Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: Certain Aspects of the Inner Life of the
Communist Party of China. Novosti Press Agency: no date or place of
publication printed; bears stamp on inside of front cover: "APN Moscow USSR
June 1964 6d."
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, April 2010.
Back in 1912 the Prague Conference of the Bolsheviks adopted a resolution, proposed by Lenin, "On the Chinese Revolution", which was permeated with a warm feeling of respect for the Chinese revolutionaries and a readiness to give them every support. It stated: "... the Conference recognizes the world-wide importance of the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people, which is bringing emancipation to Asia and is undermining the rule of the European bourgeoisie. The Conference hails the revolutionary republicans of China, testifies to the profound enthusiasm and complete sympathy with which the proletariat of Russia is following the successes of the revolutionary people of China, and condemns the behaviour of the Russian liberals who are supporting tsarism's policy of conquest." (Coll. Works, Vol. 17, p. 485.)
Ever since the victory of the October Revolution, which shook the foundations of capitalism throughout the world and opened the sluices wide for the powerful stream of the revolutionary movement to spread all over the earth, China included, our Communist Party has always supported and continues to support the 'Communist Party of China, the Chinese revolution, maintains friendshop with People’s China and treasures this friendship.
Until recently, while the leadership of the Communist Party of China was still capable of giving objective estimates, it repeatedly expressed, at its Congresses and in individual statements, great approval of the CPSU and its Central Committee, and of the line of the 20th Congress of our Party, and stressed the tremendous importance of the 'Soviet Union and its support of and assistance to China.
We never believed it possible to criticize the internal life of the Communist Party of China, although we had, and have now, serious remarks to make with regard to certain aspects of the activities of this Communist Party, and are critical of them. We acted in this manner because we regarded all this the concern of the Communist Party of China,—in the same way as, in other cases, the concern of other Communist Parties.
However, of late, the Chinese Communists have appropriated the right to interfere in our internal affairs, both of the state and of the Party.
The leadership of the Communist Party of China lauds the Stalin's cult, opposing our criticism of the personality cult and our measures to combat its consequences. This in itself, of course, is already a serious interference in the affairs of our Party.
The CPSU Programme and Rules are subjected to unscrupulous and utterly unfounded criticism in the Chinese press.. Should we do anything of this sort with respect to the Communist Party of China, its leaders would at once attach the great-power label to us. But when they do this themselves, they think it legitimate and correct.
Lately the leadership of the Communist Party of China has adopted a policy of unbridled anti-Soviet propaganda among its own people and in all other countries where they find it possible to do so. While attacking our Party and its Programme, the Chinese leaders inordinately extol the organization and practices of their own Party, presenting its policy as "the most Marxist-Leninist", faultless line of activity, that should serve nearly as a model for others to follow—as if they really had serious grounds for doing this. They varnish up the state of affairs inside their own Party, and cover up their mistakes, of which, to take them at their word, they have none. This indicates to the lack of the highly important properties that should be inherent to leaders of a Leninist-type Party.
Lenin said: "Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions which led to it and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it—that is the earmark of a serious Party; that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class, and then the masses." (Coll. Works, Vol. 31, p. 39, 4th Russ. Ed.)
It has been precisely over the past decade, when the Leninist principles and traditions of Party life were restored, that our Party gave an especially striking demonstration of its strength, boldly revealing its mistakes and shortcomings and taking drastic measures to eliminate them. N. S. Khrushchov stressed in the report of the CPSU Central Committee to the 22nd Congress: "In conformity with the 'demands of its new Programme and Rules, the Party will unswervingly observe Leninist 'standards in Party life and the principle of collective leadership, will make Party bodies and their mem bers more strictly accountable to the Party and the people, will foster activity and initiative on the part of all Communists and their participation in the elaboration and implementation of Party policy, and will develop criticism and self-criticism." That is particularly what the Chinese leaders dislike today.
In the present situation, it would be useful to expose the violations of Leninist standards of Party life in the Communist Party of China, for these violations have a close bearing on the roots of the present anti-Leninist stand of the CPC leadership. It goes without saying that we shall not imitate the Chinese method of resorting to lies, falsification, rude attacks, vituperation and insults. That would be unworthy of Communists.
A Marxist-Leninist Party is built on the principles of democratic centralism.
Any violation of these two elements—democracy and centralism—in one or another respect signifies a deviation from the Leninist principles of Party organization and inevitably engenders either bureaucratic or anarchist tendencies in its development.
It is generally known that Lenin, this greatest authority and universally recognized leader 'of the Party, did not consider it possible to direct the Party without regularly convening its Congresses. The Congresses, as Lenin understood their role, should hear the reports of the leadership, and the Central Committee to the Party, in accordance with the requirements of the Party Rules, so as to collectively elaborate further policy, by taking into account the experience of the masses and the activities of the entire Party, or to make necessary changes in the decisions of preceding Party Congresses, should this be called for by the changed situation.
A Congress of our Party was convened already at the end of four months after the victory of the October Revolution to formulate the tasks of strengthening the 'dictatorship of the proletariat, and of the Soviet system, as well as the aims of socialist construction. Both in Lenin's lifetime and right up till the beginning of the Second World War, Party Congresses were convened regularly. This tradition and major requirement of the Rules were restored in the CPSU after Stalin died.
