The "May 7 Directive" Lights the Way
The "May 7 Directive" Lights the Way
The "May 7 Directive" Lights the Way
Source: Peking Review, No. 20, May 16, 1969
It is three years since our great leader Chairman Mao issued his brilliant "May 7 Directive" In a loiter to Vice-Chairman Lin Piao on May 7, 1966, Chairman Mao issued this extremely important directive painting out that the People's Liberation Army, factories, villages, schools, the commercial unite, the service trades, and Party and government organizations should all become great schools for revolutionization.
Army-men and civilians throughout the country pledged to follow Chairman Mao's instruction and turn the whole country into a great school of Mao Tsetung Thought. In the past three years, they have made great progress in every field. Following are three examples. — Ed.
Sailors as Weil as Workers
ACTING on Chairman Mao's "May 7 Directive," one ship group of the South China Sea Fleet has been making its own repairs since 1966. In the past three years, the P.L.A. commanders and fighters of this ship group have done an excellent job of making several thousand repairs on six big and medium-sized warships. The ships all made successful trial cruises immediately after being repaired. Some have been operating smoothly for thousands of hours.
Naval commanders and fighters repairing their own ships is an important creative effort. Not only do they run the vessels, they are also maintenance and repair workers. In addition to bringing the ships' combat effectiveness into full play, this also saves large amounts of expenditures. Most important is that, by repairing their own ships, the commanders and fighters get an opportunity to study and apply Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way through practical struggle, thus promoting the revolutionization of their thinking and enabling their ship group to be built up into a highly militant body.
The commanders and fighters of this ship group were greatly inspired when they heard the 'May 7 Directive" Chairman Mao issued in 1966. In it Chairman Mao pointed out: "The People's Liberation Army should be a great school. In this school, our army should study politics and military affairs, raise its educational level, and also engage in agriculture and side-occupations and run small or medium-sized factories to make products for its own needs or for exchange with the state against equal values." They were determined to translate this brilliant instruction into concrete action. Not everyone, however, held the same view. A few said: "The warships are an exception — we're constantly in a state of alertness for combat duly. We don't have many hands; there's a detailed division of work, and we're never in one place long. Setting up factories or farms sounds impractical." Others replied: 'There's nothing exceptional about us. There's no reason why we can't set up farms and factories, and go in for side-occupations, too."
Amid these healed debates, ship No. 351 was sent to the shipyard for scheduled repairs. This enlightened them in their discussions. Looking at it in the light of the "May 7 Directive," the P.L.A. men realized that the ship became a small repair plant in itself while under repair. Why couldn't they run this "plant'" themselves instead of handing it over to the shipyard workers? They thus hit on a concrete way to carry out the directive according to their specific conditions.
Making their own repairs was an inspiring event for the seamen of this ship group. They had done a number of minor repairs in 1958 on their own ships without sending them to the shipyards. This was a new-born phenomenon shining with Mao Tsetung Thought. But it met with frantic opposition from the counter-revolutionary revisionists Peng Teh-huai and Lo Jui-ching. They raved that it was pure "folly" for sailors to repair their own ships. Demanding that such work be done through "regular channels," they ruthlessly suppressed this new-born thing. Now, however, it has been revived under the illumination of Chairman Mao's "May 7 Directive."
Actively supported and led by the Party organization, the commanders and fighters relentlessly criticized the slavish comprador philosophy of copying foreign rules and regulations in repairing ships and conscientiously studied the spirit of the directive. This helped them to further raise their consciousness of the struggle between the two lines. The crew of the No. 351 took over and did a good job in repairing their own ship. The Party committee of the ship group summed up their experience and founded a May 7 Sailor-Worker Ship-Repairing Plant. Each ship sent part of its crew to lake turns working there. Whenever a ship came in for repairs, the crew also came along to take part in the work.
Guided by Chairman Mao's policy of "self-reliance," the sailor-workers built their own workshops and supplied their own equipment and installations by unearthing long unused machinery and parts from scrap heaps and putting them back into working order. The comrades soon set up a plant which could do repairs on large ships.
