Memories of the Cultural Revolution

I. Breaking the Four Olds and Grasping the Plaque

When the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, I was 12 years old and in the sixth grade of elementary school.

I was living in Shan County, a small county in the southwest of Lu.

It was a small county at the border of four provinces. Shandong Province was bordered by four provinces in total on land. These four provinces are Hebei, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu. And Shanxian a small county but intersects with three of these provinces: to the east is Jiangsu’s Fengxian, southeast is Anhui’s Dangshan, and south and southwest are Henan’s Yucheng and Shangqiu. As a small county bordering four provinces, its remoteness and isolation can be imagined. The 17 years before the Cultural Revolution were almost unknown to the outside world.

Although not for outsiders, but Shanxian people have their own Shanxian people’s pride. Shanxian people are most proud of two things: mutton Soup and pagoda. Originally, mutton soup and the four old broken nothing to do. But reform and opening up has made them related, and here we have to talk about it. In the past few years, “Baishoufang” brand mutton soup marketed nationwide, making Shanxian also has some small fame in the country. (Baishoufang company netizens pay attention, I am giving you advertising. Don’t forget to tell your boss, to show us.) Shanxian’s lamb soup is famous all over the world for its thick soup like milk, fatty but not greasy, and tasty. And the trademark used for this famous mutton soup is “Baishoufang”. This has something to do with the pagoda.

Before the Cultural Revolution, Shanxian County was very small, and the road around the city (the wall that was torn down at the beginning of the liberation. The Chinese Revolutionary Museum has a very famous war photo of the “night attack on Shanxian”, the attack was on this city wall.) The inner city is less than one square kilometer. It is within this less than one square kilometer there are more than a dozen stone pagodas. Two of the most famous ones, one called Zhangjia Pagoda, now called Hundred Lions Square. One of them is called the Zhang Family pagoda, now called the Hundred Lions Square, which has a hundred lively lions carved on it; and one is called the Zhu family pagoda, now called the Hundred Longevity Square (the trademark of mutton soup is used on it.) The pagoda is carved with a hundred different characters of longevity. The lions and flowers on the stone pillars and beams of these two pagodas are all carved into the air, which is exquisite. Later I saw many famous pagodas all over the country, but I always felt that they were far from these two pagodas. In addition to these two pagodas and other pagodas scattered individually in various corners, the more concentrated ones are: Liu Sumshou (Sumshou is an intersection, including crossroads and dingzhi intersections.) On the road less than 100 meters from Liu Sumsou to Huang Sumsou, there are three pagodas arranged across the street, which are also tall and lofty. The three or four pagodas by the roadside of the small corner are built together and are called “pagoda garden”. In short, the pagoda in the outside world not much contact with the Shanxian people, is really a great pride. Because in addition to pagodas, most of these pagodas are festival and filial piety, which shows that Shanxian people are very concerned about “loyalty, filial piety, festival, righteousness”. This morally makes Shanxian people look taller. Although this “loyalty, filial piety, festivity, righteousness” is the legacy of feudalism, is incompatible with the morality of communism.

The Cultural Revolution came, and so did the doom of this feudalist legacy, which was incompatible with communism.

On August 8, 1966, the “Sixteen Articles” were published. It was clearly written in the “Sixteen Articles” that the “Four Olds” of the exploiting class should be broken and the “Four News” of the proletariat should be established. The “four new”. On August 18, Chairman Mao met with the Red Guards for the first Time, and the next day, the “breaking of the four olds” in the capital began with a bang. The revolutionary actions of the Red Guards in the capital, through newspapers and radio, soon reached the remote, isolated Shan County. With a role model, the people of Shanxian also took active action.

We had actually graduated from elementary school at that time. But since the middle school had stopped enrolling students, we were all stranded in the elementary school. With nothing to do in school, our teachers sent us out to the streets. Under the organization of the street office and the neighborhood committee, we followed the street activists to “break the four olds and establish the four news”. Eleven or twelve-year-old schoolchildren can’t do anything, but they can help out in the field and watch the fun.