The Communist Party of China held its 6th Congress in 1928, its 7th Congress in 1945 and its 8th Congress only eleven years later, in 1956. Thus the Communist Party of China convened only two Congresses over the past 35 years. The CPC held its Congress six years after complete victory was won all over China in 1949. This 8th Congress of the Communist Party of China adopted important decisions, which in principle corresponded to Marxist-Leninist theory, and applied Marxism-Leninism to the conditions existing in China. This was pointed out time and again by our Party, which still continues to appraise the significance of the 8th CPC Congress held in 1956, as it has always done.
The Congress adopted the Party Rules. According to these Rules, Congresses are to be convened once every five years, with annual Congress sessions held in the interim. According to the Rules, the delegates, elected to the Congress in 1956, retain their' powers for five years. The Second Session was to be held in 1957. It was held in 1958. That was the last one. Six years have already passed. And though the Third Session of the 8th CPC Congress was to be held in 1960, it has still to be convened.
This method of keeping a delegate in office for five years is unusual and is not practised in any Marxist-Leninist Party. This cannot be considered a contribution to inner-Party democracy in the world Communist movement and, no wonder, that no other Party has borrowed this "experience" from the Communist Party of 'China.
Let us examine, for instance, the following aspect of the matter. At the election of Congress delegates in 1956, the Communist Party of China had 10.7 million members. Today it has 18 million, almost twice as many; however the delegates elected in 1956 still represent the entire Party and retain their powers though the five-year term envisaged by the Rules expired long ago. This means that almost half the Party, more than 7 million members, never elected delegates to the Congress. Where is inner-Party democracy then? Where are the rights of Party members?
Then, there is one more strange thing. Since the Party Rules have not been changed, it would seem one should abide by them. The Rules, however, are being grossly violated.
The five-year term envisaged by the Rules expired in 1961 and a new Party Congress should have been convened and new delegates elected. However, seven odd years have passed since 1956 and it is not even known when a Party Congress will be held or why it is not being convened.
According to the Rules the term of office of the Central Committee also expired long ago. However, it seems that nobody is noticing this, that the Party itself is ignoring this. Is it possible that nobody in the Party is interested in this? Even old Party members or those seven million who joined the Party after the last Congress and thus never participated in the election of its leading bodies, and the elaboration of Party policy? Finally, can it really be so that the sense of responsibility the members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party should feel to their Party has been blunted to such a degree?
The leadership of the Communist Party of China does not even deems it necessary to explain to its Party the reasons for not complying with the Rules and for not convening Congresses.
Everything shows that these questions are now decided in the Communist Party of China not by the Rules, but by the directives of Mao Tse-tung as was also the case with us for a certain period after the war, when Stalin was alive.
After the Second World War, the question of convening a Party Congres was raised time and again in the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of our Party. Stalin, however, used every means to put off the convocation of a Party Congress. The Party was prepared for one and the entire post-war situation called for one; it was necessary, firstly, to discuss the plan for restoring and further developing the economy. However, the plan was adopted without the sanction of a Congress, of the Party's supreme body, thus violating Party traditions and failing to improve its practices.
On two occasions did the Political Bureau of the Central Committee adopt decisions to convene a Congress, even fixing a definite date, but Stalin managed to get it postponed again on the ground that he was not ready to present the report of the Central Committee, that because of age he found it 'difficult for him and needed more time to prepare.
As a result, the Party Congress was convened only in 1952 and not in 1946-1948, although it had been quite possible to do that then. The only reason it did, not take place was the personality cult, the inordinate role it played in the Party leadership. Today something similar is believed to take place in the 'Communist Party of China. After all, they also failed to have the first Five-Year Plan for economic development to be discussed at a Congress, the "three red banners" policy and the transition from agricultural co-operatives to communes were carried out without any directives issued by a new Congress and even in contravention to the still valid directives of the 1956 Congress. A new Five-Year Plan should have come in force already in 1963. However, nothing is yet heard of a Congress being convened to outline the further development of economy. Moreover it should be most definitely stated that the new policy of the Chinese leadership, which has emerged in recent years as regards the world Communist movement, international and home policies, and its new ideological platform, which is tantamount to revision of the major theses of Marxism-Leninism—all this sharp change was effected without the Party being consulted, without a Congress convened and contrary to the decisions taken at preceding Congresses of the Communist Party of China. This signifies not only revision of the Marxist-Leninist theory and practice common to the Communist Parties, but above all, revision with regard to the CPC itself, its principles and the decisions of its Congresses.
Hence an attempt to analyze on what points and in what fashion the present ideological theses and practices of the Chinese splitting leadership digress from the decisions of Chinese Party Congresses, and how they contradict these decisions, can in no way be taken as an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the Communist Party of China. This has nothing in common, either in form or in substance, with the rude interference of the Chinese leadership in the affairs of other Parties.
It will be easy, against the background of theses on international issues to trace the fundamental turnabout in the position of the CPC leadership, its revision of points coordinated at international conferences of the Communist and Workers' Parties and of resolutions adopted at its own Party Congresses.
Strange as it may seem, the Chinese Communist Party has no programme of its own. This is a serious question and we shall revert to it later. However, the Party Rules, which the CPC adopted at its 8th Congress in 1956, are prefaced with a brief "Programme Outline". This document says that —the Communist Party of China advocates a foreign policy aimed at world peace and peaceful co-existence of countries with 'different systems." Such was then the Chinese Communist Party's general line in international affairs. And the interpretation of peaceful co-existence was then identical too. No wonder the CPC Central Committee report to the 8th Congress emphasized that the 20th CPSU Congress "had put forward proposals for the further expansion of peaceful co-existence and internal co-operation and had made a signal contribution to the relaxation of international tension."
