May 18, 2011
The protesters gathered at Tiananmen Square could have been dealt with in many ways other than simply taking their lives. After reading some articles on the infamous day, I began to think about it even more. This article (an interview with Ex – Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew) is one of the few that I read on the subject, and it opened up a new aspect of the matter to me, where the idea of putting down the protesters is somewhat justified and with a country as big as China, to control a population as large as China’s, a strong, firm government is needed. In a Financial Times article on this topic, the true reasons for the protests were discussed. Some say that the protests were focused in on one thing, for example a change of government to a democracy. However, the true reasons were for much more than just democracy. I think that the ultimate reason was to bring a corrupt and spoiled government on trial for going against the way of Mao.
May 11, 2011
Yesterday, I watched a bit more of the film, To Live, and after reading up a bit on The Cultural Revolution, I understood a lot of what happened in the movie better. A man named Mao Zedong totally opposed the policies of the moderates, and in 1962 he launched the Socialist Education Movement to get people back on the right road to Communism. Lin Biao, the Minister of Defence, supported Mao’s campagin, and in 1965 he abolished the ranking system in the People’s Liberation Army, making all the soldiers equal. Each soldier was given a copy of Quotations from the Chairman Mao Zedong, also known as the little red book. In the movie, I could see after a certain point in the movie, almost every soldier in the scenes had a copy of the little red book. Even when Fugui’s daughter was getting married, the groom was a red guard, and the wedding photos had the little red book in them as well. Throughout the cultural revolution, these Red Guards followed every word that Mao Zedong said. His pictures, busts, and statues were put up in every street and work area. In the movie, when the groom of Fengxia was at the family’s house for the second time, he and his fellow comrades were painting a massive picture of Mao Zedong on the wall of the house, as the groom was a Red Guard. I have to finish the movie to continue on with the rest, so I will continue when I can.
May 9, 2011
Recently, I watched a Chinese movie called To Live, set in the 1900’s. Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry. The greatest problem facing the government in the 1980s was the same as that in 1900: the grinding poverty in which most Chinese people lived. In the movie, Fugui had to learn how to work for his money instead of squandering his family’s. The movie really showed the hardships that people had to go through because of the change in the governments. However, it was not bad for all, only the rich. The communist government in China took away the wealth from the rich, such as houses and land, and attempted to make all the people equal.