[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #52, Dec. 24, 1971, pp. 13-16.]
CHINA’S Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has ferreted out a handful of renegades, enemy agents and absolutely unrepentant capitalist roaders represented by Liu Shao-chi, smashed their plot to usurp Party and state leadership and restore capitalism and thus greatly strengthened and consolidated the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is a great victory for Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line.
The Communique of the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Central Committee of the Party points out: It is imperative to continue to “deepen revolutionary mass criticism and eliminate the remnant pernicious influence of Liu Shao-chi’s counter-revolutionary revisionist line.” To meet the needs of the imperialists and the Kuomintang reactionaries, he and other renegades turned traitor to the Party and succumbed to the enemy. Later they sneaked into the Party and collaborated with each other to usurp Party leadership. They also tried to work out a collection of extremely reactionary renegade philosophy to cover up their counter-revolutionary crimes and realize their counter-revolutionary ambitions. Deep-going criticism of their renegade philosophy is of primary importance in further strengthening the building of our Party and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The proletarian revolution is aimed at thoroughly eliminating all exploiting classes. It goes deeper than any previous revolution in history and involves sharper and more intense struggles. Numerous heroes and heroines who are not afraid of hardship or death have come forward in the course of the great revolutionary struggle led by our Party. Victories in our revolution were won at the cost of the blood and lives of many revolutionary martyrs. But as the revolution rolled ahead, there was also such debris of history as Liu Shao-chi and company.
Panic-stricken in the face of the enemy’s white terror, Liu Shao-chi fled from Shanghai to Hunan after the “May 30” movement in 1925. Arrested by the enemy, he shamelessly accepted their conditions, surrendered to them and betrayed the revolution. In 1936, he instigated a bunch of renegades under detention in the “Peiping Militarymen’s Branch Reformatory Prison” to publish open “anti-Communist statements,” thus giving in to the Kuomintang and betraying the Communist Party.
At every critical moment of the revolution, Liu Shao-chi defected and surrendered to the enemy. He instigated a handful of cronies to betray the Party. He babbled that he had done so in order to “meet the needs of work.” This line of action is not required by revolutionary work but by counter-revolutionary work. What the enemy fears most are unyielding Communist Party members and what he “needs” most are shameless renegades. The enemy can use renegades to “find the clue” to undermine Party organizations; he can use them to publish “anti-Communist statements” so as to lower the Party’s prestige among the people and sap their revolutionary will. In betraying the Party, Liu Shao-chi and company tried to sabotage the revolution from within so as to meet the enemy’s counter-revolutionary “needs” in opposing communism and the people.
Nineteen-thirty-six was the year before the outbreak of the full-scale war of aggression by Japanese imperialism against China. At this crucial juncture when the fate of the Chinese nation was at stake, Chairman Mao led the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army in smashing the Kuomintang’s counter-revolutionary encirclement, pursuit, obstruction and interception and carrying out the world-known 25,000-li Long March. After triumphantly arriving at the anti-Japanese forefront in the northwest, he led the entire people in a large-scale movement to resist Japanese aggression and save the nation.
In the face of the Japanese aggressors’ attack, the Kuomintang reactionaries adopted a policy of opposing communism and-selling out the nation, trying desperately to eliminate the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army led by the Chinese Communist Party. The most urgent demand of the revolutionary situation at that time was that every Party member show his enthusiasm, be far-sighted, have the spirit of self-sacrifice and resolutely fight the Kuomintang. Many Communist Party members heroically laid down their lives. Chairman Mao pointed out: “By its arduous struggles and by the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of its heroic members and tens of thousands of its heroic cadres, the Communist Party of China has played a great educative role among hundreds of millions of people throughout the country.” The historical experience of the eight years of the War of Resistance Against Japan especially proved that without the heroic struggle and the martyrdom of the Chinese Communist Party members and without the Chinese Communist Party as the mainstay of the Chinese people, victory in the war would have been impossible.
Liu Shao-chi and his gang went so far as to blurt out that their betrayal was for the purpose of “preserving revolutionary strength.” This was deceitful. It is only natural that revolutionary strength should be preserved but not by bowing and surrendering to the enemy. He and his cronies surrendered to the enemy and betrayed the Party organizations. As a result, many Communist Party members were killed in cold blood and revolutionary strength was greatly weakened. It is indeed the height of impudence to describe this as “preserving revolutionary strength.”
After his defection, Liu Shao-chi on many occasions gave the enemy information, wrecking underground Party organizations. It is all the more deceitful to talk about this as a “false confession” to the enemy. Some renegades signed their “confessions,” went through a “procedure to indicate their intention to turn over a new leaf” and published “anti-Communist statements” viciously maligning the revolution in the enemy press. This was clearly a downright betrayal, but was misrepresented as a “false confession.” With a guilty conscience, one renegade said “Such terms as confession and betrayal should be used as seldom as possible and better not call it a confession if possible because a confession is discrediting.” They had thus unwittingly let the cat out of the bag.
