“Our doctrine,” said Engels about his and his famous friend’s doctrine,” is not a dogma, but a guide to action.” One feature of Marxism, often ignored, is emphasized in this classic sentence in a striking manner. If we ignore this feature of Marxism we deface, distort and make it lifeless, detach from it its living spirit, damage it to its most important theoretical foundation, i.e. dialectics, the theory of historical development, including the many contradictions, break its connection with certain practical duties which may vary at each new turning point of history.
Marxism appeared 150 years ago when capitalism based on free competition was developing and in the process of completing the bourgeois democratic revolutions. Marxism could not appear before that time. There were some rough materialist ideas before Marxism, they were not however dialectical materialism.
Marxist philosophy is the doctrine of human knowledge which reflects matter that is in constant motion. Marxism is not a fixed doctrine, but a guide to action in the struggle of the working class to change the world. It is a scientific doctrine that pays close attention not to the old and decaying, but that which is new and developing. As Lenin says, “it is capable of everything, because it is right.”
The founding geniuses of Marxism–Marx and Engels–stated that Marxism is neither a religion nor a dogma, but it is a scientific doctrine of the working class formed during the struggle with idealism. Therefore, just as the development of matter cannot be stopped and contradictions in matter arising out of the unity of opposites do not stop and continue their existence under different appearances, Marxist science will develop and renew itself parallel to the developments in society and nature.
As soon as the industrial capital united with the banking capital and so closed the stage of capitalism based on free competition and evolved into imperialism which is the highest level of capitalism, Marxist science has reflected the developments in society.
It was Lenin who adapted Marxism to the new and changing social conditions after Marx and Engels and considered the social developments under the light of dialectical historical materialism.
Lenin struggled against all the so-called Marxists who “deified” Marxism and turned it into a dogma. He further developed Marxist theory, led the Russian October Revolution through his great genius and his comprehension of Marxism thus justifying his name being written next to Marxism.
The Marxism of the free competition-based capitalism reached the stage of Leninism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution.
In the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the fact that socialist revolutions occurred and the bourgeoisie took over the power again, destroyed the proletarian dictatorships and restored bourgeois dictatorships in the former socialist countries brought about a new period and stage in terms of Marxism.
Lenin and Stalin did not experience the return from socialism to capitalism. They could not therefore put forward analytical ideas on this matter. It was Mao who experienced retrogressions from socialism and put forward analytical ideas about them from the standpoint of Marxism-Leninism, which we will consider later.
It is very important today to understand the contributions of Mao to Marxism-Leninism and to see the modern despicable crusade of the imperialist bourgeois ideologues as well as the opportunists and revisionists, ideological agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement, against Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Particularly those revisionists, Trotskyists and opportunists, who calling themselves “communist”, declaring that they accept the doctrines of Marx and Lenin, attempt to revise the Marxist-Leninist ideas of Mao, to disarm the international proletariat against the bourgeoisie, to undercut the International Communist Movement (ICM) and to facilitate the fierce exploitation of the imperialist bourgeoisie.
First, modern Khruschevite revisionists attacked Mao. The reason was the fact that Mao was the biggest obstacle to modern revisionism. The second was revisionist Enver Hoxa holding the rusty gun of Khruschevite modern revisionism.
Just as Marxism developed in spite of all attempts at revisionism and enabled the proletariat to seize power from the bourgeoisie in the past, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) is still alive in spite of retrogressions and the so-called “death of communism”.
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is still “capable of everything” and shall continue to be “capable of everything” in the words of Lenin. The reason is that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the science of the working class, is right and has integrity.
If Mao’s ideas and their contribution to Marxism-Leninism is not recognized, Marxism-Leninism shall be incomplete and Marxism-Leninism shall be a dogma instead of a guide to action. This understanding is contrary to the dialectical historical materialist philosophy and makes it an idealist philosophy, not a threat to the bourgeoisie, on the contrary, a philosophy that can be adopted by the bourgeoisie. Are not these the purposes of the revisionists and opportunists?
Today, some communists, as they do not comprehend the importance and meaning of Mao’s contributions, defend it, if I may say so, timidly. Even though they regard Mao as Marxist-Leninist, they take a step backward on the matter of Maoism and so facilitate the attacks by anti-Marxist-Leninist-Maoist movements.
In fact, this is not to comprehend Marxism-Leninism and to ignore the contemporary meaning of the contributions of Mao to Marxism-Leninism as well as the developing aspect of Marxism.
There are still some other interpretations which are so far from Marxism that assert that the ideas of Mao are valid only for “the revolutions in semi-colonies”. Some other ideas assert that our era is that of imperialism and proletarian revolutions and so unless this era changes, no other “ism” can be added to Marxism-Leninism.
These interpretations deny the development of matter, detach Marxism from its kernel, ignore social developments or fail to comprehend developments in depth, reduce the class warfare into one dimension and lag behind social developments. They think as if Maoism was not the continuation of Marxism-Leninism.
The era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions shall take a long time. In this period, the warfare between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie shall continue ceaselessly, and the proletariat will have to defeat the bourgeoisie many times over.
The proletariat cannot defeat the bourgeoisie so easily, but many social changes and transformations caused by severe class struggles between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie shall eventually lead to the rule of socialism all over the world. As long as imperialism is dominant, the name of this era shall not change, for the fact characterizing the era is the existence of imperialism and proletarian revolutions.
However, the development of Marxist science cannot be limited to the changes of era. The contrary means that Marxist science will not change, which will make Marxism some thing other than Marxism and reduce it to a bourgeois view. To consider this period with only a short part of history means not to comprehend the whole period.
Of course, asserting that only the ideas of Mao is Marxist-Leninist will be insufficient and incomplete and ignore the fact that his new ideas develop Marxism-Leninism. The most correct approach is to consider his contributions to Marxism-Leninism as Maoism. The level of the science of Marxism-Leninism entails this.
The expression “Mao Zedong Thought” does not capture Mao’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism accurately and consider Mao as a separate thing from the scientific entirety of Marxism-Leninism.
Mao’s ideas are not separate from Marxism-Leninism, but a development point completing it. To define Mao’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism with the expression “Mao Zedong Thought” is insufficient and incomplete.
Marxism began to be called Marxism-Leninism because Lenin developed Marxism and made new contributions to its treasury of knowledge after Marx and Engels, the creators of Marxism.
Leninism became the name of the new development in Marxism. The reason is that to insist on calling Marxism-Leninism as Marxism in spite of the existence of Lenin’s contributions would fail to express the development of the proletarian science.
Mao’s ideas, contrary to the opportunist and revisionist ideas, are not merely peculiar to China. Using China’s experience in socialist revolution as basis, Mao worked out ideas of universal significance and application.
Contemporary opportunists would then assert that these ideas were Lenin’s ideas, for the purpose of opportunism in revising Marxism and denying its scientific aspect. The fact that Mao’s contributions originated from the revolution of a semi-colony, China, does not deny its universality.
Like the fact that Lenin’s ideas cannot be limited to the special conditions of Russia, Mao’s ideas cannot be limited to the realities of semi-colonies. Mao applied Marxism-Leninism to the special conditions of China perfectly and achieved success in the Chinese revolution. Indeed, if there was no Chinese revolution, Maoism would not exist.
The Chinese revolution under the guidance of Mao’s Marxist-Leninist ideas did not remain limited to the new Democratic Revolution. It passed on to build socialism and created the theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The earth-shaking Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) is one of the best examples thereof.
The endless theoretical lessons extracted by Mao from the concrete conditions of China for the world’s proletariat illumined the path of the proletariat of many countries and helped in creating revolutions in the weakest links of imperialism.
Mao conducted a struggle against the modern revisionists in the USSR similar to that conducted by Lenin against the opportunists of the 2 nd International. He defended the principles of Marxism-Leninism strongly and developed the theoretical knowledge of Marxism-Leninism inside this fierce struggle.
He put forward the idea that continuing the revolution under proletarian dictatorship is necessary to develop socialism further, that the winner of this struggle between capitalism and socialism is still uncertain and that therefore the proletariat should not let go of this dictatorship. Upon the launching of the GPCR, a new type of Marxist-Leninist communist parties appeared in the stage of history to stand against those communist parties putting on the dirty shirts of modern revisionism.
While Leninism is the Marxism of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, Maoism is justifiedly the development of proletarian revolutions and ceaseless continuation of revolutions under proletarian dictatorship against the bourgeoisie. After weighing Mao’s contributions with respect to today’s level of Marxism, the most correct approach is to express it as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Those who consider Mao as Marxist-Leninist but fail to consider his contributions as “Maoism”, prepare the ideological path to help anti-Maoist, in fact anti-Marxist-Leninist, movements. Even though they intend to ensure the “unity” of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) through such “concessions”, these “concessions” do not help the unity of NLM, but abandon NLM for opportunism.
Communists cannot have unity with opportunists. Communists unite only with communists. There is enmity behind the opportunists’ words for “Marxism-Leninism”. The most important thing is to see this point.
Social sciences have never been independent in class societies. Marxism-Leninism is not independent either; it is the science of the proletariat. All of the remaining sciences are, under any appearance, at the service of the bourgeoisie or at least subservient thereto.
Marxist-Leninists should state the matter clearly. Like the fact that nature and social events do not accept any gap, sciences do not accept any gap. The gap shall be filled by one of the classes, i.e. the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. Those trying to defend Mao timidly must recognize that the science of Marxism-Leninism will not allow any gap and develop in the struggle against all erroneous understanding.
NEW DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION DOCTRINE OF MAO IS THE COMPLETE REVOLUTIONARY THEORY OF THE PROLETARIAT IN SEMICOLONIES AND COLONIES
The old bourgeois revolutions fulfilled their duty to eliminate feudalism and establish capitalism. Particularly, the European bourgeoisie, leading the peasants and weak proletariat, completed the bourgeois democratic revolutions against the feudal lords from 1789 French Revolution to the middle of the 19 th century.
Elimination of feudalism and throwing it to the dustbin of the medieval darkness were progressive duties in terms of the historical motion.
However, when the bourgeoisie encountered the strong proletarian and peasant uprisings in 1848, it united with the feudal superstructure against the peasants and the proletariat and attempted to change the feudal superstructure through revolution from above. The bourgeoisie was still progressive at this stage.
Due to the fact that feudalism dominated in Asia more severely and that the bourgeoisie was weak, the revolutions in Asia could not follow the same path as the bourgeois democratic revolutions in Europe. While the bourgeois democratic revolutions occurred in Europe, Asia remained in medieval darkness. Upon the appearance of imperialism in Europe, the bourgeois democratic revolutions became the duty of proletariat.
Particularly in the last quarter of the 19 th century, the fact that the bourgeoisie became more reactionary, as a result of its nature, that the working class appeared in the stage of history as a major class, that the capital enlarged more and more and exceeded beyond national borders, eliminated the previous progressive feature of the bourgeoisie and made it the most reactionary class fighting against social progress.
After the 1917 October Revolution, a new period, the period of proletarian revolutions, began.
