A Quotation From Chairman Mao Tse-tung
You should put politics in command, go to the masses and be one with them and carry on the great proletarian cultural revolution even better.
Seize New Victories
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #51, Dec. 16,
1966, pp. 5-7. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]
GUIDED by the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the massive movement of the great proletarian cultural revolution has smashed through the obstacles put up by the bourgeois reactionary line, is going deeper and developing on an even broader scale. An important feature of the current situation is that the broad masses of revolutionary workers have risen to throw themselves into the movement of the great proletarian cultural revolution and a new stage in the integration of revolutionary students and the masses of workers is now starting.
The revolutionary masses have seen through the bourgeois reactionary line which aims to oppose the proletarian revolutionary line of the Central Committee of the Party headed by Chairman Mao. Some comrades who implemented the wrong line are correcting their mistakes and returning to the correct line. The very small number of persons who stubbornly cling to the bourgeois reactionary line are becoming more and more isolated. The ranks of the revolutionary Left have grown and developed greatly and reached a much higher level of understanding.
The revolutionary masses are sweeping away all sorts of obstacles in their path and striding forward along the road of the great proletarian cultural revolution opened by Chairman Mao himself.
The handful of persons in the Party who are in power and are taking the capitalist road and the extremely small number of persons who stubbornly cling to the bourgeois reactionary line are not reconciled to defeat. They have made a wrong assessment of the situation. They are playing new tricks and trying in new ways to deceive the masses and continue to oppose the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao. Because the revolutionary masses are firmly opposed to the bourgeois reactionary line, certain persons with ulterior motives make use of the slogan of “opposing the bourgeois reactionary line” to deceive and confuse the people; they are in fact attacking the revolutionary Left and bombarding the proletarian headquarters. Because the revolutionary masses resolutely oppose the bombardment of the proletarian headquarters, some persons with ulterior motives make use of the slogan of “opposing the bombardment of the proletarian headquarters” to oppose and suppress the revolutionary masses, and prevent the masses from criticizing and repudiating the bourgeois reactionary line.
Whether they are genuinely criticizing and repudiating the bourgeois reactionary line or just pretending to do so should be judged by their deeds. Some people who have committed errors of line have not made sincere and public self-criticisms and are unwilling to reverse the verdicts passed on those of the revolutionary masses whom they branded “counterrevolutionaries” and “anti-Party elements” in the course of the cultural revolution. Using both threats and deception against the masses, they continue to organize those of the masses whom they have hoodwinked to attack the revolutionary Left. They turn right into wrong and vainly try to saddle proletarian revolutionaries with the crime of taking the bourgeois reactionary line, so as to protect themselves and protect persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road. These are people who, as Lu Hsun said, “use the great banner as a tiger-skin to cover themselves and intimidate other people.”
Our Party will never permit anyone to attack the revolutionary masses and bombard the proletarian headquarters under the pretext of “opposing the bourgeois reactionary line.”
What is meant by the proletarian headquarters? It means those that resolutely support Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung’s thought, resolutely carry out the correct line in the great proletarian cultural revolution represented by Chairman Mao, resolutely support the 16-point decision concerning the great proletarian cultural revolution, and resolutely oppose counterrevolutionary revisionism and the bourgeois reactionary line.
Against what target the spearhead of struggle is directed is a cardinal matter of right and wrong. It is a principled question of Marxism-Leninism, of Mao Tse-tung’s thought. To direct the spearhead of struggle against the revolutionary Left instead of the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road, to deceive and hoodwink part of the masses to protect oneself, and to incite the masses to struggle against each other — this is a typical manifestation of the bourgeois reactionary line. No matter under what form it is done — whether work-teams were sent or not or whether they were sent and later withdrawn — adopting this reactionary line and reactionary policy means committing the error of the bourgeois reactionary line. It is not a matter of the form of the work-team, but of what line and policy are taken. In some units, work-teams were not sent, and the original leading personnel remained in charge, but nevertheless they committed this error, whereas some of the work-teams, who followed the correct line and policy of Chairman Mao, did not.
How can we call those headquarters which oppress the masses headquarters of the proletariat? Why can’t we “bombard” such headquarters?
Our Party can never allow anyone to make the revolutionary masses the target of attack or suppress the revolution under the pretext of “opposing bombardment of the proletarian headquarters.”
At the present time one of the characteristics of the handful of persons within the Party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road as well as the very few persons who stubbornly cling to the bourgeois reactionary line, is that they act behind the scenes — manipulating those mass organizations of the students and workers hoodwinked by them, sowing discord, creating factions, provoking conflicts in which force or coercion is used and even resorting to various kinds of illegal means against the revolutionary masses. They themselves “sit on top of the mountain to watch the tigers fight.” They vainly attempt to use these means to destroy the great proletarian cultural revolution.
