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 Peking Working Class Plays Leading Role in Cultural Revolution

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Source: Peking Review, No. 42, October 18, 1968
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org



   "The working class must exercise leadership in everything" — this clarion call is being translated into action in China's capital.
   Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda teams formed by industrial workers have entered all 59 institutions of higher learning and a number of other educational and cultural establishments.
   Revolutionary committees were set up in practically all factories and mines by the eve of National Day to ensure that the working class exercises leadership in all these enterprises.
   The workers have seized power in deciding technical matters from the bourgeois technical "authorities" and are pressing ahead with the technical revolution.
   In response to Chairman Mao's call, "grasp revolution and promote production," a new upsurge in industrial production has begun. The city's gross industrial output was more than 10 per cent higher in August than in July.
   In all this, the Peking working class is guided by the invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung. A mass campaign for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao's works is sweeping all factories and mines.
   There were two particularly memorable events in August for Peking's workers: On August 5, the great leader Chairman Mao presented mangoes to the workers' propaganda team shortly after it entered Tsinghua University; on August 15, Chairman Mao and his close comrade-in-arms Vice-Chairman Lin Piao received representatives of Peking's working class.
   The workers acclaim this as an expression of Chairman Mao's great concern, trust, support and encouragement They declare: "Chairman Mao supports us workers and we will live up to his expectations."
   Chairman Mao recently pointed out: "Our country has 700 million people, and the working class is the leading class. It is essential to bring into full play the leading role of the working class in the great cultural revolution and in all fields of work. On its part, the working class should always raise its political consciousness in the course of struggle."
   "The workers' propaganda teams should stay permanently in the schools and colleges, take part in all the tasks of straggle-criticism-transformation there and will always lead these institutions."
   Towards the end of July, when the cultural revolution was moving forward rapidly, some of the universities and colleges in Peking lagged behind as a result of the underhand activities of the reactionary bourgeois forces there working to split the revolutionary students and teachers.
   To end this situation, workers from many factories took the initiative to form a Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team. The team first entered Tsinghua University on July 27. It energetically spread Chairman Mao's latest instructions through broadcasts, big-character posters, forums and visits to the students' dormitories and the homes of the teachers and staff.
   The workers helped the revolutionary students, teachers and staff run Mao Tse-tung's thought study classes. They gave vivid lessons in class education by recalling from their own experience the sufferings of the labouring people in the old society. They mercilessly denounced China's Khrushchov who attempted to restore capitalism and pull China back on to the old road.
   They helped the revolutionary students and teachers see through the scheme of the class enemy to split the revolutionary ranks. As a result, the revolutionary students and teachers quickly united and launched fierce attacks on their common enemy.
   The workers joined the revolutionary students and teachers in the mass criticism and repudiation of the revisionist educational line pushed by China's Khrushchov. Big-character posters filled the campus. The Red Guards praised the workers' articles of criticism as being sharp and pungent, full of deep love for Chairman Mao and bitter hatred for China's Khrushchov.
   These Red Guards made considerable contributions during the early and middle stages of the cultural revolution by rebelling against China's Khrushchov and hit-agents in Tsinghua University. Today they pledge to learn from the working class and under its leadership carry the proletarian revolution in education through to the end.
   An article by the workers' propaganda team in Tsinghua University in Renmin Ribao declared: "The working class must take over the field of education, which was the domain of bourgeois intellectuals. ... It is necessary to break their monopoly in universities like Tsinghua so as to train reliable successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat."
   The workers' propaganda teams pledge to end the bourgeois educational system and turn the old colleges into great schools of Mao Tse-tung's thought. They promise to use Mao Tse-tung's thought to re-educate the intellectuals and help them integrate with the workers, peasants and soldiers.
   The workers' propaganda teams are also moving into other areas of the superstructure to lead the work of struggle-criticism-transformation.
   This is a historic mission for the working class at present. In the course of fulfilling this task, the working class will itself be steeled in the class struggle and a group of outstanding worker-cadres are expected to emerge. They will strengthen every aspect of the state organs and the revolutionary committees at all levels.