When capitalism reached the stage of imperialism and developed a universal system of exploitation, the old style medieval slavery was succeeded by the modern style slavery. The bourgeoisie united with the feudal powers it had fought previously, destroyed and succeeded them before the appearance of imperialism and other reactionary powers and then used such powers against the proletariat and peoples in colonies and semi-colonies. It thus became the most reactionary power obstructing social development.
All these factors imposed on the proletariat and peoples of the countries under the exploitation and oppression of imperialist financial capital the duty to achieve social development, to emancipate themselves from the exploitation of imperialism and to clear the obstacles to social development. This is an inevitable result of the role played by imperialism throughout the world.
Mao, who described the role played by imperialism in China on the basis of Leninist analysis of imperialism stated the following about the effects of imperialism on China:
“The imperialist states operate many heavy and light industrial enterprises in China to have benefit of the raw materials and cheap labour cost of China and so they oppress the national industry of China and prevent the development of the productive forces here.” (2)
Having described the destructive effects of imperialism on social development and particularly the development of the productive forces of China scientifically, Mao emphasized that imperialism created a dependent collaborationist capitalism in China to prevent the development of China and collaborated with feudal powers to get social support.
He pointed out that the bourgeoisie in China, let alone leading the revolution, became a counter power against revolution and the servant and collaborationist of imperialism. He stated the targets of the Chinese proletariat and people as follows:
“Given the nature of China today is colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal, who are the main targets or enemies of the Chinese revolution at this stage? These are imperialism and feudalism, the bourgeoisie of the imperialist countries and the landlords in our country. The reason is that these are those oppressing our people and preventing the Chinese society from progressing today.” (3)
Having stated the main targets of the Chinese revolution, Mao underlined that the duty of the Chinese revolution is dual, the first of which is the national revolution to destroy imperialism and the second is the democratic revolution to eliminate feudalism. He continued to state his ideas, still valid for semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries today, as follows :
“two duties are dependent on each other. Unless the imperialist oppression is destroyed, the oppression of landlords cannot be eliminated, for its basis is imperialism. Accordingly, unless peasants are supported in their struggle with feudal landlords, no strong revolutionary brigades can be constituted.
The reason is that feudal landlords are the basic social basis of imperialist oppression. Peasants are the basic power of the Chinese revolution. Therefore, these two basic duties, i.e. national revolution and democratic revolution are both different and the same.” (4)
Mao explained the difference between the old style bourgeois democratic revolutions and New Democratic Revolutions as follows:
“New democratic revolution is very different from the democratic revolutions experienced in Europe and America. They do not result in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, but in the dictatorship of the allied front of the revolutionary classes under the leadership of the proletariat.” (5)
Mao underlined the fact that the New democratic revolution would not be limited to the democratic revolution, but the proletariat would continue it until classless society is achieved as a necessary feature of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. He described the target of the proletariat of the semi-colonial countries as follows:
“Of course, the final path of development of the Chinese revolution is not capitalism, but socialism and communism.” (6)
Having stated that the Chinese democratic revolution is part of the world revolution, Mao continued as follows:
“For the current period, New Democracy and socialism are two parts of an organic entirety under the guidance of the same communist ideology.” (7)
Describing the nature of the democratic revolution led by the proletariat, Mao pointed out that its nature could not be considered the same as the nature of the other bourgeois democratic revolutions in that the former is a part of the socialist revolution and socialist economy. By doing so, Mao developed the thesis of new democratic revolution and described the targets of the revolutions led by the proletariat in the semi-colonies.
Mao dealt with the policies to be conducted against the bourgeoisie in the democratic revolution in this article “Introducing The Communist”. The reason is that the national bourgeoisie which may act in favour of the revolution in semi-colonies is a class oppressed and dominated by imperialism.
Mao emphasized that the right and “left” error in dealing with the national bourgeoisie, i.e . “all unity, no struggle” or “all struggle, no unity” respectively would weaken the proletarian democratic revolution. He stated that the correct policy is “both struggle and unity”.
He condemned the Trotskyist ideas which consider the national bourgeoisie in China as the same as that in the imperialist countries as follows:
“In this respect the Chinese bourgeoisie differs from the bourgeoisie of old tsarist Russia. Since tsarist Russia was a military-feudal imperialism which carried on aggression against other countries, the Russian bourgeoisie was entirely lacking in revolutionary quality. There the task of the proletariat was to oppose the bourgeoisie, not to unite with it.
But China’s national bourgeoisie has a revolutionary quality at certain periods and to a certain degree, because China is a colonial and semi-colonial country which is a victim of aggression. Here, the task of the proletariat is to form a united front with the national bourgeoisie against imperialism and the bureaucrat and warlord governments without overlooking its revolutionary quality.
At the same time, however, being a bourgeois class in a colonial and semi-colonial country and so being extremely flabby economically and politically, the Chinese national bourgeoisie also has another quality, namely, a proneness to conciliation with the enemies of the revolution.
Even when it takes part in the revolution, it is unwilling to break with imperialism completely and, moreover, it is closely associated with the exploitation of the rural areas through land rent; thus it is neither willing nor able to overthrow imperialism, much less the feudal forces, in a thorough way. So neither of the two basic problems or tasks of China’s bourgeois democratic revolution can be solved or accomplished by the national bourgeoisie.” (8)
Mao applied Marxism-Leninism to the special conditions of China very creatively and achieved victory in the revolution in semi-colonial and semi-feudal China. Mao learnt from the 1917 October Revolution.
However, there were important differences between China and Russia. Mao contended even in 1926 that the conditions of China were very different from Russia, and therefore no upheaval like that in Russia could be conducted in China. Even though Lenin and Stalin had described clearly the differences prevailing in the countries such as China, they could not naturally analyze the path of revolution in detail.
Particularly, the 3rd International considered the revolution in the colonial and semi-colonial countries and put forward generally correct approaches. However, wrong tendencies began to appear inside the Chinese Communist Party as early as 1926. While those led by Con Dusi, representative of the rightist deviation in the Chinese Communist Party, defended collaboration with Guomindang, the leftist deviation defended total upheaval.
Mao struggled against both deviations. He wrote “Analysis of Classes in Chinese Society” (1926) to condemn such wrong tendencies. However, such leftist and rightist deviations were dominant in the Chinese Communist Party until 1933 and caused setbacks to the Chinese revolution for a long time.
The reason was that the rightist and leftist deviations in the Chinese Communist Party did not comprehend the special conditions of China, they thought that the same path of the Russian revolution could be conducted in China. Above all, these dogmatic-minded people did not understand that the nature and path of the revolution in the country depended on imperialism.
Mao discussed these differences in this article “Problems of Strategy in China’s Revolutionary War” (1936) as follows:
“People who do not admit, do not know, or do not want to know that China’s revolutionary war has its own characteristics have equated the war waged by the Red Army against the Guomindang’s forces with the war in general or with the civil war in the Soviet Union. The experience of civil war in the Soviet Union directed by Lenin and Stalin has a world-wide significance.
All communist parties, including the Chinese Communist Party, regard this experience and its theoretical summing-up by Lenin and Stalin as their guide. But this does not mean that we should it mechanically to our own conditions.” (9)
Lenin described the duties of the proletariat in the countries that have yet to complete their bourgeois democratic revolution. According to him, the duty of the proletariat would be to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution and to pass on to build socialism ceaselessly.
The reason is that the bourgeoisie has become reactionary and the duty of completing the bourgeois democratic revolution has been imposed on the proletariat in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions.
The Chinese Communist Party that began struggle immediately after the October Revolution had to experience a long and difficult period. In that period, the Chinese Communist Party was not led by the Marxist-Leninist line of Mao all the time, and it lurched in spite of Mao’s determined opposition.
Mao contended that the Chinese revolution could not be successful with the uprisings of the working class in cities, and the revolution would develop from the countryside to the cities with the proletariat as vanguard in China which had a large population of peasants. The reason is that China was not a capitalist country like Russia, but a colonial and semi-colonial, semi-feudal country.
Mao, having understood Marxism-Leninism correctly, described the reality of China. He, for the first time, contended that if the proletariat, in this kind of countries, struggle, in alliance with the peasants, against imperialism, and the local supports of imperialism, i.e. the collaborationist bourgeoisie and landlords, by following the strategy of People’s War, the manner of struggle put forward by the theory of New Democratic Revolution for the proletariat of this kind of countries, it will be successful.
He did not limit the theory of People’s War to China, but universalized it for colonial and semi-colonial countries.
Mao’s theory of New Democratic Revolution and New Democracy including the theory of People’s War, the path of revolution in the countries dependent on imperialism is one describing the targets, supporters and driving forces, economy and culture of revolution, which develop Marxism-Leninism in this respect.
The theory of New Democratic Revolution is the theory describing how the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples shall be solved with the proletariat acting as vanguard in favour of socialism and classless society, communism, in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions.
Mao’s New Democratic Revolution theory is a great contribution to Marxism-Leninism, which describes the path to be followed by the proletariat to seize power in colonial and semi-colonial countries.
The October Revolution launched the period of proletarian revolutions led by Lenin, and the Chinese Revolutionary war led by Mao showed the proletariat and peoples of colonial and semi-colonial countries the methods of warfare to be used by the proletariat against imperialism and its local puppets. In the next period, history confirmed the theory of New Democratic Revolution put forward by Mao.
The proletariat and peoples of many colonial and semi-colonial countries achieved victory in the revolution, thanks to such great theory of Mao. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are some of these. Again the national bourgeoisie of colonised countries made use of this theory in their struggle against the occupying imperialists.
And today, the proletariat in Peru, Philippines, Nepal, India, Turkey and many other countries follow this theory which is based on the special conditions of China and was universalized by Mao.
Mao’s theory of People’s War is not only a military theory, but also a theory describing ideological, political and military aspects of the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, the mass line of the communist party, organising masses in warfare, alliances of proletariat with such classes as may have interest in revolution, particularly the basic alliance of workers and peasants and the united front policy with other classes.
In short, the People’s War theory of Mao is an integrated and comprehensive theory for the proletariat to seize power from the bourgeoisie in colonial and semi-colonial countries.
In addition, the “New Democracy” theory of Mao is complementary to the theory of People’s War. These two theories cannot be separated from each other. Mao’s theory of “New Democracy” corresponds with the spirit of Lenin’s article “Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution” and is peculiar to the countries dependent on imperialism. Mao developed the spirit of this article further and gave it a practical meaning.
Of course, the fact that the theories put forward by Mao on the special conditions of China having a universal value results from the fact that Mao comprehended dialectical materialism and the law of contradictions well and that he developed Marxist-Leninist theory further in this respect.
Mao was always opposed to dogmatism and imitating, emphasized that Marxism-Leninism was the enemy of dogmatism, defended that Marxism-Leninism was not a dogma, but a guide to action. He did not give any concession from these principles.
He stated that the experience gained in the Chinese revolution should not be imitated because each country has its special conditions and Marxism-Leninism must be applied under such special conditions creatively.
Mao’s theories of “New Democratic Revolution”, “New Democracy” and “People’s War” extracted from the concrete conditions of the Chinese revolution have universal value, which are considerable contributions to Marxist-Leninist science.
