Continue the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to the End

Mao’s successor Hua Guofeng died today. While I think Hua made some errors, due principally to his inexperience, in the main I think he was a good Marxist-Leninist, of whom Mao Zedong said, “With you in charge, my heart is at ease.” A statement from the Communist Party of China said that Hua Guofeng was “an outstanding CPC member, a long-tested and loyal Communist fighter and a proletarian revolutionary.” I would like to honor Chairman Hua’s passing by posting here one of his most famous articles, from 1977. It was originally uploaded to the Marxists Internet Archive.

Continue the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to the End: A Study of Volume V of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetung

by Hua Guofeng

Our great leader and teacher Chairman Mao Tsetung was the founder of our Party, our army and our People’s Republic and the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our time. Chairman Mao led the Chinese revolution for the long period of more than half a century. Integrating the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution, he formulated for our Party the only correct line, principles and policies for each stage of the Chinese revolution. He inherited, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism in struggles against Right and “Left” opportunism of all descriptions. Summing up the experience of the revolutionary movement in China and the contemporary world revolutionary movement, Chairman Mao made outstanding contributions to Marxism-Leninism in the spheres of philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism, thus immensely enriching the treasure-house of Marxist-Leninist theory.

The course of the Chinese revolution has not been plain sailing, for in the course of the advance we have had to vanquish many enemies at home at abroad and both inside and outside the Party, overcome various erroneous tendencies within our ranks and solve many new problems that our predecessors never met with. The victories won by our Party during the democratic revolution and the socialist revolution should be all attributed to Chairman Mao’s leadership. History proves that the banner of Chairman Mao is a great banner under which the proletariat leads the people in the united struggle to victory.

During Chairman Mao’s lifetime, we united under his banner and fought victorious battles. Since he passed away, loyalty to his banner has become a guarantee for the victory of our revolutionary cause. All our comrades should fully understand this. We must always hold aloft and resolutely defend Chairman Mao’s banner so that our revolutionary cause, under the guidance of Mao Tsetung Thought, will continue to advance triumphantly along Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line.

Volume V of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetung is a record of victory and a scientific summing-up of the great struggles carried out in all fields by our Party under the leadership of Chairman Mao in the first eight years following the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Chairman Mao at all times took a very serious and prudent attitude towards the ideological and theoretical questions, and never allowed his Selected Worksto be compiled until his writings had been tested in practice for a period of time. In 1969, Chairman Mao delegated Comrades Chou En-lai and Keng Sheng to take charge of the compilation of Volume V of the Selected Works. Interference and sabotage by the revisionist line, however, prevented this volume from being published. This interference and sabotage came first from Lin Piao and Chen Po-ta and later in the past few years from the anti-Party “gang of four” of Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan. Around the time of Chairman Mao’s death, especially the “gang of four” did their utmost to seize leadership over the compilation and publication of Chairman Mao’s works, so as to hinder and sabotage the publication of Volume V and subsequent volumes. This was part of their scheme to tear down the great banner of Chairman Mao and to achieve their criminal aim of seizing Party and state leadership and restoring capitalism. The publication of Volume V of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetungis a victory won by our Party in smashing the anti-Party “gang of four.”

The fundamental concept running through this volume is to uphold and develop the Marxist principle of continued revolution and, upon seizure of power by the proletariat, switch over from the democratic revolution to the socialist revolution and carry it out under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

At the time of the victory of the democratic revolution China was extremely and backward in economy, with the proletariat accounting for only a tiny portion of the population and the peasants for more than 80 per cent. Was it possible for a big country in such circumstances to switch over immediately to the socialist revolution upon the victory of the democratic revolution? More than a few people, at home and abroad, inside our Party and outside, expressed their doubts or simply thought it impossible.

Marxism-Leninism holds that the completion of the democratic revolution opens the door to the socialist revolution. Applying this principle to the concrete conditions of China, Chairman Mao led our Party successfully making this change-over of the revolution.

On the eve of nation-wide victory, in his report to the Second Plenary Session of the Party’s Seventh Central Committee, Chairman Mao pointed out that the principle of contradiction in the country after nation-wide victory would be the “contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie.” That is to say, the revolution would pass on to the socialist revolution without interruption. This concept of Chairman Mao’s meant that the leadership of the proletariat, upon the day of bringing the democratic revolution to victory, should, without the slightest vacillation, develop into the state power led by the proletariat. That in fact is what happened. The people’s democratic dictatorship led by the proletariat thus established was in essence the dictatorship of the proletariat. By expropriating bureaucrat capital in the democratic revolution, the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the proletariat had from the very outset a state-owned economy which was in control of the lifelines of the national economy and was socialist in character.

After nation-wide victory under Chairman Mao’s leadership, our Party rehabilitated the national economy in three years and at the same time mobilized the masses to carry out the three great movements of land reform, suppression of counter-revolutionaries and resistance to U.S. aggression and aid to Korea. In areas where land reform had already been completed, immediate steps were taken to organize various forms of mutual aid and co-operation in production. Measures to introduce state capitalism started to be taken with regard to private capitalist industry and commerce. Chairman Mao led the struggle in 1952 against the “three evils” and the “five evils,”1 using the strength of the masses to deal crushing blows to illegal activities by the bourgeoisie – their refusal to accept leadership by the socialist economic sector and frantic sabotage of the socialist economy. This victorious struggle gave great impetus to the transformation aimed at bringing private capitalist industry and commerce into the orbit of state capitalism.

Thanks to the state power under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the leading position of the state-owned sector in the whole national economy, our Party began the socialist transformation of the means of production on a national scale after the completion of land reform. This meant, as Chairman Mao said, “destroying capitalist ownership, transforming it into socialist ownership by the whole people and destroying individual ownership, transforming it into socialist collective ownership.” The transformation of ownership was the central issue at that time for resolving the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie and between the socialist road and the capitalist road. Chairman Mao in good time formulated for our Party the general line for the transition period. That general line set the task of the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce while our country was being industrialized.

