Literature is a special art form. It uses language to pass on wisdom that the divine has bestowed to mankind, and also records mankind’s precious living experiences. The two great epics of the ancient Greek world, The Iliad and The Odyssey, both portrayed the complex historical story around the time of the Trojan War, vividly portraying gods and men and painting a grand canvas of history. The virtues of courage, generosity, wisdom, justice, and temperance praised in the epics became an important source of the value system of the Greek and the entire Western civilization.
Due to the great influence that literature has on people, evil elements control people, especially lost humans who seek fame and fortune, to cook up and promote works of literature that impart the ideology of communism; slander traditional culture; destroy people’s morality; and spread pessimism, rubbish, and an attitude of passivity and meaninglessness toward life. Literature became one of the key tools communist elements use to control the world.
Some influential works directly promote communist ideology. After the Paris Commune was suppressed, commune member Eugene Pottier wrote “The Internationale,” which said, “There has never been any saviour of the world, nor deities, nor emperors on which to depend.” It threatened, “The old world shall be destroyed!” “The Internationale” became the official song of the First and Second International and became the official song of the Chinese Communist Party. It is widely used during gatherings and in works of literature in communist countries around the world.
The following summarizes some of the major effects of communist-influenced literature.
Using Literature to Destroy Tradition. A major step in the destruction of humanity has been to slander the traditional civilization that the divine bestowed on mankind. Whether in China or the West, communist elements use intellectuals with modern thoughts to create and promote works that distort or slander traditional culture.
During China’s New Culture Movement, the author Lu Xun became famous for viciously attacking tradition and denouncing Chinese antiquity. In his first novel, A Madman’s Diary, he utilized the protagonist to declare that the entire Chinese history could be summed up in two characters: “man eating.” Lu Xun was praised by Mao Zedong as “the greatest and most courageous ensign of the new culture army,” and “commander of China’s cultural revolution.” Mao also said, “The road he took was the very road of China’s new national culture.”
In Europe in 1909, Italian poet Marinetti published Futurist Manifesto, calling for the total rejection of tradition, a celebration of machinery, technology, speed, violence, and competition. Russian poet and communist Vladimir Mayakovsky published A Slap in the Face of Public Taste in 1913, also expressing his resolve to break off from Russian traditional literature.
Defending Hideous Portrayals as ‘Reality.’ Today, intellectuals and artists use literature and the arts to portray things or scenes that are ugly, strange, and terrifying, using the excuse that they are merely showing things as they are.
Traditional art conveys harmony, grace, clarity, restraint, propriety, balance, universality, and ideals, which require selection and choice. In the view of modern artists, such works cannot be considered real. Such views actually originate from a misunderstanding of the origin and function of art. Art originates from everyday life, but it should transcend everyday life so as to both delight and instruct. Because of this, artists must select, refine, and process what they want to portray during the creative process. Blindly focusing on “realism” artificially restricts the boundaries of life and art. If this type of absolute realism is art, then what everyone sees and hears is all art—in which case, why spend time and money training artists?
Using Literature to Corrupt Moral Values. Pretexts such as “expressing one’s true self,” “stream of consciousness,” and the like lead people to abandon traditional moral standards and indulge in the demonic side of human nature. An example is what the French communist and poet André Breton wrote in Surrealist Manifesto, defining his new literature: “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express—verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner—the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”
The “stream of consciousness” writing and surrealist “automatic writing” are closely related. Influenced by Sigmund Freud’s psychopathology, some writers in the West started to experiment with the stream of consciousness writing style from the beginning of the 20th century. Such writings usually have simple storylines and focus on the inner and private thought processes of insignificant characters (anti-heros) through narratives composed of free thoughts.
Human beings simultaneously contain the potential for both kindness and evil. A life should be dedicated to the constant elevation of moral standards and cultivation of virtue through self-restraint. In modern society, many people experience ill thoughts and desires. Simply putting them on display for public consumption is equivalent to polluting society.
Unleashing Man’s Dark Side as ‘Criticism’ and ‘Protest.’ Writers and artists in the Western free world, under the influence of anti-traditionalist sentiment, consider all laws, regulations, and moral codes to be restrictions and suppressions. They see problems with modern society and the weaknesses of human nature, but instead of dealing with them rationally, they promote extreme individualism via criticism and protest, indulging in their personal desires. They use degenerate means to express so-called resistance, while strengthening the dark side of their nature, indulging in hatred, laziness, desire, lust, aggression, and pursuit of fame. The lack of moral self-restraint won’t solve any social issues but instead will worsen them.
During the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the American poet Allen Ginsberg became the representative of the Beat Generation and is still worshiped today by those who wish to rebel against society. His poem “Howl” depicts extreme lifestyles and mental states, including alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, drugs, sodomy, self-mutilation, prostitution, streaking, violent assault, theft, vagabonding, and madness. As the counterculture movement became institutionalized, “Howl” came to be regarded as a literary classic and was included in numerous literature collections. Ginsberg admitted that he was a communist in his early years and that he had no regrets. He idolized Fidel Castro and other communist dictators and widely promoted homosexuality and pedophilia. Ginsberg is a clear manifestation of the common ground between communism and extreme individualism.
Spreading Pornography Through Literature. Since the beginning of the 20th century, explicitly sexual content began to appear in literary works, some of which were filled with such content, yet were still praised as classics. Many commentators and scholars abandoned their social responsibilities and praised such pornographic works as real, artistic masterpieces. We know that many traditional moral values function via abstinence. Breaking such restrictions, with whatever noble-sounding justification, undermines and destroys morality.
Dehumanizing People Through Literature. In the past several decades, as the culture became more and more confused, a great deal of genre fiction surfaced, including thrillers and works of horror, the supernatural, and fantasy. Through such works, low-level elements can control people’s minds and bodies, resulting in the dehumanization of human beings.
People say that “ice that is 3 feet thick is not the result of one day of coldness.” It also takes a long period of time and the involvement of many fields for literature to degrade so far that it becomes used as a tool for evil. Romanticism widened literature’s coverage of people’s lives, while some ugly and bizarre phenomena, including extreme and insane human mental states, were presented for public consumption. Several British Romantic poets were dubbed “The Satanic School” because of the immoral content of their poems.
Realism uses the excuse of presenting reality to express the degenerate side of human nature. Certain works emphasize warped thoughts and immoral conduct. One critic called realism “romanticism going on all fours.” The philosophy of naturalism, as promoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for instance, attributed the decline in human morality to the social environment and family genetics, thus removing the individual’s moral responsibility. Aestheticism calls for “art for art’s sake,” claiming that art is meant to simply provide sensory stimulus and carries no moral imperative.
In fact, all art has subtle, profound, and long-lasting effects on the moral sense. Denying art’s moral responsibility is to open the door for immoral things to come in. We can’t deny the fact that different schools of literature generated some high-quality works, but awful works are mixed in. Although we can’t say that communist elements directly manipulated these trends in literature, the negative elements are obviously the result of declining moral standards. They paved the road for communist ideology to destroy mankind via literature.
When a person writes, his moral standard and mental state are reflected in his work. With the overall decline of human morality, the negative mindset of writers takes a dominant stance. This has created numerous works that, instead of seeking to bring out the kindness in people, pull people down toward hell.
From Chapter Eleven: Desecrating the Arts