ePub 版

1960 period, used reprints for 24% of the articles it published. By the 1963 period, the reprint rate has gone up to 32% for the basic four-issue sample.

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If USSR and America Ilustrated are overwhelmingly dedicated to building a favorable national self-image, . . . one would expect the magazines' tone to be rosy, or what is termed "putting the best foot forward." This, indeed, is the impression gained from a casual reading of both magazines, as contrasted to, for instance, mass-circulation domestic American magazines.

However, even within the predominantly positive approach of both magazines, a reader spots negative comment. Two questions arise:

How much of the negative comment detracts from the "best foot forwardapproach, as by presenting negative contemporary self-image, including even self-criticism?

This content is especially important because it is directly related to credibility, a high-priority goal among propagandists. For instance, many Soviet citizens believe the United States has problems, perhaps partially because their government has often said so. If we do not discuss problems when we write about our country, Soviet readers may feel we are evading the issue. Thus, without candor we may lose credibility. Furthermore by permitting the Soviet government's allegations regarding our problems to go unchallenged we miss an opportunity to put the problems in perspective. However, there are some who argue that if the magazine acknowledges the existence of U.S. problems such as slums, unemployment and racial discord, the Soviet reader will think, “Well, our government was right all along; race relations are a serious problem in the United States. In fact, if the U.S. magazine mentions this problem at all it must be even worse than they say it is, because that's how our government operates." While this argument may have some validity, it seems more risky to ignore social problems, and to avoid the negative comment necessary in their discussion, than to present them in perspective. Furthermore, by doing so, we have the advantage of disarming Soviet readers by our frankness.

What does the negative comment of political significance but of noncontemporary or non-self-critical nature say?

This area of negative comment has significance because it may reveal how propagandists see their nations's past, the world as a whole or a nation's citizens. In discussing these broader aspects having political significance, the use of negative comment lends an air of reality to the magazine. A magazine attempting to portray the life of a nation cannot do it in overwhelmingly rosy tones and expect to be believed. Simple logic says life just isn't like that.

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The wall poster is one form of mass media which does not depend on a high degree of literacy and availability of receivers, and is one of the most dramatic means of political

communication. One of the oldest forms of communication in China is the tatzepao or wall poster (sometimes called the big-character poster). Dating from imperial times when royal edicts were posted on village walls, tatzepao have played a variety of communication roles in China. Under the Communists tatzepao became an efficient medium of mass persuasion guided by the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (hereafter, the Propaganda Department). In the summer of 1966, as the conflict within China's highest political echelon reached crisis proportions, a new and radically different function was assigned to tatzepao.

This paper examines the phenomenon of tatzepao as an instrument of conflict during the so-called Proletarian Cultural Revolution. It looks at tatzepao as a unique form of mass communication which helps to explain the nature of the recent struggle inside Communist China.

Intimately linked with any discussion of tatzepao must be a discussion of the active agents in the cultural revolution, the Red Guards. The study focuses on a critical period of the cultural revolution beginning in June 1966, when Red Guard units began to appear and tatzepao emerged as their primary weapon, until early 1967, when the Red Guards were dispersed and the cultural revolution entered a new phase.

* * *

Broadly speaking, the cultural revolution was a struggle for the reins of leadership at the apex of the political pyramid. The conflict centered on two rival factions, with Mao-Tse-tung heading a Leninist-Stalinist minority faction. Supported by a small circle of intimates, ? Mao managed to survive through the aid of Lin Piao and a substantial segment of the army-and the Red Guards, an organization Mao created in 1966 to prosecute the cultural revolution. Opposed to the Maoists was a diverse group of party faithful which foreign observers have united by the term "anti-Maoist.” Under the nominal leadership of Liu Shao-ch'i this group,

*Excerpts from "Tatzepao: Medium of Conflict in China's ‘Cultural Revolution,' "Journalism Quarterly, 146, No. 1 (Spring 1969), pp. 100-104, 127. Reprinted with the permission of Journalism Quarterly, copyright holder, and the courtesy of the author.

**The author wishes to thank Professor Alex S. Edelstein of the School of Communications and Henry G. Schwartz of the Far Eastern and Russian Institute for their assistance and comments.

which is believed to include the majority of party leaders, sought to follow a policy line toward modernity that the Maoists branded “revisionist.”

With large segments of the official media "captured” by anti-Maoists, Mao Tse-tung faced a difficult task in attempting to reach the masses whom he considered the crucial link in effecting his “revolution." The monolithic structure of the Propaganda Department further frustrated the Maoists since the department functioned hierarchically down to the village level through millions of cadres making up a “closed” 3 communications network. The system oriented all provincial propaganda departments toward Peking whence every important policy message originated. This structure was of critical political importance. Maoist attempts to regain control of the Propaganda Department apparently failed, necessitating the creation of a rival apparatus. The Red Guards emerged as the counterpart to the official propagandists, in function if not in form, and tatzepao became their primary medium.

