Compete in ideology, carry forward the communist spirit!
Artist: Ha Qiongwen and Wu Xingqi
Publisher: Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House
Size (mm): 527x771
Condition: Very good, small tears to margins, 4cm tear to lower margin
The Great Leap Forward introduced the move to the commune system, where every aspect of the lives of the rural inhabitants of China was controlled by the party - from what crops to plant and when down to what families ate and where they slept. In the wake of these huge changes, and accompanying the steel production campaign and huge construction and irrigation projects, it was hoped that China could make the transition from socialism to communism extremely rapidly. The drive towards increased production filtered down and was magnified at each step from the party to provincial, county and finally down to grassroots cadre level, leading to intense competition to both outdo competitors and not to be the worst performer - a position that would bring severe criticism as a right deviationist and an end to a career at best. An inability to fulfil production targets was to be seen as a failure of ideology - to be guilty of right deviation and opportunism, and ultimately to be opposed to the party's General Line.
Faces presented in profile was a commonly seen feature of communist propaganda posters. Here, the gong, nong, bing (worker, peasant, soldier) types are set against a backdrop of flowing red flags, underneath the strong flag-bearing arm of communism.