In the great struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and beat back the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts, Chairman Mao has pointed out: “With the socialist revolution they themselves come under fire. At the time of the co-operative transformation of agriculture there were people in the Party who opposed it, and when it comes to criticizing bourgeois right, they resent it. You are making the socialist revolution, and yet don’t know where the bourgeoisie is. It is right in the Communist Party—those in power taking the capitalist road. The capitalist-roaders are still on the capitalist road.”
This scientific thesis has incisively laid bare the bourgeois essence of the capitalist-roaders in the Party, further indicated the main target of the revolutionary struggle throughout the historical period of socialism, and defended and developed the great Marxist-Leninist theory on class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is a powerful ideological weapon for us to persist in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and to combat and prevent revisionism.
An Important Feature of Class Struggle in The Historical Period of Socialism
The emergence of capitalist-roaders—the bourgeoisie inside the Party—is an important feature of class struggle in the historical period of socialism and is closely linked with the change in class relations under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the period of democratic revolution, the principal contradiction in our society was the contradiction between the proletariat and the masses of the people on the one hand and imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism on the other.
At that time, there were also opportunists, revisionists and chieftains of the various opportunist lines inside the Party; they were agents of the bourgeoisie and other exploiting classes in the Party, but for the bourgeoisie as a whole, they were merely its appendages. Since the landlord and comprador-capitalist classes held the reins of government at that time, the nucleus and the main force of the bourgeoisie, its headquarters and its chief political representatives were outside and not inside the Party.
After great victory had been won in the new-democratic revolution, the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism was overthrown and the proletariat led the people of the whole country in seizing the political power of the state. Since then China has entered the historical period of socialist revolution and the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has become the principal contradiction in society. Since our Party has become the ruling party, the struggle between Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line and the bourgeois and revisionist line determines not only the nature of our Party but also the character and prospects of our country as a whole. From that time on, our struggle against the bourgeoisie both inside and outside the Party has gradually developed in depth in all spheres, centering around the basic question of whether or not to carry out the socialist revolution. The san fan and wu fan movements, the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production and the anti-Rightist struggle were all major struggles between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie since the founding of New China.
In these struggles, the bourgeoisie outside the Party still had some strength to engage in a trial of strength with the proletariat and was still able to nominate its own protagonists; but even then a complicated situation had already developed in which the bourgeoisie inside and outside the Party responded to and colluded with each other. In their unbridled attacks on the Party, the bourgeoisie and other exploiting classes outside the Party had the support of the bourgeoisie inside the Party and banked on its help. Through the two-line struggle in the Party, we brought to light the activities of the bourgeoisie inside the Party against the socialist revolution and criticized its revisionist line, thereby ensuring the victories of the various major campaigns in the socialist transformation.
With the continuous deepening of the socialist revolution, the bourgeoisie outside the Party which is in a position of being ruled has lost its means of production economically and met with one defeat after another on the political and ideological fronts; consequently, its strength has been gradually weakened. If during the bourgeois Rightists’ attack on the Party they still had the so-called “Chang-Lo alliance” playing the commander’s role, then after the anti-Rightist struggle it has become much more difficult for the bourgeoisie outside the Party to openly muster its forces to wage an all-round struggle against the proletariat, subvert the dictatorship of the proletariat and restore capitalism.
The principal contradiction in the entire historical period of socialism is the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. With the balance of class forces having undergone a change, the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie finds expression in the Party in an increasingly profound and acute way. Thus the capitalist-roaders emerge in the Party as the force at the core of the bourgeoisie as a whole and become the main danger in subverting the proletarian dictatorship and restoring capitalism.
While carrying out the socialist revolution, we must not only see that the old bourgeoisie and its intellectuals still exist in society and that large numbers of the petty bourgeoisie are still in the course of remoulding their ideology, but we must be especially aware of the bourgeoisie hidden inside the Party, that is, those Party persons in power taking the capitalist road. Only by waging a resolute struggle against the capitalist-roaders in the Party like Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping and persisting in directing our revolution at the bourgeoisie inside the Party can victory be ensured in the struggle against the bourgeoisie and the capitalist forces in society at large; only thus can it be said that the main target of the socialist revolution has been really grasped.
