Conclusions of Chapter 5 of the Common Program

Wang (2015) remarks "Some (movies) enjoyed immense success and popularity after their release but were later subjected to extensive criticism. By no means was socialist mainstream cinema a uniform practice; rather, it entailed a process of dynamic political and artistic experiment, which simultaneously defined and contested the boundaries of a new national cinema."
Wang Lingzhen (2015). Wang Ping and Women’s Cinema in Socialist China: Institutional Practice, Feminist Cultures, and Embedded Authorship. Page 608
Propaganda is at the first place aimed at: (1) the masses of workers and peasants, who are regarded as natural supporters of the regime, (2) the remnants of formerly powerful social classes, most of whom are likely to remain enemies, (3) the youth in schools and armed forces who are relatively uncontaminated by the ideas of previous regimes and who can be educated in socialist doctrine, and (4) the Communist militants themselves, whose loyalty and techniques need constant strengthening. "
Houn Franklin W. & Hou Fu-Wu (1961).To Change a Nation: Propaganda and Indoctrination in Communist China. Page 9
The most important theme of the propaganda is "The continuous drive toward technological and economic advancement furnishes a central theme for nearly all propaganda and indoctrination campaigns. Stepping up production is among the highest of Communist virtues. The campaigns are calculated to justify to the working people the production goals set by the regime and to arouse their zeal and enthusiasm. Labor discipline and the need for being content with poor working conditions require that the incentives offered for higher production be primarily psychological. The regime has not thus far provided adequate material stimuli to productivity; its emphasis upon the production of capital goods at the expense of consumer's goods has made this impossible, and hence appeals to the worker's loyalty and devotion are essential. "
Hou (1961). To Change a Nation. Page 18
In the first years of the PRC "Socialism in the 1950s was fluid. Local implementation of central policies was flexible due to practical considerations. Cadres interpreted and implemented central policies locally, even personally, when contradictions appeared between the Party’s guidelines and local situations."
Zhao Mi (2014). From singing girl to revolutionary artist: female entertainers remembering China’s socialist past (1949–the present). Page 184
This often resulted "...some state cultural institutions and enterprises continued to exhibit profit-minded behavior by focusing their efforts on maximizing attendance, rather than on correct propaganda and enforcement of high ideological standards among employees
Johnson Matthew David (2015).Beneath the Propaganda State: Official and Unofficial Cultural Landscapes in Shanghai, 1949–1965. Page 209
Already during Japanese occupation and during the civil war, the CCP recognized the significance of graphic art “and its ability to sway public opinion through forceful images… not only to comment on political as well as social developments but also, and more important, to portray visions of a new society under Communist rule.”
Hung Chang-Tai (1997). Two Images of Socialism: Woodcuts in Chinese Communist Politics. Page 35
Perry (2012) concludes "The PRC propaganda system was patterned both institutionally and operationally on that of the Soviet Union. In contrast to the Bolsheviks, however, Mao and his comrades enjoyed the advantage of having tinkered with this system for nearly three decades prior to the establishment of a Communist party-state. The result,..., “Soviet models were never blindly followed, and, on many occasions, they were either rejected by Chinese officials or appropriated for their own use."
Perry Elizabeth J.(2012). Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition. Page 155. Not only is the propaganda system built on Yan'an experiences but also on Imperial and GMD traditions.
Compare this with Pepper (1990) Article 43 .
Johnson (2015) observes "...post- 1949 local cultural landscapes remained heterogeneous, even in the context of ongoing state expansion into previously unorganized leisure time or amidst efforts to export urban- produced cultural templates from city core to periphery and countryside" and he continues "Responsibility for managing local cultural activity fell to provincial and municipal, rather than county, governments, creating limitations on budgets and personnel available for the promotion of state culture in rural areas"
Johnson Matthew David (2015).Beneath the Propaganda State. Pages 203, 208
Cong (2016) notices also some obstacles "For the CCP , the popular arts like Pingju and other local operas were very helpful in promoting its new policies. These arts had a broad audience among the lower social classes which were the targeted audience for the CCP social movements, and were strongly motivated to adopt revolutionary themes for social reform as they sought state recognition for their works. Nevertheless, in the eyes of the elites and the new state, the popular arts, such as xiangsheng , quyi and local operas , also had shortcomings because the performers and musicians, who were often illiterate or semi-literate..., had difficulty in understanding the political core of social reform and were thus not able to present the political themes well....Meanwhile, the vulgar taste and erotic content of their works also became a big obstacle to their consideration as high-class art and use in serving the idealistic goals of politics."
Cong Xiaoping (2016). Marriage, Law and Gender in Revolutionary China, 1940–1960. Pages 258-259
Hu (2012) lists the instruments the party has to reward and punish writers and other artists. – The CCP monopolized all avenues for publication, thereby preempting opportunities for the publication of works that the Party disliked. – The CCP would in all cases carry out a severe persecution of authors who had written so-called “reactionary” works, as soon as this was discovered. – The CCP would greatly commend the works of which it was fond and would often bestow extremely handsome rewards of fame and profit on the writers of those works. – The CCP employed all of its propaganda tools to install its line and viewpoint throughout the entire society, and explicitly proclaimed that Party ideology would guide all creative activities.
Hu Ping (2012). The thought remolding campaign of the Chinese communist party-state. Page 89

