Mao Zedong en China se kulturele revolusie

Mao Zedong en China se kulturele revolusie


China Geskiedenis – Die People's ’s Republiek van China onder Mao Zedong

Nadat die kommuniste die slagveld gewen het, het Mao Zedong die Volksrepubliek China uitgeroep op 1 Oktober 1949. Onmiddellik het die kommuniste 'n sosialistiese staat begin vorm volgens hul idees. Hul ingrypings in die staat, ekonomie en die samelewing het die lewe in China in 'n voorheen onbekende mate verander.

Die Volksrepubliek, wat aanvanklik deur die weermag bestuur is, is aan die burgerlike administrasie oorgegee toe 'n nuwe grondwet in 1954 in werking getree het. Benewens die opbou van die administratiewe strukture, het die KKP sterk aangedring op 'n radikale herorganisasie van die Chinese samelewing. Grondeienaars sou onteien word, kontrarevolusionêre vernietig word en korrupte amptenare uit die party en administratiewe apparaat verwyder word. Om hierdie doelwitte te bereik, het die KKP talle landwye massaveldtogte begin waarby Chinese burgers aktief betrokke was. Sommige van hierdie massaveldtogte, soos grondhervorming of die veldtog teen kontrarevolusionêre, was baie gewelddadig en het honderde duisende Chinese doodgemaak.

Parallel met die herstrukturering van die onderneming, is 'n ekonomiese stelsel op grond van gemeenskaplike eiendom en beplande ekonomie ingestel. Op die platteland is grondeienaars onteien en het hulle 'n regsbevoegdheid. Hulle grond is aan arm boere uitgedeel. Bietjie vir bietjie is alle private boerondernemings bymekaar gebring in koöperasies vir landbouproduksie totdat die hele landbou van China in die middel van die 1950's saamgevoeg is. In die stede is private ondernemers geïntimideer en aangemoedig om hul besigheid op te gee. Dus is industriële produksie oorgedra in die hande van die staat en die kollektief.

Terselfdertyd is met die hulp van Sowjet-adviseurs die staatsbeplanningskommissie ingestel wat verantwoordelik was vir die opstel van die vyfjaarplanne. Benewens die beplande ekonomie, het die Sowjetunie ook aan die Volksrepubliek China lenings gegee waarmee die vinnige ontwikkeling van 'n swaar nywerheid gevorder is.

Die ekonomiese prestasie van die eerste jare van die heropbou was redelik indrukwekkend. Algehele is ekonomiese groei van 8,9% behaal. Die verhoudings van hierdie groei was egter oneweredig versprei. Industriële groei, ondersteun deur massiewe beleggings, het tot 18,9%gestyg. Die ekonomiese uitset van die landbou -ekonomie was heeltemal te laag op 4,5%.

Honderde blombeweging en groot sprong

Volgens cheeroutdoor was baie Chinese nie tevrede met hul nuwe situasie nie. Die kleinboere het halfhartig aan die kollektivisering deelgeneem, korrupsie en die voordeel van die KKP se geledere het hoogty gevier, en die stedelike werkloosheid was hoog. In die tweede helfte van die 1950's was die Chinese leierskap van Mao Zedong dus toenemend bekommerd oor interne stabiliteit. Boonop het Chroesjtsjof vroeg in 1956 begin met ontstalinisering in die Sowjetunie, wat gelei het tot opstandsbewegings soos in Pole en Hongarye. China wou dit ten alle koste vermy.

Mao besluit dus op 'n ongewone maatreël in die lente van 1957. Onder die slagspreuk “ Laat honderd blomme blom, laat honderd skole met mekaar meeding ”, mag intellektuele politieke kritiek openlik uitspreek (Honderd Blomme Beweging). Dit het egter tot ernstige openbare kritiek op die KKP gelei, sodat die leierskap middel 1957 die veldtog omgedraai het en diegene wat dit gekritiseer het, as afwykers geklassifiseer het. As gevolg hiervan is die meerderheid intellektuele van China polities deur die party stilgemaak, gedemoveer of gearresteer.

'N Nuwe vlak van politieke en ekonomiese destabilisering is teweeggebring deur 'n revolusionêre verandering in die landboubeleid in 1958, wat onder die naam ” The Great Leap Forward “ in die geskiedenis geword het. 'N Onsuksesvolle kombinasie van hiper-versameling ("mense se gemeentes"), staalproduksie in landelike mikro-ondernemings en 'n nie-funksionele statistiese en verslagdoeningstelsel het gelei tot die grootste hongersnood wat ooit deur menslike foute in die wêreldgeskiedenis veroorsaak is. Die aantal hongersnood in landelike gebiede van China word op 15-40 miljoen geraam.

Benewens die menslike tragedie en die ineenstorting van die hele Chinese ekonomie, het die Groot Sprong ook tot diep skeure in die partyleierskap gelei. Minister van verdediging, Peng Dehuai, is reeds in 1959 ontslaan omdat hy die strategie van Mao gekritiseer het. In 1962 het premier Liu Shaoqi uiteindelik 'n konsolidasiebeleid begin, waarin Mao nie meer 'n aandeel het nie weens die mislukking van sy veldtog. As gevolg hiervan het Mao hom blykbaar aan die daaglikse politiek onttrek.

Die kulturele revolusie

Die afgelope tien jaar van Mao Zedong se era is gevorm deur sy pogings om sy posisie van politieke mag te herwin. 'N Magstryd het gevolg wat die hele politieke stelsel tot in sy grondslag geskud het en groot dele van die Chinese samelewing getraumatiseer het.

Aangesien Mao in die middel van die 1960's nie meer seker kon wees van die steun van alle dele van die party nie, het hy 'n beroep op die jeug van China gedoen, met die hulp van linkse radikale magte na aan hom (insluitend sy vrou Jiang Qing ), om afstand te doen van hul ou onderwysers, revisionistiese politici en ou gebruike Om afstand te doen van gewoontes en gewoontes. Miljoene opgewonde saam met hoërskoolleerlinge en studente as Rote Garden in hierdie nuwe beweging. 'N Klein rooi boek met Mao -aanhalings, ook bekend as die Mao -Bybel, het as ideologiese basis gedien. Die kulturele revolusie het gedurende die jare 1966-69 gelei tot die totale stilstand van die onderwysstelsel, die ontmagtiging van die heersende elite, die vernietiging van die administratiewe strukture wat sedert 1949 opgebou is en chaos en geweld op die strate van China ’s stede. Dit het nie geëindig tot Mao Zedong se dood op 9 September 1976 nie.


China wis die geskiedenis weer uit | Opinie

Sewe jaar gelede het die Chinese Kommunistiese Party (KKP) sy lede gewaarsku om 'invloedryke en skadelike valse gedagtes sterk te weerstaan'. Die memorandum, getiteld "Dokument 9," was swaar op teorie en lig op besonderhede. In die nasleep van die koronavirus begin ons egter die implikasies sien van Xi Jinping se opdrag om die ideologiese slagveld te wen.

In reaksie op 'n onlangse opdrag van die Chinese ministerie van onderwys, suiwer skole in die Volksrepubliek China (PRC) hul biblioteke van 'onwettige' of 'onvanpaste' boeke en beteken dit alles wat volgens die party die nasionale eenheid beskadig, die party bedreig soewereiniteit, destabiliseer sosiale orde, breek met KKP -beleid, beledig regeringsamptenare of bevorder godsdienstige leerstellings. Boeke oor die Christendom en Boeddhisme en die klassieke van George Orwell se kanon en mdashAnimal Farm en 1984& mdashhave het al die byl in sommige skole gekry.

