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 Only By Emancipating the Whole of Mankind Can the Proletariat Finally Emancipate Itself

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Only by Emancipating the Whole of Mankind Can the Proletariat Finally Emancipate Itself

—    In Celebration of "May 1” International Labour Day —

Source: Peking Review, No. 19, May 5, 1967
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org


    AMID the storms of the great proletarian cultural revolution and the upsurging tide of the all-out revolutionary criticism and repudiation of the handful of top Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road, China's proletarian revolutionaries and the masses of the working people join the revolutionary people of the world in celebrating with high enthusiasm "May 1," International Labour Day — festival of the militant solidarity of the working class and of all the working people.
   The great proletarian cultural revolution now under way in China is a great, world-shaking revolution without parallel in the history of the international communist movement. The theory of the great proletarian cultural revolution advanced by our great leader Chairman Mao is influencing the future and the destiny of the world just like Marx's theory of scientific socialism and Lenin's establishment of the first socialist state.
   Faced by this momentous event in China, the U.S. imperialists, the Soviet modern revisionists and their followers are crying out in alarm: "An extraordinary, terrifying affair!" . . . "this is the most disquieting phenomenon of our times."
   Our comrades and friends, on the other hand, hail it as "the greatest revolutionary movement in the history of the world communist movement," "a decisive contribution by Comrade Mao Tse-tung to the victory of the world revolution" and an event which "kindles hope throughout the world for the victory of communism."
   Ever since the great proletarian cultural revolution began, Chairman Mao has repeatedly instructed us to pay attention to uniting with all those who can be united with. He has also stressed the importance of acting in accordance with Marx's statement that only by emancipating the whole of mankind can the proletariat finally emancipate itself.
   The proletariat is the most progressive and the most bitterly oppressed class in human history. Its historical task is certainly not to seek its own emancipation alone, but to free the people of the whole world completely from oppression by the exploiting classes and from the spiritual fetters imposed on them for thousands of years by the exploiting classes.   In transforming the objective world, the proletariat must, at the same time, ceaselessly transform its subjective world. Only so can it finally win its own emancipation.
   Only when this is understood can we gain a profound understanding of Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line from the height of the proletarian world outlook, correctly solve the problem of how to treat the masses of the people and cadres, and particularly the problem of how to treat those of the masses who have been deceived and those cadres who have committed mistakes. Anyone who is only concerned about his own emancipation from the persecution of the bourgeois reactionary line and rests content with such "emancipation," anyone who does not endeavour with great eagerness to win over, educate and unite with those cadres who have committed mistakes and the people who have been misled so that they can be freed from the poisonous influence of the bourgeois reactionary line and from the spiritual fetters of "self," shows that he lacks the noble aspiration to "emancipate the whole of mankind." He is not a genuine proletarian revolutionary. Nor is it possible for such a person to achieve his own thorough emancipation.
   Genuine proletarian revolutionaries never place their own emancipation above that of the masses. In the spirit of "head bowed, like a willing ox I serve the children," [a line from a poem by Lu Hsun], they take emancipation of the masses and of the whole of mankind as the only aim of their struggle. In order to realize this great aim, it is essential to follow Chairman Mao's teaching in uniting with all those who can be united with and 1o engage in the common struggle.
   On the question of cadres, the proletarian revolutionaries should, in accordance with this principle, not only have the courage to "hit hard at a handful" but also the courage to "emancipate the many." They should take active and positive steps to do political and ideological work among the cadres and to create conditions for them to rise and make revolution. In order to help those cadres who have made mistakes to emancipate themselves, the policy of "learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient" should be followed. Through the cultural revolution, we should enable the mass of cadres to stand together with the proletarian revolutionaries, to stand on the side of Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line.
   In accordance with this principle, in the course of the all-out criticism and struggle, we should win over, educate and unite with those of the masses who were deceived by the bourgeois reactionary line. We should not only permit, but welcome and help them to rise up and make revolution. This is the only way for them to emancipate themselves from the evil influence of the bourgeois reactionary line. It is the only way to develop and strengthen the ranks of the Left, unite with the great majority of the masses, thoroughly isolate the most reactionary Rightists and win victory after victory.
   The process by which the proletarian revolutionaries unite with the great majority is a process of using proletarian thought, the thought of Mao Tse-tung, to defeat bourgeois and revisionist ideas, a process of using Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line to defeat the bourgeois reactionary line. It is a process by which the proletarian revolutionaries, led by Chairman Mao and the Party's Central Committee, thoroughly refute, overthrow and discredit the handful of Party people in authority taking the capitalist road. It is a process of continuous effort to establish the communist world outlook of emancipating the whole of mankind.
   In order to unite with the great majority, the proletarian revolutionaries must firmly respond to Chairman Mao's great call to "support the army and cherish the people," earnestly learn from the People's Liberation Army, creatively study and apply Chairman Mao's works, make great efforts to give prominence to proletarian politics, get a firm grasp of living ideas currently in people's minds, strengthen political and ideological work, and, on the basis of Mao Tse-tung's thought, form a revolutionary great alliance and a leadership which comprises a revolutionary "three-in-one" combination. The army and people must unite to accomplish the great tasks of the great proletarian cultural revolution.
   Chairman Mao has pointed out: "We are now in a great new era of world revolution." At the present time, in the struggle being waged by the revolutionary people of the world against imperialism, modern revisionism and the reactionaries of ail Countries, the situation is excellent. China's great proletarian cultural revolution, the Vietnamese people's war against U.S. aggression and for national salvation, the revolutionary storms in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the revolutionary struggles of the people in various countries are dealing devastating blows to the entire old world. Imperialism headed by the United States, modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist leading clique at its centre and all other pests have already created their own grave-diggers. The day when they will be completely buried is not far off.
   Proletarian internationalism is the supreme guiding principle of China's foreign policy. The 700 million Chinese people armed with the great thought of Mao Tse-tung have always taken as their own sacred international obligation support for the revolutionary struggles of the people in Asia. Africa, Latin America and countries in other parts of the world. We must unite with the Marxist-Leninists of the world, unite with the revolutionary people of the world, unite with all the oppressed nations and oppressed peoples, overthrow imperialism headed by the United States, overthrow modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist leading clique at its centre and overthrow the reactionaries of all countries. A new red world without imperialism, without capitalism and without the system of exploitation will certainly be established.
    Proletarians of all countries, unite!
   Proletarians of all countries, unite with the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations!

("Renmin Ribao" editorial, April 30, 1967.)
  
  
  

 
 
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