First Published: People’s Canada Daily News, Vol 8, No. 289, December 20, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The decision of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party is a great historic decision which denounced “Mao Tsetung Thought” as anti-Marxist-Leninist. This decision that “Mao Tsetung Thought” is anti-Marxist-Leninist is the summation of the work the Party has carried out in defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism for the past over eight years. Our Party has defended the purity of Marxism-Leninism and has remained loyal to the principles of proletarian internationalism throughout the twists and turns of the past over eight years and has emerged victorious from all the attacks launched against us throughout this period by imperialism, social-imperialism and all reaction and by revisionism and opportunism of all hues, be they ideological and political or through reactionary violence and suppression or by silence or through the most perfidious acts including all the lies, slanders and character assassination, It is only by resolutely defending the purity of Marxism-Leninism and remaining loyal to the principles of proletarian internationalism that our Party could have come to the Third Plenum and overthrown the ideological-political influence of “Mao Tsetung Thought” which is anti-Marxist-Leninist.
Mao Tsetung never agreed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism. He only paid lip service to it for pragmatic aims. Mao Tsetung followed the line that the,“ends justify the means”. This is why to realize his end of a “powerful modern China” he would use any means to achieve it. His lip service to Marxism was one of his means to achieve his aim of building a “powerful modern China”. The issue here is not whether “Mao Tsetung Thought” is incorrect on this and that issue. The central issue is that the yellow thread of “Mao Tsetung Thought” is anti-Marxist-Leninist because the aim which “Mao Tsetung Thought” has in it to accomplish is not the proletarian revolution and the victory of socialism over capitalism and the progress and liberation of the people of the world but is to build a “powerful modern China”. This is why the theory of “three worlds” which is fathered by “Mao Tsetung Thought” abandons even the pretense of revolution and socialism. Thus, the question of “Mao Tsetung Thought” has to be taken up from the point of view of the aim which it serves and this aim is the imperialist and chauvinist ambitions of the Chinese revisionists. It is also for this reason that today, as in the past, the Chinese revisionists have been vociferously opposing and vulgarizing the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the principles of proletarian internationalism. The aim of the Chinese revisionists is to have China become an imperialist superpower and they will do anything, use any means, to accomplish this aim. The ideology of “Mao Tsetung Thought” is in their service and the method and theory of “Mao Tsetung Thought” is neither dialectical nor materialistic. On the contrary, it is pragmatic and based on the philosophy of U.S. imperialism that the “ends justify the means”. It is no accident then that the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of Mao Tsetung, became on one hand, the “friend” of reactionary regimes, while at the same time postured that it was the “friend” of the People’s Republic of Albania. It is crystal clear that the entire internal and external policy of the People’s Republic of China is based on their own interests which are not the interests of the international proletariat but are the interests of an imperialist superpower.
Mao Tsetung, in his essay written in October, 1938, entitled The Role of the Chinese Communist Party, writes:
For the Chinese Communists, who are part of the great Chinese nation, flesh of its flesh and blood of its blood, any talk about Marxism in isolation from China’s characteristics is merely Marxism in the abstract, Marxism in a vacuum. Hence to apply Marxism concretely in China, so that its every manifestation has an indubitably Chinese character, that is, to apply Marxism in the light of China’s specific characteristics, becomes a problem which it is urgent for the whole Party to understand and solve.
Thus, the “Chinese communists” were not only not “flesh of its flesh and blood of its blood” of the international proletariat, they also did not like “Marxism in the abstract” and they thus provided it with an “indubitably Chinese character” by opposing both Marx’s principles of dialectical materialism and Lenin’s theory and approach to proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. They replaced Marxism-Leninism with “Marxism-Leninism-as-applied-in-China” and gave it the name “Mao Tsetung Thought”. This was not just the decision taken in 1967. It was in fact the course taken up by the Communist Party of China from the twenties and this course was always separate from that of Marxism-Leninism. “Mao Tsetung Thought” is, according to its followers. “Marxism-Leninism” applied to the concrete conditions of China. The 1967 decision was to make this “Marxism-Leninism-as-applied-to-China” the substitute for genuine Marxism-Leninism for the entire International Communist Movement.
