Wang Ruoshui

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Ruoshui Wang
Born: 1926: born in Shanghai, China
Death: January 9, 2002, Boston, MA. U.S.A.

1943-1946: high school at Yali (a Yale-in-China program) in Hunan, China.

l946: entered philosophy department of Peking University.

l948: joined the underground party of the China Communist Party, left university to
go to the Liberated Area in Hebei province, then worked in the
Beijing Party Committee doing policy research.

B.A. Peking University, from the Department of Philosophy

Fields of Scholarship

General philosophy, especially Marxist philosophy

History of the Communist Party of China, especially Mao Zedong.


l950: went to the People's Daily, theory department.

1976: During the April Fifth protest, almost everyday he bicycled to Tiananmen Square to read the poems and to criticize the Gang of Four. Because of the atmosphere,  he
felt free to speak out, similar to the time he had travelled to the liberated areas as an underground party member.

End of l977: appointed deputy editor-in-chief of the People's Daily.

1978: A deputy to the National People's Congress. A member of the
Central Discipline Commission committee.

l983: dismissed from his position as deputy editor-in-chief during
the Anti-spiritual Pollution campaign because of his unorthodox
views of Marxism.

Member of Central Commission for Dicipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (1978-1982)

Deputy to the National People's Congress (1978-1983)

l987: dismissed from the party during the Anti-bourgeois
Liberalization campaign by Central Commission for Dicipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (in violation of the party regulations).

Academic Positions

Concurrent research fellow of Institute of Philosophy, China Academy of Social Sciences (1980s)

Honorary professor, Department of Philosophy, Liaoning University

Member of Compilation Committee of Philosophy, the Encyclopedia of China

Visiting Scholar at Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University, 1989, 1993-1994;

Visiting Scholar at Institute of East Asian Studies at University of California at Berkeley (1994)

Visiting Professor at Centre of East and South-east Asian Studies at Lund University, Sweden, 1998


Early Writings

1964: Published "Philosophy of the Table" which earned him fame in both academic and political circles

l972: wrote a letter to Mao advocating support for Premier Zhou Enlai's moderate policies and criticizing the Gang of Four. This letter irritated Mao, so in instructions to the Politburo Mao criticized Wang as "unwise." As a result, Wang was sent to the countryside for manual labor until the end of Cultural Revolution.

l978: Published first objective reports about America in the People's Daily, as a member of the first official journalists delegation from P.R. China to visit the U.S.

from l978 through early l980s: published a series of articles advocating "emancipation of the mind," democracy, and humanism, and criticizing alienation in socialist society.

l980-1981: joined the group to draft the resolution evaluating Mao's contributions. Wang was entrusted to write the chapter on mao's later years, but because his draft was so critical in the end it was not used.


Marxist Epistemology is the Doctrine of Practice(Tianjin: Tianjin People's Publishing House, 1964)

On the Philosophical Front(Beijing: People's Publishing House, 1980)

In Defense of Humanism(Beijing: Joint Publishing, 1986)

The Pain of Wisdom(Hong Kong: Joint Publishing, 1989)

Behind Hu Yaobang's Step Down: the Fate of Humanism in China(Hong Kong: Mirror Books, 1997)

2)Selected Articles (after 1980):

"Rectifiction Movement" Overwhelmed Enlightenment: the Collision of the Sipirit of May Fourth and "Party Culture" (Modern China Studies (Princeton, NJ), winter 2001

"Mental Morbidity of Left-deviationism: Quest for the Mechanism of the Social Character of Fan Yuanzeng," Shuwu (Changsha, China) 2001

"Discussing the Strengths of Chinese Characters" ("Tantan hanzi de youdian" ) Shuwu, 2001

"Dialectics and the 'Struggle Philosophy' of Mao Zedong" (Chinese Social Siences Quarterly, Hong Kong, no. 27, 43-67, fall 1999)

"The Turning Point from Criticizing the Left to Criticizing the Right: Recollections about the Divergence in the Guideline for the Criticize of Lin Biao Campaign" (Cong pizuo dao piyou de zhuanzhe: huiyi 1972nian zai pilinpikong fangzhen shang de fenqi), Bainian Chao (Beijing), May, 1998, 37-48

"Why did Mao Zedong Launch the Cultural Revolution"? (Mingbao Monthly,(Hong Kong) 1997

"The Anti-Spiritual Pollution Drive: A Former People's Daily Editor Remembers" (Chinese Studies in Philosophy, summer 1996) (In English)

"My Views on Marxism" (Beijing Spring, January 1996)

"The Maid of Chinese Politics: Mao Zedong and His Philosophy of Struggle," (Journal of Contemporary China (Princeton, NJ): 66-80, fall 1995)   (In English)

"The Cult of the Individual and Ideological Alienation" (Jinbao (Hong Kong),April 1988 and May 1988)

"Human Nature and Social Relations" (New Enlightenment Series (Hu Nan Jiao Yu Chuban She) December 1988)

"Issues on Realism and the Theory of Reflection" (Wenhui Bao (Shanghai), July 12,1988 and August 9,1988)

"Is there No Alienation in Socialist Society?" (Mingbao Monthly,(Hong Kong) December 1988)

Selection of Wang Ruoshui's Writing   (Chinese Studies in Philosophy, 16(3), (Spring 1985) (In English)

"Tantan yihua wenti" (Discussion of Problem of Alienation), Xinwen zhanxian [Journalist Front] 8, 8-11
Translated in Chinese Studies in Philosophy, 16(3), (Spring 1985): 39-70  (In English)
Translated as "On Estrangement" in Selected Writings on Studies of Marxism (Beijing: Institute of  marxism-Leninism-Mao Ze Dong Thought, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 1981) No. 12, 1-16 (In English)

"Wenhua dageming de zhongyao jiaoxun shi bixu fandui geren mixin" ["The Greatest Lesson of the Cultural Revolution Is That the Cult of the Personality Should Be Opposed"], Mingbao yuekan (Mingbao Monthly) 2, 2-15
Translated in JPRS-Pol/Soc/Mil 66, 75291 (March 12, 1980): 78:100 )

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