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China: Victims of China's Cultural Revolution, your stories can always be blogged (3/4)

Currently unable in today's political climate to have his years of research into the stories of those persecuted as right wing elements during China's ultra-left Cultural Revolution published, blogger-journalist Ran Yunfei (冉云飞) has since found an outlet in his blog. Last month he gave a lecture on his findings in a Chengdu teahouse, the transcript of which he then posted online. In this third installment, Ran answers questions from the audience, which included several well-known victims of the anti-right movement as well as the children of some unknown victims. Ran looks at the other labels with which people were once persecuted, mentions others doing research similar to his, and calls on people to try some research blogging of their own, starting with their own families’ stories.

萧赛老先生:
感谢冉云飞先生把他一生当中最宝贵的时间拿出来研究右派,很难得。据不完全统计,全国五十五万右派,或者说四川有十多万右派。我想这些右派分子都应该感谢冉云飞先生。(鼓掌)
如果加上右派分子的家属,怕不是五十五万,那有一百万以上,都应该感谢冉云飞先生。(鼓掌)我只代表我全家四世同堂的七口人感谢冉云飞先生。我的话完了。(鼓掌)

Mr. Xiao Sai (萧赛):
I'm very thankful that Mr. Ran Yunfei has spent the the best years of his life in researching the right wing, something very rare. According to incomplete statistics, there were 550,000 right wingers nationally and over 100,000 in Sichuan. I think all these right wingers ought to thank Mr. Ran Yunfei. (applause)
If one includes right wingers’ family members, I'm afraid it wouldn't be just 550,000, but well over a million. All of whom ought to thank Mr. Ran Yunfei. (applause) I only represent seven people over four generations of my family. I've finished speaking. (applause)

张新泉:
我们国家关于右派研究我有个感觉现在算是正式开始了。其实这个还研究迟了。如果不是有冉云飞这样的有心人把这个学科(我说它是学科是太轻松了,但它应该是一个学科吧,而这个学科可能只有中国才有)进行了研究,我认为是很有意义的。我觉得如果不把意义搞清楚,作为一个合格的现代人是不会去做的。这是第一个感觉。第二个我说明一下,我被开除出校的年龄是十五岁多不到十六岁,我没有去调查过我是不是全国最小的。我因为当时只是初中生,所以没有享受戴帽的“待遇”,但是被开除以后是享受正宗的右派“待遇”。一共有二十年,我的履历非常简单,被开除以后就到了社会底层流浪了二十年。所在在作协里面至今有人叫我张铁匠。我打过铁,拉过船,当过码头搬运,。。。死过若干次。还有二十年就是在当文学编辑,后来给冉云飞同事,在作家协会拿钱,吃饭。

Zhang Xinquan (张新泉):
I feel that research into our country's right wing has only just begun. Even so, it's started late. If it weren't such a benevolent and determined person like Ran Yunfei carrying out research of this subect (and subject is too light a word, but it should be a subject! A subject that maybe only China would have), I think that would be very significant. I think if we don't figure out the significance of this, we wouldn't be qualified to go on living as modern people. This is my first thought. The second I'll have to explain. When I was kicked out of school I was just fifteen, hadn't yet reached sixteen. I didn't go and investigate to see if I was the youngest in the country. Because at the time I was still in junior high school, I didn't get get my share of any stigmatization, but it was after being kicked out that I got my share of authentic right wing ‘treatment’. All together there were twenty years where my curriculum vitae was extremely short. After I got kicked out I ended up bumming around society's lower classes for twenty years. Even to this day some people in the Writers Association call me Blacksmith Zhang. I've hammered steel, rowed boats, waited for transport jobs down at the wharf…died like a thousand times. Then there were the twenty years I worked as a literature editor, when I would take money from the Writers Association and go out and eat with Ran Yunfei.