Boekverbod luister natuurlik na besonder donker episodes in die 20ste eeu, en nie net in Nazi -Duitsland of die Sowjetunie nie. Die KKP het sy eie erfenis van woeste boekverbrandingsessies, veral tydens die kulturele rewolusie van Mao Zedong, die mees onstuimige en onstabiele tydperk van die Chinese geskiedenis sedert 1949. Mao se metodes tydens die kulturele revolusie, impulsief soos dit was, kontekstualiseer Xi se veel meer gedissiplineerde veldtog vandag om die spraak en gedrag van beide Chinese burgers en buitelandse regerings te beheer.

Na die ramp van die KKP se "Groot sprong vorentoe" en mdash Mao se slegte poging om die ekonomie van China te industrialiseer, het 45 miljoen mense tot honger gesterf en die "Groot stuurman" het 'n plan uitgemaak om die mense teen sy politieke teenstanders te keer. Mao het 'n veldtog aangekondig teen 'regses', 'teenrevolusionêres' en die 'bourgeoise' en mdashanyone wat 'sosialisme met Chinese kenmerke' in die pad gestaan ​​het. Belangrik is dat Mao nooit hierdie doelwitte gedefinieer het nie, want dit het altyd verander. Geen vereniging, status of erfenis het veiligheid vir enigiemand in China gewaarborg nie. Wat die een week gewaarborg het, soos bloedverwantskap met politieke KPP -elite, kan die volgende ondergang beteken. Hierdie chaos het, volgens die woorde van historikus Frank Dik & oumltter, gelei tot 'verlies aan vertroue en voorspelbaarheid in menseverhoudinge, terwyl mense teen mekaar draai.'

Mao se belangrikste agente tydens hierdie dekade van ramp was studente in China. Hierdie "Rooi Wagte", afgevaardig deur Mao of sy ondergeskiktes, het die program van ideologiese suiwering met implisiete goedkeuring van Beijing uitgevoer om iemand wat hulle as 'n bedreiging vir die Revolusie beskou het, te beskaam, te martel en selfs dood te maak. Rivaliserende groepe rooi wagte het selfs teen mekaar gedraai, terwyl die definisies van 'vriend' en 'vyand' verander het.

Een ding het egter nooit verander nie. Opregtheid vir Mao Zedong alleen was die enigste veilige uitdrukking van spraak in China en in die vorm van plakkate van sy soort, of baniere en boeke waarin sy toesprake aangehaal word. Met hierdie persoonlikheidskultus het Mao 'n slopende bal na China se pre-revolusionêre verlede geneem en 'n samelewing geskep waar veiligheid en oorlewing slegs gekom het deur trou aan hom, die KKP en die Revolusie te sweer.

Wat beteken die kulturele rewolusie vandag vir Xi Jinping se China? China is immers nie ver in 'n soortgelyke tydperk van politieke omwentelinge nie. As daar iets is, het Xi Jinping alle voorsorg getref om ideologiese bedreigings vir die KKP uit die weg te ruim voor hulle metastaseer. 'Dokument 9' lees minder soos 'n revolusie -manifes en meer soos 'n bedreigingsevaluering. Desondanks weerspieël die veldtog van Xi om kennis en die waarheid self af te wis, beide binne China en regoor die wêreld, Mao se grimmige melodie.

Met sy onlangse boekverbod -veldtog plaas Xi onderwysers in om die biblioteekopruimings onder vae riglyne te implementeer. Alhoewel die program nuut is, is die aansporing duidelik: 'n 'wedloop na die bodem', waar skole mekaar probeer uitoorlê in sensuur. Net soos Mao studente opdrag gegee het om die kulturele revolusie uit te voer, het Xi onderwysers opgedra om 'n brandlys op te stel. Hierdie voorbeeld is 'n mikrokosmos van die spel wat Xi wil speel, ten minste met die Chinese bevolking van Han en die koöperatiewe sensuur, geïmplementeer deur die Chinese mense self.

Wêreldwyd voer die KKP se United Front Work Department 'n soortgelyke funksie uit en vorm dit die gesprek oor China gunstig en gebruik buitelanders om die politieke belange van die party te bevorder. Confucius Institutes is die plakkaatkind van hierdie strategie: infiltreer Amerikaanse universiteite met Mandaryns -taalprogramme, aangevul met 'kulturele' geskiedenis wat enige melding van Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tiananmen Square of selfs die Kulturele Revolusie self afwit. Elke universiteit wat hierdie spraakkode oortree, loop die risiko om Chinese studente -navorsers te verloor, en selfs befondsing van die PRC.

Onlangse voorstelle in die kongres om die Verenigde Front -organisasies te sanksioneer, spruit uit 'n eenvoudige erkenning: die wêreldwye inligtingsoorheersing wat die KKP nastreef, is 'n eksistensiële bedreiging vir die eerste wysiging. Die party wat boeke in China verbied, is dieselfde party wat sy eie land vir 10 jaar uitmekaar geskeur het, en nou probeer hy die waarheid self in die Amerikaanse skole herdefinieer.

As die Amerikaanse volk nie waaksaam en wakker is vir hierdie bedreiging nie, het George Orwell se woorde van 1984, wat China se kulturele rewolusie op 'n vreemde manier beskryf, kan in ons eie universiteite bewaarheid word: 'Elke rekord is vernietig of vervals, elke boek is herskryf, elke prentjie is geverf, elke standbeeld en straatgebou is hernoem, elke datum is verander. En die proses duur dag vir dag en minuut vir minuut voort. Die geskiedenis het opgehou. Niks bestaan ​​nie, behalwe 'n eindelose geskenk waarin die party altyd reg is. "


Inhoud

Die stigting van die Volksrepubliek China (PRC) is formeel verkondig deur Mao Zedong, die voorsitter van die Kommunistiese Party van China, op 1 Oktober 1949 om 15:00 op die Tiananmen -plein in Beijing. Die totstandkoming van die Sentrale Volksregering van die PRC, die regering van die nuwe nasie, is amptelik tydens die proklamasie -toespraak tydens die stigtingseremonie afgekondig. 'N Militêre parade het tydens die stigtingseremonie plaasgevind.

Die Volksrepubliek China is gestig op 'n land wat deur 'n eeu van buitelandse inval en burgeroorloë verwoes is. Beide stedelike en landelike gemeenskappe, sowel as die landbou en die nywerheid, het beduidende groei beleef tussen 1949–1959. [6] Mao se regering het grondhervorming uitgevoer, kollektivisering ingestel en die laogai kamp stelsel.

Ekonomies het die land die Sowjet-model van vyfjaarplanne opgevolg met sy eie eerste vyfjaarplan van 1953–1957. Die land het 'n transformasie ondergaan waardeur produksiemiddele van privaat na openbare entiteite oorgedra is, en deur die nywerheid van die nywerheid in 1955 het die staat die ekonomie op 'n soortgelyke manier as die ekonomie van die Sowjetunie beheer.