It is likewise deceptive nonsense to describe confessing to the enemy as being for the purpose of “coping with the enemy.” There is no doubt that proletarians and Communists should learn to grasp all forms of struggle against the enemy. But at no time should they be allowed to lose the Party stand or trade in revolutionary principle with the enemy under the pretext of “coping with the enemy.” So-called “coping with the enemy” babbled about by Liu Shao-chi and company actually means meeting the enemy’s needs and a tactic they used to carry out counter-revolutionary sabotage within the Party. The renegade philosophy they spread is out-and-out anti-Conununist philosophy.
Liu Shao-chi’s criminal aim in instigating his gang to betray the Party, making up all kinds of lies and energetically spreading their renegade philosophy was plotting to usurp Party leadership and undermine proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In 1936 Liu Shao-chi incited his crew of renegades to crawl out from the enemy prisons. Immediately afterwards, he recruited them as his confidants and entrusted them with important tasks. Moved to tears of gratitude, this bunch were bent on working for him. For long years, they frenziedly pushed an organizational line to serve their counter-revolutionary political line, recruited deserters and turncoats and set up cliques for their own selfish interests and carried out conspiratorial activities to usurp Party leadership, thus committing unforgivable crimes against the Party and the people.
To cover up their renegade features and create public opinion for usurping Party leadership, in 1937 they worked out a so-called “decision,” openly declaring that those released from prison after having written their voluntary anti-Communist statements and fulfilled all formalities for making confessions with the permission of the Party organizations could regain their membership. This was a vain attempt to whitewash their crimes of betraying the Party under the pretext of having obtained the permission of the Party organizations.
Our Party is a vigorous vanguard organization leading the proletariat and the revolutionary masses in the fight against the class enemy. It has a clear-cut programme for struggle and a lofty goal. In his The Tasks of the Chinese Communist Party in the Period of Resistance to Japan, Chairman Mao pointed out: “Communists will never abandon their ideal of socialism and communism.” Communist Party members are ready at all times to give their all for the cause. Our Party organizations will never allow their members to make confessions, nor allow renegades to worm their way into the Party. At no time and under no circumstances should one relinquish the stand of the Party and abandon Party principles to meet the enemy’s needs because this can only disintegrate the revolutionary ranks, harm the interests of the revolution and lead to its failure. For Liu Shao-chi and company to advocate betrayal of the Party with the “permission of the Party organizations” is itself a betrayal of the Party’s Marxist-Leninist principles and a complete sell-out of the Party’s fundamental interests.
In 1942 Chairman Mao personally led the most significant movement launched in Yenan for rectifying the style of work and examining the cadres’ personal records. This prepared conditions for our Party in winning complete victories in the War of Resistance Against Japan and the War of Liberation. Liu Shao-chi and the handful of other renegades in the movement worked hand in glove to cover up the truth about their confessions and defections.
After nationwide liberation, mass movements such as suppression and cleaning out of counter-revolutionaries were launched in accordance with Chairman Mao’s brilliant policy. This dealt the handful of class enemies a telling blow and greatly strengthened the dictatorship of the proletariat in China. But Liu Shao-chi, a deeply-hidden enemy, clandestinely did everything he could to cover himself up and shield his henchmen. Fearing that the revolutionary masses would expose them as renegades, a group of traitors asked him for help. He immediately instructed them: “Give me a list of your names. I’ll write a few words on it and it will be all right just to keep it in the files.” Shielded by Liu Shao-chi, they slipped through and remained hidden.
To realize their scheme of usurping Party leadership, Liu Shao-chi and company not only did their utmost to let renegades sneak back into the Party but desperately tried to thrust them into the Party’s central leading organs. On the eve of the Seventh Party Congress, Liu Shao-chi asserted that those who had once defected and made confessions “could still be appointed Central Committee Members,” and vainly tried to include this in the documents. His plot failed.
Before the Eighth Party Congress, Liu Shao-chi again directed one renegade to “absolve some people from their past misdeeds” and let him carefully work out a “method” for “using” those who had once defected and surrendered—a method whereby confessions and defections were lightly dismissed as “erroneous deeds” and “vacillating at one time,” and he shouted that renegades “should be given full trust.” He and his agents absolved this handful of their crimes in accordance with this “method,” and entrenched them in some important national and local posts.
Chairman Mao has taught us: “They must especially watch out for careerists and conspirators, like Khrushchov and prevent such bad elements from usurping the leadership of the Party and the state at any level.” Liu Shao-chi and his handful of agents are people like Khrushchov who conspire to usurp the leadership of the Party and the state at every level.
Acting as the exploiting classes’ agents, they tried to subvert the proletarian regime and restore the lost “paradise” of the exploiting classes. For many years, they recruited deserters and turncoats and gathered together a gang of renegades, enemy agents and absolutely unrepentant capitalist roaders in power. They covered up their counter-revolutionary political records, shielded each other, colluded in doing evil, usurped important Party and state posts and controlled the leadership of many units. They formed an underground bourgeois headquarters against the proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao. They collaborated with the imperialists, modern revisionists and Kuomintang reactionaries in frantically undermining China’s socialist revolution and socialist construction, playing a role the U.S. imperialists, Soviet revisionists and reactionaries of various countries could not play.
