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Lecture 24

HIEA 2031 Lecture 24: L24

History-East Asian History
Course Code
HIEA 2031
Bradly Reed

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Monday, November 14, 2016
L24 –!Red Guards & Political Factions
HIEA 2031
-Factions and groups were composed of opportunists and then true believers.
-The Cultural Revolution Unfolds
Incredibly complex series of events.
By May of 1966, Mao had called for an expansion of the CR (Cultural Revolution).
-Returned to Beijjing
-Cut short Liao’s ability in this movement.
Jiang Qing
-Mao’s wife.
-In 1930’s, she was a “B movie actress”
-Caught the eye of Mao in Yan’an –!Mao was already married, but divorced his former wife to
marry Jiang.
By early 60’s, she’s a combination of an opportunist and true believer
-Women of incredible vindictiveness
In Summer of 1966, groups of students from universities, middle schools and elementary schools
begin to form groups known as Red Guards
-To defend Mao’s ideology
-Could be formed by small group of friends
Sometimes they grew to include entire population of a school..
-Sometimes made alliances with other groups, sometimes betrayed.
-Those formed by the sons and daughters of officials –!Students from good class backgrounds –
felt they had the duty to protect Mao’s ideology by scoping out anti-socialist activity.
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Monday, November 14, 2016
Those who called themselves Rebel Red Guards –!From bad class backgrounds –!These
emerged to erase the stigma to erase their parents’ background through radical and
revlutionary ways.
-Despite differences, all of them carried out Mao’s revolution together.
August 1966
-Mao staged 1 of several audiences with the Red Gaurds.
With more than 1M students in Tiananmen Square
-Blessed the Red Gaurds here “to rebel is justified.”
-With this level of legitimization, Red Guard had crazy authority
-Objects of Attack
The 4 Olds
-Old ideas, habits, customs, culture
-Pure Mao in the sense of a wholesale attack on tradition .
Only means of weaving out from harmful elements restricting China from the path of Socialism
Wholesale attack on anything remotely deemed part of Chinese culture or Western culture or
anything that someone might say as “Bourgeois, counter-revolutionary thought.”
Struggle Sessions
-Targeted at anti-indivudals.
Grabbing the victim or criminal, very roughly parading them out to huge audience.
Some were held in actual “football arenas”
Massive signs with the people’s names and then labels such as “counterrevolutionary”
-Do this before someone is executed.
Person is forced to kneel, shouted at, beaten, humiliated, forced to wear humiliating hats, and
then struggled against repeatedly.
Then taken to a makeshift jail called the “Cow’s Shed” where they might be interrogated
more, beaten, etc.
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