Talk:Cultural Revolution/Archive 1

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Every time I read any wiki item on china I cant believe that so much western propaganda would be allowed to pass as fact! This item on the cultural revolution is complete rubbish. Where are the editors who uphold the neutral point of view philosophy? How come so much distortion and untruth can exist in a supposedly objective publication? Where are the Chinese citizens who lived through this period - we need them to correct this material!

Military side ignored?

I'm surprised that the military movements on the eve of the event was not mentioned (general Chen Xi Lian moved Mao-supporting troops to Beijing and seized control of the city). This made it hard for people to understand why big figures like Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiao Ping so easily had to surrender to the rebellious students. Without military control of the situation in Mao's hand, the furthest the Red Guards could have gone would have been something like Tianmen Square clash.

Disputed status

Looking through the article I find lots of little things to fix, but nothing so far that sticks out as obviously wrong or strongly POV. What basis for the "totally disputed" label remains at this point? There is an incredible number of uncited assertions that are, as far as I know, correct -- but there would be no basis for much dispute if these assertions were backed up by citations. P0M 16:33, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As best I can tell, the label is only there because someone objected to this article being halfway balanced, and felt it should only represent the views of mainstream Western scholars. Everyking 16:39, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Maybe someone objects to the attempts to paint a vicious dictator in a positive light?

I'll keep working through it as I find time. P0M 16:50, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've had one run through the article and nothing sticks out as drastically questionable. (I've been working on this and related subjects for a semester with 3 native speakers in one of my classes, and I've always had a non-specialist's interest in these matters.) We will need better citations. P0M 18:25, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Someone please add that this article has a POV, I mean it's so anti-Communist, just keep it to the facts, quit this 'It killed 77 million people' out, and I don't even Like Maoism. --SovietComrade 04:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)SovietComrade

"Anti-Communist"? It was basically mob-rule that resulted in people suffering and cultural heritage being destroyed. Few wikipedia articles "just keep to the facts" - they often bring in anaylsis. The article can be continued to improve, but there's certainly nothing wrong with saying the Cultural Revolution sucked. John Smith's 10:20, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Earlier discussion

Just added a line about different possible causes for the CR, to just put it down as an attempt by Mao to eliminate his rivals is overly simplistic. Just in the middle of writing an essay on this at Uni, will add more once I've finished. - James

I've expanded the effects sections, and given a couple of specific examples of persecutions. Will try to considerably expand the entire article at a later date; at the moment I feel it unduly concentrates on the high-level political intrigues within the Party (a fascinating subject and the primary cause of the CR, undoubtedly) and could do with considerably more material on how the persecutions affected ordinary Chinese life. In particular, religious persecution probably deserves a subheading of its own - J.P.

How many tens of millions of people were executed by the Chinese government during this period? Was the term cultural revolution coined specifically to be a euphemism to hide these murders? Have regimes after Mao's acknowledged any of this genocide? User:Ed Poor, anti-communist.

  • This is simply incorrect. 1) In cultural revolution, it is the government officials at the time who were tortured by Red Guards. You should understand the reason Mao intiatiated the cultural revolution is that he felt the CCP and the governments (at all levels) were out of his control. Therefore, he mobilized the "grassroot" as the weapon to purge those disobeying cadres. 2) In cultural revolution, Red Guards tortued people, but seldom executed people. Most people were died from either suicide or later gangster fights between revolution organizations. 3) Another common mistakes among western historians is, they did not discriminate "Red Guards" from Later Revolutionary Organizations (Known as "造反派")。Red Guards are mostly constituted of students, while 造反派 are largely workers. It's 造反派, NOT Red Guards who are responsible for the massive armed gangster fights and massive murder. 08:35, 16 January 2006
  • I agree. Basically, the term "Cultural Revolution" is a gigantic euphemism for "the destruction of ancient China's culture, for centuries and centuries", and, when pointing out that the Red Guards were getting rid of "all foreign influences" doesn't mention the fact that "Marxism", including the idea that all of culture can be reduced to a "class struggle", comes from Karl Marx, a German and foreigner. (Oct.)
Relatively few people were actually "executed" per se. Most of the blood on Mao's hands comes from the people that he starved to death. Even in his gulag, far more people died of starvation and disease than a bullet to the back of the head.

Not all the murders during that period was done by the government actually. Nevertheless, it was done by the people in power locally. i.e. if the leader of your village didn't like you, he could use any excuse to kill you and got away with murder. Because during that period, the communist government enpowered the mass to do anything they wanted. I was a kid in HongKong during that period, and I still remember watching news about corpses floated into HongKong's water almost everyday. These dead bodies were bundled up like a parcel. Someone just tied up their arms and legs and threw them into the sea. If you said someone did not follow Mao's doctrine, the crowd would carry out the execution.

If you look back in history, this type of mob crime is not unique to communists. For example, witch hunt was done in the name of God. Religious leader said that was what God wanted, and the crowd simply followed.

During the cultural revolution, capitalists, landlords, wealthy people were prosecuted, why? Those who carried out the prosecution had their hidden agenda. Where did you think the wealthy victims' possessions end up? I bet many ex-Red-guards now dig up from their back yard the loots that they collected decades ago. I believe personal grudge and greeds played a bigger role in those murders than political reasons. However, it is undeniable that Mao provided the means.

  • This is just incorrect. "Capitalists" are persecuted in early 1950s. By the time cultural revolution starts, there are basically no "wealthy" people in China. Don't get confused with the words of Red Guards -- they used "capitalists" to refer to anyone they believed disobeying Mao. For example, Liu Shaoqi is a "capitalist". 08:25, 16 January 2006
  • After reading the article, which seems fairly "balanced" to me (except fairly-obviously, as told from Mao's point of view), I can't see almost any progress being made at all. Instead, it seemed to have been a time when all economic progress was stopped, and political activity became the only focus of the day. Purge after purge, and faction against faction, justified the power-struggles of the time, and instead of really building anything; the Chinese were mostly destroying things (the economy, historic buildings, ancient culture of Confucian thought in China, artifacts, museums, old buildings, people who thought in old ways, etc.). But, it seems like they sat around, all day long and into the night, thinking up ways to "get at" each other. Like the Mob, or the Mafia; it was all about political power, and murdering one's opponents. (Oct.)

Cultural revolution was the name they used at the time. One common misconception in the West is that the Cultural Revolution was Communist government versus people when in fact it was much more complex.