In 1971, George Thomson, a revisionist intellectual from Britain, wrote a book entitled, From Marx to Mao Tse-tung, where this “indubitably Chinese character” which Mao Tsetung talks about is shown up for what it really is, the brazen revision of Lenin’s theory and approach to the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. George Thomson, being a loyal propagandist for the Chinese revisionists, takes up examples and quotations from Mao Tsetung to prove that neither is Lenin’s theory and approach to proletarian revolution valid today nor is the Marxist-Leninist theory on the dictatorship of the proletariat and approach to socialist construction valid. In fact, George Thomson convincingly proves that Mao Tsetung departed from the principles of dialectical materialism, and from the Marxist-Leninist theory of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Of course, George Thomson, does this for the perfidious reasons of popularizing “Mao Tsetung Thought” in opposition to Marxism-Leninism but in popularizing “Mao Tsetung Thought” he undertook a formidable task which led him to wild distortions of Marxism-Leninism, adapting it to “Mao Tsetung Thought”. This work of George Thomson was never repudiated by the Chinese. On the contrary, he was lavished with great honours in China and remains today the “loyal friend” of China. Jack Scott, a notorious revisionist and an opportunist in our country, then went further and, in no uncertain terms, denounced the great road of the Great October Revolution and presented his nefarious thesis in the pamphlet entitled, Two Roads. While George Thomson attempts through falsification of history and distortion of Marxism-Leninism, to convince the reader that the Chinese People’s Democratic Revolution is the continuation of the Great October Revolution, Jack Scott, in September, 1974, using the same logic, presents the two revolutions as opposite roads and finds the causes of the revisionism of Khrushchov in Lenin and Stalin and in some inherent quality of Russia itself. The “good” attributes which he bestows on China are to be found in the inherent quality of China just as the social-imperialism of Khrushchov and Brezhnev is also to be found in the inherent “bad” qualities of Russia. While George Thomson calls upon the reader to abandon Leninism because the Chinese revolution is the continuation of the Great October Revolution minus, of course, the “mistakes” of Stalin plus the “goodness” of “Mao Tsetung Thought”, the revisionist and opportunist Scott, gives up even any pretense and calls upon the reader to abandon the road of the Great October Revolution and take up the ambitions of the Chinese revisionists. Jack Scott was warmly welcomed by the Chinese after the publication of this infamous pamphlet and to date remains a “great friend” of China. It is also interesting to note that both these anti-Leninist works were printed by so-called “friendship societies” officially recognized as such by the official circles of the Chinese. This means that the anti-Leninist positions presented in these works were the lines of the Chinese revisionists and these individuals were their loyal servants who carried out the work of popularizing them.
What is the central theory in these works? The theory that “Marxism” when applied to the “concrete conditions” of China “developed” into “Mao Tsetung Thought” which, of course, has an “indubitably Chinese character”. But does it have any Marxist character? The works of George Thomson and Jack Scott prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that “Mao Tsetung Thought” has no Marxist character. Thus, “Mao Tsetung Thought”. quite concretely, is “Marxism-as-applied-in-China” and it is being shoved down the throats of the peoples in order to accomplish their aims, the aims of an imperialist superpower. “Mao Tsetung Thought” has nothing to do with Marxism and it is no accident that the Chinese revisionists themselves admit that Mao Tsetung was never Marxist (he was 70-30). Of course, according to this pragmatist philosophy, if it is taken to its logical conclusion, there is no such thing as Marxism-Leninism, there are only aims which can be achieved by any means without any principles, without any historical necessity for them and without any historical inevitability. Thus the teaching of Marx, “1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with particular historical phases in the development of production. 2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, 3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and a classless society” makes no sense to the Chinese revisionists. The Chinese revisionists are refuting Marxism-Leninism just like all the imperialists and reactionaries and entire bourgeoisie have been doing for some time. But in their “refutation” it is they who are being exposed as anti-Marxist-Leninists and imperialists and their ideology of “Mao Tsetung Thought” which is being exposed as anti-Marxist-Leninist.
