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Old 05-20-2014, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,470 posts, read 21,314,960 times
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Having just read Wild Swans by Jung Chang and Life & Death In Shanghai by Nien Cheng, both books I believe to be banned in China, I'm just wondering if the younger Chinese, if give the opportunity, would even read these books without giving them nightmares?

I once met up with a younger Cambodian, and I offered to lend him my book A Cambodian Odyssey, by Haing Ngor, covering what Cambodians went thru under Pol Pot, and he declined my offer: No thanks! It would only give me nightmares!

Would this be any different with the younger Chinese? Ignorance is bliss?
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Earth
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I don't think they care.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:55 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I'd say that the Chinese are not totally in the dark about what happened. The CCP has acknowledged the mistakes that Mao made during the great leap forward and the crimes against Chinese culture abd history, to say nothing of the people, perpetrated by the Red Guard who by all accounts basically grew to be out of control ideologues.

Most young people in China are about as interested in that period as young Americans are about the 60's; i.e., very little.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:29 AM
 
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Textbooks don't tell the truth, but there are plenty of sources to know what actually happened: books, magazines, online etc.

The young Chinese should know what happened during those dark years. It should never be repeated, and it is not just about ideologies and the great leap, it is about the utter murder of humanity where sons and daughters are encouraged to report on their father and friends are forced to attack each other just to keep themselves safe from persecution. Culture and tradition was obliterated and trust evaporates. China ceased to be the great country with pride and thousands of years of culture was brutually severed.

It has long lasting effects that the country has not recovered from yet.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Textbooks don't tell the truth, but there are plenty of sources to know what actually happened: books, magazines, online etc.

The young Chinese should know what happened during those dark years. It should never be repeated, and it is not just about ideologies and the great leap, it is about the utter murder of humanity where sons and daughters are encouraged to report on their father and friends are forced to attack each other just to keep themselves safe from persecution. Culture and tradition was obliterated and trust evaporates. China ceased to be the great country with pride and thousands of years of culture was brutually severed.

It has long lasting effects that the country has not recovered from yet.
I certainly don't disagree overall, but one of those long-lasting effects is the astronomical modernization and growth that you are quite fond of.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
I certainly don't disagree overall, but one of those long-lasting effects is the astronomical modernization and growth that you are quite fond of.
that's not a result of the cultural revolution.

China would have seen high economic without suffering from the cultural revolution. The growth China saw over the past 20 years is not really some sort of miracle. Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc have all been there with years of 10%+ growth. China is of particular interest only because it is on a massive scale.

I would say without the lost 15 something years in the 60s and 70s (not just lost, going backwards), China would be on/close to the same page as Taiwan today.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,790 posts, read 13,391,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
that's not a result of the cultural revolution.

China would have seen high economic without suffering from the cultural revolution. The growth China saw over the past 20 years is not really some sort of miracle. Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc have all been there with years of 10%+ growth. China is of particular interest only because it is on a massive scale.

I would say without the lost 15 something years in the 60s and 70s (not just lost, going backwards), China would be on/close to the same page as Taiwan today.
There's really no way to know this one way or the other. The problem with deconstructing history is that oncw you take one card out, everything on top of it topples, too. since the cultural revolution didn't happen until after Mao had already been in power, do we speculate that he, or at least, the CCP would still be in power through the equivalent time period? Do we suppose that the KMT or some other gov't would have been in its place? One way or the other, history ended up the way it did because of the situation that it was in at the time. The same population that would have lived through that era regardless variously allowed, acted, or suffered allowed history to take place as it did, so who's to say that the situation would have ended up any rosier? It could certainly have boomed earlier, caught up to the west in the 80's and run concurrently with it through till now, but it's just as if not more likely that it would have ended up like India. Or, the CCP could havr become more totalitarian and could have had its own Josef Stalin or Kim Il Sung; there is no way to know what leaders would have filled this hypothetical void.

China's rich history and culture are amazing things to be respected. However, five thousand years of culture didn't stop the modern era from dealing China colonialism and a world war, or from that history's own inheritors from destroying it. The China we know and the speed and strength with which it has modernized are products of the world that begat it, and unfortunately that world included the Cultural Revolution.

If anything, at least the Cultural Revolution was China's own doing against itself rather than that of an outside force, i.e. the Native Americans and colonialisits.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:00 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,806 posts, read 3,052,051 times
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Knowledge is power. I can see the logic behind wanting to avoid knowing about unpleasant things from the past. However, do you see anything in the character of Chinese people to prevent something like the Cultural Revolution from happening again? I see the same shorted sighted self serving idiocy in the common people. So no regulations for businesses? Then let's just poison everyone just to make a few more bucks.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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You don't think a lot of them don't already know? It's not like the government is able to censor every private conversation parents or grandparents have with their children or grand children.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:02 PM
 
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Cultural revolution is taught in history class, so all Chinese students know it. Not to mention their parents all experienced it. The textbook explicitly says Mao was responsible for that.

However, it is hard to say how much of the truth is revealed.
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