By pushing the slogan "Fire by headquarters," Mao proclaimed the struggle against the "supporters of the capitalist path" in the party leadership, and in fact, he sought to strengthen his power and control over the party. It was up to the young assault detachments — the Red Guards (“Red Guards”), recruited from students, and the Tsaofans (“rebels”), who were recruited from the workers — to implement this slogan. They also became the main driving force of the Cultural Revolution, which was turned against the "old" generation of the Chinese intelligentsia, party leadership, and administrative workers. Of course, in fact, its cause was a banal power struggle in the Chinese leadership, which was given an ideological outline. Mao Zedong, seeking to defeat his opponents in the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, relied on the support of youth groups, as well as the state and public security organs loyal to him, the People’s Liberation Army of China. The victims of the “Cultural Revolution” were originally party agents, dissatisfied with the course of Mao Zedong, but very quickly the ranks of the victims expanded to any managers, intellectuals, and then to ordinary Chinese, who, for some reason, did not suit the young attack aircraft.
In the course of the Cultural Revolution, the principle of combating the "Four Remnants" was implemented. What are these “four remnants” was not fully understood, since different leaders of the Cultural Revolution understood them as different phenomena. At the same time, the general meaning of the struggle against the “Four Remnants” was the general destruction of Chinese culture, which existed prior to 1949, when the power of the Communist Party was established in China. Therefore, almost all the cultural values of the unique Chinese civilization - architectural monuments, literary works, national theater, clan books kept in the homes of ordinary Chinese, and art objects - came under fire. Many of the cultural values were irrevocably destroyed during the years of the Cultural Revolution. Virtually everything connected with foreign culture was also subject to destruction — works by foreign writers and poets, records with music by foreign composers, including classics, clothes of foreign cut. Of course, shops where all these items were sold, libraries, museums, private apartments, where the young soldiers of the Cultural Revolution rushed there found objects contrary to the revolutionary spirit, were completely destroyed.
The most famous participants in the Cultural Revolution were, of course, the Red Guards. In Russian, this word has become a common noun, they are called maximalists - subverters "everything and everyone", sometimes just bullies. In fact, the Red Guards, which in translation meant “Red Guards”, were detachments of mobilized young students, primarily students. Formally, the Red Guards represented absolutely autonomous youth detachments, in their practical actions guided by their own understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In fact, they were headed personally by Mao Zedong and his wife Jiang Qing. This explains the almost complete impunity of their actions against the Chinese intelligentsia, party and administrative workers. Proclaiming themselves to be the creators of the Cultural Revolution and fighters against the revisionists and bureaucrats, the Red Guards engaged themselves in expelling the “apologists of the old order,” which included almost all teachers and representatives of the creative intelligentsia. Often the actions of young attack aircraft took on the character of bullying and beatings on teachers. Many party workers and teachers were killed as a result of the beatings with the Red Guards, some ended up being ashamed of the bullying. At the same time, the Red Guards themselves did not regret their actions at all, since they were completely confident that they were crushing the enemies of the Chinese revolution. They were set up by the youth leaders, who made fiery statements about the need for a tougher fight.
The target for the Red Guards were all religious objects - Buddhist and Taoist temples and monasteries, the Great Wall of China, part of which the attackers managed to demolish. Having attacked the Peking Opera, the Red Guards destroyed all the theater requisites. In the streets, militants attacked passersby who were not modestly dressed or had hairstyles, in the opinion of the "Red Guards". Women broke heels on their shoes and cut off the braids, the men were broken open pointed shoes. Some units of the Red Guards actually turned into groups of criminals who broke into houses and, under the pretext of checking the owners for revolutionary reliability, were engaged in their robbery.
Amazingly, the actions of the Red Guards, even those who had openly a criminal tint, did not meet with opposition from the Chinese law enforcement agencies. Although the police of the Ministry of Public Security of China continued to exist and was quite able to stop the ongoing lawlessness, she chose not to interfere with what was happening. This was explained by the fact that Colonel-General Xie Fuechzhi (1909-1972), the Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China, who was appointed Mayor of Beijing in 1967, also directly supported the Hunveibins. Xie Fuezhzhi personally appealed to the police officers not to pay attention to the Red Cross killing and violence, as this is a manifestation of the revolutionary energy of the masses.
Zaofany detachments were predominantly staffed by young unskilled workers. Their leaders were no more than thirty years old, while the bulk of the zзаofane was much less. Like many young people, the tszeophans were characterized by excessive aggressiveness, rejection of older generations, including skilled workers or party workers, who in property terms lived much better than the tsaofani themselves. The Zauofan organizations were based in many cities in China, but the main centers of the movement were Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou. The zazofani considered their main task to be the implementation of the Cultural Revolution in factories, factories, and also in various offices, among the younger staff of which were also members of the "insurgents" detachments.