To implement this general line, Chairman Mao led the whole Party in waging a complex struggle against the bourgeoisie on the political and ideological fronts as well as the economic front. Criticism of idealism was an important aspect of this struggle against the bourgeoisie. Chairman Mao led the whole Party in waging incessant struggles against bourgeois ideas that had infiltrated the Party and overcoming the Right opportunism represented by Liu Shao-chi that departed form the general line. The chief manifestations of such opportunism were the advocacy of “firmly establishing the new-democratic social order,” refusal to effect the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce, abandoning leadership by the state economy, negating the necessity and possibility of unfolding the mutual aid and co-operation movement immediately after land reform, and permitting class polarization in the countryside. The essence of this Right opportunism was to halt the revolution and led China on the road to capitalism

With tremendous vigour, Chairman Mao led the socialist transformation of agriculture, swiftly guiding the 500 million peasants on to the socialist road – this is an event of enormous international significance. The socialist transformation of agriculture advanced the worker-peasant alliance based on land reform to one based upon socialism, thereby providing the dictatorship of the proletariat with a most powerful base. The transformation of capitalist industry and commerce into socialist state economy was brought through many transitional forms of state capitalism. Chairman Mao succinctly explained that the socialist transformation of agriculture and the socialist transformation of industry and commerce were interrelated and promoted each other, and he combined these two transformations skilfully in practice. With socialism in the commanding position in the countryside, the state controlled the raw material and market needed by the capitalists and isolated the bourgeoisie politically, thus making them submit to socialist transformation.

The socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production was a very profound change which was brought about through the sharp class struggle. Thanks to Chairman Mao’s correct leadership this change was effected swiftly, and in the process, no damage was done to the productive forces, agricultural production increased every year, industry and commerce advanced continuously, and the socialist state economy grew steadily. That accounted for our great success in national economic construction under the first Five-Year Plan, which started in 1953 – successes achieved alongside the basic completion of the transformation of the ownership of the means of production.

Chairman Mao led our Party in blazing a trail for establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and going on to the socialist revolution in an economically backward agricultural country, and for simultaneously carrying out socialist transformation and socialist construction. Much new experience was gained in the socialist transformation of agriculture and handicrafts and of capitalist industry and commerce. Chairman Mao‘s summing-up and generalization of all this experience are of great theoretical significance in the annals of the development of Marxism.

China completed in the main the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production in 1956. From then on, a new question confronted the Chinese revolution – whether contradictions, classes and class struggle still exist in socialist society, whether it remains necessary to continue the socialist revolution and how this revolution is to be carried on. This is also a question for which no correct answer has been found in the international communist movement for a long time.

No ready answers to this question could be found in the Marxist-Leninist works of the past. Marx and Engels founded the doctrine of scientific-socialism and the principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but they had no experience of the victory of the proletarian revolution and therefore such a question had never been posed for them in a concrete way. Lenin developed the Marxist thesis on the dictatorship of the proletariat in both theory and practice, pointing out that after the proletariat seizes political power, acute and complicated class struggle still exists as does the danger of capitalist restoration, and that it remains necessary to strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat. But Lenin died too early to see with his own eyes the completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production and it was impossible for him to answer the question clearly and definitively. Stalin was a great Marxist-Leninist. He inherited the cause of Lenin and led the Soviet people in achieving socialist industrialization and agricultural collectivization and winning victory in the anti-fascist war. In practice, he waged resolute struggles against various counter-revolutionary bourgeois representatives who had wormed their way into the Party. Yet, theoretically he did not acknowledge that after the collectivization of agriculture, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and between the socialist road and the capitalist road continued in the Soviet Union. For a long time, he did not look at socialist society from a materialist dialectical viewpoint of the unity of opposites, but saw it as an integrated whole where there is only identity, but no contradictions. Under the influence of this idea, there prevailed in the international communist movement for a long time the viewpoint which refused to recognize that class struggle continues between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie after the completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production, that such class struggle will manifest itself in the form of the struggle between two different lines within the Party, and that the danger of capitalist restoration remains. The bitter lesson of the usurpation of the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party and state and the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union by the Khrushchev renegade clique placed a serious task before Marxist-Leninists, the task of conscientiously summing up the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat and reconsidering the related questions.

Taking advantage of the moment when the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production was basically completed, Liu Shao-chi and Chen Po-ta, agents of the bourgeoisie inside our Party, again tried to halt the revolution. They said that the bourgeoisie had been eliminated and the question of which would win out, socialism or capitalism, had already been settled. They spread the theory of the dying out of the class struggle precisely for the purpose of writing off the socialist revolution. If the proletariat and its political party had accepted their viewpoint, the consequences could only have been the loss of the fruits of the revolution already reaped and China would have slid back on the road to capitalism.

In view of the erroneous ideas that existed in China and the world, Chairman Mao by applying Marxist dialectics in the dauntless spirit of a thoroughgoing materialist, summed up both the positive and negative experience at home and abroad, gave the first scientific answer in the history of the international communist movement to this question of cardinal importance relating to the historical destiny of the dictatorship of the proletariat and founded the great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. On the basis of this theory, Chairman Mao formulated in 1962, the Party’s basic line for the whole historical period of socialism. The practice of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which began in 1966 has augmented and enriched the theory. This theory is already advanced in Volume V of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, chiefly in the important writings of 1957 through 1957.

