The following is the eighth in a series of articles under the title “Hold High the Bright Red Banner of Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism!” The first seven parts appeared in PCDN, Volume 7 Numbers 221 – 227, dated September 15 – 22, 1977.
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Chairman Mao pointed out that the two exploiting classes in China, the bureaucrat-comprador capitalists and the landlords, were overthrown and that the national bourgeoisie in China had a dual character.
In the period of the socialist revolution, exploitation of the working class for profit constitutes one side of the character of the national bourgeoisie, while its support of the Constitution and its willingness to accept socialist transformation constitute the other. The national bourgeoisie differs from the imperialists, the landlords and the bureaucrat-capitalists. The contradiction between the national bourgeoisie and the working class is between the exploiter and the exploited, and is by nature antagonistic.
Chairman Mao further explains the character of the national bourgeoisie.
Some people contend that the Chinese bourgeoisie no longer has two sides to its character, but only one side. Is this true? No. While members of the bourgeoisie have become administrative personnel in joint state-private enterprises and are being transformed from exploiters into working people living by their own labour, they still receive fixed rates of interest on their share of capital in the joint enterprises, that is, they have not yet cut themselves loose from the roots of exploitation. Between them and the working class there is still a considerable gap in ideology, sentiments and habits of life. How is it possible to say that they no longer have two sides to their character? Even when they stop receiving their fixed interest payments and the ’bourgeois’ label is removed, they will still need ideological remoulding for quite some time. If the bourgeoisie no longer had a dual character as these people maintain, then the capitalists would no longer have the task of studying and of remoulding themselves.
When the theoreticians of the “three worlds” talk about forming a “united front” with “those among the national bourgeoisie who are willing to accept socialist transformation” in 1977, are they suggesting that the national bourgeoisie as a class still exists in China? If the answer is in the affirmative, then it is erroneous to suggest that all exploiting classes as classes have been eliminated. In a genuine socialist society where “In the main the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production” has taken place, there exist the proletariat and the cooperativist peasantry as classes and people’s intelligentsia as a strata which has roots both in the proletariat and the cooperativist peasantry. As well, there are remnants of the overthrown exploiting classes which do not exist as classes, and there is the danger of the emergence of the new bourgeoisie which also does not exist as a class. The theoreticians of the “three worlds” do not explain which classes and strata exist in China at this time and how the “remoulding” of the national bourgeoisie has gone over the past twenty years since Chairman Mao wrote about its existence. Chairman Mao wrote in 1975:
Lenin said that ’small production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, and on a mass scale.’ They are also engendered among a part of the working class and of the Party membership. Both within the ranks of the proletariat and among the personnel of state and other organs there are people who take to the bourgeois style of life.
He did not give a call then for the “united front” of various classes which the theoreticians of the “three worlds” talk about. On the contrary, he gave a call to restrict “bourgeois right” and to restrict the scope of the activity of these elements.
Speaking of the socialist system, Chairman Mao said: “In a word, China is a socialist country. Before liberation she was much the same as a capitalist country. Even now she practises an eight-grade wage system, distribution according to work and exchange through money, and in all this differs very little from the old society. What is different is that the system of ownership has been changed”. 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”. We hear nothing these days about restricting such things from the theoreticians of the “three worlds”. Chairman Mao’s stern warning was not given for nothing, when he pointed out: “Therefore, if people like Lin Piao come to power, it will be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system.” The question comes to mind to a lot of serious-minded people all over the globe: Have “people like Lin Piao come to power” and are they preparing to “rig up the capitalist system”?
Now let us take up the second question, that is, of the existence of “class contradictions” in a socialist society. What class contradictions, according to the theoreticians of the “three worlds”, exist in China? Since the theoreticians of “three worlds” have seized control of the Party and state in the People’s Republic of China, they have been talking a lot about “strategic order” in China. Before they seized the leadership of the Party and state and when Chairman Mao was still alive, there was class struggle raging against the right deviationist wind. The statement issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the death of Chairman Mao Tsetung said this about the right-deviationist wind: “Deepen the criticism of Teng Hsiao-ping, continue the struggle to repulse the right deviationist attempt at reversing correct verdicts, to consolidate and develop the victories of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, enthusiastically support the new socialist things, restrict bourgeois right, and further consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country.” The question arises: Did the “class contradictions” undergo such drastic changes after the seizure of the leadership of the Party and the state by the theoreticians of the “three worlds” that not only has Teng Hsiao-ping been restored and there is no mention of the right deviationist wind, but the “strategic” concept of achieving “order” has been advanced as the main objective?
The theoreticians of the “three worlds” talk a lot about “dialectics” and the “law of unity of opposites”, etc., etc. But when they advance the call of “bringing about great order across the land”, then their sophistry and demagogy about the “law of unity of opposites” etc., etc. is fully exposed. If we go by dialectics, then within order, there is also its opposite, that is, disorder. Disorder has order in it, while order has disorder in it. When they advance the call of “bringing about great order across the land”, maybe they are going to eliminate the disorder aspect of order from the face of China and order will stand alone pure and simple. But the dialecticians of the theory of the “three worlds” may simply. mean. “bringing about” the kind of equilibrium between order and disorder which Bukharin attempted to accomplish for the Soviet Union. That is reconciling the two opposites! The theory which Liu Shao-chi was so keyed up about!