A Great Revolution to Achieve the Complete Ascendancy of Mao Tse-tung's Thought
A Great Revolution to Achieve the Complete Ascendancy of Mao Tse-tung's Thought
A Great Revolution to Achieve the Complete Ascendancy of Mao Tse-tung's Thought
Source: Peking Review, No. 42, October 13, 1967
The great proletarian cultural revolution in our country is moving forward triumphantly along the brilliant road of Mao Tse-tung's thought.
Our great leader Chairman Mao recently instructed us that it is imperative to combat self-interest mil criticize and repudiate revisionism. This Is the basic programme generalized for us by Chairman Mao to guide the great proletarian cultural revolution.
Comrade Lin Piao said: "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."
The great proletarian cultural revolution is a great revolution that touches people to their very souls. This revolution is intended to topple the handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road, destroy bourgeois ideology, foster Mao Tse-tung's thought, change people's world outlook, and dig out the roots of revisionism, so as to consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country and consolidate and develop the socialist system.
Only by conscientiously studying and profoundly understanding Chairman Mao's great programme of "combating self-interest and criticizing and repudiating revisionism," only by correctly understanding the fundamental aim of the great proletarian cultural revolution, is it possible to comprehend the far-reaching significance of this revolution, to understand and master Chairman Mao's theory, line, principles and policies concerning the carrying on of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Only in this way is it possible to reduce blindness, raise consciousness and carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.
The dictatorship of the proletariat extends over a very long historical period full of acute struggles between the two classes —the proletariat and the bourgeoisie — and between the two roads — socialism and capitalism.
It need not take a very long period of time for the proletariat to seize power and overthrow the ownership of the exploiting classes. But it requires a very, very long period of time to eliminate the old ideas, culture, customs and habits left over by the exploiting classes for thousands of years. We have confiscated the property of the landlord class and the bourgeoisie, but we cannot confiscate their reactionary ideas. In the ideological field, they still retain a considerable influence, which in certain periods even outweighs that of the proletariat.
The core of the system of ideas of the exploiting classes is egoism, selfishness. As a result of the thousands of years of existence of the system of private ownership, such egoism has a deep-rooted influence. The old social system has been eliminated, but as our great leader Chairman Mao has observed, "Invariably, remnants of old ideas reflecting the old system remain in people's minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way." The bourgeoisie makes use of precisely this trash to corrupt the masses and the younger generation, to try to conquer the hearts of the people, and to fight against the proletariat.
Class struggle of all kinds Is actually political struggle. In the final analysis, class struggle In the ideological field is aimed at seizing political power and consolidating it. The ruling classes in China's feudal society used the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius to consolidate their power. The bourgeoisie, similarly, uses the capitalist ideology to consolidate its power. After their power is overthrown, the landlord class and the bourgeoisie are bound to desperately make use of the certain superiority they have in the ideological field to undermine the dictatorship of the proletariat and attempt a capitalist restoration.
Chairman MAO has rightly pointed out: "It will take a fairly long period of time to decide the issue in the ideological struggle between socialism and capitalism in our country. The reason is that the influence of the bourgeois and of the intellectuals who come from the old society will remain in cur country for a long time to come, and so will their class ideology. If this is not sufficiently understood, or is not understood at all, the gravest mistakes will be mode and the necessity of waging the struggle in the ideological field will be ignored."
The tremendous active role of the ideological factor in social progress must not be underestimated. Old ideas serve the old economic base, reflect the needs of reactionary classes and hamper the advance of society, whereas new ideas serve the new economic base, reflect the needs of progressive classes and promote and accelerate the advance of society.
Engels, in his later years, mentioned that earlier he and Marx, in order mainly to oppose historical idealism, had dealt more with the decisive role of the economic factor in historical development. Later some people tried to distort their thesis by saying that somehow the economic factor was the only decisive one. This is absurd. Engels pointed out: "Political, juridical, philosophical, religious, literary, artistic, etc., development is based on economic development. But all these react upon one another and also upon the economic basis."
