China: Rusticating the Rebels

Two years ago this week, in the waning days of Chairman Mao Tse-tung's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the first of hundreds of bloated and badly mutilated bodies floated down the Pearl River into Hong Kong waters. The victims had been killed in factional fighting among the Red Guards, the vicious, young, ideological vigilantes of the Cultural Revolution. Mao had approved the organizing of the Red Guards in 1966; but realizing that they had got out of hand, he decreed that large numbers of them be shipped, along with other city youths, to rural areas. In...

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