Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reading Government Papers

I enjoy reading those government papers, which are great primary resources. When learning history in China, I never had the thought to see these authentic works, but now I’m glad to read the original materials of what I’ve learned before and know where do there come from. I tried to find the respective Chinese documents and read, which is easier and makes more sense to me. The English translation always seems funny somehow, especially some ideological terms Chinese politicians loved to use.

Among these papers, Mao’s works are the most interesting and important ones, since he used a lot slangs to make himself understood, and others had to follow his thoughts, at least in accordance with him. Mao usually made a list in his writings, which sound very logical. Mao liked to use philosophy in his articles, which he believed it’s Marxism.

But ironically, what’s written on papers was usually not what he did in reality, if not completely opposite. Such as today’s reading, “On the Ten Major Relationships (论十大关系),” he tried to be balanced in each relationship, but it was not the case in practice, not only at that time, even today some of the relationships are hard to deal with. Mao was a combination of poet and politician, and inevitably, he’s more idealistic than practical.

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