Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/29380
Title: Ideology and Discourse: Rhetorical Construction of Mao Zedong’s ‘New Communist Person’ (1949-1976)
Authors: Lu, Xing
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Xing Lu, "Ideology and Discourse: Rhetorical Construction of Mao Zedong’s ‘New Communist Person’ (1949-1976)" in: "Words of Power, the Power of Words. The Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 401-420
Journal: Studi di Storia
Abstract: 
In his Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, Mikhail Bakhtin contends that language
does not merely reflect the world, but actually constructs ideology of a society. The ideology
of Chinese communism is disseminated through morally charged slogans, political
campaigns, and the mass participation of political rituals. This chapter explores the
discursive construction of ‘the new communist person’ by examining the speeches and
writings of Mao Zedong (1893-1976), the paramount leader of the People’s Republic
of China between 1949 to 1976. While vehemently propagating Marxist theory of class
struggle and reinforcing class-consciousness into the Chinese mind, Mao’s discursive construction
of ‘the New Communist Person’ utilized and appropriated traditional Chinese
values and rhetorical resources. Through rhetorical features such as metaphors, analogies,
role models, and guilt redemption, Mao successfully persuaded many Chinese people to
become selfless, loyal to the Party, and dedicated to the communist cause. I will identify
and analyze these rhetorical features. I contend that while Mao’s discourse has its moral
appeal, it has also created a radical ideology and unrealistic illusion among the Chinese
people. The forced self-criticism political ritual used to construct ‘the new communist
person’ has brought humiliation to many Chinese intellectuals. Whereas Mao’s legacy
lives on in today’s China, the discourse of ‘the socialist core values’, propagated by the
current Chinese government has lost its rhetorical appeal due to ideological crisis.
Type: Book Chapter
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/29380
ISBN: 978-88-5511-086-0
eISBN: 978-88-5511-087-7
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:06 Words of Power, the Power of Words. The Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective

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