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Liu Ping's second diary, written from 1971-
Liu Ping

abstract: Mao's quotation printed on the first page of the diary: "I support the slogan of fearing neither hardship nor death."

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It is too late to repent as I have stopped doing my diary for several months which I saw as a way to keep track of my path. In a word, I have become lazy. Today I browsed Lu Xun's biography. For two decades, Lu Xun wrote his diary not missing one day wherever he was. I should learn and acquire his utmost perseverance and will power. I also thought of Jin Xunhua and numerous other revolutionary heroes. Didn't they also keep up daily entries about their lives, each of which reflected on Chairman Mao's Revolutionary thought?
My elder sister is also my role model.1 Within a year, her diary reached three volumes providing a record of her life for a full year! I think back to the time when I was a six grader and kept up the good habit of writing a diary. Why did my willpower then far exceed mine now? I have fallen behind and have become lazier. I became too content from performing my daily routine of labor, and this loosens my commitment to transform my worldview, with the result that I forget the responsibilities of a revolutionary soldier: reshaping my subjective world and reforming the objective world. How can pure physical labor replace these sacred responsibilities?
I should never become a mediocre person who pulls the cart without looking at the road. I will go astray sooner or later if I continue. Only non-stop and painful mental struggle will get rid of the filth in my mind. I will be able to keep on the correct political direction and pull the socialist cart on the revolutionary thoroughfare forever!

July 1, 1971.

Weather: Very hot (40 C)
Today is the 50th birthday of the great Communist Party of China. On this day of celebration, we set out on a short-trip—the first excursion in a year. We visited The Second Division Quilt Factory near the Ural Mountains.
The bus bumped along rocky roads and finally we arrived at the factory where I saw my classmate, Xue Pingping, whom I have not seen for four years! It was a moving occasion for us old classmates to see each other again. We looked at each other so closely and carefully from the top of our heads to our toes. Pingping has grown so tall and strong, and she looks mature and experienced, just so different from a few years ago!
We chatted affectionately about our lives from Beijing to Inner Mongolia and from our school to the production troops. There is far too much to talk about!
We also talked about the issue of establishing roots in Inner Mongolia and how we should look at our families. Pingping obviously is more prepared than me. She was more determined to take root. Three of her four siblings joined the army, but it never shook her determination.

1 Liu Ping has four siblings: Liu Zhonglu, Liu Zili, Liu Shuang and Liu Ou. Lu Ping is the youngest. Whenever she mentions her sister but does not use her name, she is referring to Liu Zhonglu.

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She was so committed and had prioritized the revolutionary course of taking root in the production troop. She gave me great inspiration.
I got to know from our talk that the work at the factory is much lighter than that of the farming companies. Workers at the factory are not able to get a taste of the hardship of hoeing weeds under the sun. As for the work and living environment, the factory cannot compare with the farming company since the latter tempers individuals' will power. To those who seek an easy life, this is exactly what they are looking for, but Pingping is not one of them. She yearns for the rich life of struggle and hardship. I also take pride in myself as I train in a much harsher environment.
Pingping joined the Communist Youth League2 and was promoted to be the deputy squad leader. It shocked me. An inferiority complex rose in my mind. Her family background is outstanding due to her father's strong backing. It makes it much easier to join the league and get promoted. If I had the same family background 3, I would have done better. Suddenly, I felt the force of the external factors that were completely out of my own control.
I spent one day here and watched a movie at night. We were going to leave the next morning. This place is really flourishing and prospering. There are endless rows of factory workshops and many more new buildings are under construction, teeming with cranes, scaffolds, rails and all kinds of trucks......Although everything here still seems to be in a transitional period, a fully-developed industrial base will spring up in no time. The wilderness at the foot of the Ural Mountains will be turned into the second Daqing!4 I cannot help but feel blessed: Socialist construction of my motherland has been marching forward like a galloping horse. Confined to Ershuncai before, I am no more than a frog in the well feeling the whole world is just this big. I take pride when there is any new development at Ershuncai while I feel depressed when encountering any obstacles. This excursion opened new horizons for me even though it is merely a few dozens of li5 away. My motherland is so wide and boundless! How can I continue to be a frog in the well? With my body confined at Ershuncai, I must keep the whole country in mind and have the whole world in view. I must connect what we see here with the revolutionary cause. Only by doing so will I have the confidence to march forward!
Travelling to the foot of the Ural Mountains,
My horizons broadened; my mind brightened.
I don't want to be a poor frog in the well.
I want to be an eagle in the sky.

2 Communist Youth League: Also known as the Young Communist League of China, is a youth movement of the People's Republic of China for youth between the ages of 14 and 28. It is run by the Communist Party of China. Organized on the party pattern, it serves as the preparatory organization for membership in the Communist Party of China.

3 Liu Ping's father, Liu Kelin, was a high-ranking party official in China's Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. After being persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, he jumped to his death in August 1966 at the age of forty-two, thus was labeled a class enemy. His reputation was restored in 1979. To be related to a class enemy at that time would deprive the rest of the family members of rights in all categories.

4 Daqing: Daqing is the name of a city in Northeast China. Rich oil Reserves were found in this area in the 1950s. In 1964, Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee launched a national campaign to "Learn from Daqing in Industry". The so-called Daqing Spirit refers to self-reliance and hardship bearing.

5 Li: unit of distance; .5 li equals 1 kilometer.

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July 9 (postscript)

The seven days from the third to the ninth Ñwhat a short but unforgettable week! Although I wrote a small poem to commemorate it, it is necessary for me to write about it. I am so eager to chew on those seven days!
I met a lot of people within that week. The one who impressed me the most was respectable Deputy Commissioner Zhu, passionate poet Xiaoye, and Xu Yan who carried a small spade and fought on the frontline of the countryside.
Deputy Commissioner Zhu called me "Little Devil" affectionately. Although I was not able to talk to him much, he impressed me deeply from our short chat and from what I heard in my conversation with my sister. He showed much care to the growth of Zhiqing6 and brought Chairman Mao's solicitude to our hearts!
Xiaoye is not a new acquaintance, but...

6 Zhiqing: rusticated youth

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July 19

Wheat harvesting has started! Today is the first day. My comrades launched an inspirational campaign! Sounds of singing and recitation of Chairman Mao's quotations up here down there. The momentum was picking up and morale and enthusiasm rose higher and higher! The vicious sunshine scorched our body and sweat soaked through our clothes. Heat and fatigue exhausted us. However, our mind was suffused with Chairman Mao's quotations: No fear for hardship first and no fear for death second. It felt like a cool breeze of the hot summer driving away the heat as well as the fatigue. Only one thought occupies our mind: work harder and harvest more for our revolution and temper our willpower!
I did not participate in the propaganda campaign due to some objective reasons. Disseminating Maoist thoughts is our primary responsibility. There should be no excuses. I will join tomorrow!

July 20

Today is the second day of wheat harvesting. I began to feel an upset stomach in the afternoon. I felt acute pain soon after I started to work. I told myself to take a break. At that moment, images of numerous heroes appeared in my head: Yang Shuicai7 and Jiao Yulu8. They were fighting with their illness every day and sacrificing for the revolutionary course till their last breath. Can't I hold on in face of such a little pain? I felt my energy doubled. To hell with that pain! With that drive, I was able to weave the sickle much faster than before. It is interesting to note that the pain would become strong if you are weak but weakens if you are strong! The pain was gone in no time. I fought till eight o'clock in the evening. Walking in darkness, we returned to our camp triumphantly. Today I was able to overcome the heat, fatigue and another obstacle, pain!

July 21

Today we came to Field No 23 for wheat harvesting. Three of us from our team initiated a competition with two other teams. It was 5:00 in the morning with a feel of coldness in the air, but cool and comfortable. I wore two shirts. All of us worked hard. Our hands did not stop. We did not stretch our backs. With the crackling sound of our sickles, lines of wheat stalks fell to the ground.

7 Yang Shuicai (1924-1966). A Communist Party member and cadre in rural Henan, Yang was praised by Chairman Mao as the role model in the spirit of "fearing neither hardship nor death". He died at work due to overwork.

8 Jiao Yulu (1922-1964). A Chinese cadre in the remote Gansu Province who died of liver cancer at work, Jiao was a symbol of loyalty and honesty to the CPC with full and tireless devotion. After his death, a national campaign to study Jiao was launched to boost morale and to rally the people to work harder to overcome difficulties.

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The sun gradually rose on the horizon. We continued. The sun rose to the high sky, so did the heat. Now, even one shirt was soaked. The heat, the fatigue and our aching backs began to overwhelm us. This is the most difficult moment during the day. I tried my best to keep up and experience this tempering hardship and realize the true implication of "arduous struggle"! The day battle finally came to an end. I erected my back and turned back to see what we had accomplished. The fallen wheat extended from the end of the field all the way here. Looking ahead, the remaining wheat stalks extended. How big is this field! I have to cheer up and work harder!

July 23

It is the fourth day of harvesting. The long and hard labor pushed sleep time to only six to seven hours a day. I had to get up in the morning when it is still dark. It is past 11 at night when I go to bed. Lunch and nap time at noon was merely two hours. Fatigue harassed me like a ghost. Sometimes I feel my spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. How much I wished that I could have a night of sound and deep sleep! But the reality would not allow. At times, I was so sleepy that I would simply content myself with five minutes' sleep! Whenever I felt that I could no longer hold on, I would try all means to overcome sleepiness. I washed my face with icy cold water to refresh myself, but I would doze off just a few minutes after washing. This method failed to drive sleepiness away. Would I be conquered by the stubborn fatigue and sleepiness?
The hardest obstacle in front of me is sleepiness. I will continue to fight with it. It will attack me whenever I relax my will to fight! Sleepiness refused to leave me, and I refused to give in. I will fight with Mao's teachings, with various heroes' legacies and I will transform my worldview in this process of struggle.

July 25

The intense wheat harvest came to an end. It is by no means the end of a campaign, but only the victory of a small battle. A harder task is in store for us. We are believers and practitioners of continuous revolution. The revolution is not complete yet, we will not stop midway and should keep marching forward!

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July 26

After the "Daily Reading"9, all of us gathered to go to Troop 2's site of brick moving. What an inspiring scene it is! All comrades of Troop 2 carried twenty to thirty bricks on their back and transported them from the brick kiln to the field. Some of them were naked in their upper bodies and others wore a vest. With a heavy load of bricks on their backs, they were running back and forth. Their steps were labored and heavy but steady and firm. The burning sun turned their skin dark brown, and dirt covered their bodies. They went all out and completed two days' work within one day! I was so moved by what I saw. It is precious to have such fellow comrades who united and exerted their utmost strength for the revolutionary cause. In comparison with them, I found the disparity between us. I did not go all out with one hundred percent of my energy but only devoted seventy to eighty percent. Fatigue kept me away from doing my very best. I was not able to perk up the spirit and would need to cultivate my endurance for hardship in future arduous battle.

July 27

At today's Daily Reading, a "Line Analysis" was conducted on Xiao Tian's disobedient behavior. Things became elevated because those who spoke at the meeting emphasized the seriousness of the organizational discipline and linked the incident with the campaign of preparation against war (from Soviet Union). However, it is not at all a bad thing for Xiao Tian. It also alerted everybody else.

July 28

After I got back this noon, Yanzhen waited for me at the door and told me mysteriously: "Wang is back". I rushed into the room and sure enough Wang was sitting on the Kang bed. She is not going back. I didn't expect that we would see each other after a couple of months. Are we not destined by Heaven that we will never part each other! Looking back at last year, I thought about her from dawn to dusk. I was anxiously waiting for any news about her, until now finally. On her return, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I wish that she had succeeded in joining the glorious People's Liberation Army. At the same time, I also hope that she will remain here to fight side by side with me.
Today, we are again on the same front. To consolidate our friendship,

9 Daily Reading: A nation-wide daily activity throughout the country during the Cultural Revolution. People in different walks of life were organized into small teams or groups to read Chairman Mao's Selected Works every day at a fixed schedule.

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We need to construct a more solid foundation and help each other to make progress politically.

July 29

At today's Daily Reading, we had a discussion on the dozens of crime reports of the "May 16" Incident.10 Incidents, one after another, brought us to the violent storm of class struggle during the Cultural Revolution! We recalled the history of the Cultural Revolution, realizing that the complicated class struggle is still continuing today and we mustn't relax our guard and underestimate our enemy.
While working in the field, I chatted with "Little Whisper" and reached consensus on certain issues. I feel that she is more personable, approachable, and candid unlike some other insincere people.

July 30

Recently I felt that I lag in studying. There are some reasons behind it such as a busy work schedule and being fatigue stricken. But I need to press myself to make time and squeeze in time. It is easy to keep up studying when there is copious time. However, it is not so when time is limited. What most frequently came to my mind was rest and sleep. It appears logical that by doing so, my sleepiness and fatigue can be driven away, and energy restored. In fact, it is not true. I remember words by a hero that one will be suffocated spiritually if he does not study. Sleep, even more sleep won't help. My recent sluggish attitude towards study, coupled with physical fatigue, has nearly caused my overall inability to hold on. If I have an unlimited resource of spiritual food, I would be able feed on it when my physical strength is diminished. Spiritual power will help me to train the mind, temper willpower, and enable me to take great pains and endure great hardship.
The August 1st Festival11 is coming. I should take this festival as a starting point to strengthen my study, reading every day. My plan is the following: first of all, study in depth the July 1 st Editorial and write to reflect what I have learned from this important document. Then, I should read carefully Chairman Mao's books mentioned in this editorial. Finally, I will thoroughly read Critique of the Gotha Program. With the plan drafted, I should eliminate all external interferences and keep on implementing it. This study plan should produce instant results.

10 May 16th Incident: On May 16, 1966, the so-called "May 16th Notification (or known as the Notification from the Party Central Committee)" was released. Mao's official justification for the Cultural Revolution was sent nation-wide. This document was often seen as the official launch of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

11 August 1st Festival: August 1st Festival or PLA Army's Day is to commemorate the founding of the Communist Army on August 1st, 1927 during the Nanchang Uprising led by the Communist Party of China against the Nationalists.

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July 31

During the morning study session, our political instructor read aloud Comrade Yao Wenyuan's12 article: "Comments on the Two Books by Tao Zhu".

August 1

August 1st Festival falls on a day when I am on duty. I read a book in the duty room from morning to evening. These days, I have a blank brain as I have not acquired any nutrition from reading. I am able to absorb quintessence today. In the morning, I read the speech by Comrade You Taizhong13 on the Fourth Party Congress. In the afternoon, I read the novel "Bright Sunny Sky" and some newspapers.
The forty-four years of PLA's history divides evenly into two parts: twenty-two years in the armed war before the founding of the People's Republic of China and twenty-two years in the socialist revolution. The growth and expansion of the PLA depends solely on Chairman Mao, our great Commander-in-Chief.
Lenin elaborates the role of armed forces in his book entitled: "State and Revolution".

12 Yao Wenyuan (1931-2005). Communist Party politician and a member of the notorious Gang of Four, he was by profession a newspaper editor. During the Cultural Revolution, he was a prolific writer on many political topics to echo the top leader's intentions. In 1976, Yao was sentenced to twenty years in prison as a major member of the clique.

13 You Taizhong (1918-1998). A general of the PLA, You joined the Red Army in 1931 and the Communist Party in 1934. During the Cultural Revolution, You was Director of the Revolutionary Committee of Inner Mongolia.

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August 2

Today I had a stomach ache again. What is happening? No matter what and how much I ate, I never had any problem with my stomach before. But now, I run into a stomach ache when food doesn't agree with the stomach. I have to be cautious. It simply cannot go on like this. I have to avoid unnecessary sacrifice! Stomach aches impact my work, my study, as well as my mood. When it comes, I cannot concentrate and devote my energy to work and study.
In the evening, we watched the movie: "Underground Guerilla", which is an Albanian movie. It is an advanced film both in terms of theme and artistic standard. I was inspired.
Several scenes impressed me deeply. The guerilla soldiers are brave and courageous in fighting against Fascists. One of them jumped onto the top of a tank and opened the lid to throw in a grenade. Albanians' "No Surrender" spirit was well presented. They would rather die standing up than live on their knees. Guns and weapons are indispensable to a revolutionary soldier. Look at that guerilla soldier! How attached he was to his weapon! What does a gun symbolize? When it is in the hands of a revolutionary, it means "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun". The guerillas in the movie make a clear distinction between whom they love and whom they hate. Seething with hatred against enemies, they sprayed bullets at counter-revolutionaries who unswervingly served imperialists, ending their criminal lives for the sake of the people. When facing adverse conditions, guerilla spies who concealed their true identity among the enemy sacrificed themselves to protect other comrades. To have unrivaled love for his comrades and unrelenting hatred for the enemy is the fundamental standing of a revolutionary.

August 3

I feel so angry and annoyed after arguing with someone about the head of a state's communist organization. Why did I feel so annoyed at such a trivial issue? Neither of us guessed correctly what state he was heading. Both of us pretended to know what we did not know. I am really annoyed at myself. I showed off with my smattering of knowledge.

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My rival, however, was just like me, bragging about it with her so-called high school education knowledge. Worrying about being looked down upon, she tried all she could to prove her argument. Let us reduce these kinds of meaningless arguments! I will learn to be a modest and honest person, and strive to get rid of the attitude of "insist a bucket is full when it is half empty".

August 4

At 11:00 PM, a movie "Tale of the Red Lantern" was shown in front of the cafeteria. Although knowing this movie and the story so well, I am still deeply impressed every time I watch it.
Tiemei was only seventeen years old when she took up her father's unfinished revolutionary mission and completed it. She raised the red lantern high and withstood trials of life and death. Thinking about myself, what have I done for the revolution at eighteen years of age? Tiemei was able to stand up to trials of death, overcome all sorts of hardships and finally complete revolutionary tasks. What about myself? The difficulties that I have encountered while integrating with workers and peasants is nothing to compare with that of Tiemei's. However, I hesitate to press forward in front of these difficulties. Recalling the eighteen years since my arrival to this world, particularly the few recent years, I feel ashamed and guilt-ridden. I couldn't catch up with some of my classmates and old friends, let alone with advanced individuals around myself and heroes like Tiemei! I am aware that I have fallen behind, but do not quite know how to advance like others. The problem perhaps lies in a lack of a definite direction to follow. Therefore, I would need to set a clearer political goal and use it to stimulate my enthusiasm.

August 5

I finished reading a book entitled "Cuiquan", a collection of six stories about the advanced personnel among the youth in the countryside. I like the book, with rich content, clear-cut narratives and vivid descriptions.
Several quotes are quite educational.
Cuiquan said: "The spring stream to the north of the village was nurtured by the range of mountains. It is turned into a beautiful ever-flowing stream. If we move the stream to a different place,

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it will dry up. Likewise, a youth, if separated from the party, from the collective and from the revolution, would turn into a walking corpse..." The old team director also said: "...her (Cuiquan) cleverness is in full bloom only when it is rooted in this land..." There is significant implication in these remarks. A revolutionary soldier is like a drop of water. It merges with numerous drops to form a sea, and it will dry up when it leaves!

August 6

I received a letter from Tang Li today. It turns out that Zhang Weixun is the father of her little brother. Very interesting indeed!
Tang Li said in the letter that she also felt she was falling behind. We agreed to encourage each other to whip and spur to advance at our top speed.

August 7

This afternoon, I went to the Ninth Troop to attend a public forum in denunciation of Pan Keji, a counter-revolutionary and contemptible scoundrel. He was arrested on the spot. To all of us, this is another profound lesson on class struggle. It sounded an alarm bell amongst us. After the meeting, Fu Jiaxiu and I went to look for Song Weihua. In his place, we also saw Liu Huajian, Jiang Yinsun and Little Fatty. Lao Fu went to look for Erzi and I went as well. I don't know Erzi well, but we used to work at Troop Number One. We chatted for a little while. From our conversation, I got to know that Erzi works for the cookhouse squad. Five hours of sleep every day would be considered adequate for people who work there. They lead a hard life, but they never complain. As a pure chance, I received a good lesson. This spirit of working hard and enduring hardship is exactly what I lack. Erzi works in the kitchen and she can only sleep a few hours a day, but she never complains. As for myself, a bit harder work during wheat harvesting would trigger a host of discontents in my head. A big discrepancy between us.
Liu Jianhua and Song Weihua used to be in the same squad. But now one is a deputy platoon leader and another a squad leader. Not only were they promoted to the leadership positions required by revolutionary needs, it means that they had been making great progress. How much has Song Weihua changed from before. Her demeanor and her way of talking reflect what tremendous progress she has made in these years. She has truly grown.

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Right after the forum, the movies were about to start. We watched two in a row: "Surprise Attack" and "Hero and Heroine", to my heart's content!
As the curtain rose, scene after scene from the War to Resist US and Aid Korea14 took us back into the battlefields. The dauntless heroism of Wang Cheng impacted us profoundly. The Sino-Korean Friendship is truly formed with blood. A Korean grandma sacrificed her own child to save a Chinese People's Liberation Army volunteer soldier's life. How many siblings and relatives like Wang Fang and Wang Fubiao reunited on the war front! The audience was inspired by the moving scenes of the movie. Our blood was boiling! So many thoughts were welling up in my mind. In one word, I will march forward in the footsteps of the heroes and make my due efforts to color the globe red!

August 8

Comrade Jiang Ruihai gave a briefing on the delegation from the Construction and Production Troop to Beijing and Tianjin. From his report, I can feel the enthusiastic support people in Beijing poured toward the construction and development of the troop. They have great expectations for us, believing that we would make contributions in developing and defending China's border regions. We will never let them down and do whatever we can to train ourselves in the "Three Revolutions"15.
In the afternoon, I read a conversation between Chairman Mao and Edgar Snow. Chairman Mao's remarks reflected his in-depth understanding of dialectical materialism and his remarks were sparkling with humor and wit. Several issues brought up during their conversation impressed me deeply, among which the topic of the incoming visit of the American President Nixon to China. I remember Chairman Mao said that Nixon is the world's best man, and that Nixon is not like deceptive Soviet revisionists, he is the best teacher by setting up a negative example to the whole world. Chairman Mao said that "Freedom to strike" should be added after the Four Freedoms into the constitution as a measure to prevent bureaucratism. They also touched upon issues such as personal cult. Chairman Mao said: The United States is the one that practices personal cult. Even their capital was named after George Washington. Chairman Mao is opposed to any form of personal cult such as the "Four Great".16 Another topic that came up in their conversation was Soviet Revisionists' attack on China for following doctrinarism. Mao said to Mr. Snow with a sense of humor: "Soviet leaders such as Kosikin bragged about Khurushev as having developed Marxism, but then managed to throw Khurushev out of office. We intended to invite Mr. Khurushev to be a professor at Peking University to lecture on Marxism that he developed, but they never let him come." Their talk on many international issues are very inspirational and educational.

14 War to Resist US and Aid Korea: How the Chinese referred to the Korean War

15 Three Grand Revolutionary Movements refers to the movement of Production struggle, of class struggle and of scientific experimentation defined by Mao Zedong in his article "Where does a man's correct thinking come from" published in 1963.

16 Four Greats: The political slogan invented by Lin Biao and his clique during the Cultural Revolution to refer to Chairman Mao as the Great Teacher, Great Leader, Great Commander-in-Chief and Great Helmsman!

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August 9

In the last couple of days, people always brought up the subject of blood type as a fun topic in conversations, with the notion that those in O-Type are cheerful and selfless, and those in AB-Type are stingy and selfish, etc. They started just as jokes, but gradually became the talk of the town. Those O-Types were beside themselves with joy and seemed convinced to be more selfless than any others while those AB-Types felt sad and inferior. Refusing to admit their selfishness, some AB-Types roamed around looking for sympathizers to claim their selfless and generous personality. All of sudden, blood types divided people into different classes. How absolutely preposterous!
I definitely don't approve of such a classification even a bit. I thus will not tease anyone with it or take it to be true! Personalities, selflessness, and selfishness are defined by class nature. One's social condition determines whether his ideology is advanced or backward, and whether he is selfless or selfish. Neither his brain tissue nor his blood type creates any thoughts. Can blood-type determine his personality once he is born? If so, why do we need to categorize his class status? If Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) had O-Type blood, could he be selfless? These talks took away the class nature theory. Yet some people enjoyed themselves in the subject.
Although appearing as if joking, people were unconsciously guided by the doctrine that external reality is a product of consciousness, influenced by apriorism and capitulationism. These talks are not compatible at all with the great truth that the correct ideology are fruits of the Three Grand Revolutionary practices. Therefore, they should be firmly resisted.

August 10

Received a letter from my mom today. Two different things led me to two different moods. Things are not peaceful at home. What Liu Ou has been doing makes me very angry! What can we do to make her understand? Do we really have to wait until my father's issue gets the final decision from the top? Before that happens, is she supposed to waste her life as such? Time is life!

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Wasting precious time is nothing different from murdering somebody for his money!

August 12, Thursday

Our team leader called for a meeting today. It was a good and successful meeting, a meeting of union, a meeting to seek unity and a meeting to launch an offensive against harmful trends.
We enumerated those harmful trends. The more we discussed, the angrier we became. We have realized how bourgeoisie ideas corroded souls. Some of us are changing to yearn for comfort and leisure but hate labor. These are the dire consequences of cutting off from as well as avoiding hard labor and work. Let us compare how most revolutionary soldiers spend a day with that of theirs. The majority work from dawn to dusk, under the scorching sun, under the storming wind and pouring rain. They are soaked in sweat and wrapped in mud. But the few others? They are living a relaxed life. They wake up late in the morning and they work on their own schedule. How can they understand the hardship of working in the fields? How can they know the feeling of sweating in the hot sun and freezing in frigid water? Several thousand acres of patties have undergone cycles from seeding to harvesting. What is the fruit of their labor? They are sated with three square meals a day, enjoying an idle life. They cared about nothing but their own business. How much precious time they wasted that could otherwise have been utilized to serve the people! People of this sort do exist in our revolutionary team; they are everywhere. What they do and what they say is totally incompatible to us.
Although we do not expect to change in a stroke their behavior formed in a decade, we will not be off guard in our struggle against their bourgeoisie ideas. I can boost my immunity and advance in the struggle. Moreover, I should also pay heed to adopting suitable approaches. With a good approach, we can double the results with half the effort. Otherwise, the struggle could end in failure.

August 13

Our criticism team is assigned to present a special column on our efforts to fight against those harmful trends. To make it a success, the team had a meeting this afternoon. Each sub-team discussed those harmful trends prevalent in their own groups. Some male teams' behavior is truly ugly beyond one's imagination! How come such behaviors exist in revolutionary groups? We even see indecent behavior of hooligans and gangsters.

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However, it is nothing new! Just reflections of class struggle. The Construction and Production Corp is a battlefield of class struggle, it is not a safety deposit box, but a melting furnace. It produces high quality steel and filters sediments at the same time.
We summed up these trends into six categories. To enhance the atmosphere of our fighting spirit, these six categories are given sarcastic subtitles with cartoon drawings which will make a telling exposure! Finally, tasks are assigned and I am responsible for writing the editorial for the first category.

August 14

I read the chapter on Rectification from The Speech on National Propaganda Congress of CCP.
Chairman Mao pointed out in this article: "It is an extremely difficult task to bring a good life to the nine hundred million people and to transfer our economically and culturally backward country into a prosperous, powerful and highly civilized country. Therefore, we need rectification campaigns. We need it now and will need it in the future. We are to remove constantly the erroneous thoughts and behaviors, to live up to bear this heavy responsibility and mission that we have committed!"
What Chairman Mao said above clarifies the goal and significance of the rectification. Our campaign against harmful trends is to clear all sorts of non-proletarian obstacles on our roads to complete the mission that the party entrusted us with.
Having clarified the goals and significance, Mao further described the method for the campaign. We need to equip ourselves with Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought and implement serious and candid criticism and self-criticism. In terms of criticism, Chairman Mao emphasized the importance of making criticism in the manner of "a gentle breeze and a mild rain" rather than "finishing off with one blow".
Chairman Mao mentioned in Point No. 6 the issue of one-sidedness. He said that one-sidedness is unavoidable, but we should overcome it in a gradual way. Otherwise one-sidedness would be recognized as a positive thing, thus running counter to the campaign of rectification. In order to overcome one-sidedness, we should oppose "affirm all" or "negate all" and adhere to the principle of "Each coin has its two sides".

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August 15, Sunday

Today is Sunday and our day off. I wrote a letter to my elder sister and Zili. For over a month since the wheat harvest, I hadn't written to my family. There was simply not enough time then. I managed to write letters today. After writing two letters, I could no longer keep my eyes open. It is Sunday. No one will come to bother me, and neither will I be woken up from a dream by the sound of the bell. I slept soundly, got fully recharged, and was ready for the next fight.

August 16, Monday

In the evening near dinner time, an intense quarrel broke out in my squad. It was such a mess mixed with fierce curses, screams and cries! It is my first time to see someone with such a hysterical outbreak - doors were slammed, cooking utensils thrown and broken followed by X's desperate cries.
People began to talk about this dramatic incident and got upset with X's behavior. It should never have happened in a revolutionary team. Some who quarreled with X lost their cool. They said they would work to resolve the issue, but they completely forgot the fundamental principles and methods in dealing with contradictions. They forgot about the spirit of solidarity, the virtue of patience and caring. They were preoccupied with the only desire to prove that they were correct. Continued fighting like this was a total disregard for the maintenance of solidarity.
I have been contemplating how I should handle this incident myself. Chairman Mao said: "We are not in favor of creating disturbances because the way to solve conflicts among the people is to unite, criticize and unite. Creating disturbance would always bring casualty which is harmful to the development of our socialist course." This kind of hysterical fight is definitely harmful and is by no means the approach to solve conflict. It subsequently deepens the conflict and devastates the relationship among comrades in addition to destroying unity and unification. Therefore, we should be totally opposed to these disturbances. However, we are not afraid of them either. In a society marked by class struggle, this kind of irrational behavior

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is unavoidable. Everybody is disgusted by this kind of shameless and nauseating acts. But its existence is independent of man's will. We can turn what has happened from a bad thing into a good thing. We could utilize "making trouble" as a special opportunity to improve our work and educate ourselves and finally solve those problems that we do not usually encounter. By solving this conflict which finally broke out after a long accumulation, we strengthened unity among us.

August 17, Tuesday

The squad leader had a chat with X and then spoke with me in the hope that I also initiated a talk with her. I was set to go. On the Daily Reading, I sat next to her. I am not social. When chatting with intimate friends, I talk endlessly. If I am to talk with a person whom I do not know well, a single sentence feels like waste of time. Now, facing a person of resentment and passive resistance, I communicated with her my true thinking. In return, she responded harshly: "Nothing to talk about", "I don't know", etc. I nearly flew into a rage, thinking this was an ungrateful attitude towards my caring approach. Had I acted to my own temperament, I would have broken out with anger and argued with her. But I managed to suppress my rage considering that the goal was to unite, and that it was necessary to be patient and meticulously go through the thought process if I was going to get there. I kept my mood in balance and continued expressing my thoughts to her regardless of her response. I felt my efforts would be effective if she could take away one or two of my remarks. Finally, she did open up to me and let out some of her thoughts. At least this talk was not a total failure, as I was able to learn to look at things from some other perspective. It further consolidated my belief in the theory of "two sides to a coin" and taught me to avoid either affirming everything or negating everything. One needs to listen to every side and to resist selective listening. A Chinese saying "Listen to both sides and you will be enlightened; heed only one side and you will be benighted".
This conflict was caused by both sides. Neither side should be excluded. But at the present, X is not being sincere about solving the conflict. So, she is mainly responsible. More communication with her should be encouraged.

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Squad members should chat with her.

August 18, Wednesday

For these couple of days, I am helping with building hen and duck houses. Now that I am separated from working in a collective with other squad members, I need to pay heed to my work ethic. I should motivate myself to look for harder and dirtier chores to steer away from developing laziness and procrastination. I have to keep up my spirit and intense work schedule. The work site, assignments or environment might change, but the true character of working hard and enduring hardship should never change. I will build up the henhouse as soon as I can. After that, I can receive new assignments.

August 19, Thursday

Finally, the special column against indecent trends from our team is up and running. It is larger than the previous two columns. The column is very attractive in both format and content. Cartoon pictures vividly illustrate those indecent trends while the editorials written by each subgroup are also powerful! This special column is a good prelude leading us to the upcoming campaign against indecent behaviors. The overall satisfaction with the column serves as an invisible support to our work. We will keep up the work and present the second issue in no time.

August 20, Friday

It is almost 10 o'clock after the lights out. We received a night roll call for the entire company. We immediately speculated that this meeting has to do with the beating incident by Song.
A meeting of criticism followed immediately after the roll call. The atmosphere was tense, a rarity for the Fifth Company. Everyone expressed their anger against Song's constant disgusting conduct. Those who stood up to speak criticized him fiercely and exposed his trouble making behavior as well as deliberate provocations. The meeting didn't end until past 1:00 AM. Although everybody was exhausted after a day's hard labor, my comrades gave up their sleep time to engage proactively in this campaign against unhealthy trends and evil practices.

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August 21, Saturday
My squad has started to expose all kinds of indecent behavior among ourselves. I consider myself to be both a revolutionary driving force as well as the target of the revolution. My determination will have to be fulfilled in action. At the Daily Reading, I spoke about my own unhealthy conduct. For example, I wrote personal letters during Daily Reading of political studies, dozed off at meetings, felt arrogant on occasions, adopted a passive attitude towards Daily Reading instead of assisting the squad leader to manage it well, etc. I also revealed the negative tendency of seeking comfort and avoiding hard work which I had observed. It seemed that people had not been fully mobilized to participate in the campaign because there was very little enthusiasm. I don't know what was in everybody's mind, maybe some resisted it and some were afraid.