Die rol van China in die Koreaanse oorlog is op verskillende maniere deur elke deelnemer geëvalueer. [7] Kort nadat dit gestig is, is die pasgebore Volksrepubliek China in sy eerste internasionale konflik getrek. Op 25 Junie 1950 het die Noord-Koreaanse magte van Kim Il-sung die 38ste parallel oorgesteek, Suid-Korea binnegeval en uiteindelik gevorder tot by die Pusan-omtrek in Suidoos-Korea. Die Verenigde Nasies se magte het die oorlog aan die suidekant binnegegaan, en die Amerikaanse generaal Douglas MacArthur, wat 'n kommunistiese terugtog gedwing het, het voorgestel om die oorlog teen Kersfees 1950 te beëindig. Die Sowjetunie en China beskou 'n VN (en gevolglik Amerikaanse) oorwinning as 'n groot politieke oorwinning vir die Verenigde State, 'n vooruitsig wat in die begin van die Koue Oorlog as gevaarlik beskou word. Stalin wou egter nie met die Verenigde State oorlog voer nie, en het China die verantwoordelikheid gelaat om die regime in Pyongyang te red. Tot op hierdie tydstip was die Truman-administrasie deeglik gewalg oor die korrupsie van die regering van Chiang Kai-shek en het dit oorweeg om bloot die PRC te erken. Op 27 Junie is die Amerikaanse sewende vloot na die Straat van Taiwan gestuur om 'n kommunistiese inval op die eiland te voorkom en om 'n poging tot herowering van die vasteland te voorkom. China het intussen gewaarsku dat dit nie 'n Korea-gesteunde Korea op sy grens sal aanvaar nie. Nadat die VN -magte Seoul in September bevry het, het Beijing teengestaan ​​deur te sê dat ROK -troepe na Noord -Korea kan trek, maar nie Amerikaans nie. MacArthur het dit geïgnoreer en geglo dat die Suid -Koreaanse weermag te swak was om self aan te val. Nadat Pyongyang in Oktober geval het, het die VN -troepe die strategies sensitiewe Yalu -riviergebied genader. China het gereageer deur golwe troepe suidwaarts te stuur, in die sogenaamde People's Volunteers, om hulle van die PLA te distansieer. Die Chinese weermag was swak toegerus, maar het baie veterane van die burgeroorlog en die konflik met Japan bevat. Boonop beskik dit oor groot reserwes van mannekrag. Die Verenigde State was op pad na die hoogtepunt van militêre mag, en historici beweer dat Mao se deelname aan die oorlog beweer dat China 'n nuwe mag is wat nie ligtelik opgeneem moet word nie. Bekend as die Weerstaan ​​Amerika, Help Korea Veldtog in China, die eerste groot offensief van die Chinese magte, is in Oktober teruggedruk, maar teen Kersfees 1950 het die "People's Volunteer Army" onder bevel van genl Peng Dehuai die Verenigde Nasies gedwing om terug te keer na die 38ste parallel. Die oorlog was egter baie duur vir die Chinese kant, aangesien meer as net 'vrywilligers' gemobiliseer is, en as gevolg van die gebrek aan ervaring in moderne oorlogvoering en die gebrek aan moderne militêre tegnologie, was die ongevalle van China baie groter as die van die Verenigde Nasies. Op 11 April 1951 nader 'n Amerikaanse sewende vlootvernietiger naby die hawe van Swatow (Shantou), aan die suidwestelike kus van China, wat China uitlok om 'n armada van meer as veertig gewapende junks te stuur om die vernietiger vir bykans vyf te konfronteer en omring ure voordat die verwoester die gebied verlaat het sonder dat weerskante die konflik verbreed het deur vyandige vuur te begin. [8] [9] [10] Deur 'n wapenstilstand van die VN af te neem, het die twee partye af en toe aan weerskante van die 38ste parallel gestry totdat die wapenstilstand op 27 Julie 1953 onderteken is. vir jare. Intussen het Chinese magte Tibet binnegeval en geannekseer in Oktober 1950. Tibet was in die afgelope eeue nominaal onderworpe aan die keisers, maar verklaar sy onafhanklikheid in 1912.

Onder leiding van Mao het China sy eerste atoombom in sy kernprogram, Project 596, gebou, in 1964 was dit die vyfde land wat 'n suksesvolle kerntoets uitgevoer het.

Die Koreaanse oorlog was baie duur vir China, veral op die hakke van die burgeroorlog, en dit het die heropbou van die naoorlog vertraag. As gevolg hiervan het Mao Zedong verklaar dat die land 'na die ooste sou leun', wat beteken dat die Sowjetunie en die kommunistiese blok sy belangrikste bondgenote sou wees. Drie maande nadat die VRK in Oktober 1949 gestig is, het Mao en sy afvaardiging na Moskou gereis. Hulle is nie hartlik ontvang deur Stalin nie, wat twyfel of hulle werklik Marxisties-Leniniste is en nie bloot 'n groep Chinese nasionaliste nie. Hy het ook die regering van Chiang Kai-Shek herken en het ook geen vertroue in enige kommunistiese beweging wat nie onder sy direkte beheer was nie. Na 'n ontmoeting met Mao, het die Sowjet -leier opgemerk: "Watter soort man is Mao? Dit lyk asof hy 'n idee het van 'n revolusie waarby die kleinboere betrokke is, maar nie die werkers nie." Uiteindelik was 'n gefrustreerde Mao gereed om huis toe te gaan, maar Zhou Enlai het geweier om te vertrek sonder 'n formele ooreenkoms. Die Sino-Sowjet-verdrag van wedersydse vriendskap is dus onderteken en die Chinese het uiteindelik in Februarie 1950 vertrek.

Volgens Hua-yu Li, skryf in Mao en die ekonomiese stalinisering van China, 1948-1953 in 1953, Mao, mislei deur gloeiende berigte Geskiedenis van die Kommunistiese Party van die Sowjetunie (Bolsjewistiek): kort kursus, deur Stalin gemagtig vir sosiale en ekonomiese vooruitgang in die Sowjetunie, laat vaar die liberale ekonomiese programme van 'Nuwe Demokrasie' en stel die 'algemene lyn vir sosialistiese oorgang' in, 'n program om sosialisme te bou wat gebaseer is op Sowjet -modelle. Na verneem word, is hy gedeeltelik ontroer deur persoonlike en nasionale wedywering met Stalin en die Sowjetunie. [11] [12]

Die Sowjetunie het gedurende die vyftigerjare aansienlike ekonomiese hulp en opleiding verleen. Baie Chinese studente is gestuur om in Moskou te studeer. Fabrieke en ander infrastruktuurprojekte was almal gebaseer op Sowjet -ontwerpe, want China was 'n agrariese land met min gevestigde nywerhede. In 1953 het Mao Zedong aan die Indonesiese ambassadeur gesê dat hulle min het om uit te voer, behalwe landbouprodukte. Verskeie Chinese-Sowjet-korporasies wat in samewerking is, is gestig, maar Mao beskou dit as 'n aantasting van die Chinese soewereiniteit en in 1954 word dit stilweg ontbind.

Teen 1956 was Mao verveeld met die daaglikse bestuur van die staat en was hy ook bekommerd oor toenemende rompslomp en burokrasie. Die agtste partykongres daardie jaar het verklaar dat sosialisme min of meer tot stand gekom het en dat die volgende paar jaar aan rus en konsolidasie gewy sou word.

In Februarie 1957 het Mao een van sy bekendste adresse gegee waarin hy gesê het: "Laat honderd blomme blom, laat honderd denkrigtings stry." Die honderd blomme -veldtog is deur die CPC bevorder as 'n manier om sosialistiese ideologie te bevorder deur oop debat, maar baie het dit as 'n uitnodiging aangeneem om openlike minagting vir die Kommunistiese Party uit te spreek. Baie het hul teenkanting teen die Party-Staat se heerskappy begin uitspreek. Mao het groot skok hiermee beëindig en daarna die anti-regse veldtog geloods. Talle intellektuele en gewone werkers is gesuiwer, in die tronk gestop of verdwyn. Baie is eers in die sewentigerjare 'gerehabiliteer'.

Mao se sosiale en kulturele programme, insluitend kollektivisering, was vroeg in die vyftigerjare die gewildste. China se gespanne betrekkinge met die nuwe Sowjet -leier Nikita Chroesjtsjof en nuutgevonde teenstrydighede tussen die Chinese en Sowjet -kommunistiese skole het 'n nuwe en radikale dryfveer tot gevolg gehad om die ekonomiese stelsel van China in sy geheel te hervorm. Hierdie skeuring het ontstaan ​​na Stalin se dood in 1953 toe die nuwe Sowjet -leier Nikita Chroesjtsjov hom veroordeel het. Die 'geheime toespraak' in 1956 verstom die kommunistiese wêreld. China het de-stalinisering verwerp en in werklikheid groot Stalin-portrette vertoon tydens die Mei-dagvieringe daardie jaar. Mao het verklaar dat Stalin ondanks 'n paar foute basies 'n goeie, welmenende marxis was. Hy het gevoel dat die Sowjets China nie as 'n gelyke vennoot beskou nie. Kulturele verskille het ook bygedra tot wrywing tussen die twee kommunistiese reuse. Chroesjtsjof se idee van vreedsame mededinging met die Verenigde State eerder as openlike vyandigheid pas nie goed by Beijing nie. Mao het gesê: "Dink jy die kapitaliste sal hul slagmes neersit en Boeddha's word?"

