The Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department held a party history study event for top cadres this week, again downplaying criticism of the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, several videos of loyalty dances have been circulating online recently, sparking fears of a resurgence of the Cultural Revolution.
On April 20, Zhuang Rongwen, vice minister of the Central Propaganda Department and director of the Internet Information Office, held a party history education meeting to study the “history of the socialist revolution and construction period,” giving a more positive assessment of the history of the Cultural Revolution from 1949 to the end of 1976, calling it “the 27 years of great achievements in socialist revolution and construction. 27 years of great achievements in socialist revolution and construction.”
The press release from the Web site states, “Although this period was full of difficulties and twists, and even encountered major setbacks, it was generally a period of advancement in exploration and development amidst twists and turns, with remarkable achievements and the full establishment of the basic system of socialism ……”
In addition, these 27 years have several important inspirations for the present, including “to advance the development of the Party and the State’s cause, we must insist on seeking truth from facts and respecting practice”, “to advance the development of the Party and the State’s cause, we must insist on independence and self-reliance”, and “To promote the development of the Party and the state, we must adhere to hard work and strive for improvement,” “To promote the development of the Party and the state, we must adhere to the truth and correct mistakes,” and “To promote the development of the Party and the state, we must adhere to respect for history and Oppose the void”.
When we called a number of Chinese domestic political and historical scholars, they all said they were not at liberty to comment. Leng Jiefu, a retired professor and former head of the Department of Political Science at Renmin University of China, believes that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has already made a historical resolution on the Cultural Revolution, and that “the conclusion has already been made, so isn’t it a bit redundant to evaluate it again? Who has the guts to deny the original decision of the Party Central Committee? The Cultural Revolution is not popular and will be opposed. What victory did you say Mao Zedong achieved? The socialist revolutionary construction of agricultural cooperatives, people’s communes, the great steel making, all went up in smoke, did not stand, failed. Now to be under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the present work well, the more the historical issues argued the uglier, do not rush, to time to test.”
The Cultural Revolution has long been settled, why sink the dregs?
The new edition of the Party’s history published in February this year also removed the “Decade of the Cultural Revolution” from the catalog chapter, whitewashing the reasons for the start of the Cultural Revolution and cutting it down, and devoting a quarter of its space to glorifying the achievements of Xi Jinping after he came to power in 2012.
Rong Wei, a curator of Chinese contemporary art who organized the “Fifty Years of the Cultural Revolution Reflection Photo Exhibition,” is bummed that he tried to use the art exhibition to frame the nightmarish memories and enlighten the public, but unfortunately China is in full reverse.
Rong Wei: “Zhuang Rongwen will be nailed to the pillar of shame in history and the total account will be settled later. Xi Jinping is backtracking on the old path, going backwards. Thirty years of reform and opening up, overnight back to sixty years ago, fooling and hoodwinking the young, but we have not forgotten that the persecuted elderly are still alive. Opposing the rich and the poor, breaking up the bureaucratic machine, Mao Zedong finally drew fire, and the Cultural Revolution finally went to his own head.”
Last year, Li Datong, former editor-in-chief of the weekly “Freezing Point” of China Youth Daily, wrote an article on the basic conditions for launching the Cultural Revolution: the state has a super charismatic leader; the state controls all ideological tools such as press and publication, school education, culture and art; the state controls all the means of production and life; the military, police and judiciary, etc. The state controlled all the means of production and life; the military, the police and the judiciary, all of which had unconditional allegiance to the individual leader; the state was closed; the whole population was afraid and would be persecuted if they did not tame it; and there was no organized force to check the ruling party.
The article points out that the Cultural Revolution has never left, and the seven pillars of the Maoist regime are still in place, and that until the Maoist regime is removed, the tribulations will continue. His elementary school son is still receiving the same brainwashing education he received more than 50 years ago, and is forced to recite the Disciple’s Rules. When we contacted Li Datong for comment, he said that the article had made its point.
The folk dance of the word “loyalty” has returned to life?
Recently to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the party, major cinemas were asked to show patriotic movies such as “Vajrachon” and “Red Sun”. A number of videos of elementary and middle schools in China doing the “Loyalty Dance” have also surfaced on Twitter, leading to heated debate among netizens.