Anyone who fails to understand that the bourgeoisie is right in the Communist Party is not a sober-minded proletarian revolutionary. In summing up the historical experience of the Paris Commune, Engels pointed out that after the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is necessary to guard “against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society” “in pursuance of their own special interests.” (Introduction by Frederick Engels to Karl Marx’s The Civil War in France.) After the victory of the October Revolution, Lenin analyzed the actual social conditions in the Soviet Union and clearly pointed out that a new bourgeoisie existed in the country and that it was arising from among the Soviet government employees and the small producers.
In the light of the historical lesson of how the Soviet Union has turned revisionist and the practical experience in exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat in China, Chairman Mao has put forward the brilliant thesis that the bourgeoisie “is right in the Communist Party—those in power taking the capitalist road.” This is an important development of Marxism-Leninism. Over the last 20 years and more following the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman Mao has not only made a profound analysis of the bourgeoisie inside the Party from a theoretical angle, but has also in practice led us in carrying out repeated struggles against it.
The chieftains of the revisionist line Kao Kang, Peng Teh-huai, Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping were all commanders of the bourgeoisie inside the Party, and the several major two-line struggles in the socialist period have been struggles waged by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie inside the Party with them as the ringleaders. It is precisely in the course of these struggles that our socialist system of the dictatorship of the proletariat has been continually consolidated and developed.
Class Nature of Capitalist-Roaders
Chairman Mao has pointed out in his Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society: “To distinguish real friends from real enemies, we must make a general analysis of the economic status of the various classes in Chinese society and of their respective attitudes towards the revolution.” It is, therefore, extremely necessary for us to apply the Marxist scientific method to reveal, both politically and economically, the bourgeois nature of the capitalist-roaders so that we can clearly see that the bourgeoisie is right in the Communist Party.
The most essential political characteristic of the capitalist-roaders in the Party is that they push the revisionist line and cling to the capitalist road. In analysing them, we must first and foremost grasp this characteristic and, from the viewpoint of political line, get a clear understanding of their essence. It is on the basis of a common effort to push the revisionist line that the capitalist-roaders form a political faction in the Party in a vain attempt to restore capitalism. And the chieftains of the revisionist line that emerged on many occasions in the past were all general representatives of this line. These chieftains, like Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping, all held a very large portion of the Party and state power, so they were in a position to recruit deserters and renegades, form cliques to pursue their own selfish interests and set up bourgeois headquarters, turn the instruments of the dictatorship of the proletariat into those of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and hoodwink for a time a number of people who lack an understanding of the real situation and do not have a high level of consciousness, inveigling them into following their revisionist line. They were more ruthless and dangerous than the bourgeoisie outside the Party in their efforts to restore capitalism.
The revisionist line pushed by the capitalist-roaders in the Party represents in a concentrated way the interests of the old and new bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and this determines the bourgeois nature of the capitalist-roaders. The socialist period is “a period of struggle between moribund capitalism and nascent communism.” (Lenin: Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.) It is beyond doubt that the capitalist-roaders as the bourgeoisie inside the Party are part of the declining bourgeoisie as a whole. Precisely because the bourgeoisie is a moribund and decadent class, its reactionary nature is all the more pronounced. “The rise to power of revisionism means the rise to power of the bourgeoisie.” Bent on practising revisionism, Lin Piao went so far as to cook up the Outline of Project “571” and to launch a counterrevolutionary armed coup d’etat, while Teng Hsiao-ping who persisted in practising revisionism caused the counter-revolutionary political riot like the incident at Tien An Men Square. These soul-stirring facts of class struggle have bared in an extremely sharp and clear-cut manner the reactionary nature of the bourgeoisie inside the Party.
Economically, the reason why the capitalist-roaders are the bourgeoisie inside the Party is that they represent the decadent capitalist relations of production. In the socialist period, the proletariat wants to constantly transform those parts of the superstructure and the relations of production which are not in harmony with the socialist economic base and the productive forces and carry the socialist revolution through to the end. The capitalist-roaders in the Party, however, do everything possible to preserve those parts of the superstructure and the relations of production which hamper the development of the socialist economic base and the productive forces; their vain attempt is to restore capitalism.
If we examine the position of the capitalist-roaders in the Party in the relations of social production by following Lenin’s teaching on the meaning of classes as expounded in his A Great Beginning and Chairman Mao’s analysis in On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People regarding classes and class struggle in socialist society after the basic completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production, we will get a fairly clear understanding of their bourgeois nature. We can see from real life that once the leadership in certain units or departments was controlled by capitalist-roaders like Lui Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping, they would use the power in their hands to energetically push the revisionist line and turn the socialist mutual relations among people into capitalist relations between employers and employees; they would use legal and numerous illegal means to expand bourgeois right with respect to distribution and appropriate the fruits of other people’s labour without compensation; and they would also take advantage of their position and power to dispose of state- or collectively-owned means of production and consumption, with the result that socialist ownership exists only in name but is actually turned into capitalist ownership under the control of the capitalist-roaders.
