This video will be on the Cultural Revolution, focusing on the cultural changes itself. Since the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward happened simultaneously I do flow into it sometimes. However this video will focus primarily on the social relations between people.
Fair warning in advance this video is long. The purpose is to go into detail about the many aspects of the social transformation that occurred.
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The Cultural Revolution was a moment in history that has never been repeated to this day. A moment when people who just a decade or two before were 80% illiterate, were now conducting the most expansive discussion on society and its aspects ever. This was a tremendous moment for the proletariat and indeed the entire world as everyone in a society was actively engaged in the radical re-formation of society and culture.
It was very obvious that if you want to truly revolutionize a society, to really change things that you need to change the culture as well. A new type of society requires a new political and social consciousness as well. Old ideas will reproduce the old ways, new ideas create new ways. It’s very basically and is perfectly understandable to a kid in Grade 8.
The right wing, the pro-market propagandists all cried that this attempt was social manipulation; “social engineering” is the usual Glenn Beck-style trigger word that gets people believing in conspiracies. This is ridiculous anyway, the society in which we live now does nothing but socially engineer, promote propaganda and try its best to program us.
Turn on what kids are watching, MTV, what do you see? Do you see a culture of people sharing and working together? No, you see the opposite quite obviously. You see people like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian who are famous for literally no reason, do nothing to earn money at all. They serve no useful function whatsoever but the market has decided these people are worth millions.
Individuals like rappers are promoted like crazy; mass amounts of wealth without really haven’t done much of anything. Promoting those who contribute nothing while ignoring those of whom society could not exist without. Glamorizations of sex, an extravagant life-style are tens of thousands of time more common than a simple message of stay in school.
It’s not just MTV, although pop culture is the majority of it. In the adult world we’re filled with stories and self-congratulations of the wealthy elite who do little to nothing at all. Mindless glorifications of excessive unnecessary wealth while ignoring the virtue of actual hard work. (An idea that used to be popular.) Mindless materialism is forced upon us from all angles, from authority worship like CSI and Law and Order to Hannah Montana, songs like “This is the Good Life” and many other horribly unrealistic glorification’s of wealth.
Hannah Montana alone was nothing more than materialist propaganda for little girls. Life is perfect when you’re famous, rich and attractive. If you don’t have these things than life is bad and is not worthwhile. It doesn’t get any better when you get older; the propaganda just gets more sophisticated. Like being fed the fraudulent idea that everyone and anyone can get rich if you just work hard. The idea that everyone can be rich is such a paradox it’s staggering that anyone could believe it.
This could not be further from the truth in the case of the Cultural Revolution in China. People from all other the country arrived in Beijing to discuss the new society they were about to build. This was not an act of engineering, but an act of mass participation. This concept is hard for the right-wing mentality to comprehend, this isn’t co-erosion, its co-operation.
People came from all over the countryside to the universities and collages to debate with party cadres and the intellectuals as to how this new society will take form. I’ve never been to a university here, but I’m pretty sure they tell you how things are and what you are going to learn. I wouldn’t want to see how they would react if students started telling them how they should run the place.
The whole goal of the Cultural Revolution was to create this new society, a society on socialist principles. This goal can only be achieved by ending inequality in political power, as well as access to economic and intellectual resources. This principal is unique to socialism, communism and anarchism. This principal exists in no other ideology, not even the most liberal of liberal minds. Liberals seek only to place theoretical limits on class differences, not abolish them.
Liberals have no desire to change society, because they seek no meaningful change. Although some will say, “yes we can”.
The idea is to promote a culture of goodness, fairness and equality. These are all the things we already recognize are good things, the just thing to do. But this society shuns all of those thing repeating ad naseum that they are bad and will lead to tyranny. The whole premise is that bad is good and good is bad.
It is a straight denial of human nature capitalism indoctrinates people with. Human beings can be good and bad, so they just always go with the worst and call themselves “objective”. In reality human beings are good and bad, that would be a real objective stance. Instead they just rely on denial as a justification for their harmful, anti-social and prejudiced behaviour. “Oh people can be bad so let’s just play to that.” How obvious can you get that you are being “socially engineered”?
