1977 - To be a Marxist is to adhere to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought
Chairperson Mao Tsetung, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, has systematized the development of world revolution and has established fundamental theses that develop Marxism, and that we must bear in mind in order to orient ourselves in the understanding of the present international situation. In his great work, “On New Democracy,” he emphasized that with the First World War and with the October Revolution, history had entered a new era, “of the new world revolution: the proletarian socialist world revolution” and that, in consequence, “every revolution undertaken by a colony or semi- colony against imperialism, that is, against the bourgeoisie or international capitalism, will no more belong to the old category of world democratic bourgeois revolution, but to the new category.”
Thus, he conceived that the powerful revolutionary movement of colonies and semi-colonies was a part of the revolution that the international proletariat leads on a world level. He emphasized, after the Second World War, that the peoples of Latin America “are not submissive slaves of the U.S. imperialists,” that in the whole of Asia “a great national liberation movement” had come forth, and, calling the Asian countries to combat imperialism and the internal reactionaries, having as their goal the emancipation of the oppressed of Asia, he said, “We must take our destiny entirely into our own hands. We must extirpate from our ranks any idea which is an expression of weakness or impotence. Any point of view which overestimates the strength of the enemy and underestimates that of the people is wrong. . . . We live in a historical epoch in which capitalism and imperialism in the entire world hasten towards ruin, and socialism and democracy in the entire world march towards victory.”
Condensing the forthcoming struggle, he characterized the present epoch: “The next 50 to 100 years from now, more or less, will be a great epoch of radical change in the social system in the world, an epoch which will shake the Earth, an epoch with which no epoch before it will be able to compare itself. Living in an epoch like this, one must be ready to wage a great struggle whose forms will have many characteristics different from the past epochs.”
Analyzing this epoch of the proletarian revolution, Chairperson Mao Tsetung established his great thesis on the reactionaries: “All the reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.” In “Talk with Anna Louise Strong,” where the above quotation is found, analyzing the contradictions and the distribution of social forces, he also stated: “The United States and the Soviet Union are separated by a vast zone which includes many capitalist, colonial and semi- colonial countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Before the U.S. reactionaries have subjugated these countries, an attack on the Soviet Union is out of the question.” To these statements of 1946, the following of Chairperson Mao’s analyses on the contradictions among the imperialists themselves and between the imperialists and the oppressed nations and contending forces must be added: “Above all, the contradiction that has to do with the scramble among the imperialist countries and their dispute for the colonies stands out. What they are doing is to take as an excuse the contradictions that they have with us in order to cover up their own contradictions.” “In this conflict (the Suez Canal event) that is occurring there, two types of contradictions and three different forces converge. These two types of contradictions are: first, the inter-imperialist contradictions, that is, the contradictions between the United States and England and between the United States and France, and second, the ones that exist between the imperialist powers and the oppressed nations. Of the three forces involved, the first is the United States, which is the major imperialist power; the second is England and France, imperialist countries of a second order, and the third is the oppressed nations.”
In January of 1964, Chairperson Mao pronounced a declaration in support of the people of Panama; in it, after emphasizing that U.S. imperialism “has continued oppressing the peoples of Latin America, pillaging them and repressing in those countries the revolutionary national democratic struggle;” after denouncing that “it has converted . . . parts of Korea and Vietnam into its colonies, keeps Japan under its control and semi-military occupation. . . and intervenes and assaults other Asiatic countries;” after pointing out that in Africa, U.S. imperialism continues intensifying its neo-colonialist policy, “tries by all means to replace the old colonialists, loots and enslaves the peoples of Africa, undermines and suffocates the national liberation movements;” asking for vigilance against the Yankee’s . . . aggression and war “intends firmly to put into practice its policy of ‘peaceful evolution’ in the the socialist countries;” and that “even with their West European North American and Oceanian allies, the U.S. imperialists are applying the policy of ‘the law of the jungle,’ and constantly try to step on them;” he concludes calling: “the peoples of the countries of the socialist camp should unite; the peoples of the different countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America should unite; all the peoples of the different continents should unite; all the peace-loving countries and all the countries submitted to the aggression, control, intervention and humiliation of the United States should unite. All of them should form the widest united front of opposition to the U.S. imperialists’ policy of aggression and war, in order to safeguard world peace.”
