Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Can You Really Swallow All This? Reversal in China More Blatant

First Published: Revolution, Vol. 4, No. 1, January 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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It was just a year ago that the historic struggle with the Menshevik-splitters in the Revolutionary Communist Party came to a head. That struggle was posed in large part in terms of the question of China. Now, scarcely a year later, who can be fooled? The revisionism of these capitalist-roaders is so blatant that it strikes any revolutionary-minded person in the face. What was before apparent upon a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the line of the new rulers of China has now become obvious even on a perceptual level.

“Never before has capitalism been so nakedly advertised.” These words attributed by the present leadership to Yao Wen-yuan, one of the so-called “gang of four,” ring loud and true. At the time Yao was supposed to have said this, it was the line of documents by Hua and Teng that fit the description. Now it’s reached the level of Coke and western-designed military uniforms. Deals are being concluded with foreign capitalists who are invited to reap profit from China’s resources and labor.

In the face of the developments of the past year, the defense which the Mensheviks who split from our Party tried to make of their position one year ago now stands as an indictment of China. The “gang of four” and Teng Hsiao-ping are “opposite poles of the same stupidity,” they warbled. Teng’s General Program ”sacrific[es] the interests of the masses” and contains “revisionist errors,” while Teng himself in 1975-76 “stirred up a right deviationist wind, which posed a danger of capitalist restoration.” (See their document in Revolution and Counter-Revolution [RCP Publications, 1978], pp. 163, 221, and 222.)

Where is that song today? Teng is openly running the show and the recent session of the Central Committee officially proclaimed that “the gang arbitrarily described the political line and the achievements of 1975 as a ’Right-deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts.’ This reversal of history must be reversed again.” (Peking Review #52, 1978, p. 13.) The Tien An Men incident involved counter-revolutionaries “taking advantage of the situation” and attacking Mao, they bravely proclaimed less than a year ago (Revolution and Counter-Revolution, p. 224). What do they say now when this same Central Committee meeting holds that “the Tien An Men events of April 5, 1976 were entirely revolutionary actions” (Peking Review #52–our emphasis)?

Our Mensheviks may huddle in embarrassed silence, but their more experienced cousins in the CPML skillfully slide in the news of these absolutely blatant attacks on the line of Mao Tsetung as incidental examples of following “the call to freely criticize past errors” (The Call, 1/8/79, p. 13)!

Comrade Peng Teh-huai?

The CPML also notes that “The Central Committee also decided to rehabilitate several veteran party comrades who, they agreed, had been unjustly criticized in the past.” Very innocuous-sounding. But who are these “veteran comrades”? The Call slyly omits their names, but if we take the trouble to turn to the Peking Review we find, leading the list, one Peng Teh-huai.

Yes–the same Peng Teh-huai, the onetime Defense Minister, who led the assault on Mao Tsetung and the Great Leap Forward at the famous 1959 Central Committee meeting in Lushan, the one who attacked the Great Leap and the new-formed People’s Communes as petty-bourgeois and adventurist, in exactly the same terms as Khrushchev was then attacking these socialist new things. The same Peng Teh-huai who, moreover, met with Khrushchev and conspired with him to try to take the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party out of the hands of Mao and his revolutionary line–and, finally, the same person who served as the real subject of the play, Hai Jui Dismissed from Office, whose criticism by Yao Wen-yuan launched the Cultural Revolution. There could be very few more direct attacks on Mao’s whole line than the rehabilitation of Peng. What will be next? “Comrade” Liu Shao-chi?

The leaders of the CPML and of the Mensheviks certainly know all this. They know that Mao’s line is being spit upon in a myriad of ways in today’s China. These leaders have their own reasons for going along with what happens in China–they have a little niche carved out for themselves, and they will do anything to preserve their own petty careers. Besides, they welcome revisionism. Now it’s clearer what Menshevik leader M. Jarvis meant when, still in the RCP, he huffed “I’ve always been consistent on Teng. He’s a revisionist.” He just forgot to say aloud in his last sentence: “and that’s why I like him.” Perhaps these Mensheviks will soon do us all the favor of becoming the first openly self-proclaimed revisionists in history.

As for the membership of these organizations, the leadership banks on keeping them in ignorance of developments in China–or on the fact that they have become too cynical to care.

But if any of these members have even the slightest spark of revolution still smoldering in them, it is high time now to fan it back to life and quit these counter-revolutionary organizations and rejoin the revolutionary ranks before that spark is totally extinguished.