Chroesjtsjof se voorstel van 1958 van 'n gesamentlike Sino-Sowjet-vloot om die 7de vloot van die VSA teë te werk, word woedend verwerp deur Mao Zedong, wat aan die Sowjet-ambassadeur gesê het: "As jy wil praat oor gesamentlike samewerking, is dit goed. Ons kan gesamentlike samewerking in die regering, die weermag, kulturele en ekonomiese aangeleenthede, en u kan ons met 'n guerrillamag verlaat. " Toe die Sowjet -premier self die volgende jaar China besoek, het Mao hom weer gevra om te verduidelik wat 'n gesamentlike vloot is. Hy het gesê dat die Sowjets nie welkom was om troepe in vredestyd op Chinese bodem te plaas nie en het bygevoeg: "Luister goed. Ons het lank en hard gewerk om die Amerikaners, die Britte, die Japannese en ander te verdryf. Ons sal nooit weer buitelanders toelaat nie. ons gebied vir hul doeleindes te gebruik. " Chroesjtsjof het ook gedink dat die Chinese te sag was oor die Dalai Lama (geestelike leier van Tibet) en het hulle nie in 'n grensgeskil met Indië ondersteun nie, en gesê dat die betrokke gebied 'net 'n bevrore afval is waar niemand woon nie'.

Onder leiding van Mao het China gebreek met die Sowjet -model en in 1958 'n nuwe ekonomiese program, die 'Groot sprong vorentoe', aangekondig wat daarop gemik was om industriële en landbouproduksie vinnig te verhoog. Spesifiek vir industriële produksie, het Mao aangekondig dat dit die doelwit was om die staalproduksie van Groot -Brittanje teen 1968 te oortref. Reuse koöperasies, ook bekend as mense -gemeentes, is gestig. Binne 'n jaar is byna alle Chinese dorpe hervorm tot werkende gemeenskappe van 'n paar duisend mense, waar mense sou woon en saamwerk soos voorgestel deur 'n ideale kommunistiese samelewing. In plaas daarvan om staalmeulens te bou, word klein "oonde in die agterplaas" gebruik.

Die resultate was egter rampspoedig. Normale markmeganismes is ontwrig, die landbouproduksie het agteruitgegaan, en mense het uitgeput geraak om onbeskofte goedere te verkoop. As gevolg van die vertroue dat die regering voedsel en hulpbronne voorsien en versprei en die vinnige uitputting as gevolg van swak beplanning, het hongersnood selfs in vrugbare landbougebiede verskyn. Van 1960 tot 1961 het die kombinasie van swak beplanning tydens die Groot Sprong vorentoe, politieke bewegings wat deur die regering aangehits is, asook ongewone weerpatrone en natuurrampe gelei tot wydverspreide hongersnood en baie sterftes. 'N Beduidende aantal sterftes was nie as gevolg van hongersnood nie, maar is deur die owerhede gedood of oorwerk. Volgens verskeie bronne was die dodetal waarskynlik tussen 20 en 40 miljoen. Die staal wat in lae oonde by die agterplaas vervaardig is, was nutteloos. Uiteindelik haat die boere die gebrek aan privaatheid en die militarisering van hul lewens.

Een van die hardste teenstanders van die GLF was minister van verdediging, Peng Dehuai. Peng was 'n gelowige in ortodokse ekonomiese beplanning in Sowjet-styl en heeltemal teen eksperimente. 'N Paar jaar tevore was hy 'n belangrike rol in die poging om die PLA te ontwikkel tot 'n goed toegeruste, professionele vegmag, in teenstelling met Mao se oortuiging dat soldate wat revolusionêr genoeg was, enige hindernis kon oorkom. Die weermag het tydens die burgeroorlog en Korea geen geledere gehad nie. Hierdie stelsel werk taamlik swak in hierdie konflikte, en daarom is 'n rangstelsel (volgens die Sowjetunie) in 1954 geïmplementeer.

Terwyl hy 'n reis deur die platteland geneem het, was Peng geskok oor die wrak van die Groot Sprong vorentoe. Oral is daar vol verlate gemeentes, verwoeste gewasse en klonte nutteloos varkyster. Daarna het hy Mao daarvan beskuldig dat hy verantwoordelik was vir hierdie ramp en is op sy beurt as 'n regter veroordeel en uit sy amp onthef. Peng het daarna vir 'n paar jaar in skande afgetree totdat hy tydens die kulturele rewolusie deur Rooi Garde gearresteer en geslaan is. Hy het die marteling oorleef, maar het permanente beserings opgedoen en is dood in 1974. Na Mao se dood is Peng postuum met volle eer gerehabiliteer.

Die reeds gespanne Sino-Sowjet-verhouding het in 1959 skerp agteruitgegaan toe die Sowjets die vloei van wetenskaplike en tegnologiese inligting na China begin beperk het. Die geskil het toegeneem, en die Sowjets het teen Augustus 1960 al hul personeel uit China onttrek, wat baie bouprojekte laat slaap het. In dieselfde jaar het die Sowjette en die Chinese openlik geskille op internasionale forums begin voer. Die verhouding tussen die twee moondhede het in 1969 'n laagtepunt bereik met die Sino-Sowjet-grenskonflik, toe Sowjet- en Chinese troepe mekaar in die geveg ontmoet het aan die grens van Mantsjoery.

Die ramp van die Groot Sprong vorentoe het Mao se statuur as nasionale leier verminder, en nog meer as 'n ekonomiese beplanner. Mao was onder kritiek in die Sentrale Komitee. Min mense was so hard soos Peng Dehuai, maar die algemene konsensus was dat die groot eksperiment van die voorsitter heeltemal misluk het. In die vroeë sestigerjare het president Liu Shaoqi, sekretaris-generaal van die party, Deng Xiaoping, en premier Zhou Enlai die leiding van die party oorgeneem en pragmatiese ekonomiese beleid aangeneem wat in stryd was met Mao se kommunitêre visie, en gemeentes ontbind, in 'n poging om die stelsel na 'n voorsprong te herwerk. standaarde. Privaat handwerk en straatverkopers is toegelaat, en boere kon oortollige gewasse verkoop vir wins nadat hulle hul staatsproduksie -kwotas nagekom het. In die half-aftrede het Mao af en toe openbare verskynings gemaak en sy mening oor verskillende kwessies uitgespreek, maar het van 1961–1964 min aktiewe rol gespeel in die daaglikse bestuur van die land. Koerante het sarkastiese opmerkings oor die voorsitter gedruk en sy naam gereeld in die verlede tyd gebruik. Dit lyk asof Deng, Zhou en Liu tot die gevolgtrekking gekom het dat Mao se beleid irrasioneel was en dat hulle dinge sou bestuur terwyl hulle hom as 'n leë simbool gebruik om die mense bymekaar te bring. Ontevrede met die nuwe rigting van China en sy eie verminderde gesag, het Mao al hoe meer geïrriteerd geraak. Hy het gekla dat "hulle my naam aanroep soos 'n dooie voorouer." en dat eienaars en kapitaliste die mag herwin. Die val van Chroesjtsjov in die Sowjetunie het Mao ook besorg gemaak dat dit uiteindelik sy lot kan wees.

Wat die buitelandse beleid betref, was die betrekkinge met die Verenigde State steeds vyandig. Die VSA het steeds volgehou dat die nasionaliste die regmatige regering van China is, alhoewel die moontlikheid dat hulle die vasteland herower, elke jaar kleiner word. Taiwan het ook die setel van China by die Verenigde Nasies beklee, en in 1962 het Mao skielik bang geword vir 'n nasionalistiese inval. Die Amerikaanse en Chinese ambassadeurs het in Warskou, Pole vergader (aangesien die VSA geen ambassade in China gehad het nie) en laasgenoemde is verseker dat geen herowering deur Amerika gesteun word nie.

