Nigel Harris


The Mandate of Heaven


Part II
The People’s Republic


5. The Cultural Revolution

It seemed Chinese society had not been fundamentally changed. A new political order had been grafted on to the basic rural society. China was still not equipped to undertake sustained capital accumulation. The “three bad years” revealed a social structure hidden in the pre-1959 years of growth. Yet to tackle the problem head-on with a purge of the party was to risk the collapse of party rule itself, to destroy the basis of the power of Mao and the central leadership. Mao instinctively opted for a classical reformist strategy – the transformation of education, not the distribution of power. By this means, the “superstructure” would be brought into conformity with the needs of the “material base”.

What were the symptoms that the educational system needed reform? Young people were unaware of the barbarities of Kuomintang rule; they had grown up in the People’s Republic and were not grateful for its achievements. They were urged to listen to the old people tell of the past. The educational and cultural institutions would have to be reformed to accord with the need for accumulation. The present educational system imposed too many years of study, the content of which was irrelevant to the drive for output; it was also too expensive – 120 yuan per ordinary middle school student, in comparison to 6.80 yuan per agricultural middle school student. [68]

The educational curriculum must be changed, shortened and lightened not in order to eliminate expert technical knowledge but to oppose the cult of the expert, the demand for special privileges and consumption on the basis of formal qualifications. But, on the other hand: “Those who have no practical knowledge are pseudo-red, empty headed politicos.” [69]

Culture must be purged of diversity. The reality of life in China – such of it as was still reflected in literature, opera, film and radio – must be eliminated to create simple sagas of moral heroes totally devoted to the interests of the State. The changes in Chinese opera were only one form of this “aligning of the superstructure”. Pre-1949 writers, including some, like Confucius [70], much-praised by Mao himself, were banned. Yang Heng-sheng, former vice-chairman of the Federation of Literary and Art Circles, was condemned for praising Shakespeare, Molière and Ibsen, and Chao Feng for playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a work much appreciated by Lenin. The highest achievements of bourgeois culture were not to be absorbed into socialism, but eliminated lest they impede the effort to extort sacrifices.

We can only surmise at the motives which led Mao to take his case outside the party. All his life, he had endeavoured to protect and build the party. The disputes inside the party were not broadcast to the world at large until after they had been settled, when ignominy would be publicly heaped upon the defeated. But in the winter of 1965-6, Mao went far beyond this procedure to appeal to an audience outside the party to settle the dispute within it. Even the arguments within the party are not clear – we have only Mao’s side of the case. His closest followers for many years remained loyal to his own record; they attempted to defend the party against radical change lest it destroy the party and so the very basis for Mao’s own influence. Did Mao hope to create a new party from the youth, a body of cadres completely devoted to the cause of accumulation, or did he hope to do no more than scourge the provincial and national leadership as the basis for establishing a stronger loyalty to them and so the stability of the régime after his death (as he himself once suggested)? How far was the Cultural Revolution not planned at all, but merely the result of a sequence of events in which Mao felt himself increasingly hampered in the effort to reshape the party? Without access to the inner party discussions, the answers cannot be verified.

The recorded pretext was slight.

Mao’s wife, Chiang Ch’ing, claimed that in the autumn of 1965, a number of articles in literary criticism by Mao were refused publication in Peking. Mao was obliged to have them published in Shanghai. [71] Possibly on the basis of this experience, he concluded: “The central Ministry of Propaganda is the palace of the Prince of Hell.”

A “cultural revolution” was required: that is, a purge and rectification in the fields of propaganda, education and cultural work. The resistance of the Peking party was another problem, affecting directly the senior party leader concerned, P’eng Chen, deputy general secretary. The national centre, the Politburo, agreed to establish a Cultural Revolution Group, backed by the PLA, to supervise work teams to implement the programme.

However, as in the socialist education movement, the work teams compromised with leading officials. From April 1966 Mao publicly attacked particular individuals – P’eng Chen, Lu Ting-yi (Minister of Culture and chief of the Propaganda Department), and now Lo Jui-ch’ing, PLA Chief of Staff. In May, Mao secured from the Politburo dissolution of the Cultural Revolution Group, a revocation of its report, and the closure of all institutions of higher education for six months in order to reform the curricula. The students must be involved in the reform; and as an inducement, it was promised that students of worker or peasant origin would receive preference in higher education (although their share in higher education had already risen from thirty- six to sixty-seven per cent between 1957 and 1962).



