(10 January 1990)
The Exchange Forum on the Nationwide Culture and Art Work Situation is an important conference convened in the first spring of the Nineties by the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Culture. At the beginning of the new year, inviting comrades from all localities and relevant departments to come and exchange the situations relating to Implementing the spirit of the 4th Plenum and the 5th Plenum of the 13th Party Congress, study the important works of Comrade Deng Xiaoping concerning culture and art work, summarizing the culture and art work of the previous period, and making deployments for work deployments in the future, is a good way of going about. At the time where this meeting is about to conclude, and the nationwide theatre and xiqu creation forum will begin, I’d like to discuss some opinions on carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation.
At present, the people in our entire country are concentrating their strengths in conducting Socialist modernization construction. In this magnificent historical process, culture and art work is an important area, and has an extremely important significance. The popular masses urgently require healthy, rich and varied spiritual cultural lives, require even more excellent literature and art works, which reflect their magnificent practice, enlighten their pursuit of new ideals, encourage and inspire them to progress. This is the common aspiration of the cultural departments and the comrades in the literature and art circles.
Concerning cultural work and literature and art work in the new period, I’d like to focus on talking a little about issues in carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation today, this is an important issues that the entire Party and the entire society are concerned about and focus on, and it is an urgent task faced on the cultural front. Because literature and art are important component parts of culture, and because the focus of these few meetings of yours has been on researching literature and art work, I’d like to speak of the flourishing of literature and art, and discuss the fact that relatively much of the culture of the nation involved the literature and art of the nation. Everyone knows that the scope of the issue of carrying forward the culture of the nation is extremely broad, the connotations are extremely rich, and there have always been differences of opinion, it is not easy to make these matters clear in one go. I have selected twenty relevant problems that I’d like to deliberate with the comrades, some among these are to put forward questions, and my opinions are very immature. If I am able to guide the comrades focus by my narrow view, let everyone come to explore and research the, and adopt effective measures to do work in this area well, then that is my greatest hope.
(1) Continuing to persist in grasping “sweeping pornography” with one hand and grasping literature and art flourishing with one hand.
Once the Party Centre started with “sweeping pornography”, the flourishing of Socialist literature and art and the enlivening of the masses’ cultural lives have become prominent questions that have been put in front of literature and art workers. Since some time, following the permeation of Western degenerate culture and the excess of bourgeois liberalization thinking trends, sexual and obscene publications and audiovisual products have been produced and disseminated in great numbers, which gravely corroded people’s souls, poisoned the air of society, and has become an inducement minors to commit crime. Since a few months, with the support and endorsement of the people in the entire country, and through the joint efforts of all relevant departments, “sweeping pornography” has seen great achievements, and the appearance of the cultural market has clearly improved. Now, the struggle to “sweep pornography” and against the “Six Evils” is being deeply conducted, and the circumstances are good. The top priority task is to grasp the creation of sufficiently many healthy spiritual products, to go and occupy the cultural market and all sorts of entertainment venues, and occupy the people’s after-hours time and spiritual space. If this work is not followed up, degenerate things cannot be pushed out, and things that were swept away can resurrect from death, and stage a comeback. We should be aware that we must create a large batch of healthy and useful literature and art works that the popular masses love to see and hear, and that this is not as easy as banning and capturing pornography things, but requires exerting even greater strength, mobilizing and organizing the whole body of comrades on the cultural front to engage in persistent struggle. Comrades on the literature and art front must clearly understand the importance and urgency of this issue, consciously assume this great historical responsibility, not waste any opportunity in grasping this work, and obtaining results as rapidly as possible.
Naturally, our struggle with bourgeois liberalization mainly still isn’t “sweeping pornography”. Where the literature and art front is concerned, the influence of bourgeois liberalization is grave, some articles and works violate the Four Cardinal Principles, and disseminate feelings of doubting or distrusting the Party and Socialism; some people have been involved in the political storm of the late spring and early summer of last year, and an extremely small number of people even stood against the Party and the people. Concerning this sort of situation, the comrades in literature and art circles must have a sober understanding, they cannot underestimate this, and can certainly not cover faults. Since the 4th Plenum of the 13th Party Committee, all levels’ Party Committees have conducted education and struggle concerning persisting in the Four Cardinal Principle and opposing bourgeois liberalization on the cultural front, and have conducted investigation and clean-up work of the Centre’s policies and deployments, certain results have already been obtained, but this work must be led deeper still. At the same time, we must forcefully push the practice of letting Socialist literature and art flourish further, use healthy and excellent literature and art works to occupy the ideological and cultural battlefields, in order to effectively reduce and eliminate the influence of bourgeois liberalization in the cultural area, consolidate and expand the results of opposing bourgeois liberalization . It is just because of such considerations, that the Centre has put forward that we must grasp with both hands from the beginning. Practice proves that this policy is correct, the results of implementing it are good, it has received the welcome from the broad masses, and must be continuously implemented unwaveringly in the future.
(2) Fully giving rein to the vigorous function of literature and art in stabilizing the society and heartening the people.
Our current conducting of political rectification and deepening reform is an extremely onerous task. To realize this task, we must first, maintain social stability and second, hearten people’s spirits. In these two areas of stability and enthusiasm, literature and art have an irreplaceable and especially important function.
The flourishing of literature and art is a sort of method to stabilize society, and is an objective for social stability. The harmony and peace of all under heaven lies in the happiness of the people Striving to ensure that our stages are full of beautiful flowers, to ensure that our screens are bright and colourful, to ensure that our books and periodicals are hundreds of flowers contending in beauty, this sort of atmosphere of itself benefits the creation and maintenance of a situation of stability and unity. Since stopping the riots and putting down the counterrevolutionary riot that occurred in Beijing, we have integrated the events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s republic of China, we have grasped the work or propagating the huge achievements made since founding the nation and to enliven the masses’ cultural lives, and must also grasp the cultural entertainment activities during the Spring Festival period, this has had and continues to have a positive function in enlivening the atmosphere, relieving contradictions, smoothening the masses emotions. At present, clean-up and rectification has entered the attacking phase. During the previous phase, although clean-up and rectification have obtained preliminary results, some deep issues influencing economic stability have not yet been basically resolved, and following the process of clean-up and rectification, some new contradictions may still emerge. In the face of this sort of circumstances, stability overwhelms everything. To stabilize the economy, stabilize politics and stabilize the society, we must first and foremost stabilize the emotions of the masses. We must realistically resolve difficulties in the people’s lives, strengthen ideological and political work, and must at the same time launch many sorts and varieties of mass culture activities, enliven the spiritual and cultural lives of the masses by any means, and create a stable and agreeable social environment. This requires that the broad literature and art workers must first, do all literature and art work will with a spirit of clean-up and rectification, run the things that should be run and can be run well, resolve issues that should be resolved and have not been resolved for a long time well, and firmly do away with those afflictions that need to be done away with; second, they must vigorously utilize literature and art methods to contribute strength to stabilizing the situation, clean-up and rectification, eulogize the heroic achievements and glorious accomplishments of the popular masses in clean-up, rectification, deepening reform and modernization construction, to inspire and strengthen the people’s conviction in vanquishing difficulties; third, they must, through creating large amounts of healthy and excellent literature and art works, launch rich and varied culture and entertainment activities, to ensure that people’s spiritual lives are cheerful and satisfied, in order to maintain the harmony of the social atmosphere and the stability of social life; fourth, they must incorporate teaching into entertainment, and forcefully bring the spirit that Comrade Deng Xiaoping proposed at the 5th Plenum into all sorts of literature and art works and cultural activities, have a spirit of revolution and death-defying effort, and a spirit of strictly observing discipline and self-sacrifice, a spirit of selflessness and the public interest, and putting others before oneself, a spirit of overpowering all enemies and overcoming all difficulties, and a spirit of revolutionary optimism and overcoming all obstacles to seize victory, in order to encourage people to rise with force and spirit, meet difficulties and overcome them. This is the duty-bound responsibility of the broad literature and art workers, and is the contribution that literature and art workers should make under new circumstances.