August 22, Sunday

Today a criticism and self-criticism meeting were held after dinner.
Following Chairman Mao's teaching, we had a proactive ideological struggle. In accordance with the correct approach to solve internal conflict and for the purpose to strengthen unity, we have avoided either "left" or "right" trends. "Left" refers to brutal and merciless attacking and "right" refers to harmony with everyone without distinguishing right from wrong.
A democratic atmosphere prevailed at the meeting. Everyone was able to speak out all she wanted to say and said it without reservations. From the perspective of taking responsibility for the people and the revolution, we candidly criticized others as well as ourselves on a variety of behaviors, conducts and actions deviant from the interest of the people.
Since everyone had a good grasp of the significance of this campaign, we adopted a good attitude on criticism and self-criticism. We aimed at learning from the past mistakes to avoid them in the future and curing a disease to save a patient's life. We gave voice to our innermost feelings and exposed existing conflicts among us. By doing so, we are getting better prepared to solve future problems.
However, this meeting was by no means plain sailing. Unable to accept the criticism, one person made a fuss in public outside our squad, which in turn disrupted and delayed our meeting. The person eventually realized his wrong doing and returned to the meeting. Consequently, the meeting lasted until midnight. Still, we all believed the time was worth spending as it was conducive to improve our squad.

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August 25, Wednesday

Today we studied an article from the journal "Red Flag", written by the editorial group from Hubei Province, reflecting on Chairman Mao's "On Policy". It says, "The revolution line determines the policy; policy reflects the line". If we are to persistently carry out Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, we must implement the various policies made by Mao. We will firmly keep in mind Lenin's words: "Revolutionary strategy cannot come out of one's sentiment."

August 26, Thursday

This noon we went on a shopping trip to No. 8 Bridge to get watermelons. I learned a lesson from last year, restrained myself and avoided excessive spending. We should be frugal and keep a low standard of living.
At the Daily Reading, Zhang Jun briefed us on the Corps' exhibition of "Striking at the destructive activities of counter-revolutionaries and fighting corruption, embezzlement and waste". Class struggle does exist in the Construction Corps and it is shockingly fierce! The Infrastructure Department of the Sixth Regiment is a living example. She also reported on their visit to different regiments. In comparison, it seems that the Twelfth Regiment is better off. There are places with more dissolution and poorer living conditions. Many of our fellow comrades have been fighting there. There is always a mountain beyond a mountain. You never know without comparison. I thought life was hard here, but now we know there are places with harsher conditions. Comparing with those who fight there, we have a milder climate, better water and food supply, more convenient transportations, and more spacious housing. We have no reason to complain. Those comrades fighting there are optimistic and enthusiastic. It would be shameful for us to whine.
At night a piece of news came and all sorts of feelings well up in my heart. Qin Xiaohua is entering Beijing University (Peking University)! It immediately reminds me of the six months that we spent together! What a memory! I admire her as my role model from the bottom of my heart and wish that we would be fighting side by side! But the reality is always relentless. Not only were we assigned into two different teams, we will now be separated by mountains and torrents! I will have one fewer good friend. While feeling sad and unfortunate for myself, I feel happy for her as she is entering a new style socialist university where she is learning knowledge to serve the people better.

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I have full confidence that she will live up to the expectations of the Party and the people, and that she will not forget her comrades. I cannot wait to see her and bid her farewell. I will go to visit her this weekend.

August 27. Friday

Two years ago today, I boarded the train and started my journey on the bright road to integrate with workers and peasants. At 11:00 AM, with the train siren sounding, I waved to my family and friends, mom, Zhao Hui, Yimin, Xiaoyin, Tang Li and Zhao Ping. The train started to move; they were still on the platform waving. I waved to them until I could no longer see them. No tears, no sorrow! "The time is urging, road far, responsibility heavy; I yearn for Great Harmony even my body smashed to pieces and bones ground to powder!" I will fight with fearlessness; I will march forward with courage; I will temper myself with pain; I will cast off my old self and take on a new one. No comfort can be found in all these endeavors because we are to go into revolutionary struggle, not to seek pleasures nor to get gilded.
This afternoon we were in a mess as no leadership was present, but everyone was motivated. The moon rose very high when we finished off, but everyone was happy with no complaints.

August 28, Saturday

There is a newspaper report in praise of army doctor Zhao Puyu. The report highlights such a remark: History witnesses in frequent occurrences that one advances bravely before he accomplishes and gains reputation but loses his drive and comes to halt after he has accomplished some success.
I remember an idiom: "Fame portends trouble for men just as fattening does for pigs".
Can we break through this historical limitation and smash the shackles of fame and social status? It depends on whether we can establish a proletarian worldview like Dr. Zhao and march forward infinitely.

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There is another saying: "There are far too many things beyond human recognition and knowledge. The long river of truth is endless, and no one is justified for exhibiting any arrogance".
Only those who humble themselves understand this truth. Arrogant people think they know everything. In fact, they are the most ignorant. I must see this with a clear mind that I am quite ignorant. I attribute this to my lack of revolutionary experience and long-term absence from the Three Revolutionary Practices. What I know is incomplete or half-baked knowledge. I don't possess any accomplishments to be arrogant. Through practice and continuous study, and only through practice and continuous study, will I be able to move forward on the road of knowing the truth one step by the other.
Today we had a day of hard labor. The self-designed and self-constructed hen house and duck house were roofed with beams. The next step was to plaster. Several comrades and I were responsible for mixing the plaster. After water was poured in, we went to tramp on the plaster. It was quite tiring. Our legs and feet felt sore not long after we started. But we did not stop. When the sun went down, the plaster was well mixed, and we started to pass it one bucket after another to the houses. When darkness fell, we completed a pool of plasterwork and returned home with a sense of accomplishment.
At night, those who went to the Ninth Company returned and told me that Qin Xiaohua failed to pass the physical examination, thus was disqualified to attend Peking University. I got so excited for her for nothing.
Today is my eighteenth birthday. I have experienced eighteen years of four seasons. How time flies! I am now a grownup and a full citizen of the People's Republic of China! To be a faithful servant of the people and a willing and diligent ox is the wish I made for myself at my eighteenth birthday. The next decade, two decades or even longer time will witness me continuing on the road to serve the people wholeheartedly! I commit myself to working and serving the people and taking the same course as countless revolutionary heroes and ordinary but great citizens are taking!

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August 29, Sunday

Today I managed to mend several worn clothes. Sunday slipped by just in a blink of an eye. I found that there are too many things to attend to, and I am not willing to waste my precious time on these trivial matters. But failing to do so could directly impact my work and study, so I have to do a better job in life management.

August 30, Monday

In the morning, we mixed a large pool of plaster with four cart loads of water. In the afternoon, we started to plaster the roof. By the time we got off work, the roof was completed. The first batch of ducks already moved in. Leaning against the small windows, it was such a joy to see little ducks waddling and "quack, quack" merrily. We were so happy to see them settling down in the house that we built with our own hands. Since our arrival at the Construction Corps, we have done all sorts of work including building a duck house this time. Although it is not fancy and pretty, it was constructed with waste bricks and mud, a product of frugality and self-reliance, simple but practical.
At noon, I managed to overcome my sleepiness and revised and edited the manuscripts of criticism. The process of revising and editing other's articles is a learning opportunity for myself. I feel writing articles is a lifting experience. Every time I write, I must equip my mind by exercising my brain and conduct analysis. In-depth thinking enhances my understanding of revolutionary truth.

August 31, Tuesday

Personally, I possess some indecent behaviors. I do not take political studies and Daily Reading seriously enough, and sometimes procrastinate with other things such as writing letters, reading or even sleeping. How much precious time on political study slipped by! The reasons? Partially, I haven't developed a comprehensive understanding of the proletarian politics, and neither have I prioritized Mao Zedong Thought as the number 1 necessity in life as heroes do. This is particularly true when I am fatigue stricken. I yield to sleep as the No. 1 need and tend to believe several hours of extra sleep boost my energy. I then forget that failure in pursuing Mao's thought is equivalent to spiritual anemia and political suffocation. Those extra hours of sleep will not boost my revolutionary spirit!

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Spiritual energy will be transformed into inexhaustible physical energy only when armed with Chairman Mao's thought.
I content myself with the ability of hard working when labor is intensive. I loosen my efforts in studying Chairman Mao Thought. If I continue like this, I will become a political blunderer, pulling the cart without looking at the roads.
Hard work is an indispensable component in transforming our world views. But it can never replace the study of Mao's thought, or spiritual revolutionization. The style of hard struggle is generated and guided by the correct political orientation. If political study and ideological transformation is ignored for long, we would not be able to sustain the lifestyle of hard work, causing lapse sooner or later.
Any trend to replace proletarian politics with work alone will lead myself astray onto a bourgeois road.
Since a variety of non-proletarian thoughts keep attacking, corroding and harming us, we will have to arm ourselves with Marxism, Leninism and Chairman Mao's thought. Only then, can we identify true Marxism and Leninism and resist the corrosive influence of bourgeois ideology.
My poor attitude towards political study is not only an indication that I pay too much attention to physical labor, and physical labor alone, it also reflects that I am still arrogant.
I did not engage actively in either company assembly or the squad discussion with the excuse that they are boring and that I do not have much to gain from them. The classes offered by the company or the leaders' speeches are not appealing to me. I was preoccupied with my own things such as reading novels or newspapers. I even slept through some sessions or wrote letters. Were the meetings and lectures to blame or did I lack the spirit of loving to learn and never tired of learning? I believe it is arrogance which blocked me from further learning and advancing.
Arrogance is a manifestation of ignorance. If arrogance is not suppressed, I will always be content with myself as knowing quite a bit, thus seeing nothing as worthwhile and turning a deaf ear to other comrades' and leaders' words.

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I will no longer be able to absorb new knowledge and march forward.
Only with modesty and humbleness will I be eager to learn. Fondness of learning and insatiability in learning will motivate myself to master more revolutionary truth. Learning has no end. The more I learn, the less I would feel that I know. I will keep up the efforts to learn more and advance!

September 1, Wednesday

An article from the newspaper "Comrades-in-arms" entitled "Reflections of thoughts" mentioned: "write down your thoughts is the best way to combine reading, practice and summary." "Reading, practice and summary should be an indivisible unity." "Reading is the prerequisite for writing; practice and summary are the continuation of reading; testing in practice and summary are the intensification of reading. Reading becomes meaningless if it is not put into practice. Practicing alone without summary will not bear fruit either." "Writing stimulates thinking and promotes understanding of Marxist and Leninist theory and Chairman Mao Thought." "Writing turns on the thinking machine and encourages critical thinking. It changes the brain from idling to diligent thinking." ... It is a good approach to overcome the phenomenon "Books rattle as you flip through the pages, two or three lines at a glance". "Writing promotes combining theory with practice." "Writing is the best tool to analyze one or two specific cases using Marxist and Leninist theories." "Writing benefits revolutionization of ideology." "Writing is self-educating and self-revolutionizing with Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought." Writing is to eradicate effects of all non-proletarian thoughts in our minds, thus, to accelerate revolutionization of our thoughts. Whether writing is profound or not depends on whether it touches the soul. "Writing a good report is no less than fighting a battle against selfishness and promoting public interest." "We should write down whatever we feel. The accumulated result will be obvious as time passes by." "Laziness will rust our pen." "Be Ôfewer but finer', not all-inclusive. Seek to solve a specific problem at a time."
I was deeply inspired by this short editorial. I feel through my own practice that "writing to reflect" is a good approach. We should keep up writing about what we learn in reading, in practice and in struggle. Short but analytical essays are the best. Vice Chairman Lin Biao said: "Fresh metaphor, sparkling ideas, known as inspirations, should be grasped firmly as a continuous thread of thoughts." In other words, we should be able to think like rain, one drop after the other, to make it into a line. When one dives deep into life, sparkling thoughts would emerge! "Good thoughts and ideas are like lightning and stone fire and can disappear within the blink of an eye. Therefore, they must be seized in no time!" Grasping them means writing them down with no delay! I must truly understand these words. I must write down any ideas as they occur, making sure my pen will never rust and turning it into weapons as "guns and knives". The weapon of criticism cannot

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replace criticism of weapons. Spiritual beings can only be overcome by spirit! The counter-revolutionary regimes can be destroyed by knives, guns and cannons, but their thoughts cannot be smashed with weapons. Only spiritual weapon and the pen armed with Chairman Mao Thought can do the job!

September 4, Thursday

The August 30th issue of "People's Liberation Army Daily" published an article by a soldier named Wu Dongfeng: "My Opinion". It says, "It is not possible to command Chairman Mao's thought only from reading newspapers and other auxiliary material without studying Mao's originals". Some comrades try to take short cuts by reading the auxiliary material without studying Mao's originals. They are not exercising their brain and not making great efforts. This is the mentality of lazybones. Lenin once said: "Those who do not want to make efforts, will never find the truth". Chairman Mao's works are rich in content and deep in philosophical thought. "Only when we make efforts and tap our mind will we understand the essence of its spiritual wealth!"
I fully agree. Thinking about myself, I hardly study any of Chairman Mao's original works in depth, often depending on reading those auxiliary materials.
There is no systematic plan for my study. I do not focus on digesting what I read, but I tend to read a large amount. This style will hamper me from learning well. I would need to develop a scientific methodology and endeavor to grasp thoroughly one viewpoint after another. Any short cuts will only attend to trifles and neglect the essentials. In the worst scenario, I will not grasp the truth, and get farther and farther away from it. In the future, I will need to rectify my style of learning and study the originals diligently. I will make every effort to grasp the spirit and put theories into practice. Meanwhile, I will remember to write down my experiences.

September 3, Friday

The Autumn Harvest started. Time is pressing and the workload is heavy, but I should never neglect my study. "Time will be made available from a deep proletarian affection to Chairman Mao's thought." Time does not come by waiting, but by squeezing.
Chairman Mao's Thought is the thought for proletariats in seeking emancipation, is the universally applicable truth, is a compulsory course for our mission to realize communism, and it is the most powerful weapon in the struggle with bourgeoisie and all oppressive classes.
Every believer in Communism must thoroughly grasp the revolutionary theories of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong. A soldier is a true proletarian revolutionary soldier when he is armed with Mao Zedong Thought.
"An important mission is to execute a struggle with Revisionism."

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Revisionism is the most dangerous enemy in Communist Campaign. Under the guise "to realize communism", revisionism denies the universal truth of Marxism and Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Revisionism attempts to persuade people to discard revolutionary theory, to put down proletariats' most powerful weapon in seeking liberation and to give up proletariats' class struggle against bourgeoisie.

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September 4, Saturday

After dinner, I went to look for Xiao Deng and Xiao Lu at the well. They did not have dinner yet but were trying to fetch a bucket from the well. I helped them, but in vain. An iron hook tied on a dead tree was released to the well in our effort to get the bucket. The result was very much like "Blind cat bumping into a dead mouse". Where is the bucket? Five minutes passed by, ten minutes and then half an hour slipped by. It was getting dark. An idea suddenly came to my mind: why not put on my swimsuit and get down to the well? Xiao Deng and I returned to my room. My roommates did not want me to do that as it could be dangerous. They said that the well was deep and the water was very cold. I thought they just made a fuss over nothing. I am a good swimmer. The well is only about six feet deep; I could dive to the bottom. The more I thought about it, the more confident I became. Finally they gave in. They agreed to go to the well with me.
Five of us came back to the well. I took off my clothes and put on my bathing suit. They tied a rope on my waist. I was released to the well. As soon as my body touched the well water, it felt like an electric shock and I was chilled to the bone. I did not expect that well water was so freezing and it dealt me a blow head on at the first encounter! I calmed down myself and dived into the water. Ah! Well water is so different from the duck pond. The freezing water sucked me in as if it carried a pressure of a thousand catties17 and I gasped for breath. I felt water was rising and I could not really dive. I tried waving my arms and legs to dive, but my body was floating on the top. I could not really hold my breath and raised my head out of the water. Because of the coldness, my voice changed. Those on the above ground also got very nervous and told me to come up. I did not want to give up so easily and made another dive. The second attempt was not any better than the first as I was again not able to dive to the bottom. When I tried to make the third attempt, my friends pulled me out of the well. When I was up,

17 Catty: unit of measure equals .5 kilogram.

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my legs and feet became too cold to move freely.
I returned to my room feeling utterly disheartened. I went to sleep under my large quilt. My body was so cold after being soaked in freezing well water that it could not get warm for a long time even under the big quilt. Recalling what I experienced just now, I felt very disappointed. I regret that I came up without getting the lost bucket! But on the other hand, I had no knowledge about well water. This experience of my own taught me that well water is very different from that of river or pond. In addition, it is over six feet deep. I would not be able to dive and get the bucket even if I tried harder. I was reckless and did not think through the challenges that I might encounter before going down. I boasted that to get the bucket out would be a piece of cake and a matter of five minutes! My failure was caused by my lack of understanding of real-life situations. I simply took things for granted. This little anecdote tells me that I can't achieve success if my imagination and reality are not in unison.
But this was also a training experience. Freezing water, short of breath, deep well and dark sky...But at the same time, I also felt "Danger! Danger makes one nervous, which makes one aware of power of life. It is good to roam in danger." I deeply felt Lu Xun's remarks today. Danger, tension and soul-stirring feelings are fascinating and appealing!

September 5, Sunday

The revolutionary spirit that Chairman Mao advocates "Fear neither hardship nor death" is the spirit of our time. The revolutionary people are casting their soul of "public interest" with this spirit!
But the "Philosophy of Survival"18 of Liu Shaoqi has been corroding some people in our revolutionary troop. To them, life is paramount overriding the revolutionary cause itself. Therefore, "cherish yourself" "protect life and health" becomes the inviolable philosophy of life. They are not willing to commit themselves to the revolution. They fail to understand the principle "To struggle is to sacrifice". When revolution demands a little bit of sacrifice of their own interest, they feel it is a loss and not worthy. A hero once said: "My own issue, no matter how big, is small while the collective interest, no matter how small, is big." Those people feel that

18 Philosophy of Survival: As a principle of self-care, it was first discussed in the speech that Liu Shaoqui made in July 1939 at the Yanan Marxist-Leninist Institute known as "Self-Cultivation of a Communist Party Member ". Liu took from the thoughts of Confucius and Mozi the importance of self-cultivation in both spiritual and physical spheres.

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state affairs, collective's affairs, and the Communist Revolutionary Courses are not related to themselves. They understand that fighting for Communist revolution is to pay a price with sweat, blood and even life. How could that be worth it?
These people corroded by this philosophy expose their ugly thoughts through their actions during hard labor.
At wheat harvest, everybody was working hard. Each of us took care of four to five lines of wheat and we competed in harvesting. An opportunistic member, however, only passed herself between two lines, avoiding working as hard as others. Who could imagine that someone amongst us would behave like this?
In the spirit of self-reliance, each of us went getting forage in preparing for possible war. We all made our best efforts cutting weeds with sickles. But look at her! Lagging behind, she only cut down a few weeds each time. We built our own houses, each trying to carry larger stones. But with the shield of darkness at night, she only picked smaller and lighter pieces to carry. In day light, she would change to carry larger pieces, and in addition would ask for others to find her only the large ones. She pretended to be hardworking! What she didn't realize was that her tricks were exposed under sunshine. We have seen it with our eyes!
Of course, people like that might have some health issues. But countless heroes have overcome these physical illnesses with their revolutionary spirit and strong will power. Heroes might be far away, but we have some good role models just among ourselves! Isn't Zhang Chunlian of our company the best example to fight against illness?! But these people would become spineless when encountering a little discomfort, thus losing revolutionary vigor and courage. How serious is their illness? It gets worse when it is time to go to work and recovers when it is meal time! Illness to the revolutionists is a good opportunity to train our will power! The revolutionary heroes refuse to leave the frontline on account of injuries and race against time for the revolutionary course. Many even sacrifice their lives. For them, to live is to seize the time to better serve the people. In contrast, people like X abandon opportunities to serve the people and

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care only about their own health. In a way, they cover up their illness in mind with their illness in body as an excuse to avoid hard work.
Our leaders were considerate of her health and assigned her only light work. But she goofed with the assignment and rather went to sleep instead.
Her repeated escape from work, repeated passing on good opportunities to transform her ideology and fooling at work will lead to gradual changes in her thought process. She will slip from the half-mindedness to revolution to total insincerity and hypocrisy. She can fool around at work again, but she could become corrupt and dissolute and get shunned by people if she refuses to reform the bourgeois mentality!
Communism is to be realized by efforts of millions of loyal people. "To struggle is to sacrifice." In the spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death, we should be ready to give up everything including our lives, and to eradicate the "Philosophy of Survival" of Traitor Liu. Without doing this, one will not be able to contribute to the revolution even with good health. Revolution does not need parasites of the sort who eats three square meals a day and stay idle.

September 7, Tuesday

After Daily Reading, we went to brick kiln with the task to unroof the kiln.
We climbed the top of the kiln and started to work. Only after a few shovels, we felt the hot steam of air rising from down below. Shortly after, the bottoms of our pants, and then us were soaked with sweat. After a layer of dust was removed on the kiln top, our feet felt even hotter stepping directly on hot bricks. When we began to remove the first layer of bricks, our two teams had to take turns going down to lift the bricks because it was getting unbearably hot up there. It became hotter and hotter. The surface was burning. The hot stream rushed to our faces like a fire. What came to my mind was a fire scene where bombing-caused fire could be thousands of times more burning than the current scenario. But heroes fought in the fire ocean fearlessly! And myself? Could not even put up with some hot steam. Could I keep fighting if I were on the battlefield?

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It raised a big question mark in my mind.
I realized the disparity between myself and heroes through this incident. I am aware that I still have a long way in cultivating the spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death! I should keep up nurturing the spirit of self-sacrificing through work and practice.

September 8, Wednesday

As the Kang bed in our new room was so crowded, I decided to lie on the floor. I laid a layer of cotton padding on the floor and made it my bed. At night, our company head came to our room suddenly. She ordered me to move to the Kang bed. She told me that the floor is too damp and sleeping on it could cause arthritis, back pain, and leg pain. I appreciated her caring but brushed her words aside, believing nothing would go wrong. I continued to sleep on the floor. Everyone was trying to persuade me to sleep in the Kang bed. Yet I already made up my mind to taste what it feels like to sleep on the floor. Stubbornly I did.

September 9, Thursday

Today I was assigned to work with Bao to bundle hay. At the beginning I tried to ignore her because I was disgusted with her. Recalling on Daily Reading, we initiated criticism of Traitor Liu's Philosophy of Survival, much of it targeted at her behavior. I also spoke at the criticism meeting and criticized her, with the spirit of rectifying the wrong doings to prevent them from happening again. We were targeting the wrong thoughts and behaviors, and not personally. Our job was not to make her suffer, but rather to help her realize her mistakes and return to the revolutionary rank. This task could not be accomplished only through criticism, patient follow up conversations and communication are necessary. Our goal is two-fold: correcting errors and uniting the comrades. I took the initiative to communicate with her in the hope that she rectifies her behavior. Her attitude was sincere and she expressed her desire to get help from others. This heart to heart talk went well and I had a better understanding of her thoughts. I will help her to move forward.

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September 10, Friday

Quiet study time is very rare! The best time comes at wee hours when everyone goes to sleep. This is the quietest time when I can best concentrate. But after a day of hard work, I am exhausted and sleepy. So I cannot take full advantage of this quiet time at night. One afternoon, I made use of the thirty minutes between the two sessions of work to read newspapers. I found that this time is the best! Surroundings are so quiet and no one will come to bother me. It is best for reading. I will not let this half hour slip by in the future. Alas. Many around me do not read themselves but make noise all day along. Quite annoying! Yet this should not matter. As long as I have a strong desire to study and to read, I will be able to find the time and place to do so. In the future, my reading will not be restricted to be in my room. I will avoid this group of disgusting flies and find my place in the field, in the woods, and on the river bank! Trees won't disrupt me. I should manage my time scientifically. Afternoon and lights-out are the best time for study. I should utilize the after-dinner time for my daily chores.
I finished reading "Bright Sunny Sky" finally! It is a good novel highlighting Chairman Mao's thought, the party policy and principles for this transitional period, as well as class struggle in China's rural area and within the party itself. It enabled me to see how fierce and complex class struggle in socialist countryside is. The heroic images of poor and lower middle peasants were portrayed one after another. Characters of a small group of landlords and rich peasants together with their agents in the party were also vividly described exposing their cunningness and evilness. The enemy's repulsive faces tell us that class struggle will never stop with their existence. Their logic of: "making trouble and failing; making trouble again and failing again until complete destruction" will never change. Meanwhile, the revolutionary people are becoming wiser and smarter through fighting with them. I am deeply impressed by Xiao Changchun, Ma Laosi, Xi Laotou, Jiao Erju and other best casts of the poor lower and middle peasants who represent the most admirable qualities: utmost loyalty to the party, persistent adherence to socialist road, firm standing against the class enemies and hard-boned unyielding spirit.

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September 11, Saturday

We conducted a monthly performance review today. Everyone evaluated our experiences and lessons learned during the past two months. After the evaluation, we started our nomination process. Everyone praised Xiao Deng's outstanding performance. She firmly believes in farming for the revolution, works hard without complaints, and consistently gives her best day in and day out. Her conduct is the result of equipping her mind with Mao Zedong Thought and putting it into practice. Xiao Deng took roots among the masses and she was very attentive to the other collective matters crossing over her own responsibilities. For instance, she often helps others in caring for chickens during her own leisure time. All of these qualities are praiseworthy. Recalling the time when I first joined the 26th squad, Xiao Deng was quite different. Idling and fooling around, she argued with others often. She spent her own time doing sewing work and rarely taking anything else seriously. What about today?! She has become a highly motivated; hard-working; knowledge seeking, and a warm-hearted friend of everyone's. One must compare in order to judge properly. Xiao Deng is making tremendous progress. In comparison, I am lagging. I need to gear up to prevent from falling further behind.
During the evaluation, my comrades affirmed my strength positively. Hearing their praise, I felt embarrassed. I know they are all encouraging me with their praises, but I know myself the best. What I have done is far from what they said. I will need to make more efforts. They especially praised my efforts in offering my help to others by initiating in-depth conversations with them. I am aware that I just started doing so and I still have much to improve. A squad mate candidly said it to me: "Stay alert against arrogance now that you have heard more praises since coming to the 26th squad." It is an alarm bell to me, and I am grateful for her warning. Arrogance is the most dangerous enemy one could face and we need to take every caution against it. There is no reason to take comrades' encouragement as the capital for self-arrogance. On the contrary, we should take it as a driving force to move forward.

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September 12, Sunday

Today is Sunday. I spent half a day washing my quilt cover. I went to the newly renovated room to light a fire in the Kang bed. While tending to the fire, I had a conversation with Yanzhen and we chatted about the 28th squad. She told me that her squad is experiencing quite some unhealthy trends and undesirable practices. She, the squad leader, felt that she was shouldering a heavy responsibility. This indeed provides a more arduous training ground for her.
She showed great concern about my attitude towards joining the Communist Youth League and encouraged me to submit my application. However, I am quite stubborn on this issue and I stick to my own thoughts. I will not submit the application until my family status is cleared up. But it does not mean I am not making efforts. The five criteria of Communist successors have always been the targets of my endeavor and I will never ease my efforts.

September 13, Monday

This afternoon we had a farewell party for our company head who was assigned on a mission to support the Leftist Campaign.19 At his departure, we welcomed our new company head. At the party, the departing company head made a speech summarizing his job for the last eleven months. He was modest and felt sad for not doing a good job, bursting into tears. During his eleven years at the Fifth Company, he impressed us all with his management style. He is very approachable, easy-going, hard-working and caring for every member of the company. Everyone wished that he would continue to lead our company. We are all confident that he would continue to fulfill his responsibility as a great role model at his new position.

September 14, Tuesday

I have been writing a report on anti-harmful behaviors. The writing itself was a process to uplift my thoughts from the perpetual stage of cognition to a new state of reasoning. I have to tap my brain hard and think in depth. I finally completed the report tonight after two days' work. I will share it with other comrades for their feedback. The writing is really an uplifting process. I systematically analyzed the anti-harmful trend campaign looking for regularities with the expectation to put some guidance in place for the future.
We moved into the newly renovated house. It has snow white walls, a flat brick floor and a newly repaired Kang bed. Everything was done by us. The once torn house put on a new face after our hard work.

19 Aiding leftist campaigns: In the early stages of the Cultural Revolution, the Party Central Committee issued a national order for workers and the PLA army to aid and support the so-called leftist groups and their activities.

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It feels good to be inside rooms neat and clean. It bears the fruit of our self-reliance.

September 19, Sunday

It is Sunday! Wang Jie and I made a trip to Xin'an Town. We haven’t chatted for a long time. We keep no secrets from each other and we think alike on many issues. But we are not in the same platoon, so we rarely see each other. We should exchange ideas more often and help each other in political studies.

September 20, Monday

I learned last night that Qin Xiaohua is leaving. She was recommended for admission to college. After I got off work this evening, Shen Xuelian and I rushed to the Ninth Company. I would like to bid her farewell. The sky darkened so fast and the road leading to the Ninth Company was flooded. We had to take another route.
Upon our arrival, Qin Xiaohua was chatting with others in the same manner as before, eyes smiling and tone soft, casting a deep impression on others around her. In our conversation she talked about Beijing, her family, international situation, our company and our whole construction troop. We sat entranced listening to her. It is almost 10:00 PM but we were not willing to leave. Time was pressing and we had to bid her farewell. We gave her a little souvenir: a notebook and a small calendar. She walked with us for a short distance and finally told us to do our best in the border area! We bid farewell in darkness. We were excited that our most respected older sister and friend would be moving on to a new position. Although we would be separated from each other, we are marching towards the same direction guided by Chairman Mao's youth movement campaign.

September 21, Tuesday

I heard that Xiao Tian will be transferred to another position, raising pigs at the Fourth platoon. She is leaving immediately. I recall the seven to eight months that we have been together. We did not know each other very well, but we had several fights. Only two days, I had a quarrel with her. "Out of blows friendship grows"!

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I got to know her better. She is forthright in her character. Recently, we had engaged in heart-to-heart conversations. More importantly, we fought together in the anti-harmful conduct campaign. The experience has laid the groundwork and strengthened our friendship.
Things often don't work out in the way people want them to. While we were torn by dissention and discord, we were assigned to be in the same place reluctantly. But when we have joined hands to fight on the same ground, we are to be separated. After spending time with her, I have changed my impression and she proved to be a good comrade.

September 22, Wednesday

This afternoon, we harvested rice. The rice in the front rows grew very well with hardly any weeds. The rice field looks golden. Ears of rice plants lowered their heads with weight. I could not help thinking back to several months ago when we first started our work in the rice paddies, levelling the land, harrowing, seeding, ridging, weeding and applying fertilizers. How much hardship we underwent! In winter, our feet were soaked in freezing water until they became numb. Salt water cracked open our skin. In the summer, our legs and faces were strung with mosquitos' bites. Since we walked in the rice paddies in bare feet, our feet were pricked with thorns all over. After five months of hard labor, the rice is ready to be harvested. Seeing the fruits of our work, we burst with joy! Yet not all of the paddies grew well. One paddy was filled with weeds. Our expectations are not always met. When can we turn disadvantages to advantages?

September 23, Thursday

We studied several essays by Chairman Mao which helped to enhance our understanding of the current circumstances with a clear mind.

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I will use these arguments in Mao's works to analyze some issues that we are facing:
1. How to counter the two hands of counterrevolution with the two hands of revolution.
The two hands are nothing other than fighting and negotiation. Nixon is coming soon to China in the hope of negotiation. We are ready to welcome him and negotiate with him. Why? Imperialists will not lay down a butcher's knife and become a Buddha. They will not change their aggressive nature. Isn't it useless to negotiate with him? Therefore, mutual benefit is not possible to achieve. In the end, military force will be the only resort.
Chairman Mao said very clearly in the Chongqing Negotiation20: "The meaning of measure for measure tactic is defined by circumstance. Sometimes refusing to negotiate is a tit-for-tat strategy while sometimes willingness to negotiate is the same."
The imperialists used both hands to suppress and deceive people. We will pay them back in their own coin. If they deceive their people with negotiations, we will also use negotiations to expose their conspiracy. They will not gain anything on the negotiation table which they fail to get on the battlefields. This is the essence of a blow for blow strategy. If they were proved to be wrong on negotiation table, we will gain the moral heights and support from the people all over the world.
2. Why did Chairman place his great hopes on American people?
American imperialists executed a series of aggressionist and expansionist policies because those who governed the country are a group of monopoly capitalists. Their domestic policy is accentuated by cruelty.

20 Chongqing Negotiation: As the Sino-Japanese War drew to an end, the Communist Party of China and Nationalist Party held a talk between August 29 and October 10, 1945 in Chongqing, the then-capital of China to discuss China's future after the war. The agreement they reached was known as Summary of the Talk between The Chinese Government and Communist Party of China, also known as the Double Tenth Agreement.

