An American Cultural Revolution in the Making

In 1949, the communists had successfully taken control of China. By 1966, China had been under communism for 17 years. The fire of revolution had largely calmed to dull embers and much had changed. Mao had lost power within his government and face among the peasantry because of his role in the Great Chinese Famine; a famine that killed around 30 million. His so called “Great Leap Forward” was a complete disaster, causing China’s economy to stutter and crash. What little popularity Mao still had was among the youth, who formed unofficial militias for Mao.

In the government, less ideological men had pushed Mao into the background. Instead of strictly sticking to Communist doctrine, they installed a more flexible economic system. With Mao seemingly left as a figurehead, China began to function again. Mao thought otherwise, calling them revisionists and traitors, and in an effort to retake power Mao ordered his Red Guard to destroy any reminders of pre-revolutionary China; Four Olds – of old culture, old habits, old ideas and attack nine people: the landlords, the rich, agents, capitalists, rightists, intellectuals, bad elements, counter revolutionaries, and traitors.

The Red Guard went out and destroyed art, burned books, desecrated temples,

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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