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 Always Courageously Advance Along Chairman Mao's Revolutionary Line In Literature and Art

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     All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants and soldiers; they are created for the workers, peasants and soldiers and are for their use.

- MAO TSETUNG


Always Courageously Advance Along Chairman Mao's Revolutionary Line In Literature and Art



Commemorating the "Summary of the Forum on the Work in Literature and Art in the Armed Forces With Which Comrade Lin Piao Entrusted Comrade Chiang Ching"

by Hung Wen and Hsueh Ching in the office under the direct administration of the navy

Source: Peking Review, No. 20, May 16, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


  Holding aloft the great red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought, Comrade Chiang Ching convened a forum on the work in literature and art in the armed forces in Shanghai in February 1966 at a time when the proletariat was engaged in a sharp struggle against the bourgeoisie in China. Entrusted to Comrade Chiang Ching by Comrade Lin Piao, this forum handed the counter-revolutionary revisionist line a decisive blow and occupies an extremely important place in the history of China's cultural revolution. The summary of the forum was examined and revised by Chairman Mao three times and made public in May 1967. (It was published in "Peking Review." No. 23, 1967)
  Comrade Lin Piao pointed out that this summary "applies Mao Tsetung Thought to answer many important questions concerning the cultural revolution in the period of socialism. It is of both extremely great practical and far-reaching historic significance,"
  Following is a slightly abridged translation of a commemorative article recently printed in "Renmin Ribao."—Ed.

GUIDED by Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, the workers, peasants and soldiers have become the real masters of the socialist stage. The birth of the eight revolutionary model theatrical works,* which were personally fostered by Comrade Chiang Ching, the piano music The Red Lantern with Peking opera singing and the big revolutionary oil painting Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan — which were later created — has once and for all "reversed this reversal of history" during which "the stage is dominated by lords and ladies and their pampered sons and daughters." Taking advantage of the excellent situation in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, thousands of amateur literature and art Mao Tsetung Thought propaganda teams composed of workers, peasants and soldiers, with the force of a mighty torrent, have cleared away the foul morass of all the exploiting classes. They sing and act for our era. More than that, contingent after contingent of industrial workers and their ally — poor and lower-middle peasants — have themselves mounted the political stage to lead the struggle-criticism-transformation in the superstructure and are performing a hitherto unwitnessed earth-shaking great epic. This is a truly magnificent scene!
  A revolution "to root out all exploiting-class ideologies, which poison the minds of the people" as pointed out by the "Summary of the Forum on the Work in Literature, and Art in the Armed Forces With Which Comrade Lin Piao Entrusted Comrade Chiang Ching" three years ago, is now being waged victoriously and in a deep-going way.
  Our great leader Chairman Mao teaches us: "Historical experience merits attention." And he recently emphasized that "it is necessary to sum up experience conscientiously."
    