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September 24, Friday

Today, Xiao Ding and I were assigned a special task: going to the No. 7 field to finish bundling all of the hay that had not been done yet.
We worked quietly for the whole afternoon. There were only two of us in the wide field. Silence reigned supreme except some occasional faint sound from the distance. When the job was almost done, we noticed a boy was cutting weeds on the paddies ridge. I did not say anything as the weeds were anyway useless. But Xiao Deng told the boy to stop. I tried to defend the boy. Wasn’t Xiao Deng too unreasonable? The boy cut weeds without doing any harm to us. There was no reason to interfere. I don't think Xiao Deng's response was revolutionary. On the contrary, I think she overreached and leaned too much towards "Left". On issues of this sort, I always support the principle of "return politeness for politeness". If the others in the area conduct any harmful behavior against the interest of the Construction and Production Troops, we should stop them. But we shouldn't be doing it without a reason. Otherwise, they will be averse to us destroying the atmosphere that "the army and the people bonded together as fish and water".
At night, I was assigned to replace Xiao Tian rehearsing the performance for the October 1st celebration. The task was quite challenging as I hadn't danced or sang in the last five or six years although I loved it as a third and fourth grader.
I started to learn the dance movements. Due to lack of practice, I felt so clumsy and slow. It took me a long time to pick up one movement while it took others just minutes. I know I am not born clumsy, but simply did not have enough practice. More practices and exploration would improve my dance skill. To fulfil the task of performing for the October 1st Program, I need to gear up and practice more.
Mingling with these lovers of performance, I feel there was an unhealthy atmosphere among them. They looked down upon each other and complained endlessly. They lack mutual understanding and mutual help in promoting solidarity. It felt like that they were reluctant to participate and that others owed them something. Of course, only a couple were more obvious than others. Most participants were okay. The art lovers have a well-deserved reputation of being fussy and showy. No wonder people dislike their behavior. They are intriguing against each other and fighting for the affection of others.

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Surprisingly, I overheard some negative comments about my handwriting. I was at the site, but hearing it did not get me into a rage. On the contrary, it was sobering. I feel that my handwriting is truly getting worse and quite irregular. My mom wrote to me saying that my handwriting is not as good as when I was child. She encouraged me to form my characters stroke by stroke. But I did not pay any attention. Sometimes I even feel my rash handwriting was kind of stylish! Today I am aware that my handwriting is ugly. Looking at what I have written recently, I was so disappointed. Handwriting reflects my attitude towards study. It is time for me to shape it up. I have made up my mind to focus on improving my handwriting. I would need to get rid of my "tadpole" style and write every character neatly.

September 25, Saturday

Today I received a book on Introduction of Marx and Lenin's works sent by my sister. She asked me how many of the six works I had already read. I have read "Communist Manifesto" and "State and Revolution". I read them once, but did not seem to grasp the essence. Now with this Introduction, I should be able to enhance my understanding. I will start the third one soon. My elder sister said: Chen XX is a traitor, spy, anti-communist and political swindler. As early as 1931, he betrayed the revolution and surrendered to the enemy. Class struggle becomes more acute and more complex with the deepening of the revolution. If we fail to get a thorough understanding of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, we will be deceived and taken prisoner of hypocritical Marxism and Leninism. Without reading and study, we would be easily led astray under the complex situation.

September 26, Sunday

This morning, we were harvesting corn in the fields. We had to stand in muddy water because the corn fields were flooded. Several of us worked hard and completed our task while others were slow and did not want to step into the muddy water. They were simply concerned with soiling their shoes, so they resorted to cutting corn ears from the harvested corn stalks. We got quite upset with their attitudes towards work. People reveal their worst in hard work and old habits are so stubborn that it is impossible to bring about any changes overnight.
The afternoon saw us organizing our personal belongings out of the need to prepare for war. A photographer came from the regiment and he took photos for us at the gateway. The scenery was nice.

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September 27, Monday

Today I studied the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs; equal and mutual beneficial relationships; mutual non-aggression; and peaceful coexistence. I also studied the People's Daily editorial dated December 31, 1962: The Difference between Mr. Torriati and Us. The editorial cited the Moscow Communique21 in 1960: "Peaceful coexistence between and among the countries is not like what the revisionists asserted abandoning class struggle. The coexistence between and among countries in different social systems is a form in which socialism and capitalism continue to conflict with each other." It also pointed out: "The peaceful coexistence between countries in different social systems and the revolution between oppressed and oppressing classes represent two different issues. The Five Principles can only be used in the mutual relationship between different countries with different social systems, but not in the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressors. The issue that the oppressed face is to engage in revolution to overthrow the ruling of imperialists and counterrevolutionaries, with whom there could not be peaceful coexistence.
Our proletarian Five Principles of peaceful coexistence aims at forming a united front against American imperialists, "against imperialist aggressive and war policy". Meanwhile, under the Five Principles, we treat countries with different social systems with the approach of both unity and struggle. We support their anti-imperialist revolution, but fight against their compromising attitude. We shall never adopt the revisionist policy to abandon struggle and treat the whole world as "a free international family".

21 Moscow Communique: At the end of World War II, the Communique was signed by the USA, UK, Soviet Union and Republic of China in Moscow—the key document from the Moscow Conference held on October 30, 1943. The Communique outlined the world order after the war and mutual security of the international community.

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September 28

This morning I went to an exhibit on war preparation. The exhibit was educational with abundant historical and contemporary facts alerting people to be prepared against war. Some captions are a little too wordy. A more condensed text could have made the exhibit more effective. "Less is more."

September 29

Today I read an article entitled "Develop the proletarian revolutionary literary style" in the tenth issue of Red Flag. Chairman Mao wrote this article after his talk with journalists from Jinshui Daily (Shanxi Daily). Mao defined in the article the proletarian style of literature as: "rich in content, sharp and seasoned, full of vigor, speaking for the masses and representing the mass struggle of the proletariats". The article also pointed out: "the writing style mirrors the author. Unhealthy literary style reflects the unhealthy ideological tendencies among some of our comrades".
Do I have the correct literary style? The last time when I wrote our reports on the anti-unhealthy-tendency campaign, the feedback I received from others was that my reports were rich in theory and arguments but lacking facts and case analysis. I recalled my other writings and previous performance evaluation reports were assessed by others as having strong argument with little data to support, in the so-called commentary style. Writing style reflects the author's personality. What problems does this commentary style indicate? Where is the unhealthy trend? I have put too much emphasis on theory but ignored practice. Lenin said: "Practice trumps perception". Chairman Mao likewise said: "Social practice is the sole standard for truth..." "The foundation of a theory is practice and theory in turn serves practice. To learn theory and raise awareness is only the first leap. It needs to be put into practice." "Marxist philosophy states that it is important to not only understand and analyze the regularity of the physical world, but also apply this knowledge to actively transform the world". My problem is that I content with myself with realizing the first leap, thus falling short of making the second leap as to combine theory with practice. Chairman Mao said: "Only by integrating theory with social practice,

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can we reach the projected goal." After all, practice is the sole criterion for testing truth. Whether a theory is correct or not can only be measured when put into practice. Therefore, theory should not be rigid dogma, but should be combined with practice, applied in practice and guide practice.
My commentary writing style can be traced to not being able to combine theory with practice and the imbalance that stems from it. I should try to work to improve myself in the future.

September 30

I had a quarrel with X at noon. X became hysterical after realizing that a little bit of money was spent on a purchase of white powder to paint walls. I got into a rage at this behavior and argued with her. She did not want to admit that she was distressed about spending the money. Spending lavishly on herself, she got so mean when it is time to spend for the collective. This kind of selfishness was really pitiful! She only spent a little on painting the wall for our own room and got so stingy. There would be no way for her to ever donate ten or twenty yuan for the state or helping others in need. People like X don't put in efforts in physical labor. They also haggle over every ounce. We should try to help them with patience and rescue them from being eroded in "selfishness". Today, I did not do it the right way, so we ended quarrelling with each other. I need to take precautions in the future. Any wrong-doing and errors among us are internal conflicts that shouldn't be dealt with in a simple and crude method, nor with personal sentiment in place of policy, neither of which can help solve conflicts.

October 1

Today is scheduled for a study session on preparing for war. I washed my mosquito net and rehearsed our performance from noon to 3:00 PM. I then washed my clothes till dinner time. Tonight, we had a cultural performing program. We performed on stage. It was my second on-stage experience. The first time was the last May 1st celebration when I performed a Tianjin-style clapper talk show. Although today is a national holiday, it was quite intense. The party continued till after 10:00 PM.

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October 2

Today is the day for monthly performance evaluations with the focus on organizational discipline.
Recently there has been a sluggish and complacent tendency, which does not correspond to the atmosphere of preparing for war. Vice Chairman Lin pointed out: There are two styles. Going into action upon hearing the wind or not moving even by the sound of thunder. The latter approach always results in falling behind and getting beaten up in wars. This is the style that leads to losing a war. We advocate for "going into action upon hearing the wind", as opposed to "not moving by the sound of thunder". Poor discipline, dull action and disorganization are symptoms of a loser. Our army is to execute the style of revolutionary party and revolutionary army. The feature of our revolution is to leap forward, as outlined in the General Line: Great Leap Forward. Speed is precious in war. Army must be speedy.
Time is the army. In a war, one or two minutes may become the decisive factor for victory or defeat. In ordinary days, however, people might easily overlook the importance of a minute or two, thus paying no heed to training themselves to act vigorously. A bugle call should be seen as military order. But the bourgeois laxness and indiscipline undermine the execution of the order. Under such influences, hearing the morning trumpet calls, one could rather stay in bed a minute or two longer; on hearing assembly bugle calls, one could easily delay a little before reaching the gathering place. Our hero once said: "Personal issues, no matter how big, are small; collective matters, no matter how small, are big." I am just the opposite, prioritizing personal interest over the collectives. I fail to strictly yield to collective interest and cling to my own conveniences. Good habit at war time is to be developed from everyday’ s training on trivial matters. Every wake-up call, assembly bugle call are good opportunities. If we simply see them as calling to work or meals, but not as ways to cultivate our mind and lifestyle, we would be missing some basic disciplinary training. We are no ordinary people. We are soldiers of the production and construction corps. We need to have the perfect mastery of skills suitable for immediate warfare. Speed in action is necessary for the war and beyond. It is equally needed in socialist construction period. Under the current circumstances, every walk of life is preparing for the war, promoting production, and racing against time with the spirit of the Great Leap Forward. How can we afford to slacken off like an old ox pulling a shabby cart?

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To meet the needs for war time, I should overcome my bourgeois laxness in discipline and train my speed in action seeking every single opportunity, such as responding to assembly and bulge calls. I need to yield my personal interest to the collective's and firmly carry out every order to my best ability. I do understand this, but action is the key!
(I could be late one or two minutes in our normal life and brush it aside totally. But I will not be able to adapt to the intense war atmosphere. During the war, especially modern warfare, time is counted in minutes and even in seconds. Without speed, a war can be lost with the blink of an eye.)
In the afternoon session, I was evaluated by my peers as "rarely speaking at meetings and not willing to share thoughts". In the future, I will have to force myself to speak whether I am willing or not. Sometimes I feel the discussions are boring and dry without much content. Occasionally our group discussions can be inspiring. But more often the sessions are lacking in substance, and people randomly chat on meaningless trivial matters. Under these situations, I would choose to study by myself. Subsequently, I didn't actively participate in the discussions, nor did I try to bring the discussions into more interesting areas. I became a silent spectator. In the future, I will engage myself and try to bring more life into the discussions instead of remaining as a passive onlooker.
At this evaluation session, some peers praised my performance at the October 1st Celebration Program. I feel quite embarrassed as I did not participate proactively. I complained quite a bit during the rehearsal and lost my patience after a few repetitions. Besides, I had a quarrel with one peer member which could have been avoided. So I should conduct a self-criticism. No matter what, I should not have uttered harsh words in public that day. My complaining attitude was irresponsible and did not produce positive effects on the rehearsal and other members. In the future, I will always remember

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Chairman Mao's teaching: "We are responsible for the people. Every word, every action and every policy should be compatible to people's interests."
In this month (October), I will try my best to overcome my deficiency. I will: 1. Take every calling as an order and act with speed in daily chores; 2. Actively participate at every meeting; 3. Take into account what I say and do in the interest of people.

October 3

Today we got a half-day off as compensation for the last two days' full-schedule of military training. I managed to find some time to study and to write letters. It has been a while since I wrote last time.

October 4

I was awakened from a dream by an acute emergency assembly call. Within minutes, I got dressed and packed with items well-prepared and handy. Not mentally alert, I did not tie the backpack tight enough. I took it as a regular drill. As a result, the backpack became a burden and I felt exhausted after marching only a couple of li. Loosely-packed backpack could strain in a long-distance march. Although it is peace time, we need to treat every drill like a real war-time call. We should set the bar higher and take care of every little detail. Everything including shoes, backpack strings, clothing and socks should be placed orderly to avoid being caught unprepared. This morning, I wore my shoes on the wrong feet in haste. It took me a few minutes to change them back. What a waste of time!
We harvested rice in muddy paddies this afternoon. The Fifth platoon got off work a little earlier. People started to complain about their early departure and requested the Seventh platoon to get off work as well. A few shouted out loud. Does dissatisfaction arise due to a little bit longer work time? I suddenly remembered what Lenin said: "...the narrow vision of those who are not willing to work thirty minutes longer or accept pay of a few pennies less than others." The bourgeois privilege inevitably exists at this socialist stage

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and is inevitably reflected in the minds of a few. The Communist principle of "Each to the best of their ability and distribution according to need" is only an ideal at this stage. People cannot yet meet the Communist standard: "labor is more than a means of livelihood, but the first and foremost need of life." Our attitude towards labor is not totally voluntary and self-conscious, thus, people were preoccupied with personal gains and losses. As traces of the old society, this phenomenon is still common today. The calculating habit evolved from the old private ownership and stubbornly clings to today's society. We will keep up our struggle to transform it step by step.

October 5

One year ago today was the first day to initiate our irrigation campaign! The temperature suddenly dropped that day. Despite the freezing temperature, we stood in the pool of water as high as our knees to drain the swamp. For more than one month after that day, we worked in the swamp day and night on the frontline and finally completed the project in three stages. The hard work during the month built both our physical strength and willpower, and tempered our revolutionary spirit to endure hardship. One year passed by, but the experience remains fresh in my mind. In spite of the encouragement and inspiration, the experience also brings some regrets. One comrade whom I fought shoulder to shoulder is no longer with me today. Our friendship has come to an end. Where is she now? How is she doing? I miss her a lot and at the same time, I hate the person who fomented discord between us. I also regret that I did not see through his tricks and believed in what he told me at that time. I became estranged with this friend and our friendship was doomed. It is too late for regrets.
This noon, I completed the last chapter of "State and Revolution". Marxism was vulgarized by opportunists. In this chapter, Lenin exposed Traitor Kautsky's betrayal of Marxist theory on state. Kautsky opposed to crashing capitalist state apparatus, to establish proletarian rule and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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On the issue of the state, Lenin hit the nail on the head: "by avoiding all of these issues and keeping silent, Kautsky has completely rolled over to the side of opportunists."
Today, I started reading Critique of Gotha Program.

October 6

This afternoon, we transported bags of rice on our back. I was moved by comrades from the Fifth platoon who carried a lot of weight and worked really hard. I also asked for more on my load. The last two trips almost weighted me down. My shoulders were aching, and I felt I could hardly keep up. Then I told myself that I would need to pay a higher price for taking on a heavier load. We need to bear the burden of the revolution, as the saying goes.
In the evening, we welcomed our new platoon leader. Before she came on board, there were numerous rumors about her floating in the air. I thought I should never make my own judgment on a person without knowing her in real life. We would need to remember Chairman Mao's words: "every word, every action should suit the interest of the people." I will not say anything against the collective interest.

October 7

Our squad leader has been assigned to participate in the Youth League Rectification Campaign. I was asked to take charge of our Daily Reading. Initially I was not willing to take on this extra responsibility, but immediately I realized that I fell into my "self-interest" trap. I did not follow the spirit of serving the people whole-heartedly advocated by Chairman Mao. I prepared myself well to lead the Daily Reading. However, right after the reading event, somebody was complaining about not being informed with the reading content beforehand. At the beginning I was not happy to hear it. But then I realized I should change the way I did things as long as the criticism makes sense. I should have distributed the study content beforehand so our peers can better prepare. At noon, Wang Yuqing and I prepared the content for the next reading and distributed it to others.

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October 8

I had an acute stomach ache upon returning to our room at night. In the last two years, I never suffered this much pain. I had some carrots for breakfast and two pieces of oily pancakes for lunch, none of which digested. I lay on the Kang bed, turned from side to side but no position provided any comfort and my stomach felt like exploding. I became nauseated. My roommates got worried and called for our doctor who came to give me some acupuncture treatment. It did not work, so she gave me an injection of painkiller. My roommates took good care of me in every aspect. In addition to being moved, I also felt regrets. I did not attend others so well when they were sick. In the future, I need to follow Chairman Mao's words "to treat our comrades and people with extreme warmth and care", so as to boost the proletarian atmosphere of mutual care and mutual love.

October 9

In the morning, I could still feel discomfort in the stomach although it was not as bad as it had been yesterday. I asked to go to work. I should not take my stomachache as an excuse to be absent from work.
At the afternoon study session, we evaluated our squad's Youth League members on their role modeling, organizational skill, and motivation to join the league and so on. The evaluation was factual, but the words were sharp. On the whole, it was proceeded with an attitude of being responsible for our comrades and the revolution. The comments were candid, but some went too far. Words such as "double dealing" and "deceiving superiors and deluding subordinates" should not have been applied to comrades. Evaluations like these tend to exaggerate some wrong doings and misbehaviors beyond factual truth, reflecting the critiques' pretentious and overwhelming intention. They did not apply a scientific and honest approach. The advocacy of sincere and open criticism swung the pendant to another extreme leading to the tendency of one-sidedness and negating everything. Either leaning left or leaning right, we simply cannot firmly grasp the scientific approach of "one divides into two".

October 10

For the whole day today, my job was to peel hemp. There is not much to do in the fields these days. So our day is occupied by trivial things here and there, such as peeling hemp

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and digging carrots. They are not labor intensive, but I need to be strict with myself and set the bar high to "thoroughly and whole heartedly serve the people". In the evening, a meeting was called to discuss issues related to our squad as well as for making proposals to the platoon. Everyone took an active part in it and various issues were brought onto the table, including platoon leaders' own ideological transformation, their appointing positions based on talent instead of morality and campaigns against unhealthy tendencies. People spoke without reserve.

October 11

"At present, a campaign against American imperialism has reached a new height in the world. Since World War II, American imperialists and the followers have continuously launched aggressive wars. The people of the world have defeated invaders by launching revolutionary wars. The danger of a new world war still exists and the peoples of the world must be prepared. However, the main trend in today's world is revolution."
The international situation is intense. I should keep Chairman Mao's teaching in mind and get prepared for the war from now on.
In the morning, Big Bao, Wang Yuqing and I worked together in the field. We chatted about regrouping Red Pairs22 in our squad. After careful contemplation, my new pair was formed, and my partner was Little Lu. Frankly, I don't like her, and I am often offended by some of her unhealthy behaviors. But I need to learn to get along well with different people. By doing so, I could seek opportunities to help them and win them over. In the process, I should also try to discover their hidden strength and learn from them with an open mind. I understand that I need to arm myself with proactive ideological weapon, the weapon to fight, to seek unity through struggle and ultimately create common ground. I should not be too ambitious to think that we would be able to bring changes after several days or weeks to old habits formed in years or even decades. I need to have patience and reasonable approaches.

22 Red Pair: The phrase became prevalent in the People's Liberation Army in the 60's. It refers to pairing two individuals to engage in political studies.

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October 12

I received a package from my mom.
I am studying Critique of Gotha Program and have encountered difficulties. It is profound, and difficult to understand. I began to doubt my ability to keep it up. I told myself that I can keep up. I should not back out from a difficult situation, but rather press forward. I should not expect the luxury of grasping the truth with little efforts. I should never stop! I can double my efforts by reading multiple times, trying to read a little and digest a little rather than browsing through it. Comrade Xu Teli23 once said: "I read for quality, not quantity. I am not afraid of reading less, but I worry about not remembering what I read". Comrade Xu is the role model for me.

October 13

At noon today, my roommates started washing their clothes and made lots of noise. I was reading but now I could no longer continue. I picked up my book, left the noisy room and headed to the fields behind our camp. After crossing the buffer trench, I found myself under a large tree. It was quiet and the breeze was fresh. The world in front of me was so wide and broad. The warm sunshine drove away my frustrations. What an ideal setting for reading! I should have come here a long time ago!
I opened the book Critique of Gotha Program and read it one sentence after another. With no distraction, I was able to concentrate. I returned to my room upon the bugle call. I will come back...
(Quotation on May 20). Lenin said: "Imperialism is nothing but war."
Chairman Mao said: "We advocate to prepare for everything that is required to achieve the final victory. The more and earlier we prepare, the more assurance for winning and earlier comes the final victory."
War is unavoidable with the existence of imperialism. Either "war causes revolution or revolution stops war". "To eradicate aggressive war with revolutionary war" is the only road for revolutionary people to thoroughly transform the world and emancipate mankind.
There is a lot to do to prepare ourselves for war against aggression. One big issue is how we could adapt our lifestyle.
Vice Chairman Lin once said: "Speed is the key for any military forces." Time is the army. A couple of minutes could determine the result of a battle. In modern warfare, the long-distance weapons are so advanced, that time is counted in minutes, even in seconds.

23 Xu Teli (1877-1968). Former teacher of Mao Zedong, Xu joined the communist revolution as one of the earliest members. He was also the first minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC after 1949.

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We need to train ourselves in speed and time consciousness. The aggressive warfare that the enemy launches is often "blitzkrieg" or sudden attack. In face of that, we need to be fast and speedy. Any laxness could result in failure. So, we need to bring ourselves to meet the needs of war time speed with fast reaction. Otherwise, it means losses.
Armed forces are to fight in war and need to be highly disciplined and centralized. Any order must be carried out strictly and any prohibition be heeded. Centralized leadership and coordinated efforts in unison could move the military forces like a torrent, destroying the enemy on its path. Otherwise, an army of disunity is like a sheet of loose sand and would fail to form a powerful and unstoppable force during war time.
Using war-time criteria to measure my daily life, I can detect numerous weaknesses in carrying out orders and moving swiftly with decisiveness. To carry out Mao's teaching to "get prepared from now on", we need to train ourselves to be alert, speedy and fast in action.
In the evening, we watched a play: "Scholartree village" played by a theatrical troupe from Baotou.

October 14

A trip on foot for about 16 li brought us to the regiment's headquarters to watch a play "Scholartree Village" played by the workers of a factory in Baotou. The play portrayed the in-depth struggle between the two lines. What a vivid lesson on class struggle! In the play, the two lines were well-defined as who the friends were and who the enemy was. It helped us clearly see that in the countryside, poor and lower middle-class peasants firmly uphold the socialist revolution and are therefore our reliable forces. The upper middle-class peasants took a hesitant viewpoint towards the socialist road, but they didn't harbor ill-will. They are the forces to be united and reformed, and we should unite them and struggle with them at the same time, leading them onto the socialist road. A small group of bad elements, landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, rightists attacked the Party's General Line out of hostility. They should be squarely opposed and fought against. Their counter-revolutionary conspiracy should be exposed and their evil plots never succeed!
It was past midnight when we got home.

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October 15

Last night, I had a long talk with my partner in our Red Pair. Our Red Pair was formed in February and has lasted for more than eight months. During this time, we got to know each other well and we came to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. We have been able to help each other. She has impressed me and inspired me with many of her virtues and her rapid progress. Now she is one of the core members of the squad with added responsibilities. I congratulated her and expressed my expectation that she would make even greater efforts and attain a yet higher goal. Today, Little Whisper returned. I heard that my mom did not get to her home and Little Whisper did not have time either to go to my place to pick up the quilt cover for me! What a disappointment! Did she really get so busy! I was quite upset. I bought a thermos bottle in the evening, which I did not plan to buy at first. But I changed my mind after experiencing a difficult time trying to borrow one at noon. Every time I washed my hair, I had to borrow a thermos from another as I did not own one myself. It is only then that you realize how hard it is to ask others for a favor. All I had to do is build a budget by restraining spending on snacks... In the evening, we noticed that two songs had been published in the "Comrades-in-arms" paper. Jia Yanqi and I learned the songs and we planned to teach the squad members tomorrow. The platoon has assigned three of us to take charge of music and performing. This is an encouragement and a push for me as I am not fond of singing and dancing. It is to meet the revolutionary need and I have to make every effort to do it well by learning from experts. Performing art should be seen as a tool to propagate and educate people as well as a weapon to fight against the enemy.

October 16

After getting up, we went to transport bricks. It was not a smooth day for us. We invited two extra people to join us, inspired by the spirit of collaboration. Yet, they prioritized personal interest first and provoked conflict among us. One of them suggested that we work separately, and tried to shift the blame to others whenever things were not plain sailing. She complained to others about the poor quality of bricks and carts they were given to work with. It sounded as if we had taken the best for ourselves while leaving them with lesser goods. In fact, we would never have asked the two to join us had we wanted to avoid the worst in the first place... Although it was a small matter, it brought anger to my mind. It was more than enough to spend one day with them; more than enough to see how one's selfish personality could be exposed on such a trivial incident. We should seek no more collaborations with people like them in the future. Let them be alone! No more dealing in the future!

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We watched two movies tonight: "Landmine Warfare" and "The Invisible War Front".
I have seen "Landmine Warfare" many times. I learn something new after every viewing. "The Invisible War Front" is a North Korean movie. As a counterespionage theme, the movie showcased the subversive activities of American imperialists and their running dogs against North Korea. Beaten badly on the war front, the Americans shifted their aggressive activities into espionage. But no matter what tricks they played; they would always fail miserably. The heroic Korean people and their supporting state apparatus would defeat their enemy.

October 17, Sunday

Today I went to the kitchen to help with cooking after the brunch. We are having dumplings for dinner. So I helped with chopping vegetables and later with making dumplings. Cooking is quite fun.
After dinner, we taught the two songs. Since we had not learned the songs properly ourselves, the "instructors" did not do a good job in teaching. I, in particular, could not catch the high pitch. I was quite nervous at the beginning. But I managed to calm down myself. Although we did not teach well, nobody complained and everyone kept trying. It is my first time and personally speaking I made a fool of myself. I don't want to do it again! However, in the interests of the revolution, I need to overcome my own vanity and take the responsibility seriously. We are no music professionals and our knowledge of music is limited, so mistakes are inevitable. I can meet this little challenge, learn from professionals, and improve my teaching skills in practice. Practice makes perfect. This little failure will stimulate us to learn, improve and practice more. My goal is to teach everyone to sing revolutionary songs, and I certainly cannot afford to lose confidence because of failure at my first try.
In the evening, we had a meeting evaluating the Youth League candidates in our platoon. Each squad prepares its own evaluation to pass to the candidates, and I represented our squad. We called for a meeting including the candidates, a few current Youth League members and squads' representatives. The evaluations from our squad together with the others represent a comprehensive and objective assessment.

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I think the candidates are fortunate to hear assessments from comrades of the entire platoon which may help them to know themselves better. For any candidate, it is not possible to gain an all-rounded analysis from self-evaluation or only a few around them. At the same time, this is also a painful process. All these previously unheard-of-opinions are heard at the same time, some might be exaggerated, some might touch the soul, and some might stir up waves of thoughts. It may intensify one's internal contradictions, and lead to unravel one's inner world. It is a painful period of ideological transformation, and one can hardly expect to move forward without it.
On one hand, I feel happy for them to have such opportunities. On the other hand, I could also understand the pains they are experiencing during the ideological struggle and self-dissection. I could not help relating to myself. When will I be able to have the same opportunity? Subjectively speaking, I am not ready to put myself under the masses' supervision. Sometimes I am aloof, solitary, and still reluctant to put myself in the crowd. Thus, I do not yet have the desire to hear from others their true assessment of me. Objectively speaking, the more advanced in spiritual transformation, the more eager one is to hear others' analysis and criticism. In contrast, people would not be willing to voice their unreserved criticisms to those who are lagging because no one knows whether they would perceive and receive them positively.
A group of comrades are joining the Youth League, which unavoidably touches me deeply. I have not even written my application! Yanzhen said that I am an "bull-headed" and she is scheduling a meeting with me, likely about this issue.

October 18

Today, out of nowhere, we were assigned to fill ten thousand unfired bricks into the kiln. Facing this unexpected hard project, we will follow Chairman Mao's teaching that the more difficult a task, the more courageous we should be.
The battle started. Each of us had our position and got ready. Some were on the top of the kiln to pass the bricks to those in the kiln; some on the ground to pack the bricks and some carried the bricks up to those at the top. In the beginning, our squad was assigned to be on the top of kiln receive unfired bricks passed from below. This job was by no means easy. An error could break the bricks, especially the high piles of a dozen or so bricks. Not only were we covered with dust and dirt, our hands got jammed quite easily. It was an assignment requiring coordination and bravery. No complaints, we worked well with good speed, receiving bricks from down below. We then were asked to shift our assignment. It was our turn to carry the bricks. Each of us was given a wooden board with which we carried bricks on our back. In the first couple of trips, we did well. But soon the back load became heavier and our legs

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got tired, particularly on the upper slope. At that time, heroes' words echoed in our ears: "Try harder on the upper slope!" Do not give up when things are hard. I kept going, one load after another, running between each loading...
Everybody did their best. Nobody wanted to stop. We worked until 2:00 PM when we went for lunch. We resumed the work again around 3:30 and worked all the way until darkness fell. Armed with Chairman Mao's teaching "fearing neither hardship nor death", this seemingly arduous brick transporting assignment didn't feel difficult at all.

October 19, Tuesday

My body was aching all over this morning. Obviously, this is the "fruit" from yesterday's hard labor. This morning we were assigned to complete plastering the roof of the kiln. We worked in pairs. Each pair carried on shoulder buckets of plaster to the kiln roof. The buckets were heavy, but we kept reciting Chairman Mao's quotation: "Make a firm resolution...". Finally, the kiln top was successfully sealed and it was ready for firing.
The afternoon's task was to harvest cabbage from fields. We had a great harvest! Tightly wrapped with layers of leaves, some grew so round and big that they weighed several kilos. Big enough to be exhibited in museums.
In the evening, the regiment's propaganda team came to perform for us. I did not see quite clearly sitting in the back. I wasn't impressed. A mere imitation of others' programs is not as good as creative compositions of their own. Prior to the performances, the deputy company chief announced Chairman Mao's recent calling on "cleaning up the warehouse" as well as the regiment's follow-up plan during this national campaign. We need to gear up and follow Chairman Mao's strategy by actively engaging ourselves in this campaign.

October 20, Wednesday

While studying Chairman Mao's two views on cosmos illustrated in his work "On Contradiction", I was examining my thoughts on one issue, the issue of Joining the Youth League. It has been two years since I came to the Construction and Production Corps, and I still have not become a member of the League. How slowly I have moved on this! It was soul touching upon hearing that Pingping and many others who came with me had all joined the league. Why wasn't I even in the picture in the last two years?! I was looking for an answer, and I looked and looked. I felt that I worked hard in the last couple of years. Why was my progress so slow? Finally, I blamed it on the environment. The corps was made up primarily of students. Who are reeducating us? The peer students? Besides, our company was known for lagging. The party branch doesn't care enough about our political ideological wellbeing. The help that I got from the platoon and the squad was

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very limited. I felt that I had done a pretty good job under the circumstances. Unless being transferred to a different environment, I would not expect to make more rapid progress and reach another height. I blame the environment for everything, thus failing to analyze internal causal factors. Consequently, I longed to be assigned somewhere else.
Chairman Mao pointed out: "In analyzing a developing event, they simply look for exterior causal factors and deny the theory of materialist dialectics that things are caused by internal causes." The fundamental causes of developments are often rooted in the interior instead of exterior. Internal contradictions cause changes.
Whether to look for internal causes or external causes reflect two different worldviews. I have been trying to look for external causes from a metaphysical worldview, the so-called "the sky doesn't change; the Tao doesn't change." So I will not change if the environment does not. The harder I tried, the farther I departed from the truth.
What is the cause of my problem? "Internal contradiction is the fundamental cause for any development of the event". Chairman Mao's dialectical teaching inspired me to look inward. Why have I been slow in making progress? What kept me from joining the Youth League ideologically and physically? They were all caused by hidden internal contradictions. I have been struggling and going back and forth between two conflicting attitudes on the issue of joining the Youth League, namely proactive action, and passive waiting. But the latter has for most of the time won the upper hand. Therefore, I have been passive. Why are the passive forces so stubborn? I have always been choked with my family background and overcome by pessimism. In my mind, so long as the family issue continues, there is no hope for me to join the League. This burden, this invisible burden has decreased and diminished my enthusiasm in effort making and has added much stress psychologically. Therefore, I have not been able to travel light on my journey. This is the very cause for my sluggishness. Without thoroughly dealing with this internal problem, I will not improve even when the environment changes.
I felt suddenly enlightened with this materialistic dialectic approach. I am not going to depend on better external environment to further my progress. I freed myself from shackles of "external cause" and "passive theory" and seized the initiative to look at internal causes. Once I adapted to this approach, I found myself more confident and determined; a transformation from before when I was grappled with

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disappointment and complaints. This process uplifted my theoretical understanding and tested its application in reality.

October 21, Thursday

We took a quiz with four questions to test our understanding of Chairman Mao's foreign policy. The quiz brought out some gaps. I did not do a good job and failed several answers. It showed that I did not study hard enough and I should make a great effort to catch up.
Today we started to dig a ditch. The weather had suddenly changed with temperature dropping below zero. Freezing winter is here.
From now on, we will have four hours free time after dinner before bedtime. I should make the best use of these precious moments.
Last night, we audited the Daily Reading of the 14th squad. I am deeply impressed by their uninterrupted continuity day after day for over four months. But I don't fully endorse their method. Chairman Mao pointed out: "We should refrain from pointing fingers if the mistakes are not political and organizational in nature, because too much fuss would bring our comrades to their wits' end." Their Daily Reading went a little too far. Some minor events became the topics of analysis and unnecessarily wasted the vital energy of Daily Reading on these insignificant aspects of life. As a result, people tend to become overly cautious and narrow-minded, at the expense of focusing on the Party's key political mission. My general impression is that they focused on the less important issues at the expense of the core.

October 22, Friday

Today's work is to transport the cabbage from fields to our campus. After we got off work, I heard an incredible, sudden but reliable "gossip". I could not believe my ears but soon calmed myself down. It is not a big deal and the sky will not fall! Whoever opposes Chairman Mao, the party and the Communist Course, must be overthrown. Chairman Mao taught us: "How do the counter-revolutionaries play their double-dealing tricks? How do they deceive the masses with disguises but engage in unexpected destruction in reality? Thousands of kind and honest people are not aware..." "The complication and acuteness of class struggle, especially the struggle that occurs at the top leadership level and are totally beyond the imagination of the masses and is not subject to the will of the people. It is not avoidable, and not surprising that a few anti-party opponents could pop up in the top leadership. They existed in the past,

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are here at present and will be with us in the future. Our struggle with them is a long-term and persistent struggle. It will last at least another twenty years or even half a century. Class struggle will never cease before classes are eradicated." "Those opportunists and anti-party enemies who attempt to stop the historical wheels from moving forward will never ever do any harm to our great party and will never ever be able to resist the irresistible law of history. Our cause will continue moving forward in the direction guided by Chairman Mao and nobody could stop it..."
Due to my lack of knowledge on security regulations, I had a quarrel with some squad members. The argument was dull and boring on a few minor issues. We fought with each other on trifles but ignored the big picture. We did not approach the problems from the basic perspectives of public interests. We should all learn a lesson from this conflict. I often see myself entangled in trivial issues, which are meaningless, boring, and of low taste. If I continue like this, I would ignore important issues that matter to the nation and people's interests. Be alert!

October 23, Saturday

Today during the company side meeting, Old Zhang commented on the quiz we took. He pointed out a few areas where people got confused, using one example to argue that this is one of political error rather than simply a confusion. The question was how we should reflect on Nixon's upcoming visit to China. I immediately realized that he was referring to my answer. Was my answer really wrong? My heart was beating faster. Old Zhang did not mention the name, but I know it was me. I scratched my head trying to remember how exactly I answered the question. The more I thought, the more I was convinced that my answer was not wrong. Old Zhang distorted my answer and quoted out of context. I nearly reached the point that I would go up to him after the meeting to start a debate. But on the second thought, I refrained myself from acting on impulse. After all, I haven't thoroughly understood the theory of peaceful coexistence, and the relationship between negotiation with the US government and friendship with American people. I should be modest and spend more time studying to gain an in-depth understanding. I need to reexamine how I answered the questions in the quiz after it is returned to us. Maybe I didn't fully answer the questions correctly. This is another lesson I learned. I must aim at obtaining full understanding of everything. Scanty knowledge is dangerous, and fallacy is further from truth than ignorance.

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October 24, Sunday

It is our day off today. Little Whisper chatted with me this afternoon. She talked about her new thoughts after visiting her family and she also offered her views on my situation. She encouraged me to develop a correct attitude towards joining the Youth League by submitting my application. She said this would be a gesture of my trusting and relying on the organization. When she asked me about my family background, I told her everything including how my father died and what issue has occurred with my brother. It is difficult to explain about my family in a few words and it is incomprehensible to others. That is why I always shy away from the topic. The bitter struggle that my family underwent in the last few years taught me hard-learnt lessons. Whatever impression I give people during my two years at the production and construction corps could not be separated from what I experienced two years ago,
[diary entry for October 24 has a large blank space.]
I received a letter from my mom telling me that my elder sister had become a formal member of the Communist Party. But my sister hadn't written to me personally and I could hardly dare to believe it.

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October 25, Monday

I went to the regiment headquarter to visit an exhibit on "In Agriculture learn from Dazhai".24 The accomplishments from various companies are inspiring! With a command of Mao Zedong Thought, many companies were able to transform the spiritual wealth into physical achievements. Their agricultural production far exceeded projections both in quality and quantity. In comparison, our company was behind. The causes? We haven't armed our people with Mao Zedong Thought! We need to grasp the essence from now on.

October 26, Tuesday

Recently the company launched the campaign to further advance class struggle. People are alerted to pay heed to new forms of class struggle, heighten their awareness and maintain clear mindedness and get ready to stand the test of upcoming stormy class struggle.
In this campaign, I am determined to study Chairman Mao's teaching, analyze how class struggle has affected my own mind, purge out the influence of the Liu's theory that "class struggle is eliminated", advance my capability to differentiate true from false Marxism and Leninism... Right now I am making my cotton-padded pants, but I need to make sure not to let things like this distract my study, and to focus my attention on proactively participating in this campaign.

October 30, Saturday

For these two days, we were working on the threshing ground. The company leader came to work with us. Today's job is winnowing. I realized how strict he was. I do not know how to winnow effectively. He asked me to stand on the side and observe how it is done. He told me that I should learn it first before busying myself with practice. It reminds me of another incident. I was sweeping the threshing ground the other day. I swept and swept without bending. He came over to demonstrate to me that by bending lower I would be able to flatten my broom to cover a larger area with every stroke thus working more efficiently. I could see our company leader was observant and into details. I was a little bit intimidated by his approach in the beginning but then felt that I could benefit from his approach and learn to do a better job.

October 31, Sunday

Today is our day off. I continued sewing my cotton-padded pants in Little Bei's room. Our platoon leader came to help me out of kindness and we started chatting along. She asked me about my relationship with Zhou and told me that Zhou would like to have a conversation with me. I passed my thoughts to her and promised that

24 "In Agriculture learn from Dazhai": The name of a production brigade in rural Shanxi Province, Dazhai caught Chairman Mao's attention in 1963 by its accomplishments in agricultural production despite the poor local conditions. He launched a national campaign to boost morale of development construction by establishing role models in a political slogan: "Learn from Daqing in industry and Dazhai in agriculture, the whole nation learns from PLA".

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our sour relationship would never affect our reporting work. I spoke candidly about Zhou. It is my hope that we solve the conflict between us so that we can speak to each other again after nearly six months. It is time to bring an end to this misunderstanding.
Each squad made dumplings this afternoon. It has been more than half of a year since the last time we had dumplings. Everybody gathered around tables; we chatted, sang songs, and spent a happy afternoon together.

November 1, Monday

As the morning assembly call sounded, the soup with dumpling skins was just heated on the stove. I told myself to have some before it becomes cold. The threshing ground is only minutes away. I did not immediately go out as called. The soup was hot. The squad leader rushed me to go to work. But I waited a few minutes to finish my soup before rushing out to the gathering place. The leader scolded me. I felt resentful at first, thinking that the leader was too sensitive with such a trivial matter. Was it worth a criticism? Then I remembered that I had been saying that we should take calls like military orders. How could I forget about the discipline just for a bowl of soup? It is my own fault. I should humbly accept others' criticism and there is no reason to complain.

November 2, Tuesday

In the morning, a rumor was spreading that Yunxia was leaving. For the whole morning people were gossiping about it. All kinds of speculations such as she was being transferred to a factory and that she had fallen ill and so on. Everybody seemed to hold grudges against her, complaining that she was dishonest and deceptive.
In the evening, she announced to the whole company that she had been approved to take a sick leave for two months and would be going back to Beijing.
I think we should understand her weaknesses and myriad shortcomings and find a suitable opportunity to relate to her. These undesirable habits had been with her for over a decade, and it would take her a long time to overcome them. We cannot treat her ideological and spiritual problems in a simplistic way.

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No matter what mistakes she might have made, she is still our comrade. We must not attack her with sarcasm and hostility. Instead, we should adopt the right approach towards the internal contradictions. "Learning from the past errors to avoid future ones, and cure the sickness to save the patient".

November 3, Wednesday

In the evening, I went to the clinic to pick up some medications. Strangely and unexpectedly the clinician asked me about Liu Shuang. It turned out that he was a classmate with Liu Shuang and Liu Ou in primary school. Out of curiosity, I asked him how he knew that Liu Shuang was my elder brother. Who told him that? He asked me where Liu Shuang was and expressed his intention to write to Liu Shuang. What should I say? I did not even know where my brother was. I told him the truth and he did not even believe me. How well did he know Liu Shuang? Did he know what happened to Liu Shuang during the Cultural Revolution? Shall I tell him? I should have helped him to reconnect with his primary school classmate. But Liu Shuang's situation was special. I had to give it some second thoughts to figure out whether it is beneficial for them to reconnect. I am conflicted and decided to put it aside for the time being.

November 4, Thursday

Today Mr. Deng, deputy director of Political Affairs of the Corp communicated a report from the Central Committee of CCP in the auditorium. The atmosphere was serious and intense. Everyone was drawn into the reality of this hair-raising class stuggle25.

November 7, Sunday

We have been having concentrated study sessions for the last couple of days. Today, Deputy Commander Mr. Fan came to give a very important talk.

November 15, Monday

The last week saw a series of meetings of studying and criticism organized by Mr. Deng, deputy director of Political Affairs of the Corp assisted by Instructor Yang. Our great leader Lenin said: "During the revolutionary period, what the millions of people learned within a week exceeds what they learned within a year during ordinary days"!
We learned a great deal in this heart-shaking class struggle. From the week-long study, we increased our fighting awareness. The illusion that class struggle has ended was smashed by this reality.
I was designated by the platoon to draft a speech of criticism on behalf of our company. This is a really hard assignment for me as I lacked knowledge in theoretical study,

25 Lin Biao Coup: Vice Chairman Lin Biao (1907-1971) ranked third among the 10 Marshals of the PRC and was pivotal in the Communist victory in the Civil War. During the Cultural Revolution, Lin became instrumental in creating the foundations for Mao Zedong's cult of personality and was named Mao's designated successor as the sole Vice Chairman of the CPC and stated in the CPC Charter. The Chinese government blamed Lin for a botched coup against Mao and his group attempted to flee.Ê Lin died on September 13, 1971 when the plane he was aboard crashed in Oodorkhaan in Mongolia. Together with Mao's wife Jiang Qing, Lin has been labeled the two major "counter-revolutionary forces" of the Cultural Revolution, receiving official blame from the CPC for the worst expressions of the period.

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so I had a hard time writing it. In the process I could only depend on the materials in hand and try to fill the theoretical gaps. After two days' efforts, I finished the first draft; collected comments from others, and further edited the draft. On the afternoon of November 12, the company held a criticism meeting attended by Commander Fan together with the leaders from various levels. The air was solemn. Our company leader spoke first, which was followed by representatives from each platoon. I was the ninth. It was my first time to make a speech to the whole company and I was very nervous. At the beginning, I made quite a few mistakes. I then had to tell myself: Calm down, Calm Down. In a short while, I was no longer nervous. I finished the speech and got off from the podium in relief. I myself did not quite understand why I got so nervous. I traced it to be a lack of practice and lack of experience giving a speech to such a large audience.
Yesterday was Sunday. I managed to finish sewing my cotton-padded coat. I am so happy that I finally got it done. We also made some straw mats which could add some warmth in the winter when placed over the Kang bed. Recently I became preoccupied with sewing. I did my cotton-padded pants and coat. For this short period of time, I might have spent too much time on sewing but neglected my study. I need to make a study plan for the days to come: read and study the articles on 11th and 12th issues of Red Flat journal; complete the quotations of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and recent issues of People's Daily.
Our criticism of "Four Theories" should be connected with criticism of "philosophy of idealism; political opportunism; organizational factionalism and pragmatism in study and formalism at work".
I need to thoroughly study the critical articles on The Four Theories.

November 16, Tuesday

I was very happy today as I received three letters respectively from my elder sister, Xiaojian and Pingping.
What cheered me most was the glad tidings that my elder sister finally became a glorious member of the Chinese Communist Party after being a preparatory member. She successfully passed the probationary period of five years and seven months. She is truly my role model and I need to gear up to join the Communist Youth League. Our platoon is about to launch the campaign on studying the five requirements for the worthy successors for the revolutionary cause of the proletariats. I will make extra efforts in this campaign to deepen my understanding of the goals.

November 17, Wednesday

Our daily work and rest schedules were adjusted. From today onward, we will only have two meals a day and our work hours will be concentrated and extended, lasting from morning till afternoon continuously.

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It is now October in the lunar calendar and Spring Festival is less than four months away. Maybe I can be approved to have some holiday time during the Spring Festival. I would go to visit my sister! From now on, I will start saving for the trip.
Now I am quite firm in my determination of "settle down" here and "give my all to the Party". It is definite and will remain unchanged. Most of us will settle down here. Only a few might get transferred on exceptional grounds. I will follow the mainstream and march forward as guided by Chairman Mao's teaching on "The direction of youth movement". I will not move against the currents. "Water in Kunming Pond might be shallow, but it is better to view the fish there than in Fuchun River". These two lines of poetry are the best to avoid any tendency of changing mind at seeing something different.

November 18, Thursday

In the evening, our political instructor called a meeting for all female members. She talked about political integrity and trivialities of personal life. What is political integrity, and what are trivial matters in life? A corrupt life leads to political decay. So personal life is not trifling. The instructor criticized wasteful and extravagant living style and praised those who are industrious and thrifty. I am not extravagant, but not thrifty either. I spent all of my monthly allowances. I know it is not good and I will align with those who follow a low standard of lifestyle. I will learn to use resources given by people wisely. I have made up my mind to spend less and start saving from next month. This way, I would be able to contribute to the state construction and cultivate a simple lifestyle at the same time.

November 21, Sunday

It is Sunday. The outside looked misty in the early morning. I got up and did some reading with my bed lamp. My mind was clear and sharp in the morning, as the saying goes "A day's plan is to start in the morning". I washed my clothing during the day. Time passed by so quickly!

November 22, Monday

I did some self-evaluation against the Five Principles for a Successor. I found I really lagged in one principle: "unite the majority and work together". Recently I had a quarrel with one squad member and from then on we have never spoken to each other for over a week. The same happened to me before with members from the 6th and 25th squads. My relationship with them deteriorated and the issue never got solved.

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Now I had one more opponent. This one matters even more because we are not only in the same squad but also living in the same room unlike the other two. We have to be together on many occasions every day. A poor relationship is very disturbing! Why have I been besieged with this again and again? It is because I never really understood the true meaning of the principle "unite the majority and work together". Every time, I push anyone to the opposing side, I am making more opponents. If it continues, I will finally be isolated from other comrades, which can be very dangerous indeed.
What has caused my failure to unite the majority and work with everyone together? On the one hand, I cannot treat fairly those who disagree with me. On the other hand, I had difficulties working with those who lag behind. Moreover, my approach is not healthy. Fighting spirit is not necessarily a bad thing if it is implemented correctly with a clearly defined goal to bring unity. A poor approach, however, could misguide and destroy my initial intention for solidarity.
My roommate seemed to be always self-opinionated and self-content with her foresight, which I cannot stand. I have tried to endure it and conceal my disgust. This time, I burst into a rage! At the time, I did not even consider what consequences my response could have caused. Would my rage ever change her? No! To make it worse, our squad's solidarity was affected. Not only this kind of over-simplified and rude approach would fail to solve the problem; it would also intensify the tension. How did I forget the similar experience with Lu before when we fought without thinking about the consequences? Why couldn't I follow the Chairman Mao's teaching "uniting, criticizing and uniting" when facing conflicts and contradictions? The Leftist and Rightist opportunism exerted a pernicious influence in me. I sometimes ignored necessary ideological struggle and overlooked unhealthy behavior. I avoided proactive criticism when I should not have. Sometimes, I lost control of my temper and criticize harshly without considering the consequences. The approach of merciless struggle was responsible for creating further rift between comrades. What works better? Harsh and merciless criticism, or being democratic and convincing by reasoning and persuasion? I know the latter is the correct one, but in reality I tend to adopt the former.
[passage concludes on December 9.]

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November 27, Saturday

A week passed by. I did not write my daily entry. Let me just summarize a little bit.
Monday and Tuesday saw me rest in my room and conduct some light work, such as sweeping the front of the primary school and sewing. I did some reading on the last two days. Reading in a quiet surrounding is really rare and I appreciate such an opportunity!
I finished reading the two small pamphlets: "Paris Commune" and "Union of Communists". I will write up my review and then send it to my brother, Zili.
We started Wednesday with a regular routine. I have been working on the threshing ground. There is always a lot to do there: winnowing, shelling, moving haystacks, which I had been doing these days.
The study session these days were focused on foreign policy. We studied the speech by Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua, Chairman Mao's May 20th Declaration and the conversation between Chairman Mao and Edgar Snow. We also drew imaginary portraits for representatives from different countries. Through drawing, we tried to differentiate countries we truly welcome, countries we treat halfheartedly, countries we consider as wily and cunning and countries that we are openly against. This experience is very revealing indeed.

November 28, Sunday

I went to visit Fan Yanying at the 9th Company. I had a nice and intimate chat with her. Those from the 14th Team are still my best friends! It is disappointing that Qin Xiaohua never wrote to us, not friendly enough! We saw some newcomers; the younger members from Hangzhou were fun and they were only fifteen or sixteen years old! We were just around the same age when we first came. With over two years of training and tempering, we have grown up into adulthood, not only in age, but also in political maturity. I learned how to make shoe pads from Yanying and I will make one pair for myself.

November 29, Monday

I was assigned to the mill today. Two horses, one white and the other yellow, were drawn from the stable to pull the stone mill. After watering the horses, I rode on the back of the white horse all the way back to the threshing ground. I worked on the mill the whole day today. The horses were well-tamed and worked hard. So did I.

November 30, Tuesday

My elder sister sent me a dictionary and a world map, which will be an essential tool for my study.

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She again encouraged me to submit an application to join the Youth League. I need to put it on my agenda and there should be no more delays.

December 1, Wednesday

I had a chat with Wang tonight. I pointed out: It is time to learn a lesson and understand why she has not yet realized that others are sowing discord. I feel that she understands the general principle well but has difficulties in applying it. The root cause can be traced back to the worldview, which is reflected in her lack of revolutionary ethic. It is disappointing that she is falling behind so much.

December 3, Sunday

There is much to celebrate today! Xiao Deng has joined the Youth League. There is an announcement about next round family visitation. The whole squad was boiling with joy and excitement. I was happy. But at the same time, I became a little emotional. So many comrades, whether those next to me, or those in other positions, as well as those thousands of li away, have been making tremendous progress! What about myself? I seem to be static at one level. Take Xiao Deng for example. She was kind of behind others in the past, but she kept improving and turned a new page in her life like changing into a different person. I am so impressed by her advances. In contrast, I am so behind. Xiao Deng's progress truly inspired me.
Those who have not yet submitted Youth League applications were summoned for work this afternoon. I joined them happily. I worked on the shelling machine for the whole afternoon. I was content although my eyes teared terribly due to the dust.
Some were fussy about this afternoon's extra labor and complained bitterly even to the company headquarters about this sort of "enforced labor for those who are lagging". These people were not willing to do even a little more due to their preoccupation with personal gains and losses. They felt this afternoon's work was additional and thus was a loss to them. Why did they not submit their applications in the first place? Although I did not either, I never take it as a disgrace and will not be so calculating. I did not care very much what others thought about me. Who cares if I am regarded as a backward element! I am acutely aware that revolutionary youths should have the desire to join our own organization. There is no timeline for revolution. I will submit my application one day, sooner or later!
I saved five yuan this morning after studying the reports on Bo Yonghua and Shan Meiying. I was deeply moved. Shan Meiying said: "while it is a necessary need to resist corrupt bourgeois ideology in wealthy cities, we also need to make efforts in remote border areas to prevent poisonous revisionist weeds from blooming."

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She always maintained the style of hard work and plain living and never wasted a penny. In contrast, I often indulge myself in all sorts of snacks to satisfy my taste. I sometimes forgot that we came here to reeducate ourselves and thus should keep our living standard low. Seemingly insignificant, tendency in spending should not be overlooked as a trivial matter. If we ignore the importance of cultivating a good lifestyle, we would make a breach to the bourgeoisie attacks and corrupt our souls. There are plenty of role models around in this aspect and I should keep up with them.

December 4, Saturday

I continued to do shelling today. A large shelling machine was pulled here from the regiment. It is a giant machine as tall as two people and several meters wide. Our whole platoon worked well and operated the machine in good order. Some fed the machine with rice stalks; some caught the hulled rice on the other end; still others moved rice stalks away. The machine roared and moaned adding much life to our work. It sounded a horn to charge in the battlefield, breaking the lifeless atmosphere. Everyone was filled with endless energy. This is the symbol of agricultural mechanization! When are we going to have all-rounded mechanization to replace the heavy and boring physical labor performed by people and livestock? Just a few days ago, we relied on nothing but cows, horses and our own hands for winnowing, shelling and hulling. Today, this machine changes everything. The future of agriculture is mechanization!

December 5, Sunday

Today is not a day off for our platoon. We continued hulling rice and didn't start working until after our dumpling lunch. We were busy making dumplings for the whole morning. It is very windy and freezing today. But the work site was bustling with activity! In the evening, Xiao Bei was notified that she can leave to visit her family tomorrow. We all felt so happy for her. Tomorrow is our day off to compensate for today. I decided to go to the Front Banner to see her off and have a fun visit there.

December 6, Monday

We got up as early as 4:00 AM and got on the horse-drawn cart at about 5:00.

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It was freezing on this winter morning. Our bodies were frozen to numb in just a while. We got off the cart and walked on foot and then started to feel a little warmer. We chatted as we walked. When our thoughts turned to Beijing, we felt happy from the bottom of our hearts. Xiao Bei is returning to Beijing soon and it felt as if we were going back there ourselves. No one could imagine how happy we would be when we were returning to Beijing! Our bodies began to warm up and the numbed feet resumed their normal feeling, we then got back on the cart. We completed the trip by walking and riding on the cart at intervals. When we arrived at the Front Banner, it was past 10 o'clock. We had a tour of the town and ate some snacks. Then we bid farewell to Xiao Bei and started our trip back. We were lucky to be able to hitchhike a ride to Xin'an Town where we hitchhiked again all the way to our dorm door in the Fourth Company.
I had a very engaging conversation with Xiao Deng in the evening. Our talk was focused on the topic of joining the Communist Youth League. We also talked about family background. "For a congenial friend, a thousand toasts are too few; in a disagreeable conversation one word more is too many". We seemed to have so much to talk about, such a heart-to-heart conversation has been rare in my life. Although we live together, we hardly have any in-depth talks like today. Today's conversation made me feel that I had just got to know Xiao Deng for the first time. Although we have lived together for over a year, our relationship is still at a superficial level! What has caused this strange phenomenon? I tried to investigate the causes on my side. It felt like that I had always thought my life experience was uniquely different from others and I was afraid others would not understand me as a result. Therefore, I keep to myself and maintain a superficial relationship with many.

December 7, Tuesday

Today our platoon had some personnel transfers. One member left and a new comer from another squad joined us. Roommates also were adjusted. I moved to Xiao Bei's room. I am happy with the new arrangement because it is much quieter with fewer gossips and side-street news. In the new dorm room, we have fewer small talks. No one can eradicate them for good. There are always some who like to gossip about others. Yesterday I had a long and congenial conversation with Xiao Deng. Today I was assigned to a new room. Last time we talked outside the horse stable, and right afterwards we were separated as a "red pair". The two conversations enabled us to exchange our views and thoughts in depth and promote our mutual understanding. These heart-to-heart talks, despite being so few, are more beneficial than living together with no spiritual communication. Sharing the same room does not necessarily advance people's mutual understandings. If our minds never meet and communicate, we could become incompatible with each other in our thinking. Those who think alike could exchange ideas and are spiritually connected across over our individual squads and platoons, regardless where we live and where we work.

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Having moved to a new environment, I should try to change my previous ways of doing things. I should move towards getting to know others and treating everyone equally without discrimination. I should avoid forming small cliques. Leaving behind the old conflicts, I should not create and accumulate new ones. As soon as conflicts rise, I shall attempt to solve them immediately.

December 8, Wednesday

It was past 11:00 PM while I was lying in bed and starting a chat with our platoon head. We had a long chat into the deep night. We seemed to share one point of view: Why can't we find the root cause for some sticky issues and habits such as conflicts in interpersonal relationships which have lingered on for a long time? I have been baffled by my inability to evaluate and analyze these existing issues with a scientific method, most likely because of a low level of consciousness, poor judgement and lack of knowledge in telling true from false, right from wrong, and beautiful from ugly. From now on, I will need to keep in my mind that the goal of learning is to apply what I learned into practical life.

December 9, Thursday

[this section is continued from November 22]
...bigger than the latter, but the fact proves incontrovertibly: I ran up against a stone wall repeatedly when I adopted the former method, which I believed would go nowhere. The only correct way is the latter. Only firm trust in the latter will lead to the final victory and solution of people's internal conflicts. This is another lesson learned, which I should give more attention to.

December 11, Saturday

We spent two full days to thresh rice for the second time. Our task of threshing rice was finally completed. In the evening, I read the newspapers accumulated for the last few days and understood the current tension between India and Pakistan. Now with a world map in hand, I become more interested in international affairs.

December 12, Sunday

Today is not a day off for our squad. We were assigned to winnow and clear up the ground. I was on the same team with Old Fu and we did a lot of work together. Despite the exhaustion, we were filled with joy. My mom's letter arrived in the evening which informed me how things were at home. She encouraged me to join the Youth League as soon as possible. Xiao Bei wrote to the platoon leader. Her father was diagnosed with cancer, sad news indeed. We wrote back to her wishing her to be strong and handle the problems well. Old Fu and I also wrote to Yunxia

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updating her with news from the company and expressing our expectations of her return after she recuperates from her condition.

December 13, Monday

Today is our comp day for yesterday. I didn't realize until yesterday that Old Fu had submitted his application for the Youth League. So, he and I discussed the topic. He urged me to submit my application. There are only four in our squad who haven't yet done so. I am one of them. Actually I am the one who has the weakest desire to join and poorest understanding of the organization. It is time to put an end to this situation. Many people have tried to persuade me to submit an application, including the comrades in the squad, friends from afar, my mother and my sister. I can no longer remain indifferent and do nothing. Today, Old Fu and I are the only ones in our room and it was so quiet. I started drafting my application. With the first draft done, I will need to revise it before submitting it. It is by no means a simple matter of sending in an application. As I express my wish to join the league, I will need to follow up with my deeds. My actions must not fail to measure up to my wishes!

December 14, Tuesday

On today's Daily Reading, I finally brought up my conflict with Xiao Lu and performed a self-criticism. I said that I didn't handle conflicts well and I didn't follow the principle of uniting, criticizing and uniting, thus causing further rifts among us. To initiate this self-criticism did not come easily, as I went through some fierce mental struggles. It was much easier to avoid dealing with this contradiction, and I held this approach for over a month until I finally decided to bring it up today. One reason that I did not actively seek to solve the issue was the fear of losing dignity if I bring it up myself. The bourgeois aloofness and arrogance disregard the revolutionary interests and solidarity with comrades. It is harmful. From the proletarian standpoint, it is not a virtue, but a reflection of bourgeois egoism and a fig leaf for selfish interests. A clear demarcation line between proletarian thoughts and virtues and bourgeois counterparts needs to be drawn. They mustn't be confused. The anti-proletarian rubbish in my mind has to be cleared out.

December 24, Friday

It has been over two weeks since I moved into the new dorm room. The room is dirty and messy. Whoever comes to visit, complains about it. Why is it so? It is nothing more than poor hygiene habits of the inhabitants of the room. The only way to improve the current situation is

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to mobilize every person to clean, organize and maintain. As a member of this room, I should promote improving the situation and make my due effort to reach that goal rather than paying lip service. The empty talk is no use at all.
I read the No. 77 document again, and I have read it three times. After reading it repeatedly, I now have a better understanding of traitor Lin Biao and his coup. The denunciation campaign was focused on exposing his political rebellion against the party and seizure of power, theoretical advocation of "genius only" and organizational sectarianism.
The first group who went visiting their families returned and the second group will be leaving soon. Everyone's heart started to fly afar as the departure date drew closer. Although I was not that anxious like some, I was also feeling uneasy. When am I returning home? In the last couple of days, I was inching towards feeling as if all six vital organs began to stop functioning properly.
Old Fu was able to get a ride on a truck which headed to Hohhot straight. So she can return home directly. Everyone felt that she was very lucky. I borrowed a hammer in the evening to make a stool for myself. It took me an hour to complete the project. It bears the fruit of my self-reliant spirit. I could not imagine how long I would have to wait if I depended on those "lords and masters" from the carpenter workshop!

December 28, Tuesday

For these two days, we were cutting reed maces in the lakes. Reed mace could sell for good money. Each of us could earn two to three yuan each day. When we walked deep into the shallow lakes, reed maces were everywhere. It would take us no time to fill a sack. Cutting reed maces brings good profits to the organization as a public welfare. Upholding the principle of self-reliance and hard work, we should adjust our work to take advantages of the favorable local conditions and cut more reed maces. It is not simply for profit gaining, but for accumulating funds for our organization and the state.

December 29, Wednesday

Today, Xiao Lu and I stayed behind to build a brick oven. We designed it and built it all by ourselves, Xiao Lu laid the bricks while I assisted her. After that, we cleaned our room, keeping us busy until afternoon. Our room now looks much cleaner and brighter, no longer dark, dusty and dirty as before.

December 30, Thursday

In the morning, the company transmitted Chairman Mao's order on getting a firm grasp of the army. Then we began our discussion on the topic of "supporting the army and showing love to the people".

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I had always felt that there had been some abnormal phenomena in the relationship between our Construction and Production Corps and the local communities. It is not like fish and water. Some people in the corps feel they are something and looked down upon the local people. They often violated the interests of the local communities. Their communication with the locals was often rude and arrogant with commanding tones. It demonstrated prejudice and bias against workers and peasants. As corps soldiers, we are here to be reeducated by workers and peasants. What makes us overbearing and arrogant?! These years, we have losses in grain production year after year and it is the peasants who fed us. I must guard myself against looking down upon peasants. We must forever respect poor and lower middle class peasants and learn from them as students.

December 31, Friday

We set out at around 7:00 AM and rushed to the depth of reeds at Wuhai Swamp. We marked our area of collecting with a little red flag made from my red scarf. What a huge area of reeds. In no time, we already cut several large bags. Several of us transported the cut reed maces with carts. Pulling the carts, crossing the expansion of the ice-covered lake with white snow connecting with the sky, we left behind rolls of foot prints and carts' wheel prints on the thick snow, extending further and further. We made three round trips with our carts to complete transporting over thirty bags of reed maces. It was 4:00 PM when we completed our task and were ready to return. Tomorrow is New Year's Day!
On the return route, we ran into a group of ruffians and rogues who came to make trouble. I heard about this group of disgraceful trouble makers from the male platoon, but did not expect to encounter them today. Shocked and angry, I ignored them and left them alone behind.

1972January 1, Saturday

Today is New Year's Day! Only seven people in our squad were still there. We gathered together to make dumplings. We rehearsed our performance in the afternoon and then played table tennis which is my favorite sport. I am still a very enthusiastic player. I played with my sister, Xiaoye and several ping-pong fans on my visit to them last July.

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Since my arrival at the corps, we have hardly had any sports events. Chairman Mao taught us: "Develop sports to strengthen the health of our people." We should implement Chairman Mao's instruction and resume sports in the corps. In the evening, we had the New Year party and I took the stage and performed. It was my second time to perform in the platoon. Although today is a holiday, it was spent with full activities.

January 2, Tuesday

Recently I have been dealing a lot with the self-made brick oven. As I never had any experience raising a fire on an oven before, I have had a hard time making the oven obey my order. Every time when I wanted a high fire, the oven was more dead than alive. At night when I sealed it, it was burning high. It was frustrating. I was mad at myself for lack of experience and failing to understand how the oven works. Until I figure out the regularity, things would not work out the way I subjectively wished. Thanks to the repeated practice, I gradually managed to learn from my own failure and got to know the oven better. I learned that the coal has to be as dry as possible as humidity in coal makes it difficult to burn. I learned that when coal is added to the stove, I should not stir the fire for a little while until the coal becomes burning red. I also learned that I should always make sure that there is enough coal in the stove and add coal continuously.
Another year commenced. I need to make a study plan at this very beginning of the year. Recently I have not been able to sit still and read. I seem to be busy with odds and ends and am restless. I cannot go on like this. I cannot be entangled with a myriad of things around. I should never forget the fundamentals and fall behind. I will respond with my actions to Chairman Mao's call "to read with your heart".
We will receive "People’s Liberation Army Daily" starting this month. I will read it carefully and keep abreast of times.

January 6, Thursday

Today is our day off and starting from tomorrow, we will be in study sessions the whole day doing our annual performance evaluation.
On the two nights of January 4 and 5, we walked two round trips of thirty-two li in total to the regimen headquarter to watch theatrical performances, which have been rare these days. Despite exhaustion after a full day's work, we walked about eight li to the regiment headquarter. For the first night, we did not get there early enough to watch the movie "Lenin in 1918". How sad! It is already 1972 now, but still could not see what happened in 1918. We walked on foot for a long distance in high hope to see the movie but came back in great disappointment. The next evening greeted us with wonderful performances. We all had a great time and felt we would not mind walking even farther. The performances by the Third Company were especially good: The Ping-Pong Dance, the Torch Dance and the second act of the ballet "Red Detachment of Women".

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I ran into Wu Yuemin at the performance and she gave me Qin Xiaohua's mailing address. Today I wrote to her. Nowadays walking is no longer an issue for me. A fifteen li trip under my feet is as easy as turning my hand over. My feet are getting harder and harder!
Recently I more and more feel that our platoon leader is a person with a strong spirit of self-sacrifice but weak theoretical understanding. She seems busy all-day taking care of all kinds of errands. She could hardly sit down to study for any length of time before rushing to do other stuff. Sometimes, she sat staring blankly not knowing what to do. Her management of our daily life was really poor. When the whole platoon was asked to do clean up, her room was the worst. She did not have good hygiene habits and always appears messy and disorderly. At the beginning, I thought that she might be too busy. But later I realized that she ignored personal hygiene even when she had time. During weekend outings, her own clothes ended up being washed by others. She hardly participated in cleaning the room, treating it almost like a hotel room. I thought that she was not a down-to-earth
person. She could hardly focus on her study, messy and unorganized in her work style, sloppy in her life management. Visitors to our room would always comment: "The leader's room should be the cleanest, but why the dirtiest? What role model is this?" I told the visitor that she is just the opposite. Our leader was too busy to take care of the room. I heard that Little Douzi was frustrated about her because she was so disorderly. The platoon leader's personal hygiene could not even measure up to that of an ordinary soldier. This morning, I could not help but complain a bit. She was mad. A few days ago, she seemed to be upset when I made a criticism. I originally thought she was humble and ready to accept others' criticism. In fact, she was far from it. Of course, she also possesses good personal qualities such as being highly motivated; committed to public works and self-sacrificing. But she is far from being a true leader with both theoretical and practical experience.

