Landlords and rich farmers

The first reaction of young people born after 1980 when they see this question is the chemical issue, the chemical composition. But in the Cultural Revolution, composition was not a chemical issue, composition meant class composition, and once the class issue was involved, it was a political issue that was more important than the mountain. The composition was closely related to the recruitment of workers, enrollment and even the future of life such as the female aunt-in-law (married).

“The question of who are our enemies and who are our friends is the primary question of the Chinese revolution.” Also the first sentence of the first page of the first volume of Selected Works of Mao Zedong. Who are the enemies after liberation? The rich and the rich and the bad! After 1957, a rightist was added. “At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the rich, the poor, the anti, the bad, and the right were collectively called the Black Five, and the Black Five were those who would never be rehabilitated. Soon after the opening of the “Cultural Revolution”, traitors, agents and unrepentant capitalists were added to the list, collectively known as the Black Eight, of which traitors and agents were also in the stream of hell without the possibility of turning back. While the capitalists are crowned with the hat of unrepentant hints that if they repent, they have the possibility of turning over, and belong to the group of black and white who are struggling in the mire and have not sunk completely. The vast majority of the capitalists were in fact the torturers or innocent victims of a long-planned massacre of Liu Shaoqi’s group. As the Cultural Revolution continued and deepened, intellectuals also entered the ranks of the black, ranking ninth, belonging to the bourgeoisie, also black and white, known as the “stinky old nine”.

Jing Wen came from a family of intellectuals, and belonged to the “stinky old ninth” who was also black and white, and was black or white at the whim of the leaders. After three years of the Cultural Revolution, Jing Wen has classified himself as a class of bad origins. To deal with people in the world, consciously put themselves in a position lower than people of good origin.

At that time, on the one hand, Jing Wen despised himself in his heart, while on the other hand, Jing Wen had a more despicable tendency to despise others deep in his heart. For the black five and their children, Jing Wen seems to naturally have a sense of disgust and contempt, self-perception than they are a class above.

Soon after he arrived at Taoqu Village, the “clean up the class ranks” campaign began.

On a sunny winter day, in the courtyard of the team headquarters where the youths lived, three tables were set up, and a young man with a white face and a smug look on his face, Yuan D L, the deputy director of the Commune Revolutionary Committee (a rebel, soon to be removed from office), presided over the criticism session, and Ma Yunchi, the brigade secretary, and 12 youths, the backbone of the “clean-up team”, sat down in a row. They sat down in a row.

It was only after many years that I recalled that, except for the brigade secretary, who had to attend the meeting, none of the village folks participated in the criticism meeting, as no one wanted to do the desperate job of offending people. Across the street stood two of the real class enemies identified in theory, the old landlord He Wenyu and the old rich farmer He Tingyun. When Jing Wen really faced these two theoretical class enemies, he could not find any enemy feeling.

The old landlord He Wenyu 63 years old, dark thin face, long sparse goatee, wearing a blue face and white lining of the old rustic cotton jacket, the waist tied a blue cloth belt, wearing a worn felt hat, in addition to the occasional glare in the eyes, looks like a poor old peasant, and he has Parkinson’s disease, the head constantly shaking slightly, goatee a cocked.

He Ting Yun image can be said to be miserable, more than 60 years old, tall, white face, deep sunken eyes, people are thin and bony, may have age-related obstructive pneumonia, panting, coughing violently, coughing up deeply bent over, out of breath into the air less, a look of life hanging in the balance to collapse at any time. Looking at these two old people’s pathetic face, Jing Wen really can not find the enemy and hatred of the feeling.

First of all, the brigade branch secretary Ma Yunchi announced the crime of He Wenyu. He Wenyu joined the Red Army in 1933 and was the chairman of the Yichuan County Soviet and minister of organization. Good boy, this is an old Red Army! Later, after reading some history, I learned that Yichuan County in 1933, the Red Army was only in the more remote villages to engage in some small-scale guerrilla groups and small guerrilla areas, the county Soviet Chairman, Organization Minister were appointed in the kiln, never took office in the county, the leadership of the population and power of the territory, I am afraid that only one percent of the population of Yichuan. Because of the weakness, the Kuomintang was destroyed as soon as they came to clear out.