Closely Follow Chairman Mao's Great Strategic Plan

   Ever since the beginning of the cultural revolution, the Peking working class has closely followed the great strategic plan of Chairman Mao and has carried out every one of his latest instructions.
   As soon as Chairman Mao wrote his historic big-character poster "Bombard the Headquarters" in August 1966, the workers rose in rebellion against the handful of capitalist readers within the Party. "It is right to rebel against reactionaries" was the watchword. By January 1967, they had seized back the power which had been usurped by the capitalist roaders.
   Owing to instigation by the capitalist roaders and other class enemies, workers in many factories at one time split into two opposing groupings.
   In September 1967, Chairman Mao issued the call: "There is no conflict of fundamental interests within the working class. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is no reason whatsoever for the working class to split into two big irreconcilable groupings."
   Responding to this call, the workers in 95 per cent of the factories and mines in Peking achieved revolutionary great alliances within a few days, setting the pace for the whole city.
   Chairman Mao pointed out: "In every place or unit where power must be seized, it is necessary to carry out the policy of the revolutionary 'three-in-one' combination in establishing a provisional organ of power which is revolutionary and representative and enjoys proletarian authority. This organ of power should preferably be called the revolutionary committee."
   Between February and March this year, there was a high tide of establishing revolutionary committees in the city's factories and mines. By May Day, 95 per cent of the enterprises had established such committees.
   In response to Chairman Mao's call, "Carry out the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation conscientiously," a high tide of struggle-criticism-transformation has come into being.
   Chairman Mao recently pointed out: "Struggle-criticism-transformation in a factory, on the whole, goes through the following stages: establishing a three-in-one revolutionary committee; carrying out mass criticism and repudiation; purifying the class ranks; consolidating the Party organization; and simplifying the administrative structure, changing irrational rules and regulations and sending office workers to the workshops."
   What has happened at the Peking General Knitwear Mill gives a glimpse of the tremendous changes that are being brought about by this struggle-criticism-transformation.
   A "three-in-one" revolutionary committee was established at the mill last November. On the committee are representatives of the workers and other revolutionary masses, representatives of revolutionary cadres and representatives of the People's Liberation Army. The committee runs the factory in accordance with Mao Tse-tung's thought
   The revisionist line pushed by China's Khrushchov in running enterprises came under heavy fire. The workers denounced such fallacies as "production first," "reliance on experts to run the factory," "material incentives" and "bonuses in command."
   The capitalist roaders in the mill stressed material incentives. They used bonuses to get the workers to observe labour discipline and to stimulate production. They treated the workers as wage labourers instead of politically conscious socialist workers.
   The capitalist roaders adopted the method of individual responsibility in the knitting shop. They assigned a number of machines to a worker and gave him quotas on quantity, quality and consumption of raw material Bonuses were graded according to how he met the quotas.
   This actually only served to sow discord among the workers and encourage non-co-operation.   As the workers pointed out, the capitalist roaders by this vicious means attempted to turn the genuine class friendship between workers into dirty capitalist money relations.
   After they had taken power, the workers abolished the old practice of individual responsibility and replaced it by collective responsibility in tending the machines. This has greatly promoted mutual aid and co-operation. Many machines which lay idle because of the old practice have been put into operation and production has soared.
   The mill topped its production quota for July by 22 per cent though many of its workers joined the Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team and left for Tsinghua University. Its August quota was fulfilled five and a half days ahead of time.
   In the course of purifying the class ranks, the workers have ferreted out renegades, enemy agents and other hidden class enemies. Some are precisely those who sabotaged the change-over from individual responsibility to collective responsibility in tending the machines.
   The mill also sets a good example in simplifying administrative structure. Before the cultural revolution, this mill of some 2,000 workers had an administrative staff of 229 people. Red tape caused dissatisfaction on the part of the workers.
   Now the administrative staff has been reduced to only 24 people. The rest have gone to work in the shops. And the 24 full-time cadres also take part in physical labour three days every week.
   Of the 19 members on the revolutionary committee, only the chairman and five vice-chairmen are among the 24 full-time cadres. The others continue to work at their benches. The committee members go where there are problems and tackle them on the spot They are in close contact with the masses.