CLASSES AND CLASS STRUGGLE IN SOCIALISM
Today, it is more important than ever to understand Mao’s theory of “classes and class struggles in socialism”, one of the most important contributions of Mao to Marxist-Leninist science and one of the basic problems of the National Liberation Movement (NLM), because of the socialist countries’ regression to capitalism.
Unless Mao’s theory of class struggles in socialism is comprehended and accepted, even though the proletariat seizes power from the bourgeoisie, it cannot build socialism toward communism.
Marx, Lenin and Stalin accepted the existence of classes and class struggle in socialism. Trotsky, Bukharin and then Khruschev, the modern revisionists, opposed to the class struggle in socialism, revised the proletarian dictatorship and thus helped the bourgeoisie to seize the power back.
They found the seizure of power by the proletariat sufficient and thus attempted to muddle the essence of class struggle, in other words, the Marxist-Leninist essence of the proletarian dictatorship. They propounded the revisionist thesis that “class struggles have ended in socialism” and so attempted to lay the foundation for the submission of the proletariat to the bourgeoisie.
The bourgeoisie, by means of opportunists, the ideological agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement, intensified its attacks against Marxism from the very beginning of the appearance of Marxism. Upon the appearance of Leninism, all opportunist and revisionist fronts attacked Lenin under different forms, but the essence is the same.
The purpose of the bourgeois front was not to defend Marx, but “to prove” that Lenin’s ideas were not “Marxist”, thereby attacking Leninism in word so as to attack Marxism in deed. The tactics of opportunists and revisionists was the same in the next periods.
The tactic of opportunism to revise Marxism was to show that the great teachers of the proletariat are not the continuation of each other, but as opposites. The purpose is to deny the fact that Marxism is a continuously developing science, to prevent the proletariat from seizing power from the bourgeoisie and to make demagogy despicably asserting that it is impossible to build socialism. We will give examples of this well-known tactic of the bourgeoisie later.
We will see that the scientific theories propounded by the great masters of the international proletariat about the existence of class, class contradictions resulting from this fact and the methods for solving such contradictions are not opposite to each other, but complementing each other in the natural development of a science, dialectical materialism. Marx said the following about socialism:
“What we deal with here is a communist society which did not develop from its own foundations, on the contrary, was originated from capitalist society, that is to say, bearing the birth marks inherited from the former society in all respects, i.e. economy, ethics, morals.” (10)
Lenin, after the October Revolution, emphasized that it was harder to maintain the proletarian dictatorship and build socialism than to seize power from the bourgeoisie, that the main difficulties have only began after seizing power from the bourgeoisie, that the elimination of private ownership will not mean the elimination of the bourgeoisie and bourgeois habits, that the bourgeoisie would be reproduced as long as small-commodity production continued and that as long as classes existed, class struggle would go on.
“The transition from capitalism to communism covers a whole historical period. Unless this period is completed, the exploiters maintain their hopes for restoration and this hope transforms into attempts of restoration.” (11)
Lenin, in his article “Salutation to Hungarian Workers”, explains class struggle in socialism as follows:
“Elimination of classes entails a long, difficult and stubborn class struggle; class struggle does not disappear after the collapse of the bourgeois state (as imagined by the ordinary representatives of old socialism and old social democracy), it only changes its form and intensifies even more in many respects.” (12)
Again Lenin, in his article “Preface to Speaking About Deception of People with the Slogans of Freedom and Equality” states the following:
“The proletarian dictatorship is not the end of class struggle, but its continuation under a new form. The proletarian dictatorship is the class struggle of the proletariat that has gained victory and seized power from the bourgeoisie that has been defeated, but has not given up resistance and, on the contrary, has intensified its resistance.” (13)
Marx and Lenin pointed out that class struggle does not disappear in the period of proletarian dictatorship, on the contrary, it continues more severely, the defeated bourgeoisie will not accept its defeat as long as the social conditions creating the bourgeoisie remain.
The fact that Lenin, pointed to the desire of external forces to destroy socialism in the period when he had been attacked by the imperialists and the local bourgeoisie after the October Revolution, bourgeois attacks from outside do not change the essence of the problem, i.e. the proletarian dictatorship is a class dictatorship which is applied against the bourgeoisie.
During the period of proletarian dictatorship, Lenin explains the origins of petty bourgeois ideas and why they are the economic foundations of class struggle in socialism as follows:
“The dictatorship of the proletariat is the most determined and most ruthless war waged by the new class against a more powerful enemy, the bourgeoisie, whose resistance is increased tenfold by its overthrow (even if only in one country), and whose power lies not only the strength of international capital, in the strength and durability of the international connections of the bourgeoisie, but also in the force of habit, in the strength of small production.
For, unfortunately, small production is still very, very widespread in the world, and small production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, daily, hourly, spontaneously and on a mass scale. For all these reasons the dictatorship of the proletariat is essential, and victory over the bourgeoisie is impossible without a long, stubborn and desperate war of life and death, a war demanding perseverance, discipline, firmness, indobitableness and unity of will.” (14)
To deny the existence of class struggle in socialist society is to deny the proletarian dictatorship. Various opportunist and revisionist movements have been submitting the proletarian dictatorship to the bourgeoisie from the very beginning by asserting that upon seizing the property of the bourgeoisie, proletarian dictatorship is no longer necessary.
However, the transition from capitalism to communism takes a very long time. Unless the proletariat eliminate each and every capitalist element in the socialist economy and the socialist values are substituted for the decayed cultural, legal, moral and other values of thousands of years, the contradictions between white and blue collars, administrators and those administered, urban and countryside, the separation between producers under the name of work division, it is not possible to eliminate classes and the state.
All these shall be achieved through the continuation of the proletarian dictatorship under different forms, but more severely, adapting production relations to socialism entirely and implementating the principle “to each according to his needs”; only then can we arrive at a classless society.
“The bourgeoisie does not originate only from Soviet officers who hardly allow it, but also from peasants and handicraftsmen. This shows that capitalist commodity-based production is alive even in Russia and it can lead to the formation of a bourgeoisie like all capitalist societies.” (15)
Although internal Party struggle was at a considerable level in the early years of the October Revolution, the struggle against the resistance of the bourgeoisie was later abandoned. Therefore, it was so apt to the current conditions of that time that Lenin mentioned about the resistance of the bourgeoisie growing a hundred-fold. In 1922, Lenin stated the following about the situation inside the Party:
“The proletarian nature of our Party is never an assurance against small-sized property owners becoming more influential inside our Party. All safeguards must be taken in the light of this reality.” (16)
And Lenin, stated the following with a great far-sightedness in his letter to Inessa Armand as early as 1917:
“Activities of all our economic institutions have been damaged by bureaucracy. The communists have become bureaucrats.” (17)
In fact, the internal Party struggle in the Soviet Union intensified after NEP was ended. Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, etc. began to oppose the proletarian dictatorship. In fact, the ideas of the opposition led by Trotsky, Bukharin and Zinoviev did not appear for the first time. Their anti-Marxist-Leninist ideas existed before the revolution; they systematized their ideas after the October Revolution even more.
Their Trotskyist-revisionist ideas went so far as to attempt the overthrow of the first state of the proletariat, the U.S.R.R. Unless they abandoned this counterrevolutionary line, they would not go anywhere other than being the fronts of the bourgeoisie. The reason is that there is no third line in the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
Any line other than that of the proletariat, in any liberal color, even under a democratic appearance, is nothing else than the counterrevolutionary line of the bourgeoisie. The class difference between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is, in Marx’s words, simpler and clearer.
Either you will follow the correct proletarian line or you will defend the counterrevolutionary ideology of the bourgeoisie and oppose the proletariat. No compromising border can be possible between two opposite ideologies.
The said revisionist group, who participated in and supported the October Revolution at the beginning, began to oppose it when the proletarian dictatorship was beginning to be implemented against all the bourgeoisie seriously and they attacked Stalin in word, but Marxism-Leninism in deed.
All the history of proletarian revolutions has proven that whenever the freedom of bourgeoisie is taken away by the proletariat and the former is eliminated by the latter as a class, the opportunists and revisionists serving as the ideological agents of the bourgeoisie will oppose the elimination of the bourgeoisie by calling for “the elimination of the proletarian dictatorship”.
There are numerous examples of this fact particularly in the experience of Russia and China from the beginning of the proletarian dictatorship up to the collapse thereof. The class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie in these countries are full of important lessons for the current Communist Parties.
Stalin made some mistakes with respect to classes and class contradictions in socialism. He stated the following in his speech introducing the 1936 Constitution:
” As is well known, the class of big landlords was eliminated as a result of our final and definite victory in the civil war. So were the other exploiters. There is no class of capitalists in industry. Kulaks did not remain in agriculture. So, all exploiter classes have been eliminated.” (18)
After evaluating the working class, peasants and intellectuals, the social groups in the Soviet Unions, Stalin continued as follows:
“And finally, this situation shows that the political contradictions between these social groups have been eliminated”. (19)
These evaluations of Stalin in 1936 were subjective and far from reflecting the reality of the Soviet Union. What pushed Stalin to make such mistakes is the fact that Bukharin and Trotskyist opponents had been condemned ideologically and eliminated from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) (CPSU (B)). For these reasons, he thought the ideological remnants of the bourgeoisie had been eliminated.
In addition, the fact that a considerable part of the peasantry had been organized in Kolkhoz farms and the favourable developments in the socialist economy caused him to arrive at the idea that class differences had been eliminated. This idea was in contradiction with the reality of a country where socialism had been built only recently and was a deviation from the dialectics of the class struggle.
However, Stalin, one year later, upon the appearance of new chaos and of the enemies of the proletarian dictatorship again, stated, in his speech in the General Meeting of the Central Committee of the CPSU(B) on 3 March 1937 the following, contradicting his former ideas:
“In our every step forward, we should reject the bankrupt ideology asserting that the class struggle will increasingly die down inevitably and the enemy shall increasingly become complacent.”
“We should remember that the remnants of the overthrown classes of the USSR are not alone. They are supported by our enemies outside the borders of the USSR. It is wrong to think that the area of class struggle ends at the borders of the Soviet Union. While one end of the class struggle continues inside the USSR, the other end reaches up to the surrounding bourgeois states.” (20)
Stalin often made mistakes with respect to the class struggle in the USSR. He would assert that the class struggle had “ended” when the enemies appeared to be suppressed and dominated; and then he would say that the class struggle had not ended, but intensified when the class enemies began to fight.
These approaches are, in fact, the result of separating the class and class struggle from the economic conditions in a socialist country. However, the struggle for socialism, as stated by Lenin and, then, Mao, covers a whole historical period. As long as classes exist in society, the class struggle will continue under different forms.
As soon as the proletariat fails to see this reality, it would not be hard for the bourgeoisie to take back the power.
Again, Stalin, in 1939, in his report presented in the 18 th Party Congress, evaluated the class contradictions in the capitalist countries, called them “antagonistic contradictions causing instability” and repeated that there were no class contradictions in the Soviet Union.
