Hold the Great Red Banner of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought Still
Higher, Bring the Mass Movement of Creatively Studying and
Applying Chairman Mao’s Works to a New Stage and Turn the
P.L.A. Into a Truly Great School of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 10, #3, Jan. 13,
1967, pp. 8-13. This article includes a very useful glossary of
terms at the end. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]
The New Year has arrived at a time when several hundred million people of our country are triumphantly marching forward along the road of the great proletarian cultural revolution charted by Chairman Mao.
We wish long, long life to Chairman Mao, our great teacher, great leader, great supreme commander, and great helmsman!
We salute the workers, members of the people’s communes, revolutionary students and teachers, and revolutionary intellectuals and revolutionary cadres of the whole country!
We salute the army’s cadres, fighters, and comrade administrative personnel and workers! We salute the troops which have been brave in fighting and the units manning the ramparts on our frontiers and islands! We salute the “four-good” companies and departments and the “five-good” fighters! We salute all those who have excelled in the study of Chairman Mao’s works! We salute the people’s militiamen and the Red Guards! We salute the comrades engaged in building up our national defense industries and doing scientific research work in our national defense! We extend our cordial greetings to the sick and wounded comrades, to the families of martyrs and those serving in the army, to the honoured armymen and the demobbed [demobilized] comrades!
China’s socialist revolution has been carried forward to a new stage by the unprecedented great proletarian cultural revolution launched and led by Chairman Mao himself and by the historically important Eleventh Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held under Chairman Mao’s personal guidance. Through intense class struggle, the great proletarian cultural revolution has already begun to win great victories. The situation is very good indeed. The great cultural revolution is rising to a new high tide as the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao synchronizes with the revolutionary fervor of the broad masses of the people. The bourgeois reactionary line has gone bankrupt, and the very small number of diehards who stubbornly cling to it are more and more isolated. The Red Guards, whose development has been swift, are growing into an earth-shaking, mighty army of the cultural revolution. Workers and peasants in their great numbers have taken positive action and have plunged themselves into this great cultural revolutionary movement. Extensive democracy under the dictatorship of the proletariat is flourishing. The scale of the movement is expanding, with the content of the struggle growing richer. The red current of the great cultural revolution is sweeping the whole country. A handful of people within the Party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road and ghosts and monsters are hemmed in and encompassed by an ocean of revolutionary people. All decadent and decaying ideas and all such superstructure not conforming to the socialist economic base are being demolished by the masses. The great and invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung with its powerful and resplendent radiance has fired and gripped all with a force and to an extent never known before. In the course of the revolution, this great spiritual force of Mao Tse-tung’s thought is turning further into a new tremendous material force.
In the year just past, our whole army, holding high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, has faithfully implemented the five-point principle, put forward by Comrade Lin Piao, for giving prominence to politics. It took an active part in the great proletarian cultural revolution and won great successes on both the ideological and material fronts. The mass movement of studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works in a creative way surged ahead, each wave higher than the preceding one. Giving prominence to politics was placed on a still more solid footing. Political and ideological work was more vigorous than ever. Many advanced collectives came to the fore as the “four-good” campaign took firmer foot. People of a new type animated by the spirit of communism, such as Lei Feng, Ouyang Hai, Wang Chieh, Mai Hsien-teh, Liu Ying-chun, and Tsai Yung-hsiang, were maturing in great numbers. There were impressive results in the revolutionization of people’s minds, which brought about a big impetus in all fields of work. The tasks set for fighting, training, construction, and production were done with flying colours. New successes crowned the work of building up the people’s militia. Playing its part as a working force to the full, our army popularized the thought of Mao Tse-tung extensively, took an active part in socialist construction, and rendered vast support to the masses in battling natural calamities. The third nuclear explosion, the guided missile nuclear weapon test, and the latest successful new nuclear explosion all signify a new level of scientific development in our national defense. Never have the national defense capabilities and the fighting strength of our army been as great as they are today.
