Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Reply To Article “Tsinghua University Physics Teaching And Research Group Inclines Toward The ‘Left’ Rather Than Right In Handling Teachers”

December 22, 1958

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Zedong Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

I suggest printing and distributing the article to the party committees, general branches, and branch committees of all universities, special schools, and scientific research organs for their perusal. There should be a discussion to correct the main orientation and strive to make as many professors, lecturers, assistants, and research personnel as possible serve proletarian education and culture and science. What do you think? It should also be distributed to the party committees and general branches of literary and art organizations, newspapers, periodicals, and publishing organs for their study and discussion. Please consider and decide.



Tsinghua University Physics Teaching and Research Group Inclines toward
the ‘Left’ Rather Than Right in Handling Teachers.

Recently the party general branch of the Tsinghua University Public Teaching and Research Group inspected the work of the Physics Teaching and Research Group Branch and organized the party members to discuss its policy toward intellectuals. The following problems were uncovered in the discussion:

1. It is felt that the intellectuals are the objects of revolution in the socialist revolution period, and even more so when entering communism, because the absolute majority of them are bourgeois intellectuals and belong to the exploiting class. Even league member assistant professors are considered the objects of revolution.

2. It is felt that, to start from the interest of the working class, the class line should be followed, but not the mass line, as it is not suitable in the school. To clarify the dividing lines, they incline toward the “left.” They feel that “bringing out the role of old teachers” will confuse the class line and relax the struggle.

3. It is felt that all high level intellectuals are fundamentally opposed to the party’s education policy, that they set up a formation to attack us; that we must counter-attack. All the objects of the united front are retrogressive. To have them here is for the purpose of setting up opposites.

4. It is felt that party prestige and mass consciousness have been raised and that the time has arrived for replacement by party members. As the work load is heavy now, performing united front work will impede the great leap forward. The leaders of all organizations should be replaced by party members.

As a result of such wrong ideas, they adopted some wrong methods in their work. The director of the teaching and research office, Liu Shao-t’ang (medium left), had always made a relatively good showing, yet the branch felt that he could only serve as a negative example. He was asked to compile the teaching outline together with several backward assistants. Meanwhile, the party and league members compiled another outline behind his back and prepared to compete with him. Liu manifested extreme enthusiasm, finishing the task by working through the night. No fault could be found with it. Yet the party members laid his outline aside and handed the outline compiled by the party and league members to the masses for discussion.

During the socialist and communist education movement, the party and league members declared at the small group meetings: “If we do not promote communism now, it is a withdrawal in face of the bourgeoisie. The principal rejects salary reduction; it is a compromise with the high level intellectuals. If they are [politically] conscious, they should voluntarily cut their salary. If these people still do no reform, they should be sent to the old age home!”

All the work of the teaching and research group was handled by the party branch, without consulting the group chairman. The party general branch wanted to stimulate the enthusiasm of all the teachers. but the branch could not see the point. It felt that if the prestige of these people was not knocked down, it would not be able to stimulate the enthusiasm of the party and league members. When the party general branch proposed motivating the masses to summarize the experiences in implementing the education policy, the branch was also reluctant, saying: “Why is it necessary to summarize experiences in company with the objects of revolution?”

The Tsinghua University party commission recently corrected such erroneous methods.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung