Cao Cao in the late 1950s: Mao Zedong said that “unjust cases should be overturned”
As early as the early 1950s, the image of Cao Cao was not necessarily good. For example, in the article “how Zhugeliang was worshipped” published in the 11th issue of history monthly in 1952, zhangshuqing compared Zhugeliang and Cao Cao’s land reclamation policies. He wrote that Cao Cao’s land reclamation was “to turn independent self-employed farmers into serfs and oppress farmers”, and Zhugeliang’s land reclamation was aimed at reducing the burden of the people and solving the difficulties in the transportation of military grain. In 1954, guorenmin published an article in the new historiography newsletter, which simply regarded Liu, Guan, Zhang, Cao and other figures as negative examples, “since the war between Wei, Shu and Wu was a predatory war merged by warlords, it would not have a good impact on the society at that time.”
In 1959, the historical and literary circles suddenly set off a boisterous trend of “overturning the case of Cao Cao”. The biggest driver behind this wave is Mao Zedong.
Mao Zedong’s attitude towards Cao Cao can not be described as excessive. In the summer of 1954 in Beidaihe, Mao Zedong said to the staff around him, “Cao Cao is a great politician, militarist and poet.”, “Cao Cao unified northern China and founded the state of Wei. At that time, the Yellow River Basin was the central area of the country. He reformed many evil policies of the Eastern Han Dynasty, curbed the power of the powerful, developed production, implemented the system of reclamation of farmland, urged the reclamation of wasteland, promoted the rule of law, and advocated thrift, so that the society that had suffered great damage began to stabilize, recover and develop. Shouldn’t these be affirmed? Isn’t it great? It is said that Cao Cao Cao Cao was a white faced traitor. It is written in the book, and it is said in the play The common people said that it was an unjust case created by the feudal orthodoxy. There were also those reactionary gentry who were monopolists of feudal culture. They wrote to safeguard feudal orthodoxy. This case needs to be overturned. ” He also wrote a letter to his daughters Li Min and li ne, saying: “Beidaihe, Qinhuangdao and Shanhaiguan are the places Cao mengde has visited. He is not only a politician, but also a poet. His Jieshi poems are famous.”
In response to the historical evaluation of Cao Cao, Mao Zedong also talked with health care doctors: Cao Cao unified northern China and founded the state of Wei. He reformed many evil policies, curbed the powerful, developed production, implemented the system of opening up wasteland, promoted the rule of law, and advocated thrift, so that the society that had suffered great damage began to stabilize, recover, and develop. Shouldn’t that be for sure? Isn’t it great? Cao Cao was said to be a white faced and treacherous minister. It was written in the book, played in the play, and said by the common people. It was an unjust case created by feudal orthodoxy. There are also those reactionary gentry, who are monopolists of feudal culture. They write to safeguard feudal orthodoxy. This case needs to be overturned.
Mao Zedong soon publicly expressed this view to the whole party. At the beginning of November 1958, Mao Zedong convened some central leaders and some local leaders to hold a working meeting in Zhengzhou, namely the “first Zhengzhou meeting”. In his speech at the meeting, he said: “it is completely wrong to regard King Zhou, Qinshihuang and Cao Cao as bad people.” (collected works of Mao Zedong, Volume 7, people’s publishing house, edited by the literature research office of the CPC Central Committee) Tao Lu, then Secretary of the Shanxi provincial Party committee, recalled that on the morning of November 20, Mao Zedong convened keqingshi, lijinquan and Wang Renzhong to have a discussion with him in Wuhan. They all thought that the content of the discussion was the central work conference scheduled to start on November 21 and the successive convening of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Central Committee. No one expected that when they sat down, Mao Zedong said at the beginning, “today I want to talk to you about Chen Shou’s Three Kingdoms.” He stressed: “the romance of the Three Kingdoms describes Cao Cao as a traitor; while the annals of the Three Kingdoms describes Cao Cao as a positive figure in history, and says that Cao Cao is an” extraordinary person “and” outstanding person “during the period of chaos. However, because the romance of the three Kingdoms is popular and vivid, many people watch it. In addition, the old plays of the three kingdoms are performed according to the romance of the Three Kingdoms It was made up for the blueprint, so Cao Cao was a white faced traitor on the old stage. This can be said to be known to all women and children in our country. ” Speaking of this, Mao Zedong said indignantly: “now we must overturn the case of Cao Cao. Our party is a truth-based party. We must overturn all wrong and unjust cases in 10 or 20 years, as well as in 1000 or 2000 years.” “Saying that Cao Cao was a traitor was an unjust case created by feudal orthodoxy. This unjust case should be overturned.
