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Propaganda in Mao's Communist China

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Reid Harris

on 15 February 2015

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Transcript of Propaganda in Mao's Communist China

Propaganda in Mao's Communist China
by: Reid Harris

The Cultural Revolution
the Cultural Revolution was a social and political movement that took place in 1966 in China
the revolution was initiated by Zedong in response to growing capitalism that was being influenced by the revisionists Communists
to eliminate the opposition, Mao began to act in violence against his rivals while simultaneously utilizing mass propaganda techniques to boost Chinese nationalism
Short Slogans and Phrases

Short slogans were utilized by Mao's Communist China on posters, in chants, and in Mao's Little Red Book. The people of China were encouraged to memorize slogans and the political ideals in this book; they were essentially encouraged to be just like Mao. These slogans were essential to the Communist campaign by targeting the masses and using the Bandwagon effect in increases the support of Mao's political party by several hundred thousands. Here are some examples of short slogans and phrases:
Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive one; it is man and not materials that counts.

-Mao Zedong

Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.

-Mao Zedong
Mao decided to attack the drama industry, which he claimed was dominated by scholars in the past. All theatrical performances, whether they be drama, operas, or ballets, were strongly encouraged to follow three guidelines that were stressed: positive characters, anyone associated with being a hero or heroine, and the benefits of communism and no social hierarchy. Success in agriculture and industry by the lower class were forced to be practiced in the visual arts, including song lyrics. This aided the communist regime by attracting support from the middle and lower classes, in which most of the citizens of China fell under. The idea of success by individuals who seemed worthless aided in attracting support during the Cultural Revolution.
Colored Flags, Uniforms, and Posters
Images of Chairman Mao and colors associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were used on flags, uniforms, and posters to promote nationalism and boost pro-communist sentiment. Mao was often seen as a floating figure, and he was given a warm, smooth complexion, mesmerizing eyes, strong muscles, and a higher position than any opposition. The opposition were painted on as being small and fragile. The CCP flag and the colors red and white were imprinted on uniforms and posters. The color red was associated with violence; this is important to the communist campaign, as it implemented an idea of hatred for the opposition to the "Godly" Chairman Mao.
"Wei renmin fuwu"-"Serve the People"
"Pi Lin pi Kong"-"Criticize Lin Biao and Confucius"
"Zao fan you li"-"To rebel is justified"
Examples of Posters, Flags, and Uniforms in the CCP
Music and Song, Theatrical Performances, Drama
Examples of Music and Song in China
"Nice place and beautiful scenery/nice place and beautiful scenery/ crops everywhere/ cattle and sheep all around (excerpt from a song boosting communist sentiment)
Film and Radio Broadcasts
Movies and radio broadcasts were developed in order to convey a feeling of optimism with the CCP and a sense of superiority to the world. Movies were demanded to condemn opponents of the communist ideologies, while simultaneously trying to convert revisionists communists to traditionalist communists. The "People's Radio Broadcasting" was established after World War II to allow for both the Chinese residents and surrounding countries to hear mass political rallies and speeches. The radio and film industries both were important to the communist party because they told foreign countries not to worry about the threat of the CCP while also urging everyone to indoctrinate a full scale communistic state. Anyone who went against the regulations of the CCP were sent to concentration camps, called laogai.
Examples of Film and Radio Broadcasts
"People's Radio Broadcasting"
Modern Communications Technologies
Like Hitler, Mao utilized new advancements in technology to reach out to the masses. The use of new radios, which could reach to the outskirts of the country, were used the most effectively. Newspapers, such as "People's Daily", were commonly dispensed in every small town; these relied on a method Mao called "rule by editorial", in which people were to read and study the ideologies in them as a political commitment to the country. The China Central Television network was created in 1958, and was made available by mass markets to those who could afford them.
Examples of New Communication Technology
Advancements in communication technologies were important to the communist party because advancements in radio distribution and newspaper availability allowed more and more Chinese people to see the success and greatness that the CCP wanted to show the public.
(No they did not have
cell phones)
modern CCTV headquarters
Mass Public Rallies and Spectacles
The Chinese Communist Party used massive "hypnosis" and indoctrination in order to mobilize massive movements and rallies. Rallies included celebrating Mao's birthday, celebrating social and political accomplishments (such as new ideologies ie: communal farms), and the celebration of opposition being eliminated. These mass movements were important to the communist party because it helped to show the strength of the CCP to the people of China and the world. These rallies, with the massive number of participates, also helped to eliminate opposition that could not stand up to the CCP with any significant force.
Examples of Mass Political Rallies and Spectacles
The Focus on Youth and Young Families
Like other countries where single-party states existed, Mao intensely focused on the youthful generation in China. His Little Red Books were issued to schools of every level across China in order to implement communist ideas into the students. They were taught to hate all forms of government other than communism. The youth were encouraged to attend parades and practice the art of self-cleansing, in which they would publicly denounce themselves for their wrongdoings that could put the CCP in danger.
Youth Being Targeted
Targeting youth was important to Mao and the communist party because the youth was the future of the country; without the support of the youth, the CCP and communism could not last.
Works Cited
Origins of Single Party States Textbook
http://triplehelixblog.com/2012/04/psychology-propaganda-and-the-chinese-cultural-revolution/
http://chineseposters.net/themes/mao-cult.php
http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-12-12/chinas-evolving-propaganda-benevolent-mao-zedong-todays-slick-machine
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