It’s a new year and a new semester. I continued to attend classes as usual. The relationship with my colleagues slowly improved again. Li Mouxuan, the school branch secretary, the meeting facilitator with the old squint in his left eye, still talked to me from time to time. Some enthusiastic teachers even offered to talk to me about my daughter-in-law. I am also in a good mood every day. With a good mood, the work of the natural energy to drum up enough, how much difficulty does not matter.
At the beginning of May, I led the Changping District table tennis team to participate in a county-level competition. Got a champion, two runners-up, a third place. It was one good report after another, one surprise after another. Although what I got was a few pieces of glass and wooden frames, not even a single molecule of money, my heart was so comfortable that I couldn’t mention it.
That night I was in my dorm room correcting workbooks when the secretary asked me to go to his room. I pushed open the door, sitting in addition to the secretary, there is a – last year to the city to live in the study class to meet the task force member Qian Ping. Perhaps it is to give me a conclusion, so as to put down the baggage, light load.
When I sat down, the secretary took out the quotation book and flipped through it. I noticed that his face was cloudy for a moment, and then more cloudy for a moment. “…… anything reactionary, you do not fight, he will not fall ……,” he read word for word.
“What do you mean?!” I was furious and questioned in a stern voice. See I dare to be stubborn, the two first astonished, followed by the secretary blowing his beard and eyes, “What do you mean? Learn Chairman Mao’s quotes.” His voice tone is obviously a lot higher. My voice tone is higher than his, is already roaring: “daytime is still good, this all of a sudden became the enemy, to knock down? To the five peaks for two years, did so much work, to say that the hard work has hard work, to say credit also has merit. Now it is the enemy, to be defeated! Hmm?!”
“Now is not the time for you to talk about achievements. It is the time to talk about the problem. There are achievements, to consciously attribute to the organization, to the revolutionary line of the proletariat.” The clerk’s eyes were far slanted, and his mouth lectured. “There are achievements to be consciously attributed to the organization, to the revolutionary line of the proletariat.” The first thing you can do is to take the credit for your achievements. It is not one’s own to make achievements, but one’s own to make mistakes. What kind of logic is this? For example, if you play poker, you have to open the money when you order the gun. But you have a hand, you still have to open the money. What’s wrong with you? Is there anyone else playing this card?
Another way to say this is: without “organization”, you can’t do anything. Is this not a bit too much? Let’s not talk about how people in the Western world without “organization”, do not make achievements; in our China, before there is no “organization” is not also the four inventions? I roared like a thunderbolt: “I don’t want to learn anymore! Suit yourselves!” The car exited the room, went back to his dormitory, bolted the door, lit a cigarette, and smoked hard. I behaved so strongly, almost out of shape, regardless of the consequences, because the secretary Li Mouxuan.
He was a man who was almost obsessed with the class struggle. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, he was the principal of Changping Elementary School. During the whole teacher stage, he thought he was ushering in another golden 57 years, exerting all his efforts to rally the masses and instructing the students to post big-character posters of the teachers.
There was a young female teacher in the school, Ouyang Yi, clear spirit, can sing and dance well, can teach, very good, is a very rare talent. She wore a watch that was particularly rare at the time. She was actually suspected of having a transmitter hidden inside, and she herself was a secret agent sent from Taiwan. Large-character posters were everywhere, so much so that the mosquito net in her dormitory was thickly glued with large-character posters. The teacher was desperate, and one day, in the dark and high wind, she hung herself in the toilet behind the dormitory. It is true that the teacher’s death was attributed to the extreme leftist line implemented from above, however, Li’s ruthless and inhumane actions were the direct cause of the teacher’s death. When the rebellion was in full swing, Li Mou Xuan had suffered and was beaten up. But once the biscuits are turned over, he is still the same Li Mouxuan as before. As long as there is a little opportunity, he immediately tore his face, wielding the thick stick of class struggle, a big fight. The first time I saw him, I knew he was coming back.
Qianping, who was close behind, kept calling outside the door, “Mr. Zhou, open the door, Mr. Zhou, open the door.” Almost a quarter of an hour, I opened the door. Qian Ping is a veteran of special cases, obviously more methods. He calmly advised me not to be anxious, to correct the attitude. Do not say good things, is a little brighter face, my anger will be eliminated more than half. I calmed down and asked: What do you want?
Money said: we came this time, not to pursue your previous matter. You have to think carefully, you into the five peaks more than two years, did not do something against the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao, against Mao Zedong Thought? “No!” I answered affirmatively. Qian looked at me with the Dzerzhinsky-type eyes that are characteristic of special investigators and cannot always be imitated if you want to; I also looked at him with frank, upright and courageous eyes. Still the other party could not hold his breath and asked: you overturned the case for Wang Ming, how do you say? I was amused and surprised: “This you also believe?!”
The next day I met with two members of the task force, plus Li Mouxuan. Li put down last night’s forceful momentum, put on a moderate tone of opening remarks: these two comrades on behalf of the organization, I hope you correct attitude, speak clearly for Wang Ming overturned the case. Qian Ping went on to say: you have to recognize the seriousness of the problem. At a time when we are repeatedly learning the party line struggle, you reversed the case for Wang Ming. It is not a general problem, nor is it an isolated problem. Wang Ming is a worker, Li Ping is a teacher. They both love Chairman Mao” is such a hanging link that I can’t help but be a little nervous.
