A philosophical analysis informed by history, this work examines the reasons for the highly destructive behavior of the Red Guards in the early part of China's Cultural Revolution. By probing the political, educational, and psychological factors influencing the Red Guards, Jing Lin sheds light on how teenagers and young adults were able to justify violence in the name of class struggle and human rights. She concludes that non-critical, categorical thought--buttressed by the political and educational systems--was pivotal. Jing Lin introduces the work with a discussion of democratic and non-democratic thought, and of the Red Guards' views about class struggle, authority and justice. She then examines the theory behind Mao's totalitarian rule. Chapter Three is devoted to schools, and their decisive role in developing the Red Guards. The psychology of the Red Guards follows: Lin details how concepts of the proletariat, class enemies, and intellectuals nurtured habits of aggression and obedience. In concluding, Lin suggests how to foster critical and democratic thinking in Chinese education. This book is a valuable resource for students of Chinese history, revolution, political psychology, and education.