(3) Striving to satisfy the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual and cultural life needs.
Following the development of our country’s reform, opening up and economic construction, the problems of warm dress and food have been resolved for the absolute majority of urban masses, and the lives of a number of masses are now progressing towards moderate prosperity. Wealth makes one think about culture, and think about entertainment, the popular masses requirements of seeking knowledge, seeking entertainment and seeking beauty are ever higher and ever more urgent. This has put forward even higher requirements towards the Socialist literature and art undertaking. Satisfying the people’s needs in the area of spiritual and cultural life, is a basic objective of Socialist spiritual construction, and is a task that literature and art workers bear that cannot be replaced by other departments.
Since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, our country’s literature and art undertaking has abided by the Comrade Mao Zedong’s literature and art thought that has been expounded in “The Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art” and other works, and the series of important instructions of Comrade Deng Xiaoping, has persisted in the policy of “serving the people and serving Socialism”, there has been exploration and creation in many areas, and clear progress has been achieved in reflecting the depth and breadth of real life and in artistic expressiveness. Novels, reportage literature, poems, films, television dramas, theatre, xiqu, music, dance, fine art, photography, quyi, acrobatics, calligraphy and all other areas have seen the emergence of a great batch of good works. The literature and art undertaking has had a vigorous and beneficial function in stimulating the liberation of thought, encouraging the people to vigorously throw themselves into Socialist modernization construction, reform and opening up, enriching the masses’ spiritual and cultural lives. These huge achievements must be recognized, no-one can deny them. But we should also consider that, excellent literature and art works that are adapted or matched to the huge achievements of a decade of reform and construction, and that live up to our magnificent people and magnificent times, or works that have given rise to strong echoes, are still few in number. This is because on the one hand, the masses feel that their spiritual and cultural lives cannot be fully satisfied, and on the other hand, many literature and art books and periodicals cannot be sold, and many films or theatre plays cannot sell seats. Naturally, there are social atmosphere and the cultural quality of members of society, and many other reasons for this, but the literature and art front itself should also search for reasons. In recent years, the State has expended great amounts of funds to set up radio stations, television stations and all sorts of cultural entertainment infrastructure, the broad masses have lived frugally to buy radios and television sets, but we have not provided better works to them, this in itself is a sort of waste, and also harms the interest of the popular masses. Talking about the people’s needs, I’d also like especially to discuss the needs of minors, who count for half of the population of the entire country, they are cross-century people, and the large construction army for the 21st Century.. Whether or not we can provide them with rich and high-quality spiritual nourishment, relates to whether or not these millions of youths can grow up healthily, and relates to the prospects and future of our nation. Our literature and art workers must have a high sense of responsibility towards society and towards history, through themselves into letting the sublime undertaking of Socialist literature and art flourish, strive to contribute the best spiritual nourishment to the people, and satisfy the people’s daily increasing spiritual and cultural life needs.
(3) The flourishing of literature and art is a central task of cultural departments at all levels.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that the Party’s leadership over literature and art work is “on the basis of the characteristics and development rules of literature and art, assisting literature and art workers in obtaining conditions to incessantly let the undertaking of literature and art flourish, raise literature and art levels, and create excellent literature and art works and performance art results that live up to our magnificent people and the magnificent times”. From the Centre to the localities, all levels’ Party and government cultural leading departments and leading cadres must, with a high sense of responsibility, devote themselves with their entire spirit to fully mustering the vigour and creativity of the broad literature and art workers, and arouse them to provide sufficient numbers of high-quality spiritual products to the whole society. Comrade Chen Yun pointed out to storytelling artists: “publish books, foster people, walk the right path”, this spirit applies to the entire literature and art work. The basic standard for inspecting whether or not literature and art leadership work has results and how large these results are, is whether or not healthy Socialist literature and art is flourishing. If one locality or one department is unable to produce excellent work for a long time, or foster outstanding talents, or even create a situation where the masses don’t have books to read or plays to watch, it will be the same as the masses not having grain to eat or food to eat, such leadership cannot be said to be competent, and can also not gain the endorsement and support of the broad masses.
There are, in fact, some matters of principle in literature and art circles where right and wrong must be divided clearly, unify thoughts, otherwise, it may influence unity, obstruct creation, and it will be impossible to guide the literature and art undertaking to develop along the healthy Socialist orientation. Bourgeois liberalization must be severely criticized; as for some different ideas, understandings and issues, we shall mainly seek to progressively resolve them through studying Marxism and the practice of literature and art, in the process of letting literature and art flourish, and seek consensus on major issues while differing in small matters. As for that sort of personal feelings that where amassed in a long period of history, and all sorts and varieties of sectarianism, in many cases, these are not disputes of principle, we should not and cannot contend for an idea of right and wrong of me high, you low. The responsibility of leaders is to guide everyone while emphasizing the larger picture, and devote their main energy to letting the literature and art undertaking flourish, understand that where it is impossible to unify for the time being it is permitted to leave this for the time being, and let practice pass a verdict. Under the precondition of persisting in “one centre, two basic points”, it is always possible to find common points. Stopping work and falling into ceaseless disputes can only disrupt the larger matters. I believe that the comrades are able to understand this point, and will be happy to act like this, and may make their own outstanding work into the proper achievements of letting Socialist literature and art flourish as soon as possible. Especially in the face of the present international and domestic circumstances, the Party and the people eagerly look forward to literature and art work, hope the comrades will bring good tidings soon, and develop a new picture of vigorous and flourishing literature and art for the people in the entire country, of contending for excellence and struggling for beauty.
(5) In the flourishing of literature and art, attention must be paid to carrying the excellent culture of the nation forward.
