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 Bad Things Turned Into Good Things

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Historical Experience in Struggle Between Two Lines


Bad Things Turned Into Good Things


Source: Peking Review, No. 52, December 24, 1971
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org


IN carrying out education in ideology and political line, our cadres and fighters conscientiously studied the history of the struggles between the two lines within the Party. In the course of study, we came across this question: How to correctly understand such a bad thing as the emergence of Wang Ming, Liu Shao-chi and other political swindlers in the Party and the erroneous lines they represented?


Dual Nature of a Bad Thing

   After studying the Marxist-Leninist philosophical thinking, we used the dialectical materialist viewpoint to analyse the historical experience of the struggles between the two lines within our Party. Chairman Mao said: "Correct political and military lines do not emerge and develop spontaneously and tranquilly, but only in the course of struggle." This teaching of Chairman Mao's has helped us to understand that the struggle between the correct line and the erroneous line is the indispensable condition for the emergence and development of the correct line. The history of our Party is one in which Chairman Mao's revolutionary line fought and continuously triumphed over the "Left" and Right opportunist lines within the Party. It is precisely through the struggles between the two lines that our Party has steadily consolidated itself, developed and expanded. The emergence of erroneous lines, bad elements and bad deeds in the Party is neither strange nor something to be feared. The question is how should we correctly understand and deal with it.
   Chairman Mao has taught us: "We must learn to look at problems all-sidedly, seeing the reverse as well as the obverse side of things. In given conditions, a bad thing can lend to good results and a good thing to bad results." Everything divides into two. The historical experience in the struggles between the two lines within the Party proves that a bad thing has a dual nature:
 This is an abridged translation of an article written by the Party branch of the second company of an engineer corps under the Peking Units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and published in "Hongqi" No. 13, 1971. While it undermines the revolution, it leaches Party members and the people by negative example after it is criticized, thereby enabling the revolution to win still greater victories.
   During the First Revolutionary Civil War (1924-27), the Chen Tu-hsiu renegade clique feverishly opposed Chairman Mao's correct line, pushed a Right capitulationist line and abandoned the Party's leadership over the peasantry, urban petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie, particularly over the armed forces. As a result, the vigorous great revolution ended in failure. Could we say that there was no hope of victory for the Chinese revolution just because a bad thing of such magnitude had occurred shortly after the founding of our Party and at a time when the Chinese revolution was on the upswing? Of course not! Led by Chairman Mao, the whole Party waged a resolute struggle against Chen Tu-hsiu's Right capitulationist line, drew a lesson from the failure of the great revolution and, from the serious damage the erroneous line had inflicted on the Chinese revolution, came to understand the Marxist-Leninist truth: "Without armed struggle neither the proletariat, nor the people, nor the Communist Party would have any standing at all in China and that it would be impossible for the revolution to triumph." A bad thing was thus turned into a good thing. Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line developed through struggles. From then on, our Party embarked on the road of building rural base areas, founding the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and seizing political power by armed force. Thus the revolution developed anew.
   During the War of Agrarian Revolution (1927-37), the renegade Wang Ming who called himself a "100 per cent Bolshevik" tried every trick to mislead the people under the banner of "opposing the Li Li-san line," usurped the Party leadership and pushed his opportunist line which was even more "Left" than the Li Li-san line. As a result, 90 per cent of our Party forces in the liberated areas and nearly 100 per cent in the enemy-occupied areas were lost. The Red Army was compelled to move and carry out the Long March. That
Wang Ming's opportunist line brought a great setback to the Chinese revolution is indeed a very bad thing. However, from the lesson paid in blood, our Party and its members and cadres tore off Wang Ming's mask and exposed him as a sham revolutionary; they came to see that this "100 per cent Bolshevik" was only a phoney Marxist. It was through the struggle against Wang Ming's erroneous line that comrades of the whole Party came to the profound understanding that Chairman Mao's revolutionary line was the only correct line and that the Chinese revolution must be led by Chairman Mao if it was to be victorious. At the Tsunyi Meeting of the Party held in January 1935, an end was put to the rule of Wang Ming's "Left" opportunist line in the central leading body of the Party and Chairman Mao's leading position in the whole Party was established, thus enabling the Party's line to return to the correct, Marxist-Leninist path. Wang Ming's opportunist line was a very bad thing, but through criticism and struggle against it, people realized the harm of the erroneous line and the causes of its emergence and understood the correctness of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line which was opposed to the erroneous line. In this way, the bad thing was turned into a very good thing which provided the fundamental guarantee for victory in the Chinese revolution.
   Since the seizure of political power by the proletariat, the struggle between the two lines within our Party has become even more acute and complex with the deepening of the socialist revolution. While paying lip service to Marxism and unity, Liu Shao-chi and other sham Marxists actually practised revisionism and splittism. Publicly using fine words and phrases, they actually engaged in underhand schemes in a vain attempt to subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat and restore capitalism. But Chairman Mao, with great insight, discerns good from bad. He mobilized the masses to carry out the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and in good time exposed and smashed their criminal plots. Criticism of Liu Shao-chi's counterrevolutionary revisionist line on an extensive scale and in a deep-going way is a most profound education to the whole Party. In the fierce struggle, the whole Party and army and the people throughout the country have come to a deep understanding of the Party's basic line for the historical period of socialism, and further realized the prolonged, acute and complicated nature of class struggle. They have gradually grasped how sham Marxists use counter-revolutionary double-dealing tactics to hoodwink the people in a futile attempt to change the Party's proletarian line and policy and realize their criminal aim of restoring capitalism. At the same time, the struggle has prompted the whole Party and army and the people throughout the country to study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in a still more conscious and serious way so as to raise their ability to distinguish between genuine and sham Marxism. This has created conditions for the struggle to further consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and enabled us to fight more forcefully against all sham Marxists who want to restore capitalism.
   All this has fully proved the truth that "It is only through repeated education by positive and negative examples and through comparisons and contrasts that revolutionary parties and the revolutionary people can temper themselves, become mature and make sure of victory." An erroneous Line is one of our teachers by negative example. Those who belittle and do not understand the role of teachers by negative example are not thoroughgoing dialectical materialists.
   The struggle between the two lines in the Party is a manifestation of class struggle in the society within the Party. This is an objective reality independent of man's will. As long as there are classes, class struggle and the bourgeoisie and its influence in the society, then erroneous lines, bad elements and bad things will inevitably emerge in our Party. We must dare to admit them, expose them and overcome them completely. In socialist society, the defeated exploiting classes will never reconcile themselves to their defeat, but will invariably launch desperate struggles against us by various ways. Therefore, it is not surprising that anti-Party elements in the guise of Party members and enemies of Marxism-Leninism paying lip service to Marxism-Leninism should emerge in our Party. This is in conformity with the objective law of class struggle. Some comrades, however, have one-sided views and lack a thoroughgoing revolutionary spirit; although they admit that class struggle is protracted, acute and complicated, ideologically they wish that it would be shorter and that everything would be plain sailing. Very often they find themselves mentally unprepared when confronted with bad things, and when a bad thing has actually happened, they find it rather hard to understand and are sometimes even full of undue anxieties. All these do not conform to dialectics of the development of history.