(i) The revolution

There was another audience for these disputes within the party – the students themselves. Elements of what Mao had to say appealed directly to them, although for quite different reasons. The students were for “revolution”, but for the emancipation of people rather than productive forces. Indeed, many of them supported Mao in order to fight the social obsession with accumulation, the tyrannical work disciplines made necessary by that obsession. Some of them pursued aims the precise opposite to those of Mao – the desire for privilege without having to acquire technical competence. Now at last they were given an opportunity to torment their tormentors, the local instruments of the national plan, teachers, headmasters, professors. They were the tangible “persons in authority taking the capitalist road”, and any form of discipline must represent capitalism. From May, groups of students began seizing the schools and the dossiers upon which their future careers depended. [72] The work teams of the party attempted to defend a stable administration, and, as a result, were attacked both directly and through the Big Character posters that blossomed on the walls of the cities. The work teams likewise must be “those taking the capitalist road” inside the party. The work teams appealed to the party centre, which in turn attempted to defend the administration, without which the central production control system would break down. The “anti-party group” now came to include all or part of the central leadership of the party.

A Peking student – Nieh Yüan-tzu – in collaboration with Mao, provided the signal for an explosion of student militancy. Mao’s excitement was extreme. He had apparently found a brand new cadre force outside the old party: “Nieh Yüan-tzu’s big character poster of 25 May is the declaration of the Paris Commune of the Sixties of the Twentieth century; its significance far surpasses that of the Paris Commune.” [73] Suddenly, the rectification campaign began to recede in importance before the prospect of the transition to communism itself-just as the merging of the rural population in the Commune movement had in 1958 promoted the same utopian idea: “The present Cultural Revolution is a heaven-and-earth shaking event. Can we, dare we, cross the pass into socialism? This pass leads to the final destruction of classes and the reduction of the three great differences.” [74]

Mao and the students might raise the slogan, but workers and peasants still had to report for work each day. The maintenance of China’s output also required that the party continue its supervision, and if the party faltered under attack, the People’s Liberation Army was required to maintain elementary administration. The PLA, under Defence Minister Lin Piao, Mao’s strongest supporter at the centre, was not attacked. Indeed, military discipline – without talk of pay or reward – had become increasingly the ideal put forward by the party. Lin Piao and the PLA did not isolate Mao and, in return, Mao identified himself with the army. The main Cultural Revolution statements now appeared first in the leading army newspaper, Liberation Army Daily. Mao regularly appeared in army uniform (aped by the Red Guards), as did the other leading members of the reorganized Cultural Revolution group. The army was only three million strong, quite inadequate to change the cultural orientation of China. For that, a more widespread force was required, and one not tethered to the material interests of the majority, workers and peasants. If the majority were involved, they were liable to confuse cultural change with urgent material demands. If these were conceded, it would reduce accumulation. indeed, workers, peasants and soldiers reacted initially by opposing the student Red Guards, accusing them of being pampered children of the bourgeoisie. In the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, Mao instructed: “The workers, peasants and soldiers should not interfere with the students’ great Cultural Revolution” (23 August and 7 Sept. 1966). [75]

Throughout the first phase, there were hints by Mao of a party conspiracy to stifle the Cultural Revolution, based upon the link between the work teams and the party centre. The evidence for a conspiracy is little more than that the centre, like Mao, wished to protect production from being disturbed by student activities. But Mao was now responding to an audience whose expectations pushed and pulled him in other directions. The hints – such as dropping Liu Shao-ch’i’s name from its customary second rank to seventh at the first Red Guard rally – were still opaque, but became clearer in Mao’s first wallposter: “in the last fifty days or so, some leading comrades have enforced a bourgeois dictatorship and struck down the surging movement of the great People’s Cultural Revolution” and in the startling slogan, “Bombard the headquarters”. [76] There is a gap between the “comrades” criticized and the rhetoric of enforcing a “bourgeois dictatorship”, a gap of vagueness which permitted Mao complete freedom to manoeuvre, to speak the language of revolution while persisting in a programme of limited reforms.

