In 1963, China Youth published letters from youth on the topic of happiness. While some agreed that following the model of self-sacrifice exemplified by Lei Feng was the only way to be a happy revolutionary, others brought up contradictions in the approach to happiness promoted by the Chinese Communist Party. Through an investigation of happiness in Marxism and Maoism, the author analyzes the arguments put forward in the letters, concluding that by the early 1960s any notion of a unified revolutionary subjectivity was riddled with cracks. The young letter writers question the panreligious embrace of self-sacrifice, struggle, and misery, which can then be transformed into revolutionary happiness through willpower.

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