Basically Mao thought that the government was being too bureaucratic so he declared war against the Communist Party bureaucracy. He basically encouraged people to out "red" each other, which led to a general breakdown in order with mobs trying to be more revolutionary than each other and lots of people killing each other in the process.

What's significant about the Chinese leaders after Mao is that pretty much all of them were victims of the CR. Pretty much everyone who benefited from the CR was purged between 1976 and 1980.

Ironically the main lessons that the Chinese leadership learned from this period is that really bad things happen if the party loses control.

It's a mistake to say that there are two sides to every story. Usually (as in this case) there are at least six or seven.

Most people were aware of the genocide during the period. But many were not aware of the impact of CR to the school age people. I have cousins in China who have 10 years of their life missing because they joined the Red Guards. They are in their late 40s and 50s now, they realized how much damage to their career when they were not educated properly. The 10 years created a void and a generation of uneducated people.

8 million or 30 million killed during this period? Article needs to be reconciled with Mao Zedong article. Ed Poor, Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Okay. Why not include something in the article about the "no music", "no mahjong", etc., rules, that I read about somewhere? If you ask me, this is ample evidence of why people should be interested in the traditions of each other's cultures. So if yours gets wiped out, some foreigner can keep it alive for you. P.S. I have several albums of Chinese music, mainly dance. User:Juuitchan

I think there is room for improvements. Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, but this article only mentioned roughtly about what happened before 1969. Many things had happened after that, for example, the escape of Lin Biao. One thing not mentioned here is that millions of Chinese youth(many were from Red Ruards) were sent to rural areas in 1969, because the city was in such a chaos that it can no longer afford so many people. I am now working on the Chinese edition first(which is much easier, since I don't really know many terms in English), then perhaps I shall try to translate it into English.--Formulax 07:50 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I am in the progress of translating much of the Chinese Article to give a fuller understanding of the Cultural Revolution. If there is any advice please leave it here or My talk page. Colipon 00:03, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Just a note that all those IP adresses were edited by me, for some reason each time I edit it automatically logs me out.Colipon 00:34, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

When you login, select the checkbox that says "remember my password across sessions" dave 09:25, 9 Sep 2003 (EDT)

Why is there a whole bunch of ?????? in the first sentence. Let's get rid of that if we can. 09:28, 9 Sep 2003 (EDT)

What you're seeing is the Chinese unicode format which may not show on your computer. For example, do you see these as ?'s as well? 一二三四五六七八九十. If you do, then it is because your computer does not display Chinese. Colipon 04:31, 11 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Removed NPOV about Mao's actions as only possible from China's feudal past. Roadrunner 22:16, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Issues: As stated above, the article places a little too much emphasis on the power struggles involved. It's pretty widely accepted that Mao initiated it, but the Cultural Revolution took a lot of its form from the existing social order, including struggles between the winners and losers of the 1949 takeover. This partially explains the factions of Red Guards, etc. In addition, it should be emphasized that the CR got out of hand, even in the opinion of Mao, to the point that the Red Guards were disbanded and sent out to the countryside, with the PLA taking over some of the Red Guards' former role and incorporating some of them. Last point, some of the events described in the Effects section were not really Effects, but rather things that took place during the CR and I hope someone more proficient at these things than me can figure a way to incorporate those events into the article.

A future problem is that the CR is such a huge event that some parts may have to be spun off into separate articles to really give it a full treatment. -Easytoremember 06:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Death toll

I changed the section estimating the number of people killed, since it seemed very unhelpful for an article on the CR to estimate the number killed by everything Mao ever did. It'd be nice to find a more official source (e.g. to track down the Chinese government source [1] refers to, but it's a start.

Remember the true chaos of the Cultural Revolution only lasted 3 years, from 1967-1969. After 1969 Mao dismantled the Red Guards and the CCP took control of China once again. My third uncle, a former Red Guard, described the chaotic 3 years as mass street gang warfare. One month his R.G. faction would wage war with a rival R.G. faction and then later they'd switch to another so-called "treacherous" gang and fight to the death. He said it was not uncommon to see dead young Red Guards in the alleyways in the suburbs of Beijing during those 3 years.

This new politburo consisted mostly of those who rose because of the Cultural Revolution, with Zhou barely keeping his status, as he ranked fourth.

Fourth out of five doesn't seem that tenuous. Is there any better evidence of Zhou's problems? Markalexander100 07:04, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What exactly does "purge" mean in this article? Is it a euphemism for murder, or does it only concern expulsion from the Communist party? This could be clearer.

  • And also, the words, "politically rehabilitated". (Oct.)

I'm also confused about the meaning of "purge". It seems to mean either exile or murder at different points in the article. The Final Dream 21:15, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

"Purge" just means "take some action against". Anything from demotion to flaying. Unless otherwise stated, here it would normally mean dismissal from positions of influence, plus probably some ritual humiliation. If the person is murdered, that should be said explicitly. Mark1 21:21, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Are you speaking about how you think writers of the article have used the word "purge"? To me, the word does not mean anything like, "pensioned off and sent into retirement in his dacha." P0M 22:45, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Some problems with this article

This is a selection of serious deficiencies with this article that I posted to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. Shorne 22:40, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The title should be Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. That is the full title.
How about "Mao's nut-cult goes berserk"? I don't see any reason to adopt the nomenclature of the communist propagandists. Everyone looking for this article would search for "Cultural Revolution".
The punctuation and grammar also need to be cleaned up.
There is also significant bias in the bald assertion that the Great Leap Forward was "an utter disaster" and that Mao refused to admit to any mistakes (it's hard to think of a more self-critical politician).
The "Great Leap Forward" was indeed a disaster: tens of millions died of starvation and other causes. That is not a bias, that is a fact. Ask anyone who lived through it.
Also "vandalize ancient buildings": this misrepresents what was going on (the Red Guards weren't just a bunch of graffiti-painting kids) and does not adequately explain the reason (getting rid of old culture, viewed as oppressive and backward, to make room for new).
It's true, the Red Guards weren't just a bunch of graffiti-painting kids. They were a mob of berserkers, killing and torturing anyone who displeased them in any way. Basically, they were the prototype for Pol Pot's murderous hoardes of "Khmer Rouge".
Liu Shaoqi "died … due to a lack of food and other necessities of life"—what exactly does this mean? Too vague.
It means he was murdered by starvation. Clear enough?
Not enough explanation of the "Down to the Countryside Movement", which was about a lot more than "remov[ing] emerging forces who could be of threat to the CCP".
The pi1 Lin2 pi1 Kong3 movement as "a campaign that appears to sound absurd in convention"—this sort of POV statement contributes nothing positive to the article.
"During the Cultural Revolution most economic activity was halted"—this is patently absurd. Nothing was produced for ten years? Please.
Also "brought the education system to a halt": distorted. Far better would be to discuss the transformation of education. See Hinton's book on Tsinghua University for starters.
The one-sentence reference to a "death toll", quoting a single (high) estimate, is inadequate. On other pages, such as the talk page for communist state, I have discussed the Western passion—widely embraced by the privileged in China, I'm afraid—for quoting wildly exaggerated death tolls in socialist societies as some sort of universal truth.
The view that the Cultural Revolution was "an unmitigated disaster" is not adequately balanced by contrary views; citing one person in a single sentence doesn't do the trick.
Virtually nothing is said about the movement in the countryside; the article focuses on urban youth.
No mention of Mao's urging of the public to "Bombard the [Communist Party's] headquarters!".
No mention of the Sino-Soviet split.
No mention of why people were called counterrevolutionary: this was not a mere buzzword for anyone out of favour; it was applied to those in power who were accused of being on the capitalist road.
No mention of Mao's statement that "the bourgeoisie [in a socialist country] is right inside the Communist Party itself".
No data on the economy or, for that matter, on almost anything else.
No references.

