The People’s Republic of China, an American’s Perspective.

After a merely a day or two in China, the patriotic fervor that has gripped the people has become inescapable. Whether it be the masses of people or the ubiquity of the red books they carry, the enthusiasm is striking. But what makes this zeal even more remarkable is the fact that within the last decade the people of China were victims of a famine that was the result of poor government policies, that, ironically enough, were dependent upon the people’s support and enthusiasm. Chairman Mao forced industrialization in rural areas that resulted in a drastic drop in agricultural production. Yet the people seem to be behind Mao now, more than ever. At first this notion is confusing, disturbing almost. But to truly understand the feelings of the people, one must first observe the recent actions of the government. The Chinese government has been determined to regain the support of the people after the disastrous mistake that was “The Great Leap Forward.” Communist propaganda is played constantly on both the radio and the television. Such programming includes songs that feature lyrics such as “Wherever there is a struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence. But we have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart,” and a television show that simply consists of images of Chairman Mao as the sun. Whether or not the people truly buy into the message of their government is hard to determine, as fear of execution or re-education by labor may well be the reason of many’s participation. But whatever the case, Chairman Mao is succeeding in instilling a feeling of revolutionary justice in the people, as students rise up against teachers and the ways of old are abandoned by many. The manipulation of the people by the communists is a rather frightening truth. It is times like this when Americans should really appreciate their freedom.

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