China: Revolution's victims’ stories blogged, not forgotten (1/4)

For a good number of years, Sichuan-based blogger-journalist Ran Yunfei (冉云飞) has been collecting the stories of those persecuted as right wing elements during the Cultural Revolution, another part of Chinese contemporary history largely left unexplored even to this day. Early this year Ran began posting his research findings on his blog. Early last month Ran participated in a discussion in a Chengdu teahouse titled ‘On Right Wing Research.’ A transcript of the talk was later posted onto his blog in four pieces; here is the first installment:


Yang Yuanhong: [emcee]


This afternoon we've invited someone well-known for his rich and strong knowledge, noted writer and scholar Mr. Ran Yunfei, to give us a lecture. The subject on which he will be speaking today is ‘On Right Wing Research.’ Before Ran begins, I'm honored to announce to everybody that among us here today is one of the oldest of the old rightists, eighty-six year old Mr. Xiao Sai. Also Mr. Xiao Sai the writer, Mr. Xiao Sai the scholar. Everybody please welcome him. (applause) Also here is one of the youngest rightists around: former deputy editor of Xingxing Poetry Weekly, nationwide -known poet and winner of the Lu Xun prize for literature, Mr. Zhang Xinquan. Everybody please welcome him. (applause) This older Mr. Xiao Sai and already no longer young Mr. Xinquan are both in attendance of our reading group for the first time. Let's give them an enthusiastic welcome and our heartfelt thanks. (applause)


What Mr. Ran Yunfei will speak of today involves the systems of China's past dynasties as well as vast and deep thoughts. The totalitarian and despotic leaders of past Chinese dynasties have never before seen the relationship between intellectuals and society as a natural or legitimate one. As they see it, intellectuals are just a bunch of hairs, but hairs attached to the skin of the ruling class. If these hairs obey, then they can stay on the skin. If they don't, they might just get ripped out from the skin. This gives one a vivid idea of the relationship between past intellectuals and the ruling classes of past dynasties.


Kept in this sort of relationship, not only did Chinese intellectuals lose their cultural character but, most importantly, lost the independent character it takes to be an intellectual as well. An intellectual's independent character consists of more than just thinking, but requires a critical spirit as well. Therefore with the previous talk, Mr. Zhou Yuqiao's ‘Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution‘ and Yunfei's lecture today ‘On Right Wing Research,’ these two cases from history, although seperated by ten years, with the rectification of and opposition to rightists having stopped for close to fifty years already and the Cultural Revolution for forty, memories of these two revolutions remain. Those tragedies which also took place here on this very spot remain fresh in our minds today.


The Cultural Revolution and the anti-right movement, if said to be a cultural disaster, might be better said to have been a people's disaster. It was a comprehensive, full-on persecution, attack and destruction of Chinese intellectuals’ conscience, morality, independent character, independent thought and doubtful and critical spirit. From then on Chinese intellectuals began to move towards a split. Especially with the arrival of the present modern era. The spirit, morality and conscience of Chinese intellectuals has ceased to exist. Accordingly, the subject of Mr. Ran Yunfei's talk today only looks at it as a historical case, one nearly fifty years past. Without doubt, it will lead us to thoroughly and profoundly reconsider the totalitarian- and despot-made tragedies which have gone down in history and happened on this very spot.


Actually if we back up a bit, we see that the attacks and persecution of intellectuals began as early as the Yan'an Movement. One thing I don't completely understand is why despots harbor such a natural suspicion and hostility toward intellectuals. It's just this sort of suspicion and hostility which creates generation after generation of political prisoners. The friends present here all know that this began with Emperor Qin Shihuang‘s burning of books and burying of Confucian scholars. I remember that Gorki‘s ‘Untimely Thoughts‘ has been released in China. Early in this book, Gorki takes aim at Lenin's brutal persecution of intellectuals in the name of representing the Bolsheviks. At that time Gorki's conscience hadn't yet disappeared. In fact he couldn't stand to see this. He went to the Kremlin to demand an answer from Lenin. If I remember correctly, this is what he said to Lenin: ‘What you are persecuting is Russia's brain.’ And how did Lenin respond? He said: ‘What brain? That's a pile of crap.’ It was a big shock when I saw in this book this answer of Lenin's. Why do these despots harbor an inherent hostility towards intellectuals? He himself was an intellectual to begin with. Why do they need to see intellectuals as the natural enemies of despotic autocrats? In fact, as I ask, the answer is in the question itself. Before Mr. Ran Yunfei begins his talk today, I'll just give this simple opening.


