Importance Must Be Attached To the Party's Basic Line
Importance Must Be Attached To the Party's Basic Line
Importance Must Be Attached To the Party's Basic Line
Importance Must Be Attached To the Party's Basic Line
by Chi Yung-hung
Source: Peking Review, No. 43, October 26, 1973
IN his political report to the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Comrade Chou En-lai pointed out: "Chairman Mao has laid down for our Party the basic line and policies for the entire historical period of socialism and also specific lines and policies for specific work. We should attach importance not only to the Party's lines and policies for specific work but, in particular, to its basic line and policies. This is the fundamental guarantee of greater victories for our Party."
The Party's basic line is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. It reveals the objective laws of class struggle in the historical stage of socialism, points out the principal contradiction in socialist society and the way to resolve it, lays down the strategic tasks for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and puts forth the general policy of correctly distinguishing and handling two different types of contradictions — those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people themselves.
This basic line is the beacon light guiding all our work, and Right or "Left" deviations will result once we depart from it. By persevering in this basic line, we will consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, unite the people of the whole country and seize even greater victories in socialist revolution and socialist construction.
In accordance with the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Ninth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party summed up the experience of history and the fresh experience gained in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, criticized Liu Shao-chi's revisionist line and reaffirmed the Party's basic line. The various documents adopted by the Tenth Congress fully affirmed the line of the Ninth Congress, summed up the basic experience in smashing the Lin Piao anti-Party clique and reiterated the Party's basic line. The development of class struggles at home and abroad and the victories of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the style of work have proved that the Party's basic line is entirely correct.
The correct line always exists in comparison with the erroneous line and develops in struggling against it. The basic line of the Chinese Communist Party has also developed in the course of combating opportunist lines, especially the revisionist lines of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao.
On the eve of the founding of New China, Chairman Mao incisively pointed out at the Second Plenary Session of the Party's Seventh Central Committee that, after the new-democratic revolution won country-wide victory, the basic contradiction inside China was the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie. That is to say, when the stage of new-democratic revolution changed into the stage of socialist revolution, the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie and between the socialist road and the capitalist road became the principal contradiction in Chinese society.
Chairman Mao has clearly laid down the principles, policies and steps for carrying out socialist transformation in the countryside and the cities and launched a series of struggles against the bourgeoisie on the economic, political and ideological fronts, thereby leading the whole Party and people to advance triumphantly on the socialist road.
Liu Shao-chi, on the other hand, came out openly to spread his reactionary fallacy about the capitalist class, saying that ''the more the capitalists exploit, the greater their merit," and advanced the slogan of "consolidating the new-democratic order." He opposed carrying out the socialist revolution in the economic, political and ideological fields step by step and in a planned way.
In 1956, after great victory had been won in the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production in China, the questions of whether classes, class contradictions and class struggle still exist and whether the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie remains the principal contradiction in Chinese society became the focal point of the struggle between the two lines.
Chairman Mao gave timely warning to the whole Party that the viewpoint of class struggle must still be used to analyse socialist society. Liu Shao-chi and Chen Po-ta, on the other hand, did their best to publicize the fallacy that the principal contradiction in the country was no longer that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, but that "between the advanced socialist system and the backward social productive forces." This was saying, in effect, that socialist revolution had gone ahead too fast in China, and it was an attempt to completely negate the tremendous achievements of the Party in carrying out the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce. They smuggled this revisionist fallacy into the resolution of the Eighth Party Congress without Chairman Mao's knowledge. But it was immediately discovered by our great leader, who sternly criticized I heir error. In early 1957, Chairman Mao summed up the historical experience of the Party since the Second Plenary Session of its Seventh Central Committee and penetratingly pointed out in his work On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People that "lime is needed for our socialist system to become established and consolidated," that "the question of which will win out, socialism or capitalism, is still not really settled," and that "the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between the different political forces, and the class struggle in the ideological field between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will continue to he long and tortuous and at times will even become very acute." The two different types of contradictions in the course of the socialist revolution, Chairman Mao said, must be correctly handled for the proletarian dictatorship to be effectively consolidated.
This theory of Chairman Mao's shattered the theory of "the dying out of class struggle" peddled by Liu Shao-chi and Chen Po-ta. It inherited, safeguarded and developed Marxism-Leninism, and pointed out the orientation in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country.
