Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A217-W108
Release Date: July 1, 2006
Topic: On the Origins and Reasons for the Chinese Cultural Revolution -- WEI Jingsheng
标题：论文革起因 -- 魏京生
Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)
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On the Origins and Reasons for the Chinese Cultural Revolution
-- WEI Jingsheng
How many are there still remember the Cultural Revolution? Those now over 50 still have memories, as they went through that great disaster. Those now under 40 perhaps have heard about it from others. They probably did not hear that much from their elders, mainly getting their information in piecemeal form from newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and television. Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has, over the last 40 years, prohibited people from researching or criticizing it, young and middle-aged people's impressions of the Cultural Revolution are quite fragmented, and even less are they able to learn from the historical lessons. We are currently at the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. I would like to discuss my view of the Cultural Revolution with everyone, for the generations to come.
The Cultural Revolution was not just started overnight. It occurred gradually, ending in a sudden explosion. It's called the Great Cultural Revolution, which shows that those who wanted to launch it wished to revolt against Chinese traditional culture. It wasn't simply a movement to seize power or revolt of the oppressed masses. The reasons for the start of the Great Cultural Revolution are not at all simple. Only with many elements mixed within could such an intense, huge disaster come about. It changed both society and the thinking of the majority of the Chinese people. You could say that it was a revolution that struck the souls of the people. However, it didn't end up as Mao Zedong and his gang hoped, that it would increase people's belief in the Communist Party's stuff. On the contrary, people believed even less in the Communist Party's stuff. This disbelief in the CCP became the cause for the rise of the democracy movement late on.
Then, from where did the Cultural Revolution arise? If we search back through history, it probably arose from the failure of the movement to learn from the West that happened at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of last century. The mainstream thinking of that movement of several decades was similar to how the CCP of nowadays talked about: you don't need to change the old system and culture; as long as we learn from the West and its advanced technology, all of our problems can be solved. Yet there would inevitably be serious conflicts between the imported technologies, management methods, and new social statuses that were newly emerged against the old, corrupt bureaucratic system and social environment of the late Qing Dynasty. More importantly, it was hard for the obsolete ways of thinking and the old bureaucratic structure to adapt to the new economic structure, and vice versa, nor was it easy for the old structures to adapt to the rapidly evolving world order. Putting these two conflicting systems together was like taking a sledgehammer to a broken-down house. The Qing Dynasty quickly collapsed, as did many other decaying monarchies.
After the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people felt extremely pained. They believed that it was not enough to merely study others' technologies; they had to study even more of others things. They had to study culture, thought, art, and so on, as well as advanced social system. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, there was already a small portion of people with this mindset who tried out some things: this is the well-known Hundred Days Reform. After the Hundred Days Reform failed, those youths who advocated for constitutional reform followed Sun Yat-Sen towards radical revolution. They established the first Republic in Asia. But this republic was a failure right from the start: it was not able to realize the ideals of a democratic republic. It seemed little different from a change in dynasties, and was far from Western social systems.
People's disappointment in the Beiyang government, which usurped power in China, and their hopes towards the advanced countries that were overtaking the world led to two major social trends of thoughts. The common belief between these two trends was that China should fully Westernized itself and thoroughly change the course of Chinese culture to the point that it was no different from the West. This trend of thought reached its climax during the Cultural Revolution period; its method of expression was destroying the Four Olds (old ideology, old culture, old custom, old habits). Its purpose was to eliminate all traditional Chinese culture and to replace it with a new, modern Western culture. They also wished to replace Chinese culture with so claimed most advanced Marxist-Leninist culture, but what they ended up creating was a cultural desert.
The difference between the two trends of thought was that the majority of people advocated studying a democratic system under a market economy, which was not such a pleasant thing to hear about at the time. This was because the Chinese traditional market economy had an easier time accepting this more gentle democratic system. But another portion of radical intellectuals and youths leaned towards having a Communist system, which sounded like a more perfect system. They wanted to make quick changes in one night and to study an idealist, perfect society that even Westerners had yet to try out.
Looking at things from the perspective of people of the time not understanding the evils that would come out of Communism, these radical ideals are fully understandable. When they attempted to establish this perfect ideal - but one that people had too much difficulty accepting on a practical level - they met fierce resistance from the deeply rooted market economy society, led mainly by small farmers. Although they were supported by the Soviet Union, they were still under tremendous difficulties, and were unable to gain the acceptance of the majority of the Chinese people. This group of theorists refused to say that their ideals were incorrect, and instead pushed responsibility onto the decadent side of traditional Chinese culture. They blamed China's feudal culture for the fact that Communism faced even more resistance in China than in the Soviet Union. Without thoroughly destroying the feudal and capitalist cultures in China and those brought in from foreign lands, socialism had no future in China. This type of thinking was the foundation of thought that led to the CCP's launch of the Great Cultural Revolution.
