Chapter 27: The Lost Generation

This is the next installment of my book, The Cultural Revolution: Then and Mao.
To read the previous installment, click this link.
To start at the beginning, click this link.


Chapter 27
The Lost Generation

Mango Fever happened quite by accident, without any planning on Mao’s part. But many other aspects of the Cultural Revolution were carefully planned and instigated by this madman, to effect as much pain as possible on the people he ruled.

On May 25, 1968, Mao launched the Cleansing the Class Ranks campaign, which was the next part of his Cultural Revolution. The stated purpose of this movement was to purge Communist society of traitors, spies, capitalist-roaders, and the Five Black Categories. These five black categories were:

Landlords
Rich farmers
Counterrevolutionaries
Bad-influencers
Rightists

The Red Guards stepped up their persecution efforts, Struggle Sessions, and beatings. Lynchings took place. Suspects were tortured, and many massacres were carried out. Around 30 million people were persecuted, and up to 1.5 million perished. Or, that is, they were “cleansed” from the ranks.

By the summer of 1968, Mao had succeeded in gaining the complete control and cooperation of the military. His reign over China was undisputed. Except from one area. The Red Guards.

Mao decided he no longer needed the Red Guards. And by god, these assholes were wreaking havoc across the country. Things were getting too dangerous and out of hand, so Mao decided it was time for them to disband.

But the fervor and zeal of these young radicals was hard to contain. They refused to disband.

Urban youths from Shenyang being sent down to the countryside, in 1968.

This was a big problem. How do you get 12 million people to go home? But the ever ingenious Mao finally came up with a solution. In December 1968, he launched the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement.

Mao declared that privileged urban youth must be sent to rural areas to learn from workers and farmers. These privileged urban youth were high school and college graduates.

Mao proclaimed that by moving to the countryside, youths could “develop their talents to the full” through education among the rural population. According to Mao, “the countryside is a vast expanse of heaven and earth where we can flourish.” These lofty words became the slogan for the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement.

This program effectively dispersed the Red Guards, who mostly consisted of privileged urban youth. They moved to less populated areas where they would cause less disruption and be reeducated. This program went on for the next 10 years, displacing a total of 17 million youths.

Conditions for them were often harsh, and those who could not handle the grueling labor and tough lifestyle often died. They’re referred to in China as the Lost Generation, as some never returned from this exile. However, one who did return was Xi Jinping, the current Communist Party General Secretary, and leader of China.

Xi has revived some aspects of the Cultural Revolution, such as by imprisoning and reeducating millions of ethnic Uighurs, while subjecting them to hard labor. But this is not a tale about Xi. It’s about someone whose cruelty has not yet been eclipsed by Xi. It’s about Xi’s inspiration from the past, Chairman Mao.


Come on back in a few days for the next installment, entitled Chapter 28: A Mysterious Death.

25 comments

  • Reading about this makes me thankful we have our Second Amendment. At least there is the chance of fighting back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some argue that this is why we don’t have a totalitarian government. Maybe so, though I’m not sure. Lately, though, with coronavirus lockdowns, and rioting and looting in the streets, I’m leaning more toward agreeing with the Second Amendment activists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was raised in law enforcement and worked in law enforcement (non-sworn). I’ve been around weapons my entire life.

        Our 2nd amendment is a blessing and a curse, to a degree. We’ve had it for so long…several generations and it has always been a deterrent to people like Mao or Stalin or Hitler. It has also made us pampered in a way. If things get really bad, we might just see Civil War 2.0 and I’m wondering if those with the means have the stomach for it. I carry but, I hope I never have to use it.

        The looting and rioting aren’t spontaneous or natural. They are coordinated and well funded. They aren’t legitimate protests for redress of grievances. It’s a culture attack and time will tell if it can be squelched.

        Liked by 2 people

        • If I was in law enforcement, I think I’d be swearing all the time. LOL.

          There have been some vigilante incidents related to the riots, most notably in Kenosha, which could be a reflection of the 2nd amendment. If these riots spread to the suburbs, perhaps the 2nd amendment, and those who carry will face a big test.

          I once had a handgun but after my wife, who was going through a lot of stress, started mentioning suicide, I got rid of it. Lately, we’ve been talking about getting a new gun, but there’s a shortage of bullets right now. And California is very strict about guns, anyway.

          I agree that the looting and rioting are well coordinated and funded. I think the DOJ is investigating this. Hopefully they’ll figure it all out and make some high-level arrests.

          Like

          • Most officers do swear…a lot. And, drink. And, smoke. It’s a hard ass job. It ate my dad alive, it ate his younger brother alive and it is now graying my first cousin (12 years younger than I am and 20 times grayer). My stepmom was spared as she was just parking enforcement. I live with a retired cop…that’s how I met him, working in state law enforcement. FFs suffer the same. My paternal GF was a raging alcoholic and my (step) brother-in-law has high blood pressure and pain issues from stress.

