by Giulio Meotti
The Chinese Cultural Revolution was a violent sociopolitical purge movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), its stated goal was to purge remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought (known outside China as Maoism) as the dominant ideology in the CPC.
Mao soon called on young people to “bombard the headquarters”, and proclaimed that “to rebel is justified”. In order to eliminate his rivals within the CPC and in schools, factories, and government institutions, Mao charged that bourgeois elements had infiltrated the government and society with the aim of restoring capitalism. He insisted that they be removed through violent class struggle, to which China’s youth responded by forming Red Guards and “rebel groups” around the country. (Paraphrased and abridged from Wikipedia).
Fast Forward to 2021:
At least 70 monuments have been removed or renamed in the UK in the name of Black Lives Matter. For the first time, the Guardian has drawn up a list of symbols eliminated in the name of anti-racism.
Victims of the progressive purge include not only Edward Colston, a Christian philanthropist, MP and revered merchant who, having been born in 1636, had business ties to the slave trade and who saw his statue torn down in Bristol by a crowd, but also Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume, deleted from his alma mater for expressing views considered politically incorrect by 21st century standards, and Sir William Gladstone, one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers canceled because his father had a stake in the slave plantations.
Imperial College London eliminated its Latin motto “scientific knowledge, supreme glory and safeguarding the empire”. It is a movement that in America has just led to the removal of the names of Lincoln and Washington from the schools of San Francisco.
They want to turn our story into a blank page. They want to educate the new generations to have no memory of what the West has given to humanity, from art to scientific knowledge, from the rights of the citizen to the dignity of man.
They are scenes reminiscent of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” in China, when the Red Guards sacked the temples, knocked down the statues and finished them off with a pickaxe and citizens suspected of “revisionism” were taken in the streets with placards with the words “I am a land owner”.
And as today journalists and intellectuals support the assault on the Western past, even then not a few Westerners sang the exploits of the Red Guards.
The inhabitants of Liangjiahe, in northern China, remember well that tall, pale man who worked with them in the fields and slept on a straw mat in a flea-infested cave. It was the “Cultural Revolution” and Mao sent that young man to be “re-educated” in the countryside for seven years.
From that cave, which the man who became president for life visits from time to time, Xi Jinping today looks at the West and thinks about Sun Tzu’s quote: “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by”.