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China Perspectives
The Cultural Revolution 1

The divergence within the Communist party: between those who came from the city and those from the country, and between the educated and illiterate, led to differences in state policies: should the state pursue a technocratic approach to economy, and focus on establishing a select number of schools training professionals, which would certainly leave a large number of those illiterate revolutionaries from a rural background behind, or should it develop China"s economy from a grass-roots level, using the style of mass mobilization.  The political campaigns of the late 1950s, the Anti-Rightist movement, the Great Leap Forward, were grounds for these two contrasting views to unravel.  The most thorough and fierce struggle between these two groups within the Communist Party was carried out in the form of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).   The CR was begun as a way to purge the technocrats from the party, and Chairman Mao Zedong of the Communist Party again used the strategy of mass mobilization, in the form of Red Guards, Tiananmen Square parades, mass criticism meetings, and parades of the "bad elements".  Mao also wanted to transform Chinese culture through the CR, including bridging the gap between the country and the city, and the educated and the illiterate.  To do so he sent millions of Chinese high school graduates to the countryside in the name of reeducation.  Although many of them have returned to the cities today, many have permanently settled in the countryside because they married local farmers, which was a condition that barred their return back to their hometown cities after the CR was over.

 

 

 
   
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