Conclusion...

The CCP’s directives on thought remoulding are vague. "This allowed local cadres greater leeway and initiative in carrying out campaigns, but it also reflected the competing objectives of the party’s various concurrent campaigns (in this case, national reconstruction and New Democracy, on the one hand, and Thought Reform, the Three Antis, and the Korean War, on the other). Yet, far from exhibiting patience, the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries led to a preliminary round of arrests in universities and schools throughout China, including more than 4,700 teachers and staff (mostly in lower and middle schools) in the East China region by the end of 1951"
Pieragastini (2018). Reform and Closing Up. Pages 147
The CCP considers the media division as an imperative tool to establish the new regime and an important instrument in the class struggle. Far ahead of other industries the publishing industry is transformed to a full state controlled sector. Volland (2003) expresses this point of view: "The restructuring the Chinese publishing sector had taken little more than two years, from early 1949 to early 1951. The process had been far from linear; it had been riddled by protracted debates, misunderstandings, and breakdowns of communication. Overall, trial and error accompanied the experiments that in the end led to the emergence of a permanent structure for the Chinese publishing sector – not without, however, leading to significant disruptions of the industry’s functioning. The Party’s determination to accept these disruptions …as a transitory phenomenon attests to the conviction of the CCP leadership to follow the ideas outlined in the Party’s media concept..."
Volland (2003) Page 286

Wang Lingzhen (2015). Wang Ping and Women’s Cinema in Socialist China: Institutional Practice, Feminist Cultures, and Embedded Authorship. Page 608 Back
Houn Franklin W. & Hou Fu-Wu (1961). To Change a Nation: Propaganda and Indoctrination in Communist China. Page 9 Back
Houn (1961). To Change a Nation. Page 18 Back
Zhao Mi (2014). From singing girl to revolutionary artist: female entertainers remembering China’s socialist past (1949–the present). Page 184 Back
Johnson Matthew David (2015).Beneath the Propaganda State: Official and Unofficial Cultural Landscapes in Shanghai, 1949–1965. Page 209 Back
Hung Chang-Tai (1997). Two Images of Socialism: Woodcuts in Chinese Communist Politics. Page 35 Back
Perry Elizabeth J.(2012). Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition. Page 155. Not only is the propaganda system built on Yan'an experiences but also on Imperial and GMD traditions. Back
Johnson Matthew David (2015).Beneath the Propaganda State. Pages 203, 208 Back
Cong Xiaoping (2016). Marriage, Law and Gender in Revolutionary China, 1940–1960. Pages 258-259 Back
Hu Ping (2012). The thought remolding campaign of the Chinese communist party-state. Page 89 Back
Pieragastini (2018). Reform and Closing Up. Pages 147 Back
Volland (2003) The control. Page 286 Back