January 7, Friday

From today onward for the next seven days, we will be engaged in the annual evaluation for the whole day. Besides, it is our squad's turn for making meals in the kitchen. In the morning, we cut the vegetables followed by preparing rice congee. In the afternoon. We made wheat buns and noodles. I did not know how to knead dough properly, so the noodles that I made were short and thick. Anyway, I am satisfied with myself as long as they look like noodles.
Not knowing what went wrong today, I felt sore all over my body especially on my back. I went to bed early.

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anuary 8, Saturday

JWe continued our study today. Old Fu's return in the afternoon gave us good excuses to be happy and celebrating. In the afternoon, the whole company gathered all platoons together for a general meeting during which a representative from each platoon spoke. The topic was to put on the table all misconceptions that blocked the successful execution of this annual evaluation. After this full-scale criticism and self-criticism, the company would engage everyone for the final evaluation. This meeting was both inspirational and educational to myself. The prior annual evaluations were harmful as I was shackled with an invisible pursuit of personal interest and fame. Although I repeatedly shouted slogans such as "correctly handle personal honors", I was unable to get rid of it from deep inside me. Now the toxic "Four Goods"26] and "Five Goods"27 evaluation initiated by Traitor Lin Biao was eradicated, I have shaken off the bonding of the old practices and have finally emancipated from the shackles of individualism and personal gain.

January 9, Sunday

When I returned to my dorm after the meeting tonight, I got together with Xiao Bei, who had just come back from Beijing, Old Bao and a few others. Our dorm room was boiling with joy and excitement! We chatted non-stop until very late into the night on news from afar. Xiao Bei also brought us Beijing snacks which we enjoyed to the fullest.

January 13, Thursday

In recent days, those who visited their families returned. Everyone was impetuous! No one cared any more about our annual evaluations. I was in the same mood. The squad assigned me to represent the squad to attend an enlarged meeting of the company party organization. But I procrastinated and did not give due attention to the meeting. Neither did I make a good presentation on the squad's evaluation at the meeting, but only acted in a perfunctory manner.
Why have I been so absent-minded lately? Why could not I concentrate on study and the evaluation process? I was disrupted by the environment. Those neighboring me impacted me a great deal. I seem to be busy from dawn to dusk but my life is sluggish and poorly managed. From tomorrow onward, I need to change it. I will focus myself on study and the evaluation and keep myself away from any external disturbances.
Last night, we watched the movie "Red Detachment of Women". The more I watch it, the better I love it. I was really touched by the clear-cut political content and superb artistic creativity. I learned so much from it!
At night I received from my mom the calendar cards with the themes of children. Fellow members from the 25th Squad asked for quite a few of them. They fell in love with these lovely cards.

26 Four Goods: "Four Goods Military Standard" was originally released by Lin Biao in his "Instructions on Political Activities of the PLA in 1961". The four goods referred to: good political thoughts; good military discipline; good military training; and good management of lives.

27 Five Goods: The Five Good Soldiers movement refers to good in political ideology, good in military training, good in the "three-eight work style", good in carrying out assigned tasks, and good in physical training.Ê

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January 24, Monday

It has been eight days since I left the company campus on January 16. The eight days brought me into a brand-new world. In contrast, the world I lived in before was dismal and dull. Today I did my diary entry. Looking at my previous diary entries, the life and work at the company before the homecoming visit was presented before my eyes again: intense labor, harsh living conditions and boring daily routine.
After I left the company, I boarded the train to Dachasu Banner and arrived around 8 o'clock at night. As I arrived at the Revolutionary Committee headquarter, I learned that my sister had already left for Hohhot. I stayed overnight at the guesthouse and headed to Hohhot the next morning. My sister met me at the railway station. We were so happy to meet again. Our last meeting dated half a year ago. We went to the Hohhot Daily agency and spent the whole afternoon there. I got to see Kejia and we played accordion together. At night, we left Hohhot for Beijing. After one-night train travel, we arrived in Beijing the next noon. Beijing looked the same. It has been well over two years since I left the city, but I did not feel any strangeness as if I were here just a week ago. As I got home, Liu Zili was reading and he seemed to be very surprised to see me. This two-room unit looked full and crowded. To some extent, it looked luxurious. This is my first time to see our new home! My mom came back and she rushed home after being told over the telephone while at the railway station. I hadn't seen her for two years. She still looked lively in spirit with no white hair at all. But she did look older.
I spent most of my days outside. I was most interested in watching movies. I watched two almost every day. Yesterday, I watched an internal screening of the three-hour "Olympic Games". What a wonderful movie! Besides, my mom, sister and I took a few trips to Wangfujing street! We went to visit Shuitian yesterday. It has been years since I last saw her. She changed beyond my recognition. We are to visit her home again this Thursday. Last Friday, we also went to Wang Chengju's home. She asked me to spend the night there. But I insisted on coming back home. We are scheduled to make dumplings together this Wednesday.
More than half of my vacation time has passed. I will return to the company in a week.

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February 4, Friday

The long-expected once-in-three-years homecoming vacation finally came to an end. The last couple of weeks were more like a dream to us. We have now returned to the border area.
My mind was chaotic and filled with messages of thousands of strands and loose ends. When I was home, I felt at leisure but gloomy at the same time. I recalled a phrase: "Idleness paralyzes and fighting makes you grow." I was anxious to return to our life of work and fight. But when I finally returned to our company and was to begin a new phase, I found myself not inspired and saw everything with negation and lack of interest. What kind of fight was I expecting? Maybe it was more like the non-existent "dragon" in the Chinese fable of "Lord Ye Loves Dragon"28 where Ye professes his love for what he really fears. The contradicting mentality of the petty bourgeoisie was fully exposed here. I yearned to be back at the Corps while at home and wished to be home after returning to the company. The life and "fight" in the Corps are no longer appealing to me. People spent their days working, studying and cleaning up. The winter here was even more boring, with nothing meaningful to do. No wonder the majority of those who went to live in rural production brigades have returned to Beijing already. I really envy their "poor freedom".29
I particularly miss my mom after coming back and feel sad for her. One day when all of us leave home, she will be all alone by herself. A lonely old lady with no children on her side and no care given by any. She would end up living a life of "two thermos flasks of hot water"30. Before I went home, I was imagining that living by herself could be inconvenient, but now I could truly feel her loneliness at home. At the moment when the train moved, I suddenly felt a great pity for her. Should I return to her side or not? This has become a question that I am facing.

February 6, Sunday

I wrote letters and did my laundry with a sense of emptiness and loneliness...

28 Lord Ye Loves Dragon: Well-known Chinese idiom. Lord Ye loved dragons and he decorated his house, his garments and furniture with dragons. When the real dragon in heaven learned of it, he was so happy that he paid him a visit one day. Lord Ye was frightened out of his wits. The idiom refers to someone who claims to love something but is not sincere.

29 Youth who went to production brigades were usually not bound to stay like soldiers in the Production and Construction Corps were.

30 Two thermos flasks of hot water: Implies that a person leads a boring, routine life.

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February 19, Saturday

The five-day Spring Festival vacation passed by. From today onwards, we will resume our normal life of work and study. It is time to calm my reckless mind and start afresh, but not in accordance with the conventional ways of doing things.
We managed to get enough rest and entertainment during the Spring Festival. On the noon of Chinese New Year's Eve, I was told to join the four-hundred-meter relay. It came as an urgent request, so I did not turn it down and participated in the relay. We did not expect that our platoon would lose and end up in the last place. We are not ready to admit this defeat, and we are bursting with energy and want to try to compete again on the May 1st Games. I have not participated in any field and track for years. For this relay, my legs felt soft and I nearly fell down a couple of times. These days, I have been playing ping-pong and have been obsessed with it. For each time, I played for as long as half a day. My rivals are all very strong. Although I often lost to them, I learned a great deal and improved my skills. The more I play, the more skillful I become and more motivated. The frustrating thing is some from the male platoons deliberately made trouble. They tried by all means to occupy the ping-pong tables just for their own fun. There is nothing that we could do in front of those rascals.
In recent days, I have become hooked on two novels. These books help me broaden my horizon, widen my vision, and increase my knowledge. Particularly when I feel depressed and lonely, the books brought me to another world and made me forget about all my worries. Of course, there are some undesirable contents in the books. As long as I read them with a critical mind, I will not be harmed. Instead, I could strengthen my ability to differentiate between fragrant flowers and poisonous grasses. After reading these books, we should hold meetings to further discuss and analyze the content to deepen our understanding and to prevent absorbing negative impacts. While reading these books, the best attitude is "to take the cream and discard the dross". Several people asked me to lend them the books. I have to uphold my principle. I will only lend the books to those whom I think are able to read it critically and refuse to those who are not. But I should try not to popularize the books to avoid any trouble.
In addition, I should handle well the balance between reading Marxist works and other books like these. I should concentrate on reading Marxist and Leninist works but not vice versa. In the future, I will read some novels, but not excessively or at the expense of reading Marxist works. No critical capability would be obtained without learning Marxism and Mao Zedong thought.

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Since returning from visiting my family, I have not yet engaged in serious reading. This is the beginning of falling behind. I should be on high alert.

February 24, Thursday

Yesterday, we watched the movie "Lenin in 1918" in the Seventh Company, Nineteenth Regiment. I am never tired of watching this movie. It is infectiously appealing! Lenin's voice is still echoing in my ears: "Workers only have one road ahead: that is victory. The other road is death, which never belongs to workers!" The cast in the movie flashed in my mind one by one: Lenin, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Sverdlov, Vasily, and the detestable Bukharin and the female assassin. The historical facts reminded me of today's reality of class struggle. I further compared the similarity of Lin Biao with Bukharin-type traitor and slaughterer. Lin far exceeded his predecessor. Today what happened in our country with Lin Biao-Chen Boda's anti-Communist Party clique31 was much more brutal than what happened in Soviet Union decades ago.
From today on, we will start our campaign to study the core documents from the Central Committee of the Communist Party. I must concentrate on making every effort to strengthen my consciousness of the fierce struggle of the two different lines.
In the evening, Wang Jie came to see me and told me something very surprising. What after all is in my mom's mind? Going to college is truly beyond any imagination! My mind is entangled with thousands of strands and loose ends. I cannot even guess what the future holds. It seems that my mom wants me to return to her side. I personally am not willing to stay here either. But I do not harbor any hope to be transferred from the corps in the future. Sometimes I hardly feel motivated to do anything no matter where I am...
Today, I completed reading the book "Twenty Thousand Li under the Ocean" in two volumes. This book is purely fiction with some magical nonsense. I only read for the fictious details in the book and have no interest at all in the myriad of creatures, species and fishes in the ocean.

February 25, Friday

Today the documents from the Central Committee were orally transmitted to us. The campaign of study commenced. The notorious 571 Project32 designed by Lin Biao was exposed to the light of the day. This is the record of the enemy's complete failure! This is the ironclad proof of the enemy's crime. Every word and sentence on the pages of the project was filled with the bloody madness! The evidence aroused our matchless indignation. It was also a profound education for us to understand the cruelty and intensity of the class struggle in the socialist stage. The 571 Project possessed all anti-revolutionary acuteness and distinctiveness.

31 Lin Biao-Chen Boda anti-Communist Party clique: A group of anti-Party and anti-Mao top politicians and military generals under the leadership of Lin Biao and Chen Boda during the Cultural Revolution. Chen Boda (1904-1989) was a Chinese Communist journalist, professor and political theorist who rose to power as the chief interpreter of Maoism. During the Cultural Revolution, he was the head of the Central Committee's Leadership Group of Cultural Revolution together with Mao's wife, Jiang Qing. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison after the fall of Gang of Four in 1976.

32 571 Project: A detailed plan of political coup and assassination of Mao designed by Lin Liguo (Lin Biao's only son) on March 23, 1971. 571 is Chinese phonetic resemblance of an armed coup.

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Only by keeping a clear head and upholding the standpoint of the proletariat, will we not be duped and tricked by this anti-revolutionary document.

February 3033, Wednesday

On Monday, I got the book from Wang Jie entitled "How Steel was Tempered?" Although I read it before, I still want to read it again. Wang Jie told me that there was a line of people waiting to read the book and she only gave me two to three days to complete it. I couldn't care about anything and read the book whenever I had time. I was totally taken in by the book and forgot everything around me. I was so moved by Pavel Korchagin that I felt he was the living hero among us. Who said that Pavel is no longer relevant for today? His spirit had been firmly seeded in my mind. Was only "The Song of Ouyang Hai" relevant to today's society? Unfortunately the song writer degraded to a poor traitor of our times and became an anti-Proletarian May 16th criminal! How much I wish to read more good books! Since I had so little time to read the book, I have not been able to put in much time to engage in the criticism campaign. It is time for me to make it up now.

March 3, Friday

The company decided to assign Big Bao and I to draft articles of criticism. This assignment inspired me to enthusiastically participate in the campaign and use my brain to think. My assignment was to refute the fallacy of Rich People and Strong State. Last night the company leadership reviewed our drafts.
Today a public meeting was held in front of the company's headquarter. I was the third to speak. The meeting lasted over three hours! But it didn't draw everyone in because the denunciation and criticism were neither in depth nor thorough. I do not think that I did well. But that is all the brain power I had and I was unable to pour out more.

March 4, Saturday

What shall I do to improve the environment? Reading is not possible without a quiet surrounding. No one is capable of digging deep into the books surrounded by noise. Well, let me be more diligent. I will get up an hour or even half an hour earlier. That is the best time of the day. Yes! I will try to create a more conducive environment for myself. I will start tomorrow without disturbing others.

33 February 30: Liu Ping incorrectly dated this entry.

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March 5, Sunday

Last night, we watched three movies at the 7th Company under the 19th Regiment. We returned to our dorms after midnight. Today we slept till 8 o'clock. I went to play ping-pong after breakfast. It was past 2:00 in the afternoon when I got back. I finally finished sewing my cotton-padded overcoat.

March 6, Monday

From today onwards, our daily schedule has changed and we will have three meals a day. The busy Spring ploughing season is to start.
Today our squad began selecting wheat seeds and will follow the same routine for the next couple of days. It has been a long time since we worked in the fields last, and I felt very tired today! It is true that the less one works, the harder it is to keep up with.
Today I finished reading the novel "Akuto" which is among the world's best-known literary works. The book is not easy to understand. I only grasped the rough outline. The theme of the novel is to sympathize the weak and the poor.
After numerous contacts with beggars, the main character finally got to know those who were driven to death by starvation and extreme poverty. They had to steal to feed themselves. Under these circumstances, is stealing really bad? The principle of "stealing is not good" finally becomes blurred and shaken. Indeed, stealing by poor people was caused by the suppressive and exploiting system.

March 13, Tuesday

For this week, our squad was assigned to select wheat seeds in the barn. It is not a hard job, but the barn was dusty, and we became covered with dust after sitting there for a while. One would be covered with dust after sitting in the barn for a while. However, no one complained about the choking work environment. In addition, we also packed a dozen bags of fertilizer. Today we went to the fields to apply fertilizer and level the ground. Comparatively, I like working in the fields better.
Recently our room became quieter, which is the only advantage after some were at odds with others. They were not willing to stay in the room. Well, it is up to them. Anyway, I am now left alone, and I am enjoying it. I never feel lonely being alone.
I overheard that I might be transferred to the vegetable squad. As a matter of fact, I would love to. But I don't want to hold any unrealistic illusion. Even the best working environment is not without conflicts. There are two sides to everything. The only good thing with a new environment is that it would encourage me to move forward faster from a fresh start.

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March 15, Wednesday

Today I was transferred to the vegetable squad and assigned a new dorm room. The afternoon's work was to peel garlic. In the evening, Yang Jin came to talk with me and we chatted for a long time. My first impression after joining the new squad was that the squad members have a strong sense of belonging and everyone is highly motivated. The organization seems to be performing well in all aspects. Squad members are on good terms with each other. The morale of the squad is high and all members are in good spiritual status. I am fully satisfied with the new environment. I am determined to advance in this ideal organization. After my visit to my family, I have been quite laissez-faire on myself. I have been easing up on myself partly because of the sluggish environment of the 7th Company and partly because of my own lack of determination and confidence. The result is that I have been stagnant in various aspects of work and life. This transfer gave me a big push and it is time for me to pull myself together. The comrades around me are all making great progress and I will fall behind if I do not.
In the evening, I returned to the 26th Squad for a visit. Although I left this squad over a year ago, I am still attached to this organization and many comrades and friends there. During my time at the squad, I discovered many fellow members had good qualities and I need to constantly learn from them.
The transfer went very well in all aspects except for one, my relationship with Xiaobei. Is this the end of our friendship? It will be even more difficult to reverse the situation in the future. This is the lesson from many past occurrences but hardly learned. I need to take warning on this. In the future, I must not get trapped in repeating the old habit in the new organization. The only way to avoid these old problems is to nip it in the bud. Don't wait until the problems accumulate. Rather, I need to keep in mind the big picture while taking into account the overall situation. To handle interpersonal relationships well, like what Director Tang told Jiao Kun, first and foremost, I must place revolutionary interests above personal interest.

March 16, Thursday

We did not have much to do in the morning because the tractor wasn't put in use to rake the soil. We need to prepare our own spades. As mine is already in good shape, I got some time to study. Our dorm is the most ideal, quiet and clean. Only two of us were inside, and we were quiet. The previous annoying noisy environment doesn't exist here. The external condition is most conducive to my own study now. What I need most now is a tireless spirit of studying and learning.

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In the afternoon, as soon as we finished pulling up a cart of manure, we started pulling up with our carts dry reeds to make wind fences. Everybody in the squad was working hard and moral was much higher than that of the 7th platoon.
I have been in the new squad for only two days, but I could already feel the new atmosphere here. Everybody is self-conscious in study and hard working. People take care of each other and exchange thoughts with each other. In the old platoon, people were taking turns picking up meals, and people often drag their feet and delay. Here in the squad, once the bell rings for meal, people line up themselves quickly. Hot water is brought back for everybody's use in the dorm. The members of this squad spend most of their time on work and study. They also care about the public interests. Unlike the 26th squad where people spent their time and energy on personal interests, such as washing, sewing with little attention given to the public affairs and study. In this new unit, people concentrate on public affairs and interest rather than personal trivialities. Most of the evening time is spent on heart-to-heart talks among squad members.
In the evening, deputy squad leader Zhang Lizhen came to chat with me. The two conversations that I had yesterday and today have totally changed my prejudice against these heart-to-heart talks. In the past, the so-called talks were mostly centered on topics such as "How can I improve my work?" "Please let me know what you think about me" and other stereotypical questions. I was not willing to talk and not enthusiastic about these conversations. This time, however, I thought I learned a lot through these two conversations. I started to dig through the surface of this squad's structure and began to understand some of the in-depth and internal factors which make it so lively and organized. Through these two conversations, I became more confident that I would transform myself and make progress here in leaps and bounds. I am no longer longing to leave our corps. I loved the intense labor and hard work; I would hate to leave the grand revolutionary cause on China's borderland; I enjoy seeing the fruit that my sweat bears; I am fond of scientific agriculture. But why did I want to leave previously? I was frustrated by some vulgar people around me and the sordid environment they created. Besides, the poor leadership and its bureaucratic style of work promised no future. During those previous days, I almost had to abandon the desire to stay due to the unappealing environment. Today, the changed circumstances led me into a new world, and I am no longer willing to be conquered by the thought of leaving. The kitchen squad has attracted me. I will stay here and continue! This idea has won the upper hand in my mind because the former is developing while the latter is weakening.

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The Five Guidelines for a Successor.

The Manifesto of the Communist Party
Where does a person's correct thought come from?
"The Internationale"
A communist theory in one sentence: Elimination of private ownership.
The mission of the communist revolution is to completely break through the traditional ownership of means of production.
Transformation in worldview is a lengthy process.
The class struggle in a variety of forms will profoundly influence people's cognitive development. In a society dominated by classes, every one...
The struggle that proletariats and revolutionary people launched to transform the world include the following missions: transform both the objective world and subjective selves; transform the cognitive capabilities; achieve a balance between the transformation of the objective world and subjective self.
Communism represents the complete theoretical system of proletariats while it is also a brand-new social system. This theoretical system and the social system it represents are different from any other theoretical systems and social systems. They are the most progressive, most revolutionary and most rational systems in human history. Feudalist theoretical and social systems have already entered historical museums. Part of Capitalist thought process and social system have also been placed in historical museums. (in the Soviet Union) Its remaining part is rapidly declining like "the sun setting beyond the western hills and a dying person gasping for breath". It is on its way to the historical museums. Only communist ideological and social system, bursting with its youthful vigor,

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is storming the whole universe as powerful as a thunderbolt with its momentum of a landslide and the force of a tidal wave.
Communism is destined to triumph. This is an irresistible historical rule. As a proletarian revolutionary soldier, I desire to join the Communist Youth League and to fight my whole life for the communist cause.
The Communist Youth League is an advanced youth organization under the leadership of the Communist Party and it assists the party to lead Chinese youth to accomplish the assignments from Communist Party as China's revolutionary youth pioneers.
Lenin pointed out: "If members of other classes join the proletarian revolution, first and foremost, they should be asked not to bring any bourgeois or petty bourgeois residue to the revolution, and to grasp the proletarian worldviews unconditionally."
Although I do hold a strong desire to join this communist pioneer organization to fight my life for the revolutionary cause, I have not completely transformed my worldviews and I still possess many remnants of bourgeois and petty bourgeois thoughts which impede my efforts to fight for communism.
In a class society, "class struggles in all forms profoundly influence our cognitive developments." The remnants of the bourgeois and petty bourgeois thoughts come from families and society. The revisionist education from old schools and the families created a malady of arrogance, underrating workers and peasants, and separating theory from practice inside me. All of these prejudices have been rooted in my mind for the last decade or so and are not to be easily eradicated. Only through thorough remolding of myself and a longtime painful transformation will my worldview turn a new leaf.
No matter how hard and how long this process may take, I need to be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win the final victory.
We cannot choose our family background. The class struggle in our society exists independent of people's will. The bourgeois thoughts always seek to conquer people's mind through all channels. But they are merely objective and external forces and are therefore not playing a dominant role. Whether to make revolution or not is determined by one's internal factors. If I keep working hard on transforming my worldview, I will be able to resist all corrosions of non-proletarian influence.
I am determined to set strict standards of revolutionary successors on myself complying with Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought in the Three Grand Revolutions.

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In my effort to break from the traditional production ownership totally, I will continue to transform myself and cleanse the non-proletarian thoughts. I will apply to join the Communist Youth League to better fight for the Communist Cause.
December 13

March 17, Friday

Today's work was to sieve the pig droppings and then transport the selected fertilizers to the nursery. The sieved droppings were fine and soft. We had a good day of work. The evening study session was to discuss the significance of solidarity. Ten new people were transferred to our squad totaling twenty-four by now. We are shouldering the responsibility of supplying vegetables for three hundred people in the company. Whether we can unite as one would be deeply related to the welfare of the whole company. Unity is the prerequisite of victory, which itself is the final goal of unity. Nothing can be achieved without revolutionary unity. Every one of us has experienced and learned lessons regarding the issue of unity since our arrival at the corps two years ago. Many people spoke at the meeting to their experiences. All the talks were good. I also spoke. Here in this squad, meetings are never awkwardly silent, and I like it very much.

March 18, Saturday

We worked the whole day in vegetable fields. In the morning, we cut even the ridges and, in the afternoon, we raked the fields. Today's work was intense, and I felt exhausted. I have not been feeling so tired like today in a long time. I can feel the work assignment in the vegetable squad will be tiring and intense in the future, even more intensified than today. I am pleased to have this great opportunity of training. Hard and intense work is beneficial to me as it boosts my spirit to endure more hardship. Despite the physical exhaustion, I feel content spiritually. Today, I worked together with Zhang Lizhen. I have hardly seen anybody else as competent and capable as she is. She worked for the full load of four hours without any rest while I was so tired and listless that I could hardly move the rake in my hand. Was she not tired? No. Impossible. Her spirit of enduring hardship was strong. I have not seen anyone as hardworking as she was for a very long time. Working with her

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motivated me to work harder. I admire her from the bottom of my heart and I will learn from her.
While working with Zhang Lizhen, I also got to know about somebody else. Never judge a person by appearance only, because it would be difficult to tell that the person is such a narrow-minded and untruthful person.

March 19, Sunday

Wind whistled all day and the temperature dropped. It now feels cold. Today is our day off. I studied the third issue of Red Flag magazine. I also did my laundry. I then went to chat with Xiao Deng. It seems that the 7th Platoon is as sluggish as before teeming with gossip and small talk. The vegetable squad, however, feels far away from these happenings. People here appear to be immune to any external interruptions and they live and work at their paces and follow their own prescribed order.

March 20, Monday

Today was a pleasant day with a work load not as heavy as the day before yesterday. We raked the fields in the morning and set up reed fences to keep out wind. The broadcast speaker transmitted the government policy of Inner Mongolia on college admission. I did not dig deep into the content. But the broadcast reminded me of the letter from my mom's working unit. I don't know how things are going...

March 21, Tuesday

I received a letter from my mom this noon sent from Shanghai. She said that she will send me some goodies from Shanghai after she returns to Beijing. I will be anxiously waiting to receive them.

March 22, Wednesday

Strong wind started to whistle again in the afternoon. The reed fences that we just made this morning kept the leveled field safe. We were breaking the big field into smaller sections to use as a vegetable nursery for planting seedlings. We could hear the roaring wind outside the fence but not feeling much of it inside the reed fences. I was working and chatting with Wang. I got to know more about our comrades in this squad. There are liars and braggers everywhere... after joining the squad, I also noticed that Wang has changed. The favorable external factors brought about changes within herself. She is now enthusiastic, proactive and eager to move forward. I feel happy for her and I need to make more efforts myself.
In the evening, the two rooms joined to discuss Chairman Mao's work "How to improve our study" based on the assignment from our instructor. I was caught unprepared with a blank mind. I found it difficult to participate. Finally I only spoke a few words in very general terms.

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Towards the end, the squad leader gave a summary of our discussion. Xiao Lu was praised which was an equivalent of a criticism on us all because we were not participating proactively. I felt that I did not have a good attitude towards self-study and ignored its importance. In the future, I will make sure to be well prepared and actively participating.

March 23, Thursday

Today was another pleasant day. I chatted with Wang at night. I got to know what she thought of me from her perspective. She did not think I deserved the praise at Sunday's squad meeting because what I had been reading was novels instead of works by Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao. I fully accept her criticism. I did not focus on study, but had been obsessed with reading novels. During this busy season with little leisure time, I should have spent more time on serious study rather than on reading novels for leisure.
Lu Xun once said: "My translations are not aiming at winning readers' applause." Serious study of Marxist and Leninist works is intensive work, which is totally different from bourgeois leisure reading seeking refreshing and comforting moments. In my reading, I tried to avoid hard brain work and easily gave up when encountering difficulties. Instead, I read leisurely novels. The more I read, the more obsessed and thus more mentally intoxicated I became. How can I distinguish sulfur copper from genuine gold without seeing gold myself? Likewise, how can I identify poisonous ivy and fallacies without reading true Marxist & Leninist works?
Wang also updated me with new developments in the squad. Conflicts inevitably exist everywhere. No squad is perfect. Some unhealthy trends are emerging and contradictions are intensifying. My room is no longer as ideal as I saw days ago. I found two roommates are not fond of study, and there is no end once they start gossiping on all sorts of obscene details about the society, and they take great pleasure from it. These kinds of people are everywhere, and no one is able to control them. It has been over a week since I joined this new unit. I have not gotten to know everybody and there is no one yet that I have had heart-to-heart in-depth conversations. I have not even had a chance to chat with my squad mates yet.

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March 25, Saturday

For the last couple of days, we have been planting garlic. My job was to dig ditches. It was a very interesting but tiring assignment. I feel exhausted this afternoon. The job was demanding as several of us were responsible for digging ditches for others to plant garlic heads. We need to dig fast enough for those behind to drop garlic heads. Thus, we were in the front digging line. We collaborated silently and were able to speed up and get farther ahead of them.
I went to visit Old Fu last night. During our chat, we both felt that 7th Platoon was still in low morale and only a few showed up at work. Are they going to continue behaving like this? This kind of environment could easily crash the spiritual pillars of those with weak willpower. How sad it would be to drift along aimlessly and soullessly! However, some people will hold up their spirit indomitably and temper themselves while facing tough challenges. We sat in the dark, messy and lifeless room, and I could feel the dispirit of the room dwellers. I lived in this room for three months, the three coldest months. I remember what the regiment clinic director said upon inspection of this room: "It feels that this room has not been inhabited for days." It is the most relevant judgement. It is cold and dirty with layers of dust everywhere as if no one lives here for years. Yet this room houses people every day! I once wanted to change the face of the room and worked hard to implement my plan. I cleaned up the room thoroughly and improved the oven. But my work and efforts were fruitless as the room went back to its original mess only a few days later. I could do nothing but let things slide until I left this room. Recalling my "unfortunate" experience, I conclude: a bright and well-organized environment is not possible without a healthy and upright spirit. Physical dirt is easy to clean up, but the spiritual dust and darkness is not easy to dispel.
I received a letter from Tang Li this noon. She was transferred to Xinin, Qinghai Province where she is to become an engineer to cast human souls.34 I feel happy for her, but I do not like this occupation. I will mail her my photos after I get them next week.

March 26, Sunday

In the morning, five of us including myself, Big Bao, Xiao Deng and two others from the 26th squad had a group photo taken as a souvenir for us.

34 "Engineer to cast human soul": the teaching profession.

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I spent more than a year at the 26th squad, and I was attached to the unit. Although we had lots of quarrels and fights, we eventually got to know each other better. Indeed as a Chinese saying goes: "Out of blows, friendship grows." I feel that they know me as well as I know them. Our friendship formed over a year is invaluable. One more person that I know, one more friend I have and friendship brings help and affection.
I read for a little while after I got back. When my brain felt tired, I entered diary entries for the last two days.

March 27, Monday

Today I finished the pamphlet entitled Lenin's Commentaries on Marx and Engels.

March 28, Tuesday

March 28, Tuesday
This afternoon's work was really tiring and I became very hungry. At dinner, Old Fu and Wang Yuqian came and brought me two buns. They knew that the vegetable squad has a heavy workload and we all have enormous appetites which we often cannot fill up. That was why they brought me the buns for which I was very thankful. They would not have done so if our friendship were not solid and strong. Thanks to their buns, I had a more-than-enough dinner as I cut the buns into pieces and roasted them. What a large and fulfilling dinner I had!
I am not feeling content with myself these days. After a day's work, I find nothing really interesting to me. A sense of having nothing to do again has emerged. This is not a good trend. Once this symptom emerges, time might be wasted or slips by idly. Is it not so? Another day passed by with hardly any gains.
I began reading "On the shore of Xeish Lake". The content about natural science in this book is desirable.

March 30, Thursday

I received the letter from Liu Ou in the noon. It is such a great surprise to see her drastic transformations, from which I realize how much human beings can change in different environments. I once felt hopeless for her. But now I seem to see the vivid scene of her jumping into the river to save a person from drowning a few years ago. She turned onto the right track after going through some zigzag routes. I was both pleased and concerned. Will she go astray again in the future? Out of joy, I bought her a can of food and sent it to her with a pair of sweatpants.

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This afternoon, we did not go to the fields and instead, had a study session to discuss the meaning of "Be open and aboveboard, do not play schemes and intrigues". Every one of us had to write a report. I was impetuous for the whole afternoon. Several things combined stuffed my head with confusion. I saw the group photo taken last Sunday. I didn't look good in the photo. I can't believe how I could look so tragic: swollen face with frowned brows. Pathetic looking! I don't want to see my look. I have changed so much. I will no longer take a photo from now on. In my heart, I know it is ridiculous to have this feeling towards this little thing, but at the same, I was quite frustrated at my look. Physical labor should make people healthy and strong, but I appear swollen. It should make people look youthful and vigorous, but I look aged and weak... Wang will be going to Xin'an Town. I asked her to mail a letter and a parcel to my mom on my behalf.

