The Epoch Times| by Hannah Cai and Olivia Li| October 31, 2022
With the midterm elections fast approaching, American voters are unhappy with a range of issues including soaring prices, escalating crime, a drastic increase in homelessness, and public schools’ declining performance. The growing battle between the left and the right, with disputes on numerous topics and even the definitions of “justice” and “equality,” is creating a divide in America like never before.
Chinese-American rights activist and president of the Asian American Coalition for Education Mike Zhao, who has grown increasingly concerned about the ongoing culture war in the United States, has spent the last two years writing a book, “Critical Race Theory and Woke Culture: America’s Dangerous Repeat of China’s Cultural Revolution,” which was published in September.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Zhao said that the United States is undergoing a full-scale culture war—the American Cultural Revolution—that is reshaping American politics and technology in a frightening way.
Zhao said he was disturbed upon seeing the violent riots across the United States in the summer of 2020 spurred on by groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and the toppling of American statues of historical figures including Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of America’s Founding Fathers. When an editor was fired after he spoke out against such violence by writing “Buildings Matter, Too,” Zhao was shocked.
“As a victim of the Cultural Revolution in China, I think this is the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in the United States,” he said.
Since then, Zhao spent two years searching through hundreds of documents and numerous historical photos to write his book.
The Dangerous Repeat
As the title of the book suggests, the book analyzed the similarities between the Cultural Revolution in China with what is currently going on in the United States. The first part of the book recalls the personal experiences of Zhao and his family during one of China’s darkest times, while the second part answers two questions: “How did the Cultural Revolution happen in the United States?” and “What does it have in common with the Cultural Revolution in China?”
According to Zhao, both have their roots in Marxism, and both aim to destroy the cultural heritage of the country. However, based on their respective domestic situations, the specific approach in the United States is different from that in China.
The Cultural Revolution in China at the time was based on the theory of “class struggle,” an important aspect of “Economic Marxism,” which claimed that there was systemic class oppression in society, with landlords and other “capitalists” oppressing the peasants and workers.
The American Cultural Revolution, on the other hand, is based on “Cultural Marxism” and critical racial theory (CRT), or the doctrine of racial struggle, founded by disciples of the Marxist Frankfurt School. It claims that systemic racial oppression is still widespread in America in the 21st century.
In his book, Zhao compares the Cultural Revolution in China with today’s CRT and “woke culture” in the United States on six points.
(1) Using Marxist lies to create a moral high ground;
(2) Using struggle theories to divide and conquer;
(3) Using radical ideologies to maintain control;
(4) Using public opinion censorship and deprivation of people’s livelihood to suppress dissenting voices;
(5) Poisoning people’s minds by altering culture, falsifying history, and brainwashing;
(6) Creating social unrest in order to seize power amid the chaos.
“This book reveals a lot of little-known details,” Zhao said. “For example, during China’s Cultural Revolution, Mao’s quotes were printed on the marriage certificate, such as ‘Never forget the class struggle.’ It was a reminder that class struggle was part of your family life and you had to be suspicious of your wife.”
He cited a true story, a typical case of family members turning against each other during the Cultural Revolution: A 16-year-old student reported his mother to the authorities for criticizing Mao Zedong privately at home. His mother was executed two months later.
Zhao pointed out that this case was strikingly similar to that of American children reporting their conservative parents who had attended the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington.
A Book for the Young Generation
Zhao said he believes that his book made the first systematic comparison between the Cultural Revolution in China and the ongoing far-left movement in the United States. His goal is not only to provide insight for conservative readers—but also to help those who are younger or are either unaware or have been misled—to understand the dangers of far-left policies that are being adopted in the United States and how they will affect the younger generations and the future of the country.
Socialism is all the rage among young Americans today, many of whom are enamored by democratic socialist icons, and polls show that an alarming percentage of youth view socialism in a positive light.
“Utopian socialism is very appealing in theory, and can easily attract those inexperienced and kind-hearted young people, but in practice, it does tremendous harm,” Zhao said. “Young people think that as long as the stated goal of a certain policy is good, it must be a good policy and must be supported, without looking at the effect of its implementation. Just like the goal of communism, which appears to be good: to ‘liberate’ the proletariat; however, hundreds of millions of people ended up being starved to death or killed.”
But years of brainwashing by universities and left-wing media have created tens of thousands of “social justice warriors,” who are just like the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, Zhao continued. “The United States today is like the very juncture when Mao Zedong started class struggle education in 1962. If no one stops it in time, once the entire population is brainwashed, the United States could risk the danger of social unrest just like the 10-year catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution.”
He hopes young people will learn from the book that life under socialism is not the egalitarian utopia its followers have idealized; on the contrary, “it will ruin your life.”
In the third part of his book, Zhao summarizes the painful lessons learned from the Cultural Revolution and warns of the disasters the American Culture Revolution could bring about, including the persecution of people for having different political views, the distortion of history, the destruction of culture, the brainwashing of children, the recruitment of talent based on skin color or political appearance, the ending of technological innovation, the stagnation of America’s innovation and technology, the collapse of its economy, and the impoverishment of its people.
The book, which is currently available on Amazon, is one Zhao hopes will be a wake-up call to fans of socialism, and a useful tool for conservative parents who wish to discuss the subject with their children, relatives, friends, and neighbors.