[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, #13, March 26, 1976,
pp. 9-11. Of course the person referred to as the “unrepentant Party person
in power taking the capitalist road” is Teng Hsiao-ping (Deng Xiaoping).]
TEACHERS, and students of Peking University are now deepening their criticism of the revisionist programme of “taking the three directives as the key link” dished up by that unrepentant Party person in power taking the capitalist road. The aim of this programme, they pointed out, is to restore capitalism.
They are taking an active part in the struggle to beat back the Right deviationist wind of negating the Great Cultural Revolution.
The three directives from Chairman Mao are: studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and combating and preventing revisionism; stability and unity; and pushing the national economy forward. They were given on different occasions and under different circumstances.
With a view to changing the Party’s basic line and restoring capitalism, that unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party, with ulterior motives, placed the last two directives on an equal footing with the directive on studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and put forward the slogan of “taking the three directives as the key link.” He hoped in this way to negate Chairman Mao’s consistent teachings that we must always take class struggle as the key link and grasp the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
Chairman Mao has pointed out: “What ‘taking the three directives as the key link’! Stability and unity do not mean writing off class struggle; class struggle is the key link and everything else hinges on it.” This important instruction is a criticism directed against that slogan. In the light of this instruction, the faculty members and students of Peking University reviewed the past year’s fierce struggle between the two classes, the two roads and the two lines. The spring of 1975 saw the whole Patty, the whole army and the people of the whole country conscientiously studying our great leader Chairman Mao’s important directive on studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Chairman Mao has pointed out: “Why did Lenin speak of exercising dictatorship over the bourgeoisie? It is essential to get this question clear. Lack of clarity on this question will lead to revisionism. This should be made known to the whole nation.”. “Our country at present practises a commodity system, the wage system is unequal, too, as in the eight-grade wage scale, and so forth. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat such things can only be restricted. Therefore, if people like Lin Piao come to power, it will be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system.” While the revolutionary masses studied and discussed the directive with great enthusiasm, those representing the interests of the bourgeoisie and trying to restore capitalism were filled with fear, and they resisted and opposed the criticism of revisionism and resented the criticism of bourgeois right. So they tried to undermine the study of the directive. At this time that unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party came out with the slogan of “taking the three directives as the key link” and preached everywhere that it was the “key link for work in all fields.”
What should be the key link in the entire historical period of socialism?
Marx and Engels pointed out: “For almost fortty years we have stressed the class struggle as the immediate driving power of history, and in particular the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat as the great lever of the modern social revolution; it is, therefore, impossible for us to co-operate with people who wish to expunge this class struggle from the movement.” (Marx and Engels to A. Bebel, W. Liebknecht, W. Bracke and Others [“Circular Letter”].)
Lenin pointed out: “The dictatorship of the proletariat is not the end of class struggle but its continuation in new forms. The dictatorship of the proletariat is class struggle waged by a proletariat that is victorious and has taken political power into its hands against a bourgeoisie that has been defeated but not destroyed, a bourgeoisie that has not vanished, not ceased to offer resistance, but that has intensified its resistance.” (Foreword to the Published Speech “Deception of the People with Slogans of Freedom and Equality.”)
As early as at the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party on the eve of country-wide liberation when the Chinese revolution was moving from the new-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution, Chairman Mao pointed out that after the seizure of political power throughout the country, the main internal contradiction would be “the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie.” Later, after the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production was in the main completed, he again taught the whole Party: “The class struggle is by no means over. The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between the different political forces, and the class struggle in the ideological field between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will continue to be long and tortuous and at times will even become very acute.” (On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.) In 1962, Chairman Mao pointed out: “Never forget classes and class struggle” and formulated for our Party its basic line for the entire historical period of socialism. In 1965, while criticizing Liu Shao-chi’s revisionist line, Chairman Mao once again pointed out: “Class contradiction, the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road exist throughout the transitional period. We shall go astray if we forget this fundamental theory and practice of our Party over the last dozen years or so.”
The wise theses of the revolutionary teachers enabled the faculty members, students, staff members and workers of the university to understand that in a class society, class struggle is the motive force and lever of historical development. Throughout the period of socialism, there are classes, class contradictions and class struggle. The contradiction between the proletariat and bourgeoisie is the principal contradiction “whose existence and development determine or influence the existence and development of the other contradictions.” (Mao Tsetung: On Contradiction.)
In putting forward the slogan of taking the three directives as “the key link for work in all fields,” that unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party aimed at negating class struggle as the key link, but this is precisely the core of the Party’s basic line.
Why did he want to negate class struggle as the key link? Facts show that he wanted to restore capitalism. When he negated class struggle as the key link, he did not mean writing off class struggle altogether, his real aim was to blunt the revolutionary vigilance of the proletariat and the masses. What he wanted was to negate the class struggle waged by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie; as for the bourgeoisie’s attack against the proletariat, he had no intention of giving it up, but was actually intensifying it.
The revolutionary teachers, students, staff members and workers of Peking University cited facts to show that the unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party, while talking about the need to carry out Chairman Mao’s three directives, was actually pouring cold water on the revolutionary masses in their movement to study the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, expanding bourgeois right, widening the three major differences between town and country, between worker and peasant and between mental and manual labour. With the attitude of a bourgeois aristocratic overlord, he whipped up the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts and spread the nonsense that “the present is not as good as the past”; he tried to negate the achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and suppress the socialist new things. That capitalist-roader still on the capitalist road lauded to the skies those bourgeois intellectuals in certain departments who had not remoulded their ideology, and placed them above the Party committee; meanwhile, he tried his best to sow discord between the intellectuals and the Party and opposed intellectuals advancing along Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line.
This capitalist-roader who refuses to mend his ways distorted the slogan for stability and unity and sabotaged stability and unity in every way; he negated the three-in-one combination of the old, the middle-aged and the young in the leading bodies. Facts show that practising revisionism inevitably leads to splits. That capitalist-roader himself was the cause of splits. He tried unscrupulously to split the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao.
Using development of the national economy and modernization of industry, agriculture, national defence and science and technology as his ensign to hoodwink people, he stirred up a “hurricane for vocational work” and an “economic hurricane” in an attempt to sweep away proletarian politics, the key link of class struggle and the Party’s basic line and replace them with a revisionist line. In some units, things that had been thoroughly repudiated during the Great Cultural Revolution such as material incentives and putting profits in command were brought back.
Facts have helped the revolutionary teachers, students, staff members and workers of Peking University understand that if classes, class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat are forgotten, then, as Chairman Mao has pointed out, “it would not be long, perhaps only several years or a decade, or several decades at most, before a counter-revolutionary restoration on a national scale would inevitably occur, the Marxist-Leninist Party would undoubtedly become a revisionist party, a fascist party, and the whole of China would change its colour.”
Through criticism of the revisionist programme of “taking the three directives as the key link,” the revolutionary teachers, students, staff members and workers of the university have come to see more clearly than before that the current counter-attack against the Right deviationist wind is a major struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, a continuation of the struggle between Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and the revisionist line of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao and a continuation and deepening of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
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