While criticizing Peng Teh-huai's Right opportunist line in 1959, Chairman Mao again stressed the basic line of the Party and pointed out that "the struggle at Lushan is a class struggle, a continuation of the life-and-death struggle between the two major antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, a struggle which has been going on in the socialist revolution for the last ten years." He educated the whole Party to recognize the protracted nature of this struggle.
At the Tenth Plenary Session of the Party's Eighth Central Committee in 1962, Chairman Mao further summed up the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat at home and abroad, and put forward the Party's basic line in even more comprehensive terms. Ho 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. We must recognize the protracted and complex nature of this struggle. We must brighten our vigilance. We must conduct socialist education. We must correctly understand and handle class contradictions and class struggle, distinguish the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy from those among the people and handle them correctly. Otherwise a socialist country like ours will turn into its opposite and degenerate, and a capitalist restoration will take place. From now on we must remind ourselves of this every year, every month and every day so that we can retain a relatively sober understanding of this problem and have a Marxist-Leninist line."
Unwilling to give up their dream of restoring capitalism, however, Liu Shao-chi and his gang did their utmost to distort and oppose the Party's basic line. During the socialist education movement, they raised such absurdities as "the contradiction between the 'four cleans' and the 'four uncleans' " and "the intertwining of the contradictions inside and outside the Party."* pitting this against the Party's basic line, covering up the struggle between the two classes, the two roads and the two lines and opposing the rooting out of Party persons in authority taking the capitalist road.
In January 1965, at the national working conference called by the Central Committee's Political Bureau, Chairman Mao pointed out in reply to the fallacies of Liu Shao-chi and his ilk: "Class contradiction, the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie end the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road exist throughout the transitional period. We shall go astray if we forget this fundamental theory and practice of our Party over the last dozen years or so."
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and I he movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the style of work, carried out by the entire Party and people under the leadership of Chairman Mao, and the series of important instructions Chairman Mao issued in the course of these struggles, have further enriched and developed the Party's basic line. In the movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the style of work, Chairman Mao profoundly summed up the basic experience of the Party in waging the struggle between the two lines as "Practise Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don't split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire."
Seriously implementing this instruction of Chairman Mao's is imperative if we want to persevere in the Party's basic line, consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent capitalist restoration, and unite to win still greater victories.
After smashing the Liu Shao-chi renegade clique, the struggle between our Party and the Lin Piao anti-Party clique over the question of the line of the Ninth Party Congress was a struggle over carrying on or changing the Party's basic line.
Lin Piao and Chen Po-ta opposed continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and considered the main task after the Ninth Party Congress to be developing production. This was merely a refurbished version under changed circumstances of Liu Shao-chi and his gang's revisionist fallacy of "the contradiction between the advanced socialist system and the backward social productive forces."
Marxism-Leninism holds that in the pair of contradictions between the relations of production and the productive forces, the latter is the more revolutionary and active factor. "The greatest productive power is the revolutionary class itself." Under the socialist system, the working class and other labouring people have become the masters of their country and their socialist initiative is fully brought into play. They constitute the main force in socialist revolution and construction and create wonders.
In our country, socialist production relations are in harmony with and have opened wide vistas for the development of the productive forces. They have, however, some imperfections which are contradictory to the development of the productive forces. The practice or socialist revolution and construction has shown that the superiority of the socialist system always pushes forward the development of the productive forces, and that part of the production relations incompatible with the developing productive forces is always changed to suit and promote the latter. There is no such thing as the "contradiction between the advanced socialist system and the backward social productive forces."
From their bourgeois reactionary stand, it was impossible for Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao to see the enthusiasm of the masses. The anti-Marxist formula they concocted was meant to oppose socialist revolution and the Party's basic line formulated by Chairman Mao. Their fallacy is typical of the revisionist theory of productive forces.
Keeping the Party's basic line firmly in mind, we can correctly analyse the political situation, carry out class struggle and two-line struggle in a deep-going way and cause the revolutionary situation to become more and more favourable to the people.
In the course of socialist revolution, every major two-line struggle is a heavy blow to the class enemies and tempers and educates the cadres and masses, and It promotes the rapid development of socialist revolution and construction, thereby bringing about an excellent situation.
But looking at things in a distorted way, the chieftains of the revisionist lines always tried to negate the successes won under the guidance of the Party's basic line. When great victory was won in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the Lin Piao anti-Party clique, starting from their reactionary stand, rained curses on the socialist system with its proletarian dictatorship and described the excellent situation at home as being quite hopeless, thus nullifying the momentous achievements won by the revolutionary people in struggle.
