* Abridged text of an editorial written for the People's Daily.
and learn who were the enemies oppressing the Chinese people and whether there was anything commendable about those who submitted to these enemies and worked for them. Nor do they bother to find out what new economic formations of society, new class forces, new personalities and ideas have emerged in China during the century and more since the Opium War of 1840 in the struggle against the old economic formations and their superstructures (politics, culture, etc.) before they decide what to commend and praise, what not to, and what to oppose.
Certain Communists who have allegedly grasped Marxism merit special attention. They have studied the history of social development -- historical materialism -- but when it comes to specific historical events, specific historical figures (like Wu Hsun) and specific ideas which run counter to the trend of history (as in the film The Life of Wu Hsun and the writings about Wu Hsun), they lose their critical faculties, and some have even capitulated to these reactionary ideas. Isn't it a fact that reactionary bourgeois ideas have found their way into the militant Communist Party? Where on earth is the Marxism which certain Communists claim to have grasped?
For the above reasons, it is imperative to unfold discussion on the film The Life of Wu Hsun and on the essays and other writings about Wu Hsun and thereby thoroughly clarify the confused thinking on this question.
Wu Hsun (1838-96), born in Tangyi, Shantung Province, was originally a vagrant. Using the slogan of "schools through alms", he went about cheating people out of their money, bought land and lent money and eventually became a big landlord and usurer. He ganged up with despotic landlords to set up a few so-called "tuition-free schools" in which he fanatically spread feudal culture and trained lackeys for the exploiting class, thus winning praise from reactionary rulers of successive regimes.