冉云飞是我的作家朋友里面真正是把作家和学者两样修养集于一身的人,我的作家朋友当中有些人很能够写文章,但他的文字里面没有思考,没有思想。而冉云飞是把写作和思考集于一身的人,我今天听到他说的这些我简直不相信他又在搞这个名堂了。他搞了很多事,每次他送我书我都会感叹一番,因为我也年轻过,尽管现在我比他年长,但他却做了这么多事。这些事表面上看象他说的是为了养家糊口,但我觉得他做这些事是有利于国家有利于民族的,也是有利于我们成为一个真正的人的事情,很重要,是一个善莫大焉,也是功莫大焉的事情。我就说这些了,谢谢大家。(鼓掌)

Ran Yunfei is the only writer friend I know that could be called both a writer and a scholar. Some of my writer friends can write great articles, but they don't do much consideration, much thinking. But Ran Yunfei this person can both write and think. But hearing what he's spoken of today, I simply didn't believe he could have such positive results. He's done a lot of things, and every time he brings me a book all I can do is sigh. Because I was young once, although I'm older than him now, and he's done so many things. At first glance these things appear like he says, done in order to raise a family and feed mouths, but I think these things he's done benefit the nation and benefit the people, as well as helping us in becoming whole people. Very important. It's a coming to amends, and a successful one. I'll leave it at that. Thanks, everybody. (applause)

陈志强:
我来说一点,我们这一代人在反右的时候才几岁,对于反右的这种斗争基本上没有亲身经历过,而只从老一辈的讲话中知道一些。比如我认识流沙河先生的时候就是在七一年。那时我们高中到川化,川化离城乡很近,我们就听到师傅说城乡有个大右派在劳改,叫流沙河。那时七一年还是有军管会,我们偷偷跑到那里去看流沙河,只看到一个黑不溜秋,瘦瘦的一个人在那里搬木头,他们就告诉我们这就是流沙河,是因为写《草木篇》遭了的。那个时候我才对右派有了一个感性的认识。但我们没有去打搅他,因为我们都是学徒工,都在接受工人阶级再教育,我们有什么资格去安慰别人呢?大家也就是看过几眼就走了。这件事后来我给流沙河老师讲过,他也有同感。

Chen Zhiqiang (陈志强):
I'll just say a bit. This generation of ours were just kids at the time of the anti-right movement, and didn't go through the anti-right these kinds of struggles ourselves. We only know a little from listening to what the older generations have to say. For example, I met Mr. Liu Shahe in 1971. At that time we were in high school in Chuanhua, not that far from where the city turned into countryside. We heard there was a prominent right winger undergoing labor reform there called Liu Shahe. In 1971 there were still military patrols. We snuck out to go see Liu Shahe. We saw a dark, very skinny person there hauling wood. They told us that was Liu Shahe, suffering for his work ‘Vegetation‘. At that time I just had an inkling of what a rightist was, but we didn't go disturb him. Because we were just apprentices, had only received a proletarian education. What qualified us to go comfort someone like that? We just looked for a bit and then left. I eventually mentioned this to Teacher Liu Shahe, and he sympathized.

我现在只讲一个问题,就是刚才冉云飞老师讲的这个问题,我觉得他有一点还没有说到,这也是我后来想到的。我有一个叔叔,虽然他不是右派,他却在反右斗争中被打成坏分子,我们过去不是听说过地、富、反、坏、右吗?这个坏分子的档案一直跟着我叔叔的儿女们走过来的。致使我叔叔的儿女们都没有入团入党的,就是因为他们父亲头上有这个坏分子的帽子。我就想问一下冉云飞老师,在反右斗争中这个坏分子是属于哪一类的,是不是比右派分子还要坏?我那个叔叔还是一个教书先生,就是因为当时说了一句出格的话,“说双季稻种拐了,弄得农民没有吃的”,就是因为这一句话就被打成了坏分子。而叔叔的儿女们就为了这一句话背了一辈子的黑锅。现在也没有听到说给坏分子摘帽子的话,只是说摘右派分子的帽子,而坏分子的帽子是不摘的。他一辈子都是坏分子。在那个地、富、反、坏、右中的坏还没有听到过平反的,所以我问冉老师这是不是个历史的遗留问题。经历过文革的人都知道,当时有黑五类、麻五类,黑七类,那时我就知道这个坏是一个非常严重的罪名。关于这点我翻了很多书,也翻了文革中的,但关于坏分子都没有一个确切的定论。关于右派们吗还给平反了嘛,坏分子平反没呢,没有平。所以我觉得地、富、反、坏、右中的“坏”值得大家研究,除了研究右派分子,我们还要研究坏分子,这个坏分子也是极左思潮的一个反映。好我讲完了。