In this way, he denounces U.S. imperialism, calling us to combat it. But the revisionists usurped power in the Soviet Union, restoring capitalism and converting it into a social- imperialist country, which, as such, extended its penetration, subversion, control and domination, contending with Yankee imperialism for world domination.
Focussing on the referred to intermediate zone, Chairperson Mao declaimed: “The Soviet Union is at present under a bourgeois dictatorship, a grand bourgeois dictatorship, a German fascist type dictatorship, a Hitlerian type dictatorship.” And calling for the struggle against the two superpowers, he put down the following important theses: “The United States is a paper tiger. You shouldn’t believe in it. It can be pierced by one stroke. The revisionist Soviet Union is also a paper tiger.” “Soviet revisionism and U.S. imperialism, entering into conspiracy themselves, have perpetrated so much wickedness and infamy that the revolutionary peoples of the whole world will not let them go unpunished. The people of all the countries are rising up. A new historical period of struggle against U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism has begun.” “Peoples of all the world, let us unite and oppose the war of aggression that any imperialism or social-imperialism might unleash; let us oppose especially a war of aggression in which atomic bombs are used as weapons. If such a war explodes, the peoples of the whole world must eliminate it with a revolutionary war, and we must get ready right now!”
So was fixed the period of struggle that has opened against the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and, within this perspective, reiterating the role of the peoples of the world, he made his famous statement in May 1970: “every time when the people of a small country dare to rise up in struggle, venture to grasp weapons and hold in their hands the destiny of their own country, they will unfailingly be able to defeat the aggression of a big country. This is a law of history.” Chairperson Mao Tsetung always gave a lot of attention to tactical principles. With regard to this, his work “On policy” is of the greatest importance; there he set down the fundamental policy: “In the relations with the different classes of the country, apply the fundamental policy of developing the progressive forces, win over the intermediate ones, and isolate the anticommunist die-hards;” to have a revolutionary dual policy against the die-hards, and in order to combat them apply: “In the struggle against the anticommunist die-hards, our policy is to make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one, and to wage struggle on just grounds, to our advantage, and with restraint.”
These criteria, first established for the struggle in China, are applicable to the struggle against the imperialists. In the year 1957, Chairperson Mao summed up the strategical and tactical ideas in the struggle against the enemy: “We have developed a concept over a long period for the struggle against the enemy, namely, strategically we should despise all our enemies, but tactically we should take them all seriously. In other words, with regard to the whole we must despise the enemy, but with regard to each specific problem we must take him/her seriously. If we do not despise him/her with regard to the whole, we shall commit opportunist errors. Marx and Engels were but two individuals, and yet in those early days they already declared that capitalism would be overthrown throughout the world. But with regard to specific problems and specific enemies, if we do not take them seriously, we shall commit adventurist errors. In war, battles can only be fought one by one and the enemy forces can only be destroyed one part at a time. Factories can only be built one by one. Peasants can only plough the land plot by plot.
The same is even true of eating a meal. Strategically, we take the eating of a meal lightly; we are sure to manage it. But when it comes to the actual eating, it must be done mouthful by mouthful. You cannot swallow an entire banquet at one gulp. This is called the piecemeal solution and is known in military writings as destroying the enemy forces one by one.”
Up to here we have the fundamental problems on the historical period in which we are living, the contradictions and the developing forces and the tactics, all substantive problems of strategy and tactics; but furthermore, Chairperson Mao Tsetung also devoted himself to sum up the experience of the socialist revolution, setting forth his great theory and practice of the continuation of the revolution under proletarian dictatorship.
He also found the adequate form of developing it through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In the beginnings and development of this great revolution he set down the following theses: “A great disorder under the heavens leads to a great order under the heavens, and the same happens all over again every seven or eight years. The monsters and demons will come out by themselves to the palaestra. As their own class nature determines it, they cannot behave otherwise.” “In the past we waged struggles in the rural areas, in the factories, in the cultural circles, and we carried out the movement of socialist education. Nevertheless, all this could not solve the problem, because we had not found a form, a means of mobilizing vast masses in an open way, in all areas and from below upwards, in order to expose our bad side.” “In fact, those elements with power, followers of the capitalist-road within the Party, who support the petty tyrants of bourgeois acadamies, and those representatives of the bourgeoisie infiltrated in the Party who protect these petty tyrants, are in fact big petty tyrants in the Party who do not read books or newspapers, who do not keep in touch with the masses or possess any knowledge, and who rely only on ‘acting in an arbitrary form and repressing the people with their authority,’ and usurp the name of the Party.”
