Friday, September 2, 2016

Communist Censorship Past & Present

In discussing censorship of literature, film, and protests this week in the Humanities' projects, I realized a connection between the Communist party's influence in Russia during the 1940's and China present-day. In several groups' presentations, the Russian party was depicted as being an oppressive force over Czechoslovakia after their liberation from German forces. This led to the resentment of Communist leaders (Stalin) during the time because they were initially seen as "heroes" to the Czech people, but quickly became as dominant and controlling as Hitler and the Germans. However, propaganda distorted the reality of the situation in Czechoslovakia which connects to Kundera's portrayal of kitsch in his novel. Present-day, this relates to the Communist party in China regulating the content of social media outlets to "squelch news that might put its governance in an unfavorable light." See the attached link for the full article on China's restrictions of their internet.


Savannah Watermeier said...

I have also thought about present day communism in China while doing this unit. However, I don't think China is as extreme as the Soviets were. Yes, China does enforce some censorships and their government is rather controlling, but they do not kill people for what they post. It is well known that Stalin was a mass murderer, but China is not. In China, there are even ways to get around the censorships. The Chinese students at STM have taught me how. They don't have Instagram, snapchat, or a game called slither. However, they have their own versions of these apps. They can still communicate with their friends and even with people back in the US, just with a different version of the app. I definitely see the similarities between China and the Soviet, but there are also differences too.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I think it's interesting to see how we usually think of censorship and times of oppression as things of the past most likely because we don't deal with such hardships living in America. However, the burden of censorship is true for many people in this day and age including China and also North Korea and many other places. North Korea has one of the most dictatorial governments in the present day where the people are forced to hang pictures of their leader in their houses while they must also have a government radio in each home and the citizens cannot turn off the radio and speaking against the government is punishable by death. Although the Soviet army maybe never reached extremes such as North Korea they were still brutal to the Czech people they ruled over and could have definitely headed in that direction. Both peoples were/ are oppressed and not allowed to express themselves due to the harsh censorship in place and speaking against such censorship could very well end your life.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I can definitely attest to the large amount of censorship in China. While I was there, it was very hard for me to access the media I was accustomed to. During that time, a lot of important events were happening in the United States and it was hard to stay informed. The vast majority of American news sites as well as all western social media were banned at the time. The thing that surprised me was how different age groups viewed the censorship. Many of the teens I met there had workarounds to the great firewall and thought that the censors were ridiculous. But most of the elderly didn't even know they existed.