Already, in the first quarter of 1967, “Revolutionary Committees” were being instructed to follow policies which serve the interests of the capitalist class.
True, these policies are couched in “revolutionary” language. The granting of wage increases is described as “counter-revolutionary economism”, so that the freezing of wages – a policy dear to capitalists everywhere – is presented as “the struggle against counter-revolutionary economism”!
The reactionary elements freely squander the wealth of the state, arbitrarily increasing wages and benefits. ... This economism is opposed to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung’s thought. (“Oppose Economism and Smash the Latest Counter-Attack by the Bourgeois Reactionary Line”, editorial in “Renmin Ribao”, January 12th, 1967; in: “Peking Review”, No. 4, 1967; p. 13-14).
We hope that you will become models in.. .opposing... economism and selfishness. You should strengthen labour discipline. ... You should, in accordance with the regulations laid down by the Party’s Central Committee, firmly uphold the eight-hour work day and carry on the cultural revolution during the time outside the eight hours of work. During the working hours it is impermissible to absent oneself without good cause from one’s production or work post. (Letter from the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to Revolutionary Workers’ and Staff and Revolutionary Cadres in industrial and Mining Enterprises, in: “Peking Review”, No. l3, 1967;, p. 5).
In similar vein are the instructions to shun “extravagance” and reduce the social services and transform education into fascist indoctrination.
Thrift and frugality are the qualities of the proletariat, and extravagance and waste are characteristics of the bourgeoisie. ... When the proletarian revolutionaries take financial power into their own hands, they must be thrifty and must not authorise expenditure rashly. (“Practise Economy in Carrying out Revolution...etc.”; editorial in “Renmin Ribao”, January 26th, 1967; in: “Peking Review”, No. 6, 1967; p. 15).
Chairman Mao has said that: ’THE PERIOD OF SCHOOLING MUST BE SHORTENED...’ The lessons will consist mainly of the conscientious study of Chairman Mao’s works and of quotations from his writings, of documents relating to the great proletarian cultural revolution and the criticism and repudiation of bourgeois teaching materials and methods all being linked with the great proletarian cultural revolution. (“Re-Open Classes and Make Revolution in Primary and Secondary Schools.” editorial in “Renmin Ribao”, March 7th, 1967; in: “Peking Review”, No. 11 1967; p. 13, 14).
And, as for
Houses confiscated from capitalists (Urgent Notice of “Shanghai Workers’ Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters”, and 31 other Revolutionary Organisations, in: “Peking Review”, No. 4, 1967; P.8)
by people who thought it was some kind of anti-capitalist revolution:
Those who have moved into houses seized by force must move back to their original lodgings within one week.” (Urgent Notice...etc.; op. cit.; p. 9).