China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

Some of their school friends went to his home, several dozen at a time, and this happened quite a few times. I think that there are advantages in making contact in small groups. Another method is to have big meetings, 1,500,000 meeting for several hours. Both methods serve a purpose.

There have been quite a few brief reports presented at this meeting. I have read nearly all of them. You find it difficult to cross this pass and I don't find it easy either. You are anxious and so am I. I cannot blame you, comrades, time has been so short. Some comrades say that they did not intentionally make mistakes, but did it because they were confused. This is pardonable. Nor can we put all the blame on Comrade Shaoqi and Comrade Xiaoping. They have some responsibility, but so has the Center.8 The Center has not run things properly. The time was so short. We were not mentally prepared for new problems. Political and ideological work was not carried out properly. I think that after this seventeen-day conference things will be a bit better.

Does anyone else want to speak? I guess that's all for today. The meeting is adjourned.


2
"Why a Cultural Revolution?"

Lin Biao

Source: "Lin Biao tongzhi zai Zhongyang gongzuo huiyi shang de jianghua" (Comrade Lin Biao's Talk at the Central Work Conference) ( October 25, 1966), first circulated on November 9, 1966, in CCP Central Document Zhonea [ 1966] 542 (classified "crucially secret"). Our translation is of the reprint in People's Liberation Army Armored Force Political Department , ed., Wuchanjieji wenhua dageming shengli wansui (Long Live the Victory of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) ( Beijing, 1969), pp. 152-68.

I want to speak mainly about two things: one is the need for a cultural revolution and the other is how a cultural revolution is to be carried out. In other words, is it necessary to have a cultural revolution and if

____________________
8
Wang Nianyi has "There are reasons too, for why these two comrades made mistakes."

-9-

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