Source: Peking Review, No. 11, March 10, 1967
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org
REVOLUTIONARY pupils and teachers of primary and secondary schools have contributed a great deal to the great proletarian cultural revolution. At the present time, the great cultural revolution is entering into a new stage, in which the proletarian revolutionaries are forming an alliance to seize power from a handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road. At this crucial moment when the two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, are engaged in a decisive battle, the glorious task confronting the revolutionary pupils and teachers of primary and secondary schools is to respond to the call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party to re-open classes and make revolution, and carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end. Now is the time for the revolutionary pupils and teachers to return to their schools and to seize for the proletariat the positions in the primary and secondary schools.
Primary and secondary schools (including secondary specialized schools, part-work part-study and part-farm Work part-study schools) constitute an important battle-front of the great proletarian cultural revolution and an important battlefield on which the proletariat and the bourgeoisie struggle to win over the younger generation. Chairman Mao has said that: "the period of schooling must be shortened, education must be revolutionized, and the domination of our schools by bourgeois intellectuals must not be allowed to continue any longer." Revolutionary pupils and teachers of primary and secondary schools must resolutely carry out the great task set out by Chairman Mao. carry the great proletarian cultural revolution in primary and secondary schools through to the end, thoroughly reform the old system of education and temper themselves in the acute and complex class struggle, so as to make themselves successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat and good pupils of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.
In re-opening classes and making revolution, it is Imperative to grasp firmly the struggle between the two lines as the key link. The re-opening of classes to make revolution must be recognized as a class struggle on the educational front. The bourgeois reactionary line must be thoroughly criticized and repudiated. If this is not done, or if this matter is not taken seriously, the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao cannot be implemented and the great task assigned us by the great leader Chairman Mao cannot be properly accomplished, that is, the task of struggle [to struggle against and overthrow those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road], criticism and repudiation [of the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes], and transformation [of education, literature and art and all other parts of the superstructure not in correspondence with the socialist economic base].
To re-open classes and make revolution means to open classes in Mao Tse-tung's thought and in the great proletarian cultural revolution. The lessons will consist mainly of the conscientious study of Chairman Mao's works and of quotations from his writings, of documents relating to the great proletarian cultural revolution and the criticism and repudiation of bourgeois teaching materials and methods — all being linked with the great proletarian cultural revolution. Meanwhile, in secondary schools necessary time should be devoted to revising some of the work previously done in mathematics, physics, foreign languages and basic general knowledge of various kinds, and, in primary schools, to learning some arithmetic and general scientific knowledge.
In the past, in certain schools struggles among the masses caused by implementation of the bourgeois reactionary line led to estrangement and antagonism among pupils, between pupils and teachers and among teachers. Bourgeois ideological influences such as individualism, the urge to be always in the limelight, anarchism, the "small group" mentality and ultra-democracy can also be found within the ranks of the proletarian revolutionaries. All this hinders the proletarian revolutionaries from forming a great alliance and carrying on the struggle [the struggle against and overthrow of those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road], criticism and repudiation [of the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes] and transformation [of education, literature and art and all other parts of the superstructure not in correspondence with the socialist economic base] Revolutionary pupils and teachers in primary and secondary schools must see the situation clearly; they must study and apply Chairman Mao's writings creatively in the course of the struggle, thoroughly criticize and repudiate the bourgeois reactionary line, eliminate all kinds of non-proletarian ideas, rectify their own ideology and style of work, check up on their organizations, and bring about the great alliance of the proletarian revolutionaries. On the basis of the great alliance of the proletarian revolutionaries, cultural revolution committees are to be democratically elected by the revolutionary pupils, revolutionary teachers, administrative and ancillary staff and revolutionary leading cadres. These committees will be responsible for leading the cultural revolution movement in the schools and for making concrete arrangements for the operation of classes.
In the course of the great proletarian cultural revolution, the revolutionary pupils and teachers in primary and secondary schools must firmly adhere to the general orientation of the struggle, the main target of which is a handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and inking the capitalist road. All must see to it that the spearhead of struggle is never directed against the pupils. With the exception of a very few ringleaders and criminals who must be punished according to law, the policy of winning over and education should be followed even with regard to those pupils who had joined reactionary organizations. They should be allowed to make revolution and they should not be discriminated against provided they admit their errors. Those landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists (referring to people who themselves belong to one of the five categories but not to people who only have this kind of family origin) among teachers, administrative and ancillary staff who cling to their reactionary stand and refuse to reform themselves must be cleaned out from the schools. But it must be realized that the great majority of teachers and cadres in primary and secondary schools are good or comparatively good. We should not exclude and overthrow them all indiscriminately. Towards those who have committed errors, Chairman Mao's policy of "learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient" should be applied. They should be actively helped to remedy their errors and return to the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao. Differences of opinion among the masses should be properly resolved by the method of presenting the facts and reasoning things out. We must uphold struggle by reasoning and not struggle by coercion or force. Those revolutionary pupils and revolutionary teachers, administrative and ancillary staff who were branded "counter-revolutionaries," "pseudo-Leftists but genuine Rightists." or "little ghosts and monsters" at the beginning of the great cultural revolution must be conscientiously rehabilitated. We must make a strict distinction between the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people, unite with the great majority and thoroughly isolate the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road.
In re-opening classes and making revolution. Chairman Mao's instruction to "practise economy in carrying out revolution" must be followed conscientiously. State properly must be treated with care and must be protected; extravagance and waste must be resolutely opposed.
The re-opening of classes to make revolution in primary and secondary schools is a new test for the revolutionary pupils and teachers. All revolutionary pupils, teachers and administrative and ancillary staff must get rid of all selfish ideas, ignore personal considerations and shoulder the glorious task of re-opening classes and making revolution.
Young revolutionary fighters of primary and secondary schools! Our great leader Chairman Mao has said: 'The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you." "The world belongs to you. China's future belongs to you." You have contributed a great deal to the unprecedented, great proletarian cultural revolution. You should now respond to the Party Central Committee's great call to re-open classes and make revolution, raise high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, continue your triumphant march and win new victories!
("Renmin Ribao" editorial, March 7.)