Let’s see what Mao himself had to say about it. On the role of the arts as part of a special (or not special?) division in the armed forces for the Mao-Lenin ideal, during the civil war with the Kuomintang, which was then briefly on its back for fighting against a common enemy (Japan ). Surely a translation of Mao’s (in)famous May 1942 contributions called the “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art “can be found on the Internet? And yes, they can.
Meanwhile, another case of everyone-else-seems-also-to-be-pregnant pseudo-serendipity. Just having begun with this message (I had read Mao’s talk last night) I heard Beatrice de Graaf on the radio recommending her new book. On interviews with convicted and detained Islamic terrorists. Her point was how often radicalization results from taking ideals seriously in a world full of wrongs, combined with the belief that fighting for those ideals will increase the chances of personal redemption. A Motto? I call it Beatrice’s redemption motto.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t I myself engaged in such a thinking pattern? Perhaps. In any case, I was (and still am) close to it. Mao too, by the way. So let’s be careful.
After all, it could be that at the aggregation level of jurisdictions and cultures we need them (those patterns) in order to achieve anything at all.
Soit. I will come back to Mao’s talks later.