President Kennedy was van mening dat die Amerikaanse beleid teenoor China onsinnig was en hy was van plan om die betrekkinge in sy tweede termyn te herstel. Maar sy sluipmoord, gevolg deur die Viëtnam -oorlog en die kulturele rewolusie, het enige kans vir die volgende paar jaar beëindig.

Boos polemiek met die Sowjetunie het gedurende die vroeë 1960's voortgegaan. Mao Zedong het aangevoer dat Chroesjtsjof se klem op materiële ontwikkeling die mense versag en hulle revolusionêre gees laat verloor. Die Sowjet -leier het daarteen geantwoord: 'As ons die mense niks anders as revolusie kon belowe nie, sou hulle in hul koppe krap en sê' Is dit nie beter om 'n goeie goulash te hê nie? 'Maar baie van hierdie vyandigheid was persoonlik en daarna na Chroesjtsjof sy uitsetting uit die bewind in Oktober 1964, het die Chinese probeer om verhoudings te herstel. 'N Paar weke later was Zhou Enlai aan die hoof van 'n afvaardiging na Moskou vir die 47ste herdenking van die 1917 -rewolusie. Hulle keer teleurgesteld terug huis toe Leonid Brezjnev en Alexei Kosygin sê dat hulle sommige van die meer eksentrieke beleid van Chroesjtsjov sou verwerp, maar dat hulle nie van plan was om die horlosie terug te keer na die tyd van Stalin nie. Ten spyte hiervan het die betrekkinge met die USSR vriendskap gebly totdat die Kulturele Revolusie en China voortgegaan het om verteenwoordigers na die herdenking van die rewolusie in 1917 tot 1966 te stuur. daardie November het een Sowjet -politikus opgemerk: "Wat nou in China aan die gang is, is nie marxisties, kultureel of revolusionêr nie."

Mao het in 1963 'n poging aangewend om die mag terug te kry toe hy die Socialist Education Education -beweging begin het, en in 1965 het hy 'n sekere dramaturg aangeheg wat 'n verhoogstuk gemaak het wat hom indirek aanval. Hierdie toneelstuk bevat 'n wyse amptenaar (geïmpliseer as Peng Dehuai) wat deur 'n dwase keiser uit sy amp verwyder is (geïmpliseer dat dit Mao is). Mao het sy vrou Jiang Qing ('n aktrise uit die handel) as minister van kultuur aangestel en haar aan die gang gesit om kuns en letterkunde van feodale en bourgeoisie -temas te suiwer. Lin Biao, wat Peng Dehuai in 1960 as minister van verdediging opgevolg het, het die voorsitter bygestaan ​​in hierdie veldtog. Lin was in die dertigerjare 'n belangrike weermagbevelvoerder, maar het gesukkel met swak gesondheid en het nie deelgeneem aan die uitsetting van Chiang Kai-shek uit die vasteland in 1946-1949 of die Koreaanse Oorlog. Weermaggeledere is weereens afgeskaf. Die nuwe beweging, die 'Groot Proletariese Kulturele Revolusie' genoem, was in teorie 'n uitbreiding van die klassestryd wat onvolledig was van die laaste rewolusie. Mao en sy ondersteuners het beweer dat die 'liberale bourgeoisie' en 'kapitalistiese padgangers' steeds die samelewing oorheers, en dat sommige van hierdie sogenaamde gevaarlike elemente binne die regering voorkom, selfs die hoogste klasse van die Kommunistiese Party. Die beweging was ongekend in die menslike geskiedenis. Vir die eerste (en tot dusver, enigste) keer het 'n deel van die Chinese kommunistiese leierskap probeer om gewilde opposisie teen 'n ander leiersgroep byeen te bring, wat gelei het tot massiewe sosiale, kulturele, politieke en ekonomiese chaos wat die land tien jaar lank geteister het. tydperk. Die Kulturele Revolusie is formeel ingehuldig tydens 'n massa -saamtrek in Beijing gedurende Augustus 1966. Studente wat uniforms van die weermag gedra het, is 'Rooi Garde' genoem en het die opdrag gekry om deur die land te gaan en kapitaliste en revisioniste uit die weg te ruim. Om hulle by te staan, is miljoene eksemplare van 'Select Quotations from Chairman Mao' gedruk. This soon-to-be famous book contained excerpts from all of Mao's major speeches from the 1930s to 1957, but not placed in any chronological order.

Among the first targets of the Cultural Revolution were Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi. Deng was stripped of his party membership and labeled a revisionist and a capitalist roader. He wrote a self-criticism and was banished to the countryside, but in time he would rise again. Liu was far less lucky. Mao seems to have had an exceptional hatred for him, and he was denounced as "China's Khrushchev" and "a traitor, renegade, and scab". The hapless Liu was imprisoned and allowed to slowly waste away from untreated pneumonia and diabetes. He finally died in November 1969, but the outside world was not aware of this until a Hong Kong newspaper reported his death in 1974.

Meanwhile, the Red Guards began turning China's major population centers upside down as teachers, party officials, and anyone in power could be attacked. By the end of 1966, the army began intervening to restore order. Battles were fought, damaging cities and killing or injuring thousands. Mao then tried to restrain the army, and the Red Guards went back on the rampage. His wife proved to be one of the worst instigators, egging the Red Guards on with fiery speeches. Trains carrying weapons intended for Vietnam were looted, along with army barracks, and in some places Red Guards split into factions and fought each other in the streets with machine guns and artillery. It became so bad by August 1967 that people had to carry two or three copies of Mao's Little Red Book in public to avoid being attacked. Revolutionary committees took over the purged city governments, but they had no idea of how to govern and soon came into conflict with even more extreme youths. Books printed before 1949 were destroyed, foreigners attacked, and the British embassy in Beijing burned. Many temples and historical treasures were destroyed. Zhou Enlai ordered army units placed around some temples and other ancient structures to protect them. Even the army itself became divided, and local military chiefs gained control of some provinces where they ruled like the feudal warlords of past eras. Young people wandered through the vast countryside on foot in journeys sometimes lasting months. With China in a state of virtual anarchy in late 1967, Mao had to concede defeat. By now, the regular army began restoring order. Violence was not totally contained until late in 1968, but by then many Red Guards were banished to the countryside and labeled "anarchists" and "class enemies". Some of their ringleaders were tried and executed. The cities had no functioning governments by this time and no public services. Sick or injured people could not receive medical treatment because all the doctors had been purged, and bodies could not be buried if someone died. The streets were filled with youths who had nowhere to go.

Amid all this, Mao's personality cult reached enormous heights. Although he had always had one, it did not reach excessive levels until the Cultural Revolution, where all sorts of miracles were attributed to people who read his writings.

China became almost totally cut off from the outside world in the late 1960s and only retained diplomatic relations with a few countries. The United States was denounced for imperialism, Britain for colonialism, Japan for militarism, and the Soviet Union for revisionism. Most of the communist world was stunned and horrified by the Cultural Revolution. This led to China dividing fellow communist nations into three groups. Cuba, Romania, North Korea, and North Vietnam were classified as "mostly socialist with a few mistakes". The USSR, Mongolia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, and Yugoslavia were classified as revisionists who pursued a false socialism. China itself and Albania were seen as the only true socialist countries in the world.

As the Cultural Revolution spun out of control, and grew past Mao's original intentions, Mao's ability to control the situation, and in turn, his authority, dwindled. His chief lieutenants, Lin Biao and Mao's third wife Jiang Qing, had manipulated the turmoil in these areas to glorify Mao to a godlike status while ignoring some of his directives. Mao's Little Red Book published over 350 million copies during the era. For the first time since the Puyi Abdication had people come to hail Mao as to "Long Live for Ten Thousand Years", which ironically is an old, feudal tradition reserved for Emperors. Lin Biao, having gained Mao's trust, had his name codified into the Constitution of both the State and Party as Mao's designated successor.

