Communism may be dead in Eastern Europe, but its influence is alive and well in various areas of the world, even though intellectuals in and out of the Ivory Tower would rather not talk about it.
“Why do they kill so much?” Dr. Richard Pipes, Professor of History at Harvard University, asked the audience at the Heritage Foundation. “Yes, they desire to stay in power, but they also have no value of human life.”
“Real humans are created by the Communist society.” On the same panel with Dr. Pipes, Tran Tu Tranh, a former political prisoner in Vietnam labor camps, recounted his horrifying experiences in the camps under the Communist regime there. Many of the South Vietnamese left behind in the Vietnam War were subject to brutal subjugation by the Communist victors.
Forced labor, re-education, and inhumane treatment were the staples of such a society, to trample on the defeated, squeeze their humanity out of them, and reform them into Communist followers. “There was no open bloodbath,” Tranh said, “but rather inhuman torture behind walls.”
“It was the most fiendish way to destroy the human spirit and intellect without killing.” At least 65,000 Vietnamese died in the hard labor camps.
Starvation was the chief method of execution. “Hunger turns humans into animals,” remarked Tranh.
After one month of hunger, inmates would eat anything including rodents, snakes, and leeches. The starvation and inhumane torture was meant to beat the Communist ideology into the people and set an example for any dissidents.
However, the chief base for Communism today exists in the People’s Republic of China. Harry Wu, prisoner in China’s labor camp system, the Laogai, for 19 years, addressed the audience about China’s situation today. China is at a crossroads, he noted, with its economic growth opening options for its power gain.
Money, trade, and technology transfer have constituted the popular opinion lately on how China can be humanized and changed from the outside. He proceeded to explain just what the trade and technology is supporting.
The PRC is not a bastion of freedom, nor is it a wealthy country from top to bottom, and it is certainly not a supporter of the free world. Wu presented his case with examples of Communist agenda in China today.
No one can freely give birth, as government permission must be obtained. There may be no second child in any family. The media, as well as any religion, is controlled by the state.
No labor union exists in China. However, an oppressive agenda must also be instituted for the government to retain control.
Thus, the Laogai system is fully operational in China. According H.R. 294, a U.S. Congress condemnation of the Laogai in 2005, there are over 1,000 prison camps in the system. The labor camps exist to punish and re-educate political prisoners, forcing them to accept socialist and Communist Party beliefs.
The “criminals” are forced to labor under appalling conditions, under threat of torture. In 2005, over three million prisoners were incarcerated in the Laogai, and fifty million people have been subjected to the system since it began.
The bodies of executed prisoners are used for harvesting of human organs, with over 1,000 such instances per year. About 8-10,000 people, according to Wu, are executed each year, making China easily the world’s leader in state executions.
Many citizens enter the prison camps without a trial or process of law, and convicted summarily or through torture. Prisoners range from internet dissidents and pro-democracy activists to religious believers and ethnic patriots from Tibet and Mongolia.
The Chinese people are subjected to various violent and inhumane policies set in place by the government, to force a Communist agenda upon them. However, the Communist leader of China has been a welcome guest in the White House, the only Communist leader in recorded history to be treated so.
“Why?” Wu asked. “Because he rules 1.3 billion strong workers.” Goods produced by the forced labor camps in China and by cheap Chinese labor have been exported to the world, and the Chinese government has relied on this labor camp system as a vital aspect of the country’s economy.
When asked where most of the wealth comes from to fuel the growing Chinese economy, Wu answered “from here [America].”
“The question I ask, is ‘Why do we deal differently with them than with the USSR?’”
Matt Hadro is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.