March 31, Friday

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April 3, Monday

Another week passed by. I have been in the vegetable squad for more than half a month. I thought I gained a lot in the first week. But recently I feel that I have become content with the current circumstance and started feeling bored. Besides, I did not study hard and was very distracted by what had been happening around me. Another large group returned from their visit to their families and I became restless again. To the wild-spreading rumors or gossip, I was half-believing and half-doubting. Having received the letter from Liu Ou, I could see her progressing rapidly while I fell behind. I have not been doing anything except for assigned tasks every day. Liu Ou had been very active in the countryside and had gotten numerous opportunities to serve the poor and lower-middle peasants. How meaningful her life is!
I can sense something is developing inside myself: I am not grasping every minute to study as hard as before. I seem to be easily bored with reading nowadays. This is very dangerous. Sometimes, when I pick up a book, a thought emerges in my mind: what is the use of reading it? I would then choose something else. Why have I developed this tendency? Although I have read some, I am unable to see its effects and then I would ease up my effort. At present, a campaign is going on nationwide to promote reading. Mastery of Marxism will keep ourselves away from being duped. It is dangerous for me to develop this line of thought under the current circumstance of fierce class struggle. I need to follow Lu Xun's teaching: "as long as I live, I need to study." Reading would be more interesting if I can associate it with the reality. It is hard to digest the content by simply delving into books. Making good notes and writing personal insights are good approaches to connect reading with practice. From today on, I need to take good reading notes and try to write about every book I read.
Recently, I finished reading several essays: "Condemning Fascism" and "Obtaining Experience in Class Struggle from Lu Xun's essays".
For novels, I read: "The Heir", "On the shore of Xieshi Lake". I did not read novels just for leisure. I read them to retain the essence and reject the residue. Therefore, it is necessary to write a review and analysis.
A few days ago, I completed reading the essay: Lenin on Marx and Engels. I learned a great deal. I should always remember Comrade Xu Teli's words: "Reading is not for quantity, but quality. Read to achieve a thorough understanding of the content.
What I have gained from "Learning the experience of class struggle from Lu Xun's essays":

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Lu Xun said: "Wanting to become a super-class writer while born in a class society; wanting to be independent from war while living in a war era, people who harbor such illusions, do not actually exist in today's world. To be a person like this, it is just like pulling one's own hair to leave the earth..."
A person lives in a real environment. Whatever he does is closely associated with the environment, and he cannot possibly separate himself from it. But now I seem to have an unrealistic illusion to leave this environment in seeking for a "meaningful life". It is not realistic and is impossible to achieve. To me, daily routine life here is becoming boring. I have become indifferent to everything around me. I had an illusion to escape from the current environment and create another interesting one for myself. But this spiritual void is empty without any physical base. This is exactly why my life feels short of meaning and listless. Considering the meaningful and active life of my elder sister, has she ever broken away from the local environment at any time? No. Only by actively participating in the struggle to transform the objective world, can I enrich the subjective spiritual life. No colorful spiritual realm can be achieved without respecting objective reality. Fundamentally, practice is always the first and foremost. No thoughts can be formed without practice. I can only strengthen my thinking power by actively participating in the local practice and activity.
Lu Xun also said: "Read the actual world, such a living book, with your own eyes." It echoes Chairman Mao's words: "Real knowledge grows out of practice." There are numerous invisible phenomena in our lives that can become meaningful if we carefully observe and learn. Lenin said: "Practice is greater than theoretical knowledge because it not only possesses the characteristics of universality, but also that of reality." It is not possible to get true knowledge only from books. We will be able to enrich our perceptual cognition through real life and practice. True knowledge can be obtained only through repeated process of: Acquiring first-hand experience from real life; discarding the dross and false and retaining the essential and truth; uplifting the perceptual to rational and then back to practice.

April 4, Tuesday

I received letters from my aunt and Liu Shuang while working in the fields this morning. A package of books from my mom in Shanghai also arrived. I am so happy as I have more books to read.

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April 5, Wednesday

I remitted ten yuan to Liu Ou. I tidied up my bed. Lu Mei is on her way back. I have not yet gotten to know this roommate yet. Old Fu returned four yuan to me. I still owe her fifty cents (we bought snacks last time). I also borrowed forty cents from Shen Xuelian.

April 8, Saturday

Yesterday saw the departure of eight comrades who were the diggers of the large ditch. Only ten of us were left behind. Nearly half of the squad is gone, so we don't have as many as before to work, eat and study together. Our squad looks empty and feels lonely. The atmosphere of our room has changed, unlike a few days ago when people drop by to visit, to borrow books, or simply come to borrow heat and to chat. The room is quiet. The new comers enjoy joking, are fun loving, but also engage in reading quietly.
Today I started to read a pamphlet entitled "Learn from the Great Revolutionary Lu Xun". It is a good read and I learned a lot.
I have been feeling unwell these days, and so I struggled with a conflicting mind. Should I still go to work? According to the platoon's rules, I can rest for a couple of days. But this squad is different. Here, except a few, people would still choose to go to work. What shall I do? What standard of behavior shall I apply on myself? Many thoughts came to my mind. Some were complaints: This squad is a bit too much towards "left" and its members' health and welfare are not given the best care. I could just take leave and rest in my room. But I am not at ease with that decision. Shall I follow those who insist on working? I can endure the discomfort if others can. I finally got to work. Despite feeling exhausted and the pain of an upset stomach, I tried my best and worked at my limit.

April 9, Sunday

April 9, Sunday
I went to visit the 9th Company at noon. I sat in Fan Yanying's room for some time. I read Qin Xiaohua's letter to her and saw some photos. We chatted before I returned around 2:00 PM. Hua Yan returned at night. I went to see her. She has not changed much since she left the company over a month ago, except she looks more mature now. It was great that she returned to the company even a day earlier than scheduled. She briefed me on what she saw and heard. But there was nothing about the rumors on corps assignments. As a matter of fact, those rumors are merely the self-comforting miracle cure for some. They are neither practical nor realistic. She brought a lot of snacks, which we ate to our heart's content.

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It was past nine o'clock when I got back from Hua Yan. We had a small leadership meeting. I got to chat with Lu Mei afterwards. She struck me as really straightforward and advanced in ideology. We shared common thoughts on many issues. This served as a good foundation for our collaboration and coordination today on issues regarding our collective. We shall meet and talk more in the future. In addition, we should reach out to others and get to know everyone in the squad. For instance, we can have informal chats while working rather than formal meetings. People tend to be more relaxed in those settings. But I need to chat with Ren Xiaolin first.

April 10, Monday

April 10, Monday
In the morning, the deputy squad leader, out of concern for my health, assigned me to stay home drying chili pepper seeds in the sun. I read the letters from fellow comrades who participated in digging the ditch. I was moved and inspired by their bravery and optimism while facing challenges. They endured enormous hardship, and they said that they were not cowards, nor good-for-nothing and they committed themselves to complete the task no matter how difficult it was. I feel so happy to see their growth and am very proud of them! It is of great benefit for youths to have the opportunity to toughen themselves.
At night, I went to sleep over in another room as Hua Yan's companion. We shared our feelings on many issues. One thing we both felt strong about was we are too simple minded and too ignorant. We have little knowledge, let alone any experience about the complicated and fierce class struggle in the society. We know even less about the line struggle within the party. Hua Yan on her trip home was much influenced by her brother and sister. She has formed her own insights into some current issues including how the old cadres were treated and handled, as well as power struggles within the party. Some information came from the upper power structure and was completely sealed to the ordinary people.
Her opinions could be generalized in one word, chaos. China was buried in turbulences... I heard some of the likewise comments upon my visit to my family. All of these have a profound impact on me. The impact can be categorized into good and bad. It helps me to see that that class struggle is still developing in full swing. It could also lead me to paint a dark picture of the current situation, thus losing a clear vision and confidence. We still have Chairman Mao in good health; we still have consolidated party leadership; the enemy will not be able to turn the world upside down. With the struggle, enemies will be exposed under daylight and demarcation between classes more distinctively defined.
Upon returning home after work, I was quite surprised to receive the two sets of materials sent by Xie. An enclosed note said

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that he can lend me books. I responded and expressed my pleasure in borrowing books from him. I would like to keep him as my pen pal because writing letters can broaden my horizon in addition to gaining knowledge about what is happening elsewhere. Besides, keeping contact with people from various walks of life will be conducive in spiritual communication. I learned from my sister that Xie is somewhat eccentric. According to some, he is very much like myself. I am eager to get to know more about him and to find out what similarities there are between us. I wrote back to him and said I look forward to receiving books from him.

April 11, Tuesday

A pamphlet on scientific research came from my mom that she sent when she was in Nanjing. The pamphlets had coverage in different categories, such as animals, botany, chemistry, etc. I am not very interested. But glancing through them can expand my knowledge base. I feel that my mom has shown more attention and care to us recently. She is finally aware how much we need her support, especially in political study. I also received a letter from Liu Ou. She sent me a package but it has not yet arrived. I will give her a set of shirts and pants to be distributed to us. I am waiting anxiously for the distribution.

April 13, Thursday

I learned a lot after reading the two sets of materials from Xie.
In the afternoon, three of us were assigned by the Deputy leader to clear out pit toilets. This job was truly demanding. With buckets and ladles in hands, we scooped out excrement from two bathrooms. Since I had not completely conquered my fear of getting dirty, I was worried that my clothes would get soiled. But the more I feared, the more likely that would happen. My shoes and pants did get dirty. I felt disgusted and even after I changed my clothes, I still felt that I smelled bad. In normal circumstances, there does not seem to be much of a gap between me and the poor and lower middle-class peasants. I thought I was working diligently and bearing hardships. But at special moments like this, the discrepancy between us became obvious. "Every crop has its origin in manure". Raising crops, we would have to deal with dung and manure, and this is especially true with planting vegetables. Therefore, it doesn't help to be fearful of getting dirty if we want to grow good vegetables.
Of course, we might work more effectively to reduce unnecessary soiling. Our fellow comrades in the manure squad have accumulated much experience with years of practice.

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They do not get anything on themselves during cleaning. But they only learned to work resourcefully by doing. When they first started on the job, they too, soiled their clothes, their faces and even their mouths.
Thinking back when I was working at Xingxin Team I did clean the pit toilets voluntarily. It was more challenging then. We did not even have proper tools. Besides, the waste was frozen in the winter and we had to break up the ice first. But we did not give in. We overcame the difficulties and managed to improve our living environment. I did well back then because I was driven to transform myself and was applying high standards on myself. But now, I am not nearly as motivated as before. I have no desire to clean the toilets on my own when I see it is getting full; I even had a flash of reluctance to take on the task when I was assigned to do so. This flash of thought reflected a rather significant discrepancy from the time when I volunteered before! It is a test of my spiritual revolutionization. From this perspective, I realized that I had loosened up my effort in ideological transformation. An alarm bell is ringing in my head: "like rowing a boat upstream, if you stop moving forward, you would move backward'.

April 14, Friday

Today we planted eggplants and radishes. The whole morning was eggplant seeding time. I squatted planting seedlings until my legs were numb. It seems that I lacked exercise and squatting strength. I received the package from Liu Ou. Dacron pants are not suitable for the working conditions here. My worn-out jacket works much better. Xie Xiang'e returned this afternoon.

April 15, Saturday

In the evening, Xiao Tian and I went to watch the movie "Invisible War Line" at the Seventh Company, the Nineteenth Regiment. We chatted on the way touching on many topics. She mentioned again about joining the Youth League, giving me another push. Anyway, I still have not yet turned in my application. It is time to be more proactive now. When we got to the auditorium of the Seventh Company, we had to wait for a long time before the movie began. The Seventh Company, behaving in a very generous manner, designated the front half seats to people from the Fifth Company. They did the same the last time. In contrast, our own company was poor in manners. When other companies came to our company to watch movies, there were all sorts of unpleasant comments on our side complaining that we had been squeezed due to the crowdedness. Looking at how well we were received by others, I felt ashamed.

April 16, Sunday

In the morning we made dumplings together. After lunch, we set out to Xin'an Town. We stayed overnight on the campus of the Seventh Platoon of Medical Regiment.

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Unfortunately, they did not get the Sunday off. Only a few patients were left in their wards on the campus. The Seventh Platoon was in a low morale these days. People' minds were unstable. Reading was absent; all the spare time after work was squandered! What a pity! On the way, I received a letter from my elder sister. She mentioned Xie's criticism to her. I did not expect that Xie was not an apathetic and indifferent nerd. He is actually quite warm-hearted and ready to help others. In the evening, Xiao Tian came and I lent her the two sets of materials.

April 17, Monday

Today we planted tomatoes and cabbages. Ability to squat down for a long time is necessary when planting vegetables. I am now more used to squatting after days of practice. So I am not feeling that tired today. In the evening, we studied No. 12 Document from the Central Committee.

April 21, Friday

April 21, Friday
The company launched a Three examinations campaign. Combined with studying the document No.12, and denouncing Lin Biao and Chen Boda, we need to examine our own practice on studying, discipline and unity.
In terms of study, I did not concentrate on Marx' and Lenin's works. Instead, I have been interested in reading novels. Lu Xun once said: "My translations do not aim to entertain readers." We read to satisfy the need of the revolution and to raise consciousness of the two-line struggle. Achieving this goal requires diligence and assiduousness. It is not a light and leisurely joy. My inability to work hard in studying stems from my lack of understanding of the importance and necessity to seriously study Marxist and Leninist theories at this time of fierce class struggle. Therefore, I hardly have the drive to engage myself. Once I encounter difficult passages in reading, I stop and seek refuge from leisure reading novels. Without the books by Marx and Lenin, I will not be able to differentiate fragrant flowers from poisonous weeds and I will be easily led astray. Therefore, I must cultivate the spirit of serious study of Marx' and Lenin's books, and avoid the bourgeois tendency to read for leisure and relaxation.
In terms of discipline, I did not consider it as serious as a necessary component to ensure the successful carrying out of the two-line struggle. I did not strictly follow all operations at the party's commands.

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Since we have been here for three years, many rules we had followed previously feel like binding restrictions nowadays. This attitude is not correct. Discipline is critical for the implementation of right lines no matter when and where. Without discipline, anarchy will prevail and we will lose our power and energy without uniform leadership, command and actions.
In terms of unity, Chairman Mao prioritized unity over others in his famous teaching "we need to unite and oppose any separation." But I did not fully recognize the significance of unity. I was not able to conduct active ideological struggle among fellow comrades to seek unity based on Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. I tend to let things drift if they do not affect me personally and often stand aloof from things which do not conflict with my own interests. I chose to turn a blind eye to conflicts even when I felt them arising because they didn't feel like a big deal at the time, a typical lack of responsibility to the unit, to fellow comrades and to the revolutionary cause as a whole. As a Chinese saying goes: "a thousand-li embankment crumbles in an ant's den". Small conflicts can grow into bigger problems, harming the unity consequently. My pessimistic liberalism is rooted in my weakening determination to settle in the borderland and to contribute to the grand construction, thus, I lack enthusiasm for my fellow comrades, our collective and the revolutionary cause, which causes my indifference towards what happens in the vicinity.
All the erroneous tendencies were generated by my bourgeois, unhealthy mindset and is not compatible to meet the needs of the current situation. I made up my mind to make every effort to study Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, keep analyzing and transforming myself to meet the revolutionary needs.

April 22, Saturday

Today I worked on the fish we had caught by the well. I managed to clean five buckets of fish, which will become our lunch and dinner for the day. How satisfying. Our squad deserves the credit for serving fish to the whole company. We worked from 8:00 to past 10:00 in the morning to finish cleaning over one hundred pieces of fish before delivering them to the kitchen. Lu Mei came to see me with an anticipated box that was shipped to me. The horse lantern finally arrived bringing me light and convenience for my study.

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A comrade sent me a letter requesting to pick her up at the Front Banner on 28th. Today is April 22nd. I will need to pick her up next Monday. Don't forget.

April 23, Sunday

Today is another busy cleaning day. I cleaned the floor, tore down the stove and dusted the whole room. During the night study session, we talked about the harm of formalism.

April 24, Monday

There was a report on April 21st in People's Daily. The report was about how Jingkou Commune of Guangdong Province implemented the policy on "transformable children".35This report was educational to me. Things have changed and the party policy has been implemented in depth. The previous reports only discussed how to mobilize these people, bring their initiatives into full play and let them play an active role in the revolution. But now the tone goes one level up. We need to "warmly care about them; show patience and provide more proactive help". When some transformable children take a firm stand on the side of proletariats after many years of tempering and training, they could join organizations of the Communist Party, thus playing a role of vanguards. In other words, they could play the roles of revolutionary pioneers, not just some average ordinary roles. Comrade He Miao from this commune was a case in point. My elder sister is another one to demonstrate that proletarian policy bases its criteria not solely on class origin, but more on one's performance. I myself have always been short of full understanding of this Party Policy and lack trust for the party and the masses. Therefore, politically I do not set high standards and get by without trying to get ahead. This is very harmful. I should have a better comprehension of the current circumstances and make due effort.
Our daily behavior and conduct are by no means a minor issue. No revolutionaries can be politically pure while corrupt in life. Our worldview determines our daily behavior. The proletarian lifestyle is to live a plain, hardworking life and bourgeoisie's is corrupt, degenerate, squander and wasteful. Proletariats take pride in being frugal while bourgeoisie in being luxurious and extravagant. These two different worldviews are inevitably reflected in the revolutionary team. Whether we can successfully resist against the erosion of bourgeoisie depends on how firmly we are upholding proletarian ideology. There are all kinds of people around me who apply different standards of living. I need to take Lei Feng36 as my role model by setting a low living standard . Any attempt to match a high living standard will lead to fading of the true colors of the proletariats.

35 "Transformable children": Children of landlords, rich peasants, counter revolutionaries, bad elements, and rightists.Ê Their parents were deemed class enemies during the Cultural Revolution and the children were labeled and tainted by the association.Ê Chairman Mao considered the children redeemable.Ê

36 Lei Feng (1940-1962) was a soldier of the People's Liberation Army and a legendary role model for Chinese youth during the 1960's and 70's, best known for his selflessness, serving people whole heartedly, hardworking and plain living.

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April 26, Wednesday

I have been studying the book entitled "Empiricism or Marxism?" I targeted the chapters on forces of production and relationship of production for serious study. These terms are everywhere but I hardly understand them. I got to know a little more about them through study although a fuller and deeper understanding is yet to be expected.
I had a conversation with Yang Jin. Once we started to freely share thoughts with each other, we developed a closer relationship. From our conversation, I came to see that she is a good comrade and that she has impressed me with her drive to progress. By the way, we started to plant cabbages again.

pril 27, Thursday

AToday I worked the whole day digging ridges in the fields. I have now become more skillful, digging straighter lines, and increasing my speed.

April 28, Friday

Today I went to the Front Banner alone to pick up Shen Xue and Wang Lian. There, I ran into Zhang Liqing, a comrade from the 9th Company previously as well as a school mate from Jingshan School. She is now a member of the Eleventh Company. It was beyond my expectation that she was going to attend Nanjing University in a couple of days. It has been over three years since we last saw each other. Although she has hardly changed in her appearance, her mind must have matured nicely. Only those who performed well could receive a high evaluation and get recommended by their peers to attend universities. She must be popular and well-respected at the company. At the exit of the railway station, I met Jiang Yinsun who was on her way to the 9th Company to bid farewell to someone going to college. In a little while, Wang Jie and Jia Yuhua came. We went to the train's platform together. We started chatting at the exit. As the train pulled into the station, the three of us, with six eyes started searching in every corner of the exit. Suddenly I heard somebody shouting my name and Wang Jie's. We turned around just to see Zheng Weimin and Wan Yan together with Shen Xue and Wang Lian. We picked up four comrades instead of the two originally expected. Especially Wan Yan's return was a total surprise. Having gone through some difficulties, we got back to the company. Since we had to wait for the donkey-drawn carts to load stuff, we didn't get back to the company until nearly 11:00 PM. At last, I completed my mission to pick up these comrades.

April 29, Saturday

Today we went to help with work in the kitchen. Since those who went ditch digging are about to return, the kitchen is getting very busy with all sorts of chores, chopping vegetables, kneading dough and managing the fire. I should keep my eyes open to fill in tasks wherever they are.
It was 7 o'clock after we finished with the kitchen work. The ditch diggers all returned. Tonight, there would be a movie showing

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and everybody was excited. After dinner, we left for the movie in a rush. On the way, I chatted with Wang Jie. Two movies were shown tonight at the Regiment headquarter: "Lenin in 1918" and "The Invisible Warfront". We got back at 2:00 AM.

May 1, Monday

I got up around 6:00 AM today. Xiao Deng slept over here last night. We made dumplings this morning and my job was to make dough. Everyone was happy with the dough I made. People found it difficult to believe that I could do it so well because they imagined that I couldn't cook. It is time to change their stereotypical impression of me. I don't want to admit that I ignore practical work. Even if I did have prejudice against practical work and trivial matters before, I must have overcome these tendencies by now.
We played ping-pong this afternoon. I felt quite sleepy...
Why hasn't my elder sister sent me any letters? Why hasn't Xie Zhongyi sent any books over? I am getting anxious!

May 4, Thursday

Today is the May 4th Youth Festival. I learned a lot of new things by rereading Chairman Mao's "Direction of the Youth Movement". As early as thirty-three years ago, Chairman Mao called on youth from the whole nation to learn from the youth in Yan'an37. To learn from them how to get united, how to study revolutionary theory and how to engage in production campaigns. This calling is still of great significance today. We are actually putting Chairman Mao's words "study as well as produce" into practice. The direction for the youth movement that he pointed out is the only correct and bright direction. We mustn't waver at any time; neither must we ever break away from the Three Grand Revolutionary practices. We will transform our feelings and thoughts through this practice.

May 5, Friday

Today I finished reading the book entitled "Old Youth League Member". Overall, this is a good book. I was most impressed by the guerilla soldiers' revolutionary willpower and optimism during the times of hardship. It is not a big book but with rich content. The book illustrates the revolutionary experience in great detail. There are no obscene and vulgar descriptions. In addition to storytelling, I also got to learn about some historical events, especially how the Soviets were working on the Sino-Soviet railways

37 Yan'an: A prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi Province bordering Shanxi to the East and Gansu to the west, Yan'an served as the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party. It is commonly known as the birthplace of Communist Party's organizations and institutions.

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which were later occupied by the Japanese. Combined with my reading on Guerilla Warfare in Chair Mao's works and the historical events during the war, I came to a better understanding of the roles that guerilla soldiers played during the Anti-Japanese War.

May 6, Saturday

We have started to weed the fields. It is getting hotter. We sweat all over under the full sun. The scene reminds me of the poem: "Farmers weeding at noon, sweat falling on the soil. Who knows every single grain on a plate, bears the result of their toil?"

May 8, Monday

"The most beautiful scene in the world lies not on stage, in paintings, or between the lines of essays, but in labor. Work is always beautiful. Hundreds of flowers blossom, rich and colorful, and endlessly changing. Only labor brings out the beauty of human beings and of our nation. Labor creates material assets and wealth. It also creates spiritual wealth. Labor is the very source of beauty and art. Laborers are artists."
The above is a statement from the novel "Bright Sunny Sky", which I love. The nearly-three-year-long experience at the corps brings me the pleasure of labor. This pleasure surpasses all others. Although labor is tiring, exhausting, energy draining and sometimes even life-risking, swelling happiness exists in this extreme experience. The sweetness from the bitterness exceeds all sugar and candies.
I completed the third volume of "Bright Sunny Sky" and it is really inspiring. The fierce class struggle in the countryside was vividly presented in front of my eyes. My mind fluctuated with the descriptions in the novel... Heroes in the book such as Xiao Changchun, Old Ma, Xiao Laoda, Han Baizhong and Jiao Erju moved me. The ugly images of Ma Sanyue and Little Ponytail Ma frustrated me. The Village Head Li was most disgusting. To me, the reading was a profound education of the party's rural policy, and I could feel the powerful influence of such policy in rural society.
From tomorrow onward, our work time and work load will increase, which means we will need to work harder and sweat more. The change will do us good. I particularly felt this way as I just completed reading the novel "Bright Sunny Sky".

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With a better understanding of physical labor, I am now ready to put it into practice. I will experience fun at work and gain wisdom out of labor.
The intense and busy season is here. I need to manage my time better, spend every hour and every minute in a meaningful manner with no time wasted. Leisure reading in my spare time will have to be shortened.

May 11, Thursday

Surprisingly, I received a letter from Xie Zhongyi transferred to me from Liu Huaiyu. I got to know that my mom went to the Jiangxi Cadre School on May 9th. The news felt very sudden to me. My sister returned to Beijing to see my mom off.

May 14, Monday

I have quite a few books here. I will no longer need to worry about having no books to read. The subsequent contradiction is how I should read them. Shall I do my reading selectively or read whatever I have? Some of them are worthless, for instance the collections of novels by Mao Dun which mostly focused on the grey, depressing and vulgar lives of petty urban inhabitants. They are boring and low in taste. Shall I read them? No. Time would be spent with hardly any gains. A total waste of time and energy. Reading them could sap my will and fritter away my energy, or bring harm to my mind. I should select good and meaningful books to read. I am now reading a set entitled "Romance of China's Early History". It is a good choice and I learn history from the reading.
Xie Zhongyi said in his letter that I should enrich myself by acquiring knowledge. When working in vegetable fields, I should learn everything associated with growing vegetables. It has been more than two months since I was transferred to the vegetable growing squad, but I still have not grasped the basics about growing vegetables. I have not researched or observed. I only fulfil the tasks that I am assigned. I will not be able to grow vegetables well this way and will not gain any new knowledge. It is time to improve.
Gu Lei came this evening and we had a good chat. Afterwards, I felt that I had developed a better understanding on certain issues and had widened my horizon.

May 16, Tuesday

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This morning, the whole company had a political study session. The afternoon saw us open the floodgate to water the fields. I had never done that before. On top of being a fun assignment, it was soothing to see thirsty seedlings being fed with water. With the water supply, our vegetable fields will thrive and flourish. I saw Old Feng working with delight hardly seen before. Probably he knows better than us how important water is to these seedlings. He is an old farmer after all. It is not easy to have an experienced farmer among us students. I should learn from working with farmers like him.

May 17, Wednesday

This morning I went to carry manure. It is a very dirty and tiring job, but it can transform a person. We made round trips on the roads carrying manure in buckets. We would have felt ashamed before because carrying manure on shoulders was not graceful and was not a pretty scene. But now, we have changed and we do not feel embarrassed at all. We take pride and glory in doing this as carrying on the revolutionary loads without any fear of being dirty and fatigued. My shoulders got well-tempered after several trips and they felt less painful today than before. Of course, I still have a long way to go before having "iron shoulders"!
Qin Xiaohua's letter arrived this afternoon. She tried to persuade me to apply to join the Communist Youth League. She said that it is not a personal matter. Instead it would be adding strength for the revolution. She asked me to have a talk with Wu Yueming which she thought would help a lot. I trust Wu myself and will find a time to talk to her. However, I have never had a chance to talk with her before.
Nowadays, I have become very fond of talking with people who think. I learned a lot from talking with them. More and more I think little of those who are superficially clever, arrogant and indulge in self-admiration. Rather I would like to make friends with those down-to-earth people. Old Fu and Xiao Deng from the 26th Squad are the latter. They are approachable and amiable.

May 18, Thursday

Today we weeded in the eggplant fields. The seedlings were too small to see clearly. I got tired of it and did not show great care to distinguish weeds from seedlings, resulting in weeding quite some seedlings. While working in the fields with another friend, I noticed that she did not take the job seriously and we chatted as we worked.

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So many poor seedlings were killed ruthlessly while we talked. We did not do a good job today. I know this is irresponsible. Eggplant seedlings sprouted after a long-time of care and watering, but now many of them got weeded by mistake. What a pity! I need to learn a lesson and take a more serious attitude towards work. Besides, I need to focus on my work and must remember to put on my glasses while weeding in the future to produce better results.

May 19.

In the evening, Du Ping and I went to the 7th Company of the 19th Regiment to watch movies. We are partners in movies watching. Neither of us has been absent for any screenings.
We watched the movie "Beat Down the Invaders" and several new documentaries. What impressed me most is the soldier's revolutionary spirit to bear pain and hardship during the ambush. Ding Dayong is an incarnation of Qiu Shaoyun.38 He kept still when his body was on fire till the final victory. The Big Guy chewed chili pepper in order not to snore which might expose the whole army to ambush. The soldiers stayed still for over twenty hours in their trenches until the bugle call to charge. The heroic spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death is being brought out today. This spirit will ensure us success and victories wherever we go and whatever we do.

May 20, Saturday

Today's assignment was hoeing garlic fields. It is a tiring assignment and I was exhausted, but with a happy mood. I received a letter from my mom. She and I will be working in the same line of work, agricultural production, and we will have a lot to share in a common language.

May 21, Sunday

The chives that we grew were cut for the first round and they were delivered to the kitchen. But there was so little of it that it was barely enough to make a soup to feed the company. When can we have a sufficient supply of chives? I went to visit Xiao Deng tonight and Hua Yan happened to be there as well. Big Bao and Hua Yan have both read China's best known four classical novels: "All Men Under Heaven Are Brothers", "The Romance of Three Kingdoms", "The Journey to the West" and "The Dream of Red Chamber". They discussed the novels so enthusiastically that I wanted to read them as well.

38 Qiu Shaoyun (1926-1952): Qiu joined the PLA in 1949 and earned recognition in the campaigns to exterminate bandits. During the Korean War Qiu died as a martyr and was considered by the Chinese government to be a war hero. In the battle for Hill 391, Qiu got trapped in the brush fire caused by US bombings. He did not move in order not to expose the 500 squad members and was burned to death.

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Reading these classical novels will be quite beneficial in increasing my understanding of the society. I am looking forward to receiving books sent by Uncle Shui.

May 22, Monday

Today is our day off. I completed reading the novel entitled "Golden Mountains" in one stretch. The novel described how the working groups from government went to remote areas of minority nationalities to help them during the liberation in 1951. The themes are attractive with detailed stories. In the afternoon I managed to sew my cotton-padded coat. Having read the whole day got me dizzy.

May 23, Tuesday

In the morning, Junlan and I watered stem lettuce fields. Later Xiao Cao joined us. We applied fertilizer first followed by watering. This is the second time that I was assigned watering the fields. It is fun but also technical. You need to tap your head to make sure that everywhere is evenly watered.
I went to visit Old Fu and we had a chat. I was frustrated to see the room that we once occupied together was still messy and untidy. In contrast, I prefer and cherish my current living condition which is quiet and well-maintained.

May 25, Thursday

The morning saw me digging manure again. It was not my day today. The bucket fell into the pool many times and my clothes and shoes were stained all over. What made me more frustrated was the sight of one companion when she was working with me side by side. A person's true nature is best reflected during physical labor and so is its ugly ideology. Usually she appears to be proactive and progressive, but she takes on a different attitude at a critical moment. I didn't find her as serious, diligent and hardworking. Sometimes she appeared enthused to work at usual assignments but would slacken off in front of hard and dirty work. For people who are eager to be transformed, digging manure does not feel like a painful and disgraceful job. It is just a normal and common thing to do, and we usually complete it in silence. But when the job is assigned to someone like my companion who detests it, it is a different story. She will not be willing to do the slightest more than she had to. People like her should be asked to do more than they are willing to.

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I watched a new movie in the evening entitled "The Village surrounded by blossoms".

May 26, Friday

Lenin once said: "...this will be the literature of freedom because it is neither to serve those well-fed noble ladies, nor those bored-to-death thousands of high-class superiors. It is to serve the millions of working-class people who are the future, the power and essence of the state."
There are so many bored-to-death and well-fed people. They are sated with food and lead an idle life. What they lack is a spirit of bearing hardship and hard work, the lofty outlook to transform heaven and earth and the daring boldness to crush all. Therefore, they eat three square meals a day and do nothing. They are more or less like pigs getting fed every day and are bored to death. The well-fed do not know how the starving suffers. Those who go all out for the revolutionary cause will never have to worry about getting fat.
I remember what I read in the minutes of the regular meetings at my sister's company. Isn't Ji Hong the best example to show the huge disparity between proletariat and bourgeoisie values? I should alarm myself to be on high alert against this invisible bourgeois infiltration. Health is the capital of the revolutionary. We should keep our bodies fit, strong and healthy, not delicate, fragile or fat.

May 27, Saturday

I received a package from my sister. Unexpectedly, a box of chocolate from Xie Zhongyi was enclosed. I am very grateful to him because he treats me in the manner of an adult. I appreciate his kindness but meanwhile I also feel a little funny. As a matter of fact, he is not much older himself, but he seemed like trying to please a youngster with candies. Strange and funny! But I need his help. Although he possesses some petty bourgeois weaknesses, he is knowledgeable, eager to learn and advance. I should learn his strength and dare to conduct spiritual confrontation with him. This is what we call as using others' strength to make up our own weaknesses.

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I watched a performance from the regiment's troupe of performing arts in the evening. They have made good progress in their performance. It provided education and livened up the atmosphere.

May 28, Sunday

In the morning, Old Fu and I went to the beach in the hope to rent a boat for sailing. But it was too windy, and we returned in disappointment. Even so, because it was such a bright and clear day today, I felt a sense of openness to be outside. The novel "All Men Under the Heaven Are Brothers" is difficult to understand and is not appealing to me. I gave meticulous care to mend and repair the Lenin Style jacket that my sister sent me. Although the jacket is patched all over, I love it. It is comfortable and fits well.

June 4, Thursday

For the past week, I have been concentrating on reading volume one of the novel "All Men under the Heaven Are Brothers". I was almost at the end of it. Yesterday, my mom sent me the novel by Hao Ran entitled "The Broad Road of Golden Light".
Recently I had been very anxious to visit my sister, but my application for leave didn't get approved. I am a little frustrated. I don't know what is going to happen in the future. Let me wait for another week.
This week saw some trends of conflicts. We haven't spoken to each other. The main reason is that I ignored her. I simply do not have the mentality as described by a Chinese idiom: "A prime minister's heart is big enough to pole a boat in". I am so narrow-minded that I cannot bear anything unbearable. The world is full of conflicts, contradictions, and variations. A complicated society is full of various thoughts, sentiments, and diagonally different ideas. How shall I expect everybody to be the same? Besides, these are just internal conflicts and differences within us, and they shouldn't be treated confrontationally. They can best be solved via conversations and consultations to seek unity via criticism. On the issue of handling person to person relationships, we cannot be blinded by trivial things and judge a comrade by their weaknesses.
It starts to get warmer and the sunshine is scorching. Working in the fields under sun is truly brutal but it provides good opportunities to train ourselves. It is time to swim again...