  Why after the founding of New China was the most complete; most thoroughgoing and most correct Marxist-Leninist line in literature and art, formulated by Chairman Mao in his Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art over 20 years ago, not carried out in most cases by literary and art circles?
  Why could not this "epoch-making beginning in the revolutionization of the old opera" pointed out by Chairman Mao in his "Letter to the Yenan Peking Opera Theatre After Seeing Driven to Join the Liangshan Mountain Rebels" as early as January 1944 (see Peking Review, No. 23, 1967) be made a common practice "which will prevail throughout the country" in some ten years after liberation?
  Why did the shadow of the class enemies which had been driven off the stage of history still linger on and they even dominate the stage in our literature and art?
  Why did the workers, peasants and soldiers have virtually no place on this stage and why was socialist literature and art trampled on, put down and throttled for well over ten years after the founding of New China?
Why. . . ?
  The Summary resoundingly answered this series of questions by using invincible Mao Tsetung Thought. Analysing the situation in the sharp, complex and fierce class struggle on the literary and art front since liberation in an all-round, penetrating and correct way, it unearthed a sinister counter-revolutionary revisionist line in literature and art which was opposed to Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in this field.
  Working in collusion with the handful of other Party capitalist roaders to restore capitalism, the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi used the leadership they had usurped in the cultural departments to frantically thrust forward this sinister counter-revolutionary revisionist line in literature and art. They did their utmost to peddle feudal, bourgeois and revisionist wares in the field of socialist literature and art, creating a miasma in the literary and art world and repeatedly launching wild attacks on the young dictatorship of the proletariat.
  The struggle between the two lines on the literary and art front for more than ten years in the past is a struggle between the two classes for leadership, a struggle between restoration and counter-restoration. What the class enemies really want is to breach the outpost of literature and art in order to get back their lost paradise. They want to seize the political stage by means of literature and art.
  Since the founding of New China, our great leader Chairman Mao has many times personally initiated and led the militant revolutionary criticism of feudal and bourgeois literature and art around the struggle between political lines. Chairman Mao's great works, such as "Give Serious Attention to the Discussion of the Film The Life of Wu Hsun," "Letter Concerning Studies of The Dream of the Red Chamber," and "Two Instructions Concerning Literature and Art," (see Peking Review, No. 23, 1967) are resplendent milestones in the course of the struggle between the two lines on the literary and art front since the founding of New China.
  Criticizing and repudiating various reactionary ideologies of the exploiting classes while leading these important struggles, Chairman Mao has particularly emphasized exposing and repudiating their expression in the Party. He has sharply pointed out their reactionary political line and incisively elaborated the basic Marxist view that all class struggles are political struggles. Raising the class struggle on the literary and art front to the plane of political power, he has time and again warned the whole Party and dealt heavy blows to the sinister counter-revolutionary revisionist line in literature and art represented by Liu Shao-chi.
  In "Give Serious Attention to the Discussion of the Film The Life of Wu Hsun," Chairman Mao denounces this reactionary film for its "reactionary propaganda vilifying the revolutionary struggle of the peasants, the history of China and the Chinese nation." He immediately follows this with the cutting statement: "Some have even capitulated to these reactionary ideas. Is it not a fact that reactionary bourgeois ideas have found their way into the militant Communist Party?"
  In the "Letter Concerning Studies of The Dream of the Red Chamber," Chairman Mao indignantly reviewed the many struggles on the literary and art front before 1954 and concentrates criticism on the handful of the agents of the bourgeoisie in the Party. He points out: "They form a united front with bourgeois writers on the basis of idealism and become willing captives of the bourgeoisie. It was almost the same when the films Inside Story of the Ching Court and The Life of Wu Hsun were shown."
  It was none other than Liu Shao-chi, the initiator and chief backer of the sinister line in literature and art, who exalted as "patriotic" the Inside Story of the Ching Court which is in fact a film of national betrayal. It was none other than Liu Shao-chi and his gang, agents of the bourgeoisie in the Party, who formed "a united front with bourgeois writers on the basis of idealism." The enemy inevitably makes last-ditch struggles. Severely criticized by Chairman Mao on several occasions, Liu Shao-chi and his gang became even more unbridled in pushing their sinister counterrevolutionary revisionist line in literature and art and opposing Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in literature and art.
  In 1962, our great leader Chairman Mao issued the militant call:  "Never forget class struggle."
  Again in 1963 and 1964, in the two instructions concerning literature and art, Chairman Mao issued militant calls to march against the sinister counter-revolutionary revisionist line. In his instruction of December 12, 1963, Chairman Mao piercingly pointed out: "In many departments very little has been achieved so far in socialist transformation. The 'dead* still dominate in many departments."
  In an instruction issued on June 27, 1964, Chairman Mao further pointed out that, "in recent years" many departments where the power was usurped by the sinister line in literature and art "have slid right down to the brink of revisionism. Unless they remould themselves in real earnest, at some future date they arc bound to become groups like the Hungarian Petofi Club."
  The instructions Chairman Mao issued in the course of the struggles on the literary and art front have all called attention to the crucial fact that contention for leadership is the essence of the struggle. This enabled us to finally see through this sinister line in literature and art and to fight to bury it.
Responding to our great leader Chairman Mao's calls to battle, Comrade Chiang Ching has charged courageously forward to the frontline of class struggle.

