Mao Zedong China CHY4U
Mao Zedong People’s Republic of China, 1949-1976 Time Magazine, Feb. 7, 1949, 2013, http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19490207,00.html (May 27, 2013).
Agriculture • Communes • Goal: industrialize agriculture • Commune = 2000 – 20 000 households • Proletarianization of the peasantry • No private property, no private market • Some peasants were diverted from agriculture to make steel for industrialization: backyard furnaces • Famine killed 27-30 million people (people diverted from agriculture, food sent to cities)
1959 poster: “The commune is like a gigantic dragon, production is noticeable awe-inspiring.” Chinese Posters.net, Great Leap Forward, March 2013, http://chineseposters.net/themes/great-leap-forward.php (May 27, 2013).
Industrialization • Great Leap Forward • Plan to increase the economy in 15 years to the level of advanced industrial nations like Britain • 5-year plans • Nationalize all businesses, land, etc. • Build infrastructure, emphasize heavy industry (backyard furnaces) • Fed by the communes – food sent to cities (another contributor to artificial famine)
Opposition • After 1949, 20 million landlords (often KMT supporters), rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries were sent to prisons and labour camps • Note: KMT leadership fled to Taiwan, continued the Republic of China • Only one political party allowed - Communists
Landlord facing former tenants R. Keith Schoppa, Twentieth Century China: A History in Documents. 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Criticize the old world and build a new world with “Mao Zedong Thought” as a weapon, 1966. Chineseposters.net, Cultural Revolution, Aug. 2013, http://chineseposters.net/gallery/e15-699.php (Jan. 21, 2014).
Oppose economism: destroy the new counter- offensive of the capitalist class reactionary line, 1967. Ibid., http://chineseposters.net/gallery/e12-610.php
Foreshadowing “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained, and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” – Mao Zedong, 1927. Quoted in David Pietrusza, The Chinese Cultural Revolution (San Diego: Lucent Books, 1997), 16.
Cultural Revolution • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/09/99/china_50_years_of_communism/460953.stm • BBC News, Images of the Cultural Revolution, Sept. 30, 1999.
Mao’s Little Red Book (all 740 million copies of it) Peter Kelly, Documents that Changed the World Podcasts: Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, Sept. 13, 2012, http://www.washington.edu/news/2012/09/13/documents-that-changed-the-world-podcasts-maos-little-red-book/ (May 27, 2013); Paul Russell, Honestly, Who Hasn’t Read Mao’s Little Red Book?, Sept. 15, 2012, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/09/15/todays-letters-honestly-who-hasnt-read-maos-little-red-book/ (May 27, 2013); Powerhouse Museum, The Cultural Revolution: The Four Olds, N.d., http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/hsc/evrev/cultural_revolution.htm (May 27, 2013).
Cultural Revolution Context: By the 1960s the revolutionary spirit of the Great Leap Forward had started to decline and Mao faced criticism within the party because of the failure of GLF. This set up a power struggle within the party which Mao took great extremes to win. Mao appealed to ‘his’ people directly, not through the party.
Methods of ‘Revolution’ • Big character posters on propaganda trucks • Rallies (millions in Tiananmen Square) • Denunciations • Public parades of ‘enemies’ • Dunce caps • Placards • Burning books
Enemy People and Things • Traditional culture (e.g., Peking Opera, Confucian values) • Western people and things (diplomats attacked, jam, coffee, street names associated with imperialism) • Teachers attacked by their students • Old things (e.g, museums) In 1966 these Fransiscan nuns who had run an English school where diplomats’ kids attended were denounced and eventually deported. Carma Hinton, A Visual and Visceral Connection to the Cultural Revolution, The Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Neiman Reports, Spring 2004, http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/100890/A-Visual-and-Visceral-Connection-to-the-Cultural-Revolution.aspx (May 27, 2013).
Battle Song of the Red Guards “We are Chairman Mao’s Red Guards We steel our hearts in great winds and waves. We arm ourselves with Mao Zedong’s Thought To keep away all pests… Dare to struggle, Never stop making revolutionary Rebellion. We will smash the old world And keep our revolutionary state for ten thousand generations.” Quoted in Zelinski, Draper, Quinlan, McFadden, Twentieth Century Viewpoints: An Interpretive History (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996), 296.
Destroying old objects, 1966. “Art and China’s Revolution” at Asia Society, New York Times, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/05/arts/20080905-REVO_3.html (May 27, 2013).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/feb/24/cultural-revolution-portraits-xu-weixinhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/feb/24/cultural-revolution-portraits-xu-weixin • China’s Cultural Revolution: Portraits of Accuser and Accused, The Guardian. Feb. 24, 2012. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCA6ME81RLQ • The boy who denounced his mother, The Guardian. March 29, 2013.
Opening Up After the Cultural Revolution Dan La Botz, China: From Bureaucratic Communism to Bureaucratic Capitalism, New Politics, Nov. 20, 2012, http://newpol.org/content/china-bureaucratic-communism-bureaucratic-capitalism (Jan. 21, 2014).
Deng Xiaoping • “To get rich is glorious.” • “Socialism with a Chinese face.” Theodore M. White, Time Magazine, Banishing Mao’s Ghost, Burnout of a Revolution, Sept. 26, 1983, 2014, http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,949845,00.html (Jan. 21, 2014).