Wang Ruoshui

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简    历

著    作


讣    闻

图    片

访    问

吊    唁

Commemorating纪   念


首    页

NEWS & LETTERS, June 2002

Wang Ruoshui remembered

Cambridge, Mass.—On May 16, students from China joined prominent scholars of modern China at Harvard to honor the memory of Wang
Ruoshui. The gathering was unusual in that noted scholars, mostly from the U. S. and Europe, were eulogizing a man who was close to the top
of power under Mao Zedong and in post-Mao China—and out of power remained a Marxist and Marxist humanist until his death last

Liu Binyan had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1987 along with Wang Ruoshui following the mass demonstrations of students and
workers beginning in December 1986. He was a colleague at People’s Daily, the official newspaper, while Wang was deputy editor. He
recalled that instead of joining the inner circle of leadership under Mao, Wang had written a letter to him in 1972 criticizing the “leftists” behind
Mao—and was sent to the countryside as a result.

Liu Binyan said that when Wang Ruoshui returned to the People’s Daily under Deng Xiaoping, he was often blamed for any opposition. Yet
during some campaigns orchestrated by the Party, like the 1981 attack on Bai Hua, Wang had the courage to keep the attacks out of
People’s Daily. As Liu said, even in China one man of integrity could make a difference.

Roderick MacFarquhar examined Wang’s writings, including his 1980 definition of alienation, where public servants become masters. Wang
had said that after his dismissal he felt free, but still considered himself a Marxist, and that “Man is the departure point of Marxism.”

Merle Goldman examined the moment that led Wang Ruoshui to become a Marxist humanist. He was assigned to lead the attack on Soviet
revisionism in 1964, and studied Marx including his 1843-44 writings on alienation under capitalism.

Wang also had access to discussions of East European Marxists’ discussions of socialist humanism (and in those discussions discovered Raya
Dunayevskaya, for whose Marxism and Freedom he later wrote the introduction for the Chinese edition). Goldman saw Wang not only as the
man who would again echo Marx by writing “The specter of humanism is looming large over the land,” but as the epitome of the upright
Confucian official.

Wang Ruoshui’s wife Feng Yuan showed a video on this man of modest appearance and great accomplishment. His writings, in that same
modest way, still raise the banner of Marxist humanism not only for China but for the world.

—Bob McGuire

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