Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hypocrisy of Mao

As manifested through the document "On New Democracy", which the title link leads to. Most of the document is fairly interesting, giving a persuasive outline of how revolution in China weakens world capitalism, but when it comes to the thing that Mao is most known for, Cultural Revolution, it falls into hemming and hawing. The document was written in 1940 while China was engaged in a war against Japanese occupation, before the Chinese Communist Party had taken over the entire country.

Mao devotes several substantive sections to culture, of which three quotations are notable:

"To advocate "wholesale westernization" [22] is wrong. China has suffered a great deal from the mechanical absorption of foreign material. Similarly, in applying Marxism to China, Chinese communists must fully and properly integrate the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, or in other words, the universal truth of Marxism must be combined with specific national characteristics and acquire a definite national form if it is to be useful, and in no circumstances can it be applied subjectively as a mere formula. Marxists who make a fetish of formulas are simply playing the fool with Marxism and the Chinese revolution, and there is no room for them in the ranks of the Chinese revolution. Chinese culture should have its own form, its own national form. National in form and new-democratic in content--such is our new culture today. "

"New-democratic culture is scientific. Opposed as it is to all feudal and superstitious ideas, it stands for seeking truth from facts, for objective truth and for the unity of theory and practice. On this point, the possibility exists of a united front against imperialism, feudalism and superstition between the scientific thought of the Chinese proletariat and those Chinese bourgeois materialists and natural scientists who are progressive, but in no case is there a possibility of a united front with any reactionary idealism. In the field of political action Communists may form an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal united front with some idealists and even religious people, but we can never approve of their idealism or religious doctrines."

"However, respect for history means giving it its proper place as a science, respecting its dialectical development, and not eulogizing the past at the expense of the present or praising every drop of feudal poison. As far as the masses and the young students are concerned, the essential thing is to guide them to look forward and not backward."

In a sense something like this was inevitable since Mao was allied with Stalin, called Stalin his boss, but the sad thing is that it continued after Stalin's death, when countries no longer were required to parrot this sort of stuff so uncritically, although they were highly, highly, encouraged to do so. China labeled Khruschev and the reforms that he instituted revisionist, and they may indeed have been so, but at that point China could have struck out on its own, creating a new sort of mix of ideas that were less uncritical of so-called 'scientific' doctrines that were really Western cultural values in a new disguise.

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