[This issue of Peking Review is from massline.org. Massline.org has kindly given us permission to to place these documents on the MIA. We made only some formatting changes to make them congruent with our style sheets.]
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 11, #43, Oct. 25,
1968, pp. 4-7. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]
THE great proletarian cultural revolution is an open Party consolidation movement carried out on an unprecedented scale by revolutionary methods. In scope and depth, in profundity of ideological criticism and repudiation and in thoroughness of organizational consolidation, it far surpasses any previous Party consolidation movement launched since liberation. This is a great struggle being waged by the proletarian revolutionaries of China who uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung’s thought, to smash the revisionist faction within the Party. This is a great struggle in which the broadest revolutionary masses all over the country, acting in response to Chairman Mao’s call, expose and repudiate China’s Khrushchov and the rest of the handful of renegades, enemy agents, diehard capitalist roaders and other counter-revolutionaries who wormed their way into the Party. This is a decisive battle between the two lines—the line of upholding the dictatorship of the proletariat and the line of attempting to restore capitalism. This is a song of triumph of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, which resounds through the skies.
The tremendous victories of the great proletarian cultural revolution have consolidated the dictatorship of the proletariat and have strengthened leadership by the Party, and, in the course of struggle-criticism-transformation in all fields of the superstructure, are uniting all the masses that can be united and firmly establishing the all-embracing rule of the proletariat over the small number of bourgeois elements. The proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao and with Vice-Chairman Lin Piao as its deputy leader has become the sole leading centre of the whole Party. Now our Party is purer, stronger and more united.
The valuable experience of the great proletarian cultural revolution tells us that building, consolidating and developing the Party during the period of socialism are inseparable from the fundamental question—the dictatorship of the proletariat. Departure from the dictatorship of the proletariat and from continued revolution under the proletarian dictatorship makes it impossible to have a correct line on Party building. Proceeding precisely from the falsehood of a “state of the whole people” which betrays the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Soviet revisionist renegade clique has negated class struggle, suppressed the labouring masses, changed the nature of the Party founded by Lenin and made it degenerate into a so-called “party of the entire people,” that is, a revisionist, fascist party. The essence of the sinister book on “self-cultivation” written by China’s Khrushchov is, likewise, a betrayal of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a betrayal of scientific socialism. The sort of “self-cultivation” he advocated aims at protecting the bourgeois reactionaries who sneaked into the Party, stifling the vigorous proletarian revolutionary spirit of the members of the Communist Party and abolishing the dictatorship of the proletariat so as to prepare “docile tools” for their plot to restore capitalism.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung has upheld, defended and developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Chairman Mao has solved the question of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. He points out that the struggle between the two classes and the two roads under the dictatorship of the proletariat continues for a long time, that the main danger of capitalist restoration comes from the handful of Party capitalist readers who reflect the interests of the bourgeoisie, and that it is essential to enforce all-round dictatorship of the proletariat not only in the political field but also in the ideological and cultural fields. Starting from firm faith in the overwhelming majority of the people and, first of all, the overwhelming majority of the workers, peasants and soldiers, Chairman Mao personally initiated and is leading the first great proletarian cultural revolution. He lets Communists, together with the revolutionary masses, “face the world and brave the storm” in the great tempest of the turbulent and extremely complicated revolutionary mass movement, expose the capitalist roaders, ferret out the counter-revolutionaries, criticize and repudiate revisionism and bourgeois ideas, take a correct attitude towards the masses and, in different forms of struggle, learn to distinguish and handle correctly the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy and the contradictions among the people under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This has greatly raised the communist consciousness of the masses of Communist Party members, clearly indicated the direction for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, swept away the bureaucratic airs corrupting the revolutionary will, and brought about closer ties between the Party and the working masses. As a result, the Left, that is, the genuine proletarian revolutionaries, has been found and tempered, the wavering middle-of-the-roaders educated, and the Rightists, that is, the bourgeois reactionaries serving imperialism and the Kuomintang, isolated and exposed. Only by implementing this proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao’s and carrying out a Party consolidation movement of a mass character, not a movement behind closed doors, can we guarantee that the leadership of the Party organizations at all levels is truly in the hands of those Communist Party members who are loyal to Chairman Mao, to Mao Tse-tung’s thought and to Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line; only in this way can the Party always maintain its character as the vanguard of the proletariat, lead the masses forward and fulfil the glorious historical task set by the dictatorship of the proletariat, the task of completely eliminating the bourgeoisie (the last exploiting class in the history of mankind), eliminating class differences and realizing communism.