In the final analysis, the revisionist line pushed by Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping was designed to preserve the decadent and declining capitalist relations of production, to “cling to the bourgeois ideology of oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and to the capitalist system” and to serve the economic interests of the bourgeoisie as a whole, so as to drag our country back to those dark days of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal old China.
Class and Historical Roots of the Emergence of Capitalist-Roaders
The emergence of capitalist-roaders—the bourgeoisie inside the Party—in the socialist period is by no means accidental but has deep class and historical roots. In the struggle to repulse the Right deviationist attempt to reverse correct verdicts, Chairman Mao has pointed out: “After the democratic revolution the workers and the poor and lower-middle peasants did not stand still, they want revolution. On the other hand, a number of Party members do not want to go forward; some have moved backward and opposed the revolution. Why? Because they have become high officials and want to protect the interests of high officials.”
This instruction of Chairman Mao’s has stung the capitalist-roaders in the Party to the quick. The switchover from the democratic revolution to the socialist revolution is a fundamental change in the course of which division is bound to take place within the revolutionary ranks. The workers and poor and lower-middle peasants want revolution and Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line reflects their demand and guides the whole Party and the people throughout the country to continue to make the socialist revolution, but a number of people in the Party who cling to bourgeois democratic ideas and refuse to remould themselves do not want to go forward. In the eyes of these people, imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, which were like three big mountains weighing down on the Chinese people, were overthrown while they themselves had gained enormous political and material benefits, and that meant the end of the revolution.
Some of them whose revolutionary will had sagged failed to keep pace with the times; some others clung to the reactionary bourgeois stand and, in order to protect their own interests which are, in essense, those of the bourgeoisie as a whole, came out into the open to oppose the proletarian socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, in a vain attempt to turn back the wheel of history and restore capitalism, and these people are none other than those Party persons in power taking the capitalist road. The arch unrepentant capitalist-roader in the Party Teng Hsiao-ping is just such a person, and turning from a bourgeois democrat into a capitalist-roader is the course he actually followed.
An important reason why the capitalist-roaders oppose the socialist revolution is that they are against restricting bourgeois right. Chairman Mao has pointed out: “Lenin spoke of building a bourgeois state without capitalists to safeguard bourgeois right. We ourselves have built just such a state, not much different from the old society: there are ranks and grades, eight grades of wages, distribution according to work, and exchange of equal values.” Bourgeois right is inevitable in the socialist period and this birthmark left over from the old society cannot be eliminated overnight. But it must be restricted under the dictatorship of the proletariat, otherwise it would lead to capitalist restoration. Bourgeois right is an important economic basis for engendering the new bourgeoisie. Some people in the Party whose world outlook has not been thoroughly remoulded and who try hard to strengthen and expand bourgeois right are bound to turn step by step into capitalist-roaders, or members of the bourgeoisie. To expand bourgeois right is, in essence, to safeguard the interests of the bourgeoisie as a whole and to reinforce the social basis for restoring capitalism.
That Teng Hsiao-ping was so resentful and panic-stricken when he heard that bourgeois right was being criticized was because bourgeois right is the lifeblood of the bourgeoisie inside the Party, and any restriction of bourgeois right means directing the revolution against it. In the socialist period, what attitude one takes toward bourgeois right—to restrict it or expand it—is an important criterion for distinguishing whether one is continuing the revolution or is standing still or even opposing the revolution. On this issue, our struggle against the capitalist-roaders in the Party—a struggle between restriction and counter-restriction—will continue for a long time to come.
The Fall of the Bourgeoisie and the Victory Of the Proletariat Are Equally Inevitable
The Communist Party is the vanguard of the proletariat. Does the existence of the bourgeoisie inside the Party affect its proletarian nature? This question should be explained by applying materialist dialectics. Chairman Mao has pointed out: “The law of the unity of opposites is the fundamental law of the universe. This law operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man’s thinking.” (On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.)