With the help of the zaoofan, Mao Zedong wanted to create a structure of self-government workers, so he initially welcomed their initiative. In particular, in Shanghai, the zофofane groups seized the city committee of the Chinese Communist Party and formed the Shanghai commune. Mao Zedong came out in support of this action, but seizures of enterprises and party structures throughout China did not lead to the desired result. Zaofan lacked neither education, nor managerial and even everyday experience in order to fully lead party structures or enterprises. Therefore, in the end, there were two options for the completion of their actions - either they called for "old cadres" from among party workers, or real chaos began.
As a result of the Cultural Revolution in China, clashes began also between the Red Guards themselves and the tsaofans. The Red Guards were divided into “red” - children of wealthy parents and officials, and “black” - workers 'and peasants' children. There was unconditional hostility between the two groups. Of course, there were also many contradictions among the zaofans with the Red Guards. In some cities, the city party committees tried to take advantage of the protection of the Red Guards against the Zauofans, in other cities - on the contrary.
Widely known, including outside of China, received a so-called. "Wuhan incident". Part of the People’s Liberation Army of China under the command of General Chen Zaidao, who at that time held the post of Commander of the Wuhan Military District, were sent to Wuhan to pacify the "counter-revolutionary groups". However, the general defeated not only the party activists who tried to defend the city party committee, but also the Red Guards. At the same time, he arrested Colonel General Xie Fuzhi, the very Minister of Public Security of China. The soldiers loyal to Chen Zaidao did not allow the landing of the plane carrying Zhou Enlai himself in Wuhan. This was a blatant disobedience to Mao Zedong himself. Three infantry divisions of the People’s Liberation Army of China were sent to Wuhan to pacify General Chen Zaidao. Not wanting to clash with army units, Chen Zaidao surrendered to the authorities, after which he was dismissed from his post. Nevertheless, the actions of General Chen Zaidao were the first example of the army’s participation in the suppression of the illegal actions of the raging Red Guards and the Zзаofan.
The Cultural Revolution brought China many problems that Mao Chairman himself realized soon enough. He realized that “he had let the genie out of the bottle” and the units of the Red Guards and the Zauofans now not only deal with his opponents, but also threaten his own power. After all, it is possible that in the end they could turn against the leadership of the CPC Central Committee headed by Mao Zedong, declaring the latter an “old reactionary”. In addition, there was real chaos in the country. The enterprises stopped their work, since the zaofani who had captured them could not organize the production process. Cultural life has virtually ceased, the educational institutions seized by the Red Guards did not work.
Almost as quickly as the time was given the go-ahead to the complete freedom of action of the Red Guards and the Tsauophans, it was decided to suppress their activities. It happened exactly one year after the famous appeal "Fire to the headquarters." Mao Zedong called the Red Guards as politically immature youth, counter-revolutionaries, and sent against them parts of the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Ministry of Public Security. 19 August 1967 was more than 30 of thousands of PLA soldiers entered Guilin, where the real “cleaning” of the city from the Red Guards continued for six days. All members of the "Red Guard" detachments were destroyed. In September 1967, the leadership of the Red Guards decided to dissolve all the Red Guard units and organizations. 27 on April 1968 in Shanghai was sentenced to death and several leaders of the Zофofan detachments were publicly shot. Five leaders of the Red Guards sent to work at the pig farm. In total, only in the autumn of 1967, more than a million young people were sent to remote areas of China - yesterday's Red Guards and the Zauan. Now, in the position of exiles, they were to raise the economy of the Chinese province. The “purges” of the Chinese youth from the Red Guards and the Zuofans continued until the beginning of the 1970s. By this time, the number of young people exiled to correctional work in the province amounted to over 5,4 million.
In 1971, the group of military leaders closest to Mao Zedong was also defeated. At the head of this group was Marshal Lin Biao (nafoto) - the Minister of Defense of China, who by then was actually considered the official successor to Chairman Mao. According to the official version, Marshal Lin Biao was plotting to overthrow Mao Zedong, whom he accused of perverting Marxism, Trotskyism and social fascism. But the plans of the conspirators became known. 13 September 1971 Mr. Lin Biao with several colleagues tried to fly to the northeast, but the plane crashed due to lack of fuel. A number of high-ranking generals and senior PLA officers were arrested, and about a thousand military officers were removed from their posts.
In 1972, Colonel-General Xie Fuzhi, who was called one of the main patrons of the Red Guards in Chinese power structures, died suddenly. In the same year, General Chen Zaidao was rehabilitated, the first to turn his army against the raging youth. However, the turn against the Red Guards did not mean an end to the Cultural Revolution. It just took more organized and pragmatic forms. Now, the victims of the Cultural Revolution were, for example, representatives of the national minorities of China, especially the Mongols from Inner Mongolia, who were accused of working for hostile states (Mongolia, as we know, was the closest ally and supporter of the USSR in Central Asia, and the Chinese Mongols obviously believed potential fifth column of the MPR in China).
The cultural revolution has done great damage to the development of China and is negatively assessed by the modern leadership of this country. As early as 1981, a CPC resolution was adopted, which stated: ““ The Cultural Revolution ”was not and cannot be a revolution or social progress in any sense ... it was a turmoil caused by the top through the fault of the leader and used by counter-revolutionary groups , troubled, which brought serious disasters of the party, the state and the entire multiethnic people. "