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International Communist Movement

Tremendous International Significance of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought

—Excerpts from an article by Comrade Sanmugathasan,
General Secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party


[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 11, #43, Oct. 25, 1968, pp. 22-23.]


The duty of revolutionaries is to master the thought of Mao Tse-tung
and to apply it to the concrete conditions in their own countries.


N. SANMUGATHASAN, General Secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party, in an article published in the September 30 issue of the Party’s weekly Red Flag, expounds the international significance of Mao Tse-tung’s thought.

The article says, “China is a great country, the most populous in the world—with a population that has passed the 700 million mark. It inherits a great civilization, perhaps the oldest in the world—going back beyond 5,000 years. It was the country that first gave to the world many new inventions like printing, the manufacture of gun-powder, etc.

“But today, it must be accepted that the greatest gift it has given to the world is Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era. Comrade Mao Tse-tung is one of those rare men of genius who are destined to leave their mark on the fate of mankind. He is no exclusive Chinese phenomenon just as Karl Marx was not just a German, nor Lenin just a Russian. These are all great internationalists whose thinking, activities and impact transcend the boundaries of the country in which they happen to have been born. Herein lies the international importance of the thought of Mao Tse-tung.”

After referring to the great contributions of Lenin in developing Marxism and advancing Marxism to the stage of Leninism, the article goes on, “In leading to success the Chinese revolution through all its tortuous paths in the course of a protracted struggle against foreign imperialism and native feudalism and capitalism, Comrade Mao Tse-tung had displayed his ability to apply the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions in China. In doing so, he further developed Marxism-Leninism and raised it to a new height which today we call the thought of Mao Tse-tung.”

It says, “During the arduous and tortuous path of protracted struggle for the success of the Chinese revolution, Comrade Mao Tse-tung, with great genius, made many contributions to the development of Marxist-Leninist thought.”

“It is difficult in the course of a brief article to evaluate all the important contributions of Comrade Mao Tse-tung to the development of Marxism-Leninism. But I would particularly like to quote his description of the three main weapons which were responsible for the success of the Chinese revolution: ĎA well-disciplined Party armed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism, using the method of self-criticism and linked with the masses of the people; an army under the leadership of such a Party; a united front of all revolutionary classes and all revolutionary groups under the leadership of such a Party—these are the three main weapons with which we have defeated the enemy.’

“In this short quotation, with rare simplicity, Comrade Mao Tse-tung has outlined the three basic conditions necessary for the success of revolution in any country under present-day conditions. These are: (1) the leadership of a disciplined Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, (2) a people’s army of this Party, and (3) the united front of all revolutionary forces. It is important to remind ourselves of these fundamental and basic conditions for the success of revolution in any country, particularly in a country like Ceylon where modern revisionism and reformism have succeeded in misdirecting the masses quite a bit.

“One of Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s outstanding contributions in the field of philosophy is his exposition of the theory of contradictions. It was his genius that singled out the theory of contradiction and unity of opposites as the most important and basic law of materialist dialectics.”

The article says, “It is this correct understanding of the law of contradictions that enabled Comrade Mao Tse-tung to clearly foresee that classes will remain even after the socialist revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and that, therefore, class struggles would be a feature of the entire historical epoch during the transition from socialism to communism which itself would take a long process of time. It was this understanding that enabled Comrade Mao Tse-tung to give the correct leadership to the Communist Party of China to enable it to take the necessary steps to prevent a repetition of the events as they took place in the Soviet Union where the denial of the existence of the classes and class struggle led to the emergence of modern revisionism and the restoration of capitalism.

“It was this profound understanding of the law of contradictions that enabled Comrade Mao Tse-tung to initiate and personally lead the great proletarian cultural revolution which has today recorded a great success by successfully completing the formation of the revolutionary organs of state power in all the provinces and autonomous regions (with the exception of the province of Taiwan) of the People’s Republic of China. This great proletarian cultural revolution is in fact a great class struggle waged between two diametrically opposed forces—one led by China’s Khrushchov and wanting to take China back on to the path of capitalist restoration and the other led by the revolutionary headquarters of Chairman Mao Tse-tung which wants to carry the revolution to the end, prevent the restoration of capitalism and safeguard and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat.

“The success so far achieved by the great proletarian cultural revolution is not merely a success for the internal revolutionary forces of China. It is a great success and source of inspiration and encouragement for the entire international revolutionary communist movement. The fact that China has been preserved as a base for world revolution is a sure sign of the impending success of world socialism. China today is to the rest of the world what the liberated areas were to the rest of China during the pre-liberation period. This great success in the great proletarian cultural revolution is entirely due to the correct and personal guidance given to it by Comrade Mao Tse-tung. It is a victory for the thought of Mao Tse-tung.”

It says, “Another great contribution of Mao Tse-tung to Marxism-Leninism is the part he has played in leading the fight against the modern revisionists. Just as Lenin had to re-discover and re-state the fundamental truths of Marxism and develop it to a higher stage in the course of his bitter struggle against the revisionists of his day, so it fell to Comrade Mao Tse-tung to re-discover and re-state the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism and develop it to a new height in the course of the present titanic struggle between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism. One has only to ask himself what would have happened to the international revolutionary movement if China had followed Russia into the revisionist carnp to realize the tremendous historical and international significance of the ideological struggle waged by the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, against modern revisionism whose leading centre is in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This great ideological struggle has not merely vindicated Marxism-Leninism. It has also revitalized the entire international communist movement and made sure of the final defeat of world imperialism along with its prop, modern revisionism.”

In conclusion the article says, “That is why just as, during the time of Lenin, whoever opposed Leninism in fact opposed Marxism, so also today whoever opposes the thought of Mao Tse-tung opposes Marxism-Leninism. Today, support for Marxism-Leninism has no meaning if it does not extend to support for the thought of Mao Tse-tung which is the highest stage which the development of Marxism-Leninism has reached. The thought of Mao Tse-tung is today the most advanced revolutionary thought in the world. It is the only correct guide to the revolutionary movement of all oppressed peoples.

“That is why the duty of all revolutionaries today is to master the thought of Mao Tse-tung and to apply it to the concrete conditions in their own countries.”




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