Robert Jay Lifton, Revolutionary Immortality, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution

In his seminal 1961 study of survivors of detention and interrogation in the new People’s Republic of China, Robert Jay Lifton explains why this topic gripped him so thoroughly:  …I arrived in Hong Kong in late January, 1954. Just a few months before, I had taken part in the psychiatric evaluation of repatriated American prisoners of war during the exchange operations in Korea known as Big Switch … Continue reading Robert Jay Lifton, Revolutionary Immortality, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Viewing the DPRK’s 66th Anniversary through a Chinese Lens

The realities of daily life in North Korea are, at best, elusive for the outsider to grasp. A lack of personal experiences often interfere. Those of us who have never known hunger or the terror of a certain knock on the door can read tales of depravation of food and basic personal rights only in shock. In today’s world beyond the DPRK, empathy (and its … Continue reading Viewing the DPRK’s 66th Anniversary through a Chinese Lens

Tao Zhu and the Guangxi Bandits: Mao Zedong Nianpu Notes, Jan. 1951 (3)

Whereas January 1950 had found the Chinese leader stuck in Moscow, January 1951 found Mao Zedong at the storm center in Beijing. Mere months after founding the new People’s Republic of China, Mao was wrapped in a highly active policy agenda focusing on anti-bandit activity, mass propaganda, land reform, territorial consolidation, and national defence.  The fact that he had just learned of his son’s death … Continue reading Tao Zhu and the Guangxi Bandits: Mao Zedong Nianpu Notes, Jan. 1951 (3)

Competing Visions of Japan on the Huanqiu BBS

Huanqiu Shibao’s BBS world isn’t necessarily representative of the upper crust of netizen opinion, but, since, as China Digital Times reminds us, the internet is becoming increasingly Chinese, it behooves us to get any glimpse into the yawning nooks and immense creaking crannies of 爱国网民活动. Today’s foray brings two threads into competition: a long missive on the Japanese assassination of Korean Queen Min in 1894 … Continue reading Competing Visions of Japan on the Huanqiu BBS