The radical Communist trend of thought with Chinese characteristics that emerged in the May 4th movement  believed that if Chinese traditional culture was not thoroughly changed or eradicated, there would be no way to put the most advanced Western social structures into place. From the perspective of their theories, such culture was China's "feudal" culture and Western capitalist culture. Thus, the Great Cultural Revolution was not something that Mao Zedong launched on a moment's whim; rather, it was a long-term ideal of the Communist Party. Moreover, that important document, the "May 16 Notice" , that helped to launch the Great Cultural Revolution in May 40 years ago, was passed unanimously by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Not even the Communist leaders who were later overthrown or killed by the movement opposed launching it. This is because they had identified with this train of thoughts for decades.
Although no one opposed the movement, all the propositions were initiated by Mao Zedong and his clique. Why was it Mao Zedong and not others who initiated the proposals? This has to do with the shift of inner-Party power and the failure of Communist policies. In other words, it was the result of inner-Party struggles. A political struggle between these who persisted in erroneous policies and these who favored revisionism is really under the guise of a Cultural Revolution? Thus, many complicated elements have been mixed into this period of history.
Everyone knows that the Great Famine around 1960, where tens of millions died, was anything but a natural disaster. Instead, it was a man-made calamity produced during the Mao Zedong-led Communist drive to implement social collectivization reforms. Precisely during this time when China lacked foodstuffs, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in order to manufacture nuclear weapons and develop military industry, sold food to the Soviet Union in exchange for military machinery facilities. It created disasters in the people's communes and lengthened the duration of the famine. So one year of man-made disasters produced a three-year famine, with the highest number of deaths happening in the first two years after the Great Leap Forward period. That famine even created negative population growth for that period.
Even though society at that time was full of trust in the beautiful ideals of the Communists, the famine and the massive deaths of so many peasants that it caused dealt a heavy blow to this trust. Who should bear responsibility for this? The CCP had to find a scapegoat in order to keep duping the Chinese people. They could temporarily use a lie to stall off the distrust and criticisms filling the minds of the common people. But the doubts and criticisms brewing among intellectuals and cadres could not be shut up simply by suppressing Peng Dehuai . Peng Dehuai's long plea at the Lushan Conference  represented the societal elite's denunciation of the erroneous policies of the so-called "Great Leap Forward," as well as the complaints and denunciations of the greater population of workers and peasants. Mao Zedong could dismiss Peng Dehuai and his associates and put them under house arrest, but he would still have no way to shirk his responsibility for the disasters. He had no choice but to, facing that last bit of inner-Party democracy, criticize himself and lessen his power within the Party. This created another faction led by Chinese President Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, also known as the "pragmatic" faction, which seized the opportunity to take power. They took over most of the power that Mao Zedong previously held sole control of. It was merely that Mao Zedong was a god that they jointly created, as creating a new god in order to dupe the common people would not be that easy. Thus, while in the process of creating a new living immortal, the entire party had no choice but to deal with Mao Zedong staying on as Communism's living immortal for the time being.
But Mao Zedong was the type that didn't like to lose. While Liu, Deng, and others were busy with administrative affairs and taking the opportunity to recruit executive branch cadres to joining them, Mao Zedong began to embark on a plan to rebuild his shining image. His old friend Lin Biao, who controlled the military system, began a new ethics movement starting with "studying from Lei Feng " in order to create a living immortal. And Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, began to gather a group of intellectuals together; they began to assert their influence on educational and cultural circles, beginning a movement of cleaning up the fields of arts and cultures that complemented the ethics movement. They started mainly through creating "model Cultural Revolution plays," then gradually developed into criticizing arts with "feudal" or "capitalist" content or by attacking people who had already become hostile to the CCP with the label of "revisionist weeds." Step by step, they launched a spiritual and cultural revolution.
