China's Culture Revolution. Essay

1334 words - 5 pages

China's Culture Revolution, which takes place from May 1966 to October 1976, is one of the most turbulent times in Chinese history. The consequence and damage of this event is so large, it is beyond normal calculation. No one can accurately describe exactly what is the impact of the Culture Revolution on China, people are still horrified by it even today. The official figure of the Culture Revolution death is 400,000, but it is widely believed that an estimated one million people was killed during the Culture revolution (Meisner, 354). The Chinese Communist Party openly admitted it was a mistake after Deng XiaoPing came to power. The Culture Revolution also sacrificed an entire generation of young intellectuals because Mao ZeDong called on them to leave the cities and reform their thinking in villages doing hard labor. (Wong, 120) These same young intellectuals today are being dismissed from their jobs in state-owned corporations a couple years ago due to the new reform. Most of them cannot find a new job because they do not even have a high school diploma; their youth were spent on farms not in school. They are probably the most unfortunate generation after the CCP came to power.There are a lot of negative opinions about the Culture Revolution. But it is not all bad. If one can ignore the fact that it destroyed an entire generation and killed a million people, then we can see it paved the road for China's modernization. During the Culture Revolution, almost half of the high-ranking officials was brought down and beaten by the red guards. This broke the traditional thinking in every Chinese's mind, officials are no longer untouchable. Chinese begin to view officials in a new way; officials are same as ordinary people. They can be openly criticized and beaten. The same goes for intellectuals. Before the Culture Revolution, intellectuals are often held in high regard byordinary Chinese. Being literate was an honor and intellectuals have a sense of they are a higher being than common workers or villagers. During the culture revolutions, most intellectuals are accused of having Bourgeois thoughts and imprisoned in cowshed. Young intellectuals are sent off to remote villages and did hard labor. After the culture revolutions, most intellectuals lost the sense of higher being and common people no longer paid extremely high respect to an intellectual. Although this change of position is not long lasting, but this change did help to break off some traditional barriers between officials, intellectuals and the masses. It is maybe the primary reason why China's modernization was extremely fast while having strong traditional barriers.The most notable short-term consequence of the Culture Revolution is that Chinese people no longer trust each other. So much ratting has happened during the Culture Revolution, son rat on father, wife rat on husband and best friends rat on each other were so common during the Culture Revolution. The consequence is that even when...

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