Ma Yunchi, the brigade branch secretary, went on to declare the crime that He Wenyu was the head of the Kuomintang county party headquarters in 1934. Good boy! From the chairman of the Red Army’s county soviet and organization minister to the head of the Kuomintang county party headquarters in one year, this amazing reversal of personal roles is too big a turn, isn’t it? How did you achieve such a dramatic reversal? Ma Yunchi, the brigade’s branch secretary, summed it up in four words: mutiny against the revolution.

Jing Wen felt strange, betrayal of the revolution, the head of the Kuomintang county party headquarters of such a serious crime, after liberation when the crackdown on how not to be suppressed? How come he was not convicted?

Two or three years later, Jing Wen gradually learned that He Wen Yu anti-war army after the rise of quit politics and business, the family raised a lot of mules, south to Hancheng to buy department stores and other supplies, north to Yan’an transport sales, and then from Yan’an to buy goods to sell in the National Unification Area. This long-distance trafficking trade objectively supported the economy of the Shaanxi-Gan Ning border area. Jing Wen wondered what products from Yan’an could be sold in Hancheng. It was many years later that Jing Wen saw the answer in a document. What did Yan’an sell to the National Unification Area? You can look up the information yourself.

In 1933, He Wenyu was one of the few young people within a few dozen miles who was educated, good at what he did, and quick to accept new things.

He became the backbone of the Red Army because he accepted it quickly and was educated and good at his job. But at heart he is probably more suited to be a businessman than a benevolent man. I’m afraid this kind of person doesn’t know anything about doctrine, let alone any dedication. The Kuomintang army surrendered en masse as soon as they arrived. The reason why they said they surrendered and not mutiny is that no one lost their lives because of their surrender. The lack of blood money is probably the reason why he was able to save his life when he was liberated. After surrendering, probably because he was too competent, he soon stood out in Yichuan County, which had a population of only 40,000 to 50,000 at the time, and was reused by the Kuomintang.

At the time of liberation, He Wenyu had less land in his name than some of the upper and middle peasants in the village, but he was still designated as a landlord. The way of heaven multiplied and divided, and the loss was more than compensated for, which was a fair reward for his surrender during the Kuomintang era and his springtime success thereafter, but his children were doomed.

Old rich farmer He Tingyun was also declared guilty and joined the Red Army in 1933 as a Red Army guerrilla leader. Good my that master! He was a member of the Red Army in 1934 and held a district-level leadership position on the Kuomintang side. Before the Kuomintang retreated in 1949, he was made the leader of an anti-communist guerrilla group, but as soon as the People’s Liberation Army came, he surrendered. He was eventually treated leniently. He Ting Yun has no children, so it is good that no descendants are dragged down by him because of their bad origins.

The small village of Taoqu really hides dragons and crouching tigers, there are two “old Red Army” and two old counter-revolutionaries. Jing Wen never loved the two “old Red Army”, and had no hatred for the two old counter-revolutionaries, but felt that the lives of these two were like a farce, funny and appalling.

Two years later, in a winter night, He Tingyun died of heart and lung failure and went to the other world in a painful gasp. His partner died for him. It is not known where the old woman ended up, but it is a bit unnerving to think about it.

He Wenyu was rehabilitated after the “Cultural Revolution” and was re-categorized as an “enlightened scholar and gentleman”. But his aging body could not bear the excitement, and he had a cerebral hemorrhage on the spot and passed away. Namo Amitabha Buddha!

In 2012, Jing Wen went back to visit the villagers in Taoqu Village and met He Zongwen, He Wenyu’s second son. With a serious and heavy expression, he called me aside and gave me a copy of the Yan’an Daily News with great solemnity. This newspaper had a long article, a full page, about the memory of He Wenyu, an underground member who had endured humiliation for decades. It turned out that this “old landlord” was an undercover Communist Party agent, and the comrade with whom he had a single line of communication had died, so he had to bear the black hat of a landlord for half of his life, and the years of humiliation were all after the liberation. When the facts were found out, he had already passed away. Woe is me! Tragic life!

“At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, there was a popular saying: “Knock them over and put one foot on the ground, so that they will never be able to turn over. Few people paid attention to the survival of the Black Five, political pariahs who were already on the ground and had a foot on them. Of course, it is better for them not to pay attention, never forget the class struggle, if the attention means that the class struggle is coming again, and to add insult to injury suffered.

What Jing Wen saw in Taoqu Village was that the Black Five were like saplings arching out of a stone crevice, stubbornly living, using all their strength and wisdom to survive and feed themselves, and finally growing up.