Among those successively sent to the new plant was the No. 355, a big ship which used to be repaired by large shipyards only. Since its machinery and equipment were highly complicated and its right main engine was badly in need of repairs, some comrades doubled whether the plant could do the job. With this problem in mind, the comrades studied Chairman Mao's relevant teachings and were determined to accomplish the job by relying on invincible Mao Tsetung Thought. They cited many vivid examples to support their conviction. When the plant was first set up, for instance, the comrades did not know how to make drawings or calculations for a small boat's tail shaft, but they learnt while they worked and eventually made a high-precision one for a fraternal unit. In another case, they were asked to repair the oil grooves in a generator. They brought the factor of man into full play and used simple tools such as chisels and files instead of the milling machine required. The process of cutting the oil grooves demanded high precision and the tolerance must not exceed half a hair's breadth. The comrades succeeded once again. A third time when there was a sudden breakdown of a ship's engines, the comrades in the plant came aboard and boldly invented a new technological process for the repair work, thus completing in a dozen minutes a job which ordinarily took a week. Countless facts showed that naval commanders and fighters armed with Mao Tsetung Thought, with hearts boundlessly loyal to Chairman Mao, could create miracles with their own hands. The more they worked, the bolder and more confident they became. They finished the repair job on the No. 355 in the shortest possible time, and the repaired vessel made record speed in its first trial cruise.
Part-Time Agriculture, Part-Time Industry
IN accordance with Chairman Mao's "May 7 Directive," the poor and lower-middle peasants of the Fuchengtungchieh brigade, Shuiyeh Commune, Anyang County, Honan Province, have relied on their own efforts in setting up many small factories such as machine-repairing, oil-pressing, grain-processing, foundry and paper-making. By engaging mainly in agricultural production and taking industrial production as the side-line, they have vigorously spurred the development of agriculture.
Situated in a hilly area, the brigade has insufficient land for its population. It only has 1,040 mu of land for more than 1,500 people. The grain output was low.
In 1962, in answer to the demands of the poor and lower-middle peasants, the Party branch led the peasants in energetically tapping the potential in agricultural production; it also led them in developing collective side-line occupations like making bricks, earthen cooking pots, hand-made paper, farm tools and tool repairing. In 1965, small factories were set up for these side-occupations as mechanical equipment was brought in.
In 1966, Chairman Mao's "May 7 Directive" was published. Chairman Mao pointed out: "While mainly engaging in agricultural production (including forestry, animal husbandry, side-occupations and fisheries), the peasants in the communes should at the same time study military affairs and politics and raise their educational level. When conditions permit, they should collectively run some small factories. They also should criticize and repudiate the bourgeoisie." Delighted and encouraged, the poor and lower-middle peasants further strengthened their faith and determination in taking the road of part-time agriculture and part-time industry. They said: "To engage in part-time agricultural production and part-time industrial production is a bright road leading to communism. We will follow it for ever."
How to run the factories— by relying on their own efforts or asking for help from above? This question confronted them when the factories were first set up. Through debates, the poor and lower-middle peasants reached unanimous agreement: They must persist in the policy of relying on their own efforts and running the factories diligently and thriftily. They must not depend on help from the state. They said: "With Mao Tsetung Thought, all kinds of difficulties are nothing." They collected money among themselves and used their own hands to collect raw materials. They built sheds for the foundry workshop in an old temple out of straw mats. Poor-peasant Wang Chih-tung and P.L.A. dependent Lai Kuang-chu volunteered their newly built houses comprising seven rooms for use by the factories. In buying equipment, the peasants made a little money go far by using the old things instead of new, and home-made things instead of modern machinery. Lacking technical knowledge, the poor and lower-middle peasants learnt as they worked. Members of the machine-repair plant learnt by themselves to repair tractors, water pumps and motors. They can now keep all the brigade's machines and parts in good working order.
Gradually overcoming the lack of funds, equipment and technique, the brigade's poor and lower-middle peasants have set up factories from scratch and are developing them, thereby opening a new way for the peasants to run factories.
Since these brigade-run factories were set up, there were heated discussions about what orientation for management and what road to take. The poor and lower-middle peasants related in the discussions their actual conditions to their ruthless repudiation of the big renegade Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line of ''putting work-points in command" and "putting profits in command." Thus they came to a clear understanding of the correct orientation for the brigade-run factories. They said: "We peasants must lake agriculture as our main task. We should not discard agriculture to engage in side-occupations. The aim of running factories is to promote agriculture. Chairman Mao calls on us to take the road of part-time agriculture and part-time industry. We should not take Liu Shao-chi's road which separates industry from agriculture." These brigade-run factories stuck to the orientation of serving agriculture. From 1966 to the end of 1968, they repaired over 18,000 small farm tools of various types. Through many experiments, they produced and repaired 30 motors, some 30 hoes and over 800 other farm machinery and tools. This has greatly speeded up the pace of the mechanization of agriculture.
