I have had three view points already about the organization named Revolutionary Rebel Liaison Station to Annihilate the Kong Family Business and Establish the Absolute Authority of Mao Zedong Thought for annihilating the Kong family business as follows:

  1. He disliked Confucius because of his father.
  2. The leadership wanted to make room for Marxism.
  3. Chiang Kai Shek and his cult promoted Confucian in the New Life Movement, which means that Mao as his enemy should fight against the reactionary policies.

Were there any "existential" conflicts between Mao's and Kong's theories? Or did Mao cite more personal reasons for disliking Confucianism?

  • 4
    Alternatively: Confucius supported the "proper order" of society, which included much subordination. Confucius was part of the old order to be overthrown. Confucius was a rival to Mao himself as a writer. Also Confucius supported superstitious rites which Marxism opposed.
    – Mary
    Jul 25, 2021 at 16:21
  • 2
    Probably in emulation with European Marxism, which saw religion as the "opiate of the people". Certainly Confucianism was very much geared towards the idea of following legitimate authority, something a revolutionary would not be too keen on. Jul 25, 2021 at 16:30
  • 3
    One can only speculate, but the political campaign was "Criticize Lin (Biao), Criticize Confucius" and one interpretation is that it was simply a tool in on-going political struggle within Chinese Communist leadership. In particular, "With the deployment of the campaign it became clear that "criticism of Lin Biao and Confucius" was directed not so much against the "enemies of the past," as against the "enemies of today." ", see the link above, as well as the discussion there of a thin-veiled attack agains Zhou Enlai. Jul 25, 2021 at 17:26
  • 2
    @JLL - thank you, but could you clarify in the question so that all of us could understand? At least for me, the answer is in the name of the organization, "Revolutionary Rebel Liaison Station to Annihilate the Kong Family Business and Establish the Absolute Authority of Mao Zedong Thought."
    – MCW
    Jul 25, 2021 at 23:22
  • 3
    This question could be made into a real question, if you were clearer about what action or opinion of Mao you were asking about, and made clear what a "real reason" is, and if you made clear why the Wikipedia article does not answer your question. According to it, Confucian ideology was a support of feudalism, which Marxists of all flavors deplore. To me this is a valid "real reason" for any and all Communists to oppose Confucianism, including Mao. Jul 26, 2021 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


Mao's attacks on Confucianism started with a "Criticize Lin, criticize Confucius campaign.

It started with an attack on the "hegemons," or what we westerners would call the "patriarchy," of which Confucius was the prime (Chinese) example. It continued with attacks on Communist leaders, Lin Biao, and later Zhou En Lai, who were rivals to Mao in the hierarchy. Mao, on the other hand, was a continuing "revolutionary," aided and abetted by his wife Jiang Qing and other members of the so-called "Gang of Four"These kinds of struggles sometimes happen in Communist movements, when some party members want to become the "Establishment," while others opt for continuing revolution.

It's possible that Mao's views also reflect his early struggles with his father. Of the three influences cited in the question, Jiang Jie Shi (Chiang Kai Shek) appears to be the least likely.

  • The Criticize Lin Criticize Confucius campaign started in 1973, but Lin (most probably) died in 1971, so at that time he was no rival to Mao anymore. Weren't Lin and Zhou rivals to Jiang Qing's clique rather than to Mao anyway?
    – Jan
    Jul 28, 2021 at 5:02
  • Jiang Qing = Mrs. Mao. "Rivals to Jiang" = rivals to Mao.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 6, 2021 at 16:26
  • Not sometimes. Almost always.
    – Jos
    Aug 27, 2021 at 3:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.