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 A Party Branch Full of Vitality

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Building the Party by Using Mao Tsetung Thought

A Party Branch Full of Vitality

  
Source: Peking Review, No. 28, July 11, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    THE second section of the Muchengchien Colliery in Peking has 25 Communist Party members, who comprise 17 per cent of the workers and cadres in this section. In line with the great leader Chairman Mao's great programme for Party consolidation and Party building: "The Party organization should be composed of the advanced elements of the proletariat; it should he a vigorous vanguard organization capable of leading the proletariat and the revolutionary masses in the fight against the class enemy," and assisted by People's Liberation Army men stationed in the colliery to support the Left-and led by the colliery's leading group for Party consolidation, open-door Party consolidation was carried out. After ideological and organizational consolidation, a new Party branch committee was born in April 1968.
   In building the Party fully in accordance with Mao Tsetung Thought, the Party branch has become a vigorous, united, militant and strong bulwark in the past year

Firmly Putting Proletarian Politics to the Fore

   Many things had to be done after the Party branch way established. But what was to be grasped primarily? After repeatedly studying Chairman Mao's line on Party building and army building and Vice-Chairman Lin Piao's series of policies and principles on building the army politically, it realized that what had to be grasped primarily and how to do this was hot a question of method, but a fundamental question of "what banner is to be raised and what road should be taken."" The members unanimously agreed that the Party branch must hold high the great red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought, put proletarian politics to the fore and adhere to the socialist orientation. Thus, they firmly grasped the living study and application of Chairman Mao's works and conscientiously carried out his latest instructions.
   In putting proletarian politics to the fore, they paid attention to the correct handling of the following four relations:
   1) Put politics in command of work on the job in handling the relationship between politics and work. In concrete work, some comrades considered that ideological-political work was the business of the Party branch secretary, while their main task was to carry out production in tne nit well. The Party branch felt that this kind-of thinking-was a manifestation of overlooking proletarian politics, a reflection of the struggle between the two lines. In connection with this problem, it organized the Party members to conscientiously study Chairman Mao's great teachings politics Is the commander, the soul in everything and "political work is the life-blood of all economic work," and to relentlessly criticize the counter-revolutionary revisionist line of "putting production first" and "relying on specialists to run the factories" pushed by the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi. As a result, they came to a deeper understanding that the relationship between revolution and production was one of commanding and being commanded. The primary task of the Party branch was to grasp political-ideological leadership well, to constantly raise the political consciousness of the workers and staff, and to use revolution to command and promote production.
   By studying the P.LA.'s experience in political work in unfolding the "four-good" company* and "five-good'' fighter** campaigns, the Party branch started a drive to evaluate four-good teams or groups and five-good coal-miners, which forcefully promoted the ideological revolutionization of the workers and cadres. In 1968, six of the section's seven teams were cited as Jour-good collectives. The enthusiasm of the workers and staff soared and production went up.
   2) Persist in making class struggle the key link to promote production in handling the relationship between class struggle and the struggle for production. There was one team that always lagged behind in revolution and production. A Party branch committee member went to the team to get first-hand experience. He went down into the pits and visited the miners' living quarters. He studied and worked with the workers and made great efforts to grasp class struggle. A small clique, which had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities for a long time, was finally unearthed after mobilizing the miners. They ferreted out its ringleader and criticized him. This made the revolutionary masses more conscious of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. Chairman Mao's statement: “Grasp class struggle and all problems can be solved" has been fully justified and the outlook of the workers in this team was transformed as a result of grasping class struggle as the key link. Production rose and the team entered the ranks of the advanced and became a four-good team.
   3) In handling the relationship between ideological education and rules and regulations, the Party branch always started out by giving the masses ideological education to raise their political consciousness, so that they voluntarily abide by the various regulations. For a long time in the past, work in the section was lax at the beginning of every month and intense at the end. Having analysed the situation, the Party branch concluded that one of the important reasons for this was the miners' irregular attendance at work. They organized the workers to study the "three constantly read articles," to compare past suffering with today's happiness, and to hold forums to exchange experiences in studying Chairman Mao's works. Making the idea of serving the people "wholly" and "entirely" their criterion, the revolutionary masses examined themselves and criticized their bourgeois individualist ideas of "self," and fostered the idea of mining coal for the revolution. The revolutionization of their thinking resulted in a higher rate of attendance. The phenomenon of the work being by turns lax and intense disappeared. During this year's Spring Festival, over 96 per cent of the miners insisted on working through the holidays to show their warm greeting for the then forthcoming Ninth Party Congress. Their enthusiasm was very high. The section, which had fulfilled its 1968 production plan 40 days ahead of schedule, has topped its production quota every month so far this year.
   4) In handling the relationship between helping a person raise his ideological consciousness and helping him raise his technical level, the Party branch always put the former in first place. When 37 senior middle School graduates were sent to work in this section last August, how to lead these "new recruits" was a matter of great importance. Some comrades said: "Let's teach them skills, give me one and I guarantee he'll master the work in a year." Some of the educated youth were also anxious to learn a trade when they came to the colliery. In this situation, the Party branch guided the revolutionary workers and cadres to unfold a big debate on how to handle the relationship between giving ideological education and teaching skills. The debate helped them understand that "in cutting coal, it is necessary to open up the galleries first; in helping people, one must put ideological education first." Ideological-political work must be put in first place. Party members and veteran workers formed "red pairs for mutual help" with the newcomers. They gave the young people a proletarian re-education by telling them the history of the colliery, describing their sufferings in the old society, and reviewing the struggle between the two lines during the great cultural revolution. By adhering to grasping revolution and promoting production, these educated youth have been developing into workers with both socialist consciousness and culture.

