Lessons of Tiananmen Square: We must secure our freedom and rights
TODAY, June 4, is the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre. Many of us only became aware of this monstrous event in history because of Internet and international media organizations whose stories remind us of this dark past of Communist China.
In 1989, students from Peking University embarked on peaceful protests weeks before June 4. Teachers, peasants and people from all walks of life later joined this popular student demonstration branded by Communist leaders as “counter revolutionary” and “traitorous protest.” The question that still remains unanswered is: Did the student leaders plan to overthrow their communist government?
A study of Chinese history would reveal that the late 1980s saw unmanageable economic crisis, high inflation, massive unemployment, corruption in the government, among others. In China, education is simply synonymous to mass indoctrination, wherein books, lesson plans and everything that is to be taught to students were planned and programmed by China’s presidium, or the highest governing body of the communist state.
It is my belief that these students, who have never encountered the concept of individual rights, did not seek to overthrow their government. The Communist leaders’ accusation of “counter-revolutionary” was only made to justify the government crackdown on protesters. Who would replace the government had they really planned to oust their ruthless communist leaders? The student leaders who were brainwashed since age three with the ideals of communism and collectivist-altruist gospels of Karl Marx and Mao Zedong? This is preposterous!
As what former China’s Premier Zhao Ziyang stated in his post-humus book entitled Prisoner of the State, “most people were only asking us to correct our flaws, not attempting to overthrow our political system.” Zhao wanted to reform the communist government, saying, “if a country wishes to modernize, not only should it implement a market economy, it must also adopt a parliamentary democracy as its political system.” He was the first communist leader in China who said that it was time to try capitalism. With these views and his sympathy with the student protesters, Zhao was arrested and was put under house arrest.
Today, as the Chinese people tried to commemorate June 4th, the Communist government again made a crackdown on free speech, as international media organizations and Internet connection were blocked. A CNN reporter was barred from reporting on Tiananmen Square by state agents in plain clothes. Internet cafes, as shown by Joie Cheng of CNN, were restricted by the Communist government, and activist bloggers who discussed about Tiananmen Square killings have been put under state surveillance.
The lesson of Tiananmen Square is that we must all be interested in politics—that we must all be aware and assertive of our rights. Make no mistake, I am not speaking of partisan politics. But there are people who feel annoyed when somebody else speaks of human rights and freedom, as if these concepts have no room in our modern age. What I say now is that we must run away from their kind, because they would be the ones to deliver us to socialism and communism one day.
In the Philippines, the allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the House of Representatives unilaterally approved constitutional assembly as a mode of changing, or desecrating, the Philippine Constitution. These are the kind of people who will deliver all Filipinos to dictatorship as in the years of pre-martial law, when members of Congress reduced themselves to mere rubber stamp, allowing Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos to rule the country all by himself. The Filipinos usually recollect martial law by enumerating the evil deeds of Marcos, but what about those stupid and power-hungry congressmen who helped Marcos turned this country into a slave pen? They seem to have forgotten that no dictator will ever rise without the support of the people!
Many people bewail that bloody communist crackdown on Chinese protesters in 1989 without thinking that Mao Zedong could have not risen to power had they not allowed themselves to be deceived by this murderous communist leader. People must have forgotten that those students were the children or grandchildren of most Chinese people who supported Mao’s revolution in 1920s. Now, the Chinese people have no one to blame but their credulous ancestors who sold the future and freedom of their children and their grandchildren to communist empty promises of equality, economic progress and freedom.
I am not surprised if one day the Philippines, with the current state of mind of most Filipinos, would slide down toward socialism and dictatorship. This scenario is not surprising since most Philippine educational institutions like University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, AMA, De La Salle University, and University of Santo Tomas, among others teach the gospel of collectivism, socialism, altruism and self-sacrifice. Indeed, the real enemy of freedom and civil liberties are the colleges and universities that teach anti-reason and the philosophy of Karl Marx and Immanuel Kant to young students.
Link to excerpts of Zhao Ziyang’s book: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/world/asia/15zhao-transcript.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1