Rise of Persecuting society
To what extent can we attribute responsibility for instances of persecution in history to the influence of powerful individuals?
In this essay it will be focusing on the persecutions that took place in China up until Chairman Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Also the influence he had on decision making and to what extent he was personally responsible for the death of so many people.
Chairman Mao Zedong has become one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, from his early political career in creating the Chinese communist party to the creation of the Peoples Republic of China and the many policies he passed while as head of state. During the Chinese civil war is where Mao first found a power base. In the Jinggang Mountains Jiangxi created the Workers and Peasants Red Army of China (also known as the red army). This is also where Mao first encountered his political opponents who were against his land proposals and other army branch reforms. To this opposition Mao responded by accusing these opponents of opportunism which was swiftly followed by their silencing. During this first ‘purge’estimated about several thousand were victims and the total number could be beyond 100,000. This first example of persecution against a group of people by Mao supports the argument of Mao’s own paranoia and self interest of securing power by the lengths he is willing to go to as seen here. It also shows Mao’s influence over the CPC (Chinese communist party) in their participation of following Mao’s orders. According to Jung Chang and Jon Halliday victims of Mao’s torture were forced to give names and victims were subjected to red hot gun rods being rammed into their anus and many cases cutting up their stomachs and taking out the heart. This account further supports Mao’s reasonability as he had a man named Lie Shau-joe to run the purge for him. Lie started off only by arresting a few people at first and using torture to get names...