After prolonged and systematic investigation and study and a profound analysis of the history of the struggle between the two lines in literature and art, Comrade Chiang Ching led the Shanghai proletarian revolutionaries in breaking through the many obstacles sol up by the counter-revolutionary revisionist clique and launching a fierce attack against the sinister line. Then she organized the criticism of the play Hai Jui Dismissed From Office, which was a most poisonous weed. This blasted open the key citadel of this counterrevolutionary revisionist clique and shook the whole counter-revolutionary front. It also inspired and mobilized the workers, peasants and soldiers and strategically prepared public opinion for the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
  Because it was a sharp struggle for power, Liu Shao-chi and the counter-revolutionary revisionist clique he supported and manipulated — with those like Peng Chen, Lu Ting-yi, Chou Yang, Lin Mo-han in it — attacked and persecuted Comrade Chiang Ching and the proletarian revolutionaries. Even after Chairman Mao had pointed out that "the crucial point" of the play Hat Jui Dismissed From Office "is 'dismissed from office,'" they went on spreading rumours and lies and made phoney criticism and self-examinations. Finally, in a last desperate effort in February 1966, they came up with the "February Outline" — a counterrevolutionary proclamation to smother all revolutionary criticism. This was done under the personal direction of Liu Shao-chi, the chief backer of the sinister line in literature and art.
  Thus the crucial moment for the proletariat to launch a general counter-attack against the bourgeoisie had arrived.
  Criticism of Hat Jui Dismissed From Office became an issue over which the two classes, the two lines and the two headquarters set the scene for tit-for-tat struggle. February 1966 was no ordinary month. Both the proletarian headquarters and the bourgeois headquarters were tensely engaged in strategic disposition.
  Almost at the very moment when Liu Shao-chi and Peng Chen were putting together their counterrevolutionary "February Outline" in Peking, Comrade Lin Piao entrusted Comrade Chiang Ching with calling and presiding over a forum in Shanghai on literary and art work in the armed forces. The Summary of Ibis forum was worked out. It is a historic document that holds high the great red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought. These then were the widely different orders from the two different headquarters.
  Illuminated by invincible Mao Tsetung Thought and in sharp opposition to the counter-revolutionary "February Outline," the Summary summed up trenchantly and in an all-round way the history of the struggle between the two lines on the literary and art front. It issued the militant order for waging the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. It bluntly pointed out that since the founding of the People's Republic of China literary and art circles had been "under the dictatorship of a sinister anti-Party and anti-socialist line which is diametrically opposed to Chairman Mao's thought. This sinister line is a combination of bourgeois ideas on literature and art, modern revisionist ideas on literature and art and what is known as the literature and art of the 1930s [in the Kuomintang areas of China]."
  Ideologically, this sinister line tried to corrupt and poison the proletariat with feudal, bourgeois and revisionist trash. Under many different signboards, it set loose for many years large numbers of ghosts and monsters which flooded our newspapers, radio, periodicals, books, textbooks, speeches, literary and art works, films, operas and plays, quyi balladry, fine arts, music and dance. One by one, it turned literary and art positions into reactionary strongholds for creating public opinion for restoring capitalism.
  Politically, this sinister line opposed the Party, socialism, and Mao Tsetung Thought; it opposed serving the workers, peasants and soldiers. It was a vital part of the counter-revolutionary revisionist political line represented by Liu Shao-chi. Those who pushed this line "have not carried out the policies of the Party. They have acted as high and mighty bureaucrats, have not gone to the workers, peasants and soldiers and have not reflected the socialist revolution and socialist construction." Instead, they energetically prepared counterrevolutionary public opinion for restoring capitalism.
