Putting the Common Good First

Source: PEKING REVIEW Vol.1 No.3, March 18, 1958

Transcribed for www.wengewang.org

With mass discussions and debates and literally millions of proposals for doing things more effectively welling up from below, every sphere of life in China is changing. In this revolutionary ferment, the people’s consciousness of the merits of socialism has become surer and deeper.

In this atmosphere the industrialists and business men, members of the democratic parties, and intellectuals of bourgeois origin are extending their vision. In industry, in agriculture and in every branch of the economy, they are witnessing new progress. That is why they are re-examining old beliefs and old prejudices, and are trying to play their part in the advance of New China which is rooted deep in the national and popular will

This means attuning themselves to the times, remoulding themselves, discarding outlooks which hinder them and studying and accepting socialism because of the good that it has brought to the people of China.

This is not an easy process of change. It has been going on for some time and has evolved out of the specific historical development of the democratic revolution and socialist revolution in China. It is accelerated by the rectification campaign.

The following is typical of what is going on in the democratic parties of China today. Ten veteran members of the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, men in their seventies, have written what is known in China as “socialist pledges” to emulate their younger colleagues in socialist transformation. This is voluntary and conscious participation in the progress of New China. Some of these ten septuagenarians held high posts in old China. Weng Wen-hao, for example, was Chiang Kai-shek’s prime minister in the last years of his rule.

In Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai and other big cities in China the industrialists and business men are challenging each other to see who can make the quickest and the most progress in putting the common good before personal interests. Many are becoming more and more convinced, through experience, that the socialist way is China’s only way ahead. With this understanding, many of them arc reshaping their lives and are seriously endeavouring to shed their capitalist habits and become full-fledged participants in China’s socialist construction.

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