Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Editorial: Mao Zedong’s ideas are guiding China

First Published: The Call, Vol. 8, No. 34, September 10, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Three years have passed since the death of Mao Zedong, the great leader of the Chinese people and a man who educated and inspired revolutionary fighters throughout the entire world.

Since Mao’s death on Sept. 9, 1976, far-reaching changes have taken place in the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party which Mao led for more than 40 years. These developments have sparked much discussion internationally as to whether or not China is departing from the revolutionary path charted by Mao.

This question arises in part owing to the work of the enemies of revolution in the world–those who would like to undermine confidence in socialist China at a time when it is playing a key role in awakening the world’s people to the danger of superpower war and those who would like to preach the message that it’s no use making revolution, for all revolutions go bad in the end.

But the question also arises among genuine friends of China because the changes in line and policy over the last three years have indeed been complicated.

We believe emphatically that China is still marching along Mao’s path. In every field and on every major question, it is still Mao’s revolutionary vision which points the way forward.

The main campaign in China today, for example, is the struggle to achieve the “four modernizations” of agriculture, industry, science and defense to bring China up to advanced world standards by the year 2000. This campaign was one which Mao, along with the late Premier Zhou En lai conceived of as early as 1956.

Mao stressed at the time that having won the liberation of China and having established the socialist system, the party and state had to turn their attention to vast efforts to modernize, upgrade productivity and provide the people with a higher standard of living. This is exactly what China’s leaders are now concentrating on, having finally cleared away the sabotage of the gang of four who disrupted these efforts in the intervening years.

Another of Mao’s contributions was on the importance of pursuing the class struggle under socialism and preventing revisionism. This need to continue waging class struggle was reaffirmed by China’s new leader, Hua Guofeng, at the recent session of the National People’s Congress, although Hua also pointed out the “negative example” of how the gang of four carried out what they called “class struggle” to the detriment of China during the Cultural Revolution.

In understanding international politics, it was Chairman Mao who put forward the theory of the three worlds and charted a strategic and tactical course for fighting the U.S. and the USSR, the two main enemies of the world’s people. It is this conception which continues to underlie China’s revolutionary foreign policy, and it is for this reason that China remains a bastion of support for every people fighting for independence and liberation.

Of course China continues to change and develop as does the world around it. Mao himself was always quick to point out that his words should not be taken as static dogma or given significance beyond their context. Mao could not possibly have answered every question China faces, nor could all the answers he did formulate have been 100% correct. It is only natural that today in China, Mao’s contributions along with everything else from the past period are being looked at carefully and critically.

But on all the basic questions there is no doubt that China is developing in a way consistent with Mao’s teachings. On this third anniversary of his death, we can remain highly confident in socialist China and in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.