There's only one problem I'll speak too, one that Teacher Ran Yunfei just brought up but I feel still hadn't gotten around to, that only occurred to me afterwards. I have an uncle, and although he's not right wing, he was still cast as a ‘bad element’ during the struggles of the anti-right movement. In the past haven't we heard the line ‘land, rich, reactionary, bad, right? This ‘bad element’ record carried on down to my uncle's children. Stopping them from being able to join the Youth League or the Communist Party was the ‘bad element’ hat worn on their father's head. So I'd just like to ask Teacher Ran Yunfei how ‘bad element’ would have been classified in the struggles of the anti-right movement. Would it have been worse than a rightist? That uncle of mine was a teacher and it was just because of one thing he said, “two seasons of rice crops have been lost, farmers have nothing to eat,” that he was cast as a ‘bad element.’ Just because of one sentence, my uncle's children had to live with a stained reputation their whole lives. Now I never hear talk of the wearing of a bad element ‘hat,’ just that of a right wing ‘hat.’ And the bad element hat is never removed. He was a bad element for life. Of those ‘land, rich, reactionary, bad, right’ labels, only the ‘bad’ remain to be rehabilitated. That's why I ask Teacher Ran, is this a case of being left behind by history? People who lived through the Cultural Revolution will all remember the major categories of bad elements at the time, from which I myself knew just how serious an accusation ‘bad’ was. I've gone through many books on this, including those on the Cultural Revolution, but there's no firm and all-encompassing final word on what ‘bad element’ includes. Right wing elements have seen closure and restitution, but have bad elements? They haven't. That's why I think of ‘land, rich, reactionary, bad and right,’ ‘bad’ is still worth people to look into. Aside from doing research into the right wing, we could still look at bad elements. This ‘bad element’ is also a reflection of ultra-left thinking. Okay, I've finished speaking.

冉云飞回答:
现在关于地、富、反、坏、右中的坏分子这些,包括可以教育好的子女啊。我有一个朋友,也可以说是著名作家、学者了,这个人叫林贤治,他是一个广州人,在广州这样的土地上也还是比较稀少的,在我们中国土地上也比较稀少。这个人没读过什么书(我是指学历),走到今天,研究鲁迅,研究知识分子,都有自己的特点 。前两年《南方周末》请我和王怡去,他就说云飞,给我提供点资料,我问他要做什么,他说他要编本书,叫《可以教育好的子女》。但现在还没有出来,我估计资料已经准备好了,但是可能出不来。关于“坏分子”这个说法,现在的所有辞条都是没有的,都没有写出来。因为我收了很多旧的辞典,因为受谢泳先生的影响,我喜欢收集这些东西,收了很多辞书,比如说民国时候各式各样的辞典,四九年以后各式各样的辞典,在1958年出版的新知识辞典当中就有右派分子,但确实没有找到坏分子这个词,我至今为止没有找到关于这个坏分子的解释,也没有一个固定的说法,确实是比较难。关于坏分子的概念非常宽泛,有些甚至是经济问题被弄成坏分子,有些是政治问题弄成坏分子,有些是男女关系问题弄成坏分子。因为我手上收到一个检举资料,里面写的就是坏分子某某乱搞男女关系,我就收到过这种资料。所以我觉得关于坏分子的定义就是比较宽泛,确实是值得研究的。我还可以这样说,四九年以后的很多东西都是值得研究的,光是其中一项就可以做无数个博士论文,出无数部专著。(鼓掌)

