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 An Endless Flow of Successors to the Cause of Proletarian Revolution

An Endless Flow of Successors to the Cause of Proletarian Revolution

—Three-in-one combination of the old, the middle-aged and the young in leading bodies (I)

by Our Correspondents Cheng Chih and Chou Chin

Source: Peking Review, No. 26, June 25, 1976
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

   The three-in-one combination of the old, the middle-aged and the young has made the leading bodies at all levels in China more dynamic and vigorous and enabled millions of successors to the cause of the proletarian revolution to grow up and mature. This is a socialist new thing and an important fruit of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
   Our correspondents recently visited the Shihchiachuang Prefecture near Peking and interviewed many veteran and young cadres there. Following is the first of two reports they have written. — Ed.

THE Hopei Province has ten prefectures and Shihchiachuang is one of them. It includes the city of Shihchiachuang, which is the provincial capital, and 17 surrounding counties, with a total population of 6.17 million. Leading bodies at various levels — from the prefecture down to the city, counties and communes — have all been formed in accordance with the principle of combining the old, the middle-aged and the young, that is, they have as their members not only the old and middle-aged cadres with rich experience in revolutionary struggles but also up-and-coming young people who are full of vigour.
   In our country, of the seven sectors — industry, agriculture,commerce, culture and education, the army, the government and the Party — it is the Party that exercises overall leadership. The city and county Party committees exercise leadership over the work of all trades and professions under their jurisdiction. Among the members on the Party committees of one city and 17 counties in the prefecture, veteran cadres over 51 years old account for 17 per cent, middle-aged cadres 61 per cent and 35-year-old or younger cadres 22 per cent.
   The prefecture has 438 people's communes which are basic organizations in the countryside integrating government administration and economic management. Among the secretaries and deputy secretaries of Party committees in these communes, 37 per cent are young people under 30.
   Since 1971, young cadres numbering 2,027 have been selected and placed in leading posts at and above the commune level. Learning from each other, these young people and the elder comrades take class struggle as the key link, uphold the Party's basic line and struggle in unity, thus strengthening the leading organs. They lead the masses in grasping revolution and promoting production and in consolidating and expanding the] achievements of the Great Cultural Revolution. Last year, the prefecture gathered in another rich harvest after having had good crops for several years running and fulfilled the state plan for industrial production 30 days ahead of schedule.

