Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Statement of Class War on the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China

First Published: Class War, No. 3, Fall 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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1. Class war cannot greet the Tenth Rational Congress of the Communist Party of China because this congress represented a severe setback for the Proletarian Revolutionary Line in the C.P.C. and is in fact the culmination of a process over the past couple of years which has temporarily and partially liquidated the historic gains achieved in the course of both the polemic against modern revisionism and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

2. The Tenth Rational Congress, the shortest and most secretive national congress ever held by the C.P.C. signals the imminent crisis of the “three-in-one” revolutionary committees, whereby a temporary alliance was achieved between the New Organs of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Red Guards, Red Rebels, and rebel general headquarters), the Left faction in the People’s Liberation Army (represented by Lin Piao), and the Party and State cadres which had survived the storms of the Cultural Revolution (represented mainly by Chou En Lai). The “three in one” combination was specifically designated as a provisional organ, with a more advanced model based on the Paris Commune in mind as the eventual aim of the Cultural Revolution. However, today, one elements, the Party and State bureaucrats, dominates. Nothing more is heard of the great mass organisations of the masses, such as the Workers’ Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters in Shanghai, and the so-called “September 13th incident” an alleged plot by Lin Piao end Chen Po-ta to kill Mao Tsetung, has been used to remove the last immediate obstacle to the undivided domination of the bureaucrats, including many of Lin Shao Chi’s closest supporters, over the “revolutionary committees” at the highest, decision making levels, regional and municipal government, foreign affairs, etc. Today, the bureaucracy revives the revisionist-dominated Trade unions, Young Communist League, etc. even as it attempts to do away, with the genuine mass organisations created by the workers, peasants, soldiers, end students in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

3. The Tenth Rational Congress also signals the temporary victory of the right-opportunist “detente” policy in foreign affairs, a policy with which Chou En Lai has been intimately associated. In the documents and statements of the Tenth National Congress, for the first time, the revisionist concept of the “Third world” enters the official terminology of the Communist Party of China, a concept which is introduced even as Mao Tsetung’s principle of People’s War, of the revolutionary war led by the proletarian party, is removed. The tactical line of neutralising “Intermediary” forces and dividing the enemy has been expanded into a long-range strategy which places the foreign diplomacy between governments on a higher level of importance than the relations between the various sections of the international revolutionary movement.

4. Likewise, the Tenth Rational Congress is the first actual public statement by the Chinese leadership on the so-called Lin Piao-Chen Po-ta “plot”. The manner in which this “affair” has been handled gives it all the superficial resemblance to a “Chinese Watergate”, including a fabricated “cover-up story”. Although it was earlier known, and even mentioned by Wilfred Burchett in the sycophantic Guardian that Lin Piao and Chen Po-ta opposed the trend in foreign policy from the left, opposing the entry into the United Nations, Nixon’s visit, etc., now we are treated to a completely absurd allegation that Lin Piao was a Soviet agent, a “super-spy”, and a would-be assassin, and Chen Po-ta, Mao Tsetung’s personal secretary, a “Trotskyite” and a “anti-communist Kuominteng element”. The cover-op story presented by Chou En Lai and his stooges was “leaked” in the Watergate tradition to sources in the imperialist countries by specific bureaucrats, directly under Chou En Lai’s control in his personal domains, the State Council and Foreign ministry, such as the Chinese Embassy in Algiers, which was the first reported source of the “Lin Piao affair.” Furthermore, since around the time Lin Piao was alleged to have been killed in an airplane crash in Mongolia, supposedly on his way to the Soviet Union, there ceased to be any further plenary sessions of the Central Committee of the Party. And, greatest source of our suspicions, is the singular fact that Mao Tsetung himself did not even address the Tenth National Congress, and that, since May 20th, 1970, he has not made any public statements, including about either the entry into the United Nations, the “Lin Piao affair”, or the Party congress itself. In the past, it has been believed that such silence, at important Party affairs, etc., was considered to be a form of symbolic protest, but surely more than symbolic protest is needed at this time!

