Mockery and Sarcasm Greet Plea for Forgotten Red Guards

September 1, 2011 9:22 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 3:46 pm

This poster, displayed in late 1966 in Beijing, shows Red Guards how to deal with a so-called 'enemy of the people' during the Cultural Revolution. (Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images)
This poster, displayed in late 1966 in Beijing, shows Red Guards how to deal with a so-called 'enemy of the people' during the Cultural Revolution. (Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images)
When a group of Maoist zealots posted online an open letter praising current Party Secretary for Chongqing, Bo Xilai, it attracted media attention and even public ridicule.

The open letter was posted to a pro-Maoist website on Aug. 27 and extolled Bo for consistently promoting “Mao Zedong Thought.” Since he arrived in Sichuan in 2008, Bo has used ultra-left ideology to make a name for himself, for example using the slogan “Sing the Red and Attack the Black,” in his attempted crackdown on underworld crime.

Though a few underlings were brought to trial last year, the main thrust of the campaign is now on “Singing Red,” as Bo tries to win national recognition for his trumpeting of Maoist ideology. Bo is considered to be a “crown prince” and a favorite of the politically well-connected since his father was a high-ranking CCP official.

Those posting the letter claimed to be former officials from the Cultural Revolution period (1966 to 1976) and lamented that the Red Guards and other accomplices of that era had subsequently been unfairly treated, neglected and even regarded as enemies.

They urged Bo to pay attention to the hardships they have suffered and to offer some assistance with their financial and other difficulties, believing that they dedicated themselves to the cause of the Revolution and also that it was a great achievement.

They insisted that, if the Cultural Revolution was a misstep, that it is the CCP who should be blamed, not those who devoted half their lives to the Party.

But such crocodile tears did not win sympathy from many readers and led to several caustic comments.

A writer calling himself “Ouyi” expressed revulsion: “These Red Guards stopped at no evil in those days – beating and denouncing people, forcing the victims to commit suicide, and even killing people. Although Mao and the Central Committee were the main culprits, these Red Guards are liable as well. Even if you are ordered to shoot at unarmed civilians, if you still have a conscience, can’t you purposely miss the target?”

Another similar post came from “Jingchu”: “I pity them for their ignorance. All domestic media covered up Mao’s crimes. So even today these people do not know that they have been cheated. Their education level is low and they only read reports and columns which are still praising Mao. As a matter of fact, Mao is the root cause of the Chinese people’s misfortunes. These people themselves are victims of the Cultural Revolution.”

Bo Xilai used to be a member of the Red Guards’ United Action Committee, which was a very famous rebel organization in Beijing during that period of time. It organized several violent incidents, including a significant case in which a renowned Chinese scientist, Yao Tongbin, was killed by Red Guards using clubs.

Song Yongyi, an expert in the history of the Cultural Revolution and a current resident of the United States, said in 2007 that the Chinese Communist Bureaucratic group, led by Deng Xiaoping, did not want to admit that the real cause of the Cultural Revolution is the communist system. Therefore, they actively looked for scapegoats. For public consumption, the scapegoats were the “Gang of Four” and Lin Biao; and to deflect attention from the Party itself, the scapegoats are the rebel factions who did most of the dirty work.

However, the simple truth is, according to Song, that there never existed a so-called “Lin Biao-Jiang Qing counter-revolutionary coalition”; there was simply the “Central Committee of CCP led by Chairman Mao” which called on people to “rebel.” All the members in the Central Committee, including Deng Xiaoping, cast affirmative votes to the key documents that mobilized the Cultural Revolution.

So netizens now write: “During the Cultural Revolution, Chongqing had the most serious incidents of armed clashes. Many of the co-signers are responsible for killing other people’s lives. They are lucky enough that they are not held liable for their crimes, but they even attempt to reverse the verdict?”

And, with tongue-in-cheek: “These red guards did the right thing seeking help from Bo junior. They can now sing and dance together.”

Read the original
Chinese article.

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