Whatever our army has achieved is due to Chairman Mao’s brilliant leadership and the implementation of the directives of Comrade Lin Piao and the Military [Affairs] Commission of the Party’s Central Committee. It represents a shining victory for giving prominence to proletarian politics, a shining victory for the great proletarian cultural revolution, a shining victory for the great thought of Mao Tse-tung!
Chairman Mao has issued a call to us: The People’s Liberation Army should be a great school. Apart from combat duties, it should take up other work as well. It should learn politics, military affairs, and culture. It should hold itself ready to join in the struggle of the cultural revolution to criticize and repudiate the bourgeoisie. It should concurrently take up studies, engage in agriculture, run factories, and do mass work. In this way, our several million strong army can play a very great role indeed. These instructions of Chairman Mao’s further put forth a magnificent programme for building a proletarian people’s army. They are of great historic and strategic significance and will be a permanent guiding principle for our army-building. They concern not only the question of the proletariat’s army-building but also the general orientation of our socialist construction as a whole. The entire thinking underlying these instructions marks a new epoch-making development of Marxism-Leninism.
We must really turn our army into a great school of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, meet the new situation of the great proletarian cultural revolution, and the new situation in which the whole Party and the whole nation are studying Chairman Mao’s works in a big way. Therefore, in the months ahead we must hold higher than ever before the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and bring the mass movement of creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works to a new and higher stage, in accordance with Comrade Lin Piao’s directive. We must see to it that our minds become more revolutionized year by year, that our work is done better year by year. We should not rest on our oars or become complacent; we should be more modest and prudent, work harder, press ahead, sum up our new experience, and exert ourselves to new creative efforts. We must always preserve the glorious red flag of the proletariat intact, excel in our work, and prove equal to the expectations of Chairman Mao and the whole nation.
The general principle for the work of the whole army in 1967 is as follows: firmly apply the spirit of the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Party’s Eighth Central Committee, hold the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought still higher, unswervingly give prominence to politics, take an active part in and stand guard over the great proletarian cultural revolution, bring the mass movement of creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works to a new and higher stage, further strengthen the revolutionization of people’s minds, strive for more and better “four-good” companies, and turn our army into a truly great school of Mao Tse-tung’s thought.
One. Press on with the great proletarian cultural revolution and achieve still better
results and bring the mass movement of creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao’s
works to a new and higher stage. This is the foundation for the whole year’s work.
Chairman Mao teaches us to concern ourselves with the affairs of the state and carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.
The objective of this revolution is to eradicate the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and establish the new ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the proletariat; in a word, to establish the supremacy of Mao Tse-tung’s thought. This is a monumental ideological revolutionary movement in which the thought of Mao Tse-tung is used to educate and remould people. We must concern ourselves with the affairs of the state and never forget the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. We must resolutely carry out Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, thoroughly criticize and repudiate the bourgeois reactionary line, and liquidate its foul influence. We must be active in our participation and staunch in our defense of this cultural revolution and carry it through to the end, in accordance with the Decision of the Party’s Central Committee on the great proletarian cultural revolution and the related directives issued by the Party’s Central Committee and its Military [Affairs] Commission.
We must sail with the east wind of the great proletarian cultural revolution and bring the mass movement of studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works in a creative way to a new and higher stage.
Chairman Mao, the red sun in our hearts, is the greatest Marxist-Leninist, the most outstanding leader of the proletariat, and the greatest genius of our time. Mao Tse-tung’s thought is Marxism-Leninism at its highest level in the present era and the most powerful ideological weapon for fighting and defeating imperialism, modern revisionism, and all reactionaries. For the whole Party and the whole country, it is the guiding principle in all spheres of endeavor, the core, soul, and the foundation for our work of army-building. We should expound over and over again the great significance of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, propagandize his great revolutionary practice and the tremendous force generated by the revolutionary people as a result of their mastery of Mao Tse-tung’s thought. Various methods should be adopted for self-education among the masses to stimulate and strengthen still more their proletarian feeling for Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung’s thought and raise their understanding of the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works to new heights.
