[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.]

Tsinghua University

Criticizing the Unrepentant Capitalist-Roader

[This unsigned article is reprinted from Peking Review, #14, April 2, 1976, pp. 9-10. The “unrepentant capitalist-roader” referred to is of course Deng Xiaoping (Teng Hsiao-ping).]

THE mass revolutionary debate in Tsinghua University is forging ahead victoriously in accordance with Chairman Mao’s strategic plan. Teachers, students, staff members and workers are now concentrating fire on that unrepentant capitalist-roader who persists in the revisionist line and negates the achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Since Chairman Mao’s important directive on studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat was published in spring last year, the whole Party, the whole army and the people of the whole country have been conscientiously studying this theory and criticizing bourgeois right and revisionism. This has heightened their vigilance against persons like Lin Piao coming into power. That unrepentant capitalist-roader within the Party hurriedly put out a revisionist programme of “taking the three directives as the key link” in opposition to Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. Politically, he used this revisionist programme to negate Chairman Mao’s consistent teaching of taking class struggle as the key link and vainly tried to change the Party’s basic line. Theoretically, he peddled the theory of the dying out of class struggle and the theory of productive forces. Organizationally, using this revisionist programme as a slogan, he tried to rally like-minded capitalist-roaders who refused to mend their ways to reverse the correct appraisal of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and settle accounts with it, thereby launching a frantic attack against the proletariat. The essence of all these activities was to continue the counter-revolutionary revisionist line of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao and restore capitalism.

This is how the Right deviaiionist attempt at restoration and retrogression started. Manipulated and instigated by that unrepentant capitalist-roader within the Party, other capitalist-roaders in educational, scientific and technological fields became more and more rampant in their counterattack against the proletariat to settle old scores.

Confronted with these harsh facts, the revolutionary teachers, students, staff members and workers realized how necessary it was to expose and criticize the capitalist-roader in the Party who has refused to mend his ways. Without criticizing him, they could not defeat this frenzied bourgeois attack against the proletariat, and that capitalist-roader’s fond dream of restoring capitalism could not be frustrated.

The Party committee of Tsinghua University realized that the attack launched by a few people in the university on the proletariat was in fact directly manipulated by that capitalist-roader. By exposing and criticizing the activities of this handful of people to restore the old order, an opening was thus made and the counter-attack on the Right deviationist attempt was unleashed. Strictly following Chairman Mao’s strategic plan, the revolutionary teachers, students, staff members and workers, led by the university Party committee and Party organizations at various levels, have concentrated on exposing and criticizing that unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party.

In the light of the current class struggle, they have conscientiously studied the Marxist-Leninist theory on the dictatorship of the proletariat expounded by Chairman Mao. They are now discussing what is meant by “capitalist-roaders in the Party” and their class stand.

Our great leader Chairman Mao pointed out in the Circular of May 16, 1966: “Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the Party, the government, the army and various spheres of culture are a bunch of counter-revolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Some of them we have already seen through, others we have not. Some are still trusted by us and are being trained as our successors, persons like Khrushchov, for example, who are still nestling beside us. Party committees at all levels must pay full attention to this matter.” Here Chairman Mao refers to capitalist-roaders in power within the Party. With power in their hands, they take the capitalist road instead of the socialist road, and they are the most dangerous persons in subverting the dictatorship of the proletariat. The fact that the capitalist-roaders are still on the capitalist road is a social phenomenon that will continue to exist throughout the historical period of socialism, and this is an inevitable law of class struggle. Throughout the entire historical period of socialism, the principal contradiction is that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the main danger is revisionism, the target of the revolution is the bourgeoisie, mainly those in power in the Party taking the capitalist road. We should be aware not only of the existence of the bourgeoisie in society but, more important, the bourgeoisie in the Party, and we should especially maintain our vigilance against persons of the Khrushchov type usurping the leadership of the Party and the state.

A host of facts exposed during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the current struggle to beat back the Right deviationist attempt prove that some of the capitalist-roaders are alien-class elements who have wormed their way into the revolutionary ranks while others are bourgeois or petty-bourgeois democrats. During the period of democratic revolution, the bourgeois or petty-bourgeois democrats were to varying degrees active in fighting imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism. But during the period of socialist revolution, the ideology of some of these people remains at the stage of the democratic revolution although the revolution is advancing. They did not approve of and even resisted agricultural collectivization in the countryside and the struggle against the bourgeoisie. When these people become important officials and enjoy high positions, their bourgeois world outlook grows. They want to maintain their bourgeois right and therefore do not want to advance; instead, they want to retreat and even oppose the revolution. Their attitude towards the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is: First, they have a grudge against it; second, they want to settle scores. They regard bourgeois right as a sacred right and cannot bear to lose it. Therefore, they resent the criticism of bourgeois right and even oppose it. These people have never been proletarian revolutionaries or Marxists, but only fellow-travellers of the Party, and their programme has never been for communism but for capitalism.

That capitalist-roader in the Party who has refused to mend his ways is just such a bourgeois democrat. In the 17 years preceding the Cultural Revolution, he joined Liu Shao-chi in pushing the revisionist line. He has always opposed the Marxist theory on class struggle and practised revisionism in the interests of the old and new bourgeoisie. During the Cultural Revolution, the Party and revolutionary people exposed and criticized him, and later tried to save him in the hope that he would mend his ways. In words, he stated “I’ll never reverse the verdict”; but, in fact, once he took up work again, he tried to reverse the verdict in an all-round way and went on peddling his revisionist trash.

Teachers and students in Tsinghua University raised the question: Since he persists in practising revisionism, what shall we do? The main experience drawn from the Cultural Revolution gives the answer: Arouse the masses to expose and criticize revisionism. Whoever practises revisionism should be criticized, no matter how high his position or how long his service. If he were left to have his own way, it would mean the restoration of capitalism.

They said: “Chairman Mao has formulated this consistent policy for our Party—‘learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient.’ We will try once again to save him through serious criticism as we did during the early days of the Great Cultural Revolution and see how he behaves in the future.”