Socialist Education Movement
|History of the People's|
Republic of China (PRC)
|Generations of leadership|
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 reactionary elements within the bureaucracy of the Communist Party of China, saying that "governance is also a process of socialist education."
Chinese researchers have pointed out the movement resulted in at least 77,560 deaths, with 5,327,350 people being persecuted. In the movement, the relationship between Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi, the 2nd President of China and Mao's potential successor, deteriorated. Socialist Education Movement is regarded as the precursor of the Cultural Revolution, during which Liu was persecuted to death as a "traitor" and "capitalist roader".
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). During the Red August, the campaign to destroy the Four Olds began on August 19, 1966, in Beijing.
- Thought reform in the People's Republic of China, 1951-1952
- List of campaigns of the Communist Party of China
- List of massacres in China
- Seven Thousand Cadres Conference
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