The study of Chairman Mao’s works must be grasped still more firmly and put on a still more solid footing in order to bring about a new order of things and raise it to a new level. We must do still better in mastering the method of studying with problems in mind, studying and applying creatively what one studies, combining study with practice, first studying what is urgently needed so as to get prompt results and putting great stress on practice. In the storm and stress of the class struggle and in the course of carrying out various tasks, serious and painstaking efforts must be made to learn the basic views and important articles contained in Chairman Mao’s works and the Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung. A higher degree of integration of study with practice is our aim. We must apply what is learnt, study again and again and apply again and again so that by making the biggest effort we can obtain a real grasp and mastery of Mao Tse-tung’s thought.
Comrades throughout the army should study the “three constantly read articles” in the same way as they study maxims, demolish the bourgeois concept of working for “self-interest,” promote the proletarian concept of devotion to “public interest,” and thoroughly transform their world outlook. They should also seriously and repeatedly study the Kutien Congress resolution, that is, the article “On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party.” This resolution, personally drafted by Chairman Mao, for the first time provided the most comprehensive, the most thorough and correct solution to the problem of orientation and line in our Party-building and army-building. It is in effect the programme of our Party-building and army-building. It holds good for all time and should also be studied as maxims. Comrades throughout the army should resolutely oppose all kinds of bourgeois ideas and the bourgeois reactionary line, establish a really firm world outlook, the communist world outlook of wholeheartedly serving the people of China and the world and firmly carry out and defend Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. They should all become conscious, revolutionary fighters of the proletariat armed with Mao Tse-tung’s thought and loyal to Chairman Mao for ever.
Party committees and leading cadres at all levels must take the lead. They must do this in studying Chairman Mao’s works, in following his teachings, in acting according to his instructions and become Chairman Mao’s worthy soldiers. They must go among the men and the masses, and study and apply Chairman Mao’s works along with the fighters and masses. Leading cadres must take the lead in baring their innermost thoughts and in struggling with their own egoism and set a good example in remoulding their thinking and in implementing and defending Chairman Mao’s correct line. This is the key to carrying the mass movement of creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works to a new and higher stage.
Two. Continue to make determined efforts in building up the
basic levels and produce more and better “four-good” companies.
Chairman Mao has always attached importance to doing a good job of building up the companies; he stresses that “soldiers are the foundation of an army.” The campaign to create “four-good” companies is conducted to put into effect the Resolution Concerning the Strengthening of Political and Ideological Work in the Armed Forces adopted by the Military [Affairs] Commission of the Party’s Central Committee at its Enlarged Session. It is a fundamental measure for strengthening the build-up of the companies, a revolutionary, socialist emulation campaign of immense vitality among collectives. We must make the companies fine schools of Mao Tse-tung’s thought through the sustained development and improvement of this “four-good” campaign.
We must attain these four things: good political and ideological work; a good “three-eight” working style; good military training; and a good arrangement of everyday life. The most important and fundamental thing of all, however, is to strive for good political and ideological work, and especially doing a good job of studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works creatively. Only when this is accomplished, resulting in the revolutionization of people’s minds, can other fields of work be really done well.
Following changes in the situation at home and abroad, especially the deepening of the great proletarian cultural revolution, the sharp, complex class struggle in society is reflected more and more within the army. We must firmly adhere to the “four firsts,” get a firm grasp of the living ideas of our men, and be good at applying Mao Tse-tung’s thought to tackle and solve all sorts of practical ideological problems.
In dealing with living ideas, we must successfully tackle the eight auxiliary aspects of political education, proceed with education by positive examples, and give plenty of publicity to fine people and fine deeds. We must adhere to materialist methods of work, timely sizing up of situations, paying attention to things in their embryonic stage, and employing different solutions to different cases. Methods of political work should be used for carrying out education in managing affairs, and here we should get to grips with men’s living ideas. We must carry out the mass line and launch an extensive mass campaign for comrades to help each other ideologically.