Shorne, Wikipedia convention is that we use common names as titles for things. The GPCR full name isn't very well-known, compared to just "Cultural Revolution". The cause of Liu Shaoqi's death is thought to have been starvation/dehydration after he was locked in a bank vault. Otherwise, you just need to work on the article, but try not to make edits you know are going to get you into POV edit wars if you can help it. Everyking 23:07, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A dispute over the name arose in the discussion of featured articles. I wouldn't have said anything if a number of other people hadn't objected to Cultural Revolution as the title.
If a POV edit war results, it will not because of any POV from me. I certainly shall not refrain from making changes just to keep POV-pushers from flaring up. The article is inadequate; there are many problems that should be addressed. Shorne 23:52, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I just reread the Essays on China written by Simon Leys and there are some inaccuracies in this article, I'm afraid. One sample : By contrast, the official view of the Communist Party of China sees the Cultural Revolution as what can happen when one person establishes a cult of personality and manipulates the public in a way to destroy party and state institutions. seems to be also the point of view of many other people that are not linked at all to CPC. gbog 06:16, 2004 Oct 11 (UTC)

Cultural Revolution Death Toll Sources [2]

In my opinion the site above is the most reliable source for 20th Century Death Tolls. The site creator has taken time to gather dozens of sources from the West AND the East and he trys to show as less bias as possible. So there's no Western and Eastern "propaganda" here. For example the site shows that the death toll for the Chinese Cultural Revolution is about 500,000 from 10 sources. Please promote this site so we can reduce the margin of error on Wikipedia.

  • No way; Mao killed millions. Even the article admits that twenty million people starved to death during Mao's "Great Leap Forward". Not to mention all of the purgings, and the Chinese involvement in the Civil War (against Chiang Kai-Shek), the Korean War, and the Vietnam War; none of which has been mentioned. Also, you should include the African Maoist regimes (which Mao inspired), as well as the "Shining Path" Maoist guerillas in Bolivia, and the thoroughly-Maoist Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. If Mao Tse-tung didn't kill these people, then who did? Basically, that was what Mao was all about; killing people. I estimate that Mao Tse-tung killed more people than anyone else on Earth; more than Stalin and Hitler put together. 500,000; you're crazy. (Oct.)
Please sign your comments. The person above said that the death toll from the Cultural Revolution was 500,000. The person didn't say deaths due to Mao's incompetent government policies. Easytoremember 01:27, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

The relationship of the Tiananmen Square protests and Cultural Revolution was oversimplified. It was illegal to openly support the Cultural Revolution, but among other things, 1989 demonstrators shouted some Cultural Revolutions slogans about Deng Xiaoping.

I must say that the vast majority of the people in China are still very fond of Mao, not because he was a communist and he killed people, but because he was the only who did anything that helped China out. However, outside of China, the whole "communism is evil" thing takes over and all Mao appears to be is a killer. Well, personally, I feel that Mao is undermined by people who did not notice that it was Mao's army who really kicked out the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese War/WWII. If it weren't for Mao, there is a pretty good chance that China would be part of Japan right now, because the nationalists led by Chiang Kai-Shek (Jiang Jie Shi in Mandarin) were incompotent and more harmful than helpful, and the international community, mainly the Allied powers, had their own problems to deal with. I do not know how many people the Japanese killed since no one seems to be able to settle on a total amount and the Japanese government seems to be having trouble admitting to war attrocities, but between death from exhaustion in a labor camp versus death by gang rape and mutilation, I'll take that labor camp option.

Lin Biao

The text gives far too much credence to the official version of the events surrounding Lin Biao's fall. Suspicion of the CCP's version is well-accepted in academia and should be presented. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it should be more strongly noted that it's quite likely we don't really know what actually happened concerning Lin Biao's fall. Easytoremember 12:43, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree, everything I have read about the fall of Lin Biao comments on this unlikely story and says that he was probably killed at Mao's bequest but that no evidence exists explaining what happened except Mao's own statement on the issue. Anyone know of something that can be quoted, I have lost my best book on the topic?--Jackyd101 00:34, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
A much more plausible explanation can be found by noticing the direct beneficiaries of the fall of Lin Biao. The right wing of the CCP who were to later restore capitalism in China and embark on the free market reforms that have impoverished the majority of Chinese benefited most from Lin Biao's fall. In manouvering to remove Lin, they succeeded in causing disunity amongst the left, as well as removing the most prominent supporter of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from the PLA. Deng Xiaoping and his group of five had motive, means and opportunity to plot against Lin Biao as an indirect way of attacking Mao.

Mao's self-criticism on Great Leap

An earlier version of this article said that Mao refused to admit error in the Great Leap. That is not literally true. Here is one of many quotes available: "In 1958 and 1959 the main respnsibility was mine, and you should take me to task. In the past the responsibility was other people's--En-laii, XX--but now you should blame me because there are heaps of things I didn't attend to. . . . Who was responsible for the idea of the mass smelting of steel? K'o Ch'ing-shih or me? I say it was me. . . With this, we rushed into a great catastrophe."

