Attack with Words and Defend with Weapons. This slogan, announced by Jiang Qing in a speech on September 5, 1967, introduced the violent phase of the Cultural Revolution. As the violence increased, each of the combatant Red Guard groups could easily see itself as on the defensive, and the slogan eventually became a mere euphemism for “Charge!” It was not long before it gave way to another slogan: “All-out Civil War!”
Cadre. In this volume “cadre” is used in the singular to translate the Chinese ganbu, which refers to any of a variety of administrators such as factory managers, school principals, government bureaucrats, etc. A cadre is not necessarily a Party member.
Cow Shed. A popular term for any of the confinement areas established for errant cadres and intellectuals (“cow ghosts and snake spirits,” in Mao Zedong’s phrase) during the Cultural Revolution. Generally, each work unit fashioned its own cow shed in a makeshift manner.
Cultural Revolution. Formally called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and conventionally dated from 1966 to 1972, this massive campaign—the largest in human history—was conceived by Mao Zedong as a final attempt to create unending revolution in China. The results included incalculable dislocation and suffering.
Deng Xiaoping (b. 1904). Vice Premier of the People’s Republic and China’s most powerful leader in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Five Black Categories. See “Five Red Categories.”
Five Red Categories. In the Cultural Revolution, much of the populace was divided into good (“red”) and bad (“black”) categories. There was never an authoritative definition of these categories, and popular usage was not uniform. But generally the Five Red Categories were industrial workers, poor peasants, lower middle peasants, revolutionary cadres (those who had joined a Communist organization by 1947), and revolutionary soldiers. Black categories were more confusing. The Four Black Categories usually referred to former landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries (including spies, former KMT people, “rightists,” etc.) and “bad elements,” meaning common criminals. The Five Black Categories referred to the same people but counted counterrevolutionaries and rightists as two groups. The Seven Black Categories added two more—capitalists and “capitalist-roaders.” Since one’s category was inherited, the children of red families were purely red and those of black categories inalterably black.
Four Black Categories. See “Five Red Categories.”
Four Modernizations. A plan to achieve the modernization of China’s industry, agriculture, national defense, and science and technology by the year 2000. First enunciated by Zhou Enlai at the Fourth People’s Congress (January 13-17, 1975), the plan became a dominant policy of the Deng Xiaoping regime in the late 1970s. Also referred to as “the New Long March.”
Four Olds. Old ideas, old culture, old customs, old habits—the targets of Cultural Revolution campaigns to “Destroy the Four Olds and Establish the Four News.”
Gang of Four. In October 1976, four high-ranking radicals were ousted and made the major scapegoats for the catastrophes of the preceding ten years: Jiang Qing was the widow of Mao Zedong and during the Cultural Revolution was a member of the Central Politburo. Zhang Chunqiao was a vice-premier of the People’s Republic and a leading Marxist theoretician. Yao Wenyuan, also a vicepremier, was a political critic of literature. Wang Hongwen, a former Shanghai worker, was a vice-chairman of the Communist Party.
Hua Guofeng (b. 1921). Mao Zedong’s chosen successor and the most important transitional figure between the regimes of Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Chairman of the Communist Party from October 24, 1976 until June 29, 1981.
Jiang Qing. Also Chiang Ch’ing. See “Gang of Four.”
Lin Biao (1907-71). A vice-chairman of the Communist Party of China before he died and Mao Zedong’s “closest comrade-in-arms” from 1966-71. Officially reported to have died in an airplane crash as he was fleeing toward the Soviet Union after failing in a coup d’etat and assassination attempt on Mao in September 1971. (What actually happened is unclear.) Although many people secretly rejoiced at Lin’s disappearance, public denunciation was postponed more than two years. He eventually became a bete noire to rank with the Gang of Four.
Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Mao Tse-tung. Chairman of the Communist Party of China, 1943-76.
New Long March. See “Four Modernizations.”
Qingming. See “Tiananmen Incident.”
Red Guards. Youth in the Cultural Revolution who spearheaded the attacks on cadres and intellectuals and eventually on one another. Generally they sought idealistically to uphold Chairman Mao and his ideas, but they were often pawns in local power struggles and ended up doing great damage. Also called “little generals.”
Tiananmen Incident. Tiananmen is the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing that stands before the vast Tiananmen Square, symbolic of the political center of China. The Tiananmen Incident refers to April 5, 1976, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the square in a spontaneous tribute to Zhou Enlai, who had died on January 8, 1976. April 5 is the date of the Qingming Festival, when the Chinese sweep family gravesites and honor the departed. The crowd had gathered in an anti-totalitarian spirit but was forcibly driven away; the demonstration was declared “counterrevolutionary.”
Zhou Enlai (1898–1976). Chou En-lai. Premier of the People’s Republic, 1949-76.