In doing these things, they think they are wise, but in fact they are most stupid. There is no doubt that they are lifting a rock to crush their own toes. In the course of the great proletarian cultural revolution, those of the masses who have been for a time hoodwinked by them are sure to awaken and expose and oppose them. The vast majority of the masses are always fine and they always support the Party and Chairman Mao. Once those of the masses who have been temporarily hoodwinked recognize the true face of the handful of the persons who intrigue and scheme and who oppose the great proletarian cultural revolution, they will immediately discard them and move over to the side of the correct line of the Party’s Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao.
Chairman Mao has taught us that the struggle should be conducted by reasoning, not by coercion or force. We must follow Chairman Mao’s teachings and act resolutely according to this instruction. It is one of the most important policies in the great proletarian cultural revolution that the struggle should be conducted by reasoning and not by coercion or force. This policy is in the interests of the proletariat and the revolutionary masses. Only by insisting on struggle by reasoning, on resolutely opposing those bad people who provoke conflicts in which force or coercion is used among the masses, can extensive democracy under the proletarian dictatorship be carried surely into effect. Only so can there be an assurance of normal progress of the free airing of views, big-character posters and great debates; only so can the democratic rights of the masses of the people be protected.
A handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road and a very small number of persons who stubbornly cling to the bourgeois reactionary line deliberately create incidents and stir up conflicts in which force or coercion is used. In doing this, they aim to undermine the democratic rights of the masses in a vain attempt to sabotage the dictatorship of the proletariat and torpedo the great proletarian cultural revolution. The revolutionary masses and revolutionary organizations must all heighten their vigilance to avoid falling into these traps. When opinions differ, they should discuss matters by presenting the facts and reasoning things out and, under the great banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, and on the basis of the 16-point decision concerning the cultural revolution, unite in a concerted effort to carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.
Those comrades who committed errors of line in the previous stage of the revolution must conscientiously correct their mistakes, draw a sharp line of distinction between themselves and the erroneous line and return to the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao.
To correct their mistakes conscientiously, they must do the following:
Firstly, make a sincere and honest self-criticism before the masses;
Secondly, truly reverse the verdicts passed on those of the revolutionary masses who have been branded “counter-revolutionaries,” “anti-Party elements,” “pseudo-Leftists but genuine Rightists,” “self-seeking careerists,” etc., because of their criticism of the leadership, and rehabilitate them;
Thirdly, do political and ideological work among those of the masses and cadres who have been hoodwinked by the erroneous line, shoulder the responsibility themselves and not shift the blame on to the masses or their subordinates, help them enhance their understanding with their personal account of how they made the mistakes, and unite with the broad masses;
Fourthly, go to the masses, learn from them, be their pupils and join them in criticizing and repudiating the bourgeois reactionary line and eradicating the evil effects left by that line;
Fifthly, implement in deeds and not just in words the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao, firmly support the revolutionary Left, rely on the broad masses and strike resolute blows against the handful of persons in the Party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road.
We believe the broad revolutionary masses are reasonable and will give due consideration to the facts. If only those comrades who committed errors of line in the past do the things mentioned above, they will be exonerated by the revolutionary masses and regain the confidence of the masses. Once they do so, they will regain the initiative and do their work in the great proletarian cultural revolution, as well as their other work, well.
Should they fail to do so and continue along the erroneous line, their downfall is inevitable.
Six months have elapsed since the large-scale unfolding of the proletarian cultural revolution in our country. Tremendous successes have been achieved and rich experience has been gained in those six months, and every revolutionary can learn a lot from this. Lenin has said: “During a revolution, millions and tens of millions of people learn in a week more than they do in a year of ordinary, somnolent life. For at the time of a sharp turn in the life of an entire people it becomes particularly clear what aims the various classes of the people are pursuing, what strength they possess, and what methods they use.” We must take Chairman Mao’s correct line as our guide, and class struggle as the key link, and apply the method of class analysis to study phenomena of all kinds, analyse the tendencies of the various classes in the current great cultural revolution, and see what methods they use.
Proletarian revolutionaries should do still better in their creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s writings, strengthen and improve the nucleus of leadership, and further improve their art of struggle. They should investigate and study more, grasp policies, pay attention to methods of work, be good at bringing out the facts and reasoning, and consulting those people who hold different views, discussing problems with them, and uniting with the broad masses. They should welcome the correction of their errors by those comrades who have committed errors of line. Only in this way will we be able to expose and isolate to the maximum the handful of people in authority who are taking the capitalist road, organize the mighty army of the proletarian cultural revolution, seize new victories and fulfil the great historic task entrusted to us by Chairman Mao.
(“Hongqi” editorial, No. 15, 1966.)
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