Mao Zedong "Speech at the Lushan Conference," 23 July 1959 available in common documents including Chairman Mao Talks to the People, ed. Stuart Schram 23:49, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Ruy Lopez's edits

These edits are the work of a crackpot. To say that the Cultural Revolution was a groundspring from the lower classes is a plain, flat out lie. Even the current Chinese Communist leadership does not promote this view. Stargoat 22:17, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • To say CR was purely a grassroot movement or only created by Mao alone is naive. The deep reason of CR are two-fold: On the one hand, the lower-class people were oppressed by the CCP officials at the time, who (CCP officials), Mao believed, were no longer following him. On the other hand, Mao was seeking a way to seize the power back, and he felt the grudge of the grassroots, so he directed, manipulated, and mobolized the public to "defend" his political agenda and ideals. The result is CR. 09:04, 16 January 2006
No, but the current Chinese leadership is capitalist and nothing to go by. That is the Maoist POV, I don't see why it shouldn't be represented. Everyking 00:07, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It shouldn't be included because it is a flatout lie. Mao and the Gang of Four concieved and executed the Cultural Revolution. To say otherwise is a lie. It does not belong. Stargoat 00:42, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Maybe you're right, only five people executed the Cultural Revolution - it's amazing how many posters those five created and put up by themselves, they must have been running around Beijing (and Shanghai, and Guilin, and Xian) quite a bit. Ruy Lopez 10:20, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ha-ha ha-ha. J. Parker Stone 23:40, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
To try and explain away the Cultural Revolution as anything but a force started by Mao and the Gang of Four is dishonest. Others may have tried to benefit from the upheaval, but it still came from Mao and the Gang of Four. Stargoat 15:22, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Indeed; the current introduction is simply incorrect. Explaining the Cultural Revolution as some sort of grassroots effort that Mao simply went along with is not a position any but the most ardent of Maoists would argue for. The official PRC version of events does not support this, and neither does the version accepted by most historians, both in China and in the West. --Delirium 10:30, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)
Obviously it's a controversial issue. Certainly we can't take the official PRC version and mainstream western historians at face value on such a thing, as there's a question of political motivation. Both sides should be represented, and as far as I know they are already. Everyking 11:29, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Is there anybody that argues otherwise? Sure, we should represent the ideas of kooks who think that this was a grassroots movement, but in the same manner than the Holocaust deniers are represented: i.e., not presenting them as the accepted truth, because they aren't. --Delirium 17:45, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Problems with the text

One minor, but persistent, problem throughout the article is the mixture of American and British usage. If I recall correctly, the rule is that if an article is started using British spellings, etc., then other editors have to conform to that standard -- and vice-versa. I couldn't reach the first version via the history, so there may be no way to determine which way was the first way. Consistency is probably more important than historical accuracy in this case. P0M 16:33, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Meaning what?

I can only guess what this statement is intended to convey. Does anyone know the intent of the original writer clearly enough to fix it somehow?

Compared to Extreme Leftism, Mao was still no great enthusiast of the Right.

P0M 17:39, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Here is another one, this time one that is so confusing that I have removed it at least temporarily:

This police action later became known as the Tiananmen incident.

The afterage well-informed reader who comes upon this article will understand by "Tiananmen incident" the massacre of June fourth, 1989. The earlier event may be "tiananmen shijian" in Chinese, but in English it should be given a name that will be clearer to the reader who does not know the history and the dates of demonstrations that have occurred in Tiananmen Square. P0M 17:55, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The "Tiananmen incident" is the literal translation of the official Chinese term for what happened 1976. Of course, it is an euphemism as is the official term for what is commonly called in the West the "Tiananmen massacre" (1989). Here we should translate: "The Events of June fourth". Please keep in mind that language is politics. The term "massacre" implies one interpretation as does "incident" or "events". Changing those terms at will to make it allegedly more comprehensible or leave the euphemisms without a comment that puts them into a context just contributes to the confusion. And please do not underestimate the average readers ability to carefully read and evaluate. This leads to undesirable simplifications.--藍蘭 Lan Lan 20:04, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
The first one means that Mao after Lin Biao's death still preferred extreme leftism rather than moderate "rightists" like Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. Therefore he promoted Wang Hongwen, who was a member of the Gang of Four. Second one I think is clear cut, and I suggest you not to remove it, for Tiananmen Square of 1976 was also a major political event in the history of China, and has great impact on the rise of Deng. It might not be so well known in the West and could be confusing, but it will make the article much less comprehensive if there is no mention of it.- 08:37, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Chomsky quotation - out of context

The Noam Chomsky quote from the interview is not accurately described or qualified; he is talking about the Communist takeover in 1949 and the effects after, not 1966. He clearly states the period he was referring to:

CONOR CRUISE O'BRIEN: ... Mr. Barrington Moore in his important book, The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, asks a pertinent question -- one he says he's almost afraid to answer: For which is the price heavier, the price for violent revolution, as in China, or the price for peaceful stagnation, as in India? And he leans rather toward the view that the price for peaceful stagnation may in fact be higher. The question has also been raised here about the terror used by the National Liberation Front, and by other revolutionary movements. I think there is a distinction between the use of terror by oppressed peoples against the oppressors and their servants, in comparison with the use of terror by their oppressors in the interests of further oppression. I think there is a qualitative distinction there which we have the right to make.

ROBERT SILVERS: Do you want to say something, Noam, about this?

CHOMSKY: Let me make just a couple of quick comments. Dr. Arendt takes rather an absolutist view, that I don't share, about certain historical phenomena such as the character of the new societies that have emerged. I don't feel that they deserve a blanket condemnation at all. There are many things to object to in any society. But take China, modern China; one also finds many things that are really quite admirable. Many things, in fact, do meet the sort of Luxembourgian conditions that apparently Dr. Arendt and I agree about. There are even better examples than China. But I do think that China is an important example of a new society in which very interesting positive things happened at the local level, in which a good deal of the collectivization and communization was really based on mass participation and took place after a level of understanding had been reached in the peasantry that led to this next step.

Indeed, a recent article in the China Quarterly -- which is hardly a pro-Red Chinese journal -- compares Chinese and Russian communization to the very great credit of the Chinese communization, precisely for these reasons, pointing out that its greater success in achieving a relatively livable and to some extent just society was correlated with the fact that these methods involved much less terror. This relates to a point Dr. O'Brien raised. I'm not at all convinced that the alternatives are hard and fast, either/or, violent revolution or peaceful stagnation. What one has to ask about a revolution is whether its success is based on its violence; and if we look at revolutions that have taken place I think it's not at all clear that the success has been based on the violence. In fact to a significant extent it seems to me that the successes have been based on the nonviolence.

