Poster 311-9-9

Poster 311-9-9.

Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters

Personal Comments

This picture show a classical scene in end of 1960's, and Chinese people were encouraged by Chairman Mao’s famous short document, Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters, to present a political party. In center of the sea of red flag, there was a huge poster, which was all words version of that famous document. All people in this picture were exciting hysteria, they showed their own political poster (named Big-Character Poster) to support Chairman Mao, and they promised to struggle with the Capitalist Headquarters of China in leading of Chairman Mao.

In 1950’s, the first decade of CCP China, Liu Shaoqi (vice chairman of CCP and China), leaded the economic construction of China and got a excellent score to make China walk out the crisis caused by many years war. And in these years, Chairman Mao believed Liu and satisfied for his work. But in 1960’s, Mao and Liu have more and more disagreements not only on economic area. Mao hoped China run into a Soviet country as soon as possible and all capitalist economic should be removed, but Liu think it was too early to destroy all private economic, and it would be make China fall down into crisis again. Chairman Mao was more and more dissatisfied and angry for Liu and his team, including future leader of China, Deng Xiaoping, after Mao died. Another disagreement was about the Cultural Revolution supported by Mao, many government officers thought it was too suddenly and crude to start Cultural Revolution and it would cause the while country come into chaos, Mao was very angry for this opinion.

On August 5 1966, during the 11th Plenary Session of the 8th Central Committee of the CCP, Chairman Mao wrote a short document, Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters – My First Big-Character Poster. And on the same day, it was published on the Communist Party's official newspaper People's Daily. It is commonly believed that this "poster" directly targeted Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, who were then in charge of Chinese government's daily affairs and who tried to cool down the mass hysteria of the Cultural Revolution. In Mao’s poster, the Capitalist Headquarters was a big team leading by Liu.

In fact, there is another story spreading in Chinese people many years: Mao had said famous words about Liu, “If you didn’t learn new things more than 3 days, you would be slow than Liu”. It sounds like Mao praise Liu’s clever, but many people thought Mao worried Liu catch his power in some day.

Much larger scale of mass persecutions came after the publication of this big-character poster. Thousands of "class enemies", including almost all level government leaders, were demonstrated and criticized in public. Many of them were died because of the shameful and crude treatment, including Liu.

In common people’s view, it was very surprised that a vice chairman of country became suddenly to a biggest class enemy and nation spy. But they were honest for Chairman Mao extremely, they believed what Mao said was right absolutely.

In 1980 when Cultural Revolution was finished 4 years, Liu was recovered his reputation, and later his head appeared on new version 100 RMB money with Mao’s together. Now most people know his worry was right at the beginning of Cultural Revolution. And in fact, current economic policy of China was based on Liu’s old version, which was developed by his friend, Deng Xiaoping.

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