Bits of the World in Brief


Fifth Estate # 292, June 19, 1978

Peoples (sic) Republic (sic) of China

Despite the change of bureaucracy in China and attempts by the new rulers to make peace with the workers by offering them meager wage increases, it seems that political and social unrest continues. According to a recent French news agency report, there have been a series of executions of political and “criminal” prisoners in China since the beginning of 1978.

In February, Agence France Presse AFP) reported that eight people had been executed in Hangchow, where political/social uprisings have been continuing since the days of the Cultural Revolution (see past issues of the FE). Travelers reported that the executions had been announced in official public security posters which were displayed in several areas of Hangchow.

The posters, dated January 30 of this year, reportedly said that 13 “counter-revolutionary groups” had been disbanded in the city and eight of the leaders executed. The groups had a total of 32 members.

One group was accused of organizing “counter-revolutionary activities with political plans” and trying to spread “propaganda aiming at undermining the socialist system.” The posters stated that the group was further accused of having procured arms and of having forced people by armed threat to supply the group with provisions.

Another AFP report said that a political prisoner named Ho Chun-shu was executed in mid-February in Canton, for Spreading “reactionary propaganda” abroad. The sentence was announced in an official court notice, two copies of which were seen in the main streets of Canton. The notice, dated February 18, indicated that Chun-shu, aged 45, was executed immediately after being sentenced. He was reportedly accused of producing a 200,000 word “counter-revolutionary” leaflet which was distributed locally and also sent abroad.

Amnesty International, a world-wide prisoner rights group, reported that groups of Tibetans were publicly executed in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, by Chinese officials on August 1 and October 1, 1977.

Although neither Amnesty International or Agence France Presse state what were the contents of the leaflets or actions of the groups, news has been trickling out of China over the past year telling of armed groups erecting barricades and openly fighting the Peoples Liberation Army. In fact, last year there were a series of clashes between PLA soldiers and workers in Shanghai, Canton, Hangchow as well as railway workers in the northern provinces. After continuing disturbances in Hangchow and the publication of anti-Government and anti-Army posters, 30,000 PLA soldiers occupied the city to assist in “rebuilding socialist production.”

Whether the executions have to do with the ongoing challenges to the authority of the government or just the new bureaucracy cleaning house is not clear. But what is certain is that many Chinese do not believe that their country is the happy, peaceful, socialist heaven our Maoist friends would like us to believe.

— Information from Amnesty International


A friend of the Fifth Estate sent this little tidbit that came straight off of the UPI wire, March 5 and is printed here as it appeared:

Seven bombs rocked Toulouse, France today causing “extensive damages” to six employment offices and an auto shop, but injuring no one. In anonymous calls to press and radio, the bombings were claimed by “an autonomous coordination committee against work” (the caller’s words).

We Couldn’t Have Said It Better

The column reprinted below from the May 25 Detroit Free Press Business section illustrates in a manner that far surpasses anything we could dream up on how the relationships demanded by capital erode and destroy those based on human association.

John T. Molloy
Executive Mystique

DEAR MR. MOLLOY: I am a 26-year-old female accountant and have just been made assistant department head. As a result, I am giving orders to my friends and feeling very uncomfortable about it.

The men and women in my department still like me and I like them, but I can foresee difficulties. If a conflict arises and I have to use my new authority to get one of them to do what I want, I believe there will be a problem with several men whom I still see on a social basis.

Is there any way I can give orders to my friends without hurting their feelings?

— L.P., Boston.

Dear L.P.: I’ve shown your question to several women executives—and I hate to tell you, but—they all agreed on only one thing: You do not seem ready for a management position.

Each of these women said that you were still too much concerned with being liked. To quote one: “You’re still listening to your mother and her generation who thought that being popular was the most important thing in a woman’s life.”

It was the consensus that it is not only lonely at the top but also on the way to the top. When you accepted your present position, you should have accepted a change in the relationship between you and your former peers and present subordinates. You can still be friendly, but you cannot truly be friends with people who are your subordinates.

All of the women suggested that you find yourself another group to socialize with, because you are not only making your position difficult, but you’re also putting your friends in a difficult position.