Now again a blanket statement on this is not possible, but I suggest there are elements of truth in this characterization. I'm quite convinced, as I indicated, that, to a very considerable extent the revolution that took place in China, after the Nationalists were defeated, was successful because of its nonviolence, because the ground had been prepared, because people were moving to the next stage out of a sort of necessity that was widely felt. And the anarchist revolution in Spain, I think, is a nearly classic example of this sort of thing, where the great success of the revolution was largely due to the very long period of preparation -- extending over a generation, in fact -- during which the groundwork was laid for what turned out to be a very sudden, spontaneous, and I think highly successful revolutionary action. And, in a way, one of the most striking examples of all is precisely the National Liberation Front. If you examine the careful studies that have been made of NLF success, it turns out that this success was not due to its use of violence.

I erased the relevant part completely as it is completely out of context and purposefuly misrepresents Chomsky's opinion in the quote. The whole paragraph just seems to be a lot opinion and Left bashing, but there is no outright misrepresentation, so I didn't edit it.-- 04:45, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

1959 Lushan Conference, highly debatable...

In the background section of the GPCR article there is casual mention to the Lushan confernce and how Peng Du-Hai's criticisms led to Mao stepping down as Chairman. But this view can be easily debated and I believe it should not be written as a straight foward factual event. Jung Chang & Jon Halliday stated in their new book (Mao: The Unknown Story) that the Lushan conference was not the real criticism. But that the real criticism was at another conference called 'Conference of 7000', in 1962. Here Liu Shauqui (President of China) said "past policies have been disarstous" in reference to Mao and the GLF. This statement was the one that led Mao to step down as Chairman. Of course this is just different interpretation of what happened, but considering that this a well researched account of what happened it brings the cause of Mao's resignation to question. --Chorgy 10:46, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I'd advise we leave Chang and Halliday's views out for now. It is highly controversial. Mind you, Liu Shaoqi had actually supported the Great Leap Forward for a certain period of time. Colipon+(T) 07:18, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Just because it comes from that book doesn't mean it's wrong/shouldn't be trusted. The complaints tend to do with other things - I have never heard anyone dispute that yet. John Smith's 17:00, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Jetliner position

Does anyone have proof that the jetliner position mentioned in this article exists? The only relevant Google results are these two articles themselves and their clones. Thanks -- Kjkolb 11:27, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

This position is commonly used in martial arts class as a legitimate form of exercise. I can see how it could be misused -- surprised it hasn't been used closer to home. P0M 23:02, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

The jetliner position was very common as a means of public torture at "struggle sessions" during the Cultural Revolution. It is widely documented. Google certainly isn't a serious source in this case (as it isn't in many others as well). Almost any book published during the last 10 years dealing with that CR topic features a few pictures.--藍蘭 Lan Lan 19:39, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I think it was something different from that described in the article on the jetstream position.

Bathrobe 8 jan 2005

Mao's Spread of Venereal Disease

  • I have read that Mao had a venereal disease, and that he still had sex with a lot of young, Chinese girls anyway; whom, afterwards, would receive a "present" to remember the "great leader" by. This is seldom, if ever, mentioned; but, it provides a peek into a "great man's" character, if he doesn't give a crap about what happens to anyone else but himself. (Oct.)
Nah. That looks like some shit from random internet sources. Even if it is true, we're not going to put in every leader's sexual habits in Wikipedia. Colipon+(T) 05:37, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Actually your both right. Mao did suffer from a number of ailments, Harrison E. Salisbury knows and writes of afew. There is actually significant evidence indicating that Mao did have a soft spot for nymphets. However, the later comment is also correct in the sense that it is not all that important for such information to be published on so public and widely accessed source as Wikipedia. The only exception to this would be when such medical conditions account for Mao's descent into irrational behaviour and incredibly poor judgement - characteristics that can be at least in part accounted to ailments such as vinereal disease. (H.P., 15/NOV/06)

Definition has problems

The Cultural Revolution is defined at the outset as 'a revolutionary upsurge by Chinese students and workers against the bureaucrats of the Chinese Communist Party'. This definition is then refined as having been instigated by Chairman Mao etc, but is the above statement really an accurate one-sentence definition of the Cultural Revolution? I particularly have problems with 'revolutionary uprising'. What is a 'revolutionary uprising', and whose version/theory of history is this terminology based on? (By the way, I've had a look at French Revolution, and it's worse -- it isn't even defined!)

One other point: the ten years of the Cultural Revolution are also known as the Ten Years of Turmoil in Chinese. Perhaps this should be mentioned. Also, could the various Chinse names of the Cultural Revolution be put in a box or somewhere; they seem rather intrusive in the English text.

Bathrobe 8 January 2006

The Cultural Revolution and Democratic Kampuchea

The relationship between the Cultural Revolution and Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia from 1975-79, when under the Khmer Rouge) is heavily over emphasised, and when examined closely the policies, slogans or actions of Democratic Kampuchea do not follow those of the Cultural Revolution.

This is not to say that the Khmer Rouge were not influenced by China, because they most certainly were, however when you read the Khmer Rouge propaganda (the best book available in English is 'Pol Pot's Little Red book: The Sayings on Angkar' by Herni Locard, Pages 61-94) it far more closely resembles the Great Leap Forward, in fact one of the major slogans of Democratic Kampuchea was 'With the Angkar [the Khmer Rouge], we shall make a great leap forward, a prodigious great leap forward!'.

I have removed the piece that basically says the Cultural Revolution was the blue print for the policies of Democratic Kampuchea (commonly termed 'Year Zero') because the assessment incorrect.

