On May the fifteenth, China acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution. Honestly, I didn’t know all that much about it, so I have done some reading on the subject. From what I have gathered, Mao Zedong, the leader of China at the time, wanted to strengthen his position in China, so he developed the plan known as the Cultural Revolution.
Mao Zedong wanted to eliminate people that could challenge his leadership, so he implemented the Red Guard. The Red Guard was made up of citizens, who had been taught by Mao and his Little Red Book, that elitists and educated people were bad for the country, so they needed to be driven away. Citizens and students formed the Red Guard and they would beat and even kill some of the teachers, certain government officials, and the upper class of China.
Some of my dear friends in China were impacted by the Cultural Revolution. Two of my very good Chinese friends were working for the government in Shanghai when the Cultural Revolution started. Because they both had college degrees, they were sent from Shanghai to a small rural city to work on a pig farm, and they don’t talk about this experience much at all.
It has been a long time since Mao Zedong was the leader of China, but he is still held in very high regard by many. I think every classroom I taught in at a public school in China had a picture of him hanging on the wall, and his photo is clearly displayed at the entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing. In my opinion, Mao Zedong is the best known leader of China, but the current leader, Xi Jinping, is catching up to Mao!