My Shanghainese parents just finished high school in 1966 when the Cultural Revolution happened. They sometimes share their experience with me, even though my mom doesn’t like to talk about it. Here are some things that stuck out for me:When my dad was walking to school he…

What I find almost as interesting as the accounts shared here is the pass given to Mao. The awful nature of the Cultural Revolution is acknowledged, but the blame for its inherently oppressive nature is attributed to mass hysteria.That seems somewhat unique among totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. Often it is the tyrant/dictator that is singled out for evils and their accomplices, whether they be aides or far-flung supporters, are not necessarily given a pass but are not indicted with as much vehemence in the eyes of history.The sustained reverence for Mao is, I think, both a product of and explanation for the continued existence of China’s government in its current form and why they’re so blasé about human rights abuses.

Fascinasians: Cultural Revolution


One Response to From Tumblr: on Mao and the Cultural Revolution

  1. Chris H says:

    You should read Eric Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom.”  Really, really good.  It’s about the psychological factors that lead to the rise of fascism in Germany.  It was written in 1941 by an American academic who immigrated from Germany.  

    Talks about how the rise of certain types of Protestantism, particularly Calvinism, with its focus on God to the exclusion of all other Biblical roles (e.g. saint, apostle, etc.) and the idea that God only wants total submission, nothing more (not necessarily prayer or personal service, etc.) prepared the psyche of the German public.

    Thinking of the all the fascist dictatorships in Muslim countries, makes me wonder if certain types of Buddhism and other philosophical teachings in China help sustain Mao worship and Communist fascism there.

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