Ran Yunfei


Thank you everybody. A lot of people taking part in this reading group should have a good idea of who I am, and the others should at least more or less have an idea about me. That's why I won't do any self-introduction here. First off I'd like to say a bit about my lecture topic, ‘On Right Wing Research.’ Because many books—regardless if one is speaking about the mainland or overseas—have been written about the technical aspects of researching the right wing. But authentic books with weighty research on the right wing virtually don't exist. Why do I want to talk about right wing research here today? Although we engage in self-reflection, in criticism, in condemning despotic autocracy's persecution of intellectuals, persecution of China's brain, I feel that comment on the issue of the right wing hasn't come very far. The real question is what sort of commenting is the most important.


What am I trying to say? That as we move to comment on something, we must first have a large volume of detailed and factual information. This is the attitude of a true scholar. We cannot assume the Communist Party's way of carrying on and substitute talk for historical fact. For example, first saying that our points of view are correct, and then going to find information to back them up. This is not how scholars work. Although the subject of rightists may give rise to a lot of people's anger, it might also give rise to mine, am I right? Not long ago, just two days ago actually, China Central Television aired a program ‘Move China.’ I then wrote a post on my blog called ‘The more shameless the government gets, the more moved the people get.’ Then I posted it on Tianya BBS, and it aroused the sentiments of the masses. Later, Tianya's authorities deleted it. But that's how it is; the more shameless the government gets, the more moved the people get. Sitting here, why do I bring this up? Because many of the government's ways of doing things are shameless. It takes taxpayers’ money, but doesn't do anything in return. Where is its legitimacy? I wrote about this in my post. For example, I wrote about how Xu Benyu moves me, how Huang Zhanhui moves me, and how Gao Yaojie moves me. The more they move me, the more I feel this government's shamelessness. Because they don't do the things a government should. The money they take from me is not used for their work.


Most of my post was written like this: this country is so strange, and its people are so strange too. I ask if his government is shameless and he gets more excited. He doesn't know that the backdrop for this excitement is a kind of flawed government. I said it in my post: in managing its citizens the Chinese government comes first, first also in being concerned of and caring for the people. First from last, that is. (applause)

在今天讲关于右派研究的问题,我可以这样说,在今天我们看到的所有关于研究右派的写作,都十分缺乏原始资料。关于这方面在国内有朱正先生的《一九五七年的夏季》, 和胡平写的《禅机:一九五七》,包括叶永烈写的《沉重的一九五七》,这些东西基本上都是一堆常见资料堆砌,而很多资料也是极不全备的,非常不完备。为什么呢,事实上这几位的书还都算不上是学术研究,不能算平心静气的研究,只能算对资料的清理和罗列。有鉴于此,我本人对这个问题的研究也开始多少年了,很多年前我就在收集右派资料,今天我带来的这一份叫《右派资料知见录》(编年初稿)。编年是什么意思呢,编年就是从一九五七到二OO五年,凡是我能够见到的右派资料,我全部将它罗列出来了。今天我拿了一叠来。 这个工作很多自以为有才华的人是不愿意做的。他觉得这个工作又琐碎、又繁复,工作量又大,这些确实非常之大。要翻很多刊物、很多资料、很多报纸,要钻很多图书馆,要钻很多故纸堆。这么多年我每个星期天早上都要去旧书市场,明天又是星期天我依然还要去,这些都是我每一个星期天早上在旧书摊上淘的书和资料的一部分。因为我星期天从来不睡懒觉。我这样说的意思就是关于右派的研究要象冉云飞这样作。要象谢泳这样作。谢泳,黄河杂志的副主编,研究储安平,研究西南联大,研究《观察》杂志等卓有成效的学者。同样也需要我这样的人来做这种最为基础的资料。