The General Occurrence
While socialism in a country like China must be understood as a form of class rule of the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry, and as a mode of production in which planned production for social needs replaces production for private profit, it is not a static social system. What defines socialism most clearly is the road on which it is travelling. Is society expanding or restricting economic, social and political inequalities to the greatest degree possible? Is it promoting mass participation and debate, or political passivity, in factories, farms, schools and governmental institutions? Is it promoting internationalism and leading mass campaigns to support revolution in other countries? Is it combating “me first” capitalist ideology with struggle for the collective interest? Is it challenging national oppression and male supremacy? And of critical importance, what political line is the working class’ political leadership in the communist party and state organs pursuing?
In 1966 over a million students were in Beijing at any given time. These students were there to openly criticize the reactionary and authoritarian teachers and education systems. The complaint was that the teachers were creating experts with no political consciousness. The result of this student rebellion was rightist and revisionist administrators and teachers were paraded through the streets with dunce caps and were made subject to public criticism at meetings and all-night “struggle sessions.”
When did this ever happen here? Where in the Western world was it ever okay to disobey teachers who were taking students something they thought was wrong and corrected them in such a way? Never, but during the Cultural Revolution the students decided what they would be learning. They democratized the education system and the students organized it.
Red Guard organizations changed the old imperial names of streets and stores and searched homes, temples and churches for evidence of counter-revolutionary activities, hoarding wealth, and the practice of feudal customs. This was not mindless violence that was portrayed in the Western press, but a political movement to uproot the old ideas and customs of the exploiting classes. However, there were excesses, including serious physical attacks on people in relatively privileged positions, which Mao and others in the party leadership recognized and sought to correct.
At the same time, in Shanghai, China’s industrial centre, a powerful political force was stirring. The Workers General Headquarters (WGH) under the leadership of a young textile worker, Wang Hongwen, had built up strength in hundreds of factories criticizing revisionist management practices that stifled the initiative of the workers. In the course of several days in January 1967 known as the “January Storm,” these rebel workers seized power from Shanghai’s party apparatus. The mass “struggle rally” at which the Shanghai party committee was brought down was the first to be shown live on television. In a desperate ploy to hold onto power, which was repeated throughout the Cultural Revolution, revisionist party leaders organized conservative factions among the workers to defend their positions and privileges. They also stirred up a wave of “economism,” which attempted to sabotage the rebellion by granting tens of thousands of workers big wage increases and years of back pay.
Tell me when the last time a group of working class people rebelled against an unjust government policy or action in the US, or Canada, or England? Any attempt to do so is met only with violence by the state. Just ask Daniel Shays of the Shays Rebellion what happens when you question the government and its unethical practice.
On a more important note, if Mao was such a dictator, then why did he allow this to happen? Surely a dictator would object to the entire party apparatus in a city being over thrown being. It was nothing of the sort, Mao hailed them as having a true revolutionary spirit. They were confronted with an unjust and harmful government policy and they destroyed it.
Mao’s Path-Breaking Class Struggle Ideas
One of the theoretical breakthroughs of Maoist theory is that class struggle continues after the revolution in a socialist state. The Soviets placed little or no emphasis on this. Mao however recognized this as a problem in the USSR and sought to prevent this from happening in China. He saw that the Communist party in Russia was itself the new ruling class.
Stalin claimed that with the nationalization of industry and collectivization of agriculture—no exploiting classes existed in the Soviet Union. This statement was completely untrue as was revealed later on. In fairness to Stalin it was a common believe among the early 20th century socialists that private property was what the capitalist class anchored themselves to. If private property didn’t exist, then therefore they couldn’t exist.
