Strengthen the Proletarian Party Spirit
Strengthen the Proletarian Party Spirit
Strengthen the Proletarian Party Spirit
Strengthen the Proletarian Party Spirit
By the Writing Croup of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
Source: Peking Review, No. 51, December 17, 1971
FOLLOWING our great leader Chairman Mao's directive to carry out education in ideology and political line, the whole Party has, since the convocation of the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, unfolded a movement to criticize revisionism and rectify the style of work. It marks the deepening of the socialist revolution and the continuation of the struggle between the two classes, two roads and two lines since the start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Conscientiously studying the works of Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao and acting according to the five basic requirements for Party members as stipulated in the Constitution of the Communist Party of China, Party members and cadres have during the struggle done their best to remould their world outlook and strengthen their proletarian Party spirit. This is of immense significance to fulfilling in a still better way the fighting tasks set forth by the Ninth Party Congress and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Concentrated Embodiment of Proletarian Party Spirit
After summing up the historical experience, both positive and negative, of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the world, Chairman Mao put forward five requirements for successors to the proletarian revolutionary cause. In line with this, the Party Constitution has laid down that members of the Chinese Communist Party must: (1) study and apply Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way; (2) work for the interests of the vast majority of people of China and the world; (3) be able at uniting with the great majority; (4) consult with the masses when matters arise; (5) be bold in making criticism and self-criticism. These five requirements clearly point out the political orientation Party members must keep to as well as their basic tasks and methods and style of work, and embody the proletarian Party spirit in a concentrated way.
Regarding the question of whether or not to uphold these five requirements and the proletarian Party spirit, there is the struggle between the two lines, a struggle which boils down to which class' world outlook is used to transform the Party and the world. Adherence to the five requirements put forward by Chairman Mao means persistence in transforming the Party and the world in the image of the vanguard of the proletariat. In contrast, Liu Shao-chi and other political swindlers like him, proceeding from the reactionary stand of the landlords and the bourgeoisie, wildly opposed the Marxist Party spirit. They trotted out the sinister book Self-Cultivation and reactionary fallacies such as the theory of "the dying out of class struggle," the theory of "docile tools" and the theory of "joining the Party in order to climb up" to corrupt and poison Party members' minds, vainly trying to turn them into docile tools for pushing their revisionist line. In addition, they resorted to fraud by wantonly distorting and tampering with Chairman Mao's five requirements, and laid down their own so-called "standards" for Communist Party members and revolutionary cadres. Not saying a word about Marxism-Leninism or the masses, they completely jettisoned the theory of proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship as well as the dialectical-materialist and historical-materialist world outlook. Their aim was to transform our Party in the image of the bourgeoisie so as to realize their criminal plot of restoring capitalism.
The first and most important question for Party members is the question of guiding thought and political orientation, that is to say, "they should practise Marxism-Leninism, and not revisionism." The theoretical basis guiding our Party's thinking is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Our Party's 50-year history proves that it will advance from victory to victory if it acts according to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and marches along Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, and that it will meet with setbacks and failures if it does not do so. In judging whether a Party member has the Party spirit or not, the main criterion is to see whether he really upholds Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and uses dialectical materialism to examine and handle questions, whether he remoulds his own subjective world while transforming the objective world, and whether he firmly follows Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in the acute and complex struggle between the two classes and two lines. Our Party requires that all members painstakingly study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in connection with the actual revolutionary struggle and their own ideology, and arm themselves with the proletarian world outlook. Only in this way can they increase their ability to see through sham Marxists like Liu Shao-chi under different circumstances and effectively wage a resolute struggle against class enemies within and outside the Party.
Communist Party members "must work for the interests of the vast majority of the people, for the interests of the vast majority of the people of China and of the world, and not for the few, not for the exploiting classes, not for the bourgeoisie or the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists.” It is an extremely profound revolutionary struggle to overthrow the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, persist in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and liberate all mankind. In this struggle, the proletariat must rally around itself the overwhelming majority of the people and to the greatest possible extent isolate and attack a handful of enemies. It is not right just to rely on a few people; we must unite with the vast majority. "It is necessary to unite with the broad masses and with the vast number of cadres, to unite with 95 per cent of both." All tendencies towards sectarianism, and all words and deeds detrimental to unity in the Party and unity between the Party and the people, are contrary to the five basic requirements for Party members. Factional activity instead of unity with the broad masses and with the vast number of cadres and the introduction of the decadent bourgeois style of work into the Party are in fact trying to transform the Party and the world in accordance with the bourgeois world outlook. We Communist Party members must work for the interests of the vast majority of the people in China and the rest of the world and strive all our lives for the liberation of mankind. To do so, it is imperative that we always proceed in whatever do from the interests of the whole Forty, consolidate Party unity and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses. We must never work for individual or small group interests to the detriment of the revolutionary cause and the Party's interests.
Party members must also maintain close ties with the masses and consciously accept their criticism and supervision, and see to it that they never are divorced horn the masses. They must learn the Marxist method of leadership — "from the masses, to the masses" — and acquire the democratic style of work of being good at listening to opinions from the masses. They should boldly examine their shortcomings and mistakes and firmly correct them through practice. They must not think they are always right, and only like to hear praise but not criticism. In times of success, they -should all the more "be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness," and be on guard against corruption by bourgeois ideas. They must practise democratic centralism and consciously safeguard the Party's centralized leadership. Only thus can they carry out the Party's tasks in an even better way.
Adherence to Uniting Theory With Practice
Uniting theory with practice is our Party's consistent ideological principle. If a Party member only pays lip service to the five requirements but does not carry them out in deed, it means ho has joined the Party organizationally but not ideologically or not so entirely. During the Yenan rectification campaign in the early 40s Chairman Mao pointed out: "We must assert that the absence of a scientific attitude, that is, the absence of the Marxist-Leninist approach of uniting theory and practice, means that Party spirit is cither absent or deficient." Chairman Mao has sharply criticized this bad bourgeois style: "To govern one's own conduct by this style is to harm oneself, to teach it to others is to harm others, and to use it to direct the revolution is to harm the revolution." Only by criticizing and overcoming this bad style of theory divorced from practice can we really carry out these five requirements and strengthen the proletarian Party spirit.
The divorce between theory and practice and the separation of the subjective from the objective reflect the bourgeois idealistic world outlook and are the sources of the "Left" or Right opportunist line's theory of knowledge. Liu Shao-chi and his kind are such extremely bad paradigms. They said that they had "faith" in Marxism, yet they never thought of acting in accordance with Marxism. What they want is to use Marxist terms to keep up appearances to cover up their revisionism and to hoodwink and threaten others.
Some others lower their demands on Party members, saying that the ideology and styles which violate the five requirements are only unimportant "small things." This also is a gross error.
What is a small thing? And what is the major principle? We should subject this question lo a Marxist-Leninist class and dialectical analysis. The five requirements set forth by Chairman Mao are major principles of Party members. They unify at a high level the proletarian world outlook with its theory of method and the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with concrete practice in the Chinese revolution. They are criteria for action by Party members. "Practise Marxism-Leninism, and not revisionism" is the most important principle. Liu Shao-chi and his ilk who betray the fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought are traitors to the proletariat. Those idealistic bourgeois ideology and style that divorce from the masses greatly hinder the application of the Party's correct line. Without firmly resisting and overcoming these bad styles diametrically opposed to the five requirements there will be no adherence to revolutionary principle, no unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, no maintenance of firm, correct political orientation and no achieving of the aim of serving the vast majority of the Chinese and world's people. How can one say that ideology and style are only trivial? There are people who degenerate politically as a result of corruption by bourgeois ideology and style and people who gradually get involved in serious errors in political orientation and political line because of their bad ideas and style.
Liu Shao-chi and company opposed the revolutionary major principle of the proletariat on the pretext of "paying attention to major principles." Their "paying attention to major principles'' means nothing but paying attention to serving their bourgeois headquarters which opposed Chairman Mao's correct line. The "small things"' which they said no attention should be paid to are specifically matters of principle which distinguish between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and between a revolutionary, a non-revolutionary and a counter-revolutionary. In implementing this revisionist organizational line, Liu Shao-chi and his gang were sure to oppose, distort and tamper with the five requirements so as to completely negate them and negate the revolutionary major principle of the proletariat. Their aim was to recruit deserters and turncoats and take in a handful of bad elements lo form a party to undermine the proletarian dictatorship and corrupt and disrupt our Party.
Watching Out for Khrushchov-Type Persons
In citing the five requirements for worthy successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat, Chairman Mao gave us the historical lesson in every one of them by mentioning Khrushchov the teacher by negative example. He reminded the whole Party that it "must especially watch out for careerists and conspirators like Khrushchov and prevent such bad elements from usurping the leadership of the Party and the state at any level." Chairman Mao's five requirements are a sharp weapon for distinguishing genuine Marxists from sham ones.
All sham Marxists in history invariably appeared in disguise, using Marxist terms to cover up their anti-Marxist words and deeds. Today as a result of the unprecedented consolidation of the proletarian dictatorship in our country, the gradual mastering of Mao Tsetung Thought by the people and because our great leader Chairman Mao has high prestige, those sham Marxists, bourgeois careerists and conspirators who wormed their way into the Party, cannot but resort to counter-revolutionary double dealing in order to oppose Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Otherwise they could not continue for a day. Liu Shao-chi and other political swindlers like him are exactly those people whom Chairman Mao repudiated while citing the five requirements — revisionists wearing the cloak of Marx ism-Lenin ism, bourgeois careerists and conspirators who spilt our Party, counter-revolutionary double dealers who resorted to plots and schemes. They are the Khrushchov-type persons Chairman Mao called on the whole Party to especially watch out for.
Socialist society covers a fairly long historical period. Throughout this historical period, there are classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there is the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road, there is the danger of capitalist restoration and there is the threat of subversion and aggression by imperialism and social-imperialism. Chairman Mao stressed this in his talk in October 1968: "We have won great victory. But the defeated class will still struggle. These people are still around and this class still exists. Therefore, we cannot speak of final victory. Not even for decades." At no time, therefore, should we forget class struggle or weaken our concept of class struggle. The class struggle in society invariably will be reflected in our Party. The struggle between the two lines is long-term and complex. We must always maintain high revolutionary vigilance. We must not be academic and oversimplify the complex class struggle.
(Abridged translation of an article in "Hongqi," No. 12, 1971)
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