The following is the tenth in a series of articles under the title “Hold High the Bright Red Banner of Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian internationalism!” The first nine parts appeared in PCDN, Volume 7, Numbers 221-229, dated September 15-24, 1977.
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The theoreticians of the “three worlds” repeatedly put forward the view “insofar as the relations of production do not correspond with the productive forces and the superstructure with the economic base, the development of the productive forces is hindered”, or “The productive forces are the most revolutionary factor. In the final analysis, the expansion of the productive forces demands the continuation of the revolution in the realms of the superstructure and the relations of production under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Changes in the superstructure and the relations of production will, in turn, open the way to the development of the productive forces.” Thus, with the theoreticians of the “three worlds”, the relations of production lose their independent role. The relations of production are to be changed according to the “demands” of the productive forces. The essential point mystified here is that during the socialist period, of the two aspects of relations of production and the production forces of social production, it is still the changes in the relations of production which play the leading role, it is for this reason that the proletariat must not weaken its state of the dictatorship of the proletariat in any way, carry the socialist revolution and socialist construction through to the end, and suppress the reactionaries.
Comrade Stalin further explains the erroneous view of Comrade Yaroshenko:
As to the socialist system, where ’antagonistic class contradictions’ no longer exist, and where the relations of production ’no longer run counter to the development of the productive forces,’ here, according to Comrade Yaroshenko, the relations of production lose every vestige of an independent role, they cease to be a serious factor of development, and are absorbed by the productive forces, becoming a component part of them. Under socialism, Comrade Yaroshenko says, ’men’s production relations become part of the organization of the productive forces, as a means, an element of their organization.’.
This is precisely what the theoreticians of the “three worlds” advocate. The entire eight-point “task” programme the theoreticians of the “three worlds” have followed is this line. All this noise about the existence of “classes, class contradictions and class struggle” is merely a ruse to obscure their theory of “productive forces”.
Comrade Stalin further elaborates:
If that is so, what is the chief task of the ’Political Economy of Socialism’? Comrade Yaroshenko replies: ’The chief problem of the Political Economy of Socialism, therefore, is not to investigate the relations of production of the members of socialist society; it is to elaborate and develop a scientific theory of the organization of the productive forces in social production, a theory of the planning of economic development.’
Compare with what the theoreticians of the “three worlds” so arrogantly present: “Totally negating Chairman Mao’s scientific analysis of the classes in our society in the period of socialism”, they “dished up an absurd theory about ’the new changes in class relations in the socialist period’. By ’the new changes’ they meant that veteran cadres had turned into ’capitalist roaders’ and veteran workers into people ’with vested interests’, young workers were ’even worse’, poor and lower-middle peasants ’lagged behind ideologically’ in the socialist revolution and intellectuals were ’the stinking ninth category’ ” etc., etc. By this clerical obscurantism and breast-beating, they completely mystify the issue, that is, “the new changes in class relations in the socialist period”, that is, they are opposed to analyzing the relations of production.
Comrade Stalin continues:
That, in fact, explains why Comrade Yaroshenko is not interested in such economic questions of the socialist system as the existence of different forms of property in our economy, commodity circulation, the law of value, etc., which he believes to be minor questions that only give rise to scholastic disputes. He plainly declares that in his Political Economy of Socialism ’disputes as to the role of any particular category of socialist political economy – value, commodity, money, credit, etc., – which very often with us are of a scholastic character, are replaced by a healthy discussion of the ’rational organization of the productive forces in social production, by a scientific demonstration of the validity of such organization.’
“In short, political economy without economic problems.” The “rational organization of the productive forces in social production, by a scientific demonstration’ of the validity of such organization” is precisely the bag of the theoreticians of the “three worlds”.
Comrade Stalin says:
It is not true ... that the production, i.e., the economic, relations lose their independent role under socialism, that they are absorbed by the productive forces, that social production under socialism is reduced to the organization of the productive forces. Marxism regards social production as an integral whole which has two inseparable sides: the productive forces of society (the relation of society to the forces of nature, in contest with which it secures the material values it needs), and the relations of production (the relations of men to one another in the process of production). These are two different sides of social production, although they are inseparably connected with one another. And just because they constitute different sides of social production, they are able to influence one another. To assert that one of these sides may be absorbed by the other and be converted into its component part, is to commit a very grave sin against Marxism.
“Hence, starting from the right idea”, Stalin points out, “that the productive forces ar the most mobile and revolutionary forces of production, Comrade Yaroshenko reduces the idea to an absurdity, to the point of denying the role of the production, the economic, relations under socialism; and instead of a full-blooded social production, what he gets is a lopsided and scraggy technology of production – something in the nature of Bukharin’s ’technique of social organization’.” The eight “task”programme of the theoreticians of the “three worlds” is a “technique of social organization” and designed to strengthen the old relations of production under the slogan of “modernization” and “overtaking” the U.S., etc., etc.