The Eleventh Plenum of the party – when the central committee permitted admission to unelected Red Guards – sanctioned a sixteen point programme to guide the movement. The programme limited the Socialist Education Movement to basic production units, and the Cultural Revolution to cultural and educational bodies and leading party and government organizations in the cities. The Cultural Revolution should not be launched in basic production units, a point firmly repeated by Chou En-lai when he forbade Red Guards to enter factories and villages. [77]

Mao must have been already sensing the possible divergence of interests in the Red Guard movement and the potential for open warfare both between Red Guards and party and between different Red Guard factions. On the draft sixteen points he scribbled, “Do not beat people up.” [78]



(ii) Sound the retreat

By the autumn of 1966, with some eleven million students visiting Peking and others in other cities, with fighting between different Red Guard factions, with transport and food supplies strained to serve the students, Mao began to draw back, as quickly as he had done in 1947-8 when faced with the beginning of a peasant revolution: “I had no idea that one big character poster, the Red Guards and the big exchange of revolutionary experience would have stirred up such a big affair. Some of the students did not have a terribly good family background, but were our own family backgrounds all that good?” [79] As at the Lushan Plenum, to the senior leaders of the party he again confessed: “Since it was I who caused the havoc, it is understandable if you have some bitter words for me ... Perhaps the movement may last another five months, or even longer.” [80]

In fact, it was to last another two and a half years.

The Red Guards achieved another unexpected result. They forced a defensive reaction by the party leadership. Mao disingenuously complained: “I wanted to establish their prestige before I died. I never imagined that things might move in the opposite direction.” [81] Thus, on his own estimate, there had been no longer-term “capitalist road” conspiracy in the party, no permanent struggle between two lines; that was to be invented in later years, weaving past and current disagreements into a consistent historical record. Mao resented the defensive reaction of the provincial leaders, setting up “independent kingdoms”, like their warlord predecessors, and their failure to consult him: “It’s not so bad that I am not allowed to complete my work, but I don’t like being treated as a dead ancestor.” [82]

Nonetheless the irritations – despite the grandiose language which caught the imagination of the students – still did not mean that the “top persons” should be cast out: “Cliques and factions of whatever description should be strictly excluded. The essential thing is that they [the criticized leaders] should reform, that their ideas should conform, and that they should unite with us. Then things will be all right. We should allow Liu and Teng to make a revolution and to reform themselves.” [83] Or again: “We shouldn’t condemn Liu Shao-ch’i out of hand. If they have made mistakes they can change, can’t they? When they have changed, it will be all right. Let them pull themselves together, and throw themselves courageously into their work.” [84] The language of “bourgeois usurpation of the proletarian State” suddenly faded into “mistakes”; apparently, the potential capitalists could cease to perform their social role just by trying.

There were now many other forces and motives at work. Lin Piao and his supporters (the “Left”, led by the Cultural Revolution group) saw the chance to remove their main rivals within the party, Mao’s heir Liu Shao-ch’i and general secretary Teng Hsiao-p’ing. Lin Piao would then stand close to inheriting the supreme leadership on the retirement of Mao. Secondly, the party cadres disgraced by Liu and his wife during the socialist education movement now had a chance to destroy Liu, and secure their rehabilitation. Finally, the Red Guards, young and innocent, were prey to any ambitious leader prepared to speak in extreme terms. By October, the numerous Red Guard factions were involved in almost continuous warfare among themselves, manipulated by different party leaders. The one thing that could unite them was a common enemy, a scapegoat.

Thus, there were already powerful forces striving for Liu’s destruction. In October Mao decided that the sacrifice of Liu, Teng and the rest was required as the price of the survival of his own authority. Liu and Teng were obliged to make a public confession, accepting a version of the past that was clearly false – for example, that they alone were responsible for the changes introduced after the Great Leap Forward. The confession did them no good. Mao could no longer protect them. From December, Liu ceased to appear in public and retired to his State villa in Chung Nan Hai. Thus the head of State, central committee member, and heir to Mao, suddenly became a “capitalist roader”, the source of all ills for hundreds of millions of Chinese.