In January 1969, the day after the youths arrived at the village, the secretary of the brigade introduced the situation of the village to the youths. There were 53 families with 256 people in Taoqu Village, 3 landlords, 5 rich peasants, 10 poor peasants, 23 upper-middle peasants and 12 middle peasants. After hearing this, the youth felt that there were too many landlords and rich peasants, 8 households in total, and the number of poor peasants seemed too small, only 10 households, who were the landlords and rich peasants to exploit?

Later, we learned that there was only one real landlord, He Wenyu, who did not have much land, and there were only two rich peasants, and the remaining six landlords and rich peasants were actually their children’s “hereditary” components.

The landlord He Wenyu has three sons and two daughters, two sons living alone in separate households is two landlords, a woman married composition with her husband, a young son and a young daughter around, personal composition are also landlords. This family, although the composition is not good, but the IQ in the countryside is outstanding.

The old landlord’s eldest son, He Zongtang, was impressed by Jingwen’s calligraphy before he met him. On the first day in the village, Jing Wen saw the words on the large-character poster posted in the courtyard to welcome the young people, and it was surprising that in such a small mountain village, there were people who could write so well with the brush. Jing Wen asked the team cadres around him who wrote the words, writing is fantastic. The team cadres said that it was written by the son of the landlord, who had been sentenced to a few years in prison and had just been released to the village. Jing Wen was full of revolutionary vigilance (revolutionary what? Vigilance for what? Self-serving! asked, how can you use such a person? The team cadres said lightly, “What does it matter if you use him to write?

He Zongtang was in his 40s, with a sallow face, a stout body, a long square face, and pockmarked skin on his face. Always walking with his head down, occasionally looking up, a flash of gaze, eyes a little fierce. When I first met, Jing Wen felt that this is a violent criminals, face him with a wary and fearful heart, a little afraid that he burst up to take lives. Later learned that He Zongtang is a literary man, speak amiable and gentle, and the appearance of the fierce look is very different, he originally worked in the Yan’an Food Bureau, I heard that because of the relationship between men and women and bad birth and catch the “Cultural Revolution” high pressure policy sentenced to imprisonment, lost his public position.

Once, the team arranged Jing Wen and Wang Berlin students and He Zongtang together to play cotton. The flower playing machine is made of wood, wooden shell outside a large wheel, there is a large crank. Work He Zongtang in the feeding mouth of the cotton spread into thin slices into the machine, the wheel a turn can play cotton. Because the village does not have electricity, the two young people as an electric motor, two hands grabbed the crank to turn the wheel, the wheel is heavy, round and round even three or four hours, even the donkeys have to get tired; He Zongtang in the feeding mouth work, lint flying, choking breathless, is also suffering. After a day of work, everyone was exhausted. Jing Wen, who was tired and wanted to vomit blood, looked at He Zongtang, who was covered with lint like a white hair ghost, and realized that everyone was not higher than each other, there was no class enemy, and everyone was a poor man in distress.

He Zongtang was rehabilitated and returned to work after the Cultural Revolution, and in 2008 Jing Wen returned to his village and heard that he had died, having lived for more than 70 years. When he heard this, Jing Wen couldn’t help but feel depressed. Life is like a dream and a bubble, like electricity and like dew.

He Zongwen, the second son of He Wenyu, was twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old and was a senior student of Yan’an Middle School, ranking first in the whole year and serving as the president of the student council. He had to return to his hometown to work as a farmer.

He Zongwen’s image was completely different from his elder brother’s. He had clear eyebrows, a long, tall, thin body, and occasionally wore a pair of glasses. Once Jingwen saw He Zongwen picking a heavy load, waist straight, with a pair of white-rimmed glasses, with a smile on his face, singing Meitou opera in his mouth, alone and easy to move forward, really a wonderful picture of a scholar and a farmer.