Mao pointed this out in “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”:
“In China, although in the main socialist transformation has been completed with respect to the system of ownership…there are still remnants of the overthrown landlord and comprador classes, there is still a bourgeoisie, and the remolding of the petty bourgeoisie has only just started. The class struggle is by no means over. The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between the different political forces, and the class struggle in the ideological fields between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will continue to be long and tortuous and at times will even become very acute. The proletariat seeks to transform the world according to its own world outlook and so does the bourgeoisie. In this respect, the question of which will win out, socialism or capitalism, is still not really settled.”
This was a breakthrough idea in its time, this gave rise to the recognition that it was contradictions in the system itself that created new bourgeois elements, which can coalesce into a new bourgeoisie. Previously it was believe the main threat to socialism was external, imperialist aggression and whatnot. Internal threats were treachery or imperialist subversion. No one had recognized that contradictions within the system itself could created NEW bourgeoisie, not just sustain the old ones.
One of the mistakes I felt the Soviet union and Stalin, and perhaps Lenin made was assuming (if only subconsciously) that socialism is the victory. Its an idea that is perpetuated by many on the left to this very day. Socialism is not the victory of the working class, it is the beginning of the working classes’ offensive toward the victory of communism.
Since socialism is the transitional phase from capitalism to communism, this is where the internal contradictions and sabotages capitalist roaders will take place. During this time all inequalities must be combated to the farthest possible extent. Obviously some inequalities cannot be done away with immediately, however some can.
Many of these inequalities have a very poisonous effect on socialism and make contradictions within the system worse. These inequalities are inherited from the old system, pay differentials between skilled and unskilled work and between mental and manual work, such things as the differences between the economic, educational, and cultural opportunities available in the city and in the countryside. As long as these inequalities exist they are a danger to the socialist order and the communist goal.
It is unknown how long there would be a struggle period in abolishing these inequalities. it depends largely on the society itself, its level of political consciousness and even the depths of those inequalities. The main one in my (and many other’s opinion) is the division between mental and manual labour. This is a process don’t get me wrong, this is not a simple fix, its a long process of political and cultural struggle for an unknown amount time.
The main power in any society is not only being able to speak, but to be heard. In capitalism you may be able to have a great deal of free speech, but it essentially means nothing as you are ignored. In the factories and production facilities, this free speech took form in the “mass airings”. the entire staff was called together and if you had something to say, you said it where everyone heard it. No one could pull the whole he-said-she-said trickery. This is how ideas for improving production and methods of work were discussed, in the open in front of anyone.
Here is a good example of what I am talking about:
This new system of management was being used in the Anshen Iron and Steel Works. In the 1960s the facilities production of rolled steel was beginning to fail. By 1971 the leading cadre claimed that output could only be increased through an influx of state funds, this meant their renovation for a newer facility were put on hold.
When this difficulty came to a head, the relevant revolutionary committee came forward an criticized the leaders in management for not listening to the workers. The revolutionary committee instituted the “three-in-one” teams who worked closely with the shop floor workers to solve the difficult technological problems of modernizing the mill. The result of listening to those in physical production was rebuilding the facility using only its own funds, (no state assistance) and doubling output.
This method was called “grasp revolution, promote production.”
Bottom level decisions making and bottom level criticism makes a revolution. You cannot claim to be a democracy when people have no power. The essence of class is the essence of fascism. Always one class of people are considered ‘the controllers’ and others the controlled. This is the very essence of classes.
Revolutionary Communal Production
The Great Leap Forward in 1958 was an ambitious plan to increase industrial and agricultural production. It undertook radical social transformations and led to new levels of socialist consciousness. In one year, 750,000 collective farms were merged into 24,000 people’s communes, each of which was composed of dozens of villages and on average 5,000 households. The communes were not just economic units but new social organizations that combined political, educational, cultural and military functions.
This fundamentally changed the nature of human relations inside China. It helped eliminate the idea of the “me first” exploitative childish ideology. As everyone worked together everyone had an increase in living standards, everyone had better lives because they co-operated instead of competing.
The scale of the communes made it possible to mobilize large numbers of peasants to work on big irrigation, flood control and land reclamation projects. Rural industrialization leapt forward, with commune-operated shops manufacturing and repairing agricultural implements, small chemical plants producing fertilizer, and the establishment of local crop-processing industries. Tens of millions of women joined the labour force outside their homes for the first time; childcare centres were set up on the communes. The communes funded new primary schools and a network of middle schools and colleges that combined work and study.
