The Chinese Culture Revolution has always fascinated me, of course not in a good way. I always wonder how millions of people could have lost the fundamental compassion and manner, under the full influence of mob mentality, and behaved as if they were in a play.
I came across this old article by The New York Times on a class assignment. It’s headlined “Chou Describes Purge as a ‘Culture Revolution'”. Chou Enlai, the Chinese premier at the time, was politically genius to smell the trend and quickly aligned himself with the Chairman Mao on this highly sensational and sensitive matter. In the article, Chou showed his pure loyalty by citing Chairman Mao that the class struggle was still in its full swing and one of the purposes of the newly-named culture revolution was to resolve that issue.
I am not going to bore you with all the horrible stories that had happened during the so-called revolution. Even Chou had not been spared of political downfall and torture in the end, which showed how Chinese politics back then literally had had its teeth and spikes.
What I am worried about is how this mentality could affect the progression and growth of China. Chinese people are or have been trained to be single-minded, thanks to how almost all the systems from education to politics. This gigantic single force could do tremendous good or cause equally huge disasters.
More than once have we seen signs of this force trying to break free, given the presence of all the social media and more than ever population mobility. Coverage of political scandals go overseas and circle back, controversial public figures seek protection across the ocean. Especially when the Chinese economy is tightly linked to the global web, any movement of this huge creature highly affects the livelihood of others in the woods.
I am excited and anxious to see what will happen next.