“…Soviet-based society which has gotten rid of exploitation does not know these contradictions; it is free from class contradictions and represents a friendly work division between workers, peasants and intellectuals.” (21)
However, as comrade Mao Zedong underlined, the Marxist-Leninist dialectical materialist approach necessitates that the class struggle in socialism will continue until the classes die out, that the law of the unity and struggle of opposites, the basic law of dialectics, is valid also in socialist society, that the class differences and class contradictions will continue after the production tools are seized from bourgeoisie and transformed on a socialist basis.
The fact that Stalin does not think like Mao is revealed in his article “Dialectical and Historical Materialism” (which was written in 1938, while Mao wrote his article “On Contradictions” in 1937). Stalin did not mention if the non-antagonistic contradictions transform into antagonistic contradictions and about the subject of the identity of contradictions.
He, in Mao’s words, increased the laws of dialectics to four and interpreted the unity and struggle of contradictions incorrectly. This approach caused Stalin to make many mistakes. Of course, every thing should be evaluated in its own conditions.
While evaluating comrade Stalin, we must also remember the fact that he led the first proletarian dictatorship in the world, that there was no such experience in the past, that severe attacks from inside and outside were carried out against the USSR, the first socialist state, and that the USSR was the main target of the 2 nd World War, etc.
In spite of the foregoing mistakes of comrade Stalin, he will always remain a great teacher of the international proletariat, never betrayed Marxism-Leninism and faithfully followed the Marxist-Leninist line. Thus, he has become one the five teachers of the international proletariat so far.
DIALECTICS OF CLASS STRUGGLE IN SOCIALISM AND SOCIALIST POLITICAL-ECONOMY AND MAO
a) Political-economic reasons of class struggle in socialism:
We should seek Mao’s approach to the class struggle in his approach to dialectical historical materialism. What made him one of the five masters of the international proletariat and caused him to further develop Marxism-Leninism is the fact that he was determined, in his philosophical article “On Contradictions” he wrote in the period of civil war, in 1937, to condemn the dogmatic ideas, that “unity is relative and struggle is absolute” and that he applied this principle in the period of the proletarian dictatorship and all aspects of his life.
Mao emphasized that there were two kinds of contradictions in the proletarian dictatorship, one of which was non-antagonistic and the other antagonistic, that either one could transform into the other, that the contradictions among the people were non-antagonistic and that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie are antagonistic.
However, if the contradictions among the people are not handled correctly, they can transform into antagonistic ones.
For example, there is an important difference between the national bourgeoisie in a country dependent on imperialism and that in a capitalist country. In China or a similar country, the national bourgeoisie can act parallel to the proletariat.
The contradiction between the proletariat and the national bourgeoisie, if handled correctly, can transform into a non-antagonistic contradiction. Of course, if the latter is not handled correctly, it can transform into the contrary. Also in socialist societies, if the contradictions among the popular classes are not considered correctly, they can transform into antagonistic contradictions.
However, contradictions between the classes in socialist society are not eliminated contrary to what Stalin said. As Mao Zedong stated, these contradictions will exist until classes are eliminated, that is to say until the advent of classless society.
For example, comrade Stalin ignored the contradiction between administrators and those administered, a distinct feature of socialist society, and he did not speak about this contradiction. However, this contradiction responsible for creating and maintaining the bureaucratic bourgeoisie is very important in socialist society and can transform into an antagonistic contradiction if it is not recognized and handled correctly.
“The socialist system has been established basically in our country. We have gained victory in the transformation of the property of production tools. However, we are far from gaining victory in the political and ideological fronts. The matter of who will win the ideological struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has not been settled yet. We will still have to conduct a life-long struggle against the ideology of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie.” (22)
Mao stated that the class contradictions in socialist society continues in the same form as those in capitalist society, that the defeated bourgeoisie would do its best to overthrow the revolution and that class struggle would be conducted very severely in socialist society as follows:
“The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between the different political powers and the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the ideological level will continue and even intensify from time to time.” (23)
The historical experiences in the socialist countries has proven that the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the socialist countries continues from beginning to end. This shows that class struggle does not stop in socialist society. As comrade Mao Zedung stated, it appears severely.
The problem does not end by removing the private ownership from the production tools. What is important is to eliminate the separation of people into social classes.
For this purpose, what is to be done is to establish the socialist economy in all fields, to solve the contradiction between cities and countryside, to eliminate separation between intellectuals and proletariat, to eliminate the small-sized production which exist in every single area of socialist economy, to substitute the bourgeois cultural structure existing in the society and inherited from the past for socialist culture, to eliminate the separation between administrators and those administered and to eliminate work division between the members of socialist society.
The transformation of the proletarian dictatorship into the bourgeois dictatorship is not caused by an external contradiction, i.e. the attack of the imperialist bourgeoisie, but by the internal contradictions.
In the USSR, the opponents of socialism and the ideologues of the bourgeois front, namely Trotsky, Bukharin, Rikhov etc. are not imported forces. Again, the modern revisionist Khruschev who established the bourgeois dictatorship in place of the proletarian dictatorship in the USSR, was not an agent sent by an imperialist state, but a bourgeois created by the contradiction in the USSR.
The external conditions only assisted the formation of the internal conditions, but were neither the determining nor the main factor for this fact. Therefore, Mao stated the following:
“The proletariat tries to change the world in accordance with its point of view; the bourgeoisie does the same. Therefore, the matter of which of them, socialism or capitalism, will gain victory is not certain yet.” (24)
As long as this conclusion of Mao is ignored, the establishment of socialism will continuously be prevented, the proletariat will put its guard down against the bourgeoisie, and a great loss to the science of Marxism-Leninism, people and proletariat will take place. What the bourgeoisie wants is for the proletariat to lose trust in itself and in its own science, Marxism-Leninism.
Those who do not understand that the war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie takes a long time and that it entails defeats are those who have not learned lessons from the class struggles in the past. This is what Mao wants to say. If the proletarian dictatorship loosens its grip even for a while or alliances and enemies are not correctly recognized, the defeat of the proletariat will be inevitable.
Enver Hoxa calling Mao Zedong a “peasant revolutionary of petty bourgeois origin” did not recognize these ideas of Mao. On the pretext of defending Stalin he condemned Mao’s ideas with his anti-Marxist-Leninist ideas borrowed from Khruschev.
Enver Hoxa did not accept dialectical materialism. Today, those opportunists who follow his dogmatic-revisionist ideas introduce his anti-Marxist-Leninist ideas, a mixture of Trotskyism and modern revisionism, as “Marxist-Leninist” and confuse the mind of the proletariat.
The revisionist Enver Hoxa was so involved in metaphysics that he contended that the contradictions in socialist society originate from the imperialist bourgeoisie outside the socialist society. Therefore, he tagged different ideas that appeared in Albania as the “agents” of imperialism and attempted to disguise the contradictions in socialist society.
He never recognized that the class struggle did not end when the proletariat seized the power and that, on the contrary, the class struggle continued in different forms in the proletarian dictatorship. Therefore, he supported the counter-revolutionary ideas of Khruschev’s modern revisionism and so betrayed Marxism-Leninism.
Mao, in his articles “On Practice” and “On Contradiction” of 1937, a considerable contribution to Marxism-Leninism, applied the “unity and struggle of opposites”, the basic law of dialectical materialism, to socialism and emphasized that the struggle between socialism and capitalism took a long time, that the winner of this struggle was not certain, that these two contradictions can transform into each other, and history has confirmed his ideas, which advanced Marxist-Leninist theory in the field of philosophy.
“Socialist society covers a long period. In the historical period of socialism, there are still classes, class contradictions and class struggle, the struggle between the capitalist path and the socialist path and the danger to regress. We should comprehend the life-long and complex nature of this struggle. We should increase our awareness.
We should continue socialist training. We should handle the class contradictions and class struggle correctly, differenciate between the contradictions between us and enemy and those among the people. Otherwise, such a socialist country will transform into its contrary and return to capitalism.” (25)
Mao clearly describes the contradictions in socialist society and the basic contradiction causing the others as follows :
“The basic contradictions in the socialist society are those between the productive forces and those between the superstructure and the economic foundation. However, these are totally different from the contradictions between the production relations and productive forces and the superstructure and the economic foundation in the old society; each has different nature.” (26)
What is the reason for the fact that the basic contradiction is between the productive forces and that between the superstructure and the economic foundation in socialist society? Those who do not recognize the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism contend that as soon as the proletariat seizes the power, all production relations transform into a socialist nature.
What the proletarian dictatorship does at the beginning is to eliminate the private ownership of the means of production. The first and basic change starts here. However, the change in the production relations is not sufficient to eliminate class contradictions in socialist societies, which can be achieved only at the last stage of the socialist society.
The purpose of the proletarian dictatorship is to eliminate the capitalist production relations and make the production relations socialist-based step by step in line with the development of the socialist economy. This can be achieved through struggle for socialist transformation of the production relations.
The development of the production relations is not sufficient to develop the socialist production relations. To forget the class struggle and to attempt to develop production forces only will inevitably bring about the development of the capitalist production relations and thus submit to its power.
Have the conditions creating classes in socialist society been eliminated? Of course not!
Firstly, although the bourgeoisie and all reactionary classes are defeated in socialist society, the fact that they have administrative abilities gained in the past, that there is still bourgeois right under the proletarian dictatorship and that these reactionary classes have various connections with the imperialist bourgeoisie make these reactionary classes and bourgeoisie strong in spite of their defeat.
On the other hand, the defeated bourgeoisie, due to its administrative habits from the past, pretends to be in favour of the proletarian state and penetrate into the Party and state posts stealthily. They do their best to subvert the proletarian dictatorship and poison the Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Let us make an explanation here. It was normal that Lenin often mentioned the external dangers against socialism following the October Revolution. To say that the external danger is primary, however, is to disguise the fact that the bureaucratic bourgeoisie is existent in each part of socialist production relations and that socialism is a class society.
Secondly, the existence of the peasantry causes petty bourgeois ideas to be supported by society. Collectivization of agriculture give a collective spirit to peasants and brings the peasantry closer to the working class. However, collective property is not social property, but the property of those peasants in that collective. This kind of collectivism still contains the petty bourgeois features and make the basis for the differences between peasants and keeps the desire for private property alive.
Thirdly, the existence of the petty bourgeoisie will continue until all properties are owned by the whole of society, and these bourgeois ideas shall reflect on the Party and all the levels of state. Therefore, the contradiction between socialist property and collective property will continue for a long time in socialism.
Fourthly, the existence of the social classes and the fact that the bourgeois right resulting from that has not been eliminated yet.
Fifthly, the fact that the capitalist production relations are still existent in every single part of socialist production. This will continue until all social classes in the socialist society will be the same, that is to say no classes will remain. The root cause of the existence of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie in socialist society is the existence of bourgeois production relations in every aspect of socialist production relations.
Sixthly , the continuation of the contradiction between administrators and those administered arising from the socialist state causes administrators to detach from the masses, generates the bourgeois and the bureaucrat.