Chairman Mao clearly pointed out in 1957 that the class struggle by no means ends with the basic completion of the transformation of ownership because there were still remnants of the landlord and comprador classes, there was still a bourgeoisie, and the remoulding of the petty bourgeoisie had just started. “The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between various political forces, and the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the ideological field will still be long and torturous and at times even very sharp.” Chairman Mao also said: “Basically the socialist system has been established in our country. We have won basic victory in transforming the ownership of the means of production, but on the political and ideological fronts, we are farther from complete victory.” In the spring of 1957, the bourgeois Rightists took the opportunity of our Party’s rectification campaign to launch wild attacks on socialism, in the hope of overwhelming the proletariat politically and ideologically. Chairman Mao led the whole Party and the people of the entire country in beating back their attacks and a great victory was one on the political and ideological fronts in the socialist revolution. this struggle proved to the hilt the correctness of Chairman Mao’s thesis.

Chairman Mao persevered in applying the viewpoint of the unity of opposites of materialist dialectics to the study and analysis of socialist society. He pointed out: “Some say that contradictions can be ‘found’ in socialist society, but I think this is a wrong way of putting it. The point is not whether contradictions can be found but that it is full of contradictions.“ The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and between the socialist road and the capitalist road is the principal contradiction in socialist society. Having grasped this principal contradiction, Chairman Mao set forth the laws governing the development of socialist society and provided a firm basis for the theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Chairman Mao applied the Marxist tenets on the contradiction between the relations of production and the productive forces, the contradiction between the superstructure and the economic base, to socialist society and thus negated the metaphysical view that contradictions do not exist in socialist society and that there is no longer any need to make revolution. It often happens in socialist society that certain links in the relations of production do not keep up with the development of the productive forces and need to be changed; it also happens quite often that certain links in the superstructure not only fail to protect the socialist economic base but even harm it and need to be changed. In referring to the superiority of the socialist system, we do not mean that these fundamental contradictions universally present in human society have already disappeared; what we mean is that these contradictions can be resolved through continuous active intervention under the system of socialism.

These fundamental contradictions in socialist society are still class struggle in nature. The struggle between the two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and the struggle between the two roads, the socialist and the capitalist, exist in both the relations of production and the superstructure, therefore the danger of capitalist restoration exists. Chairman Mao said: “In China the struggle to consolidate the socialist system, the struggle to decide whether socialism of capitalism will prevail, will take a long historical period.” In order to keep improving and developing the socialist system and to prevent the restoration of capitalism, “It is necessary not only to bring about the socialist industrialization of the country and persevere in the socialist revolution on the economic front, but also to carry on constant and arduous socialist revolutionary struggles and socialist education on the political and ideological fronts. Moreover, various complimentary international conditions are required.”

Chairman Mao said:“Everything in society is an instance of the unity of opposites. Socialist society is also a unity of opposites; the unity of opposites exists both within the ranks of the people and between ourselves and our the enemy.” Chairman Mao divided the contradictions in socialist society into two types of contradictions differing in nature, those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people, and pointed out that they must be handled and resolved by different methods. This is a new Marxist-Leninist theoretical summing-up based on revolutionary practice both at home and abroad.

Both Marx and Lenin pointed out that throughout the transition period form capitalism to communism, there must be a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Basing himself on this principle, Chairman Mao repeatedly stressed the absolute necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of continuously strengthening it during the period of socialism. This is necessary because there are still contradictions between ourselves and the enemy inside the country, in addition to the need to defend the country from subversion and possible aggression by external enemies. Chairman Mao said: “In an era in which classes and class struggle still exist both at home and abroad, the working class and the masses who have seized state power must suppress the resistance to the revolution put up by all counter-revolutionary classes, groups and individuals, thwart their activities aimed at restoration and prohibit them from exploiting freedom of speech for counter-revolutionary purposes”

The dictatorship or the proletariat is dictatorship by the overwhelming majority of the people under the leadership of the proletariat over a very small handful of enemies, but this does not signify that there is only identity and no contradictions within the ranks of the people. Chairman Mao pointed out with ample evidence that there were many contradictions among the people. The contradiction between the socialist road and the capitalist road not only finds expression in the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy but in large measure in contradictions among the people. We use the method of dictatorship to resolve the contradiction between ourselves and the enemy; as for the contradictions among the people, we can only adopt the democratic method to resolve them, namely the method of persuasion, education, criticism and self-criticism. A correct method must be applied in handling among the people so as to ensure the daily strengthening of the unification and the unity within the ranks of the people.

Chairman Mao’s scientific analysis of the classes in Chinese society after the basic completion of the transformation of ownership is the basis for correctly distinguishing and handling contradictions among the people and those between ourselves and the enemy. as well as the basis for formulating the strategy and tactics in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Chairman Mao said: The socialist revolution “is a struggle waged by the working people under the leadership of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.”Basing himself on the experience of the anti-Rightist struggle in 1957, Chairman Mao pointed out that the people who favour socialism account for 90 per cent of the total population of the country while those who do not favour or oppose socialism make up 10 per cent, of whom 8 out of 10 may be won over through work so that the people who favour socialism may reach 98 per cent, and the die-hards who are absolutely opposed make up only 2 per cent. The working class is the leading class. Chairman Mao said: “The proletariat in China is small in number, some 10 million only, and it must rely on the several hundred million poor peasants, lower-middle peasants, city poor, poor handicraftsmen and revolutionary intellectuals in order to exercise dictatorship – otherwise it cannot.”Apart from uniting these reliable allies, the working class should win over and unite with the majority of the upper petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intellectuals and with those members of the national bourgeoisie who are willing to accept the socialist transformation, so as to isolate and hit the tiny handful of diehards who are dead set against socialism. Chairman Mao said: “Though small in number, the working class, and it alone, has a great future. The other classes are all classes in transition, through which they must go in the direction of the working class.” The working class should transform in its own image the peasantry and the urban petty bourgeoisie, eliminate the bourgeoisie and transform the bourgeois elements and bourgeois intellectuals; while transforming the objective world, the working class should constantly remould its own subjective world. These are the important long-term tasks in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The “gang of four” negated out right Chairman Mao’s scientific analysis of the classes in Chinese society, negated outright the class line for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and created confusion on two different types of contradictions – those among the people and those between ourselves and the enemy. They stood opposed to our Party’s “wholeheartedly relying on the working class” and relying on the poor and lower-middle peasants and our Partyߡs uniting with revolutionary intellectuals and other sections of the masses to the maximum possible extent. The “advanced elements” they relied on were none other than landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries and bad elements as well as old and new bourgeois elements. They stirred up bourgeois factionalism and created splits and provoked “all-round civil war” among the working class and the masses to serve their criminal aim of sabotaging the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and destroying the dictatorship of the proletariat. They are enemies of the people. The victory in the struggle to smash the “gang of four” proved once again the truth of Chairman Mao’s words “Firmly believe in the great majority of the people.”