A question that demands attention in the present work of Party consolidation is the question of absorbing fresh blood from the proletariat.
Talking about Party consolidation. Chairman Mao has said: “A human being has arteries and veins through which the heart makes the blood circulate, and he breathes with his lungs, exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling fresh oxygen, that is, getting rid of the stale and taking in the fresh. A proletarian party must also get rid of the stale and take in the fresh for only thus can it be full of vitality. Without eliminating waste matter and absorbing fresh blood the Party has no vigour.”
This vivid analogy by Chairman Mao embodies profound dialectics. Chairman Mao teaches us to look at the proletarian revolutionary Party as an organization developing through the process of metabolism of the revolution, and not as a static and immutable organization.
“Eliminating waste matter” means resolutely expelling from the Party the proven renegades, enemy agents, all counter-revolutionaries, obdurate capitalist loaders, alien class elements and degenerated elements. As for apathetic persons whose revolutionary will has declined, they should be advised to leave the Party.
“Absorbing fresh blood” consists of two interrelated tasks: Taking into the Party a number of outstanding rebels, primarily advanced elements from among the industrial workers, and selecting outstanding Communist Party members for leading posts in the Party organizations at all levels.
Tempered in the great proletarian cultural revolution, a number of rebel fighters with proletarian consciousness have emerged from among the revolutionary masses, primarily among the labouring masses, the workers, peasants and soldiers. They have these characteristics: a high level of consciousness in the struggle between the two lines, a keen sense of class struggle, boldness in stepping to the forefront of the struggle in defence of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and, especially, firmness in opposing revisionism. These are very valuable revolutionary qualities. They also have shortcomings, but these can be overcome through education.
One comrade worker at the Shanghai No. 1 Valve Works, who has applied for Party membership, said: “The Party organization should admit into its ranks those rebel fighters who are boundlessly loyal to Chairman Mao, firmly carry out the battle orders of the proletarian headquarters and press boldly forward as the vanguard in the class struggle and in the struggle for production. In applying for Party membership, comrade rebels must proceed from a correct motive and have the correct aim: they rise in rebellion during the great proletarian cultural revolution to defend Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line (and not for any personal aim); after the seizure of power, they must do a good job in exercising power for the proletariat (and not for self-interest); they must always conscientiously study, firmly carry out, vigorously disseminate and courageously defend Mao Tse-tung’s thought, consciously fight self, repudiate revisionism and develop the thoroughgoing revolutionary spirit of the proletariat (and must not pride themselves on being ‘veteran rebels’ and become conceited or stop half way in making revolution); and they must have close ties with the masses, act as their humble pupils and serve the people heart and soul (and must not act as high and mighty officials or divorce themselves from the masses).”
How well said this is! It reflects the demands which the awakened working class makes on its vanguard. The Party should actively absorb such fresh blood as meets these demands and has proletarian revolutionary vigour. Comrades who apply for Party membership, as well as comrades who have already been admitted into the Party, should make these demands on themselves and should be able to stand the test of storms of any magnitude in the future.