Seventhly, unless these contradictions are solved, those hoping for the return to capitalism and defending its ideology will always be existent.
Therefore, the struggle between socialism and capitalism will take a long time. The reason is that this final class war will contain complex struggles until the contradiction between capitalism and socialism is solved in favour of the proletariat.
b) Dual nature of socialist property:
The foundations of Mao on the political-economy of socialism were laid down in the Yenan period. Ideas purporting that socialism can be established by merely developing the productive forces are nothing other than those of the bourgeois desiring to revive capitalism.
“When the productive forces develop, classes will be eliminated and, in this way, it will be possible to pass on to classless society!”
Here is the pure modern revisionist approach. Here is the approach which destroys the proletarian dictatorship from its foundations, ignoring the ideological struggle, reinforcing capitalist production relations (state capitalism led by a handful of bureaucrats) instead of eliminating them, asserting that what is important is to develop the productive forces no matter who develops it.
Mao instructed “add policy where ever order exists” in the period of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR), and this slogan played a major role in the period of the GPCR and in factories, until 1976, to transform the relations between the administrators and those administered into a socialist form. These words of Mao are not ordinary words.
It teaches us that the determining factor is ideology and that people should not be subject to the administrators, but they should administer themselves. Unless the masses comprehend socialist culture, it is impossible to transform the production relations on a socialist basis.
The bourgeois production relations can easily prevail in case of a lack in socialist policy. The factory administrators can easily become bourgeois capitalist administrators.
Engels, in his statement contending that the ownership of the means of production by the state is only a formal means to solve the contradiction between the social nature of the productive forces and the private nature of ownership, wanted to say that the interests of individuals shall not integrate with the interests of society that easily in the first stage of communism, socialism, and this can be achieved only at the last periods of socialist society.
Socialist state property, in fact, reflects a certain part of the bourgeois right (in respect of the fact that state is a class state). This proves that the bourgeois gaps in the production relations have not been filled. These gaps in the production relations bring about the creation of the new bourgeoisie.
Another point of the matter is the fact that state is class state, that the “socialist state property” does not mean the social property, that it does not mean that socialist state property has gained such a nature, but tend in this way. Based on this reality, Mao stated;
“the basic contradiction in socialist society is still between the production relations and productive forces and the superstructure and substructure.”
The state is a product of class societies. The socialist state is also a result of a class society which the working class had to apply coercively and absolutely to reinforce its own dictatorship as a means to dominate the bourgeoisie and to advance socialism to communism.
The bourgeois division of labour is still existent in socialist society. The existence of socialist society is a result of these factors. In the event that classes in socialist society are finally eliminated and the classes comprising society transform into the association of integrated producers, “freely cooperating labourers” in Marx’ words, then the basic contradiction fed by the class privileges of socialist society are eliminated and the state withers away.
Mao stated his ideas more systematically about the political-economy of socialism, socialist industry and socialist transformation in his speech called “On the Ten Great Relationships” in the enlarged meeting of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Political Bureau.
Here he may be said to be drawing up the general economic and political framework of the proletarian dictatorship. These essential ideas of Mao may be considered to have been drawn from the concrete and developed experience of the USSR.
Mao, in dealing with the development of socialist industry, states the following:
“Everybody accepts that heavy industry is an essential sector to which priority must be given. We did not make any principal mistake when considering relations between heavy industry and light industry and between industry and agriculture. We did not repeat the mistakes of some socialist countries overestimating the heavy industry and neglecting light industry and agriculture.”
“We attached a little bit more importance to light industry and agriculture…Does it mean that the heavy industry sector is no longer the leading one? No, the heavy industry sector is still the leading one…What shall occur when we attach more importance to agriculture and light industry?
The result will be faster and more development of the heavy industry and production tools. The development of the heavy industry entails the accumulation of capital. Where shall this accumulation be gained from? However, light industry and agriculture can render more and faster accumulation.” (27)
Before Mao wrote the article “On the Ten Great Relationships”, serious discussions were held within the Chinese Communist Party on the economy. China applied the experience of Russia literally to China at the beginning. Then Mao opposed and criticized them. In the Chinese Communist Party 8th Congress, held immediately after the revolution in 1950, the following was put forward:
“The essence of the contradiction (in socialist society) is the contradiction between the advanced social system and the underdeveloped social productive forces”, which contradicted the reality of class struggles in socialism.
Liu Shao-chi stated the following in the Congress :
“However, now the revolutionary storm and oppression period have been ended, and new relations have been established; the target of our struggle has changed, which has become to protect the successful development of the social productive forces. Therefore, the struggle ways shall be changed accordingly.” (28)
Liu Shao-chi did not change such ideas and he further systematized these bourgeois ideas and became the main opponent of GPCR as the main representative of the bourgeoisie.
As is known, the development and transformation of technology depends on capital accumulation in capitalist production. And development in the productive forces, in fact developments in technique, are realised under the domination of capital, which brings about the defeat of worker against machinery, becoming part of the machine and leading to alienation from his own labour.
It must be the contrary in socialist production. The worker must not be dominated by machinery, but he must dominate it. The worker cannot be a gear of the machinery. The volume of production depends on the amount of the capital investment in capitalist production, while in socialist production even though capital is necessary, the quantity of investment does not determine the volume of production.
What determines the volume of production and the technical development is the collective production and their domination on their products. Because China had passed on to socialism since 1957, the socialist economy had been further developed, the cooperatives had been transformed into people’s communes, the restrictions on the national bourgeoisie had been increased and the state communes had been developed, the representatives of the bourgeoisie, supported by the reactionary forces, opposed the new policy of the Chinese Communist Party.
Mao knew that he would face strong resistance as a result of the principle of “unity of opposites”, the basic theory of dialectics. The reason was that bourgeoisie inside and outside the Party would not accept new transformation and would attempt to prevent China from socialist transformation.
Every thing contains its opposite. Each forward action faces backward action. The “Leftist” line contains the rightist line, correct faces wrong. It would not be easy for China to pass from the people’s democratic dictatorship. On the other hand, there were many people trying to apply the experience of the USSR to the special conditions of China dogmatically.
Therefore, Mao wrote the “On the Ten Great Relationships”, describing the political-economy of socialism and the contradictions of socialist transformation and solutions thereof. He condemned the ideas denying class struggle in socialism.
He also condemned the approaches underestimating agriculture and light industry and transferring their accumulations to the heavy industry directly. The reason was that the latter approach was destroying the basic alliance of workers and peasants.
After “On the Ten Great Relationships”, Mao wrote his article “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”. This scientific article is a turning point in the establishment of socialism under the proletarian dictatorship, the continuation of class struggles, and correctly handling the class contradictions in socialist society with respect to the advancement of Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge.
Even though this approach of Mao has been existent since 1933 and applied throughout the Chinese revolutionary war, it appeared in 1957 as an essential contribution to Marxist-Leninist theory. Mao emphasized that Marxist philosophy could not be considered separate from the class struggle.
He took his ideas by filtering through practice and taught the Party this. He taught “to consider nothing from only one side.” The articles such as “On the Ten Great Relationships” and “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People” arose from the need caused by practice and applied to practice again. In his article “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”, Mao wrote the following:
“The contradictions between us and the enemy are antagonistic contradictions. Within the ranks of the people, the contradictions among the working people are non-antagonistic while those between the exploited and the exploiting classes have both an antagonistic and non-antagonistic aspect.
There have always have been contradictions among the people, but they are different in content in each period of the revolution and in the period of building socialism. In the conditions prevailing in China today, the contradictions among the people comprise the contradictions within the working class, the contradictions within the peasantry, the contradictions within the intelligentsia;
The contradictions between the working class and the peasantry, the contradictions between the workers and peasants on the one hand and the intellectuals on the other,, the contradictions between the working class and the other sections of the working people on the one hand and the national bourgeoisie on the other, the contradictions within the national bourgeoisie, and so on.” (29)
After listing the contradictions among the people and the contradictions between the people and the national bourgeoisie, Mao lists the contradictions between the government and the people:
“Nevertheless there are still certain contradictions between this government and the people. These include the contradictions between the interests of the state and the interests of the collective on the one hand and the interests of the individual on the other, between democracy and centralism, between the leadership and the led, the contradictions resulting from the bureaucratic working style of some of the state personnel in their relations with the masses.
All these are contradictions among the people. Generally speaking, the fundamental identity of the people’s interests underlies the contradictions among the people.” (30)
Mao determines the solution of these contradictions as follows:
“This democratic method to solve the contradictions among people was epitomized in the formula of “unity-criticism-unity”. To elaborate, that means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle, and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. In our experience, this is the correct method of resolving contradictions among the people.” (31)
Socialism is the transitory society to communism. For this reason, it carries the features of both societies, capitalist and communist. As long as the production relations peculiar to the communist society develops, those peculiar to capitalist society will diminish.
When the production relations peculiar to the communist society dominates society, then those peculiar to capitalist society and its law are eliminated irrevocably. This is a reality that while passing from capitalism to communism, the dominant production relations are not socialist production relations, but capitalist ones. Marx says the following on this basis:
“Socialist state is a bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie.”
Marx explains the reality of socialist society correctly. Mao further developing the understanding of the reality of the socialist society, explained what Marx meant with these words and emphasized that the struggle between socialism and capitalism has not yet ended and the winner is not yet certain.
This is one of the most important points that is often not recognized or refused to be recognized.
Those who do not know Marxist political-economy are bound to distort the political-economy of socialism. Therefore, they can put forward such nonsense as that the bourgeoisie penetrates socialism from the outside. Unless the internal conditions allow it, no country can be defeated through penetration of a few agents from outside. The imperialists occupied many countries with their armies and could not stay there for long. The most recent example thereof is Vietnam even though there were many local collaborationists there.
The reality of socialism, as Mao stated, lies in the contradictory reality between the production relations and productive forces, and the superstructure and substructure. This idea of Mao reveals that the transitory society, socialism, still reflects the features of capitalism.
The greatness of Mao, his contribution to Marxism-Leninism and the universality of Maoism result from this approach. Lenin could not analyze these in detail in that period just as it was impossible for Marx and Engels to make the analysis of imperialism. Marx describes the production relations as follows:
“Production relations contains the property form of the production tools, the distribution of income and the relations of people during production.”
What determines the nature of a society is firstly the nature of the property of the means of production. However, as Marx stated, this is not sufficient. The nature of the relations of people during production and the distribution of income also determine the nature of the society.
In capitalist society, the contradictions, in the words of Marx, are simplified, in other words, the fact that accumulation of the surplus value of worker is seized by capitalist due to the private property of the means of production causes a different system of relations, an exploiting relation, by a few capitalists.
In socialist society, although private property is eliminated, there is a more complex and different relations than the system of relations between the classes of capitalist society.
What are these relations?
In socialism, even though private property in the means of production is transformed into collective and social property, the fact that the distribution is based on labour, that the wage system has different levels and that the law of value is existent are based on the bourgeois right.
