Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 14th, 2011

“The chant of martyrs”: In the death camps of China Mao, by Xianhui Yang

I am reading the French version of “The chant of martyrs”. Have you heard of the death camp in China called Jiabiangou in the province of Kansu (Ganzu), in the Gobi desert?

The introduction, translated from mandarin to English by Wen Huang, goes:

“Jiabiangou is the name of a forced-labor concentration camp, a kind of China-style Gulag, lost in the desert region in north-west China.

About 50 years ago, over 3,000 Chinese intellectuals and public servants of the province of Gansu were snatched from their families and dispatched to the camp for “re-education”. They were to “field-experiment” what the Chinese Communist Party defined as re-education by work.

The detainees were labeled right-wing supporters for opposing Mao in free opinions, not exactly converging into socialism ideology, or for offending cadres of the Party…Most probably for being born into “exploiting classes” of land and capital…

This camp was a microcosm of the vast campaign initiated by Mao to imposing his mind-fix ideology: Those intellectuals were to expiate the offenses levied on the peasants who had to live a harsh life under the previous feudal system…

The campaign had the code name of One Hundred Flowers, which destroyed the careers of over half a million members of the intellectual and political elites in China.

Between 1957 and 1960, the laborers in the camp cultivated the land, raised cattles…under harsh climatic conditions and closely supervised by guards.  The land around Jiabiangou was mostly salty swamps and arid desert

At night, the laborers were to study Mao’s manuscripts and write “autocriticism“.

The camp was initially built to accommodate 50 detainees, and not the future potential number of 3,000.

The State refused to offer supplementary aid to the growing numbers, and the prisoners were to struggle for survival.

By 1960, the detainees ate whatever herb grew in the land, roots, leaves, earth worms… Hundred of dead people were left unburied, out of exhaustion and weak body conditions…

In 1961, the State got “hints” on what’s going on in Jiabiangou and dispatched trucks to vacate the prisoners.  By the time the trucks arrived, only 500 had survived.

This tragedy was never made public. A physician was sent to falsify the medical records of the deceased detainees, a job that required 6 months.

Famine was never mentioned as the main cause, but various infectious illnesses were the culprit, as the family of the victims were informed.

Xianhui Yang heard of the camp in 1965 as a revolutionary working at the collective of Xiaowan in the Gobi desert; he was 19 year-old. Xianhui met a few of these survivors who were assigned to work in the collectivity.

China was in another upheaval called Cultural Revolution. Consequently, Xianhui, who worked in the collectivity till 1981, began writing stories about individual survivors such as “The little Plouc”, “The Aristocrat”, “Thunder over the far sea“…

What happened in Jiabiangou remained a taboo topic till 1990.

“The Lady of Shanghai” is related to this camp.  Yang stories were published under the title “Farewell to Jiabiangou ” in 2003.

The book is of 408 pages and divided into 13 chapters.

After reading part of this introduction, don’t you feel the urge to know how the prisoners survived?

What’s common among all these nasty horrible labor camps disseminated in ideological regimes?  From Russia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, Germany,…

Note: Other books told the story of Jiabiangou. For example, “Bitter winds” by Harry Wu, and “Herbal soup” by Zhang Xianliang

Daydream project: Facilitating Feasible business loans

Mankind is about 7 billion.

Suppose a small fraction publish projects they thought about during their daydream periods.  Wouldn’t that constitute the vastest brainstorm networking session in the world?

Mind you that when I daydream a project, I am fundamentally focusing on minute details of the project, regardless of the applicable laws or consensus guidelines: Aren’t laws and “common sense” practices to be revised, reformed, modified and broken, once benefit to mankind is demonstrated?

There are many hard-working, honest, and level-headed people who can become success stories in creating profitable and fair enterprises.  The one major drawback is the funding.

You have a good business plan, you know the business, you have some equity, but lack a portion of the amount to secure a stupid loan, which should enable you to get going. For example, purchasing modern equipment, a proper computer, hiring people…

How about local banks set aside a fund meant to cover part of the required equity for the loan? The bank can open an account to the loan applicant, or a joint account with an employee of the bank.  The account is frozen until the loan is repaid, and the account reverted to the fund.  The account is just a mechanism to satisfy “standard” requirements for obtaining of a loan to a very satisfactory client.

The bank does not lose money.  Instead,the bank is gaining good clients and interest.  Actually, the fund can have shareholders from the local community, and part of the profit on the loan returned to the fund…

There are several advantages:

First, if employees are encouraged to pinpoint potential entrepreneurs among their larger family, and the employee is asked to sign the joint account with the applicant then, the employee gain a sense of empowerment, a catalyst to learn more on business creation and sustainability.  What is the use of a bank employee if the job is plain routine with no prospect to learn more about the banking business, and what to do at retirement, and what to do for early retirement…?

Second, the local bank is widening the sphere of its clients by empowering its employees and opening new horizons for a versatile economic base to the community.

Third, clients with loan facilitation might be required to follow-up on courses or free training sessions on how to keep records, filling forms, prospecting for clients, improving the enterprise…Consequently, the local bank is taking on the responsibility of forming an educated client base, which will grow the economy rapidly, and founded on firm business practices and ethical standards.

Fourth, the newly created success stories of satisfied clients will be part of the process, as training the trainers and contributing to the fund, to the community to knowledge, and becoming active members in the community programs…

How to enhance job opportunity?

How to encourage people to go back to work and feel happy with what they are doing?

Isn’t community support the best means to acquiring a strong sense of community attachment?

Let money not be reserved for the well-to-do, but for those who badly need it to gain hope in a brighter future…

Note: I just added a new category “Daydream projects”. From now on I will publish projects that I thought about during my daydream periods.  My daydreaming sessions are thus very “productive”




September 2011

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