5. A further clue to the situation is presented by the makeup of the Politburo and Central Committee as elected in the Tenth National Congress. The Left forces, represented mainly by Chiang Ching, Yao Wen-yuan, and Chang Chun-chiao, (the last two having been leaders in the Shanghai Commune and January Revolution in 1967) have been greatly reduced in power, removed from any effective decision-making positions. In their place, the “newcomer”, Wang Hung-wen, a protege of Chou En Lai, who can hardly be considered to really rank third in the collective leadership bodies, as implied in the reports on the Congress. But it is the return of the Liu Shao Chi men, the Tang Hsiao-Pings and Ulanfus, that really signals the process underway. Eventually, the left forces, who, especially through Chiang Ching, have always been most closely associated with Mao Tsetung himself, will have to stop letting themselves be used as “token” representatives of the revolutionary masses, will have to exorcise their revolutionary right to rebel, and strike down the bureaucrats who have usurped the revolutionary power.

6. The right-opportunist turn has also raised the most serious errors in relation to the struggle against modern revisionism. Since the end of 1971, Peking Review has begun to include Rumania in the list of socialist countries, and even worse, has referred to the so-called “Rumanian Communist Party” as a fraternal Marxist-Leninist Party. At the same time, the Communist Party of China did not even send any representatives to the Sixth Party Congress of the Albanian Party of Labor in November of 1971, an unprecedented act, since, the Albanian Party has since the late ’50’s and the Polemic against Soviet revisionism been considered the closest fraternal party. The inclusion of the notorious extreme right-revisionists of Rumania, in no way representative of the interests of the Rumanian proletariat and people, in the camp of socialist countries and fraternal parties represents a grave deviation from the Marxist-Leninist line of the Great Polemic of the 1960’s, which resulted in an entirely new situation in the international working class movement, giving rise to a whole new world-wide alignment of revolutionary Communists and anti-revisionists, with which Class War is proud to be associated through our origins and general political line. Every indication points to a gigantic revolutionary upsurge of the proletariat and oppressed peoples in the revisionist-ruled countries, including inside the social-imperialist U.S.S.R., an upsurge that is bound to come very soon, and for which the Czechoslovak uprising in 1968 and the Polish workers’ uprising of 1970 sill prove to be only rehearsals. Ceaucescu and his clique, so palsy with Nixon, Golda Meier, etc. and riding rough-shod on the backs of the Rumanian proletariat, will not escape the fate of all the parasitical bureaucracy, their destruction in the storms of the Second October.

7. Far from representing the end of the process begun in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966-1969, the Tenth National Congress actually stands at the beginning of the second great outbreak of proletarian struggle under socialism in China, the second great Struggle-for-Power between the revolutionary masses and the bureaucracy, the bourgeoisie-in-embryo. In 1966, in a letter to Chiang Ching, Mao Tsetung said that the next Cultural Revolution will come in either 1973 or 1974, at least once every seven or eight years. The bourgeoisie all over the world is heaping praise on Chou En Lai for “stabilizing” China, for “quelling” the Red Guards, for his “realism” and “pragmatism!” But the world situation will not let things rest, either inside or outside China. The comments by Chou En Lai to the extent that “the world is in disorder” reveal the bankruptcy of the bureaucracy in the face of the general crisis, their inability to either understand or act upon the actual events of this period. Likewise, all the talk about “irresistible historical trends” shows that the bureaucracy cannot even envisage a possible active role to take in the present situation–for them, the “trends”, whether good or bad, are beyond their, or our, intervention, as revolutionaries, as sections of a world-wide movement.

