Cultural Revolution

Chris Burford cburford at
Fri Sep 15 07:43:35 MDT 1995

Pat, I liked your thoughtful reply of 14th Sept about Lin Biao and the
Cultural Revolution. I also liked the length - enough to present serious
ideas but not so long as to require skimming over.

You clearly have a dialectical view of the Cultural Revolution although you
don't commit yourself to Mao's alleged formula that it was 70% good, 30%
bad. Really I think that was a figure of speech anyway.

I hadn't realised that the conflict about the head of state post, was
really about Zhou.  What you say makes sense. It would confirm the picture
that by 1970 Mao was having reservations about some aspects of the Cultural
Revolution at least as promoted by Lin Biao.

I am not sure however that Zhou was a figure quite like Deng. Deng has
pushed the pendulum to swing right over to the very extensive introduction
of market and capitalist relations. Had Zhou outlived Mao, (and his death
just before Mao, must in my opinion  have greatly affected the course of
recent Chinese history) I think his position would have been more like
that of Liu Shaoqi.

You have indicated some aspects of the Cultural Revolution that were
negative - eg the cult of the personality. Your comments about the brevity
of the quotations in the little red book, are welcome on this list. With
the title your organisation carries, you will understand that I, and I
guess many others, might fear the possibility of a simplistic idealistic
position, heavy with revolutionary ritual.

Without being fully comprehensive, it would still be valuable if  you
could spell out some things you regard as positive in the Cultural
Revolution as well perhaps as anything else important that was negative.

Chris B, London.


In reply to:

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 21:11:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: Maoist Internationalist Movement <mim3 at>
To: marxism at
Subject: Re: Lin Biao/Cultural Revolution

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