Party Members' Vanguard Role

   Educated in the Party consolidation movement, the majority of the Party members markedly raised their level of consciousness in class struggle and in the struggle between the two lines. However, the Party branch committee held that, as the revolution is constantly advancing, political-ideological work must not cease. In accordance with the great leader Chairman Mao's teaching "Ideological education is the key link to be grasped in uniting the whole Party for great political struggles," it organized the Party members to repeatedly study Chairman Mao's proletarian line on Party building, examine themselves in the light of the brilliant thinking embodied in the "three constantly read articles," relentlessly criticize Liu Shao-chi's "six sinister theories" in connection with concrete problems in their daily work and problems current in their minds, and further foster the proletarian world outlook of fearing neither hardship nor death and of continuing the revolution. Team No. 1 is an advanced unit. Some people thought that "there is no class struggle in an advanced team." The Party group in the team promptly organized a discussion on this question through which they all came to a clearer understanding of the fact that classes and class struggle exist throughout the historical period of socialism.
  
An advanced team has all the more reason to do a good job of standing guard in defence of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line. There was one bad egg in this team who had secretly spread reactionary talk and tried to reverse the correct decision passed on his landlord family. When the team's Party group learnt of this, it immediately mobilized the masses and exposed him. Criticism of this scoundrel further raised the whole team's consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines.
   This sections Party members all come from workers' families, or families of poor or lower-middle peasants or other working people. There are no limits to their love for Chairman Mao and they follow his great strategic plan very closely. Whenever a new instruction of Chairman Mao's is made public, they study it earnestly and firmly implement it. Many comrades stay up late into the night copying it down, learning and memorizing it. Some go without food or sleep to propagate it in the pits, in the workers' dormitories or in the residential quarters of the workers' families.
   Many Party members go wherever the work is most difficult or the situation most dangerous. With them in the lead, the workers of the whole section have exerted their efforts to produce more coal for the revolution and deal heavy blows at the armed provocations of the Soviet revisionists by concrete action. The Party members in team No. 1 have united the comrades of the whole team to diligently study and apply Chairman Mao's works in a living way, closely follow his great strategic plan, resist the anarchist ideas which appeared for a time and persevere in grasping revolution and promoting production. They have motivated the whole colliery through their model actions. In production, they always set the example by their good work and plunge ahead boldly. Once when six pairs of pit props showed signs of collapsing, a Party member rushed up and pulled away two workers at the spot, saying: "This place is dangerous, let me do the work!" The props were soon repaired, guaranteeing the resumption of normal production. Because of their exemplary conduct, the Party members are praised and supported by the masses.