Applying dialectics to the new task of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and proceeding from the principle that only by exposing contradictions can they be solved, Chairman Mao expounded the question of how to handle and resolve the various kinds of contradictions in socialist society and in socialist revolution and in socialist construction. Like Marx, Engels and Lenin, Chairman Mao was a great teacher in applying the dialectics to the practice of the proletarian revolution.

Since there are classes, class contradictions and class struggle in socialist society and since it is imperative to persist in the dictatorship of the proletariat, a political party of the proletariat is indispensable. That the class struggle in society is reflected in the Communist Party has been true ever since the founding of the Communist Party; it becomes a matter of an especially serious nature after the Communist Party comes to power. How to deal with the contradictions and struggle inside the Party is a question of major importance in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In the period of socialism, the enemy of the proletarian revolution exists not only outside the Party but within it. In 1954, Chairman Mao led our Party in smashing the anti-Party alliance of Kao Kang and Jao Shu-shih, which was bourgeois a headquarters. In summing up this struggle at that time, Chairman Mao said: “The emergence of the anti-Party alliance of Kao Kang and Jao Shu-shih was by no means accidental, but was an acute manifestation of the intense class struggle in our country at the present stage. The criminal aim of this anti-Party alliance was to split our Party and seize supreme power in the Party and the state by conspiratorial means, thus paving the way for a counter-revolutionary comeback.” In 1957 there were also some persons in the party whose political features were identical with those of the Rightists outside the Party, and these two groups echoed each other and mounted an attack on the Party. That is why Chairman Mao said that the big struggle against the Rightists was a struggle “with the battle ground both inside and outside the Party.”From then on, finding it increasingly difficult to subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat from the outside, the bourgeoisie pinned their hopes of restoration more and more on their agents who had sneaked into the Communist Party. Of course, the class struggle in society still goes on every day and every hour, and the two-line struggle within the Party remains a reflection, and a concentrated reflection at that, of the class struggle in society. The scientific concept of Party persons in power taking the capitalist road, put forward by Chairman Mao in 1965, clearly indicated that the chief of capitalist restoration comes from capitalist-roaders inside the Party. Generally speaking, the Great Proletarian Revolution has been a struggle waged by the proletariat and the revolutionary masses against the capitalist-roaders inside the Party who were represented by Liu Shao-chi, Lin Pao and the Wang-Chang-Chiang-Yao “gang of four.” This gang are typical representatives of the anti-Communist, anti-socialist bourgeoisie inside the Party and they had a thousand and one links with Chiang Kai-shek‘s Kuomintang. Like the contradictions between Liu Shao-chi and Lin Pao, the contradiction between our party and the “gang of four” is also one between ourselves and the enemy.

Chairman Mao taught us we must look at the proletarian party from a dialectical view-point. The Communist party of China is a great, glorious and correct Party and this must be affirmed. Still some counter-revolutionaries have disguised themselves and wormed their way into our Party, and some wavering elements inside the Party have been hit by the material and spiritual sugar-coated bullets of the bourgeoisie and have degenerated into agents of the bourgeoisie. This shows that class struggle is protracted, torturous and complicated. Chairman Mao said: “They are in the nature of things and will always happen.” The enemy inside a fortress is always dangerous. History proves that our Party has always been able to mobilize the masses, expose such elements completely and expel them from the Party.

Chairman Mao also taught us that it was a metaphysical, rather than a dialectical, approach to think that every member of the Communist Party must be a 100 per cent Marxist incapable of any error, or to think that we should “knock him down at one stroke” should he ever make a mistake. We must act in accordance with Chairman Mao’s teachings and carefully distinguish an erring revolutionary from a counter-revolutionary. That is to say, we must distinguish a contradiction among the people from a contradiction between ourselves and the enemy. What attitude should be taken towards a comrade who has erred? On this question, Chairman Mao’s starting point is: “For revolution, it is always better to have more people. Except for a few who cling to their mistakes and fail to mend their ways after repeated admonition, the majority of those who have erred can correct their mistakes.”Learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient is a policy Chairman Mao laid down during the rectification movement in Yenan, a policy which has long proved effective. In Volume V, Chairman Mao further elucidated this policy, pointing out that in regard to a comrade who had made mistakes we should not only observe, to see whether he wants to correct his mistakes, but should give him help, to help him correct his mistakes. Chairman Mao said: “It is passive just to observe; conditions must be created to help those who have erred to mend their ways. A clear distinction must be drawn between right and wrong, for inner-Party controversies over principle are a reflection inside the Party of class struggle in society, and no equivocation is to be tolerated. It is normal, in accordance with the merits of the case, to mete out appropriate and well-grounded criticism to comrades who have erred, and even to conduct necessary struggle against them; this is to help them correct mistakes. To deny them help and, what is worse, to gloat over their mistakes is sectarianism.”

