The Mass Line in China
Including Articles from China on the Mass
Line and/or Having a Mass Perspective
This section is devoted to information about the use of the mass line
in China, and to articles from China about the mass line and/or having a mass perspective (other than
those by Mao himself which are in a separate section).
Special Articles and Essays:
- “The Mass Line”, by Dr. Joshua Horn. A moving lecture which Dr. Horn gave
in New York in 1971, and which was included as the introductory essay in the pamphlet Health Care
in China, (Anglo-Chinese Educational Institute, Modern China Series No. 8, 1976). This lecture
brings out aspects of what it means to have a mass perspective as well as providing some concrete
examples of using the mass line method of leadership in medical and health work.
Articles from Peking Review (renamed Beijing Review in 1979). Only articles
with significant attention paid to the mass line are listed below. A list of all the articles from
Peking Review which are available on MASSLINE.ORG can be found at:
- “Industrial Management in China — How
China’s Socialist State-Owned Industrial Enterprises Are Managed”, by Ma Wen-kuei, Issue #9, Feb. 26,
1965. Stresses the importance of the mass line in the management of socialist industries. It is, however,
somewhat uncertain just what this pre-Cultural Revolution article means by “the mass line” and
therefore also somewhat uncertain just how sincere it might be on this topic.
- “On the Ideological Front:
Workers, Peasants and Soldiers Study Marxist Philosophy”, issue #6, Feb. 4, 1966. One point raised
here is that the mass line and learning from the masses should be used even to properly develop abstract
subjects such as philosophy.
- “Revolutionary Leadership:
County Party Secretary Chiao Yu-lu”, issue #9, Feb. 25, 1966. Hailing a model Party leader and “an
outstanding pupil of Chairman Mao”. See especially
this section of the
- “Victory for the Proletarian
Revolutionary Line Represented by Chairman Mao”, issue #45, Nov. 4, 1966. This is an important
editorial from Hongqi about the nature and status of the “two-line struggle” in the GPCR, and
about how errant cadres should be treated. It also gives considerable emphasis to the importance of
using the mass line and avoiding paternalism or an attitude of “tutelage” toward the masses.
- “Repudiating China’s Khrushchov:
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is Dictatorship by the Masses”, by Proletarian Revolutionaries of
the Political Academy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Issue #44, Nov. 1, 1968. Focuses on the
importance of involving the masses and using the mass line in security work.
- “The Masses Are the Makers
of History”, by Tien Chih-sung, Issue #29, July 21, 1972.
- “Cadres Studying Marxism-Leninism:
Theory Is the Guide to Practice”, Issue #41, Oct. 13, 1972.
- “Cadres Studying Marxism-Leninism:
Revolutionary Theory of Reflection”, Issue #46, Nov. 17, 1972.
- “Always Be One of the Working
People: Notes on studying ‘The Civil War in France’”, by Wei Feng-ying, Issue #50, Dec. 15, 1972.
- “Having Faith in and Relying on
the Majority of the Masses”, by An Chun, Issue #14, April 6, 1973.
- “Practising Economy: A Principle
of Socialist Economics”, by Chi Ching, Issue #18, May 4, 1973.
- “Revolution and Development (IV):
Mass Line in Road Building”, by Chiang Shan-hao, Issue #4, Jan. 25, 1974.
- “Building Oil Industry Through
Self-Reliance — A visit to the new oil pipeline as well as Taching and Takang Oilfields (II)”, by
Hsiang Jung and Yu Hai, Issue #2, Jan. 10, 1975.
- “Chairman Mao on Mao Zedong
Thought”, Issue #2, Jan. 14, 1980. This article shows a relatively early attempt by the revisionists
to put their own systematic spin on Mao’s writings. However, there are some interesting quotations from
Mao on the mass line here which the revisionists entirely fail to correctly understand.
- [More to be added later.]
Recent Articles, Letters and Postings on the Mass Line in China:
“Critique of the ‘Backward Masses’ Theory”, by Yue Linwan, a posting on the Utopia website,
April 30, 2011, 2 pages.
PDF format [140 KB];
MS Word format [29 KB]
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