Anti-rightists, capitalist roaders, occupiers

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a book review of a book about Deng Xiaoping.

China’s “anti-rightist” campaign of 1957 and its Cultural Revolution of 1966, which purged “capitalist roaders”, share lineage and doctrine with this month’s Occupy Wall Street movement.

The anti-rightist campaign targeted “those intellectuals who appeared to favour capitalism and class divisions and [who were]against collectivization.” (Wikipedia).

Rightists were in favor of capitalism, accepted wealth inequality and opposed collectivization. They were persecuted, imprisoned, purged, snuffed out, looted, intimidated, harassed  and bullied.

A “capitalist roader” favored capitalism. They “would eventually restore the political and economic rule of capitalism; in other words, these forces would lead a society down a “capitalist road”. (Wikipedia) “Capitalist roaders suffered the same murders and indignities as “rightists.”

Two good books about the horrors that ensued from Chinese egalitarian impulses are Wild Swans and Red Scarf Girl.

Estimated number of deaths due to China’s egalitarians: 60 million.


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