During the period of socialist revolution, attention must be paid to Party building among the workers and to developing revolutionary vigour. This has been Chairman Mao’s consistent thinking. As long ago as in March 1949 in his report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party, Chairman Mao pointed out that in our work in the cities, “We must whole-heartedly rely on the working class, unite with the rest of the labouring masses, win over the intellectuals.” In June 1950, in his report Fight for a Fundamental Turn for the Better in the Financial and Economic Situation in China made at the Third Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party, Chairman Mao again pointed out clearly, “attention must he paid to drawing politically-conscious workers into the Party systematically, expanding the percentage of workers in the Party organization.” In July 1957, in the article The Situation in the Summer of 1957, Chairman Mao again pointed out: “A Communist must be full of vigour, he must have a strong revolutionary will, he must defy all difficulties and overcome them with an unyielding will, he must get rid of individualism, departmental egoism, absolute equalitariansm and liberalism, otherwise he is not a Communist in the real sense.” In 1967, at the time when decisive victory had been won in the great cultural revolution, Chairman Mao again pointed out: “The Party organization should be composed of the advanced elements of the proletariat; it should be a vigorous vanguard organization capable of leading the proletariat and the revolutionary masses in the fight against the class enemy.” China’s Khrushchov and company, this handful of class enemies who wormed their way into the leading bodies of the Party, were utterly opposed to this proletarian line of Chairman Mao’s on Party building. Instead of relying on the working class, they relied on the bourgeoisie (and bourgeois intellectuals). Instead of paying attention to admitting advanced elements of the proletariat into the Parity, they provided protection for renegades to the proletariat, scabs, enemy agents and counter-revolutionaries and resorted to every means to help them sneak into the Party and usurp leading positions. Instead of raising the proletarian class consciousness of the workers and the activists who applied for Party membership, they tried to instil into them the most corrupt and the darkest bourgeois reactionary ideology. The “six theories” advocated by China’s Khrushchov are the revisionist rubbish he used to corrupt the masses of workers and the Party. They are: the theory of “the dying out of class struggle,” the theory of “docile tools,” the theory that “the masses are backward,” the theory of “entering the Party in order to be an official,” the theory of “inner-Party peace” and the theory of “merging private and public interests” (that is “losing a little to gain much”). The core of the “six theories” consists of the theory of “the dying out of class struggle” and the theory of “docile tools.” The former negates the dictatorship of the proletariat and is designed to stifle the Party’s proletarian revolutionary spirit and so cause the proletarian revolutionary Party to degenerate. The latter negates the necessity of carrying on the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and is designed to stifle the proletarian revolutionary spirit of the Communist Party members and so cause them to degenerate. The reason some Party members took the wrong stand for a time in the early stage of the great cultural revolution is that they were under the evil influence of the “six theories” of China’s Khrushchov. We must conscientiously carry out Chairman Mao’s proletarian line on Party building, seriously study Chairman Mao’s theory on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and his theory on the nature of the Party and its tasks, thoroughly eliminate the poison of the counter-revolutionary revisionist line on Party building pushed by China’s Khrushchov and thoroughly repudiate the reactionary points of view mentioned above. And at the same time, we must make conscientious efforts to do a good job in purifying the class ranks and ferret out the extremely few counter-revolutionaries lurking among the masses in various places including factories, shops, people’s communes, Party, government and mass organizations, schools and colleges, and urban communities. This will provide a reliable ideological and organizational foundation for admitting new Party members.
In order to do a good job in admitting new Party members in accordance with Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, it is also necessary to have a new leading body which is a revolutionary three-in-one combination and resolutely carries out Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. Those comrades who are good at creatively studying and applying Mao Tse-tung’s thought, truly devote themselves to proletarian revolution and are really full of vigour, should be selected for leading posts in the Party organizations, and a unified leadership should be formed gradually.
Oppose the restoration of the old. It is impossible to do a good job in admitting new Party members in any place where the leading body is composed entirely of former personnel, has not drawn in fresh blood from the proletariat, has no revolutionary three-in-one combination or has only a nominal but not revolutionary three-in-one combination. Such leading bodies cannot maintain close ties with the revolutionary masses. It is, therefore, very possible that they would admit into the Party some “middle-of-the-roaders” or “good old chaps.” It is even possible that they would let some bad elements, whose words do not tally with their deeds, and careerists sneak into the Party while excluding comrades who dare to make frontal attacks on the class enemies and persevere in principled struggle. Those places with the tendency to restore the old often form two centres because of their lack of unity on the principled basis of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line. The work in such places is often lifeless, flashy but without substance, and stagnant and destitute of progress. They smell strongly of being “independent kingdoms.” In such places new proletarian forces should be drawn in, the manifestations of the theory of “many centres” should be overcome, the leading bodies should be revolutionized through the mass movement of struggle-criticism-transformation and by fully carrying out the mass line; and a revolutionary core which resolutely carries out Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line should be formed gradually in the course of struggle.
Some comrades have committed errors but have conscientiously corrected them and are taking an active part in the work. They are different from those who persist in their errors or lie down on the job. They have discarded their wrong ideas and wrong style of work, and achieved a fairly deep understanding of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line. They have been reinvigorated by the new spirit of the proletariat that they have acquired from the revolutionary masses. We should support and unite with such cadres and work with them. The errors they committed should be turned into lessons for everybody to bear in mind.
Oppose conservatism. There are people who are always trying to find fault with every new thing arising from the revolutionary mass movements; their complaint is that this is no good and that that is no good either. They invariably use conventional criteria and old habits to obstruct the establishment of the revolutionary new order.
