Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Comments On
Comrade K’o Ching-shih’s

December 12, 1963

This ought to be [widely] read.

Problems abound in all forms of art such as the opera, ballads, music and fine arts, the dance, the cinema, poetry and literature, and the people involved are numerous; in many departments very little has been achieved so far in socialist transformation. The ‘dead’ still dominate in many departments. What has been achieved in the cinema, new poetry, folk songs, the fine arts, and the novel should not be underestimated, but there, too, quite a few problems exist. As for such departments as the opera, the problems are even more serious. The social and economic base has changed, but the arts as part of the superstructure, which serves this base, still remains a serious problem. Hence we should proceed with investigation and study and attend to this matter in earnest.

Isn’t it absurd that many communists are enthusiastic about promoting feudal and capitalist art, but not socialist art?



[1.] K’o’s report entitled, Ta-hsien shih-san nien (Write prolifically on the thirteen years), 1 January 1963. Mao’s comments are translated into English and published by the FLP, Peking, under the title “Instruction on 12 December 1963” in Five Documents on Literature and Art 1967, pp. 10-11.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung