Analysis Of Mao's Four Pests Campaign Of 1958

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Before the introduction of Internet and mass media, control over the masses relied on both the CCP presenting themselves and their values like a religion with Mao as the figurehead sent to save all of China, and the cooperation of the masses to spread Mao’s words carry out his wishes. Ellul, a French propaganda analyst and philosopher described China’s propaganda as “using political education, or what he defined as 'brainwashing ', and huge organisations in a situation absent of mass media. Such propaganda...depends on huge organisations instead of mass media, because mass media were available to only a small number of the population at the time. It is completely controlled and operated by the communist party 's propaganda ministry.”One of …show more content…
Writings from the book include “Obey orders in all your actions; Do not take a single needle or thread from the masses; and Turn in everything captured." Many of Mao’s initiatives and ideas relied on the mobilization of the people and the citizens carrying out his will. An example of this can be seen in Mao’s Four Pests Campaign of 1958. As part of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, an effort to transform China into a thriving industrial powerhouse, Mao initiated this campaign, which asked the Chinese people to exterminate the “four pests”: sparrows, mosquitoes, rats, and flies. The sparrows were the specific concern of the party as they consumed an immense amount of grain which in theory could be used to feed the people. Propaganda posters were released depicting the murder of these animals and soon Chinese citizens were mobilized in massive numbers, eradicating the birds by any means necessary. The masses took to the streets clanging their pots and pans or beating drums to terrorize the birds and prevent them from landing; nests were torn down, eggs were broken, chicks killed, and sparrows shot down from the …show more content…
During this time the intellectual was public enemy No. 1. 46,000 scholars were killed by Mao at the hands of the Red Guards in an attempt to create a new China. “Professors were dressed in grotesque clothes and dunce caps, their faces smeared with ink. They were then forced to get down on all fours and bark like dogs. Some were beaten to death, some even eaten -- all for the promulgation of Maoism” Many intellectuals killed themselves after many futile attempts at avoiding the Red Guards. Thousands of others were imprisoned, sent to solitary confinement, or relocated to the countryside in order to “purify” themselves through hard labor. These violent actions against Intellectuals, or any other citizen doubting the party caused most citizens to be too terrified to speak against the party. “All Chinese were now enmeshed in a system that controlled people ...and by habituating them to mass campaigns of terror and intimidation. Such a system bred both fear and compliance” An example of this can be seen in the Tiananmen Square massacre. In 1989 almost a million Chinese, mostly students gathered in Tiananmen Square to protest for democracy in China

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