Even though, in the wake of the increase of relations between countries, and between nations, cultural mutual exchanges and leaning meetings have become ever more frequent; generally speaking, the country of one culture still has clear national characteristics. Because of this, when we put forward the flourishing of literature and art, we should at the same time carry forward the excellent culture of the nation. In recent years on our cultural front, disputes revolving around issues of the culture of the nation, have essentially embodied major ideological and political struggles. Completely negating the culture of the nation, and carrying forward national nihilism or historical nihilism, is a part of the “complete westernization” advocated by the people who obstinately persist in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints. Under the present international and domestic circumstances, carrying forward the culture of the nation not only directly relates to the rise or fall of our country’s culture, but also has an important significance in politics. In the face of the Western offensive of the monopolistic bourgeoisie and peaceful evolution, carrying forward the culture of the nation is an important condition for inspiring the spirit of the nation, raising the nation’s self-respect and self=confidence, carrying forward a patriotic spirit and withstanding all foreign pressures. In the process of the grand cause of achieving national unification, carrying forward the culture of the nation is a bridge to link up the two shores of the Taiwan Straits, and is an important force in deepening the mutual understanding of the descendants of Yan Di and Huang Di inside and outside the country and strengthening the cohesion of the Chinese nation.
Regardless of whether it is the East or the West, all nations in the world have cultures with their own unique characteristics. Culture and art is inseparable from the lives, habits, thoughts and feelings of the people. The languages of all nations and peoples are different, historical developments are different, geographical environments are different, economic and social development circumstances are different, therefore, culture and art is always a matter of the form of the nation and the style of the nation. Relatively speaking, the national conservatism of culture and art is relatively strong, many old things may even be preserved for centuries or millennia, and posterity inherits them and likes them. This is a common phenomenon that is a law in the long stream of human development. Talking about Russian national culture, people may associate it with the poetry of Pushkin or the long novels of Tolstoy; talking about the Germanic national culture, people may think about the poetry or plays of Goethe or Heine, or the music of Beethoven; talking about Italian national culture, people may think about Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and the paintings of Da Vinci. This culture and art is rich in national characteristics, are a crystallization of the life, labour and struggle of the nation and the wisdom of the people, are the creation of the nation, and are the result of attracting human civilization, they are also contributions to human civilization. They constitute mental bonds binding together the members of a nation, and are an important component part of the life of the nation. If a nation wants to realize flourishing in literature and art, it must pay attention to researching and inheriting the characteristics and styles of the culture of the nation and other excellent legacies. In the process of deep social reform, and in the process of rapid modernization, the content and forms of culture inevitably may see many new changes, but research of the characteristics of the nation and the culture of the nation cannot be overlooked. Losing the excellent cultural inheritance of the nature is not only a tragedy for the nation itself, it is also a loss for humankind.
(6) Forcefully carrying the glorious and resplendent culture of the Chinese nation.
The culture of the Chinese nation is a rich and broad organic whole, it includes the culture of the Han nation, and also includes the cultures of ethnic minority nations; it includes the long-lasting classic culture, and includes modern and contemporary culture. The culture of the Chinese nation occupies and extremely important position in the history of world civilization. It has the following clear characteristics:
First, it is long-standing and well-established. Our country is one of the countries whose economy and culture developed earliest in the world, and has a written history with a duration of five thousand years. The people of our country relied on their own industry and wisdom, and developed agriculture and handicrafts very early. Many important crops have been bred successfully from wild plants the earliest by the Chinese ancients, and by the sixth century AD, there was a complete body of agricultural plowing theory writing. During the Spring and Autumn period, pig iron was smelted, many years before Europe. Our ancestors had the four world-famous major inventions: papermaking, printing technology, the compass and gunpowder, and was the first country to use the compass in maritime navigation. In the area of astronomy, our ancestors also created miracles. Our country still maintains the earliest and richest ancient astronomical records and materials until the present, and discovered and recorded the comet that was later named Halley already during the Spring and Autumn period, as far back as the Warring States Period, it had had compiled star charts. In the year 132 AD, our country invented the seismograph, which began humankind’s history of using instruments to observe earthquakes. Our ancestors not only were far ahead of the world in the struggle to subjugate Nature, but were also in the global forefront through many achievements in the cultural and ideological area. As far back as the Zhou Dynasty, our country created the monumental literary work “Book of Odes”. China’s xiqu art also has a long history, the xiqu-Northern drama that developed from ancient song and dance is the height of Chinese classic xiqu. The age in which the famous playwright Wu Hanqing was active was three hundred years before the world-famous English playwright Shakespeare.
Second, it is wide-ranging and profound. The traditional cultural content of the Chinese nation is extremely rich, it not only includes theory and thinking in politics, economics, culture, military affairs, historiography, education, philosophy, morals, religion and other areas, it also includes scientific and technological achievements, literature and art creation, cultural relics, historic sites, folk customs, etc. In many of the above areas, our ancestors respectively reached the summit of contemporary global levels. Our country’s literature and art works are rich, achievements are brilliant and famous names are great in number, they occupy a prominent position in global literary history. Taking poetry as an example, after the “Book of Odes” and the “Songs of Chu”, the Han Music Bureau, the Tang Poetry, the Song songs, the Yuan melodies have been successively inherited and innovated. Talking about novels, the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, the “Journey to the West”, the “Water Margin”, the “Dream of the Red Chamber”, the “Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio” and other monumental literary works are even more world famous. Our country’s ancient fine art, not only includes masterpieces such as the “Han Xi Dinner Painting” or the “River Scene on Tomb Sweeping Day”, and many artistic treasures left behind by many famous artists from many schools, there are also the four great caves of Dunhuang, Mount Maiji, Yungang and Longmen, and the Qin terracotta warriors, which can be rated as wonders of the world of painting and sculpture above and under the ground. Our country’s ancient learning, the hundred schools of thinkers from the Late Zhou, the classics, history, philosophers and literary collections, have undergone thousands of years of multiplication and development, and some have become complete systems, even though there are feudal dregs among them, not a few of them have a quintessence that merits to be absorbed.
Third, its influence is profound and far reaching. The culture of our nation has developed in the footsteps of the development of the Chinese nation, it has had an irreplaceable, huge function in the shaping, multiplication, unification and stabilization of the nation, and establishing it in the forest of nations in the world, and has had a profound and far-reaching function that transcends time. Also, the national spirit of working hard without complaining, ardently loving freedom, defying brute force, heroic struggle, and never yielding to foreign pressure, is the collective reflection of the excellent cultural traditions of the Chinese nation. During endless years, our nation has repeatedly met with complications and tribulations, and has even met with the misfortune of near-collapse a few times, but it rejuvenated time after time from decline, it fell and buoyed back up, it pulled through into peace, and stood rock-firm. In the present world, as long as the conscience of all descendants of Yan Di and Huang Di, regardless of to which places they have walked, does not vanish, they cannot but feel proud about the brilliant and magnificent culture of the Chinese nation.
The culture of the Chinese nation has engendered a profound and far-reaching influence on the progress and development of humankind. The contribution of our country’s four ancient great inventions to human civilization is self-evident, academic thinking achievements in some areas have also enriched the global treasure house of thought and culture. China’s ancient dialectics, thoughts on education, military theory, etc., still have an undeclining charm for the world of today.
In short, our ancestors have left us an extremely rich and extremely precious cultural treasure. What must we leave later generations? This is in fact a serious question. We should cherish, protect and excavate the excellent cultural heritage of the Chinese nation, and on the basis of inheritance, create somewhat and advance somewhat. Otherwise, we not only shame or great ancestors, but we will also shame our later generations, our sons and grandsons.
(7) Critically dealing with the historical nihilism of national culture.
