Cultural Revolution memorabilia – A collection of propaganda material made by the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution (National Library of Denmark).
Table of Contents
The Cultural Revolution was a sociopolitical movement that took place in China from 1966 until 1976.
Its goal was to re-impose Maoist thought as the dominant ideology within the Party by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society.
One of the stated goals of the Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China was to bring an end to the Four Olds.
The campaign to Destroy the Four Olds and Cultivate the Four News (破四旧立四新; Pò Sìjiù Lì Sìxīn) began in Beijing on August 19 1966.
The Four Olds or the Four Old Things (四旧; sì jiù) were Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.
Photos of Cultural Revolution propaganda material
The first things to change were the names of streets and stores. Many people also changed their given names to revolutionary slogans, such as Zhihong (志红, “Determined Red”) or Jige (继革, “Following the Revolution”).
Other manifestations of the Red Guard campaign included giving speeches, posting big-character posters, and harassment of people, such as intellectuals, who defiantly demonstrated the Four Olds.
In later stages of the campaign, examples of Chinese architecture were destroyed, classical literature and Chinese paintings were torn apart, and Chinese temples were desecrated.
The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked in November 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, when it was visited and vandalized by a team of Red Guards from Beijing Normal University, led by Tan Houlan.
The corpse of the 76th-generation Duke Yansheng was removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in front of the palace during the desecration of the cemetery in the Cultural Revolution. [wikipedia]
During the first phase of the Cultural revolution, Lin supported Mao, and Mao promoted him to higher political offices. After Mao’s second-in-command, President Liu Shaoqi, was denounced as a “capitalist roader” in 1966, Lin Biao emerged as the most likely candidate to replace Liu as Mao’s successor.
Lin attempted to avoid this promotion, but accepted it on Mao’s insistence.
Privately, Lin opposed the purging of Liu and Deng Xiaoping, on the grounds that they were “good comrades”, but was not able to publicly oppose Mao’s condemnation of them.
Lin’s passivity was part of a calculated plan to survive the Cultural Revolution alive and well.
In his relationship with Mao, Lin adopted a policy of “three ‘nos’: no responsibility; no suggestions; no crime”.
In 1966 Lin directed Red Guards in Beijing to “smash those persons in power who are traveling the capitalist road, the bourgeoisie reactionary authorities, and all royalists of the bourgeoisie, and to forcibly destroy the “four olds”: old culture, old ideas, old customs, and old habits.
Lin died when a plane carrying him and several members of his family crashed in Mongolia on September 13, 1971, allegedly after attempting to assassinate Mao and defect to the Soviet Union. [wikipedia]
Source: National Library of Denmark, Swedish Open Cultural Heritage via Europeana
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