The decade-long national psychoses the Chinese called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was the entirely predictable outcome of political correctness. Although China appears to have learned little from its lost decade, books like The Cowshed provide those in the West, or at least those capable of observing the trajectory of leftist discivilisationalists, with a nightmarish glimpse of the future should the current and ongoing war be lost. It’s true that the Red Guards make the abortive antifa pansies look like the tofu and bean sprout eaters they are, but the socialist education movement described in this memoir is the left’s masturbatory dream. A failure to prevail against it will be a failure for Western civilisation.
Ji Xianlin is weak on context (his appendix fizzles like a homemade antifa firecracker), but his account of what happened to him as the world turned upside down at Beijing University is powerful stuff. And it reinforces a point I’ve made for decades: socialism is pay packet envy (or versions of its psychological equivalents). The Cultural Revolution was ressentiment on a nationwide scale. Supressed feelings of envy and hatred were manifest in what Ji Xianlin termed the Law of Maximum Torment – that everything the Red guards did was calculated to inflict maximum pain on their victims – which is precisely the mind-set of our current sprouting of social justice warriorlets. They seek not to merely police words and thoughts, but to destroy the lives of those who have transgressed the immutable laws of 63 genders and equality between races.
The biggest mistake China made after Mao’s death, which brought an end to the entire debacle, was in allowing Red Guards to survive. The country would have been immeasurably better with their wholesale slaughter. The obvious lesson for the West is to destroy these vermin before they take control, an uphill task given their successful long march through the institutions. If this book doesn't gird your loins for the fight ahead, then you're probably better off booking your gender reassignment surgery now.