Chen village is a story written about one of the Chinese village between 1960 and 1981.It takes into accounts the struggles and the development that took place in the village for those two decade period. It included the rise of political and economic movement and policies in the village. The book also deals with the effect that this political movements brought to the society. Generally the book covers the policies that were implemented by the leaders and the results of this policies. The articles also explores the role the youth in the society and the rise of bad governance by the leaders. The book also highlight the ideologies that were counted to be successful but later failed .It is clear that the book calls for proper policy framework for a policy to be successful .This book represent the whole Chinese and the process it underwent in the 20th century.
The Failure of the Great leap forward.
The Failure of great leap Forward.-This was the ideology that was intended to increase the peoples’ farm output and also improve peoples’ welfare. This plan was based on the socialist ideologies where they was communal working. The great leap forward encouraged people to work together and the output from the farms would the consumed communally. In order to achieve these great leap forward farmers would work and the output from their farms would be channeled to the village pot (Anita, et al, 2009). The peasantry were allowed to eat to their maximum anywhere in the community. This feeding of other villages made the people of the Chen community to sabotage the communal farming. It was due to lack of incentives that the villagers decided to stay at home and conserve their energy. This program left the country in an economic depression where the country even faced famine.
The four cleanup movement
The political reforms in the village had great effect to the people. This political reforms included the four cleanups movement. This was the socialist education movement that was tasked to bring sanity in the village. This was by removing vices such as corruption among the lower cadre in the rural areas. At first the work of the four clean up movements was to check on corruption, accounts and the property in the village but their work was extended to political organization and dealing with economy both in the urban and the rural (Anita, et al, 2009).The introduction of cultural revolution in the village brought about the political struggle among the youths who wanted to get certain political positions in the village.
The class struggle and political competition is clearly shown in the book in the Four clean ups movement .The youth organized themselves in groups according to their age. This division hampered the activities which youth were involved into dividing the youth into classes. The people were also taught by the youth about the socialist ideologies. The teaching was seen important by Mao because he wanted the Chen village to remain a socialist and did not want the capitalistic ideas impacted on people (Anita, et al, 2009). The Four Cleanups also impacted greatly on the peasantry by adding agricultural innovation to them. This in return built the farmers enthusiasm and increased the farming activities thus improving the rural economies. This education was later used as the main weapon or direction in which political struggles were built on.
Political rivalry was greatly manifested between different classes in the village. This was illustrated by the great enmity between two personalities namely the, Qingfa and Longyong. Qingfa had risen to power through wrong means and would criticize Longyong to show his support for the Four Cleanup movement (Anita, et al, 2009). This was because Longyong had learnt that in in order to protect his leadership in needed to rule with moderation and treat all parties equal regardless of the class. The class that Longyong ruled was mostly the middle and the low class. He stood with the views of his class and protected his class against the bad class. He followed the authority in Beijing to champion the interest of his village thus leading to fight with the local authority. The style which Longyong had used helped him consolidate his power thus no one would remove him from leadership.
Hatred and conflicts
The Mao movement led to the rise of hatred and conflicts in the village. Mao’s intention of the socialist movement was to end corruption and create good relationship between the peasant and the cadre. This method failed to do this and rather led to the exposure and increase of tension between the cadre and the peasant. This was illustrated by the fact that the workmen encouraged the peasants to increase their criticism on the cadre and this led to humiliation of the cadre in front of people they instructed to work. The main aim of introducing the studies to the peasant was for the farmers to know and understand ‘revolution’ but the means that was used to teach them was ‘confusion’ (Anita, et al, 2009). Though the farmer disregarded some of the teaching by the movement they could not criticize Mao but they attacked the people who taught them. The youth in the village envied Ao due to her success and led to opposition and even joined the rebels group.
The Role of the youth in political movement in Chen village.
The youth were sent in the Chen village to promote the Mao’s communist ideology and to show their support and commitment for the Chinese Communist party which was led by Mao. The youth would teach the people in the village about the socialist ideologies and spread the Mao’s ideologies to the people. Ao was one the youth who volunteered to spread the Mao’s ideas in the village .She was a youth league member who stayed in the village and rebuked those who went against the ideologies. Chen village was organized in cooperative when the youth went to there. This cooperative had been organized to help the peasant farmers in farming, thus they had become a commune in the Great leap forward. The youth met the village which had experienced class differences and also changes in land system. The village had since experienced progress until the Great leap forward ‘degenerated into bureaucratic blundering and organizational chaos. The youth were chosen to teach the ideology to the Chen village because they had exceled in their books and they were neutral thus they would criticize the villagers who were not following the ideologies. Ao played a big role in the electrification of the village upon which she started a broadcasting system which was set in the village and placed in the communal places .This would be used to teach people on the communist ideologies in the village (Anita, et al, 2009). Ao was able to do well because she ‘believed ideological change was the leading factor in the construction of a socialist countryside and felt broadcasting was an effective instrument to bring about this change’ (Anita, et al, 2009). Ao continued doing her work diligently and she was thought to be adviser of Mao and this lead to other youth envying her. This also made to some youth to join the rebel group. There came a time when the youth were told to leave the village but she defended herself saying that ‘the youth revolutionary dedication would be placed seriously in doubt if they left’
The Book also highlight the extra emphasize given to comparison between the ideologies and the results attained. This is illustrated by the great expectation that was placed in the Great leap forward but led to ‘bureaucratic blundering and organizational chaos’. The students went in the villages dedicated to do their work, but the student realized that there was little room for advancement in the village. They also realized that they was little support from the village. The cadre was put in place and the China Communist Party expected success of the project but it did not succeed.
The Chen village is reflection of the lives of the Chinese during the Mao’s Regime .It shows the process that the Chinese people underwent to be where there are in the present day. The Chinese made some mistake but later corrected and placed proper policies that have greatly contributed to their success. This acts as a lesson to the nations to show how poor policies can lead to failure in economic growth and the need to put better policy framework. The book also explain the lives of the Chinese in 20th century.
Anita, C., et al (2009).Chen Village, 3rd edition. United State of America, California University Press