By He Qinglian on October 20, 2013
Source article in Chinese: 青年被培养成利益动物的后果 - 从贵阳“拆迁学生军”谈起
This is a piece of news that I found unacceptable: On October 12, 72,000 square meters of “illegal constructions”* at Shangpu village, Shanhu District, Guiyang City, Guizhou province was demolished. Of the 2671 individuals who took part in tearing down those buildings, 837 were local college students.
This incident is but an example showing that the youth of China is being nurtured into mercenary beings.
The trend of young students being molded into mercenary beings
Let me first briefly introduce this low-end chain of stability maintenance that has already taken shape. According to a report by Beijing News, this chain was formed through four layers of subcontracting. The employer of the demolition work was the government, the first contractor was local security companies, which then subcontracted the stability maintenance work to the second contractor, namely, senior-year college students. These students organized junior college students to take part in the demolition work, giving them a pay of 80 yuan for a half day of work. It is said that students taking part in demolishing "illegal constructions" has become a convention at Guiyang. This student work force took part in six demolition projects in five months.
It is worth noting that, like many college students who work as informants and fifty-centers (apologists) for the regime, these students have no burden of conscience when they took part in demolition work. Reporters learned during interviews that students who couldn't take part in it felt angry about losing a chance to make money.
Upon seeing this story, neitzens in China were outraged. Some said in mockery that it only took dozens of yuan to turn ‘angry patriotic youth' into ‘participants (of injustice)', this is the price tag of students of Guizhou university.”
“By taking part in demolition work, innocent college students who are supposed to study in campus are implicated in the vortex of society. What about protection of students by schools and teachers?” Asked Committee of Communist Youth League of Beijing Normal University in its weibo.
This comment sounded so ironic to me. The“Committee of Communist Youth League of Beijing Normal University” should know best about how students are being nurtured in colleges. Those student apologists active in campuses, and those who work as informants, are they not recruited through committee of Communist Youth League and student work office of various universities? Isn't the public opinion platform of the internet a vortex of society? Like the demolition work, these tasks require students to sell their soul and conscience. The only difference is the nature of their work: while student apologists and informants are doing civilian work in the dark; student demolition workers are doing to dirty work out in the open.
The way officials recruit apologists and informants among students is by using interest as incentive, molding them mercenary beings who abandon their conscience. In every way dissimilar to the huge number of left-leaning Chinese youth in 1930s-1940s who were raised middle-class or even upper-class families, full of compassion toward those at the bottom of society and disgusted the dark politics back then, these apologists and angry youth today would be driven by incentives to help create darkness themselves.
Characteristics of Communism and terrorism: adept at mobilizing youth
Youth is always the driving force to bring about social changes. The perpetuation and development of a civilization rests solely upon how a country educates its youth. Normal countries would see youth education as an important investment in the country's future. Since 1840s in China, it was youngsters who made up the bulk of the individuals who were determined to bring about change in society. This trend carried on from May-Fourth Movement in 1919 all the way to the Tiananmen Movement in 1989.
However, during the socialization process that take place before young people reach 16, they do not yet have a fixed set of ideological values, can easily be molded in anyway and are therefore easily exploited by various political forces. Look back in history, we would see that it is a basic characteristic of totalitarianism and terrorism to mobilize youngsters or even children to take part in political movements. Hitler turned German youngsters into “national youth” who believed in Nazism; the Communist Party of Soviet Union, CPSU, established the Communist Youth League, nurturing young people into the sort of revolutionary army reserve that the CPSU required; the Communist Party of China, the CPC, not only borrowed the Communist Youth League model from the CPSU to mobilize youngsters, but also expanded the scheme to teenagers and children. Many tales of children league fighting against enemies were compiled into songs; and a host of fictional children heroes became protagonists of movies, such as Little Soldier Zhang Ga.
