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 Broaden and Deepen the Struggle to Criticize Lin Piao and Confucius

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Broaden and Deepen the Struggle to Criticize Lin Piao and Confucius

Source: Peking Review, No. 7, February 15, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    A MASS movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius is going on throughout the country. Combining the criticism of Lin Piao with criticizing Confucius is the key link in deepening the movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the style of work and is an important task in deepening the socialist revolution in the superstructure. We must fight with all our efforts.
 Chairman Mao has taught us repeatedly that it is imperative to grasp major issues and grasp the line. To deepen the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius is now a major issue for the whole Party, the whole army and the entire Chinese people. Failure to do so means failure to grasp class struggle and the struggle between the two lines and failure to continue the attacks on revisionism and the bourgeois world outlook, and if this should go on, one would inevitably go astray and slip into revisionism. This demands our attention and calls for heightened vigilance.
 Why is it necessary to combine the criticism of Lin Piao with the criticism of Confucius? This is because Lin Piao, like all reactionaries in history and the ringleaders of various opportunist lines in the past, was every inch a devout disciple of Confucius. Lin Piao had always worshipped Confucius and opposed the Legalist school and attacked Chin Shih Huang (first emperor of the Chin Dynasty) on many occasions. He kowtowed before the utterly decadent doctrine of Confucius and Mencius, made their sayings his maxims and regarded them as "canons," and hung them or kept them in shady nooks. His counter-revolutionary words and deeds were permeated with the reactionary thinking of Confucius and Mencius. Lin Piao worshipped Confucius not because of his "nostalgia for the past," but because of the need of landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists and of imperialism, revisionism and reaction to subvert the proletarian dictatorship in our country, and Lin Piao's worship of Confucius was a means to push his counter-revolutionary revisionist line. The doctrine of Confucius and Mencius was used by him as a reactionary ideological weapon in his plot to usurp Party leadership, seize state power and restore capitalism. The struggle between our Party and Lin Piao centring on the issue of opposing or worshipping Confucius was in essence a struggle between the two classes and the two lines: between progress and retrogression, revolution and counter-revolution during the period of socialism. This struggle is by no means over. Therefore, in order to deepen the criticism of Lin Piao, it is imperative to criticize Confucius; and the very aim of criticizing Confucius is to deepen the criticism of Lin Piao. Only by criticizing the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius is it possible for us to see more clearly the counter-revolutionary crimes of the Lin Piao anti-Party clique to work for a capitalist restoration and retrogression as well as the ultra-Rightist nature of his revisionist line; only thus is it possible for us to dig out the roots of Lin Piao's reactionary ideology and sweep clean the influence of the reactionary ideology of Lin Piao and Confucius; and only thus is it possible for us to be all the more conscious of the necessity to carry out the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution so as to consolidate and develop its tremendous achievements.
   Precisely because of these reasons, deepening the criticism of the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius is not an "academic question" or just "a matter for cultural and educational circles which does not concern me," as some people think. On the contrary, it is a political question closely connected with present-day class struggle and the two-line struggle and is an issue of paramount importance in opposing and preventing revisionism, an issue which merits the attention of all seven sectors; industry, agriculture, commerce, culture and education, the army, the government arid the Party. How can one say that it "does not concern me"? "There is no construction without destruction." To uphold Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and the Marxist world outlook, it is imperative to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius. We do not believe in "the doctrine of the mean"; our philosophy is the philosophy of struggle. To be a true Communist and proletarian revolutionary, and to carry the socialist revolution in the superstructure through to the end, it is necessary to develop the proletarian revolutionary spirit, fight well and win this battle of criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius.
   In combining the criticism of Lin Piao with the criticism of Confucius, it is necessary to lay stress on exposing and criticizing Lin Piao's counter-revolutionary crimes in using the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius to try to change the Party's basic line for the historical period of socialism, subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat and restore capitalism. Confucius was a representative and a diehard of the declining slave-owning class; he opposed reforms and progress and stood for restoration of the old order and retrogression. Throughout his life, he never gave up his attempts to revive the dying slave system and turn back the wheel of history. "To restrain oneself and restore the rites" was his reactionary programme for restoring the slave system. Lin Piao knew quite well its political implications and was all for it. He held that "of all things, this is the most important."  And what was the most important thing Lin Piao had in mind? It was to go the Confucius way — "to restrain oneself and restore the rites" — in an attempt to restore capitalism. Confucius once said he wanted to ''revive states that were extinct, restore families whose line of succession had been broken, and call to office those who had fallen into obscurity." It was this very mantle of Confucius that Lin Piao had inherited, vainly trying to reinstate the landlord and capitalist classes, which Chairman Mao led the Chinese people in overthrowing, let the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists regain power, restore the fascist dictatorship of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie, and turn our country into a colony of Soviet revisionist serial-imperialism. To achieve this criminal objective, Lin Piao lauded "virtue" benevolence and righteousness," "loyalty and forbearance," peddled the "doctrine of the mean" and preached the concept of the exploiting classes that "those who labour with their minds govern others, those who labour with their strength are governed by others"; he taught his son to worship Confucius and study Confucian canons, he applied the reactionary philosophy of Confucius and Mencius in handling human relations and set up a clique to further his private interests and went all out to engage in intrigues and conspiracies. This is the ultra-Rightist nature of Lin Piao's revisionist line.
