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4. To what extent were Mao’s motives ideological rather than political?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the extent to which Mao’s motives for launching the Cultural Revolution were ideological rather than political, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea of Mao as a political theorist as well as a political leader; (ii) the extent to which the Sino-Soviet split was motivated by ideological differences between Mao and the Soviet leadership; (iii) the extent to which Mao’s ideological enemies in the Cultural Revolution also happened to be his political enemies; (iv) the ideological fervour of the people who actually enacted the Cultural Revolution, the Red Guards; and (v) the nature of the language used in contemporary sources such as the pamphlets and newspapers produced at the time.
In this course, Professor Michael Dillon (Durham University) explores the Cultural Revolution in China through nine key questions: (1) What was the meaning of the name ‘Cultural Revolution’?; (2) Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution when he did?; (3) Is it accurate to describe the Cultural Revolution as the ‘decade of disaster’?; (4) To what extent were Mao’s motives ideological rather than political?; (5) What was the role of the Red Guards in Mao’s strategy?; (6) Why was traditional Chinese culture a prime target in the Cultural Revolution?; (7) What part did Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, play in the Cultural Revolution?; (8) How important was Lin Biao in the Cultural Revolution?; and (9) To what extent was the Cultural Revolution a success?
Michael Dillon was founding director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at Durham University, where he taught courses on modern China, Chinese history, and Chinese language. He has also been a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society, and a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Cite this Lecture
Dillon, M. (2020, November 29). China – The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 - To what extent were Mao’s motives ideological rather than political? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/china-the-cultural-revolution-1966-76/to-what-extent-were-mao-s-motives-ideological-rather-than-political
Dillon, M. "China – The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 – To what extent were Mao’s motives ideological rather than political?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Nov 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/china-the-cultural-revolution-1966-76/to-what-extent-were-mao-s-motives-ideological-rather-than-political