On the Revolutionary "Three-in-One" Combination
On the Revolutionary "Three-in-One" Combination
On the Revolutionary "Three-in-One" Combination
On the Revolutionary "Three-in-One" Combination
Chairman Mao has pointed out that in those places and organisations where power needs to be seized, the policy of the revolutionary "three-in-one" combination must be carried out in establishing a provisional organ of power that is revolutionary and representative and has proletarian authority. This organ of power should preferably be called a revolutionary committee.
This policy is the political and organisational guarantee for the victory of the proletarian revolutionaries in their struggle to seize power. The proletarian revolutionaries should understand this policy correctly and implement it correctly.
The revolutionary "three-in-one" provisional organ of power should be formed by leaders of revolutionary mass organisations that truly represent the broad masses, the representatives of the People's Liberation Army units stationed in the area and revolutionary leading cadres. None of these three bodies can be excluded. It is wrong to overlook or underestimate the role of any one of them.
As a result of the vigorous mass movement of the great proletarian cultural revolution during the past half year and more, the masses have been fully mobilised, and large numbers of up-and-coming representatives of the revolutionary masses have emerged. The revolutionary masses are the base of the proletarian revolutionaries' seizure of power from the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road. They are the base of the revolutionary "three-in-one" provisional organ of power.
True proletarian revolutionaries and up-and-coming representatives of the revolutionary masses have performed immortal exploits in the great proletarian cultural revolution. They are the new rising forces nurtured by Mao Tse-tung's thought and they embody the general orientation of the revolution.
This struggle to seize power from the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road is a mass movement from below under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party headed by Chairman Mao. In the revolutionary "three-in-one" provisional organ of power, it is imperative to give full play to the role of leaders of the revolutionary mass organisations and to take full account of their opinions, and never regard them simply as secondary, because they are representatives of the broad revolutionary masses. If their role is not recognised or if it is underrated, in effect, the revolutionary masses as well as the great proletarian cultural revolution are negated. If they are excluded or regarded as secondary, it is impossible to establish a provisional organ of power that is revolutionary, representative and has proletarian authority; it is impossible to have a revolutionary "three-in-one" combination.
In all great revolutionary mass movements, it is scarcely avoidable having shortcomings and making mistakes. It is necessary to see clearly the essence, the mainstream and the general orientation of the revolution. In this great proletarian cultural revolution, the shortcomings and errors of the leaders of revolutionary mass organisations who truly represent the masses are a question of one finger among ten, and a problem that arises in the course of progress. As proletarian revolutionaries, we should recognize that their general orientation is correct, that they have many strong points and we should learn from them modestly. As for their shortcomings and errors, we should warm-heartedly, patiently and painstakingly help them. It should also be noted that many revolutionary mass organisations have pointed out themselves the wrong tendencies existing in their own organisations and have proposed ways of correcting them as a result of their creative study and application of Chairman Mao's works. Such revolutionary consciousness and initiative is praise-worthy. It is precisely the revolutionary masses themselves who have proposed eliminating self-interest in their own thinking while seizing power from the handful of persons in the Party who were in authority and taking the capitalist road.
In the final analysis, the question of one's attitude towards leaders of revolutionary mass organisations that truly represent the masses taking part in the "three-in-one" provisional organ of power is a question of one's attitude towards the masses, towards the mass movement itself. It is also an important indication of whether the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao can be carried out or not. We must at all times remember Chairman Mao's teachings: "The masses are the real heroes," "the masses have boundless creative power," "the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history." If alienated from the revolutionary masses, it is certain that no organisation or individual is able to carry out the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao.
The vigorous mass movement of the great proletarian cultural revolution of more than the last half year has been a severe test for the ranks of our cadres. The handful of persons in the Party who were in authority and taking the capitalist road has been exposed. At the same time, the majority of our cadres have proved to be good or comparatively good. The concept of excluding and overthrowing all cadres is absolutely wrong. It is necessary to point out that the masses are not to be blamed for this. To exclude and overthrow all cadres indiscriminately is the view advocated by those several people who put forth the bourgeois reactionary line, and this was precisely what they did. The poisonous influence has not been wiped out of the minds of certain comrades, and therefore they have, to a certain extent, committed similar mistakes without being conscious of them.
In every place, department, enterprise and unit there are great numbers of revolutionary cadres. This is also true even for some places or departments where those in authority taking the capitalist road have been entrenched, but the revolutionary cadres there were suppressed over a long period. We must be aware of this.
The role of the revolutionary cadres in participating in the "three-in-one" provisional organ of power must be given full consideration. They should and can play the role of nucleus and backbone of the organ. Of course, they can do this only by integrating themselves with the masses and by following the mass line in work.
Provided those cadres who made mistakes criticise their own mistakes and correct them, draw a clear-cut demarcation line between themselves and the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road, between themselves and the bourgeois reactionary line, and really stand on the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao, they should be united with in accordance with the principle of "early or late, all who make revolution merit equal treatment," proper jobs should be arranged for them and many of them can be allowed to participate in the provisional organ of power.
