From Yang Jisheng's Tombstone. The Great Leap Forward in Henan Province:
The brutal campaign involved tortures such as 'stir fried beans' ( referred to in Sichuan as 'scrubbing the Taro') in which a person was pushed around a ring of people until he collapsed. Some victims with heart problems died during this ordeal.
Them times ain't no more, right? Not quite:
In the first week, Zhou slept barely an hour each night in a hotel because his interrogators stood in a circle and endlessly pushed him back and forth, demanding he confess to accepting 100,000 yuan, or $16,000, in bribes.
And that was only the start of it. People argue about what way, if any, China has 'reformed' . One way of looking at it might be as a process involving the professionalisation of dictatorship. What was once done in public by ad hoc teams enforcing mass line political campaigns is now done in private, by specialists looking for confessions to specific financial crimes. What remains is a core of institutional memory.