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 Continue to Carry Forward the Revolutionary Spirit of Fearing Neither Hardship Nor Death

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Continue to Carry Forward the Revolutionary Spirit of Fearing Neither Hardship Nor Death

by the Party Committee of the First Iron Battalion of a unit under the Tsinan Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

Source: Peking Review, No. 4,January 23, 1970
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    FILLED with pride in victory, the army men and civilians throughout the country have greeted the advent of the militant l970s amidst the songs of triumph in fulfilling the various fighting tasks set forth by the Ninth Party Congress.
   Striding into the great year 1970 in high spirits, the Chinese people are plunging into new battles with increasing vigour.
   During the past year, our battalion has achieved some success in the work of strengthening the revolutionization or our thinking and in raising our fighting capacity as well as in the work of "three supports and two militaries" (support industry, support agriculture, support the broad masses of the Left, and military control, political and military training). All our achievements we owe to our great leader Chairman Mao, to invincible Mao Tsetung Thought and to Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line.
   Chairman Mao teaches us: "I am for the slogan 'fear neither hardship nor death.' " This thoroughgoing revolutionary spirit, which Chairman Mao has consistently advocated, is the concentrated expression of the communist world outlook; it embodies the time-honoured tradition of the people's army, in the spirit of which our army has defeated all enemies, and it is a spiritual atom bomb of infinite power which we, but not the enemy, possess.
   Through practice in struggle, we have deeply realized that arming cadres and fighters with Mao Tsetung Thought and tempering their revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death in the three great revolutionary movements — class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment* — are the important contents of giving prominence to proletarian politics and constitute the most fundamental preparedness against war.
   To give prominence to proletarian politics or to give prominence to military affairs is the focus of the struggle between the two lines on army building in the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Proceeding from their counter-revolutionary needs — capitulation to imperialism, revisionism and reaction and restoration of capitalism — the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi and the counter-revolutionary revisionists Peng Teh-huai and Lo Jui-ching frenziedly pushed a bourgeois military line. They energetically peddled such fallacies as the "philosophy of survival," "military affairs come first," "technique comes first" and the "theory that weapons decide everything." Their attempt was to make our army discard the tradition of fearing neither hardship nor death and lead our army building on to the revisionist road
   Repeated study of Chairman Mao's great theory on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and Chairman Mao's brilliant work On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party has enabled our battalion Party committee to wage a resolute struggle against the bourgeois military line. In this way, we have come to a better understanding that Chairman Mao's proletarian line on army building means giving prominence to proletarian politics, using Mao Tsetung Thought to command everything and doing a good job in revolutionizing man's thinking. It means relying on men who have a high level of revolutionary consciousness to grasp the weapons and defeat the enemy. The more modernized the arms and equipment are and the more complicated the technique is. the more necessary it is lo revolutionize people's thinking and give full play to the factor of man and the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death.
   Vice-Chairman Lin pointed out: "What is the greatest fighting power? It is the men who are armed with Mao Tsetung Thought. It is courage, not to fear to die." Over the past few decades, by relying on Mao Tsetung Thought and the thoroughgoing revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death, our army has grown from a small and weak force to a big and strong one, defeating the class enemies at home and abroad and advancing from victory to victory. During a battle in the War of Liberation, our battalion successfully carried out a holding operation. For performing this meritorious service we were awarded the title of honour "The First Iron Battalion." We achieved this by cherishing deep loyalty to Chairman Mao, to the Party and the people, and by depending on people's revolutionary consciousness and their bravery and self-sacrifice. It was so in the past and it also holds good at present. In 1967, when a train carrying poisonous farm insecticide caught fire, all the commanders and fighters of our battalion dashed into the sea of flames and poisonous smoke to rescue the passengers and property aboard the train. After a hard battle of more than ten hours, the fire was quenched. The whole battalion stood up to the severe test.
   Countless facts have proved that revolutionary fighters armed with Mao Tsetung Thought can overcome all kinds of difficulties, fulfil every kind of task and defeat enemies of all sorts.
   Vice-Chairman Lin said: "One will not understand what revolution really means if one doesn't know what class and exploitation are." Conducting class education with Mao Tsetung Thought as the guidance-turning the plain class feelings of the fighters and cadres into conscious class awakening, and raising these feelings to the level of noble revolutionary ideal — these are the main source of our army's revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death.
   We have organized fighters and cadres to study Chairman Mao's great theories on class and class struggle and on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. We have led them to recall their sufferings in the old society and ponder over the power we now have, to unfold revolutionary mass criticism, to link their personal or family sufferings in the old society with class suffering, and to link the Chinese people's suffering in the old society with the suffering of the world's people still subject to oppression and exploitation.
