Jokes from the Cultural Revolution

Here are some of the jokes that flourished (underground) in China during the Cultural Revolution, a period of incredible hardship and human rights abuses. They're collected by Guo Qitao, a professor of Chinese history at UC Irvine.

Wang Hongwen went to see Marshal Zhu De, requesting him to hand over power. "You may take over, but only if you can make this egg stand upright," Zhu said, while handling him an egg.

After trying for several days, Wang was still unable to make it stand, so he went to see Deng Xiaoping for help.

"This is easy," said Deng, and he forcefully smashed the egg down into the table.

"Ai ya, it broke!" Wang exclaimed.

"Chairman Mao has said, 'nothing can stand without destruction,'" said Deng, "look, isn't the egg standing upright now?"

Translator's notes: The phrase "nothing can stand without destruction" was a revolutionary slogan that encouraged destruction of old, feudal things.

Jokes from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
(Part One)