Using thoroughgoing materialist dialectics, Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the greatest proletarian thinker of genius in our time, has for the first time made a most penetrating and most incisive exposition of the active role of the ideological factor in the progress of history.
Chairman Mao says: "Any given culture (as an ideological form) is a reflection of the politics and economics of a given society, and the former in turn has a tremendous influence and effect upon the latter; economics is the base and politics the concentrated expression of economics." This is one of Chairman Mao's very important generalizations on historical dialectics.
In his brilliant work On Contradiction, Chairman Mao pays great attention to the role of the mental aspect. He says: "The productive forces, practice and the economic base generally play the principal and decisive role; whoever denies this is not a materialist. But it must also be admitted that in certain conditions, such aspects as the relations of production, theory and the superstructure in turn manifest themselves in the principal and decisive role." He also says: "While Wt recognize that in the general development of history the material determines the mental and social being determines social consciousness, we also — and indeed must — recognize the reaction of mental on material things, of social consciousness on social being and of the superstructure on the economic base. This does not go against materialism; on the contrary, i: avoids mechanical materialism and firmly upholds dialectical materialism."
These important theses which Chairman Mao put forth decades ago remain a powerful ideological weapon for us to use in carrying on revolutionary Struggles under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In the past 18 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, our Party under the leadership of Chairman Mao has several times launched campaigns of criticism, repudiation and struggle against the bourgeoisie in the realm of ideology and has won great victories. With the deepening of class struggle, it is becoming increasingly clear to the bourgeoisie that it is difficult for them to act as the commander in this fight to seize power from the proletariat. They have found it ever more necessary to find and cultivate their agents in our Party in order to attain their criminal end. It is now very clear to all that the handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road headed by China's Khrushchov are the agents in our Party of the forces attempting a restoration of capitalism. In order to turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, they have tried in every way to take hold of the ideological field. They have done their utmost to spread and defend the ideas and culture of the exploiting classes which serve to prepare the way for a restoration of capitalism, and have gone all-out to protect the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities."
The long period of acute class struggle from the criticism and repudiation of the Inside Story o/ the Chang Court up to the criticism and repudiation of Hai Jui Dismissed From Office is ample proof of this.
In many of his great works and in the documents "Some Current Problems Raised in the Socialist Education Movement in the Rural Areas," "Circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (May 16, 1966)," and the "Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution," drawn up under his personal direction, Chairman Mao has explicitly stated that to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist system, it is necessary to criticize, repudiate and overthrow the handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road. Chairman Mao has also told us that it is necessary' to fully mobilize the masses, raise their consciousness, thoroughly expose, criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities,"' expose, criticize and repudiate reactionary bourgeois ideas in academic, educational, journalistic, literary and art and publication circles and seize back leadership in these cultural fields.
The great theory on the great proletarian cultural revolution put forward by Chairman Mao and the great practice of this revolution personally initiated and led by him have solved the fundamental question of how to carry on the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, thus opening the way for the International communist movement to carry the socialist revolution through to the end and to go from socialism to communism, and erecting a new and great milestone in the history of the development of Marxism-leninism.
Under the guidance of Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, the tempestuous proletarian cultural revolution over the past year has already won great victories: exposing and overthrowing the handful of top Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road headed by China's Khrushchov and smashing the bourgeois headquarters. Hence, the greatest hidden danger in the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the biggest obstacle for carrying out the thorough criticism and repudiation of the ideology of the exploiting classes have been removed.
At present, we must firmly respond to the great call of Chairman Mao "to combat self-interest and criticize and repudiate revisionism" and, guided by this great policy, carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.
We have already smashed the bourgeois headquarters. To consolidate and develop this victory, we must criticize penetratingly, repudiate thoroughly and discredit completely these bourgeois representatives politically, ideologically and theoretically. At the same time, we must closely link this revolutionary mass criticism and repudiation with the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation in our own units. This is to clear away, in a big way, the revisionist trash advocated by the handful of top Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road in the political, economic, ideological and cultural fields, and to wipe out their reactionary influence so as to transform everything which is not suited to the socialist system and which facilitates a restoration of capitalism. This will further improve the ability of the masses to recognize what revisionism is and to resist it; hence a solid mass basis for opposing revisionism and preventing its rise.