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June 13, Tuesday

I returned to our company after having stayed five days at Tuzuo Banner. These five days left me with some deep impressions. What transpired during these days has been lingering in my mind. Xiaoye, Xu Yan and Xie Zhongyi... their faces, their voices and their images have been floating in front of my eyes. Their sounds hover on my ears.
On the morning of June 9, I went to visit Xiaoye at an axial bearing factory. She gave me a tour of every workshop in the factory and introduced the functionality of each machine. From her words, I can tell that she loves her working unit, her workshop and her job. Xiaoye is truly an art lover. Whenever she speaks, she uses vivid gestures like dancing with joy. She sings and shows her beautiful voice everywhere we go. Xiaoye is also an emotional person full of rich sentiments. But not long ago, she was depressed for some time because her correspondences and poems were stolen. My impression of the factory is it is messy and poorly organized. Working here feels boring and monotonous. The spare parts of the machinery were scattered here and there. It would have been difficult to enjoy working here out of personal interest had it not been considered as making contribution to human beings and out of revolutionary necessity.
On the morning of June 10, we went to the villages on bicycles. It took us hours to get there by noon. I saw Xu Yan in the village. In the afternoon, we took the tools and went with Xu Yan to the fields to work with villagers. We used the spades to thin out seedlings. Since it was my first time, I was slow, and I did one ridge less than others. Although most of the commune members were younger than me, they worked like a champ. It is hard for me to catch up with them. Xu Yan was working next to me and she is fast too. An old man walked up to me and said: "This girl works neat and fast." I was very happy with the compliments. This work was contracted39 to be done within a half day, so villagers worked hard on it. The second day's work was not contracted within a time limit, and therefore the work was not as efficient as yesterday. The old man said again: "Except for the contracted work when the educated youth were slower, they went ahead and were fast thinning out the seedlings during regular labor days. How is it so?"

39 Contract work: Rusticated youth who were official members of the Production and Construction Companies received labor points in the Point Credit System. They were expected to complete their labor assignments at regular speed. But the local farmers got extra pay if they completed the projects faster. For some time-sensitive or harder farm work, the locals often got involved in this incentive system. Contracted work refers to a payment system for villagers who earned daily work points for designated tasks. Rusticated youth received the same amount of monthly stipend, and were therefore not affected by the time-sensitivity of the tasks.

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it demonstrates that the rusticated youth have a high level of consciousness and are clear goal-minded about their work. Xu Yan is the best example. Whether the work is contracted or not, she always leads in speed. Although she is the only rusticated youth remaining, she keeps up working on the frontline of agricultural production. She never gets depressed or falls behind. She has brought up herself to be the same as a commune member. I deeply admire her.
On the evening of June 10, we went together to the male's quarters. I gave my sister's letter to Xie Zhongyi. He must be surprised to see me here. He lent me a full bag of books plus another two books. There are a whole variety of books in the bag covering all subjects. Half of them are of no interest to me. Xiaoye helped me put aside some and we returned those books to him the next day. Initially, he said that he would go to the headquarter with us, but he did not end up going. Too bad we lost a chance to chat with him. He and I wrote to each other twice, but I would like to talk in person. Yet there hasn't been such an opportunity. From the letter that he wrote to my sister, I can see he is in a very bad mood. But I don't know why. He has been showing his caring towards me and has been helping me both spiritually and materially. He lent me so many books this time, but I didn't even get a chance to show my appreciation. I left the village with the books and felt apologetic. We should have helped each other. How shall I help him when he is in a depressed mood? Although he reads a lot, he is not as strong as I would expect him to be. Although we did meet once on this trip, we did not get to talk with each other. I guess we have to continue writing to each other.
I returned to my company with a confused mind and fluctuated thoughts. I particularly miss my sister and friends like Xiaoye. Two days passed by, but I cannot calm myself down. I have many books in front of me, but I am not in a mood to read any. I am physically here at the company, but my mind flew to the headquarter and even to Beijing. I thought of my mother, Zili, Liu Shuang and Liu Ou. Each of my family members has been separated from the others. When can we reunite again?

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June 14, Wednesday

These days I am feeling unsettled with a multitude of things on my mind. Although I try my best to keep my feelings under control, I feel like I am becoming increasingly irrational. I didn't quite understand how I had become so sentimental...
Labor is demanding and brutal, but it is a great time to temper our will power. Let me make good use of this opportunity to steel myself! Big Bao came to see me in the evening, and we had a talk. The annual festival of horse racing is taking place in Hohhot today, but I missed it.

June 16, Friday

When I was making use of every minute trying to finish reading the novel "All Men under Heaven Are Brothers" in order to return it Old Zhang, another batch of books were sent by someone in my mother's institution. Coincidentally, they were precisely "All Men under Heaven Are Brothers". Every time when I receive books from uncles or aunties, I am deeply grateful to them. This is how they show their love and care to me. This is how they help to shoulder responsibilities on behalf of my mother. Two batches of books have arrived in the name of my mother, without knowing which uncle or aunt shipped them.
I received a letter from Xiaojian. She returned to Beijing. It is time for me to write to her. I sent in a request to have my 3-inch portrait

June 18, Sunday

Today is not our day off. Four of us took a donkey-drawn cart to transport manure. We got up as early as 5 AM. It was our first time to drive a donkey-drawn cart. The donkeys were not obedient at the beginning but soon we learned about their temperament, and by the afternoon, the donkeys were more cooperative and ran much faster. Tomorrow is our comp day and I should make better use of the quiet time to continue reading Engel's "Hired Labor and the Capital".
Our clothes were distributed yesterday. I immediately packed them up in a package and sent it to Liu Ou today. I believe she will be happy to receive the clothing I sent her. I want to try my best to help her and satisfy her needs as much as I can. I always feel that I was very unsympathetic to her in the past. It is time for me to compensate for my faults in every way I can. I want her to feel the warmth from me as a comrade, as a sister and I want her to understand that we all had great expectations for her. She would move forward with love and confidence!

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June 19, Monday

I completed the two volumes of "All Men under Heaven Are Brothers" finally. This is the first long classical novel that I finished reading. Its content is rich, but I only understand part of it. I will read it again carefully in the future. I should write down what I have learned from reading it when I have time. I am sure that I can learn a lot by doing so. The title of this report will be: The best from the novel "All Men under Heaven Are Brothers".

June 20, Tuesday

Today's assignment was to plant scallions. My job was to transport manure fertilizer to the fields in small buckets, so that they can be applied around seedlings. This work is not light at all. Although the buckets were not heavy, making several round trips left me with sore shoulders, arms and legs. I kept up my pace and got more used to it as the work continued. There is a movie screening tonight!

June 22, Thursday

For two evenings in a row, I went to play volleyball after dinner. In the beginning, I did not know how to play it. But I got addicted as soon as I dug into it. We played till dark. Despite squads of mosquitoes, we continued our game. People started to leave until the four of us were the only ones to remain. The more we played, the more excited we became. Instead of dropping the ball all the time at the beginning, we now can hit the ball back and forth several times. I will continue going to play after dinner. By the way, it has been more than ten days since I came back, but I have not received a letter from my sister.

June 23, Friday

For these couple of days, I have been reading the book entitled "Brothers Yelharf". I read it in 1966 and was deeply impressed. Now I read it for the second time, and it is still enjoyable. The novel is well-written, and it brings out the lofty spiritual realm of the working class. But not everything is good. I felt some descriptions reflected a mismatch in thought and feelings. However, I am unable to critique it. It would be great if someone could discuss and evaluate the novel with me!

June 24, Saturday

In the morning, Yuan Junlan and I cleaned up the little room in the Number 19 Field. The room looks much cleaner and tidier after our work. We are going to move in to look after the vegetables and melon fields.
It rained heavily in the afternoon. Two packages arrived. One with the quilt cover was sent by Aunt Li Guirong.

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Aunt Li asked me in the note if I still remember her. Of course! How can I forget her?! Three years ago, it was she who sent me cotton-padded pants. She also cooked us delicious beltfish in soy source when I was home. Liu Ou sent me a pair of shoes she made herself, but unfortunately, they were too small for me. My roommates all praised her for her capability and competency. I too admire her. It would be great if she could apply her smartness in a good way. Aunt Li sent me some chocolates and I was able to satisfy my craving for a good snack! I feel I am in a financial crisis due to my last visit to my sister. As a result, I haven't spent a cent for over two weeks.

June 25, Sunday

Today is our day off. I sorted and organized all my previous correspondence. Reading the old letters brought back past events to my eyes like a movie scene. The letters stirred up a wave of thoughts in my mind. Three years have passed by. What unusual three years! Day by day; month by month. These footprints have formed milestones in my life. Looking back at these three years, did I waste my time? Did I fritter away my youth? I ask myself. NO! I replied with my clear conscience. Yes, I took some detours due to the incompatibility of subjective and objective worlds. They might look like losses, waste of time and life, but they are inevitable. If lessons are learned, numerous failures and setbacks will make me smarter and pave the way for me to avoid unnecessary detours in the future just as the idiom says "One fall into the pit, one gain in your wit". Failures and lessons are the best teachers. What they teach us would impact us most profoundly.
I wrote a letter to Zili. The letters to my mother and Aunt Li were all dispatched. I almost finished reading Marx's "Hired Labor and Capital", barely understanding twenty five percent of the book. I need to strive for a better understanding.

June 26, Monday

Today Yuan Junlan and I continued to clean up our room in the small house. We brought the large water jar to this location. She and I moved in at noon time.
We continued to tidy up the room in the afternoon. Old Zhang came to visit when we were almost done. He looked around and made some small talk. He commented on our calendar. People complain that Old Zhang

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is garrulous, and he sometimes becomes others' laughingstock. He does not pay much attention to what he says. But he is very approachable and easy to talk to.

June 28, Wednesday

We have been at this small house for two days. My previous daily routine was broken by this new environment. The biggest change is that I have less time to read. I have been running around most of the day, and this feels very unsatisfying. The six roommates are not friendly. What is more frustrating is they have formed three small cliques with two in each. I will not take sides no matter how they divide up. Two of them had a fight at noon. Another roommate spouted a stream of empty rhetoric on the way home. I feel that there is a storm brewing here. Two groups are diagonally against each other. I am clearly aware that this is the result of not having active ideological struggle among us. No matter how good this squad is, absence of political studies and ideological struggle will lead to corruption and vulgar liberalism. "An organization without the mechanism of criticism is destined to fall apart."
We were assigned to spray pesticides recently. In the afternoon, we transplanted tomato seedlings and worked until 8:00 PM. It was my first time to participate in these activities. It felt fresh and I have gained some good knowledge and experience in planting new vegetables.

June 29, Thursday

This morning I was assigned to water the fields. It is an intense battle! The ditch banks burst and water ran over the ditch and inundated the squash fields. We all got into the flood water and used sand bags to fill the gap. The scallion fields were also flooded and we pumped out the water there as well. Unexpected disasters always happen when we water the fields, such as flooding, leaking and ditches bursting. These accidents have to be followed with war-like battles. Floods and fires have no mercy! In the afternoon, we transplanted cabbages. The sun was scorching and it was firing hot. We were soaked in sweat. When we ate vegetables in the past, could we even imagine how difficult it was to grow vegetables?
In the evening, we got hold of the water cart and managed to have a cart of water delivered to our dorm. It was dark then.

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June 30, Friday

Today I watered the melon fields and worked from early morning till 2 PM. The nearly seven-hour physical labor truly exhausted me. I took a shower after taking off the mud-stained clothes. I then lay down to read until I felt sleepy. I slept till 7 PM. I was the only one in the room. Everything was so quiet. I have been busy these days. Today is June 30 and tomorrow is July 1, the Communist Party's birthday. This day last year, I went to visit Pingping at the Second Division's Quilt Cover Factory. It is already one year! How time flies!
I did not receive any letters from anybody. I did not think of that when I was busy. But when I am not working, I very much look forward to receiving letters. I miss them all!

July 1, Saturday

I finished the book "Yeljeff Brothers". The second half of the book was well-written. The characters of all personalities were presented lively and vividly. Finally, Gorbachev was able to understand the myriad of strange phenomena in the society after reading through Marxist and Leninist works. What was happening in the society was nothing more than revisionism running wild.
The constant struggle between two ideologies was the central theme throughout the whole book. The clash between Lenin's Bolsheviks and revisionists never ceased from the top to the bottom and in all areas, from steel plant to theaters and newspaper presses. The representatives of Bolsheviks include: Gorbachev, the first secretary general of the city; Chebisov, the head of the steel plant; Bulhalin, the editor-in-chief; three brothers of Yeljeff, the true communists and Yeskeya, the female engineer, as well as a masses' representative, who is a true party believer and follower. These personalities are all great and they are genuine proletariats. Those who opposed them were careerists and cowards. They had their own life philosophy. They represented weak and incompetent intelligentsia who yielded to pressures from both inside and outside. They opposed the proletariats and the party and they adopted shameless means to harm others, only to suffer disgraceful failures and to have themselves torn to shreds.
The revisionists in the book were defeated, but in real life, they gained an upper hand. The tragic events of Soviet Union's evolution did not cease to exist,

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but the book was trying to tell us that the Soviet proletariats had fought with the revisionists; the struggle is still continuing today and it will keep going on until the final victory is achieved.
I copied a few songs in Old Bao's room. I got a letter from my sister when I returned to my dorm. Now it is her turn to ask for books from me. I will have to keep some of the books for myself and cannot give her everything I have.

July 2, Sunday

I should make a study plan. I should focus on history in the morning and reading novels in the afternoon. In the evening, I should study some theories.
Today, I spent the whole day spraying pesticides. In the evening, Hua Yan gave me two photos as souvenirs. Back then, we were not speaking to each other for quite some time. But today it seems like nothing had ever happened. It is truly "out of blows friendship grows"! We had a meeting in the evening and the whole squad sat together to report on each other's study for the first half of the year. It was not a good time to have such a meeting. We have not met for nearly a month. The meeting was called for suddenly. People did not know where to start. I too was not willing to talk. I talked in a perfunctory manner. It is inconvenient not to have a place to write on. I think I should bring over a box to use as a desk.

July 3, Monday

Today is July 3. Thinking back to this day last year, what exciting moments I had! It is exactly at this time around 9:00 PM, when I got off the train and finally saw my sister. The scenes appeared again in front of my eyes... Both of us went wild with joy, especially my sister because she could never have imagined that I showed up like falling from sky. One year just passed with a flash.
Today I worked in the cabbage fields. I finished setting up my "little desk". Despite its simplicity, it brings so much convenience. The whole platoon had a meeting in the evening and a few people spoke to report on their learning experiences for the first half of the year. The speeches were low in quality. It is not that I am being immodest, but they were merely lip-services and lacked substance. These speakers were chosen among others in the platoon. After listening to these poor speeches, imagine what others would be like. It tells us that we were unable to catch up with the leaping progress the masses elsewhere have been making in their study.

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I am not any better than the others. I feel that I have hardly achieved any progress within the first half of the year. In spite of the poor quality, this meeting was still educational for me and I am inspired to study harder and more in the second half of the year.

July 4, Tuesday

Today we were paid a stipend of twenty yuan for winter clothing. I plan to buy a musical instrument with the stipend. What shall I buy? I intend to learn the violin, but nobody can teach me how to play it here. I will ask my sister for her advice.

July 5, Wednesday

In the evening, we went to a duck pond for a swim. It was my first time this year to get down to water. Real fun indeed! Water was pleasantly warm and we did not feel cold at all. We had a good time swimming. The only problem was there were so many mosquitos around that each time I exposed my head above water, they would chase me like crazy. We went back to our dorm after a little while. The duck pond is too small. We should go to Wuliangsu Lake next time where we could truly practice our skills in big waves and harsh wind.
For reasons that I do not know, we have become more and more estranged. It has been days since we drifted apart from each other. Shall we go on like this? NO! The "tragedy" with Lu and Hua cannot be repeated! In terms of interpersonal relationship management, I should focus on the big picture and become more open-minded. There is no perfection anywhere any time. Why do I feel disgusted at somebody when she exposes her weakness? Am I flawless and perfect? If others treated me like this, I would have been totally isolated. In addition, my attitude based on total subject judgement will also isolate myself from others. With these thoughts in mind, I took initiatives to approach her and our relationship is improved. From this experience, I realize that friendship would be standing on water without being cordial, without exchange of criticism and self-criticism and without mutual political help. Friendship will become a mere shell with no content, thus becoming hollow and useless ready to be abandoned.
Another phenomenon I found was that there is no longer any sharp face-to-face

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criticism between us as before. We appear to be quite polite to each other, which I see as appeasing and compromising. "Unity will be stronger if it is pursed in struggle." It is true that people are becoming increasingly sophisticated nowadays and it is getting more difficult to unify our thinking as before. Therefore, some people prefer not "interrupt" others. I am one of them. People have their own thoughts, why bother to get involved? These ideas keep me from receiving the much-needed political mutual help among comrades. While I am not getting much help, I am unwilling to help others. If everyone thinks and acts this way, liberalism is formed. We will become "a sheet of loose sands". At present, there is an absence of the needed ideological struggle against negative liberalism. This would result in further confusion of liberalism with vulgar formalism. Therefore, the active ideological struggle advocated by Chairman Mao becomes an empty slogan. Under the current circumstances, it has become more difficult to restore the utility of ideological struggle. Nevertheless, we should still pick up this weapon to keep our organization from being corrupted and eroded.

July 6, Thursday

It rained the whole morning. We went to work in the afternoon. Today's assignment was to even the field rows. The work was tiring, but we were in high morale.

July 7, Friday

I have hardly read any newspapers lately, which is totally unbearable. I know nothing about what is happening in the world. I will fall behind and become ignorant of the current international affairs if I go on like this. I will need to go to Lu Mei's place to read newspapers periodically and regularly, at least once a week.

July 8, Saturday

Today I went swimming again, but unfortunately ran into a group of rascals. They got into the water before Lu Jianxin and I had a chance to get out of water. We were so embarrassed and ashamed. The males from the 5th Company are notorious, faceless hooligans! In the future I will have to make sure we go in groups to show our strength.
I took some photos with Wang Jie this noon. I have no idea how they will come out this time.

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July 9, Sunday

We played volleyball the whole morning. Then Hua Yan asked me to go swimming with her. I got up after a while. I also dived twice with Liang Xiaoqing. I had so much fun playing during the last couple of days that I almost got addicted. I seem to have forgotten about everything else. I went to play table-tennis around 2:00 PM. We now have a new ping-pong table and it was just set up for us to try it on. The ping-pong lovers all gathered and played until dinner time. I only got my turn to play two games. All of the players are good, but none are outstanding. It is expected that athletic activities will be in full bloom in the future, which adds much color to our boring and monotonous lives of working and eating. As we are going to have more athletic events, we need to manage our time well and strive a good balance between play, work and study.

July 10, Monday

July 10, Monday
We had a study session this afternoon. Several comrades shared their learning experiences. Although the talks were not of high quality, there is something for me to learn respectively. I could tell from their talks that they had indeed made good efforts and studied hard. This alone is worth learning from my point of view.
Our political instructor spoke for quite some time on various issues. One thing that he talked about was how the transformable children should make every effort to apply to join the Communist Youth League. Although he only touched upon the issue, it was obvious these words targeted people like me. Later when I chatted with Hua Yan, she felt the same because there are only a few "transformable children" in our company. I had a heart to heart conversation with Wang Jie this evening, and the issue was brought up again. She too, agreed that the instructor targeted me in his talk. How many comrades have tried to persuade me, including Little Deng, Yanzhen, Di Gu and now the instructor? They are all aware that I was having a mental block on joining the league. How can I be so indifferent and turn a deaf ear to the care and encouragement from the comrades? How much these comrades want to see me advance politically! Why should I insist on my incorrect way of thinking, and why am I so stubborn and blindfolded? I am more and more aware that my attitude and the way of thinking

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are not right. I have not yet written my formal application. What does it say about me? It has been nearly three years! On the second day of my arrival, Liu Xiuli passed on the political instructor's wish to me, to join the Youth League. While in the 14th Squad, Qin Xiaohua talked with me on this issue as well. Not long ago, she wrote to encourage me to move forward. Later, Wang Jie also brought it up. I remember it was a winter night in Weikegu. We chatted very late into the night. Since joining the 5th Company, I once decided to write my application together with Yanzhen and Old Fatty Chen. Now both of them have joined the organization. Yet I have not even written the application. Wan Yan talked to me about this issue after she became the leader of 28th squad. I even let her read my diary. Later, Old Bao, Little Tian, Little Deng, Di Gu and Yan Zhen talked to me repeatedly and candidly. How much care and attention have my comrades shown to me? Isn't it not sufficient? Why have I no regard for the issue in the last three years? My attitude makes people think that I have a heavy load on my mind. As a matter of fact, after my sister passed her probation and became an official Communist Party member, my mental burden was reduced. In the recent six months, what I experienced is no longer the issue of mental burden, but rather the absence of enthusiasm to advance politically. I am almost nineteen years old. When my sister was nineteen, she was a Party member already. What about me?
With all of these reflections, I am determined to act. First of all, I will schedule a formal talk to report my thoughts with the organization and turn in my application. This is the first step. It should be followed with an in-depth analysis of my present state of mind. I should have a correct attitude and motives and join the league spiritually.
It is time to act! At noon, I am going to visit Lu Jianxin and turn in my application (and also bring books to her).
The fact that both my mother and my sister expected me to join the league brought me confidence. My sister also encouraged me to compete with Xie Zhongyi to see

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who would join first. I should dare to compete!

July 11, Tuesday

The vegetables in the fields all grow well. Stem lettuce is over one foot long and weighs a catty. Each field can yield over four hundred catties. Some fields with close planting can yield over nine hundred catties. It truly is a good harvest! All transplanted tomato seedlings survived; zucchinis were bearing fruits; garlic heads grew big; cabbages started to form heart. Our vegetables are flourishing!
Wang Jie's sister paid a visit here and went back to Beijing yesterday. We chatted in our small dorm room. She is very talkative. She talked on and on about her company, her experience and her friends. So much has happened in her company...

July 12, Wednesday

I have been watering the fields for the entire day. As I had done this several times in the past, I have now accumulated some experience to do it better. For the same field, application of different methods by controlling the watering speed would produce different results. The best practice comes from the experience. Not only should I observe, think and explore in practice, I also need to learn the best approaches from others. This afternoon, Old Feng and I watered the fields together. He shared with us how to most effectively water the plants. Although I feel that Old Feng was far from making great efforts in collective work, he is an experienced farmer. Therefore, we should be modest and learn from him. During working with him, he taught us how to detect and fill leaks at the earliest possible time. As a result, there were no major busts this afternoon. Watering plants demands proactive attitudes and hardworking on legs. We need to walk around fields frequently, so as to observe, detect and prevent leaks from forming. Otherwise, we can be caught unprepared and make a terrible mess on the spot. One shovel of dirt would be more than enough to fill any potential leak while ten or twenty shovels may not do the work to fill a burst leak.

July 13, Thursday

I received letters from Zili and Liu Ou. Zili copied me a poem that he wrote: Who Am I? Liu Ou told me that she had learned to play table tennis well. She is ready to compete for championship in a commune wide game on August 1st.
The wheat harvesting squad has eight members and I am one of them. I participated twice

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in the previous campaign of wheat harvesting, and both times I successfully completed what I was assigned to do. I am sure that I will succeed this time as well. The wheat harvesting campaign is the most intense and hardest task throughout a year. We need to be ready to undergo hardship, extreme fatigue and unbearable challenges. We will overcome them with strong willpower, lofty spirit and mental and physical preparedness. Although it is not my first time, I would still be put to the test. Strategically we should disregard the difficulties, but tactically we should take them seriously. We need to prepare ourselves fully for this hard-fought battle. The seven-day campaign needs to be planned ahead. I should not expect to let the time sneak by. Shorter the duration, the more important to manage it well. I should also plan my study time wisely within this intense battle to feed myself with rich spiritual food.

July 25

The wheat harvest came to an end after a hard eight-day battle. I successfully went through an ordeal to train both physically and spiritually. Despite the extreme fatigue, I am in a happy mood, taking pleasure in fighting with heaven and earth!
I injured my right wrist on the second day of the harvesting campaign. It got swollen with acute pain. But how could I expect to retreat at this moment when I was needed most? I still have my left arm in good shape. At the time, the idea of going back to my room to rest did flash in my mind, but I managed to overcome it in no time. I could not imagine how I could leave this hot battlefield of labor and retreat into my cool and comfortable little room. I will never let myself idle even for one minute! I kept going and persevered until the end of the harvest campaign. I once again overcame the challenges and triumphed! During the wheat harvesting campaign, I read the novel "The Gadfly". The image and strong willpower of the Gadfly became the very source of my strength and perseverance. Despite the impurities and dross in the novel, I love it!
For those of us who had the experience of falling down a thousand feet, Gadfly's life experience has a more direct impact. I cannot help but think that Gadfly truly understood the society, cultivated the strongest willpower and gained the utmost wisdom because he underwent numerous hardships at the lowest strata of the society and lived the darkest and dirtiest life. Most of the people who accomplished a lot came from the lowest strata of the society. On the contrary, those privileged and born-to-be-wealthy can hardly accomplish anything in their lives due to their failure to understand the society!

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July 26

Although the wheat was cut down, the campaign of wheat harvest was by no means over. We will have to collect and transport them for further processing. We have to complete that task as fast as possible to avoid rain. Our work remains intense, typically runs ten hours.

August 3, Thursday

The August 1st Festival is over. We and the ping-pong players from the 9th Company of the 17th Regiment held a friendship competition. I don't know how I was selected. After the breakfast, we started practicing in the auditorium. The players from the 19th Company came around noon. Knowing that I was not a first-class player and we were only competing in a friendship game, I was not nervous at all and I did not think too much about winning or losing. In the first game, Lu Jianxin played and won by 2:1. It was my turn. I didn't take each stroke very seriously and underestimated the rival. I lost the game by 0:2. Although I speculated that I would perhaps lose, I did not expect to lose the game so badly. I felt injured and resentful. The game exposed my weaknesses. I lost the game due to my poor reception of revolving balls and I lost quite some points on them. In addition, I began to lose my patience and became anxious once I lost points. The harder I tried to hit the ball, the less likely I was not able to get it over the net. The other weakness was lack of flexibility. When the ball fell to the corners of the table, I was not able to retrieve it. Neither my forehand nor backhand was strong.
Table tennis is a fun sport. I will need to practice often to strengthen my skills. Liu Ou also loves it and she is working hard to get the title of champion in her commune. I would like to contest with her the next time when we meet.
Several months passed by. I, however, have not been reading. I have not pressed myself to study for over half a year. It is time to make up my mind! The less I engage in study, the lazier I become. My mind is getting rusty. "a few years of persistence will do you good." These few years are made up by every day!

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If I let go one day after another, they build up to be a year after another. Reading should be planned, which would allow better time management and facilitate learning continuity. Without planning, it is not possible to sustain good reading.
In the past, I used to yearn for a quiet reading environment. But now, when a much-improved environment is finally here, I yet don't treasure it. Therefore, fussing about the environment is not the issue here, it is I who have not taken the subjective initiative into full play. Lenin said: "Whoever is afraid of spending time and energy, she will never expect to grasp the truth." The key is to put in the efforts!

August 4, Friday

When I got up in the morning, it felt cool like autumn. Ren Xiaolin and I worked in the fields collecting broad beans. Only two of us were working in the fields. It was very quiet. The sky is high and breeze is cool. What a comfortable day it is!
This afternoon, I was assigned to spray pesticides to radishes. Recently, I often work by myself alone. I do not feel lonely, and I am in a good mood. When we work together, people would indulge in endless gossip or making boring jokes. I am neither interested nor participating. Sometimes I even feel annoyed. Therefore, I prefer working by myself.
A movie called "The Brave People" was shown last night. I did not go as I was not interested. Instead, I read the book "Critique on Gothe Schemes". I will be able to finish it today. Tomorrow I will start reading volume 4.

August 5, Saturday

Today I started reading "Biography of Marx". It is a big book as thick as a brick. I am determined to complete it. Marx once said: "My favorite is to dive into books." This book is not easy to understand, so I need to spend more time and energy. Sometimes, I feel sleepy when encountering difficult passages. How can I overcome this problem?

August 8, Tuesday

After dinner, Hua Yan came suddenly. She showed me a letter from her sister. From reading the letter, I understood her sister will be leaving soon. Their family problem

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has been resolved... in the evening, I had a chat with Wang Jie. Thoughts poured over my mind and I could not sleep. After going through ups and downs for several years, both their family problems resolved, and their previous social status will soon be restored. What about mine? Nothing has been heard of my family issues. I do not even dare to think what future lies ahead for me. I have a premonition that my family will not restore its original status. I cannot imagine what it will be like in the future. Although I often think of my father's problem, I no longer feel the enormous impact on myself with the passing of time. It no longer plays any significant role in my life. In the long-term perspective, this family issue has to be eventually solved one day because it will matter a lot.

August 10, Thursday

I received a touching letter from Zili. The university started to reevaluate his past. He said that the bureau had begun reinvestigating our father's problem. It is estimated that it will not be a very big problem. He said: "The six-year nightmare will end..." Really? Will the nightmare really end? From my point of view, I wish my father is free from any significant wrongdoings. But this will merely create a better circumstance for me. How my future turns out completely depends on myself. I have seen some people who are not making any efforts to advance politically despite of the rehabilitation of their father's reputations. Solution of fathers' problems is not an indicator that their children would necessarily follow the revolutionary path. Only when I make constant efforts myself will I better utilize the improved objective conditions. Otherwise, no matter how good the objective conditions are, they will not help anyone.
I have been spraying pesticides on vegetables these days. The assignment is quite tiring, especially when the bucket is full as you carry it on the back. Pumping air is demanding because you will not be able to pump enough air if you don't try hard enough. The key to maintain a good speed is to make sure that sufficient air has been pumped, which requires enormous energy! I will work half day tomorrow and complete my assignment by the afternoon. Bugs no longer dare to come to munch away seedlings after the application of pesticides.

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August 15, Tuesday

The vegetable squad transferred ten members to help thresh wheat at the company campus. Four of us remained to look after some trivial chores in the squad. I was eager to go threshing, but I was not let go. I was quite frustrated. The most intense and hardest assignments are at the same time the most joyful and tempering, and they also happened to be what I was most interested in doing. Being left at the vegetable field, I was taking care of the daily routine work as usual. In comparison with the threshing and shelling on the main campus buzzing in full swing, I lack enthusiasm here.
We did not go to the fields due to the rain yesterday. It was a boring day. Feeling low, I could not concentrate on reading. In the morning, I went to visit Big Bao and chatted with him and Big Guy. Unconsciously we touched on the topic of family background and issues of our fathers. They felt that the issues of fathers will not last long and were sympathetic with me. I have not talked with others on these topics for a long time because I felt nobody understands me. Today, we chatted on this topic and I felt they were after all high school graduates and didn't see things in absolute terms as many others did. I enjoyed talking with them and I feel that they can easily understand me.

August 16, Wednesday

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the melon fields to buy water melons. Four of us went straight to the fields at seven o'clock right after work. We were lucky enough to get a ride back with the melons we purchased. Everything went smoothly.

August 17, Thursday

For these two days, my assignment was to watch the melon fields from after lunch till after dinner time. The duration of these seven hours is the best time for reading. I concentrated on reading in this very quiet surrounding without any noise of interruptions. I read a couple of chapters of "Biography of Marx" and gained a lot. Almost immediately, I felt I was a step up in spiritual realm. The book was not easy to understand, yet it is profound in content and rich in spirit. It is different from reading novels. Novel reading might enable readers to gain some general knowledge in science, social studies, and spirituality. What I learned from this book, however, is profoundly imprinted on my soul.

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A small storm rose out of something trivial these two days, and I learned a lesson from it. I will have to draw a clear-cut demarcation line between personal and public interests. The two should not be melting together. Water melons are the fruits of harvest for the whole company, thus people shouldn't eat them whenever they want to. Of course, we can taste the fruits of our hard work, but I should know when and where to stop and not overdo it. If we all let our desire prevails, the company's public interests would be compromised. The collective interests will suffer. We would then see the issue transforming from quantity to quality. I should alert myself not to blend the personal preference with the public interests. As our vegetable fields produce a variety of products, we are bound to encounter similar issues in the future. I need to draw a clear-cut line between personal and public interests, prioritize public over personal interests, and be aware not to let the latter proliferate.
On this issue, I look down on those who are dishonest and who always point their fingers at others but never check their own behavior.
I have learned a lot from reading "Biography of Marx". I should write down my thoughts someday. Let me first summarize several points: unraveled alliances; difficult life experiences; integration of thoughts and actions; ability to disregard personal trivial; lifelong dedication to the great cause. All the above is so lofty, admirable, and awe-inspiring. I am determined to explore my own road of life guided by the leadership of the Great Master.

August 18, Friday

Yesterday, we had a harvest of muskmelons, watermelons, Hami melons and tomatoes. Old X and I handpicked all the muskmelons, and tomatoes were collected by four of us. We were delighted to see the harvest! We transported all of the fruits from the fields to the outer room of the No 19 Dorm. The room is full of mouthwatering aroma of the ripe fruits. I would have gone ahead to crack open some for devouring if I had not thought of the boundary between personal preference and public interest!

August 19, Saturday

In the morning, there was a meeting transmitting new party document. We will be spending more time discussing it. Today is only the transmission.

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Today I overheard that some problems had occurred concerning melons and became quite annoyed. Some people were good at fomenting dissention and stirring up trouble. Some cadre did not fulfill their prescribed roles of leadership. What followed was mutual suspicion and intriguing against each other. I was pulled into it as well. I am now making up my mind that I would never touch any public properties in the future, to stay away from these tasteless and meaningless intrigues!!