Ran Yunfei responds:
I have a friend who could be said is a well-known writer and scholar. This person's name is Lin Xianzhi, a native of Guangzhou. In places like Guangzhou people like like him are few and far between, but the same could be said for all of China. This person hasn't read much (as in education), but jumping forward to today, he's now doing research into Lu Xun and intellectuals, has developed his own specialty. Two years ago Southern Weekend invited Wang Yi and myself down to Guangzhou. Yunfei, Lin asked, can you give me some information? I asked what it was he wanted to do, he said he was writing a book called ‘The Children Who Can Still Be Taught [a term for those children from politically uncorrect families who it was believed could still be ‘taught’].’ But now it still hasn't come out. I imagine all the information has been prepared already, but that it may never come out. Regarding this term ‘bad element,’ there are no agreed-upon meanings, none haven't ever been written down. Because of having been influenced by Mr. Xie Yong, I've collected many old dictionaries, I like collecting these things; dictionaries dating back to the Republic of China, for example and post-1949 dictionaries of all shades and stripes. In the New Intellectuals’ Dictionary published in 1958, ‘right wing’ can be found, but without a doubt ‘bad element’ cannot. Until today I've been unable to find an explanation for what ‘bad element’ means; difficult for sure. The concept of what constitutes a bad element is extremely broad. Some people were painted as bed elements for economic reasons, some for political reasons, and some just for having sex. Here in my hand I have information from one person's file, inside is written that ‘bad element’ so-and-so got carried away in his sexual affairs. I've received this these kinds of reports, that's why I also feel the definition of ‘bad element’ is quite broad, but one definitely worth looking into. And I could also say this: many post-1949 things are quite worth researching. Even just one item could be used to write countless doctoral theses, create countless specializations. (applause)

XXX女士:
刚才听了冉云飞老师讲的“关于右派研究”,我认为中国大陆的知识分子,特别是作家,他们负有很大的责任,这个责任是不可推卸的。特别是丛维熙的大墙系列,和张贤亮的《牧马人》等,这些东西在当时看到时还觉得没有什么不对,但是它确实有一种混淆视听的作用。特别是丛维熙的“血流黄河静无声”,都是写的被打成右派以后怎么样在那种艰苦的环境中,在那种劳改农场里面很艰苦的故事,但最后他全部把它变成一种对党和政府非常盼望的感觉,好象人性也好,爱情也好,在对党的感觉面前都是不值一提的。当时我看这些书时还很年轻,我看这些书的时候出的书还不是很多,还没有现在这么宽泛的选择。当时我就觉得丛维熙的东西不可能有很长久的生命力。后来他好象有一部小说叫《走向混沌》吧,已经不忍卒读了。我十分反感他在里面的一些提法,好象是在最后摘帽时感觉自己确实是错了的,只是母亲在教育孩子时打错了。这是一个很大的混淆视听的一个说法,我就谈这点粗浅的算法。(鼓掌)

Ms. X:
I've just heard Teacher Ran Yunfei's lecture on doing research into the right wing, and I think that many Chinese mainland intellectuals, especially writers, bear a very large responsibility, and this responsibility is not one that can be shirked. Like with Cong Weixi's Great Wall series and Zhang Xianliang's ‘Horse Herder,’ etc. I didn't see anything extraordinarily wrong with these at the time I read them, but I definitely felt that they serve to mislead people. Especially with Cong Weixi‘s ‘The Blood-streaming Huanghe River is Silent,’ his portrayal of the tough environment those once cast as right wing found themselves and the tough tales from within the labor reform farms. But then in the end he completely turns around and comes out with a sense of still having hope for the Party and the government. Whether that be humanism or love, the sentiments he displays towards the Party don't seem to make sense. I read these books when I was quite young, and there weren't many such books around then, choices weren't as vast as they are today. At the time I felt there was no way Cong Weixi's works would be around for very long. Later I think he came out with a novel called ‘Moving Towards Confusion,’ and I couldn't stand to finish reading it. I'm greatly disturbed by some of the ways he deals with certain things in that book, like when he says he finally had his rightist ‘hat’ [label] officially removed, he felt like it must have all been his fault, that his parents made a mistake when ‘educating’ him. This way of putting things greatly misleads people. I just wanted to mention this superficial estimation. (applause)

