The Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Role of the Youth

Topics: Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zedong Pages: 7 (2114 words) Published: June 2, 2013
Plan of investigation
Within this investigation, I intend to investigate the role played by the Chinese youth during the Cultural Revolution in 1966-1969. I plan to analyze the importance and contributions committed by the youth of the time. In order to do this I will gather information, which I then will review, compare and evaluate from a critical perspective. This is in order to finally be able to come to a conclusion to the question above. By taking into account the sources' origins, purposes, value and limitations, I will have a final discussion and summary, which I will carefully justify. Summary of evidence

Source A, Michael Lynch
* Mao was convinced that the workers needed to be organized and engaged revolutionaries, and that they had to be led by advance-guards and a strong leader. * Maoism wanted peasant-revolution because he regarded it as the most appropriate. Mao redefined dialectics and felt that the revolution ended with the peasant revolution. He did not want people to be freed or develop into citizens. Mao wanted to keep the central power and the old imperial traditions. Mao picked pieces from Marxism-Leninism that fit in his quest to restore the former greatness of China, with a strong central government that would rule over the masses. Mao wanted to avoid the emancipation and he aimed to reestablish Chinese traditional central power with himself in the imperial position. * After the destalinization the USSR evolved in to a moderate evolutionary form of Marxism. This was not liked by Chairman Mao and resulted in the Sino-Soviet split. * Mao blamed bourgeois elements instead of Communism for the failure of the GLF. * The GLF had failed to meet the industrial targets that were set, and the introduction of the new agrarian policies was a failure that created chaos. This damaged Mao’s reputation. * General Secretary Deng Xiaoping and President Liu Shaoqi were called upon and asked to end the catastrophe. The economic theorist Chen Yun was asked to help. They reasoned that markets had to be allowed again. Mao thought this may be a threat against his own politics. * Mao felt that his decreasing public appearance was a political error and whilst Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi seemed to be potential threats to his politics, he turned to his loyal ally, Lin Biao. Lin Biao and Chen Boda (editor of the CCP journal, Red Flag) compiled “the Little Red Book” or “Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong”. Lin Biao helped to make the Little Red Book a secular bible of China and it was represented as the source of truth. It soon became regulation to have a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book in one’s pocket at all times. * Mao’s wife Jiang Qing, a former film actress, denounced rightists in the party as ‘reactionaries and revisionists’. She was the leader of the group of leftist radicals that went by the name “the Shanghai forum”. She commanded that Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were to be disposed from the party. Jiang aimed to get rid of all artists and culture that went against Maoism. Lin Biao gave Jiang Qing the task of cleansing the PLA’s cultural policy. She was now in charge of the creation of a whole new Chinese culture, only favoring the ideas of Maoism. * The Cultural Revolution began and so did the struggle against the four olds; old culture, old ideas, old customs, old habits. Everything was now supposed to be in line with Maoism. * Mao encouraged distrust towards the educational system

* Idealist youth meant that they were easily led. Instinct took over individualism * “Marching through the streets chanting slogans is a softer option than working at ones studies” p. 45 * Red Guards controlled public transport, television and radio networks * “signs of decadent tendencies” were punished by public humiliation or worse * To be an intellectual was seen as a class crime

“Struggle sessions” was frequently present during the revolution. These sessions were an offense on the...
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