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 A New-Type Store Welcomed by Workers, Peasants and Soldiers

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Investigation Report


A New-Type Store Welcomed by Workers, Peasants and Soldiers

Source: Peking Review, No.4, January 24, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    THE pharmaceutical and medical apparatus store of the Hanku District, Tientsin, has three retail branches and one wholesale department. The store handles modern and traditional Chinese medicine, veterinary medicine, medical and glass apparatus, chemical reagents, etc. It is responsible for the wholesale trade servicing the more than 300 hospitals and medical units in the district as well as retail trade in town and countryside.
   With the assistance of the People's Liberation Army men helping the Left, it invited representatives of workers and peasants to supervise and lake part in the management of the store after the founding of its revolutionary committee. It has closely followed Chairman Mao's great strategic plan and achieved outstanding successes in directing its service to the workers, peasants and soldiers, providing experience for the struggle-criticism-transformation on the commercial front.

Worker and Peasant Masses Take Part in the Management of the Store

   After the publication of our great leader Chairman Mao's recent instruction: "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 revolutionary committee of the store immediately mobilized the whole staff to study and discuss it repeatedly and ran a study class for the purpose of its implementation. The staff members deeply felt that they had been divorced from productive labour for a long time and had been handling goods and money ail day long and so were infected with bourgeois ideas and style of work. They felt the pressing need to be reeducated by the workers, peasants and soldiers. They also realized that to thoroughly carry out the struggle-criticism-transformation in the store, there must be participation by the workers and peasants.
   Acting on their proposal, the district revolutionary committee selected two representatives of workers, a representative of poor and lower-middle peasants and three representatives of retired workers to form a committee for supervision and management along with a representative of the store's revolutionary staff members. This committee co-operates with the store's revolutionary committee in management. The representatives of workers and peasants are not taken away from their ordinary work. The representatives of the industrial workers take part in management when they are off duty, the retired workers lake part during the day and the representative of the poor and lower-middle peasants comes to the store at set times. Raising high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, the supervision and management committee, with the worker and peasant representatives as the main force, takes part in the store's struggle-criticism-transformation and, together with the store's revolutionary committee, studies and decides on the major problems in the store. The advantages of doing things this way are:
   The worker and peasant representatives have led the staff members in closely following Chairman Mao's great strategic plan and in implementing Chairman Mao's latest instructions, and this has strengthened the working-class leadership in the store.
   With the help of the worker and peasant representatives, the revolutionary staff members have adhered to the orientation of serving the workers, peasants and soldiers and taken the road of building the store along a political line.
   The struggle against the class enemies has been strengthened. The revolutionary staff members accurately hit at the handful of class enemies.
   The worker and peasant representatives have brought with them the opinions of the masses and this has helped the staff members make timely improvements in their services and steadily raise the quality of their work.
   Favourable conditions have boon provided for the revolutionary staff members to learn from the industrial workers and poor and lower-middle peasants and to be re-educated by them.
Fostering the Idea of Serving the Workers, Peasants and Soldiers Wholeheartedly
   In the past, influenced by the counter-revolutionary revisionist line pushed by the No.l capitalist loader in the Party Liu Shao-chi, the store was seriously affected by bourgeois ideas of management. The idea existed that the store had only to concern itself with buying and selling. The shop assistants were all smiles and made every effort to serve well-dressed customers who bought a lot. They were cold and indifferent to the labouring people and served them half-heartedly.
  
  In the course of struggle-criticism-transformation, the worker-peasant supervision and management committee helps the store's revolutionary committee organize the revolutionary staff members to creatively study and apply Chairman Mao's works and make the "three constantly read articles" their maxims. Using the invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung as their weapon, the revolutionary staff members have undertaken deep-going and sustained revolutionary mass criticism and repudiation to eliminate the counter-revolutionary' revisionist ideas of Liu Shao-chi, and this has raised their consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. The idea of serving the people wholeheartedly has taken deep root in the minds of the revolutionary staff members.
   They now stand behind the counter for the sake of the revolution. Some of them used to think this work placed them "lower" than others. Now they realize that every trade and profession is part of the revolutionary cause. There is a division of labour in revolutionary work but no work is higher or lower, more refined or meaner than any other.
   An older shop assistant said with emotion: "Before liberation I was apprenticed to this trade, and was often beaten and abused. Now we have become masters of our country. I was wrong to think there was no future in standing behind the counter. I really forgot my class origin. From now on I will follow Chairman Mao's teachings and wholeheartedly serve the workers, peasants and soldiers."
   The child of a poor peasant once had convulsions and some rare medicinal herbs were urgently needed. The shop was out of them and this older shop assistant went to four different places before getting them so as to help cure the child.
   The hearts of the staff members are now closely linked with those of the workers, peasants and soldiers. Formerly, some of them thought that business meant "you buy and I sell." Now the staff members regard the problems of the workers, peasants and soldiers as their own, and always think of the workers, peasants and soldiers. Once, a woman staff member persisted in her work in spite of being ill. When she was delivering medicine to a patient, she fainted on the road and hurt her leg. After she came to, she remembered Chairman Mao's teaching to "be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory" and got the medicine to the patient on time.
  In this store, there have been more and more outstanding deeds of wholehearted service to   the people.

