Courtesy Reuters

Who After Mao?

The great hurrahs of the Cultural Revolution, the slogans, the messianic fervor, the public humiliation of the heretics are all gone. A visitor to Peking is impressed by nothing so much as by the return to normalcy, by pragmatism and-if one could imagine it in a Spartan land-a feeling of relaxation. Indeed, one might easily think that there had never been the awesome upheaval of 1966-69 "to change men's souls." Human frailty is once again understood, and there is at least an implied recognition that man does not live by faith alone.

One need only open the pages of the People's Daily or listen to the provincial radio stations to discover that the stress is on production rather than revolution. The worker who only yesterday was urged to be Red rather than Expert is now told to improve his technical skills. The managers, subjected to public "struggle" in 1966-68, once again manage. When some workers in the Northeast complain that their manager, ousted during the Cultural Revolution but now back on the job, is demanding tighter labor discipline, a Peking newspaper tells them sternly that firm discipline and experienced management are essential. And only six years after Peking coined the terrible word, "Economism"-man's unforgivable desire for material rewards-the workers are again being offered material incentives for harder work.

In the communes, the leading cadres are told that the members of the smallest unit, the production team, must be heard out and, once they meet the state grain quota, be allowed to earn some more money. In Shansi, a local radio station notes that "during the Cultural Revolution certain commune and brigade cadres failed to consult production team cadres and masses. When arranging sowing areas, they blindly demanded uniformity. As a result of such blind commands . . . losses were increased in production." The commune leaders would be foolhardy now if they disregarded the complaints or the acquisitive desires of the villagers.

Even more striking have been the changes on the campuses. Closed

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