Additonal reading: Cambodia 1975-1982 by Michael Vickery and The Pol Pot Regime by Ben Kiernan

Failed GA

This article failed the Ga nomination because it has a cleanup tag and requires cleanup. When this article is cleaned up feel free to renominate it. --Tarret 01:17, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

This article

This article begins with a direct and blatant lie and the rest of the opening section doesn't get any better, although curiously the body of the article seems to be much better. I have rewritten the opening section. Adam 15:53, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Adam, thanks a lot for that. Please continuing making edits if you feel they're necessary. John Smith's 17:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Choice of words

I agree with some writers/readers of this article as it does have quite a lot of issues. It is not ideologically neutral which I think it should be. There are many examples but I shall not go into them. I would only point out two instances where I think the choice of words should be corrected. They are: - But most of those accused were not so lucky, and many of them never returned. - In the spring of 1968, a massive campaign began aimed at promoting Mao Zedong to a god-like status. I do not believe "were not so lucky" has any place in a scientific text to which Wikipedia should strive to. "God-like status" is ideologically problematic. They did the same with John F. Kennedy but nobody is saying so. I would suggest using more neutral language such as "to strengthen his personality cult". Anybody has any objections to these two remarks? --Odisej 18:36, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

As I always have to say, remember that total neutrality is impossible. If you want true neutrality, you don't say anything and have a blank page.
The page can be improved, a few phrases replaced here-and-there, etc. But you're not going to be able to say the Cultural Revolution was not the absolute catastrophe even the CCP today says it was. John Smith's 19:21, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
And as I always have to reply :). I believe you misunderstood me. I am not claiming that cultural revolution was much different than already judged by many historians. What I am saying is that the choice of words does matter. Phrases used give a tone to an article and I believe Wikipedia should be as scientific as possible. The article on cultural revolution is biased in this way and should therefore be cleaned of any ideological judgements included, predominantly, in the adjectives used. I think, we agree on this point. It is sad that many articles written in English dealing with ideological issues (events, personalities, history,...) are too many times too biased to be credible. Cultural revolution excluded. --Odisej 09:04, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


文革已是三至四十年的事了,追忆往事,我辈无不深感在共产党的红色统治下的血腥与恐怖。虽然,邓小平复辟后,为巩固个人势力,于是乎来个全国“大平反 ”,更甚者是将刘少奇的“平反”列为是共和国的天字“第一号冤案 ”! 那么,刘少奇真的是被冤枉的吗?请看一个简单的例子:

近来查到一个网址 ,内中刊列了在文革时期的原版中共中央文件,文件中列出了刘少奇的亲笔信,他指出与故友杨剑雄“小学同过学,以后三十多年未发生过任何关系 ”,并直接指示“按你们判决处理。”以达到杀人灭口的目的。问题是,杨剑雄是刘少奇故友不假,但有无像刘少奇所诡称为“小学同过学,以后三十多年未发生过任何关系 ”呢?当然不! 曾经又刊列出一封1949年11月8日杨剑雄给刘少奇介绍郭起凤,彭玉麟二位“国术专家 ”的信,信上有王光美的亲笔批注!而杨剑雄竟自称为弟!可见他们的关系大不一般。这等证据非他人能伪造和逼供所得!显然,刘少奇撒了个弥天大谎!


云星岳 (Yún Xīngyuè, IP registered with Tel Pacific, Australia; 20:18, 22 July 2006)

English at the English Wikipedia please. Adam 12:38, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

death count

Under the 'effect' header: Estimates of the death toll, civilians and Red Guards, from various Western and Eastern sources [4] are about 500,000 in the true years of chaos of 1966–1969. In the article header: In the chaos and violence that ensued, millions died and millions more were injured or imprisoned. contradicting, which is true?-- 21:15, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Need justification for this statement

Need justification for the statement that most Western historians believe that the official Chinese position is false.

- in the opinion of most western historians the official position significantly falsifies it

Roadrunner 15:15, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Also need justification/clarification of this statement

Attempts in recent years to reopen discussion of the Cultural Revolution inside China have been suppressed.

Roadrunner 15:18, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I am not sure of anything specific in relation to this, but the official party verdict on Mao and the Cultural Revolution is very much not open for discussion. Cripipper 16:03, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Disputed assertion

The Communist Party also strongly de-emphasises the extent of Mao's involvement in the instigation of the Cultural Revolution, preferring to shift most of the blame onto the Gang of Four as a convenient culprit.

I don't think this is true at all.

Roadrunner 15:26, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Not in the instigation of it, no. Cripipper 16:03, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Added dubious tag

I don't think that it is true at all that most Western historians consider the official Party view of Mao's role in the CR to be false. Jung Chang does, but we can probably get a representative sample of Western historians see if 75% believe that the Party is incorrect.

Roadrunner 15:45, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Official party histories certainly do over-emphasize the role of Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four and downplay the fact that Mao was the mover behind a great deal of their actions, making fictituous connections between them and Lin Biao, and blame many of the worst excesses of the CR on them rather than the Chairman. In the official historiography ca. 1968 the blame starts to shift towards Lin Biao, Jiang and the others in the GoF. Cripipper 16:03, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Justification for the change the the last paragraph

The Cultural Revolution is the most tramatic event for an entire generation of people in the PRC, and the "most people have some knowledge of the CR" seems understated. The first sentence is gramatically awkward (and I think it is questionable, how do you know that there are no other museums.) The last statement is more specific about what happened to the museum and the official attitude toward it.

Roadrunner 15:52, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussing reversions

It's customary when reverting to discuss the reversion. The statement that most Western historians think that the CCP view of history is false is something that is easily verifiable. I can go take a sample of ten Western historians, and Chang is the only one that I know that really hits the hard the Party's version.

Roadrunner 15:54, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


Added detail

I added more content as to what is in the 1981 resolution as well as more detail about what is and is not censored in the PRC. My objection to the earlier content was that it did not give an accurate summary of the contents of the 1981 resolution, nor did it give an accurate summary of what can and cannot be discussed in the PRC.

If there are any objections to my edits, we can go to the text of the 1981 resolution, and discuss specific examples of censorship.

Roadrunner 16:27, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Also I removed the statement about Western historians arguing that the official version is false because it is not verified and I don't think it is true. If someone wants to put it back in, they need either 1) to cite a review article on the Western histography of the CR or 2) do a survey of Western historians (lets start with Spence, Nathan, MacFarquhar)

Roadrunner 16:35, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

minor change

Shouldn't that be "are routinely censored" instead of "are routine censored" and "separates the Mao's personal mistakes" should be "separates Mao's personal mistakes"? --darklilac 16:39, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes. Also, I don't have any problems with people making accuracy edits that are based on source material. I usually learn a lot about things when we get into these sorts of discussions. I do have a problem with people reverting changes (which I've attempted to justify) without even trying to justify the revert.

Roadrunner 16:51, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Talk to me....