The Chinese ,delegates at the 1957 and 1960 Moscow Communist Party Meetings proceeded precisely from these theses of their Congress, when they signed documents setting forth the stands with regard to war and peace, peaceful coexistence and the class struggle on the international scene, the stands unanimously taken by all Communist Parties in the world.
Who is now authorizing the editors of Jenminjihpao and Hungchi to publish theses that are poles apart?
The notorious "Sixth Article" (of December 12, 1963) about the CPSU Central Committee's Open Letter, mockingly calls it a crime for the "CPSU leadership to count peaceful co-existence the 'general line of the foreign policies of the Soviet Union and all the countries of the socialist camp,' " claiming that this supposedly "means putting the sign of equality between the fraternal socialist countries and the capitalists, that it means renouncing the socialist camp", that this line allegedly "accords with imperialism's wants and plays into the hands of the imperialist policy of aggression and war", that this line even "implies the 'substitution globally of the class co-operation for the class struggle", etc., etc.
Apropos, about the international agreements of the USSR and the class struggle in different capitalist countries. There was a time when Mao Tse-tung had a good idea of the interrelation between these two problems. More than that, he saw to it that nobody in China misunderstood it, that is, interpreted it in the way now presented by Jenminjihpao and by Hungchi.
In his explanatory notes to "About the Evaluation of the Present International Situation", Mao Tse-tung wrote then (in April 1946), while speaking of the possibility of agreements between the imperialist and socialist countries and, in particular, between the USSR, USA, Britain and France, "that this does not at all mean the peoples in the countries of the capitalist world should also agree to compromises at home. The peoples of all countries will still continue the struggle, which will assume different forms depending on the situation."
Note how well it is put, with respect to a struggle whose forms will be varying with the situation.
In their 1957 Declaration the Communist Parties conjointly and unanimously stated with respect to the forms of the struggle and forms of transition to socialism in the capitalist countries:
"The forms of transition from capitalism to socialism may vary in different countries. The working class and its vanguard—the Marxist-Leninist 'Party—seek to achieve the socialist revolution by peaceful means. This would accord with the interests of the working class and the entire people, with the national interests of the country. . . In the event of the exploiting classes resorting to violence against people, the possibility of non-peaceful transition to socialism should be borne in mind."
At its Second Session in May 1958, the 8th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party adopted a special resolution in which it unanimously approved this Declaration and the Peace Manifesto and stated that these documents had "ushered in a new stage in the international Communist move ment of today and had lent tremendous inspiration to all the working people and to all the forces for peace, democracy and progress throughout the world."
But what document, of which Chinese Communist Party Congress, has legalized the departure from these positions and, in particular, the situation and of the balance of forces, as being supposedly the only possible way and the "universal law of the proletarian revolution" (from the Hungchi and Jenminjihpao articles on March 31, last) for all countries and nations? And, as conclusion stemming from this "law", rude interference in the affairs of the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries, demanding that they start the armed struggle and—whenever this demand is objected to—labelling of the leaders of the Communist Parties of these countries as being "as cowardly as mice- or "pusillanimous penguins".
Does that really correspond in any way to the spirit, letter or sense of the documents of the Moscow Meetings or of the 8th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party? There can be only one answer: not in the slightest!
For that matter, that is no longer 'concealed in China. In its eighth article of March, 31 last, Jenminjihpao directly demands "to re-examine and amend" (which really means nothing but to revise!) formulations on major issues set down in the Declaration and Statement of international Communist Party Meetings.
The attitude of the Chinese leadership to disarmament and the ending of nuclear tests has undergone a similar metamorphosis. Back in 1958, in the decisions of its Second Session the 8th CPC Congress clearly and definitely stated:
"The Soviet Union was first to cease nuclear weapon testing, and the Government of the Korean People's Democratic Republic and the Government of our own country conjointly decided to withdraw the Chinese people's volunteers from Korea. These facts show the peoples of the world that the countries of the 'socialist camp are ready to do their utmost to maintain peace. However, the aggressive bloc under the aegis of US imperialism is still disregarding the peaceful aspirations of the peoples all over the world and is still refusing to end nuclear weapon tests, cold war, reduce armaments or withdraw its troops from Korea, and is still doing everything to put off a summit conference."
Thus, in 1958 even the unilateral cessation of tests by the USSR was assessed as a manifestation of the fact that "the countries of the socialist camp are anxious to do their utmost to safeguard peace", while the aggressive circles were criticized for slighting the peaceful aspirations of the peoples. Now, in defiance of what the Chinese Communist Party Congress proclaimed, the partial test ban is declared "capitulation to American imperialism" and as having the aim of "consolidating the nuclear monopoly of the three powers". (From the Jenminjihpao and Hungchi articles.) Now what has changed? Have nuclear tests become less harmful to humanity? No, it is the view of the Chinese leadership that has changed and turned into the direct opposite of what the Congress favoured. But it is not even thought necessary to inform the Party and the Congress, as its supreme body, about that.
Having thus revised the theses of joint Communist Party documents and the resolutions of its own Congresses on international affairs, the CPC leadership made up its mind to try to shift the charge of revisionism to where it does not belong and has been drumming away in issue after isJenmjihpao and Hungchi, that it is the CPSU leadership who "makes propaganda for its revisionist line of so-called 'peaceful co-existence,' peaceful competition' and 'peaceful transition, and has started preaching the 'reasonability' and 'kind intentions of the imperialists' ". (From the article of September 6, 1963.)