Tatzepao brought the power struggle into the open on May 25, 1966, when, symbolically, the “first” wall poster of the cultural revolution was written. Its primary author was Nieh Yuan-tzu, a woman teaching assistant in the philosophy department at Peking University who, acting apparently on Mao's personal instructions, attacked the University's president and others. Among the indictments was a charge that University officials had discouraged support for Mao and discouraged the writing of tatzepao:

To counter-attack the sinister gang which has frantically attacked the Party, socialism, and Mao Tse-tung's thought is a life-and-death class struggle. The revolutionary people must be fully aroused to vigorously and angrily denounce them, and to hold big meetings and put up big-character posters is one of the best ways for the masses to do battle.“

This poster signaled a deluge of tatzepao and set the stage for the pattern of conflict to follow. Mao Tse-tung personally was credited with having "discovered (this) the first Marxist-Leninist big-character poster in the country and approved its publication for the country and the world." 5

Soon more posters appeared attacking anti-Maoists by name. Typical of these was a poster entitled “Important Directive Given by Chairman Mao at the Central Committee Cultural Revolution Meeting on 8 September (1966)” in which two powerful anti-Maoists were attacked. 6

.... Unlike the official media, which referred vaguely to “those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road,” tatzepao attacked the anti-Maoists by name, frequently citing "crimes” of doubtful authenticity.

.... The conflict thus was brought into the open through tatzepao in a manner that left those condemned defenseless against the relentless and often anonymous charges.

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The choice of tatzepao by Mao as the medium through which to "reveal" his enemies to the people is understandable. Eight years earlier he had expressed his faith in the utility of the medium as an instrument of conflict:7

The big-character poster is an extremely useful new type of weapon. It can be used in cities and the countryside, government and other organizations, army units and streets, in short, wherever the masses are. Now that it has been widely used, people should go on using it constantly.8

Accordingly, on August 5, 1966, as the battle lines of the conflict were being drawn at the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, a wall poster bearing Mao's own signature appeared. Entitled “Bombard the Headquarters—My Big-Character Poster,” according to a Maoist source, it "blasted the lid off the struggle between the proletarian revolutionary line and the bourgeoisie headquarters (i.e., the anti-Maoists) which had existed in the party for a long time." 9

The Maoists hoped that the pressures brought about by the tatzepao and Red Guard violence would reduce the effectiveness if not the will of the anti-Maoists, but the degree to which the leaders of the cultural revolution could control the Red Guards decreased rapidly as schools closed and millions of youths surged forward to wage “revolution.” In short, the campaign got out of hand.

Apart from the small group that was charged with directing the cultural revolution there was little direct control by Maoist forces over the Red Guards. What controls that existed were rapidly dissipated in the days following the massive August rallies as the ranks of the Red Guards expanded faster than the Maoist organization could assimilate them. At this point Red Guard newspapers emerged in an attempt to give direction to the increasingly ill-disciplined youths who roamed throughout China leaving havoc in their wake. The appearance of these newspapers signaled the institutionalization of the cultural revolution.

The newspapers became the internal control medium for the mobilization of youths and a link between the Maoists' leadership and the rankand-file Red Guards. They enjoyed a wide geographical distribution and established policy for the Red Guards. The small-circulation publications were circulated by hand to cadres and to a lesser extent to the Red Guard masses.

By the end of 1966, with the aid of tatzepao, over 250 leading editors, propagandists, and leaders of the arts had been removed from their posts, " including men who had held key positions within the party since the hard days of Yenan before the Second World War.


NOTES 1. For a discussion of communications in imperial China, see James Markham, Voices of the

а Red Giants (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1967). For a treatment of tatzepao under the Communists prior to the cultural revolution, see Vincent King, Propaganda Campaigns in Communist China (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1965) and Frederick T.C. Yu, “Campaigns, Communications and Change in Communist China,” in Daniel Lerner and Wilbur Schramm (eds.), Communications and Change in the Developing Countries (Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1967). 2. Besides Lin, Mao gathered around him Chiang Ch’ing (Mao's wife) and Ch'en Po-ta (Mao's former secretary) both of whom held key posts in the special group that was charged to direct the cultural revolution. 3. This term is used with reference to the special training and vocabulary required of cadres in interpreting messages of the Propaganda Department. See Franz Schurmann, Ideology and Organization in Communist China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), p. 58. 4. Quoted in Peking Review, Sept. 9, 1966, p.

20. 5. Peking Review, March 10, 1967, 6. T'ao Ghu was the short-lived director of the Propaganda Department between June-Nov. 1966. Teng Hsiao-p'ing, Party Secretary General, is considered one of Mao's most influential opponents. 7. It is interesting to note that Mao's first public writing was in the form of a tatzepao. The poster was written when Mao was about seventeen and it proposed that Sun Yat-sen be made President of China. Mao later described it as "somewhat muddled.” Edgar Snow, Red Star Over China (London: Victor Gollancz, 1963), p. 136. & Mao Tse-tung. "Introducing a Co-operative," April 15, 1958, quoted in Peking Review, Sept. 11, 1967, p. 16. 9. Peking Review, Sept. 11, 1967, p. 8. 10. A Japanese journalist, Miss Chie Nishio, reports that the only Red Guard newspapers she saw during an extensive tour of China in early 1967 were at Peking University but that she was not permitted to read them. Personal communication. 11. For a description of the pattern of purge, see "The Cultural Revolution Broom,” China News Analysis, Nov. 18, 1966.

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A key concept behind Earlyword was that using recently captured or surrendered personnel to appeal directly to former comrades would enhance the timeliness and therefore the

credibility of the message. Vietnam proved no exception to the problems associated with the PSYOP targeting of swiftly moving adversaries. Reaching the audience with credible appeals was often futile in tactical PSYOP unless the messages were timely. The Allied quick-reaction capability was poor -especially early in the conflict-largely because of a lack of understanding of, or an inability to meet, the basic conditions for effective combat propaganda. Often, the problems began with the exploitation of recently captured enemy soldiers.

Particularly in the early stages of American involvement in Vietnam, the typical priority was to exploit a captive for battlefield intelligence. Even if the prisoner were captured by American elements, he usually

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