(Clearwisdom.net) A joke I heard a long time ago is still on my mind. People from different countries talked about the most blissful moment they could think of. At the time, a Russian said something that stuck in my mind. He had lived through the time when Stalin was killing off dissidents. He said he thinks the most blissful moment is when, "...in the morning, the secret police bangs on your door and wakes you up telling you that you are under arrest, and you can tell him, 'Excuse me, sir, the person you are looking for lives next door.'"
This joke disclosed the fear people used to live under when a communist regime was in power. To be honest, it isn't at all funny. This fear was a product of a culture where one incriminates another to save one's skin. This fear mainly happens under a communist dictatorship, in a society where people can't trust each other.
Incriminating Others is Prevalent in China
Yuan Sheng, a senior pilot from the Shanghai Eastern Aviation Company, told a ground crew member about the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and the trend of quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) before his flight to Los Angeles. The ground crew told on Mr. Yuan and the police came to arrest him. Because over 300 passengers were already on board, the police let Yuan go and told him, "We'll 'take care of you' after you come back." To avoid being persecuted by the CCP, Yuan Sheng sought political asylum in the US.
Yuan Sheng had to leave the country because someone told on him. The culture of incriminating others was not only popular during the Great Cultural Revolution but is still very much alive in Mainland China.
Over ten years ago, I was a graduate student at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and had practical training in Beidaihe in Hebei Province. A professor who was in charge of our team was very gifted and knowledgeable. One night, the reception office held a meeting for students and that professor sang a song that apparently didn't conform to the CCP's ideology (though I didn't think there was a problem with it). After we returned to the Academy, the teaching assistant in our team asked us who reported the professor to the Academy and got him into trouble.
In 2005, Lu Xuesong, a young teacher at the Jilin College of the Arts discussed cultural history with the students during and after class. An activist among the students reported Lu as saying that he was spreading words against the CCP. Lu was fired. According to one teacher, the school hired students to monitor the teachers. They watched what teachers said in class. These "students" were known as "informers." The school authorities picked out students that displayed the "obedience" characteristic and trained them as "potential CCP activists." These students were placed in different departments. They had to "attend" different classes and became the CCP's "ears and eyes" to monitor activities between students and teachers.
How Did the "Incriminatory Culture" Form?
An "incriminatory culture" can't be separated from a dictatorship. Brainwashing systems and torture mechanisms are the breeding ground for a culture of "incrimination."
With the brainwashing system, the CCP deprived people of the opportunity to defend themselves and allowed people to believe that to tell on others is logical. The CCP would do whatever is needed to malign a group they believe to have different thoughts, to stir up hatred among civilians and instill in people the concept that it is morally correct to report on those who belong to the target group. If nothing would happen to those who are the victims, there wouldn't be so many informers.
The CCP's torture mechanism allows the CCP to do whatever it wants to those who are told on. This torture mechanism is an undeniable tool, without which the CCP's dictatorship could no longer exist. In the past when everything was about politics, torture wasn't something to hide. Nowadays, the CCP manipulates the country's laws and added a great tool to its culture of fear and torture: "Crime of anti-revolution," "crime of subversion," "crime of destroying law enforcement," "crime of disclosing state secrets," and "crime of endangering national security" are all used to incriminate innocent people because they hold differing opinions and beliefs. The CCP would reward those who tell on others, to encourage them. On the other hand, everyone tends to tell on others fearing that he/she might be told on first, and also to show that he/she is innocent. There are even people who want to tell on others because it makes them feel better seeing others in trouble.
An important part of every CCP movement is to first start with the incriminatory system. Nowadays people in China talk about how much freedom of speech they have and that they can make fun of the nation's leaders at their dinner tables. However, people automatically avoid sensitive topics such as Falun Gong. Freedom of speech doesn't exist when it comes to sensitive issues, because everyone fears getting into trouble if he/she is reported on.
A magic tool the CCP uses to stay in power is to make citizens tell on each other. The CCP makes great use of the Street Residential Commission, which are in actuality neighborhood detective squads. The society is filled with the atmosphere of reporting on others, and everyone holds fear and will not talk about anything censored by the CCP. This incriminatory system is how the CCP maintains its vicious political movements.
The informers are not always anonymous. When the informers have strong backing, they will report people in public. When any CCP movement is at its peak, the target "enemies" are not protected by any law and they have no civil rights. In moments like this, the informers are fearless. The informer who told on Yuan Sheng is like this. Yuan Sheng's situation highlights out the severity of the CCP's persecution against Falun Gong.
How to Discern "Telling on Someone" in a Dictatorial Society from "Reporting a Crime" in a Democratic Society
Someone may ask, "Aren't there complaints and reporting of crimes in Western democratic countries too? If one didn't mow his lawn and the grass grows too tall, his neighbor will complain to the neighborhood community. If someone forgot to put a leash on his dog, someone will complain! Someone would call the police if he saw a man abuse his wife or children. Today, the West is in fear of terrorist attacks. Therefore, the governments encourage people to report anything suspicious."
However, most people, even immigrants from China, rarely compare these anonymous complaints in a democratic society to the Chinese incriminatory system. In China, even if you tell on a person in public, like the ground crew that brought in police to arrest Mr. Yuan, people still think of this as a "civic action" versus "telling on someone." There is a fundamental difference between the "telling on" in a dictatorial society versus "reporting about" in a democratic society.
The reporting system in a democratic society is to maintain a safe environment for members of the society, and there is no malicious intent. The reporting in a dictatorial society is mostly political and related to the governing party's movements and restraining people's freedom of speech. Things people will be reported are "So-and-so verbally attacked the party or the leader," "So-and-so listens to the the enemy's radio station," or "So-and-so spreads opinions against the party." Regarding the CCP's political movements, such as the June 4 massacre in 1989, and the ongoing Falun Gong suppression, if anyone has a differing opinion from the CCP, he is very likely to be reported by someone.
A dictatorial society and a democratic society have different definitions on what is considered anti-government, on terrorism, and national security. In the CCP's dictatorial system, something that is not what the party wants is "anti-government," while protecting constitutional rights such as freedom of speech or freedom of belief is regarded as "terrorism," and disclosing the CCP's shameful history is "endangering national security."
The most distinctive difference between the CCP and a normal society is that a normal society doesn't have a mechanism like the CCP, by which one can torture the citizens of the country, regardless of whether is is contrary to existing law.
How to End an Incriminating Culture?
Just like other communist countries after a number of political movements, the Chinese people have a deep-seated hatred of this incriminatory culture. This culture is the inevitable result of living under a communist ruled country. Only the disintegration of the CCP and the fundamental destruction of the party culture will allow for people's hearts to return to normal. When people rediscover their conscience and learn the value of morality, the incriminating culture will disappear and society will become normal.