The Soviet press has only to note that some personality in the capitalist countries has displayed a reasonable approach, even on a trifling point, as the Chinese press raises an incredible clamour.
Particularly strong charges were levelled against us for negotiating with Kennedy, whom the Chinese politicians saw as merely the personification of US imperialism and reaction, maintaining that any sober approach on the part of his administration or any act from positions of reason and common sense in issues of war and peace, was completely out of question. Therefore, in the eyes of the "orthodox" Marxists of the present Chinese slant, our search for venues to establish relations of mutual confidence with the US in these issues, is betrayal of the cause of revolution. However, in the CPC Central Committee's report of 1956, the Chinese leaders themselves singled out American personalities who had come to realize that a new world war would not be of any advantage at all to US interests. The report said: "Even among US ruling circles we find more or less sober-minded people who are beginning to realize that a policy of war would scarcely be advantageous for America."
One must not forget how subtly Lenin approached such matters or the great importance he attached to the evaluation of individual bourgeois politicians and the trends they stood for. No wonder he wrote, precisely in his " 'Left-Wing' Communism, an Infantile Disorder":
"The divergences between the Churchills and the Lloyd Georges—with insignificant national differences these political types exist in all countries—on the one hand, and between the Hendersons and the Lloyd Georges on the other, are quite minor and unimportant from the standpoint of pure, i.e., abstract Communism, i.e., Communism that has not yet matured to the stage of practical, mass, political action. But from the standpoint of this practical mass action, these differences are very, very important." (Sel. Works, Vol. 2, p. 628, FLPH, Moscow, 1947.)
The programmatic documents of the Moscow Meetings of the Communist Parties confirmed the definition, given by the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, of the main content and main contradiction of our epoch. In its resolution of May 23, 1958, the Second Session of the 8th All-China Congress of the Communist Party of China deemed it necessary to especially single out the thesis of the Declaration that at the present time "world development is determined by the course and results of the competition between two diametrically opposed social systems".
The Statement of the 1960 Meeting of the Communist Parties clearly said: "The main forces of our day are the international working class and its chief creation, the world socialist system."
On this point again, the Chinese leadership, grossly contravening the resolutions and directives of the CPC Congress, have now lent themselves to the unsavoury business of trying to counterpose the national-liberation movement to the world socialist system and the international working-class movement.
In particular, the so-called "Fourth Article" of the newspaper Jenminjihpao, and the magazine Hungchi (of October 22, 1963), is devoted to this. It "proves" that the main contradiction of the present epoch is the one between imperialism and the national-liberation movement, whereas socialism is only a "base", an auxiliary force for this movement. For instance, it is claimed that "the national-liberation revolution in Asia, Africa and Latin America is presently operating as the most important force, that is directly delivering a blow at imperialism. Asia, Africa and Latin America are those areas where the world's contradictions are focussed."
The effort to drive a wedge between socialism and the international working-class movement, on the one hand, and the national-liberation movement, on the other, is futile and doomed to failure. It is perhaps, precisely on this point, that the Chinese splitters best show their true colours and expose themselves. Unity of the great movements of our time is the earnest of peace and the social progress of mankind.
In the same fundamental way, in contravention of the 8th Congress directives, has the CPC leadership changed its attitude to economic co-operation between the socialist countries, particularly and, especially, in the appraisal of our assistance to People's China.
Making the report of the Central Committee to the Congress, Liu Shao-chi said:
"The Soviet Union lent tremendous assistance to the cause of socialist construction in our country; the People's Democracies of Europe and Asia also rendered great assistance in this respect. The Chinese people will never forget this comradely help of the fraternal countries. This help, as in the past, is help that we need now, and shall need in the future. China's unity and friendship with the great Soviet Union and the other socialist countries, which is based on common aims and mutual assistance, are everlasting and unbreakable. The further consolidation of this unity and friendship is our supreme international duty and the basis of our country's foreign policy."
The Congress resolution underlined that the setting up in China of a new "industrial system is of tremendous importance not only for facilitating the all-round development of the national economy of our country, but also for strengthening the co-operation between the countries of the socialist camp, for promoting a general advance in the economy of all the socialist states."
But this Congress resolution, too, is evidently not obligatory for the Chinese leadership, which has begun to offer "the relying on one's own forces" in opposition to co-operation with the socialist countries.
Addressing a rally in Pyongyang on September 18, 1963, Liu Shao-chi declared the exact opposite:
"There are some people today who oppose the fraternal countries in the promotion of a policy of relying on one's own forces, mainly, in construction. They say that since there exists a socialist camp uniting a number of socialist countries, it is necessary to draw on these splendid conditions and, in conformity with the principle of proletarian internationalism, implement in construction the policy of international division of labour and co-operation in production instead of stressing the principle of relying on one's own forces."
With what incredible spite did he go on to say things he knows to be untrue about advocates of mutual assistance, co-ordination and co-operation. In his opinion, they "are using this pretty screen merely to follow the example of the capitalist countries, which in their mutual relations do detriment to others to grind their own axe, prevent the economically underdeveloped countries from developing their own independent economies, make these countries dependent on them economically, and put them under their control politically. In their opinion, the other fraternal countries have only the obligation to sacrifice themselves for their sake and, meanwhile, have no right to develop an independent national economy."
Is there really such an issue, and a controversial one at that, as to whether each country should, or not rely primarily on its own forces in the building of socialism? No, there is not. Why, then, have the Chinese leaders invented it and presented it as a subject of controversy? Simply because they have embarked on a nationalistic road, because the line of nationalism is now prevailing in their country, and the raising of this issue accords with the aims of this fallacious line.
