China: A Century of Revolution II: the Mao Years - Movie Review Example

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Within the first part of the Mao Years (1949 – 1976), as depicted in the documentary, Mao Zedong initially championed the liberation of China with the victory of the Communist Party which the Chinese people celebrated in October, 1949. Hailed as the hero of revolution, Mao…
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China: A Century of Revolution II: the Mao Years
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China: A Century of Revolution II: The Mao Years Within the first part of the Mao Years (1949 – 1976), as depicted in the documentary, Mao Zedong initially championed the liberation of China with the victory of the Communist Party which the Chinese people celebrated in October, 1949. Hailed as the hero of revolution, Mao introduced a kind of government that would replace the former corrupt and incompetent regime which led China to bankruptcy. At this stage, people began hoping that a new communist head of state could direct them to peace, unity, and prosperity.
To Mao, “a just cause is invincible” and by further command of his philosophy, the citizens became idealists that they started fighting for a common ground. Mao and colleagues envisioned a momentous change to transform lives in crucial aspects of social, political, and cultural progress, and to create a strong, modern, and industrialized China. Communism meant political equality for everybody and under which circumstances, people would be masters of the country. In the process, communist reforms appeared to have gone far beyond economic goals, extending even to demonstration which aimed to make women equal with men.
Eventually, the communist state of China via the rule of Mao had enabled people to become organized into work units which provided housing, healthcare, education for everyone. Around this time, the old system of marriage in China was abolished and women acquired the right to marry men based on their individual preferences. Land reforms, however, had been typically made of events characterized by violent confrontations where peasants beat their landlords, exhibiting an act of vengeance on having suffered extreme poverty prior.
Time came when a portion of followers felt a degree of distrust or that the relationship between the party and the masses was not as warm and stimulating as it was before the liberation, as if the two sides were a “thousand of miles” away from each other. During this span, nearly a million people were condemned as “rightists” and sent to jails and prison camps or to work at countryside. The following outbreak of famine lasted for three years and approximately 30 million people died so that most would claim that though Mao’s revolution fought to give Chinese people a better standard of living, it ought to hold responsibility for the creation of the largest famine in history. While the communist government, on the contrary, blamed the catastrophe on floods and drought, in party meetings, officials admitted during party conferences that the severe hunger was significantly due to the established policies.
By 1960-1976, the Great Leap Forward policies had stirred many to express rebellion against the state yet Mao’s reputation remained intact even as he resigned as chairman to lead a quiet life of studying political economy and classics of warfare. In 1963, Mao commenced the final revolutionary act of his political career and encouraged the ‘red guards’ to attack the foreign influences and destroy the old customs, old culture, and old habits. Without such destruction, socialism cannot be achieved and according to Mao: “Revolution is not a dinner party.” Thus, peasants were further instructed by the ‘red guards’ to attack local officials and to search and loot homes of businessmen that nearly 400,000 people were killed and paraded in public.
In April of 1969, Mao’s successor was officially appointed by the National Congress and through his speech, he denounced the U.S. and the Soviet as foreign imperialists and enemies. His act of betrayal, nevertheless, caused majority of communist fanatics to doubt Mao’s infallibility though nobody dared discuss it. When Pres. Nixon arrived in Beijing to revive diplomatic relations of U.S. with China in February 1972, this visit marked an opportunity for the Chinese nation to become an active player in world politics. Read More
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