[This issue of Peking Review is from massline.org. Massline.org has kindly given us permission to to place these documents on the MIA. We made only some formatting changes to make them congruent with our style sheets.]
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 17, #5, Feb. 1, 1974, pp. 3-4.]
BY deepening their criticism of Lin Piao through repudiating Confucius, the workers at the Peking Art Handicrafts Plant have raised their political consciousness and developed their plant‘s excellent situation in revolution and production.
Led by the plant‘s Party committee, the workers regard the criticism of Confucius as an important part in deepening the criticism of the ultra-Right nature of Lin Piao‘s revisionist line from the level of world outlook. They criticize Confucius‘ reactionary points of view and at the same time expose and criticize the criminal aims of Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and other swindlers who worshipped and exalted Confucius. This helps raise their consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines and guarantees that proletarian thinking steps up its occupation of all positions in the field of the superstructure.
In the last few months the plant has held many criticism meetings and has encouraged workers to write articles of criticism. Mass criticism has heightened their revolutionary enthusiasm and the plant fulfilled its 1973 production plan two months ahead of schedule.
Visiting a small exhibition prepared by the plant, workers clearly saw the link between Confucius who lived more than two thousand years ago and the current class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. A comparative list of reactionary statements by Lin Piao and Confucius as well as workers‘ articles of criticism were on display.
By analysing the reactionary ideology of Confucius and Lin Piao, workers unanimously concluded: Lin Piao was truly a faithful disciple of Confucius and his reactionary world outlook was rooted in Confucius‘ reactionary ideology. Confucius was a spokesman of the declining slave-owning aristocracy more than two thousand years ago and Lin Piao was an agent of the landlord class and the bourgeoisie in contemporary times. Though they lived in different eras, both represented moribund reactionary classes and both tried to turn back the wheel of history. Criticism of Confucius and especially criticism of the crimes committed by Lin Piao and his gang in extolling Confucius and using his ideology to serve their plot for a counter-revolutionary restoration clearly shows that Lin Piao‘s reactionary ideology was a mixture of the ideology of all reactionary classes in history. The workers also recognized that criticism of Confucius‘ ideology means breaking with old, traditional ideas. This class struggle in the realm of ideology is an important aspect in implementing the spirit of the Tenth Party Congress held last August and grasping the revolution in the superstructure well.
Here are some examples showing how the workers through criticizing Confucius deepened their criticism of the crimes of the Lin Piao anti-Party clique which vainly tried to change the basic line of the Party, subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat and restore capitalism.
They criticized Confucius‘ fallacy “revive states that have been extinguished, restore families whose line of succession has been broken, and call to office those who have retired to obscurity” in relation to Lin Piao‘s attempt to “liberate politically” all the overthrown landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists. On this basis they analysed Lin Piao‘s crimes in trying to change the Party‘s basic line and institute a feudal, comprador and fascist dictatorship.
They criticized Confucius‘ saying “do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you” in relation to Lin Piao‘s fallacy of “harmony among all people.” In this connection they analysed Lin Piao‘s reactionary essence in advocating the theory of “the dying out of class struggle.”
They criticized the Confucian concept of “benevolent goverment” in relation to Lin Piao‘s attack on Chin Shih Huang (the emperor who founded the Chin Dynasty), which was in fact a disguised and sinister attack on the dictatorship of the proletariat.
They criticized Confucius‘ saying “the student, having completed his learning, should apply himself to be an official” in relation to Lin Piao‘s slander that educated young people going to settle in the countryside was “a form of reform through forced labour,” a slander showing Lin Piao‘s plot to undermine the training of successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
They criticized Confucius‘ concept of “heavenly mandate” in relation to Lin Piao‘s theory of “innate genius” and analysed the reactionary nature of Lin Piao‘s idealist apriorism and idealist conception of history.
Some veteran workers criticized Confucius‘ absurdities about “benevolence, righteousness and morality” on the basis of their own experience. They said: “Before liberation, we labouring people were enslaved and exploited. Many died of hunger and cold in desolate places. However, no ruling class ever showed benevolence or righteousness. Their benevolence, righteousness and morality meant consuming people. The doctrine of Confucianism is one of exploitation and oppression. Lin Piao‘s criminal purpose in worshipping Confucius was an attempt to restore the exploiting system of the landlords and bourgeoisie and make the labouring people suffer again. This will never be allowed.”
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