To deny the need of co-ordination between the socialist countries, of a division of labour between them—as the Chinese leaders are doing, in violation of the directives of their own Party Congresses—would mean to doom each socialist country to isolation in overcoming the difficulties encountered in building up socialism, to insufficient use of the advantages of socialist production, and also of the advantages of large-scale production, generally.
One feels the Chinese leaders are themselves aware of the folly and inanity of all this. That is why their comments on this issue are confused and contradictory. They have been led to and placed in this position by the logic of factional struggle against the general line of the international Communist movement, by their vain attempts to ferret out differences even where they do not exist, deepen and inflate these differences, and split the Communist movement.
They are, in effect coming out against close co-operation between the socialist countries, because the Soviet Union accounts for the greater proportion of this co-operation, and in their anti-Soviet craze they are sliding down to negation of the absolutely correct and irrefutable propositions, adopted by the Congresses of their own Party and by all the other Communist and Workers' Parties.
The crux of the matter does not at all lie in the differences on problems of co-operation within the socialist camp, but in the hostile attitude taken to the Soviet Union. That is the evil.
No wonder that when there was none of this hostility and rage, Chinese leadership's stand on matters of co-operation was diametrically opposite to its present one. Here, for instance, is an extract from Chou En-lai's report on the Second Five-Year Plan to the 8th CPC Congress, made on September 16, 1956. It speaks for itself, and, therefore, needs no comment.
"The other stand—the effort to build alone, in isolation from the outside world—is also erroneous. Needless to say, the assistance of the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies will, as before, be necessary for a long period of time to build up an integrated industrial system in our country; simultaneously, it is also necessary to develop and expand economic, technical and cultural exchanges with other countries. In addition, even in the future, when our country will be a socialist and industrial power, will it be difficult to imagine ourselves being able to isolate ourselves and dispense with assistance. .. . Hence the isolationist attitude to the building of socialism is also incorrect."
The so-called line of the "three red banners" has been proclaimed as the China's internal economic policy over the past few years. The "banners" policy comprises the general line plus the great leap and the people's communes. It is anyway queer that the leap (the industrial policy) and the communes (the policy of agriculture development) are not included in the "general line" but seem to supplement it.
No wonder, no fraternal Party, even ruling Communist Parties of Asia, adopted the "three red banners" policy, that dubious "contribution" of Chinese theoreticians.
You will look in vain through the decisions of Chinese Party Congresses for anything about the "banners" policy. On the contrary, these decisions formulate the Party's gen-. eral line quite differently, and, further, more precisely, issuing a serious warning against reckless "leaps" and skipping of necessary stages of co-operative farming. Thus, the CPC Central Committee report to the 8th Congress in 1956 pointed out that the pace of advance "should be stable and reliable, in order not to digress from correct proportions in developing the economy, not to place too heavy a burden on the people or to upset the economic patterns, not to frustrate the fulfilment of the plan, in order to avoid wastefulness, which would lead to adventurist blunders". This, certainly, hits the mark! It seems as if they themselves foresaw that precisely adventurist blunders would lead to such consequences. Unfortunately, that was what happened. 14
Another report to the same Congress, entitled "Proposals on the Second Five-Year Plan of Economic Development", gave the following warning against a leftist deviation in development rates: Some branches of the national economy and some areas desired to attain successes in a faster way; they attempted to accomplish in three to five years or even in one or two years, what could be done in only seven—twelve years. The Central 'Committee of the Party punctually exposed and eradicated this deviation."
In its decision the Congress called on the Party to combat the tendency of blindly pushing ahead when the hard facts, the actual opportunities and, the planned, proportionate development of the national economy, are ignored".
In the theoretical plane revision of these directives of the Congress is evident starting with Liu Shao-chi's report to the Second Session of the Congress in 1958, in which the "leap" was mentioned and the so-called theory of "saddle-type development" advanced. "Saddle-type development," the report explained, "implies peaks at either end and a drop in the middle." The following movement of the economy was elevated to the rank of a law of socialist development: "high tide—ebb—a still higher tide, that is a leap—conservatism—a still bigger leap. Isn't it clear to everybody?"
What really "is clear to everybody" in this respect is that a "theory" of this kind does not bear even a remote resemblance to Marxism which considers planned and proportionate development the law of socialist economy. Meanwhile the ups-and-downs series are characteristic of capitalist economy with its inherent anarchy of production. Lenin wrote in Iskra: "Capitalist production cannot develop otherwise than by leaps and bounds—two steps forward and one step (and sometimes two) back." (Coll. Works, Vol. 5, p. 90.)
Evident in the same report were the dangerous tendencies of recognizing the inevitability of disparities in the economy, and a snobbish-leftist attitude to technology and specialists. It demanded that the entire population take a hand in building up industry, so as to thus "refute the mysticism of this supposedly being the monopoly of a few", so as to "necessarily campaign firmly and steadfastly against the tendency of the one-sided bias towards the latest technology," and "against the tendency of the one-sided overemphasis on the role of specialists". All this resulted in the slighting of proportionate development, in the scrapping of technological processes and in disdain for the quality of the output.
As the Soviet specialists naturally could not depart from the positions of promoting balanced, technical progress, of respecting technical standards and well-founded technological processes, they proved to be in the way of the organization of the "big leap" and the Chinese leaders took steps which could not but result in the recall of these specialists from China.