In regards to today's topic of researching the right wing, I can say this: of all the writing we see today regarding research on the right wing, all of them lack source material. In this regard on the mainland, we have Mr. Zhu Zheng's ‘Summer of 1957,’ Hu Ping‘s ‘Zen Insight: 1957‘ and Ye Yonglie‘s ‘Weighty 1957.’ These things are all just a pile of commonly-seen materials, many of which are rather incomplete. Definitely far from perfect. And why? As a matter of fact, the books of these three don't count as scholarly research and cannot be considered as objective research, only the re-organization and spreading-out of information. With that in mind, my own research into this subject has been going on for years. I began collecting right-wing materials many years ago and today have brought with me one collection called ‘Right Wing: Knowledge, Testimony and Records‘ (first draft); all the materials I've come across regarding rightists from 1957 until today can be found inside. I've brought a pile with me today. Many people think that anyone with any writing ability wouldn't be willing to take on such a job. They see this work as trivial, complex and consuming, which it definitely is. You have to flip through many periodicals, lots of information, many newspapers. You must dig your way through many libraries and heaps of old books. For many years every Sunday morning I stop by the old market. Tomorrow's Sunday and still I will go. These are just some of the books and materials spread out on the vendor stands every Sunday morning. Because I never sleep in on Sunday mornings. What I'm trying to say is that research on the right wing needs to be carried out just like Ran Yunfei himself. Just like Xie Yong himself. Xie Yong, Yellow River magazine's deputy editor, is researching Chu Anping, researching Southwestern University, researching Guangcha magazine and other productive scholars. Similarly, there is need for people like me to produce these more basic kinds of information.


This is just like when we once did a small booklet on the 360 year anniversary of Zhang Xianzhong‘s massacre of Sichuan. I'd done some information on this before and now I see some more. Personally, I like doing more basic research; only in such basic research can such detailed work be done. Having thus done, I can thus say. What is this there's nothing more to said nonsense? What is this ‘the power is in the details?’ I wish that everyone, when writing their memoirs, whether of the Cultural Revolution or of the several anti-right campaigns, the Great Leap Forward, the national folk song movement or the Four Cleanups Movement, could pay most attention to this first point: be honest to yourself. You should take responsibility for the things you say. The second point is to be honest to history. That's to say, no matter how you might critique the government or other people, you must first of all have a grasp on the details of the information. This kind of attitude is the attitude of a scholar, an honest attitude. I feel one must always deal honestly. Just because you hate somebody doesn't mean you can impose a point of view on him. Similarly, just because you hate past governments doesn't mean you can say something without proof. I think one who wants to speak should have some evidence. Of course I'm not saying that every sentence we speak has to be backed up, but every word should be logical. It's through logic that we can expound a sort of inevitability or probability. What I mean is that anyone who needs this material can go out and photocopy it, and at the same time notify everyone that I've post a lot of my information online. Just type in Ran Yunfei and you can find it. I just gave this copy of ‘Right Wing: Knowledge, Testimony and Records‘ to some old righty friends to look at and they were all taken aback. Because they only knew they themselves were right wing, didn't know there was this pile of such detailed information. That's why the point I'm about to speak on is how to collect right wing information.


If you are able to gather some detailed information, researching the Sino-Japanese War, for instance, and Japan's invasion of China, Japan's crimes, the ideal would be to get your hands on a Japanese's testimony. For example, Fan Jianchuan is known to have plenty of evidence of Japan's invasion of China. Fan Jianchuan's research on this subject is superb. A lot of information on rightists can be collected using one of several methods. The first is the old book market where some can be found. These can be found by going and looking yourself. The second is the library. Libraries still stock books from 1957 to 1962. Perhaps you think this kind of searching too troublesome. I'll tell everybody a shortcut now: there's a tool called the National Major Publication Information Index, from out of Shanghai. Every year there's a new one and whatever you want to find can be found there. You can even look up the right wing there. At the same time, the searches produce matches. This way you can cut down on the time you spend looking for information.


Thirdly, we need to salvage those rightists still alive. This is no joke. You should go talk to the rightists that you know, and make a recording. Do every sort of oral history work. I have this hope of you here in attendance today. I hope everybody gets to it. On this point I think Hu Shi was remarkable. At the age of forty he began writing his memoir. Mister Hu Shi once said that if everyone's memoir-based histories were put together, what a perfect history it would make. Because history can present many different kinds of faces, it lets these researchers, these decoders, have a more thorough view of history. Certainly it is not that only Ran Yunfei's own records that count as history while Joe Wang's do not, right? There could very well be places that reaffirm each other, as well as those that contradict, and areas in which each balance the other out. But the most important is to as thoroughly as possible come as close as possible to history's original condition. This is especially important. That's why I say if any of you here now have ever been persecuted as a rightist, have heard any talk, or know some among your friends and family, I hope you will take on this work. If these things are saved down, their usefulness is considerably big. This is the third point.


