Home Issues Current Issue A Marginal Group in the Power Field: The Rise and Fall of the Rebels in Local Cultural Revolution in Yichang, Hubei Province
A Marginal Group in the Power Field:
The Rise and Fall of the Rebels in
Local Cultural Revolution
in Yichang, Hubei Province
Abstract: Central power struggles, key areas and leaders have dominated in the studies on the Cultural Revolution. This article instead focuses on Yichang, Hubei province, a marginal city far from the politic center to reveal how the fate of the local rebels as a marginal group had been shaped by the local, regional and central politics.
The rebels stood its ground from the attack of the conservatives and then split into ‘Steel’ and ‘New’ because of the split of the Wuhan Rebels, sidelined by the military and old cadres when they competed in ‘seizing power,’ which was followed by the rebels’ brutal persecution by the ruling military. Briefly riding on a triumph after the establishment of the revolutionary committee, they all destined to fall.
This article compares the different roles but same fate of the 'orthodox' political rebels and the rebels based on 'economism' platform. It reviews the rise and fall of the rebels, with a special attention to the various options the military had under different political situations. I show that the role of the rebels had been passive and marginal all along in various stages of the power struggle. The Yichang case sheds light on the life and fate of the rebels in marginal areas. It helps us to further understand the local origins of the Cultural Revolution, its protracted process, and the role of the military intervention in the local Cultural Revolution.
 
Current Issue
MCS cover 2018-issue1
ISSN 2160-0295 (Print)
ISSN 2160-0317 (Online)