Colin Penn

China 1968

First Published: The Marxist, No. 6, March-April 1968
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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IN CHINA 1967 is called the year of the decisive victory of the cultural revolution. The masses were fully mobilised in ideological struggle, led by the thought of Mao Tse-tung, and once this had been achieved, reaction had lost. The struggle is not over, but every day victory is being consolidated and is marked by the setting up of ’revolutionary committees’ or ’triple alliances’ - sometimes in a province, sometimes in a large city, an agricultural county or factory.

When such a position is secured, trusted revolutionaries are elected to positions of leadership but remain one with the masses, minor differences between comrades are recognised as minor, and unity is forged with agreement on the tasks ahead. The handful of ’capitalist-roaders’ who would reverse the course of the revolution, and who have some-times succeeded in deceiving some of the masses for a time, are being fully exposed.

Five tasks

The New Years Day editorial in the People’s Daily and other newspapers set the following main tasks for 1968.

1. Develop the study of the thought of Chairman Mao. His ideas must be ’directly mastered by the masses and translated into the conscious, revolutionary action of hundreds of millions.’

2. Continue to expose revisionism, bring about an alliance of all revolutionary forces, ’transform education, literature and art, office and administrative work and all parts of the superstructure that do not correspond to the socialist economic base.’

3. Rectify Party organisation and build the Party. Admit outstanding proletarians who have come forward during the Cultural Revolution and purge the renegades, secret agents and capitalist-roaders.

4. Strengthen the unity between armymen and civilians. The army must rely on and learn from the revolutionary masses.

5. Simultaneously with carrying on revolution, promote production and preparations against war. Put politics in command and revolutionise people’s thinking.

The editorial points out that ’even in the excellent situation some dingy corners will remain ...and continuous effort will have to be made to ensure that class struggle has full vent.’ As, Chairman Mao says, ’all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct desperate struggles’. The task now is to wipe out reaction completely in order to advance to new heights of production and ideological understanding and to be prepared for whatever may lie ahead.

The effect of the cultural revolution on the rest of the world has been stupendous. A new concept has been added to Marxist-Leninist theory: unless the socialist seizure of power is followed up by resolute destruction of the ideas and methods left behind by the old society, it will fail.

Those who planned to corrupt China’s youth as those of Eastern Europe were corrupted have received a decisive setback. The prophecies of doom by the Pekingologists have been falsified by the record harvest, mounting industrial production and outstanding technical achievements.

The Americans and the Soviet revisionists have been enraged and terrified to see their nuclear black-mail thwarted by China’s hydrogen bomb and guided missile tests, which the oppressed peoples struggling for liberation have greeted with pride and joy. Together with the thunder of the guns of the victorious Vietnamese people they prove that the day of imperialism, which has caused and is still causing so much suffering, is nearing its end. They prove too that imperialism will be ended, not by those who seek ’peaceful coexistence’ with it, but only by those who struggle against it unremittingly, led by a Party based on a correct political theory.