One of the advantages of the communes was its ability to avoid one of the mistakes that the Soviets made in their development. Many communes had cement factories in them. The Soviet Union had centralized them in the cities and as a result had to waiting until a highway system was developed before it could actually be shipped out to the countryside where it was needed the most. The Chinese Communists learned from this mistake and avoided it by creating cement factories in the communes. This could not be known about once it was attempted.
The industries that emerged from the communes were worker owned and operated. This was rejection of the Soviet one-man management system. Each worker had input into the operation of the facility. Obviously these workers had no experience in operating such facilities, they lacked the administrative skills. In order to teach these skills to the workers (who before the revolution were illiterate), a system of spare-time schools and colleges attached to factories was established. In some plants, 60 to 70 percent of the workforce was enrolled in these schools. Workers were given some time off work everyday or every week to learn these new skills.
With the rejection of the Soviet one-man management system, a new system was put in its place, the “2-1-3” system:
1. “two participations” (participation of cadres in labour and workers in management)
2. “one reform” (reform of unneeded regulations) and,
3. “triple combinations” (of skilled workers, technicians and administrators to solve production problems).
It was during this time when peasant farmers and workers began questioning the people in charge of production. When factory leaders did not listen to the input of the workers they were removed and replaced by people who would listen. This problem was solved by having everyone participate in decision making, and by having managers perform daily work functions like everyone else on a rotating schedule. This enforced an idea of equality, these managers had no power over the workers, they were workers themselves. If they started acting or believing any different they were removed by the same people they worked with.
Workers did not respond to a boss, because the boss didn’t exist.
Health Care and Barefoot Doctors
Before the Cultural Revolution basically all health care services where next to non-existent in the countryside. The result of this was hundreds of millions of peasants left without even a basic rudimentary medical care. No schools were anywhere near the countryside, this made it very difficult to get any advanced medical knowledge to the villages.
Possibly the greatest innovation of the Cultural Revolution was the invention of the system of “barefoot doctors”. The goal of this system was to shorten the gap in medical services between the cities and the countryside. Five years later there were more than a million of these paramedics working in the rural areas. Many of them were educated youth that were sent down to the villages.
Often this system of sending doctors to where there were none is criticized as “forcing” people to practice medicine by right wing propagandists. Of course providing these medical services were part of the training, it was their residential placement, the same as medical schools as here, except it was in the country where it could do the most good.
This opinion by the right wing shows their utter hypocritical nature. They’re completely incapable to seeing that they are doing almost the same thing. Its common for the right wing to try to make a policy look bad if someone else does it, but not when they do it. It becomes clear that they are just out to attack Communism and not to actually make a point. They show what kind of people they really are, incapable of making an analysis of a society and just close their minds off proving their ignorance towards everything.
What they deliberately over look is the fact that these people wanted to go into the countryside to give health care to those who didn’t have it. This is the same mentality of Cuban doctors who go to the poorest in the world and give their services for free. They live in the poorest conditions and make receive little money because they believe in what they are doing. Its no wonder the right wing can’t understand why people would do this. Being altruistic is a hard concept for them to grasp. If there is no material incentive, it can’t exist.
There were originally 28 of these specialist paramedics that were trained in Shanghai. While serving people in the countryside, their tasks were diseases prevention first, and to combine mental and manual labour. Mao put it simply, “calluses on hands, mud on feet, medicine kit on shoulder, poor and lower-middle peasants in mind.”
One of the first things the Barefoot Doctors did was to train several people in the village disease-prevention sot hat they could begin building their own health care staff. While that was being done the barefoot doctor would spend a third to half their time in agricultural work alongside these same peasants. This created a medical corps that had a very strong tie to the masses.
The tasks of these new doctors went far beyond the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. They administered vaccinations, demonstrated the correct use of pesticides, introduced new sanitation methods, and taught mothers about nutrition and child care.
