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 Carry On the Criticism of Confucius

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Carry On the Criticism of Confucius

Source: Peking Review, No. 15, April 9, 1976
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    IN the current struggle to beat back the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts, the Chinese people are continuing their criticism of Confucius. This is because the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius arc an important ideological origin of the revisionist line pushed by that unrepentant capitalist roader in the Party.
   The main aim of this revisionist line that opposes Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line is to change the principle of taking class struggle as the key link, change the Party's basic line, negate the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and restore capitalism.
   In China, the history of class struggle since the decline of slave society, the first class society, has again and again proved that all those who strove for restoration and retrogression and practised revisionism advocated the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius. Today that unrepentant capitalist-roader also attempted to use these doctrines to put back the clock and restore capitalism.
   Confucius (551-479 B.C.) lived in a period when the slave system in China was collapsing and the feudal system was rising. As a representative of the slave-owning class and a reactionary thinker obdurately defending the slave system, he opposed social progress and change and stood for restoration and retrogression. He devoted his whole life to safeguarding the declining system of slavery. He cried: "Revive states that are extinct, restore families that have lost their positions, and call to office those who have fallen into obscurity." This means he wanted to revive the overthrown slave states, restore the slave-owning aristocrats who had lost power to their former ruling position, and reinstate them in office. What the unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party did today was exactly the same reactionary stuff. He negated taking class struggle as the key link and wanted to alter the Party's basic line and reverse the correct appraisal of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. On the question of selecting cadres, he paid no heed to the five requirements set by Chairman Mao for successors to the proletarian revolutionary cause or to the three-in-one combination of the old, middle-aged and young. What he tried to "revive and restore'' was precisely the revisionist political and organizational line of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao which had become bankrupt.
   Confucius was panic-stricken to see that "the rites were last and music was ruined" during the period of t ho momentous social change from slavery to feudalism. He was even alarmed at the sight of cornerless wine jars which were unlike those used by his ancestors. He lamented: "A wine jar without corners.  Can this be a wine jar!" Those who stirred up the Right deviationist wind today also look askance at the numerous socialist new things that have emerged in the Great Cultural Revolution. They said: "The schools are no longer like schools, and the research institutions today are not like research institutions!" Like Confucius who never forgot to "restrain oneself and return to the rites," the Right deviationists seek to restore the old feudalist, capitalist and revisionist trash.
   The fallacy that "he who excels in learning can be an official" is a concentrated expression of Confucius' thinking on education which served the declining slave-owning class. For thousands of years, generation upon generation of Confucius' disciples took this assertion as an eternal and unchangeable credo. The idea "study to become an official" advocated by Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao was just another version of this Confucian-Mencian doctrine. Now this rubbish has again been picked up by the Right deviationists in the educational field to negate the achievements of the educational revolution, to reverse the verdict on the revisionist educational line, and to train "talented people" for the restoration of capitalism. They regarded college education as a "brick to knock open the door" to high official positions and emoluments and a ladder leading to the tower of intellectual aristocracy, and they tried to induce young people to follow them into the blind alley of restoration and retrogression.
   Advocates of the Right deviationist trend in scientific and technical circles opposed exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat on the scientific and technical front; they opposed Party leadership over scientific and technical work, the launching of vigorous mass movements, the integration of professional scientists and technicians with the workers and peasants, and the practice of open-door research. They deliberately distorted the Party's policy and tried to sow discord between the Party and the intellectuals. They asserted that it was unnecessary for the intellectuals to remould their world outlook and called for placing professional "experts" and "authorities" in the leadership of research units, a practice which the revolutionary masses had repudiated long ago. They slandered the workers, peasants and soldiers as rustics unfit for scientific research because their "cultural level is too low," in an attempt to exclude the masses from scientific studies. Still less would they tolerate representatives sent by the working class during the Cultural Revolution to participate in the leading bodies of research units. What they advocated was in effect one and the same stuff as the reactionary Confucian-Mencian concepts that "only the highest who are the wise and the lowest who are the stupid cannot be changed" and "those who work with their minds govern, those who work with their hands arc governed."
   To safeguard the vital interests of the declining reactionary classes, Confucius and his followers did their utmost to advocate the "doctrine of the mean" while opposing the class struggle waged by the rising classes against the declining classes and the social change in which the new emerging forces replaced reactionary ones. Those who stirred up the Right deviationist wind stubbornly opposed the proletariat exercising all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in the superstructure including all spheres of culture and opposed the substitution of socialist new things for decadent bourgeois things; they resorted to eclectic sophistry to peddle the theory of the dying out of class struggle and the theory of productive forces. They followed Confucius in using the "doctrine of the mean" to cover up their attacks on the revolutionary masses.
   Confucius who went round campaigning for the restoration of slavery was thrown into the dustbin of history long ago. However, the reactionary ideas of the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius have not disappeared of their own accord. They are still corrupting and poisoning people's minds and are used by the Right deviationists for restoration and retrogression. We must continue to criticize Confucius if we want to thoroughly criticize the ideological origin of the revisionist line pushed by these Right deviationists.
  
  
  
  

 
 
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