Our Party boldly denounced both the reactionary thesis of George Thomson as well as that of Jack Scott. According to George Thomson, revolution was not possible in the “west” and he quotes from Mao Tsetung to provide the “proof”. He also advances the reactionary thesis that “Afro-Asian-Latin Americans” are “revolutionary” while “we see that in the imperialist countries even the proletariat, that most revolutionary of classes, may cease to be revolutionary” and dished out other similar fallacies. Our Party denounced this reactionary thesis on January 11, 1972. Our Party denounced Jack Scott soon after his pamphlet Two Roads was published. But, the opportunists of all hues, especially those who claim themselves to be the real champions of China in Canada, remained not only mum on these counter-revolutionary characters but took up their basic counter-revolutionary lines and staged a drama of “ideological struggle” for a few years in order to wipe out Marxism-Leninism and oppose proletarian internationalism. Today, these opportunists occupy various positions in terms of opposing Marxism-Leninism. There are opportunists who are today defenders of “Mao Tsetung Thought”, China, “three worldism”, etc. There are opportunists who claim that they are ”supporters” of Albania and then there are those who are in-between. But all of them were together in the 1968-1970 period as well as during the 1974-76 period and they continue to stand together today. Even though they are pretending to take “different” positions they are all opposed to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, it was no accident that George Thomson and Jack Scott and or others like them were the godfathers of these revisionists and opportunist and it is no accident that they all separately and together have the single main mission of vulgarizing and opposing Marxism-Leninism on the world scale, opposing revolution and socialism, and in Canada opposing Marxism-Leninism, revolution and socialism by fulfilling their only aim of destroying the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by hook or by crook.
The single aim of the opportunists in Canada is to destroy the political party of the proletariat, CPC(M-L). They use pragmatic method and idealist theory to achieve their aims. This is why they tell so many lies and create so many slanders and organize provocations against the Party. Because only by creating maximum ideological confusion and organizational splits and divisions based on the myriads of ideological positions they present as the basis of their “unity” can they accomplish their aim of opposing Marxism-Leninism, revolution and socialism and the CPC(M-L) which is the instrument of the proletarian revolution and the defender of the purity of Marxism-Leninism. In this nefarious activity, they have received and receive all-sided support from the Chinese revisionists and from other imperialists and reactionaries.
“Mao Tsetung Thought”, which puts “unity of opposites” in everything and clamours that “practice is the sole criterion of truth” has as its only aim the fulfillment of the imperialist and chauvinist ambitions of the Chinese revisionists. This is why Mao Tsetung could change his “friends” and “enemies” by a sleight of his hand. On May 20th, 1970, he could issue a “Solemn Statement” with the slogan: People of the World, Unite and Defeat the U.S. Aggressors and All Their Running Dogs! The next year, through the ping-pong method, he could shuffle the cards around and carry secret meetings with Kissinger and later not only collaborate with U.S. imperialism but its running dogs as well. Thus, U.S. imperialism and its running dogs, which were the enemies in 1970, become friends later and the struggle against Soviet social-imperialism becomes the main one. It is also understandable why Mao Tsetung presents the theoretical view that “practice is the sole criterion of truth”. For him truth does not exist objectively but is changed and re-changed according to what suits the ambitions of the Chinese revisionists. Whatever practice serves the Chinese revisionists becomes the “sole criterion of truth” and all-be-damned who, from the Marxist-Leninist point of view, denounce this. They are branded as “dogmatists”, “trotskyists”, “Lin Piaoists”, followers of the “gang of four”, etc., etc.
In order to understand the vulgar materialism and pragmatism of Mao Tsetung, one must understand that he takes up the aspect, the “essence of the matter”, dialectics, and from dialectics he takes up the aspect of “unity of opposites” and presents it in a “one-sided, exaggerated” form and turns it into an “absolute, divorced from matter, from nature” which leads him to clerical obscurantism. Similarly, he vulgarizes the dialectical method and materialistic theory to practice and turns it into a pragmatic tool in the service of the imperialist and chauvinist ambitions of the Chinese revisionists. This is a most important, if not the most important, feature of the theory of knowledge of Mao Tsetung. Mao Tsetung is a philosophical idealist and his method is metaphysical.