The 9th Party Congress met in Beijing during April 1969. The effects of the Cultural Revolution were obvious, as most of the delegates who had attended the 8th Congress in 1956 were gone. Green army uniforms were in abundance, as were all sorts of Mao portraits, Little Red Books, and other paraphernalia. Economic issues were mostly ignored, and all emphasis was on glorifying Mao. Lin Biao was formally designated his successor and Liu Shaoqi expelled from the party. The Red Guards were also discredited. However, Mao stated that in a few years a new Cultural Revolution might be necessary and added "No one should think everything will be all right after one, or two, or even three Cultural Revolutions, for socialist society occupies a considerably long historical period."

Lin Biao and the Gang of Four Edit

Radical activity subsided by 1969, but the Chinese political situation began to antagonize along complex factional lines. Lin Biao, who had ailing health and de facto control over the military, became increasingly at odds with Mao over the idea of power sharing. In private, he was not enthusiastic about the Cultural Revolution, calling it a "cultureless revolution" and also opposed restoring relations with the United States, which Mao and Zhou were then preparing to do. He attempted a military staatsgreep in September 1971, aimed at the assassination of Mao while traveling on his train. Operating out of the headquarters in Shanghai, Lin was informed of his failure after Mao's apparent diversion of routes. Lin then escaped with his wife Ye Qun and son Lin Liguo on a military jet, and was on his way to the Soviet Union, before crashing in Ondurhan in Mongolia in September 1971. Lin's death was put tightly under wraps by the Chinese government, who had in the past vociferously praised Lin. Lin's staatsgreep and death were both subject to widespread controversy, and historians are still unable to properly determine the ins and outs of what went on. There are theories, for example, that Mao or Premier Zhou Enlai had ordered the plane to be shot down. Lin's supporters made their way out of the country, mostly to Hong Kong. Lin's flight affected Mao deeply, and he was yet again left with the dilemma of reasserting an heir apparent. Because of his past mistakes, amongst other factors, Mao was reluctant to designate any more successors, which only clouded the political situation further. After Lin Biao's death, he and the late Liu Shaoqi were turned by the state propaganda machine into a two-headed monster that could be blamed for all of China's ills. [13]

In the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, all independence of thought in China was stamped out. The major cities became grim places where everyone wore matching blue, green, white, black or gray suits. No ornamentation was allowed, and even bicycles all had to be painted black. Art and culture were reduced to Jiang Qing's handful of revolutionary plays, movies, and operas. Mao's personality cult remained prominent, although it was toned down somewhat after Lin Biao's death. In 1965, China had had a large, complex state bureaucracy, most of which had been destroyed during the chaos of 1966–1968. Only a small central core remained of the government in Beijing. Despite this, during the visit of Nixon in 1972, Mao Zedong told him "We haven't even begun to establish socialism. All we've really done so far are change a few localities in Beijing." Meanwhile, US president Richard Nixon had taken office in 1969 and announced his willingness to open relations with the People's Republic of China. His overtures were initially ignored and he was denounced in Beijing as a feudal chieftain whom the capitalist world turned to out of desperation. However, in August 1971, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger led a secret delegation to Beijing. They were not given a warm welcome and the hotel rooms they stayed in were equipped with anti-American pamphlets. However, they met Zhou Enlai, who spoke of how President Kennedy had wanted to open relations with the PRC and said "We're willing to wait. If these negotiations fail, eventually another Kennedy or Nixon will come along." He stated that the US had snubbed and isolated China for the last two decades, not the other way around, and that any initiative to establish relations would have to come from the American side. [14]

Mao Zedong had apparently decided that the Soviet Union was far more of a danger than the United States. As stated above, the Cultural Revolution had caused a total breakdown in relations with Moscow. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was referred to as "the new Hitler" and during the late '60s, both nations accused each other of neglecting their people's living standards in favor of defense spending, being a tool of American imperialism, pursuing a false form of socialism, and of trying to get the world blown up in a nuclear war. The United States was also separated from China by thousands of miles of ocean, while the Soviet Union had a very long border where they stationed troops and nuclear missiles. The 1968 Prague Spring worried China deeply, as the Soviets now claimed the right to intervene in any country that was deviating from the correct path of socialism. But the March 1969 clashes along the Manchurian border were what really drove the Chinese Communists to open ties with the US.

President Nixon made his historic trip to Beijing in February 1972 and met with Zhou and Mao. The trip caused some confusion in the communist world. The Soviet Union could not outright condemn it, but they clearly felt that the US and China were both plotting against them. North Korea viewed it as a victory for socialism (under the reasoning that the US had failed in its attempt to isolate China and was forced to come to terms), while North Vietnam, Albania, and Cuba felt that China had made a mistake by negotiating with the enemy. It also had a demoralizing effect on Taiwan, whose leadership had sensed the inevitable, but who were nonetheless upset at not having been consulted first. With the Nixon visit, most anti-American propaganda disappeared in China. The US was still criticized for imperialism, but not to the degree it had been before 1972. Instead, Soviet revisionism and "social imperialism" was now seen as China's main enemy.

In the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident, many officials criticized and dismissed during 1966-1969 were reinstated. Mao abruptly summoned a party congress in August 1973. The 10th Congress formally rehabilitated Deng Xiaoping. This move was suggested by Zhou Enlai, and Mao agreed, deciding that Deng was "70% correct, 30% wrong". Lin Biao was also posthumously expelled from the party. Mao had wanted to use this period as a time to rethink his successor. Mao's wife Jiang Qing, meanwhile, had formed an informal radical political alliance with Shanghai revolution organizer Wang Hongwen, who seems to have gained Mao's favour as a possible successor, as well as Shanghai Revolutionary Committee Chairman Zhang Chunqiao and propaganda writer Yao Wenyuan, all of whom were elevated to the Politburo by the 10th Congress. They were later dubbed the "Gang of Four."

The Gang of Four then attempted to target Zhou Enlai, who was by then ill with bladder cancer and unable to perform many of his duties. They launched the "Criticize Lin Biao, Criticize Confucius" Campaign in 1974 in an attempt to undermine the premier. However, the Chinese populace was tired of useless, destructive campaigns and treated it with apathy. A sign of growing discontent was a large wall poster erected in Guangzhou at the end of 1974 which complained that China had no rule of law and officials were not accountable for their mistakes. Three of the four authors subsequently wrote self-criticisms. One refused and was banished to the countryside for labor reform.

Mao's health was in sharp decline by 1973. He was slowly losing his eyesight and also experienced a variety of heart, lung, and nervous system problems, although his mind remained sharp to the end. Jiang Qing was eager to take over the country as soon as he was gone, but Mao didn't want that. He once said "My wife does not represent me, and her views are not my views."

The ideological struggle between more pragmatic, veteran party officials and the radicals re-emerged with a vengeance in late 1975. The Gang of Four sought to attack their political opponents and rid them one by one. From their failed attempts at defaming popular Premier Zhou Enlai, the Gang launched a media campaign against the emerging Deng Xiaoping, who they deemed to be a serious political challenge. In January 1976, Premier Zhou died of his cancer, prompting widespread mourning. On April 5, Beijing citizens staged a spontaneous demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Zhou's memory at the Qingming Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday to honor the dead. The real purpose of the gathering was to protest the Gang of Four's repressive policies. Police drove the crowd out of the square in an eerie precursor to the events that took place there 15 years later. The Gang of Four succeeded in convincing a gravely ill Mao that Deng Xiaoping was responsible for the incident. As a result, Deng was denounced as a capitalist roader and stripped of his position as vice premier, although he retained his party membership. He went into hiding in the city of Guangzhou, where he was sheltered by the local military commander, who did not care for either the Gang of Four or Mao's newly appointed successor Hua Guofeng . Deng knew that Mao would soon be gone, and that he only needed to wait a short while. [15]

While experiencing a political storm, China was also hit with a massive natural disaster—the Tangshan earthquake, officially recorded at magnitude 7.8 on the Richter Scale, authorities refused large amounts of foreign aid. Killing over 240,000 people, the tremors of the earthquake were felt both figuratively and literally amidst Beijing's political instability. A meteorite also landed in northwestern China, and the authorities told people not to believe as in olden times that these events were omens and signs from the heavens.

