The conflict between the Maoists wanting to create a "Socialist Man" and those who objected to his emphasis on ideology rather than expertise, culminated in Mao launching the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1965 to counter his critics.
The Red Guards, mainly students and the army, was used for a campaign against old culture, old customs and old habits. Students and professionals were sent to the countryside to learn from the masses. Ideology (being Communist) was more important than having professional knowledge. Denunciations and slogans replaced rational debate.
The Cultural Revolution began a period of turmoil, weakened the Party and severely disrupted the economy and educational system. From the late 1960s, the tide began to turn. In 1975, the Party once again laid emphasis on greater social discipline and the need to build and industrial economy so that China could become a power before the end of the century.