A socialist society is an entity in which there are contradictions and struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Such contradictions and struggle also find expression in the Party. “Outside any party there are other parties, inside it, there are groupings; this has always been so.” “A grouping is one wing of a class.” The capitalist-roaders are the Rightists inside the Party or the bourgeoisie inside the Party during the socialist period. Whether or not the existence of the bourgeoisie inside the Party will change its nature depends on the roles of the two contradictory aspects. “The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position.” (Mao Tsetung: On Contradiction.) The criterion by which we judge whether a party is Marxist or revisionist is not whether there is a bourgeoisie in the Party but, most fundamentally, whether Party leadership is in the hands of proletarian revolutionaries or bourgeois representatives and whether the Marxist or revisionist line holds the dominant position in the Party.
The Chinese Communist Party, founded and nurtured by our great leader Chairman Mao himself, is a great, glorious and correct Party. Under the leadership of Chairman Mao and under the guidance of his proletarian revolutionary line, our Party has persisted in carrying out the two-line struggle, constantly got rid of opportunist factions within the Party, overcome the interference of “Left” or Right opportunist lines, thereby maintaining the dominant position of the Marxist-Leninist line in the Party and its proletarian nature.
Tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, our Party has become purer and stauncher and grown from strength to strength; it has given full play to its role as the vigorous vanguard organization in leading the proletariat and the masses of the people to fight against the class enemies.
This is the essential and main aspect of our Party. It is precisely because ours is a genuine proletarian revolutionary Party that we dare to admit the existence of the bourgeoisie within it and dare to mobilize and rely on the masses to persistently wage a struggle against it. Since Khrushchov, Brezhnev and their like came to power, they have pushed a revisionist line effecting an all-round restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, caused the Soviet Communist Party founded by Lenin to degenerate into a revisionist party, a bourgeois party and a fascist party, and turned the first socialist country in the world into a social-imperialist country. These renegades of the proletariat not only do not dare to admit the existence of the bourgeoisie within the Soviet party, but do not dare even to acknowledge he existence of classes and class struggle in the Soviet society. They can only use such fallacies as the “state of the whole people” and the “party of the whole people” to deceive others. The reason why they do so is that should they admit these facts, it would be tantamount to admitting that they themselves are the monopoly-capitalist class in the Soviet party, and this would mean their own destruction.
Some people are of the opinion that it is not easy to discern the capitalist-roaders inside the Party because they not only have the title of “Communist Party members” but are leading persons and some of them hold very high posts. It should be admitted that since the capitalist roaders, who are the bourgeoisie inside the Party, are in power in the Party and have a variety of political “protective colours” and since they invariably resort to all sorts of wiles and intrigues to deliberately put up a false front, it is therefore much more difficult for us to detect them. But dialectical materialism tells us that all objective things can be known step by step in the course of practice; agnosticism is both idealist and metaphysical. No matter how crafty the capitalist-roaders in the Party are in disguising themselves, they are bound to expose their true colours since they oppose Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and pursue a revisionist line. So long as we really have a good grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought—the telescope and microscope in political affairs—we will be able to distinguish between right and wrong on cardinal issues from the viewpoint of political line and recognize the reactionary bourgeois essence of the capitalist-roaders.
As a matter of fact, when Teng Hsiao-ping energetically stirred up the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts, workers, peasants and soldiers, revolutionary cadres, revolutionary intellectuals and educated youth in many places took a clear-cut stand and, going against the evil wind, firmly defended Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and waged a tit-for-tat struggle against Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionist line. They have provided us with valuable experience in discerning and defeating the bourgeoisie inside the Party. We can surely increase our ability of discernment if we assiduously study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and earnestly sum up the experience gained in practical struggle.
In 1962, after analysing the situation of class struggle at home and abroad, our great leader Chairman Mao pointed out with farsightedness: “The next 50 to 100 years or so, beginning from now, will be a great era of radical change in the social system throughout the world, an earth-shaking era without equal in any previous historical period. Living in such an era, we must be prepared to engage in great struggles which will have many features different in form from those of the past.” Chairman Mao’s wise conclusion that the bourgeoisie is right in the Party is a brilliant example of the integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of China’s socialist revolution.
The struggle between the proletariat and the broad masses of the people on the one hand and the bourgeoisie inside the Party on the other is a great struggle which has many features different in form from those of the past. However arduous the tasks of the socialist revolution are and however tortuous the road of advance is, we are firmly convinced that, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao and under the guidance of his revolutionary line, the prospects of the revolution are bright. As Marx and Engels pointed out in Manifesto of the Communist Party: “Its fall [the bourgeoisie’s] and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.”
Peking Review no.25, June 18, 1976.