Praise for Self-Reliance and Hard Struggle In Building a Plant
Praise for Self-Reliance and Hard Struggle In Building a Plant
Praise for Self-Reliance and Hard Struggle In Building a Plant
Praise for Self-Reliance and Hard Struggle In Building a Plant
— Running the Kirin Municipal Oil and Grease Plant diligently and frugally
Source: Peking Review, No. 3，January 16, 1970
The achievements at the Kirin Municipal Oil and Grease Plant are a high tribute to the principle of self-reliance, hard struggle and that diligence and frugality should he practised in running factories- They provide evidence of the infinite creativeness of the great Chinese people armed with Mao Tsetung Thought. Chairman Mao has pointed out: "The wealth of society is created by the workers, peasants and working intellectuals. If they take their destiny into their own hands, follow a Marxist-Leninist line and take an active attitude in solving problems instead of evading them, there will be no difficulty in the world which they cannot overcome." This instruction is the source of our victory and our orientation in advancing. — Ed.
THE Kirin Municipal Oil and Grease Plant came into being in the big leap year 1958 when an excellent situation prevailed. At that time, Communist Party member Liu Sheng, a disabled P.L.A. man, special class, led 12 dependents of army men and martyrs and other people in his neighbourhood in setting up this promising and thriving socialist enterprise with only 25 yuan and three cauldrons.
The great leader Chairman Mao teaches us: "On what basis should our policy rest? It should rest on our own strength, and that means regeneration through one's own efforts." Wholeheartedly following Chairman Mao's teachings and acting according to his instructions, the revolutionary masses in the plant built it through self-reliance and hard struggle. They produced for the revolution and guided the production with a revolutionary spirit. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, they thoroughly criticized the counter-revolutionary revisionist line of the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi, and in the process Chairman Mao's great concept of "maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts" took deep root among them.
Because the revolutionary spirit of the working class is its mainstay, the plant's outlook has undergone a fundamental change. Today this plant, with a staff of 218, can produce more than 70 varieties of oil and grease as against one single product when it started. Formerly limited to reclaiming waste oil it now mass produced products of an advanced domestic and world level. In 1969, its total output value reached 3,400,000 yuan, 52.7 per cent above that of 1966, while its labour productivity in 1969 was 64.7 per cent above that of 1966. In the course of its 12-year history, the plant turned over to the state profits amounting to 40 times the total sum invested by the state up through 1969.
Building the Plant by Hard Struggle And Relying on Their Own Efforts
At the initial stage, neither a building nor equipment was available, nor were money and technique. How to set up a plant in these "poor and blank" circumstances? Some shook their heads: "No plant will be built by these twelve and a half people, one disabled and 12 housewives!" But Liu Sheng, who was seriously wounded and lost both his hands and feet during the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea and was rated a special-class disabled armyman, retorted determinedly: "I will take the road of revolution though I have no feet. I will make revolution though I have no hands. Disabled as I am, 1 will not stop making revolution half-way! Housewives will also contribute to the socialist construction."
The presence of revolutionary people is the most fundamental prerequisite in the absence of other conditions. Concertedly, they erected a shelter made of ragged straw mats and boards and picked up bricks and stones to support the cauldron. From the big factories they collected waste oil as raw material. The flame of revolution burst with the firing of three cauldrons.
In 1961, the handful of capitalist roaders in the old provincial Party committee feverishly pushed the counter-revolutionary revisionist line of the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi. They blustered: "Nothing much will come out of such a wretched plant." Shortly afterwards, they stopped the supply of raw material to the plant and ordered it to stop production. The workers responded in anger: "Why prohibit us from producing things the state needs? We will produce what socialism requires." They tried every means to overcome the difficulties and managed to continue operating.
In 1962, the plant became a state enterprise under the management of the Kirin city. In the new situation, the issue arose: Should we continue to rest on our own strength 0r ask everything from the state? This was a question of whether the plant would continue to advance along the road of "maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts."
The plant wanted to build a new workshop for regenerating the waste oil. Some comrades suggested that they requested an investment of 110,000 yuan from the state. This proposal aroused a heated discussion and most of the workers disagreed with it. They said: "We prefer to resolve all difficulties by ourselves, and never add even the slightest burden to the state." "Socialism will not come if we just wait or ask for help. It will come only when we build it with our own hands." Working together, the workers and cadres cut the waste and old equipment on hand into pieces and made walls for the vessels and stills out of them. They welded a variety of angle bars and steel tubes into supports. In this way they made three wash vessels, one oil-water separator and installed two distillating stills and two cooling towers. Using only big iron hammers, they made a 28-metre-high iron chimney. Having no press and dies to make the dish-shaped base of the wash vessel, the machine-repair workers dug a big hole in the frozen ground in the shape of the base of the wash vessel and with big wooden hammers beat the heated steel plates placed on the hole into the shape they wanted. Forty hours of hard work yielded two bases. In the spirit of "ants nibbling at the bone," they built a workshop which regenerates 2,500 tons of waste oil per year without seeking any investment from the state.