Why did Mao Zedong overturn the case for Cao Cao? Some analysts believe that Mao Zedong told people from the perspective of commenting on Cao Cao, a specific historical figure: “the proletariat is about dictatorship. Only by relying on this dictatorship can we ensure the unity of the country and stabilize and develop the society.” In response to the clamor that the Communist Party has no freedom, Mao Zedong bluntly retorted: “bourgeois freedom and proletarian freedom are irreconcilable. One can only destroy the other.”
As Mao Zedong repeatedly proposed to “overturn the case” for Cao Cao, Guo Moruo naturally responded positively. On january25,1959, Guangming Daily published Guo Moruo’s article on caiwenji’s 18 photos of Hu Jia, He said: “Cao Cao should be highly valued for his contribution to the nation. He should be called a national hero. However, since the Song Dynasty, when the so-called ‘orthodox’ concept was established, this outstanding historical figure has suffered a lot of injustice. Since the popularity of the romance of the Three Kingdoms, almost even three-year-old children have regarded Cao Cao Cao as a bad person and a pink faced traitor, which is a big distortion in history.”
In order to eliminate the influence of the romance of the Three Kingdoms, he also wanted to overturn Cao’s case in the form of popular drama. At the beginning of February 1959, Guo Moruo finally wrote the historical play caiwenji, which was serialized in Yangcheng Evening News in mid April; Almost at the same time, on March 23, the people’s Daily published his article “overturning the case for Cao Cao”. In these articles and plays, he enthusiastically eulogized Cao Cao’s literary, political and martial arts.
In the same year, Guo Moruo’s five act drama caiwenji was premiered in Beijing. There was a dialogue between Cao Cao and his wife Bian. Bian said, “this quilt cover has really been used. It has been used for ten years. It has been mended and patched several times.” Cao Cao said: “the more patches, the better. It is thick in winter. In summer, cotton wool is used as a quilt cover. It is just right.” Bian said, “you really plan.” Cao Cao said, “many people in the world are not covered. It is a great happiness to have a cover.” After watching the play, senior general Chen Geng saw Guo Moruo in the lounge. Guo asked him to talk about his views on the play. Chen Geng said, “I think Cao Cao can fill out a registration form to apply for Party membership. Old Guo can be an introducer.” All the listeners burst into laughter.
For a time, there was an upsurge of discussion on “overturning the case for Cao Cao” in the literary and historical circles. For example, Jian Bozan also published a paper entitled “should restore the reputation of Cao Cao”. On april23,1959, Jian Bozan also participated in the seminar on Cao Cao held by the History Department of Peking University. At the meeting, he made a speech, saying that the truth of art should not go against the truth of history. Since this man was a good man in history, he could not do the opposite in art, Moreover, “the distortion of Cao Cao on the stage is not only a problem that does not conform to historical facts, but more importantly, the vilified Cao Cao on the stage reflects the views of feudal orthodoxy and has a very bad impact on the masses. If we want to oppose feudal orthodoxy, we must wipe the white powder off Cao Cao’s face.”
Such speeches became a spectacle in 1959.
During the cultural revolution, Cao Cao came to the stage again during the campaign of “criticizing Lin and Confucius”.
After the September 13 incident, when the Lin family’s residence in Maojiawan, Beijing, was raided, people found that there were Confucius and Mencius’ proverbs written by LinBiao and ye Qun, such as “returning to propriety by self-restraint”, “everything is great when you are long” and “a gentleman is open, but a villain is always sad”. Thus, when criticizing LinBiao, he called him a “disciple of Confucius and Mencius”. However, with only a few banners of Lin Fu, it can not develop into a movement of “criticizing Lin and Confucius”.
