Four Olds

Four Olds

The Four Olds or the Four Old Things (zh-stp|s=四旧|t=四舊|p=sì jiù) were Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. One of the stated goals of the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China was to bring an end to the Four Olds.Spence, Jonathan. "The Search for Modern China". 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1999. p575] It started in Beijing on August 20, 1966.Law, Kam-yee. [2003] (2003). The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: beyond purge and Holocaust. ISBN 0333738357]


The only Chinese name is "破四旧", but a number of different English translations have been used to describe the series of campaigns:

*Anti-Four Olds [Lo, Ruth Earnshaw. Kinderman, Katharine S. [1980] (1980). In the Eye of the Typhoon. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich publishing. University of michigan Digitized no ISBN Apr 10, 2006]
*Smash the Four Olds [Perry, Link. [1993] (1993). Evening Chats in Beijing. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393310655]
*Destruction of the Four Olds [Lu, Tonglin. [2002] (2002). Confronting Modernity in Cinemas of Taiwan and Mainland China. ISBN 0521806771]



The Communist Party of China set very loose guidelines in terms of classifying what was actually "old". As a result, anything that existed before 1949 was subject to being destroyed, including examples of centuries-old traditional arts. Anyone caught being in possession of "old goods" would suffer serious consequences from the Red Guards.Wen, Chihua. Madsen, Richard P. [1995] (1995). The Red Mirror: Children of China's Cultural Revolution. Westview Press. ISBN 0813324882]

Destruction of Chinese cultures and traditional values

Mao Zedong called for the Four Olds to be swept away at the very early stages of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Red Guards listened attentively to Mao’s call. As a result, examples of Chinese architecture were ransacked, Chinese literature and classics were burned, Chinese paintings were torn apart, antiquities were shattered. Many families' long kept genealogy books were burned to ashes. During that time, many ancient Chinese cultural things were destroyed forever. People in possession of these goods were punished. Intellectuals were targeted as personifications of the Four Olds, and sometimes they were mocked, harassed, imprisoned, tortured, or killed.

Upon learning that Red Guards were approaching the Forbidden City, Premier Zhou Enlai ordered the gates shut and troops posted, knowing of the Red Guard's reputation for destroying cultural objects.

Popular slogans

* “breaking down the four olds, setting up the four news (new versions of the same four concepts)” [ [ zongjiaoxinyang] ]
* “beating down the bad elements”
* “beating down imperialism”
* “beating down foreign religion”
* “beating down Jesus following”
* “beating down the counter revolutionists”

Communist Party response

No official statistics have ever been produced by the Communist party in terms of reporting the actual cost of damage. By 1978, many stories of death and destruction caused by the Cultural Revolution had leaked out of China and became known worldwide. [Roberts, Richard H. [1995] (1995). Religion and the Transformations of Capitalism. Routledge publishing. ISBN 0415119170]


Starting in the 1990s and continuing into the 21st century, there has been a massive rebuilding effort underway to restore and rebuild cultural sites that were destroyed or damaged during the Cultural Revolution. However, a serious number of sources have already pointed to fakes and replicas created to generate wealth [ [ Chinafraud] ] , including major websites such as eBay and others demonstrating ways to spot hoax ceramics and other cultural items.

ee also

* Desinicization


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Olds, Wortman & King — Department Store U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Robin Olds — Col. Robin Olds with trademark mustache, Ubon RTAFB, Thailand. The missile is an AIM 9 Sidewinder with its seeker head covered …   Wikipedia

  • Hurst/Olds — 1979 Hurst Olds W 30 Hurst/Olds ist ein Automobil, das als Gemeinschaftsprojekt der beiden Unternehmen Hurst und Oldsmobile produziert wurde. Aufgrund der guten Zusammenarbeit in der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds — 1979 Hurst Olds W 30 Hurst/Olds ist ein Automobil, das als Gemeinschaftsprojekt der beiden Unternehmen Hurst und Oldsmobile produziert wurde. Aufgrund der guten Zusammenarbeit in der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oldsmobile Four — Hersteller: General Motors Produktionszeitraum: 1915–1922 Klasse: Mittelklasse Karosserieversionen: Roadster, zweitürig Coupé, zweitürig Tourer, viertürig Limousine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds — Following the success of Hurst components in Oldsmobile s 442 models, Oldsmobile, in collaboration with Hurst Performance of Warminster, Pennsylvania, produced special edition performance versions of the 442 or Cutlass Supreme, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Chauncey N. Olds — 8th Ohio Attorney General In office 1865 – January, 1866 Preceded by William P. Richardson …   Wikipedia

  • R. E. Olds Transportation Museum — Infobox Museum name = R.E. Olds Transportation Museum imagesize = map type = latitude = longitude = established = May, 1981 location = 240 Museum Drive Lansing, Michigan type = Transport visitors = director = Deborah Horstik curator =… …   Wikipedia

  • Baby Olds — Modell 42 Bild nicht vorhanden Produktionszeitraum: 1914–1915 Karosserieversionen: Roadster 2 Türen Tourenwagen 4 Türen Motoren: 3,15 l R4 20 bhp (15 kW) 3,2 l R4 30 bhp (22 kW) Länge: mm …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Champion Four Year Old Hurdle — Grade 1 race Champion Four Year Old Hurdle Location Punchestown Co. Kildare, Ireland Race type Hurdle race Sponsor Airshow 100 Website Punchestown …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.