[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, #44, Nov. 1, 1968, pp. 14-17 and 30.]
OUR great leader Chairman Mao teaches us: “Without broad democracy for the people, it is impossible for the dictatorship of the proletariat to be consolidated or for political power to he stable. Without democracy, without arousing the masses and without supervision by the masses, it is impossible to exercise effective dictatorship over the reactionaries and bad elements or to remould them effectively; they will continue to make trouble and may stage a come-back.”
This teaching of Chairman Mao’s most penetratingly and profoundly expounds the relationship between proletarian democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat. With genius and creatively, Chairman Mao here sets forth the theory of dictatorship exercised by the masses under the leadership of the proletarian political party. This has greatly enriched and developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state.
Chairinan Mao teaches us: “During the historical period of socialism it is necessary to maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat and carry the socialist revolution through to the end if the restoration of capitalism is to be prevented, socialist construction carried forward and the conditions created for the transition to communism.”
This wise thesis of Chairman Mao’s has been fully borne out by the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie are both dictatorships exercised by one class over another. But the dictatorship of the proletariat is the revolutionary dictatorship exercised by the proletariat and the broad masses of the people over the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. It is the dictatorship exercised by the overwhelming majority over a small minority. On the contrary, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is a counter-revolutionary dictatorship exercised by the bourgeoisie over the proletariat and the broad masses of the people. It is a dictatorship exercised by a small minority over the overwhelming majority.
Referring to this question not long ago, Chairman Mao pointed out profoundly: strong>“To protect the masses or repress them — here is the basic distinction between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and between the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.”
The dictatorship of the proletariat and proletarian democracy form a unity of opposites. Democracy operates within the ranks of the people, while dictatorship is exercised over the enemies of the people; the unity of contradiction of these two aspects is the dictatorship of the proletariat. To rely on the masses of the people and to strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat are two sides of one and the same question. Proletarian democracy cannot, in any sense, be set absolutely against the dictatorship of the proletariat or confused with bourgeois democracy.
Representing the interests of imperialism, the Kuomintang reactionaries, the bourgeoisie, and the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists, China’s Khrushchov wildly opposed the dictatorship of the proletariat. He babbled about the “democratic spirit” being tantamount to the “spirit of complete equality for all mankind” and “no man has the right to oppress or exploit another.” With ulterior motives, he set democracy absolutely against dictatorship and confused proletarian democracy with bourgeois democracy.
Is the “democratic spirit” the “spirit of complete equality for all mankind”? In class society, there is only democracy in the concrete sense, class democracy, and there has never been an abstract “spirit of complete equality for all mankind,” which transcends classes. This so-called “spirit of complete equality for all mankind” is a trick played by the bourgeoisie to deceive the working people and cover up the bloody rule of capitalism.
As lenin pointed out, bourgeois democracy is “restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor,” whereas proletarian democracy “will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the minority — the exploiters.”
When there is democracy for the bourgeoisie there is no democracy for the proletariat, and vice versa. There has inever been “democracy” which ensures “complete equality for all mankind.” In advocating the “democratic spirit,” China’s Khrushchov was actually advertising bourgeois democracy.
“No man has the right to oppress or exploit another.” This is utter humbug! Without oppressing and exploiting the proletariat and other working people, the bourgeoisie cannot exist for a single day. Before the proletariat and other working people can be emancipated, the proletariat must smash the bourgeois state apparatus by violence, rely on the strength of proletarian political power to seize the means of production from the bourgeoisie and put down the resistance of the bourgeoisie. Kindness to the enemy is cruelty to the people. If you do not oppress the exploiting classes, they will oppress you. In advocating “no oppression,” China’s Khrushchov was in fact trying to abolish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Negating the fundamental difference between proletarian democracy and bourgeois democracy is a feature common to all counter-revolutionary revisionists. Kautsky, the rank scab of the Second International, hoisted the threadbare flag of “pure democracy” to prettify imperialism and cover up the festering sores of capitalism. Khrushchov, the arch renegade from the international communist movement, put up the signboard of “democracy for the entire people” to cover up the rule of the new aristocrats in the Soviet Union, and thus restored capitalism in the country where the dictatorship of the proletariat was first established. China’s Khrushchov, Kautsky and Khrushchov are jackals, from the same lair.
Dictatorship by the masses has been a consistent idea of our great leader Chairman Mao. Shortly-after the founding of New China, he pointed out that, in the work of suppressing counter-revolutionaries, it was necessary to combat working behind closed doors and in a “mysterious” way, and instructed that security committees should be organized by the masses throughout the country.
Since 1957, Chairman Mao has pointed out again and again that in the work of suppressing counter-revolutionaries and in public security work it is necessary to rely on the masses, mobilize them fully and carry out the mass line.
In 1962, in his speech at a 7,000-strong rally, Chairman Mao profoundly expounded the great significance of the exercise of dictatorship by the masses.
In 1965, Chairman Mao made mobilization of the masses to supervise the class enemies conscientiously and remould them on the spot one of the criteria for judging whether the socialist education movement was being conducted well.
