Mao’s Groove

If I can use Beatrice de Graaf’s redemption motto when building toy radicals, I can also use it to recreate Mao’s communists in 1942 China. They were radical, in the wake of Mao’s groove. His talks are about our struggle for the liberation of the Chinese people, where we must also have a cultural army.

There are problems that are discussed in Yan’an. The flaws of some of the writers who have joined from the May 4 Movement threaten the correct liberation of the Chinese people. Mao argues: I think they are the problems of (1) the class stand of the writers and artists, (2) their attitude, (3) their audience, (4) their work and (5) their study.

He considers literature and art – as part of the revolutionary armed forces – bound to devote themselves to his variety of Marx-Lenin communism. They should tailor subjects and techniques to the role played by the type of audience being addressed. Mao concludes his introduction with a quote that I can use very well in modeling:

The last problem is study, by which I mean the study of Marxism-Leninism and of society. Anyone who considers himself a revolutionary Marxist writer, and especially any writer who is a member of the Communist Party, must have a knowledge of Marxism-Leninism. At present, however, some comrades are lacking in the basic concepts of Marxism. For instance, it is a basic Marxist concept that being determines consciousness, that the objective realities of class struggle and national struggle determine our thoughts and feelings. But some of our comrades turn this upside down and maintain that everything ought to start from “love”. Now as for love, in a class society there can be only class love; but these comrades are seeking a love transcending classes, love in the abstract and also freedom in the abstract, truth in the abstract, human nature in the abstract, etc. This shows that they have been very deeply influenced by the bourgeoisie. They should thoroughly rid themselves of this influence and modestly study Marxism-Leninism. It is right for writers and artists to study literary and artistic creation, but the science of Marxism-Leninism must be studied by all revolutionaries, writers and artists not excepted. Writers and artists should study society, that is to say, should study the various classes in society, their mutual relations and respective conditions, their physiognomy and their psychology. Only when we grasp all this clearly can we have a literature and art that is rich in content and correct in orientation.

I have always understood that China has seen its culture evolve through successive philosophies and dogmas, preserving what was still useful after transitions. I see successively elements of the Mandate of Heaven, Dao, Confucius, Buddha, Marx-Lenin-Mao, and marketing-mechanism thinking that are being assimilated and partly rejected again.

Plenty of sources discussing these things, that helps.