Revolutionary Leading Body

   Of the five committee members in the second section's Party branch, four are new people who came to the fore during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. All five joined the Party after the liberation of the country. They constantly make strict demands on themselves in accordance with the Party's style of work which essentially entails integrating theory with practice, forging close links with the masses and practising self-criticism and promote the ideological revolutionization of the leading body.
   They put the conscientious study of Mao Tsetung Thought in first place and established a system of study to ensure this. They look for the answers to both their current ideological and work problems in Chairman Mao's works.
   To get rid of the erroneous ideas in their minds, they continually engage in criticism and self-criticism and carry out the process of "getting rid of the stale and taking in the fresh" ideologically. One of the committee members of the Party brunch for a time had the erroneous idea that being a cadre was a thankless job. The comrades helped him at one meeting. One veteran worker said: "You're a cadre of many years' standing. Watch out that you don't make revolution with ideas of 'self.' Once you pause on the road of revolution, you may fall out of the ranks!" Hearing these sincere words from the old worker, he made a profound self-examination of his mistaken ideas in the light of Chairman Mao's teaching "We Communists seek not official posts, but revolution. From then on, he devoted himself to the living study and application of Chairman Mao's works, constantly eliminated bourgeois ideas of "self" and vigorously grasped revolution and promoted production.
   When the Party branch committee members have differences of opinion, they place the problems on the table and unify their thinking and action by using Mao Tsetung Thought. At the time the new Party branch was first established, those committee members who had been cadres were afraid of committing mistakes again and did not dare work boldly, whereas some newcomers on the committee, thinking that their educational level was low, relied on the Party branch secretary in all matters, big or small. In view of this, they organized a special study of such brilliant works of Chairman Mao's as On Strengthening the Party Committee System and Methods of Work of Party Committees. They examined and corrected their erroneous ideas and further clarified in their minds the principle of collective leadership and personal responsibility in accordance with the division of work. Ail important questions are collectively discussed and decided on by the Party branch committee, but each committee member implements those decisions which affect his own division of work. In this way everyone can play his full role.
   The members of this Party branch committee pay great attention to mutual care and help and strengthening unity. Of the new committee members, three are veteran workers who had suffered greatly in the old society and have a deep-seated class hatred; they have plenty of revolutionary spirit and drive, but lack experience in leading work and have a low educational level. The veteran cadres on the committee give them a free hand in the work so that they are trained and tempered in practice, and help them study Chairman Mao's works and raise their theoretical level and work ability. On the other hand, the veteran cadres are not so bold in work, so the new committee members help them conquer considerations of self and support them in working boldly.
   Following Chairman Mao's teaching that "direct reliance on the revolutionary masses is a basic principle of the Communist Party," the committee members maintain close ties with the masses. Three of them stick to working on the shift together with the workers, while the other two take part in labour as often as they can. They frequently go to the dormitories to get the opinions of the workers and their families, and help them solve ideological problems and concrete difficulties. They talk things over with the masses and concentrate the correct ideas, which they then hold fast to. In the course of struggle-criticism-transformation, they criticize and change whatever is bourgeois and revisionist, and uphold and develop whatever is proletarian and socialist. They encourage and support all new-born things. Formerly, the capitalist roaders, in order to restrict the workers, set up an office at the pit head to check the workers' attendance on the job. Now. in accordance with the suggestions of a workers' investigation team, the Party branch committee, with this problem in mind, studied the "Constitution of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company" put forward by Chairman Mao as well as the principle of "cadre participation in productive labour and worker participation in management, of reform of irrational and outdated rules and regulations, and of close co-operation among cadres, workers and technicians." They abolished this office and had each of the production shifts select two workers to take over the task. The workers say; "Having us workers take part in management is wonderful. In this way, the attendance record can be kept punctually and accurately, and it saves manpower and trouble.'"
   In the past year, the leading body of this Party branch has steadily advanced on the road of ideological revolutionization. Its members vie with each other to shoulder tasks and tackle difficulties. The revolutionary masses have dubbed them "Good in ideology, high in consciousness, closely united, and full of drive — a really fine leading body!"
  

* "Four-good" companies are companies which arc good in political-ideological work, in the "three-eight" working style, in military training and in arranging their everyday life.
** "Five-good" fighters ore fighters who excel in political-ideological work, in the "three-eight" working style, in military technique, in fulfilling combat missions, and in keeping fit.

  
  
  

 
 
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