冉云飞:
关于被整的人与执政党之间的关系,你刚才说得很好。中国的知识分子,中国的老百姓都非常善良,我前两天写的《政府越无耻,百姓越感动》其实就是这个意思。他分析不到,他已经被伟大、光荣、正确洗脑洗了五十年,已经僵化了。在我那篇文章后面的跟贴当中,四百多条中也有四五个人说你还是要理解政府嘛。我说老百姓够理解政府的了,但是政府确实不够理解老百姓。我告诉你,这种关系是一种契约关系,契约关系是什么,就是我纳了税,你就必须为我办事。我就说这个政府很多时候的做法就相当于一个土匪,我纳了税他不仅不帮我反而比我凶,你说是不是土匪。比如我交了五十块钱,你不仅不办事还要整我,你说你心头恼火不恼火,你会不会窝火?我告诉你政府是不可以自己直接生产钱币的,他所谓的人民币必须要得到人民的认可,人民不认可它它就是一张废纸。而我告诉你,那怕你今天来喝这杯茶,这杯茶是五元钱,很多人就说这个税是茶楼纳的,我告诉你茶楼不可能为你交税,是我们自己在交,我们每一个人都在纳税,每一天都在纳税,连街上的乞丐都在纳税。所以说我们纳税了,你就应该办事,就这么简单。你必须做,如果你不做,你就不合法,你政府的合法性何在?

Ran Yunfei:
Regarding the relationship between those who were purged and the ruling Party, you've just put it very well. China's intellectuals and China's citizens are all very nice and good. My article of just two days ago, “The more shameless the government gets, the more moved the people get,” made just this point. He can no longer tell the difference. He's been brainwashed by the great, glorious and all-knowing for fifty years and now he can't change. Attached to the end of that post of mine are over four hundred comments, four to five of which say I don't understand the government. I say the common people understand the government just fine. It's the government that doesn't understand the people. I'll tell ya, this kind of relationship is an indentured relationship. That is, ‘I've paid my taxes, now you must do things for me.’ To that I say that many times, this government's actions are just like those of a bandit's. I pay my taxes and not only does the government not help me, but instead becomes hostile. You tell me, is or isn't that a bandit? For example, I pay fifty yuan and not only do you not do anything in return, but you tell me not to step out of line. Wouldn't that burn you? Wouldn't you get ticked off? I'll tell you, the government cannot print its own money. It's so-called ‘people's money’ [lit. renminbi] must earn the people's recognition. If the people don't recognize it, it's nothing more than a piece of scrap paper. Even if you were today to go drink a cup of tea, and this cup of tea costs five yuan, many people would say the tax on that would be paid by the teahouse. But do you know that a teahouse cannot pay tax on your behalf? We have to pay it on our own. Everybody pays taxes, we pay them every single day. Even the beggar on the street pays taxes. That's why I say, ‘we pay our taxes, you should do your jobs.’ As simple as that. They must do their jobs, and if they don't, then they're acting illegally. Where's your governmant's validity at?

同样我说转来,所谓的母亲打我,再打都是我的母亲,我说这些比喻都是不伦的,都是无耻的。执政者就执政者,母亲就是母亲,这完全是两回事,我说句老实话,用党来比喻母亲,用政权来比喻母亲,那是对母亲的最大亵渎。很多知识分子他没有弄清楚,比如《血落黄河静无声》《绿化树》也好,等等一系列的反右小说,这些人都是得其皮毛,就象刚才那位女士说的,这些人不可能是伟大的,这些人怎么能写出象索尔任尼琴那样的作品。因为他不够伟大,他没有思想,他很平面,他只不过是得一时的欢呼和宠爱而已。

Looking at it from a different angle, so-called ‘mother beats me time and again.’ I'm speaking metaphorically, there's no basis. Those in power are those in power, mothers are just mothers, completely separate things. To tell the truth, using mother to represent the Party, to represent those in power, that's about as big a blasphemy I could come up with, but something that many intellectuals still haven't figured out, whether one's speaking of ‘Blood-streaming Huanghe River is Silent,’ ‘Greening Trees’ or any of the series of anti-right novels. These people have just the most superficial of knowledge. Just like that young woman said, these people will never be great, will never be able to write like Solzhenitsyn did. Because they're not grand enough, no thoughts of their own. They're too flat. They've won fifteen minutes of cheer and doting and nothing more.