In dealing with the issue of the cultural traditions of our nation, different attitudes and standpoints have existed since “May Fourth”. China’s Marxists advocate critical inheritance, this is a correct viewpoint. Comrade Mao Zedong has made a penetrating elucidation of this sort of correct viewpoint in “On New Democracy” and other works. He has repeatedly stressed that in dealing with the traditional culture of the nation, we must persist in the historicism of Marxism, clearly pointed out that we should not be cut off from history, and we should summarize it from Confucius to Sun Yat-sen, and inherit this precious heritage. At the same time, he also pointed out that in dealing with historical heritage, we must summarize it critically, reject its feudal dregs, and absorb its democratic quintessence. Comrade Mao Zedong is extremely learned in the culture of our country’s nation, and has flexibly operationalized this in the long period of revolution and construction. His speeches and works masterfully handle the Motherland’s language, historical quotations, expression and vocabulary, and endow them with new meaning, this is something everyone knows.
As for mistaken attitudes in dealing with the culture of the nation, they mainly have two sorts of manifestations: one sort is uncritically incorporating anything, and being half-baked pedants; another sort is historical nihilism that completely denies the culture of the nation, and preaches “wholesale Westernization”. After “May Fourth”, there were the so-called “full Westernization” and “wholehearted Westernization” viewpoints. During the great debate between Chinese and Western culture in the Thirties, there were people who even more clearly put forward that China’s way out was “wholesale Westernization” in culture, the economy and politics. This sort of viewpoint belittles and denies the excellent culture of our country’s nation, and at that time, met with forceful refutation. Comrade Mai Zedong pointed out clearly back in 1940 that “the so-called viewpoint of ‘wholesale Westernization’ is a sort of mistaken viewpoint”. The magnificent victory in our country’s New Democratic Revolution and the huge achievements of Socialism have proclaimed the bankruptcy of this sort of ethnic nihilism and “wholesale Westernization” with irrefutable facts.
In recent years, the prominent manifestation of the flood of bourgeois liberalization thinking trends, has preached up ethnic nihilism and historical nihilism. Fang Lizhi, Liu Xiaobo and the writers of “River Elegy”, and other bigwigs of bourgeois liberalization have said about the culture of the Chinese nation that it has “already been aborted” and “is unable to conceive a new culture”, it can only march towards a “suicidal” “loess culture”, the millennia of history of the Chinese nation have only brought “ignorance and backwardness”, they advocate a view of the world, of history and of values that indiscriminately imitates the Western bourgeoisie. These so-called “cultural viewpoints” that defame the culture of the nation and distort the history of the nation, are consistent with their viewpoint that we must copy Western private ownership systems in the economy and must copy Western multiparty systems in politics, and is their denial of the Socialist system and their denial of serving the political objectives of Communist Party leadership. Some so-called “cultural elites” who persist in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints, have become “rioting elites” during the political storm of last year’s late spring and early summer. After the bankruptcy of the counterrevolutionary riot, some people among them have fled in betrayal of their country, and have marched from ethnic nihilism to selling the country. This fact most clearly illustrates that preaching ethnic nihilism and historic nihilism not only is a cultural issue, but also is a political issue; it is not only an issue of attitude in dealing with history, but even more importantly, it is an issue of attitude in dealing with reality. The negative influence created by this sort of thinking trend on politics and ideology cannot be overlooked in this regard. Since some time, in the minds and eyes of some people, it is as though in China, nothing will do, and the repulsive phenomena that in everything, the foreign is better, whenever they talk, they talk about the West, they open their mouth and curse the ancestors, they worship foreign things and fawn over foreigners, and they lose national dignity and human dignity occur now and then. Deeply criticizing ethnic nihilism and historical nihilism not only relates to carrying forward the excellent culture of the Chinese nation, but also relates to carrying forward a patriotic spirit and safeguarding the dignity of our nation, and relates to the great issue of into what direction to lead people or even which path China must march.
(8) Giving regard to and researching the construction of a new culture of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The basic theory concerning constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics that Comrade Deng Xiaoping put forward, is a new development of Mao Zedong Thought, and is a keen weapon to guide our construction of a strong modern Socialist country. Comrade Mao Zedong said in “On New Democracy”, that us Communist Party members have one objective for all struggle, which is constructing a new society and a new country for the Chinese nation, and in this new society and new country, not only have new politics and a new economy, but also have new culture. Similarly, constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics not only requires the construction of Socialist politics and economics with Chinese characteristics, but also requires the construction of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics.
A certain culture (culture acting as ideology) is the reflection of a certain politics and economics, and renders a mighty influence and function towards the politics and economy of a certain society; economy is the basis, politics is the concentrated manifestation of economics. When we discuss issues of Chinese culture, we cannot forget this basic Marxist viewpoint. To have a new Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, a new culture that integrates the form of our nation with the content of Socialism, essentially and subjectively speaking, it should conform to China’s national circumstances, display the life of Socialist times and the spirit of the times, reveal the essence and historical development tendencies of social relationships, and should reflect the spirit of Socialist times. This sort of new culture inevitably has Socialist politics and economics with Chinese characteristics as a basis, and conversely is given a mighty influence and function on politics and economics. If we cannot build this sort of new culture, it is impossible that the historical task of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics can be truly completed.
Lenin said: “Proletarian culture has not fallen from heaven, and has also not been written out by those self-designated proletarian culture experts, if we believe this is so, we are talking complete nonsense. Proletarian culture should be the complete knowledge created by humanity under the oppression of capitalist society, landlord society and bureaucratic society that conforms to development of rules”. Actually, it is a certain historical development, and a certain phase in the long stream of history. Modern culture has in all cases been established on existing material and cultural foundations. Because of this, to construct a new Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, we must absolutely take root in the profound soil of the culture of the Chinese nation, deeply research China’s historical culture, and carry forward the excellent traditions of the culture of the Chinese nation.
Since “May Fourth”, our Party’s leadership of the new proletarian cultural movement and the new democratic cultural revolution movement has achieved outstanding success. In the forty years since the establishment of the New China, our country’s Socialist cultural construction has seen important progress. Especially after Comrade Deng Xiaoping put forward the basic theory of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and at the same time as obtaining huge achievements in reform, opening up and economic construction, the undertaking of Socialist culture construction has seen important developments. But, we must be soberly aware that constructing a new Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics is a huge systemic task, and is an extremely arduous and extremely complex task that must be resolved. Actually, how to realize the organic integration of the form of the nation and the content of Socialism, and what kind of content, structures, systems and development tendencies exist in all branches and all area of the new Socialist culture and how they are mutually related, are major tasks that must be earnestly practiced and explored, this will be a long-term process. But, we believe that, as long as we have clarified the orientation, strengthened convictions, unite in struggle, and with the unwavering efforts of one and many generations, following our country’s Socialist political and economic development, we will certainly be able to carry forward and enhance the excellent traditions of the Chinese nation, and establish a new Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics that lives up to our ancestors and the present times.
(9) Vigorously learning from all foreign culture that is useful to us.
