Did Anyone Benefit from the Cultural Revolution?

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Did anyone benefit from the Cultural Revolution?
Few people would deny that the Cultural Revolution is one of the most significant events in China’s history, with its extraordinary effects on many groups of the population. The main aim of the revolution was simple: having risen to power, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wanted to reform the Chinese population so that they followed the communist ideology – the favour of absolute social equality. While the initial impression of this aim seems positive, many people nowadays consider that there were few benefits of the Cultural Revolution, due to the turbulence that it caused between 1966 and 1976. Whilst it could be considered that there was initially some reform of the Chinese people, it is now widely considered that these reforms did not bring about benefits.
The group that the CCP wanted to help most was the lower class, especially the peasants in the countryside. Meisner (1986, p.373) points out that initially, the Cultural Revolution hardly affected the countryside, with the Red Guards banned from entering the peasant villages, presumably because virtually all peasants were already loyal followers of Mao. Mao tried to restore peasant associations in an attempt to bring more political power to rural areas. Nevertheless, in general, if these peasant associations tried to participate in their villages, higher powers intervened. Therefore, all in all, peasants did not really gain power from the Cultural Revolution (Meisner 1986 p.375).
Some argue that there were benefits of the Cultural Revolution for rural areas. Meisner (1986 pp.376-378) states that a main aim of the revolution was to promote rural industrialisation to narrow the gap between urban and rural living and to make use of the local labour forces. Thanks to this project, almost 20 million peasants became industrial workers.
However, one aspect that certainly did improve in rural areas was the availability of health care. According to Byong-joon Ahn

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