If the capitalists of town and country ... are growing into Socialism, is the dictatorship of the proletariat needed at all? (J.V. Stalin: ibid.: P.254)
Mao Tse-tung replies in the negative.
The new-democratic state, in which the working people share power with the capitalist class can build socialism in China. There is, Mao says, no need for a state in which the working people, led by the working class, suppress the capitalist class – for the capitalist class forma part of the people; they support the cause of socialist construction.
Ours is a people’s democratic dictatorship. ...
The aim of this dictatorship is to protect all our people so that they can work in peace and build China into a socialist country. ... Who is to exercise this dictatorship? Naturally, it must be the working class, and the entire people led by it. Dictatorship does not apply in the ranks of the people. The people cannot possibly exercise dictatorship over themselves; nor must one section of them oppress another section. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid.; P. 4,5).
Thus, Mao holds that socialism can be built in China under a “state of the whole people”; a formulation later concretised by the Soviet revisionists.
This means, Mao proceeds, that the parties of the capitalist class must be permitted to function freely during the building of socialism.
Why should the democratic parties of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie be allowed to exist side by side with the party of the working class over a long period of time? Because we have no reason not to adopt the policy of long-term co-existence with all the democratic parties which are truly devoted to the task of uniting the people for the cause of socialism. ... It is the desire of the Communist Party, also its policy, to exist side by side with the democratic parties for a long time to come. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid. P.43,44).
And although Mao speaks of the desirability of
the leadership of the. Communist Party, (Mao Tse-tung; ibid.,p.42)
he makes it clear that, during the building of socialism, this leadership by the Marxist-Leninist party can and should be shared with the parties of the capitalist class on the basis of “long-term mutual supervision.”
It is the desire of the Communist Party, also its policy, to exist side by side with the democratic parties for a long time to come. ... Mutual supervision among the various parties has also been a long-established fact. ... Mutual supervision, which is obviously not a one-sided matter, means that the Communist Party should exercise supervision over the democratic parties, and that the democratic parties should exercise supervision over the Communist Party. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid.; p.44).