First Published: Canadian Worker, Vol 1, No. 6, October, 1969
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The twentieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China is a great day not just for the Chinese people, but for all the revolutionary people of the five continents of the world. For this is the anniversary of twenty years of socialist construction.
For twenty years the Chinese working class, together with the poor and lower-middle peasants has striven to change China from a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country into a rapidly developing socialist nation. China has come so far as to be capable of constructing nuclear weapons, and to defy the two industrial ’world powers’, the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists. Chairman Mao remarked that China’s seven hundred million should contribute much more to the general well-being of the world and now, through twenty years of socialist construction, she has begun mightily to do so!
This is the anniversary of twenty years of revolutionary class struggle. Certainly no amount of real socialist construction is possible, nor secure, without sharp perpetual class struggle. Progress is always held back, or staved off, by the reactionaries who cling to their wealth and power, and by revisionists (the representatives of the bourgeoisie in the ranks of the revolution) who argue that times have changed, that ’we must go slow’, that ’Lenin is dead’, that ’we must fear the enemy’, and on and on. In Canada this takes the form of people saying that Walter Gordon is a ’good guy’, that the NDP is socialist, that the ’left’ is small and must have unity (with no thought of principle at all). Lately these revisionists have even taken to frightening themselves with ominous talk of ’fascism’.
But Mao’s teaching ’Never forget class struggle’ has been followed diligently by the Chinese masses, and the bosses and overlords have been kept under fire. Mao said the big landlords reacted to the formation of cooperatives with the old-world proven, that ’a chicken feather can’t fly up to heaven’. But the poor peasants persevered and have changed their lot through class struggle and removed yet another bourgeois ’truism’ from the days of oppression. The reactionaries have not been able to stop the forward march of the Chinese proletariat. Class hatred has been sustained and proven more than a match for the ’sugar-coated bullets’ of a desperate bourgeoisie seeking a comeback.
And the revisionists, during this twenty years of class struggle, have fared no better. All their attempts to hedge the battle, to ’prettify’ the old way, have been shown up and denounced. In Mao’s words, the proletariat is the greatest class in history; they won’t be out-manoeuvered by old game of ’personal interest’ and ’look out for number one’. But stunts of this kind have been the stock-in-trade of the Kremlin big-shots. The new ruling stratum of the Soviet Union which usurped power after the death of Stalin has sought to disguise themselves by crying that matters have become ’too complex’ for ’simple’ workmen. Employing the ’reforms’ of gangster intellectuals like Lieberman, they have ’modernized’ and ’decentralized’ their economy. These new magantes and land-grabbers now only concoct plans to oppose socialism. The factory managers (the technical intelligentsia that some are so fond of) and the ’bonus system’ rule the roost. But that will be short-lived. The working class of the Soviet Union posses the heritage of Lenin and Stalin. They will shrug off the Breznnevs and the Kosygins and set out on a proletarian cultural revolution of their own after the fashion of the Chinese.
The tremendous achievement of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution carried out under the personal leadership of Mao Tse-tung is a momentous contribution to the arsenal of Marxist-Leninist theory. As the new Constitution of the Communist Party of China states: the Cultural Revolution is ’...a great political revolution carried out under the conditions of socialism by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes’.
The Cultural Revolution nipped-in-the bud the counter-revolutionary plans of Liu Shao-chi and shattered the Soviet-U.S. dream of a capitalist restoration in China. A great victory for the entire world movement and a serious lesson! We know now to sharpen our vigilance, ’to think things through with our own heads’ and to recognize that class struggle goes on after the seizure of power by the proletariat. This is especially true in the spheres of education anc culture which are riddled with nooks and crannies of ’tradition’ and the mystification of ’expertise’ and authority. Marxists know that the teachers must also be taught, and who better to teach them than the revolutionary proletariat.
In Socialist China the working class has entered the realm of the superstructure. Acting under the working class dictatorship, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has seized another outpost and secret stronghold of the bourgeoisie.
For years the enemies of Mao Tse-tung and the proletarian line ’hid out’ in the field of culture and worked to undermine socialism. Now they’re out of a job and some of our ’sophisticated’ friends can weep for the loss of their ancient ’heroes’ (the kings, queens and sycophants who survived on the backs of the people). Today an intellectual is properly judged by whether or not he casts his lot with the workers and peasants. A question to aim at ourselves here in Canada, as well. We could apply that test with devastating effect to the ’new left’ fakers who practise a kind of ’pop’ Marxism, complete with disposable definitions and ’disappearing’ classes.
The year 1969 is a special year for the history of class struggle and Marxism. This past spring the Communist Party of China held its Ninth National Congress and affirmed that the pure line of proletarian internationalism, of Marxism-Leninist-Mao Tse-tung Thought, is a correct course For those phonies and opportunists who are afraid of struggle and sit up nights looking for a ’compromise’ for a ’higher unity’ between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, there is no hope. No unity can supersede class interest. They can scurry back and forth in search of ’third roads’ and ’special problems’ all they like, but the logic of events will eventually betray them and they’ll be lost in the revolutionary flood.
We’ve seen more than enough nationalist morons who want to sidetrack the working-class struggle, to divide workers and to `’supersede’ class demands with nationalist goals. For years the revisionist ’Communist’ Party has ’Put Canada First’, and the working class last.
The line of the Ninth Congress is a line of proletarian internationalism, the direct opposite of bourgeois nationalism. There is no Marxist-nationalist hybrid. Proletarian internationalism must be the line of all revolutionaries who want to end exploitation. In Canada it is our job to apply this maxim against the backroom commandos who costume as revolutionaries and strike ’heroic’ poses. (Some of these commandos can’t decide whether they should be Marcus Garvey or the Emir of Afghanistan.) Proletarian internationalism is also the line to crush the petty influence-peddlers who seek a career in both camps. We should tell the reconcilers that there is no ’middle road’; ’the East Wind prevails over the West Wind’. The fight against revisionism, particularly its Moscow headquarters, is becoming an increasingly deadly affair. The Moscow bosses are trigger-happy and desperate. As was the case with Czechoslovakia, they are impatient to settle the matter with tanks. Along with U.S. imperialism, they share a common class hatred of Communism and therefore of the People’s Republic of China.
It is vital to understand that the Soviet rulers have destroyed the proletarian dictatorship and restored capitalism. Because of this their so-called ’aid’ and presence in Asia, Africa and Latin America is in essence neo-colonialism. Their opposition to U.S. colonialism is on a par with John Foster Dulles’ opposition to the French and British colonialists. That is why their so-called ’aid’ is so lethal. The Soviet big-wigs use their weapons and their wealth for empire building. They and the U.S. have a partnership to carve up the world. It is not an exaggeration to call them the new czars. They are bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh of all the reactionaries in history, and will share the same miserable fate.
Because they are in such a panic about the strength of the proletarian revolution in China it is not unthinkable that the Soviet social-imperialists may attack. But as Mao has said, either the revolution will prevent the war or the war will bring the revolution. ’A new historical period of opposing U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism has begun.’
In Canada we must apply the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought to the concrete conditions of the struggle. In the period of upheaval and turmoil to come we will be guided by the wisdom of Mao’s poem:
So many deeds cry out to be done,
And always urgently;
The world rolls on,
Ten thousand years are too long
Seize the day! seize the hour!
Hail the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China!
Hail the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution!
Hail the victorious Ninth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party!
To Mao Tse-tung, the Lenin of our era, we wish a long, long life!