The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was China’s answer to this question.
Was the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a power struggle between the elite behind a façade of an imaginary mass movement?
On the contrary did Mao Zedong launch the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in order to keep China on the socialist path? Or did he launch the revolution to restrict the class differences bequeathed from the Confucius system of the old society and thereby stave off any Imperialist ideology and prevent a capitalist class from developing within the Socialist society Mao yearned to create, in a comprehensive attack on the four elements found within Chinese society of ‘old customs, old habits, old culture, and old thinking’ (Spence, 2013, 543). Dependent on perspective, there are various outlooks as to why Mao Zedong launched what was to be known as the ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’. Historians and Scholars are often divided on the reason. The four elements were an ethical and philosophical system, which had evolved from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, into the state ideology of China.
However, other sceptics and scholars argue that the failure of the Great Leap forward as overseen by Mao had been a failure and having been asked to be sidelined. “Mao could not disguise the fact that his policies of the late 1950s had failed, and his reputation in the early 1960s was not as high as once it had been” (Spence, 2013, 535) This paper
For a better understanding of the Great proletarian Cultural Revolution launched by Mao Zedong; an insight into the events and that occurred before the Cultural Revolution is essential. The Great leap forward launched in 1958 by the Chinese Communist party (CCP) was focused on creating a platform to establish a true form of socialism, rather than the authoritarian socialism which resulted in the urge to increase the growth of the Chinese economy. The big is beautiful approach of Stalin contributed a lot of elements to the Leap Forward although there were slight differences in parallel to Stalin approach. “a desperate Maoist attempt to break through economic constrictions and to reassert the centrality of revolutionary change-stood in opposition to the Soviet Union’s more cautious approach to economic development and mass mobilisation” (Spence, 2013, 523)
The general consensus of increasing socialism via an economic growth was introduced, therefore if the population could have credence in and be enlightened via Mao ideology and the state’s resources used more effectively, this would result in simultaneous growth of industry and agriculture. This approach saw the party adopt a mass mobilisation of the proletariat and organisations.
Mao’s decision to focus on the Great Leap Forward was based in