David Warren's essay notes how it was not well reported, and that as a reporter he was fed lies about what was going on....
For what was destroyed, in addition to the bodies corresponding to tens of millions of human souls, was of tremendous value, not only to China but to the legacy of the planet. To my mind looking back, the Cultural Revolution may be the most sustained and thorough exercise in the cause of “progress” that men have yet performed.
I remember the propaganda at that time for both these bloodlettings, which was believed in our college. So we read about a youth sent to a rural village with three months of training as a "barefoot doctor" did medical miracles using the book of Mao. When I objected to this as nonsense, I was assured by my fellow students that it was true...
The famine of the "great leap forward" is only now being documented, but has precidents in Chinese history where famine relief was stopped for political reasons or because of corruption.
But the destruction of the past also has a precident in history, as when the first Emperor killed all the intellectuals and burned all the books.
I laugh when westerners spout schtick blaming "religion" for all of history's wars. Chinese history is worse, but since it was run by elites, it is't polite to notice all the dead peasants.
I had a Korean professor friend who went to China to teach for a year (economics I think). He came back and mentioned that the generation of the Red Guards not only killed many older people, but they themselves were left without an education: After they out did their usefulness, they were sent to rural areas to work, not back to school... and later, tried to catch up with their schooling....yet after ten plus years of not using their minds, they found it difficult.
I read an anecdote the other day, where someone mentioned to Deng Xiaoping that one person who was "reeducated" during that time said it was a valuable experience, and Deng, who had been through it himself, only replied: He lied.
More about Deng here:
After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Deng held a number of important military and civilian posts: Member of the General Staff of the PLA; Member of the Central Committee; Member of the Politburo; Secretary-General of the CCP; Vice-Premier of the State Council. However, Deng and Mao Zedong clashed when the Great Leap Forward(1957-1958) failed.
Down with Liu Shaoqi! Down with Deng Xiaoping! Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought ..., 1967In 1966, Deng and Liu Shaoqi became the major targets of struggle during the Cultural Revolution. They and Mao basically disagreed on the course of development China ought to take. Mao, moreover, feared that Liu's and Deng's policies would tarnish his revolutionary status. Deng was prosecuted by Red Guards, lost all his positions and was sent into internal exile.
Related item: How the LATimes covered the Red Guards:
you know, I keep reading about the Trumpettes being like Nazis, yet the only violence I saw documented was an elderly man who smashed a protester who waved an obscene gesture in his face. Most of the riots have been on the other side...
Reminds me of the 1960's...when the "anti war" demonstrators cherry picked massacres to push their agenda, in the same way that the left conveniently forgot the millions killed by Saddam Hussein before his removal.
we see a similar black hole of memory in the "BLM" and other leftist insurgencies funded by Obama's friends. As I have written before: maybe Jefferson was an SOB for not freeing his slaves, but at least he didn't throw them off their land to starve when the potatoes failed.
the good thing about America's lack of memory is that, unlike the Middle East or Yugoslavia, where past wrongs are remembered for centuries, leading to terrorism and war, in contrast, few in the USA even remember what their ancestors suffered.
this lack of memory is why I get annoyed at "white" schtick that the left is pushing...
Uh, who do you mean? Do you include the Jews fleeing Pogroms, the Irish fleeing certain death from famine, or the poor English seeking religious freedom, or the Germans fleeing the "kulturkampf", or the Polish/Eastern Europeans fleeing tyranny?
and when I read articles about the decline of the whites in the USA, I think: intermarriage? Or do we still go by the "one drop" rule?
Ironically, Chinese and Koreans are now considered white and discriminated against in college admissions, my sons had a non Hispanic hame and were discriminated against in admission to high school, and of course my grandkids are "white", even those who look Filipino...
and notice Rubio and Cruz are not "hispanic"?
In politics, you are only a "minority" if you are Democrat...