Chairman Mao affirmed that the great majority of the cadres of our Party were good cadres whom the people needed. He said: “Our Party has millions of experienced cadres. Most of them are good cadres born and brought up in our native land, linked to the masses and tested in the course of long struggles. We have a whole body of cadres – those who joined the revolution in the period of the Northern Expedition, during the War of the Agrarian Revolution, the War of Resistance Against Japan, the War of Liberation and those who joined after the nation-wide liberation. They are all valuable assets to our country.”Wielding the cudgel of “opposing empiricism,” the “gang of four” tried to strike down all the cadres who had experienced long years of revolutionary struggles; they wanted to overthrow all the cadres who had stood the test of the new-democratic revolution and the socialist revolution by labelling them “democrats” and “capitalist-roaders.” The gang knew that, before they could smash the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people and destroy our Party, they must first of all eliminate this body of cadres of our Party, including those new cadres who had come to the fore during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and who had opposed the gang. Facts show that this body of Party cadres is indestructible and that they have proved to be an insurmountable barrier for the “gang of four” in carrying out their plot to usurp Party and state power and restore capitalism. Chairman Mao said: “With such cadres as ours who have been tested in different periods of the revolution, we are able to ‘sit tight in the fishing boat despite the rising wind and waves’ ”

By practicing revisionism, by creating splits and resorting to intrigues and conspiracies, the “gang of four” exerted a great disruptive and damaging influence on our Party ideologically, organizationally and in its style of work. Nevertheless, it must be noted that our Party has a fine revolutionary tradition. This tradition nurtured by Comrade Mao Tsetung Thought, was established under Chairman Mao’s leadership in the long years of revolutionary struggles and in the course of combating various wrong tendencies. It has taken root in the masses of our Party members and cadres and can withstand storm and stress. The disruption and sabotage by the “gang of four” was another great storm that tempered our Party. A bad thing can be turned into a good thing – this is a truth of dialectics which Chairman Mao repeatedly stated. Through exposure and criticism of the “gang of four,” and through Party consolidation and rectification, our Party can surely carry forward its tradition of combining theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses and practicing criticism and self-criticism, its tradition of democratic-centralism, its tradition of plain living and hard work. It will surely enhance its fighting power, and play a still more effective role in leading the socialist revolution and socialist construction.

Using the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to guide China’s socialist construction, Chairman Mao in 1958 formulated the general line of going all out, aiming high, and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism. The basic idea of this general line has been expounded in many of the writings that are included in the fifth volume, that is, in continuing the socialist revolution, to handle correctly all sorts of contradictions and relationships and to fully mobilize all positive forces so that socialist construction can develop with greater, faster, better and more economical results. Chairman Mao said: “We must do our best to mobilize all positive factors, both inside and outside the Party, both at home and abroad, both direct and indirect, and build China into a powerful socialist country.”

Revolution in both the superstructure and the relations of production is aimed at emancipating the productive forces and speeding up the development of production. We must build our economically and culturally backward country into a powerful one with modern agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology in keeping with the orientation of socialism and communism. Capitalism enabled many countries to industrialize. But as Chairman Mao said in discussing the road agriculture should take, “the capitalist road can also lead to increased production, but the time required would be longer and the course painful. ”Socialism is far superior to capitalism. It enables us to go faster than capitalism in a comparatively short period and surpass capitalism in labour productivity step by step. We must expand production as quickly as possible under socialism, because this is the only way to satisfy the people’s growing needs gradually, and keep broadening the material basis of the socialist system. The consolidation of socialism requires, among other conditions, a strong material basis. In order to safeguard the socialist system it is imperative to have a powerful national defence, which presupposes great economic strength. Without a high degree of industrialization of the country, it is impossible for socialism to win final victory over capitalism. Chairman Mao further pointed out: “The productive forces are the most revolutionary factor. When the productive forces have developed there is bound to be a revolution.” This is a Marxist principle applicable to any society. Under socialism, too, the growth of productive forces is bound to expose flaws in the economic and political systems and rouse the people to make changes. Take agriculture for instance. Chairman Mao long ago pointed out: “The social and technical transformation of the rural areas will proceed simutaneously.”The growth of agricultural co-operatives into people’s communes opened a broad road for mechanizing farming. Agriculture is of vital importance in our country’s economic construction. The development of our agriculture calls for carrying out the vast movement to learn from Tachai in agriculture and popularize Tachai-type counties throughout the country, for carrying out education in the Party’s basic line among the peasant masses, for criticizing revisionism and capitalism in a big way and for persisting in the socialist road while working energetically to mechanize farm work. The present three-level system of ownership of the means of production in the people’s commune, with ownership by the production team as the basic form, will in the future gradually be raised to fully collective ownership by the whole people. This is a process of constant transformation in the superstructure and in the relations of production, a process of achieving farm mechanization and industrializing the communes and the country, and a process of constantly raising the level of mechanization and industrialization. The “gang of four” styled themselves as being keen on the socialist system, but actually they gave support to the forces of capitalist restoration in town an d country. Every day they sabotaged the material basis of the socialist system and opposed the four modernizations. They are political swindlers who tried deliberately to subvert the socialist system and stood opposed to the socialist revolution.