Their spirit of self-reliance developed further in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In the last three years, they designed and built additional workshops and warehouses, covering 4,120 square metres, an area 1.5 times of the total floor space occupied in the first nine years of the plant's operation. Supported and helped by fraternal plants, they made or remade 68 pieces of major equipment and installed all the equipment, saving the state a lot of money and rolled steel.
On its road of "maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts" and In struggling to overcome difficulties, the plant bases itself on making whatever it can, taking into account the conditions in the plant and utilizing waste materials and old equipment. At the same time, its workers carry forward the style of enduring hardship displayed by the veteran Eighth Route Army men, the spirit of practising economy in regard to every fen and every single drop of oil, and the revolutionary heroism of despising all difficulties. The workers said that these traits and practices are valuable spiritually, and provide a reliable method and correct road.
Needs of Revolution Is Orientation for Developing Production
"Be prepared against war, be prepared against natural disasters, and do everything for the people" is Chairman Mao's great strategic thinking. It encompasses the whole situation of the revolution. Proceeding from this whole situation the plant produces whatever the revolution needs and links its production closely with socialist construction and with the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In accordance with Chairman Mao's great principle "Take agriculture as the foundation and industry as the loading factor," the plant serves agriculture with all its might. As a result of its investigations in the rural area, the plant learnt that the countryside badly needed lubricating oil for carts. The workers tried their best to produce it. At first, the plant lost money, some scores of yuan per ton, in making the oil. But the work-in said: "Chairman Mao calls on us to support agriculture. Whether or not we produce this oil is not a question of financial gain or loss. It is a question of what political orientation we keep to. We have mad;' up our minds to produce the oil. The problem of losing money can be solved." Under the pretext that this product was running at a loss, the handful of capitalist roaders in the old municipal Party committee forced the plant to stop producing the oil. In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the workers thoroughly criticized Liu Shao-chi's revisionist trash of "putting profits in command," and shouldered the task of producing this oil sufficient to meet all the needs in the province's rural areas. Giving prominence to proletarian politics, they improved management and lowered the production costs, quickly ending financial loss. Upon the decrease in production costs from 530 yuan per ton to 355 yuan, the price also went down a great deal. The poor and lower-middle peasants were very pleased.
In production, the workers fear no trouble, nor are they concerned about filling a small order. If the revolution needs it, they will resolutely produce it. To scale a technical height, a power plant required a small quantity of a certain oil. Hearing the news, the plant's workers immediately accepted the task in order to heighten the proletariat's morale and to smash the revisionists' attempt to choke China by denying us this product. After overcoming many difficulties, they succeeded in trial-producing the oil in a short period of time, and helped solve the problem faced by the power plant.
The plant conscientiously pays attention to the needs of the whole country. It gives priority to the demands of the revolution and produce what is needed in preparation against war. On one occasion in 1969, a leading member of the plant's revolutionary committee went to a neighbouring factory on business. As he was making a phone call, he noticed an instruction on the memorandum board: "Wire Wuhsi immediately to send here quickly transparent sulfuretted oil for metal cutting." After lie returned to the plant, the comrade discussed the matter with the workers. It struck them that their own plant and the factory visited were only one block apart, yet the oil in urgent need by the latter has to be transported several thousand li. This was certainty not beneficial to preparedness against war. So the oil plant immediately started its trial-production of the required oil. Shortly after repeated experiment, it produced the oil and warmly sent it to the neighbouring factory. Furthermore, it voluntarily accepted the responsibility of long-term supply of this oil.
Saving Every Copper Tor the Revolution
Our great leader Chairman Mao teaches us: "Saving every copper for the war effort, for the revolutionary cause." Saving every drop of oil, every piece of coal, every kwh. of electricity and every fen for the revolution has become the plant's fine tradition. Although it has grown from a poor to a rich enterprise in the past 12 years, this tradition remains.
At one time, the plant processed tung oil for the city's bureau of grain. Treasuring the oil in the course of the work, the workers used their hands to scoop up every drop spilled on the ground, boiled their cleaning cloths to retrieve the oil, and with spoons scraped up all oil remaining on the bottom of the barrels. Such drops accumulated. With better management and reduction in waste, they saved 20 Ions of tung oil, valued at 40,000 yuan. Always keeping in mind the revolution and the construction of the whole country, they handed in all the money thus saved to the state.
