Influence of Mao’s thoughts and praxis on Raymond Williams

Main Article Content

Zhou Mingying


As a radical Marxist thinker, Raymond Williams not only read widely the works of the founders of Marxism and other Marxist thinkers, but also paid high attention to the revolutionary praxis in Russia as well as China. However, Williams obviously rejected Stalinism in politics and culture, and denounced his cruel treatment of the peasants. Williams was very much disappointed by the so  – called revolution, and began to question the real meaning of it. At the mean time, when hearing about the Cultural Revolution in China, Williams expressed quite positive views about it, especially about Mao’s policy of taking the mass line. For Williams, sending the young intelligentsia to the real lived life of the peasants is brilliant, which truly combines the theory with praxis, a meaningful effort to abridge the border between lived experience and academic, between leading revolutionaries and the vast ordinary people, between country and the city, between the old generation and the new one. The endeavor to cross the border has been a life  – long career for Williams, who suffered from the split of dual identity. In his one and only drama Koba, Williams presents his concern for the alienation of the revolution, which necessarily results in the normalization and naturalization of the new established political power. Hence, Mao’s cultural revolution provides a way out of this, to re – politicalize the society, which for Williams should be a long process of cultural change, rather than a class struggle for political power, so as to avoid the alienation of the revolution.


Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Chinese Influences on Modern and Contemporary European and American Literature a