The fourth point on collecting information goes like this: Of the older generation which can still now be found, much of the records they've left behind has already been published. I've already collected my fair share of these. Because this undertaking is so vast, let's say you want to do a biography of someone who lived through 1957, let's say I wanted to do Mr. Liu Shahe‘s biography, or so-and-so's biography. I might end up with a chapter that touches on the right wing. That's why this workload is so big. But somebody has to do it. But now in many personal accounts from those who lived through 1957, the chapters on the anti-right movement are often not very detailed. That's why I recommend if you're going to write a memoir, write about 1957, or speak on behalf of someone who was there. Try your best not so shy away from it. Even if what you write can't be published right away, at least the information will exist. We should not feel that collecting this information will not make a difference. As I see it, the information is evidence stronger than steel, and stronger than anything you say or any slogan you shout.


Regarding this point I'll say a bit about my visit last year to America. Americans’ approach to history is just like what I've just said. Whether they're researching the Civil War or segregation, in this way they collect information from all across the board; the primary job is to revive history's original condition.


Above is my earlier-mentioned first way to collect information. The second we just have to follow. According to official accounts now, the number of those labelled as right wing amounts to 550,000 people. With regards to this number, I've always expressed some doubt at official accounts. If one adds onto this official account the number arrived at by the people's research, can we reach an approximate and realistic right wing name list? I think the first is the need to collect the information spanning the years like I have. This information of mine covers 1957 to 2005. Any information from each year which dealt with the right wing or was a memoir of the right wing, it's all here. What I've made is a chronology. Its advantage is that anything can be found. The best part of the second point is the editing of a right wing name list, although the workload that would involve is quite large. If, as I said above, the information is ill-prepared, preparing a right wing name list would be even more difficult. What I'm trying to say is that of the comparatively large number of books and essays exploring the left wing around now, those that most people turn to are Zhang Bojun's, Luo Longji and Liu Shahe…Should we watch these people closely? Are they worth researching? Of course it's worth it. Extremely worth it. These prominent rightists (You see how cruel history is? There are even well-known and unknown parts of the right wing). But speaking of doing research, don't worry if he's well-known or not. As far as I'm concerned, he's just a case to be researched. Even if a right winger doesn't become well-known, he still deserves some basic attention, the most honest of treatment.


But on this point, I could say that our research on many prominent rightists still hasn't been done very well. For example, Mr. Zhang Bojun's daughter Ms. Zhang Yihe's book ‘The Past Is Not Like Smoke,’ which is written very well, full of literary grace. But in fact this book has some problems in historical fact. Overall, I agree with her values, but there are many unverified historical facts. Of course this doesn't change that The Past is a terrific book. But for readers like us, our prime demand is truth. What is the goal of demanding truth for? It's for winning our freedom, grace and respect. Of course there is also the pure love for knowledge. Especially for an intellectual, one should adhere to one's own thoughts. That's why I wonder, if these prominent rightists don't do very good research, what about the smaller, lesser-known rightists?


Xie Yong once said to me in a letter that in fact many lesser-known rightists haven't been paid the attention they should. In this aspect the most important is that information is hard to come across. Secondly, the intent of research is not right: only focussing on well-known rightists and not those lesser-known, who are also rightists. Their lives were also very tragic. As a researcher, one must restore history's original condition. Regardless of whether a person is well-known or not, all should receive corresponding research, corresponding respect. That's why I say the second point is to draw up a list of rightists’ names. And what sort of information should that list have on it? Basically, it should have their place and date of birth and date of death, the age at which they were first labelled a rightist, important right-wing speech, where they underwent reform through land labor, where they were kept and a list of major criticisms in the press. I think it should be comprised of these. I'm willing to repeat one more time. In addition to the locations of their labor reform and detention, their occupations. For example, editor, teacher, worker or student, etc. If that much could just be done, that would give a basic profile of him. If this kind of rightist name list were drawn up, I think that would be something which would prove beneficial for many years. With this kind of information, one could begin carrying out a quantitative analysis, carrying out necessary research for society, right?


Slowly carrying on this way up until now, I've also collected a lot of rightist information. The name list I'm currently working on already has several dozen names on it. That is, using this approach of mine, I've already finished several dozen names. On my name list are many, many little-known people. The rightist list of which I just spoke should also have a note at the end, stating clearly whether or not they've been rectified. Stating whether or not they've been rectified is very important because there are still many who were not. According to the central government's public record, there were only six rightists who did not undergo rectification. That's to say, there are only Luo Longji, Zhang Bojun and several big rightists who were not rectified. What it means is that aside from these six, other rightists and those who errored all received rectification. Speaking truthfully, I think this kind of talk is rather shameless. Because it's not true. Because many people labelled as rightists not only clearly weren't, but it's also clearly written that they didn't receive rectification.


