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To Mao or not to Mao that is the bloody question.
My mother's family also suffered before and after the reunification of
fractious China. With the spliting of China after the fall of the Qing
dynasty, warlord china was an unruly place. The problem with the chinese
system was that it was feudal in a very bad way. The destitute people were
oppressed by the landlords that controlled most of the arable land. To an
extent, Chiang Kai Shek's form of nationalism upheld this system, the gap
between the extremely rich and the destitute was wide.
When Mao's communism came, people thought that his thoughts would relieve
them of their hardships. Infact in the first few years of the creation of
Communist china, its citizens did improve. However at a cost, as could be
seen from the history books, the encouragement of hate against their former
oppressors (the landlords) created a new caste of oppressors, the people's
Most of the ruling communists came not from peasant backgrounds,
butrelatively affluent middle class backgrounds. They took up Marxism
outside of China, Deng Xiaoping used to live for sometime in France... But
the sheer effect of a one party system was to replace a king with another.
(England's Cromwell had a guilty conscience till the day he died at having
to behead a king and then to become the state's figurehead.) The excesses
of the communist era are as much Mao's fault as the people's. Without the
people, Mao would just have been another insinificant figure. People with
grudges were encourage to victimise their fellow citizens, creating a air
of, your either with us or against us.
I believe there was a similar thing in America in the 1950's when
Macarthy-ism was popular. You had the public show trials that ruined many
people's lives. You should not have to look too far into the past of your
regions to find such conflict.
We cannot condone these excesses, but we can learn from them. Whether Mao
is a Hakka, I do not know. There are plenty of people of Hakka descent that
cannot speak Hakka, or have adopted another language, and so cannot
distinguish themselves as being so. If Mao did not publicly go on record as
saying he was Hakka, I think we should leave it as that. Since he did not
acknowledge his roots, he should not be posthumously be given this
For those Hakka amongst us that have been persecuted, it is more reason to
reject the claim than to recieve it with open arms. People in the old days
were struck off clan registers if they had commited any crimes. This was a
safeguard against the state's recognised right by law to execute the
transgressor's immdediate family in all nine generations centered around
the trangressor's own generation. From the transgressor's great great
grandfather to his great great grand children. All innocents but marred by
being his relative. It is extreme, but an incentive for good order in the
past. No record will survive of those struck off. There was no need to
suuly one's illustrious clan registers. Which is why these things, though
valuable in telling us our descent, they are nonetheless one-sided.