The first is to break the four old, copy the family. There are no gangsters in Shanxian, so they have to copy the homes of the four types of elements. And the four types of members after more than ten years of supervision, transformation, the family has long been a penniless, where there are four old? In a small county, there are still a few people who are called capitalists. The capitalists should always have the four old, then copy their homes. In fact, the largest capitalist in our county is said to have a capital of only 200 yuan. A classmate of mine whose family is also a capitalist, his family’s capital is only a few dozen dollars. When my classmate’s house was raided, I also went along to see the fun, indeed, from his house copied out some good things. Silk, woolen clothes, colorful, but also really opened the eyes of our small county; vases, porcelain, antique books, is also unseen. Since the four old, then all piled together, burned! People, tied up, and the four types of elements with a high hat, hanging a big sign, paraded!

In addition to raiding homes, everyone wondered what the Four Olds were. The newspaper said that fancy clothes were the Four Olds, but in our small county, people were only wearing coarse clothes, so where did they get the fancy clothes? The decadent way of Life is the Four Olds, but here, people have just eaten, where is the decadent way of life? Coffee drinking and dancing are unheard of here.

Of course, as long as something is found to be the Four Olds, people will really break it without mercy. Of course, there were times when they were wrong, or met with resistance. One day, I had a sudden thought: “Chess has “General, Commander, Shih, Sang, Pawn”, which is typical of feudalism, isn’t it? Without saying a word, I took out the two chess sets from my dad’s office and set fire to them in the yard. When my dad’s colleague found out, he grabbed the chess pieces and stomped out the fire. He grabbed the chess pieces and stomped on the fire. That’s not all, he even brought Dad here. As you can imagine, I got a good beating.

While the people of the county were in a frenzy to break the Four Olds, the pagodas in the city were targeted by the farmers on the outskirts of the city. We are in the plains and there are no mountains within a hundred miles, so stones are a rarity in our area. The people build their houses by laying bricks on flat ground. If anyone’s house can be built on the four corners of four stones, immediately become a hundred times more valuable. Not to mention the farmland water conservancy construction, bridge construction and paving to use the stone.

Therefore, the weather is getting cooler, the farmers in the suburbs of the city came to the city, they want to grill the pagoda!

The reason for grasping the pagodas is very good. These pagodas, which promote the feudal class’ “loyalty, filial piety, modesty and righteousness”, are the “Four Olds”. It is the “Four Olds”, so it should be broken! It should be stripped! Faced with this very good reason, the county party committee and the county people’s committee could not stop them, so they acquiesced and surrounded a pagoda. The peasants were ready to do something big with their fists.

However, there are still calm people. I don’t know which county leader told the peasants that Zhang’s and Zhu’s pagodas were cultural relics and should not be stripped. (In fact, they were not considered cultural relics at that time. They were only announced as provincial key cultural relics protection units by the provincial government in 1977.) The other pagodas, everyone steak, no comments. As a result, the Zhu family pagoda was only stripped of one corner of the flying eaves. The Zhang family’s pagoda, on the other hand, was intact. The peasants also knew the big picture and knew what was going on, so they withdrew in disgust.

The scene of stealing the pagoda was spectacular. First, a young man as light as a swallow climbed up the pagoda. Will be a strong rope set in a selected stone, and then dozens of people pull the other end of the rope, shouting a horn together to pull. Pull down a stone, and then go to set in another stone. In this way, a stone a stone to pull. Steak a pagoda, ten days and a half months, also can not be finished. There are some small pagodas, itself is not very strong, pulling and pulling, it will fall down with a bang. This saves a lot of work.

It is not enough to pull down the pagoda, but the purpose of the peasants is very clear, that is, to use the stones on the pagoda. Therefore, they have to find a way to get the stones Home. The stones on the pagoda were very big, one piece was several tons, and the only means of transportation at that time were the cart, the ox cart and the horse cart, which could not be loaded at all. They could only be pulled by breaking the stones. The peasants on the plains had never dealt with stones. Smashing with a hammer, inexperienced, can not be smashed. So, someone came up with the idea of burning the stone with fire. Under the stone or next to the firewood burn, wait until the stone is hot, and then smashed with a hammer. Do not say, this approach really works. Only a small county streets everywhere pandemonium, smoke and roll. So burning stones, has been burning for more than a month, the county smoke is gradually smaller, the streets of the stone is gradually less. I remember the first time it snowed that year, I still saw a few farmers burning rocks by the roadside. When the time came in 1967, all the rocks in our county were finally pulled away, and the streets were much quieter.

Dealing with rocks is certainly dangerous. In total, two people died in the county during this pagoda raid. One is a farmer, is climbing up the pagoda to set the rope, fell down and died; one is our school, a student surnamed Chai, is also climbing up the pagoda to set the rope, and stone piece rolled down, the results, as you can imagine. The student surnamed Chai, was posthumously considered a martyr, with a good coffin, placed in the county martyrs cemetery. How the farmer arranged, I do not know.

