Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

China Leaders Turn More to the Right

First Published: Challenge, May 5, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Chinese press has carried in recent months stories about several dozen people executed for “anti-state acts,” including setting up underground printing presses, holding demonstrations against Chairman Hua, etc. There have probably been many more incidents that went unreported. We don’t know much about the politics of these struggles, but our warmest support goes to those who are fighting for the restoration of socialism in China through the overthrow of the revisionists who rule the country now.

Meanwhile, the Chinese revisionists continue to fight among themselves about how quickly to restore capitalism. There was a heated debate at a meeting of the central leadership which lasted several weeks in March 4. According to Le Monde (April 5), the ultra-reactionaries, led by the army, want the Cultural Revolution denounced as “ultra-left.” They want to return to the policies of the 1950s and early 1960s, a time when the Chinese Communist Party made some serious errors. For instance, the policy then was that the “battle for production” was the main thing, more important than the class struggle. This policy is being revised the Chinese press emphasizes the need to raise production above all else.

The slogan “raise production” is used to justify the smashing of workers’ power at the point of production; in the name of “efficiency,” workers’ councils are dissolved and pro-capitalist managers seize complete control. On the excuse of promoting higher productivity, incomes become more unequal. During the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese working class denounced the slogan “raise production”; the workers said that workers’ power and the advance towards communism must be the main goal.

A 15-year-old slogan, “learn from Lei Feng,” has been unfurled–Lei Feng’s claim to fame is that he followed orders carefully, never took part in any class struggle, and wrote reams of praise for Chairman Mao. The lesson the Chinese revisionists want to teach is clear: don’t fight back, follow all orders, work harder and never think about how to advance towards communism.

On the international scene, the Chinese revisionists have been stepping up their support for U.S. imperialism. In early April, the leader of the British Conservatives, Thatcher, visited China. Peking Review reported “the two sides have much in agreement”–such as opposing “unilateral cuts in defense spending.” In other words, the billions of dollars stolen from workers to support the Pentagon are necessary to stop Soviet “aggression.” It is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between Peking Review and the John Birch Society.

The same issue of Peking Review (April 15) writes, “Under the leadership of President Mobutu, the Zairian Government and people defending brute force are waging a valiant struggle to defend their national independence against foreign aggression.” A “valiant struggle” would be to overthrow Mobutu (a CIA agent), and to make a socialist revolution in Zaire. Mobutu has not been about to whip his army into fighting the pro-Soviet invaders–he has had to call in “foreign aggressors” from all over the U.S. empire: Morocco, Belgium, France, South Africa and war equipment from China, Egypt, and the U.S. As the conflict between U.S. and Soviet imperialism heats up, the Chinese revisionists are showing their true colors: they side with one imperialist camp (the U.S.) instead of working to turn the guns around, to make imperialist war into civil war for socialism.