Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which gripped China in
its tectonic embrace from 1966 to 1977, was one of the most traumatic political movements of the
20th century. Because it turned child on parent, friend on friend, and colleague on colleague,
it left a poisonous residue of unresolved grievances that even today have not dissipated.

The Chinese photographer Li Zhensheng lived through this period of
grand madness in Manchuria and not only covered it for his paper, the Heilongjiang Daily, but recorded what happened for history, hiding those negatives that were politically sensitive in a cache beneath his apartment floor.

If Li’s photos vividly show us how disruptive this interlude of extreme “communist” politics was, they also remind us how complicit the Chinese were in the brutality of Mao’s revolution. The still unsettled nature of this Chinese bout of self-delusion and self-destructiveness raises the question of whether it is possible for a people who have allowed themselves to abuse one another so savagely to simply move on through avoidance and forgetting into a healthy future.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest