Mao on useless scholarship

Precisely because of his own education, Mao had little time for the majority of scholars and their institutions.

After mentioning Lenin and Stalin as positive examples (in ‘On Practice’), he notes their opposite:

The saying, ‘without stepping outside his gate the scholar knows all the wide world’s affairs,’ was mere empty talk in past times when technology was undeveloped (Selected Readings, p. 70).

Adorno made a similar point concerning the philosopher who sits in his cottage with pencil and paper and is able to produce a system that explains the whole universe. But then (in ‘Reform our Study’) Mao notes the type of intellectual that pisses him off:

When making speeches, they indulge in a long string of headings, A, B, C, D, 1, 2, 3, 4, and when writing articles, they turn out a lot of verbiage. They have no intention of seeking truth from facts, but only a desire to curry favour by claptrap. They are flashy without substance, brittle without solidity. They are always right, they are the Number One authority under Heaven, “imperial envoys” who rush everywhere (Selected Writings, p. 203).

Sounds like a standard academic conference …

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Mao on useless scholarship

  1. This is gold from the Chairman! When I was a high school teacher, this passage also gave me food for thought:

    “There are teachers who ramble on and on when they lecture; they should let their students doze off. If your lecture is no good, why insist on others listening to you? Rather than keeping your eyes open and listening to boring lectures, it is better to get some refreshing sleep. You don’t have to listen to nonsense, you can rest your brain instead”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s