你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do / S’mae,
Do I want to know the future? No. It may ruin the present. The past always calls for us. History repeats itself. The trick is to forget time and not follow clock, schedules and guidelines like the rigid forms that are presented to us. For that very same reason, I ate a bowl of Rice Krispies at lunchtime. They snapped, they crackled and then they popped. I’ve always loved cereal. It is my kind of drug.
Today marks the birth of Máo Zedong [毛泽东]. He ruled China for a long time. As the People’s Republic of China came about in 1949, his position as Chairman of the Communist Party of China carred great strength. Maoism, that is, his theories on military strategies, politics and thinking are still strong today. Devoutly nationalist and strongly anti-imperialist in his views, the boy from Sháoshān [韶山] led an interesting upbringing. His birth at a wealthy farm to a stern disciplinarian father he would encounter the odd punishment. He had siblings, two brothers (Máo Zélín毛泽淋 and Máo Zemin毛泽民;) and an adopted sister (Máo Zétán毛泽覃). Máo Zedong [毛泽东] was influenced by the the Xinhai Revolution (1911), the May Fourth Movement (1919) and later at Peking University in his exposure to Marxism–Leninism.
Máo Zedong led the 1927 Autumn Harvest Uprising [秋收起义; Qīushōu Qǐyì] – something which would gather influence to found the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army [中国工农红军Zhōngguó Gōngnóng Hóngjūn]. The Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet [中央革命根據地] state was formed in 1931 until 1934. The Long March followed this period of time. A military retreat would change the fortunes of a fledgling Chinese leader. The raging Chinese Civil War held a hiatus as both the Guómíndǎng [中国国民党] and the Communist Party of China (中国共产党Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng) battled Japanese Forces during World War II. For four more years following the war’s end, the civil war resumed. Máo Zedong eventually forced a retreat of the opposition to what is known by many as Taiwan.
The Great Leap Forward [Dà Yuèjìn大跃进] followed in 1957 giving industry to the people of a mainly agicultural land. As England’s football team lifted the World Cup in national football, China began the Cultural Revolution. Only in 1972, did China open a largely-closed doors to the western world. Máo Zedong met with American President Richard Nixon. In 1976, Chairman Máo died of a heart attack. He had led a life rich in poetry, intellectual debate, military strategies, and as a visionary. He drove imperialism from the lands of China. He started a modernisation of lands. He changed a fractured nation into a world power. He promoted the status of women, improved education and health care. The population of China erupted from 550 million or so to a whopping 900 million people. Life expectancy in China soared considerably. His influence and footnote in history is far-reaching.
Chairman Máo remains one of the most important and influential individuals in contemporary world history. Not bad for someone who once had an ambition to be a school teacher. He changed jobs and ambitions in his early years. The ‘end justifies the means’ yet his brain sought better and more knowledge. His interest in war procedures gave him a view of the Great War ravaging Europe. He developed a sense of solidarity with workers. His world opened-up when he moved to Beijing and became exposed to the bigger picture. Over the early years he travelled, witnessed deaths of close friends and family. Lambasting the governments of Japan, UK and US became normal practice. In the 1920’s he sought to work with the Guómíndǎng [中国国民党] and supported the then National Revolutionary Army in their campaigns to rid the land of warlords.
‘Revolution is not a dinner party, nor an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.’ – Mao, February 1927
Politically very confusing times arose following Sun Yat-sen’s [Yìxiān孫中山] death in May 1925. I’ve tried to understand Máo Zedong [毛泽东], his history and the formation of People’s Republic of China. It isn’t easy. I think i need to read more… and there is plenty to be read. This is what I decided to read when I couldn’t watch Morecambe and Wise today.
Enjoy the ramining five days of 2018. Happy Boxing Day, St Stephen’s Day, Wren Day, and Mummer’s Day.
再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye / Hwyl Fawr