“The bourgeois representatives who have infiltrated inside the Party, the government, the army and the different cultural sectors, are a group of counterrevolutionary revisionists who will seize power and will convert the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, if they have the chance. Some of these persons, we have already seen through; but not yet others. And in some of them we still trust and we prepare them to be our successors. For example, persons of the Khruschev type still dwell at our side.”
“The main target of the present movement are those elements with power, followers of the capitalist-road within the Party.” “What will you do if revisionism appears in the CC? This is very probable, this is the greatest danger. “The proletariat must exercise an all-embracing dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in the superstructure, including the different domains of culture.” “The present Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is completely necessary and very timely to consolidate the proletariat’s dictatorship, prevent the restoration of capitalism and build socialism.”
“The present Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is only the first one, and in the future undoubtedly there will be many more. In a revolution, the problem of who will defeat whom will only be solved in a long historical period. If things are not adequately solved, there will be a possibility in any moment for a capitalist restoration.” “It is just to rebel against the reactionaries.” “Proletarian revolutionaries, unite to snatch power from the handful of leaders inside the Party who are followers of the capitalist-road!” The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution hit the counterrevolutionary bourgeois headquarters headed by Liu Shaoqi, the Chinese Khruschev, whose deputy is Deng Xiaoping, “another top element with power following the capitalist-road within the Party;” and it also crushed the counterrevolutionary conspirator headquarters headed by Lin Biao.
Thus, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was developed in order to consolidate the proletariat’s dictatorship, to prevent the restoration of capitalism and to build socialism; and whose summation was made in the IX Congress of the CP China, which was a great landmark in the history of the CP China and the international communist movement.
The development of class struggle, in China, the struggle between capitalism and socialism, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and between Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Though and counterrevolutionary and capitulationist revisionism, was manifested in the great campaign of criticism against Confucius and Lin Biao, which discussed the problem of restoration and counterrevolution, the long process of consolidation of a power-holding class which implies preventing its reseizure by the reactionaries and the resultant restoration, and if power is lost, to strive for reconquering it, a problem which was raised in the beginnings of the debate against Khruschev-Brezhnev revisionism.
Later, the struggle centered on the decisive question and on the very essence of power, the problem of the proletarian dictatorship. Chairperson Mao said: “Why did Lenin talk about the need of exercising a dictatorship over the bourgeoisie? It is necessary to have this question clear. Lack of clarity with regard to this will lead to revisionism. All the nation must be made aware of it.” “In one word, China is a socialist country. Before Liberation it did not differ much from capitalism. Now it still practices a salary system of eight grades, distribution to each one according to his work, and exchange through money, all of which is hardly different from the old society. The difference lays in that the property system has changed.
“Our country now practices a commodities system, a salary system which is also unequal, like that of the eight grades, and things of that type. This, under the proletariat’s dictatorship, only can be restricted. Because of this, it will be very easy for persons like Lin Biao to set up a capitalist system if they climb to power. For this reason, we must study more Marxist-Leninist works.” “Lenin said: ‘Small size production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, every day, every hour, spontaneously and in big volumes.’
This also occurs with a part of the working class, and a part of Party members. Both among the proletarians and the officials of public enterprises, there are those who indulge in bourgeois lifestyle. “Lenin spoke about a bourgeois state without capitalists, built in order to protect the bourgeois law. We have ourselves built a state like that one, in which things do not differ much from those of the old society, because there is still a hierarchy — an eight grade salary system, a distribution according to work and the exchange of things of equal value still prevail.”
These theses and the former ones are, evidently, the continuation and development of the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism. Chairperson Mao Tsetung reiterates the standing of Marx’s and Lenin’s statements concerning the long revolutionary transformation of the old society; the need of the proletariat’s dictatorship and its strengthening, the unceasing class struggle within socialism and of its utmost sharpening in certain circumstances, the persistance of bourgeois right and its necessary restriction, the constant generation of capitalism and the bourgeoisie, and the possibility of the restoration of capitalism through climbing to power . . . He establishes, furthermore, the need of aiming against the capitalist-roaders within the Party, and of continuing the revolution under the proletariat’s dictatorship by means of the cultural revolution.
