‘One Child Nation’ Dispels Myths Glorifying Communism

January 8, 2020 Updated: January 9, 2020


A new survey released by the Washington, D.C. nonprofit Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation shows that more Millennials approve of communism than ever.

According to YouGov, which conducted the poll, 36 percent of Millennials say they’re fine with communism, up from 28 percent in 2018. Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has conducted the survey for several years, and the numbers appear to look more grim each year.

This is disturbing in many ways, and it’s clear this belief is due to ignorance, plain and simple.

Communist regimes are inherently abusive, dangerous, and create toxic environments citizens are forced to endure or face punishment. Older generations recognize this, often because they have seen the results firsthand—in the former Soviet Union, eastern Europe, Cuba, China, and North Korea. If Millennials realized what communism does to a society, I think they’d be less likely to approve of or applaud it.

A new documentary on Amazon Prime may help educate young people on the ills of communism. “One Child Nation,” by Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, was the 2019 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary.

As Amazon says, the documentary exposes “the devastating consequences of China’s One-Child policy through the stories of those who lived it.”

I’m a Millennial, and though I’d certainly heard of China’s “One-Child Policy” and believed it sounded ghoulish, I didn’t know many details. The policy was implemented by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in 1979 as a so-called solution to overpopulation and the threat of famine. Citizens who had more than one child incurred severe penalties. In 2015, the CCP implemented a Two-Child Policy. However, decades of the One-Child Policy had made their mark, and the documentary shows the horrors of what communism does to people.

The documentary follows Wang, now living in the United States, as she returns to her native China to ask her friends and family about what it was like to live under the One-Child Policy. Wang finds many who admit it was hard to implement, but local officials did so out of fear.

At first, the effects of the policy seem somewhat benign, but as the documentary continues, it becomes clear the One-Child Policy took over the lives of men, women, and babies to their detriment.

We meet one woman, a midwife, who helped women pregnant with their second child abort their babies. She sterilized women as well to prevent second pregnancies. The midwife didn’t know how many babies she’d delivered alive, but she did know she’d done between 50,000 and 60,000 sterilizations and abortions, inducing the babies and often killing them after they were born. She said she kept track because she felt guilty. Now, she only helps treat people struggling with infertility, as a way to atone for her sins, she says with a resolute sadness.

It’s clear the number of abortions she’s performed, in direct compliance with the policy, is a source of pain and regret.

Like many communist countries, propaganda plays a significant role in implementing particularly egregious policies like this one. Wang shows dozens of still shots and plenty of footage showing slogans praising the One-Child Policy that were splashed across the country.

“We are fighting a population war” was one such popular mantra the CCP used to explain the reasoning behind the policy.

In reality, Wang says, “they were really fighting a war against their own people.” The policy continued, and although some of the population accepted it, others found it disturbing and tried to shed light on how awful it was for families, babies, and society as a whole.

The final third of Wang’s documentary focuses solely on the common, but little-known, practice of abandoning unwanted second babies in ditches, on the side of the road, and in landfills. The photographer Peng Wang painted depictions of an abandoned baby he noticed in a photo he took of what he thought was just trash.

Through his paintings, Peng Wang began to spread awareness of how dehumanizing the One-Child Policy was and how the CCP drove this agenda through their ideas.

“As a human being it takes guts to kill someone. How could they do this? It all comes from long-term indoctrination,” Peng Wang said. “For example, ‘Collective interests above all else.’ ‘The party is infallible.’”

The large numbers of abandoned babies created a market for human traffickers, and soon people began to sell babies they found to local orphanages, which in turn sold them to others, often Americans, looking to adopt. While this might appear somewhat charitable, a way to turn a bad situation into something redeemable, the orphanages told the potential adoptive parents the babies were truly orphans when, in fact, they had parents in China who simply couldn’t keep them because of the policy.

Communism, and by extension, the CCP’s One-Child Policy, worked to destroy the people’s humanity, their individual rights and freedoms, and any moral conscience.

Even though the policy has not been in effect since 2015, China is now facing a different crisis: There aren’t enough young people to take care of the aged. This is to say nothing of the irreparable emotional scars left behind on couples who felt forced to abort their baby or face punishment, women who abandoned their babies, and orphanages that participated in human trafficking, to profit off the residue of communist policies.

Millennials might think communism sounds cool, but it’s only because they haven’t been told or still don’t yet understand the devastating effects of communist policies on dehumanizing people and eradicating individual liberties, and in doing so, forever scarring the moral psyche of entire generations of people.

I’d ask Millennials who keep saying, in increasing numbers every year, that they approve of communist ideas to watch “One Child-Nation” and see if they feel the same way afterward.

Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.