Summary of Evidence (450)In the early 1960s, Mao sought to refocus the public on his goal of a continuous revolution. The violent year of class struggles in 1968 is the pinnacle of the perilous decade that caused 2.8 million deaths and political dissonancy resonant even forty years later.
Background to the Factional WarsAnswering Maos call, in 1966, Revolutionary Committees were established nation-wide to open all levels of government, from officials in the Politburo to municipalities in rural counties for the criticism and judgment of the sharp-eyed masses . The targets of this movement, class enemies, spanned from anti-revolutionary artists to doctors, landlords to capitalist roaders, teachers to students . Mass gatherings were held where these people were openly humiliated. At this point, the public still adhered to Maos call for Verbal Struggle . Meanwhile, because local governments were disbanded and upper party members were in dispute , the number of factions grew exponentially in the country.
Wei Guoqing and Physical StruggleBy July of 1967, the Red Guards in Guangxi generally sided with one of the two major factions , one in support of the Provincial Party secretary Wei Guoqing, and the other against. Due to his close diplomatic ties with Hanoi during the Vietnam War , Wei was able to exercise his power autocratically, focusing public discontent on the faction known as the 411 Group that disagreed with his conservative policies. Due to growing threats, the 411 Group stole weaponry for protection, and after misreporting to the central government on the situation and gaining permission to act, Wei Guoqing mobilized all his supporters to wipe out the class enemies , ridding the province of armed bandits . He encouraged shows of commitment to revolution; from July until December of 1968 over 200, 000 were tortured and murdered, without trial. 100, 000 died between July and August alone. All individuals suspected of 411 membership, their associates and their families were not spared.
CannibalismThe most extreme method of killing was cannibalism; 3000 named individuals fell victim to it in four counties alone . Perpetrators usually began with summoning a village meeting, calling forth the suspect, stating the crime and calling for justice. Then, the mass would gather around the subject, physically assault him or her, cut two diagonals across the abdomen and push out the organs. Those who were most involved in this process had the most resolve. Official records claim that near the close of December, news regarding the intensity of the activities in Guangxi finally reached Beijing in the form of a letter from a local cadet in Wuxuan and Premier Zhou Enlai, outraged, immediately sent commander in chief of the Guangxi Military Region to dispatch militia into the counties, putting down the unrest. The extreme violence ended at the beginning of 1969.
Evaluation of Sources (530)Source A: Scarlet Memorial...