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 Strengthen the Ranks of Marxist Theorists

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Strengthen the Ranks of Marxist Theorists

Source: Peking Review, No. 24, June 14, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    THE expedience of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the practice of struggle in the deepening movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius have enabled us to gain a cleaver understanding of the importance of strengthening the ranks of Marxist theorists.
 Criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius is a political and ideological struggle in the superstructure through which Marxism will triumph over revisionism and the proletariat over the bourgeoisie. In this struggle, the whole Party and people still have to exert the greatest effort before Lin Piao's counter-revolutionary revisionist line and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius can be penetratingly criticized and thoroughly repudiated, and Marxism can dominate all spheres of the superstructure, including philosophy, history, education, literature, art and jurisprudence. In order to meet the needs of this struggle on the political and ideological fronts and continue the revolution in the superstructure and carry it through to the end, strengthening the Party's theoretical building and reinforcing the ranks of Marxist theorists have become an important question which must not be overlooked and efforts must be made to solve it.
 The work in the field of theory is an important part of the revolutionary cause of the proletariat. To carry out Marxist theoretical work means to use the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method to criticize revisionism, social-imperialism and the ideologies of the bourgeoisie and all other reactionary and declining classes, and criticize idealism and metaphysics; it means to make a serious study of history and present conditions, correctly interpret in theory the practical problems arising from the revolutionary struggle, and scientifically sum up the experience of historical and present-day class struggle. This is a matter of great importance for upholding Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and policies, consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, preventing capitalist restoration, and achieving still better results in socialist revolution and construction. Chairman Mao long ago pointed out: "It is absolutely necessary to raise the Marxist-Leninist theoretical level of the whole Party, for Marxism-Leninism alone is the compass which can guide the Chinese revolution to victory." It is precisely 'or this reason that our Party has always attached great importance to the Party's theoretical building and paid attention to building up and strengthening the ranks of theorists in the service of the Party's political and ideological struggles.
   Marxist theory was born and has developed "in struggle. And the ranks of Marxist theorists, too, can be built up and strengthened only in struggle. The struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius is a powerful impetus to the development of theoretical work and at the same time provides the best school for training theorists. The several-month-old struggle in criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius has achieved more than what many colleges of liberal arts combined can do as far as extensiveness in studying Marxist theory and history and in improving the understanding of the law governing class struggle in ancient limes and at present is concerned. The masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, revolutionary cadres and intellectuals conscientiously study works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and by Chairman Mao, keep in close touch with reality and dig into problems on hand, keep studying, criticizing and studying again and criticizing again, in order to deepen the criticism of Lin Piao's counterrevolutionary revisionist line and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius and to acquire a clear understanding of the- major issues of right and wrong in class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. Many comrades have earnestly studied Marxist philosophy! political economy and the theory of scientific socialism, restudied Chairman Mao's theory on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat* repeatedly studied the Party's basic line for the historical period of socialism, studied how to correctly distinguish and handle the two different types of contradictions (contradictions between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people — tr.) and studied the historical experience in the struggles between the two lines and Chairman Mao's many important statements on criticizing Confucius during the new-democratic revolution and the socialist revolution. In the process, they have gradually raised their Marxist theoretical level and become more conscious of the importance of theory. This has laid a solid foundation and opened up broad prospects for expanding the ranks of Marxist theorists.
   The theorists are an army on the political and ideological fronts, an army that fights the class enemy politically and ideologically. We must train a combat-worthy contingent of theorists in the course of practical struggle. To read and study seriously while participating in practical struggle, that is, to learn warfare through warfare, should be our main method in training theorists. Theorists trained in this way, and in this way alone, are capable of profoundly and scientifically criticizing modern revisionism and all other reactionary ideologies that stand for capitalist restoration, really taking the ideological strongholds of the enemy by storm and continuously winning new victories in the revolution in the superstructure, including all spheres of culture. Only theorists trained In this way are capable of promoting "the concrete, historical unity of the subjective and the objective, of theory and practice, of knowing and doing,'' and adept In raising the practical experience gained in the three great revolutionary movements — class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment — to theoretical knowledge, and then returning this knowledge to social practice to be tested, enriched and developed.
 It is necessary to make energetic efforts on all fronts to train worker-peasant-soldier theorists who We not divorced from production. It Is also necessary to build up a contingent of professional theorists who keep in close contact with practical struggle, and help them integrate with the worker-peasant-soldier theorists so as to greatly raise the fighting capacity of our ranks of theorists as a whole.
 The work in the field of theory is arduous; it calls for serious study, painstaking research and prolonged perseverance. Study covers many aspects, of which the first and foremost is to study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought seriously so that we can grasp and use this sharp proletarian ideological weapon. Without Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as our guide, it would be impossible to defeat the bourgeoisie and revisionism and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius. The revolution in the superstructure, including all spheres of culture, involves numerous tasks. Whether we can accomplish them well depends on our Marxist theoretical level and our ability to apply Marxist theory in solving practical problems. "It is necessary to master Marxist theory and apply it, master it for the sole purpose of applying it. If you can apply the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint in elucidating one or two practical problems, you should be commended and credited with some achievement. The more problems you elucidate and the more comprehensively and profoundly you do so, the greater will be your achievement." This teaching of Chairman Mao's is a fundamental requirement for theorists and a criterion for judging whether they meet the needs of the revolutionary struggle.
 The whole Party must be mobilized for training theorists. Party committees at all levels should look upon this as a cardinal issue for generations to come concerning the upholding of Marxism and opposition to revisionism and pay serious attention to carrying it out. A large number of activists in revolutionary mass criticism have emerged in factories, rural areas, army units, schools and government institutions during the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, and some have achieved fairly good results. Attention must be paid to discovering and training them. Al the same time, all intellectuals willing to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius should also be united with and encouraged to integrate with the workers, peasants and soldiers. In this way a mighty contingent of theorists will be built up step by step and the whole Party and army will become skilled in using both the pen and the rifle and better fulfil the historical mission of our Party. We are confident that, through the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius, we shall bring up fairly rapidly a contingent of theorists suited to the needs of the revolutionary struggle and contributing its share in making Marxism dominate the entire superstructure and in developing socialist culture.

(A slightly abridged translation of a commentary in "Hongqi," No. 6, 1974)
  
  
  

 
 
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