As I get to this point, I want to bring up my senior, Mr. Huang Yilong. Mr. Huang Yilong was on very good terms with Mssrs. Liu Shahe and Zeng Boyan, and was also labelled a rightist. At the time he was labelled a rightist, he was Vice-minister of Chengdu city's Party Propaganda Department, or of the city's Youth Corps Committee, I can't remember exactly. This old man is now over seventy years old. He writes excellent essays, just like Yan Lieshan and Liu Hongbo and He Sanwei, with whom he is also on good terms. They came out with a book called ‘An Abbreviated Contemporary History of Sichuan.’ It just happens that the parts which touch on the right wing, which touch on history of the years 1950-1960 were written by Mr. Huang Yilong. The exact numbers found there of rightists in Sichuan I can't quite remember. Roughly 55,000. Given that there were 550,000 rightists throughout the entire country, that Sichuan comprised ten percent I feel is not quite accurate. How many provinces are there in this country? If Sichuan's 55,000 were used to verify the national count of 550,000, I think the logic of that would be a little off. I'm not saying that this number should be used to refute the national count, I can only say that Sichuan's suffering at the time must have been exceedingly brutal, or else the 550,000 would be fake. Actually, this work could be refuted. If you just make a quick calcluation of the numbers from several different provinces, you would then be able to refute those numbers. Jiangsu, for example, is about to to put out ‘An Abbrviated Contemporary History of Jiangsu,’ which will also touch upon the right wing, and says it had 60,000 rightists. If you add several provinces together , you risk going over 550,000. That's why this conclusion is not accurate, even has some errors, albeit covered up.


Talking now about ‘An Abbreviated Contemporary History of Sichuan,’ Mr. Huang Yilong's records show that all rightists in Sichuan underwent rectification. Of those, there are only twenty-one with unknown whereabouts. On this twenty-one-strong list of people of unknown whereabouts can be found one of our well-known female right wing classmates, Ms. Feng Yuanchun of our school's biology department. I've collected a not small amount of information on this particular female classmate. I see Feng Yuanchun's speeches and behavior in the school as nothing less than that of Lin Zhao. I'm currently preparing to write one long essay called ‘Commemorating Miss Feng Yuanchun’. I've been preparing this essay for a very long time; the main reason being that some materials still need to be verified. That's why it's being prepared and written so slowly. Now, this twenty-one-strong list of people of unknown whereabouts has already been written into ‘An Abbreviated Contemporary History of Sichuan,’ and it's the officially-approved version of contemporary Sichuan history at that. One day last year (I'd have to check my diary to find the exact date) I spent twenty yuan to receive a pile of information, sent by Sichuan province Department of United Front, sent on August 31, 1987 (I think that's the date, I'd have to check). Seven pages of information in total, titled ‘List of rightists not having received rectification,’ twenty-one in total. This matches exactly the twenty-one persons of unknown whereabouts written about by Mr. Huang Yilong. Only when I stopped off to see Teacher Liu Shahe and gave him a copy of this information did he know he had been lied to. If you think about it, in Sichuan alone there were twenty-one rightists who did not undergo rectification. Then how could there only be six nation-wide? Isn't this a lie? With so many provinces in the country, how many other rightists are there who until today have not undergone rectification? Not many people know about this. If I hadn't received that information, I would have had no way to confirm this matter's veracity. That's why I say the power of information is so great. It can help reduce your untruths.


As for the Communist Party, you say there's no way to beat it, because it can make the media say that there are only six people yet to receive rectification, all others have been rectified. How can you say they can't be beat? From their own preserved records we see how things really are. That's why I say of those doing research only the ones who turn over every stone in their approach to research will be able to fully research this issue. Just like I said about the notes on the rightist name list. Drawing up the list in this manner will prove to have boundless benefits. Whereas if you only rely on your personal strength, the results will be quite weak.


