China Outlaws Telling The Truth About Communist Party 'Heroes And Martyrs'

from the no-one-does-Orwell-better dept

China's participation in the world market tends to portray the country as far more open than it actually is. China's does have some love for capitalism. Democracy, not so much. There's not much participation in the marketplace of ideas, thanks to continuous, ever-increasing censorship measures.

Nothing's going to change in the near future. The sitting president was just rewarded with the title appendage "for life," thanks to a bought-in (and possibly bought) parliament stripping away term limits earlier this year. Chinese citizens have been rewarded for their enforced loyalty with a government-controlled internet experience and a scoring system that grants/strips perks based on a perverse "morality" algorithm.

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, as the adage goes. The Chinese government is ensuring Cultural Revolution reruns by forcing the nation to forget inconvenient facts. A new law now makes it illegal to speak ill of the long-dead.

China’s Communist Party has always understood the importance of policing its history.

On Friday, it tightened the screws further with a new law banning the slander of “heroes and martyrs” — figures drawn from wartime propaganda said to have given their lives in defense of the Communist Party or the nation.

Chinese schoolchildren are taught about the heroic deeds of figures who fought against the Japanese during World War II, or who gave their lives for the Communist Party in the civil war with the Nationalists. Memorials to some of the most famous dot the country.

Now, it will be illegal to suggest that those tales might not be wholly factual.

The rewriting of China's history will require the involvement of everyone in the country. Beyond a long list of instructions for compulsory celebrations/commemorations at the local government level, there's also plenty of censorship and compelled speech to be had. Here's how the media will be used to burnish the reputation of "heroes" and "martyrs." (All translations via China Law Translate)

Article 18: The departments of culture, press, radio and television, film, Internet information, and so forth, shall encourage and support the production and promotion of excellent literary and artistic works, and radio or television programs, and publications and with the subject of publicizing or carrying forward, the spirit of heroes and martyrs.

Article 19: Radio stations, television stations, newspaper and periodical publishing units, and Internet information service providers shall widely publicize the deeds and spirit of heroes and martyrs by playing or publishing works on the theme of heroes and martyrs, public service advertisements, and special columns.

And here's what's forbidden:

The names, likenesses, reputation, and honor of heroes and martyrs are protected by law. The names, likenesses,reputations and honor of heroes and martyrs must not be insulted, defamed, or violated through other means by any person, either in public places, online, or through radio, television, film or publications. The names and likenesses of heroes and martyrs must not be used, or covertly used, by any organization or individual for trademarks or commercial advertisements, damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs.

And this is all tied together with a "see something, say something" program that mandates any attempted slurs of Communist martyrs must be reported to the government immediately and all efforts made to banish it from television screens, newspapers, and the web.

Even historical research must comply with the new law. If historians discover facts that conflict with the official narratives, the facts must go.

Yue Zhongming, a member of the standing committee, said at a news conference that although the law is not intended to restrict academic freedom, it does not give permission to harm the honor of the nation’s heroes.

“We often say there is no banned area of academic research, while there is a bottom line of law,” he said.

China's history will be nothing more than propaganda. The rest of the world should call it what it is: self-serving bullshit, backed by men with guns doing the bidding of government with no moral compass.

Filed Under: censorship, china, free speech, heroes, martyrs, truth

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  1. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 May 2018 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: is enforcing "history libel" only a bad thing when *THEY* do it?

    Finkelstein insists that before 1967, Jewish suffering under the Nazis was just a dying memory, when suddenly there was a whole new imperative that required exhuming this dust-collecting piece of history, polishing it up, and re-inserting it into the public space for the purpose of turning these Israeli aggressors into victims in people's minds.

    Reading someone refer to Holocaust victims as “aggressors“ reminds me of why we keep that “dust-collecting piece of history” alive and in full view: To stop anti-Semitism before it takes hold in our culture and society again. People who joke about the phrase “never forget” nowadays often fail to remember why we must never forget the Holocaust. If you think it cannot happen anywhere else, digest this factoid: The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was ruled legal by the judiciary…and that ruling has never been challenged or rescinded. Internment camps sit a simple hop-skip-jump away from the more lethal concentration camps in both function and philosophy.

    We keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, we re-tell the stories of survival and heartbreak and death and destruction and the banality of evil that made the Holocaust such an horrifically effective plan, to stop people from creating a climate where it could conceivably happen again. If you think you are on the side of the fight that wants to prevent another Holocaust, ask yourself why you are willing to write off those stories as “dust-collecting piece[s] of history”. Your answer will tell you whether you would be a rebel or a collaborator.

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