On july4,1973, Mao Zedong summoned zhangchunqiao and wanghongwen to talk about the political report of the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the revision of the party constitution. Mao Zedong suddenly talked about a recent briefing by the Ministry of foreign affairs. He disagreed with the analysis of Soviet US relations in this briefing.
When criticizing the foreign ministry, He said: “so I formally advise comrades to read some books so as not to be cheated by intellectuals. What are the arguments between old Guo, old fan (Note: guomoruo, fanwenlan), renjiyu and Yang Liuqiao? Old Guo also said that Confucius was a saint of slavery. Old Guo wrote in the book of ten batches of judgments It claims to be humanism, that is, people-centered. Confucius is also humanism, just like him. Old Guo not only respected Confucius, but also opposed the law. So is the Kuomintang! So is LinBiao! I agree with the historical stages of Guo Lao. Slavery is bounded by the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period. But you can’t scold Qinshihuang. “
Mao Zedong told Jiang Qing, “all the statesmen of the past dynasties who have made achievements and made achievements in the early feudal society are Legalists. These people all advocate the rule of law. If they break the law, they will be beheaded. They advocate valuing the present and valuing the past. Confucianism is full of benevolence, righteousness and morality, and is full of men, robbers and prostitutes. They all advocate valuing the past and valuing the present.”
Zhangchunqiao and wanghongwen passed on Mao Zedong’s speech to Jiang Qing. Jiang Qing was like a treasure. Relying on Mao Zedong’s strength and prestige, she has always been her “magic weapon”. Since Mao Zedong criticized Zhou Enlai and Guo Moruo and criticized Confucius for respecting the law, this is a good opportunity for her to “write articles”. She instructed her “writing group” to “write articles”. As a result, the newspapers and periodicals published a large number of articles by the “Gang of four” writing team, such as “Liang Xiao”, “Chi Heng” and “Luo siding”, engaged in innuendo literature and conspiracy literature, and did not criticize Lin, Confucius, prime minister, Duke Zhou and “modern Confucianism”.
In this movement, Cao Cao was once again moved out as a representative of respecting law and opposing Confucianism, and became a pioneer in the movement. An article says: “At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the ruling class believed in Confucius for a long time. As a result, the reactionary thought of Confucius’ second brother ‘to’ prosper and destroy the country, continue to vanish, and take care of the people ‘was rising day by day. As a result, the powerful and powerful merged, the imperial power fell aside, and the development of productive forces stagnated, resulting in the split situation of the first powerful and powerful separatist regime since the reunification of the Qin Dynasty &\8230;. Driven by the yellow scarf uprising, the outstanding figures among the small and medium-sized landlords who were not content with the status quo within the landlord class actively improved the martial arts of Legalists from the Pre-Qin Dynasty Kuzhong has made due contributions to the struggle for reunification by seeking ideological weapons, striking at the great powers, reforming and reforming. Cao Cao is one of the more prominent representatives. “
For another example, on november11,1974, the people’s Daily published an article on the famous stone song, insisting on making the past serve the present, correctly evaluating Legalists, and enthusiastically praised Lu Xun’s speech on “overturning the case” for Cao Cao in 1927 – “Wei Jin style and the relationship between articles and medicine and wine”.
The article holds that Cao Cao adhered to the legalist line, carried out the war of unifying China and suppressed the disturbance of reactionary Confucian scholars, which was progressive under the historical conditions at that time and complied with the historical trend and social development. It was precisely because Cao Cao broke through the shackles of Confucianism that he was cursed by the “reactionary forces” for more than a thousand years.
In this speech, Lu Xun, in connection with the “political struggle situation” in the Wei and Jin Dynasties, called Cao Cao, who was cursed by Confucianism as “no tolerance between heaven and earth”, as “a man of great ability, at least a hero”. Lu Xun affirmed Cao Cao’s “upholding the name of punishment” — the legalist political line of replacing the rule of rites with the rule of law and advocating unity; It affirms Cao Cao’s “advocating communication and detachment” — breaking the monopoly of Confucianism in the ideological field and introducing the legalist ideological line of “the ideological sources outside Confucianism”; It affirms Cao Cao’s “meritocracy” — a legalist organizational line opposed to the Confucian “cronyism”. This undoubtedly “embodies the incomparable hatred for the bloody Kuomintang reactionaries”.
