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 Firmly Grasp Revolutionary Mass Criticism

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Firmly Grasp Revolutionary Mass Criticism

Editorial by "Renmin Ribao," "Hongqi" and "Jiefangjun Bao"

Source: Peking Review, No. 35, August 29, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


“REVOLUTIONARY mass criticism is virtually completed." Is this a correct view? No. It does not conform at all to the actual situation on the ideological front. Such a view is in essence a manifestation of the theory of "the dying out of class struggle"; it only helps the handful of class enemies benumb the revolutionary people and obstruct and sabotage the efforts of the revolutionary masses to fulfil the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation under the leadership of the proletariat.
   Revolutionary mass criticism has continued throughout the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. We have criticized the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line, the handful of renegades, enemy agents, absolutely unrepentant capitalist roaders and counter-revolutionary double-dealers, the reactionary theory of "many centres” that is, the theory of "no centre," and the erroneous Right and extremely "Left" tendencies and ideas which run counter to Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line. In this way, we have facilitated the advance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution at different stages. The socialist revolution is continuing. We have now entered the stage of carrying out the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation conscientiously in every unit. The struggle between the proletarian world outlook and the bourgeois world outlook has developed in depth in all spheres. How can we say that "revolutionary mass criticism is virtually completed" when the situation demands that we hold high the great red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought and energetically criticize all sorts of reactionary ideas obstructing struggle-criticism-transformation? In fact, though the handful of class enemies have constantly changed their slogans and forms of struggle, the bourgeoisie has never ceased its ideological struggle against the proletariat. Therefore, the proletariat should on no account cease its ideological struggle of criticizing the bourgeoisie.
   Our great leader Chairman Mao teaches us; "Marxism can develop only through struggle, and not only is this true of the past and the present, it is necessarily true of the future as well." What is correct develops in the course of struggle with what is wrong. It is in the course of struggle with all sorts of bourgeois ideas and with the bourgeois reactionary line that Mao Tsetung Thought and Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line have developed. There is no construction without destruction — this is a revolutionary truth. If the proletariat does not use Mao Tsetung Thought to criticize all sorts of reactionary anti-Marxist, revisionist ideas and the reactionary bourgeois world outlook in the political, economic and cultural fields, it cannot really occupy the positions in the ideological and cultural fields; even if it has occupied these positions, there will be the danger of their being recaptured by the bourgeoisie if no effort is made to carry on revolutionary mass criticism. Chairman Mao has called on us: "Unite for one purpose, that is, the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This must be fully achieved in every factory, village, office and school." To ensure that this great call of Chairman Mao's will be truly carried out, we must firmly grasp mass criticism.
   What are the targets of revolutionary mass criticism?
   First, we must further criticize revisionism. We must further criticize and eradicate the pernicious influence of Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line in the political and economic spheres and in all the spheres of culture. Over the past three years, we have carried out widespread mass criticism of this counter-revolutionary revisionist line and achieved great successes. Nevertheless, we must continue to develop this criticism in depth. Only by doing a good job in revolutionary mass criticism can we have a clear political orientation and advance unswervingly along Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line in carrying out the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation. In all departments of literature and art, there are still a number of poisonous weeds and we must choose the typical ones and subject them to more deep-going criticism. In philosophy, history, education, journalism, health work, theories of literature and art, theories of economics and research in natural sciences and other spheres, the revisionists inside and outside the Party disseminated a great deal of anti-Marxist fallacies. We must use Mao Tsetung Thought to criticize these revisionist fallacies and use Chairman Mao's world outlook of materialist dialectics to criticize the reactionary idealist and metaphysical world outlook of the bourgeoisie so as to clear the way for the struggle-criticism-transformation in these spheres. The bourgeois ideology exists objectively; if you do not criticize it, it will spread poison to infect the youth and the masses. Our principle is to turn poisonous weeds into fertilizers and, through revolutionary mass criticism, to enable people to see clearly in all spheres what is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, what is revisionism, what is socialism, what is capitalism, what is a fragrant flower, what is a poisonous weed, what is revolution and what is counterrevolution. In this way, people will become more deeply aware of the harmful effects of counter-revolutionary revisionism represented by Liu Shao-chi and will raise their class consciousness and their consciousness of the struggle between the two lines, so that when these poisonous weeds or similar poisonous weeds appear in disguise, the broad revolutionary masses will be able to detect them promptly and to criticize and expose them consciously.
   What we say here about criticizing revisionism also applies to the criticism of the Soviet revisionist renegade clique. We must do more to eradicate the poison spread in the past by the Soviet modern revisionists in the cultural, ideological and scientific fields in China. We must continue to expose all the frantic statements spread recently by the Soviet revisionist social-imperialists for the purpose of aggression so that people will be able to see more clearly the fascist features of Soviet revisionist social-imperialism — an accomplice of U.S. imperialism — and its paper-tiger nature, and so that they will heighten their revolutionary vigilance to the full and become mentally prepared for smashing U.S. imperialist and Soviet revisionist aggression.
   Secondly, we must criticize all erroneous tendencies and mistaken ideas within the Party and the revolutionary ranks, that run counter to Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and policies, strengthen the proletarian Party spirit, eliminate the pernicious influence of Liu Shao-chi's revisionist line, and continue to promote the great revolutionary unity of the whole Party and of the people of the entire country on the basis of Mao Tsetung Thought.
   It must be pointed out that the erroneous tendencies which a small number of comrades show and which exist within the revolutionary ranks, such as sectarianism, the mountain-stronghold mentality, the small-group mentality, anarchism, liberalism and individualism, are harmful to the revolutionary cause. They undermine revolutionary unity and corrode the revolutionary will of the people, and therefore must be resolutely overcome. Sectarianism, the mountain-stronghold mentality and small-group mentality will lead to confusing the enemy with ourselves, so that one will take enemies for friends and friends for enemies, and will be led astray. Anarchism will lead to "putting me at the core" in everything. It will undermine the socialist revolution and socialist construction, sabotage the dictatorship of the proletariat and lead to "independent kingdoms." We must oppose all these tendencies. All Communist Party members and revolutionary people must take the interests of the whole into account. Firmly give first place to the interests of the Party and the people, and never put the interests of sectarianism, that is, bourgeois factionalism, first. Both new and old cadres must work hard, forge close ties with the masses and continue the socialist revolution.
   Of course, these erroneous tendencies will not perish of themselves. They will be overcome only when we criticize them resolutely and appropriately in the light of Mao Tsetung Thought. Chairman Mao teaches us: "We stand for active ideological struggle because it is the weapon for ensuring unity within the Party and the revolutionary organizations in the interest of our fight. Every Communist and revolutionary should take up this weapon." Here, Chairman Mao clearly points out that we must use the weapon of ideological struggle to overcome erroneous tendencies so as to ensure unity within the Party and unity within the revolutionary ranks. That is to say, we must start out from the desire for unity, resolve contradictions through criticism and self-criticism and arrive at a new unity on a new basis. It must be pointed out, however, that no one is allowed to distort the Party's policies from a sectarian point of view in order to suit his own needs, or to comply with them in public and oppose them in private. It is wrong to distort the Party's policies, whether from the Right or from the "Left," and this must be resolutely criticized. At all times we must carry out Chairman Mao's proletarian policies in an all-round way and execute to the letter every battle order from the Party's Central Committee with Chairman Mao as its leader and Vice-Chairman Lin as its deputy leader so as to attain "unity in thinking, policy, plan, command and action" on the basis of Mao Tsetung Thought.
   Thirdly, we must criticize capitalist tendencies in society. Chairman Mao teaches us: "Political work is the life-blood of all economic work. This is particularly true at a time when the social and economic system is undergoing fundamental change." The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has dealt telling blows to all capitalist forces, especially to the handful of renegades, enemy agents and absolutely unrepentant capitalist readers within the Party with Liu Shao-chi as their representative. However, class struggle exists objectively. There are always some people, namely, unreformed landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists, reactionary bourgeois elements and a handful of hidden counter-revolutionaries, who are not reconciled to their defeat. They seize every opportunity to stir up trouble and to attack the proletariat at what they consider to be relatively weak spots. They try to sabotage the socialist ownership, use various methods to corrupt our old and new cadres and the youth, whip up the evil wind of counter-revolutionary economism to disrupt socialist production and the tasks of struggle-criticism-transformation, engage in speculation to sabotage the state economic plan, and try to use feudal religious superstitions to undermine unity among the various nationalities. In everything they do they promote capitalism and oppose socialism.

