Essay by dmeek123University, Bachelor'sA, September 2014

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The Lasting Legacy of Mao's Cultural Revolution

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's influential treatise, The General Idea of Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, archetypes revolution as a clear historical necessity - stating the acute aims of the socialist revolution for the masses to be grounded in abolishment of nation states, frontiers, and all central authority beyond Power held by local communal associations. The central tenant of Proudhon's manifesto reveals the historical necessity of revolution and the impossibility of preventing it due to the nature of capitalism as an exploitative political and philosophical ideology inherently linked to its economic basis. The connections between the social democratic state and traditional socialist revolution in 20th century China and are nearly inherent to the cause of revolution itself. The tangible existence of continuous revolution in China can certainly be equated with 'historical necessity'. Proudhon would agree to this when considering the plight of the peasant masses in China at the outset of the 20th century.

Indeed, as the bigger and definitely more aggressive brother to the May Fourth movement and part of a long line continuum of 20th Century Communist revolutions, The Great Proletariate Cultural Revolution stands obtrusive in purity of essence of revolution in the socialist Leninist-Marxist sense. [1: Proudhon, P., and John Beverley Robinson. General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. Reprint ed. New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1969.]

This being said, The Cultural Revolution was, indeed, part of a virulent continuum of 20th century revolution in the Chinese state. It existed in namesake, but was and remains elusive in essence - as for its virulent transformations. It was a failure in the socialist sense - not remotely reaching its targets. The continuity of revolution was, of course, apparent but transmuted from class discrimination and abolishment of 'old' culture into an all...