(iii) Workers intervene

From November 1966, the party centre made strenuous efforts to end the Red Guard movement. The students were directed to leave Peking, to “go on a Long March” to wherever they came from. To no avail. Having escaped from the dreary routine of school, the youth would not lightly return. Furthermore, their agitation was drawing in young workers, resentful that the new freedom to travel, discuss and avoid the tedium of work was restricted to those in full-time education. Once workers were involved, a mass of new demands appeared, no longer confined to the area of education. In somewhat desperate tones, the Cultural Revolution group repeated the instruction to “promote production” while “grasping revolution ... The production command system of the factories must not be interrupted.”

It was too late. Workers did leave production. Delegations flocked to Peking to present their demands, to show how they had been oppressed by Liu Shao-ch’i with poor wages and conditions. Many took strike action – in the Shanghai docks, on the railways, in transport, power stations, and elsewhere. [85] Free rail travel permitted thousands of those exiled to the rural areas to return to their cities legitimately, and to fuel the growing militancy on the streets.

The party centre denounced the agitation, blaming the strikes not on the objective conditions facing workers – the result of the State’s accumulation drive since 1949 – but on the “handful of party persons in authority taking the capitalist road”. “These capitalist roaders have been even fomenting strikes, instigating the masses who do not understand the actual situation to flock to the banks and withdraw their deposits by force.” [86] In the State where supposedly the self-conscious masses governed, it seemed absurdly easy to “mislead” them.



(iv) The army must save the country

The PLA endeavoured to hold the line. It was the only secure base of power for the leadership. But it was small, spread thinly, aware of the dangers lurking beyond China’s borders – Russian troops in the north and east, and a major US military operation in the south in Vietnam. Furthermore, some of the rebels attacked the soldiers, and possibly some of the soldiers were infected with the radical demands: they had their own persons in authority taking the capitalist road. The central authorities might urge that “no person or organization may attack the organs of the PLA”; that radio stations, prisons, warehouses, roads, bridges, banks and other important installations were out of bounds; they might forbid soldiers to participate in the Cultural Revolution. [87] But a real class struggle had broken out and it was not to be tamed by edict.

The PLA was instructed in January 1967 to intervene, not just to separate belligerents or protect installations, but to lead all legitimate organizations: “In all institutions where seizure of power has become necessary, from above to below, the participation of the PLA and militia delegates in the temporary organs of power of the revolutionary triple alliance is indispensable. Factories, villages, institutions of finance and commerce, of learning (including colleges, secondary and primary schools), party organs, administrative and mass organizations, must be led with the participation of the PLA ... Where there are not enough PLA representatives, these positions should better be left vacant temporarily.” [88] The task was to implement Mao’s latest thought: “Economize on consumption and carry on revolution. Protect the property of the country.” [89]

In the din, very little could be heard of what Mao actually proposed. So great was the “upsurge of bitterness” at the years of the party’s rule, it drowned all lesser questions. The press continued to divert all grievances towards one target – as one Shanghai newspaper urged its readers: “Concentrate the Greatest Animosity on ‘A Handful’ of Those at the Top”. [90] The effect on the youth was poignant. For example, one confessed: “Today I heard a class brother accuse counter-revolutionary revisionist Lo Jui-ch’ing of his crimes ... tears ran down my face and I was very angry. At that time, I looked at the Quotations of Chairman Mao in my hand, and thought that, but for Chairman Mao and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution led by him, how could we be able to accuse Lo Jui-ch’ing here? This deepened my reverence and adoration for Chairman Mao.” [91] Mao meanwhile was endeavouring to restore the position of the battered party cadre: “The old cadres before the power struggle and the new cadres after it should co-operate in working together and preserve the secret of the State.” [92] The method of winding down the “peasant war” of 1947-8 had been to admit middle and rich peasants and landlords into the poor peasant leagues. Now Mao attempted a similar tactic – to build a new organization with the old party and the new rebels, held together by the PLA: a “triple alliance” which subsequently became the revolutionary committees. The party held power and commanded the structures, so that it would inevitably master the incoherent and fluid rebelliousness of the “mass organizations”.

To help matters along, the press declared in March that many good cadres had been wrongly dismissed by Liu Shao-ch’i, but that now the revolution had triumphed, they could return. Furthermore, the press deplored “indiscriminate attacks on all persons in authority” since this “robs the nation of the mature political and organizational skills of experienced men”. [93] Petty corruption and even a bad work style were now small details in comparison to the threat to the State. Mao added his quotation to clinch the point: “We must believe that more than ninety per cent of our cadres are good or comparatively good.” [94] He drew the limits more sharply: “The method of simply rejecting everything and negating everything, of directing the struggle against cadres who shoulder most of the responsibilities and do most of the work or against the “heads [of departments] must be abandoned.” [95] In mid-1966 Mao had compared the movement to the Paris Commune. Now he rejected any idea of a Shanghai Commune.