When we criticize Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line we can and should criticize these capitalist tendencies so that the revolutionary masses will become more clear-sighted, condemn the capitalist tendencies in speeches and in writings, resolutely resist and expose them and go all out, aim high and achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism, in order ceaselessly to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country.
   In his work On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, Chairman Mao points out: "To maintain public order and safeguard the interests of the people, it is likewise necessary to exercise dictatorship over embezzlers, swindlers, arsonists, murderers, criminal gangs and other scoundrels who seriously disrupt public order." We will resolutely do this. What if proven bad elements come out to reverse correct verdicts? Vice-Chairman Lin says in his political report to the Party's Ninth National Congress: "What if the bad people get unruly again? Chairman Mao has a well-known saying: 'Thoroughgoing materialists are fearless.' If the class enemies stir up trouble again, just arouse the masses and strike them down again." We will act according to this instruction. Wherever proven counter-revolutionaries attempt to reverse correct verdicts, we will arouse the masses and strike them down again with the weapon of revolutionary mass criticism.
   The task of revolutionary mass criticism at present is to deepen the criticism of revisionism, of the erroneous tendencies and ideas within the Party and the revolutionary ranks that run counter to Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and policies, and of the capitalist tendencies in society — in a word, the great task, "fight self, criticize revisionism," which Chairman Mao set before us. The sound development of revolutionary mass criticism calls for combined efforts by the leadership and the masses. Attention must be paid to drawing a strict distinction between the two different types of contradictions. Deep, careful ideological work should be carried out among the masses, so that the proletariat can unite the overwhelming majority of people around itself so as to isolate the handful of enemies to the maximum and attack them. Attention must be paid to implementing all Chairman Mao's proletarian policies conscientiously, including all the economic policies. We must arouse the masses and develop mass criticism, and at the same time organize small groups of people to collect abundant material, study it in a deep-going way in the light of Mao Tsetung Thought, and write convincing analytic articles of comparatively high quality which strike home, so as to promote the development of mass criticism. So long as the leadership at all levels take a firm grasp of revolutionary mass criticism, we can constantly consolidate and add to the achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, discover, temper and cultivate a contingent of proletarian intellectuals, and continue to push forward the great mass movement for the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought in the course of revolutionary mass criticism.

(August 25, 1969)


  
  
  

 
 
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