“By overturning the case for Cao Cao, he attacked the heinous crimes of the Kuomintang reactionaries and expressed his strong determination to continue fighting in a pool of blood.”. The article writes.
Driven by such articles, in 1974, a large number of articles on the relationship between Cao Cao and Legalists appeared in the academic world, just to mention a few examples, such as moushijin’s poem creation of Cao Cao serving his line of rule of law, chenhexing’s Guo Jia is an important assistant for Cao Cao to implement his line of rule of law, yanzhengde’s outstanding legalist in the Han and Wei Dynasties – Cao Cao, Wen Zheng’s “Cao Cao Cao’s unification of the north is the victory of the legalist line” Mengyucheng and yuanyannan’s “the battle of Guandu is the victory of Cao Cao’s implementation of the legalist military line”, and so on.
Cao Cao once again became a typical positive figure.
Interestingly, after the fall of the gang of four, Cao Cao’s status as a “legalist” was immediately lost. For example, an article entitled “on Cao Cao” published in “literature, history and philosophy” in 1977 believed that the vigorous praise and beautification of Cao Cao was a fallacy spread by the “Gang of four” for the reactionary political purpose of usurping the party and power. Cao Cao never put forward and implemented a legalist line opposite to Confucianism. As for Cao Cao’s system of stationing the farmland, in essence, it was a serious counter attack by the landlord class against the peasants.
However, the interpretation of this kind of class historical view has been difficult to be popular by the 1980s. In the new historical period, Cao Cao’s employment has become a topic of discussion in the whole society. Undoubtedly, this also has a profound background of the times.
In 1977, with the restoration of the college entrance examination system, millions of young people flocked to universities that had just opened their doors. Before that, the system of selecting scholars had disappeared in China for 10 years.
What is more surprising is that the great damage caused by the “Cultural Revolution” to the economy made the country unable to take out enough paper to print the examination papers for the moment. Therefore, the CPC Central Committee decided to use the paper to print the fifth volume of the selected works of Mao Zedong. It is not difficult to imagine that the decision-makers made this choice in those years was difficult, the courage required was huge and the significance was far-reaching.
In 1978, Xu Chi published the reportage Goldbach conjecture. The protagonist chenjingrun immediately became an idol worshipped by the whole society, which greatly stimulated millions of young people’s desire for knowledge. In 1980, the first educational law of new China, the regulations on academic degrees, was officially promulgated, which marked that China’s education began to run education according to law. In 1982, the state wrote the policy, status and role of education into the constitution, and the prominent position of education was determined in the fundamental law. In 1986, the compulsory education law was promulgated, which established the nine-year compulsory education system for the first time in China’s history. In 1988, Deng Xiaoping put forward the famous conclusion that “science and technology are the primary productive forces”.
All these measures convey a clear signal that knowledge and talents should be respected.
On November 5th, 1984, the inaugural meeting of the Chinese society of history of the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties ? the first symposium was held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province from November 5th to 10th, 1984. The society was jointly initiated and established by scholars from the Institute of history of the Chinese Academy of social Sciences, Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Wuhan University, Shandong University, Sichuan University and Sun Yat sen University. Nearly 100 representatives attended and submitted more than 70 papers.
An article entitled “comment on Cao Cao’s” meritocracy “policy submitted by Ma Xin, a scholar, holds that Cao Cao started his career as a small warlord with a small reputation and a small number of people, and finally defeated all the heroes and unified the north, thanks to his many good employees. Selecting people is the basis or premise of employing people. Cao Cao also attaches great importance to selecting talents; Talent only &\8221; The policy was formulated by him for the purpose of attracting talents – no doubt, it has reference significance for the present.
