Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

By Yan Jiaqi; Gao Gao et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 15

Shackling, Attacking, and
Oppressing the People

LIN BIAO'S ENERGETIC PROMOTION of the cult of Mao Zedong not only gained him power next only to that of Mao, but also caused Chinese society to be perverted by the noxious fumes of this personality cult. Reason is humankind's most precious possession. Even though the personality cult did not entirely eradicate this rationality, it certainly choked it off in the political realm, for it prevented the population from making lucid judgments about existing politics. Thus, as the Cultural Revolution began at the same time that Lin Biao rose with the personality cult, Chinese politics entered into a madness in which people ignorantly and ludicrously offered their unswerving loyalty to the Great Leader. In the name of love for this Great Leader, people spared no cruelty, oppression, or struggle against their compatriots. The personality cult destroyed the rule of law, resulting in false accusations against hundreds of millions of people. The personality cult forced millions of Chinese to undergo varieties of humiliation and to participate in such movements as Rectify the Class Ranks, One Strike and Three Antis, Going Down to the Cadre School, Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside, and Receiving Reeducation. The Cultural Revolution was a "revolution" that trampled culture and civilization.


"Offering Loyalty" and Thought Control

With little red books in hand, chests bedecked with Mao Zedong buttons, and voices chanting the Quotations set to music, people became the "Red Sea," writing "quotations plaques" and writing the "character 'loyalty' for posting on walls." It became fashionable to "ask for instructions in the morning and make reports in the evening," which consisted of standing in front of the likeness of Mao Zedong in formation when one went to work and when one got off, and reciting from the Quotations to show loyalty.

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