CHINA HISTORY 5
The Chinese leaders have always involved themselves in the making ofscience policy this is because different leaders struggling for powerhave at one point acted as patrons of the scientific establishment.Moreover, party leaders who are not scientifically trained are keenon science and have great respect for a scientist. The leadersperceive the scientist and science as the key to the growth of theeconomy. Nevertheless, the efforts of the government to use sciencein generating military payoff and furthering the economy have beenfrustrated in most occasions. As a result of the frustration, thegovernment ends up reversing the policies and worsening the inherenttension existing between the political elite and the scientist overthe control and goals of technology and science in the nation. Eventhough divergences and tension between political leaders and expertexist practically in all countries in China, this went to extremes ofpersecuting the intellectuals and the scientist.
The tension between the political communist leaders and the scientistwas there in the early days of People’s Republic and went onreaching its peak at the time of Cultural Revolution. The scientistsduring the early 19950s were subjected to customary propaganda aimedat replacing the bourgeois attitudes with more suitable ones. Effortof scientific organizations such as internationalism, autonomyassumption of choosing the research topics and identifying andassociating with a professional scientist instead of administrativeauthorities was viewed and termed as bourgeois. Most scientists weredismissed from their academic position and administrative post forairing or expressing their discontent with poorly educated partyleaders taking scientist time to do rallies and unnecessary politicalmeetings rather than allow specialist time to focus on scientificwork. Such scientists were labeled as rightist (capitalist) andcriticized for their stance.
Even though the communist party leaders addressed the need to combineexpertise and redness their actions were those of political rectitudewith mutual exclusive qualities of professional skills. The GreatLeap Forward saw the professional standards of technical personneland scientist lowered, qualified scientists were reassigned frommajor projects, and uneducated individuals took over. Therepercussion for this was devastating uneducated masses had beeninvolved in pest and plant bleeding, which caused a great famine tofollow the Great Leap Forward. Economic depression hit China forcingthe Soviet technical personnel and advisors to withdraw from China in1960 (Patricia, 2009). For a short while an emphasis was placed onbringing to board professionals and experts in the early 1960.
However, the Cultural Revolution made a massive blow to technologyand science. Scientific research practically ceased, and somescientists were branded as counterrevolutionaries and thereforepublic enemies who only deserved the persecution. For almost a year,all the main scientific Institute come to a standstill with expertbeing hailed to rural areas to communal work and learned politicalvirtual. Nevertheless, the military continued with its research onmissiles and weapons.
The ideology during the late Qing was that only moral quality couldultimately benefit the society and not the technical experts.Accordingly, it was believed that man could overcome all obstacleswith a sheer force of voluntarism and accomplish anything by workingtogether with others. This contributed to the tension between beingexpert and being red that become acute in the period lasting from1957 to1960 (the Great Leap Forward).
All in all, the Cultural Revolution was a triumph of red (thepoliticians) over the experts, which saw a considerable drop ineducation and persecution of intellectuals. The reason for thepersecution being cited as opposition to public interest moststudents was given political training, and secondary and primaryschools closed even for one year as education was discouraged.
Patricia Buckley Ebey.(2009). Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook, 2ndEd. Simon Schuster. Internetsource.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=CUcdH6opOlcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Chinese+Civilization&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4LuOVP2ZAovmyQO5yYHoCw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Chinese%20Civilization&f=false