During the great proletarian cultural revolution, Chairman Mao pointed out again with deep wisdom that dictatorship meant dictatorship by the masses.
These brilliant ideas of Chairman Mao’s have greatly enriched and developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Taking the counter-revolutionary revisionist stand, China’s Khrushchov openly opposed Chairman Mao’s all-illuminating idea of dictatorship by the masses. He babbled: “Do not let the masses deal as they like with counter-revolutionaries and criminal offenders.” “The security and judicial organs alone can be depended on to deal with them.” He did his utmost to advocate close-doorism and working in a “mysterious” way.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the masses are the source of strength of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be made effective by depending solely on the public security organs and without the direct participation of the masses of the revolutionary people.
Only by relying on the working class, the poor and lower-middle peasants and the revolutionary masses, is it possible for the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the leadership of the Party, to consolidate the worker-peasant alliance, effectively put down sabotage and disturbances by domestic and foreign class enemies, defeat the attacks of the bourgeoisie, overcome the spontaneous forces of capitalism, consolidate and develop the socialist economy and build China into a great socialist country.
Since the founding of New China, the land reform, the suppression of counter-revolutionaries and the struggle against the Rightists, all led by our great leader Chairman Mao, were vigorous revolutionary mass movements in which dictatorship was exercised by the masses and one victory after another was won.
The historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat proves that after the proletariat has seized political power, class struggle, far from coming to an end, becomes more widespread, acute and complex. The overthrown exploiting classes are not reconciled to defeat. They engage in sabotage and make trouble in all kinds of ways, and, in particular, do all they can to find agents inside the Communist Party to achieve their aim of restoring capitalism.
Chairman Mao teaches us that, under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the main targets of revolution are the representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat, are the handful of of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road.
Since they are counter-revolutionary double-dealers who wave “red flags” to oppose the red flag and form the bourgeois headquarters hidden inside the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is all the more necessary for the masses to be fully mobilized and that dictatorship be exercised by the masses in order to ferret them out of their hiding places.
The great and unprecedented proletarian cultural revolution is a most extensive and deep-going revolutionary mass movement under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Guided by Mao Tse-tung’s thought, the masses of the people in their hundreds of millions have created an extensive socialist democracy never before known and given great play to the might of the dictatorship exercised by the masses. They smashed the criminal conspiracy of the handful of Party capitalist roaders represented by China’s Khrushchov to restore capitalism, and have greatly consolidated and strengthened the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The exercising of dictatorship by the masses does not reduce the role of the security and judicial organs. During the entire historical period of socialism, our organs of dictatorship should not be weakened but should be strengthened. However, such specialized organs can be effective only when they rely on the masses.
By opposing the exercise of dictatorship by the masses and advocating “dependence on the security and judicial organs alone,” China’s Khrushchov aimed at putting these organs under the control of his bourgeois headquarters and turning them into counter-revolutionary tools to shield and connive with the class enemies and to suppress the masses of the people.
China’s Khrushchov opposed the exercise of dictatorship by the masses on the “ground” that “the masses are backward.” He clamoured that the Chinese people “do not understand democracy.” This is a big slander against the Chinese people.
During the period of the democratic revolution, the Chinese people, under the wise leadership of the great leader Chairman Mao, feared no sacrifice in their struggle to win victory for the revolution.
During the period of the socialist revolution, the Chinese people have in all their political movements made full use of their democratic rights to consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat.
During the great proletarian cultural revolution, the Chinese people have grasped extensive proletarian democracy in the form of airing their views, arguing things out, using big-character posters, debates, and criticism and repudiation, and have won decisive victory in their heroic struggle against the handful of class enemies represented by China’s Khrushchov.
All these facts fully demonstrate that the Chinese people have the clearest understanding of democracy. They also know best how to exercise dictatorship over their enemies.
By uttering the slander that the Chinese people are “backward” and “do not understand democracy,” China’s Khrushchov was in fact showing his fear of the masses of the people and vainly trying to use this slander as a pretext to exercise a bourgeois dictatorship over them.
Chairman Mao teaches us that “Having close ties with the masses is most fundamental in reforming state organs.” This is the basic guarantee that our proletarian political power will bring its effectiveness into full play and never change its political colour. The “three-in-one” revolutionary committee, which embraces representatives of the revolutionary masses, the People’s Liberation Army and the revolutionary leading cadres, is able to maintain close links with the masses, greatly develop socialist democracy and represent the interests of the proletariat and other working people to the fullest extent so that our political power strikes deep root among the masses.
The broad representative character of the revolutionary committee, particularly the direct participation of the representatives of the revolutionary masses, makes the revolutionary committee a brand-new form of organization for the effective exercise of dictatorship by the masses.
The closer links between state political power and the masses of the people will help mobilize the revolutionary people in their hundreds of millions to concern themselves with the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and take an active part in exercising dictatorship over the class enemies so that they cannot escape the masses. This strengthens our proletarian dictatorship and ensures that our country will always maintain its bright red colour.
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