However, as far as concrete plans for industrialization and the rates of development were concerned, the Second Session of the Congress in 1958 still took a realistic view of things, which in the main harmonized with the correct and proper decisions that the 8th Congress of the CPC had adopted at its First Session in 1956. The goals of the Second Five-Year Plan were not modified and consequently, the decisions of the Congress in 1956 still stood. The leftist adventuristic changes in the rates of advance and introducing of the "three red banners" line were effected already after the Congress and over its head.
Whereas at the Second Congress Session in May 1958, for instance, the setting of the aim to overtake Britain in the production of main industrial items in "15 years or sooner", had been mentioned, in that same year of 1958 it was already stated that Britain could be overtaken in 'steel and pig iron output in one or two years. It was like that all along the line. There appeared in 1960 the collection "Long live Leninism!" with a "theoretical" argumentation of disdain for technology. It said: "Marxists-Leninists always observed that in world history the destiny of mankind depends not on technology but on the human being, on the masses."
Why did the Chinese leadership need to place technology in opposition to the human being? Merely to somehow vin dicate in the eyes of the Chinese people the setting of unreal, fantastic, unfeasible tasks, to justify its adventuristic policy.
The fulfilment of the First Five-Year Plan (up to 1957) resulted in nearly doubling China's industrial output. That was a great achievement. The Five-Year Plan was completed ahead of time, in four years. We rejoiced together with the Chinese people at those successes. The Second Five-Year Plan envisaged a doubling of industrial output. However, successes caused flourishing of 'conceit and of wishful thinking to in crease the rates of development twofold, threefold and even more. As a result, the goals of the new version of the Second Five-Year Plan, worked out by the CPR State Planning Com mittee in July 1958, or in other words, shortly after the Sec and Session of the 8th Congress, were arbitrarily boosted from a 2-fold increase of industrial output to a 6.5-fold increase in five years, which thus meant an average annual rate of increase of 45 per cent. Meanwhile, in agriculture goals were boosted 2.5-fold, implying an average yearly rate of advance of 20 per cent. This was precisely what constituted the so-called "big" or "general" leap.
Five years passed but the Chinese leadership did not even think it necessary to render account to the Party and the people on how the Five-Year Plan had been carried out. It lacked the courage to confess the shameful fiasco of the fantastic "leap", which so strongly smacked of those Trotskyite plans for "super-industrialization", that our Party has rejected in its day. The danger of these ultra-revolutionary leftist plans lay in the inevitable subversion of the alliance of the workers and peasants, as the policy of pushing things too far in industrialization inevitably placed a heavy burden on the peasants. Naturally, this danger soon manifested itself in China too, during the period of the "leap" in the establishment of the communes and in attempts to skip the necessary stages of co-operative farming in the countryside, and in Mao Tse-tung's formula "to work persistently for three years and change, in the main, the face of the most parts of the country".
Lenin precisely stressed: "If any Communist dreamed of being able in three years to remake the economic foundations, to transform the economic roots of petty farming, he, of course, was a pipe dreamer." (Coll. Works, Vol. 32, p. 193, Russ. Ed.) That clearly shows everyone the true meaning of utopianism and the true meaning of Marxism!
In its decisions the 8th CPC Congress in 1956 issued a serious warning against forestalling events in the collectivization of agriculture. It pointed out:
"In the process of developing the agricultural producers' co-operatives care must be taken to prevent heedless amalgamation of small co-operatives into large ones, so as to avoid difficulties in economic management and production organization together with the adverse effects they have on agricultural production."
However, again the decisions of the Congress proved to be not obligatory for the CPC leadership. The "drive against the so-called 'forestalling of events' " was castigated in 1958 and in late August the CPC Central Committee adopted its decision "On the Establishment of the People's Communes", in which it in particular pointed out: "The transformation of collective property into the property of the whole people is a complicated process. In some areas this transformation may be effected rather quickly, that is in three or four years; in other areas this transformation may take place at a relatively slower pace, meaning that five or six years or a still longer period will be required."
The Plenum of the CPC Central Committee, that adopted this decision, put forward the super-leftist motto: "We must not mark time at the stage of socialism!" So what was to be done to "skip" socialism? The Plenum decision supplied the following answer: "Apparently the bulding of Communism in our country is no longer something remote. We must make vigorous use of the form of the people's commune and evolve through it a concrete way of the transition to Communism."
Now, however, the Chinese leaders are questioning the possibility of the transition to Communism in the Soviet Union, a country that has built Socialism! How well does this, though a somewhat modernized version, harmonize with the Trotskyite claim that it was impossible to build Socialism in our country!
Though lacking the material and technical resources and other prerequisites for effecting the transition to Communism, the Chinese leaders declared that because of the high level of consciousness among the Chinese peasants, they would nevertheless be able to go over to the communes ahead of the Soviet Union, which had supposedly got stuck at the co-operative stage. There were plans, moreover, to organize mammoth amalgamations including from 15,000 to 20,000 households. However, there were no experienced people to do the job and, for that matter, it was impossible to supervise such a vast volume of work. Finally there were plans not only to put the communes in charge of agricultural production, schools and the local industry but also to militarize the labour communes, and even the turn-out for work was organized as in military units.
One cannot but draw the conclusion that a petty-bourgeois ideology was manifest in the desire to pave the way to Communism through the village, through a hasty transformation of forms of ownership in agriculture. This meant ignoring the Marxist-Leninist teaching on the transition period, on the preparation of the necessary material and technical base, and the other essential conditions for the building of Socialism and Communism. What is this but un disguised petty-bourgeois utopianism, which is being substituted for scientific proletarian Socialism!
