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 Sole Purpose of Mastering Marxist Theory Is to Apply It

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Sole Purpose of Mastering Marxist Theory Is to Apply It

by Tien Chun

Source: Peking Review Vol.18, No. 20, May 16, 1975
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org

The movement to study the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat is deepening throughout China. The phenomenon of reading seriously, linking theory with practice, paying more attention to investigation and study and making a point of summing up experience is prevailing in many organizations and among many comrades. Revisionism is being further criticized, and initial but significant results in the study have been obtained.

Chairman Mao has taught us: "It is necessary to master Marxist theory and apply it, master it for the sole purpose of applying it." This is how our current study should be conducted. While reading and studying conscientiously and taking pains to delve into the subjects of study, we should closely link theory with practice and stress application.

Our country is now in an important period of its historical development. Our Party is leading the masses in a great struggle that is far more arduous, complicated and profound than any previous struggle. We still have to spend a very long time, make big efforts and go through a long, arduous and zigzag course in combating and preventing revisionism, consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and finally achieving the complete abolition of classes. This poses many theoretical and practical questions we will have to solve.

For example, why is there harmony as well as contradiction between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base? Why is bourgeois right unavoidable and yet it must be restricted? Why cannot the commodity system, exchange through money and distribution according to work be abolished, and yet they must be prevented from giving rise to capitalism? How are the new bourgeois elements engendered? What are the new changes in class relations?

Questions like these require theoretical explanation and scientific interpretation. Unless we conscientiously and profoundly study the Marxist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and Chairman Mao's instructions and theses on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, we cannot really get these questions clear and neither can we really understand why and how we should strengthen the all-round dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie so as gradually to create the conditions in which it will be impossible for the bourgeoisie to exist or for a new bourgeoisie to arise and fulfill the historical mission of the proletariat. Judged by these requirements, we can say that our study has only just begun and that we still have a long way to go. High resolve and big efforts are needed to make sure that we achieve a thorough understanding on the level of integrating theory with practice.

Theory is the ideological basis for the line and policies, and the guide to revolutionary action. Only when we clearly grasp theory can we have a definite orientation in our action, distinguish Marxism from revisionism and solve all questions correctly.

The unity of theory and practice is a fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism. We learn theory not for its own sake, but in order to combat and prevent revisionism, consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and continue the revolution under this dictatorship. Chairman Mao has taught us: "Unite for one purpose, that is, the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This must be fully achieved in every factory, village, office and school." We must work and struggle more consciously to implement this instruction in studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

There are some questions in both the economic base and the superstructure that must be carefully solved in the interest of strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat. And it is for the purpose of belter understanding and solving these questions that we advocate conscientious reading, linking theory with practice, undertaking investigation and study and summing up experience. Linking theory with practice to arrive at a solution of these questions will make our study go more deeply.

Questions in practical work, many of which are rather complicated, must be solved prudently. In particular, no changes should be made rashly regarding questions of policies and systems which have been clearly defined. But prudence does not mean it is not necessary to link theory with practice. Chairman Mao has said: "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." Here he points out explicitly that the major question we must get clear and solve is that of combating and preventing revisionism. What we must do in real earnest is to criticize revisionism further and clear away its influences and manifestations, including the overcoming of empiricism and dogmatism. Chairman Mao has taught us: "Dogmatism is divorced from concrete practice, while empiricism mistakes fragmentary experience for universal truth; both kinds of opportunist thinking run counter to Marxism." (On Coalition Government.) Our struggle against revisionism includes overcoming these two erroneous tendencies, empiricism and dogmatism.

An important part of our struggle to combat and prevent revisionism is to resist erosion resulting from the sugar-coated bullets of the bourgeoisie, get rid of the bourgeois style of life, and carry forward the revolutionary spirit of plain living and arduous struggle. We must effectively carry on struggle-criticism-transformation in all spheres of the superstructure, support new things that help gradually narrow the three major differences between town and country, between worker and peasant and between manual and mental labour, and bring the communist spirit into play; this is of great significance for our struggle to combat and prevent revisionism and should be done at all times. At present, we should pay particular attention to summing up experience on these matters and press ahead with struggle-criticism-transformation in the superstructure. All this needs to be guided by the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and we should strive to make progress through study.
Questions in practical work should be concretely analysed. In handling contradictions among the people, more ideological and political work should be done to raise the consciousness of the cadres and the masses in remoulding their world outlook.

On the basis of their theoretical study, many leading cadres have recently gone into the thick of life to conduct investigation and study, sum up experience and do their work well. Leading bodies in many organizations are working with great revolutionary drive, improving their style of leadership, firmly combating unhealthy tendencies and, by their exemplary actions, leading the masses in grasping revolution and promoting production, and the results are good. This revolutionary style of study which embodies the unity of theory and practice should be adhered to and carried forward.


(Abridged translation of an article published in "Hongqi" No. 5, 1975)
  
  
  

 
 
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