Since then, there are only two lonely pagodas in the county. Although these two pagodas are so exquisite and perfect, there are not so many less exquisite and less perfect pagodas to set them off, so they can only enjoy themselves.

Forty years in the east, thirty years in the west. I didn’t expect to grasp the pagodas less than forty years, the land of God has a tourism fever. Shan County, a small county, originally did not have any tourism resources. Now there is nothing to attract tourists. Sometimes people see on TV the ancient city of Pingyao, Huizhou’s pagoda, some older people always say: “Our city walls, pagodas here than theirs is much better, back then if not those walls, pagodas stripped.”

Second, the four old remedies

It is said that the four old remedies, in fact, and the four old relationship is not much, it can be said that it is not the same thing. Only this thing is and break the four old happened at the same time. There is no other name to name, so I have to call it “addendum”.

The Four Olds began, the streets of our small county are bustling with activity. Almost every morning, each street committee to tie up some four types of elements to parade the street. There are also from time to time from the street to walk through the four old raiding party. The small county has never been so lively, so almost the whole county people came out to see the fun.

In this lively time, a new hot spot has appeared. From time to time, there were gatherings of people along the streets. A few people stood by the side of the road and explained to the crowd about a “big conspiracy to kill Chairman Mao”. The sensational topic attracted a lot of people watching. The more people gathered, the more traffic was almost blocked.

The thing I remember most clearly is this: the speaker put a portrait of Chairman Mao on the wall. This is a picture of Chairman Mao wearing a gray Zhongshan suit, wearing a gray single hat, standing on Tiananmen Square waving to the crowd. The picture of Chairman Mao is kind and friendly, with a smile on his face, which really does not let people see any conspiracy to. Many listeners stared at the speaker in confusion. What is the conspiracy?

However, listening to the speaker, it’s a big deal. I didn’t see it, but it’s really a big conspiracy. The speaker told the audience: “Do you see what’s on Chairman Mao’s chest? It’s a poisonous snake! The person who took this picture wanted the snake to bite Chairman Mao to death!” Hearing him say that, and then look at the photo, it is really true. In the photo, the sun shines on Chairman Mao’s body from the top, and the shadow of his hand, which is stretched out in front, falls on his chest. Coincidentally, Chairman Mao’s thumb and other fingers are separated, so the shadow of the hand is like the head of a snake with its mouth open, while the arm is like the body of a snake. The open mouth of the snake falls right on Chairman Mao’s left front chest. When the speaker explained this, the audience was convinced that it was a big conspiracy.

Seeing that the audience believed that this was a big conspiracy, the speaker began to reveal all kinds of conspiracies intended to kill Chairman Mao. Gradually, people believe that there is a conspiracy to kill Chairman Mao, and it has aroused the passion to defend him to the death.

As for how to deal with the portrait of Chairman Mao, which harbors a big conspiracy, the speaker did not say, and no one in the audience asked. Only in the next few days, families were rummaging through their cupboards to find this portrait and dispose of it quietly.

Others took a copy of China Youth magazine, which had a painting of Chairman Mao in a wheat field on the back cover, with golden ears of wheat all around him. The speaker told the audience that the golden ears of wheat had been blown to the east and west by the wind, forming a reactionary slogan “Long live Chiang Kai-shek”. Some of them even took a pen and drew on the wheat manes. Some people said they could see it, it was “Long Live Chiang Kai-shek”; others looked at it for half a day, but could not see it. I am one of those who can’t tell. But whether they could see it or not, they all felt the seriousness of the situation: it seems that there are really people who want Chiang Kai-shek to come back and take over our Red Mountain. Therefore, they were more determined to follow Chairman Mao in the revolution and defend the red regime.

What did these speakers do? I don’t know, anyway, look at their dress is not like our ordinary people.

Later, I learned that these two amazing discoveries were not the invention of people in our small county, but came from abroad. It is said that the circulation is still quite wide.

Seeing that people were able to discover amazingly big conspiracies from ordinary portraits, people in the small county also moved. Some people (not all of us, but we students and a few curious adults.) All day long, they pondered over Chairman Mao’s portraits, books and newspapers, hoping to find some “big conspiracy” in them. Occasionally, when they had some insights, they rushed to discuss them with others. Once the conclusion of the “big conspiracy” was formed, they stood by the side of the road and revealed the amazing “big conspiracy” to the people in an impassioned manner, just like the speakers mentioned earlier.

