In the Soviet Union, the revisionists built up the cult of Stalin’s personality in order to use this cult as a weapon to discredit him. For Stalin was and remained a loyal Marxist-Leninist.
In the People’s Republic of China, the revisionists and the capitalists whose interests they serve have, built up a cult of Mao Tse-tung’s personality. Here, however, this cult serves – at least for the time being – the task of trying to secure the obedience of the army, the Party and the people to the Chinese capitalist class, which puts forward its “instructions” through the person of “the leader” – Mao Tse-tung.
The cult of Mao’s personality began to reach its present exaggerated heights in July 1966 – when great prominence was given in the press to reports that Mao had swum nine miles in the Yangtse.
In the autumn of 1966 Mao reviewed some 11 million ”Red Guards” in Peking, prior to their return to their home areas ”to spread the flames of the cultural revolution”. At the same time all the organs controlled by the counter-revolutionaries began to publish large photographs of Mao Tse-tung in every issue, he being described as
the great teacher, great leader, great supreme commander and helmsman.. . (“Peking Review”, No. 38, 1966.; p.3).
On August 8th, 1966 it was announced that the entire printing industry would be mobilised to print 35 million copies of Mao’s, writings by the end of 1967.
In the spring of 1967, the “cultural revolution” had manifestly failed to achieve its planned “blitzkrieg” against the Party and the working people. And the “arrest” or “removal” of so many veteran Communists from the Central Committee had turned this body into a mere fiction usurped by the counter-revolutionaries.
It therefore became necessary for the counter-revolutionaries to raise to ever more exaggerated heights the cult of Mao Tse-tung, to whose instructions the obedience of everyone in China – and in the world – was due.
A typical example is an article published under the cynical title “Down with Slavishness”:
Chairman Mao is the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era. Every sentence uttered by Chairman Mao is truth. ... Therefore we must act according to Chairman Mao’s instructions whether or not we have already fully grasped its significance. ... A proletarian party must have its own true outstanding leader and it is necessary to establish his absolute revolutionary authority throughout the party. (Lin Chieh: “Down with Slavishness....etc”, in “Renmin Ribao”, June 16th, 1967, in: “Peking Review”, No. 27, 1967; P. 30).
The most extreme presentation of the cult of Mao’s personality to appear to date appears in an article by the Acting Chief of Staff, General Yang Cheng-wu under the title “Thoroughly Establish the Absolute Authority of the Great, Supreme Commander Chairman Mao.
If you are a revolutionary, a Marxist-Leninist, you will inevitably support the great leader Chairman Mao...; if you are a; counter- revolutionary, an anti-Marxist-Leninist, you will inevitably oppose Chairman Mao ...
Chairman Mao is the very red sun that shines most brightly in our hearts. He is the great, teacher, great leader, great supreme commander and great helmsman selected by the proletariat and the revolutionary’ people of China and the world in the course of their protracted revolutionary struggles. He is the authority of the world proletarian struggle in the present era. ... He has the most profound Marxist-Leninist wisdom and the richest experience in struggle. ...Chairman Mao is the greatest Marxist-Leninist, the most outstanding proletarian leader and the greatest genius of our era. ...
Comrade Lin Piao says that a genius like Chairman Mao appears in the world only once in hundreds of years, or in China only once in thousands of years. Chairman Mao is the world’s greatest genius. ... Chairman Mao will always be our supreme leader, our supreme commander and the red sun shining most brightly in our hearts. Without him, there would not be the great Party we now have, nor our great army and great country; the Chinese people would have nothing, and the people of the world would find it impossible to achieve their liberation. ...We will always follow him closely and thoroughly establish the absolute authority of our great supreme commander Chairman Mao. We pledge our lives to defend Chairman Mao’s position as the supreme leader. Anyone who opposes Chairman Mao stands condemned by all of us, the whole Party; he will be denounced by all of us, the entire nation. ...
None of the earlier Marxist-Leninists personally, at the very forefront, directed so many important political and military campaigns as Chairman Mao. And none of them experienced such protracted sharp and diverse struggles as Chairman Mao has. (Yang Cheng-wu: “Thoroughly Establish the Absolute Authority of the Great Supreme Commander Chairman Mao. . .etc.”, in: “Peking Review”, No.46, 1967; p.17-18,19,20).
In May 1967
A huge statue of Chairman Mao was unveiled at Tsinghua University in Peking. (“Peking Review”, No 20, 1967; p. 5).
Also in May 1967, the Military Commission of the “Central Committee” of the Party announced that, beginning mid-May, a badge bearing the profile, of Mao Tse-tung would be issued to every member of the army. The General Political Department of the Army did not disguise the reasons for this move.
The General Political Department of the P.L.A. points out that the issue of the badges is an important event in the political life of the entire army. Wearing the badges will remind the P.L.A. men that their great leader, the reddest red sun in their hearts, is always with them. ... The General Political Department urges all commanders and fighters, after receiving badges, to be still more loyal to Chairman Mao... act:.. according to his instructions and be his good fighters. (“Peking Review”, No. 21, 1967; p. 13).
And, it was announced in July 1967 that
more than 840 million copies of Chairman Mao...were printed in the 11 months from July 1966 to the end of May 1967. (“Peking Review”, No. 31, 1967; p. 5).