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 The Bourgeois Reactionary Line Means, in Essence, Taking the Capitalist Road

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Source: Peking Review, No. 39, September 22, 1967
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


   THERE has been a prolonged and acute struggle within the Chinese Communist Party between the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao and the bourgeois reactionary line represented by China's Khrushchov.
  In essence, this struggle has been over the road China should take — the socialist or capitalist road— and it has always centred on the question of state power. In essence, the proletarian revolutionary line means taking the socialist road whereas the bourgeois reactionary line means taking the capitalist road.
  Chairman Mao has said: "Either the East Wind prevails over the West Wind, or the West Wind prevails over the East Wind; there is no room for compromise on the question of the two lines."
  The struggle between the two lines expresses itself in a concentrated way in the attitude taken towards the masses.
  The proletarian revolutionary line means trusting lhe masses, relying on them and respecting their initiative. Chairman Mao says: "The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history." He also says: "We have always maintained that the revolution must rely on the masses of the people." The mass viewpoint is a fundamental Marxist viewpoint. The attitude taken towards the masses is a touchstone for distinguishing genuine Marxists from sham, and it marks the basic difference between historical materialism and historical idealism.
  Taking the reactionary bourgeois stand, China's Khrushchov trusts and relies only on the bourgeoisie. He regards the masses and cadres as submissive simpletons relying on someone's "benevolence," and considers himself their saviour. Like all members of reactionary classes in history, he looks on the masses as "mob." "dregs" and "counters" for gambling purposes. During the great cultural revolution, his counter-revolutionary stand of extreme hostility towards the masses has been fully exposed.
  As early as in the War of Resistance Against Japan, he abased himself eulogizing Chiang Kai-shek, the common enemy of the people, calling him the "banner of the revolution," and he treated the words of the big warlord Yen Hsi-shan as imperial decrees. In his opinion, China could not exist without such "big shots."
  After the founding of New China, shamelessly prostrating himself before the "capitalist gentlemen" and begging them 1o continue to exploit the people, he said: "If you exploit me, I shall be able to feed myself, and my wife and children will be able to live. If you do not exploit me and do not let me work, that will be terrible."
  In his eyes, history is not created by the revolutionary people in their hundreds of millions but by one or two tyrants riding on the backs of the people. In his eyes, it is not the workers who feed the capitalists but the other way round!
  With such an attitude towards the masses, China's Khrushchov has turned history upside down. This is because he represents the backward, decadent reactionaries who are doomed. His reactionary class stand determines that his outlook be idealist and metaphysical.
  Starting from this reactionary stand, China's Khrushchov is bound to oppose mass movements and suppress them. In the great cultural revolution, he cursed the revolutionary mass movement as a movement of "bad people making trouble," as "organized and planned conspiratorial activity," "a disturbance," a movement of riffraff by "little rascals" and "little counter-revolutionaries." Chairman Mao's big-character poster "Bombard the Headquarters" hit the nail on the head and exposed the reactionary nature of this man: "Adopting the reactionary stand of the bourgeoisie, they have enforced a bourgeois dictatorship and struck down the surging movement of the great cultural revolution of the proletariat. They have stood facts on their head and juggled black and white, encircled and suppressed revolutionaries, stifled opinions differing from their own, imposed a white terror, and felt very pleased with themselves. They have puffed up the arrogance of the bourgeoisie and deflated the morale of the proletariat. How poisonous!"
  One's attitude towards mass movements is an important question of political principle. As Comrade Lin Piao said: "The revolutionary mass movement is naturally rational. Even though there are individual sections and persons among the masses who have 'Left' or Right deviations, the mainstream of the mass movement always conforms to the development of society and is always rational." More than 40 years ago, Chairman Mao hailed the upsurge of the peasant movement with the greatest enthusiasm. When the peasants rose in rebellion he said, "It's fine," and denounced the counter-revolutionary slander which described the peasants' revolutionary movement as a "movement of riffraff." In the great proletarian cultural revolution, Chairman Mao himself approved the publication of China's first Marxist-Leninist big-character poster, supported the Red Guard movement at its birth and backed the struggle for the seizure of power during the "January revolution." Thus, Chairman Mao shows boundless faith in the masses, relies on them and respects their revolutionary initiative. He summed up and improved things created by the masses at the right time, thus promoting the development of the whole movement. Chairman Mao is a great proletarian revolutionary who is truly at one with the people. He is the great helmsman of China's revolution and of the world revolution!
