Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
February 11, 1948
[This inner-Party directive was drafted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. ]
In the past few months our news agency and newspapers in many places have publicized without discrimination or analysis many unsound reports and articles containing "Left" deviationist errors. Here are some examples.
1.They did not propagate the line of relying on the poor peasants and farm labourers and firmly uniting with the middle peasants in order to abolish the feudal system, but one-sidedly propagated a poor peasant-farm labourer line. They did not propagate the view that the proletariat should unite with all working people and others who are oppressed, the national bourgeoisie, the intellectuals and other patriots (including the enlightened gentry who do not oppose land reform) in order to overthrow the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and establish a People's Republic of China and a people's democratic government, but one-sidedly propagated the view that the poor peasants and farm labourers conquer the country and should rule the country, or that the democratic government should be a government of the peasants only, or that the democratic government should listen only to the workers, poor peasants and farm labourers, while no mention at all was made of the middle peasants, the independent craftsmen, the national bourgeoisie and the intellectuals. This is a serious error of principle. Yet reports of this kind have been circulated by our news agency, newspapers and radio stations. And the propaganda departments of the Party committees in various places have failed to report these errors to the higher levels. In the past few months such propaganda, though not widespread, has been fairly frequent and has created an atmosphere in which people have been misled into believing that it might represent the correct leading ideas. Because the Northern Shensi Radio Station broadcast some incorrect items, people even mistakenly believed that these were views approved by the Central Committee.
2. On the question of Party consolidation, there has not been sufficiently vigorous propaganda in some areas either against taking no account of class origin or against taking account of class origin alone; and there has even been erroneous propaganda which advocates taking account of class origin alone.
3. On the question of land reform, in some areas propaganda against both hesitation and rashness has been taken well in hand; but in many areas rashness has been encouraged and articles praising it have even been published. On the question of the relationship between the leadership and the masses, attention has been given in some areas to conducting propaganda against both commandism and tailism, but in many areas there has been an erroneous emphasis on "doing everything as the masses want it done" and an accommodation to wrong views existing among the masses. Even wrong views held not by the masses but only by a few individuals have been uncritically accepted. This negates the leading role of the Party and encourages tailism.
4. With regard to policies concerning industry and commerce and the working-class movement, serious "Left" deviations existing in certain Liberated Areas have been either praised or ignored.
To sum up, in the past few months our propaganda work has correctly reflected and guided the great struggles -- the war, the land reform, Party consolidation, production and support for the front -- and contributed to their great achievements; this is the major aspect of our propaganda work, and it must be affirmed first of all. But some errors and shortcomings must also be noted. They are of an ultra-Left character. A few run completely counter to the principles and standpoint of Marxism-Leninism and depart completely from the line of the Central Committee. It is expected that the bureaus and sub-bureaus of the Central Committee, their propaganda departments, the central and regional head offices of the Hsinhua News Agency and the comrades working on all the newspapers will check up on the propaganda work of the last few months on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principles and the line of the Central Committee, extend their achievements, correct their errors and see to it that their work helps to ensure victory in these great struggles -- the war, the land reform, Party consolidation, the working-class movement -- and to ensure victory in the whole anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution. The propaganda departments of the Party committees in all areas and the central office of the Hsinhua News Agency should assume the main responsibility for this check-up and should submit, in their own names, policy reports on its results to the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung