1. How was the Chinese Communist Party able to carry out the large scale upheaval of the Cultural Revolution? Was it a popular uprising, or was it forced on people by the leaders? Analyze the reason and ways in which the Chinese Communist government controlled the Chinese population, and evaluate their effectiveness.
The Chinese Communist party was able to effectively utilize massive propaganda campaigns in order to forge the culture that they wanted in their country. The revolution did was popular only in the sense that it required mass participation, but in no way did it originate in the people. It was the result of a well orchestrated campaign that sought to alter public opinion of the failing government using tools such as pamphlets, badges and especially radio. The chinese government set up millions of loudspeakers across even the most rural parts of China so that Chairman Mao could be heard and could have influence over the people. Veneration of Chairman Mao and the creation of a “cult of personality” around him was a particular focus of his campaign, as it allowed him more control and more flexibility in his views than the promotion of an idea would. By portraying Chairman Mao as a great father of modern communism, he could be sure people had faith in his ideas no matter what he was doing. This was again seen through badges that people wore of Chairman Mao. Through the badges, which are specifically mentioned as bringing praise abroad, the people are assured that their government is the subject of admiration and jealousy from people abroad, and thus they were getting the best treatment. The massive propaganda campaign was extremely effective; China had gone from a weak government that looked outright incorrect after the massive failure of The Great Leap Forward to a strong, revolutionary, savior of the people. This new culture that worshipped Mao and his government was exactly what he needed in order to hold onto power.