In January 1975, Deng Xiaoping became Vice-Chairperson of the Central Committee, which he had joined in the X Congress. In September the same year, the “unfolding of criticism against ‘On the Water’s Margin'” was called for. Chairperson Mao called for paying attention to capitulation, which is an essential issue in revisionism; he says:
“The merit of the narrative ‘On the Water’s Margin’ lays precisely in the description of capitulation. Serving as a teaching material in the negative sense, it helps the people to know the capitulationists.” “‘On the Water’s Margin’ opposes only the corrupt officials, but not the emperor. It excludes Chao Kai of the Hundred and Eight. Sung Chiang capitulates, practices revisionism, changes the name of Chu Yi Parlour, given by Chao Kai, into that of Chung Yi Parlour, and accepts the offer of amnesty and enrolment. The struggle between Sung Chiang and Kao Chiu is a struggle waged by a fraction against another among the landlord class.Sung Chiang capitulates and then goes to combat Fang La.” (Chao Kai: founder of the peasant rebel army, in the narrative; the 108: the rebel captains; Sung Chiang: a character who usurps the rebel army’s leadership; Chu Yi Parlour means to get together and to rise up in rebellion and so the rebel leader gave that name to the parlour where they met; Chung Yi Parlour means to profess loyalty to the emperor, an evil trick employed by the usurper).
Let us emphasize that capitulationism implies class capitulation before the bourgeoisie in the country, and capitulation of the nation before imperialism on an international level, and that capitulationism is revisionism. In these circumstances, the struggle is waged against the restorationist, anti-Cultural Revolution rightist wind.
In it Chairperson Mao states: “After the democratic revolution, the workers, the poor peasants and the low middle peasants have not stopped and want to make the revolution. Contrariwise, a part of the militants of the Party are reluctant to continue forward, and some have gone backwards and have placed themselves against the revolution. Why? Because they, as high officials that they have come to be, try to protect the interests of the high officials.”
“It so happens that the socialist revolution falls on their own heads, and in this way during the agricultural cooperativization there were already those in the Party who opposed it and when bourgeois right is criticized, their feeling is that of rejection. The socialist revolution is being carried ahead; however, it is not well understood where the bourgeoisie is. It is exactly in the Communist Party, the leaders following the capitalist-road in the Party. The capitalist-roaders still follow their road.”
“To revoke just verdicts goes against the will of the people.” “It is impossible to advance without struggle.” “Being 800 million people, can we do without struggle?!” “What is that about ‘take the three instructions as the key link point!’ Stability and unity do not mean renouncing the class struggle. Class struggle is the key link of the net and all the rest are mails.”
“This person does not persist in class struggle; he has never mentioned this key link. He still continues with his ‘white cat or black cat’ making no distinction between imperialism and Marxism.” In this way, the struggle centered against Deng Xiaoping, against him who, following the Chinese Khruschev, Liu Shaoqi, held the theory of the extinction of class struggle; against who, in 1956, in his report on the statutes’ modification in the VIII Congress of the CP China, held that classes were extinct, especially the bourgeoisie, that the socialist revolution had already fulfilled the greater part of its tasks, and they should not emphasize the class struggle, but the tasks of construction; against him who, in the same report, followed Liu Shaoqi’s theory of the masses in order to oppose Chairman Mao’s thesis on the Party; against him who upheld the Soviet Union’s XX Party Congress, in which Khruschev attacked the proletariat’s dictatorship camouflaging himself under the so-called struggle against the “cult of personality,” considering the congress of possessing “important merits,” precisely for him “one of the most important merits” is that “struggle against divinization” which he used to combat Chairperson Mao Tsetung.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’s campaign to counterattack the (revoking) revisionist wind centered against Deng Xiaoping. Against the tenacious defender of Peng Dehuai, the climber and conspirator military chief sanctioned in 1959 and defended by Liu Shaoqi and his reactionary headquarters; it aimed against Deng who, forming a gang with the Chinese Khruschev in the difficult years 1959-1961, attacked the three red banners: the general line, the great leap forward and the people’s commune.
Against him who advocated the increase of lands for private use, free markets, enterprises responsible for their own profits and losses, and agricultural production shares based on each family, unleashing a revisionist wind of individualistic agricultural labor. Against him who held: “Be it black or white, if a cat hunts mice, it is a good cat.”
