Gayn, Mark
January 1967
Foreign Affairs;Jan1967, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p246
Academic Journal
This article addresses the efforts of Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung to achieve cultural revolution in China. The cultural revolution is pure Mao, with its roots not in Karl Marx but in Mao's own experience and memories, in his own idealized image of what the revolution was in its years in the wilderness, in the Chingkang mountains, in Kiangsi and above all, in the caves of Yenan. His political ideas are permeated with nostalgia with the Yenan syndrome. Classical revolutions spring out of popular suffering, grievance against injustice, popular protest. But though this new revolution does not have its roots in popular angers, it has already produced radical changes. Above all, it has altered the balance of political power that has endured since the day Mao rode into Peking in triumph back in 1949. From that day until the autumn of 1965, the Communist party had a monopoly of political power, with no challengers allowed or even likely. Even more disturbing from Mao's point of view were the social currents. The gap between the city and the village, between the new urbanites and the peasants, kept widening. The new intellectual �lite produced by the industrial revolution was fast losing interest in the countryside.


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