Chairman Mao asked the cadres in all trades and professions to “strive to be proficient in technical and professional work, turn themselves into experts and become both red and expert.”Chairman Mao said: “Politics and professions form a unity of opposites, in which politics is predominate and primary, and we must fight against the tendency to ignore politics, but it won’t do to confine oneself to politics and have no technical or professional knowledge. What ever line our comrades are in, whether it is in industry, agriculture, commerce or culture and education, they should all acquire some technical and professional knowledge.” Chairman Mao demanded that the comrades in charge of departments at the central and local levels should “strive to become expert in in political and economic work, for which the prerequisite is a higher level of Marxism-Leninism. They must do well in both political and ideological work and in economic construction. As for the latter, we must really get to know how to do it.” The “gang of four” were against our improving professional skills for socialism. They opposed our learning technical skill and vocational knowledge because they opposed socialism. Chairman Mao said: “Some people are white, like the Rightists in the Party who are politically white and technically inexpert.” The “gang of four” went even further than these Rightists, they were ultra-Rightists.

It is impossible to build socialism and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat without mammoth contingents of working-class technical cadres and working-class intellectuals. Chairman Mao set the requirements for members of the Communist Party and the Youth League and the whole people that “everybody should study hard. Where ever possible they should strive to acquire technical skill and vocational knowledge and study Marxist theory, so that a new army of working-class intellectuals will be formed (including all the intellectuals from the old society who take a firm working-class stand after having been genuinely remoulded).” Chairman Mao added: “This is a great task history sets us. The revolutionary cause of the working class will not be fully consolidated until this vast new army of working-class intellectuals comes into being.”We must follow Chairman Maos teachings and, proceeding from the needs of the revolution, fully understand the great importance of this task and strive to fulfill it.

Volume V indicates that Chairman Mao always pondered deeply the question of how to bring the superiority of socialism into full play so as to develop China’s national construction at a faster pace and with better results. Chairman Mao said as early as 1954 that it would take roughly 50 years, or 10 five-year plans, for China to achieve industrialization and agricultural mechanization and become a great socialist state. Again, in 1956, Chairman Mao proposed to overtake the United States economically in 50 or 60 years. He said: “This is an obligation. You have such a big population, such a vast territory and such rich resources, and what is more, it has been said that you are building socialism, which is supposed to be superior; if after much ado for 50 or 60 years you are still unable to overtake the United States, what a sorry figure you will cut! You should be read off the face of the earth. Therefore, to overtake the United States, it is not only possible but obligatory. If we don’t we the Chinese nation will be letting the nations of the world down and we will not be making much of a contribution to mankind.” Could any Chinese remain unmoved and inactive when he or she reads these words of Chairman Mao’s, except the “gang of four” and the handful of landlords and bourgeois elements they represent that stubbornly oppose socialism?

Following Chairman Mao’s instructions, Comrade Chou En-lai submitted to the National People’s Congress sessions held in 1964 and 1975 a magnificent plan envisaging the building of our country by the end of the present century into a powerful socialist country with all-round modernization of agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology so that our national economy can rank among the most advanced in the world. Under the leadership of Chairman Mao, our Party and our people took more than 20 years to build our country independently and with the initiative in our own hands, and through self-reliance and hard struggle, into a socialist state with the beginnings of prosperity. We must work with stamina and diligence for another 20 – odd years to fulfill that magnificent plan.

Chairman Mao’s theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat is a powerful weapon with which to fight anti-Marxist revisionism at home and abroad.

Holding high the banner of Marxism-Leninism, Chairman Mao fought against modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist renegade clique at its centre and dealt it a smashing blow theoretically. This was one of the great exploits he performed. From the time of the writings in Volume V up to the present, a momentous change has taken place in the international communist movement, that is, the socialist camp no longer exists as a result of the denigration of the Soviet Union into social-imperialism through the betrayal of the Khrushchov and Brezhnev cliques. As early as 1956 Chairman Mao sharply pointed out that Khrushchov and company while having thrown away the “sword” of Stalin, had also thrown away the “sword” of Lenin by and large, thus discarding Leninism by and large. Confronted with frenzied attack by modern revisionists, Chairman Mao resolutely defended Stalin and safeguarded Marxism-Leninism. We must carry out Chairman Mao’s behests and carry the struggle against Soviet social-imperialism through to the end.

The Wang-Chang-Chiang-Yao anti-Party “gang of four” are vicious enemies of Chairman Mao’s great theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. They tampered with the Partys basic line and even lauded wilful sabotage against the socialist superstructure and relations of production and against socialist economic construction as “revolutionary”. They rallied a group of secret agents, renegades, counter-revolutionaries, hooligans and bad elements of various kinds who seriously disturbed social order. They call themselves “Leftists” and “revolutionaries” but directed the spearhead of their attack against the leading cadres at various levels and the revolutionary masses who persisted in the socialist road. They reversed the relationship between the enemy and the people, confused right and wrong and made trouble in order to usurp supreme Party and state power and replace the dictatorship of the proletariat with a fascist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. In the deep-going struggle to expose and criticize the “gang of four”, we must use Mao Tsetung Thought to strip off their “Leftist” mask and reveal their true features as ultra-Rightists.

Through revolutionary practice of more than 20 years and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in particular, Chairman Mao’s theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat has armed both our Party and the masses. With this powerful ideological weapon and the active support of the masses, our Party in good time smashed the plot of the “gang of four” to seize supreme Party and state power. As a result, the tragedy of a capitalist restoration that befell the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death was not repeated in our country. The smashing of the “gang of four” by our Party is a great application of Chairman Mao’s theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and is another great victory in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Chairman Mao formulated for our Party a clear-cut, well-defined and Marxist-Leninist correct line, i.e., the line for carrying the socialist revolution through until the end under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Chairman Mao taught us that we must never forget class struggle and that we should grasp class struggle as the key link and, step by step, do a good job of socialist revolution and socialist construction and build China into a great socialist country and go on to accomplish the transition form socialist to communist society. Chairman Moa wanted us to act in this way, and we should firmly do so.

