You may think that the two images and the quote by Benjamin Franklin have no connection, when indeed they do.
My novel, "Letters in the Jade Dragon Box" will be at bookstores in the next few days. It tells the story of a family and a nation torn apart under the cruel dictatorship of Mao Tse-tung and the CCP. (Chinese Communist Party)
The tyranny which enslaved China from 1949 to 1976 (and beyond) came because the people were weary of chaos and war, and in their weakened state the words of the Communists sounded good to their ears. Because of their ignorance of the Communist's agenda, the people handed over their freedom to a flawed system and, on the most part, self-seeking despots.
The false system was legitimized by the media and the artists who were forced to only show the CCP in a glorified light. An example is the picture above which is a representation of the soldiers in the snow during the Long March. They are smiling and happy to be fighting for a system of government who promised equality and freedom for all its citizens—happy to be walking thousands of miles for Chairman Mao—happy to be dying by the thousands as only about 1,000 of the 10,000 men who began the Long March actually made it to journey's end.
In China there are still large pictures of Mao Tse-tung hung in public places. Many still revere him, although between 58 to 70 million Chinese died during his reign from hunger, imprisonment, torture, execution, or suicide.
In ignorance the Chinese people were enslaved. May we as Americans never find ourselves in such a place.