However, the frankness of having it, not having it, made me calm down quickly. “You say, I for Wang Ming overturned the case, for what?” The three of them almost spoke in unison, “That’s for you to ask yourself.” I tried to calm myself down and said, “At that time, the textbook had not yet arrived, so I took it upon myself to compile the material in order to let the students learn more. In order to let students master the use of the simplest verb “is” in English, I made up a few sentences. The names are easy to write and easy to remember. Wang Ming is like this, never the historical one. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what kind of person that Wang Ming is. I’ve heard of Wang Ming Bo Gu, but who made a mistake in line, they made the first few mistakes in line, together or separately, really do not understand. You say, I reversed the case for Wang Ming, what do you want? Do you believe it? Do you believe it in your hearts?
The three people looked at each other, some speechless. Yu Fei replied: believe it or not, to the conclusion of the organization. I then argued: workers are just a profession, the same as teachers, farmers, cadres, police, no praise or derogatory, is a neutral word. “Wang Ming is a worker”, does not contain the meaning of the case. “They both love Chairman Mao.” They are referring to Wang Ming and Li Ping. Is there such a person in the history of the Chinese revolution as Li Ping? No. You must admit that I just made one up, right? Qian Ping nodded his head. This also fully proves that Wang Ming, who is in the same position as him, is also a name I just made up. If we say Wang Ming and Bogu, or Wang Ming and Zhang Guotao, that is indeed an ulterior motive. But the fact is not. I have been talking for an hour. Li Mou Xuan and Qian Ping whispered for a moment, said: this way, today we will talk about this.
The next day, during recess, I was on duty as a teacher, looking after the playground, and saw a familiar figure walking towards the school on the path to the district revolutionary committee. The first thing I did was to get closer, and my heart got tighter – the person coming was Deng Mouyu, the head of our task force who lives in the county in the study class. The left is surprisingly, the whole people become sex, hate the whole world is the right wing of him, far away even smiling to welcome me, I am still confused between, he has long reached out his hands, catch my right hand shaking hard, kindly greeting.
I was so touched by the presence of all the people – you know, not many people dare to talk to me casually. Classes were suspended in the afternoon, and the whole school met. Li announced the beginning, and I knew as soon as I heard it that the meeting was for me. Deng sat next to me and I noticed that his expression was very different from when he came, quite like the close-up of the revolutionary aspirant facing the enemy’s butcher’s knife in the movie that was so righteous and furious. He spoke, actually a gnashing of teeth, bitterness, as if the father was killed wife was taken: …… early Cultural Revolution, Peng Luo Lu Yang engaged in a counter-revolutionary revisionist “February Outline”. Today, someone in your school is also working on such a “February Outline”. They want to turn a class struggle between you and me into an academic debate. What neutral noun masculine noun, what positive meaning derogatory, what profession or not. When Deng said this, he looked at me coldly, but quickly avoided it – I was looking at him with my back straight and my eyes fierce. Such a non-existent, far-fetched, demonic words, is really ugly and sinister. I really do not understand how there are such people in the world!
In the next month or so, it was the general assembly, the small meeting, the small meeting, the general assembly, the inspection and explanation of the inspection. I have classes during the day (I am an English teacher in the whole school, and there are only a dozen in the county, no one to replace), and at night with them to consume this block of things, physical and mental exhaustion, mental breakdown. Finally, three people with a thick stack of my account check, still very unhappy and reluctant to go.
I deeply feel that it is simply impossible to reason with them clearly. These people do not understand and never want to understand the context of these few words and their inner connection, let alone to understand the good intention of my self-edited teaching materials. In their dark and sordid minds, they definitely think that I am reversing Wang Ming’s case. I was a genuine counter-revolutionary. If I admit it, the case will be closed, and their task will be successfully concluded. Otherwise, even if I write a bucket of reviews, it’s futile. Now go away, later will come to haunt.
In order to leap out of the deep pool, from the end of the disaster, I should take another path. Why did I think of “Wang Ming” at that time? Was it influenced and inspired by previous or other textbooks? If I had found the same name in the English textbook, the problem would have been solved. If I could find the same name in the English textbook, the problem would be solved. The evidence was so solid that it was impossible for them to wish me to be a counter-revolutionary. So I searched for ideas and collected information. English textbooks have a lot of such sentences. There was Li Ming, Li Ping, Zhang Ming, Zhou Ming, but not Wang Ming!
In 1973, the Cultural Revolution was in its seventh year. Zhou Enlai, in order to restore the national economy as soon as possible, as early as 72 years, used the criticism of forest rectification on all fronts to criticize the extreme left. In this process, one after another group of defeated “capitalists” were able to reunite into the leadership team, and one after another director and members of the revolutionary committees at all levels who had started by rebelling were purged, sidelined and hung up.