事实上我可以这样讲,这个反右实际上是你剥夺我一系列权利,一系列人权的问题,对不对?不要说我们今天还生活得不好,生活得还不体面,这也是人权得不到伸张的问题。从这个意义上讲,你哪怕是迫害我一个小时,我也要反抗,因为那是我的权利,所以我们要记住,不管是被打成右派,还是没打成右派,比如说我,我没被打成右派,我的家人中也没有被打成右派的,我为什么要研究右派?就是因为在这样一块土地上,你要开玩笑也好,你要嬉笑怒骂也可以,但是你身上还是要有点严肃的东西,有点自省的精神,才能做一个有骨气的知识分子。在这一点上要反省我们这个右派的历史,文革的历史,包括一系列苦难的历史。我们不可忘记,象远宏说的我们做这一切的目的,就是要让历史开口。当然这一切批评共产党的目的,批评这个执政党的目的,说句老实话,我不是为了报仇,也不是为了血洗,不是为了重新来个暴力,这个我是不赞同的。我希望这个社会能够渐进改良,我向来都是如此说的。所以我们做的这些研究是为了让共产党将来经过改良,从一党独裁变成多党竞争。让这个社会进入民主社会,当然你也许会说我冉云飞太书生气十足了,但你看胡适先生那么伟大,他也这样讲道,就是知识分子一直要有独立的批判精神,要有独立的精神,要有独立的人格。我们普通老百姓也应该是这样,你是独立的自己,不可以随便地附和谁,就象刚才说的皮毛论,根本就不是他皮上的毛,我就是我。你也不是皮,我也不是毛,所以我觉得刚才那位女士的反省非常好。谢谢(鼓掌)

I can explain it thus: this anti-right movement has actually deprived us of several of our rights, our human rights, hasn't it? Don't tell me that our lives today are still bad, without dignity. The problem is that human rights aren't being promoted. Speaking on the significance of this, if you persecute me for even just one hour, I'm going to resist. Because that's my right. That's why we must remember this, no matter if you've been cast as a right wing or not. Take me, for example. I wasn't cast as right wing, and neither was anyone in my family. Why then would I want to go and research it? Because in a place like this, whether you want to joke, have fun or start an argument, that's okay. But you must still retain a certain amount of seriousness, a sort of introspective energy, if you are to be called an intellectual with backbone. Here we must reflect on our right wing history, the Cultural Revolution's history, including the harder parts. We can never forget. Like Yuan Hong said, our goal in doing all this, is to let history speak. Of course, our goal in criticizing the Communist Party, in criticizing those in power, to tell you the truth, I'm not out for revenge. I'm not out for blood, and not out for renewed violence. This I do not condone. I hope that this society can slowly improve for the better, I've been saying this all along. We do this research so that in the future the Communist Party will be able to improve for the better, move from one party dictatorship to multiparty competition. To let this society become a democratic society. Of course, you may say that I, Ran Yunfei, have my head stuck way too far in some book. But if you look at someone as great as Mr. Hu Shi, he makes the same points, that intellectuals must always have a critical independent spirit, an independent character. Us common folk should too. You are your independent self, must not casually go along with anybody. Just like the skin and hair [superficial] ideas just mentioned. Just like the hair on your skin, you are yourself. You're not skin and I'm not hair. That's why I feel that woman just now's reflections are extremely good. Thank you. (applause)

