Video Cultural Revolution 2

Video Cultural Revolution 2


part two of the Cultural Revolution video I want you to imagine if you went down to the grocery store somewhere and there was a huge display of you in a poster there basically criticizing you saying you were un-American perhaps if this was happening like in the 50s or something in America it would be saying that you were communists and this is similar to what was happening in China in the late 60s in the cultural revolution only the opposite of course a period of almost like a witch hunt against anyone following any sort of capitalist road that was similar to McCarthyism in America but to a much much more greater extent in extending not just in a political realm but to sort of the social realm as well so that any sort of accusations of you following any capitalist ways could lead to intense violence and in some cases even death so a lot of the death that deaths that were resulting from the Cultural Revolution were not necessarily state-sanctioned violence although there certainly was that and there were public executions but mostly a lot of the violence was happening among the people and it was extremely dangerous to to really voice your opinion on anything because it seemed like it could always be twisted in a lot of cases some people if you had a sort of enemy in your locality you know just to say that point out their flaws or that maybe they did something that was following a capitalist road so on these posters that were publicized a variety of things could have been in there they could have been something to you had written in the past that maybe was critical of Mao. Certainly if you had any sort of support for Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists that the group that Mao had defeated in 1949- Mao and the Communists had defeated- that would certainly get you in trouble. Any connections with Western countries you know whether it be Britain or the United States you know Japan although not technically a western country but certainly in East but an enemy of the Chinese Communist. Chiang kai-shek had fled to Taiwan so any connection with people in Taiwan at that point or at least with the Nationalists there would have gotten you in in deep trouble not so much just with these sort of communist leadership but with the people as well so it really creates this hysteria One of the people for example Deng Xiaoping’s son-who Deng Xiaoping would would later become the leader of China but- he sort of represented this kind of moderate view on things and maybe sort of slowing the revolution down a little bit but dung Xiaoping son was literally thrown out of a second-story window and became a paraplegic after this so this is that just that’s just one example of the intense violence that was going on in China at that time. This was really in my estimation maybe the craziest period in human history. At least in the more recent history aside from perhaps the world wars. But the violence was so intense a lot of the estimates day they vary so greatly and largely because this sort of restriction on research and everything that you still have in China but the very very minimal is around 400,000 deaths during this period now that when i say this period it’s really the revolution cultural revolution is 66 (don’t know why I said 68 here!) to Mao’s death in 76 but it’s really mostly over by the late 60s in 68 and 69 that’s really really 66 to 69 is the most intense period of the Cultural Revolution and you know some estimates put the death at a million some put it even at five million even seen some scholarly estimates at 10 million but even if you took the sort of- the 400,000 number- that is how many Americans died in World War Two roughly so you’re talking about even the very lowest estimate would be all the American deaths in World War Two and this is in a short period of course it’s all internal killing- killing of their own people. So this is one of the reasons why in my personal belief that Mao Zedong is the most powerful person in world history because when you think about the vast numbers of people that he sort of pushed and it kind of got more in their minds than many you know other political leaders in the past so the Cultural Revolution the legacy of it is that for a long period in Chinese history people were really scared to become involved to sort of speak out and this was challenged and we’ll talk about some of these other things with the Tiananmen Square Massacre. But the legacy again with the Cultural Revolution is that it created this fear not only of the government but also of other people within their society which is really an example of the extreme power that Mao had over the hearts and minds of people in China. Have a good one!

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