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By Yiching Wu

Mao Zedong anticipated a good fight to "wreak havoc lower than the heaven" whilst he introduced the Cultural Revolution in 1966. yet as radicalized chinese language adolescence rose up opposed to occasion officers, occasions fast slipped from the government's clutch, and uprising took on a lifetime of its personal. Turmoil turned a fact in a fashion the good chief had no longer foreseen. The Cultural Revolution on the Margins recaptures those formative moments from the viewpoint of the disenfranchised and disobedient rebels Mao unleashed and later betrayed.

The Cultural Revolution all started as a "revolution from above," and Mao had just a tenuous dating with the purple shield scholars and employees who replied to his name. but it used to be those younger rebels on the grassroots who complex the Cultural Revolution's extra radical percentages, Yiching Wu argues, and who not just acted for themselves but additionally transgressed Maoism through severely reflecting on broader concerns pertaining to chinese language socialism. As China's nation equipment broke down and the institutional foundations of the PRC have been threatened, Mao resolved to suppress the obstacle. Leaving out within the chilly the very activists who had taken its transformative promise heavily, the Cultural Revolution wolfed its young children and exhausted its political energy.

The mass demobilizations of 1968-69, Wu indicates, have been the place to begin of a chain of crisis-coping maneuvers to comprise and neutralize dissent, generating huge adjustments in chinese language society a decade later.

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Extra info for The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis

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Within months, this image of peace and harmony had been shattered. . ” None of the results of the cultural revolution could have been foreseen by Mao with precision. But the dangers of the course on which he was embarking must have been evident to him from the start. 1 Franz Schurmann, another veteran China scholar, posed the same question: “Why is Mao throwing it all away? ”2 The obscurity was perhaps more in the eyes of the beholder. Clearly, there was more to the Cultural Revolution than merely a bloody purge or a Byzantine power struggle.

The characteristic mode of Cultural Revolution mass politics—the direct integration of the highest political authority with the mass movement without the mediation of party-state organizations— not only undercut established authorities but also empowered the discontented and the marginalized. The Cultural Revolution violently divided China’s social and political fabric as the combined result of the precipitous breakdown of state authority and a ubiquitous political ideology that foregrounded hidden enemies, conspiracy, and treason.

The greatest danger would come from a political leadership that turned its back on the socialist road. These new bourgeois elements would set about transforming the class character of state power and eventually create a new exploiting class. This view formed the central doctrinal justification of the Cultural Revolution, which Mao launched in 1966. This schematic summary leaves a number of crucial points to be clarified. For example, what kind of social and political analysis does such a project entail?

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