How have historians interpreted Mao's motives for launching the Hundred Flowers Campaign?

It is important to first point out the sides of the argument. 

There are those who believe that it was part of the rectification policy of the CCP. Mao was keen to maintain close to the subjects and not establish an elite. 

On the other hand, there are those who argue it was a plot to weed out any opposition in the party. 

Philip Short suggests that Mao was trying to combine a "totalitarian system with democratic checks and balances". 

In my view, Mao was uncertain what the outcome of the plan would be. He wanted to maintain the CCP ideology and his position in power. It eventually evolved into a purge of critics, but I don't believe this was Mao's original intention. 

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