October 31st, 1960:Great Leap “Backward”Our country is falling apart. It all seemed so good when thecommunists took power, but I was wrong. Our family all used tosupport communism; however, this is way over the line.I remember how Chairman Mao was all so sure about thecommunist world he is making, but look at China now. This GreatLeap Forward thing made the situation worse. Initially, it wassupposed to make China prosper and equal that it would join thesuperpowers like Russia and the US.However, the project was just random implementations ofunproven and unreasonable ideas that just messed everything up.People are losing their minds from famine. Businesses are fallingdown while the working class got too much power. Economy hascrashed with inflation and all that.
Even my own family, which we thought were richer than themajority, had barely anything to eat. We only got to eat a bowl ofnoodles and some rice per meal. Some of my family friends havedied due to no food. The ambition of Mao and his party membersis too much for the people to handle.When Mao Zedong and the communists ran the Nationalists andits leader Chiang Kai-Shek out of the mainland, the peasants werehappy. They thought that the working class would now have achance to prosper.Back then, my father and I was not that happy. My father and hisfather worked so hard and studied so hard to get to their place.We deserve this place and those peasants do not. How is it fairwhen the people who worked hard for generations have equalrights to people who just work in the fields? It isn’t.All those officials like Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhu De are alsoones who worked hard to get to that authority they are right now.Why are they working so hard for ones who are just poor and lazy?
Plus, the Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Great Leap Forwardshowed that this “communism” Mao is seeking for is notcommunism at all. When Mao launched the Hundred FlowersCampaign, it was originally for the people to publicly criticize Maoand other officials.Later when people obeyed Mao and criticized him, Mao decidedto kill them all because they were going against him. This does notmake any sense. Mao is not trying to be equal with the workersbut have the people worship him. What kind of communism is this?I lost faith in Mao, and I’m pretty sure quite a lot of people did. Hedefinitely should step out of power and let some other smarterones lead the country. The failure of the Great Leap Forward andthe cost of innocent citizens’ lives are too much for him to take.Mao and the communists should have never taken leadership ofour country.
During the Great Leap Forward, lots of poor families barely had anythingto eat. Even my family had not so much to eat.
November 26th, 1966:The Cultural RevolutionSeriously, Mao is complicating our society even more now.Students beat their own professors, took all their property, andhad them on public trials. Most of them…no, all of them werekilled eventually. Now I am living in threat, knowing that suchharassment can happen to me any time.After the Great Leap Forward failed catastrophically, the peopleabandoned the communes. Economy was falling down. It seemedlike what I foresaw was true. People lost faith in Mao and thecommunists, thus Mao stepped out of power while Liu Shaoqitook control over the country.
Liu seemed like he knew what he was doing. He tried to get thecountry get back on track as a normal capitalist country ratherthan an extreme communist country. Life became so much better,not only for the workers but even for us. Now our family got meat,noodles, dumplings, vegetables, and even tea for a single meal.The bureaucratic class, party officials and us intellectuals emergedinto power. Everything was going fine again.Unfortunately, that did not go on forever. This summer, Maosuddenly appeared in front of the people again. The PLA leaderLin Biao, one of Mao’s allies, published the Little Red Book for thepeople to learn and worship. He wanted the people to worshipthe man who almost killed them? What was he thinking? Backthen; I still thought nobody would obey the new rule.But I was wrong. Starting out from the PLA, everyone in China isfor some reason reading all that nonsense from Mao. The worsething is that the people are actually worshipping this from Mao,thinking he is some sort of god.
Mao is willing to get rid of all the “capitalists-roaders” in China.All of us intellectuals are not that stupid to not realize thatcapitalists for Mao simply mean Mao’s potential political enemies.Now the working class is putting up these big propagandaposters, all about worshipping Mao, and trying to basically get ridof all other officials. He literally encouraged the public to attackauthority. Why is he doing this to us? We are the right ones thatare leading China to a better society. He cannot do this to hiscomrades that helped him all their lives.Students formed groups called the Red Guards, trying to get rid ofthe old ways and ideas of the nation. The Red Guards destroyedreligious monuments and burned books. Just yesterday, about300 Red Guards stormed into our university and burned the entirelibrary down.It is so chaotic out here now, and it seems like China is headingtowards doom. Lots of people will be, and are targeted by thisrevolution, and that somehow includes me.
The students are out rallying by holding up the Little Red Book, showingtheir respect to Mao.
October 31st, 1968:Fall of the RichSadly, my hunch proved to be true.The Red Guards went around the country, trying to get rid of theso-called “Four Olds”. The students destroyed temples, mosques,libraries, and all evidence of the past. They were terminating whatour ancestors have done for the past millenniums in just a fewyears.They even ferretted out key members of the government,intellectuals, and other members of the higher class. Thesepeople included high ranked officials, most notably Liu Shaoqi.Those people were publicly humiliated, beaten up, and eventuallydied or committed suicide.It is no doubt that we are living in an era of terror.
When Mao declared the Cultural Revolution two years ago, myfriends and I did not give anything. We were all very sure that therevolution would fail just like how the Great Leap Forward did. Itwas obvious that Mao would collapse again.But now, I realize that I have never been so wrong.For the past two years or so, everything has changed for usintellectuals. We no longer teach the students we used to. For me,I now just stay at home, hiding, hoping nobody would find me andkill me like others. I do know I am a coward, but I cannot doanything about it.I still clearly remember what happened to my friend Zhao Jiehonga month ago. He was one of the most popular history professorsin the capital. All students, and even some other professorsrespected him.
