Sunday, April 04, 2004

Why "The Black Line"?

Long live the black line! 黑线思想万岁!

[Mao ZeDong thought 毛泽东思想
Stephan Landsberger's Chinese Propaganda Posters

One of the things I like most about the Chinese language is the colourful and pithy Maoist slogans and aphorisms, like "Shit or get off the pot", "running dogs", "All reactionaries are paper tigers", "the old stinking ninth" and so on. Hence, I've chosen my favourite - The Black Line - as the name of this blog.

I suppose it's really no different to an appreciation of to Soviet propaganda posters or the correography of the Nuremburg rallies, but at a much greater cultural and geographic distance.

Anyway, my intention on this blog is to take a small role as the black hand (黑手) in spread counterrevolutionary reactionary black line (黑线) and perhaps working with like-minded others in black gang (黑党).

Background on the Cultural Revolution, taken from Jasper Becker's book "Hungry Ghosts":

The opening salvo of the Cultural Revolution (文化大革命) was the publication on 9 May 1966 by the official People's Daily newspaper (人民日报) of an editorial titled "Open Fire Against the Anti-Party Anti Socialist Black Line!"

This broadside targeted prominent intellectual and Beijing deputy mayor Wu Han, who had written a play "Hai Jui Dismissed From Office", which described the unfair treatment of a conscientious official by a corrupt emperor. This form of political dissent had been common in Chinese literature as a means by which scholars could criticise national leaders indirectly by drawing analogies with historical events.

Figures among the senior leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党) , including Deng Xiaoping (邓小平) had forced Mao to discard the disastrous agricultural and industrial policies that led to chaos and starvation during the Great Leap Forward. Mao mobilised China's young people to confront his opponents within the state bureaucracy. Soon Red Guards terrorised intellectuals and anyone suspected of conservative or counterrevolutionary sympathies, paralysing the education system and destroying many cultural relics. The "turmoil" (dongluan 动乱) is regarded as the nadir of post-1949 Chinese history.

Peter 笔德