Doubling Down on a Troubled Conscience (Part I)

Doubling Down on a Troubled Conscience (Part I)

Even though the Fall has marred the image, all humans nonetheless still in one way or the other reflect a glimpse of who our Creator is. The accusation we experience by our conscience is one of them. We innately know right from wrong, even when our culture teaches a different morality, because God has put that imprint in our conscience. When our conscience indicts us, naturally we will strive to find a way to regain equilibrium. All CCP (Chinese Communist Party) leaders were involved in bloody struggles to maintain their power. This must have weighed heavily on their conscience. How do they regain their equilibrium?

Recently I watched a series of videos depicting the 100-year history of the CCP (Voice of America Chinese Language). According to the videos, Mao at various points engaged in political purges to eliminate potential enemies inside the party. Those expulsions were deceptive and cruel, and in the effort to remove future potential trouble, a large number of CCP members and their families were implicated in each purge.

Over the course of these events, few within the party were able to escape those agonizing ordeals. However, for the overwhelming majority of the CCP members, the horrifying traumas they had experienced did not make them reject their party or its beliefs. On the contrary, the tribulations they had endured strengthened their conviction, making them the most fervent followers of communism. This feature profoundly struck me for it seemed to go against one’s better judgment.

A Privileged Life

In normal times, CCP leaders along with their families lived a privileged life completely different from that of ordinary citizens. They had both power and wealth and did not experience any material shortage even during the Great Famine. However, those times were few and far between. The history of the CCP is replete with political purges. In each purge, some were condemned, others promoted. The ones who benefited from a given purge could become the target of the next one. Uncertainty, capriciousness and volatility were among the most recognizable traits of the CCP.

A daughter of a CCP high ranking leader recalled her experience after her family was banished to the countryside as the result of a political purge. The degree of poverty she saw in the Chinese countryside shocked her. She would not have imagined that there had been people living in such an abject condition. Previously, she had believed that the CCP was the savior of Chinese peasants who had lifted the poor farmers up from the abyss of misery and brought prosperity to their lives. However, the reality proved otherwise.

Abominable Results

At the same time, she was also greatly distressed by the news of a close family friend who had committed suicide after repeatedly becoming a political target and suffered through tortures in multiple purges. She began to question the goal of the CCP and wondered why communism could only produce abominable results regardless of its claims and its original dreams and aspirations. She came to the conclusion that communism itself as a political system is totally corrupted, unworkable and cannot be reformed, and thus, must be completely rejected. She said that any person with limited intelligence would come to the same conclusion.

But her mother, a first generation CCP member and an intelligent person, did not share her conclusion. She believed that her mother had been systematically brainwashed, so the doctrine of communism exerted such a dominant influence that rendered her powerless to think outside the system.

Absolute Power — and the Fight to Keep It

However, I think there is another reason that might have played a far greater role in shaping her mother’s commitment to the party.

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