Communism in China as we know has played a major role in the countries political system over the past century. Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao were the co-founders of the communist party in 1921. At the time China was in a world or turmoil ever since the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. For 10 years China was lost in a world with new ideas coming from all over the world. At the time, Duxiu and Dazhao saw an opportunity to bring change throughout a weakened China and they exploited it.
The communist influence being brought by them and powers such as Russia influenced the Chinese way of thinking that Communism had new beliefs of the world and that all people should be seen as equal under the new government. Personally I am a very strong believer in a Democratic government such as America’s where everyone has there freedom. If I were living in China at the time, I would have fought for my rights especially after reading Dragon’s Village which has given me more insight into why I despise communist beliefs so much.
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On October 1, 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China where Communism finally reigned supreme. The Chinese people might have been declared a communist nation, but many decided to fight against the new ideals brought about the country. In the book The Dragon’s Village, gives a great account of what it was like making the transition from the old China into the new communist run China. Yuan-Tsung Chen who wrote the autobiography during the transitional time stated “That’s just another way of making war. Both are trying to win people over to their side. Several of our friends have been approached by…uh…certain persons.
Quite a few are talking to both sides while they make their plans. ” (Dragon5) This shows how the people were split between there different beliefs and what they wanted or should I say forced to do. Communism wasn’t loved throughout China at the time, but it was an idea and the communist leaders used this idea to gain control of China. The resistance stood though and many Chinese who didn’t believe in the communist ideas fought for their beliefs and their country. Shanghai at the time was a major city not influenced by communism yet and as Chen states many Chinese wanted to keep it that way. The Guomindang generals left in charge of Shanghai declared that they would defend the city to the death. Their army dug itself into trenches before the city. Inside the city, police and army patrols kept order and a curfew was imposed from dark to early dawn. ” (Dragon16) The people were fighting the new ideas, because they didn’t want to be controlled under this communist party they boasted was so great. They wanted to be free men and women who weren’t controlled by the communist party. Unfortunately they weren’t able to hold the communist army off and eventually the communists took control of China.
Even though now that the communist party ruled over China, there were still many Chinese who appealed the new government system and started their own revolutionary groups. Chen’s beliefs were influenced by her family and by her own ideas. They didn’t support the communist party, but it was only a matter of time before they would take over. The Communist party was affecting everyone’s way of life. The land reforms had affected millions upon millions of people. As stated “The reform had already been carried out among the hundred million peasants in the area that formed the communist’s party’s base at the start of the final civil war. (Dragon46) The reform did give people an equal share of land and it did break up the feudal lords control of big areas, but now the hardworking landowners who didn’t have much to begin with had to start all over again. These people worked hard for there land so they could support themselves and their families only to have it taken away from them and given the amount that the government deemed correct. “Three hundred million peasants would be involved, the great bulk of the population in central-south, south, southwest, and northwest China.
About twenty-eight million landlords and their families would be affected. ” (Dragon46) The communist party was making major changes and many people were not thrilled with the changes taking place. This had a direct impact on Chen and her family since this involved them directly and would involve Chen in the future. Many Chinese rejected the communist ideas, but didn’t stand against them due to the consequences that would occur. This is why many revolutionary groups formed in secret so they could express their ideas without the government finding out.
Chen states “A core of activists had gathered around us, and when it was made generally known that all landless and land-poor peasants and middle peasants could join and vote at meetings of the Poor Peasants’ Association, we soon had enough members to establish or rather re-establish it as the real headquarters of the land reform. ” (Dragon129) The communist government was hurting the people and due to this, activist groups formed like the one mentioned above. These groups as time started springing up more and more throughout China about the major flaws in all aspects of the communist government, not just from the land-reform groups.
It forced people like Chen to move to a new location and establish a life that had many problems along the way. Many others, not only Chen were forced to relocate due to the communist party and start new lives. This was a major drawback that people had against the government since many people had to move and start new lives in an unfamiliar location. This also played a role in why many activist groups formed. Chen’s new life showed the affects of communism if full effect. The move to Longxiang, hence dragon’s village changed her life forever. Even though it was a small village, many different events occurred throughout. Many of us came from fairly well-to-do families. We had some freedom of choice. We could have left the communist areas; we could have avoided going to the villages to work with the peasants. But we were living in a guerilla area. We knew that the peasants were starving and had to have land. Their first need was for food, not plays or poetry. ” (Dragon164) Chen and her comrades didn’t have the luxuries they used to have after the communist party came to power. Since she had a good heart, she wanted to help the people and help with the transition of the new land-reform. I thought the land revolution would be successful, the peasants would quickly prosper, and so would the whole country and then literature and art. I put off writing, for the moment, but that moment dragged on and on. More than twenty years have gone by since then and I still haven’t done much writing. The peasants have made some headway, but you see yourself how far they still have to go. ” (Dragon164-165) The reform was believed to be quick and easy to establish, but Chen tells us it was not. The communist parties so called great land reform looks like a major failure through Chen’s eyes.
It might have appealed to certain Chinese people at the time, but it ended up hurting a lot more than helping. People like Chen had to go and live completely new lives which they never probably even dreamed about living and this was all due to the communist government. This supports my argument of why the communist government hurt the people more than it helped. After reading about the accounts in Dragon’s Village and through class lectures, I have gained even more knowledge about why I despise communism. The accounts that took place in China during the wars have shown me why many Chinese people resisted communist rule and fought against it.
Chen in her accounts throughout her book showed that she had to make drastic changes throughout her life to adapt to this new communist rule and lose her status that her family had gained. Starting a new life because of a new type of government is not something that should happen. Sure changes will occur, but after reading the book, a government shouldn’t commit the acts that they did to their people. The Chinese still had a big communist following. People were drawn in by the new ideas where everyone would be equal throughout China.
With new ideas and a new government system never used before in China appealed to a lot of people. They claimed they could fix the current problems in China and once in power they would act upon it. People though like Chen new better and that’s why the communist propaganda didn’t work on many. In the end the communist system which was praised to help the people appears to have hurt them more than anyone would have thought. Chen’s struggle shown throughout her book was just one of millions that occurred at the time and if that’s supposed to be the structure of a good government, then I’m happy to live in the United States.