NOTES


``Dictatorship by the proponents of a sinister line'' was a term launched by Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and their like to vilify literary and art work in the first 17 years of the People's Republic. In February 1966, entrusted by Lin Biao, Jiang Qing called a forum on literature and art in the armed forces and concocted the ``Summary of the Forum on the Work in Literature and Art in the Armed Forces''. The summary asserted that since the founding of our People's Republic, the literary and art circles had been ``under the dictatorship by the proponents of a sinister anti-Party and anti-socialist line which is diametrically opposed to Chairman Mao's thought''. It went on, ``This sinister line is a combination of bourgeois ideas on literature and art, modern revisionist ideas on literature and art and what is known as the literature and art of the 1930s.'' Later on, Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and their followers extended their ``dictatorship by the proponents of a sinister line'' theory to the fields of education, publishing, physical culture, public health, public security and the Party's organizational, propaganda and united front work, as well as to other fields of Party and government work. This absurd assessment, which confounded right and wrong and constituted one of the major arguments in favour of the ``Cultural Revolution'', brought disastrous consequences to work in various spheres. pp.