The Party branch of each company should keep a firm hold on the key link, namely, giving prominence to politics, and resolutely shape the company in accordance with Chairman Mao’s thought and line on army-building. It should strengthen collective leadership and conscientiously enforce democratic centralism. It should make a success of its work to admit new members into the Party and intensify Party education so that every Party member excels in the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works and in political and ideological work. A company can be doubly successful in its work if its Party branch provides strong leadership, if its cadres consciously give prominence to politics, and if it fully and boldly arouses the rank and file and develops democracy in the three main fields of work.
Party committees and leading organs at all levels should go right down to the grassroots level, to the companies, and constantly strengthen leadership in the “four-good” campaign. Together with the fighters, they should sum up from time to time the experience gained in the campaign and improve their style of leadership and methods of work. In particular, officers of regimental level must make a point of giving leadership in person.
Three. While performing our task as a fighting force, let us do well as a work
force and a production force, and develop the glorious people’s army tradition.
Chairman Mao has said that our army is always a fighting force and at the same time a work force and a production force. We must act in accordance with Chairman Mao’s instruction: while acquitting ourselves well as a fighting force, we must succeed as a work force and a production force. We must concurrently study, engage in agriculture, run factories, and do mass work and know how to turn our army into a great school of Mao Tse-tung’s thought which will train a new generation of the communist type capable of handling both military and civilian affairs and both industry and agriculture.
We must work vigorously among the masses, disseminate Mao Tse-tung’s thought at all times and in all places, and serve the masses well. We must do our part actively in the building of socialism and set an example in carrying out the Party’s policies and observing the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention. Every army unit must become a propaganda team and every comrade a propagandist in disseminating Mao Tse-tung’s thought.
We must take a long-term view of our construction work, make a success of our army’s agricultural and sideline production, and gradually set up some small and medium-sized factories.
We must continue with and carry forward our fine style of hard struggle, be diligent and frugal in our army-building, and enforce strict economy.
While carrying out our task as a work force and a production force, we must study and apply Chairman Mao’s works in a creative way; modestly learn from the local government and people, from the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants, from the Red Guards; and identify ourselves with the masses. We must press on with the ideological revolutionization of the troops and maintain the fine qualities worthy of the people’s army.
Four. Strengthen the revolutionization of all organizations and boldly promote
the really outstanding commanders and fighters to key posts of responsibility.
Chairman Mao has said: “In the final analysis, leadership involves two main responsibilities: to work out ideas, and to use cadres well,” and “cadres are a decisive factor, once the political line is determined.” On the question of organization, the most important thing is the kind of cadre line to follow and the kind of cadres to select and promote. This affects the question of whether or not our army will be in the hands of comrades truly loyal to Mao Tse-tung’s thought and whether or not the Party’s policy and line will be thoroughly carried out in the army. In accordance with the instruction given by Chairman Mao over a long period and the five requirements laid down for successors to the proletarian revolutionary cause put forward by Chairman Mao, Comrade Lin Piao, taking into consideration the actual conditions of our army, has put forth a three-point criterion for the training, selection, and promotion of cadres. They are:
1) to hold the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought on high and to be loyal to Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung’s thought;
2) to give prominence to proletarian politics and to keep close contact with the masses; and
3) to have revolutionary vigour and drive.
In judging, selecting, and promoting cadres we should pay attention to essentials and implement the Party’s class line. Of course, the lesser points must be taken note of, but the main thing is to judge by the essentials and see whether such cadres measure up to the three-point criterion.
Irrespective of army units, departments, academies, or schools, revolutionization of organizations must go hand in hand with revolutionization of people’s minds. The three-point criterion must be strictly observed in the training, selection, and promotion of cadres. Outstanding commanders and fighters who truly measure up to this must be boldly promoted to key posts of responsibility. This must be kept under the most careful review from the time of admitting new members to the Party and selecting and promoting cadres at the grassroots level. The academies and schools must introduce thorough teaching reforms and train students according to the three-point criterion.
