The lesson of China’s Cultural Revolution was that once the lid blew off, all of the carefully laid plans were in the wind. The same may be said of Iran’s radical Islamic Revolution. Both had very common threads when it came to the central revolutionary government losing control, and they were both historically recent. There are differences of course. When speaking of Iran, I refer to the time after the Shah fled — and it didn’t take him long to flee.
China’s Cultural Revolution was remarkably different from the Party’s military-political victory of 1949. Where the political revolution was managed by the centralized hierarchy of the Communist Party (CCP), the Cultural Revolution quickly morphed from a movement launched by Mao into a decentralized, chaotic mass movement against all elites, including Party and state elites which had been sacrosanct and untouchable.
Although ostensibly launched by Mao (as part of his 1966 purge of Party rivals), the Cultural Revolution very quickly devolved into a decentralized, semi-chaotic movement of Red Guards, students and other groups who shared ideas and programs but who acted quite independent of the Party’s central leadership. (In systems language, semi-chaotic dynamics are emergent properties.)
Mao served as the politically untouchable inspiration for whatever measures the local cadres deemed necessary in terms of advancing (or cleansing) the people’s revolution.
The important point here is that the Cultural Revolution was not controlled by the political authorities, even as they maintained control of the Party and central government hierarchy in Beijing. But this was nothing more than an illusion of control: the forces of the Cultural Revolution had broken free of central command and control, even as the Red Guards expressed their loyalty to Mao and the principles of the Party as the politically approved cover for their rampage.
The French Revolution (French: Révolution française) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate and the rise of Napoleon.
Disillusionment with Louis XVI led to the establishment of the First French Republic on 22 September 1792, followed by his execution in January 1793. (sic semper tyranus) In June, an uprising in Paris replaced the Girondins who dominated the National Assembly with the Committee of Public Safety, headed by Maximilien Robespierre.
This sparked the Reign of Terror, an attempt to eradicate alleged “counter-revolutionaries”; by the time it ended in July 1794, over 16,600 had been executed in Paris and the provinces. As well as external enemies, the Republic faced a series of internal Royalist and Jacobin revolts; in order to deal with these, the French Directory took power in November 1795. Despite military success, the war led to economic stagnation and internal divisions, and in November 1799 the Directory was replaced by the Consulate.
Revolutionary symbols such as La Marseillaise (the lyrics are instructive) remain within the French consciousness today.
The Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979 also slipped out of control of the central revolutionary government. Islamic courts, operating independently, applied faith purity tests to people and there was only one verdict – death. Sometimes by firing squad, other times by hanging, beating or slow torture. Whirlwind, a novel by James Clavell, first published in 1986, provides a measure of the vibe to the western reader.
Some claim that an American Cultural Revolution (and possibly a counter-revolution) is coming, where minorities, sexual deviates and marxists take control of the country with oligarchs in the background, pulling the strings. They already control the much of the media, both houses of Congress, the Executive Branch and high positions in the military. But how much of America outside of the DC beltway and the fetid inner cities actually buys off on that? The answer may be had if you ask yourself how many Americans who have had plague vaccinations still wear masks. Maybe I’m over-simplifying?
The problem that exists for the democrat/marxist/gender confused is that the other guys tend to control the police and the 400 million+ firearms and trillions of rounds of ammunition in private hands.
I find it more than ironic that Jo/Ho are now calling for the border wall with Mexico to be completed because, contrary to what the media asserts, a lot of military grade weapons are being smuggled into the USA to end up in the hands of every-day folks. Most of it is Chinese made. Some of it comes out of the inventories of Central and South American militaries, bought by cartels for their own uses, but also smuggled into the US because of the demand. The demand for military grade weapons exceeds the demand for illegal narcotics.