In addition, the fact that the contradictions between urban and countryside, blue and white collar are not solved yet, that the production of commodity is still existent, that the latter will continue for a long time in the transitory stage to communism and that the bourgeoisie has sources for itself which reflect ideologically in communist Party spontaneously reveal the severity of class struggle in socialist society and why this struggle focuses on the communist Party.
This reality also reveals why the proletarian dictatorship must exist. While saying that “we must never lose the proletarian dictatorship” , Mao points out the importance of political leadership in socialism and the obligation that the proletariat must conduct all transformations through class struggle until the transition from socialism to communism is completed.
Transformations do not happen spontaneously or as a result of the development of the productive forces only, but through class struggle.
Mao expounded that the class struggle should not be diminished during the period of socialism and the masses must be involved in this struggle directly and he pointed out that the masses must control the administration and production completely because he understood that the transformation of the means of production does not mean the transformation of the production relations into the socialist form. He emphasized that this fact creates the bourgeoisie all the time.
Further, underlining the dual nature of social and state property of the socialist state property, Mao contended that the capitalist-roaders can seize power due to such dual nature. In this connection, as soon as revisionism seizes power, it can transform socialist property into private property.
The transformation of this dual nature to completely social property can only be achieved through class struggle, which is the most important lesson Mao derived from the GPCR. Saying that “the development of the productive forces comes first, Mao stated the following on 12 March 1957, against the bourgeois approaches denying the class struggle :
“To achieve its ultimate consolidation, it is necessary not only to bring about the socialist industrialization of the country but also to carry on constant and arduous socialist revolutionary struggles and socialist education on the political and ideological fronts.
Moreover, various complementary international conditions are required. In China the struggle to consolidate the socialist system, the struggle to decide whether socialism or capitalism will prevail, will take a long historical period.” (32)
We may say that capitalism is at its death’s door, but it is still existent in the period of proletarian dictatorship. Given that socialism is the stage where the struggle between the defeated but still existent capitalism and still very weak communism is going on, it can be seen that such transformation can be achieved only through class struggle of the proletariat, i.e. ideological struggle against the bourgeoisie in every single field.
The only domination left for the bourgeoisie is ideological. When this is abolished or eliminated, capitalism will inevitably become the dominated in society and a change in the state and the class dominating the state will occur.
The proletariat can realize the transition from socialism to communism only by solving the contradictions existent in the socialist society correctly, analysing the relations between them correctly, avoiding from transforming the non-antagonistic contradictions into antagonistic contradictions and handling all the stages of development along the line of class struggle. While speaking to the masses during GPCR Mao said the following :
“You are performing revolution, do you know where the bourgeoisie is?”
He answered himself underlining an important point for the proletarian class:
“It is inside the communist Party!”
It is only normal that the representatives of the capitalist path, the “New Bourgeoisie” are found inside the communist Party in the period of proletarian dictatorship, and in this connection, the highest point of class struggle is in the communist Party and that the bourgeoisie will target the communist Party as the most direct means to power.
The reason is that superstructure is the determiner in socialism. The proletariat does not change the substructure first and then seize the power from the bourgeoisie. Political power is seized first and then the changes in the substructure are initiated. No other way is possible.
The fact that the new bourgeoisie attempts to seize the domination in communist Party first is because of the fact that the proletariat is the most important means to power in socialist society. Further, the enemies of the proletarian dictatorship are not allowed to appear as the “representatives of the bourgeoisie” directly, but they struggle against the proletariat on the pretext of struggling for the proletariat.
“The dialectics of history is such that the theoretical victory of Marxism pushed the enemies of Marxism to disguise in Marxist clothes.” (Lenin)
Such conclusion of Lenin is highly valid for the bourgeoisie disguised in communist clothes since the appearance of Marxism, particularly in the socialist countries. Mao spoke to the masses during GPCR as follows:
“Resistance against our revolution comes from the persons in authority who have penetrated into our Party and taken the capitalist road.”
Who are these “persons in authority”?
Based on the experiences of China and USSR, these are cadres who have led the revolution, struggled at the forefront of the Party and in the administrative levels against the bourgeoisie. They were the holders of strong authority such as Trotsky, Bukharin, Rikhov, Zinoviev, etc.
However, they were the representatives of the bourgeoisie inside the communist Party. In the following periods, Khruschev and his circle of friends became the holders of the important posts inside the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (B).
Of course, what fed them are the bourgeoisie gaps inside the socialist economy. However, the cadres previously struggling against the bourgeoisie severely could eventually give in to the bourgeoisie during the period. Therefore, the origin of the new bourgeoisie is inside communist Party.
This is what Mao meant when he said that the struggle between two lines inside the communist Party is the result of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
We must conduct the class struggle resolutely without yielding any concessions especially inside the Party if we want to achieve success in the establishment of socialism and to prevent retrogressions to capitalism. This is one of Mao’s greatest contributions to Marxism-Leninism.
NEW REVOLUTIONS UNDER THE PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP AND THE GREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION
Mao always based himself on the principle that “revolution is made by the masses” and he had boundless trust in the masses. He said:
“You should be the student of the masses first and before you can be their teacher “.
He put forward the proposition that one had to be like a fish in the water in relation to the masses, emphasized that we must not be afraid of the actions and criticism of masses because the masses are the best teachers, and he developed the Marxist-Leninist mass line further, and expounded more enlightening and progressive ideas about how communist parties can gain the support of the masses and organise them. He based himself on the principle of,
“unite with the advanced masses, gain the intermediate masses and neutralise the backward masses .”
He never gave any concession from this principle during the Chinese revolutionary war. He explained that what we should be afraid of is the motionless masses, not the active masses. Stability delays the creation of the new, whereas motion always creates new opposites and causes masses to adopt new and more advanced political targets.
Lenin said, “masses learn from their own experience better ” and Mao said “one action is much better than a thousand advice ” to emphasize the importance of the practical experience and ceaseless motion of the masses.
Who makes history is not a few elite, but large masses of people. In class societies, all exploiters including the bourgeoisie have contended that it was a few elite and, of course, the exploiter classes that made history to deny the role of the masses in history.
Marxists have opposed this view from the very beginning. The ideologies of two classes have clashed on this matter.
The bourgeoisie have striven to pacify the masses and cause them to submit to the exploiter classes, whereas communists have always tried to mobilize the masses to dominate everything, to stand up and to seize power from the bourgeoisie.
The reason is that unless the proletariat stands up and seizes power from the bourgeoisie, humanity will never arrive at the classless society free from exploitation. The sooner the proletariat seizes power from the bourgeoisie, rallies the classes with an interest in the revolution around itself and prepares a society free from class and exploitation, the sooner will humanity stop experiencing bitterness and pain.
Of course, the role of the proletarian vanguard is essential to activate the masses. When the proletarian Party follows a correct line and the masses are aroused by means of a correct political and administrating art, the masses be militantly mobilised and their unity solidly maintained.
Throughout his life, Mao advised the Chinese Communist Party and its militants to mobilise masses firstly and continuously develop the Marxist-Leninist line in this respect. The Chinese Revolution, Great Leap Forward, “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom..”, “Socialist Education Movement” and finally GPCR were the results of this approach.
“What the Marxist-Leninist art of administration means is to know how the masses are mobilised, to cause not only our administrative cadres, but also the broad masses to understand and adopt the policies of the Party. We can determine if we make mistakes in our activities in this way.” (Mao)
Proletariat must adopt socialism and, above all, seize all posts of the socialist state to protect and develop its socialist power. However, this is not enough, they should increase their class consciousness and production consciousness and control science. Unless the proletariat can achieve these, retrogressions are inevitable.
Of course, proletariat cannot be expected to achieve all these in a short time, to increase its class consciousness, to close all gaps in society in such a way as to prevent the bourgeois remnants to penetrate, to control science, which will be the result of many revolutions. Mao meant the same with his words of ,
“a few GPCR will not be sufficient, we need to conduct cultural revolutions more often”.
The Marxist-Leninist contributions of Mao on the class struggle in socialism and establishment of socialism have become part of Marxist-Leninist scientific theory of the proletariat today. If we can easily talk about retrogressions in socialism and are happy with the great theoretical treasury in the hands of the international proletariat, we should know that we owe it to the fact that Mao had advanced the science of Marxism-Leninism further.
Mao could be said to be the Marxism of class and class struggles in socialism. However, this description is not sufficient to define the contributions of Mao.
Apart from his contributions to develop materialist philosophy, he also described the dialectics of the proletariat of semi-colonial countries against the bourgeoisie. “New Democratic Revolution”, “People’s War” and “New Democracy” are the advanced theories of Mao on this field.
For the establishment of socialism under the proletarian dictatorship, we have, “The Great Leap Forward”, “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”, “Movement of Socialist Training” and finally “The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” that shook the world like the 1917 October Revolution and ushered in a new period for the international proletariat after the appearance of the false communism of Khruschev.
The scientific theory showing how socialism would be established under the proletarian dictatorship, the complexity of the struggle against the bourgeoisie and the fact that the most important point in this struggle is to mobilize the masses, that the winner of the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is not yet certain, and therefore the proletariat must never let go of the class struggle and its struggle against bourgeoisie comprise the stage of Maoism in Marxism-Leninism.
As long as the international proletariat ignores these contributions of Mao, it cannot defend and will in fact deviate from Marxism-Leninism.
The reason is that Marxism has three legs in the current period, which cannot be separated from each other. They express the three bases of the advancement of the science of Marxism. Lenin advanced the theories of Marx, and Mao advanced the theories of Lenin.
Of course, the science of Marxism shall not stop here and it will continue to advance. Marxism-Leninism are parts of science and society. In the words of Mao,
“Marxist philosophy says that what is important is not only to comprehend reality but also to change it .”
Who are opposed to these contributions of Mao?
They are the Khruschevite modern revisionists and their successors. And then the revisionist Enver Hoxa.
The reason was they began to apply the bourgeois ideology instead of Marxism-Leninism, denied the class struggle and materialist dialectics. Even though both of them look to defend the same line, the ideological source feeding them is the composition of the different appearances of the bourgeoisie ideology.
“The Great Leap Forward” is one of the best examples showing how to mobilise masses to build the socialist economy. In the years of the Great Leap Forward (GLF), they, particularly the imperialist bourgeoisie and the modern revisionist Khruschev, attacked Mao on the pretext that Mao was “crazy”, that he “did not understand” economics, that the peasants could not develop industry, etc.
Inside the country, the capitalist roaders ran amuck. They also attacked Mao on the pretext that Mao was “crazy” and the peasants were “ignorant”. They exerted great effort to prevent GLF from gaining success. But as a result of the GLF, three out of four factories in 1970 had their foundations laid in the period of the GLF.
Here, the most important point is this great mass movement including mobilisation of masses, causing them to participate in the establishment of socialism, to seize the administration of production from a few technicians and bureaucrats and to apply the proletarian discipline to every field brought about great cultural, political and ideological results. This was an indispensable success for the Chinese proletariat.
In the USSR, the masses were also mobilised from the very beginning. Subbotniks are some of the most important ones. However, when subbotniks are compared to GLF, we can say that GLF was more advanced and gained greater successes. Lenin stated the following about subbotniks:
“Of course, it is only a beginning. However, it is a beginning having great importance. This is the beginning of the revolution which is more concrete, more rooted and determined because it is a victory against our own conservative, undisciplined features and our own petty bourgeois selfishness.
