Are red songs really just entertainment? You ask Bo (Xilai)! If this was purely entertainment, then Bo’s gang would not have enlisted so many troops and used so much resources to promote them. In the last few decades, I have met many Chinese people on both sides of the straits, and the cultural disparity between mainlanders, Hong Kongers and Taiwanese is extreme. Sometimes I wonder: what led to this yawning gap in the cultural values held among what’s supposed to be a homogeneous group? So don’t underestimate the power of red songs. They can inject the poison of the revolution and the utter disrespect of human rights into your blood!
As the masterminds of the Cultural Revolution pass on one by one and as their participants grow old, there are two things through which its legacy is passed on: firstly, this system, and secondly, red songs. If you want to bring back the Cultural Revolution along with its entire value system, you only need to bring back red songs. Sing on!
— Yale professor Chen Zhiwu (陈志武) on the toxicity of red songs