Mao Tse-tung: “Against the First ‘Encirclement’ Campaign”

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

AGAINST THE FIRST „ENCIRCLEMENT“ CAMPAIGN

Mao Tse-tung
Spring 1931

PoemsReproduced by
The Red Flag

AGAINST THE FIRST „ENCIRCLEMENT“ CAMPAIGN

to the tune of Yu Chia Ao

Forests blaze red beneath the frosty sky,
The wrath of Heaven‘s armies soars to the clouds.
Mist veils Lungkang, its thousand peaks blurred.
All cry out in unison:
Our van has taken Chang Hui-tsan!
The enemy returns to Kiangsi two hundred thousand strong,
Fumes billowing in the wind in mid-sky.
Workers and peasants are wakened in their millions
To fight as one man,
Under the riot of red flags round the foot of Puchou!1

1The story of Kungkung butting against Mount Puchou :

The chapter „On Astronomy“ in Huai Nan Tzu says: „In ancient times Kungkung and Chuanhsu fought each other for the throne. In a fit of rage Kungkung butted against Mount Puchou, breaking the pillars of heaven and snapping the ties of the earth. Then the sky shifted towards the northwest, tilting the sun, moon and stars; the earth sank in the southeast so that dust and water gathered there.“

„The Chronicle of Chou“ in Kuo Yu says: „In ancient times Kungkung, departing from the right way, gave himself up to pleasure and unbridled licence. He tried to stem the hundred streams, destroy hills and silt up low places, and thus brought disasters to the whole earth. Heaven did not give its blessing, nor the people their help. Calamities and troubles broke out and Kungkung perished.“ The ancient commentator Wei Chao quotes from the Palace Officer Chia, i.e.., Chia Kuei of the Later Han Dynasty: „Kungkung was a lord of the Chiang clan, a descendant of the Fiery Emperor. When Emperor Chuanhsu’s power was on the decline, Kungkung attacked other vassal lords and fought Kaohsin for the throne.“

In „The Annals of the Three Emperors“, Szuma Chen‘s addenda to Szuma Chien‘s Historical Records, it is said: „Towards the end of her [Nuwa‘s] reign, a lord named Kungkung became powerful through his resourcefulness and the severe discipline he enforced. He did not rule like a king but like an autocrat. Representing the element of water, he wanted to succeed Nuwa who represented the element of wood. He fought Chuyung and was defeated. In a fit of rage he knocked his head against Mount Puchou, so that the pillars of heaven were broken and the ties of the earth torn.“

These are the different versions of the legend. I prefer the version in Huai Nan Tzu, which presents Kungkung as a victorious hero. Please note: „In a fit of rage Kungkung butted against Mount Puchou, breaking the pillars of heaven and snapping the ties of the earth. Then the sky shifted towards the northwest, tilting the sun, moon and stars; the earth sank in the southeast so that dust and water gathered there.“ Did Kungkung perish in the attempt? Huai Nan Tzu is silent on this question. We may take it that he did not, but came out victorious.