The Modern Day Effects of The Cultural Revolution

In an article from the Chinese state-run newspaper from 1966, the Peking Review, we see just how much effort went into indoctrinating the youth. The Red Guards were a group of young Chinese who were meant to safe guard Mao’s hegemony in the government by convincing them to tear down the old world. The mob-mentality of this movement led to many hardships and a lot of pain for the people living through the time period. People saw their friends and family beaten, and sometimes even killed.

Even though Mao’s Cultural Revolution ended decades ago, the pain of it is still felt by many families in China. In an Article about the modern day effects of the Cultural Revolution the author states “the emotional scar has never faded away. In late 2015, when a singer stepped onto a neon-lit stage in Shanghai to perform a song about the tribulations of his family of six during the Cultural Revolution, the outpouring of public emotion surprised many people. “(Gao, Helen. “Opinion | A Scar on the Chinese Soul.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.) Furthermore, the trauma of the Cultural Revolution doesn’t just affect the people who lived through it: “But a growing body of research suggests that the past can have a way of plaguing the offspring of those who directly experienced it through the transgenerational transmission of trauma.” (Gao, Helen. “Opinion | A Scar on the Chinese Soul.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.) This means that the pain of a period in time isn’t isolated to the people who lived through it.

The Red Guard movement was the primary force in the Cultural Revolution which led to emotional trauma. People seeing their peers commit heinous acts, and feeling the pressure to join in for fear of being targeted next had a profound impact on people. This trauma has been shown that it can even transfer to the children in these families meaning that the emotional impacts of this relatively short period of time have long lasting consequences. This issue is important for Minnesotans because in a day of increasing globalization we are much more likely to come into contact with individuals from China. Furthermore, China is on the verge of becoming a global superpower and it is more important than ever for us to understand their history and it’s impacts on the current-day society.

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