Mao Tse-tung's Thought Guides the Mill

   The greatest change, however, takes place in people's thinking. The political consciousness of the workers has continued to rise through the creative study and application of Mao Tse-tung's thought.
   The workers declare: "Mao Tse-tung's thought is the thought of the working class. It represents the fundamental interests of the working class. We workers treasure Chairman Mao's works and will always follow his teachings."
   Everywhere in Peking's factories and mines there are portraits of Chairman Mao and quotations from him. The workers study Chairman Mao's works every day. Alongside each machine they hang a placard with a quotation chosen to link up with some outstanding current question in the revolution or in the day's work.
   Mao Tse-tung's thought study classes are being constantly run throughout the factories and mines. They are (he places where the workers "fight self, repudiate revisionism" and foster loyalty to Chairman Mao. The workers declare: "Loyalty to Chairman Mao is our highest ideal and greatest happiness. Loyalty to Chairman Mao means victory."
   Woman worker Hsu Teh-hsiu of the Peking Transformer Factory is an activist in the creative study and application of Chairman Mao's works. She has closely followed every instruction from Chairman Mao at every stage of the cultural revolution.
   She is a standing committee member of the revolutionary committee of her factory. She always bears in mind Chairman Mao's teaching: "Having close ties with the masses is most fundamental in reforming state organs." She remains an ordinary worker — actively taking part in physical labour and forging close ties with the masses. She works on the shop floor and handles administrative work there, too. This is most welcomed by the masses. She is now a member of the workers' propaganda team in Tsinghua University.
   The working class exercises leadership not only in the management of the factories but also in technical matters. The Peking No. 1 Machine Tool Plant provides a typical example.
   Taking advantage of their power, the handful of capitalist readers and bourgeois technical "authorities" in the factory used every means to deprive the workers of the right to have any say on technical matters.
   The capitalist roaders smeared the workers and said: "The workers are stupid. Their duty is to use the tools. As to technology, that's the business of the experts and authorities."
   In 1959, they asked several technicians who lacked practical experience to design an urgently needed automatic large-size composite machine tool. The latter simply copied the design of an imported machine tool of this type.
   But the prototype was a complete failure, deficient in accuracy, surface finish, automatic control, and so on. The workers raised many suggestions to improve it The capitalist roaders brushed aside these suggestions but invited some technical "authorities" who had studied abroad to tackle the problem.
   At a loss, the "authorities" stared at each other. So the machine tool was scrapped and lay idle for nine years.
   During the cultural revolution, the workers overthrew the handful of capitalist roaders and reactionary bourgeois technical "authorities." As soon as they took power, the workers tried to find ways and means to improve the scrapped machine tool.
   The workers drew encouragement from Chairman Mao's teaching: "The lowly are most intelligent; the elite are most ignorant." They formed a "three-in-one" group with revolutionary technicians and leading cadres to tackle the problem. Eventually in March this year, they successfully put the machine tool into operation.
   This very fact blasted the myth about the bourgeois technical "authorities." The wisdom and creativeness of the formerly repressed workers had been released. Technical innovations have come forth one after another. Three important new products have been turned out in the last few months.
   The workers say: "Workers have rich practical experience. Guided by Mao Tse-tung's thought, we will perform wonders which the bourgeois 'experts' and authorities' dare not even imagine."
   Many other factories have reported new technical achievements since the workers took power over technical matters. The Peking No. 3 Steel Rolling Mill successfully transformed a four-high mill for cold rolling into an eight-high mill. The machine now turns out thin strip steel 2.5-centimillimetres thick instead of the original one-decimillimetre thick strips. This marks a new advance in China's steel rolling technique.
   The Peking No. 2 Steel Rolling Mill trial produced shaped flat spring steel which is of vital importance in the manufacture of heavy-duty lorries. Formerly, the steel was imported from a revisionist country. But that country has deliberately suspended its export to China. The workers therefore have named the steel "No. 1 anti-revisionism" type.
   Chairman Mao teaches: . . it is only the working class that is most far-sighted, most selfless and most thoroughly revolutionary. The entire history of revolution proves that without the leadership of the working class revolution fails and that with the leadership of the working class revolution triumphs."
   The great proletarian cultural revolution has always been under the leadership of the working class. The Chinese Communist Party is the vanguard of the working class. The proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao and with Vice-Chairman Lin Piao as its deputy leader represents in a concentrated way the interests of the working class, the poor and lower-middle peasants and the masses of labouring people.
   Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and all his instructions reflect the pressing demands of the working class and of the hundreds of millions of revolutionary people and embody the proletariat's firm and strong leadership of the cultural revolution.
   Under working-class leadership, the great cultural revolution will bring about profound changes in all fields, fiercely storm all those parts of the superstructure not in correspondence with the socialist economic base and greatly stimulate the development of the productive forces.
  
  
  

 
 
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