Red Guards-some were overcome in battle; others were driven into remote regions of
China-all part of China's lost generation of youth.
Tool of Mao
In general, Mao Zedong picked the Red Guards, their function that is. They traveled
throughout China going to schools, universities, and institutions spreading the teachings
of Mao. They had a darker side however, as they were violent and oppressive to those who
went against the teachings of Mao, or those who criticized him.
The role of Red Guard was mainly to attack "the four olds" of society, that is
the old ideas, cultures, manners, and customs. Red Guards in Beijing and everywhere in
China had taken to the streets from their schools. They made posters, speeches, and
committed violent and indiscriminate acts in the name of the Cultural Revolution.
Mao met a million Red Guards formally in Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966. The people
in the crowd felt the Red Guards were "class enemies" who only wanted to hurt
and pillage their homes, and as a result, the people were attacked many of them. Carrying
portraits of Mao, the Red Guard marched through the streets and destroyed all the symbols,
which they thought were "feudal, capitalist, and radical". They named and
renamed street signs and buildings. Many people in realms of education, academic, media,
literature and punishment were abused as "Capitalist Roader" or
"anti-revolutionaries" and pillaged their house. In addition, the Red Guards
ransacked museums and destroyed old books and works of art. Many famous building like
temples and shrines and heritages was destroyed. 4,922 out of a total 6,843 were
These campaigns by the Red Guards could not help but cause ill feelings and opposition in
society. A clash between Red Guards and workers, peasants, and soldiers of People's
Liberation Army occurred in some regions. Being faced this, according to Mao's advice
Cultural Revolution Group and People's Daily told worker and peasants to cooperate with
students and fight. Such a call made campaign by Red Guards more enthusiastic. Red Guard
activity moved to local party organizations. Consequently it ended the political life of
many CCP members.
Red Guards were born from extraordinary social and historical backgrounds. Their
appearance made the "Cultural Revolution" more violent. It did great damage to
the party, nation, the people and themselves.
Vicitims who were Murderers
A great number of Red Guards acted according to the Cultural Revolution Authority because
of their trust in Mao. They were lacking a social experience, having infantile political
views, brainwashed into acting enthusiastically, and blindly led by Rin Biao and Jiang
Qing. In fact Rin and Jiang suggested Red Guards the enemy, the place and the way for
attack when they don't know whom to attack for enemy. They were used as anarchic weapon.
But most Red Guards except a few members didn't agree with committing such cruel activity.
They got to doubt of Cultural Revolution; they were changed from negative lookers to
positive participants. Some member showed the attitude that is against campaign, by which
they were attacked by other Red Guards.