I remember one of the “big conspiracies” that we found in Shanxian was this: the paper cigarette cartons that people fill with cigarettes are generally seen to have several red, blue, and yellow lines printed on them when they are uncovered from both sides of the gluing. These lines of different colors, sometimes printed very crowded, pressed together. Some can be seen as red lines pressed against the blue lines, and some can be seen as blue lines pressed against the red lines. However, mostly it is difficult to distinguish whether the red pressed the blue, or the blue pressed the red. If the blue is pressing the red, it will be interpreted as the person who printed the cigarette box wanted the Kuomintang to defeat the Communists. Such a cigarette box would have to be destroyed; if it was a red one pressing a blue one, nothing would happen. For this reason, whenever some people saw someone smoking, they had to tear open the cigarette box to see whether the red had pressed the blue or the blue had pressed the red. A good cigarette box was forcibly torn open, so that the smoker was embarrassed.

This kind of farce, at the beginning can also attract people’s attention, engaged in engaged in, people lost interest in this. Therefore, before the end of the Four Olds, this kind of farce to expose the “big conspiracy” disappeared without a trace.

In fact, these people were very lucky to have discovered such a “big conspiracy” in August or September of 1966 and to be able to stand on the street and tell others what they thought. In ’67, after the publication of the “Six Articles of Public Security”, they would not dare to talk about such a “big conspiracy” even if they were found out again. If anyone discovered the “vicious attack” (by “vicious attack” I mean “vicious attack on the great leader Chairman Mao”), they could only say that so-and-so had committed it. “vicious attack” of the crime, as to how “vicious attack”, is not to tell anyone. If the content of the “vicious attack” to say, is to and the real “vicious attack” of the same crime!

III. New Village

The fierce movement of breaking the Four Olds in our small county was noisy for one or twenty days, and then gradually calmed down. Except for the peasants in the streets who stripped pagodas and burned stones, the life of people in the county returned to normal. The work of the work as usual, the school to continue to go to school.

But we had no school to go to. The new first grade had entered the school, but we couldn’t leave it. Because the middle school stopped enrolling as soon as the Cultural Revolution began, we were now supposed to be in the seventh grade. No one knew how these seventh grade classes should be taught. Therefore, many students contacted to go to the countryside to work. One of my classmates surnamed Zhu told me that he knew someone in the new village of Shilou and could go there. So, we both found a letter of introduction from our teacher and went to work in the new village of Shilou.

The new village, I do not know if there is a foreign, anyway, it has been in our Shan County for two or three years of history. It is similar to the later Zhiqing point or corps, but not exactly the same. It is a product of the urban youth who went to the countryside in 1963 or 1964.

Although Shanxian County is not a big city, it has a non-agricultural population of 20,000 to 30,000. Since there is no local industry and few commercial outlets, employment for young people has become a problem. It was probably in 1963 or 1964 that the county built four new villages in the countryside and arranged for a group of urban youth to go to the new villages for employment.

These four new villages are located in the southeast, northeast, southwest and northwest of the county: the southeast is Yanglou new village, the northeast is Shi Lou new village, the southwest is Gao Laojia new village, the northwest is Huangsi new village. The closest to the county is Huangsi New Village, more than 20 miles; the farthest is Gao Laojia New Village, more than 60 miles from the county. The new village of Shilou, where I was going, was 40 miles away from the county.

My classmates and I walked all day with our backpacks and finally arrived at the new village before dark in the afternoon.

It was a small farm with several hundred acres of land. It was surrounded by poplar trees and shrubs. In the middle there were several rows of cottages and a large yard. We were received by the head of the farm, who welcomed us to join the labor and said that in order to show our appreciation for our participation in agricultural labor, he decided to give us a daily subsidy of two pounds of sweet potatoes. Then he arranged for us to stay in a large room. The room was covered with hay and mats, and was occupied by a dozen of school children who came from various schools to participate in the labor, just like us.

The youths (even if they were youths, in fact, there were many urban youths among them who had never been to school) They lived in collective dormitories, one room for every five or six people. They ate in the canteen of the new village, but they had to buy their own meal tickets; they were arranged to work collectively by the field manager. Their work is also marked by work points, which is no different from other members of the rural community. The difference is that they seem to be also paid, but the money is not much, that is, they can buy a toothpaste, towels and other daily necessities.