The history of the People's Republic from 1949 to 1976 is accorded the name "Mao era"-China. A proper evaluation of the period is, in essence, an evaluation of Mao's legacy. Since Mao's death there has been generated a great deal of controversy about him amongst both historians and political analysts. [16]

Mao's poor management of the food supply and overemphasis on village industry is often blamed for the millions of deaths by famine during the "Mao era". However, there were also seemingly positive changes as a result from his management. Before 1949, for instance, the illiteracy rate in Mainland China was 80%, and life expectancy was a meager 35 years. At his death, illiteracy had declined to less than 7%, and average life expectancy had increased by 30 years. In addition, China's population which had remained constant at 400,000,000 from the Opium War to the end of the Civil War, mushroomed more than 700,000,000 as of Mao's death. Under Mao's regime, supporters argue that China ended its "Century of Humiliation" and resumed its status as a major power on the international stage. Mao also industrialized China to a considerable extent and ensured China's sovereignty during his rule. In addition, Mao tried to abolish Confucianist and feudal norms. [17]

Mao was ideological more than practical. China's economy in 1976 was three times its 1949 size (but the size of the Chinese economy in 1949 was one-tenth of the size of the economy in 1936), and whilst Mao-era China acquired some of the attributes of a superpower such as: nuclear weapons and a space programme the nation was still quite poor and backwards compared to the Soviet Union, to say nothing of the United States, Japan, or Western Europe. Fairly significant economic growth in 1962-1966 was wiped out by the Cultural Revolution. Other critics of Mao fault him for not encouraging birth control and for creating an unnecessary demographic bump by encouraging the masses, "The more people, the more power", which later Chinese leaders forcibly responded to with the controversial one-child policy. The ideology surrounding Mao's interpretation of Marxism–Leninism, also known as Maoism, was codified into China's Constitution as a guiding ideology. Internationally, it has influenced many communists around the world, including third world revolutionary movements such as Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, Peru's Shining Path and the revolutionary movement in Nepal. In practice, Mao Zedong Thought is defunct inside China aside from anecdotes about the CPC's legitimacy and China's revolutionary origins. Of those that remain, Mao's followers regard the Deng Xiaoping reforms to be a betrayal of Mao's legacy. [18] [19]


The Weight of Remembering: On Yang Jisheng’s History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.


Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing / Photo by Alex Berger / Flickr

The year 2021 marks the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In April, the CCP released the latest edition of A Brief History of the Communist Party of China, in which the chapter dedicated to the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) disappears. This latest edition touches on the Cultural Revolution in no more than 13 pages in another chapter entitled “Twists and Turns on the Road to Socialist Reconstruction.” It glosses over Mao Zedong’s mistakes, simply stating that Mao had waged “an incessant war on corruption, special privileges and bureaucratic mentality within party ranks. … Many of his correct ideas about how to build a socialist society weren’t fully implemented, which led to internal turmoil.”

This year also marks the publication of the abridged English translation of Yang Jisheng’s The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The book contains 29 chapters and 768 pages. In the words of WLT editor in chief Daniel Simon, it looks like “a door stopper” by virtue of its size and weight. The original Chinese version of The World Turned Upside Down (Tianfan Difu), which was first published in Hong Kong in 2016, is weightier, containing 32 chapters and 1,069 pages.

The sharp contrast between the 13-page official narrative and the 1069-page comprehensive account of the Cultural Revolution is telling of the brutal battle over the narrative of history, especially the history of the CCP, in contemporary China. In her new book Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China, Margaret Hillenbrand discusses contemporary China’s culture of “public secrecy” that prevents people from remembering and making sense of the major events in Chinese history in narratives outside of those endorsed by the state. Yang’s personal endeavors to narrate the Great Chinese Famine (in his 2008 award-winning book Tombstone) and the Cultural Revolution have been viewed as dissident acts by the Chinese authority, who not only banned the books in China but also prohibited Yang from traveling to the US to receive the Louis M. Lyons Award for Tombstone in 2016.

Despite the enormous political pressure of keeping the public secrecy in China, Yang Jisheng spent nine years researching the complex and dangerous terrain of the Cultural Revolution and completed this weighty book. The weight of the physical book corresponds to its moral weight: the author believes that it is our moral duty to remember the Cultural Revolution in all its aspects, not just for China, but also for the sake of human history.

Yang’s personal experience and previously held positions make him an ideal chronicler of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Yang joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1964, became a Red Guard at Tsinghua University in 1966 and traveled across China to network with other revolutionary Red Guards between 1966 and 1967, worked for the state-run Xinhua News Agency between 1968 and 2001, and served as the deputy editor of the official journal Chronicles of History (Yanhuang Chunqiu) between 2003 and 2015. In addition to engaging with an impressive array of historical archives, government documents, news reports, biographies, and memoirs, Yang’s book also offers a unique insider’s perspective, firsthand experience, a journalist’s sensitivity, and a sober understanding of the Cultural Revolution. To date, The World Turned Upside Down remains the only complete history of the Cultural Revolution by an independent scholar based in mainland China. It is a must-read for anyone looking for an in-depth understanding of modern China’s biggest cultural and political revolution.

The World Turned Upside Down is a must-read for anyone looking for an in-depth understanding of modern China’s biggest cultural and political revolution.

Yang narrates the Cultural Revolution as “a triangular game between Mao, the rebels, and the bureaucratic clique” (xxviii). In socialist China, a totalitarian bureaucratic system was formed during the first seventeen years following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Although this system was established by Mao, it took on a life of its own and was not entirely dominated by Mao. In order to carry out a massive struggle against the bureaucratic clique, Mao connected himself directly with the lower-class masses, mobilizing the latter to roast the bureaucracy. However, at the same time, Mao could not let the revolutionary rebels throw the nation into permanent anarchy, so he also sought the bureaucrats’ help to restore order. The ten-year turmoil of the Cultural Revolution registers Mao’s vacillation between pursuing his utopian ideal of a classless society and his intrinsic need for social order.

The ultimate victors of the Cultural Revolution were the bureaucrats, who, after Mao’s death in 1976, controlled the official narrative of the Cultural Revolution, purged their political opponents (the rebels), led the nation back to a new wave of privilege and corruption, and created a polarized society through a “power market economy,” where “abuse of power is combined with the malign greed for capital” (xxxii). In other words, because the Chinese masses failed to win the Cultural Revolution, today’s China is an unfair society that can never be harmonious.

Yang’s narrative of the Cultural Revolution is decisively different from the popular narratives both inside and outside of China. As Xueping Zhong points out in her review of Barbara Mittler’s A Continuous Revolution, those prevalent narratives have often likened the Cultural Revolution to “Nazi Germany, racist America, Soviet Gulags, ‘feudal’ Chinese court intrigues, traditional ‘Chinese cruelty’, and so on.” Yang presents the Cultural Revolution rebels as cohorts of idealistic young Chinese who ardently experimented with political democracy and social equity following the precedent of the Paris Commune. According to Mao’s blueprint, continual revolutions were needed to correct the selfish human nature and eliminate the social division of labor. Those revolutionary rebels were not innocent, and it was not long before they encountered strong resistance from the bureaucrats and became victims of the Revolution, as Yang writes: “The rebel faction was indeed savage and cruel when it had the upper-hand, but these periods covered only two years of the Cultural Revolution, and those who suppressed the rebels during the other eight years were even more savage, while the rebels were more brutally purged after the Cultural Revolution” (230). In addition, there were divisions and internal struggles within the rebel faction, and Mao parted with the rebel faction in 1968, leaving his most ardent followers under attack by the bureaucrats.

