In the aftermath of Charlottesville, outrage swept the nation and many people and groups are calling for the removal of confederate statues including some that took the matter in their own hands. Some protesters toppled a Confederate soldier statue in downtown Durham, Lincoln Memorial vandalized, Confederate statues in Baltimore taken down overnight, Nancy Pelosi called for legislation to remove all confederate statues from the capitol. There seems to be a movement to remove history that offends.
Chinese Cultural Revolution
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange tweeted lately a screen capture of a joke that's circulating in Chinese social media sites. Shown below with translation.
It might not seem obvious to the people in the US, but a campaign that seeks censorship of history nationwide immediately caught the eyes of the Chinese who saw striking similarities to the start of the process they had experienced of their own - the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Born and raised in China for 22 years myself, I am actually stunned that something similar is happening here.
From 1966 to 1976, known as the 10-year calamity, a political war waged by Mao Zedong against his political enemies resulted in unimaginable human tragedy costing millions of lives of the Chinese people. Any "old" traditions, cultures, religions, or "revisionary" ideas, meaning effectively, anything that deviates from Maoism, was considered "counter-revolutionary" and was met with "pidou" - people deemed "counter-revolutionary" were publicly criticized, denounced, humiliated, a lot of the times beaten and tortured, or even killed. To be politically "correct" was life or death.
Buddha statues were destroyed, Confucius memorials and churches were attacked, road names were "corrected" to not be offensive, ancient books were burned, artifacts were ruined, and it went on and on. People's homes were searched for things alike or for simply being an intellectual, an artist, a land owner, or as they would call it a "right-wing capitalist". They were politically incorrect and therefore needed to be silenced and destroyed, however PC was defined at that point in time. Given the broad definition people went insane and anything could be interpreted politically incorrect.
PC has not come full blown in America yet, but it's a slippery slope that will not level on its own. Things that would have been strange to think about a few short years ago are happening now. If you don't like transgender bathrooms you are anti human rights. If you don't like illegal immigration you are a racist. If you are for free speech you are defending Nazis and fascists. We see the beacon of free speech UC Berkeley shut down free speech because of violent protesters. We see riots in the street of America probably a dozen times since the election. Yet there always seem to be some people or groups that try to lecture people on what is the "politically correct" way to think about these events, as if they want to enact some belief system you are not to "deviate" from.
Red Guard Counterpart?
Earlier this year a professor was injured after attacked by students during a speech. Regardless of your stance on the content of the speech, physical assault is unacceptable. The irrational way the students acted while protesting somehow reminded me of the Red Guards. It wasn't the first time students protested a similar speech but the violent component in an academic setting struck a chord.
The Red Guards of Mao's committed violence and murders for him who they considered had the highest political and moral superiority. They were middle school and high school kids at the time. Anything or any person that "offends" their leader, they used most vicious tactics to destroy. They violently attacked their teachers, government officials, and sometimes even each other. They were young and brainwashed.
And now in America, enters Antifa. Mostly young people by observation, believing that they are fighting "fascists" while don't seem to understand what makes a fascist (given that they employ fascist tactics themselves, i.e. violence). Violence follows wherever they go. Inauguration Riots, Riot in Berkeley, and most recently Free Speech Rally in Boston where Antifa clashed with police. Not to mention the violence acted towards countless individual citizens who they think offend what they believe. It doesn't matter if they believed the same things the Red Guards did. It only matters how much the same they believe what they believe, what they are willing to do to people and/or society that "violate" their beliefs and the fact that their definition of fascists can be ever-expanding.
American Cultural Revolution
If we are bullied into accepting the destruction of traditions, common sense and history, insanity will only intensify. It will not stop at Confederate statues. America is in a slow motion but still radical cultural revolution. I want to end with George Orwell's quote from 1984 (the book).
"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."