China's Cultural Revolution

3500 Words14 Pages
Temples, restaurants, and all signs of old values were ransacked by the Red Guard youths. The Cultural revolution put middle school and high school students in charge of the nation and like a version of Lord of the Flies the nation fell into anarchy and paralysis

The Cultural Revolution also lead to changes within the structure of the communist party. Before the Cultural Revolution Liu Shaoqi was Mao Zedong's designated successor, but during the early stages of the Cultural Revolution Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping and many others who Mao deemed as being rightists were removed from the party. In their place Mao installed those who had been most loyal to him in the past; one of those men was Lin Biao (Dutt and Dutt, 1970: 80).

Mao rightly saw that the best way to provide both direction for the Red Guards and to make himself immune from their attacks upon party official would be to foster a personality Cult. Thus under the guidance of Lin Biao who after Liu Shaoqi was removed; become the successor to Mao Lin Biao helped foster a personality Cult for Mao. Lin Biao used the same types of techniques that he used in the army to help foster this Cult of Mao. Lin Biao used the same organization to disseminate propaganda that he had devised for the Army. Lin Biao continued to head the army till his death in 1971 but his role was expanded as he became the high priest of the Cult of Mao (Yan and Gao, 1996: 334). The reading of the Red Book was encouraged by both Mao, party directives written by Lin Biao, Chen Boda, and Kang Sheng who during the Cultural Revolution became Mao's closest advisors. All three of these advisors worked tirelessly to promote the Cult of Mao because they saw it as their way to curry favor with Mao Zedong and their efforts met with whole hearted approval. Mao in an interview near the end of the Cultural Revolution commented that Krushchev could have avoided loosing his power if he had created an appropriate Cult for himself (Yan and Gao, 1996: 313).

Mao relied on the power of propaganda to enlarge his Cult during the Cultural Revolution. The Red Book became his most powerful weapon. Quotations from the Red Book replaced the usual front page section entitled today's important news in the People's Daily.

More about China's Cultural Revolution

Open Document