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Chinese Challenge State Media's Rosy Take on Mao Zedong's Legacy

Written by Abby On 26 December 2013 @ 12:01 pm | 1 Comment

In China, Chinese, Citizen Media, East Asia, English, Politics, Weblog

Mao Zedong’s 120th birthday [1], which falls on December 26, 2013, has thrust the communist leader's legacy back into the spotlight. Since last week, Chinese state media have reported on stories related to Mao, one of the founders of the People's Republic of China. News and images of students commemorating Mao at universities were uploaded to social media.

To most ordinary Chinese, Mao is a legend and a savior who freed China from foreign influence and class oppression. Mao's “mistakes [2]” were usually waved off, such as the persecution and deaths of millions of people during the cultural revolution. Deng Xiaoping [3], the “architect of modern China”, judged Mao as “70 percent right and 30 percent wrong,” which became the official assessment. 

However, in the age of the Internet, in which Chinese are more exposed to different sources of information, Mao’s legacy is becoming more controversial. 

Government mouthpiece Global Times published a piece titled “Repudiating Mao is a Childish Fantasy Entertained by a Small Number of People” on December 22, 2013, saying the piece says that “the perception of Mao as an unprecedented great man has deep roots among the Chinese people” and that “those who think Mao’s reputation in China has been ruined are in a naive delusion.” The article was criticized by many netizens on popular Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo.

Writer “Liang Huiwang” retorted [4] [zh]:

Students commemorate Mao at Shan Xi University. Photo from Weibo.

Students commemorate Mao at Shanxi University. Photo from Weibo [5].

我个人认为知识界的毛粉真的是脑残,而不是装的。因为当局并不真正崇毛,它们崇毛,不会从中得到太大好处。自秦以后,中国知识人一直以依附官府混饭吃,基因中已经种下了对武力的崇拜,看见毛杀人那么厉害,不由自主就跪下了。

I personally think that Mao fans in intellectual circles must be brainwashed, they are not pretending. Because the authorities do not really worship Mao, worshiping Mao will not bring them much benefit. Since the Qin dynasty, Chinese intellectuals have relied on the government to make a living, worship of force is in their genes. Since they saw that Mao was a fierce murderer, they are involuntarily on their knees.

Netizen “Liu Qingping” echoed [4] [zh] the same sentiment:

一个让多少人死于非命的人犯下的罪恶,无论有什么贡献都不足以遮蔽。试图掩盖这些罪恶的人,不仅是对受害者的麻木不仁,而且还往往从犯罪者那里得了好处或是认贼作父。今天尤其应当打破这种移孝作忠的亲亲相隐!

Someone who has killed so many people and committed sins, no matter what contributions he has made, it’s not sufficient to cover up [his sins]. Those who try to hide these evil deeds are not only insensitive to the victims, but also often get benefits from the offender. Today, in particular, we should break away from the filial loyalty to authority.

“Ts” commented [6] [zh]:

毛一生最大的罪行在于,整风运动扩大化,无辜害死无数知识分子!大跃进饿死几千万无辜百姓,文化革命残忍迫害开国元老,残害无辜百姓,毁灭文化古迹!并且暗中支持红色高棉邪恶政权在柬埔寨犯下惨绝人寰的反人类滔天罪行!这些罪恶都是无论如何也抹不去的!

Mao’s biggest crimes were the rectification movement expansion, which killed countless innocent intellectuals; the Great Leap Forward, which led millions of innocent people to starve; and the cruel Cultural Revolution, which persecuted our founding fathers, injured innocent people, and destroyed cultural monuments! Mao also secretly supported the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, an evil crime against humanity! These sins can never be wiped away!

Write Pao Tong wrote [7] [zh]: 

说到毛泽东的遗产,至少包括:鸦雀无声的舆论;永不选举的政权;三权合作的和谐等等。其中最最重要的,无疑是领导一切的权力,有了它,才有可能成为亿万劳动力和战斗力的占有者。权力就是真理,就是合法性,就是战无不胜的法宝,就是点石成金的摇钱树。

Speaking of Mao's legacy, it at least includes: silent public opinion, regime without election, harmonious cooperation among the three powers, and so on. Of which the most important is undoubtedly the absolute power over everything, and with it, he becomes the owner of hundreds of millions of laborers and forces. Power is the truth, legitimacy, invincible magic, and the cash cow.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/26/chinese-challenge-state-medias-rosy-take-on-mao-zedongs-legacy/

URLs in this post:

[1] 120th birthday: http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/23/happy-birthday-chairman-mao/?_r=0

[2] mistakes: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/833595.shtml#.UreZcPYWF91

[3] Deng Xiaoping: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deng_Xiaoping

[4] retorted: http://weibo.com/1295609983/AomDJ0ek0

[5] Weibo: http://weibo.com/3119738004/AoNDScS57

[6] commented: http://weibo.com/1989660417/AoEU8cC5h?type=comment

[7] wrote: http://club.china.com/data/thread/12171906/2766/76/87/8_1.html

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