It is the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and if there is one certainty in life as definite as death and taxes it is that the average reader will learn NOTHING from reading the average bourgeois newspaper or periodical of any kind. For example there is "
Cultural Revolution, Explained", an article in The
New York Times. The fact is this
article does not explain any of the cultural revolution except the usual horror
stories of the Red Guards. for example:
"The movement was fundamentally about elite politics, as Mao tried to reassert control by setting radical youths against the Communist Party hierarchy. But it had widespread consequences at all levels of society. Young people battled Mao’s perceived enemies, and one another, as Red Guards, before being sent to the countryside in the later stages of the Cultural Revolution. Intellectuals, people deemed “class enemies” and those with ties to the West or the former Nationalist government were persecuted. Many officials were purged. Some, like the future leader Deng Xiaoping, were eventually rehabilitated. Others were killed, committed suicide or were left permanently scarred. Some scholars contend that the trauma of the era contributed to economic transition in the decades that followed, as Chinese were willing to embrace market-oriented reforms to spur growth and ease deprivation."
The entire article is bull shit. That is not to say that the horror stories of the Red Guard are false or made up. There were some excesses of the Red Guards. But the Red Guards were only one small part of the Cultural Revolution. There were several campaigns combined and all of them were designed to move the country forward politically and to empower the bottom classes of Chinese society who had been traditionally treated as little more than slaves or serfs.
But none of this can be found in The New York Times article. That article follows the standard political line that the Cultural Revolution was nothing more than a purge of Mao's enemies and it supposedly resulted it chaos, massive upheaval and horror stories. To put things bluntly the bourgeois press hates the Cultural Revolution and to specify what I mean by bourgeois press I mean the entire capitalist political spectrum from ultra-conservative to left-wing liberal and even many Democratic Socialists. That is because the Cultural Revolution violated a sacred western tenant of ALWAYS supporting the free enterprise system and opposing any movement that seeks to promote equality among the lower classes with the upper classes. Both free enterprise and the value of wealthy elites are the sacred cows of western civilization.
Another example is " 'What mistake did we make?' Victims of Cultural Revolution seek answers, 50 years on" in The Guardian(British). The first line in this article is typical of the patronization of the Chinese people;
"Families destroyed by Mao’s political upheaval say they cannot forgive while
still refuses to face up to
its past" China
By "face up to its past" this publication is saying that a group of western intellectuals know more about the Chinese experience than those people who actually witnessed it first hand and lived under it. This is classic western elitism and simply takes the position that "if we don't like this and we see it as a major crime, then there is something wrong with all of you that you don't see things that way." The Chinese could just as easily question the
US, NATO and Australian policy of
assassinating suspected terrorist leaders, without du process using drones.
That could also be seen as a major war crime and today this program is going
without question. So one cultures' crimes are another cultures' conveniences.
However we do have some left authors who are looking at the Cultural Revolution for it's positive aspects. Not to long ago I posted an article here about a girl who went to the countryside to work with the peasants and she did not view it as a form of punishment as most bourgeois press does. She understood the reasons behind that campaign and found the experience rewarding. In "China- Despite what we read from our mainstream press, we can get books showing the other side of Mao’s China," Wang Zheng, a professor of women’s studies at the University of Michigan, is quoted for writing “We had a dream that the world can be better than today.”
And recently I came across; "The Cultural Revolution: What Revolution Looked Like and Will Look Like," from Red Midwest. This article is a rebuttal to The Guardian article quoted above. It is a good piece and well worth reading, although I wish those who write such articles would go a little easy on the Marxist rhetoric and focus more on simple writing that the average person could understand. And still it is worth reading:
"Two days ago, the bourgeois liberal/social democratic newspaper Guardian put out an article, well received by anti-communists of various types, including many “leftists” in the West, which repeats tired canards about the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which began in earnest on May 16, 1966, 50 years ago this Monday. The Guardian piece, titled “What mistake did we make?’ Victims of Cultural Revolution seek answers, 50 years on”, is an atrocious piece, calling the Cultural Revolution a “ruinous political movement” and copying accounts from people whose family members were struggled against and died as a result, one of whom stated “Nothing like this happened in 5,000 years of Chinese civilization…it can’t be allowed to happen again”. What shouldn’t be allowed to happen again, and why? Does this individual interviewed for this bourgeois hit piece not know that the lion’s share of China’s 5,000 year history, for the masses of Chinese people, was spent under indescribable pain and suffering in the slave, feudal, semi-feudal, and bureaucrat-capitalist system? The revolution that saw military victory in 1949 with the overthrow of the Kuomintang reactionaries and bureaucrat-capitalists under chief warlord Chiang Kai-Shek marked the essential end of 5,000 years of oppression and soul-crushing depredation for hundreds of millions of people! This thing that shouldn’t be allowed to happen again was, objectively, the most free stage of recorded human history in
perspective of the masses, if not the world." China
For the rest click here.