Whoever was reverting the page earlier. Please make any objections to my edits known. As ground rules, I think that the article should be based on:

1) works respected historians (both Chinese and Western) - we can start with Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals and also add Spence 2) citations from Party resolutions. My objection to the statements about the Party blaming the Gang of Four and absolving Mao was based an a quote from the 1981 resolution. If you think I am reading or summarizing that resolution incorrectly, let me know and we can discuss that. 3) orders or reports of orders from the Chinese government namely the General Administration on Press and Publications. My objection to the earlier text was that it was not specific enough, and didn't explain why, for example, the Chinese government is so worried about the museum curator giving interviews while not shutting down the museum itself. The new text I think gives an accurate summary of what discussion is permitted and what is not. I'm willing to discuss issues with accuracy. (Ironically, I think that a text saying that Mao was a nice guy that wasn't responsible at all for the CR would get shot down pretty quickly in the PRC.)

Roadrunner 16:47, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Mao's role in the instigation of the CR

I marked this statement as dubious, since I do not think that the party argues that the CR was started by anyone other than Mao. Let me go through the 1981 CCP resolution with a fine tooth comb, and some reference works.

Also for NPOV, the statement needs to be qualified with "deemphasize with respect to whom?" If the deemphasize is in relation to objective reality then we have NPOV problems. If it is deemphasize in relation to the historical consensus of western historians, then we have accuracy problems since I don't think that this is true. (Also, we need to qualify with Western historians of what period. There were quite a few historians and sinologists that were favorable toward the CR in the 1960's.)

I'll leave this up for a week or two since I need to study the 1981 resolution (and possible translate it and add it to wikisource since I can't find a good English translation). If someone wants to justify that statement with references to Chinese official literature and Western historians, please be my guest....

Roadrunner 03:17, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Unless John Smith's can provided a cited reference where the party history blames the GoF instead of Mao please do not undo the edit. If you want evidence that the Party accepts Mao's responsibility for launching the C.R. see e.g. Zheng Qian and Zhang Hua, Mao Zedong shidai de Zhongguo [China in the Era of Mao Zedong] (Beijing: Zhonggong Dangshi, 2003), ch. 1. Cripipper 14:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Neither of the references John Smith's has provided are applicable to this case. The first is a discussion of education policy, while the latter is from some random writing on an anti-PRC government website. Neither pass the verifiability test. This is another example of wikipedia's main weaknesses when it comes to history - people trawl the internet to try and find something to back up their point of view and latch onto any old nonsense, instead of resorting to peer-reviewed and/or reliable published sources. It appears to me that you cannot read Chinese, so therefore it is unlikely that you have relevant knowledge of how the CCP portrays Mao and the launch of the CR. I have provided references from C.C.P. sources on how they portray the relationship between Mao and the launch of the Cultural Revolution which show that they do not downplay his role. Roadrunner, who it appears reads Chinese as well, is of the same view. I note that you have changed the groundwork somewhat now anyway, and are now discussing whether they blame the GoF for the disasters of the Cultural Revolution, not the launch of it. On this you are correct; no-one is disuputing it and therefore you have no need to resort to ropey internet based sources to back up this assertion. Cripipper 23:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I believe the entire point is that the discussion has moved away from who was responsible for the commission of the CR. If the points I re-edited are not disputed, then there is no need to remove them. Indeed if you believe there are better sources, you can supply them. John Smith's 00:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
That the Gang of Four were blamed for the worst excesses of the CR is not disupted, so a citation is not needed. This, in any case, is irrelevant to the fact that the two sources you provided are inadmissible since the former relates to education policy and the latter is written by no-one of note. They are only tangentially related to the point you are trying to make which, if worded more accurately, is widely accepted. Cripipper 00:54, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Just because you may not dispute a point does not mean that someone else might. If you wish to improve the article, that would be very helpful. Removing text and sources is not. John Smith's 00:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Removing things that are factually wrong and non-acceptable citations is improving an article. But it is difficult when someone like you sits on top of it reverting edits as if you owned it. Go and get a peer-reviewed third party source to back up your point instead of sitting in front of Google; if you don't have one, then leave it out. It is better for something true to be left out awaiting an acceptable reference than for the article to be full of crap. It is this type of google-based 'referencing' and attitude that makes contributing to wikipedia not worth the time of people with real specialist knowledge. If you think that those are good sources, fine, but it says a lot about your standards of history, not mine. Cripipper 01:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
But you've been reverting yourself, without supplying any replacement sources. So why is it ok for you to revert but not me? There seems to be an element of hypocricy in your statement that I act as if I "own" the place.
Now you'll have to forgive me, but I don't have the time to go trawling through all the books I have on Chinese history to find a citation that will satisfy you, especially given that I'm not psychic. So sometimes I rely upon an internet source I'm familiar with - I remembered ESWN had something on it. If you actually wish to resolve the issue then you can look for some references as well. I'm sure the credibility of wikipedia will not crash just because of one little source until it is found.
Also I'm a little confused as to what it is you're actually complaining about in regards to the content. Can you highlight what you have a problem with, if you do, please. John Smith's 01:17, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I have already provided credible sources that proves that your original contention, and your continual and repeated reverting of mine and Roadrunner's edits, was wrong. That is why the debate has moved on. As I have pointed out on many occasions, neither of the two sources you provided are acceptable since the former is talking about education policy and the latter is an anti-government writer of no particular note. Better no reference than a bad/or irrelevant one, since this only encourages wingnuts and nutjobs to think that the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button on google is an acceptable way to reference something. We differ on the question of degree: my last edit, which you reverted, said that the CCP blame the Gang of Four 'for the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution'. This is, in my opinion, a more accurate statement of the situation than yours, which says they are blamed for the 'negative consequences', which is not strictly true as Mao himself does actually receive a lot of the blame for the negative consequences. If you can agree to 'the negative consequences' then by extension you should be able to agree to 'worst excesses'. So, until such times as you can find credible references that blame the Gang of Four for 'all the negative consequences', what problem do you have with my statement about 'worst excesses'? *:And through all this, the main and most important point is being missed, which is that the CCP over-emphasizes the connections between Lin Biao and Jiang Qing et al., connecting them as part of one large plot. Cripipper 11:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be repeating yourself. Look, the page is locked now. So unless we can actually agree upon a positive change it's going to stay up there. Now, I would agree that it would be more accurate to say that the Gang of Four is blamed for the "worst" of the CR. No problem. But over the sources, could you please stop blithering on about google. There are some of us out there that can search for articles electronically without having to make a random google search. For example, the journal article is on a journal database. Did you notice that? Modern technology is wonderful - you should try it some time!
The first source is about education policy, but given that the CCP controls education policy in China it can be used to say they foisted most of the blame onto the GoF. If there are any problems with current phrasing, that can be resolved. Second, what is wrong with Liu Xiaobo? He is someone of note, as a relatively rare example of an independent Chinese intellectual - RsF has mentioned his efforts, for one thing. His detention increased his profile somewhat. He also has works mentioned on wikipedia, I've noticed. John Smith's 11:47, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
It is very simple - if you want to say that the GoF were blamed for the negative consequences in education, then that article is an acceptable source. If you want to use it to reference a larger claim, then it is not an acceptable source. Liu Xiaobo is a commentator and dissident, he is not an independent, credible, historical or peer-reviewed source. Putting in his opinion is not history; it is political commentary. Simple as that. Stick to the history and leave the political point scoring to others. But sod it - I am fed up with your patronizing. "Modern technology is wonderful..." You can put whatever unhistorical nonsense up on it, quote from Scooby Doo for all I care. You mentioned wikipedia's credibility in your earlier post, let me tell you - when it comes to history it has none. Cripipper 11:57, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Me, patronising? Oh, so I suppose you were a paragon of politeness by implying I had just used google to get any old rubbish because they were electronic sources. What comes around, goes around. If you are rude to other users they will be rude to you. Now if you would like to return to the discussion, we can do that. Otherwise the page can stay locked.
Yes, the first source can be used in reference to education policy. But as I said, given that the CCP controls education policy that "judgment" was theirs. As to the second, yes you could call him a "dissident", but in China I do not see that as evidence of being unreliable, given the lack of free discussion - he is independent of Party-created boundaries on public commentary. The point I made reference to is to do with current attitudes towards interpretations of the CR, not a view of what it was like in the past. John Smith's 13:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

