Socialist Education Movement

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The Socialist Education Movement (simplified Chinese: 社会主义教育运动; traditional Chinese: 社會主義教育運動; pinyin: Shèhuìzhǔyì Jiàoyù Yùndòng, abbreviated 社教运动 or 社教運動), also known as the Four Cleanups Movement (simplified Chinese: 四清运动; traditional Chinese: 四清運動; pinyin: Sìqīng Yùndòng) was a movement launched by Mao Zedong in 1963 in the People's Republic of China. Mao sought to remove what he believed to be "reactionary" elements within the bureaucracy of the Communist Party of China, saying that "governance is also a process of socialist education." [1][2] On August 19, 1966, the campaign to destroy the Four Olds began in Beijing.[3]


The goal of the movement was to cleanse politics, economy, organization, and ideology (the four cleanups). It was to last until 1966. What this movement entailed was that intellectuals were sent to the countryside to be re-educated by peasants. They still attended school, but also worked in factories and with peasants.

The campaign is described by Donald Klein in the Encyclopedia Americana 2007 (Grolier Online), as a "nearly complete failure." Mao's dissatisfaction over this program's inefficacy set the stage for the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The People's Republic Of China: III
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Law, Kam-yee. [2003] (2003). The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: beyond purge and Holocaust. ISBN 0-333-73835-7