In Yang’s corrective narrative, the Cultural Revolution finally ceases to be an abstract idea or an exotic spectacle—it is represented as human history.

Yang’s book can be read as an encyclopedia of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The 29 chapters in the English edition are organized chronologically but in most chapters the author documents the uneven developments of the Cultural Revolution in multiple locations all across China. Such a writing style resembles the viewing of the traditional Chinese scroll painting: the author does not occupy a fixed position but rather constantly moves about to focus on a specific part or event of the revolution, in order to provide a more accurate and truthful representation of the complex history. Yang thus weaves a panoramic scroll painting of the Cultural Revolution, which consists of millions of active or passive players and thousands of power struggles. Yang’s history makes sense of every character’s action and every event during the Cultural Revolution. Such close focus and making sense of the historical characters and historical events are important, because through them the Cultural Revolution finally ceases to be an abstract idea or an exotic spectacle—it is represented as human history in Yang’s corrective narrative.

Every word in The World Turned Upside Down carries the moral weight of remembering, an act of remembrance that proves even more valuable in the present era.

Every word Yang Jisheng pens in The World Turned Upside Down carries the moral weight of remembering, an act of remembrance that proves even more valuable in an era in which thought, truth, and economic resources are unexceptionally monopolized by the Establishment across the globe. The Cultural Revolution is a bitter memory in human history. It shows us, in Herbert Marcuse’s words, “the unhappy consciousness of the divided world, the defeated possibilities, the hopes unfulfilled, and the promises betrayed.”[i] However, the memory of the Cultural Revolution is valuable precisely because of this: it saves us from a suffocating complacency with the present, it tells us that established norms can be challenged, and it begs us to imagine an alternative future and act on it.


The End of the Mao Era (Finally)

June 26, 1976: Mao has a heart attack.

July 28, 1976: A massive earthquake kills 700,000 in northern China (an omen?).

September 9, 1976: Mao dies in Beijing at the age of 82.

Oct 1976: The Gang of Four—the strongest proponents of the Cultural Revolution—is arrested. Mao’s wife refuses to admit her crimes and receives the harshest sentence. Her death sentence is later commuted to life imprisonment. In 1991, she hangs herself while suffering from terminal cancer.


The Chinese Cultural Revolution

The 20th century was one of the tragic periods of Chinese history which encountered numerous extreme events which developed into the source of discontent in China. The Great Leap Forward, was one of the considerably the significant turning point where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) failed to demonstrate credential for authority to make “China great again”. This involved deaths of many civilians, downfall economy which lead to enormous tension in China. The flop of CCP leader, Mao Zedong, leading the Great Leap Forward put his credentials as the CCP leader into question. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (the Cultural Revolution) took into action to regain Mao’s credentials as leader, bringing back the Chinese revolutionary spirit&hellip


Mom who survived Mao’s China calls critical race theory America’s Cultural Revolution

A Virginia mom who grew up under Chairman Mao’s brutal Communist regime has angrily ripped critical race theory as “the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.”

“Critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism — it should have no place in our schools,” Xi Van Fleet said to cheers and applause at a Tuesday meeting of the progressive Loudoun County School Board.

“You are now teaching, training our children, to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history,” she told the meeting of the district already bitterly divided for pushing the policy that critics accuse of itself being racist.

“Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this seems very familiar,” insisted the mom, who finally fled China when she was 26.

“The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people. The only difference is they used class instead of race,” she said.

Xi Van Fleet delivered the speech in front of the Loudoun County School Board Loudoun County School Board

The mom — whose son graduated from Loudoun High School in 2015 — compared the current division in the US to her experience growing up under Mao Zedong, one of the most brutal rulers in history until his death in 1979.

She recalled seeing “students and teachers turn against each other,” and school names being changed “to be politically correct” as they were “taught to denounce our heritage.”

“The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not Communist — statues, books and anything else,” she said.

“We were also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassador program and the bias reporting system,” she said of systems that other parents have sued over.

Van Fleet told Fox News on Wednesday that she initially planned to say more but was forced to cut her speech to a minute.

“To me, and to a lot of Chinese, it is heartbreaking that we escaped communism and now we experience communism here,” she told Fox of her strong feelings against the progressive agenda.

Ian Prior, the father of two students attending Loudoun schools, said Van Fleet’s remarks “should serve as a stark warning.”

“I think for a while now, school systems have really put this stuff in the schools right under our very noses, and we just weren’t aware,” he told Fox, saying parents were “trusting the school system to do the job.”

“It took a pandemic and all the information that parents could see with this distance learning to understand exactly what was going on.”

A group of male and female coal miners in 1968 recite in Li Se Yuan mine some paragraphs of Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book” as they celebrate Mao’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” AFP via Getty Images

The school board in a wealthy district has become a hotbed of controversy for numerous progressive teaching policies.

This week, a judge ordered the reinstatement of a Christian teacher who had been suspended for refusing to recognize “a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa” and use transgender students’ preferred pronouns.


Other files and links

  • APA
  • Standaard
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Skrywer
  • BIBTEX
  • RIS

In: China Quarterly , No. 187, 09.2006, p. 693-699.

Research output : Contribution to journal › Comment/debate › peer-review

T1 - Culture, revolution, and the times of history

T2 - Mao and 20th-Century China

N2 - The recent spate of English-language exposés of Mao Zedong, most prominently that written by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, seems to announce a culmination of the tendency towards the temporal-spatial conflation of 20th-century Chinese and global history. This sense was only confirmed when the New York Times reported in late January that George W. Bush's most recent bedtime reading is Mao: The Unknown Story, or when, last month, according to a column in the British paper The Guardian, "the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly voted to condemn the "crimes of totalitarian communist regimes," linking them with Nazism. " The conflation, then, is of the long history of the Chinese revolution with the Cultural Revolution, on the one hand and, on the other hand, of Mao Zedong with every one of the most despicable of the 20th century's many tyrants and despots. In these conflations, general 20th-century evil has been reduced to a complicit right-wing/left-wing madness, while China's 20th century has been reduced to the ten years during which this supposed principle of madness operated as a revolutionary tyranny in its teleologically ordained fashion. In this way are the dreams of some China ideologues realized: China becomes one central node through which the trends of the 20th century as a global era are concentrated, channelled and magnified. China is global history, by becoming a particular universalized analytic principle, in the negative sense. That is, universality becomes a conflationary negative principle.

AB - The recent spate of English-language exposés of Mao Zedong, most prominently that written by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, seems to announce a culmination of the tendency towards the temporal-spatial conflation of 20th-century Chinese and global history. This sense was only confirmed when the New York Times reported in late January that George W. Bush's most recent bedtime reading is Mao: The Unknown Story, or when, last month, according to a column in the British paper The Guardian, "the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly voted to condemn the "crimes of totalitarian communist regimes," linking them with Nazism. " The conflation, then, is of the long history of the Chinese revolution with the Cultural Revolution, on the one hand and, on the other hand, of Mao Zedong with every one of the most despicable of the 20th century's many tyrants and despots. In these conflations, general 20th-century evil has been reduced to a complicit right-wing/left-wing madness, while China's 20th century has been reduced to the ten years during which this supposed principle of madness operated as a revolutionary tyranny in its teleologically ordained fashion. In this way are the dreams of some China ideologues realized: China becomes one central node through which the trends of the 20th century as a global era are concentrated, channelled and magnified. China is global history, by becoming a particular universalized analytic principle, in the negative sense. That is, universality becomes a conflationary negative principle.


Kyk die video: Speech of Mao Zedong in 1949