This the Deng Xiaoping of the 1950s and 60s, “another leading element with power, capitalist-roader within the party” as he was typified, Liu Shaoqi’s lieutenant, who performed as secretary general and whom the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution overthrew. The struggle that Chairperson Mao led in order to counterattack the reactionary revisionist wind aimed at Deng Xiaoping, who since the 50s held a counterrevolutionary programme and who, like others, as soon as he returned to leading posts continued his old road unfolding anew an opposing programme based on “take the three instructions as the key point,” aiming at “conquer the ideological stand as a means to form public opinion,” “take into account first of all, the leading bodies,” in order to take hold of organizational positions, “they rectified in all aspects.”
It was a programme oriented at revoking the GPCR, usurping the leadership in order to promote restoration, undermining the proletariat’s dictatorship, divulging the extinction of class struggle and centering in the development of the productive forces. It was a programme that fought the GPCR imputing that it “injured” the “experienced cadres” and served to “overthrow” “good cadres of the Party,” typifying it as “ultraleftist” for combating the capitalist-roaders.
This struggle to counterstrike the revoking wind led to “Deng Xiaoping’s removal from all his posts inside and outside the Party,” a resolution taken “according to the proposal of the great leader Chairperson Mao Tsetung.” Chairperson Mao Tsetung’s decease, as the death of all the proletariat’s great leaders, has generated deep commotions and wide repercussions in China and in the world; and, in the conditions in which the struggle developed in China. It propitiated the circumstances for the rightists staging a coup d’etat, usurping the power of the proletariat’s dictatorship.
It helped them undermine the conquests of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and open the doors to capitalist restoration, to capitulation and to revisionism. Class struggle in China between revolution and counterrevolution, between Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and revisionism, between Chairperson Mao’s proletarian line and the revisionist bourgeois counterrevolutionary and capitulationist line, headed by Deng Xiaoping, has entered into crucial, complex and difficult moments; strange and surprising methods are resorted to in the dealing with problems and the struggle; important and vast changes in the leadership and in the organizations mainly of the Party, were produced; at the same time, the criticism campaign against Deng Xiaoping’s revisionist revoking wind is suspended; the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is openly questioned; capitulation is developed, especially national capitulation, and Deng’s counterrevolutionary programme is hoisted as a banner.
All this is nothing but a rightist coup in the sharp two-line struggle in the period of the continuation of the revolution taking advantage of the circumstances and the repercussions of Chairman Mao Tsetung’s death. The situation that arose in China is not an unimportant problem.
It is, on the contrary, a transcendant problem for revolutionaries and communists of the world and we all must give it a very special attention, because from the usurpation of power derives the general change of the line, both in the development of socialism and in the international policy. The key question of Marxism is the proletariat’s dictatorship; it is its essence, and a rightist coup and its usurpation is a problem of the utmost seriousness and importance; and it is not a question in China alone; it is a question for all communists since its repercussions have to do with world revolution.
The experience of restoration and of usurpation of power in the USSR are recent lessons that we cannot forget. Mariategui has taught us: “It is not possible to be uninterested in the destiny of a nation that occupies such a principal place in time and space. China weighs too much in human history for us not to be attracted by its deeds and men.” This great truth continues to be valid today more than ever for all communists and revolutionaries in the country.
But although the events in China, especially after Chairperson’s Mao Tsetung’s death move us to a just concern and to the duty of defending the banners of Marxism, precisely to be able to defend them let us guide ourselves by his own forecasts. “If the rightists carry forward an anti-communist coup d’etat in China, I am sure that it will not know peace either, and very probably its domination will be short-lived, because it will not be tolerated by any of the revolutionaries who represent the people’s interests, more than 90 percent of the population.
“Let it be in China or in other countries of the world, broadly speaking, more than ninety percent of the population will finally support Marxism-Leninism; many persons who, owing to the deceit of social-democracy, revisionism, imperialism and all the reactionaries, have not taken yet political consciousness. But in any way they will gradually wake up and will support Marxism-Leninism. The truth of Marxism-Leninism is irresistible. The masses will invariably rise up in revolution. The world revolution will inexorably triumph.”
(Bandera Roja Nos. 47/48, October 1977, redistributed in 1987 by the CP Peru)