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The Forum > Article Comments > Donít mention the Cultural Revolution > Comments

Donít mention the Cultural Revolution : Comments

By Brian Hennessy, published 30/5/2012

Why there is Chinese anxiety over Bo Xilai.

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Another excellent article Brian.

Something about authoritarian countries (and Japan) allows huge events in history to be rewritten or even erased.

The fact that you were permitted to write the article and send it out to the world indicates there is a degree of freedom in China. I don't know how much, but it is encouraging.

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 31 May 2012 1:27:47 AM
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Plant,
Is there any indication in China that might sanitise & invent history as is done here ?
Posted by individual, Thursday, 31 May 2012 6:40:17 AM
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Hi individual

Its both a Chinese communist and centuries of Confucion rule tradition to see depictions of the past as a way to teach 'the masses' and scholars about morality and correct respect for authority (be that Communist Party or Imperial rule).

So yes I think Brian's article usefully raises the issue of Communist distortion and minimisation of the past. The 'Cultural Revolution' is a poetically evasive term for an event (or extended process of state murder of millions) that many living Communist Party members should be held responsible for. Saying that someone else, who's now dead (Mao), is solely responsible shouldn't absolve the blame of his many murdering assistants.

China's people earlier experienced mass starvation under Mao's and the broader Party's economic program. That caused the 'Great Leap Forward' another poetic label to distract from the killing (by starvation) of 30 million Chinese people (as Brian records).

Mao and his murderous assistants (many still living) saw state direction of people killing people, as well as starvation, as purifying disciplines that ultimately strengthened Party rule.

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 31 May 2012 7:36:40 AM
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