Carrying forward the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation absolutely does not mean a rejection of foreign culture. Especially today, as international cultural exchange becomes more flourishing every day, rejecting foreign culture and sealing ourselves up culturally can only delay the development process of the culture of our nation. Vigorously learning from and absorbing all things from foreign cultures that are useful to us, is an important condition in stimulating the development of the culture of the nation. In the history of our country, the Han and Tang eras were times where the absorption of foreign culture was the most vigorous and the boldest, and at the same time, they were times when the overall mentality of the nation was raised high, and the culture of the nation developed and thrived. Since “May Fourth”, the revolutionary writers and progressive writers represented by Lu Xun, Guo Moruo, Mao Dun and Lao She have been the best at learning from and absorbing foreign culture, and at the same time have made outstanding contributions to the development of the culture of the nation. Under Socialist conditions, and in today’s reform and opening up, the boldness with which we absorb foreign culture should be even larger, and should have an even more global vision. Regardless of whether we talk about capitalist countries or Socialist countries, regardless of whether we talk about the Third World or developed countries, regardless of whether we talk about the past, the modern or the present, all vigorous spiritual wealth created by humankind, all new achievements of the development of human civilization, and everything that belongs to the excellent artistic forms of expression created by all nations of the world, must be vigorously understood, introduced, studied and learned by us.
The objective of attracting and learning from foreign culture is not to use it to replace the culture of the nation, but is to enrich and develop the culture of our country’s nation. Because of this, learning from foreign culture must be based on the practice of this nation, and must, from ideological content to art forms, be examined and assessed on the basis of the needs of stimulating the construction of Socialist modern culture and developing the culture of our country’s nation, use Marxist standpoints, viewpoints and methods to analyse, distinguish, select and transform matters, to ensure that “foreign things serve China”. Only by carrying forward the excellent traditions of the culture of our nation ensures that our culture has a profound national basis, will we be able to strengthen our capacity to absorb foreign culture.
Since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, and following the development of opening up to the outside world and Sino-foreign cultural exchange, we have seen great expansions in the area of research and absorption of foreign culture. Sino-foreign culture is large in scale, great in quantity, broad in content, and quick in information communication, to an unprecedented extent. This has enabled people and especially cultural workers to broaden horizons, expand knowledge and enliven their thoughts, and have enabled the content, themes, styles, expressive techniques and creative methods of our country’s literature and art to become even more rich and varied, and has had a great stimulating function towards the modernization of our country’s cultural facilities and literature and art dissemination methods. At the same time, we should also consider that, in the past few years, correspondingly grave and confusing phenomena existed in the area of dealing with foreign culture as well, and an even more grave matter is that some people used the opportunity of opening up to forcefully propagate Western bourgeois worldviews and political views, preach degenerate views of life and views of value, and have fomented the flood of liberation thinking trends. We must give this high regard, and earnestly clean this up and change it.
The magnificent Chinese nation should and can make even greater contributions to global culture. To achieve this point, we can only rely on effort to create excellent cultural and artistic works that have clear characteristics of the Chinese nation. The more it is national, the more it is global. This point has been proven by innumerable facts.
(10) Correctly dealing with the relationship between inheritance and development.
Carrying forward the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation does not mean that we want to have a doctrine of “back to the ancients”. Historical cultures are all the outcome of a certain period. It is the same as with any thing, the cultural heritage of the Chinese nation also has a dual nature. The narrowness and conservatism of feudal culture established on a basis of small farming production, such as despising labour, clannish concepts, patriarchal behaviour, following the beaten tracks, feudal superstition, treating women as inferior to men, etc., have been the roots of the thinking that guided the society of our country into a long period of stagnation. Because of this, we should absolutely not refrain from dividing good and bad in historical cultural heritage, or incorporate anything, but we shall critically inherit it, absorb what is best, and reject its dregs. The basic objective of our carrying forward the culture of the nation is because we want to remove the old and bring out the new, use the past for the present, and is in order to look ahead, and not in order to look back.
In treating the cultural heritage of the nation, we must adapt an attitude of historical materialism, and analyse whether or not something is progressing on the basis of the historical condition, and we cannot make excessive demands of history or ancestors with today’s standards. Making excessive demands inevitably leads to historical nihilism. During the “Cultural Revolution” period, Lin Biao and the “Gang of Four” categorically denounced the cultural heritage of the nation as the “Four Olds”, and violently destroyed it, which led to disastrous consequences, this sort of grievous historical lesson should be kept firmly in mind and remembered forever.
We should also consider that cultural heritage has a corresponding stability, many of its aspects are not exclusive to some phase or some era, and are not only useful in some phase or in some era. We both must consider the phase nature and the nature of the times of cultural heritage, and must give regard to its inheritance nature and learning nature. Our ancestors have left great amounts of precious experience that we can learn from to us in terms of governing the country, cultivating moral character, and accomplishing undertakings, many of the admonitions and maxims that they put forward flicker with the light of philosophy even today, there are some things among them that at some time have been endowed with new meanings, and that may become component parts of Socialist spiritual civilization.
Concerning the achievements of the culture of the nation that have been created by our ancestors, we must conduct necessary arrangement and processing with Marxism as guidance and with new ideologies and new artistic methods, conduct new research and elucidation, and develop and innovate somewhat on the basis of inheritance. This is the historical responsibility that we should fulfil to the fullest. In this area, much work must be done. I will give a small example, for example, “Butterfly Lovers”, from the revision of the play’s manuscript to the production of the film, and to the creation of the symphony, has obtained generally acknowledged achievements, and also has influence internationally. Another example, “Jade Hall Spring” is a play that the masses loved as soon as it came out, if the piece with the brothel in the beginning is removed, and only the mediation and trial is left over, it will be a lot better. There still are some scripts and librettos that with changes to a few characters, may become even more precise and lustrous. Naturally, in this sort of processing and arrangement, a very cautious attitude must be adopted, we cannot harm or weaken the original artistic achievement. But, our historical responsibility does not just lie in arranging, processing and researching the things already created by ancestors. Even more important is that we must use all sorts of artistic forms and artistic experiences in the traditional culture of the nation, go and reflect new lives, display new thought, and create new works that have forms of the nation and Socialist content. And the innovation of the content of works, certainly requires innovation in artistic forms. This is an even more important implication and task for developing and innovation on the basis of inheritance. Since “May Fourth”, the mainstream of new literature and art creation has been made in this way. Since the Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art, the consciousness to act in this way has been greatly raised even more.
In short, only by inheriting the excellent cultural achievements of ancestors, by reflecting new historical requirements and conducting new creation, can people of today bring out their own splendour. Only by exceeding the ancestors can we live up to the ancestors, and can we increase new things to be handed down to posterity. This is the rule of historical progress, and is the rule of cultural development.
(11) Striving to eulogize the spirit of Socialist times.
