Perhaps a misued term, China's Generation X refers to the people who grew up in the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese social studies people aren't exactly too familiar with the details of Americana, to them Generation X meant "the Lost Generation", so the label stuck. Most Chinese who are around 50 years old belong to this Lost Generation.

The baby boom in the 1950's (thanks to Mao Zedong, which caused the population crisis we are all familiar with now) flooded China with a massive generation of youngsters which all grew up in the Cult of Mao. They all became the Red Guards in the late 60's, those crazy fools waving the Little Red Book around and fainting every time Mao was mentioned. Sounds like Beatlemania, but much more damaging.

It was this Generation X, which number up in the hundreds of millions, that was responsible for the chaos in China during the Cultural Revolution. They obeyed Mao and smashed "the Four Olds", a meaningless euphemism for everything anti-Mao. These young fools were little more than crude, abusive, power-hungry hooligans who used their new-found power to seek revenge against their enemies, the flames of hatred and the feeling of fear and paranoia were whipped by Mao Zedong, who really didn't give a rat's ass about China and the people who live there, but was stuck in some strange ego-trip.

Anyways, the rapid deconstruction of the Cult of Mao made these youngsters disillusioned, hollow and angry at their sudden oust from power. Uneducated thanks to the Cultural Revolution, thought of as rude relics of a chaotic era people younger than them, they were China's Lost Generation, unable to cash in on China's new capitalist system. They're not nonstalgic, but some still suffer from the wrenching break with ideology, hardline Maoists thrust into a free market society. Some coped with the change, some didn't and was left behind to rot.

I know some of these people. They would mutter about their evil deeds in the Cultural Revolution and their youthful stupidity. They would bring me to places where they committed atrocities, the denounciations (read: torture), the beatings, the murders. Unable to break cleanly with so powerful a figure as Mao (he was more powerful than God back then), they continue to be tormented by past evils.

China's Lost Generation is a reminder of the evils of communism.

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