Stalin, in his work Dialectical and Historical Materialism written in 1938, one year after the anti-Marxist-Leninist concoction of Mao Tsetung On Contradiction ostensibly written to struggle against “dogmatists”, points out: “Dialectical materialism is the world outlook of the Marxist-Leninist Party. It is called dialectical materialism because its approach to the phenomena of nature, its method of studying and apprehending them, is dialectical, while its interpretation of the phenomena of nature, its conception of these phenomena, its theory, is materialistic.” But Mao Tsetung denies even the objective proof of the principles of dialectical materialism, its scientific approach and its historical validity as has been proven by the advancement of science. The truth of the principles of dialectical materialism is proven by the development of the phenomena of nature. This is why this method and theory are also applied to grasp the laws governing the society as well.
According to his own admission, Mao Tsetung is a “Chinese communist” who is “part of the Great Chinese nation, flesh of its flesh and blood of its blood” and for him Marxism does not exist “in isolation from China’s characteristics”. That is, he openly avows that the principles of dialectical materialism do not exist and it is for this reason he has his method and theory which is the product of “China’s characteristics” and has an “indubitably Chinese character”. Thus, from day one, Mao Tsetung opposed Marxism-Leninism, opposed dialectical materialism. It is also for the same reason that the Chinese revisionists and their hirelings do not for a minute stop talking about his “contributions”. They, quite shamelessly but correctly, repeat that Mao Tsetung was opposite to Marxism-Leninism. Whether on the question of the Leninist theory and approach to proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat or on the question of the construction of socialism or on the question of proletarian internationalism or the question of Marxist philosophy. At the same time, they call his distortions and vulgarizations of Marxism-Leninism as the new stage” of “Marxism-Leninism” and call themselves “genuine Marxist-Leninists”. It is convenient for them to popularize such anti-Marxist-Leninist theory and practice because, after all, it is the philosophy of imperialism, pragmatism, with its empiricism, individualism, spontaneity and expedient opportunism embodied in one phrase “the end justifies the means” which is also their own philosophy. It is particularly convenient for the opportunists in North America because, after all, pragmatism is the special creation of U.S. imperialism and these opportunists have learnt from their educators well.
Our Party, along with some other genuine Marxist-Leninist Parties shared in the mythification and edification of “Mao Tsetung Thought” and Mao Tsetung but, it is also our Party which along with the other genuine Marxist-Leninist Parties, has fought against the revisionist lines of the Chinese chauvinists and our Party courageously arrived at its Third Plenum in November, to finally throw “Mao Tsetung Thought” out of the way and put it where it belongs, that is, in the dustbin of history. Furthermore, the glorious Party of Labour of Albania with Comrade Enver Hoxha at the head never adopted either the theory of “Mao Tsetung Thought” or the practice of the Chinese revisionists. On the contrary, they fought them by defending the purity of Marxism-Leninism, smashing all the intrigues and conspiracies hatched by the Chinese revisionists and unwaveringly carried on along the correct revolutionary party of socialist construction for Albania and of upholding Marxist-Leninist line on all international questions as well. Just because before, some of the genuine Marxist-Leninist Parties, including ours, contributed to the edification of “Mao Tsetung Thought” is no reason whatsoever for them not to make an advance and reject this anti-Marxist-Leninist theory. Those who hesitate and equivocate on this question of principle will make a further serious blunder and. this time, a fatal one, which will and them into the ramp of imperialism, social-imperialism and reaction and they will sink into the mire of revisionism and opportunism of all hues. Our Party is also well aware that there are some opportunists who are posturing about their so-called “opposition” to “Mao Tsetung Thought” but this is also no reason for us to not take a principled position in defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism, and oppose “Mao Tsetung Thought” along with opposition to all imperialist fallacies and revisionism and opportunism of all hues.
DOWN WITH “MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT”!
GLORY TO MARXISM-LENINISM!