The betrayal of the Party and revolution by Liu Shao-chi and his gang was decided by their reactionary class nature. But they shamelessly preached that betrayal and making voluntary confessions to the enemy resulted from “a moment of erroneous thinking.” Liu Shao-chi babbled: “If a representative of the proletariat becomes reactionary, it is only the result of ‘a moment of erroneous thinking.’ A shift of stand is easy. Communists—proletarian fighters—may very easily shift to the other side and therefore other classes may also shift to our side very quickly.” He tried to convince people that it was completely accidental for someone to turn into a renegade and that there was no fundamental difference in stand and world outlook between renegades and revolutionaries. This is shameless sophistry.
Chairman Mao has taught us: “This change in world outlook is something fundamental.” From the very day a revolutionary starts to take part in revolution, he must make up his mind to thoroughly remould his non-proletarian world outlook and gradually foster his proletarian world outlook. Only in this way can he become a staunch proletarian fighter. A Communist can heroically dedicate his life to the communist cause at the crucial moment of life and death because through revolutionary practice he has conscientiously studied Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and continuously remoulded his world outlook. A renegade’s betrayal of the revolution in a critical moment is simply a big exposure of his bourgeois world outlook.
Lenin has pointed out: “It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is at its height, when everybody is joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the fashion, and sometimes even out of carcerist motives. After its victory, the proletariat has to make most strenuous efforts, to suffer the pains of martyrdom, one might say, to ‘liberate’ itself from such pseudo revolutionaries.”
Never having been revolutionaries, Liu Shao-chi and his crew are conspirators, careerists and counter-revolutionary double-dealers who pretended to support the revolution and make revolution and at its high tide wormed their way into the revolutionary ranks. Their criminal history and activities precisely are the ugly demonstrations of their reactionary class nature.
While studying in middle school, Liu Shao-chi told his landlord relatives: “Support me to study a little longer and you will be rewarded later. I will make lots of money and pay you back.” In a poem to one of his sworn brothers, in 1921, he said: “When in my life will I be wealthy and hold high positions? Why not enjoy myself right now!” He was preoccupied with nothing but such exploiting-class decadence as these. After they had sneaked into the revolutionary ranks, these renegades persisted in their reactionary stand, harboured wild ambitions and sought high official positions. Their thoughts were of “becoming the No. 1 or No. 2 man”; they advocated “losing a little to gain much,” taking up things that were “worth-while” and never going into anything that “does not pay.” They did what was in their own interests, no matter how despicable. This is their philosophy of life.
Liu Shao-chi and his like also trumpeted the “philosophy of survival” and spread such fallacies as “the first thing is self-preservation.” Thus everything is done to preserve one’s life and preserving life is everything. As long as they can preserve their vile lives, they will sell their souls and the revolution. Their betrayal has its ideological, social and historical roots and has nothing to do with an accidental “moment of erroneous thinking.”
Liu Shao-chi and political swindlers like him also babbled: “When someone couldn’t withstand torture after being arrested, admitted who he was and even recanted in the newspapers, it is still a good thing as long as he assumed full responsibility and never revealed any other person to the enemy.” What impudence! Is it justified to give away one’s identity and surrender to the enemy only because one has been tortured by the latter? A genuine communist fighter will never succumb to the enemy even at the cost of his life.
Chairman Mao has taught us: “We Chinese Communists, who base all our actions on the highest interests of the broadest masses of the Chinese people and who are fully convinced of the justice of our cause, never balk at any personal sacrifice and are ready at all times to give our lives for the cause.” A Communist should fight for the cause of communism throughout his life and dedicate it to that cause. He can give up his life but should never abandon the great ideal of communism or surrender his revolutionary integrity. He should strive to serve the people until his dying day. If he sacrifices his life to protect the cause of the Party and revolution, he dies with glory. When one man falls, thousands of revolutionaries will stand up to continue the fight and in this sense he is still alive. Many revolutionary martyrs have made all kinds of sacrifices and even given their lives for the communist ideal. They preferred death to giving in to the enemy. Compared with this lofty and shining revolutionary heroism, that pathetic gang—Liu Shao-chi and his kind—fearing death and clinging to life are despicable and insignificant.
Proceeding from their reactionary landlord and capitalist class world outlook, Liu Shao-chi and his band did their utmost to deceive and spread their fallacious reasoning. While preaching their renegade philosophy, they tried to justify their own behaviour in betraying the revolution, corrupt Communists’ revolutionary will, destroy Communists’ revolutionary integrity, sabotage the proletarian revolution and subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat. But history is merciless. All renegades, traitors, careerists and conspirators cannot escape the punishment they deserve. Having rid itself of a handful of renegades, our Party has become purer and stronger than ever.
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