As to whether they came here voluntarily to settle down, I did not ask at that time. But at that time, they seemed to be able to participate in agricultural production work peacefully, do not see any resistance. Think about it, with the economic development of Shanxian County at that time, even in the county, it is difficult to find work, rather than to settle in the new village, at least a place to work, eat. What’s more, it was the time when the Henan opera “Chaoyang Gou” was sung all over China, and the young people at that time, all the men wanted to be bolts of treasure, and all the women wanted to be silver rings, so it should be a very romantic thing for the young people to go to the new village where the young people are piled up.

The official name of the new village is “Shanxian Shilou Commune Breeding Farm”. The main purpose is to breed good plant and animal seeds. What is the plant breed they cultivate, because I was there for too short a time to figure out, but the animal breed, but to see. The so-called animal breeds are pig breeding, cattle breeding, horse breeding and so on. The most impressive is the breeding cattle they raised, more than two meters high, standing there than the average cattle to half to. Often farmers from the neighborhood brought their own team’s cows to breed. Those cows standing next to the breeder are like calves. Because they were afraid that the breeding cow would crush the heifer, they made a special wooden stand and let the cow stand in the stand while the breeding cow was lying on the stand. It was then that I learned what breeding was all about.

We 12 or 13 year old students couldn’t really do any farm work. We just helped them pick up cotton, break sticks, and do some light work as we could. The most fascinating thing was to follow the youths to patrol at night. The new village is a breeding ground for good seeds, and the crops they grow are definitely better than those in the surrounding rural production teams. In addition, the new village actually occupied the land of the surrounding production teams, so the farmers actually hated the new village, and often the surrounding farmers took advantage of the night to steal things, therefore, night patrols were essential. During the patrols, two or three of us students, carrying flashlights and sticks, followed by two youths, walked slowly around the protective forest belt of the new village while talking, laughing and sometimes shouting or singing a few lines. It was so quiet that I could only hear the night wind blowing the leaves on the poplar trees “clattering, clattering”. I then realized that the night in the countryside is not all dark. In the night, you can see the white roads on the ground, the dark crops by the roadside, and the outline of the black protective forest in the distance. When you are tired of walking, you can break a few sticks in the roadside crops or dig up a handful of peanuts, light a fire and eat. When you’ve eaten enough, you can walk a little further and it will be light. In this way, I followed the patrol several times, a thief did not encounter. In fact, there are really thieves, on our so much noise, they are also scared to hide.

The impact of the Cultural Revolution can be seen in this remote new village. On the wall of the new village dormitory, there were several confessions of the youths from the families of the four types of elements, as well as several large-character posters criticizing them. The language of the posters was also in the style of the Cultural Revolution: “XXX must draw a clear line with its reactionary family! and “If XXX does not surrender, let him perish!” And so on. But I didn’t see them hold a criticism meeting or anything. According to some of the youths, they did hold a fight meeting, but that was a few months ago. As time went on, I got to know a few of the youths from the families of the four types of elements, and they looked no different from the other youths, working, eating and sleeping just like the other youths, except that they talked less and worked more. After all, this is the new village where the sky is high and The Emperor is far away.

We worked in the new village for ten days in total, and after the weather cooled down, we returned to the city. However, this short experience in the new village left a deep impression in my memory. This was not only because it was the first time I left home for a long time to participate in agricultural production, but also because five years later, I also took the path of the youth and tasted the bitterness, spice and sweetness they experienced.

Soon after returning to the county, the rebel faction rose up, and Shan County was really in chaos. We, the students who were afraid of the world, all got involved in the trend of rebellion. During this period, I also met a few of the youth who came back from the new village, they also took advantage of the chaos to run home. Later, when the rebellion tide subsided, the youths from the new village became a new force in the county. Their slogan was to fight against persecution and to return to the city. Of course, their demands could not be realized at that time. But in the early 1970s, when we ourselves joined the ranks of the Zhiqing, all of these new village youths really went back to the city and arranged for jobs.