The achievements and successes of our socialist cause, however, cannot be negated by any class enemy. By persisting in employing our Party's basic theories and practice to analyse the political situation and the class relations, we will be able to make a correct appraisal and not be bewildered by superficial phenomena of the time; we will never conclude that the excellent situation is not so good, or not good at all. Nor will we forget ourselves and lose our vigilance in the face of the excellent situation.
Keeping the Party's basic line firmly in mind, we will be able to persist in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and carry the struggle against the bourgeoisie and against revisionism through to the end. The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the struggle against aggression and subversion by imperialism and social-imperialism will exist for a long time in socialist society. This determines that the focal point of the struggle between the two lines in the future will still be the question of whether Marxism or revisionism is practised, whether the socialist or the capitalist road is pursued. In the political and ideological spheres, in particular, the question of who will win out, socialism or capitalism, will be settled only after a very long time.
In order to restore capitalism, the Liu Shao-chi renegade clique and the Lin Piao anti-Party clique always covered up contradictions and class struggle and spread the nonsense about the "dying out of class struggle" and the "dying out of two-line struggle." This was itself a manifestation of class struggle and two-line struggle. Therefore, we must at all times keep cool-headed and constantly study and analyse the development of class struggle, look out for one tendency covering another and display the proletarian spirit of going against the tide, unswervingly carry out Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and fight against erroneous tendencies that run counter to the socialist orientation and are harmful to the revolution.
Keeping the Party's basic line firmly in mind, we will be able to correctly distinguish and handle, in a conscientious way, the two different types of contradictions in all our work, and under the leadership of the proletariat unite the people of all nationalities in our country and all the forces that can be united with, rely on the socialist enthusiasm of the broad masses, and truly ensure that the task of consolidating the proletarian dictatorship is fulfilled in every primary organization. Many experiences in this respect need to be concretely summarized.
The Party's basic theories and practice of the past 24 years show that the tide of socialism is irresistible. In a state under the dictatorship of the proletariat such as ours, the masses of the people making up over 95 per cent of the population are resolutely for taking the socialist road. A few chieftains of revisionist lines bent on obstructing the advance of history and taking the capitalist road, like Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao, are extremely isolated from the masses. The anti-socialist adverse currents they stirred up were smashed again and again, while proletarian dictatorship in China remains film as a rock and the socialist cause is constantly developing vigorously. With the experience of 24 years, the Chinese people now have a deeper understanding than ever before of the truth that "only socialism can save China," as Chairman Mao has said. Today, in socialist China, anybody who tries to turn back the wheel of history and push China on to the capitalist road will only be discarded by history. This is an iron-clad fact.
The future is bright, the road is tortuous. The historical experiences of the 24 years since the founding of the People's Republic, especially the experiences of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the style of work, have proved that so long as we persist in following Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and in the Party's basic theories and practice in the socialist period, we can ensure that our country advances constantly along the socialist road. Departing from the Party's basic line and forgetting the basic theories and practice of our Party will lead us astray. The basic line of the Party has pointed out the orientation for the entire Party and people. Following this orientation, the socialist tide will rise higher and higher and surge forward with an irresistible force.
(Translation of an article published in Hongqi" No. 10, 1973)
* The socialist education movement was unfolded in the towns and countryside after the Tenth Plenary Session of the Party's Eighth Central Committee was convened in September l962. The movement was also called the “four cleans movement'' as it aimed to do cleaning up politically, economically, organizationally and ideologically. The nature of the movement was the contradiction between socialism and capitalism, and the main target was Party persons in power taking the capitalist road, in order to further consolidate and develop the socialist positions in the cities and rural areas.
Liu Shao-chi and his gang, to oppose the Party's basic line, tried to cover up the struggle between the two classes, the two roads and the two lines and opposed rooting out capitalist-roaders, asserting that the nature of the movement was "the contradiction between the 'four cleans' and the 'four uncleans'" and "the intertwining of the contradictions inside and outside the Party."
At the end of 1964, Chairman Mao convened a working conference of the Central Committee, and, under his direction, the document Some Current Problems Raised in the Socialist Education Movement in the Rural Areas (i.e., the 23-Point Document) was drawn up. This sharply denounced Liu Shao-chi's bourgeois reactionary line and set right the course of the socialist education movement.
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