I think that in carrying out research on the right wing, we need to look at the bigger picture. At present, many people's books regarding the anti-right movement—Ye Yonglie's for example, Zhu Zheng's, Hu Ping's, as well as one written by a Briton—either aren't very clear on the movement's basic background, or haven't written very clearly. What I can say for certain is that the opposing and purging of intellectuals has long been part of the Communist Party. Some people tell me (even someone in a comment on my blog this morning) that I should start looking from 1942, when the purging of Wang Shiwei and them began. Of course if looking strictly in terms of time, this could be considered, discussed. But really, if you don't research other factors and only research the Communist Party of China‘s (CPC) early party members—those that later took part in the first and second National CPC Congress‘—those with a heavy intellectual scent, by 1925 had already moved to standing on the sidelines. The heavier your intellectual smell, the higher the extent to which you would get purged. Mssrs. Chen Duxiu and Qu Qiubai are the more well-known examples, as well as Zheng Chaolin, right? Including those who gave up and switched sides, like Chen Gongbo, all of whom were rich with the smell of intellectuals. I can say this much: an organization so extremely strict in discipline, strict to the point of cruel, cannot contain intellectuals. Today when we say intellectuals, what does that mean? Some people joke that today's intellectuals are nothing more than merely educated. This kind of talk is very harsh, but in fact speaks true of many learned types. Many of these learned really are nothing more than merely well-read. Sometimes even what they know they don't really know, un-well-read, even. So, what is the difference between intellectuals and the merely learned? I'll give an simple example. From childhood your mother will tell you Chengdu is west of Chongqing. This you know, and never forget. This absolutely is a ‘learned.’ But how to go from Chongqing to Chengdu, using which means, what you think about during the process, what thoughts and epiphanies you have, what experiences, what opinions you have different from the masses; I regard these kinds of significant thinking signs of having become an intellectual. Similarly, if you know that in many ways this government is lacking, that this government purged the people like mad, mad enough to make your feet shake and make you piss yourself, then you definitely are a ‘learned.’ But if you know why the government purged you, made you piss yourself, why it doesn't let you have your own brain, why it doesn't let you have a life of dignity, why it doesn't let you criticize it, second-guess it, if you think like this, then you are pretty much an intellectual. This is the difference between the learned and the intellectual. That's why I tell you that an organization so extremely strict in discipline, application for entry into which requires a check of the last eight generations of your family, that concerns itself with your marriage, with the organization of your personal life, how could it ever really accept authentic intellectuals? Unless you completely obey it, unless you are a master at knowing how things really work.


In fact, this kind of organization cannot accept different ideas, different voices, or withstand suggestions. It doesn't allow opinions of it. Everything different from it is labelled ‘reactionary.’ I think this is terribly ridiculous. As I see it, whether you live in this country or live in this world, to have differing opinions is normal. I think that in this world there doesn't exist totalitarian or ideological reactionaries, there are just different opinions, different perspectives, only this and nothing more. How can you say you're legitimate and I'm a reactionary? Who's to say your accuracy is airtight and I'm wrong? Similarly, for us researchers, I don't think my research findings aren't open to criticism and cannot be doubted. I'm prepared to be doubted at any time, prepared to at anytime face many different perspectives in many different aspects. That's just why what we must contribute are different opinions. You cannot accept anyone saying you are a reactionary. ‘You call me reactionary?’ As if you're unquestionably correct. Do such naturally correct people exist? Do such naturally correct organizations exist? It's just like the post I wrote two days ago, ‘The more shameless the government gets, the more moved the people get.’ I'm talking grand, glorious, precise, this kind of shameless praise; there is absolutely nothing in this world more shameless than that. Of course, it has appropriated these words glory, great and precise, while you just get reactionary, the only word you need to remember. If you want to speak some different points of views, all you've got is reactionary. Because it has appropriated all the positive words, only it is correct. Unless you make like a parrot and toe the line, you won't be called correct. You definitely cannot be great and of course you've no glory to speak of. That's why I just said that the background of the right wing, how this right wing came about. Just like I said, an organization so extremely strict in discipline, strict to the point of cruel, that cannot accept intellectuals, is first and foremost the enemy of democracy.


One party, one dictatorship, we know that everything in life is involved with the monopoly industry; whether it be the telephone company, the post office, the railways, all are run poorly. This is monopoly in economic life, and monopoly in political life is the one party dictatorship. In this country of ours the biggest monopoly is that of one party rule. And this party, this organization, is restrictive to the point of malice, of cruelty. That's why it inherently cannot accomodate intellectuals. Since the day it came into being, not only has it been the enemy of democracy, but the enemy of freedom as well. It is the enemy of the authentic intellectual. In fact it is the root cause of the 1957 labelling as rightists of a large number of intellectuals. The rectification of the AB Group in the 1930s and the rectification movement in the 1940s were just a sort of rehearsal for the anti-right campaign in 1957. To use Communist Party talk, it was a small-scale battle. And 1957 was a large-scale strategy drill. 1966's Cultural Revolution verged on field-army warfare.


