[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #13, March 28, 1975, pp. 9-10.]
OUR great leader Chairman Mao’s important instruction on the question of theory has aroused the keen attention of the whole Party, the whole army and the people of the whole country. A vigorous movement to study the Marxist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat is surging up throughout the country.
In his instruction on the question of theory, Chairman Mao deals with both the economic base and the superstructure, points out that the soil engendering new bourgeois elements still exists in China, and once again admonishes the entire Party against the rise of revisionism. This is a major question of theory as well as one of practice. Chairman Mao’s instruction, which further advances the fundamental question of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, is of momentous current significance and far-reaching historical significance. Party committees at all levels should take the study of Chairman Mao’s important instruction as their foremost task. Leading cadres, particularly the Party’s senior cadres, must take the lead and study well.
For more than the past two decades, while leading us in the struggle to combat revisionism, prevent a capitalist restoration and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, Chairman Mao has repeatedly emphasized that the Party’s senior cadres should conscientiously study Marxism. Particularly during the tenth struggle between the two lines in the Party, Chairman Mao gave instructions on reading and study on many occasions. Chairman Mao demanded of all Members of the Party Central Committee and senior and middle ranking Party cadres that they “should all conscientiously read and study according to their different levels and have a good grasp of Mprxism.” During an inspection tour, Chairman Mao pointed out in his talks to responsible comrades along the route: “The Lushan meeting drew attention to the need to read Marxist-Leninist classics. I hope you will do more reading henceforward.” In a more recent instruction, Chairman Mao again pointed out: “If people like Lin Piao come to power, it will be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system. That is why we should do more reading of Marxist-Leninist works.” Our leading comrades at all levels must bear Chairman Mao’s teachings in mind, get a clear idea of the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, firmly implement the Party’s basic line and give still better leadership to the masses in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Marxist theory and the practice of the dictatorship of the proletariat tell us that socialist society is one that emerges from the womb of capitalist society. In this considerably long historical period, moribund capitalism and nascent communism are locked in struggle. Failure to get this question clear on the theoretical plane leads to blindness to the protracted and complex nature of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines in the Party, to the fact that capitalist factors in town and country will still grow under the conditions of socialism, and to the fact that the portion of bourgeois right that still exists in socialist society will yet engender new bourgeois elements. And this makes it impossible to persevere in continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat in either the economic base or the superstructure.
All revisionists invariably sow confusion on the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat to deceive those who do no reading or theoretical study. Because of their inability to distinguish clearly on a theoretical level, some of our comrades in leading positions even regard capitalist things as socialist and revisionist slogans as Marxist. There were lessons like this in both the ninth and tenth two-line struggles in the Party. We must read and study conscientiously and try our best to get a clear and thorough grasp of the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat so as not to be duped and misled in the class struggle and two-line struggle to come.
To get a clear idea of the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat requires real effort. We should study Chairman Mao’s important instruction on the question of theory over and over again and do conscientious reading in the light of this instruction. We should study well the selected expositions from Marx, Engels and Lenin on the dictatorship of the proletariat and read as much as possible the principal works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and by Chairman Mao on the subject. And it is necessary to do some reading on political economy and acquire some knowledge of the history of social development to be clear about such questions as commodities, money and distribution according to work in a socialist society. Many instances show that it is essential to have a deep understanding of Chairman Mao’s instructions and know exactly what he means. We should not think we have grasped the point after studying them once or twice, nor should we study by fits and starts, but should keep up a persistent effort from year to year. Those who “admit study as something important in words, treat it as secondary in deeds and brush it aside at busy times” must resolutely change their attitude. During the 1959 struggle against the Peng Teh-huai anti-Party clique, Chairman Mao pointed out: “At present, the main danger lies in empiricism.” Facts for more than the past decade show that empiricism is the handmaiden of revisionism. People who err in empiricism take theory lightly, belittle the importance of adhering to Chairman Mao’s correct line and mistake their partial experience for universal truth. As their practice is affected by much blindness, they are very apt to follow the revisionist line. We must follow Chairman Mao’s teachings and exert ourselves to study Marxist theory in order to raise the level of our political awareness and lessen our blindness.
We should develop the revolutionary style of study that integrates theory with practice. In our study, we should pay attention to linking it with the actual conditions in the Chinese revolution and the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat and not get entangled in trivialities. We should research the social basis that engenders anti-Party cliques like Lin Piao’s in the light of the history of the two-line struggles in the Party, especially the history of the tenth two-line struggle. We should study the current conditions in the struggle between the two classes, the two roads and the two lines, criticize the revisionist line, criticize capitalist tendencies and criticize the idea of bourgeois right. We should make a systematic and thorough investigation and study of the changes in the political, ideological and economic fields of the past two decades and more. We should study questions of policy, including economic policies. We should link the study with our own thinking and consciously remould our world outlook, get rid of the bourgeois style, combat capitalist corrosion, forge close links with the masses, become one with them and carry forward the Party’s glorious tradition of hard struggle.
The masses are showing high enthusiasm for the study and great determination to persevere in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Leading cadres must march in the van and provide effective leadership for Party members and the masses in the study and make a point of summing up the advanced experience in this respect. Through the study, we should further deepen the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, enhance stability and unity throughout the country and win fresh victories in grasping revolution, promoting production and other work and preparedness against war.
Leading comrades at all levels! Let us take the lead and study well the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be models in restricting bourgeois right and be vanguard fighters in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat!
(“Renmin Ribao” editorial, March 21)
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