   In combining the criticism of Lin Piao with criticizing Confucius, it is necessary to put stress on exposing and repudiating Lin Piao's reactionary world outlook and its root cause. In trying to restore the slave system, Confucius made the following his ideological basis: the reactionary theory of "heaven's will" and idealist apriorist concepts emanating from it such as some people were "born with knowledge" and "only the highest, who are wise, and the lowest, who are stupid, cannot be changed." The theory of ''innate genius" — the anti-Party theoretical programme of Lin Piao — stemmed from the Confucian theory of ''heaven's will." Lin Piao boasted that he had a "good head" which was "especially clever," and compared himself to a "heavenly horse" flying through the skies "free and alone." This is utter nonsense. But these idealist apriorist concepts were the very theoretical basis of Lin Piao's revisionist line, and the spiritual mainstay of a feudal, comprador and fascist hereditary Lin dynasty which he tried in vain to establish. They also showed the feebleness of Lin Piao as a reactionary. A penetrating exposure and criticism of Lin Piao's theory of "innate genius" in connection with criticism of the Confucian theory of "heaven's will" will enable us to see more clearly the reactionary nature of the world outlook of the exploiting classes which uphold the system of "man eating man" and to realize the protracted nature of the struggle between the proletarian world outlook and the world outlook of the landlord and capitalist classes.
 The criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius touches on many aspects of the ideology of the exploiting classes. Looking down upon manual labour, contempt for women, despising the workers and peasants, disliking newly emerging things and forces, idolizing things foreign and restoring the old order and the unhealthy tendency of letting people "go in by the back door” — these are traditional concepts of the exploiting classes which have their social and class origin and can be traced ideologically to the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius. In the struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, we must eliminate the pernicious influence of these concepts by deepening the criticism of the reactionary ideas of Lin Piao and Confucius.
   In criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius, we must master the ideological weapon and study hard. Many works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and by Chairman Mao; Chairman Mao's numerous penetrating criticisms of the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius and the idea of worshipping Confucius made in the course of class struggle and struggles between the two lines in the period of the new-democratic revolution and the period of the socialist revolution; the series of important instructions issued by Chairman Mao during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution — all these are our powerful ideological weapons for criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius. Only when we study conscientiously with a view to criticizing the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius preached by Lin Piao and have a good grasp of Marxism can we deepen the struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, make clear distinctions between Marxism and revisionism, between materialism and idealism, between revolution and counter-revolution; only then can we further raise our consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. Many good articles, materials and speeches criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius have been written by people who have profound proletarian sentiments and have done their best to arm themselves with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. We must keep on doing so.
   Chinese history shows that the labouring people have always stood in the van of the struggle against Confucius and are the main force in criticizing Confucius. In the feudal society that lasted several thousand years in China, each of the peasant revolutionary wars invariably dealt blows at Confucius, whom the reactionary ruling classes venerated as the "sage." Their criticism of Confucius became more and more daring and penetrating. However, as they did not represent the advanced mode of production, they were unable to use scientific revolutionary theory to defeat totally the reactionary Confucian ideology. Only we the proletariat can accomplish this mission. The task of criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius which now falls on us workers, peasants and soldiers is a very arduous one. We must emancipate our mind, break with fetishes and superstitions and continue to display the indomitable spirit of the proletariat. We must use Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as our weapon to discredit utterly the doctrine of Confucius and Mencius and make it the object of universal condemnation. The vast number of revolutionary intellectuals must integrate themselves with the workers, peasants and soldiers and take an active part in the fight. "The workers, peasants and soldiers have little schooling and do not understand classical Chinese, they won't be able to make high-standard criticism." This is sheer slander against the workers, peasants and soldiers by bourgeois overlords. The workers, peasants and soldiers have a high level of consciousness of class struggle and the two-line struggle as well as rich experience in practical struggle. A great number of advanced people daring to fight, good in fighting and full of vigour have already emerged from among the workers, peasants and soldiers in the course of criticizing revisionism and bourgeois world outlook. They will surely make still greater contributions in the struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius.
   The Party committees at all levels must strengthen leadership and guide the masses in grasping well the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius, which is an issue of major importance. Leading cadres must set an example. We must adhere to the general orientation of the struggle, strictly distinguish between and correctly handle the two kinds of contradictions which are different in nature and, in the course of criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius, promote and strengthen unity among the masses, grasp revolution, promote production and other work and preparedness against war. We are convinced that with the leadership of the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao, with the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and with the hundreds of millions of workers, peasants and soldiers as the staunch main force, the deepening struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius will win still greater victories.

(A commentary in "Hongqi," No. 2, 1974)

  
Source: Peking Review, No. 7, February 15, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


  
  
  

 
 
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