Since the ideological foundation for this revolution had been the joint ideological foundation of the Communists for decades, there was no one in the CCP's leadership opposed; quite the contrary, the revolution gained the energetic support and assistance from the entire Party. The new ethics movement and cultural revolution could even be said to be the joint goal of the Chinese intellectual elite after the May 4th movement; thus, the movements were supported by nearly the entire society, or at least tolerated. The move from the Lei Feng movement of 1960 to criticizing the "poisonous weeds" of feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism of 1965 only took five years. Mao Zedong and his group took the new culture movement of May Fourth and developed it into a new Communist ideology with Chinese characteristics. Under the cooperation of the one-sided Communist cultural autocracy, Mao monopolized the minds of the 800 million Chinese people and established the absolute individual authority of Mao, the immortal. This image swept the entire world around the time of the Great Cultural Revolution. Not only did it bring about a soul-stirring disaster for the Chinese people, it also brought about the climax of worldwide violent, "new idealism" activities. The climax of this violent revolution has continued until today, giving reign to its destructive power under the name of terrorism. It has affected the way all of humankind exists and has poisoned the minds of the whole human race.
The idea of fully realizing Marxist ideology from the West is rooted from the concept of "complete Westernization" of the May 4th Movement, along with the slogan of "thoroughly smashing traditional Chinese culture". The Great Cultural Revolution had two direct goals.
One of its public goals was to overturn the ideologies of feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism, and to replace old culture with Communist morals and Communist culture, thus lessening obstacles to the establishment of a purer Communist system. Another purpose was to use this movement to overturn what they called the "capitalist class headquarters," which was adapted to the ideologies of feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism.
Thus, during the new morals and cultural criticism movements of the early 1960s, the Marxist-Leninist theory of class struggle became the main argument in theoretical propaganda regarding preparations for launching the Great Cultural Revolution. This is because only by using the theory of class struggle could they be the most effective in inciting people and having them harm and kill others. Only this way could Mao Zedong achieve all of his goals - they were not the goals of the new morals movement and of Communist culture the other Party comrades shared.
In the five years between 1960 and 1965, the Communist Party's writers created many lifelike literary and artistic figures, allowing the new morals and new culture movement, under the slogan of class struggle, to be pushed into the thoughts and consciousness of all the nation's people, thus preparing them mentally and theoretically for the madness of the Great Cultural Revolution. By early 1966, when the movement of exposing and criticizing feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism had reached its climax, the theory of class struggle had already become a social mainstream ideology that deeply penetrated the brains of the people and that had become embedded in their lives. There are two sides to its extreme manifesting forms.
One side is the once-fashionable bloodline theory, known by the saying, "If the elder is a hero, the son will be a brave man, but if the elder is a reactionary, the son will be a scoundrel." Having receded from extreme slogans into becoming fixed thought patterns of the masses, this theory became national law and policy, the policy of discriminating against people based on their social status of the last ten-plus years and based on their social status history. It was similar to the racial discrimination in the West, having passed into China's Western culture through Marxism. Although they began doing away with these discriminatory laws and policies during the 80s, to this day many people deal with others and their affairs using these thought patterns. Some have even planned to present a revised bloodline theory to the public in order to start a new round of class struggles and to revive the old Maoist dream of unifying the whole country. I am advising all of you to stay on guard against this.
Another side is that Mao Zedong seized onto the theory of class struggle when it was being practiced to the extreme and made it into a political struggle by guiding people to "ferret out hidden class enemies inside the Communist Party." Without much effort, he was able to eliminate his political opponents, unify ideologies and his ranks, and accelerate his implementing of the goals of Communist ideals.
This ferreting movement had a process of development as well. From the class struggle movement of 1960, they took all of the landlords of the past (with Liu Wencai  as a typical example), the tens of millions of landlords who had already lost their property and social status, as well as wealthy peasants, the urban capitalist class, and right-leaning intellectuals, and made them into criminals and political rebels (that is, they were deemed "bad elements" and those outside of the theory of class struggle) and thus, a group of class enemies, called as "the five black classes": landlords, wealthy peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, and rightists.
Although the propaganda, which was coordinated with policies and legal decrees, had already made a deep impression on the minds of the people, it was also unanimously supported by the Party elite. But the theory was imperfect and left doubts in the minds of the people. That is, people wondered: according to the theories of Marxism-Leninism, what is the social structure built on the ferocious labeling of people as part of "the five black classes"? Who are their political representatives? What political forces are they relying on in order to brutally injure and kill the masses?