            That Kenosha thing will have to be sorted out in the court system but, I have no kind words for BLM or Antifa. A blogger I follow runs a news aggregate. When the rioting first started, he made a remark on one of his posts that, if the rioters move out of the urban areas and into the rural areas, there were going to be a lot of body bags. Now, I don’t find that to be true in every state but, it will be true in many…mine included.

            Yikes. You in CA? Another blogger I follow just got the hell out. She and her hubby pulled up stakes about two months ago and made it to East Tennessee from the Sacramento area. Another blogger I follow (she hasn’t posted in four months, tho…) pulled up stakes out of the Syracuse area and moved here to NC. CA doesn’t seem to get “…the right to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed…” Neither does VA, here lately.

            The DOJ to investigate and make arrests on coordinated looting & rioting? You have more faith than I do. The DOJ is rife with corruption and guilty of crimes, themselves.

            I’m sorry to hear of your wife’s battle. I’ve been there and I certainly have the means (several times over) to end it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m glad I didn’t choose law enforcement as a career. I contemplated applying with the California Highway Patrol once, but finally decided against it. It seems like a very stressful career. I feel sad for your dad and your other relatives, and all the stress they’ve been through.

              I’ve lived outside CA before, but I’ve always returned. It’s my home turf, for better or worse, so I’m here to stay. It’s very liberal, with Democratic super-majorities in both of our legislative branches, and a Democratic governor. I’m a moderate (I think). I like some liberal policies, but I also like some conservative policies. I try to cherry-pick the best of both parties. That said, I’d like to see more conservatives in office in our state. We need some balance.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Excellent point. Balance is key. Politically, I don’t even know what critter I am. Fifteen years ago, I would have told you I was conservative but, I never really examined that policy. It was just a convenient label. I was raised Democrat as the county I was raised in was Democrat (Southern Democrat State) and my paternal GM was heavily into politics…voted straight Democrat ticket her entire life (even though she liked Reagan…go figure). She ran for City Council and advocated for other Democrats. My dad would say “Mama’s out politicking, again.” I got to be a Page in Raleigh for a Dem. Rep. when I was 15.

                Then, I witnessed the split…the 1988 campaign. I watched my GM & my dad get into an argument. My dad went for Bush and my GM lost her mind. He stated that he wasn’t actually voting FOR Bush but, was voting AGAINST Dukakis. His brother did the same. My GF had been dead for two years at that point. The split in the family remained until her death in 2000. She could not remove her label.

                I guess I would have to say that, the only thing I am conservative about is fiscal policy (coming under the heading of “do we really need that?”). The problem with that is, the wrong people have control of the money.

                I can’t figure where the 1st or 2nd Amend. falls. Is that liberal or conservative? Either way, leave them be. Speak your mind freely and, defend yourself, if necessary (viewing them as mutually exclusive).

                Everything else in the political sphere (abortion, religion, sexuality, drug use, yada, yada, yada…) comes under the heading of “none of my business, nor do I care.” I’m a big “live & let live” type but, for Pete’s sake, behave yourself. You cross my personal lines univited, somebody’s gonna bleed.

                Liked by 1 person

                • That all sounds reasonable, except your GM’s reaction to your dad. It’s tragic how politics can split up families and friendships. Sometimes its best to leave politics at the door, and talk about other things when visiting certain relatives.

                  I agree about the 1st and 2nd amendments. Leave them be. I love that I can speak and write freely, and rightly or wrongly call my leaders any name under the book, and get away with it. You can’t do that even in some of our so-called “democratic” nations in our world.

                  Yes, live and let live. Just don’t mess with my life. And as far as fiscal policy is concerned, I’m for all the government programs anyone could ever want. Just as long as the budget is balanced. And I’m for all the tax cuts anyone could ever want. But again, the budget must be balanced.

                  Like

                  • Well, in the case of my GM, she would never ignore or walk away from her sons. She was just angry that her sons didn’t stay in her party. After that fight, my dad & his brother would kind of gang up on her and tease her about “stupid democrats” (their words) just to irritate her. I should have been clearer on my definition of “split.” Sorry.

                    Writing/speaking freely is still dependent upon the venue, too. YouTube, Twitter and FakeBook continue to delete channels/accounts/groups/posts it doesn’t like and you can be thrown off of WP if you mention ANYTHING regarding $andie H00k. There was a HUGE purge of bloggers from about August 2018 thru November 2019. Even Jon Rappoport was thrown off and he is pretty well known.

                    Balance is key. Gov. programs require taxes drafted. Who gets taxed? Who gets the taxes? Dems dat have da fingers on da levers controls da moo-la.

                    Liked by 1 person

  • Mao just never runs out of ways to show cruelty does he? Xi doesn’t become as bad as Mao, does he? Mao should not be a source of inspiration for anyone!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • scary to think that there is a current day connection with Mao, in power…

    Liked by 1 person

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