It is a victory gained against workers and peasants inherited from capitalism. The new social discipline shall be created only when this victory is reinforced. Only then a regression to capitalism shall be impossible and communism shall be undefeatable.” (33)
Mao was a great Marxist-Leninist who recognized that Marxism-Leninism is a guide to action. He was a Marxist master who believed that all bourgeois remnants should be removed and thrown to the dustbin of history, that this struggle must be conducted by the masses so that the masses can win this war.
Here are what he stated in “Let a Hundred Flowers…”:
“In the light of the specific conditions of China, in recognition of the continued existence of various kinds of contradictions in socialist society and in response to the country’s urgent need to speed up its economic and cultural development.” (34)
The “One Hundred Flowers” campaign of Mao was attacked not only from inside, but also from outside. They were the bourgeois who were afraid of the participation of the masses in struggle. Then, the modern revisionist Enver Hoxa participated in this bourgeois chorus.
“Neither we are speaking nonsense words such as “one hundred flowers” or “one hundred movements” nor we are swinging from one end to the other while evaluating the successes of the progressive art and culture of the world.” (35)
On the other hand, Mao, even in the period of civil war, he advised that the masses must be fish in the water and emphasized the mass line of communist parties.
“Let a Hundred Flowers…” was one of the methods he advanced to solve the contradictions among the people. In a class society, the proletariat cannot apply the dictatorship that it applies to the bourgeoisie to classes supporting it. It proposes methods by applying correct policies on non-antagonistic contradictions and is keen to avoid transforming them to antagonistic contradictions.
Mao’s ideas about the methods to resolve the contradictions among the people, derived from the experience of China and USSR, are immortal with respect to their contribution to the science of Marxism-Leninism.
“What should our policy be towards non-Marxist ideas? As far as unmistakable counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs of the socialist cause are concerned, the matter is easy, we simply deprive them of their freedom of speech. But incorrect ideas among the people are quite a different matter. Will it do to ban such ideas and deny them any opportunity for expression? Certainly not.
It is not only futile but very harmful to use crude methods in dealing with ideological questions about man’s mental world. You may ban the expression of wrong ideas, but the ideas will still be there. On the other hand, if correct ideas are pampered in hothouses and never exposed to the elements and immunized against disease, they will not win out against erroneous ones. Therefore, it is only by employing the method of discussion, criticism and reasoning that we can really foster correct ideas and overcome wrong ones, and that we can really settle issues.” (36)
These immortal contributions of Mao reached their summit through the GPCR. The GPCR was based on the fact that the bourgeoisie was not outside, but inside, that it was supported by various political, cultural, etc. connections, and that the proletariat therefore should attack to eliminate the bourgeoisie inside its own Party.
In saying “bombard the bourgeois headquarters”, Mao was targeting the capitalist roaders who were positioned in the center of the Party.
Mao Zedong is one of the teachers of the proletariat, who comprehended the effects of consciousness on matter. He is a leader advising that the masses must be armed with correct the political line, the consciousness must transform the masses to seize more and more parts of the social administration, to increase the directive and administrative capabilities, to activate and develop their political initiative, that the highest administrative committee of the communist Party must be controlled by the masses and that mass must attack politically and ideologically if they insisted on the bourgeoisie line.
“The GPCR induced one to solve the problem of point of view at the deepest level of consciousness.” (37)
Mao could have brought the capitalist roaders of the Chinese Communist Party before the courts as Stalin had done with Bukharin and his circle. However, he argued that that method was not correct, that the masses must participate in this struggle and that the masses must be in the center of class struggle to increase their socialist consciousness.
You cannot struggle on behalf of the masses. The bourgeoisie does this. Who is afraid of the masses is the bourgeoisie. The socialist transformation of the masses can be achieved only in the class struggle. The remnants of capitalism cannot be eliminated by means of obligatory laws.
The socialist transformation cannot be achieved by means of laws only. The deeply-rooted transformations can be achieved only in the class struggle. This is the Marxist-Leninist approach of Mao. GPCR was launched on this basis, and Mao did not think that one revolution would be sufficient. He spoke to the members of Central Committee in the 9th CC General Meeting on 28th April 1969 as follows :
“If we will mention about victory, we must ensure combining the broad masses with the proletarian vanguard to gain victory. The socialist revolution should continue. There are many things in this revolution that are incomplete and need to be continued. For example, struggle-criticism-transformation. We may need to conduct another revolution after a few years.” (38)
Mao continued this struggle until his death. In the middle of 1970, while he was struggling against Lin Biao and condemning his empirical approach, he based himself on the ideological struggle. The revisionists in the Party were exposed ideologically first and then they were discharged. The reason was that Mao did not find sufficient merely discharging the capitalist roaders physically to solve the problem.
The correct method is to condemn the wrong ideas and let the correct ideas prevail. This is one of the most important features of Maoism.
There were some inside Chinese Communist Party who opposed the GPCR on the pretext of “Great chaos can occur in China and we can not control it”. In fact they supported the attacks of Khruschev and the imperialists. However, Mao resisted all opponents by saying,
“if we want to make revolution, it is obligatory for the masses to participate in revolution”.
He used the following method to reveal the revisionist ideas:
“If the problem involves line or principle, I am very strict and I do not lose sight of the situation. I do not give any concessions in important principles and matters. I used three methods after the Lusan Conference. The first one was to throw stone, the second to mix sand to the soil and third to destroy the city-walls from below.” (39)
Mao asserted that politics must control everything, that no other thing must prevail over it, that the masses should not be kept away from politics and priority must be attached on politics while conducting production.
He also defended the correctness of the statement that the ideological and political line determines everything, that if the communist Party has a correct line, it will gain the support of the masses and seize political power, and that he therefore emphasized the importance of the Marxist-Leninist ideology. Based on these ideas, he stated that the GPCR must be supported and conducted because a socialist transformation can be achieved only through a correct line.
“We believe in the masses. We should be the students of masses to be the teachers thereof.”
The GPCR was a giant event that shook the world. Will we be able to pass beyond the socialism? Do we dare it? This transition causes the elimination of classes eventually and of the three great differences.
“To oppose is to resist against, and destroy, especially the bourgeois authorities. We cannot establish socialism without this destruction, and we can not achieve struggle firstly, criticism secondly and transformation thirdly.” (40)
The successes and theories of the GPCR realized in the ideological and political leadership of the proletariat opened a new stage in the science of Marxism-Leninism of the international proletariat and became the theory of continuing revolution with the ceaseless repetition of unity-criticism-struggle. This is Maoism.
In this context, limiting Marxist science to only Marxism-Leninism is to interrupt the development of proletarian science. What best captures the current stage of dialectical materialism is the term Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Who are opposed to Marxism-Leninism:
Firstly, the imperialist bourgeoisie.
Secondly, the current supporters of the revisionist Enver Hoxa, who are the current representatives of modern revisionism.
Thirdly, Trotskyists and every kind of opportunists.
The October Revolution laid the foundation of the new type of communist parties. The GPCR brought about the creation of new communist parties of the Marxist-Leninist type instead of those destroyed and revised by the modern revisionists.
The real representatives of the proletariat have been created by the GPCR today. Communist parties created on the Marxist-Leninist basis struggled against imperialism and social imperialism and revealed the truth of the modern revisionism and the fact that it was a bourgeois ideology.
The struggle against the modern revisionism was launched by Mao since 1956 and the anti-Marxist-Leninist truth of the modern revisionism was exposed. It was not allowed to attack Marxist-Leninist in the personality of Stalin. Mao did not give any concession, even though he sometimes struggled alone, from the principles of Marxist-Leninist. And history has vindicated Mao.
Today’s communist parties are the result of the ideological struggle conducted by Mao against every kind of revisionism and opportunism. Our Party, Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML), determined this in its Declaration of Foundation from its period of foundation.
It declared that Marxism-Leninism cannot be defended without recognising the contributions of Mao to Marxism-Leninism.
DIALECTICAL MATERIALIST PHILOSOPHY AND MAO’S CONTRIBUTION THERETO
“Freedom means to understand and transform necessity.” (Mao)
The transforming motor of the history of societies is of course the class struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed. In the pre-capitalist societies, the class struggles conducted by the oppressed classes against the oppressor classes without the correct philosophical comprehension was a result of current conditions then. Upon the appearance of capitalism, two modern classes also appeared.
However, the modern bourgeoisie ruling capitalist society could not succeed in creating a philosophical point of view free from the former oppressor class and adopted the idealist philosophy of the exploiting classes originating from the medieval darkness.
The reason was that the philosophy of the bourgeoisie was established on the basis of private property. Therefore, it could not adopt a philosophy opposed to private property. The view of the classes are determined by the share they take from social production .
“The existence of human being is not determined by his consciousness, but by their social existence.” (Marx)
The working class appearing in the scene of history after the appearance of the bourgeoisie could not yet become a class for itself and have its own views immediately after its appearance. These could only happen in the period when capitalism developed and the bourgeoisie began to be reactionary.
The view of the working class was created through the criticism of the philosophical approaches put forward previously, through intense struggles against them–the French utopian socialism, the English political-economy and German philosophy.
And so the scientific dialectical historical materialist philosophy of the working class condemning the idealist approaches of bourgeoisie and all former reactionary classes and launching a new period in the history of societies was created. For this, the working class is eternally indebted to Marx and Engels, the immortal teachers of the proletariat.
When to the bourgeois philosophers stated tha t, “the only duty of the philosophy is to interpret the world”,
Engels responded saying “the duty of dialectical and historical materialism is to change the world” .
It was the declaration of the end of the idealist philosophy. The more the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie intensified, the more Marxist philosophy developed, and the more the bourgeoisie became aggressive.
The hostility of the bourgeoisie against Marxist philosophy is in fact favourable for working class because it proves that the working class has adopted its own science and has begun to shake the throne of the bourgeoisie.
After Marx and Engels, Lenin who developed the dialectical materialism by struggling against the opportunists who pretended to be “Marxist” but actually attempting to revise Marxist philosophy, stated the following in the “Summary of the Hegel’s Logic”:
“In short, dialectics can be defined to be the unity of opposites. This reveals the essence of the dialectics.”
After Lenin, all bourgeois movements attempted to revise dialectical materialist philosophy, to empty it of its meaning and to disguise its class character. The reason was that the most crucial feature of the dialectical materialist philosophy for the bourgeoisie was its class character, that is to say it was the scientific theory of the struggle to change the world under the leadership of the working class.
All opportunist and revisionist movements attempted to transform it into a form acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Mao answered them in his articles “On Practice”, “On Contradictions”, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”, “Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?”. He developed the materialist philosophy further and revealed that it was not a dogma, but a practical guide to action in the struggle of the working class.
