Defeat Soviet Revisionism!
Artist: Shanghai Workers' Revolutionary Rebel Headquarters Artistic Communication Station; Shanghai Publishing Organisation Revolutionary Rebel Headquarters; Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House 'Fight to the End' Soldier Group
Publisher: Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House
Size (mm): 530x768
Condition: Good, creasing, some tears to edges, 19cm tear on bottom but no loss, delicate paper - may suit backing
A classic example of one of the more strident and aggressive posters that appeared in the early 'Red Guard phase' (1966-68) of the Cultural Revolution. The line below the main title reads Zalan Bolieriniefu de goutou! Zalan Kexige de goutou! (Smash the dog's head of Brezhnev! Smash the dog's head of Kosygin!) 'Dog's head' was a pejorative term often applied by Red Guards to describe counter-revolutionaries. The 'Four Olds' of Chinese society (old customs, old culture, old habits, old ideas) were to be a principal target of revolution for the Red Guards. The groups rampaged across the country destroying museums, artworks, and temples, and attacking intellectuals, teachers and authority figures. Many different factions emerged, each declaring their own version of revolutionary action and unswerving loyalty to be truest to Mao, with the competition leading to physical violence. By the end of 1967 Mao had lost patience with the groups' factional warfare and it was decided that in order to maintain peace and stability in the country the Red Guards would have to be curtailed. The People's Liberation Army forcibly suppressed the movement, an action that took until the summer of 1968 to complete and resulted in vast numbers of people being imprisoned, tortured and executed - the violence committed in the suppression often exceeding the damage caused by the rampaging Red Guards. The early phase of the Cultural Revolution was the only period since the founding of the People's Republic that rebellion by the people had been encouraged in posters. In Yan'an in 1939 Mao Zedong had first declared that in accordance with the truths of Marxism, 'to rebel is justified' (zaofan youli), and this speech was reprinted by the People's Daily in 1966. The restless youth of the Red Guards naturally accepted this open invitation to turn the old order upside down and create chaos in the name of rebellion. The term revisionism was revived by Mao in the early 1960s during the Sino-Soviet split of the Cold War. Varying national interests and ideological differences caused the deterioration of relations between the two countries.