When we advocate carrying forward the culture of the nation and giving regard to national forms and national styles, we do not want to not reflect real life, but this is for the sake of even better display the spirit of Socialist times. Our literature and art must hold high the banner of Socialism, eulogize all beautiful things in Socialism with full enthusiasm, encourage the popular masses to throw themselves into the magnificent undertakings of Socialist modernization construction, reform and opening up. We do not require literature and art to be a part of temporary, concrete and direct political tasks, but this does not mean in the slightest that literature and art may deviate from the political orientation of Socialism. The great achievements established by our country’s people, under Communist Party leadership in order to obtain victory in the New Democratic Revolution, the huge achievements that our country’s people have made in Socialist construction during the forty years since the founding of the nation and especially in the decade of reform and opening up, the overall trends of historical development that Socialism must inevitably replace capitalism, should be displayed and eulogized by us by fully giving rein to the many sorts of functions of literature and art. And only when this sort of Socialist life of the times and spirit of the times is displayed through artistic forms that the common people of China today like to see and hear, can these be accepted by the broad masses and truly become the literature and art of the people.
In the area of literature and art reflecting the life of Socialist times and spirit of the times, it isn’t that there isn’t anything that can be written about, but that not enough is written. There are rich themes and subjects without parallel in real life, that wait for writers and artists to reflect and express them, all ambitious writers and artists may fully display their own creative ability here. We hope that the broad literature and art workers go into social practice, and go into the popular masses, to understand the people’s lives and work, labour and creation, joy and sorrow, and derive themes, subjects, storylines and language from fervent life, and use them into literature and art works that have Chinese styles and a Chinese mood, go and recreate truthfully and deeply the inner world of new Socialist people and their heroic achievements, create artistic images that have flesh and blood, that are vivid and moving, express the revolutionary ideals, scientific attitudes, noble sentiments and creative abilities of the creators of a new era, their broad horizons and spirit of seeking truth. We have already had many literature and art workers that did this, and hope that even more literature and art workers can do this.
(12) We must face the popular masses.
In Socialist society, popular masses are the masters of our country and society. They demand to satisfy their daily increasing spiritual cultural life needs through literature and art, and gain beautiful enjoyment. because of this, serving the broadest popular masses, both is the orientation of literature and art and the objective of literature and art. Where healthy works are concerned, viewers are ever more, and their social effect is increasingly large. And if we want to truly ensure that the broad masses like to see and here things, these must have national forms and national styles. It is very difficult to imagine that works that lack characteristics of the nation that can gain the love of the broad popular masses, and have a long-lasting glamour. Our literature and art workers should strive to research the cultural psychology of the popular masses and their enjoyment habits, and forcefully create literature and art works that have strong national styles and local characteristics. Our country has a population of 1.1 billion, and the absolute majority is in the countryside, in facing the popular masses, we must pay special attention to facing the countryside. Concerning the things that the broad workers, peasants and intellectuals need and what they love to see and hear, including what the flesh-and-blood compatriots on both sides of the Straits and overseas Chinese compatriots need and love to see and hear, we are responsible to vigorously excavate, arrange, process, create, perform and disseminate them.
The literature and art of the nation is the literature and art that is the easiest to disseminate, and is also the literature and art of the masses. It can be discussed from this sort of meaning, that the revolutionization, nationalization and massification of literature and art cannot be separated. Nationalization and massification have natural links. We must give regard to and organize good mass-type self-entertainment culture activities, because the masses are both our service target, and are the drivers to carry forward the culture of the nation. They write and perform themselves, accompany their own songs, and are both performers and audiences, they have both enlivened cultural life and coordinate it with production and work, and are able to produce many good works, and foster many literature and art talents, they have both promoted the dissemination of the culture of the nation, and have provided soil for raising the culture of the nation. At the same time, the popular masses’ demands of the culture of the nation, can also be absolutely raised incessantly on the basis of dissemination. The overall appreciation levels of the entire society towards the culture of the nation have risen, and even higher demands will inevitably be put forward, and promote the culture of the nation to advance and develop. Just like there are now more people who understand drama, and those singing drama find it hard to sing, they cannot but raise their own performance levels. We believe that following the dissemination and deepening of carrying forward the cultural life of the nation, the broad popular masses inevitably will increase the splendour of the artistic treasure house of the culture of the nation, and there will inevitably be many new creations.
(13) Completely implementing the policy of “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend”.
The “Double Hundred” policy is the basic policy to let Socialist literature and art flourish. Literature and art creation is a sort of creative spiritual labour that is unique and complex, it is extremely necessary that literature and art workers give rein to their individual creative spirit and artistic ability. Every literature and art worker’s individual understanding, cultivation and practice always is limited in certain ways, other works also always have a process of rise, it is impossible not to have any mistake, and it is also impossible to attain perfection immediately. Such a process should especially be permitted to middle-age and young literature and art workers. This requires that we strive to create a democratic, harmonious, united and bravely advancing environment for literature and art workers. Practice of many years proves that, whenever we persisted in and implemented the “Double Hundred” policy, the undertaking of Socialist literature and art flourished and prospered full of vitality; whenever we abandoned or departed from the “Double Hundred” policy, the undertaking of Socialist literature and art withered and declined, and become cold and cheerless. In the decade of chaos, the historical lesson of “eight plays for one billion people” must serve as a warning.
Persisting in the “Double Hundred” policy is a necessity for letting literature and art flourish, and is an objective necessity for carrying the culture of the nation forward. In the past few years, some foreign cultural forms, such as ballet, symphonic music, Disney, etc., have been loved by many people, we should continue to encourage and support them, and let them develop even more healthily and vigorously. The culture of our nation itself is a vast display of dazzling colours, rich and varied, it is an oven in which the culture of many nations are blended, and a garden of many flowers gathering the essence of all schools. This is the characteristic and superiority of the culture of our Chinese nation. We must pay attention to this characteristic and carry forward this superiority, launch creative competitions and academic contention with a free hand, to ensure that the culture and art of all fraternal ethnicities compete with the beautiful flowers in the great garden of Socialism, contend in glory and compete in elegance, and all display their graceful bearing.
Practice proves that an important matter in persisting in the “Double Hundred” policy is grasping the following few points: first, we must launch comradely discussion and contention. In politics, under the presupposition of not violating the Four Cardinal Principles, all sorts of styles, all sorts of schools, all sorts of viewpoints are permitted to exist, are permitted to compete freely and discuss freely, are permitted to criticize and are permitted to counter criticize, do not engage in bludgeoning, do not put hats on people. We must dare to persist in truth and dare to rectify mistakes. This should become the regular order of literature and art work. Second, we must respect practice and respect the masses. Whether all literature and art works are good or bad, must be tested through practice, the popular masses must pass judgment on right and wrong, rule on superiority and inferiority, it cannot be the case that a small minority has the last world on the basis of individual likes, dislikes or needs. Third, we must grasp the dialectical relationship of the “two fors” and the “double hundred” well. The “two fors” are the general requirement and orientation for our country’s literature and art development, the “double hundred” are the only way to realize the “two fors”. Both are closely linked, and are inseparable, one cannot talk about the “two fors” separately from the “double hundred”, and can also not talk about the “double hundred” separately from the “two fors”. Fourth, we must respect the characteristics and rules of literature and art. Leaders should maintain close relationships with literature and art workers, regularly hear their opinions, prevent dealing with the artistic creations of writers and artists in a simple and rough manner.
(14) The culture of the nation must incessantly absorb the achievements of modern science and technology.
