Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei in an interview, warned that the United States is becoming an authoritarian state without being fully aware of it. 

“In many ways, you’re already in the authoritarian state. You just don’t know it,” Weiwei said when he discussed the current conditions in the United States in an interview with PBS that premiered on Nov. 12. 

“Many things happening today in United States can be compared to Cultural Revolution in China. Like people trying to be unified in a certain political correctness,” he added, noting that it could be harmful to society.

“You don’t—you don’t have to act on anything. You just think you’re purified by certain ideas that you agree with it … That is posing dangers to society, to an extreme divided society.” Weiwei said.

The Chinese dissident suggested political correctness arose as the U.S.started to take its policies and politics to a global scale.

“I think, for a long time, the West’s material. We have much more than we needed. And we are not caring about global situation. But, eventually, all the policies and the politics we play has to be examined under the global situation,” he said.

Plagued by efforts to make regulations based on world situations, WeiWei believed the United States and the West, in general, were losing their upper hand to China.

“In China, we have a wisdom—to deal with anything, you have to be strong yourself. I don’t think West is strong themself enough to deal with China,” he said. “… I don’t think the United States has the ability to really examine the situation of its own moral and start behaving.”

The Cultural Revolution was one of the most bloody periods in Chinese history, The Guardian reported. Mao Zedong kicked off the campaign in 1966 and urged people to “clear away the evil habits of the old society.”

The Red Guards of students and teenagers were formed and started killing and destroying property guided by Mao’s direction to eliminate “old ideas, old customs, old habits and old culture.”

The brutal era wrapped up 10 years later in 1976 with an estimated two million deaths. The Red Guards dissolved partially when Mao himself finally grew to dislike the extreme direction the group was heading after years of inaction and ordered military interference.

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