In early 1966, Mao timely published an article called "Shell the Headquarters - A Big-Character Poster of Mine," sounding the bugle of the Great Cultural Revolution, answering the questions in people's minds, and perfecting his theory of class struggle. This big-character poster formally pointed out the representatives of the five black classes and of the culture of feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism: a few Communist Party leaders secretly walking down the path to capitalism by using their powers. Mao also pointed out that among these "capitalist roaders," there was a Capitalist Headquarters that exercise the central authorities that not often aired views opposing those of Mao, but also even already suppressed of his Proletarian Headquarters.
The direction that the Great Cultural Revolution's struggle therefore concentrated within the Communist Party and government itself and soon reached a white hot stage. It reached a new stage of launching mass attacks against government officials. That is, the Cultural Revolution had transformed into a political revolution. Moreover, the ratio of government officials that were overthrown, killed, or sent to jail far outstripped that of any normal revolution. It indeed was a huge political revolution, just as Mao Zedong had said. Yet it had also indeed come from the Cultural Revolution, and had taken advantage of that form. Calling it the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is quite accurate, as it did not deviate from Mao Zedong's new theoretical framework.
Its exact, literal meaning includes the two theories of class struggle and fully realization of Marxist ideology from the West. At the same time, it was not a reform, but the process of taking the lives of tens of millions of people, and the majority of power-holders. If this is not a revolution, what is?
From the May 4th ideology of complete westernization to Mao Zedong's class struggle theory of the 1960s, after forty some years, it finally reached its climax, exploding in the form of the Great Cultural Revolution. Yet this explosion was not a purely cultural revolution; a purely cultural revolution would not manifest in such a violent manner. There are two reasons for why the Great Cultural Revolution was not limited to culture: One was that Mao Zedong and his clique were plotting to regain their lost power, thus they used Mao as a living immortal which was established by the entire Communist party. The second reason is that China's general public had accumulated more than a decade of dissatisfaction and enmity. When the autocracy had lessened its suppression of the people, they would try and take the opportunity to rise up. That is to say that the ruling class struggles for power and the resistance of the oppressed were interwoven, and made people unable to see which came first. Everyone misunderstood the political climate and had their own predictions about what would come from it.
Most people believed that Mao Zedong has great talent and bold vision to start a movement of the masses struggling against bureaucrats. But this is only half-correct. The other half is that he had no other choice. The "capitalist roaders" at the top of the Party, led by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, moved in a manner that was more pragmatic and that would restore individual businesses and a limited market economy in the three years after the Great Famine. While their policies were not sharply opposed to Communism, they were still able to quickly rejuvenate the economy. It helped Chinese society recover from the Great Famine and made the capitalist roaders a major force in society. The path of capitalism is one that gained the support of the masses and majority of Party bureaucrats.
Most of the Chinese people supported the Communist Party, but they did not identify with Communist ideology. What happened is that the slogans the Communist party made in the 1940s attracted the majority of the peasant and the national bourgeoisie classes. When a minority of the urban and rural landlord and bureaucratic capitalist class opposed them, they were able to defeat them. On this occasion, Liu and Deng followed a set pattern. They used both the urban and rural population's desire for a prosperous and secure life to secure the support of the majority of the populace and the officialdom. They began to make a figurehead of the living immortal that the Party set up, moving step by step towards victory against the pious Marxist-Leninists.
Yet Liu Shaoqi's political program had two crucial flaws. One was that he had neither a guiding principles or legitimate theories. He was just quietly and secretively doing reforms. Mao's faction criticized that Liu and the others were "holding the red flag but actually opposing it," which was accurate and also a powerful image. His second flaw was that while Liu and Deng took the legacy of Mao by going towards peaceful evolution, they had to bear the consequences of Communist policies as well. They had to bear the grassroots society's enmity and dissatisfaction towards the Party, thus left Mao out of the responsibility of what he did, and gave Mao higher moral commanding point from which to act.
There were two possible outcomes of this situation: one is that Mao would accept his position and support the Premier and his ministers in cleaning up Mao's mess. The entire Party hoped that this would happen, Mao had accepted this, and this was how things were run in the first five years of the 1960s. Moreover, things were run quite smoothly, as the economy, society, culture and education all became rejuvenated much faster than people had anticipated. At the same time, though, Mao was quickly being deified, and the grudges felt by the Marxist-Leninist fundamentalists were also increasing. These people had complete legitimacy in the Communist system, and they did not think that their policies, which created the Great Famine and other disasters, were wrong. Instead of understand these disasters are the results of putting Communism into practice, they thought these as the results of not really put Communism into practice.