Transformation Needs Certain Conditions

   There is the possibility that a bad thing may transform itself into a good thing. However, certain conditions are necessary for realizing this transformation. Chairman Mao has taught us: "In given conditions, each of the two opposing aspects of a contradiction invariably transforms itself into its opposite as a result of the struggle between them. Here, the conditions arc essential. Without the given conditions, neither of the two contradictory aspects can transform itself into its opposite." In inner-Party struggle, an important condition to transforming a bad thing into a good one is persistent struggle under the guidance of the correct line. No sham Marxists in history had succeeded in undermining our cause; on the contrary, they had all ended in failure. That bad things have been turned into good things is due to the fact that Chairman Mao has led us to wage great struggles, guide the development along the general trend and create favourable conditions to promote the transformation of the contradictions in a way that is favourable to the revolution, thereby preventing and overcoming on time the regressive transformation.
   When our Party was in its infancy, Chairman Mao in opposing Chen Tu-hsiu's Right capitulationist line adhered to the dialectical-materialist and historical-materialist world outlook and persistently used the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint and method to make a thorough and systematic investigation and study of the political and economic status of the various classes in Chinese society and their interrelations, and make a concrete analysis of the conditions about our enemies, ourselves and our friends. He wrote Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society, Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan and other works and thoroughly criticized Chen Tu-hsiu's Right capitulationism. Chairman Mao also personally led the Autumn Harvest Uprising, organized the first contingent of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, founded the first rural revolutionary base area in the Chingkang Mountains and enabled the Chinese revolution to advance along the correct line. After the emergence of the "Left" and Right opportunist lines advocated by Wang Ming and others, Chairman Mao again led the whole Party to wage resolute struggles against them in every aspect. To thoroughly wipe out the influence of the "Left" and Right opportunist lines of Wang Ming and others in the political, ideological and theoretical fields, Chairman Mao himself led the great rectification movement in the early 1940s during the arduous War of Resistance Against Japan. Through studying Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and dialectical and historical materialism, the whole Party exposed in a deep-going way the reactionary essence of the various "Left" and Right opportunist lines and made a clear distinction between the correct line and the erroneous line. By making serious criticism and self-criticism, the Party achieved new unity based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. This laid the ideological foundation for seizing the nationwide victory of the revolution. During the period of socialist revolution and construction, Chairman Mao has summed up both the positive and negative historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat and repeatedly warned the whole Party that, while we have won victory, we must never forget class struggle and must be vigilant against the careerists and conspirators like Khrushchov who are nestling beside us. Chairman Mao has personally initiated and led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which shattered Liu Shao-chi's bourgeois headquarters and dug out the handful of class enemies hidden in the Party. Since the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Central Committee of the Party, Chairman Mao has once again led the whole Party, the whole army and the people of the whole nation to unfold and deepen the movement for criticizing revisionism and rectifying the style of work and carry out education in ideology and political line. He has called on the whole Party to "read and study seriously and have a good grasp of Marxism" and continuously criticize bourgeois idealism spread by Liu Shao-chi and his ilk. This has, in the course of struggle, helped us raise our theoretical level of Marxism and our consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines and of continuing the revolution. All this has resulted in the further strengthening of unity in the whole Party and still greater successes in all fields of work.
   There are interferences from all kinds of erroneous lines and sabotages by all sorts of bad people and bad things in the course of revolution. But the general trend of development is that the world is moving forward, the new will certainly replace the old, the advanced will surely defeat the decadent, the correct will inevitably overcome the incorrect, the socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system and communism will surely prevail in every part of the world. This is an irresistible historical trend. All sham Marxists in history invariably meet with complete failure, because their words and deeds are against the objective law of social development, run counter to the demands of the broad masses, and are in contravention of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line which correctly reflects the objective law and the demands of the masses. Only a handful of class enemies wormed their way into our Party and conspired and did bad things. They were extremely isolated in our Party and among the Chinese people. Once these anti-Party persons were exposed, their followers deserted them, and they became completely isolated and met an ignominious end. Our Party and our proletarian revolutionary cause, on the other hand, will go forward with firmer steps to win still bigger victories!
  
  
  

 
 
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