COULD WE BE HAPPY WITH SOMETHING ELSE?

COULD WE BE HAPPY WITH SOMETHING ELSE?

Yesterday, we watched this video.  (For those of you not wanting to click the link, it’s Joe Biden at an outdoor event at the White House, celebrating national and state teachers of the year.  He aimlessly meanders up to a podium while the brass band is playing loudly and just starts talking into the microphones.  Seconds later, First Lady Jill Biden appears, taps his arm, and says what sounds like “Look at me.”  He looks around, back and forth, and eventually stops talking).

As we watched that video of a clearly confused and doddering old man and his wife who is doing her very best to pretend for the outside world that he’s OK and everything is fine, we were reminded of a different video. This one.  (Again, for those of you not clicking the link, it’s some random dude’s vacation video set to the song “What We All Want” by Gang of Four.)

Who is Gang of Four, you ask?  Well, in this case, they were, by far, the best of post-punk/new-wave bands that dominated alternative music in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Unlike most of their contemporaries, the members of Gang of Four could play their instruments, and their guitar-heavy-dub-funk sound was danceable while still being rock.  And “What We All Want” is probably the best example of their unique and extraordinary style.

Now, to be honest, when we thought of Gang of Four we didn’t really mean the British band.  Rather, we were thinking of the other Gang of Four, for whom the band was named.  That Gang consisted of Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, Wang Hongwen – i.e. Madame Mao and three of her besties.  They were dubbed a “Gang” after Mao died.  Before then, however, they were some of the most important people in the Chinese Communist Party:

Gang of Four…the most powerful members of a radical political elite convicted for implementing the harsh policies directed by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chairman Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). The group included Mao’s third wife, Jiang Qing, and Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, and Yao Wenyuan. Their backgrounds were similar in that prior to 1966 all four were low- or middle-ranking officials who lacked leverage within the existing power structure. Shared traits included their ability to manipulate the mass media, their good standing with Mao, and their dislike of and subsequent desire to overthrow moderate government officials who clustered around Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping.

The group came into prominence in 1965 when Wu Han’s play Hai Rui Dismissed from Office was banned as a direct result of an investigation by Jiang into its political character, which resulted in a published denunciation of the play by Yao. This case set a precedent for radicalizing the arts and, in effect, signaled the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

As the Cultural Revolution intensified, the members of the Gang of Four advanced to high positions in the government and the CCP. Manipulating the youthful Red Guards, the Gang of Four controlled four areas: intellectual education, basic theories in social sciences, teacher-student relations and school discipline, and party policies regarding intellectuals. After the initial turmoil of the Cultural Revolution subsided in 1969, the Gang of Four maintained their power through control of the media and propaganda outlets and by their seeming adherence to Mao’s policies and wishes. With Mao’s death in 1976, however, the Gang of Four lost their remaining power and were imprisoned and later tried in 1980–81 for their activities during the Cultural Revolution. Jiang and Zhang both received suspended death sentences (both reduced to life imprisonment in 1983); Wang was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Yao to a 20-year term.


Now, as you may note, the above explanation is concise yet informative and thorough – as you would expect from an entry in the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  That’s not why we chose it, though.  We chose this particular description of the Gang of Four because it is completely derived from Chinese Communist Party propaganda.  There’s no hemming and hawing.  No incidents of “scholars” questioning the official line.  No alternative perspectives.  Nothing other than the CCP line that the Gang were the bad guys and deserved every damn bit of punishment they received.  The only online versions of the Gang’s “crimes” that hew tighter to the party line are those reprinted on Marxists.org.

And that’s precisely as the CCP wants it – for the best known and most respected name in Western encyclopedic publications to accept the party line as the inarguable version of the truth.  If you’ve lost Cronkite, then you’ve lost the country.  But if you convince Britannica, then you’ve defined history, you’ve fashioned the “official” version of events.

Does this mean that we’re sticking up for the Gang of Four or think that they were sweethearts who were railroaded by the real bad guys?  Do we think it’s the case that their only crimes were the ones heaped upon them by their political enemies?

Of course not.

The members of the Gang were inhumane monsters.  But then, so was Mao and so was Deng.  And so is Xi.  It’s not an especially easy case to make that guilty, murderous people are nevertheless scapegoats, but it’s true in this case.  The men who arrested, tried, and propagandized against the Gang of Four were every bit as gruesome and murderous as were the Gangsters.  The only difference is that Deng et al. had the good sense to prepare for Mao’s exit from the stage and to formulate a strategy whereby their “rivals for power” could be transformed into “enemies of the people” and blamed for all the evils of the previous decade.  The Gang of Four were inarguably evil.  But they were also inaccurately blamed for countless atrocities that should, rightly, have been attributed to others who escaped culpability simply by being on the “winning” side.

So why on God’s Green Earth do we think of the Gang of Four when we see Joe and Jill Biden doing their nurse-patient shtick out in public?

Obviously, there’s the husband-wife commonality, the purportedly “powerful” husband who simply could not function without his wife stage-managing his every act for him.

More to the point, though, we get the feeling that Jill and Joe Biden are being set up, that, indeed, they were set up from the very start.  For a long time, we assumed that Biden was a puppet, that he, in his clearly diminished condition, was being manipulated by others in the party who have an agenda and just needed a figurehead to carry it out.  Today, we’re more inclined to think that he’s a patsy.

We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Biden presidency is not going especially well.  The worse it gets, the more incompetent he seems, the more videos of him looking completely out of it that surface, the more convinced we become that he is being consciously manipulated by those who would play Deng to his (and Jill’s) Gang of Four.  “We can’t tell you how sorry we are that Joe Biden and his cadre of criminals put the American people through so much suffering.  We want you to know, however, that we are dedicated to righting the wrongs of his presidency, to putting the party and the country back together, and to standing up for real Democratic values.  We’re sorry that they put you through this, and he will not rest until we make it right.”

The only catch is that, at this point, we cannot clearly identify the players.  We have some thoughts, of course, about the people who are manipulating all of this to their advantage.  But since we’d rather not be sued, we will keep our thoughts to ourselves for the time being.  For the record, though, we don’t think that any of the players have the last names “Clinton” or “Obama.”  They are connected to BOTH, we think, but not related.

As for who will join Joe and Jill as enemies of the state/violent counter-revolutionaries, we think the following, from NBC News yesterday, is interesting:

The State Department's inspector general informed Congress on Monday that her office is opening a series of investigations into the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Diana Shaw, the State Department's acting inspector general, notified the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the House and Senate intelligence committees, that her office will open "several oversight projects" related to ending diplomatic operations in Afghanistan….

The probes will focus on the State Department's Special Immigrant Visa program, Afghans processed for refugee admission into the U.S., resettlement of Afghan refugees and visa recipients, and the emergency evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul "to include evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan nationals."


Pro-tip:  If you receive letters of inquiry in this investigation or if you are told that you may want to consider hiring outside legal counsel, then you’re in the Gang.  You’re about to be thrown under the proverbial bus.  You are about to join Joe and Jill Biden on (presumably, but not definitively) metaphorical trial for crimes against the people.

As with the original Gang of Four, the Bidens and their friends will bear responsibility for their actions and inactions, but they will not bear that responsibility alone.

The history books – and Encyclopedia Britannica – will tell a different story, however.

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