In some places there is conservatism in regard to the activists applying for Party membership. There are cases where fine comrades who are of good class origin and are good ideologically have been kept out of the Party for five or six years, although they have applied many times. Such things should be corrected.
Blind faith in elections is also a form of conservative thinking.
Chairman Mao pointed out recently: “Who is it that gives us our power? It is the working class, the poor and lower-middle peasants, the labouring masses comprising over 90 per cent of the population. We represent the proletariat and the masses and have overthrown the enemies of the people, and therefore the people support us. Direct reliance on the revolutionary masses is a basic principle of the Communist Party.” This most important instruction of Chairman Mao’s penetratingly points out the mass basis of the mighty power of the dictatorship of the proletariat, criticizes and repudiates the formalism of having blind faith in elections, and gives the basic orientation for building the Party and revolutionary committees.
The revolutionary committee is the most representative revolutionary organ of power of the dictatorship of the proletariat since the liberation. But it is established not by elections but by relying directly upon action by the broad revolutionary masses. The revolutionary committees of the 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions under the leadership of the proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao and with Vice-Chairman Lin Piao as its deputy leader, have about 4,000 members; about half are representatives of the revolutionary masses, and the overwhelming majority are representatives of the revolutionary workers, peasants and soldiers. These 4,000 or so comrades were tested and tempered in the revolutionary storms and were selected as a result of repeated arguments, deliberations, consultations and examinations. The cadres are discussed and examined by the revolutionary masses and approved of by the leadership, and besides there are always partial replacements or adjustments. When a revolutionary committee is set up, the number of people attending the celebration rally ranges from over a hundred thousand to hundreds of thousands. Everyone knows about it and is overjoyed. Has any Party committee or government council or people’s congress in any part of the country in the past ever had such a mass basis? Has any one of them gained the understanding of and received supervision by the revolutionary masses to such an extent? What decides the nature of a leading organ is the line it carries out and the class interests it reflects, not the form it takes. Democracy has class character. The revolutionary organ of power—including its revolutionary cadres, old and new, from various fields of work—which is created in the revolutionary movement by following a thoroughgoing mass line, conforms better to proletarian democracy and democratic centralism, and reflects the interests of the proletariat and the working people in a much more deep-going way than those organs of power produced in the past only by means of elections. This experience should also be drawn upon in regard to Party life.
Engels said: “A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is.” The process of revolution is the process of getting rid of the stale and taking in the fresh. The establishment of the provincial, municipal and autonomous-regional revolutionary committees under the leadership of the proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao and with Vice-Chairman Lin Piao as its deputy leader, has proclaimed the recapture by the proletariat of all the power which was usurped by China’s Khrushchov and his agents in various localities, and has proclaimed their loss of all posts in the Party and government, finance and culture. This is self-evident and has long been an objective fact. The great proletarian cultural revolution long ago swept China’s Khrushchov, this renegade, traitor and scab, on to the garbage heap of history. He was long ago deprived by the revolution of all power and positions both within the Party and outside it.
Getting rid of the stale and taking in the fresh in the ranks of revolutionary cadres is a constant process accompanying the continuous development of the revolution. Whether or not a cadre can stand firmly and consistently on the proletarian revolutionary line must be tested in protracted class struggle. This is also true of the cadres who have just begun to work. Such new cadres must take particular care not to separate themselves from the working people. Nevertheless, we must not be afraid of using cadres boldly on the ground that they might make mistakes. The labouring masses promote them to leading posts and will also constantly educate and help them and, when necessary, will dismiss them.
We must expel counter-revolutionaries and exploiting-class elements from the Party; admit into the Party outstanding proletarian revolutionary rebels; select to leading Party organs at all levels those Communist Party members who faithfully carry out Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and are full of vigour; rely closely on the revolutionary masses; send cadres to do manual work regularly so that they can work at both higher and lower levels, both serve as “officials” and remain one of the common people, and make this a regular system. In this way, we will be able to carry out in an all-round way Chairman Mao’s instruction: Get rid of the stale and take in the fresh and be able to smash all types of counter-attacks and last-ditch struggles by revisionism. Under the leadership of our great leader Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the great, glorious and correct Chinese Communist Party—the vanguard of the proletariat of China—will lead the proletariat and the revolutionary people throughout the country with even greater vigour in defeating all reactionaries both at home and abroad, systematically dig out the roots of revisionism and victoriously accomplish the great historical mission of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Peking Review Index | Chinese Communism | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung