Conscientiously Study Chairman Mao's Theory Of Continuing the Revolution
Conscientiously Study Chairman Mao's Theory Of Continuing the Revolution
Conscientiously Study Chairman Mao's Theory Of Continuing the Revolution
Conscientiously Study Chairman Mao's Theory Of Continuing the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Source: Peking Review, No. 5，January 30, 1970
by Chao Yang of a unit under the P.L.A. General Logistics Department
CHAIRMAN MAO's theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat is our basic guiding thought for consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and promoting all our work. We must keep up our living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought, study this great theory well and temper ourselves into vanguard fighters who continue to make revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. To have a deep understanding of this theory of Chairman Mao's, it is necessary to understand how Chairman Mao has creatively developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of continued revolution.
The theory of continued revolution was first advanced by Marx and Engels. In the middle of the 19th century, world capitalism was still in the free competition stage. In a number of countries (Germany, for instance), there was a vigorous rise m bourgeois democratic revolution and the proletariat had plunged itself into this revolutionary movement. The bourgeois and petty-bourgeois democrats, proceeding from their own narrow class interests, made the overthrow of feudal rule, the establishment of bourgeois dictatorship and the greatest freedom for developing capitalism the ultimate aim of revolution. Once this aim had been attained, they hurriedly put an end to their revolution. In the light of such a situation, Marx and Engels pointed out that the proletariat could not make the bourgeois democratic revolution its ultimate aim; instead, it had to effect "the permanence of the revolution** after the democratic revolution so as to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie, establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and then proceed to eliminate private ownership and classes and realize communism throughout the world. Marx and Engels, therefore, clearly pointed out: The proletariat's "battle cry must be: The Revolution in Permanence."
After the death of Marx and Engels, the revisionists of the Second International, who had betrayed the Marxist theory of continued revolution, held that there was a prolonged break consisting of decades between the bourgeois democratic revolution and the proletarian revolution and denied the possibility of a transition from the democratic revolution to the socialist revolution. Proceeding from his negation of the revolutionary spirit of the peasants and of the worker-peasant alliance, the renegade Trotsky came up with an anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist counter-revolutionary "theory of permanent revolution." Coming out as an ultra "Leftist" during the period of the Russian democratic revolution, he negated the peasants' demand for democratic revolution and stood for skipping the stage of democratic revolution and directly carrying out the socialist revolution. During the period of the October Socialist Revolution, he turned from being ultra "Left" to being ultra Right He held that the proletariat which had seized political power in a single country could not consolidate it and that only by waiting for the victory of the proletarian revolution in the Western countries could the Soviets avoid being destroyed. In essence, Trotsky's fallacies were opposed to the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In his struggle against the revisionists of the Second International, the Mensheviks and Trotsky, Lenin inherited, defended and developed the Marxist theory of continued revolution and set forth a whole series of theories on the transition from the democratic revolution to the socialist revolution. In the light of the special features of the era of imperialism in which capitalism had become moribund and the proletariat had grown in strength, he stressed that the proletariat must take hold of the leadership over the democratic revolution so as to carry it through to the end and then pass to the socialist revolution at the opportune time. Setting great store by the revolutionary spirit of the peasant masses, he pointed out that the peasantry was the proletariat's reliable ally in the democratic and socialist revolutions and that a firm worker-peasant alliance must be established. He discovered the law of the uneven development of capitalism and put forward the famous thesis that the victory of socialist revolution was possible first in one country, taken singly. In 1905 when the Russian democratic revolution was in high tide, Lenin pointed out that as soon as the tasks of the democratic revolution were accomplished, "from" the democratic revolution we shall at once... begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop hall-way." Using this brilliant concept of continued revolution, the Bolsheviks led by Lenin developed the Russian bourgeois democratic revolution into the October Socialist Revolution and founded the first state of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the history of mankind.
In the era in which imperialism Is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to worldwide victory, our great leader Chairman Mao has creatively applied and developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of continued revolution in the course of the great struggles against imperialism, modern revisionism and all reaction and against the "Left" and Right opportunist lines at home. With genius, Chairman Mao has solved the question of the transition of the Chinese revolution from the new-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution and. in particular, has set forth the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and expounded the question of continued revolution in the socialist stage. This constitutes the third brilliant milestone in the history of the development of Marxism-Leninism.
During the period of China's democratic revolution, Chen Tu-hsiu, who pursued a Right opportunist line, peddled Trotsky's anti-Marxist-Leninist "theory of permanent revolution"' from the Right and advanced the "theory of two revolutions." He advocated abandoning proletarian leadership, liquidating the peasant movement and the worker-peasant alliance, handing the fruits of the democratic revolution over to the bourgeoisie and carrying out the socialist revolution only after a very long period of bourgeois dictatorship. Following a "Left" opportunist line, Chu Chiu-pai, Li Li-san and Wang Ming tried to sell Trotsky's anti-Marxist-Leninist "theory of permanent revolution" from the "Left." They came out with the "theory of a single revolution" by which both the democratic and socialist revolutions were "accomplished at one stroke." This, in essence, is tantamount to liquidating and abandoning the revolution. These erroneous lines brought serious harm to the Chinese revolution.
Applying the Marxist-Leninist theory of continued revolution to the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, Chairman Mao smashed the Right and "Left" opportunist lines and set forth a complete theory on the new-democratic revolution. He pointed out: In the era following the October Revolution, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist, world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian-socialist world revolution. This revolution can only be and must be a revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism waged by the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat. Its perspective is socialism, not capitalism. Chairman Mao correctly distinguished between the stage of national-democratic revolution and the stage of socialist revolution and at the same time correctly linked them up closely, pointing out that the former was the necessary preparation for the latter while the latter was the inevitable sequel to the development of the former. It is absolutely impermissible to allow an intervening stage of bourgeois dictatorship between the democratic and socialist revolutions. Correctly guided by this theory, the Chinese democratic revolution won tremendous victories and was transformed into the socialist revolution without stopping.
In the tit-for-tat struggle against the counter-revolutionary revisionist lines at home and abroad during the period of socialist revolution in China, Chairman Mao has comprehensively summed up the experience, both positive and negative, of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat and put forward the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, thus solving the question of how to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent the restoration of capitalism, the most important question in the international communist movement of our time.
The Soviet revisionist renegade clique has utterly betrayed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. After coming to power, these renegades openly declared that "there are no more antagonistic classes and class struggle in the Soviet Union" and that "the dictatorship of the proletariat is no longer necessary in the Soviet Union." Through "peaceful evolution," they have turned the world's first state under the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dark fascist state under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Just before and after the democratic revolution triumphed throughout our country in 1949, the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi spared no efforts in advocating the development of capitalism in China.
Saying that "socialism is something in the future, it's too early to talk about it now," he came out frantically against carrying the new-democratic revolution forward to the socialist revolution. In 1956 when the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production was completed in the main, he again came out with the theory of "the dying out of class struggle," and raved that "in China, the question of which wins out, socialism or capitalism is already solved." His vicious scheme was to follow the soviet revisionist renegade clique and restore capitalism in China.
Using the Marxist-Leninist law of the unity of opposites in observing socialist society, Chairman Mao has, in his great work On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, comprehensively set forth the existence of contradictions, classes and class struggle under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, set forth the thesis of the existence of two different types of contradictions in socialist society — those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people — and set forth the great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
After analysing the characteristics of socialist society, Chairman Mao pointed out: "Socialist society covers a considerably long historical period. In the historical period of socialism, there are still classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there is the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road, and there is the danger of capitalist restoration. It is therefore necessary for the proletariat to continue the revolution and to constantly strengthen and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The protracted nature of class struggle in socialist society is notably manifested in class struggle in the realm of politics and ideology. After the political power of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes has been overthrown and their means of production expropriated, the realm of politics and ideology is the last "hereditary domain" left to them. They are bound to use the exploiting classes' old ideology, old culture, and old customs and habits — the remains of thousands of years in society and in men's minds — as their spiritual "capital" to corrupt the masses and win the people's hearts, thereby paving the way for the restoration of capitalism. This being the case, it is therefore insufficient to carry out socialist revolution on the economic front alone, and such revolution cannot be secured by itself. In addition, it is necessary to carry out a thoroughgoing socialist revolution on the political and ideological fronts. The proletariat must exercise all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in the realm of the superstructure. Chairman Mao pointed out: "In the realm of politics and ideology, a very long period of time is needed to decide 'who will win' in the struggle between socialism and capitalism. Several decades won't do it; success requires anywhere from one to several centuries.”
The struggle between the two classes and the two roads in society will inevitably be reflected in the Party. The main target of attack in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat is "those Party persons in power taking the capitalist road." Class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat still centres round the question of political power, "the question of whether the leadership of the Party and state is to be in the hands of Marxists or of revisionists.*1
Chairman Mao has not only expounded the necessity but has also found the effective form for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. This found is the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in the course of which methods of extensive democracy under the dictatorship of the proletariat have been employed, and the masses have been boldly aroused from below to air their views freely, write big-character posters and hold great debates. Thus the handful of renegades, enemy agents and absolutely unrepentant capitalist-roaders who had wormed their way into the Party, with the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi as their chief representative, have been exposed and their plot to restore capitalism shattered. This has greatly consolidated the dictatorship of the proletariat. Applying historical materialism with genius and having complete faith in the working people's great role in creating world history, Chairman Mao has integrated the struggle between the two lines within the Party with the mass movement. This is a great creation and a great new contribution to the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism.
When Marx, Engels and Lenin spoke about continued revolution, they were mainly concerned with the question of the transition from democratic revolution to socialist revolution. Marx foresaw that the development of socialist society would still be a process of continued revolution. He pointed out: "This socialism is the declaration of the permanence of the revolution, the class dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary transit point to the abolition of class distinctions generally." Owing to the limitations of his time, however, he only showed the direction. After the October Revolution, Lenin, basing himself on his great revolutionary practice in leading the dictatorship of the proletariat, saw the danger of capitalist restoration and the protracted nature of class struggle. He pointed out: "The dictatorship of the proletariat is not the end of class struggle but its continuation in new forms." But he died soon afterwards and was unable to solve this question. Under the new historical conditions, Chairman Mao has creatively applied the Marxist-Leninist theory of continued revolution to the historical period of the transition from socialism to communism. For the first time in the theory and practice of the international communist movement, it is pointed out explicitly that classes and class struggle still exist after the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production has been in the main completed and that the proletariat must continue the revolution. This is the most thoroughgoing revolutionary theory and a tremendous contribution to the international communist movement. If this theory of Chairman Mao's is grasped, it will enable those countries where the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established to prevent, through their own struggles, the restoration of capitalism, and the people of those countries where revisionists have usurped state power will be able, through their own struggles, to overthrow revisionist rule and re-establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Chairman Mao's theory of continuing the revocation under the dictatorship of the proletariat has organically integrated the Marxist-Leninist theories of continued revolution and of the development of revolution by stages. As stated in the "Resolution on Some Questions Concerning the People's Communes,'' worked out in December 1958 under Chairman Mao's personal guidance and adopted by the Eighth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China at its Sixth Plenary Session: "On the question of transition from socialism to communism, we must not mark time at the socialist stage, but neither should we drop into the Utopian dream of skipping the socialist stage and jumping over to the communist stage. We are advocates of the Marxist-Leninist theory of continued revolution; we hold that no 'Great Wall' exists or can be allowed to exist between the democratic revolution and the socialist revolution and between socialism and communism. We are at the same time advocates of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the development of revolution by stages; we hold that different stages of development reflect qualitative changes and that these stages, different In quality, should not be confused." In other words, we are advocates of continued revolution by stages. Once we grasp this theory, we shall be able to overcome and prevent both "Left" and Right opportunist errors, and actively and steadily carry forward the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
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