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Old 12-29-2008, 12:44 AM
1 posts, read 1,682 times
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The Vice-Chancellor of the Hong Kong University (1986-1995) Professor Wang Gungwu, who is major in history, promoted this book to the HKU staff and students at the HKU library:


Here is some food for thought:

Mao saw that the thugs loved to toy with victims and break down their dignity, as he described with approval:

A tall paper hat is put on [the victim], and on the hat is written landed tyrant so-and-so or bad gentry so-and-so. Then the person is pulled by a rope [like pulling an animal], followed by a big crowd ... This punishment makes [victims] tremble most. After one such treatment, these people are forever broken ...

The threat of uncertainty, and anguish, particularly appealed to him:

The peasant association is most clever. They seized a bad gentleman and declared that they were going to [do the above to] him ... But then they decided not to do it that day ... That bad gentleman did not know when he would be given this treatment, so every day he lived in anguish and never knew a moment's peace.

Mao was very taken with one weapon, the suo-biao, a sharp, twin-edged knife with a long handle like a lance: 'it ... makes all landed tyrants and bad gentry tremble at the sight of it. The Hunan revolutionary authorities should ... make sure every young and middle-aged male has one. There should be no limit put on [the use of] it.'

Mao saw and heard much about brutality, and he liked it. In the report he wrote afterwards, in March 1927, he said he felt 'a kind of ecstasy never experienced before'. His descriptions of the brutality oozed excitement, and flowed with an adrenalin rush. 'It is wonderful! It is wonderful!' he exulted.

Mao was told that people had been beaten to death. When asked what to do - and for the first time the life and death of people hung on one word of his - he said: 'One or two beaten to death, no big deal.' Immediately after his visit, a rally was held in the village, at which another man, who was accused of opposing the peasant association, was savegely killed.

Before Mao arrived, there had been attempts by the leaders of the peasant movement in Hunan to bring down the level of violence, and they had detained some of those who had perpetrated atrocities. Now Mao ordered the detainees to be released. A revolution was not like a dinner party, he admonished the locals; it needed violence. 'It is necessary to bring about a ... reign of terror in every country.' Hunan's peasant leaders obeyed.
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