Andrew Sullivan: “Mao’s model is instructive in another way. It shows you what happens when a mob is actually quietly supported by elites, who use it to advance their own goals. The Red Guards did what they did — to their friends, and parents, and teachers — in the spirit of the Communist regime itself. They murdered and tortured, and subjected opponents to public humiliations — accompanied by the gleeful ransacking of religious and cultural sites. In their attack on the Temple of Confucius, almost 7,000 priceless artifacts were destroyed. By the end of the revolution, almost two-thirds of Beijing’s historical sites had been destroyed in a frenzy of destruction against ‘the four olds: old customs, old habits, old culture, and old ideas.’”