  To oppose the revolutionary mass movement is to oppose revolution.   Lenin said:   "Revolution without 'revolutionary mass struggle' is impossible. There have never been such revolutions." The bourgeoisie can never create a genuine mass movement, nor is it willing to. Every time the masses rise up, deviate from the course fixed by the bourgeoisie and touch their class interests, they retreat in haste and turn around to suppress the masses. At times, China's Khrushchov, too, prattled about the mass movement. But when the masses really rose, he became rattled and reprimanded them, calling them "mobs," and seized "Rightists" and "counter-revolutionaries" everywhere. He did precisely what Chiang Kai-shek had done. Chiang Kai-shek daily talked about "rousing the people," but when the people did rise up, he turned on them and frantically suppressed them. China's Khrushchov hung out a signboard of revolution but took the same counter-revolutionary actions as Chiang Kai-shek.
  To oppose mass movements is to oppose socialism. Chairman Mao has said that in socialist revolution and socialist construction it is necessary to adhere to the mass line, mobilize the masses boldly and go in for the mass movement in a big way. Socialism is an unprecedentedly magnificent revolutionary cause; it is absolutely inconceivable without a broad, deep mass movement.
  In the course of the great proletarian cultural revolution, the activities of China's Khrushchov in connection with the suppression of the mass movement and the restoration of capitalism reached their peak. He not only suppressed the revolutionary mass movement but also laid down the bourgeois reactionary line on the question of cadres which can be summed up as: hit hard at many in order to protect a handful. This was aimed at attacking the great majority of cadres, who want to make revolution, and even at turning the spearhead of attack against the proletarian headquarters.
  Since he was made to step aside, he has continued, through his henchmen whom he had planted in different places, to conduct a trial of strength, in various forms, with the proletariat.
  This is a continuation of the struggle between the two lines, a continuation of the struggle over which road to take — the socialist or the capitalist road. It seems that this struggle will go on for a considerable time to come.
  The bourgeois reactionary line carried out by China's Khrushchov during the cultural revolution is only a continuation of the bourgeois reactionary line he has long carried out. He tried to impose this reactionary line during the cultural revolution precisely in order to cover up the capitalist road he had adhered to for ten, twenty years.
  As far back as the time of the democratic revolution he followed close on Chen Tu-hsiu's heels, cursing the workers* movement as "excessive," "a 'Left' deviation which goes beyond any reasoning." Gnashing his teeth, he suggested that the Northern warlords' regime should "fire several of the workers' leaders who are too rash." His aim was to oppose the proletariat's armed seizure of power.
  In the course of the socialist revolution he ordered "the workers not to make trouble,*' asked the peasants to "make some efforts to oppose rashness" and warned the Party "not to become dizzy with success." His aim was to develop capitalism and to establish the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
  After the basic completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production, he viciously attacked the great leap forward as "a fit of frenzy" and slandered the mass movement saying that it had been "brought about in a rush," and that it was "in fact very empty."
  In the "four clean-ups" movement (the socialist education movement) he declared, "the masses are like wild horses and will cause trouble when mobilized." His aim, again, was to restore capitalism.
  He acted in this way consistently for forty years. As soon as a mass movement arose he made desperate efforts to suppress it.
  Those who suppress mass movements come to no good end. The Northern warlords suppressed the mass movement and so did Chiang Kai-shek. In the end they were all overwhelmed by the angry waves of the mass movement. The fate of China's Khrushchov will be no better.
  The struggle between two lines is a protracted one. It existed in the past, exists in the present and will continue to exist in the future.
  We should not think that because China's Khrushchov has been unhorsed his bourgeois reactionary line will be eradicated. As Lenin said: "Its corpse cannot be nailed up in a coffin and lowered into the grave. It disintegrates in our midst; the corpse rots and infects us." The seizure of power is far from success if we stop at seizing power organizationally. Only by seizing power ideologically can we consolidate the power we have seized organizationally. In order to eliminate the poisonous influence of the bourgeois reactionary line, we must hold aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, thoroughly repudiate and discredit the reactionary line, politically, ideologically and theoretically, and ensure that Mao Tse-tung's thought occupies all positions.
  Still less should we think that after we have liquidated the bourgeois reactionary line represented by China's Khrushchov no such line will emerge anew. The struggle between the two classes and the two roads will exist as long as the bourgeoisie exists, and therein lies the danger of the emergence of new bourgeois reactionary lines.   We must be soberly aware of this.
Therefore, after proletarian revolutionaries have taken power into their own hands they face two possible alternatives. One is to hold high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, constantly enhance their own political consciousness, rely on the masses, persevere in the mass line and Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, and consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat. The other is to become conceited and complacent over their victories, reject or even suppress views opposed to their own, become divorced from the masses and fall victim to the sugar-coated bullets of the bourgeoisie. If this happens they will unconsciously slide over to the side of the bourgeois reactionary line and may become new representatives of the bourgeoisie. We should always bear in mind Chairman Mao's teaching: "We must be very much on the alert and never lose vigilance."

(By the editorial departments of the "Wenhui Bao," the "Jiefang Ribao" and the "Life of the Party Branch," Aug. 27.)

  
  
  

 
 
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