Every one of our cadres must set strict requirements for himself in accordance with this criterion. Infinite loyalty to Chairman Mao and to Mao Tse-tung’s thought is required of each one. They must put unswerving faith in and reliance on the masses. Each one must have a correct attitude toward himself, and regard himself not only as part of the revolutionary forces but at the same time as a target of the revolution and make ceaseless efforts to remould himself. For the older comrades it is all the more essential to retain their proletarian revolutionary integrity in the autumn of their lives, so as to make still greater contributions to the revolutionary cause.
Five. Heighten vigilance, stand firm at battle
stations and strengthen war preparedness.
Chairman Mao teaches us that “the commanders and fighters of the entire Chinese People’s Liberation Army absolutely must not relax in the least their will to fight.” Acting in accordance with Chairman Mao’s instructions, we must heighten our revolutionary vigilance, stand firm at our battle stations, resolutely defend the security of our motherland, and ensure the smooth progress of the great proletarian cultural revolution.
We must do a really good job in our preparation to smash the war of aggression by U. S. imperialism and its accomplices. We must further study and grasp Chairman Mao’s thinking on people’s war. We must strengthen our education on the current situation and grapple with the living ideas of men that arise in war preparedness. We should bring into full play the “three-eight” working style, and especially the style of working intensively and getting things done quickly. We must use Chairman Mao’s works as the basic textbooks in our military training, strengthen our political and ideological work during training, train hard to master the technical skills that can stand any test and the tactics of close-range and night fighting, and we must also do well in our field training. We must set up our political and ideological work among the frontier guards, island garrisons, and among the units engaged in construction work.
We must do a good job in our militia and put it on a solid basis, organizational, political, and military. The task of helping to train the students and Red Guards of the middle schools and colleges should be accomplished as an important political task. Chairman Mao’s thinking on people’s war should be vigorously disseminated and established among the masses.
The situation as regards the world revolution is excellent today. More and more revolutionary people have come to know and master the powerful ideological weapon that is Mao Tse-tung’s thought. It has become their battle standard, the banner of victory. Imperialism, modern revisionism, and the reactionaries of all countries now find the going tougher with each passing day. U.S. imperialism, which has received crushing blows in Vietnam, is struggling desperately and trying to extend the war to China. The revisionist leading clique of the C.P.S.U., working in league with the U.S. imperialists and reactionaries of all countries, is stepping up its criminal activities against China. We must sharpen our vigilance a hundredfold and remain at all times prepared to smash any sudden attack by U.S. imperialism and its hangers-on! We must always remain ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Vietnamese people and crush the accursed U.S. aggressors! We must strive for the liberation of Taiwan and the defense of our motherland and exert efforts to furnish support to the revolutionary struggles of the world’s people!
Chairman Mao teaches us: “We must have faith in the masses and we must have faith in the Party. These are two cardinal principles.”
We must hold the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought higher than ever, rally closely around the Party’s Central Committee with Chairman Mao at the head, and resolutely carry out Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. We must put absolute faith in and reliance on the masses, arouse the masses, go among the masses, honestly learn from them, unite with them, and fight alongside them. Only thus can we successfully accomplish the glorious tasks given us and turn our army into a great school of Mao Tse-tung’s thought.
Let us turn our eyes to the future and march firmly forward under the radiance of the great thought of Mao Tse-tung!
1. The “four-firsts” are: First place must be given to man in handling the relationship between man and weapons; to political work in handling the relationship between political and other work; to ideological work in relation to routine tasks in political work; and, in ideological work, to the living ideas in a person’s mind, as distinguished from ideas in books. That is to say, first place to man, first place to political work, first place to ideological work, and first place to living ideas.
