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 Further Criticism of "Restraining Oneself And Returning to the Rites"

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Further Criticism of "Restraining Oneself And Returning to the Rites"

"Renmin Ribao" editorial

Source: Peking Review, No. 12, March 22, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

THE people throughout China are now concentrating their criticism on Lin Piao's counter-revolutionary revisionist line which was to "restrain oneself and return to the rites." The movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius is developing soundly.
   After the Ninth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, when the people of the whole country were acting in response to Chairman Mao's great call "Unite for one purpose, that is, the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat" and continuing to push the socialist cause forward, Lin Piao and one of his sworn followers inscribed several scrolls in a dark corner with the words: "Of all things, this is the most important: to restrain oneself and return to the rites."
   According to the "Biographies of Li Ku and Tu Chiao" in the History of the Later Han Dynasty, after Emperor Chih of the Eastern (Later) Han Dynasty was murdered, the country was without an emperor. The military lord Li Ku and others submitted a joint petition to the supreme general Liang Chi which said: "A new emperor should be enthroned now"; "of all things, this is the most important, for the prosperity or ruin of the country depends on it." Lin Piao's coupling "of all things, this is the most important" with "restrain oneself and return to the rites" and copying them out time and again fully revealed his impatience to realize his wild ambition to usurp supreme power in the Party and the state and to restore capitalism.
   By advocating "restraining oneself and returning to the rites," Confucius intended to "revive states that were extinct, restore families that had lost their positions, and call to office those who had fallen into obscurity" — reviving the extinct slave states, rehabilitating the aristocratic families that had lost their hereditary status and reinstating the overthrown nobility, Lin Piao wanted to become an "emperor" and carry out the reactionary programme "restrain oneself and return to the rites," and he also intended to "revive states that are extinct, restore families that have lost their positions, and call to office those who have fallen into obscurity."
 By "reviving states that are extinct," Lin Piao wanted to pull China back on to the old semi-feudal, semi-colonial path, establish a fascist Lin dynasty and restore a "state" of the big landlord class and the big bourgeoisie in China. By "restoring families that have lust their positions," he wanted to change fundamentally the Party's basic line and policies, "restore families" of the overthrown landlord and capitalist classes and bring back their lost paradise. By "calling to office those who have fallen into obscurity," he was complaining and crying for redress on behalf of the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists and reversing the verdicts passed on the chieftains of earlier opportunist lines so that these monsters and demons might assume power again.
   All these schemes of Lin Piao's ran completely counter to the law of historical development. What he pushed was a counter-revolutionary revisionist line which went against the historical trend and which' aimed at turning the wheel of China's socialist history back. In criticizing Lin Piao's "restraining oneself and returning to the rites," we must expose and criticize in a penetrating way his crimes in plotting to usurp Party leadership and seize state power and to "revive states that are extinct, restore families that have lost their positions, and call to office those who have fallen into obscurity."
   Chairman Mao has pointed out: "Retrogression eventually produces the reverse of what its promoters intend. There is no exception to this rule either in modern or in ancient times, in China or elsewhere."; For more than the last 2,000 years, from Confucius to Lin Piao, those "heroes" who clamoured "restraining oneself and returning to the rites" and attempted retrogression and restoration and wanted to "revive states that are extinct, restore families that have lost their positions, and call to office those who have fallen into obscurity" have all been crushed by the wheel of history. Today, in the historical conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is even less hope for anyone going backwards. One important content in criticizing Lin Piao's "restraining oneself and returning to the rites" and linking it with major issues of right and wrong in the current class struggle and two-line struggle is to solve the question of adopting a correct attitude towards the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, expose and criticize Lin Piao and his sworn followers* crimes in plotting a restoration, and consolidate and develop the magnificent achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
   Is the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution absolutely necessary and most timely? Is it fine or is it terrible? Should we consolidate and develop the great achievements of this revolution and keep to the socialist road or go backwards and restore capitalism? Our comrades must take a clear-cut stand on these questions of principle. By wildly attacking the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the Lin Piao anti-Party clique vainly attempted to turn back the wheel of history. All reactionaries at home and abroad, including Soviet revisionist social-imperialism, the Chiang Kai-shek clique and the handful of unreformed landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists and counter-revolutionary revisionists, attack the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. This is determined by their class nature. They are now doing their utmost to attack, slander and sabotage the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius. We must forcefully rebuff the slanders and attacks by the class enemies. As for those comrades in our own ranks who have made mistakes and even serious mistakes, we should adopt the principle of "learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient" and help them change their stand and return to Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line.
   Let us achieve still greater unity and win still greater victories in the struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius.

(March 15)
  
  
  

 
 
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