Many of these village medical teams included midwives that assisted in child birth. This alone massively attributed to the decrease in infant mortality and the deaths of mothers during child birth.
During this same time there were what were called Red Medical Teams. These were the urban and industrial version of the barefoot doctors. Volunteers from the workplace would take a basic course in medical services. They would also have follow up teachings where they learned more advanced medical techniques and procedures. Their main goal was to serve the medial needs of their fellow workers. Here in the West in some larger unionized factories, (extremely rare cases) they have have a Registered Nurse on staff receiving a wage, but this system was much more effective as it provided much more medical personnel and no extra cost.
The training of doctors and medical staff at urban hospitals also went through major changes during the Cultural Revolution. In medical schools, the program of study was shortened from six years to three years, followed by an internship of one and a half years. The curriculum was revised to place more emphasis on preventative medicine. Most graduates were generalists, not specialists. They would spend a good part of their lives in the countryside as part of mobile teams, or they resettled there.
In 1981, years after Mao’s death, the Deng Xiopeng regime abandoned the barefoot doctor program and instead had doctors set up private practises, making medical treatment well beyond the means of most villagers. After the collectives were dissolved in 1983, health care insurance disappeared in the countryside.
It was this loss of universal health care in 1983 that lead to the mass actions at Tienanmen Square.
The Liberation of Women
The Cultural Revolution was a tremendous time for the advancement of women. At no other time in history did women make so many gains from an event. No other society has ever made the gains in equality for women that revolutionary China has. Unfortunately almost all of them have been reversed in restoration of capitalism.
Before the revolution China ran on the Confucian doctrine which was extremely abusive towards women. With the exception of a few wealthy families, women were denied an education. Women were basically the property of any man in her family who was considered to be in control. With women not being allowed to work or own property, this made them physically dependent on men for their survival.
Feudal China engaged in all manner of female exploitation. Forced marriages of young girls was common and so was wife beating. Frequently a landlord simply raped any peasant women he wished, he had the supposed right to do so.
I don’t think I have to mention the absolute horrors of foot binding.
In 1950 women were encouraged to speak up and talk about the bitter experiences they suffered at the hands of landlords. It was during this time the land reform campaign offered tens of millions of women the ownership of their own land. The centuries of being forced to depend on a husband or father were put to an end.
It was also at this time that prostitution was eliminated in a very short amount of time. When women were given the choice of owning land or being a prostitute, they chose to own land. All of this challenged the idea that women were inferior.
Also in 1950, the Marriage Act was pass giving a great deal of power and freedom to women. Women were now allowed to divorce their husbands if they chose to do so. It was made illegal to conduct domestic abuse, pay dowries and made it illegal to arrange marriages. These laws were some of the hardest as there was still a great deal of patriarchy present.
The institution of marriage was subjected to new scrutiny. In Hopeh a province-wide campaign was launched by the Woman’s Federation to carry out work in three areas:
(1) the promotion of free-choice marriage, late marriage, the abolition of bride prices and traditional marriage rituals symbolizing the “sale” of women;
(2) the promotion of equal pay for equal work for women, include a major effort to redefine “equal work” as “work of comparable value” rather than the “same work,” since much work in rural China is sex-typed; and
(3) the establishment of year-round nurseries and kindergartens, along with agitation for the idea the men should share in household chores.
The “industrialization of women” was one of the major changes that took place during the Great Leap Forward. This was combined with the Cultural Revolution to completely alter the gender roles that existed within production. It was during the Great Leap Forward that millions of women left the home and joined the labour force.
Possibly the most advanced policy for women that was pursued in Cultural Revolution was the abolishment of domestic slavery. This broke the “double shift” that women face here in our society today. By that I mean working a job and then going home and doing all the domestic work that was required. This is difficult today, I imagine how difficult this must have been in a peasant woman’s life.
It was this domestic life that created the greatest barrier to full participation in political and social life. The invention of government child care for women while they worked made this possible.