余先生:
刚才冉云飞说的评反呢,我知道得不确切,但是右派分子的改正通知书我是看到过的,因为我爸就有一个。为什么要这样说,911的时候,他到我这儿来耍,看到飞机撞大楼了,就非常高兴,作欢呼状,我在后面看了非常惊诧。因我父亲不是农民也不是工人,他是川大毕业的,是学法律的,而一个学法律的人有这种表现,我真的感到很奇怪。从此以后我和他的语言就很少了。每一次他到成都来我都很少给他交流。他到我这里来看到我看的书大吃一惊。他被打成右派也是有几个原因,第一是他当过几年兵,当过青年军,他是在高中的时候就参军了。第二家里是地主,就是这两点,当时对右派的界定就有这两条嘛,历史上有问题,家庭出身不好的。当然也给他弄了个现行的理由,就是因为他说了一句话,主观主义的他觉得不好。就被打成了右派。

Mr. Yu:
Just now you mentioned political rehabilitation. While I may not be clear on everything, I have seen a rightists’ rectification notice, because my dad has one. Why do I mention this? During 9-11 he was staying with me. When he saw the airplane strike the tower, he was extremely happy, cheering. Standing behind, I was extremely surprised to see this. Becuase my father is not a peasant or a manual laborer. He graduated from Sichuan University, studying law. And to see a lawyer have this kind of response, I felt was really strange. Since then him and I haven't talked much. Every time he comes to Chengdu I don't spend much time with him. When he came to my home and saw all my books he was shocked. There were several reasons he was cast as a rightist, the first being that he had spent several years in the army as a young soldier during senior high school. Second was that his family were landowners. Just these two. At the time the right wing was limited to just these two conditions, a problem in your history or being born into a bad family. Of course they gave him an actual reason, something that he had once said, that he though subjectivity was bad, and that got him cast as a rightist.

冉云飞:
刚才这位先生讲的个案很有意思,其实我觉得你不应该疏离自己的父亲。第一首先对父亲要有爱,第二我说的这爱不是一个抽象的,所以你要理解他。他真是被洗脑洗得很凶,但你不能因为他被洗脑洗得很凶你就产生一种智力上的优越感,而是要让他慢慢地意识到他被洗了。比如说象我们现在发表文章,你觉得老百姓被洗脑了,你发表文章要开导他恢复正常的见解和正常的看法,我确实认为共产党洗脑是相当厉害的。比如说他们看到这些文章,看到这些真话,可以说会被吓得屁滚尿流,会说,呵哟,赶快走开,冉云飞讲那种话,把我吓得半死,绝对不会在后面跟帖。有些人一打开我的博客看见就吓倒了,说怎么那么凶啊。有些老百姓,比如说就象你爸,他有文化底子,你如果给他讲这样的情形,我认为他将来就会有所改变。这个社会里很多人想一蹴而就,不要采取这种思维方法,因为什么事都不可能一蹴而就。我们要渐进的,慢慢地做事情。

Ran Yunfei:
The case that this man just spoke of is very interesting. Actually, I don't think you should distance yourself from your father. First off, one must love one's father. Second, this love of which I speak isn't abstraction. That's why you should try and understand him. He's been brainwashed something terrible, but you can't let his having been brainwashed give rise to a sense of superior intelligence over him. You must let him slowly realize he's been brainwashed. I definitely believe that brainwashing carried out by the Communist Party is quite severe. For example, if they see these articles, heard the things I actually say, you could say it would scare them shitless. They might say, ‘Ah! Get this out of here! Ran Yunfei's talk like this scares me half to death.’ They definitely won't be leaving any comments. Some people, when they open my blog, get scared. ‘How could he speak so strongly?’ Some common folk, just like your father, have lower culture. If you talk to him like this, I believe later on he'll start to change. Some people in this society like to see things happen all at once. Don't pick up on this way of thinking. Because this change can't take place right away. We need to take things one at a time, slowly effect change.