In recent years, the brigade's poor and lower-middle peasants followed persistently the road of part-time agriculture and part-time industry, which not only promoted the development of agricultural production, but narrowed the gaps between city and countryside and between industry and agriculture. In the three years of 1966-68, they provided more than 100,000 yuan for agriculture, which were spent on tractors, sowing machines, motors, draught animals, fertilizers and other machinery, tools and means of agricultural production. This has mechanized ploughing, watering and threshing and speeded up the growth of farm output. The per-mu yield of grain was raised to 949 jin in 1968 from 657 jin in 1962. In the last three years, they delivered and sold to the state 50,000 jin of grain and 73,000 jin ginned cotton, as well as reserving some grain for the collective. In the wake of the development of production, the brigade members increased their income. Moreover, the brigade ran welfare facilities for the members, such as bath houses and a co-operative medical service.
In this brigade which is a great school of Mao Tsetung Thought, 400 young and middle-aged commune members are both farmers and workers. They are a generation of new, socialist peasants, who can plough with hoes, work with hammers, fight with guns and write articles repudiating the bourgeoisie with pen.
Remarkable Achievements in Ideological Revolutionization
FIRMLY following the bright road indicated by Chairman Mao in his "May 7 Directive," students of the Liuho’s "May 7" Cadre School in Heilungkiang Province have made remarkable achievements in revolutionizing their thinking in the past year.
On May 7 last year, more than 140 cadres from former organs at the Heilungkiang provincial level set up their "May 7" Cadre School on the banks of the Liuho River (see Peking Review, No. 41. 1968). From the day it was founded, the students made Chairman Mao's "May 7 Directive" the principle guiding their thinking in running the school. They regarded cadres' integration with the workers, peasants and soldiers as the way to bring up revolutionary cadres who are always loyal to Chairman Mao, who can work both at higher and lower levels and be "officials" as well as common people, and who can be workers as well as peasants and are capable of doing mental as well as manual work.
Chairman Mao issued this instruction on October 4 last year: "Going down to do manual labour gives vast numbers of cadres an excellent opportunity to study once again," and affirmed the direction followed by the Liuho "May 7" Cadre School. Group after group of new students and their children have arrived at Liuho. There are now more than 1,100 students in the school.
Braving winds, storms and extreme cold, the students of this school have opened up 3,600 mu of cropland in the past year. They have raised many livestock and reaped their first bumper harvest. They have collected and transported some 6,000 cubic-metres of timber, built many houses and built or expanded machinery-repair and nail-making workshops as well as a non-staple food processing factory, thus tremendously developing industrial and agricultural production in the Liuho area.
In the past year the students stood the tests in the fierce struggle between the two classes and between the two roads, and while transforming the objective world they have been transforming their own subjective world. After being tempered, many veteran revolutionary cadres have been imbued with greater vitality. Young cadres who have been re-educated by the workers, peasants and soldiers have become much closer to the working people in their thinking and feelings. Having summed up the experience and lessons in the struggle between the two lines, some cadres who made mistakes are resolved to make new contributions in the service of the people in the future struggle.
One veteran cadre who went from Shanghai to Yenan in 1942 risked her life breaking through the enemy blockade to join the revolution during the War of Resistance Against Japan. After liberation, because she was ideologically unprepared for the socialist revolution and poisoned by Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line, she made some mistakes. She received a profound education during the current Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. After coming to the school she arrived at the deeper understanding that the fundamental reason for her mistakes was that her world outlook had not been thoroughly remoulded. Accordingly, she devoted herself to the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought, consciously remoulded her world outlook and raised her consciousness of the struggle between the two lines, thus bringing about constant changes in her mental outlook.
Many of the students had cooped themselves up in office buildings for a long time and were divorced from the masses, labour and practical work. At the school they are at all times with the masses of workers and peasants and join them in struggle so that they draw closer to the workers and peasants in their thoughts and feelings. They often invite worker, peasant and soldier activists in the study of Mao Tsetung Thought to their school to make reports or they themselves go out of the school to make social investigations and learn from the workers, peasants and soldiers. With the increase in the number of students, the school has invited more poor and lower-middle peasants from the nearby production teams to settle down there and assigned them to leading posts or teaching positions.
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