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Fundamental Principles for Development of Socialist Culture and Art
2004-09-21

1. "Serve the People and Serve Socialism"  

"Serve the people and serve socialism" is the correct direction for the development of socialist culture and art. Serving the people is to meet their increasing spiritual and Cultural demands. Those engaging in Cultural and artistic work should reflect people's lives, desires and demands, and strive to improve their work as well as they can to provide people with their best Cultural and artistic services. "Serve the people" means: first, Culture and art should reflect people's life. Only by plunging into life and the masses and sharing people's weal and woe can cultural and artistic workers create works that can be handed on from age to age; and second, Culture and art should stress national characteristics and styles so that people will accept and favor them, thus educating, encouraging and entertaining people. (Fig.1 -2) Serving socialism means that Culture and art should reflect the essential characteristics of socialism and spirit of the time, demonstrate figures and events in the practice of socialism, extol the true, the good and the beautiful, expose the false, the evil and the ugly, Cultivate people's sentiment, and encourage people to contribute to the socialist modernization drive. (Fig.1-3)

To best serve the people and socialism, priority should be given to social benefit in developing socialist culture and art. What to be advocated and what to be opposed should be dependent on people's interests and the socialist development. Unhealthy elements of Culture that go against this direction should be firmly opposed and resisted and cultural rubbish Such as feudalist thoughts, superstition and pornography be eliminated. "Serve the people and serve socialism" is not only a requirement for the ideological and moral level of cultural and artistic workers, but also for their professional quality. It requires Cultural and artistic workers to incorporate their emotions for the people and acknowledge the nature and routine of socialism into their own world outlook, values, aesthetic standards and artistic sensations so that they can create works with highly integrated ideological contents and artistic quality.

This requirement is significant not only in theory, but also in practice.
 
2. "Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom and A Hundred Schools of Thoughts Contend"  

"Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend" is the basic principle required to develop a prospering culture and art. Concretely, it means that cultural and artistic works of different styles, schools, types and ways can coexist and develop freely in academic field, and it advocates a situation in which different viewpoints contend with each other and are freely discussed.

This principle was put forward by late Chairman Mao Zedong. "A hundred flowers bloom" is a vivid metaphor while "a hundred schools of thoughts contend" is a historical allusion. In 1951, Mao wrote, "let a hundred flowers bloom, and weed through the old to bring forth the new" for the Chinese Opera Research Institute. In 1953, he sponsored to "let a hundred schools of thoughts contend" in the research of Chinese history. In 1956, the principle of "let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend" was formerly put forth. The development of China's socialist Culture and art has fully proved that the principle plays a significant role in enriching the country's Culture and art. (Fig.1 -5) The principle advocates democracy. According to China’s Constitution, Chinese citizens enjoy creative and academic freedom. The Constitution stipulates that Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of speech and publication as well as freedom in scientific research, cultural and artistic creation and other cultural activities. The principle of "let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend" is an illustration of the Constitution. The principle promotes unity. Culture and art playing a role in uniting and educating people. Unity is also needed within the Cultural and artistic fields. Only when "a hundred flowers" are allowed to bloom and "a hundred schools of thoughts" are allowed to contend can Cultural and artistic workers liberate their mind and express their thoughts by choosing ways suitable for their own styles and ideas, and thus, can unity be achieved. Equal and friendly discussions are advocated among Cultural and artistic workers of different types and different schools as well as between Cultural and artistic workers and readers, audiences and critics. Reflecting facts, telling reasons, pursuing the truth and correcting mistakes are also advocated. (Fig.1 -6)

The principle also conforms to the routine of Cultural and artistic development. Cultural and artistic creation is an illustration of the rich spiritual world of the writers and artists. It is a creative and complicated spiritual labor, a distillation of writers' and artists' experiences of life, a combination of their knowledge and artistic skills, and a penetration into their character A free external environment helps bring creative potential into full play. Late leader Deng Xiaoping once pointed out that culture and art, which mean complicated spiritual labor, need personal creative spirit. What to write and how to write can only be explored and decided by means of practice. It should not be interfered. Freedom of creation is the basic law for cultural and artistic work; with the principle of "let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend" being the fundamental guarantee. Persisting in the principle is to require governmental departments to avoid bureaucracy in carrying out their administrative duties and eliminate administrative control upon Cultural and artistic creation. They should be friends of Cultural and artistic workers, exchanging opinions with them on a equal footing and providing conditions for them to be dedicated in their work, so that their intelligence and wisdom can be brought into full play. (Fig.1 -7)

3. Advocate the Theme and Sponsor Diversity  
"Advocate the theme and sponsor diversity" embodies the direction of "serve the people and serve socialism" and the principle of "let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend." To advocate the theme means: under the guidance of the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and the basic line of the CPC, advocate patriotic, collectivist and socialist thoughts and spirit which is beneficial for reform and opening up, modernization drive, national unity and social progress, and advocate the thoughts and spirit of striving for better life by means of honesty and hard work. (Fig.1 -8) To sponsor diversity is to let a hundred flowers bloom – allowing artists to illustrate what they want in any means only if they do not run against the direction of "serve the people and serve socialism." China has a long history, a vast territory and a huge population. People of different ethnic groups, professions, ages, experiences and education levels have different customs, Cultural traditions and artistic likes. Grand or exquisite, serious or humorous, or emotional or philosophic can all be reflected in culture and artistic works only if they educate, enlighten and entertain people. Concretely, to sponsor diversity means: first, to satisfy people's Cultural demand in various aspects and at various levels; and second, even works with serious themes should be lively and active in content, style, and form. In the new historical period, advocate the theme while sponsor diversity helps promote prosperity and development of the socialist Cultural and artistic undertakings.


4. Make the Ancient Serve the Present and Foreign Things Serve China, and Weed Through the Old to Bring Forth the New  

To "make the ancient serve the present and foreign things serve China, and to weed through the old to bring forth the new" is a principle of correctly acknowledging and utilizing the ancient and foreign cultural heritage in building a new Socialist culture. To build socialism with Chinese characteristics, especially cultural construction needs to absorb active elements from traditional and foreign Cultures, mix them with the modern spirit and Chinese characteristics, and further develop them. The birth and development of China's socialist Culture has been obviously influenced by two Cultural factors – thousands of years of Chinese Culture and other Cultures in the world. (Fig.1 -9)

Late Chairman Mao Zedong pointed out; "China's long feudal society created splendid ancient Culture. In inheriting the Culture, discarding the feudalist dross and selecting the democratic essential is the necessary condition for developing new national Culture and improving the nation's self-confidence. Yet, it cannot be taken in thoroughly without any criticism." As far as foreign Culture is concerned, "Like eating, we must send food into saliva, gastric juice and intestine juice by means of chewing and stomach and intestines movement in order to resolve them into essential and dross. Then we excrete the dross and absorb the essential. Only in this way can our health be benefited. The idea of 'totally Westernized- is wrong." This is to say in learning and utilizing ancient and foreign cultures; the dross must be rejected while the essence is assimilated. Only in this way can reform renovation and creation is carried out smoothly. (Fig.1 -10) In handling the relations between ancient Culture and foreign Culture, China has adopted a realistic principle. That is: To inherit and learn from all ancient and foreign Cultures is only a means. The purpose is to build a new socialist culture with Chinese characteristics. (Fig.1 -11)


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