Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

August 29th Movement

Victory in China, victory for entire working class

Masses Rout ’Gang of 4’

First Published: Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 11, January 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

We have all been reading or hearing about the current class struggle taking place in the People’s Republic of China. The capitalist press has depicted this struggle as a fight for power between a “radical” faction and a “moderate” faction. According to the capitalist scribblers, the “moderates” have won the fight and will now proceed on a pragmatic path of capitalist restoration. What are the facts and why must the U.S. working class concern itself about the class struggle in China?

During his lifetime that great Marxist-Leninist, Mao Tsetung had often warned the Chinese people to be vigilant toward the development of capitalist elements inside the ranks of the Communist Party of China. Chairman Mao had seen the bitter experience of the Soviet Union, where positions of privilege inside the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had caused many of its leading members to degenerate, to become fat and wealthy bureaucrats, and then go from seeing themselves above the working class to a position of actually exploiting the working class.

Such a process, Mao said, is inevitable unless a continuous class struggle is waged within and without the ranks of the Communist Party. We must arm the masses with Marxism-Leninism, he stressed, and turn them loose, under the leadership of the Party – on every hidebound bureaucrat and overstuffed party “leader” who would rather take the capitalist road.

During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s several hundred million Chinese workers and peasants took up the struggle to keep China a Workers’ State, a country of socialism – where honor is measured by one’s work and dedication to society, and not by one’s title or wealth; where the working class rules all aspects of life, and where only exploiters (a tiny minority in all societies) have no rights (right to exploit). The fury of the Chinese masses shook the country, and shook the world. One after another each and every capitalist roader was exposed, grabbed by the throat and put to flight by the Chinese masses. Men who had thought themselves “invincible” and “too powerful” to be affected were knocked on the seat of their pants.

Liu Shao-chi was one such person. He had built up headquarters all over the country – infecting whole districts and sections of society (e.g., education) with his capitalist poison that socialism should be built by relying on capitalist methods and incentives, that education belonged to an elite and not to the workers and peasants; that production, and not revolution should be the motive force of socialism. But the people with the callouses on their hands and the blisters on their feet knew exactly how to handle capitalist roaders. Mao had armed the masses with Marxism-Leninism, a science which made them invincible and which enabled them to see through every subterfuge and lie put forward by Liu Shao-chi. The “ignorant” and “lowly” workers and peasants of China kicked out the “high” and “educated” officials and showed that the masses, and the masses alone, would decide the destiny of their country.

Learning from this rich historical experience, the laboring people of China have been able to uncover and defeat three recent attempts by capitalist roaders inside the Communist Party to seize the leadership of the Party, and to turn China into a capitalist country. They defeated the would-be assassin Lin Piao, who, when discovered tried to run off to his capitalist masters in the social-imperialist Soviet Union. Lin Piao had denounced the practice of office personnel going to May 7th cadre schools, where they engaged in collective productive labor in order to bring them closer to the masses, as “unemployment in disguise”. He hoped to incite a section of the office workers with the prospect of cushy office jobs, separated from the people, to act as overlords, rather than as servants of the people. He also attacked the practice of intellectuals going to the countryside to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants as “reform through forced labor in another guise”. He wanted China to emulate the practice of capitalist countries, where the intellectuals are taught to see themselves as above the common working people, a practice reinforced with material rewards. Needless to say, the Chinese masses gave Lin Piao and his crew their just desserts for peddling such trash.

Last year the masses, under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Party, caught another capitalist roader trying to steal the leadership of the Party, in order to head China along the pragmatic direction of capitalism. Teng Hsiao-ping that darling of the capitalist press, said that China could somehow reach complete socialism, even if it took the capitalist road. He said, b} way of metaphor, “it doesn’t matter whether it is a white cat or a black cat, any cat that catches mice is a good cat.” He advocated the use of increased material incentives, rather than socialist enthusiasm, as the chief means of increasing production. He tried to turn revolutionary Chinese culture into a harmless drug of entertainment rather than being a tool of inspiration and education to enlighten the workers and peasants. He preached reliance on things foreign (capitalist) rather than reliance of the initiative and enthusiasm of the Chinese masses’ themselves. Well, the Chinese masses grabbed this “cat” by the scruff of the neck and told him: Yes, it does matter, mister capitalist roader, whether we are to have the capitalists or the working class rule over China, whether we are to have a capitalist dictatorship or a dictatorship of the working class.

Because of Chairman Mao’s leadership, and through their own experience the Chinese working people have learned that classes do indeed exist under socialism, and class struggle does indeed go on. “Class struggle is the key link”, said Chairman Mao. If a continuous struggle is not waged by the working class against the capitalist class, the latter will inevitably seize power. Socialism is not yet communism, and under the socialist system, bourgeois right in distribution and exchange still exists, and wage differentials and other hangovers from capitalist society remain, and will only be eliminated over a protracted length of time. What is decisive, and what prevents bourgeois right from becoming bourgeois society is that state power rests in the hands of the workers, who can restrict bourgeois right, and who can suppress any and all attempts by capitalist roaders to restore the power of the parasites and landlords. And of course, the capitalist roaders are also well aware of this and that is why they invariably try to seize power by seizing control of the vehicle of proletarian state power – the Communist Party. That is why Mao told the workers: if you want to find the capitalists, look right inside the Communist Party, because THAT is where they will try to grab leadership.

Well, the capitalists have tried again and failed again. Within the past several months a small clique of Party “leaders” made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the leadership of the Party; they tried a coup to overthrow the leadership of the Central Committee. Marxists of course do not resort to “coups” to seize power, they rely on the inexhaustible energy and power of the masses in order to overthrow the capitalists and establish proletarian dictatorship. It is only capitalists who think in terms of intrigues and plots, divorced from the masses. This latest plot was led by Central Committee members Chiang Ching, Wang Hung-wen, Yao wen-yuan, and Chang Chun-chiao. Before his death Mao had seen the capitalist tendencies of this small clique. He warned them as early as 1974:

“Chiang Ching has wild ambitions. She wants Wang Hung-wen to be chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and herself to become Chairman of the Party Central Committee.

He told this introverted clique that they were practicing revisionism (the outlook of capitalists who hide behind Marxist phrases), and not Marxism, that they were not being open and aboveboard like the workers, but instead conspiring, in the manner of capitalists, that they were not trying to unite with the majority of the party and the people of China but were trying to split the Party and the people. But they would not listen, and shortly after his death they tried to seize power. They were caught red-handed by the Party and the people. Indicative of how isolated this “gang of four” had become were the massive millions-strong demonstrations held in support of the Party and of Chairman Hua Kuo Feng (elected by the Central Committee on personal recommendation of Chairman Mao). The “gang of four” could not muster up a parade of four to support them. In fact, in Shanghai, the so-called “stronghold” of the “gang of four” – 6.5 million people demonstrated against them, and in favor of Marxism-Leninism. Right now a mass, movement is going on throughout China to examine every sphere of life which the pernicious influence of this revisionist clique might have infected.

The workers and peasants of China will rout not only the “gang of four” but also all traces of their capitalist line. American workers, we can be proud. A section of our class, the Chinese proletariat, have successfully defended a land of socialism. Once again our common enemy, the capitalist class has been defeated – and this defeat is a victory for every working man and woman in the world. We are able to witness one of the greatest mass movements in history, and it should inspire us to rout all “capitalist roaders” (revisionists) within our own movement, and to destroy the power of “our” capitalists once and for all.