(v) Sheng-wu-lien

In the upsurge of late 1966, the workers lacked any organization which could present their demands, whether trade union or independent political party. It was the strength of the State, with its monopoly of armed power and serried ranks of disciplined bureaucrats, which meant it would inevitably win unless alternative organizations were created.

The longer instability continued, the more likely some such organization would be created. Then the fears of the leadership would become a reality – there would exist, in their terms, a “counter-revolutionary” alternative. A number of organizations arose spontaneously which aspired to champion the revolt. One of the most interesting was Sheng-wu-lien, the Hunan Provincial Proletarian Revolutionary Great Alliance Committee.

This Hunan federation of organizations was attacked by most of the central leadership. Minister of Public Security K’ang Sheng expressed their indignation: “They describe the State and the party led by Chairman Mao as a privileged class, similar to Khrushchev’s party ... They say the Great Cultural Revolution has just begun, that the Great Cultural Revolution in the past was merely reformism, and that it has really begun only since the emergence of ‘Sheng-wu-lien’ ... They say that the provincial revolutionary committees and preparatory groups for these committees set up in the Great Cultural Revolution are all reformists ... In this way, isn’t Chairman Mao’s thought reformism too? In this way, they slander our great leader, Chairman Mao.” [96]

Sheng-wu-lien’s case was as follows. China was governed by a “bureaucratic bourgeoisie”, a decaying class of “Red” capitalists who were hindering the progress of history. A revolution, according to Lenin, was a change in the classes governing a country, yet in China the attack had been solely on particular individuals, not on the State itself: “As a result, the fruit of the revolution was in the final analysis taken by the capitalist class ... The revolution by dismissal of officials is only bourgeois reformism which changes in a zigzagging way the new bureaucratic rule before the Cultural Revolution into another kind of bourgeois rule of bourgeois bureaucrats.”

The triple alliance, the revolutionary committees, amounted “to a reinstatement of the bureaucrats already toppled in the January revolution. Inevitably, it will be the form of political power to be usurped by the bourgeoisie, in which the local and national bureaucrats are to play a leading role.” Of course, great claims were made by the party, but “The bourgeoisie always represent the form of political power of their rule as the most perfect flawless thing in the world that serves the whole people. The new bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the brutes of the Right-wing of the petty bourgeoisie who depend on them are doing exactly that.”

As a result of this analysis, “the real revolution, the revolution to negate the past seventeen years, has basically not yet begun.” Its task was not reform or the removal of selected individuals, but: “The rule of the new bureaucratic bourgeoisie must be overthrown by force in order to solve the problem of political power. Empty shouting about realizing the May 7th directive [Mao’s instruction on the rectification of the army] without any reference to the seizure of real power and the utter smashing of the old State machinery will of course be a ‘utopian’ dream.” The question therefore became one of armed struggle against the party. “Before the Cultural Revolution, the bureaucrats dared not really hand over arms to the people. The militia is only a façade behind which the bureaucrats control the armed strength of the people. It is certainly not an armed force of the working class, but a docile tool in the hands of the bureaucrats.” The aim was to destroy the bourgeois class, to create a “new society free from bureaucrats”, one People’s Commune of China. [97]

It is understandable that the party leadership were alarmed at this startling reappearance of Leninism after all the years of cultural control and social discipline. All efforts were now bent to root out this “counter-revolutionary Hotch Potch” as a leading Hunan newspaper described it.



(vi) The Long March back

The rebels became more violent and embittered. They had been promised a revolution, but were now faced with most of the old faces at the local level. The PLA could provide no guide as to what “Mao Tse-tung thought” meant. General Chen Tsai-tao, the Wuhan commander, backed the wrong group, the One Million Heroes Rebel Group for the “triple alliance”, and was said to have imprisoned Peking’s emissaries a (Minister of Public Security Hsieh Fu-chih, and Propaganda Chief Wang Li) who were sent to remonstrate with him. The Red Guards stayed in Peking, fighting, attacking foreigners, and in August sacked the office of the British chargé d’affaires, to the government’s embarrassment.

