There’s some weird stuff here. Read at your own risk.
Mao Zedong didn’t rule China all that peacefully, even though some would have seen him as a hero, millions of people died during his rule. “an estimated fifty million Chinese were sent to labor camps and at least seven million prisoners died”. (121) these camps were made for people who didn’t share Mao’s view of a perfect country or China, “… designed to ‘rehabilitate’ people who do not toe the CCP line or who are imprisoned for acts against the revolution”. (121) These people were considered outsiders even though they were part of their own country. This reminds me of the Boxer rebellion, “In many cases, Chinese Christian converts tried to defend their foreign allies and their charges. They were vastly outnumbered, however and thousands died.” (Szczepanski 2) Although these two events happened at different times, they share the same type of problems of the Chinese people turning their backs on one another.
As mentioned above, the boxers were ruthless with their methods of getting rid of the foreign powers, yet the Red Guards (extremely dedicated supporters of communism / Mao) were almost just as bad as they were. The red guards were people that committed horrendous crimes, this group main consisted of “Young people (…) peasant(s), cadre, worker, or military families were allowed to join.”(73) Mao allowed his gave the Red Guards the right too “expose and condemn intellectuals, as well as anyone with connections to the Western world who might be suspected of being a capitalist sympathizer.” (73) This meant that anyone who were rich or had a high social status were exposed, tortured or killed. Farmers killed landlords, and a teacher recalled the terrifying event that happened to her 40 years ago:
“One day, my very own students came and dragged me out from my dormitory to the quadrangle, tied me up and put a sign board around my neck. One of them poured a bottle of black ink over my head to humiliate me. For the next three days, I was humiliated in front of all other school children. If not for some parents who tried to stop their children from carrying on with the brutal behavior, I probably would have died there.” (Wang Yinju 76) Another brutal example of the Red Guards exemplifying their power was in page 85, “In one, a party member (red guard) ‘raped the female members of a landowner’s family and then mutilated them by cutting off their breasts.” Mao’s methods of ridding the country of rich people was going just as planned. However, the decisions / actions done by the Red Guards were extremely similar too those of the Boxers.
Here’s more information to Mao’s life here.
Gay, Kathlyn. Mao Zedong’s China. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century, 2008. Print.