Mao Zedong took advantage of this beneficial position, which allowed him to be free of his sins, to gain the support of a big group of people in the Party. He cast off his position as the figurehead prince and regained the qualifications that would allow him once again to fight for political leadership. Mao quietly assisted his supporters, and gained complete control over the ability to command the army, as well as the public security and intelligence organs. His five-year-long preparation of coup finally came to erupt in 1966. When it erupted, Mao's faction gained control of the ideological battleground, as well as control of the army and of the public security and intelligence organs.
These conditions ensured that even he abandon his first choice, would he cause great chaos or get used by outside enemies. Moreover, it ensures that his opponents had no way to thoroughly defeat him. Under these circumstances, winning the war was only a matter of time. His strategy was just like that in Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." Liu, Deng, and their bureaucrats and supporters saw this situation clearly, and thus surrendered after just a few rounds of fighting. But Mao did not want any captured prisoners to surround this time; especially he refused to accept the surrender of the commander-in-chief. Since he no longer trusted these subordinates who once betrayed him, he officially called them "unrepentant capitalist roaders." He indeed persecuted Liu and his core followers to death. Afterwards, as for those bureaucrats who surrendered, led by Deng Xiaoping, and led by Zhou Enlai, they were used to continue Mao's revolutionary theories and to struggle for the sake of bringing about Communism.
The industrial and agricultural policies in the 1950s that brought about the Great Famine were continued after the end of the Cultural Revolution policy in 1969, and were the true result of the Great Cultural Revolution.
We have talked about the origins and reasons of the Great Cultural Revolution in China in 1960's, but we have only produced a general idea about it so far. For more detailed information on this period, please consult the materials produced by scholars Song Yongyi and Wang Youqin. They capture both major events and minute details, leaving nothing out, and describe everything both richly and colorfully. Their work can be supplied to those with interest in the subject and who wish to do deeper research on it. Today, I would just like to describe in a simple manner why and how the Cultural Revolution ended up developing in unexpected ways to so many others, the results it continued to produce, and the development of a movement that none of the Communist Party factions wanted to see, and which fundamentally differed from all of them: the democracy movement.
The Cultural Revolution actually was not some democracy movement. It was a clandestine movement for autocracy in China, with Mao Zedong and his colleagues making use of the "democracy movement" banner in order to realize his goals of one-party dictatorship and Communism. China's Communist Party, just as the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe's Communist Parties, took advantage of the tide of democracy movements to trick society into supporting their parties, and succeeding after usurping power. This is the essence of Leninism - a developed form of Marxism. The Chinese Communist faction, led by Mao Zedong, expanded the scope of Leninism. Not only did they use "democracy" to trick people, they mainly relied on the non-worker class and united with the capitalist class to defeat the capitalist democratic revolution of the Nationalist Party's.
When the People's Republic of China was established, China had already accumulated a over 2000 years tradition of market economies, and the major components of Chinese societies past were the capitalist class, the middle class and intellectuals, and the petty bourgeoisie, made up of farmers and small craftsmen. The Chinese had a deeply rooted private ownership mentality, so even 17 years of socialist transformation were unable to fundamentally change the Chinese people's mentality. Liu Shaoqi's idea of "taking the capitalist road" won popular support, and was the greatest obstacle to Mao Zedong's launching of the Great Cultural Revolution.
Thus, Mao used two social forces to drive forward his movement. One social force was students - especially middle-school students - who were ignorance of worldly affairs and who blindly worshipped power. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had been stirring up student movements for decades, and so they had plenty of experience. If you were not a participant in the early stages of the student movements, you would have almost no way of knowing how Kang Sheng's  spy agencies were inciting and manipulating Beijing middle-school students to launch this rebellion movement.
But you cannot stir up a major incident relying merely on students, and Liu Shaoqi's work team was almost able to put down this student movement. At this time, Mao came out to personally show his support for the middle-school Red Guard, and also used his big-character Poster, "Shell the Headquarters," to show his support for the rebel faction of the university students. He also called upon the students to bring their movement to the whole society and to the whole nation. This was to mobilize the second, and much more enormous, social force that Mao hoped to rely on in his movement: the lowest layer of society, which was filled with people bearing grudges and hatred, especially these workers and peasants, as well as office workers and intellectuals in different government offices, who were easy to organize. Only through the mobilization of these social forces was Mao able to defeat the bureaucratic system that Liu Shaoqi controlled.