Zhao was ferreted out easily because he wasn’t hiding like I was.He, alongside other professors, held those heavy nametags ontheir neck. Students pointed at him, criticizing and swearing,ripping his hair off and all that, but Zhao could not do anythingabout it. I was in the crowd, disguised as a worker, and I could seethe misery in Zhao’s face.It seemed like he gave up now. He died two days later. Oh, mypoor friend.And just today, I heard Liu Shaoqi stepped out of his authority,kneeling down in front of the workers. Even the leaders of ourcountry are giving up and being scapegoats of this revolution.What can I do? I hope there is something, but I know the truth. Ican’t do anything.
My fellow professors were ferreted out and killed. I feel so worthless andcowardly.
October 8th, 1976Peace Once AgainThe Gang of Four was arrested just yesterday. That sucks for them.But at least now we can live in some peace, I guess.It is only a month since Mao, that old bastard, died. The thing is, itseems like people are still despondent because Mao died.Thousands were crying and suffering in front of TiananmenSquare, wanting their “great leader” back. They were acting likethe world has ended.Maybe it has for them, but not for me. After Mao’s death, I couldget out of this attic, acting normally outside while people wouldnot even care about me anymore.I thought this revolution would go on forever when it started 10years ago. Literally everyone was trying to make this countrycommunist, get rid of the old and make China a totally newcountry. The revolution seemed like it would succeed.
However, things started to change. The outer world disagreedwith Mao’s policies and the Cultural Revolution, so Chinasubsequently became isolated from world affairs. In 1971, Lin Biaodied in a plane crash. Critics suspect that Mao plotted his deathbecause he was afraid Lin Biao was gaining too much power. See,Mao is a man like this. He holds hands with people that are helpfuland loyal to them, and as soon as they get a bit of power, hebrutally gets rid of them.As the main figure of the revolution died, the revolution started tolose its impetus. Struggles between CCP members continued,while the Red Guards went back to school. I was getting a bitmore freedom. Nobody cared who I was because they did notknow who I was. I could now freely shop at the store with nobodystaring at me.Groups for or against Mao started to form. The Gang of Four, ledby Mao’s wife Jiang Qing, was a major group supporting Mao’spolicies. After Mao’s death, they became a major threat to thegovernment.The Gang of Four purged the moderates. They created the “FiveNo’s”, including no photos of Zhou Enlai. Oh, talking about ZhouEnlai, he was the only official that was not criticized during theCultural Revolution. The people liked him for his work to China,and Mao also wanted to keep Zhou near him.
And then all of a sudden, Mao died.Right after Mao’s death, the Gang of Four was targeted bymembers of the CCP, most notably Ye Jianying. According to thetrial held just yesterday, the Gang of Four has tried to make acoup d’état to get rid of the new government and make China toa world has dreamed of. But thankfully it failed. I don’t want tolive in that world of Mao again.Mao’s successor as leader for our country was just announcedyesterday at the CCP committee. For some reason, it was HuaGuofeng who succeeded Mao. Even I think that he is not the one.It should be someone like Deng Xiaoping, who knows what theyare doing. Oh well, Hua should be better than Mao.Now that Mao is dead and the Cultural Revolution stopped, Chinashould be peaceful, at least for a couple of years. Hopefully.
The Gang of Four, including Mao’s wife and other officials, was arrestedjust before they were going to execute their plan.
May 19th, 1979:A New ChinaI was right about our future. Deng Xiaoping has announced hiseconomic reforms, trying to get China back into the world affairsand economy. He decided to make the economy more capitalistso that the country would become richer. And it is successful untilnow. This is the realistic way to go, and Deng is doing it right.After the Gang of Four was arrested just two years ago, Deng roseinto power. He stopped the people ferreting out officials like us,making life more hopeful for me. Thanks to Deng’s policies, Icould have taught again at Beijing University. But I didn’t; Idecided to take a break for the rest of my life, as I do not think Ihave much to live.
In 1977, Deng launched the Beijing Spring, which allowed anyoneto openly criticize the Cultural Revolution. My former colleaguesand I took my opportunity and asserted in front of the peopleabout my ideas about the revolution. Of course, there were lotsthat disagreed with my thoughts and still worshipped the deadleader. But thankfully, the young ones agreed with us that theCultural Revolution was a pointless and brutal action. Faith in thefuture of China was restored, at least in my thoughts.When Deng rose into power, members of the CCP were not happy.Lots of them were against Deng and still believed that Mao wascorrect. But reality cannot be ignored. Party officials slowlystarted to follow Deng, as his policies did make China a betterplace. He eventually became the number one leader in China, andalmost everybody respected him now.Deng is walking a totally different path to Mao’s. He wants abetter economic system. He is trying to open up China to theworld. He wants the people to have a better life. That is what thepeople really need, not some bull that Mao was trying to input inChina.
Last December, Deng successfully took over authority from theincompetent Hua Guofeng. He announced his economic plans inthe 11th CPC Central Committee. He named this new plan "Reformand Opening Up Policy”. Just as the name says, the plan is toreform the devastated economy from Cultural Revolution, andopen up the country to the outer societies.The lives of citizens got so much better as soon as this policy waslaunched. This new reforming policy reduced poverty. Incomesincreased while the income inequality got narrower. I can go offto the streets and see citizens buying so many products inprosperous markets.My life is already better when the real policy began only fourmonths ago. I wonder what the final result of this amazing projectwould be. But it’s a shame that I’m already too old to see themost out of Deng’s ideas. Still, this is what I have been waiting forin my life: a world that can improve the lives of citizens.
Our new leader Deng Xiaoping has made lives so much better for allcitizens, including the rich ones like me.