In view of the plant's expansion and increased work force, its revolutionary committee at the beginning of 1960 planned to use the plant's 160,000 yuan of accumulation to build a conference room and dormitories. Just prior to breaking earth for the project, the Ninth Party Congress was successfully convened. Liu Sheng, chairman of the revolutionary committee, at the plant's Mao Tsetung Thought study class organized to implement the spirit of the congress proposed a temporary postponement of the building of the conference room and dormitories in favour of using the 160,000 yuan to build another workshop for high-temperature grease. This would save the 370,000 yuan and 100 tons of rolled steel which the state had already allocated for the construction of this workshop. The workers paid great attention to this proposal and engaged in heated discussions. Actually the plant needed a conference room and dormitories. However, acting in accordance with Chairman Mao's great teaching: "Be prepared against war, be prepared against natural disasters, and do everything for the people," they considered that the money should be spent where it was most needed. Instead of building a conference loom and dormitories or even a new high-temperature grease workshop, they used the 160,000 yuan to build a workshop to produce new products. At the same time, they used old and waste materials to renovate a workshop to produce high-temperature grease. By adopting an improved technological process, they multiplied the production capacity 21-fold. The workers commented: "This is in keeping with our spirit of making revolution with three cauldrons and our plant’s time-honoured tradition of self-reliance and building the plant by hard work. That's how money should be used."
They have persevered in putting proletarian politics in command of production. The worker masses have been mobilized and every one of them takes part in management. They have established a whole set of rational and effective system of management, steadily raised the quality of products and reduced costs, and provided an ever increasing amount of accumulation for the state.
Following Our Own Road in Developing Technology
Applying Chairman Mao's great teaching: "Break down foreign conventions and follow our own road in developing industry," the plant mastered techniques and scaled technical heights for the revolution. Proceeding from Indigenous methods, it has taken the road of advancing from indigenous to modern methods and integrating them into a whole.
The revolutionary workers who started this undertaking knew nothing about the needed techniques. They had never been in a plant before, nor did they know anything about the technique of oil refining. But people armed with Mao Tsetung Thought can overcome all difficulties to win victory. By forging ahead dauntlessly, studying diligently, and learning while working, the workers mastered technique step by step. Former ordinary housewives have dexterously mastered the production techniques of most products. The plant now has its own technical forces to handle trial-production of products, technological designing, building and installation. Specializing in one field, they are also skilled in others.
With regard to technique and equipment, the plant has steadily summed up the practical experience of the masses on the basis of its needs and potential and of making full use of the existing conditions. Through gradually developing and raising the experience, it has created complete sets of technological processes and production equipment which are scientific and rational and conform to practical needs. For instance, low-temperature discharging was needed to raise the quality of calcium base grease. As there was no equipment to handle this, the grease became thick and could not flow. Unafraid of scorch or burn at a temperature of about 100 degrees C, the workers scooped up the grease with a big iron ladle one scoop after another. While persevering in production, they engaged in renovating the equipment and improving the technological process. After two years of continuous efforts, they have changed the heating method from fire to steam, replaced the ordinary kettle with a jacketed kettle, switched from manual stirring to mechanical and two-directional stirring. "Indigenous methods” have gradually evolved into methods which are a combination of both indigenous and modern procedures and the primitive has developed into the advanced. Mechanization and a system of pipes have been introduced. As a result, the quality of the calcium base grease produced in this plant caught up with the advanced level of the same kind of products in China.
To smash the slavish comprador philosophy and scale technical heights for the revolution they often raised difficult problems for themselves to solve. In 1065, a set of our production equipment required a kind of non-soap high-temperature grease. To hamper our development, the capitalist countries demanded exorbitant prices and unreasonable conditions for its supply. The workers were indignant when they heard about this, and insisted that they be allowed to tackle the job.
The great leader Chairman Mao teaches us: "We cannot just take the beaten track traversed by other countries in the development of technology and trail behind them at a snail's pace." The plant's workers and technicians solved the difficulties in the revolutionary spirit of waging arduous struggles. Comrade Tung Shuo-lin who was in charge of this experiment is a worker-technician with only six years of schooling. Despite his serious duodenal ulcer and cholecystitis and recurrent high fever, he persisted at his fighting post with unusual tenacity. To obtain a certain raw material, they went to 11 provinces and autonomous regions to bring back 33 samples. After 108 experiments and overcoming a series of difficulties, they finally succeeded in trial-producing the grease. Then they set themselves a higher goal — to surpass the capitalist countries. The key to this goal laid in improving the property of a thickening agent. Daring to think and act, the workers and technicians, assisted by the departments concerned, made bold experiments with indigenous methods and solved the problem in only 60 days. Testing proved that the non-soap high-temperature grease produced in the capitalist countries can ensure continuous operation for only six months whereas with the same kind of grease produced by the Kirin plant the period is extended to 11 months. When the latter is used in locomotive generators, the effective period is 51 times as long as that of an ordinary grease. When it is used on the roller bed's bearings of a large shear in a rolling mill, its effective period is 972-fold greater than the grease previously used.