“The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves to practice.” (41)
After describing the basic laws of dialectical materialism clearly, Mao stated their struggle and relations with each other in his article “On Contradiction”. Mao explains the law of contradictions as follows:
“The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites is the basic law of nature and of society and therefore also the basic law of thought. It stands opposed to the metaphysical world outlook. It represents a great revolution in the history of human knowledge.
According to dialectical materialism, contradiction is present in all processes of objectively existing things and of subjective thought and permeates all these processes from beginning to end; this is the universality and absoluteness of contradiction.
Each contradiction and each of its aspects have their respective characteristics; this is the particularity and relativity of contradiction… But the struggle of opposites is ceaseless, it goes on both when the opposites are coexisting and when they are transforming themselves into each other, and becomes especially conspicuous when they are transforming themselves into one another; this again is the universality and absoluteness of contradiction.” (42)
Mao composed the synthesis and analysis of the Marxist masters who had developed dialectical historical materialism previously. He illumined the path of the class struggle of proletariat by analysing in depth what the unity and struggle of opposites are and the class contradictions.
Mao analysed the primary and secondary contradictions and the basic contradictions creating them, put forward how the communist Party must handle the contradictions during the class struggle, concluded that opportunism is the result of metaphysical philosophy and condemned such kind of approaches.
He concluded that the two-line struggle inside the communist Party is not subjective, but objective and to deny such reality is to deny dialectical materialism, and so revealed the origin of the approaches considering communist parties to be monolithic and condemned them.
The approaches denying the two-line struggle inside communist parties are in fact the metaphysical approaches denying the division of one into two, the sameness and absoluteness of opposites. The ideas of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are always one inside another.
In other words, there is sharp struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat also inside the communist Party. Denying this causes fatalism or wrong policies in proletarian ideology. Ideas supported by Khruschev, Enver Hoxa and Trotsky are rooted in this. Bourgeois philosophy denies the division of one into two. What opportunism defends is the same in deed.
Mao explains the struggle and contradictions inside the Communist Party as follows:
“Opposition and struggle occur inside the Party all the time. This is a reflection of the contradictions between the old and the new inside the Party. If the contradictions inside the Party and the ideological struggles conducted to solve them were not existent, the life of the Party would end.” (43)
Like everything else, there is also contradiction inside the Party, and the Party is a fruit of the contradictory unity. The contradictions inside the Party is nothing else than the reflection of the contradiction between the social classes. If the contradictions inside the Party are not handled correctly, it is impossible to maintain the contradictory unity of the Party.
The struggle inside the Party is an ideological struggle. Those opportunists who do not understand, or do not want to understand, the two-line struggle inside the Party and consider the Party as homogenous either resort to denying the struggle inside the Party or suppressing the different ideas by using force.
However, this does not eliminate the contradiction inside Party but can only prevent these contradictions temporarily or cause bigger opposition and lead to the destruction of Party unity. This is what Mao meant when he said the following:
“The philosophy of the Communist Party is that of struggle; Marxism can develop only through struggle. This is not true only for today and the past, but also for the future.”
After analysing the origin of the basic contradiction which causes a period and does not change during that period, Mao determined that all problems of societies, i.e. economic, social, political problems, etc. were caused by this basic contradiction and that unless this contradiction is solved, no new historical stage can come to pass.
He emphasized that there were main contradictions caused by the basic contradiction, that one of these main contradictions became primary during this period, that the solution of the other contradictions depended on the solution of this primary contradiction, that the primary contradiction could change during the period according to the prevailing conditions, that a contradiction seeming to be secondary could become the primary contradiction.
He contended that communist parties must evaluate each condition and each moment correctly and determine which contradiction is more important during revolutions. In short, he pointed out that recognition of the primary contradiction was very important to analyse the class. If the primary contradiction is not recognized and handled correctly, the other contradictions cannot be solved correctly.
Mao, while examining the contradictions inside things and societies, considers the contradictions as antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions. Analysing the dialectical connection between these two contradictions correctly, Mao emphasized that it was important to consider and comprehend them correctly for the success of the proletarian revolution and the class struggle during the period of socialism, and for preventing the retrogression from socialism to capitalism.
Mao concluded that if the contradictions were not handled correctly, the non-antagonistic contradictions could transform into antagonistic contradictions.
He pointed out that if the said were handled incorrectly, the proletariat could lose its friends during the period of revolution, in other words the popular classes can lose. What opportunists understand from the non-antagonistic contradiction is that there is no contradiction or there are contradictions not colliding with each other.
Mao, in his article called “Critique of Soviet Economy,” says that a contradiction is antagonistic as a result of its nature. There are two opposite (antagonistic) poles comprising a contradiction. It is impossible to have continuous harmony of two opposite poles. They negate, collide with, each other. If this feature of contradiction is not recognized, the class struggle in socialism and the fact that this struggle sometimes can become more severe will be denied.
The GPCR in China is an example of the fact that class struggle in socialism is conducted very severely and of the fact that the contradictions in socialism can transform into antagonistic contradictions.
The fact that Mao, while considering the contradictions in society, mentioned about the antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions and that he stated that the contradictions among the people would be “non-antagonistic” if they were handled correctly do not mean that he put forward that the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry have been eliminated.
He means that, compared to the contradiction between the enemy and the people, this contradiction is non-antagonistic and secondary. However, there is an antagonistic dimension of the contradiction between the proletariat and the peasantry.
The solution of this contradiction is to transform the peasants if the proletariat can handle this contradiction correctly and avoid any big collision with them. Again, there is the same contradiction between the proletariat and the left wing of the national bourgeoisie which may take the position on the side of the front of the democratic revolution and proletariat in the semi-colonial countries. If it can be handled correctly, this contradiction can be transformed by avoiding severe collisions.
However, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is antagonistic and can be resolved only through a social revolution. The contradictions between imperialism and the oppressed peoples are antagonistic contradictions and can be solved only by the destruction of imperialism.
Mao asserted that the main reason of the antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions were the dimension and role of that contradiction in the current social developments. He says that the antagonistic contradiction is one form of the struggle of opposites, but not the only form.
“Contradiction is universal and absolute, exists in the development of everything and continues its existence from the beginning to the end.”
Mao did not only analyze the contradictions inside matter, but also analyzed the contradictions inside societies. His theoretical legacy enlightened the class struggle in socialism and widened the philosophical and theoretical horizon of the proletariat.
Mao posited the identity of matter and consciousness and developed further the materialist approach to the transformation of matter. Saying “consciousness transforms into matter, matter transforms into consciousness”, Mao explained the effect of consciousness on matter and the role of consciousness to transform societies more clearly.
Mao, repeating that knowledge is composed of the struggle for production, scientific experiment and class struggle, stated “theory originates from practice and returns back to practice, this action repeats in endless spirals ” and so made the dialectical connection between theory and practice clearer.
In conclusion, Mao condemned the approaches that put dialectical historical materialism into moulds and explained that dialectics was the unity and struggle of opposites and emphasized that the basic law of dialectics was the unity of opposites, and that the action, transformation, motion and interaction in matter result from this law.
Unless Mao’s contributions to dialectical historical materialism is comprehended and recognized, Marxist-Leninist philosophy cannot be comprehended. One of the most important reasons for adding Maoism to Marxism-Leninism is the fact that Mao deepened dialectical historical materialism.
Unless Mao’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism is recognized, neither can victory in the struggle against imperialism and the reactionary classes in the semi-colonies can be achieved, nor the proletarian revolutions gain success. Mao’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism serve as a weapon of the international proletariat in the struggle against imperialism and fascism and its most important theoretical, military, political and ideological treasure as well as its guide to seize power from the bourgeoisie.
By his words “power grows out of the barrel of a gun “, Mao described the manner and path of the real liberation of the masses and made clearer the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples against all anti-Marxist-Leninist movements which attempt to reduce Marxism to a bourgeois-liberal theory, and thus prevent the proletarian science from becoming indeterminate and muddled.
Unless Mao’s contributions are recognized, the class struggles under proletarian dictatorship will be interrupted, the proletariat cannot protect its class-consciousness against the capitalist-roaders, and the control of masses over the production and administration cannot be achieved.
The reason is that Mao revealed the contradictions of socialist society and indicated the solutions of these contradictions. This is the most important contribution of Mao, which takes proletarian science to a qualitative development.
Unless Mao’s contributions are recognized, no clearer struggle can be conducted against metaphysical approaches. The real bourgeois faces under false communist mask cannot be identified.
Unless Mao’s contributions are recognized, the fact that Marxism-Leninism is a science, not a dogma, but a guide to action cannot be recognized. No struggle can be conducted against the revisionist supporters of Khruschev, Enver Hoxa and Trotsky.
Due to all these reasons, the communists representing the international proletariat must defend Mao, not timidly, but courageously. They must recognize that Maoism is an integral component and complement of Marxism-Leninism.
They must show to friends and enemies alike that the science of the proletariat is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. They must never give concession.
We are repeating once more:
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is capable of everything.
1. Lenin, Selected Works, V.12, p.68, Inter Publication
2. SE, V.2, p.36 7, Aydınlık Publication
3. the same book, p.375
4. the same book, p.375
5. the same book, p.386
6. the same book, p.388
7. the same book, p.406
8. the same book, p.411, “On New Democracy”
9 .Mao, SE. 1, p.249-250, Aydınlık Publication
10. Marx, Criticism of Gotha and Erfurt Programme, p.29, Sol Publication
11. Lenin, “Proleter Devrim and Fickle Kautsky”, SE, V.7, p.151 Inter Publication.
12. Lenin, V.29
13. Lenin, V.29
14. Lenin, “Left”-wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder, p.11-12, Sol Publication
15. Lenin, Works V.29, “8th Congress of the Russia Communist Party (B). March 1919
16. Lenin, V.33, “Conditions to Enrol in the Party”
17. Lenin, V.33, “Letter to Inessa Armand. 19 February 1917
18. Stalin, Problems of Leninism, p.623, Sol Publication
19. Stalin, the same book, p.625
20. Stalin, Works 14, p.153, 3 Mart 1937, Inter Publication
21. Stalin, Problems of Leninism, p.713
22. Mao, SW V.5 p.498
23. Mao, the same book, p.468-469
24. Mao, the same book, p.469
25. PR, 18,15-1969
26. Mao, SW, V.5, p.451
27. Mao, the same book, p.323 “On Main Relations”
28. Mao, Criticism of Ten Main Relations, p.16-17, Birikim Publication
29. Mao, SW, V.5, p.442-443
30. Mao, the same book, p.443
31. Mao, the same book, p.447
32. Mao, the same book, p.484
33. Lenin, SW, V.9, p.459-460 Inter Publication
34. Mao, SW, V.5, p.467
35. E. Hoca, Imperialism and Revolution
36. Mao, SW, V.5, p.470
37. Quoted from Mao by Red Flag, People’s Newspaper, The Newspaper of the Liberation Army, 6.11.1967
38. Mao, Unpublished Writings, p.240, May Publications
39. Mao, the same book, p.252
40. Mao, the same book, p.209
41. Mao, SE, V.1, p.378-379 “On Practice”
42. Mao, the same book, p.434-435
43. Mao, the same book, p.402