  This sinister line also followed the revisionist organizational line of recruiting deserters and turncoats and forming cliques to work for its private interests and of corrupting and enticing people. It made reactionary literary and artistic persons of the 1930s its core to usurp leadership in every sphere of culture. It rallied feudal remnants of all descriptions, ghosts and monsters and many counter-revolutionaries around it, forming a counter-revolutionary faction and an independent underground kingdom hidden inside the revolutionary ranks. On the other hand, it frantically pushed the policy of the "three well-knowns and three highs"** and corrupted and wheedled literary and art workers to its side so that the whole literary and art world became a hot-bed for engendering revisionism and a tool for restoring capitalism.
  Following the great teachings of Chairman Mao, the Summary uprooted this influential sinister line. Its initiator and chief backer Liu Shao-chi was also exposed in the course of the mass movement in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
  Conclusive facts show that the handful of top persons in power in the Party taking the capitalist road represented by Liu Shao-chi tried in every way to have the landlords, the bourgeoisie and all kinds of ghosts and monsters perform on the stage of literature and art in all their frenzy, and they unrestrainedly pushed a sinister counter-revolutionary revisionist line. This conformed to their counter-revolutionary political needs in restoring capitalism. Making use of the dominant position of the landlord and capitalist classes in the cultural field, they waged last-ditch struggles against the proletariat. Chairman Mao teaches us: "To overthrow a political power, it is always necessary first of all to create public opinion, to do work in the ideological sphere. This is true for the revolutionary class as well as for the counter-revolutionary class." The ultimate reason the sinister line and its chief backer Liu Shao-chi boosted the Inside Story of the Ching Court and manufactured Hat Jui Dismissed From Office was to create counter-revolutionary public opinion to restore capitalism and overthrow the dictatorship of the proletariat.
  The Summary revealed the soul-stirring struggle between the two lines in literature and art, broke the landlord and bourgeoisie's monopoly over literature and art, and put Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in literature and art directly in the hands of the workers, peasants and soldiers. It wrote a militant prologue to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
  Responding to the great call in the Summary to "completely eliminate this sinister line," the workers, peasants and soldiers in the last three years wrathfully marched against the literature and art of the landlord and capitalist classes which had dominated and poisoned the working people for thousands of years, and shattered the counter-revolutionary revisionist clique headed by Liu Shao-chi, thereby shaking the world. In the proletarian spirit of thoroughgoing revolution, the Summary called on workers, peasants and soldiers to disdain all exploiting-class ideologies, Chinese or foreign, and first of all to wield the proletarian pen in sharp battle against the literature and art of the landlord and capitalist classes, to criticize and to struggle and make revolution against it. Magnificent flowers of proletarian literature and art have already blossomed in the course of thorough criticism of the old literature and art, and they will continue to blossom.
We must conscientiously sum up the historical experience of the struggle between the two lines on the literary and art front, continue to raise our consciousness in the struggle between the two lines, and resolutely implement and defend Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in literature and art with our lives. Steadfastly following Chairman Mao's great teaching "The proletariat must exercise all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in the realm of the superstructure, including the various spheres of culture," we must build all ideological and cultural positions into indestructible, red proletarian bulwarks to prevent and oppose revisionism for all time.

  * After a fierce struggle against the counter-revolutionary revisionists who had usurped the leading positions in literary and art circles and were backed by the handful of top capitalist loaders in the Party, the revolutionary artists led by Comrade Chiang Ching successfully created eight theatrical works on revolutionary themes. They are Taking the Bandits' Stronghold, On the Docks, The Red Lantern, Shachiapang and Raid on the White Tiger Regiment (Peking operas); The Red Detachment of Women and The White-Haired Girl (ballets) and Shachiapang (a symphonic work). Resplendent With Mao Tsetung Thought, these model works have been acclaimed by revolutionary people at home and abroad.
     ** Referring to well-known writers, actors and directors, high salaries, honorariums and bonuses.

Source: Peking Review, No. 20, May 16, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

  
  
  

 
 
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