At present the whole Party, the whole army and the people of various nationalities throughout the country must continue in a deep-going way the great political revolution to expose and criticize the “gang of four,” continue to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and implement correctly and in an all-round way Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line in the political, economic and cultural spheres, so as to bring about great order across the land. We must accelerate the revolutionization and modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, strengthen preparedness against war, maintain vigilance and be ready at all times to wipe out any enemy who dares to intrude. Together with our compatriots in Taiwan, we must make efforts to accomplish the sacred cause of liberating Taiwan and reunifying the motherland. We must expand the revolutionary united front which is led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance and which includes patriotic democratic parties and patriotic personages, so as to mobilize all positive factors to serve the cause of socialism. We must adhere to proletarian internationalism and, in line with Chairman Mao’s scientific analysis of the division into three worlds, do a good job of foreign affairs, unite with all the forces in the world that can be united and oppose the hegemony of the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. In the course of struggle and work, we must make an earnest study of Volume V of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetungand bring about a new upsurge in the study of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought so as to arm ourselves better ideologically.

Let us hold high the great banner of Chairman Mao and make further efforts to strengthen the great unity of the whole Party, the whole army and the people of various nationalities throughout the country and, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee, strive to overcome all hardships and difficulties on our way forward and win one new victory after another in the socialist revolution and socialist construction.

1. The “three evils” were corruption, waste and bureaucracy among government employees. The “five evils” were the capitalist practices of bribery of government employees, tax evasion, theft of state property, cheating on government contracts, and stealing economic information for speculation.

6 responses to “Continue the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to the End

  1. He seemed pretty hapless (or, not willing?) against Deng-style “market socialism” (revisionism) – personally I have more admiration for Zhang Chunqiao.

  2. I’m certainly no expert, but here are my personal and rather unsystematic thoughts on this issue.

    I think Hua was pretty clearly opposed to Deng’s line. This is put forward in his Mao Zedong Memorial Speech. There he said that the GPCR “triumphed over the counter-revolutionary revisionist line of Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping”. He goes on to say, “Internally, we must conscientiously study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, take class struggle as the key link, adhere to the basic line and policies of the Party for the entire historical period of socialism, persevere in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, consolidate the great unity of the people of all nationalities led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance, deepen the struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and repulse the right deviationist attempt to reverse correct verdicts, consolidate and develop the victories of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, combat and prevent revisionism, consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, maintain independence and keep the initiative in our own hands and rely on our own efforts, work to build our country into a powerful socialist state, and strive to make a greater contribution to humanity.”

    However, Hua lacked the experience to be able to struggle effectively against Deng Xiaoping on the question of the “right deviationist attempt to reverse correct verdicts”. The question of the reversal of correct verdicts means the reversal of the overall positive assement of the Cultural Revolution accompanied by an assault on Mao’s line of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. He probably took too mechanical of an approach. Deng Xiaoping then gave the talk criticizing the “two whatevers” (“The ‘Two Whatevers’ Do Not Accord With Marxism”) and used this as a jumping-off point to isolate Hua in the Party and move forward with his reform policy.

    As for Zhang Chunqiao, I’m of the opinion that he was just as much an ultra-leftist as Deng Xiaoping was a Rightist. Both of these deviations are harmful. Ultra-leftistist like him and the other members of the Gang of Four used the necessary struggle against the Right Revisionists in the Party to rally people around an ultra-left line. I think the article “China Advances on the Socialist Road” by the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters (in Red Papers 8) does well in looking at how this went down. Unfortunately and in much the same way, due largely to Hua’s inexperience and the lack of stability after the deaths of figures like Chairman Mao and Zhou Enlai, the necessary struggle against the ultra-left was used as springboard by the Right to rally its forces for a strong push, which leaves us where we are today (which I have already written plenty about in my post, Some Thoughts on Socialism in China).

  3. There are a lot of questions involved in this, none of which I can speak to at length here. Hua restored, in carbon-copy fashion, Soviet-style industrial development, which was riddled with contradictions in Russia, and worse in China. This made him an easy target for “market” socialism which claimed to solve the problems of the basic needs of the people. Essentially in this context there was no genuinely revolutionary line: Hua’s mechanical lopsidded development at the expense of the peasent masses, or Deng’s capitalism. Hua often echoed Zhou, but lacked his insightful moderation. This where the line of Zhang Chunqiao comes into play, especially noting his “On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie.” Ultra-leftist errrors charecterized the GPCR, certainly, but the GPCR must also be viewed as a sincere attempt of revolutionaries to prevent capitalist-resoration. To many in the Maoist tradition, it is visibly clear that this attempt failed.

    Zhang writes “Historical experience also teaches us that, as the dictatorship of the proletariat wins one victory after another, the bourgeoisie may pretend on the surface to accept this dictatorship while in reality it continues to work to restore the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This is exactly what Khrushchov and Brezhnev have done. They changed neither the name ‘Soviet,’ nor the name of the party of Lenin, nor the name ‘socialist republics.’ But, accepting these names and using them as a cover, they have gutted the dictatorship of the proletariat of its actual content and turned it into a dictatorship of the monopoly capitalist class that is anti- Soviet, opposed to the party of Lenin and opposed to the socialist republics. They put forward the revisionist programme of ‘the state of the whole people’ and ‘party of the entire people,’ which is an open betrayal of Marxism.”

    Does this apply to China today which remains on the surface a socialist character yet openly exploits millions of its own? I think it does.

  4. So then we are in agreement that the GPCR should be summed up as overall positive despite trends toward ultra-leftism during the the GPCR and Rightism following shortly after it. Certainly Hua Guofeng saw that is the case.