A Need for the Cause of Proletarian Revolution

   The cause of the proletarian revolution requires that young cadres be constantly selected and placed in leading posts so as to temper and train them. This is a question concerning whether there are people who will carry on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary cause initiated by the older generation of proletarian revolutionaries.
   In the land of the Great October Revolution, the Khrushchov revisionist clique usurped the leadership of the Party and the state after Stalin's death. Basing themselves on what has happened in the Soviet Union, the imperialist prophets pinned their hopes for a "peaceful evolution" in China on the third or fourth generation of the Chinese Communist Party. Summing up the historical experiences of the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country as well as in some other countries, especially the changes in the Soviet Union, Chairman Mao pointed out in 1964 in On Khrushchov's Phoney Communism and Its Historical Lessons /or the World: "In order to guarantee that our Party and country do not change their colour, we must not only have a correct line and correct policies but must train and bring up millions of successors who will carry on the cause of proletarian revolution."   This is a question.
Chairman Mao added, of fundamental importance to the proletarian revolutionary cause for a hundred, a thousand, and even ten thousand years.
   Chairman Mao has also laid down five requirements for successoi-s to the cause of the proletarian revolution. During the Great Cultural Revolution, the masses created the experience of combining the old, the middle-aged and the young in leading bodies. This has provided favourable conditions for training large numbers of successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat in accordance with the five requirements. The Constitution of the Communist Party of China adopted by the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China in August L973 stipulates that "the leading bodies of the Party at alL levels shall be elected through democratic consultation in accordance with the requirements for successors to the cause of the proletarian revolution and the principle of combining the old, the middle-aged and the young." The Constitution of the People's Republic of China,, adopted by the 4th National People's Congress in January 1975. also states that the leading body of every organ of state "must be a three-in-one combination of the old, the middle-aged and the young."
   After the Tenth Party Congress, leading comrades at various levels in the Shihchiachuang Prefecture, as in other places throughout the country, studied Chairman Mao's instructions on training successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat and the new Party Constitution and criticized the conservative ideas that belittle the young and -advocate choosing and promoting cadres "according to seniority." As a result, they consciously paid greater attention to applying the principle of combining the old, the middle-aged and the young in leading bodies. Three-quarters of the prefecture's more than 2,000 new young cadres holding leading posts at the commune level and above were selected after August 1973.
   In choosing the young cadres, the prefectural Party committee sees to it that the five requirements are met. Of these requirements the most fundamental one is to practise Marxism and not revisionism. When one practises Marxism and wholeheartedly works for the interests of the vast majority of people of China and of the world, he is able to unite' and work together with the overwhelming majority, apply the Party's democratic centralism in an exemplary way and maintain close ties with the masses and he is bold in making criticisms and self-criticisms. On the other hand, if one practises revisionism and serves the interests of the bourgeoisie both inside and outside the Party, it is certain that he will form factions, engage in splittist activities and stand aloof from the masses and even set himself against them.
 To practise Marxism, it is first of all necessary to conscientiously study works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and Chairman Mao's works. In this respect, many young cadres have done fairly well. After they have taken up their leading posts, they are usually given priority to study whenever an opportunity arises. Take Shihchiachuang city for example. AH of the more than 360 new cadres in its charge went to the Party school or May 7 cadre school to study in 1974, and 80 per cent of them did so in 1975.  Besides taking part in regular study sessions, many of them spend one or two hours every day studying Marxist-Leninist works on their own no matter how busy they are. Deputy Director of the Shihchiachuang City Textile Bureau An Su-mei, a young woman of 24, besides performing her dally duties, spends a day each week in studying and a day working in a textile mill. She also manages to do some reading before and after office hours. Over the past few years, she has studied Manifesto of the Communist Party, Critique of the Goth a Programme, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy, The State and Revolution and all the four volumes of Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, and has written notes running to 300,000 words. She said: "Writing notes helps me enhance my understanding of Marxism-Leninism. In fins way I can also review and sum up my work and find oat where I still tag behind." By dint of conscientious study, An Su-mei has made rapid progress. Diverse as her work is, she always grasps class struggle, the principal contradiction, and dares to fight against unhealthy tendencies-Growing Up in Revolutionary Storms
   Chairman Mao has pointed out: "Successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat come forward in mass straggles and are tempered in the great storms of revolution."
   The Great Cultural Revolution is an unprecedented revolutionary storm and is, in essence, a great political revolution carried out under the conditions of socialism by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. A great revolutionary mass movement invariably helps bring up large numbers of outstanding revolutionaries.
   During the Great Cultural Revolution, hundreds of millions of people, guided by Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, have smashed the two bourgeois headquarters of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao hidden in the Party, repudiated their revisionist line and criticized the old ideas, culture, customs and habits of all the exploiting classes. Lenin pointed out: "During a revolution, millions and tens of millions of people learn in a week more than they do in a year of ordinary, somnolent life." (Lessons of the Revolution.) The masses have received a profound education and steeled themselves during the Great Cultural Revolution and enhanced their consciousness of class struggle and the two-line struggle. The militant Red Guards and revolutionary youth who are valiant path-breakers in this revolution have performed indelible meritorious services. Many of the Red Guards are now in leading posts, constituting a newborn force that cannot be ignored.
   Twenty-six-year-old Wang Feng-wu, member of the standing committee of the Shihchiachuang city Party committee and vice-chairman of the city revolutionary committee, is one of them. Born in a worker's family, he was studying in a secondary technical school in 1966 when Chairman Mao personally kindled the flames of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Promptly responding to Chairman Mao's call, he and his schoolmates put up big-character posters with the spearhead directed at the revisionist educational line and the capitalist-roaders in the Party. On August 18 that year when they were in Peking establishing revolutionary ties and exchanging experience with other students, they were reviewed by Chairman Mao in Tien An Men Square along with lens of thousands of other young people from various parts of the country. On that day in Peking, they formed the Red Guard organization of their school. After they returned to Shihchiachuang they rallied a large number of teachers and students in the city in making revolution. Growing up fast in the struggle, Wang Feng-wu became the head of the Red Guards of Shihchiachuang city. In 1968 when the city revolutionary committee was set up, he as a representative of the masses was elected its vice-chairman. In the past few years, he had been in charge of school graduates going to settle in the countryside and educational work in Shihchiachuang, and was once secretary of the city committee of the Communist Youth League. What he could never forget were the days when he worked in a factory as an ordinary labourer and when he went to the countryside to receive re-education from the poor and lower-middle peasants. He said: "If we young people do not integrate ourselves with the workers and peasants, we are not revolutionaries." This year he has been assigned to work in a people's commune on the city's outskirts where the situation is rather complex. He looks upon this as another good opportunity to temper himself.
   In Hulu County, the cadres and the masses are full of praise for the deputy secretary of the county Party committee Wang Hsiu-chih, a 27-year-old young woman. Some commended her for standing in the forefront of the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius and taking the lead in studying the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. She wrote more than 30 critical articles and boldly led the masses in smashing the class enemies’ sabotage activities. Others praised her for her initiative in leading the masses in emulating the Tachai Brigade, the national pace-setter in agriculture. Working hard in the winter-spring period for two years running, they built a reservoir with a storing capacity of one million cubic metres in a hilly area where water used to be scarce.
   Why is she, the daughter of a poor peasant, so capable? A middle-aged deputy secretary of the county Party committee told us: "It is because she has grown up in the great storms of class struggle.” She became a Red Guard shortly after the Great Cultural Revolution started. In 1968, she returned to her native village the day after Chairman Mao issued the great call "It is highly necessary for young people with education to go to the countryside to be reeducated by the poor and lower-middle peasants." Under the leadership of the Party organization in the village and relying on the poor and lower-middle peasants, she waged a resolute struggle against the landlords who, though overthrown, always attempted to stage a comeback and against the old and new bourgeois elements. Elected a cadre in 1971, she has often been sent by the Party organization to places where class struggle was complicated and conditions were hard. This gave her more opportunities to temper herself and become mature rapidly. Wang Hsiu-chih herself had this to say: "One walks faster carrying a load on a shoulder-pole than without it." She is now not only the deputy secretary of the county Party committee loved and respected by the masses but also a member on the standing committee of the prefectural Party committee.