August 23, Wednesday

It rained heavily overnight. We did not go to the fields the next day. I was home reading. I borrowed the "Romance of Three Kingdoms" Volume I several days ago and found it was not easy to understand. It is more difficult than the other classic "All Men Under Heaven Are Brothers". For those of us who only received some secondary education, it is extremely hard to understand classical Chinese. Therefore, it is not an easy read. Some poems in the novel are particularly difficult to comprehend. I had to skip over those paragraphs that I hardly understand. Thus, I was quite confused after having read for some time. I wish I had someone who could help me through my reading. I went to see Big Bao and she explained some major personalities and themes in the novel. She said that it is best to slow down in reading these Chinese classics because it requires frequent chewing and thorough digestions. Careful reading will yield interesting details. I must read the texts carefully and not try to swallow in one gulp.
Yesterday afternoon, we picked a second round of melons which weighed over a thousand catties. All of them were distributed to members of the company. Each of us got 3.5 catties, much more than we received in the first round. After dinner, we gathered in the outer room, lit up the oil lamp and enjoyed our melons. A dozen of us sat in a circle on the ground with melons surrounding us. We then picked up melons based on our own preferences. What a melon feast we had! Each of us devoured until our stomach could hold no more. As we finished, melon peels scattered all around on the ground and seeds were collected in the basin for next year's seedlings. We returned to each other's dorm afterwards. We had never had such a fulfilling experience eating melons!
The platoon was satisfied with the distribution of melons. Although each didn't get a huge amount, it is much more than last year. Besides, it was the first year we planted melons and we were inexperienced. It should be much better the next season! In the afternoon, we learned from Xiao Hu's father on how to select ripe watermelons. The old man planted watermelons in Henan before relocating here so he is a true expert. From him, we learned how to select and pick ripe watermelons.

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August 24, Sunday

From today onward, Lili and I were assigned to watch the melon fields on night shifts. So we sleep during the day and work at night. Today is the first day. The sky was so clear and the moon was bright like the daytime. Dew drops were heavy. In a little while we felt damp all over. We wore flannel pants and cotton-padded coats, but we still felt quite cold. Not much time had passed before we began to feel sleepy. So, we picked a couple of melons and ate. It is truly a scene of "eating watermelons in fur coats". The cold watermelons kept us awake. What a long and rough night we had! We sat in the fields feeling bored and letting every second and every minute pass by! I'd better utilize my time more efficiently in the next few days.

August 25, Friday

I received my sister's letter this noon. Around 8:00 PM, Du Ping and I went to the melon fields. As we walked to the bridge, a horse-drawn cart drove by. We jumped onto the cart and appreciated the ride. The cart happened to be from the first village. We were dropped off at the little room where melons were sold. But unfortunately, the old melon seller had gone to the fields to transport more melons. So, we had to wait for over half an hour until we could buy the melons. It was nearly 10:00 PM when we got back. We rushed to our own melon fields, but we were late by nearly an hour. We ran into Dazi and Little Mumble on the way. They asked why we still had to purchase melons while being night watches for the melon field. I told them although we could taste our own fruits, we shouldn't overdo it.
Tonight the moon was very bright. We laid out the chess board and played. It was midnight as we completed four games. We had our night snacks. After we got back, I did some reading until I dozed off while sitting there. At around 2:00 AM we felt cold and uncomfortable. We could not help it but picked a couple of melons to eat. The watermelons were so refreshing that we managed to stay awake. Today I broke my promise made only yesterday. I should restrain myself tomorrow. Otherwise we would eat every night shift. We need to be self-conscious and control ourselves even though nobody would complain about night shifters eating watermelons.

August 26, Saturday

It started raining after I got up from my afternoon nap. I stayed in the dorm to continue reading "Three Kingdoms".

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August 27, Sunday

It was past 11:00 AM when I woke up. Du Ping and I went to the little lakeside stand to buy watermelons. I picked up some melons with "hard skins" hoping to keep them until National Day for my sister when she comes to see me. I placed them near the rear window. I don't know how long they can be kept. I sent four letters out this morning and got to know Qin Xiaohua's mailing address.

August 28, Monday

Today is my 19th birthday. I came to the Corps this day three years ago! Three years passed by and I got older by three years. But my age is not compatible with my expectation of gaining knowledge and experiencing life. I feel I haven't made much progress in these three years, and neither have I learned or experienced much. It is the time to advance by leaps and bounds. However, I always feel that I can't fly high and advance rapidly. This is because I have been carrying a mental and emotional weight and cannot drop it and set myself free. I hope the six-year experience will turn out to be a mere "nightmare" instead of a tragedy of my life.
It is getting cooler and nights appear to be particularly long and cold. The chills of the autumnal nights began to assault us and we can no longer sit there comfortably. Besides these days are peak days for our watching alertness. The last two nights saw some thieves stealing melons and corn in the corn fields. Although the moon light was bright at night it is hard to watch acres of melon fields. The fields beyond eyes' reach became misty and grey. We felt nervous in this empty void of melon fields. In the beginning, upon hearing a rustle of leaves, we would grow suspicious that someone was perhaps stealing melons. We then got to know it was merely the sound of wind. In the last two days I realized that I am not a bold and brave person. Once I found that someone was hiding in the bushes, I got quite nervous and scared. In order to train myself, I would go alone to the corn fields. When I heard somebody was breaking off corncobs, I rushed there. Two thieves ran away. They were stealing the crops and they were cowards. They should be the ones to be scared, not vice versa. We need to let them know it is not easy to steal other's fruits. Having watched the melon fields for four nights in a row I am getting tired. It was so freezing at night that I couldn't do anything else. The eight-hour shift was long and boring, far worse than working in the field during the day. Many thought that night watching was a pleasant task and were jealous that we got the job. They simply believed the work was light and melons were at the disposal of the watchers. But I don't want to

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take the job any longer. Not to mention nights are cold and we are sleepy, it is mostly boredom that puts me off.
At noon I overheard that a kind of melon shaped like a flower-basket were sold at Ershuncai Village. It is very delicious and sweet, and it can be kept for longer. I hurried there and bought another pile. Up to now, I have already spent over five yuan on melons. I am saving the different varieties of melons to entertain my sister.

August 29, Tuesday

I got the books sorted out and will send them to Liu Ou. The melons that I bought at the lakeside stands have been kept for four days. They were getting softer, and I decided to ship them. I emptied my wooden box, put in the melons and nailed the lid shut.

August 31, Thursday

The heavy rain did not stop. It rained from the morning to the afternoon and it is still raining. We were stuck in our room in field 19th. I had nothing to do but read.
I slept from 4:00 AM when I returned from my night shift till 1:00 PM. I was so sleepy. I took the night shift in order to get the free day tomorrow to go to the Front Banner to ship the melon package to my sister. I then spent a busy day shipping the package. After returning, I took another night shift until 4:00 AM. Finally, I managed to ship out the package without interrupting my work. I was tired but happy. In four to five days, my sister will be able to taste the melons.
I am quite nervous at the night shifts these days. Every night, thieves come to steal our melons. They have become more and more skillful in their thefts by hiding deep in the corn fields, sunflower fields and bushes. They were playing "hide and seek" with us. The funniest incident took place last night. A lone melon thief squatted in the ditch and hid himself with some grasses on his head. When we walked to the bushes, we didn't find him; and we would have missed him had he not lost his cool, jumped up and ran away. We were so scared to death with his sudden jump. We shouted stop but could not help laughing out. No one would expect that he had been squatting down here at 10:00 PM just to steal some melons.

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Although we were on high alert in the middle of the night, the thief's sudden jump out of the bushes really was quite scary. We both were quite bold and brave. This scene could have been so startling for someone who is timider that it would scare him sick. Recently since all melons have ripened, we are seeing in increasing number of thieves. Every night, we are dealing with these jerks.

September 5, Tuesday

I have been watching melons for twelve days since the 24th, sleeping during the day and being up at night. For the last three years, I had never had so much leisure. I have lots of time to spend on reading. I am close to completing volume one of "Three Kingdoms". It is an interesting read. The more I read, the better I get to know classical Chinese. Once I become more familiar with the contents and themes, it gets easier to understand.
These days, I have been having a leisurely life. Although I am anxious to do more physical labor, I didn't pursue it and kept my focus on to my assignment to watch the melon fields. Anyway, the mission is nearly completed. For the last several years, I never stopped or interrupted engaging in intense physical work even intermittently. The last dozen days were an interruption. At the beginning it was a little bit hard to sit still. But the last couple days have seen me gradually getting used to the leisurely routine. However, I did not simply let things drift. I have been taking advantage of the time to read. I hardly had time for reading before. These days are compensations for the past.
It came to my mind that prolonged absence from hard labor for one reason or another cause some people to fall. These days, I can feel that such a trend exists among us. People are becoming lazier as they are spending more time idling. This is happening to me. Sitting around all day, my body feels like it is falling apart. If such idling continues, things could get worse. Fortunately, my "leisure" assignment is about to end in a couple of days. I think we can reach perfection when combining mental labor with physical labor. The two are inseparable.
Xiaojian wrote to me yesterday. She just returned from Qingdao. How much I admire her for being able to travel around the country frequently, which enables her to gain all sorts of knowledge. I, on the other hand, am confined to such a small world for 365 days a year! Suffocating indeed. Wind started blowing this afternoon and perhaps a rain storm will follow.

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September 10, Sunday

Yesterday, all of the melon plants were uprooted as all of the melons were picked up and collected in the fields. It was our last night to watch the melons. Thus, our job was made much easier because we no longer need to worry about thieves. After midnight, Lu Mei came with noodles. Three of us sat till dawn. We played cards until 4:00 AM. On a whim, I wanted to roast sunflower seeds. We collected dried grasses and set up an "oven" with two bricks. I used our aluminum lunch box as the roasting pan. It was not easy to light and maintain a fire due to the strong wind in the open field. The fire went out after a little while. We lit it many times until the seeds were roasted in about half an hour. The night passed by so fast and day came so bright. Not feeling sleepy, I washed my clothes upon returning to my dorm. But for the whole day after a sleepless night, I felt dazed and was not able to read anything. Then, something unexpected happened this afternoon. Two rascals verbally and physical assaulted each other during a melon dispute. It is absolutely unbearable. These hooligans have committed all kinds of outrages. It is time for justice and punishment.
Yesterday I received a letter from Xie Zhongyi and replied as soon as I got his letter. I hope that I can keep up my correspondence with him. One more pen pal, one more contact and one more source of information, especially with those whom I could share my thoughts and ideas.

September 11, Monday

Today is our day off. I was in the dorm for the whole day. I re-read through the old correspondences and found it a very interesting process. From the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution to the time when I entered the society, so many things happened and I experienced so many storms. Because of the family issue, I was depressed and the dark side of my mind gained the upper hand. Unwilling to be connected with the society I enclosed myself inside rooms and as a result, wasted so much of my precious time! My friends have been growing up full of vigor and vitality! But I was downhearted, frail and failing before my time. I find it unbearable to recall my past. I will never ever repeat this life experience. There is so much awaiting us to do, and so much knowledge awaiting us to grasp. I should take this quotation of Marx as my motto. "Life is forever work and work is forever fighting".

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September 14, Thursday

Two exciting things happened these days. On Tuesday, Hua Yan finally left. Flying far and high, she will no longer come back. Recalling the two years' time we were together, we experienced lots of ups and downs. Although our friendship was interrupted for over half a year, it continues to this day and will last in the future.
I got a letter from Pingping this morning and learned about Xiaoyin. I was so excited. It has been over three years and I have been missing her and wishing to get her news. Now finally I learned about her. I wrote to her and Nianlin this afternoon.
Big Bao came to see me this evening. Once we start a conversation it goes on and on. We chatted until 11:00 PM when she returned.

September 15, Friday

Together with Wang Jie, Wang Mingzhen and Lu Mei, I watered the fields today. The assignment was completed smoothly. We then started looking for squash seeds. In no time, I collected a good amount, dried them on the ground after washing them in the ditch. We continued the watering assignment in the afternoon. Squash seeds have been dried. We set up an "oven" with two bricks on the top of the ditch and roasted the seeds. They were ready to be cracked soon. Around 2:00 PM, we completed our assignment for today and headed back. Everyone was happy as we successfully completed our assignment and ate the roasted seeds. We said to each other with contentment and joy: "How easy would our life be if everywhere day like this!" But we all know it is impossible and it is unrealistic to have a daily routine like today.

September 16, Saturday

This noon, I went with Wang Jie and Heping to Ershuncai Village and bought some melons. We went there on the donkey-drawn cart. On the way there, the donkey did not obey us well and just wanted to head back. The cart nearly turned upside down several times. It behaved much better on the way back and was running all the way. In the evening, Du Ping and I went to watch movies. Three movies were screened. I was most impressed by the one called "Yongling, a Bastion of Iron". The heroic and brave people of Yongling fought the American imperialists till the end. Every one of them carries a gun and a shovel. They fought the Americans

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ferociously with courage and bravery. Meanwhile, whenever possible, they planted grains and harvested every grain at the expense of their lives and blood. Look! One soldier carried the heavy rockets to shoot enemies' airplanes while working in the fields. He was ready every minute to attack the enemies on their assaults. Flames of fury were burning! The war crime committed by the American imperialists in Vietnam aroused unmatched hatred among the Vietnamese people. This is visually apparent from their facial expressions in the movie. Every villager was a heroic warrior fighting against the enemy bravely.

September 17, Sunday

My original plan for today was to visit the 9th Company. But I gave up the plan because it was not a day off for the 9th Company. I continued with volume 2 of "Three Kingdoms". After dinner, I read the document from the Central Committee hand-copied by Lu Jianxin. There were several revealing reports written by a few marshals against Lin Biao.

September 18, Monday

Today, I discovered by accident that there was an entry in Wang's diary on our mutual relationship. It brought back my memory of those days. Wang had read my diaries and thought quite a bit about it but I never detected it. She grew angry and frustrated. This is the bitter fruit that she had to swallow after reading my private diaries. She brought vexation to herself. What happened was that something made me mad on that day when I was carrying manure. Also, back then, I didn't quite see the value to keep and continue this friendship. Those feelings were reflected in my diary. Afterwards, I pondered the issue again. Was I too reckless to conclude that our friendship that we had established and nurtured was not worth keeping? Could I abandon it so light heartedly as if throwing away a piece of paper? What would be the consequences? Am I repeating the tragic experience I had before? Having considered these factors, I softened my attitude and talked with her several times. Nevertheless, neither of us has revealed all our thoughts to each other on the issue, and we have been getting along like this one month after another.

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Now that she has written hurtful words like these, I am rethinking again whether it is necessary to clarify the problem anymore. I am becoming reluctant to redeem the relationship.
Once again, I am aware it is not easy to establish true friendship because neither side possesses the common proletariat sentiment and goals. It cannot be imagined that such friendship could last forever. "Biography of Marx" mentioned: "Two friends will be totally immersed in a common cause of life. Each contributes differently but equally great sacrifices to it without complaints and boasting. Their friendship will become the unmatchable historical alliance." The eternal friendship of the proletariats in their constant struggle is everlasting and indestructible because it is established on the foundation of their common cause of life. If this foundation is not solid, the friendship will not last.
Now, definite and clear goals are absent from our lives. There are hardly any political demands and drive to advance. The spirit of mutual help in the past has become superfluous. Under this circumstance, how would you wish for the everlasting friendship? Facing the current scenario, I am at my wit's end feeling helpless. The relationship between us is not expected to progress and will remain at status quo. I admit that Wang is a friend of mine, but only as a friend on the same path, not my eternal friend. I hope that she will advance but can hardly help her. Why? What she is lacking most is self-awareness and no matter what others say, she herself is not generating any internal transformations.

September 19, Tuesday

This morning, I carried bags of squash and walked over a single-log bridge. I succeeded in crossing although I once missed a step and narrowly escaped falling into the water.

September 20, Wednesday

It rained today so we had a study day. I played chess with Yang Jin and lost it all to her.

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What fun it is to play chess!

September 21, Thursday

I got a package from my sister this afternoon. A letter was enclosed. She gave me an update of Liu Shuang's current situation. I was upset after reading the letter. The law is not necessarily treating everybody equally. Many committed crimes during the Cultural Revolution, and how they ended up is different from one to another. Some murderers escaped penalty, and others were thrown to prison. Nothing plays a greater role than family background and connections. When our father was purged out of power, his sons lost his backing. That was why Liu Shuang was severely punished by the law. If another person committed the same crime, he or she might not have received the same sentence. I hated Liu Shuang before because he was lawless and acted wildly in defiance of the law. But he was after all a youth of seventeen years old when he was put into prison. He has been in prison for four years. He has encountered various actions incompatible with Party policy; he has been beaten up frequently. What consequences will this imprisonment and cruel life bring to a twenty-year-old? Will they help him transform? I began to sympathize with Liu Shuang and found it difficult to control my emotions. How much I wish that he can endure all this hardship and brutality, cultivate a clear mind, and grow up to know how to behave as a real man.

September 22, Friday

Last night when we watered the fields, the field ridges were broken and water gushed beyond the ridges and flooded the little pathways. We were so startled at what happened but we did not know how to mend the flooding situation. A temporary mud ridge was set up on the roads to prevent water from gushing to our campus. From midnight to 4:00AM, we were struggling in this fierce battle. When it was finally over, we were soaked in water and mud. After getting some rest in our dorm, we continued watering in the afternoon and the job was successfully done. At night, we watched the movie "White Haired Girl". Each of us also received three pieces of moon cakes to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

September 23, Saturday

Many members in our squad feel that I lead a simple and plain life. Since I often wear worn-out clothes

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when Wang Mingzhen put on my worn clothes people commented that they appear to be much shabbier on her than on me. That was because I wear shabby clothes often and Wang Mingzhen rarely does so. I take pride in these comments. Those from the 7th Platoon are getting used to seeing me wearing worn-out clothes. When I wear something neat and new, they make a fuss about it. Today, Big Bao and others greeted me: "Wow! You look so great today!" In fact, I was only wearing a gray jacket given by my brother Zili. I will continue with this tradition of simple and plain lifestyle whenever I can. Worn clothes are comfortable to wear, and also, I don't need to worry about getting them soiled at work. But wearing new clothes would make me feel awkward if it gets dirty. I have already picked up several old clothes from my sister.
I watched again the movie "In Praise of the Longjiang" this evening.

September 24, Sunday

We picked tomatoes in the morning. The total we picked weighed over four hundred catties. While I was peeling potatoes this afternoon, I received a note from Wang Weimin from the 9th Company. She invited me over to her company on National Day to chat with her. I too wanted to reconnect with her. Although we did not get along very well in the past, we did have several good conversations and knew each other. Since my transfer to the 5th Company, I have never had anyone from Jingshan School. All of them are at the 9th Company. I miss them since there has been no mutual contact for years.

September 25, Monday

Today we harvested carrots. Hua Yan's letter arrived. She has to come back. It seems that "back door connections"40 are not an easy access. However, privileges are inevitable at this time, so she will leave again sooner or later.

September 26, Tuesday

Today, the dog that we raised in our Vegetable Squad was given to the company to be butchered. It was us who went to the room and tied the leash to the beam. The dog barked so ferociously at everyone who approached him that his eyes turned red. But he was quiet and obedient when he saw us.

40 Back door connections: During the 1970s-90s Back Door Connections enabled someone with special relationships or connections to get what they needed both in terms of getting things done or getting items in high-demand.

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But we could not save him. He was hanged to death. He will no longer come to bother us.

September 27, Thursday

Today we started to study the documents transmitted from the Party Central Committee. The whole company was briefed in the morning and we studied the letter from Jiang Qing to Chairman Mao. I don't know what happened to me as I had an upset stomach...

September 28, Friday

Today we continued our study of the documents.

October 2

Our three-day National Day holiday from September 30 passed by. The three days were well-spent and fun. I went to visit Fan Yanying at the 9th Company on September 30 and then went to see Wang Weimin. Wang lent me several books and I was happy to receive them. We have not seen each other for over two years. We both talked a lot. I told her stories from our company and she felt they were hilarious. Since I was already accustomed to stories like these, they don't get my attention anymore. I feel Wang has become more mature and is proactive ideologically.
I spent the two holidays (October 1 and 2) on ping-pong. I am so addicted to the sport that I feel like I am glued to the ping-pong table. With the two days' practice, I improved my skills. Time flew by so fast in front of the table. I had a wonderful and fully scheduled time over the National Day holiday. I watched the performances done by the 9th Company as well as a movie called "Sudden Attack."
The holiday is over and we continued our political study. In recent days, I did not dig deep and study seriously, so I did not gain much. It is time to tighten up. Tomorrow, we will start our morning assembly for exercises and we can no longer get up late.
This notebook came to an end as I used up all of the pages. This book summarized my life between July 1971 and October 1972. Both the content and my writing style are of poor quality. I will improve on the next new book. First and foremost, I need to take on a completely new spiritual look.
To study41: The ninth issue of Red Flag: "Behind alcoholism".
To return to Wang Weimin when she comes on Sunday: "Ye'er", "Mother", "The Heir", "The History of War in Hongnan"
Read "Leaflets from comrades-in-arms" (the 34th and 35th Issues) "A letter to Jiang Qing", "My Opinions", "The Notes of the Talk".

41 This section until the end of the diary is a mixture of Liu Ping's list of things to do and the notes and quotations that she took from various readings.

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Notes: The man of Qi Kingdom who feared that the sky might fall, implying not to engage in groundless fears; Genius comes from diligence and hard work
The letter: there are five basic points;
August 23-September 15
Three agenda items: The Constitution; National Economy
August 31, Chairman wrote the essay: "My Opinions". The bourgeois idealism and the core theory of proletariat epistemology.
Three criminal acts: Chen (Boda) intended to usurp the power: he deceived the new Central Committee with the disguise of the proletariat flag; he sought to divide the CPC against Chairman Mao;
Five Big Lies: In 1959, (Chairman Mao) stated that he would not take the position of president of the state.
1. The result of long-term struggle. Starting from March 8, 1970, (the Constitution): On the issue of Socialist Constitution, the following statement should be included: Communism is left in form but right in reality. Killing the pigs and uprooting trees! Formalism should be avoided if the masses' mindset has not reached the certain level. The Constitution or Party's Charter. Chen (Boda) said that the little tails should be cut off.
2. Someone objected to being the president of the State.
3. The Resolutions of The Eighth and Tenth CPC Congress were promoted. CPC Party Congress is above the People's Congress.
4. Of benefits to the greatness and modesty. Should not be afraid of being executed, imprisonment, expelled from the CPC and divorces with wife.
5. Negate the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution.
"My Opinions": A special essay criticizing the theory of genius and issues with the theory. The 62nd Document:
Ideological theory and organizational construction. Rectification movement to denounce Chen. The sharpest weapon: Making reference to Engels, Lenin and Mao Zedong Thought.
1. Chen never cited anything from Marx works (Marx had written a lot on the theory of Cognition. So the references are rich. But Chen never cited anything from Marx. Obviously, Chen had ulterior motives.)
2. What Engels wrote in his works echoed Marx. The preface in the third edition cited Engels' works written about 33 years ago, but Marx's worked were written 34 years earlier. At that time, Marx was dead. "The works by a genius" described the following three points:
a. Marx had good research on French history;
b. Marx did research in all histories;
c. Large amount of materials asserted that genius is not born, but what makes a genius is mainly their works.
d. The five points made by Lenin:
i. In the Preface for Marx Works, Lenin mentioned genius as well as his comments on Proudhon. Lenin analyzed three integral components or three sources: classical German philosophy; British political economics and French Utopian socialism. Lenin in his Prophecies said: "What shall we do?" When Chen cited Chairman Mao's pamphlet On Practice, he deleted what Mao said that any genius will not be successful without later acquirements.

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The lowliest are the wisest and elites are the most ignorant!
A special session is dedicated to the criticism of genius.
The creation and role of the proletariat leader's style. The negation of an individual's role in history is wrong, so is the theory that history was created by heroes. It is also wrong to say that the masses are mere passive followers of genius in history. Men are not born with thoughts. Instead, his thoughts originate from social practices. Any genius is doomed to fail without social practice (the issue of cognition!) "The world is materialistic and can be understood." Material is first and foremost. This is materialism while idealism asserts that spirit exists before materials. Materialism developed in stages. At the beginning it is simple and plain. Later it developed into mechanical materialism. Marx created dialectical materialism. The theory admits that materials are foremost while spirit had to counter action on materials. Theory of reflection states that our spirituality is a materialistic entity independent of physical beings. All heroes, processing factories and half-done products originate from the masses.
Apriorism comes originally from Kant who is the founder of the theory. The cognition of human beings will be imposed on nature.
What is the line/road? There are five points.
1. First of all, the so-called line is the ideology of one class guiding its activities in order to protect its class interests. The line is based on the politics and political principles and theories including policies, ideological foundations and the relationship between ideological line and political line. The political line reflects the ideological line while the latter is the foundation of the former.
2. The correct ideological line represents the maximum interest of the people and it best mobilizes the masses. It follows the historical developments. We should not have any contact with Chiang Kai-shek and Americans.

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3. The ideological line has its own sources of development, it is not fabricated out of fantasies. This ideology is historical materialistic. You can't cut off history from events. Chairman Mao handled Lin Biao's case from the historical materialist point of view.
4. The ideological line is the guiding principle, the soul and the direction. Once the key link is grasped, everything falls into place.
5. The core revolution is newly born. It might be weak at the beginning, but its developments are irresistible. Albania only has a population of 100,000 but it becomes the socialist beacon of Europe. It is unbeatable.
The relationship between ideological line and the regime.
Theoretically speaking, it is meaningless to talk about the political power of regimes without the context of classes. It comes from the relationship of production: surplus produces classes, which further produces organizations and then finally the regime.
1. The ideology determines the nature of the regime and the leadership. People's thoughts, the state and the regime are all determined by ideology.
2. Ideology determines the gains or losses of a regime. Revolution always takes place before the political power is established. Once the ideological line is defined, the struggle for seizing the power starts. Conversely, established political power would be lost if the ideological line is wrong.
3. Seizing power depends on the ideological line. So does maintaining the power. Once power is established, the ideology serves to protect it.
4. Seizing power is not the ultimate purpose. Proletariats encounter the suppression from the bourgeoisie. Therefore, proletariats rise to fight to gain power. The final destination of the proletariats is to eradicate classes. Power and ideology determine everything.
Class struggle is the inevitable rule!

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We advocate the policy of Hundred Schools of Thought Compete 42. There can be many different schools of thoughts and different styles of expertise in academia. But in terms of worldviews, there are only two: proletariats and bourgeoisie. People can have either the proletariat worldview or the bourgeoisie counterpart.
Petty bourgeois democrats detest class struggle and they dream that they could avoid, mitigate, passivate, inactivate and harmonize this struggle. Therefore, these democrats either never admit the existence of the entire historical process transitioning from capitalism to communism, or take it as their sole responsibility to harmonize the confrontations between the two classes instead of leading one of the classes to target against the other.
The photos of my visit to home: the 2-inch group shot (negative. myself, Tang Li and Xiaoyin) (enlarged negative)
To do: go to buy an instrument
Visit Hua Yan, Qin Xiaohua and Xinglian
Go to see a doctor
My little diaries (ask my sister)
First Book: big book, small book, big book and medium book
Big Book: August 1969 Ð October 1970
Small Book: December 1971-
Big Book: July 1971 Ð October 1972

42 Hundred Schools of Thought: Also known as the "Double Hundred" policy, it refers to a period from 1956 to 1957 in the People's Republic of China during which the Community Party encouraged citizens to express themselves openly. In the sphere of fine arts, the policy allowed "hundred flowers to blossom" while in the academic field, "hundred schools of thought" were encouraged to compete.Ê

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Arise ye prisoners of starvation,
Arise ye toilers of the earth.
For reason thunders new creation,
'Tis a better world in birth.
Never more traditions' chains shall bind us,
Arise ye toilers no more in thrall,
The earth shall rise on new foundations.
We are but naught we shall be all,
Then comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale
Unites the human race.
Arise ye workers from your slumbers.
Arise ye prisoners of want,
For reason in revolt now thunders,
And at last ends the age of can't.
Away with all our superstitions,
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth the old tradition,
And spurn the dust to win the prize.
Then comrades, come rally.
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale
Unites the human race.
No more deluded by reaction.
On tyrants only we'll make war.
The soldiers too will take strike action.
They'll break ranks and fight no more.
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride.
They soon shall hear the bullets flying.
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.
Then comrades, come rally.
And the last fight let us face,
The Internationale
Unites the human race.
No savior from on high delivers;
No faith have we in prince or peer.
Our own right hand the chains must shiver,
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.

The Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points of Attention (of the Chinese People's Liberation Army)

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Internal affairs, 1. Equality and mutual benefit; 2. On the basis of peaceful coexistence, strive to coexist peacefully with countries of different social systems and oppose the imperialists' invasion and war policies.
My study of Chapter 5 and 6: State and Revolution
The Economic Foundation of the State Die-out
In Critique of Gotha Program, Marx explained this particular issue in details. (i.e. the letter that Marx wrote to Brock on May 5, 1875. But the letter was not published until 1891 in volume 1 of Erfurt Programme. There is a Russian publication as well.) In this excellent writing, Marx criticized Lasselleans and this criticism occupies the main theme of the essay. It analyzes the developments of communism and its relationship with the state die-out.
1. How did Marx raise the question?
A comparison of Marx's letter to Brock dated May 5, 1875 with Engels' letter to August Bebel dated March 28, 1875 clearly indicates that Marx more than Engels is a seasoned statist. There are considerable differences in their views on state between these two great writers.
Engels suggested to Bebel that he abandon the fallacy of state and remove the word Ôstate' from the Eisenach Charter. Instead ÔGemeinwesen' (commonalty) should be substituted. Engels even proclaimed that the commonalty is not equal to the state in its original meaning. However, Marx mentioned in his works the future state under communism. In other words, Marx intends to think that the state exist under communism.
But this view is totally wrong. If more carefully examined, we would know that Marx and Engels have achieved a complete consensus on the state and state die-out. What is quoted above on Marx's remarks is referring to the dying out of the state.
Obviously, a specific date for the complete state dying out is totally out of the question, especially true because it is a very long process. The superficial difference between Marx and Engels is based on their different research subjects and goals. The goal of Engels is to clearly, briefly and sharply point out to Bebel the then-popular...

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The American imperialists' blockades and isolation policies are total failures. The revolutionary diplomatic policy of Chairman Mao achieved great victories. Our international reputation increases rapidly, and we have friends all over the world.
Imperialists sometimes have to change their strategies and play all sorts of sinister and ruthless tricks. In a word, they serve fundamentally for their aggressive war policies. Imperialists means wars. As long as the imperialists exist, the world has no peace.
The Party, PLA and all people of the country should show great concern for state affairs as well as for international affairs. We should study the May 20 Declaration by Chairman Mao and his writing series on international class struggle. We should study Chairman Mao's revolutionary diplomatic policies and the historical experiences of our party in its tit-for-tat struggles with the enemies, both domestic and international. Let us march triumphantly under the leadership and great strategic schemes of Chairman Mao.
Being well prepared for warfare is a key aspect in executing socialist fundamental missions. It is a long-term task. Preparing ourselves for war is to defend ourselves. "We will not attack unless we are attacked. We will attack for sure if we are attacked." This is our constant solemn and just stand.
To liberate Taiwan is China's internal affair and we do not tolerate any external interference. We solemnly and resolutely oppose any absurd proposals of "Two Chinas" and "One China and One Taiwan". We resolutely oppose the so-called "Taiwan Independence Movement". We resolutely oppose the fallacy of "Taiwan's attribution undetermined" status.
The foreign policy of our country has been firm and unshakeable. With the principles of proletariat internationalism, we are to develop friendly relationships of mutual co-operations with other socialist countries; provide aid to the revolutionary struggles of all suppressed and exploited peoples; follow the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence 1) mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty; 2) mutual non-aggression; 3) mutual non-interferences in each other's internal affairs; 4) equality and mutual benefits and 5) peaceful coexistence. Based on these Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, we will seek to coexist with other socialist countries and oppose the aggressive war policies of the imperialists.

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Commemorating August 1st PLA Day
Editorial by People's Daily, Red Flag and PLA Daily
China's People's Liberation Army is the strong state apparatus with which the Communist Party of China and Chinese people secured the power and consolidated their state. It came from the people and relies closely on the people.
PLA's guiding principle and theoretical foundation is Marxism, Leninism. PLA arms itself with Mao Zedong Thought and upholds the firm and constant political direction. It strictly follows the principle that the Party commands the gun but definitely not vice versa. PLA places itself under the definite leadership of the Party. PLA will follow wherever the Party directs and do whatever Chairman Mao orders them to do. PLA takes as its sole responsibility to serve the people wholeheartedly. PLA is fully responsible to the people, the Party and various state apparatus under the leadership of the Party. PLA seeks good internal and external solidarities. With good disciplinary framework and high revolutionary vigilance, PLA possesses the heroic and lofty quality to overcome all enemies. With a whole series of revolutionary strategies and tactics for people's wars, PLA is an army equipped with patriotism and internationalism. PLA is equipped with a strong commitment for revolutionary political work and guarantees politically, ideologically and organizationally the absolute leadership of the Party over PLA. The history has proven this truth: We are the great People's Liberation Army and the forces under the leadership of the great Communist Party of China. We will be victorious as long as we strictly follow all directions from the Party.
The universal truth of Marxism and Leninism has become widely understood, adopted and applied by the revolutionary peoples throughout the world. The military invasions and political deceptions of the American imperialists and their running dogs have educated the people with negative examples. The people of the world have seen through their ferocious features and weak natures. The people of various countries have abandoned their superstitious illusions on American imperialists in their constant struggles. They dare to confront, clash, and they dare to use their weapons to launch revolutionary wars to defeat the imperialists and their running dogs' aggressions.
HomeLiu Ping's second diary, written from 1971-
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