Above is a root that I dug up, and the second root begins with the Communist Party's 1949 founding of the nation. If you read closely the literature on 1947-48, the gentle tone shows that the Communist Party had already demonstrated its tough manner. And not only was their tough stance used in dealing with the Kuomintang, tough, extremely tough, neither did their negotiations resemble Mao Zedong's relatively weak stance when he came to Chongqing to negotiate. Similarly, his attitude towards intellectuals was also quite tough. Large-scale sending of intellectuals to be reformed through working the land in the northeast. Like Ding Ling wrote in her book ‘The sun shines over the Sanggan River.’ The number of people taking part in land labor reform increased after 1949 (here I just want to say, I personally just like to say '49’ to mean ‘1949,’ but many people say ‘before liberation’ and ‘after liberation,’ but I feel this way of talking is indicative of ideological brainwashing, implying that he has a sort of innate accuracy. Before 1949 you had the old society, but what we have now is the new society. That's why his innateness predetermines his accuracy), that's why I feel the proper terms to use are pre-49 and post-49. As scholars, in everything we do, we must be careful. Many times after we get ideologically brainwashed, we don't even notice when we pick up things like this, a kind of collective unconsciousness.


In June, 1949, renowned historian and president of Beijing Normal University Mr. Chen Yuan wrote a very famous letter called ‘A letter to Mr. Hu Shi,’ which can be said to have been a turning point, symbolizing a change for intellectuals. Actually, the Party used Mr. Chen Yuan as a symbol, letting everyone know that ‘the Communist Party has come, that you're either with us or against us. Best if you're with us, but if you're not, well, I'm sure you understand the consequences.’ The Party used Mister Chen Yuan this historian-professor to set the tone for reclaiming the intellectuals; full of symbolic significance. As far as I'm concerned Mr. Chen Yuan should be referred to as a master professor. Many people are referred thus these days, like Zhang Zhongxing who died recently but was also referred to as a master professor. Absurd, I think. Mister Zhang was not bad, but definitely not a master professor. I said once that post-1949 those that can still be called master professors, were rare enough to begin with. After 1949, the probability that anyone having received the Communist Party's enslaving sort of basic education might go on to become a master professor is infinitely approaching zero. This statement of mine was said both firmly and accurately. And why is that? My meaning is that you can't say that it would be impossible for everybody, in case a genius suddenly appears, right? That's why I said ‘infinitely approaching zero.’ If you think carefully, like Yu Qiuyu with a reputation that can't be said to be small, but does he count as a master professor? For what could he ever be considered a master professor? He's merely a ‘learned.’ These sorts who have no brain of their own, no thoughts of their own, are well-read and nothing more. That's why I say academic achievements like Mr. Chen Yuan's in history surely counted for something in the twentieth century. Mr. Chen Yuan's research into all the various aspects of Buddhism, Taoism and ‘Great Political Writings in History‘ [资治通鉴], into chronology and ‘anti-education-ism’ have achieved great results. But under Communist Party rule, even the highest and greatest professors could not stop the ball from rolling. The Communist Party is amazing that way. During Kuomintang rule, many people bravely stood up to criticize Kuomintang corruption. But after the Communist Party came to power, they didn't dare. That's why when in 1957 Mr. Chu Anping made his well-known ‘the Party empire’ comment he was labelled right wing. Mr. Chu Anping said it very well, “When Kuomintang led, the democracy was just a question of how much, but while the Communist Party leads, the democracy question is to have it or not?” As bad as the Kuomintang is, they've always had democracy; it's just a question of how much. You see Mr. Chu Anping criticized the Kuomintang; he himself edited Guancha magazine, where he criticized them like mad. Of course, Guangcha was then shut down, but he did he receive harrasment from the state secret police like we do today? Was he arrested, investigated or taken to court? I've yet to see any records. From this comparison you can imagine which era's speech was most free, which era was best, which era was worst.




Respect you! Respect your thoughts and honest work ethic!


Ran Yunfei


Why can I suddenly not post longer content?



What deep enlightenment, thank brother Ran!


I've also been paying close attention to research on the right wing as well as contemporary movements and feel strongly that sources is a problem. I've also been carefully collecting all along, although I don't have much in the way of money, and the rewards are not always great, I'll work harder from now on!


