Influenced of Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution
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Youths in Red under the Influenced of Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution
In the modern history of China, Perhaps one of the central events that occurred between the 1949 revolution and the crushing of the movement for socialist democracy in 1989 was the experience of the “Great Proletarian Revolution”. The Cultural Revolution can be best understood not so much in terms of a group of radicals ideological used by Mao faction during the course of the struggle, but more indicated the ruthless struggle between Mao and his conservative opponents in the party. The purpose of Mao Zedong’s little red book, state media, and Gang of Four was that they were tactics used to enforce Mao’s authority on the Red Guards, so he could change the political climate and resurrect the battered Chinese economy. As a result of the tactics the Red Guards became violent and discriminated many of Mao Zedong’s rivalries. Mao Zedong – who was chairman of the communist party – believed that his proletarian revolution would reassert his power, by deploying the Red Guards as his main tactic to recover his loss grounds during the “Great Leap Forward”. The rebellious group originated from the middle school Tsinghua University in Peking thereafter an escalation of violence begun after the attack against teachers.
Young people have always been of importance in the movement for revolutionary and political change. Mao Zedong’s little red book was misleading the youth into believing that the entire world revolved around Mao. Its purpose was to remove capitalists like professionals, intellectuals, and other bourgeois groups in which to strengthen Mao’s authority in the party. Subsequent to the release of the book, the Red Guards apprehended many capitalist roaders from: school teachers, landowners, and the many other people who lived in prosperity (MacFarquhar 693). They have been told to vandalized homes and schools in order to remove capitalists who were believing the four olds as well as to prevent the development of capitalism in the country. Former party leader Peng Dehuai who was once a comrade from the days of Long March and the general in the civil war was stripped of his position as defense of minister, labeled him as the leader of “anti-party clique” and purged from holding offices for the rest of his life, because he had been opposed to Mao’s wish to do away with the educated reforms. Therefore, he was considered a capitalist roader. Furthermore, the red book also influenced the Red Guards from inspirational stories told by book owners. For instance, Mao’s thoughts inspired a new method of protecting their crops from bad weather: making rockets and shooting them into the sky, peasants were able to disperse the clouds and prevent hailstorms. (Cook 299). Since the red book consisted of quotes said by Mao Zedong such as “Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory.”(Cook 299). The Red Guards were felt as if they had to oblige Mao Zedong, and the more interoperated lines from the book, the more energized they have to accomplished the mission. As a result hundreds of millions of people were purged and tortured during the rebellion. The Red Guards were invited to come to Beijing where they could catch a glimpse of the Chairman as he greeted massed audiences in Tiananmen Square (Linda 43). Many of the young people who flocked to Beijing in 1966 saw themselves as saving China from the burdens of the oppressive past and upholding the truth of Mao’s thought. The book was used for their everyday lives, even when they marched the streets during their iconoclastic campaign against Old China. In which they “destroyed museums and homes along with; old books and works of art; everything from old Confucian texts to recordings of Beethoven were sought out and thrown into the dustbins” (Meisner 315).
During the Cultural Revolution The state media with its mass communication, controlled and funded by the state, produced propaganda in televisions, educational curriculums, academic research, newspapers, and posters(Annie-Marie 1). Since the media was controlled by the “gang of four”, the Red Guards were embedded to the information shown by them. As a result they were influenced based on a cult of interoperations of Mao Zedong’s statement, praising Mao in many different aspects of life. Since most of the Red Guards were members of the peasant class. They had high illiteracy rates which the state media took into account when producing posters that were fixated to be of certain colors, forms, and sounds (Mittler 479). The information was often misleading because the state media’s purpose was to create a dominant position for Mao Zedong (Mierzejewski 1). It was appropriate that they told the public that intellectuals were disrupting the Cultural Revolution. Therefore, propaganda purported that knowledge was a “culprit of social uncertainty” (Huang 4). And that intellectuals should be disposed of in order for the Cultural Revolution to be successful. Intellectuals were discriminated, to illustrate in Mao Zedong’s campaign he once said “If we compare the unreformed intellectuals and workers and peasants, we will find that the intellectuals are not clean. The workers and peasants are the cleanest, even though their hands are dirty, and there is cow [dung] on their feet. They are still cleaner than the bourgeois and petit bourgeois intellectuals” (Hao 75). Furthermore, the state media also emphasized the cultivation of loyalty towards Mao Zedong, and as a result the Red Guards believed that “Chairman Mao has defined our future as an armed revolutionary youth organization… So if Chairman Mao is our Red-Commander-in-Chief and we are his Red soldiers, who can stop us? First we will make China red from inside out and then we will help the working people of other countries make the world red… And then the whole universe.”(Chong 105). Mao Zedong knew that he could regain his power by using the youth as his main supporters, since they were too young to remember the “Great Leap Forward” that failed and killed millions. It was appropriate that the state media targeted the youth of China because it was an effective tactic in order to successfully communize China.
The Gang of Four’s members Jiang Qing who was the wife of Mao Zedong along with Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, and Yao Wenyuan was as influential as the State Media were, in fact they were apart of propaganda control during the cultural revolution – this regime was what made the Red Guards so disruptive and aggressive. Since the Gang of Four controlled the educational system, they believed that it was “better to have workers without culture” and “exploiters and intellectual aristocrats” (Mathur 124). Except they were contradicting themselves by disrupting Mao’s socialist education movement by “[practicing] Cultural despotism” and basically stated that “reading [a] book [was] useless” (Marthur 124). They were radicals who distorted China’s education but managed to manipulate the Red Guards into rebelling against bourgeois and capitalist roaders. To illustrate their impact, Jiang Qing who held a grudge against a political family member known as Lili Li had her “[suffer] personal torture and public humiliation. [The] Red Guards shaved her hair in front of a seething mob, and hung posters denouncing her in large characters around the country’s capital. They harassed her whole family.”(Rein). And Jiang also had the “Red guards torture Lili Li’s husband until he could bear the pain no more and committed suicide.”(Rein). They showed no respect, since the Gang of Four influentially supported the usage of brutality, the shift in education quickly backlashed towards intellectuals like teachers and they were tortured, beaten and robbed, schools were destroyed and homes were burned (Wang).
The Red Guards who were manipulated by Mao Zedong’s tactics was what dismantled traditional China. Because of the disciplinary actions that the Red Guards used, many Chinese people suffered by either being violated or discriminated. In the next stage of to eliminate his rivals, Mao Zedong sent working classes and highly intellect peoples to the rural areas. But still he failed to regain his power, and he was losing control over the Red Guards. They were beginning to gain the upper hand and eventually threatened his authority, therefore he had to dismantle the group. Although it lasted ten years the consequences of the movement delayed China for decades economically, socially, culturally, and politically. The Red Guards; state media and gang of four were Mao’s ultimate tactics in order to fulfill his political agenda and recover the losing ground during the “The Great Leap forward”. But Mao Zedong’s became ill and died of Parkinson’s disease in 1976, as a result the Cultural Revolution ended.