Nick’s Page on the Cultural Revolution

The Cultural Revolution was successful only because of the widespread propaganda campaigns and meticulous attempts at control by the CCP. Without this significant government interference, the people themselves would never have generated enough revolutionary fervor to accomplish what the government was able to do. A large influence on gaining support of the common Chinese people was the over the top propaganda that was constantly distributed by the Chinese Communist Party. This propaganda was able to brainwash the young, impressionable students of China, pushing Chairman Mao’s thought  on hundreds of thousands of people calling themselves the “Red Guards”. A great example of this can be found in the “Red Guards’ Battle Song”, where a line of the song states “We arm ourselves with Mao Tsetung’s thought”. They essentially lost their ability to think independently and became an army of drones pushing Mao’s message. The benefits of membership in the Red Guards also were a factor in drawing support. Membership would appeal to any person who was disgruntled with authority and wanted to rise up against them. In addition, as their numbers swelled, one of the only ways to gain protection from the Red Guards was by joining them. Therefore, their numbers grew exponentially; however, this would eventually backfire on Chairman Mao when there became too many of them for him to control. He was left with no other choice but to exile them and to send them to the countryside for “Re-Education through labor”, one of Mao’s favorite control tactics. This campaign was relatively successful, as many people including high party officials at least appeared to be converted in Mao’s favor.

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