In my trip to see my son a coupleyears ago, I found that he had died of starvation during the famine as I had dreaded and I havegrown tired of these times of turmoil. I am glad these grim times are behind me, but their markwill be with me until my dying day.
  13. 13.  Wang, Wenqin. "Experiences of a Rusticated Youth." NHD Weekly. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. Trueman, Chris. "The Cultural Revolution." History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. "Chairman Mao Zedong." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. Trueman, Chris. "The Great Leap Forward." History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. Brooman, Josh. Longman 20th Century History Series: China Since 1900. 15th. London: LongmanGroup 2003. “Ignoring The Past.” The Economist 20 May 2006: 29 – 30. Kong, David Chi Shing, and Keith Kin Fun Leung. 20th Century World History. Hong Kong:Macmillan New Asia, 2004. Mitter, Rana. A Bitter Revolution: China. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  14. 14.  "Rong Guotan." CPC Encyclopedia. N.p., 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 13 May 2013. "Mao Ze Dong Poster." Shopitoff. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. "Marxism-Leninism." Tumblr. N.p., 29 Aug. 2011. Web. 13 May 2013. "Lin Biao." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. "If You Thought North Koreas Hysterics Over Kim Jong Ils Death Were OverThe Top, Wait Until You See How China Reacted When Chairman MaoDied." Business Insider. N.p., 21 Dec. 2011. Web. 14 May 2013.

×