Provincial Red Guards had returned home from Beijing inspired by the Chairman and the great rallies and encouraged by their colleagues in the capital. Mao's injunction that they "learn from the experience of Shanghai and take concrete action" showed provincial radicals, who wanted nothing more than to "remain closely in step with" the CCP Chairman, what had to be done. "Seize power! Seize power! Seize power!" as Red Guards editorialized in one of their many tabloids. Action was the order of the day: students in particular were out in full force, taking over offices and official seals and issuing manifestos left, right, and center. Few were as hesitant as the heads of one CC department, who actually wrote a letter to Kang Sheng asking him for permission to "seize power."1
The Shanghai power-seizure may have been immensely encouraging, but the special circumstances of Shanghai could not be duplicated. Nowhere else was there a native son like Zhang Chunqiao who could return to lead the power-seizure with the authority of the Chairman and the CCRG and the support of the military; and in few other provinces did the Red Guards face the challenge of being supplanted by workers as leaders of the great rebellion. In the immediate aftermath of Shanghai's January Storm, most provincial power-seizures failed, and the center recognized only five others—Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guizhou, Shanxi, and Beijing—in the first half of 1967. Three other revolutionary committees were formed in the second half of 1967, but the other twenty not until 1968, a testimony to the bitter factional fighting provoked by attempted powerseizures and the refusal of the center to recognize power-seizures that it did not consider genuine transfers of power from "capitalist readers" to "proletarian revolutionary rebels."2
In conversation with a delegation of visiting Albanian officers, Mao seemed
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Publication information: Book title: Mao's Last Revolution. Contributors: Roderick Macfarquhar - Author, Michael Schoenhals - Author. Publisher: Belknap Press. Place of publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication year: 2006. Page number: 170.
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