He Zongwen is very low-key, few words, but the corners of his mouth often hang a smile, seemingly modest, but deeper as if he was laughing at someone. At that time, Jingwen read a few Tang poems and felt that they were really well written. One time when we were taking a break from the hillside, we talked to Wang Berlin about a high school classmate who had become a soldier and was now the deputy instructor of the company, while we were still swinging the old stiletto on the loess slope, and we couldn’t help but express our feelings and recite the Tang poem: “A thousand sails pass by the side of a sinking sail, and ten thousand trees spring up in front of a sick tree”. He Zongwen smiled on the side and listened silently, then suddenly asked whose poem it was. Jing Wen did not know the full text of the poem, nor did he know who the author was, so he was choked up and couldn’t say a word as he stared. He Zongwen softly said “Liu Yuxi”, smiled and left. This incident gave Jingwen a great stimulus, only to find himself as an intellectual youth is really no knowledge. This promoted Jing Wen to go back to read Tang poems and Song lyrics, and study in a practical manner.

He Zongwen knew that people like himself would not have any chance of upward development, but could only be farmers, and could only work on the ground. In those harsh times, He Zongwen was able to excel as a farmer, and in 1971, his superiors asked him to vigorously develop pig farming. As every household was required to raise pigs, piglets were scarce and could not be bought, so He Zongwen saw the opportunity to raise sows to breed piglets. He had good pig raising skills, and the sow gave two litters of piglets a year, and earned more than 500 yuan by selling them. At that time, farmers in the village to earn work points worth only 30 to 40 yuan a year, more than 500 yuan in that year is an astronomical figure, in the rural areas can not earn ten years. This shows his intelligence and ability.

“After the Cultural Revolution, He Zongwen was transferred to Gaobai Commune as a teacher and later became the vice principal of a middle school. He is now retired and lives in Yichuan County. Several of his children are employed in the city.

He Zongqi, He Wenyu’s youngest son, is nicknamed Ritai. He was 14 years old when Jing Wen came to Taoqu Village in 1969. He was short, with a round face and always had an ingratiating smile on his face, which was probably a manifestation of his inferiority complex. In 1970, when the county high school resumed enrollment, Rita was the first in the county, but was denied admission because of her landlord background and had to return to the village to work.

Rita was a sunny child, always with a smile on his face, although it was a smile to please, but during that time, the smile on Rita’s face disappeared, and he became very quiet, depressed, avoided talking to people, and just worked silently. After the summer break, he received a notice of admission to the county high school. It turned out that the headmaster of Hukou Commune High School loved his talent and fought for Rita’s admission, which was finally approved by the Yichuan County Committee meeting as the only “educable children” in the county.

After graduating from high school, he returned to his village to work as a farmer, and in 1977, when the college entrance examination was resumed, he exceeded the admission mark by a large margin, but failed because of his landlord background. 1978, he again applied for college, and exceeded the admission mark, but again failed because of his landlord background.

In 1979, the policy change, college entrance examination admission only depends on the results no longer depends on the composition of family origin, Rita third time to apply for college, but failed. In that year, a large number of fresh high school graduates who had received formal secondary education after the “Gang of Four” was crushed took the college entrance examination, and the admission line for the college entrance examination went up. The “industrial base” – the basic knowledge of industry and “agricultural base” – the basic knowledge of agriculture – were not opened (instead of the “industrial base” – the basic knowledge of agriculture). At this time, the evil effects of a weak foundation became apparent, and he lost out in the higher level of competition.

After failing in 1979, Rita did not give up, and continued to study hard as a farmer, and entered the examination hall for the fourth time in 1980, and then fought for the college entrance examination, and finally got into the university. As the son of a landlord, he grew up in the midst of discrimination and oppression, and in the midst of hardships, he persevered, lost and succeeded, which is deeply admirable. Rita is now working in Yan’an City.

Jing Wen once heard a young professor (in his 30s) say that his family was a landlord. When he was a child (I think in the 1970s), his family was so poor that they only had meat for the New Year’s Eve dinner, and there was no limit to the amount of meat they could eat. He did not eat in the morning of New Year’s Eve and went out to play desperately, not eating all day, leaving his stomach empty, so that he could desperately eat more meat at night. How does it sound like the old poor farmer reminiscing about his misery? This young man, who grew up from a poor landlord family, got into Tsinghua University in one fell swoop in the 1977 college entrance exam.

A Hubei doctoral student recruited by Jing Wen said that his grandparents were landlords and life was much more bitter than ordinary farmers after liberation. He was smiling when he said this. Later he went to France on a public assignment to study. His life is full of sunshine, and the hardships and shame, pain and heartache of his elders have long since disappeared.

May the era of “never forget the class struggle” and “the class struggle will work as soon as you catch it” never come again!