A page from the journal of a middle school red guard

September 1966:

Today is a glorious day, I have found my calling in life. The honorable chairman Mao has called upon me, small young me, for an incredibly important task. He has called upon my classmates and myself to over turn the dangerous counter revolutionaries, to bring china back to previous greatness. As chairman Mao said in my precious red book:

“The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you.”

Every time I read his amazing words I am inspired. This is my time, and I will do what needs to be done to serve chairman Mao well, no matter how drastic that task may be.

Me and my classmates have decided to call ourselves red guards. Throughout July and august we have all gotten out our parents old uniforms from the 1949 revolution with broad leather belts, arm bands, and military caps to prove our perfect family background, and our revolutionary purity.

I am over joyed to serve chairman Mao. I read my red book every night, and know in my heart I am doing the most important work in the world.

 

September 1969:

My back hurts, my head hurts, my hand hurts. All day I work and work and work with the peasants. After all my the work I did for chairman Mao, this is where I have ended up.

We were glorious, we were fighting, killing all those that were enemies. And then suddenly, Chairman Mao turned on us. Everyday I rack my brain, trying to think of what we could have possibly done to have him turn on us in this way. We have been sent out to “learn from the peasants”. We basically have been exiled.

At first I was over joyed to go, I saw the posters of the happy boys from the red guards heading out on the next leg of our glorious journey. But more and more I see that I have been abandoned by the Chairman, that we have been sent away to end the “chaos” that we were causing, the very “chaos” that Mao himself demanded from us.

I was involved in an uprising in the Qinghua University in Beijing in the summer of 1968, criticizing authority as I had been taught to do. but then the unthinkable occurred, Chairman Mao ordered troops to stop us! 5 people died! That should have been my first clue, that the red guards were being surprised by the very people they swore to protect.

Every once in a while I still hear news. Lin Bao has been named successor to Chairman Mao. Many of us that have been accused of being “counter-revolutionary” have been sent to the countryside, some have been tortured and banished out of the communist party.

We have been betrayed.

 

September 1976:

This year has been marked with death. The leader that followed Mao, Zhou Enlai has died. When he died I joined the masses to rally in favor of him in april 5th, in Tiananmen square. He was an amazing leader that put the needs of his people before his own. We will always remember him. Our demonstrations of course were suppressed, and I barely escaped with my life.

However that was not the only important death. Chairman Mao died  september 9th, 1976.  There were not protests against his death like when Zhou Enlai died, though we have entered into an extended period of mourning about Mao’s death.  Hua Guofeng has seized power, and the rumor is he will arrest the last four leaders of the Cultural Revolution. They will be claimed for all of Chairman Mao’s mistakes, and he will remain perfect in the eyes of his people.

It makes me sick.

 

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