historical artifact destyoed?

Western observers suggest that much of China's thousands of years of history was in effect destroyed during the short ten years of the Cultural Revolution

I don't see how this could be true, since most of the more treasured historical artifact was at that time in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. So the most valuable ones would not have been destroyed. --Big Wang 17:10, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Most of the China's treasured historical artifacts probably aren't stuffed into a museum in Taiwan. You're talking about a country with 5,000 years of history and one billion people- many artifacts weren't even discovered until after 1949 and probably have yet to be discovered. A good deal of the best Ming vases could very well be in Taipei, but what about temples and minority dress and libraries? --Easytoremember 06:56, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
It's in reference to places like temples, museums and art galleries - things like that. John Smith's 13:06, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Stating plainly that the Red Guards destroyed temples and other sites which they considered feudalistic seems appropriate. I don't see the point of saying "Western observers" since no one argues that they didn't do this. Also I do have trouble with the term "Western observers", in general, since that implies a unified coherent viewpoint that didn't exist. Which western observers? When?

Roadrunner 20:51, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree - best to remove the bit about "Western observers". John Smith's 21:20, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Time dominated by Lin Biao

This section of the article gives the PRC party line, which it rightly states to be widely disputed. It does not, however, give any alternative view. This is not NPOV. Salim555 23:25, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Alleged Death Toll is Flatulent

The Cultural Revolution is seen in China today as a harmful period. It has been seen as China's biggest errors. When the so-called "Gang of Four" were tried to the fullest extent of the law in order for Deng to consolidate his hold on power, they were charged and convicted with the following. The "Gang of Four" were Deng's political enemies and he had more to gain than to lose by trying to maximize their alleged crimes. The "Gang of Four" have been identified as the main actors in the Cultural Revolution.

New York Times James P. Sterba Jan 25, 1981

The sentencing came one day before Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang was to depart for Burma and Thailand on his first trip abroad as Prime Minister.

The 10 defendants in the trial, which began on Nov. 20, were charged with 48 offenses that included the presentation of false evidence against and persecution of 729,511 people, some 34,800 of whom were said to have died as a result of imprisonment, torture or suicide. Jacob Peters

Spelling Error

There is a spelling error in the second paragraph. Organized is spelled "organized" not "organised" Can an admin please fix this?--michael180 15:30, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

That isn't a spelling error. Organised is the British spelling and is a perfectly legitimate word. See this google search, this Wiktionary page, and this article. I've removed your template. Picaroon9288 19:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, British English please - unless it's an American article. :) John Smith's 21:21, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I am American. I was just pointing it out that it wasn't a spelling error. (Not so much an error as a sign we Yankees haven't conquered you Brits well enough.) But since it's a Chinese topic, all we have to do is be consistent when it comes to British English vs American English throughout the article. Picaroon9288 22:08, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Category needs to be renamed

Please replace Category:Communist Revolutions with Category:Communist revolutions (lower-case "r") on this page per Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Speedy of 29 October 2006. Thanks.DomBot talk ; Chidom talk, owner/operator. 01:58, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Done. the wub "?!" 10:57, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Poster translation

The translation below the poster should really read "Smash (打碎) the old world" rather than "Shatter the old world" Cripipper 13:22, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

"Theses on the ongoing scientific discussion."

This document's title was actually 'Outline of the Group of Five to the Centre', and is commonly known in historical writing as the 'February Outline.' Cripipper 13:26, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Group in Charge of the Cultural Revolution" (GCCR)

This group is more commonly referred to as the "Central Cultural Revolution Group". Cripipper 13:42, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Lin Biao's involvement in the Coup

I just finished Mao's Last Revolution by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals, and their premise was that Lin Biao probably didn't have much to do with the coup and that it was, indeed, more his son's planning. What were the sources used for the section so I can see about comparing references? ~ (The Rebel At) ~ 00:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


Although the official name of the party is the Communist Party of China, CCP is by a long stretch the most commonly used abbreviation (see the discussion page for evidence) and the article jars badly with its repeated references to the CPC. I propose to revert these to the generally accepted historic and academic standard of CCP. Cripipper 22:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Reiteration of Death Toll

Please stop obstructing rectifications on this article without putting forth a valid excuse. Evidence from China shows the following:

New York Times James P. Sterba Jan 25, 1981

The sentencing came one day before Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang was to depart for Burma and Thailand on his first trip abroad as Prime Minister.

The 10 defendants in the trial, which began on Nov. 20, were charged with 48 offenses that included the presentation of false evidence against and persecution of 729,511 people, some 34,800 of whom were said to have died as a result of imprisonment, torture or suicide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Cultural Revolution/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

The article as it stands is relatively fair and balanced. 02:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC)David O'Rear (Hong Kong)

Last edited at 02:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 14:35, 1 May 2016 (UTC)