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 Cadres Should Go Among the Masses

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Source: Peking Review, No. 48, November 24, 1967
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

     A GREAT, far-reaching achievement of the great proletarian cultural revolution is this: the close links between the cadres and the masses have been greatly strengthened, and our Party's excellent tradition of consistently trusting the masses, staying close to them and leading them ahead has been greatly advanced.
   Our great leader Chairman Mao recently instructed us: "The question of relations between superiors and subordinates should be properly solved, and the relations between cadres and the masses should be built up well. From now on, cadres should go to the grass-roots level and make investigations; they should persist in the mass line, consult the musses on matters that have come up, and be their pupils. In a certain sense, the fighters with rich practical experience are the wisest and the most talented."
   Maintenance by cadres of the most extensive, constant and close ties with the masses is a fundamental matter of great importance under the socialist system.
   Ours is a socialist country under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Our cadres at all levels must represent the basic interests of the proletariat and the broad masses of working people. The history of class struggle shows that only when our cadres maintain close ties with the masses can they represent the basic interests and demands of the masses and lead them along the socialist road.
   Throughout the historical period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, classes and class struggle exist and the force of habit from the old society continues to exert its influence. So if cadres are divorced from the masses, there is the possibility of them being attacked and corrupted by the class enemy and of revisionism emerging. Therefore, the state of the ranks of the cadres — whether the cadres link themselves with the masses or are divorced from them — has a direct bearing on the consolidation and strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat and on the future of our political power.
Chairman Mao has always taught us: "People do different types of work at different posts. But, no matter how high one's official position, one should act as an ordinary worker among the people.   It is absolutely impermissible to put on airs."
 The overwhelming majority of cadres in our party follow Chairman Mao's instructions and share the joys and sorrows of the masses. But a small number of cadres over the years have begun to consider themselves "high-ranking officials," to be out of the ordinary run, and put on airs. Some of them like to admonish people and are seriously divorced from the masses. This naturally causes dissatisfaction among the masses. Here lies one of the fundamental reasons for some people who have committed mistakes being criticized by the masses during the great proletarian cultural revolution.
   All cadres, both old and new, those who have committed errors and those who have not, must take this lesson very much to heart.
   In the last analysis, Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line is the line of "from the masses, to the masses." The opinions and experience of the masses are the basis for our drawing up policies and the source from which the leadership draws its ideas. With regard to all Party workers, all their good ideas, opinions, plans and measures must be those which concentrate rather well the demands and wisdom of the revolutionary masses. Whoever does not act in this way but does things subjectively, does not consult the masses and does not learn from them, will inevitably meet setbacks.
   Go to the masses, consult them frequently on matters that arise and be their students—this is a question concerning not only our methods of work, but our fundamental standpoint and attitude. It is a question of our world outlook.
   The representatives of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes in history have always stood matters upside down and regarded the masses as "ignorant mobs," while seeing themselves as ''overlords," head and shoulders above others. The handful of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road, with China's Khrushchov as their general representative, who were dragged out during the great proletarian cultural revolution, are just such a bunch who feared and suppressed the revolutionary masses and betrayed the revolutionary people. Our cadres must draw a clear line of demarcation between themselves and these people on this fundamental issue, and regard themselves as part of the masses, as the loyal servants, as the sons and daughters of the people.
   It is a deep-going ideological revolution for cadres to go to the masses. It involves a process of "fighting self-interest, repudiating revisionism," and it is a lifelong undertaking. Maintain close links with the masses today and you can acquire tremendous revolutionary fighting will; weaken these links tomorrow and your thinking and feeling will change and stagnate. Cadres, both old and new, should be vigilant against this, should persist all their lives in going to the masses and should thoroughly remould their own bourgeois world outlook.
   Often, the reason why cadres make mistakes stems from their being divorced from the masses. The fundamental way to correct mistakes is to go to the masses and take their criticism as a tremendous motivating power for the promotion of ideological revolutionization. Only by making self-criticism to the masses and receiving their criticism, education and constant supervision, can the small number of cadres who have made serious mistakes transform themselves, start afresh, make up for their mistakes with new contributions and rejoin the revolutionary ranks.
   Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and the series of extremely important instructions he has given during the great cultural revolution reflect in the most concentrated way the demands and wishes of the revolutionary masses, firmly grasp the most important and crucial questions of the current revolutionary movement, and therefore possess unlimited power. The masses of our revolutionary cadres must go to the people, publicize Chairman Mao's latest instructions and bring his voice directly to the masses, and translate his instructions rapidly into conscious revolutionary action by the masses. At the same time, it is only by going to the masses that the cadres can really follow Chairman Mao's great strategic plan closely, gain a deep understanding of his great strategic thinking and correctly carry out his proletarian revolutionary line.
   Since the situation of the revolution is developing steadily, new things are emerging one after another and new questions are constantly being brought up on the agenda. In order to lead this great revolutionary movement well, we should, together with the masses, constantly study the new trends, new achievements, new experiences and new questions that arise in the movement, be good at discovering and promoting the revolutionary initiative of the masses, and give powerful support to those proletarian revolutionaries who are determined to carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end. Our cadres should take a positive and active attitude towards the mass movement, guide it skilfully, and avoid tailism. They should adhere to principle and correctly handle questions that arise in the mass movement.
   In the current excellent situation, provided the cadres go to the masses, stay with them, be their pupils before being their teachers, sum up the experiences, carry achievements forward, overcome shortcomings, be modest and prudent, and guard against arrogance and impetuosity, we can assuredly guide the great proletarian cultural revolution on to new victories.

("Renmin Ribao" editorial, November 19.)
  
  
  

 
 
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