The development of culture has always been closely related to the development of science and technology. Modern science and technology inevitably has engendered a huge influence on the development of culture, and has brought new vitality and vigour to the culture of our nation. With film and television as examples, these are artistic forms that have burgeoned after the development of modern industry, science and technology, and have had a very large function in the dissemination of the culture of the nation. With the help of modernized science and technology methods, quite high levels have been achieved in the protection and restoration of ancient buildings, the collection and reproduction of ancient books and the excavation and preservation of antique cultural relics. In the future, we must, on the basis of need and possibility, utilize all modern scientific and technological methods in a planned and progressive manner, and especially progressively adopt electronic technology, laser technology, modern audio technology, modern building materials and other scientific and technological achievements in stage design, theatre construction and performance facilities, in order to enrich and raise the expressive capacity of the nation’s art.
To adopt modern scientific and technological means in the culture of the nation, we must both be vigorous and cautious. Absorbing modern scientific and technological means is for the sake of enriching and developing the characteristics of the culture of the nation even better, and not is in order to weaken it, dilute it or destroy it. We must ensure that both are integrated scientifically, and are accepted and welcomed by the broad masses. For example, the family name of Peking opera is “Peking”, regardless of whatever scientific and technological means are utilized, they must always have not destroying its artistic characteristics as yardstick. If Zhou Cang holds a pistol, and Guan Yu holds a walkie-talkie, how could that not make people laugh their head off?
Using modern science and technology in the culture of the nation is a long-term and complex process. It involves many aspects, and there are both problems of funding, and problems of technology, there are both problems of cultural departments, and problems of non-cultural departments. Cultural departments and cultural workers must incessantly pay attention to the situation and information of modern science and technology development, scientific departments and other relevant areas should also, on the basis of the real needs of cultural work, conduct scientific research, create all sorts of conditions to assist cultural departments to use the newest science and technology research, and ensure that the culture of the nation brings forth new colours.
(15) We must create a public opinion environment that pays regard to the culture of the nation.
Aimed at the thinking trends of national nihilism from the past few years, all sorts of public opinion work units and cultural organs must realistically strengthen propaganda and dissemination work on the culture of the nation. Newspapers, radio stations, television stations and related periodical and publishing departments must adopt opening special columns, organizing special subject lectures and all sorts of writers’ meetings, as well as publishing monographs, dictionaries, book series and many other methods, to use historical materialist viewpoints to assist people in correctly understanding the excellent traditions of the culture of our nation, and especially the glorious tradition of the Chinese revolutionary history and revolutionary culture since “May Fourth”. We must strengthen introduction and comment on the culture of the nation, and strengthen reporting and appraisal of outstanding personalities who have made prominent contributions to developing the culture of the nation.
We must fully utilize all sorts of national holidays to launch activities carrying forward the culture of the nation. These national holidays, such as Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival as well as the Tibetan New Year, Water Sprinkling Festival, the Corban Festival, etc., have a long history and a strong mass nature, they have dense national characteristics and are the strong carriers of the culture of the nation. We must, through correct guidance, organize all sorts of mass-type folk activities and cultural entertainment activities during holidays, make them full of life and excitement, and make national holidays into distinguished gatherings for reviewing the cultural achievements of the nation and carrying forward the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation.
We must closely link up with strengthening and improving ideological and political work, and infuse them with the content of the excellent culture of the nation. We must integrate patriotic, collectivist and Socialist education, education on arduous pioneering, diligence and thrift, education on the national circumstances and education on the situation with education on the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation and the fine traditions of the revolution, and pay attention to adopting even more culture of the nation activity forms to bring even more ethnic style and an ethnic air to our ideological education, even better reflect the spirit of incorporating teaching into play, and achieve the objective of warmly loving the culture of the nation and vitalizing the aspirations of the nation.
We must regularly organize nationwide and local xiqu, quyi and ethnic opera, music, dance, fine art and acrobatics performances, competitions and exhibitions, and through these activities, discover excellent works and outstanding talents, promoting the development and flourishing of the art of the nation. At the same time, we must also run performances and screenings of plays, films and television dramas that have clear national characteristics well, and organize that experts and the masses launch criticism and selection work, excellent works that have clear national characteristics must be forcefully honoured, creative and performing personnel with prominent contributions must be given material awards, some may also be given different levels of honorary titles, in order to shape a social morality of respecting the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation in the whole society.
(16) We must grasp children and the youth.
Carrying forward the culture of the nation, establishing and strengthening the self-respect, self-confidence and self-pride of the nation, are long-term tasks with strategic significance. This work must be grasped from nursery schools and primary schools, by implementing the integration of school, household and society, to conduct education on the history of the nation and the culture of the nation towards children and minors year per year, in a phased manner.
First, we must compile all sorts of reading materials. In our country’s history, there are many stories that reflect hard work and studiousness, intelligence and wisdom, morality and integrity, there is no lack of national heroes, people with noble ideals, literary giants and scholars, skilled craftsmen and talented persons, all have literary excellence, and there still are all sorts of legends on the “Heroes of Youth from Ancient Times”, these have a very educational significance towards minors. We must write these historical stories and historical characters into all sorts of popular literature, produce a batch of audiovisual products and cartoons, in order to conduct education on the long history and resplendent culture of the Chinese nation to the youth through many kinds of vivid, vigorous and fascinating forms. At the same time, relevant departments must also make the necessary adjustments to the primary, secondary and tertiary textbooks they use, and stress educational content on the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation in language, history, geography, system reform and other subjects.
Second, we must progressively create a cultural environment that has clear characteristics of the nation. For example: in urban construction, we must, under the presupposition of practicality and economy, as much as possible pay attention to reflecting national characteristics in housing design and bridge building, as well as the decoration and renovation of factories, schools, organs, parks and other public venues, and especially when building children’s cultural palaces, science parks and other activity centres, it is also permitted to make ethic historical figures and historical stories into content for sculpture and murals, to ensure that minors are influenced by their surroundings from an early age, in an environment and atmosphere of the culture of the nation, are influenced and educated.
Third, we must organize the youth to vigorously organize activities on the culture of the nation. For example: organizing students to launch knowledge competitions on the culture of the nation, conducting essay competitions centred on historical themes and national art contests, participating in all sorts of ethnic literature and art performances, visiting ethnic artistic performances, participating in festival celebration activities with characteristics of the nation, visiting and traveling to scenic sports and historic sites, etc.
In short, we must raise the subjective national consciousness and cultivation of the culture of the nation among minors through all channels and all sorts of educational activities, to ensure that they not only have knowledge and abilities in this area, but even more important is letting them inherit and carry forward the fine moral qualities of the traditions of the Chinese nation, mould and shape the spirit of the modern Chinese nation.
(17) We must have an overall plan.