In some factories and other work places they had nurseries for children two moths to four years old. These nurseries sometimes ran 24-hours a day providing a safe environment for children while both parents engaged in production and political life regardless of what hours they worked. An American visitor was told that children learned to “care for each other, love and help each other” through stories, pictures and play.
The other program that helped end domestic slavery was the introduction of communal kitchens. 24 hours a day these special kitchens run democratically by the people of the commune supplying meals to anyone who required them. Anytime day or night a person could come to these kitchens and receive a meal. This effectively ended the need for women to cook for their families; which is often the most time consuming chore a housewife performs (especially before the microwave and instant this and that meals).
A birth control campaign distributed free or low-cost contraceptive devices and advocated later marriages and smaller families—two children was the ideal. This was aimed not only at limiting the growth of China’s population, but freeing up women to participate in political life.
The Most Radical of Ideas
Now I’d like to talk about some of the more radical ideas that some communes decided to try. It is important to note that individual communes had a great deal of autonomy in deciding what new ideas to try in social relations. Some had ideas that were way too advanced for the society.
Particularly in the countryside, some social transformations jumped ahead of the level of development and political consciousness at that time. This led to Party leaders seeing communist society as achievable within the following decade or two in opposition to the original 100 year plan. All of this was later criticized as a “communist wind.”
One radical alteration to society was Woman’s clothing. Woman’s clothing was functional, not designed to differentiate or attract. It was considered unimportant for a woman or a man to wear an clothing for fashion. This was not banned, it was just considered point less because it served no revolutionary purpose. The idea of expressing oneself through clothing was considered infantile. Why pointlessly wear clothes to make statement when you can actively participate in the operation of society?
An urban women that an American visitor met in 1971 wore dark pants, a white blouse and a simple button-up-the-front jacket—all loose fitting. An American newspaper editor who visited China in 1972 made a revealing comment: “In twenty three days in China, I didn’t see a single grown woman in a skirt. And a bosom line is almost as hard to find.”
In fact that’s I personally believe that expressing one’s identity through clothing is prevalent in our society, because we can’t exercise any real power.
Another benefit of this lack of interest in fashion and revealing clothing was that people, particularly women, were not judged on appearance. People were judged on their ideas and judged based on what good they could contribute not how they looked.
While I’m on the subject of physical appearance, I’d like to talk about a little known experiment that at least one commune tried. They conducted experiments in androgyny. In a few pictures you can see male and female Red Guards all standing together and you can’t distinguish gender most of the time. This was a really radical experiment in moving beyond even the idea of gender. This was an experiment in the ultimate form of not judging people based on their appearance.
We don’t know how these experiments turned out, so we can’t do any analysis of the results. But this is one example of some of the truly radical ideas that were attempted.
One experiment, I don’t know how many communes tried it, was moving past the idea of family. The idea was to not have traditional nuclear families. For example, children would be considered the responsibility of everyone in the commune. This was a really radical idea that again we have no idea how it turned out or what we could learn form it.
Debunking Right Wing Lies
Finally I want to take a few minutes to deal with many of the common lies and misconceptions about the Cultural Revolution. Some of these you may already be familiar with and others will be knew. I would also like to address some of the outright lies that are perpetuated by the bourgeois media and chanted like a mantra by the right wing.
Often it is repeated that the Cultural Revolution was anti-intellectual and is proven so by the supposed persecution of academics. Of course there is some truth to this, often reactionary intellectuals who were hell-bent on destroying all the gains made by the revolution were persecuted by the people.
Many intellectuals and other relatively privileged groups were persecuted. Though it is questionable whether being deprived of their normal life style or leaving a comfortable city job to work on a commune qualifies as “suffering.” Did Saddam Hussen “suffer” when he was thrown from power (by the same people who put him there)?
But in evaluating these accounts, it is worth remembering that history gets written by the victors. Many of the accounts of persecution and torture of intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution are as useful and reliable as seeing the pro-slavery movie, “Birth of a Nation,” as a guide to the history of the Civil War and Black Reconstruction in the U.S.
