After the failed “Great Leap Forward” that caused an estimated 15 to 45 million deaths, Chairman Mao Zedong’s demi-God status in the eyes of the Chinese people took a hit. In fact the crisis was to the point that in 1962 Mao was forced to step down as China’s de-facto Caesar, unthinkable only a few years before. Four years of no improvement set the stage for Mao’s glorious return to right the wrongs of his previous administration by doing absolutely nothing differently.
Mao and his cronies released the May 16 Notice to alert the people of China that bourgeois and un-Communist rebels had infiltrated the inner workings of the party and the Red Army. They also used it to conveniently blame the economic crisis and famine on those same people, failing to mention that it was actually Mao’s ridiculous vision of a Communist utopia that killed nearly 40 million people. Mao eventually purged the government of any individual who failed to fully accept the policies of the party. Included in the purges where religious groups, artists and other society defining groups that have been targeted by over zealous regimes throughout history.
After Mao’s death in 1976 the party would eventually shift towards the middle just enough for China to become an economic juggernaut. Today the general consensus, to the chagrin of freedom and democracy loving Americans, is that we now live in a world dominated by Chinese policy. It may seem strange but it shouldn’t. China has had an advanced civilization since before Rome fell. They had invented things like firearms, the printing press, modern navigation and delicious braised pork when Europe was slowly crawling out of the Dark Age. It’s a brave new world people, get your Mandarin game right.