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The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution launched in 1966 in China was a socio – political movement which aimed at a theoretical consolidation of socialism by eliminating the Capitalist and Traditional elements in the Chinese society. Its final objective was to impose the Maoist orthodoxy in the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, it was an instrument of propaganda for an exacerbated personality cult built around Mao’s figure.  

In the decade after the war, China saw the advent and evolution of a privileged class of educated people who, in Mao’s opinion, amassed too much power at the expense of the political center. The Communist leader feared that a new social stratum of Mandarins could appear in China and thus, did everything in his power to nip it in the bud. After the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao sensed that his authority in the party dwindled and therefore, he could have been easily removed from the leadership. Thus, through the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s core objective was to reconfirm his authority in the party and in the whole of China, besides any “noble” propagandistic aims.

On June 7th, 1966, the newspaper Liberation Armypublished an article entitled “Mao Zedong’s thinking is the telescope and microscope of our revolutionary cause”.This text became the ideological basis for both the Cultural Revolution and the hyperbolic personality cult.  Here are some excerpts from this essential text in the studying of Chinese Communism and for comprehending the obsessions born out of totalitarianism.


“Mao Zedong’s thinking is the telescope and microscope of our revolutionary cause”

“The present cultural and socialist revolution is a great revolution which intends to do away with all the monsters and to reshape people’s ideology as well as touching people’s souls. Which weapon must be used so as to remove all the enemies? What kind of ideology must be applied, in order to strengthen people’s minds and to reshape their souls? The most important ideological weapon and the only one available is the thinking of the great Mao Zedong.

Mao’s thinking represents our political creed and the highest guidance for our actions;it is our political and ideological telescope and the microscope for the observation and analysis of everything.During this great and unique Cultural Revolution, we must use Mao’s thinking to observe, analyze and transform everything – to put it in charge of everything. We must use Mao’s thinking to destroy the positions of the enemy so as to be victorious. Our fight against the anti-socialist gangsters is a life and death struggle[…]

The Great Cultural Revolution brought to the light many facts which clearly show that the anti-Communist Party and anti-socialist elements are only career driven, full of intrigues against the country, hypocrite and belong to the exploiting classes. They have a double attitude. They appear to be human beings, yet they are demons in their hearts. They are wolves hidden in sheep’s clothing and they feed off people with smiling faces. Usually, they use Marxist – Leninist phrases and, as a protection screen, borrow from Mao’s thinking, yet they make public their totally different opinions which hide under the word “but” bourgeois and revisionist elements […] A fortress is much more vulnerable when attacked from the inside. The enemies among us are more dangerous than the ones in the open field […]

How can we distinguish between ourselves and our enemies in such a complicated and acute class conflict? How will we be able to distinguish between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries, between Marxism – Leninism and revisionism? We must use Mao’s thinking as a powerful ideological weapon and as a telescope and microscope so as to observe every issue […]

Mao Zedong’s thinking is the culmination of Marxism-Leninism[…]It is the invincible weapon of the Chinese people and a very powerful weapon for all of the revolutionary peoples of the world […]

Each of Mao’s sentences represents the truth and it bears more wisdom than ten thousand usual phrases. [...]

The fundamental objective of the Great Cultural Socialist Revolution in our country is:the complete elimination of the old ideology, culture, customs and traditions which were used for thousands of years by the exploiting classes, in order to poison the people’s mind;also, to create a new proletarian culture and ideology as well as to establish new traditions and customs for the popular masses. This could be done by a creative study and application of Mao’s thinking in the formidable class fight and also, by making it popular with the workers, peasants and soldiers [...]

We must think of President Mao’s work as the supreme guidance for our activity. [...] President Mao is the radiant sun who enlightens our minds. Mao’s thinking is our way of life.Those who oppose Mao’s thinking, regardless of when they do it or what kind of authorities they are, will be denounced by the whole party and nation.”