Another central criticism was the violence that was unleashed by Red Guards. It is important to note that during the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward there were many different Red Guards groups claiming to be following the path of Maoism. The fact is many of these groups were at war with each other. If a group of Democrats gets into a violent confrontation with a group of Republicans at a protest, would that count as state oppression? Besides these criticisms are coming from the greatest repressive force in history, the US government and the right wing ideology.
This was the instructions for handling political struggle from “16 Point Decision”:
“The method to be used in debates is to present the facts, reason things out, and persuade through reasoning. Any method of forcing a minority holding different views to submit is impermissible. The minority should be protected, because sometimes the truth is with the minority. Even if the minority is wrong, they should still be allowed to argue their case and reserve their views.”
Some groups who represented different factions outright ignored these directives and used violence as first resort. One leader Jiang Qing was famous for her saying, “Attack by Reason, Defend by Force”. The violence she perpetrated with this mentality Mao called “all around civil war.”
Another important period is routinely ignored in many accounts of the Cultural Revolution. While focusing on the alleged atrocities of the Cultural Revolution, they ignore the fact that Deng Xiaoping’s coup in 1976 unleashed nationwide arrests and executions of revolutionaries in the CCP and the masses who awakened to political life during the Cultural Revolution and fought to keep China on the socialist road.
Most of this violence was perpetrated by right wing reactionary factions, another fact that is conveniently ignored.
My personally most annoying lie is that Mao built a cult of personality around himself, despite his numerous speeches denouncing doing so. They simply see people with pictures of him and just believe whatever they are told about it. Of course they fail to notice the hypocrisy of having the president’s picture in every classroom.
To the Chinese people, Mao led the Communist Party of China in over two decades of revolutionary warfare to destroy the power of the landlords and the capitalists who had sold out China to the imperialist powers. He led the struggle to build socialism in China, which radically transformed the lives of 1/4 of humanity, and then called for a Cultural Revolution to keep China on the socialist road. All of this produced deep feelings of respect and even reverence among the Chinese people.
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Well that just about covers it for the Cultural Revolution. If you’ve managed to watch this far into the video I applaud your dedication to listening to what I have to say. Hopefully this will give you more information on the subject and you will have increased your own cultural knowledge by having watched it. Thank you.
4 thoughts on “On The Cultural Revolution”
Nicely written. I saw your YouTube video as well, twice.
Great way to start off the new year with a good report like this one. I always knew Mao did a lot of good for China. I would not want to imagine what would have happened if the KMT Nationalists won that war in 1949.
I was never really into “popular” stuff that you mentioned in the pop culture part and I don’t know why anyone else should either.
As a college student, I would greatly agree with you that there needs to be students standing up for what they want to learn. I go to a community college and there, they have some good professors but they also have some bad professors too. I noticed on RateMyProfessors.com they have these ratings for professors in which good ones get good ratings, bad ones get bad ratings, average ones get average ratings… Well, you get the idea. I would love to see the professors who get bad ratings get shoved out by their students in the same way Chinese students stood up against bad professors in their universities (as you mentioned).
I never considered myself that big of a supporter of the Soviet Union. I’ve heard some people compare Maoism to Stalinism, but I highly doubt they’re similar. I prefer Maoism because it actually accomplished higher living standards. I don’t know a whole lot about Stalinism, but I can tell you it was better than Kruschev’s revisionist policies. Kruschev is what pretty much what caused the Sino-Soviet split. Is there any like differences between Stalinism and Maoism?
Great article. Thank you.
I have a question about The Great Leap Forward.
It’s widely published that The Great Leap Forward resulted in a nationwide famine, during which hundreds of thousands (more?) died of starvation. You didn’t mention it. Is this made up too? If not, where does it fit in and what’s the Maoist side to the story?
I have dealt with this issue using the works of a few great authors and investigators including Kasama Project and the llco to create the following blog post:
Great job with this article, comrade. I realize this was written and recorded a while ago, but I was wondering if you could provide me with some sources as to where you received your information? Thanks in advance.
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