In the summer of 1967 Mao made a tour through China. He concluded: “it is said that there is no civil war in China, but I think there is ... This is an armed struggle.” [98]

Lin Piao reported that a thousand houses in Kwangsi had been razed to the ground because no one would let the fire-fighting equipment be used. Chiang Ch’ing said the siege of Kwangsi had lasted two months, and Mao reported that “in Szechuan, the fighting is real war. Each side has tens of thousands of men. They have rifles and cannon.” He deplored the way cadres were forced to kneel and wear dunce’s hats, for they were not the same as landlords; yet it was Mao who had identified bad cadres as an exploiting class, the bourgeoisie. There were even people, he said, who “instigated the soldiers to oppose their superiors, and saying that while you are making only six yuan [RMB] a month, the officers are making much more and enjoying the luxury of riding in automobiles”. [99]

A year later, he was again attempting to force the Red Guards back to their localities of origin. He summoned the four leading members to tell them firmly: “I am the black hand that suppressed the Red Guards.” [100] Lest they lied when they reported back to their followers, he had the reproof tape-recorded: “Otherwise you might just quote what you pleased on your return. If you do, I’ll just release the recording.” [101]

Progress was, for the leadership, agonizingly slow. Twenty-two revolutionary committees were to have been created by January 1968 but, in fact, only seven existed by then. The old cadres were not easily accepted by the mass organizations, and there were now many new rivals for power – both old cadres and new “rebels”. The civil war seemed to break out in new areas as soon as it had been mastered in one place. in June 1968, the forty-one corpses washed up in Hong Kong bore witness to continuing conflict. There was a conspiracy to seize the railways. In July, railwaymen were said to have attacked a station in Canton, stealing arms and calling the PLA a “royalist army”. [102]

If any faction in the leadership had considered persisting in attempts to unseat the national centre, the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 gave reason to hesitate. The Russian forces concentrated on China’s northern borders could be used for a similar exercise against China, and in 1969 armed clashes between Russian and Chinese troops on the Ussuri and Amur rivers made it urgent to restore order.

In April 1969, the Ninth Party Congress met to clear up the debris, to attempt to restore some of the decimated national leadership in the face of the Russian threat. The destruction had been, whether Mao intended it or not, severe. A Western account estimates that, of the ninety-three full members of the central committee elected at the Eighth Congress, fifty-four had been purged after 1966, including four of the six first secretaries of the regional bureaux of the central committee, and twenty-three of the twenty-nine provincial party secretaries. At least some of the Central Committee members must have recalled Khrushchev’s speech on Stalin’s rule to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist party. But people had not been killed, and in the years following, many of those disgraced were allowed to return quietly to positions of authority.

The purge of the armed forces had been relatively light. At the Ninth Congress, the PLA was rewarded for having held the line. Of the 170 full members of the new central committee, exactly half came from the PLA, and only eighteen per cent from the “rebel mass organizations”. On the Politburo, there was again exactly half the members from the PLA (twelve), with nine from the party, and three from “mass organizations”.

The Cultural Revolution was important in revealing the reality of China. The twin bases of power, the PLA and the party, survived intact. It would have been impossible to sustain production if either had been seriously damaged. The economy did not go through the wild fluctuation that occurred during the Great Leap Forward – in the worst year for external trade, 1967, exports fell by twelve per cent. Other key institutions escaped disruption. Scientific research did not suffer; China made its sixth hydrogen bomb test in June 1967, and there were rumours of a seventh in December. A year later, a test was officially announced: “hundreds of millions of revolutionary people throughout the country are greatly inspired by the happy news that China has successfully conducted a new hydrogen bomb test.” [103]

We are left with a paradox – a reform movement described in revolutionary terms, moving into a popular revolution outside the control of the party, but eventually frustrated. The paradox promotes selfcontradiction as, for example, in the account of a French supporter of Mao (whose final chapter is headed, “The Victory of Moderation”): “It is no longer possible to dispute that the Cultural Revolution really was a revolution ... The movement called into being was so strong that it almost became another revolution, sweeping away the Communist Party.” [104]

The task, as he saw it, was to awaken “political consciousness” while “saving the revolutionaries from their besetting temptation to exploit the revolution for their own pleasure”; or “to give the Chinese the taste for peaches, and to keep all the fruit on the tree”.