Southwest Lu Revolutionary Rebel Army

The Cultural Revolution in Shanxian was carried out under the leadership of the county party committee from the very beginning. The fight against the gangsters in May and June, the criticism and struggle of the four types of elements, teachers and workers with bad origins, and those who were considered to be badly behaved on the leadership, were carried out according to the unified plan of the county committee. Although there were also cases of beating and suicide, but because it was done within the unit, it did not have much impact on the community. In August, the four old broken, also by the county party committee to set up the streets neighborhood committee, each unit unified to engage in. Although it was done with great fanfare, but once the wind passed, everything was calm as before. Therefore, until the fall of ’66, although the Cultural Revolution in China was in full swing, the small county was still calm and quiet.

This calm and quiet situation, in the eyes of young students, was simply a confrontation with the Cultural Revolution launched by Chairman Mao himself. Therefore, from time to time, a series of Red Guards passing through the county will be posted on the street, large-character posters, blasting the county party committee suppressed the Cultural Revolution, but they are passing through, today posted large-character posters, tomorrow will be gone, not to create any impact.

What really ignited the flame of rebellion was the Southwest Lu Revolutionary Rebel Army.

In Shan County, there were a group of students who went to technical schools outside. Most of these students were the sons and daughters of ordinary citizens in the county. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, schools were closed, and instead of staying in school to rebel, these students all ran home. One day in the late autumn of 66, in the name of “Shanxian students of technical schools of the Provincial Labor Department, Shandong Water School and Taian Electric School”, they put up a big poster in front of the County People’s Committee, blasting the County Committee and the County People’s Committee for suppressing the Cultural Revolution and fighting against the proletarian revolution launched by Chairman Mao. They denounced the County Committee and the County Human Resources Committee for suppressing the Cultural Revolution and confronting the proletarian revolution launched by Chairman Mao. And one after another, they posted big posters exposing some of the shady practices of the two committees and calling on the masses to rise up against the county committee and the county people’s committee.

These large-character posters of the technical school students, like throwing a huge stone in a calm lake, immediately aroused a fierce reaction. The young students in the school, the suppressed people in various units, the people who are dissatisfied with the situation of the Cultural Revolution in Shanxian County have come forward to post large-character posters in response. Soon, various rebellious organizations were also established. The Cultural Revolution in Shanxian was really launched like other places in the country.

These technical school students, who lit the fire of the Cultural Revolution in the county, of course, were not willing to be lonely, and they called their organization the “Lu Southwest Revolutionary Rebel Army”. Thus, the Southwest Lu Revolutionary Rebel Army was born. The people thought that such a long name was awkward, so they called it “Lushanan” for short.

Although “Lu Southwest” was called “Revolutionary Rebel Army”, in reality, there were only 20 to 30 people, that is, the three Shanxian students of technical schools who signed their names on the big-character posters. After the rise of various rebel organizations, almost all of them came to contact them, and they also cooperated with other rebel organizations, but always kept their independence and did not absorb new members from Shanxian. Their No. 1 person is Liu XX, the brother of one of my classmates, thick eyebrows, quiet and quiet, blushing when talking, how to look like a windy rebel; No. 2 person, Fang XX, is also a weak scholar. However, it was this group of 18 or 19-year-old technical school students, but set off the climax of the rebellion in the small county.

From the last two months of ’66 to the first two months of ’67, “Lushanan” became a political star in Shanxian. The headquarters of “Lushanan” was located in the department store across from the County People’s Committee, which was located on the most prosperous main street of the county. As the county people’s committee is facing, it is very convenient to put up large-character posters, and within a few days, the wall in front of the county people’s committee is full of large-character posters. Every day, the courtyard of the headquarters of “Lu Southwest” was flowing with an endless stream of people, and the rebels and Red Guards of various units came to contact and learn from each other. At one time, “Lushanan” became the symbol of the rebellion in the county. The name of “Lushanan Revolutionary Rebel Army” was always at the top of the list of actions or documents jointly issued by the Shanxian rebels.

At that time, the mass organizations were almost all rebellions, and there was no conservative organization. The purpose of organizing was to rebel against the county committee and the county people’s committee. At that time, although the society was relatively chaotic, the county party committee and the county people’s committee were still able to control the situation. Some people who sympathized with the two committees, although they were not satisfied with the moves of the rebels, they believed in the two committees and supported their leadership, so they did not come out to organize their own conservative organizations.