To more effectively criticize and repudiate revisionism and to remould our own world outlook, we must resolutely combat self-interest. Comrade Lin Piao says: "In making revolution, we must also revolutionize ourselves. Without revolutionizing ourselves, we cannot succeed in making this revolution." In the great proletarian cultural revolution, the struggle between proletarian and bourgeois ideology and the struggle between the proletarian and bourgeois world outlook have never been so sharp and acute as they are now and they have never so penetratingly touched every one's soul as they are doing today. All proletarian revolutionaries and revolutionary masses must do still better in studying and applying Chairman Mao's works in a creative way, persist in eradicating self-interest and fostering devotion to the public interest and firmly establish the spirit of absolute selflessness and of utter devotion to others without any thought of self. As Chairman Mao has taught us: "With this spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man's ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people." Only in this way can conditions conducive to the growth of revisionism be blocked and the roots of revisionism eradicated. This is an important question which concerns the destiny of our country and the future of the world, a question of great importance for hundreds and thousands of years.
After the October Revolution, Lenin said: "We are living in an historic period of struggle against the world bourgeoisie, which is far stronger than we are. At this stage of the struggle, we have to safeguard the development of the revolution and combat the bourgeoisie in the military sense and still more by means of our ideology through education, so that the habits, usages and convictions acquired by the working class in the course of many decades of struggle for political liberty — the sum total of these habits, usages and ideas — should serve as an instrument for the education of all working people."
Comrade Lin Piao 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 they 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. These studies will help our veteran and new cadres and young revolutionary fighters to learn and apply Mao Tse-tung's thought in a creative way, transform all sorts of non-proletarian ideas in their minds, raise their ideological and political level and win new merits in the service of the people."
The education of cadres is a very important aspect in building up the revolutionary ranks ideologically.
In a certain sense, the great proletarian cultural revolution is a movement for educating the cadres. Most revolutionary cadres have been well tempered in this revolution. We should unite all cadres who can be united. Cadres who have committed mistakes of varying degrees must without exception be educated. Those cadres who have committed mistakes ought to regard the masses' strict criticism and repudiation as the best assistance they could get. They should creatively study and apply Chairman Mao's works, linking this with practice in class struggle and their own experience and lessons. They should sincerely correct their mistakes, heighten their understanding of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and make their own contributions to the revolutionary mass criticism and repudiation and to the struggle-criticism-transformation in their own units.
It is necessary to intensify the ideological education of the revolutionary youth and the Red Guards, to infuse them with Mao Tse-tung's thought and to help them grow up healthy and sound in the course of struggle.
The revolutionary youth and the Red Guards have played the role of vanguards in the great proletarian cultural revolution. Yet the transformation of world outlook is a long, arduous process. They must take a correct attitude towards themselves and pay special attention to the creative study and application of Chairman Mao's works. In the storm and stress of the great proletarian cultural revolution and in the course of learning from the workers, peasants and soldiers, they should strive to steel themselves into reliable successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
In discussing tradition, Engels said: "Tradition is a great retarding force, is the vis inertiae of history, but , being merely passive, is sure to be broken down. . . ."
Feudal society has existed for several thousand years and capitalist society for several hundred years. These social systems are dead or dying. The ideologies that serve such social systems have become rotten to the core. Scientific communism has only existed a little more than a hundred years, beginning from the Manifesto of the Communist Party, but it is a new-born, invincible force. Chairman Mao has stated: "The communist ideological and social system alone is full of youth and vitality, sweeping the world with the momentum of an avalanche and the force of a thunderbolt." With the brilliant leadership of the great leader Chairman Mao and his all-illuminating, invincible thought, we are fully confident that we can defeat any exploiting class ideology with the thoroughgoing, proletarian world outlook of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, and wrest a great worldwide victory for communism!
('Hongqi" editorial. No. 15, 1967.)
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