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Thread: The Cultural Revolution

  1. #21
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    Before I comment more on the guy, does anyone know any way in which the guy in the Tiannanmen square video actually helped China? Or Anyone for that matter?


    Anything direct?

    Anything a little more subtle?

    I understand that self-mutilation is an old form of protest in the east, but I have to say that there are other ways to inspire people other than getting ran over by a tank.

  2. #22
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    i remember seeing something once about a group of beijingers, college students, who were brought in, shown pictures of the tiananmen square incident (including 'tank man'), and very few, if any, could recognize it. this was a while ago. i don't remember specifics, but the program made a connection between the results of their findings and the power and influence of censorship in china.

    personally, i don't really see it as an act of self-mutilation, unless the man knew he was going to be killed.

    and in china, i wonder how one can inspire people when public figures who speak out about government policies, including regular citizens, are quickly arrested, and, in some cases, even hospitalized as mental patients?

  3. #23
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    I assume the guy knew he was going to get owned, which is my reasoning for comparing it to self-mutilation.

    Ones1ng pretty much nailed the issue, if I understand him correctly.

    My problem with things like the TNMSquare video and the person in the video is that while it provides for good entertainment, it goes to show how futile many efforts are to oppose tyranny.

    This guy stands in front of a tank and dies (for reasons which, to be honest, can only be speculated. You don't know if he was being blackmailed to do this by the very government he allegedly "stood up" to...), accomplishes basically nothing but is praised as a hero.

    Bad, bad, bad.

    Its not that people should not oppose tyranny, but they should start being a little smarter. Incindents like TNMS are examples of FAILURE, not success.

    Given the political, technological and social climate in China, you are going to have to do waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than that to bring about any meaingful change or even the slightest message of a desire for it.

    "Heroic" movies like that are interpreted based on how they are presented, and they can work FOR or AGAINST the institution they are aimed at. I would imagine most westerners see the move and get all prideful and stars-and-stripey feeling. But I don't know that the Chinese government can't spin that video (and similar ones) to make him look like a complete imbecil.

    To destroy a complex machine, you need to understand how it works, and you need to know how to get to where you need to get.

    And the worst part of it is that people emulate this idiot. It is the same situaton as with that American girl that got bulldozed in Israel. That was an act of utter stupidity which, to date, has accomplished absolutely nothing. The houses were bulldozed and the conflict has remained essentially the same since. You can't go to the very bottom of the food chain(in this case the bulldozing soldier) and expect to be able to reason with its inhabitants. You need to have the smarts and maneuverability to work your way up and start becoming influential. This is what it is all about; Influence.

    However, while I personally think the girl was a retard (both for her actions and for her simplistic understanding of the situation she attempted to intervene in) I do think she could have made a positive impact if she had she been a little more serious. Unfortunately, ratings talk. And not only in terms of money.

    People want to identify with, to quote Tool, "Someone above a crowd. Someone who seemed to feel the same. Somoene prepared to lead the way and Someone who would die for me..."

    The problem is that the standing in front of tanks/bulldozers or partaking in "courageous" acts of protest.....they are stupid. They are at the very bottom of the food chain, where their influence will count as precisely that- the bottom.

    Most people are willing to sign a petition, hold a picket sign, chant slogans and wave at the camera. But very, VERY few are willing to actually become involved. To become a part of the solution to a very complex struggle that requires you WORK YOUR WAY UP THAT FOOD CHAIN in order for your actions to count for more than ratings. Most peope dont want to do that. They want to raise a family, work at their cozy US-located graphic design job, play their Wii....AND solve international crises as a whim. LOL @ them...on some level the Chinese would be right to put someone like that in the nut-house.

    There is a tendency for "inquisitive" audiences to be content with explanaitions that dig very, VERY deep...into the skin of the issue.

  4. #24
    Onesping hit it directly. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Try to talk to any Chinese about the takeover of Tibet, and you'll start to understand that this is not only a censorship issue, but an educational one as well. Most Chinese are brought up to believe via their schooling that Tibet was always part of China.

    Education can have long lasting effects, especially in the realm of religion...
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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  5. #25
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    The "man in front of tanks" clip was never shown on Chinese TV during Tiananmen Square movement itself. I left China and came to the U.S. in 1991, I had never seen or heard about that clip or that man prior to that point. It is safe to say he was not an actor hired by the Chinese government. I have however seen more recent youtube clips in which Chinese news claimed that this clip captured by Western media actually demonstrated the "extreme mercy and restraint" of the Chinese army towards hooligans.

    I was in junior high at the time of the "June 4th Incident" (what Tiananmen Square movement is known as in China). I was studying in the city of Changchun, provincial capital of Jilin. Even in our city, which was hundreds of miles to the north of Beijing, there was a lot of civil unrest for almost a month. Major streets were picketed and filled with demonstrators. I had to walk to school since buses could not get through. Most university students, many teachers and professors, and even high school students went to the streets in support of the students in the capital, some went a step further and took the trains to Beijing to join the protestors there. There were politically-charged "big letter posters" all over the streets, some of which called for Deng Xiaoping to step down. There were rumors about massacre in Tiananmen Square for months following the government crackdown. Some teachers were forced to leave our school and never heard of again...

    1950's and 1980's were two periods in communist China when idealism ran rampant and political changes could have occurred, both era ended in crackdown, the Cultural Revolution for the former and June Fourth for the latter. In each case the aftermath saw persecution and in some cases murder of many of the country's most brilliant minds, followed by moral decline of a whole generation. Chinese history is cyclical, I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happens again within the next 50 years.

  6. #26
    With the way China is progressing, it will be a lot earlier than fifty years.

    And I see a lot of changes in America's future too. Socialist ones.

    China will become more capitalist. America, the other way.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc View Post
    And I see a lot of changes in America's future too. Socialist ones.
    I hope not. My husband and I are republicans.

  8. #28
    Well, let's hope the Chinese save us then.

    Because the democrats certainly won't LOL...

    (but then again, I'm just a jaded and cynical old guy...)
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

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  9. #29
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    (And by Jaded and Cynical he means Repiblican)

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