文革理由｜Reasons for the Cultural Revolution
- Liberal view: Mao Zedong’s economic policies suffered a disastrous failure in the Great Leap Forward, resulting in tens of millions of “abnormal deaths”, and then lost power. Mao was unwilling to be emptied of power and feared that after his death, he would launch the Cultural Revolution to seize power because of the economic failure.
- Leftist view: After the completion of socialist transformation in the Five-Year Plan, due to the copying of Soviet experience (Stalin model) in economic construction work, there were problems such as hierarchical wage system and cadre privileges in the system. Therefore, Mao hoped to weaken the industrialization dividends captured by administrative bureaucrats through top-down improvements such as the “Great Leap Forward”, “People’s Commune Movement” and “Anti-Rightist Movement”. (With the failure of political system reform itself, the Chinese official view believes that Mao decided to launch a “Cultural Revolution” driven by non-systemic public forces to combat bureaucracy.)
(转自维基百科｜Transferred from Wikipedia)
文革背景｜Background of the Cultural Revolution
- A big premise is the Three Red Flags and the “Three Years of Difficulty”.
- In April 1959, National Chairman: Mao down, Liu Shaoqi up.
- In July-August 1959, Lushan Conference, Minister of National Defense: Peng Dehuai down, Lin Biao up. Anti-left criticism of Mao (implying the failure of the Three Red Flags, etc.), Mao did not think he was wrong in this regard, or only had “one finger”, and instead turned to anti-right criticism of Peng (opinion book).
- The difficult period… continues to develop in a more serious direction.
- In January-February 1962, the 7,000-person conference (a summary of the three years of difficulty): Thanks to Lin’s support and support, Mao saw “who is the enemy and who is a friend”, laying the foundation for the class line of the Cultural Revolution.
- In 1964, Lin’s “Quotations from Chairman Mao” began to be distributed in the army.
- In January 1965, National Chairman: Liu Shaoqi was re-elected. (The Third National People’s Congress can be said to be the most direct fuse for Mao’s decision to launch the Cultural Revolution)
文革开始｜The Cultural Revolution begins
- In May 1966, 516 notifications, big-character posters, etc… Anti-rightist movement began in full swing. (At this point, Mao returned to the first seat of power)
- In April 1969, Lin became second-in-command.
- In August-September 1970, Lushan Conference: Lin did not criticize by name at the meeting and Mao was angered. Mao and Lin began to turn against each other.
- On September 8th 1971, Lin failed to seize power and fled and died.
- The Cultural Revolution continues: Jiang Qing up and Deng Xiaoping returns… Deng Xiaoping down third time
文革结束｜End of the Cultural Revolution
- Jiang down… Deng up
- Without Mao’s own mistakes during the “Three Years of Difficulty” and without support and help from others such as “Lin”, would there still have been a successful Cultural Revolution launched by Mao later? This is the most favorable argument for refuting leftist views. And in January 1965, if Mao was re-elected as national chairman, would there have been a change or would a more powerful movement have unfolded?
- The only consolation is that at least most of the delegates present at that time still had bright eyes!