Aside from Yu Xieyong, Peking University's Mr. Qian Liqun apparently also pays close attention to the lot of right wingers. Early on he wrote ‘Where are All The “Right Wing” Brothers and Sisters?‘ and last year published in issue 5 of Essay magazine was his ‘Living: Hardship and Respect,’ about Sichuan's right wing Mr. Zhong Chaoyue (one ‘lesser-known’ rightist), as well as Mr. Zhong Chaoyue's own essay ‘Nine Deaths One Life‘. Brother Ran, you've probably already seen it?


Wild Ghost Crazy Spring


But under Communist Party rule, even the highest and greatest professors could not stop the ball from rolling. The Communist Party is amazing that way. During Kuomintang rule, many people bravely stood up to criticize Kuomintang corruption. But after the Communist Party came to power, they didn't dare. That's why when in 1957 Mr. Chu Anping made his well-known ‘the Party empire’ comment he was labelled right wing. Mr. Chu Anping said it very well, “When Kuomintang led, the democracy was just a question of how much, but while the Communist Party leads, the democracy question is to have it or not?” As bad as the Kuomintang is, they've always had democracy; it's just a question of how much.



Brother Ran's research methods are spot on!
Gaining a conclusion that is in accordance with reality
But the great shining government will never actively exit the stage of history
Real intellectuals
As of old are still only under “the sun” nipping at each others’ tails
Reminds me that the “Three Represents” are angry—planet earth needs you to represent?
Except for representing your Collective Cruel Crotch [euphemism for Communist Party] selves!
Just like with sending panda bears to Taiwan, all the luck is Taiwan's and not your own citizens’. As well as the right and courage to refuse; mainland intellectuals, pitiful through and through; as for the Collective Cruel Crotch with its various kinds of forced inhuman treatment of you, you've completely lost the right of refusal! You want independent thoughts? You want freedom and democracy? No way!



——”What brain? That's a pile of crap!” If Lenin did say this, then according to him, if people's brains don't need to think, only see the same colors, universal, that would be best! Then our controllers wouldn't need to use such painstaking methods to keep everything under control. Despots fear brain use, don't want big brains…the result of restrictions is: if you ever do put your brain to use, you'll just give rise to ‘factions.’ Every community and department head would do good to keep a pack of obedient knucklehead pigs in tow. Totalitarian control just needs a split to reveal what's behind the facade. Get your share of englightenment and you'll feel there's still so many, so many more things you ought to understand and think about.



才读完 储安平与《观察》不久.储安平先生就说得非常好“国民党领导时民主是多和少的问题,而共产党领导时民主是有和无的问题”,如今大陆与台湾相比,也是有无民主制度与民主制度是否健全的区别.另,冉兄,视右派皆平等甚好,记住他们每一个才可能”明白”我们每一个.期待余下的几段,可惜我那时已经离川,不能亲临读书会.

I just finished reading Chu Anping's ‘Guangcha‘ not long ago. Mr. Chu Anping said it very well: “When Kuomintang led, the democracy was just a question of how much, but while the Communist Party leads, the democracy question is to have it or not?” Comparing today's mainland China with Taiwan, the difference is also between whether or not there's a democratic system and whether or not the democratic system is healthy. Further, Brother Ran, to see equality for the right wing would be great. Remember every single one of them until They understand every one of us. I would have liked to attend the reading group, but by that time I had already left Sichuan, could visit in person.


Blue-Violet Hibiscus


Shocked! Look forward to the next part!



Poor Brother Ran. You've let me see the true road to scholarship; while it may not be written into my this current life, the content of your speech today and your research attitude and methods won't be easily slipped out of my mind.



This is serious, when an essay with conscience can't even lead people to ponder. There are even people posting disgusting advertisements; you can see that people's regression back to animals is quite strong. The pile of crap that Lenin mentioned, except for deviations, might just be bourgeois liberalization, although the fear leaders like him have of deviations may be stronger than that of liberalization. That's why when it's necessary, one can behave like an animal and anaesthetize and prevent deviant thought. Though, what I often see is that true freedom is spiritual, so much more so than primitive animal instinct.


Ran Yunfei


Brother Wild Ghost, of course dictators won't actively back off the stage of history. That's why we must work harder.



The most laughable thing is our education. The Right always seems to be associated with the bad, when the real perpetrators are all on the Left.


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