68. 13 February 1964, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.206-7

69. Ibid., p.203: cf. also 5 July 1964, ibid., p.248

70. 13 February 1964 – Mao praises Confucius as a model of educational simplicity; in Mao Papers, p.93

71. The articles criticized the work of historian Wu Han, deputy mayor of Peking; Kuo Mo-jo, President of the Academy of Sciences; and later Teng T’o, former editor of JMJP; cf. Miscellany II, pp.456-7

72. cf. Interview with former Canton Red Guard by Tariq Ali, in International, 3, London, Summer 1974, pp.35-9

73. July 1966, in Mao Papers, p.24

74. July 1966, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.254

75. 23 August 1966, in Mao Papers, p.36; repeated, 7 September Directive of the central committee, ibid., p.130; repeated 11 September

76. In SCMP, 3997

77. 15 September 1966, SCMP 3785, pp.3-5

78. 31 July 1966, in Mao Papers, p.129

79. October 1966, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.268. See also ibid., p.271, and Mao Papers, p.43

80. Ibid., p.271

81. Ibid., p.270

82. Ibid., pp.266-7

83. Ibid., p. 267

84. Ibid., p.268; cf. also “Nor can we put all the blame on Comrade Shao-ch’i and Comrade Hsiao-p’ing”, ibid., p.274, and slightly different translation, Mao Papers, p.45

85. For details of some of the strikes, cf. on fortnight’s dock strikes, Hung-ch’i, 1 February 1967, SCMM 564; railway strikes, Shanghai to Hangchow and Nanking, 30 December-10 January 1967, NCNA, 9 February 1967; Yangshupu power station strike, NCNA, 16 January 1967; Nanking transport strike, NCNA, 14 January 1967; Taching oil field strike, NCNA, 15 January 1967; Shanghai No. 17 textile mill strike, NCNA, 9 January and 28 January 1967; Shanghai glassmaking machinery factory strike, NCNA, 15 January 1967; Shanghai No. 2 camera plant – because of strike, “only 9.2 per cent of the target was completed”, NCNA, 17 February 1967; Peking No.2 machine tool plant, JMJP, 2 February 1967, SCMP 3881

86. cf. Wen Hui Pao, 18 January 1967, SCMP, Supplement 164, 28 February 1967, p.24, stress added

87. Central Committee, Circular concerning prohibiting directing the spearhead struggle against the armed forces, 14 January 1967

88. Order of the Central Military Commission, 28 January 1967, and also Regulations of the Central Military Commission on the seizure of power in the armed forces, 16 February 1967; and also Document of the Central Committee, State Council and Central Military Commission, 19 January 1967 and 26 January 1967

89. JMJP, editorial, 26 January 1967, in Mao Papers, p.134

90. Chieh-fangJ P, 8 May 1967, SCMP 191, 14July 1967, p.28

91. Chan Pao (Battle News), 18 January 1967, SCMP 165,10 March 1967, p.25

92. 27 January 1967, in Mao Papers, p.48

93. Hung-ch’i, 22 February 1967

94. 13 May 1967, in Mao Papers, p.154

95. 12 June 1967, ibid., p.141

96. 24 January 1968, in SCMP 4136

97. All citations in this section from Whither China?, document of Sheng-wu-lien, SCMP 4190; extract republished in International Socialism 37, June-July 1969, pp.23-7

98. Dialogues during an inspection tour, July-September 1967, in Miscellany II, p.464: cf. also “A wind of armed struggle is developing in several regions”, JMJP, 19 August 1967

99. Ibid., p. 465

100. Capital Red Guard Congress, 28 July 1968, Miscellany II, p.480

101. Cited from Long Live Mao Tse-tung thought, by Roderick McFarquhar, The Times, 5 September 1973

102. San-chün Lun-wei Chan-pao 9, 7 September 1968, in SCMP 4338, 15 January 1969

103. NCNA, 29 December 1968, SCMP 4331, 6 January 1969

104. Jean Esmein, The Chinese Cultural Revolution (translated from French), New York, 1973, p.330


Last updated on 9.7.2001