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movement in the early years of Communist takeover.  Meanwhile, those expressing criticism against Communist practices were labeled “counter-revolutionaries” or some other names.  In 1957, party leader Mao Zedong wanted to sound out the opinions of the intellectuals about the Communist Party.  When the criticism was much more extensive than he anticipated, he decided to muffle these critics by labeling them "rightists." Historically, left was associated with radicalism and right with conservatism, so the label "rightist" implied ultra-conservatism in a radical socialist society. Rightists were often thrown into prison or sent to labor camps. These political movements mobilized the masses to conform to the party line and enabled the party to implement its programs with little opposition.  It was against the background of these political movements that the Chinese government completed its land collectivization movement and collectivization movement of factories and companies in the cities in the 1950s.

By 1958 almost all private ownership of land, factories, and other companies was eliminated in China. The Great Leap Forward, another political movement in 1958, was an attempt to leap ahead of the capitalist countries in industrial output. It was disastrous because it tried to use simple mass mobilization techniques to achieve high industrial and agricultural output that were achieved through highly developed technologies in Western countries. For instance, to increase steel output, every household was asked to donate their iron pots and pans to where they worked, and their employers, be it a hospital, school, or factory, all built their own backyard furnaces to make steel.  Understandably, the steel made in such a way was of low quality and useless.  No one dared to criticize this Communist policy and there was much fraud in reporting industrial and agricultural achievements.  In the countryside, decisions to dramatically increase agricultural produce led to much fraudulent reporting of agricultural output.  One false newspaper report had a baby sitting on top of wheat stalks in a wheat field, indicating the wheat stalks were so thickly grown that they could hold up a baby.  When the frauds finally came to light it was too late: instead of the dramatic increase in agricultural output as the propaganda had it, Chinese granaries were all emptied in 1958. A drought that started in 1959 added to the catastrophe and led to three years of famine, which resulted in the deaths of between 25 and 30 million people.

The most thorough and fierce struggle between the technocrats and radical revolutionaries within the Communist Party was carried out in the form of the Cultural Revolution (CR, 1966-76).  The CR was begun as a way to purge the technocrats from the party, and Chairman Mao Zedong of the Communist Party again used the strategy of mass mobilization, in the form of Red Guards, Tiananmen Square parades, mass criticism meetings, and parades of the "bad elements".  It started with Mao’s article “Bombing the headquarters [of the feudal and bourgeois members in society]” in 1966. Mao interviewed high school students dissatisfied with the college examination system and told them that “rebellion [against their teachers] was justified.” Mao ruled that high school and college entrance examinations and the whole Chinese educational system were in the hands of the technocrats and needed to be reformed, first through the criticism

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