To What Extent Is the Cultural Revolution in China an Archetypal Revolution?

Topics: Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping Pages: 4 (1491 words) Published: August 4, 2012
Name: Chuen Kah Hui
Class: JH304
To What Extent Is The Cultural Revolution In China An Archetypal Revolution?

There are many revolutions that have happened in the world throughout the cause of history. While those revolutions may have caused a huge impact and significant changes, some have succeeded while some have failed. Some were caused by public protests while some were caused by the government itself. However, how many of these revolutions are actually an archetypal revolution? My definition of an archetypal revolution would be that firstly, it must have an impact on the people’s lifestyles. Secondly, there must be a change in ideology that is different from the norm. Finally, an archetypal revolution must be a change that is wanted by the public themselves due to dissatisfaction with the government, etc. The Cultural Revolution is a revolution that had a great impact on China. There was also a change in ideology. However, in my opinion, the Cultural Revolution is not completely an archetypal revolution. The Cultural Revolution in China lasted from 1966 to 1976, and it generally revolved around one man: Mao Zedong. The Cultural Revolution was seen as an opportunity for Mao to re-establish his own ideologies – after the failure of the Great Leap Forward. Mao felt that in order for China to advance, there were ‘four olds’ that had to be eliminated, namely: old ideas, old culture, old custom and old habits. His main tool of the revolution was the Red Book and the Red Guards. The Red Guards were formed by youths and high school students who were brainwashed into thinking that the Cultural Revolution was more important than anything else. They were used to enforce Mao’s ideologies and launched attacks on anyone who opposed the revolution. This soon led to many problems such as schools closing down and museums being destroyed. Eventually, the economy of China also slowed down and its economical cooperation with the West was also broke off. Though the...
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