Comrade Stalin sums up in this manner:
This means that every social formation, socialist society not excluded, has its economic foundation, consisting of the sum total of men’s’relations of production. What, one asks, happens to the economic foundation of the socialist system with Comrade Yaroshenko? As we know, Comrade Yaroshenko has already done away with relations of production under socialism as a more or less independent sphere, and has included the little that remains of them in the organization of the productive forces. Has the socialist system, one asks, its own economic foundation? Obviously, seeing that the relations of production have disappeared as a more or less independent factor under socialism, the socialist system is left without an economic foundation.
In short, a socialist system without an economic foundation. A rather funny situation...
This is precisely what the theoreticians of the “three worlds” advocate, that is “a socialist system without an economic foundation”, when they consider the theory about “the new changes in class relations in the socialist period” an absurd theory.
Comrade Stalin begins his pamphlet Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR with the remark that
Some comrades deny the objective character of laws of science, and of laws of political economy particularly, under socialism. They deny that the laws of political economy reflect law-governed processes which operate independently of the will of man. They believe that in view of the specific role assigned to the Soviet state by history, the Soviet state and its leaders can abolish existing laws of political economy and can ’form,’ create,’ new laws.
...the laws of economic development, as in the case of natural science, are objective laws, reflecting processes of economic development which take place independently of the will of man.
One of the distinguishing features of political economy is that its laws, unlike those of natural science, are impermanent, that they, or at least the majority of them, operate for a definite historical period, after which they give place to new laws. However, these laws are not abolished, but lose their validity owing to the new economic conditions and depart from the scene in order to give place to new laws, laws which are not created by the will of man, but which arise from the new economic conditions.
The theoreticians of the “three worlds” do not start from “objective processes” and do not study the laws of economic development and thus advance their one-sided subjective nonsense in order to serve their own class interests, that is, interests of the old and new bourgeoisie in China, and of imperialism, social-imperialism and all reaction. This is why they can talk about “revolution in the realms of superstructure and the relations of production under the dictatorship of the proletariat” without concretely pointing out what this revolution is all about in terms of the laws of economic development. When Chairman Mao talked about “commodity system, the wage system”, etc., he was talking about “revolution in the realm of the superstructure and the relations of production” etc. That is, using the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat to restrict “bourgeois right” etc. But, for the theoreticians of the “three worlds”, “revolution in the realm of superstructure and the relations of production” is merely a phrase.
The theoreticians of “three worlds” mix up political economy and economic policy. This mixing up and confusion is carried out because they always have to pretend that they are “continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat”. If all the claptrap and fanfare about “continuing the revolution” is removed from their massive amount of verbiage, then we will find that their economic policy is simply of capitalist restoration and that in the relations of production, they are encouraging the rise of the bourgeoisie. For example, a recent article written by the State Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China “on the relationship between revolution and production” contains the following: “We must continue to improve the relations among people in work. Cadres at all levels, leading cadres in particular, should restrict bourgeois right of their own accord and act as ordinary workers.” What is this concept of “restricting bourgeois right of their own accord”? Either the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat restricts bourgeois right, or gives it a free hand. This is the issue. It seems that the theoreticians of the “three worlds” have given a free hand to those “within the ranks of the proletariat and among the personnel of the state and other organs who take to the bourgeois style of life.”
When, during the period of combatting the right-deviationist wind in 1976, the issue was raised of restricting the bourgeois right and overthrowing the bourgeoisie from within the Party and from the personnel of state and other organs, the theoreticians of the “three worlds” bitterly opposed and hated it. Presently, they express their hatred in this manner: “In order to provide a so-called economic argument for their preposterous fabrication that there was ’a bourgeois class’ inside the Party and army,they deliberately confounded the differences in distribution between the leading cadres of the Party, the government and the army on the one hand and the broad masses on the other with class exploitation.” What are these “differences in distribution” and what was the issue? Chairman Mao pointed out:
Our country at present practises a commodity system, the wage system is unequal, too, as in the eight-grade wage scale, and so forth. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat such things can only be restricted. Therefore, if people like Lin Piao come to power, it will be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system.
This was the issue and now the State Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China has provided it with the answer: “Cadres at all levels, leading cadres in particular. should restrict bourgeois right of their own accord.”
Comrade Stalin points out that
Political economy investigates the laws of development of men’s relations of production. Economic policy draws practical conclusions from this, gives them concrete shape, and builds its day-to-day work on them.
Thus the “wage system” comes under the category of relations of production. It should be studied scientifically and economic policy should be based on the conclusions drawn from this scientific study. It is the historical experience of the capitalist restoration in the USSR that it is from “within the ranks of the proletariat”, from “the personnel of the state and other organs”. that new bourgeoisie arose, who by seizing control of the leadership of the Party and state and by pursuing the revisionist line, converted the dictatorship of the proletariat into the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and restored capitalism. What precisely was the economic policy of capitalist restoration in the USSR?