After Mao reached his ideological goals after "destroying the four olds," he immediately called upon the Red Guard students to establish ties with one another all across the nation. He also clearly told them that the great link-up of the Red Guard across the nation is like the Long March - it is the seeding machine of the revolution. The flames of war indeed spread to all different domains across the nation. At this time, Liu Shaoqi paced back and forth in front of Mao's house for several days, waiting to speak with him in order to reconcile their differences, but Mao paid him no heed. The outcome of their rivalry was a foregone conclusion, and it was just a matter of time for final arrangements, as the two leaders' chess game had already finished up. Mao's goal was to leave Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping dead, as Mao was anything but a gullible softy. Thereafter, he used more naive and more easily controlled subordinates to achieve his communist ideals.
But unforeseen circumstances came about. The first was that the boldest group of Red Guard rebels was also the least obedient. Once they realized that Mao and wife Jiang Qing's goals in launching the Cultural Revolution were dishonest, they began rebelling against Mao's own inner circle. Even though this group of youths had little experience or social foundations, Mao had a hard time dealing with them. Only after various failed attempts was Mao able to thoroughly resolve the problems this group caused him, using the sinister trick of sending all educated youth to the mountains and countryside for "re-education".
What Mao had an even harder time dealing with was rebellions from the lowest stratum of society, those in society who had been oppressed and exploited. What they sought was basic human rights and interests for the people, and their demands touched on the Communist Party's basic power and interests. Moreover, they represented the support and desires of the widespread masses of Chinese people to realize these rights and interests. Even when Mao severely repressed them and tried to make them collapse, he still could not put down their rebellion. From the start, Mao the Emperor decreed the lower class to rebel, until Lin Biao plotted to rebel against Mao in the name of the lower class. It made Mao feel helpless as he began to sense society's resistance to the perverse acts of Communism, as well as the limits to the effectiveness of his fraudulent theories. He also began to sense the attractiveness of the "road to capitalism" to the common people. This was the real reason for why he had no choice but to ask Deng Xiaoping to come out and clean up his mess, even as he refused to change his ideas.
The Cultural Revolution was a Pandora's Box that Mao opened when he said "rebellion is justified." Although it had both good and bad points, and although it is all the facets while all the strange things happened, it legitimized the idea that "people's rebellion is justified". This was actually not what Mao ZeDong or the Communist Party wished to see. The reason for the failed legacy of "taking the imperial decree of rebellion" during the Cultural Revolution lies partially on the rebellion, and partially on the act of following imperial decrees itself.
Later generations summed up their experiences from different perspectives to form lessons from them. This process led to the April 5th Tiananmen Square movement (in 1976), the 1978 Democracy Wall movement, and the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement. It has progressed step-by-step until reaching the current stage of having both democracy movements and human rights movements inside China, as well as overseas. The CCP has distorted the history of the Cultural Revolution and prohibited people from discussing it precisely because it fears that people will catch on to the spirit of the people's revolt that arose during that period. It is precisely this spirit that will eventually lead to the collapse of the one-party dictatorship.
 The May 4th movement of 1919, was a politically important movement that came from China's ability to establish a Republic government and that attempted to establish a "new culture" for China in order for it to return to its previous glory, and that advocated learning Science and Democracy from the West, using vernacular Chinese in written texts, and other changes.
 A decree from the Central Committee of the Communist Party dated May 16, 1966 that formally provides guidance for and thus marked as the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
 Peng Dehuai, a Communist military leader, criticized Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward policies by submit is well-known long plea on July 14 1959 at the Lushan Conference. He was dismissed for this and subsequently tortured to death during the Cultural Revolution.
 The Chinese Communist Party official conference in July and extended into August 1959 in which Peng Dehuai criticized Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward policies.
 Lei Feng was a young Communist cadre from the military who exemplified hard work, selflessness, and nationalism, and after his death in 1962, was used by Mao and others in a propaganda campaign to promote such values.
 A landlord used in an exhibition of clay sculptures called Shouzu Yuan displayed in 1966, in which the landlord exploits the poor peasants miserably and eventually oppressed peasants rise up against their cruel landlord.
: Kang Sheng was head of the PRC's security apparatuses until his death in 1975, and is responsible for much of the state terror and secret persecution systems utilized during the Cultural Revolution.
(Written in on May 12/20/24, 2006. Partially broadcasted by Radio Free Asia. The Wei Jingsheng Foundation is responsible for the accuracy of this version of the English translation.)
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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A217-W108
Release Date: July 1, 2006
Topic: On the Origins and Reasons for the Chinese Cultural Revolution -- WEI Jingsheng
标题：论文革起因 -- 魏京生
Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)
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