8. At the same time as we criticise the Tenth national Congress, we must also point out the important gains made through the struggles of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, because it is precisely these gains that are threatened by the opportunism of the bureaucracy. The system of revolutionary committees at the base, in the factories, communes, sad schools, where, it must be noted, the role of women is steadily growing, and the general egalitarian attitudes and traditions in the People’s Liberation Army, the revolutionized health system, and the high political level achieved during the past decade of complex struggles of various kinds, all of this stands in opposition to the intentions and initial policies of the bureaucracy. The committees at the base have a rotation system of participation, allowing the greatest number of workers, peasants, and solders to make and carry out decisions. However, the higher you go up in the levels of power of the system, the less this is true, up to the upper-most point where seventy and eighty-year-old cadres maintain the same posts they have held since Liberation in 1949. This confrontation, between the revolutionary masses and the bureaucracy is the main reason why there have been no massive rallies or demonstrations of any kind in Peking, Shanghai, or other major cities, even for May Day or October 1st,allegedly to “avoid waste,” actually to prevent the large-scale concentration of organized masses, including political debates, exchange of experiences, and other extensively democratic activity which characterised the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The bureaucracy aims to decentralise the power of the masses at the same time as they centralise their own, usurped power, bringing back the capitalist-roaders and sending the Red Guards to remote areas. The last large-scale rally was on May 20, 1970, half-a-million strong in Peking, which was also the occasion of Mao Tsetung’s last official public statement.

9. In foreign policy, the recant accommodations to a wide variety of reactionary trends, from the Common Market, which the Albanians have correctly denounced as anti-workingclass, to the return of Juan Peron, who plans to visit Peking after butchering the left, the Chou En Lai clique is able to go farther to the right than is possible in China itself. However, in the context of the second world depression and the general crisis world-wide, these opportunist maneuvers are bound to fail, however spectacular they may appear in the eyes of the bourgeoisie’s “world opinion”. Many of the direct results of the international “detente” policy, concocted by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. imperialists, and accepted by the Chinese bureaucracy to the extent that they can maneuver within it, have already collapsed. The “cease-fire” in South Vietnam is only a bad joke. The talks between North and South Korea have fallen through. One of the major objectives of the Chinese operating within the “detente” policy is that the bureaucracy wrongly believes this to be a way of preventing, or at least, postponing, a military attack by the Soviet Union. The case is just the opposite. The detente frees both U.S. and U.S.S.R. military forces from their mutual confrontation, and for use against the revolutionary struggles in the colonial zones, in the capitalist countries, or against China or other socialist countries. The “joint communiques” and other scraps of paper are no defense against imperialist attacks, but in fact increase the appetites of the crisis-ridden bourgeoisie for military adventures.

10. The next Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China is bound to be even more connected with the world-wide revolutionary process than was true in the 1960’s, reaching a peak in the gigantic revolutionary upsurge throughout the world in 1966. The period of general crisis we are entering will witness the next great development la the theory and practice of the world proletarian revolution, of the international communist movement. In the 1960’s the fate of the development of the international revolutionary process depended upon the break from modern revisionism and the emergence of a counter-force against the revisionist capitalist-restorationist trend which reached its peak in the U.S.8.R. but was actually expressed in every socialist country as well as every Communist Party. This break was carried out by the Chinese and Albanian Communists, and then, achieved the apex of its development in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the first revolution of its kind la history, and a contribution to Marxism with world-wide Implications. In the 1970’s, the fate of the development of the world revolution everywhere depends on the carrying through of the great world-wide proletarian revolutionary struggles that emerged in the 1960’s, the class war as a struggle for power. This demands the most ruthless critical assessment of the historical experience of this period, in the light of the general experience of the workingclass movement over the last hundred years or more. Such an assessment has already begun to mesh with the demands of the hour–the building of a new revolutionary International, the creation of the worldwide strike committees and other international organs of the revolutionary struggle in the capitalist, colonial, sad socialist countries. The setbacks in China, against the background of the enormous revolutionary potential of this period, appear as yet another temporary and partial backward flux in a general current of the Long March of toiling humanity out of the dark ages of class society. We do not despair, but set ourselves even more determined to the revolutionary tasks in this country which develop the world revolution everywhere, including in China.

September 24, 1973
New York City