2. The “three-eight” working style: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army, under the leadership of the Communist Party and Chairman Mao, has fostered a fine tradition. This fine tradition is summed up by Chairman Mao in three phrases and eight additional characters, meaning firm, correct political orientation; a plain, hardworking style; flexibility in strategy and tactics; and unity, alertness, earnestness, and liveliness.
3. Chairman Mao laid down the following rules of discipline for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The Three Main Rules of Discipline are: a) Obey orders in all your actions; b) Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses; and c) Turn in everything captured. The Eight Points for Attention are: a) Speak politely; b) Pay fairly for what you buy; c) Return everything you borrow; d) Pay for anything you damage; e) Do not hit or swear at people; f) Do not damage crops; g) Do not take liberties with women; and h) Do not ill-treat captives.
4. The five-point principle of putting politics in command is: a) creatively study and apply Chairman Mao’s works and, in particular, make the utmost effort to apply them; regard Chairman Mao’s works as the highest instructions on all aspects of the work of the army; b) persist in the “four-firsts” and, in particular, make great efforts to grasp living ideas; c) leading cadres must go to the basic units, give energetic leadership to the campaign to produce “four-good” companies, guarantee that the basic units do their jobs effectively and at the same time that a good style of leadership by the cadres is fostered; d) boldly promote really outstanding commanders and fighters to key posts of responsibility; and e) train hard and master the finest techniques and close-range and night fighting tactics.
5. Democracy in the three main fields refers to the three aspects of democratic life in the People’s Liberation Army, namely, democracy in the political, economic, and military fields. With regard to political democracy, fighters are politically on an equal footing with cadres and are free to criticize and voice their opinions against them and to put forward proposals regarding work in the army. With regard to economic democracy, the economic committee elected by the company’s armymen meeting assists the company leadership in managing the company’s mess and production and supervises expenditures to guard against corruption and waste and any violation of policies. With regard to military democracy, in periods of training there must be mutual instruction between cadres and fighters and among the fighters themselves, and there must be a review of the results of the instruction and learning. In periods of fighting, the rank and file should be aroused to discuss how to fulfill combat tasks and at the end of an engagement to review the fighting.
6. “Four-good” companies are companies which are good in political and ideological work, in the “three-eight” working style, in military training, and in arranging their everyday life.
7. “Four-good” departments are departments which are good in political and ideological work, in the “three-eight” working style, in their specialized work, and in arranging their everyday life.
8. “Five-good” fighters are fighters who excel in political and ideological work, in the “three-eight” working style, in military technique, in fulfilling combat missions, and in keeping fit.
9. The five requirements for successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat are as follows:
They must be genuine Marxist-Leninists and not revisionists like Khrushchev wearing the cloak of Marxism-Leninism.
They must be revolutionaries who wholeheartedly serve the overwhelming majority of the people of China and the whole world, and must not be like Khrushchev who serves both the interests of the handful of members of the privileged bourgeois stratum in his own country and those of foreign imperialism and reaction.
They must be proletarian statesmen capable of uniting and working together with the overwhelming majority. Not only must they unite with those who agree with them, they must also be good at uniting with those who disagree and even with those who formerly opposed them and have since been proved wrong in practice. But they must especially watch out for careerists and conspirators like Khrushchev and prevent such bad elements from usurping the leadership of the Party and the state at any level.
They must be models in applying the Party’s democratic centralism, must master the method of leadership based on the principle of “from the masses, to the masses,” and must cultivate a democratic style and be good at listening to the masses. They must not be despotic like Khrushchev and violate the Party’s democratic centralism, make surprise attacks on comrades, or act arbitrarily and dictatorially.
They must be modest and prudent and guard against arrogance and impetuosity; they must be imbued with the spirit of self-criticism and have the courage to correct mistakes and shortcomings in their work. They must never cover up their errors like Khrushchev, and claim all the credit for themselves and shift all the blame on others.
([New Year’s Day Editorial of] “Jiefangjun Bao”
[“Liberation Army Daily”], 1 January 1967)
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