However, those who persist in their mistakes, and who do not draw a clear-cut demarcation line between themselves and the people in authority taking the capitalist road, between themselves and the bourgeois reactionary line must not be imposed on the masses and arbitrarily pushed into the "three-in-one" provisional organ or power. Otherwise, this would not be the revolutionary "three-in-one" combination, to say nothing of the seizure of power from the handful of persons in the party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road; a new reversal would occur and those in authority taking the capitalist road who had been overthrown might even regain power.
We must be vigilant against those who distort the principle of revolutionary "three-in-one" combination and, on the pretext of forming "three-in-one" combination, carry out eclecticism, conciliation and the combining of two into one, and furthermore, in a hundred and one ways, pull in the persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road. This is trying to fish in troubled waters, usurp the fruits of the great proletarian cultural revolution and carry out counter-revolutionary restoration. All revolutionary masses and all revolutionary cadres must resolutely resist, oppose and smash the conspiracy of the class enemy.
The great People's Liberation Army is the mainstay of the dictatorship of the proletarian. Chairman Mao's call on the People's Liberation Army to actively support the masses of revolutionary Left is a matter of great strategic significance.
Experience proves that participation by representatives of locally stationed People's Liberation Army units in the revolutionary "three-in-one" provisional organ of power has played an extremely important role in successfully accomplishing the task in the struggle to seize power.
With the participation of cadres of the People's Liberation Army in the "three-in-one" provisional organ of power and with the support of the P.L.A., the forces of the local proletarian revolutionaries will become still stronger. The class enemy fears the People's Liberation Army and the revolutionary "three-in-one" combination in which P.L.A. cadres take part the most. They try by every means to manufacture rumours and fabricate stories in a vain attempt to sow dissension between the revolutionary masses and the People's Liberation Army, and to incite those among the masses who do not know the truth to direct the spearhead of their struggle against the People's Liberation Army. Such class enemy intrigues must be fully exposed and firmly smashed.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army is an extremely revolutionised army of the proletariat, unmatched in the world. Chairman Mao Tse-tung has said: "The sole purpose of this army is to stand firmly with the Chinese people and to serve them wholeheartedly." It is precisely because of this that all revolutionary mass organisations and revolutionary masses have faith in the People's Liberation Army and warmly support the participation by representatives of the local army units in the revolutionary "three-in-one" provisional organ of power. At various levels, in those departments where power must be seized, representatives of the armed forces or of the militia should take part in forming the "three-in-one" combination. This should be done in factories and rural areas, in financial, trading, cultural and educational departments (universities, middle schools and primary schools), in Party and government organisations and in people's organisations.
Representatives of the armed forces should be sent to the county level or higher and representatives of the militia should be sent to the commune level or lower. This is very good. If representatives of the armed forces are not sufficient, their posts can be left vacant for the time being and filled in the future.
The attitude towards the People's Liberation Army is actually the attitude towards the dictatorship of the proletariat and it is an important criterion for distinguishing whether a person is of the genuine revolutionary Left or not.
In certain places, some comrades in the local army units may commit temporary mistakes in giving their support because of the intricate and complex conditions of the class struggle. When such problems occur, the genuine revolutionary Left should explain, with good intentions and in the proper way, the conditions and state their views to the leading members of the army units. They should absolutely not adopt an openly antagonistic attitude and still less should they direct the spearhead of their struggle against the People's Liberation Army. Otherwise, they will commit gross mistakes and do things which sadden our friends and gladden our enemies, and they will be used by the class enemy.
The People's Liberation Army has made important contributions in supporting the proletarian revolutionaries in their struggle to seize power. All commanders and fighters must follow Chairman Mao's teachings, closely rely on the broad revolutionary masses, learn from them modestly, be their students before acting as their teachers, be good at discussing matters with them, and carry on deep-going and careful investigations among them. In doing so, they will be able to give the proletarian revolutionaries very powerful support in their struggle to seize power and bring still closer ties between the Army and the people and, on their part, the army units will get new tempering and improve in the course of the struggle.
The "three-in-one" provisional organ of power must be revolutionary, representative and have proletarian authority. This organ of power must resolutely carry out the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao and firmly oppose the bourgeois reactionary line. It must not be "combining two into one" or electic. Only thus, can this organ be representative and speak for the broad revolutionary masses and revolutionary cadres. Only thus, can it have proletarian authority, exercise powerful centralised leadership on the basis of the most extensive democracy, impose effective dictatorship on the class enemy, and smash every kind of scheme for counter-revolutionary restoration on the part of the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road and the ghosts and monsters in society.
A big question now confronting the people of the whole country is whether to carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end, or to abandon it half-way. All revolutionary comrades must keep a cool head and not get confused. "With power and to spare we must pursue the tottering foe and not ape Hsiang Yu the conqueror seeking idle fame." At present we should especially keep this teaching of Chairman Mao's in mine.
(Hongqi, No. 5, 1967, translated in Peking Review, No. 12, March 17, 1967. Transcribed by
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