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 "Combat Self-interest, Criticize and Repudiate Revisionism" Is the Fundamental Principle

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"Combat Self-interest, Criticize and Repudiate Revisionism" Is the Fundamental Principle of The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Source: Peking Review, No. 42, October 13, 1967
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    It is imperative to combat self-interest and criticize and repudiate revisionism." Our great leader Chairman Mao recently gave this great fighting call to the workers, peasants, commanders and fighters of the People's Liberation Army, young Rod Guard fighters, revolutionary cadres and revolutionary intellectuals throughout the country.
  Comrade Lin Piao, Chairman Mao's close comrade-in-arms, passing on this latest instruction of Chairman Mao at the rally celebrating the 18th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, pointed out: "By combating self-interest, we mean using Marxism Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought to fight selfish ideas in one's own mind. By criticizing and repudiating revisionism, we mean using Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought to combat revisionism and struggle against the handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road. These two tasks are interrelated. Only when we have done a good job of eradicating selfish ideas, can we do better in carrying through to the end the struggle against revisionism."
  In a highly incisive and scientific way, the phrase "combating self-interest and criticizing and repudiating revisionism" summarizes the basic content of the great proletarian cultural revolution and of "criticism and repudiation of the bourgeoisie" during the entire historical period of socialism. This is a fundamental principle in ensuring the complete and thoroughgoing victory of China's great proletarian cultural revolution. It is a fundamental principle for preventing the restoration of capitalism, and for strengthening and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and turning the whole country into a great, red school of Mao Tse-tung's thought.
  The proletariat's seizure of political power from the bourgeoisie can be completed within a relatively short period. Nor does it require a very long time (o overthrow ownership by the exploiting classes. But it takes an extremely long time to eliminate the old ideology handed down by the exploiting classes over thousands of years and to remould people's souls with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought.
  It is a consistently established concept of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, that thinking has its source in mailer. Social ideology originates in social being, in the economic base of society, in the system of ownership In society. Man's social being determines his thinking. But thinking in turn plays a tremendous and dynamic role or, under certain conditions, a decisive role, in the development of the politics and economy of a given society. The old ideology, which reflects the demands of the exploiting classes, serves the old economic base and hampers social development. The new ideology, which reflects the demands of the advanced class, serves the new economic base and promotes and accelerates social progress. Once advanced ideas are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a powerful material force which promotes social progress. Therefore, we must make great efforts to destroy the old ideology and foster the new.
  In what does the oldness of the old ideology of the exploiting classes lie? It lies essentially in "self-interest," which means looking at the world from the viewpoint of everything for one's self, for self-interest. The selfishness of the exploiting classes is natural soil for the growth of capitalism, an important factor that generates revisionism, an ideological virus that disintegrates the socialist publicly-owned economy and subverts the dictatorship of the proletariat.
  Revisionism is the most concentrated representative and most stubborn defender of the old ideology of the bourgeoisie within the ranks of the working class. The handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road hidden within the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat are revisionists who don the cloak of Marxism-Leninism while actually attempting to turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
  This explains why it is necessary to start a great political and ideological revolution to consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent the restoration of capitalism. The current great proletarian cultural revolution, initiated and led by Chairman Mao himself, is a revolution against revisionism and all old ideas. It is a revolution to remould people to their very souls, to revolutionize their thinking. That is why in the course of this revolution, we must "combat self-interest and criticize and repudiate revisionism."
  The great proletarian cultural revolution has won the decisive victory. To carry this great revolution through to the end, it is imperative to follow Chairman Mao's great strategic plan closely, arouse hundreds of millions of people and, using Mao Tse-tung's thought as the weapon, carry out even more extensive and penetrating revolutionary mass criticism and repudiation so that the handful of Party people in authority taking the capitalist road, headed by China's Khrushchov, are completely overthrown and discredited politically, ideologically and theoretically; it is imperative to combine revolutionary mass criticism and repudiation with the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation in each unit, consolidate and develop the revolutionary great alliance and revolutionary “'three-in-one" combination, and root out the pernicious influence of revisionism in all spheres. To carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end, it is also necessary to use Mao Tse-tung's thought to overcome anarchism, the "small-group" mentality, sectarianism, individualism and pragmatism in our ranks; it is necessary to sweep away all the non-proletarian ideas which handicap us in carrying out our tasks in the political struggle.
  Every proletarian revolutionary, every revolutionary comrade, must regard himself both as a motive force and a target of the revolution; we must act both as the vanguard in criticizing and repudiating revisionism and as a shock force in combating self-interest. If we do not combat self-interest and make revolution against ourselves, we cannot do a good job of criticising and repudiating revisionism; we may become blind to what is revisionist or even fall into the quagmire of revisionism. Conversely, only by taking an active part in the battle to criticize and repudiate revisionism can we reach into the very depths of our souls and relentlessly combat self-interest.
  Comrade Lin Piao has pointed out: "We must respond to the great call of Chairman Mao and, with the instruction 'combat self-interest and criticize and repudiate revisionism* as the guiding principle, strengthen the ideological education of the army and civilian cadres and of the Red Guards. Various kinds of study classes should be organized both at the central and local levels and can also be run by the revolutionary mass organizations, so that the whole country will be turned into a great school of Mao Tse-tung's thought."
  In organizing study classes for the education of cadres and the masses, it is of prime importance to study Chairman Mao's works diligently, conscientiously and creatively, taking into consideration the various problems which have presented themselves and the ideas current in people's minds in the course of the great proletarian cultural revolution. We must adhere to Chairman Mao's consistent teachings, use the formula "unity — criticism and self-criticism — unity," rely on the masses and let the masses educate themselves. The principal way of correcting our own shortcomings and mistakes is through self-criticism to destroy self-interest and promote devotion to the public interest and by summing up experience and accepting the resulting I lessons. This study should enable our old and new cadres |an4..young revolutionary fighters to reach a higher | ideological and political level, forge a new unity on the basis of Mao Tse-tung's thought and Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, and give new meritorious service to the people in the course of "combating self-interest and criticizing and repudiating revisionism."

("Renmin Ribao" editorial, October 6.)
  
  
  

 
 
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