The General Programme of the Party Constitution points out that present-day Chinese society is semi-feudal in nature. But the Liberated Areas, with a total population approaching 100 million, are of a new-democratic character. This demonstrates the economic and political unevenness and complexity of Chinese society.
The nature of the Chinese society, the fact that the basic motive forces of the Chinese revolution is the proletarian-led masses who's main force is the peasantry, the existence of the powerful Chinese Communist Party and the prevailing international situation are all factors which have come together to determine that Chinese revolution can be neither a bourgeois-democratic revolution of the old type nor a proletarian-socialist revolution of the newest type, but that it must be a bourgeois-democratic revolution of a new type. In this revolution, though the basic motive forces are the proletariat, the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie, other classes may join the revolution, and we also have numerous allies both at home and abroad. Therefore, the task of the Chinese Communist Party at the present stage is to unite all classes, strata, nationalities and individuals that may take part in the revolution to fight for the complete elimination of oppression by both foreign imperialism and domestic feudalism and to fight for the establishment of a new-democratic republic of China based on an alliance of all revolutionary classes and the voluntary alliance of all nationalities. Only after this revolution has been completed, only when China’s economy has developed to its full extent in a new-democratic country, only when many necessary preparatory steps have been taken and, finally, only when the Chinese people feel the need and desire for it, can a socialist and communist system be set up in China. This question, on which there has been some confusion and much debate in the Party in the past, has now been defiantly clarified.
The General Programme of the Party Constitution also deals with many other special characteristics of the Chinese revolution These include the uneven development of the revolution and consequently its protracted nature and complexity, and the importance at given periods of armed struggle and revolutionary bases in the rural areas. All these points have been clarified.
The special characteristics of the Chinese revolution used to be the most contraversial issue within the Party. Opportunists have invariably been mistaken on this question. It is in the course of struggle against opportunism on this issue that Mao Zedong Thought has attained its full development. Hence, there is the need to explain and affirm these characteristics in the General Programme of the Party Constitution. It is necessary for every Party member to aquire a profound understanding of them.
The best explanation of the specila characteristics of the Chinese revolution is to be found in the history of our Party. Traversing a glorious, unique and historical path and coming to grips with and giving play to the special characteristics of our revolution, our Parter has grown under the guidence of Mao Zedong Thought, from a small group of Marxists(193) formed after the May 4th Movement of 1919 to its position today leading strong revolutionary base areas.
The Chinese Communist Party has developed on the basis of the workers’ movement and the Chinese people’s struggle for emancipation, and it has developed in the course of the revolutionary struggle against national oppression by foreign imperialism and against oppression of the masses by domestic feudalism. It has grown in the course of these revolutionary struggles against all the enemies of the Chinese nation and people. The history of our Party is the history of the Chinese working class uniting with and leading the people in revolutionary struggle against foreign imperialism, which oppressed the whole nation, against domestic feudalism, which oppressed the people and against the lackeys and hidden agents of both.
The Chinese Communist Party has developed and tempered itself in three great revolutionary wars — the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan. In other words, it has developed and tempered itself in the course of protracted armed struggle. For many years the history of our Party has been a history of these three revolutionary wars.
The Chinese Communist Party has matured during the course of promoting its unity with the broad masses of peasants and the urban petty bourgeoisie. It has also mathured through unitting with the bourgeoisie against common foes, though it has had to conduct many-sided struggles against the comprimising, reactionarty character of the bourgeoisie. The history of our Party is, therefore, a history of close unity with the broad masses of peasents and the urban petty bourgeoisie and of both unity and struggle vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie.
The Chinese Communist Party has grown up in the course of building great revolutionary base areas, particularly those in the countryside, and in the course of carrying out new-democratic political, military, economic and cultural reforms and construction oin these base areas. For many years the history of our Party has been a history of building base areas for the contempory Chinese revolution, particularly those in the countryside, and of successfully expeerimenting with different kinds of new-democratic reforms and constructions in these areas, which helped to educate our Party and the people throiughout the country.
Lastly, the Chinese Communist Party, as represented by Comrade Mao Zedong, has developed and consolidated itself throught its struggles against the opportunists who ignored or misunderstood the special characteristics of the Chinese revolution, against the dogmatism and empiricism, against Chen Duxiuism and the Li Lisan line and against the subsequent ‘Left’ line and capitulationism. It hase done so by integrating the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism ever more closely with the practice of the Chinese revolution. The history of our Party is a history of opposing and crushing opportunism of all discriptions and of continuous intigration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution.
All this constitutes the concrete historical road our Party has traversed.
This historical road provides the best expalnation of the character and motive forces of the present Chinese revolution, its uneven development and, consequently, its protracted nature, the complexity of the revolutionary struggle and the importance of armed struggle and of the rural revolutionary base areas. It shows that the development of the Chinese revolution has its own special features. It points to the decisive role which the Marxist-Leninist leadership of the proletariat is playing in this revolution.
The histroical rode our Party has traversed is one which Comrade Mao Zedong, the leader of our Party defined long ago on the basis of the characteristics of the Chinese revolution. The road he has shown us reflects most correctly and fully the course of our Party’s history and the course of the contempory revolution of the Chinese nation and people. At certain historical periods he was not in a position to determine the action of the entire Party through formal, organization chanels, and it is precicely these histroical periods that best demonstrate that the true fate of our Party and the correct revolutionary orientation of the Chinese proletariat and people lay with, and continued to be developed by Comrade Mao Zedong. He alone is the people’s representative and nucleus.
Our Party, guided by Mao Zedong Thought, has developed and tempered itself in the long course of the Chinese revolution, which has special characteristics. In the years to come it will continue to do so in the course of fighting for its goal under the guidence of Mao Zedong Thought and in the course of acquiring a more profound understanding of and making better use of its special characteristics. For this reason, in the General Programme of the Party Constitution, special emphasis is layed on these characteristics, which will exist until a complete and nationwide victory is won. in China’s new-democratic revolution. Therefore, every Party member must constantly bear them in mind and must not for a moment forget them in order to avoid or minimize mistakes in his work. Otherwise, many of the msitakes in hte past may be repeated. For instance, failure failure to understand the extreme uneveness of the Chinese revolution and the resultant complexity of the revolutionary struggles has given rise to over-centralization, unnecessary regimentation, over-simplification, generalization and lack of flexibility in our work. Failure to understand the protracted nature of the Chinese revolution and the lack of adequate mental preparation for the long-drawn-out and difficult struglles has given rise to various forms of impetuosity or pessimism in difficult times. Failure to understand the importance of armed struggle in the Chinese revolution has led to the msitake of undereestimating army work and neglecting the acquisition of military knowledge. Failure to appreciate the importance of rural revolutionary base areas has resulted in the mistake of imposing the urban point of view nu rural circumstances and neglecting rural work. Likewise, failure to appreciate the importance of urban work at certain periods has led to the mistake of neglecting it and clinging to rural conservatism. Failure to realize the necessity of carrying on long-term and patient work among all sections of the people has led to putschism, adventurism and commandism, and so on and so forth. For our comrades to understand these characteristics merely in a general sense is quite inadequate. They must take them into account in their work and in dealing with every specific issue if they are to avoid or minimize mistakes. These characteristics shoulkd therefore be, atleast for the present stage, taken as part of our Party’s fundamental programme.
Next: IV. Concerning the Mass Line of Our Party