Soon, Cao Cao’s way of employing people became a textbook for the party and government organs. For example, in march1985, the exploration Journal of the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee published an article titled “reform needs talents and needs reform – from Cao Cao’s three orders to seek talents”. It pointed out that Cao Cao was an outstanding politician and strategist in China’s history, and could also be regarded as a model of loving talents and using talents in ancient times. By contrast, “We Communists represent the fundamental interests of the greatest class in human history. For the sake of the rejuvenation of the Chinese people, shouldn’t we respect knowledge and talents more?! shouldn’t those people who are rigid in thinking and worried about talents, and who are tricky and tricky, be shocked?!”
In 1987, the central China Normal University Press published a book called “Cao Cao asked Zhugeliang three times”, which directly focused on Cao Cao, the story originally belonging to Liu Bei. Thus, it can be seen that Cao Cao’s “talent only” image is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
Why is Cao Cao closer to ordinary people? Some clues can be seen from Yi Zhongtian’s exposition.
Yi Zhongtian wrote in true and false Cao Cao: “In the world, there is no love or hate for no reason. Cao Cao was scolded for his own reasons. There are many reasons. But most of them are ‘traitors’. For example, usurping the Han Dynasty was considered traitors by the ancients. Cunning was also considered traitors by the ancients. However, the most hated thing by the general public was Cao Cao’s saying that’ it is better to teach me to take responsibility for the people of the world than to teach the people of the world to take responsibility for me ‘. A person would rather I am sorry for people all over the world, and I can’t let people all over the world be sorry for me. This person is too bad. “
“However, even so, Mao PI still said, ‘this is a place where people are superior to others’ and’ it is still a villain with one heart and one mouth ‘. Why? Because if someone else had changed, he would have said that everyone in the world would rather be sorry for me than I would be sorry for everyone in the world. But in fact, what happened? In fact, he did it like Cao Cao (who doesn’t have such a mind in the world) However, ‘who can open the door again’? Everyone pretended to be a gentleman. Only Cao Cao said this frankly. At least, Cao Cao dared to speak out his treacherous words openly. He is a ‘real villain’, not a ‘hypocrite’. So Mao PI said that this is where Cao Cao surpasses others because there are so many hypocrites in the world. Maozonggang and his son do not like Cao Cao. They all said that this was Cao Cao’s outstanding point, and that should be his outstanding point. “
There is no doubt that Cao Cao is a successful man with serious defects in character and even conduct, and he does not hide his defects. All living beings, who has no shortcomings?
“We can not only see the living Cao Cao, but more importantly, we can see that Cao Cao’s life, like most of us, has set up dreams since childhood, pursued dreams, achieved dreams to a certain extent, and finally was drowned by the times, and then” knew the destiny “, so we had to” listen favorably “. Cao Cao’s life is a true portrayal of us. Cao Cao’s life is also our personal life. The era of shaping Superman has passed, and each of us can act as Superman in our own dreams and lives. ” A Book Review of “Cao Cao’s theme” wrote this.
However, there are also some different voices about Cao Cao’s latest “overturning show”. For example, the critic Xie Xizhang believed that “the previous criticism of the romance of the Three Kingdoms thought that its” respecting Liu and restraining Cao “promoted the moral concepts of feudal rulers and was the spiritual opium to fool the people; Few people have said such words today, and some people seem to emphasize its inappropriateness in today’s commercial and social environment dominated by market competition. “
“We see that the mainstream values in today’s society are actually pragmatic and utilitarian. They are not only about heroes based on success or failure, but also about heroes based on wealth and strength. In order to achieve a certain purpose (this purpose can be wealth, reputation, status, power, etc., or success in career) , even by any means, it can hurt or abandon the ultimate value. To a large extent, the chaos in today’s Chinese society is caused by such a social fashion. Of course, Cao Cao is a hero of a generation. He has made achievements in politics, economy, military, culture and so on. It is a must to evaluate his achievements in history in a realistic way. However, through the image of Cao Cao (historical and artistic), it is really easy to see the historical inheritance of such utilitarian and practical values. This is very worrying. “
Xie Xizhang believes that it is better to be cautious about traditional spiritual beliefs, ethics and values. Over the years, we have destroyed and thrown away too many things. It seems that we do not lack money, but what can we do to make up for our spiritual poverty?