    By “Soviet-style industrial development” and “mechanical lopsidded development at the expense of the peasent masses” I assume you are talking about the relationship between agriculture and industry – what Mao called “walking on two legs”. Mao discussed this in his “Critique of Stalin’s Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR“. There he said, in reference to the differences between the PRC and the USSR, “They walk on one leg, we walk on two. They believe that technology decides everything, that cadres decide everything, speaking only of “expert,” never of “red,” only of the cadres, never of the masses. This is walking on one leg. As far as heavy industry goes, they have failed to find the primary contradiction, calling steel the foundation, machinery the heart and innards, coal the food. . . . For us steel is the mainstay, the primary contradiction in industry, while foodgrains are the mainstay in agriculture. Other things develop proportionally.”

    Does the line Hua put forward contradict this? I don’t know if I see it that way.

    Hua promoted the “Tachai-type” agricultural development that was pioneered by Chen Yonggui. See Hua Guofeng’s 1975 pamphlet, “Let the Whole Party Mobilize for a Vast Effort to Develop Agriculture and Build Tachai-Type Counties Throughout the Country”.

    In this document we are looking at in this post, “Continue the Revolution,” Hua writes:

    “Take agriculture for instance. Chairman Mao long ago pointed out: ‘The social and technical transformation of the rural areas will proceed simutaneously.’ The growth of agricultural co-operatives into people’s communes opened a broad road for mechanizing farming. Agriculture is of vital importance in our country’s economic construction. The development of our agriculture calls for carrying out the vast movement to learn from Tachai in agriculture and popularize Tachai-type counties throughout the country, for carrying out education in the Party’s basic line among the peasant masses, for criticizing revisionism and capitalism in a big way and for persisting in the socialist road while working energetically to mechanize farm work. The present three-level system of ownership of the means of production in the people’s commune, with ownership by the production team as the basic form, will in the future gradually be raised to fully collective ownership by the whole people. This is a process of constant transformation in the superstructure and in the relations of production, a process of achieving farm mechanization and industrializing the communes and the country, and a process of constantly raising the level of mechanization and industrialization”

    Hua adhered to democratic centralism in the Party, however, and despite his correct line some Rightist agricultural reforms were put into place and the Tachai (Dazhai) model was set aside.

    As for the Zhang Chunqiao quote, I think what it says about the Soviet Union is basically true (thought I think the USSR had a fundamentally socialist base until Gorbachav) but I think it problematic to apply that to China. I’ve already written about that, though.

    I would like to draw my readers attention to this post at the Good Morning, Revolution! blog: On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie. The posting of this artilce by Zhang Chunqiao is explained thus by GMR: “the recent death of Hua Goufeng – Mao’s successor in the role of Chairman of the Party – has resparked this very much had debate. Its a debate that is worth having again to defeat revisionism.” I hope people who are interested in this discussion keep an eye on the GMR blog as well. I hope to re-read that article and post my thoughts either here or there within a few days.

  5. A couple questions for clarification:

    What were “the four modernizations” that the Gang of Four opposed and Hua and the Party upheld?

    What is the general movement of “socialist modernization” in China from 1978 to the present — does it create new contradictions, antagonistic or not, resulting from an overall move to the Right (or to the Left)?

  6. To me it is contradictory to Mao Tse Tung’s political line to publish the speech of Hua Gofeng ,who represented the rightist forces within the Communist Party and paved the way for the victory of the Capitalist roaders.Infact the Gang of four,particularly Zhang Zinqhiao were the principal representatives of Mao’s line and inspite of mistakes played a serious role in the struggle against DengXiaoping and Lin Biao’s line.It was graet achievement to lead such a movement within a Socialist Society.The greatset achievements from post 1971 in the Cultural revolution took place under the gang of 4.We have to investigate how Dengist forces paved their way back into power and the weakness of the Maoist forces.It is the writings of Zhang Zunqchiao which should be published.

    In India only sections within the U.C.C.R.I.(M.L.) and the Massline group upheld the Socialist Roaders led by Chiang Ching and rejected Hua Gofeng as a Maoist.All the other factions upheld Hua Gofeng like the Peoples War group and recognized China as capiatlist only in 1981.Without upholding the Gang of 4 we are turning against Comrade Mao .Outstanding polemic analysis was made by Comrade Harbhajan Singh Sohi from India who infact split the U.C.C.R.I.(M.L.) on the grounds of Deng’s pernicious 3 worlds theory in ‘The Proletarian Path’.He superbly illustrated the revsionist nature of the Deng-Hua clique and the proletarian revolutionary contribution of Comrade Mao Tse Tung.He even made a critical analysis of the R.C.P,America and the Massline group in India who had a left sectarian approach.

    A very important factor is that now the term MaoTse Tung Thought has been replaced by Maoism.This is erroneous as this rejects the fact that the present era is is that of Imperialism and proletarian revolution propounded by Lenin in his thesis.Remember even in the G.P.C.R.period the ideology was termed as Mao Tse Tung Thought.THe use of ‘Maoism”implies that a new era has replaced Leninsm.True Comrade Mao innovated a theory of ‘Continuous Revolution under the dictatorship of the Proletariat ‘but it was based on the foundations of Leninism and not a seperate ideology in itself.It was development of Leninism by initaiting astruggle within a Socialist Society.
    An important factor to be studied was the reason for the rise of Lin Biao in the late 1960’s and the great personality cult created around Comrade Mao.Perhaps also we need to study the vaccilations of the C.C.P. on the question of ‘imperialism heading for a collapse ‘ in the late 1960’s and the raeson for the proletrain headquartesr being defeated.

    Today forces like the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement reject the important polemics of Lenin,Stalin and Mao and aharshly critical of Com.Stalin.Their trend does not defend the cutting edge of the Leninist party.

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