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View Diary: China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution – The Origins of Ultra-Left Ultra-Violence (pt. 1) (113 comments)

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  •  I disagree somewhat (2+ / 0-)
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    AoT, glorificus

    The Cultural Revolution was at least initially an overwhelmingly urban phenomenon and was especially concentrated in the very top universities, high schools and among the party hierarchy. The Red Guard were among the most highly educated young people in the country.

    Lack of education simply isn't an excuse for what happened.  It was, as its title suggests, a "cultural revolution" fought out at a surprisingly high level of cultural and political theory.

    On the other hand, when it spread to rural areas among the peasants, as you call them uneducated country bumpkins, it became almost surreal in its brutality (not that the urban CR was also surreal in its brutality) but in Guangxi, tens of thousands were killed seemingly for no reason and the victors celebrated by engaging in cannibalism.

    I agree with everything you say about Lin Biao though and the effect of his betrayal on the way people thought about politics.

    •  Yeah, the diary the revolution started in the (0+ / 0-)

      schools, so it isn't that they were uneducated.  It seems more like they never really bought into what they were being taught (both in the schools and culturally at-home), so they tossed it off on a moments notice.  Or they just decided en-mass to toss it off.  It is just extremely strange, unless they were also under alot of duress.

      I know this is a fiction reference - but it kindof reminds me of the humans and cylons in the closing of Battlestar Galactica putting all their ships (and technology) an auto-pilot and steering it into the sun so they can start over with a clean slate.  They were under alot of duress though.

      As a more real example, during the fall of roman civilization people actually abandoned the cities and 'went wild' living in unsettled regions however they could because feudal roman life blew that bad.  There is also a supposition that when the Romans withdrew their legions from Britain, many of the Romans that were left-behind immediately abandoned their Roman ways and reverted to their pre-conquest identities and customs.

      So it seems, civilization can collapse....

      To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

      by ban48 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 06:08:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As my next installment will argue (0+ / 0-)

        the students were psychologically manipulated. According to the account of being a Red Guard by Ken Ling, although the explosion of RG activity looked spontaneous it was very much manipulated and guided by adults. In fact, it was almost a text book application of the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments.

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