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Edit Title:[HugChina] Cultural Revolution - Personality cult of Mao
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Bernd Chang
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During the Cultural Revolution, Mao's already glorified image manifested into a personality cult that influenced every aspect of Chinese life. Mao was regarded as a God-like figure and the undisputed leader of China's working class in their 100-year struggle against imperialism, feudalism and capitalism, which were the three-evils in pre-1949 China since the Opium War.

At the 1958 Party congress in Chengdu, Mao expressed support for the idea of personality cults if they venerated figures who were genuinely worthy of adulation:

“ There are two kinds of personality cults. One is a healthy personality cult, that is, to worship men like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. Because they hold the truth in their hands. The other is a false personality cult, i.e. not analyzed and blind worship.”

In 1962, Mao proposed the Socialist Education Movement (SEM) in an attempt to educate the peasants to resist the temptations of feudalism and the sprouts of capitalism that he saw re-emerging in the countryside from Liu's economic reforms. Large quantities of politicized art were produced and circulated — with Mao at the center. Numerous posters, badges and musical compositions referenced Mao in the phrase "Chairman Mao is the red sun in our hearts" (毛主席是我们心中的红太阳) and a "Savior of the people" (人民的大救星).

Mao's personality cult proved vital in starting the Cultural Revolution. China's youth had generally been raised during the Communist era, which had taught them to idolize Mao. The youth were taught the "natural disasters and pressing of Soviet Union for payment of debts" caused the immense starvation and suffering during Mao's Great Leap Forward movement, and their thoughts of Mao were generally positive. Thus, they were his greatest supporters. Their feelings for him were of such strength that many followed his urge to challenge all established authority.

In October 1966, Mao's Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, which was known as the Little Red Book was published. Party members were encouraged to carry a copy with them and possession was almost mandatory as a criterion for membership. Over the years, Mao's image became displayed almost everywhere, present in homes, offices and shops. His quotations were typographically emphasized by putting them in boldface or red type in even the most obscure writings. Music from the period emphasized Mao's stature, as did children's rhymes. The phrase "Long Live Chairman Mao for ten thousand years" was commonly heard during the era, which was traditionally a phrase reserved for the reigning Emperor.

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Bernd Chang
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In 1968, a PLA soldier put on badges of Mao all over his body to express his loyalty to Mao. At that period, tens of millions of badges of Mao were manufactured and the larger the badge was, the more loyal the carrier was to Mao.

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Bernd Chang
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A commune member was puting on a badge on the chest.

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Bernd Chang
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At that time, this statue was not called statue, but precious statue. Many family was proud of enshrining statue of Mao in their house and apartment. And many companies and communities saved all their money for building a large statue of Mao and enshrined it in the major hall or yard to express their loyalty to Mao.

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Bernd Chang
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English calendar was decorated with images of Mao and red guards.

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Bernd Chang
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During cultural revolution, a Sports Newspaper instructed people how to practise Taijiquan exercise with the theme "Wish Chairman Mao to live ten thousand years".

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Bernd Chang
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Use Mao Zedong Thought to treat disease.

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Bernd Chang
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At the night when they arrived at the provincial capital Harbin from remote areas of Heilongjiang Province, the red guards in their link-up campaign bought Selected Works of Mao Zedong in a Xinhua Bookstore.

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Bernd Chang
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A typical home decoration during the cultural revolution

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Bernd Chang
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A study plan of the so called intellectual youths.

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Bernd Chang
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A typical group photo: everyone held a bible:quotations of chairman Mao or little red book.

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Bernd Chang
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Typical loyalty dance was danced by peasants. The dancers lined in the shape of Chinese character 忠 (Zhong, means loyal).

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Bernd Chang
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Following Chairman Mao closely was just victory. Personality cult came to climax in history.

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Bernd Chang
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A huge scroll written with Wish Chairman Mao to live for ten thousand years was held by soldiers in a military parade.

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Bernd Chang
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Tens of millions of badge of Mao were manufactured.

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Bernd Chang
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Quotations of chairman Mao and Selected works of Mao Zedong were distributed to almost everyone in the mainland during cultural revolution. The size of issue was so large that only Bible could compete.

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Bernd Chang
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Reciting quotations of chairman Mao was required lesson for every PLA soldiers.

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Bernd Chang
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It was a common practise that quotations of chairman Mao was held up when slogans were shouted loudly.

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Bernd Chang
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PLA soldiers were excited and happy to shout slogans while holding up little red book.

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Bernd Chang
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The standard image of chairman Mao was seen in every assembling.

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Bernd Chang
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Slogan "May Chairman Mao live ten thousand years" was every where to see.

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