Maoism Rising Among Chinese Students

A very powerful trend is developing among China’s students that have the school administrations worried. Students are starting to read the works of Mao once again and have actually understood what they mean. They have not seen them as the ruling class does in China right now, a way to invoke the popular image of Mao to push through pro-market reforms. The students are now truly learning what it means to be a Maoist, building up what is known as the new left. This has those in power, both in society and in the educational institutions worried.

Young people in the schools have taken up Mao’s slogans and taken them to heart, particularly “serve the people”. Mao badges have appeared among the student’s chests and Red plays are being organized to spread Mao Tse-tung Thought. A cultural re-awakening of Maoism is taking off among the youth who see their society being alienated.

The students are very critical of what capitalism has brought to China. They’re concerned about the corruption, social alienation, and poor job market for graduates, and distrust of Western culture seeping in and destroying their own. All these are happening because of capitalism and the students correctly recognize the source of it.

A former leading Chinese Communist Party official cites pollution as a leading cause of social unrest in the country. According to him China now sees 30,000 to 50,000 such incidents a year. Much of it has been failing to deal with the problem of tainted soil, air and water. Premier Wen Jiabao has already stated that there must be a balance economic development with environmental protection.[1]

Productive relations pressure on the working class has been terrible as well. As foreign companies are seeking to obtain cheaper and cheaper labour the workers are becoming exploited harder and harder. We’re all familiar now with the suicide nets that were installed around the Foxconn housing facilities to stop the workers form killing themselves due to the working conditions.[2] In other places there are the rare examples of the workers taking the managers hostage in an act of rebellion over poor treatment. Hundreds of workers who had be pressed too hard struck back and took their managers and threatened violence if concessions were not made. [3]

Ironically in a very Western way people have begun taking to social media to make pro Maoist commentary of modern China. They criticize liberal scholars who constantly pound the idea of opening China up to foreign powers as good for the people. They don’t think that growing inequality and corruption are values that China should hold for its people, but that’s what they’re getting from the system. People are tired of what is happening to them and are rising up to challenge the prevailing ideas.

Increasing numbers of people in China are now publicly challenging the system that has been presented to them. In 2011 a group of Maoists took to the streets to commemorate the 35 anniversary of Mao’s death. Demonstrators chanted revolutionary slogans and delivered fiery speeches based on Mao’s Little Red Book. The police were ordered to go in and arrest the leader of the group but he managed to escape. Nine people were instead arrested in the incident. [4]

One doesn’t need attended a rally in order to be practically declared an enemy of the capitalist state. On December 21, 2004 a group of four men were tried for handing out leaflets. Those leaflets criticized the government for turning towards capitalism and called for the country to turn back towards the “socialist road.” Two of the men were found guilty of libel and given three-year prison sentences.[5] All this just for acknowledging that China turned back towards capitalism and asked that it go towards a socialist program once again.

Should we be surprised that it’s the students that are stepping forward with these ideas of social change? We should not; it’s been a pattern of history. During the Cultural Revolution it was primarily the students who were now exposed to new ideas that were the driving force behind bringing those same news ideas to society. The same thing happened in the West during the 50s and 60s when civil rights broke out. It was students that formed the “Vanguard” of new ideas being brought to the population. Brutal repression was brought down upon these kids for daring to challenge the oppressive conservative order.

Some things never change.

As usual in the media reporting of it they repeat all the lies typically made of the Mao era. Many are claiming that these students are ignoring the so called crimes that were committed. For example one points to Chinese students supposedly being “forced” to live as peasants. In actuality they were sent to go out and perform the jobs they were learning to do. This is akin to “on the job training” or being an intern. Except with these Chinese students they actually learned something by doing the actual job as opposed to just being forced to the simplistic grunt work in our society. Their system gave an education to students in the form of experience while ours just gives free labour.

Imagine that, capitalism clamouring for free labour.

Other times they just completely miss the point and show themselves to be the fools they are. “The Barefoot Doctors” are a classic example of this ignorance and misinformation. They were specialist paramedics that were trained in hygiene, emergency medical skills and all sorts of knowledge that was not available in the countryside. The very purpose of training these people was so that they could go out and help the peasants who were suffering. That is exactly what they signed up for. They were not “forced” to do it, it was the very reason they went to school.

People actually wanted to help other people and go to school in order to do so. Even with the knowledge of the Hippocratic Oath, the people who make these false claims of China can’t understand why a person would genuinely want to help another.

The system has already recognized that there is a problem and are worried about it.

“…academics who are closest to the phenomenon admit to fears that it represents a dangerous split in society. “They are either extreme leftists or extreme rightists,” one professor at the university said of her students, requesting anonymity out of concern that speaking about politics might result in retribution from the government. “When they have differences, there is no dialogue between them. This is a worrisome phenomenon and also some reflection of the split in society.”

Yes, contradiction!

Society is alienating because of the contradiction between the ruling ideology with the government against the people and their interests. These develop contradictions among the people and then they exacerbate them further by fighting with each other. They all see a problem and then take their particular belief of what is causing it. This causes major rifts between the people because they don’t know how to resolve those contradictions and unite to fight the problem.

It is only in uniting together to resolve these contradictions under the leadership of the Vanguard Party can the people of China rise up against the bureaucrat-capitalists who oppress the Chinese people

[Edit: This article was modified to present more information several hours after it was originally published.]


[1] Chinese Anger Over Pollution Becomes Main Cause of Social Unrest

[2] Suicide nets at Foxconn

[3] Chinese Factory Workers Hold Managers Hostage In Strike Over 2-Minute Bathroom Breaks

[4] Modern-day Maoists worry Chinese authorities

[5] On December 24, 2004, Maoists in China Get Three Year Prison Sentences for Leafleting

On December 24, 2004, Maoists in China Get Three Year Prison Sentences for Leafleting