Hundred Flowers Essay

1356 Words Oct 3rd, 2014 6 Pages
HundrHow far do you agree that the Hundred Flowers campaign was a trick designed by Mao to trap his opponents?

“Criticism of the bureaucracy is pushing the government towards the better.” Mao managed to convince the intellectual population of China that he genuinely thought that criticism was a necessary factor in the further development of China as a communist nation. During the Hundred Flowers Campaign, many people criticized the party as well as Mao which led to Mao halting it. The communist party quickly reversed the movement and labelled all the critics as ‘rightists’. Historians still debate whether Mao designed the campaign to trick his opponents into revealing themselves or whether it was a social experiment that went wrong.
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Mao wanted to remove this threat immediately in order to consolidate his control over the intellectual masses and thus launched the Hundred Flowers campaign. After months of receiving petty criticisms, Mao announced that criticism was the ‘preferred’; this launched a massive effort by the intelligentsia to reform the party and even fix the flaws of Mao. Mao received millions of letters, and in 1957 Mao exposed all the critics as ‘rightists’. The majority were publicly humiliated and discredited while a minority were arrested and forced to do manual labor in order to ‘re-educate’ themselves. This harsh punishment for a ‘crime’ that was supposedly legal is clear evidence that Mao was simply looking for an excuse to consolidate his sontrol over the party and the country.
Mao also sought to remove political rivals within the Communist Party. Not only were pro-democracy activists Luo Longqi and Zhang Bojun arrested and forced to admit their stupidity, but also high ranking officials were targeted within the party. Even Zhou Enlai was obliged to make a humiliating self- criticism as well as admit to not obeying Mao’s instructions to the letter. This public display of humiliation enforced Mao’s superiority over the other CCP members as all the members were aware that any of them could be purged at any time, thus they were more inclined to conforming to Mao’s wishes. This shows that rather

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