The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Analysis

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The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was an era of extreme violence under the banner of a social-political movement. Following on from the Great Leap Forward after the death of in excess of thirty million people, Mao confronted a political backlash when facing unwilling self-criticism in the 7,000 Cadres meeting in the early months of 1962. The following few years saw a re-emergence of pragmatic theory from Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi which displeased Mao, eventually leading to a power struggle which would begin the disastrous Cultural Revolution in 1966. The extremely high levels of violence and chaos however don’t attribute themselves to the idea of culture, and in 1980 shocking evidence was released to emphasise this fact. During…show more content…
Mao himself even argues that “posters have no class nature just as language has no class nature”. Both of these show the visual effect of propaganda that was distributed amongst the population. They highlight the class divide aspect of culture during the Cultural Revolution and clearly show that even if it was not fully achieved, it was certainly engrained in the minds of the population. Snow points out that large banners of Mao hung in the streets which stresses the involvement and constant bombardment of the Maoist regime in day-to-day life. These arguments also accentuate the idea of belonging as the constant imagery allows for the shared cultural behaviour of existing within one society. Though, there was some disillusionment within the party when discussing Mao’s cult of personality. Zhao Enlai deplored the wasteful use of aluminium for the Mao badges as anywhere between 2.5-5 billion badges were produced in the ten year period. This only highlights a small fraction of the political tensions faced by Mao, and Mccormick argues that the state was left with an ideology of hollow symbols in the years after the Cultural Revolution due to high intensity politics crippling the state’s institutional infrastructure. Ultimately, Mao’s cult of personality was certainly an important cultural aspect of the revolution as it depicted the weakening of class divide and it unified the population in carrying out educational reforms and purging of the bourgeois. Although what clearly must be noted is that political pressure was constantly mounting which meant in the high political epsilons of society during the Cultural Revolution, the cultural identity imposed upon the regular classes was not felt amongst the elite class and Mao’s

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