Revolutionary Big-Character Poster
What Are Sung Shih, Lu Ping and Peng Pei-yun Up To in the Cultural Revolution?
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #37, Sept. 9,
1966, pp. 19-20. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]
[Footnote in the original article:] This big-character poster appeared in Peking University on May 25. The Peking Municipal Party Committee referred to in it was later reorganized in accordance with a decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. According to a decision of the new Peking Municipal Party Committee, the Peking University Party Committee was also reorganized and Lu Ping and Peng Pei-yun were dismissed from all their posts. (See Peking Review, No. 24, June 10, 1966.) —Ed.
AT present, the people of the whole nation, in a soaring revolutionary spirit which manifests their boundless love for the Party and Chairman Mao and their inveterate hatred for the sinister anti-Party, anti-socialist gang, are making a vigorous and great cultural revolution; they are struggling to thoroughly smash the attacks of the reactionary sinister gang, in defense of the Party’s Central Committee and Chairman Mao. But here in Beida [Beijing University] the masses are being kept immobilized, the atmosphere is one of indifference and deadness, whereas the strong revolutionary desire of the vast number of the faculty members and students has been suppressed. What is the matter? What is the reason? Something fishy is going on. Let’s take a look at what has happened very recently!
It took place after the publication on May 8 of the articles by Ho Ming and Kao Chu and the upsurge in the nationwide struggle to denounce the “Three-Family Village.” On May 14, Lu Ping [President of Beijing University and Secretary of its Party Committee] hastily transmitted the “directive” issued by Sung Shih [deputy head of the department in charge of university affairs under the Beijing Municipal Party Committee] at an emergency meeting of the department. Sung Shih said that at present the movement “badly needs a strengthened leadership and the Party organizations in the colleges are required to strengthen the leadership and stand fast at the posts.” “When the masses arise they need to be led onto the correct path.” “This ideological struggle is a serious class struggle, and the anti-Party anti-socialist remarks have to be completely repudiated theoretically. Persist in reasoning, use whatever method which proves to be adaptable to repudiating them, and provide good leadership in the study of documents, the holding of small group meetings, and the writing of small-character posters and critical essays. In short, this serious struggle must be conducted in a very careful and penetrating manner. Big meetings can in no way serve to completely discredit the anti-Party, anti-socialist remarks and theoretically repudiate them.” “In case the angry masses demand that a big meeting be held, do not suppress them but guide them to hold small group meetings, study documents and write small-character posters.”
Lu Ping and Peng Pei-yun [a cadre in the department in charge of university affairs under the Beijing Municipal Party Committee and Deputy Secretary of the Beijing University Party Committee] conducted the movement in Beida entirely in the same vein. They said: “The situation in the cultural revolution in our university is excellent,” “more than 100 articles had been written before May 8, the movement is healthy ... as the movement deepens, active guidance must be given.” “Right now, leadership is urgently needed to guide the movement towards a correct orientation in its development.” “Only by energetically strengthening the leadership can [the movement] be led to its normal development.” “It is not suitable for Beida to stick up big-character posters.” “Big-character posters must not be encouraged; if the masses want to post them, actively guide them away,” and so forth. Is this the line for the cultural revolution laid down by the Party’s Central Committee and Chairman Mao? No, absolutely not! It is an out-and-out revisionist line that runs counter to the Party’s Central Committee and to Mao Zedong’s thought.
“This is an ideological struggle.” “The anti-Party, anti-socialist remarks have to be completely repudiated theoretically.” “Persist in reasoning.” This struggle “must be conducted in a very careful manner.” What does all this mean? Can it be considered a theoretical problem? Is it all just remarks? Whither do you want to “guide” the life-and-death political struggle we are waging to counter-attack the sinister anti-Party, anti-socialist gang? Isn’t it one of the main tactics of Teng To and his instigators in resisting the cultural revolution to divert this serious political struggle to “purely academic” discussions? Why are you still doing things this way up to this moment? What kind of people are you actually?
“The masses, when they arise, need to be led onto the correct path.” “Guide the movement towards a correct orientation in its development.” “Only by energetically assuming the leadership can [the movement] be led to its normal development.” What is meant by “correct path”? What is meant by “correct orientation”? What is meant by “normal development”? You have “guided” the great political class struggle into a “purely theoretical” and “purely academic” trap. Not long ago, was it not you who personally “guided” the comrades of the law faculty to consult fifteen hundred volumes of books and material running to fourteen million characters to study the question concerning the “reversal of wrong verdicts” by Hai Jui? Was it not you who have given great publicity to this as “correct orientation and the right method,” asking everybody to learn from this “good experience”? In actual fact, this is “good experience” which has all been created by you and Teng To and his sinister gang: and this is also the very essence of your talk that “the movement is healthy.” The Party’s Central Committee and Chairman Mao have long since shown us the correct path for the cultural revolution and its correct orientation. You say nothing about them and work out your own so-called “correct path” and “correct orientation” in the hope of drawing the revolutionary mass movement into your revisionist orbit. Frankly speaking, this is a vain hope!
“Big meetings can in no way serve to theoretically repudiate them.” “It is not suitable for Beida to stick up big-character posters,” we “must guide them to hold small group meetings and write small-character posters.” Why are you so afraid of big-character posters and the holding of big denunciation meetings? To counterattack the sinister gang which has frantically attacked the Party, socialism, and Mao Zedong’s thought is a life-and-death class struggle. The revolutionary people must be fully aroused to vigorously and angrily denounce them, and to hold big meetings and put up big-character posters is one of the best ways for the masses to do battle. By “guiding” the masses not to hold big meetings, not to put up big-character posters and by creating all kinds of taboos, aren’t you suppressing the masses’ revolution, not allowing them to make revolution, and opposing their revolution? We will never permit you to do this!
You shout about having to “strengthen the leadership and stand fast at the posts.” This only exposes who you really are. At a time when the revolutionary masses are vigorously rising up, in response to the call of the Party’s Central Committee and Chairman Mao, to firmly counterattack the anti-Party, anti-socialist sinister gang, you shout, “strengthen the leadership and stand fast at the posts.” Isn’t it clear what “posts” you want to hold fast, and for whom, and what kind of people you are and what despicable tricks you are up to? Right up to today you are still desperately resisting. You still want to “stand fast” at your “posts” so as to sabotage the cultural revolution. We must tell you, a mantis cannot stop the wheel of a cart and mayflies cannot topple a giant tree. You are simply daydreaming!
All revolutionary intellectuals, now is the time to go into battle! Let us unite, holding high the great red banner of Mao Zedong’s thought, unite round the Party’s Central Committee and Chairman Mao and break down all the various controls and plots of the revisionists; resolutely, thoroughly, totally and completely wipe out all ghosts and monsters and all Khrushchevian-type counter-revolutionary revisionists, and carry the socialist revolution through to the end.
Defend the Party’s Central Committee!
Defend Mao Zedong’s thought!
Defend the dictatorship of the proletariat!
Peking University, Department of Philosophy
Nieh Yuan-tzu, Sung I-hsiu [Yixiu], Hsia Chien-chih
[Xia Jianzhi], Yang Ke-ming, Chao Cheng-yi [Zhao Zhengyi],
Kao Yun-peng [Gao Yunpeng], Li Hsing-chen [Xingchen]
May 25, 1966
(Originally published in “Renmin Ribao,”
June 2, 1966.)
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