The communes were set up under the motto of "eliminating the remnants of private property". Private plots, household livestock, poultry, orchards, trees, and farm implements, and, in many places, also lodgings and personal belongings (such as sewing machines, bicycles, furniture, pots, and other household utensils) were made the commonly-owned property of mammoth communes. Remuneration of labour in the countryside, based on the workday unit and the principle of the material incentive, was annulled and replaced by a system of a minimum wage and free meals, according to the "number of mouths", i.e., by a wage-levelling system. Scientific farming was proclaimed conservative, interfering with a gigantic rate of development in agriculture. The decision adopted at that same Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee in August 1958, said
"The overcoming of right-wing-deviationist and conservative views and the scrapping of customary rules for the application of agrotechnical measures have produced a situation in which agricultural produce is being increased twofold, severalfold, more than tenfold, dozens of times over."
Fantastic projects were put forward to reduce the sown areas and there was talk about China having nowhere to store surplus rice over the next few years. However, several months later district after district in China slid to the brink of famine. Food rationing was introduced. It had to be announced that harvest figures had been overestimated, that actually they were only about half as much. The resulting hardships coincided with crippling natural calamities.
Hard times set in for the next few years, called years of "regulation" in industry and agriculture. The communes were reorganized. The old co-operatives were actually restored in the guise of big teams. The principle of the material incentive was also restored to a substantial extent. But the courage to frankly confess that the Chinese leaders had suffered a serious setback in their communes policy, was lacking. The slogan of the communes, therefore, remained, though, the substance changed most radically.
However, the situation could not be remedied, because of a new swing in economic policy now from leftist to rightist deviation. Agriculture was proclaimed the foundation of the economy, and at its 10th Plenary Meeting in September 1962, the CPC Central Committee set the slogan of "putting agricultural development first". Neither is this, of course, any "new vital law of development of socialist economy", that has allegedly been discovered in China—as the Chinese press is trying to represent. It runs completely counter to Marxism-Leninism and to the decisions of the 8th CPC Congress of 1956, which said:
"In order to transform our country from a backward agrarian one into a leading socialist industrial power, we should in the course of three Five-Year Plan periods or of a slightly longer time, create in the main an integrated industrial system, so that industrial production dominate in social production. . . , so that the technical reconstruction of the national economy receive the necessary material base."
It is difficult to say anything definite at this moment about the state of China's economy. No economic statistics, not even the briefest of information on economic progress, have been published over the past few years. All that is known is that 1963, as far as economic indices are concerned, was better than 1962, while 1962 was better than the preceding year. For peace-time ,development, this kind of statistics cannot be considered normal. Prior to 1958 the situation was entirely different.
These are all the peculiar "features" of the development of the inner life in the Communist Party of China under the conditions of a flourishing personality cult. Neither decisions of Congresses nor those of the Central Committee have any independent and defining significance now; they are only needed as comment on the instructions of the leader. The newspaper, Chung Kuo Ching Niev Pao frankly declared on March 10, 1964: "The instructions and documents of the Central Committee of our Party and of the supreme bodies are the crystallization of the ideas of Mao Tse-tung in present-day practical struggle and work."
The emergence of a neo-Trotskyist deviation as represented by the CPC leadership, and characterized by petty-bourgeois anarchism and nationalism, leftist revisionism of the resolutions of its own Congresses and the decisions of the Moscow Meetings of the Communist Parties, and the deification of a personality, is no chance thing. A role of no mean importance was played in this respect also by the conceit the CPC leadership displayed after the major successes of socialist construction preceding the "three banners" period. V. I. Lenin foresaw the danger of conceit that threatens a Party that has won, a ruling Party. He noted that the failures political Parties sustained had often been preceded by a state, in which these Parties could have become conceited. Lenin warned against the grave danger of a Party "finding itself in a very dangerous position, namely, the position of a man who has grown conceited.—It is a rather silly, shameful and ridiculous position." (Coll. Works, Vol. 30, p. 493, Russ. Ed.)
The way to the turn about in home and foreign policy, and the departure from the standards of Party life that Marxists-Leninists universally recognize, was paved over a long period by separate errors, manifesations of dogmatism and partial contradictions with Marxism—until the present system of ideological and political views finally developed.
It is no secret that many of the political slogans to which international significance is now being pretentiously attached were current in China over many years. The claim that the atomic bomb was a paper tiger was made back in 1946 while the thesis that "the whole world can be remade with the rifle" is still older.
Right up to the liberation of China, the CPC worked among the peasants, what greatly influenced its character as a Party. In an article marking the 30th anniversary of the CPC Peng Chen noted:
"As the Communist Party of China was for long in enemy-isolated villages, and hence peasant and petty-bourgeois anarchy, subjectivism, sectarianism, bureaucratism, as well as adventurism, defeatism and other trends, at times with extreme ease found expression in the Party." This helps us to understand much of what is going on in the Communist Party of China today.
