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Chinese Youth on Mao Zedong
民族魂

26 December 2009
 

The following is the main part of an online article titled A Young Chinese's View on Mao Zedong (一个80后对毛泽东的评价) posted on wyzxsx.com by Pure Lotus (清荷), and it's English translation:

As we all can tell, the current wave of Mao Zedong fever is not promoted by the government, but initiated from grassroots. Young people of my generation born in 80s are basically more interested in economy than politics, thus the act of advocating Mao Zedong Spirit has more to do with culture than ideology.

For me, I would like to know more about Mao Zedong as a man not as a legend. I think the reason that people love him is because he loved people dearly, as we all know that it is the ordinary Chinese people whom he cared about most.

Some online friends laughed at me. “Go home ask your parents what they went through during the Three-Year Famine and Youth Go Rural Movement before posting your praise on him,” they told me.

True. No one ever sent me to work in farm, and I’ve never experienced hunger. But I did have asked my dad about famine and about go rural. “Yes, it was a hard time and we were poor in materials,” he replied, “but it was also a noble era and we were rich in spirit.”

To comprehend what is spirit, I buried myself in thick books at library. Soon I found the answer. When turning the pages of those historical documents, my soul was shocked and my heart was bleeding.

I'd never imagined that when Mao Zedong and his CCP reunited the nation in 1949, China would be in such a backward and dilapidated state.

In the rural area, peasants were frequently plagued by flood and draught, and constantly threatened by locusts and bandits; the beggars were seen everywhere and the dead bodies left unburied here and there.

In the city, most of industry products were imported goods with Chinese character 洋 (yang, meaning overseas) specified in the name of many daily items, which include carts (yang che 洋车), cloth (yang bu 洋布), matches (yang huo 洋火), gasoline (yang you 洋油), nails (yang ding 洋钉) and socks (yang wa 洋袜).

When the Nationalist Government fled to Taiwan, with the help of the American air force, they took nearly all national reserves away, including 86.56 tons of gold and 35 million pieces of silver. This huge asset stolen from the 540 million mainland Chinese was then poured into the tiny island with a population of merely 7 million. The financial windfall as such, along with the rewards Taiwanese received from the West for helping them to attack their own brothers and sisters in the mainland, has enabled the island to create a so-called economic miracle. Taiwan's wealth is by and large built upon theft and betrayal.

In the mainland that had been left with nothing but scars of wars from the foreign invasion and civil conflicts, Mao Zedong led his people to rebuild the nation from the scratch with their own hands, while in the meantime took up the military challenges from the West in Korea and eradicated the local bandits and traitors at the home.

If you were Mao Zedong, and in such a grave situation, what could you achieve then?

现在的毛泽东热潮,不是官方立场,而更多的来自民间,相信大家有所意识。因为对于我们这个年代出生的人来说,对政治的关心早已经被经济意识所取代。呼唤毛泽东精神,根本只是一种‘政治淡出’和‘文化凸显’的过程。如今关注毛泽东的,更多的是悼念与缅怀,而这种追思正是来自民间,来自底层,来自人们真实内心。

就如同我这么一个年代出生的女子来说,解读毛泽东,更愿意去收获了一个真实的毛泽东。从人的角度,而不是神的角度,理清历史真相,我想人民之所以认为毛泽东伟大,是因为他心里只有人民。 心里有人民的人,人民是抹不掉他的。

有网友笑我的幼稚,说“当你吃过观音土,被上山下乡过,一直处在半饥饿状态中才能理解毛泽东的思想,还是回家问问你的父辈,再来发帖吧,至少你没有饿过饭。”

清荷虽然没有上山下山过,也没有吃过观音土,但就这事确实问过父辈,老爸只说这么一句话:“那个年代,是很苦,但精神很高。”

对老爸说的“精神”两字,我便一头扎进了图书馆。才发现那个时代人民为何“高”的原因。

当我坐在图书馆里,一页一页查阅史料的时候,那种震撼,依然叩痛心扉:那是一个什么样的年代?毛泽东是怎么把这个烂摊子扶起的?又是怎么去交给后来人的?

农业上,完全“靠天吃饭”。当时江河水患频发,旱、涝、蝗灾害每年不断,到处都有土匪出没,到处都是逃荒要饭的农民,山岗上用破草席裹着的尸体也不鲜见,老百姓最基本的生存都是问题。

工业上,用可怜来形容一点也不为过:除了东部和内陆的中心城市有一些轻工业之外,基本上没有什么像样的工业。国内使用的许多工业品几乎清一色标注“洋”字:“洋车”、“洋房”、“洋面”、“洋布”、“洋火”、“洋油”、“洋糖”、“洋钉”、“洋鞋”、“洋袜”等等,

再看国内情势,当时国民党离开大陆时带走了多少资产:黄金277万两,银元3526.9万元等。这是一个什么概念?也就是说这些金融资产虽然造就了后来台湾“经济腾飞”的童话,但却使大陆断绝了经济发展的资金这一重要条件,使建设不得不在真正的“一穷二白”的基础上重新开始。

假如你是毛泽东,在面临农、工、商以及社会混乱的这样的千疮百孔的烂摊子时候,你该怎么做?你还要一面领导广大人民进行抗美援朝战争,还要开展土地改革;还要组织围剿土匪,还要搞“三反五反”运动,还要大力恢复、发展经济和文化教育事业。你该怎么去做?

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We Chinese people have the courage to fight with our enmities to our last breath, the determination to rebuild our war-torn country with our own hands, and the ability to stand independently among the world community.

我们中华民族有同自己的敌人血战到底的气概,有在自力更生的基础上光复旧物的决心,有自立于世界民族之林的能力

-- Mao Zedong (26th Dec 1893 - 9th Sep 1996)

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