   Through these studies, all of us have come to know that the root cause of all the sufferings is the criminal system of exploitation and the imperialists, revisionists and reactionaries who do their utmost to maintain this system. Imperialism means war. So long as imperialism and social-imperialism exist, they will launch wars of aggression, suppress the revolutionary movement of the world's people and slaughter the revolutionary people. In addition, we have come to a deep understanding of the truth that "the proletariat must emancipate not only itself but all mankind. Without emancipating all mankind the proletariat cannot achieve its own final emancipation." Only by thoroughly burying imperialism, revisionism and all reaction and finally emancipating all mankind can the root of exploitation and war be pulled up completely. All of us are resolute in uniting with the revolutionary people all over the world to defeat imperialism, modern revisionism and all reaction, and to struggle for the realization of communism on the globe. The bitter hatred of our comrades for the imperialists, revisionists and reactionaries has thus been turned into a tremendous fighting strength.
   Iron fighters who fear neither heaven nor earth, neither hardship nor death, are tempered and grow up in a tough environment, while our army's hardy style of never allowing itself to be bogged down by any difficulties or enemies is cultivated through repeated struggles. To imbue the army with the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death requires both ideological education and constant tempering under strenuous conditions during ordinary times.
   In accordance with Chairman Mao's teaching that "we preferred to assume there would be more difficulties rather than less" and bearing in mind a future war and proceeding from severity, difficulty and the needs of actual fighting, we have organized the fighters and cadres to temper themselves in the most difficult and complicated circumstances. We have developed our ideology, style and physical strength by carrying out forced marches in windy and snowy days or during rainy nights and by camping under the most difficult conditions. Through seasoning under all kinds of difficult and complicated circumstances, those cadres and fighters who did not experience any strenuous tempering have stood up to the test, raised their consciousness, and cultivated the habit of bearing great hardships. Veteran cadres have, through such tempering, become more militant and, filled with revolutionary youthfulness, are inspired to make revolution with abounding vitality.
   In tempering our units, we have used Mao Tsetung Thought to make clear two relationships:
   First, the relationship between painstaking training during ordinary times and standing up to the test at the critical moment. Chairman Mao has taught us: "We must thoroughly clear away all ideas among our cadres of winning easy victories through good luck, without hard and bitter struggle, without sweat and blood." In -the course of revolution, difficulties and hardships exist objectively. To win victory in a war of resisting aggression, it is necessary that we should grasp every chance to consciously seek hardship and steel ourselves in difficult circumstances so as to raise and strengthen our consciousness, will power and capacity to conquer difficulties. The heroic deeds of a revolutionary fighter at the critical moment stem from the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought and from painstaking training in ordinary times. Dauntlessness originates from selflessness. Only by establishing a proletarian world outlook and with the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death can an armyman keep to his position and charge forward valiantly in a rain of shells and bullets during a war of resisting aggression.
   Second, the relationship between subjecting the units to strict training and cherishing class feelings for the fighters. Through studying Chairman Mao's works, all of us have come to understand that in order to safeguard the dictatorship of the proletariat and our socialist motherland, we must place a strict demand on the units during training so as to enable it to fulfil its tasks successfully when the Party and people so require. This is the expression of the most profound proletarian feeling towards the Party, the people, the revolution and the fighters. If we now adopt a lax attitude towards the fighters and not temper them into bearing hardship, they will not be able to stand the test and fulfil the task at the critical moment, and this is the most irresponsible attitude towards the Party, the people, the revolution and the fighters. This way of doing things lacks the least proletarian feeling. So setting strict demands on the units during training conforms entirely to cherishing proletarian class sentiments for the fighters.
   Chairman Mao teaches us: "Cadres are a decisive factor, once the political line is determined." Cadres are leaders of the units. Their ideology and style of work influence their men directly. If the cadres' ideology and style of work are good, such as fearing neither hardship nor death, the troops they lead are sure to be daring in fighting to the last drop of their blood and daring to come to grips with the enemy in close-range fighting. For cadres to set examples is a glorious tradition of our army. In the years of war, our cadres always charged forward first without thinking of themselves. Now when faced with the war provocation of imperialism and social-imperialism, it is all the more necessary to educate the cadres to carry forward this tradition of fearing neither hardship nor death, to develop it and pass it on to the younger generations.
   Because we have continuously grasped the education of the responsible members in the units, the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death has been greatly developed among the cadres of the whole battalion. The cadres always test the depth of the water first before ordering their men to cross a river, and they climb the steep mountains ahead of the fighters. They direct and fight where the conditions are most difficult and dangerous. As the rank-and-file remark: "Whenever we are confronted by hardship and danger, our courage and strength in overcoming difficulties increase when we see the actions the cadres take."
   In the new year, we are determined to act in accordance with Chairman Mao's great call "Heighten our vigilance, defend the motherland," to unfold the mass movement in the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought in a deep-going way, create in a solid way "four-good" companies, strengthen preparedness against war, continue to foster in the battalion the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death and strive hard to defend the socialist motherland and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat!
  
  
  
  

 
 
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