In the video, students wearing red scarves dance to the rousing soundtrack “Sailing the Sea Depends on the Helmsman”, “Everything grows by the sun / Rain nourishes the seedlings / The revolution depends on Mao Zedong Thought / Fish cannot live without water / Melons cannot live without seedlings / The revolutionary masses cannot live without the Communist Party / Mao Zedong Thought is the sun that never sets. “
After 1966, the “Three Loyalties, Four Infinities” campaign put Mao Zedong on the altar of God. As an appendage of the political storm of the Cultural Revolution, the movement was mechanical and sloppy, with the hands raised to express faith in the Red Sun; the diagonal bow step meant always following the Great Leader; and the clenched fists symbolized the need to carry the revolution to the end.
As the saying goes, “Big jump is big and loyal, small jump is small and loyal, no jump is not loyal”, workers have to jump before going to work, students have to jump before going to class, and Red Guards also stop and check whether passers-by at intersections know how to dance. People wear Chairman Mao’s badge on their chests and hold the Red Book in their hands, forming a red ocean symbolizing loyalty.
Leng Jiefu, who was wounded in the Liberation War and worked as a teacher after graduating from college in 1964, was criticized during the Cultural Revolution as a revisionist seedling and bourgeois successor, and he has always refused to follow the crowd and not dance the loyalty dance.
“There is a trend of the Cultural Revolution, ‘you do not dance ah, you are not loyal to Chairman Mao’, like a psychopath, hysterical, love on the line. So many years have passed, do not sink the dregs, again, the calm has been re-started, there is no need. We have all suffered, beaten bullies and snakes, worn high hats, knocked on broken gongs and basins. I am the head of the school, also a head, also a bourgeois filial son and grandson, somehow put a hat on you. I never do the loyalty dance, it’s ugly.”
Faithful word dance is not a talisman, Leng Jiefu still remember, at that time, as long as an official, is a capitalist, dance also have to fight, fight and then locked up, forcing people to sing “howl song”, like a ghost screaming.
Recently he also saw the resurrection of the word dance on television, Leng Jiefu flirted, as long as the official push, the masses blindly follow the trend, the enthusiasm will soon fade, “take the long march, sing the word song, which is not strange, it is inevitable, love to dance it. They are also quite happy, quite aspirational, eyebrows traced, wearing a flower hat, spiritually empty, the quality of culture is very low, singing opera can not sing out, the past dance stink, dance rancid out. The festival came to liven up a while, no need to judge, to encourage him, ‘good dance!”
Zhao Shilin, a retired professor from the Central University for Nationalities, was so alarmed that he tweeted calling on the Chinese authorities to immediately stop the “Zhongzhi dance”.
Zhao Shilin: “The word dance is a typical example of extreme leftist literature and art during the 10-year catastrophe, and is a product of the Cultural Revolution’s cult of the individual. In those days, during the hullabaloo of the “loyalty dance”, how many innocent citizens were criticized, beaten and even killed? Today, to indulge in the resurgence of these things is a blatant violation of the Party’s historical resolutions, is to invoke the soul of the Cultural Revolution, is to engage in historical regression. It should be resolutely banned and those responsible should be dealt with seriously in accordance with Party discipline and national law.”
Guangzhou dissident Wang Aizhong believes that although the ambition to return to the Mao era is obvious, it is difficult to easily erase the achievements of the 30 years of reform and opening up, and the foundation of the hearts and minds of the people who started the Cultural Revolution is not strong from the masses to the top. Now the leaders, the system, I believe the vast majority of people have been purged, to go back is very difficult.”
Leng Jiefu sent a letter last year calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation as the New Crown epidemic raged, a federal solution to the problems of Taiwan, Hong Kong and ethnic minorities, and the introduction of private ownership of land.
“The rebels punched my father in the face and ‘blocked’ my eyes so that I couldn’t see.” In the article “My Mother,” which was blocked from the entire Internet, former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao mentions his father’s seizure, residential surveillance and suspension of salary during the Cultural Revolution, with large-character posters posted to his doorstep. Wen Jiabao has repeatedly called for political reform before to prevent a repeat of the Cultural Revolution tragedy.