By early ’67, the power grab began. The mass organizations of the rebel faction stormed the compounds of the two committees and seized the power of the county committee and the county people’s committee. The rebellion’s seizure of power, which now seems a bit funny, was actually the seizure of the official seal. The rebel masses, carrying sacks, rushed into the compound of the two committees, forcing the cadres in charge of the official seal of each section and bureau to hand over the official seal. It is said that they collected a sack full of official stamps alone. These actions angered the conservative masses, so the conservative masses organized themselves, first the cadres of the two committee compounds set up an organization (I can’t remember the name) to openly confront the rebels. Subsequently, the conservative masses in all schools and units organized themselves, creating a confrontation between the two factions.

In the early spring of ’67, on a warm day, Lushanan suddenly issued an announcement that it was going to respond to the call of the Party Central Committee to “resume classes and make a revolution. Then, in the streets of Shan County, there was no trace of “Lushanan”. They hurriedly returned to their schools in the field.

However, there are still those who did not leave. The number two person in Lushanan, Fang XX, was caught by the conservative masses before he had a chance to leave. Then, the heads of the rebel faction in all schools and units were all arrested overnight.

The conservative faction of Shan County held a criticism meeting in the largest square in the county, the Cultural Center Square. One by one, the arrested leaders of the rebel faction were escorted to the stage. After some criticism, a person from the county public security authorities came to the stage and announced the arrest of the bad leader of the “Lu Southwest”, the counter-revolutionary FANG XX, according to the law. As soon as he said that, the two men who were holding Fang XX stomped him to his knees and tied him up with ropes. The stage resounded with the slogans of the conservative crowd.

“Only the leftists are allowed to rebel, not the rightists to turn over the sky!”

“Resolutely suppress the counter-revolutionary FANG XX!”

“Learn from the PLA! Salute the PLA!” (At that time, public security officers also wore green uniforms and red collar badges, except that their cap badges were national emblems. People in the small county couldn’t tell the difference between military and public security, and took them for the PLA.)

Our school is only one wall away from the Cultural Center Square. We, the elementary school students, were almost all hard-core rebels, regardless of our families’ situation at the time. Those big brothers of “Lushanan” were the idols in our hearts (I didn’t know the word idol existed at that time, but that’s what it meant anyway, chasing “Lushanan” at that time was similar to chasing stars now. Hearing that Fang XX had been caught in the criticism, we all jumped over the wall to watch. When we saw Fang XX standing on the stage being stomped to the ground and tied up, we didn’t dare to squeal, but our eyes were filled with tears. We just don’t understand, yesterday was the hero of the rebellion, how today has become a counter-revolution?

It didn’t take long for us to understand: this was the “February Backlash”, the rampant rebellion of the capitalists who were unwilling to lose to the proletarian revolutionary rebels. More than ten years later, we realized that this was not the “February Backlash”, but the “February Resistance”! It was a revolt of the old generation of proletarian revolutionaries to save the country from being messed up by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four.

Anyway, at that time, we always felt that the rebels were responding to Chairman Mao’s call for a Cultural Revolution by posting large-character posters, holding criticism meetings, and rebelling against the county committee and the county people’s committee. The conservatives, however, used the dictatorial organs to arrest them, which is anti-cultural revolution, and the methods are a little too poisonous.

It is said that it is forty years in the east and forty years in the west. In fact, in the unpredictable Cultural Revolution, it is too slow to count the changes in the current situation in years. In less than 40 days, the situation turned over again. From the end of March, from the central to the local level, the rebels launched an “anti-counter-current” struggle. And in one fell swoop, they defeated the conservative backlash. The small county of Shanxian became the domain of the rebels again.

The first thing the rebels did after they took control of the county was to rehabilitate the “Lu Southwest” and the various rebel groups that had been suppressed in the previous period. The county public security bureau had to take the arrested leaders of the rebel faction, including the “Lushan” Fang XX and Liu XX (it seems that Liu XX was also later arrested from abroad. I don’t remember clearly.) They were released from prison.

“Lushanan” is back again. But this time they came back, not like before. They only attended the conference to rehabilitate them, and did not participate in the Cultural Revolution in Shanxian County. As soon as the vindication was over, they announced that they would be disbanded and really went back to school to “resume classes and make revolution”. Because they were already facing graduation assignment. Soon, they would change from poor students who depended on their families for support to workers who could support themselves.

In spite of this, the rebellious experience of the Southwest Lu Revolutionary Rebel Army remained deep in the history of the Cultural Revolution in Shanxian.

(In order not to bring trouble to the parties concerned, all the characters in “Cultural Revolution Reminiscences” are not mentioned by name as far as possible, and those who cannot be avoided are replaced by XXX.