Prior to liberation, the CPC was made up chiefly of peasants, who comprised about 90 per cent of total Party membership in 1949. The proportion of working-class representation in the CPC ranks climbed very slowly even after the founding of the 'People's Republic of China. On the eve of the 8th Congress, in late June 1956, CPC membership had the following social composition: workers, 14 per cent; peasants, 69.1 per cent; representatives of the intelligentsia, 11.7 per cent; representatives of other sections of the population, 5.2 per cent. 21
The holding of Party Congresses also had some serious peculiar features. For instance, when delegations from the fraternal Parties came for the 8th CPC Congress in 1956, it was learned that a whole fortnight before the official opening had been taken up by group meetings of delegates from the different provinces, of army delegates and of delegates from central offices. This had been, in its way a dress rehearsal for the Congress, with the texts of the various reports speeches being made. These meetings have chosen the speeches that were to be delivered at official sessions of the Congress. It was even said that preliminary elections to the Central Committee by secret ballot had already been held_
Such practice, being unknown and not in use in any other Communist Party, hardly can be included into the arsenal, into the practices of the Communist Parties.
Nor did the following strange practice on the part of the CPC Central Committee pass unnoticed, either. Delegations from 50 fraternal Parties were invited to, and attended, the First Session of the 8th Congress in 1956. They were given the opportunity to state their views at the Session and describe the state of affairs in their own Parties. That was good and normal, after the manner of other Parties.
But when the Second Session of that Congress was convened in 1958, no delegations from the fraternal Parties were invited. Only two reports were published: by Liu Shao-chi, who delivered the Central Committee's report, and by Tan Chen-lin, who explained the basic points in plans for CPR agricultural development over 1956-1967. The resolutions of the Session and the communique on its Meetings were also published. However, Teng Hsiao-ping's report on the Moscow Meetings of the Communist and Workers' Parties was not published. This suggests that evidently the report already had some theses on the international Communist movement of which the Chinese leaders had not found possible to inform all the members of their own Party or the fraternal Communist Parties. One may well imagine that the CPC had already started to evolve, in some measure, a special line, running counter to the agreed decisions the Communist Parties had adopted.
Nor was Mao Tse-tung's speech at that Session of the Congress published either, though the communique said that he had addressed the Session. What sort of period in China's development is this when the speech that the Party leader makes at a Congress cannot be published? Or perhaps things of an extraordinary and secret nature were discussed?
As distinct from the Congress Session in 1958, all reports and speeches of the 1956 Session were published. For the benefit of the Soviet reading public the Soviet Party press printed in millions of copies the full texts of all reports and the more important speeches delivered at the Congress, as well as slightly abridged versions of the other speeches made there.
But the most serious "peculiarity" of the Communist Party of China, which derives from the volition of its leaders, is the absence in fact, of a Party programme.
This is a hard fact. The Communist Party of China has no programme, for the Manifesto that it adopted at its 2nd Congress in 1922, is not regarded as a Party programme even by the CPC itself. Though this Manifesto is of definite importance historically, it can in no way serve the Party as a guide to action today. No references are therefore made—nor can be made—to a programme either in Party decisions or in the Party press.
There is no need to speak in detail in this article of the great importance that Lenin and our Communist Party attached to a Party programme.
Lenin linked up the charting of a programme with the very founding of the Party. In 1919, in under 18 months after the victory of the October Revolution, the Party adopted at its Congress a programme that now oriented the Party and the people on the building of a socialist society—since by this time the previous programme, whose aim had been to achieve a victorious proletarian revolution, had already been carried out. At its 22ncl Congress, proceeding from the fact that socialism had been built in the USSR, the CPSU adopted a new programme setting the historical goal of effecting the transition from Socialism to Communism.
In direct contrast to this concern for a Party programme is the approach that many bourgeois Party ideologists take to the subject. Thus, in his book "Constitutional Government and Democracy", the American lawyer Friedrich says that, the. Party is strong in its apparatus and, consequently, the apparatus is primary and the programme secondary.
Can it really be that the Chinese leadership also regards: a programme as being "secondary"? Can it really be that in the 15th year of a victorious revolution, the Chinese comrades are deprived of the opportunity to work out a Party programme? In CPR papers one will often hear it claimed that the Chinese cannot go by the decisions of other Parties—though nobody has ever urged the Chinese Communist Party to do that. But we may very well ask: Where is your programme? Is such a Party good and "correct"—as you yourselves are fond of saying? And by what is one to check the correctness of its home and foreign policy?
Incidentally, in the attitude to a Party programme, too, one may draw a certain parallel, deriving from the personality cult in the USSR in Stalin's life-time and the personality cult that is now current in China. Back in 1939, our Party decided at its 18th Congress that it was necessary to draw up a new programme, as the old one had been carried out. It elected a commission to draft such a programme. However, like the other commission elected already at the 19th Party Congress, this first commission did not meet once. Only after the 20th Congress did it become possible to draft and adopt the new CPSU Programme.
Can it really be that China's Communists are not asking why, in contrast to the Communist Parties in other countries, their Communist Party, 18,000,000 strong, has no programme of its own? Is it not an axiom of Marxism-Leninism that to steer surely, never losing sight of the goals and prospects and never rushing from one side to the other, a Party must have a comprehensive militant long-range programme to cover a definite chapter of history? But the Chinese Communist Party does not have that.
And does not that make one think that the absence of a programme presents favourable conditions for the personality cult—as in this particular case this cult is tied down to nothing and even fundamental programmatic Party policies can be changed without particular difficulty and without caution, in conformity with the leader's directives?
The absence of a programme, the refusal to convene Party Congresses regularly, and, consequently, the "ageing" of Congress decisions, which thus causes the impression of their not being obligatory, all have little in common with Marxism-Leninism. On the contrary, these things are characteristic of a Party leadership which has made the personality cult all-supreme and has embarked upon revisionism. It is precisely in these conditions that it is possible to substitute directives formulated under the impact of one or another impression, for a programme, for the collective will of a Party and for principles common to the entire Communist movement.