我觉得你父亲的经历你把它单独写出文章,会是非常漂亮的,因为我觉得这是一个很好的个案,它具有某种意义上的代表性,我希望余先生能将你父亲打成右派的经历做一个口述笔录或什么样的纪实。他作回忆你就记录下来,包括他对九一一的态度,你都如实地记录下来,不做评价,把评价留给别人。这样做出来的史料非常好,因为史料有一种非常大的价值,也有一种伟大的力量,它不亚于你发表观点。刚才说了,让历史开口,他不亚于你赤膊上阵地批评共产党。我向各位推荐我很喜欢很佩服的朋友谢泳先生的书。他的书基本上都能出来,但我的一些朋友余杰也好,王怡也好很多书都不能在大陆出版,因为他是走的史料派的路子。他把史料挖掘出来,他把共产党和国民党进行对比。他并不多说什么,但是你看史料的人只要不是傻子,只要你有一般人的正常的智商,你就可以分辨出来,说原来国民党时期真的是很自由啊。他不用这个结论,只是这样实录出来。我也不是说余杰王怡的方式不好,很好,非常好!我只是说还有另外一种方式,因为这种方式更适合于很多普通人。

I think you should write your father's experiences down. It would make for very beautiful writing. Because I think this is a great case. It has a certain significant representative nature. I hope, Mr. Yu, that you can record your father's narration of his experiences as having been cast as a rightist in some form or another. He thinks back and you can record it down, including his attitude towards 9-11. You could faithfully record it down, without adding your own judgements, leave the judging for other people. Producing historical documents such as this is great. Because historical documents have extremely high value, as well as great strength. It's nothing worse than publishing one's point of view. Like I just said, letting history speak. It's nothing less than going nakedly into battle criticizing the Communist Party. I recommend to everybody the book of the friend I like and admire so greatly, Mr. Xie Yong. His book could pretty much come out now, unlike some of my friends such as Yu Jie and Wang Yi, whose books can't be published on the mainland, because they go down the path of history. Their books dig up historical documents and compare the Communist Party with the Kuomintang. They don't actually say much themselves, but as long as the person reading the historical documents isn't an idiot, as long as you have an average intellect, you can tell that they're saying how much freedom there was in the previous Kuomintang era. They don't need this conclusion, they just let the facts speak for themselves. I'm not saying that Yu Jie's and Wang Yi's methods are bad. No, they're very good. Extremely good! I'm just saying there's another way, one that's suitable to so many more people.

这种话怎么讲呢?因为很多普通人要批评这个社会要批评这个政党,第一他有很多顾虑,第二他的道德勇气不够,第三他缺乏各方面相应的支持。所以我说你就作见证历史的工作,你就做中国历史中发生的很多灾难事件的见证者。你不一定要写余杰王怡那样非常精彩的战斗檄文,也许你能力不够,也许你勇气不够,也许你的道德勇气不够,但是你可以提供史料嘛,你用史料来说话,这样的史料越多,越给王怡余杰这样的人提供炮弹,让他们来总结,因为他们可能看得更深,这是很好的一个方式。千万不要小看自己的经历和自己父辈的经历,和自己身边的右派。比如廖亦武就是典型的,从这些最底层的当中抽出的这些东西,比如《冤案访谈录》《底层访谈录》》《冤狱访谈录》,他就是从这些非常基础的东西做起。所以我说凡是对一个社会也好,使这个社会进步也好,你首先从你的父亲的右派经历着手,你把它弄出来,这就是你能做的最好的事情。

How can I put this? Because a lot of common folk want to criticize this society, want to criticize this party, but right off the bat they have a lot of apprehension. Second, they're not morally brave enough. Third, they're lacking the various aspects of relevant support. That's why I say if you do historical testimony work, you're acting as a witness to many tragic events that took place in China's history. You don't necessarily need to write wonderful calls to arms such as those written by Yu Jie and Wang Yi, you might not have that ability, or you might not be that brave. Maybe you don't have the moral courage. But what you do have is the chance to supply historical documents. You can use historical documents as your voice. The more historical documents there are, the more ammunition people like Wang Yi and Yu Jie have. Let them summarize. Because they might have a deeper perspective, this is one good method. Never ever downplay the significance of your own experiences and those of your parents’ generation, as well as those rightists in your life. Liao Yiwu, for example, is a classic example. From these lowest of the lower classes can still be found books like his. He started from the most basic things and worked up. That's why I say no matter which society, seeing it improve is a good thing. First off you can start with your parents’ experiences with the right wing and write that down. This is the best thing that any of you can do.

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