The Socialist culture construction with carrying forward the culture of the nation as important content involves many areas, and requires the mustering of forces from all sides of society, coordination, cooperation and joint organization. This requires consideration from all possible angles, gradual planning, and implementation with an organized and well-led manner. The culture of the nation has clear local characteristics, and we must pay special attention to reflecting the reality of regions in formulating plans. We must closely link up social and economic development planning, and integrate closely with the real work in work units. Regardless of whether they are cultural departments, including education, scientific, literary, artistic, press, publications, radio, film, television, hygiene, sports, cultural heritage, library, museum or other departments, or whether they are other departments such as urban construction, traffic and transportation, farming, forestry, hydropower, commerce, foreign trade, etc., as well as factories, mines, villages and other grass roots work units, when formulating development plans for their departments and work units, they must consider Socialist culture construction, which benefits carrying forward the culture of the nation, and inspiring the spirit of the nation.
We must pay attention to integrating planning with programmes, on the basis of the requirements of general plans, formulate programmes for annual implementation plans. For example, in the excavation, arrangement, adaptation and reform of traditional theatre, and the arrangement, publishing and distribution of ancient works, the recording and processing of all ethnic or folk oral literature, the protection and use of cultural relics, etc., we must, on the basis of real needs and the principle of acting within ability, formulate concrete implementation objective. Cultural construction plans must, be guaranteed to be completed on time, similarly to completing economic construction plans.
(18) We must research and formulate corresponding economic policies.
In order to carry forward the culture of the nation, we must give the necessary support in financial and material resources. First, we must reasonably adjust and use existing cultural investment. Present cultural construction funds are relatively tight, the State’s financial strength is limited and it is impossible to bring up a lot of money at once, it is only possible that, under the principle of comprehensive planning, all levels’ squeeze some money, as far as possible, from cultural expenses, to be used for the construction of the culture of the nation. Second, we must adopt preferential policies in the area of taxation. We must give support and encouragement to the development of a healthy Socialist cultural undertaking, including the development of the undertaking of the culture of the nation, and must implement low taxation rates over income gained through the publishing, distribution, performance, screening and exhibition of excellent spiritual products in these areas, for some, we must also reduce taxation of exempt taxation, and must implement relatively high tax rates on income from those bestselling books and performance activities of which the cultural or academic value is not great, strive to help the lean with the fat, do not let work units and individuals who create or perform healthy and excellent works to lose out economically. Third is researching and improving existing allocation policies. We must, according to the principle of allocation on the basis of labour, and on the basis of the financial strength of the nation, progressively change the situation of all literature and art personnel’s income being insufficiently reasonable. We must give munificent treatment in salary, as well as housing and other areas to top-notch talents who have made prominent contributions to reflecting the spirit of Socialist times and the flourishing of the undertaking of the culture of the nation. Fourth, we must advocate run cultural undertakings with hard work and thrift, strive to achieve matters are run with less money, and matters are run without spending money. In recent years, our expenses in the cultural undertaking were on the one hand far from sufficient, and on the other hand, the phenomena of extravagance and waste existed as well, especially a number of films of inferior quality have cost huge sums of money, and have not been performed in public. If we are somewhat more strict in this area, we can organize many beneficial things.
(19) We must establish a line of huge teams of workers for the culture of the nation.
Fostering and training a large batch of excellent workers for the culture of the nation is a basic measure in inheriting and developing the excellent culture of the nation, and is an urgent task facing us at present. We must adopt all sorts of forceful measures, including organizing all sorts of cultural and art academies, fostering and training specialist talents in all areas. We must give higher regard to giving rein to the function of old experts and old artists, and doing teaching, helping and leading well. We must create conditions to let self-educated workers for the culture of the nation develop their own strong points. We must care for and support folk artists who are scattered around society, help them raise levels, and fully give rein to their function in carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation.
We must advocate that the workers for the culture of the nation strive to study Marxism, study the line, principles and policies of the Party since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, study literature and art theory and modern scientific and cultural knowledge, go deeply into life, increase an accumulation of live, strive to raise ideological levels and professional qualities. We must advocate that cultural workers and especially specialist personnel earnestly study the excellent traditions of the culture of the nation, and cultivate a strong environment of academic research, concentration on creation and diligent practice of basic technique, and incessantly raise the fostering of the culture of the nation and professional levels.
Here, I’d like to discuss the issue of strengthening the unity of literature and art teams. Our workers for the culture of the nation, both in quality and in quantity, cannot suit the needs of the circumstances by far, because of this, strengthening unity and shaping joint forces is especially important. All categories, all schools and all masters in the culture of the nation have their own strong points. Carrying forward the culture of the nation includes the joint rise of all categories and schools, everyone must mutually respect, mutually study and mutually learn from one another, and draw on others’ strong points to compensate for own shortcomings. Those who are workers for the culture of the nation should continue to inherit and carry forward the excellent virtue of the Chinese nation, put the great undertaking of the people first, have broad minds, and a generosity of tolerance to the other, free themselves from narrow and small circles, and abandon those knotty and bumpy things, look ahead in everything, and unite around the great objective of serving the people and serving Socialism, make concerted efforts, and contribute their own forces to promote the undertaking of the culture of the nation.
(20) We must strengthen Party leadership over the work of carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation.
This issue must be put in the agenda of leaders, there must be special persons who are responsible for this part of work, and at the same time as constructing a Socialist material civilization, grasp carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation as an important matter in constructing a Socialist spiritual civilization. We must regularly research and discuss matters, and timely supervise and examine matters. We must strengthen the ideological and political work of cultural workers, care for them politically, help them consciously persist in the “two fors” policy, when matters occur, tell them in advance, and ensure that their ideologies are able to follow the development of circumstances; at the same time, we must also as much as possible help cultural workers to solve real difficulties in work and life; we must respect the results of their labour, and create a good work environment for them, to enable them to fully give rein to their own intelligence and talent. All levels’ leading cadres must be intimate friends of cultural workers, regularly communicate thoughts with them, and closely unite the broad cultural workers around the Party, organize them to provide even more and even more beautiful spiritual products to the people, and satisfy the popular masses’ spiritual cultural life needs even better.
Comrades! The development of our Chinese nation is at a major historical juncture! From the middle of this century until the middle of next century, we must use one hundred years of time, struggle arduously, cast off poverty and backwardness, and basically realize modernization on the basic of Socialism. Forty years of time have already passed, and there have been huge achievements and experiences, and there also have been many complications and lessons. We have already stridden into the Nineties. This decade of the nineties is a crucial step, if this step is done well, it can lay a good basis for smooth development in the next century. This is so in economic construction, it is also so in cultural construction. On the eve of founding the nation, Comrade Mao Zedong put forward the task of rejuvenating the magnificent culture of the Chinese nation in his article criticizing the United States’ white paper. The “Central Committee Resolution Concerning Guiding Policies for the Construction of a Socialist Spiritual Civilization” put forward: the Party line since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Committee has endowed this rejuvenation with new and strong vitality and vigour; this rejuvenation, will create a highly developed Socialist spiritual civilization with Marxism as guidance, which critically inherits historical traditions and fully reflects the spirit of the time, has a footing in this country and faces the world. Today, our discussing the issue of carrying forward the excellent culture of the nation, has com out of such an historical height and an ideological height. We have complete confidence and ability to seize an even more brilliant future for the culture of the Chinese nation. Let us arise, unite and act, and diligently struggle to construct a new culture of Socialism with Chinese characteristics!
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