In March of that year, Deng Xiaoping, the so-called number two capitalist in the Party, was reinstated as Vice Premier of the State Council. Its momentum would eventually lead to a full restoration of the order, personnel, and philosophy that had existed before the Cultural Revolution. This was a situation that Mao himself was extremely reluctant to see, so Wang Zhang Jiang Yao, with Mao’s tacit approval and support, vigorously fought back. They first theoretically defined the nature of the Lin Biao incident as not extreme left but extreme right, and then started a wave of criticism of Lin and Confucius throughout the country, and used a few minor figures, such as Zhang Tiesheng, who handed in a blank paper, Zhang Yuqin, who threw himself into the river because he couldn’t learn English well, and Huang Shuai, who had a bad relationship with his class teacher, to create trouble in order to combat Zhou Enlai and the restoration forces he represented. In 1973, from the central to the local level, what was the popular mantra of the leaders, big and small? “Grasp the big issues”. Even a low-level leader knew that the “big issues” did not refer to agricultural or industrial production, not to the national economy, but to the class struggle, the line struggle!
In November, the mountains are already cold wind gusts, cold air forced. The task force appeared again in my small bedroom like a hook for life. Qian Ping opened the door: you know, now the whole country is grasping the big things. Our county party secretary said at the Standing Committee, beating the table, what is a big deal in Wufeng? Wang Ming for the case is a big deal. Must be caught. We came this time, a purpose, the problem completely clear. Not to get thorough, we will not withdraw. I know that any defense has completely lost its meaning.
The next day, the new district party secretary personally talked to me. His meaning is very clear, you must be for Wang Ming to reverse the case is not negotiable. You simply admit it. Seek to confess to be lenient. The secretary of the elementary school education, militia origin. Only because of the good station in the mountains, patrol patrol, was promoted step by step as the district party secretary. With him to break what language scenario sentence type, into?
The situation is obvious, if I insist on their own views, they will be daily door, night meeting, pressure, harassment more than. The result may lead to my mental disorder; if you admit it against your will, of course, it’s over. I was also relieved to buy time and then think about it in the long run. I chose the latter. However, just like some girls in their prime when they are raped, their mouths let you kiss them, their breasts let you touch them, and their waistbands let you untie them, they just won’t let you in and hold on to that last line of defense. The following excerpted material is the implementation of intellectual policy in 1986 at the beginning of the Organization Department of the CPC Wufeng County Committee returned to me at my request to account for the review of the year. I want to emphasize in particular that no changes were made, and the punctuation marks were not moved.
“…… the nature of my error is extremely serious. Wang Ming, was the head of left-leaning opportunism in the early line struggle of our party. Because of this bad man, our Party lost 90 percent of the main force of the Red Army and caused incalculable damage to the revolution. And now, he is still hiding in Moscow, defecting to the Soviet revision, betraying the Party and the country, and indeed deserves to die! And by saying in class, in front of dozens of students, that Wang Ming was a worker and a fighter, and by painting him with fat and powder, I showed that I was not on the side of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, but on the side of Wang Ming, saying what many counter-revolutionaries now dare not say. This is counter-revolutionary action. The problem was even more serious because it was the time when the criticism of the Lin rectification campaign was in full swing, and the struggle between Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and the counter-revolutionary revisionist line headed by Lin Biao was a fight to the death that concerned what path our Party would take and what path our country would take, and the survival of one billion people. The essence of the revisionist line pursued by Lin Biao’s anti-Party group, the purpose of his counter-revolutionary coup, was to usurp the supreme leadership of the Party and the state, to betray completely the line of the Ninth Congress, to fundamentally change the basic line and policy of the Party, to turn the Marxist-Leninist Party into a revisionist Party, into a fascist Party, to subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat, to restore capitalism. And which side am I on? Should I join the revolutionary masses and denounce Lin Biao’s crimes with the righteous indignation of the proletariat? My own actions negated this. Wang Ming and Lin Biao were on the same line, both opposed to Chairman Mao, both engaged in conspiracy and trickery, while by glorifying Wang Ming as a worker, I was directly turning the spearhead against Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, which is counter-revolutionary action! This is what many enemies wanted to do but did not dare to do, and I happened to become their spokesman. Dozens of students in the middle of the criticism and rectification of the forest, due to the emergence of this problem of mine, so that they have confusion in their thinking, which directly interfered with the destruction of the then criticism and rectification of the forest movement. ……”
The idea that “Wang Ming is a worker” is a “counter-revolutionary action”, which is equivalent to admitting to killing someone. But between the lines, he still insisted: I didn’t do it on purpose.
After the task force left, I always felt that I did not come up with the name “Wang Ming” out of thin air. It must have been influenced by which textbook. When I told the story to Dr. Zhang, who was concerned about me, the doctor, who was in my high school class, inspired me with the words, “Look for the Russian textbooks back then, maybe there is this name.”
When I went home to visit my relatives in the Spring Festival of 1974, my old classmate took out the 1965 edition of the textbook “Russian Language” from the People’s Education Press in the attic of his house. What surprised me was that there were more than a dozen sentences with Wang Ming’s name in them. I immediately sent the book to the Organization Department of the Wufeng County Party Committee by registered mail.
I finally crossed another hurdle in my life.