Proceeding from the principle of relying on its own efforts, the plant is daring to scale technical heights and blaze new paths. Once the workers decide to achieve something, they do not give up until they succeed. Through self-reliance the plant has produced nine standardized products of 28 varieties.
Revolutionized People Give Rise to Revolutionized Plant
Among the experiences which have turned the oil and grease plant into a revolutionized socialist enterprise, the most fundamental one is the growth of a revolutionized contingent, nurtured by Mao Tsetung Thought and tempered in the three great revolutionary movements — class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment. Only with revolutionized people, can there be a revolutionized plant.
The plant has a revolutionized leading group. Its members study and apply Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way, firmly act according to Chairman Mao's instructions, take the lead in study and conscientiously revolutionize their thinking. They take the lead in everything and conscientiously set examples for others to follow. They lead the others to break new paths and are bold in shouldering risks. They regard Chairman Mao's great teachings "self-reliance," "arduous struggle" and "diligence and frugality should be practised in running factories" as maxims in running the plant and constantly and repeatedly study them to guide their actions. In undertaking a job, they give primacy to the factor of man, firmly believing that the masses have the intrinsic power of self-reliance. They forge close ties with the masses. Not divorced from labour, they always keep the masses in mind. They go wherever there are difficulties. It is not easy to make a distinction between workers and leading cadres. One vice-chairman of the revolutionary committee works with a hammer, pliers or spade all the year round, winning the praise of the workers as "an ox working for the revolution and a good example of arduous struggle." When the special rail line was being laid, Comrade Liu Sheng went along with the lorries to bring back sleepers from the forest. With other comrades, he climbed the mountains and persevered even though his artificial .leg bruised his stump and caused it to bleed. A lorry driver advised him to stay behind but he replied: "There is no smooth road in revolution. The revolution demands the scaling of peaks. I'll do it all my life in order to wipe out imperialism, revisionism and reaction and to emancipate all mankind." The workers said; "Because our leading group is one that wholeheartedly follows Chairman Mao in making revolution, our revolutionary road of self-reliance will progressively widen."
Using Mao Tsetung Thought as the guide, the plant's leading group has trained a hard core loyal to the revolution. Among this force are pathbreakers who boldly defended Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, old workers who have consistently worked hard to build the plant over the past 12 years, demobilized armymen trained in the great school of the People's Liberation Army and young intellectuals consciously seeking reeducation by the working class. By taking part in the struggle to change the poor and blank state of the plant, they all cherish profound proletarian devotion to self-reliance and building the plant by hard struggle. They love the plant and love socialism even more. Old worker Chu Yu-shu, a former housewife, over 50 years old, experienced all sorts of suffering in the old society. She has boundless love for Chairman Mao. She assiduously studies and applies Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way and follows Chairman Mao's teachings without reservation. She will do whatever the Party tells her. Diligently and scrupulously, she works heart and soul to build socialism. Often she has said: "The Party is my mother and the plant my home; I follow the Party's teachings and love my home." During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, she had the honour of being admitted into the great Communist Party of China. She has become a vanguard fighter of the proletariat.
The oil and grease plant pays close attention to educating the new generation to follow the revolutionary tradition so as to ensure that the revolutionary spirit of sell-reliance can be carried on from one generation to another. The first lesson the plant gives to the new workers, cadres and technicians is to educate thorn in "maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts" and tell them the plant's history, so they gain a deep impression of how it started "making revolution with three cauldrons." The old workers instruct the young workers not only in words, but by deeds. When one young worker, a graduate of a secondary vocational school, first came to work, she thought there was not much future for her in this small plant. She did not consider the story about the "three cauldrons" something to be proud of. On one occasion she nonchalantly threw away a pair of soiled gloves. An old worker silently picked them up, washed and mended them. When she was transporting bricks and needed gloves, the old worker handed this pair to her and said with great emotion: "Where could we find gloves at the lime when we had only three cauldrons to make revolution! You should be good at carrying on the tradition of hard struggle!" With the help of old workers, this youngster gradually changed her thinking. Recently she went to the city to buy some glass instruments. The cost of their transport was five yuan. She thought: Five yuan equals one-fifth of our plant's founding fund! Ignoring fatigue, she made two trips on foot to carry back the instruments herself. A new generation is growing up sturdily in the fertile soil of self-reliance.
"We have stood for regeneration through our own efforts, and this has become even more important in the new international situation." Faced with the war threat of U.S. imperialism and social-imperialism, the revolutionary masses of the Kirin Municipal Oil and Grease Plant, closely following Chairman Mao's great strategic plan and proceeding from the needs of war preparedness, are determined to "climb the slope with the highest gradient and scale the highest mountain" and win new and still greater victories through self-reliance.
Source: Peking Review, No. 3，January 16, 1970
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