Outstanding Workers and Peasants

   The Shihchiachuang Prefecture lays stress on selecting outstanding persons from among the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants and placing them in leading posts. It also attaches importance to training women cadres.
   Leading comrades on the prefectural Party committee are aware of the fact that, tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a large number of outstanding workers and peasants with a high level of consciousness in class struggle and the two-line struggle have emerged and that this is a rich source for selecting new cadres. Statistics show that 76 per cent of the new cadres selected in the past five years have come from among the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants.
   Our Party is the political party of the proletariat and its vanguard. Our country is a socialist state of the dictatorship of the proletariat led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The very nature of our Party and state determines that we stress the training of worker-peasant cadres. The revolutionary teacher Lenin pointed out long ago: "Among the rank-and-file workers and peasants there are very many people devoted to the interests of the working masses and capable of undertaking the work of leadership. Among them there are many with a talent for organization and administration. ... To discover these new, modest and unperceived talents is no easy matter." "But this difficult work has to be done, it must be done, so as to draw more deeply on the working class and the labouring peasantry for new forces.” (The Workers' State and Party Week.) Party organizations at all levels in the Shihchiachuang Prefecture have done much painstaking work in this respect. They have often solicited opinions and comments from the masses at the grass-roots level and made periodical investigation and examination of the work done by new cadres.
   Putting the stress on selecting outstanding persons from among the workers and peasants and placing them in leading posts is of importance to restricting bourgeois right and guarding "against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society." (Introduction by Frederick Engels to Karl Marx's The Civil War in France.) This has been borne out more and more clearly by practice.
   With respect to income, what they get after taking up leading posts is the same as or differs very little from that of the ordinary workers and peasants. A worker turned cadre, for instance, gets the same wage as before, and a new cadre who was previously a peasant receives no pay from the state but gels a share in distribution by the collective economy commensurate with the work-points he got in his former production team, together with a small amount of subsidy from the state each month.
   Speaking of the comrades newly elected from the grass-roots level to the Party Central Committee, Chairman Mao said during the Ninth Party Congress in 1969: "See to it that they do not divorce themselves from the masses or from productive labour while performing their duties." This principle of course applies to all young cadres from the rank and file. Many of the young cadres in the Shihchiachuang Prefecture maintain close ties with the masses and frequently take part in collective productive labour. Although their position has changed, they retain the fine qualities of the working people. Deputy director of the science and technology commission of the prefecture Liu Chien-ying is a 24-year-old village girl. Her successes in conducting research on the leaf miner, an insect pest on peas, have won commendations from the scientific circles. Since taking up her present post in 1973, she has often gone to the countryside to make investigations and direct research work while taking part in physical labour. As soon as she puts down her knapsack upon arrival, she goes to work in the fields. During the busy farming seasons, she takes two meals in the field just like the peasants do. She said: "I am like a young shoot and the masses are like the soil, only when I strike deep root among the masses can I better serve the people. Failure to be one with the workers and peasants after becoming a cadre means revisionism."
   Li Tseng-tseng, deputy secretary of the Pingshan county Party committee, has worked on the farms since he graduated from a primary school in 1954. Before he was transferred to the county Party committee, he had worked at one time or another as a bookkeeper in an agricultural producers' co-operative, secretary of a production brigade Party branch and secretary of a people's commune Party committee. For two years now, he has led a contingent of about ten thousand peasant-builders to cut a 104-kilometre-long trunk canal, a major project in the county which, when completed, will help boost farm output. We met him in Hsipaipo Village at the head of the canal. With a white towel tied round his head, typical of peasants in north China, he looked just like any other peasant-builder. He takes part in building the canal, and eats, lives and studies together with the peasants on the work-site, and is affectionately called the "secretary with mud on his feet."
   We talked with many young worker-peasant cadres who, untrammelled by conservative ideas, impressed us with their rich practical experiences, thirst for knowledge and high level of consciousness in class struggle and the two-line struggle. They are truly a new force in the ranks of cadres. Facts have forcefully repudiated the slander made by the arch unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party Teng Hsiao-ping against the three-in-one combination of the old, the middle-aged and the young in leading bodies. Socialist new things are invincible. Under the guidance of Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, these leading bodies at all levels will surely become more perfect and more vigorous and will play an increasingly big role in the socialist revolution and socialist construction.

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