Making Investigations and Studies Among The Workers and Peasants

   How can the workers, peasants and soldiers be served better? The worker-peasant supervision and management committee and the store's revolutionary committee organized the staff to seriously study Chairman Mao's teachings on investigation and study and decided that they should go to the worker-peasant masses to hear their opinions and demands. Members of the revolutionary committee and the revolutionary staff organized themselves into Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda teams and went to the villages, factories, and urban communities and held more than 20 discussions with workers, poor and lower-middle peasants, "red doctors of the countryside" (the "barefoot doctors"), veterinarians and city inhabitants to solicit their opinions. In addition, they visited more than 400 other people, including patients with occupational or chronic-diseases, medical workers, shop assistants of supply and marketing co-operatives, and commune, brigade and production team cadres. Altogether they collected over 200 criticisms and suggestions. All this provided the basis for carrying out successfully the store's struggle-criticism-transformation.
   The staff received a very profound education from the worker-peasant masses through contact with them. They said; "The working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants are most loyal to Chairman Mao and have the highest class consciousness." "The poor and lower-middle peasants cooked for us and offered us water. They were very considerate. They often told us of the past suffering of their families, and the class struggle. However, in the past when workers, peasants and soldiers made purchases in our shop, we never offered them a cup of water or asked them to sit down. Sometimes we even offended them." Some of the staff said in self-reproach that they had been poisoned by Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionism and had acted like "bureaucrat merchants" who did not care about the pains and needs of the workers, peasants and soldiers. They said all this must be changed completely.
   Through investigation and study they have gained rudimentary knowledge of the incidence of the common, recurrent and occupational diseases. They arrange to lay in stocks so as to supply the masses with medicines which are effective, cheap and easy to take.
   To assist the "red doctors in the countryside” in serving the poor and lower-middle peasants better, the staff help them increase their knowledge of the use of medicines, and gradually increase the kinds of medicines they can prescribe. The staff guarantee quality and quantity and deliver medicine to the villages.
   Since the rural areas need veterinary medicines, they have added a special counter for this purpose.
   They also do propaganda work at the counter and hold small exhibitions on medical work and medicines to popularize knowledge on medical and health work on a wide scale.

Establishing a New System of Serving Workers, Peasants and Soldiers

   Chairman Mao teaches us: "There is no construction without destruction. Destruction means criticism and repudiation; it means revolution. It involves reasoning things out, which is construction. Put destruction first, and in the process you have construction."
   Following Chairman Mao's great teaching, this store has vigorously criticized and repudiated Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist fallacies, including "professional skills first," "putting profit in command" and "material incentives," and altered irrational rules and regulations. Basing themselves on the principle of serving the workers, peasants and soldiers, they have done away with ten regulations including "closing the shop" on holidays or at other times (the staff rotate their? holidays so that the store can stay open at all times), and improved seven regulations including distribution and allocation of medicines. They established 10 new rules and regulations including going deep among the worker-peasant masses to make investigations and studies, having the staff take part in productive labour and having the masses manage the store.
   Between laying in stocks and retailing, there used to be 12 steps involved in handling medicines. In general, it took about seven days for medicines to get to the sales counter. As a result of the reform, unnecessary steps have been eliminated and the time has been shortened by five days, with urgently needed medicines supplied in only two hours. Formerly the medicines were distributed on the basis of the amount ordered, and thus were not available where they were most needed. Now they arc distributed according to the incidence of disease, the size of the population and local preference.
   After discarding the practice of "closing the shop" on holidays or at other times, they never stop business at mid-day, on holidays, for meetings, for inventories or for political studies. The shop remains open 365 days a year. A small window has been provided for the sale of medicines throughout the night.
   In the course of the great proletarian cultural revolution over the last two years or so, there have been radical changes in the staff's ideas on management, style of service and mental outlook. The workers, peasants and soldiers praise the store in these words: "This, indeed, is a good store that serves us. We welcome this kind of store!"

("Hongqi," No.l, 1969)

  
  
  

 
 
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