This propaganda model spread to all Southeast Asian countries where Mao's thought shone over. In 1960s, the Singapore Socialist Front, a group made of Chinese people, taught kids in kindergartens inside their sphere influence to sing red songs and dance “loyalty dance”. Similarly, the Taliban recruited children and teenagers as members of Al Qaeda, taking advantage of their ignorance and blind obedience and used them to carry out all kinds of bloody terrorist actions.
From these historical incidents, we could identify various flaws and sociopath tendency of youth movements. Some participants of these movements would do serious reflection on their shortcomings of earlier years. However, none of the aforementioned movements would openly use money as an incentive. Hitler used the Nazi ideals to draw his“National Youth”, the Protests of 1968 had as its main theme the opposition to the US involvement in the Vietnam War, and mistakenly saw the Cultural Revolution as an ideal, which nonetheless was a form of ideology. The Taliban organized terror education for teenagers in the name of Allah. Using material benefits as incentive is, currently, a phenomenon unique to China.
Peculiar conjunction of Left-leaning angry youth, apologists and unemployed youngsters
In China, Left-leaning angry youth, and apologists come mostly from unemployed youth at the bottom of society. The relationship of Left-leaning angry youth and apologists with the authorities is one characterized as psychological dependent. When it comes to capital, both groups detest foreign and private funds, thinking that the state monopoly on economy is a matter of course. Such characteristics are exactly what the authorities hope to see.
A faction of youngsters from the bottom of society would go to the other extreme. Knowing clearly that in Chinese society, where opportunities are few and far between, and where the social upward mobility channel is narrow, they would see revolution as something beneficial to them. However, they have not thought much about what type of revolution would be good for the future of China. This group of individuals would be potential respondents of future revolutions in China. The majority of youngsters, though, are struggling to get by and care about little else.
Of these three groups of people, the Left-leaning angry youngsters carry the most intense ideological color. Their views originate mainly from ideological indoctrination. With studied overlook of real history, these people construe for themselves a red myth that during the Mao era, corruption did not exist, and there was equality for all. And they see themselves as fighters for fairness and justice. Their concepts of fairness, however, are not like the idea of the West that is based on equal opportunity. Instead, they seek to achieve the petit-peasant idea of fairness, namely, equality of outcome. I outlined in many articles before the ideological characteristics of Left-leaning angry youth and so I would not go into that here.
The sense of identity of this three groups can interchange easily. It only takes benefits as incentive, and people of these groups would be willingly driven to do things. This can apply not only to the student demolition workers in Guiyang, student apologists, but can also apply to some political opponents who are subjected to tremendous pressure and temptation from the authorities.
The three types of people mentioned above share a common social backdrop: the upward mobility channel of the Chinese society is seriously obstructed. Almost right from the dawn of this century, the Chinese economy has been in a dearth of growth of jobs, and there is a serious oversupply of knowledge workforce. Young people from rural region or grass root families in cities could find themselves some low-pay jobs if they are lucky; if not, they wouldn’t be able to get any job at all.
Unlike Nazi Germany, where Hitler could mold German young people at the time into “national youth” filled with Fascist ideology through National Socialist Education, using ideological nutrient that derived from war and genocide to nurture them, today’s CPC regime’s ideology is in a state of decline, it cannot successfully breed “national youth” for itself, nor can it use war and genocide as ideological nutrient, all it can do is to bind people together through the means of material benefits. When the number of unemployed young people is on the increase, the benefits provided by the government, however meager they might be, can still gather people to work for it in the short term, the huge number of apologists serve as an example to illustrate just this.
The future of a country is determined by the way it nurtures its young people. The Chinese government, by turning the younger generation into unscrupulous mercenary beings who are willing to do anything—tipping off, becoming secret agents, informants and apologists—to stay alive, turns its cohesive power, its stability maintenance system comprising of violence and lies into one that is solely supported by money. Once the CPC depletes its financial sources, it would lose this so-called cohesive power, and the motley crowd that care only about gains and benefits would not only take part in putting an end to the CPC, but also destroy the future of China.
*"Illegal constructions" here refer to private residential buildings standing in the way of government development projects.