Remembering the 50th Anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution

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On its 50th anniversary, China’s Cultural Revolution may have come full circle.

On May 16, 1966, Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution to purge capitalist elements from China and to enforce a radical egalitarianism in China. Formally known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, it began a decade of violence and destruction of religious and traditional cultural elements deemed counterrevolutionary.

50 years of reforms later, China is today still Communist in name but heading toward capitalism. The Chinese government today regards the Cultural Revolution as a catastrophe, and little mention was made of the milestone in the official press. Still, as AFP reports, “Mao Zedong’s legacy remains — like the embalmed leader himself — far from buried.”