The position inside the international communist movement today bears certain resemblance to the situation that existed immediately after the Great October Revolution in 1917. The success of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in leading the revolution in Russia had naturally discredited the old-line social democrats who opposed revolution and instead preached peaceful transition through parliamentary means.
A great revolutionary intellectual ferment took place inside all the old social democratic parties of the Second International. Under the guidance of Lenin, the revolutionary left inside these social democratic parties broke with the revisionist theories of the leadership of the Second International and came forward to form the new Third Communist International.
A similar ferment has been taking place inside the international communist movement during the past few years.
Under the guidance of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the greatest Marxist-Leninist alive, and inspired by the success of the Chinese Revolution as well as of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, revolutionary groups from inside the old communist parties have been breaking away politically and organizationally from the revisionist leadership of these parties. Many new Marxist-Leninist groups and parties have emerged in recent times.
The study of Marxism-Leninism and the thought of Mao Tse-tung is important for the building of these new Marxist-Leninist parties. The most important requirement for these parties in order that they could fulfill their tasks as the vanguard of the working class is that they should be armed with Marxism-Leninism and the Thought of Mao Tse-tung. This question was stressed by Lenin in his two classical works, Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward and What Is To Be Done as well as by Stalin in The History Of The Communist Party Of The Soviet Union (Bolsheviks).
Therefore, the most important task for the newly emerging Marxist-Leninist parties is to arm their respective parties with correct theory. This means to arm them with the theory of Marxism-Leninism. But, today, the study of Marxism-Leninism must also include the study of the Thought of Mao Tse-tung which is the Marxism-Leninism of the modern era. In other words, we must study the contribution made by Comrade Mao Tse-tung not only for the Communist Party of China but also for all other Marxist-Leninist parties.
It is not presumed that it would be possible within the confines of one or two articles to deal exhaustively with all the contributions made by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, which are both rich and varied, to the development of Marxism-Leninism. Such a comprehensive study would need more time, energy and research. This article, therefore, is merely a step in that direction and a far from complete one.
Lenin used to say that Marxism is composed of the following three integral parts: (1) philosophy, (2) political economy and (3) the theory of class struggle. When we study the Thought of Mao Tse-tung we can see how he has developed these three component parts of Marxism.
On philosophy, a great number of questions can be touched upon. Let us take, for example, Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s speech at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature. This speech is indeed a very important one among the works of Comrade Mao Tse-tung. It is true that this speech deals with the principles of proletarian art and literature and that it creatively developed and gave a systematic exposition of the Marxist-Leninist theory on proletarian art and literature.
However, in this speech, Comrade Mao Tse-tung not only deals with art and literature, he also speaks about many other things pertaining to Marxism-Leninism. If we read this speech from a philosophical angle we can see that it is permeated with Marxist philosophy and that it deals with the relation between being and consciousness, between matter and mind. It deals with the main philosophical idea: where do ideas come from? It deals with the question of the individual and the masses, of politics and literature, of motive and effect.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung solved these questions with the aid of Marxist dialectics. In this way he gave an important exposition of Marxist dialectics. He stressed in detail the relation between motive and effect. Mechanical materialists pay attention only to effect but not to motive. But Communist parties and Marxist-Leninists should pay attention both to motive and effect.
In the speech at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature, Comrade Mao Tse-tung raised five requirements for revolutionary workers on literature and art. They were: (1) Class Stand, (2) Attitude, (3) Audience, (4) Work and (5) Study of Marxism-Leninism.
By the class stand he meant the proletarian stand. If our class stand was wrong all ideas would be wrong. By attitude he meant the difference in our attitude towards the enemy, our allies and our own people. We must adopt different attitudes towards each of these sections.
Towards the enemy our attitude must be to thoroughly expose them and to firmly overthrow them. Our attitude towards our allies should be to unite with them while, at the same time, carrying out proper struggles against them. We unite with them as far as their progressive side is concerned and struggle with them as far as their erroneous side is concerned.
Our attitude towards the revolutionary masses should be to praise them and to sing for them. They may have short-comings and mistakes. But our attitude should be to be patient with them and help them with good intent. Thus, Comrade Mao Tse-tung made it quite clear that we should have a different attitude towards each of these sections.
This is a general theory of Marxism-Leninism. This is an important matter of principle in the class struggle and has great significance in the Great Cultural Revolution in China. It has also real significance for the realization of the revolutionary alliance and for the fight against a handful of persons in authority in the Party who have taken the capitalist road.
The Thought of Mao Tse-tung has really creatively developed Marxism-Leninism. It has been elevated to a higher level. Therefore although it is twenty-five years since the speech on Art and Literature at the Yenan Forum, it has real significance for today’s Cultural Revolution. Although the speech deals with art and Literature, it is permeated with Marxist-Leninist dialectics.
Let us now take Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s most important philosophical article, On Contradiction, and study it closely. It was written 30 years ago. In this article Comrade Mao Tse-tung has very obviously made a creative exposition of Marxist-Leninist dialectics.
Take the first sentence in this article: “The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics.” This is a most profound statement. It is a very short sentence but it would take a day to explain it.
Simply, this law means that motion is inherent in all forms of matter and that motion i.e. development takes place as a result of the development and clash of the contradictions that are always present; and further, between the major contradictions and between the different aspects of each contradiction there is both identity and struggle; and, that, through the process of developing contradictions a thing or a phenomenon changes into its opposite.
Thus, Comrade Mao Tse-tung states in one sentence the basic law of materialist dialectics.
A most systematic exposition of Marxist dialectics by one of the founders of scientific socialism, Engels, is to be found in one of his most famous works Anti-Duhring. This is a very important book because it refutes all forms of fallacies spread so assiduously by
Duhring. The most important mistake of Duhring was that he negated the law of contradiction. He held that contradiction was artificial.
Engels made a comprehensive criticism of Duhring and refuted his wrong theories. He established the fact that the law of contradiction was an objective law of matter. He stated that movement is contradiction i.e. to say, things are moving and developing because of inherent contradictions; and that by the law of contradiction we mean the law of the unity of opposites.
That is why Comrade Mao Tse-tung has described the law of contradictions as not just another law of materialist dialectics but its most basic law. In the second sentence of his article, Comrade Mao Tse-tung has quoted Lenin’s statement that “Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradiction in the very essence of objects.” It is, therefore, very important for us to understand that the law of contradictions, that is, the law of unity of opposites is the most basic law of materialist dialectics.
In his book The Science of Logic, Hegel, the philosopher, has stated that there were three basic laws in dialectics. They were:
(1)The law that quantitative and qualitative changes give rise to one another.
(2) The law of the unity of opposites.
(3)The law of the negation of the negation.
These were the three basic laws of dialectics put forward by Hegel. Marx and Engels recognized and affirmed these three basic laws of Hegel but put them in the opposite order.
Hegel had presented these three laws not as the law of objective dialectics but as subjective dialectics. That is, he did not regard these laws as inherent in objective things but only as governing the law of man’s thinking i.e. in the logic of the thinking of men. In other words, Hegel interpreted dialectics from an idealist point of view.
However, according to Marx and Engels, the law of contradiction and the law of unity of opposites was a law that is inherent in objective things whereas man’s knowledge of contradiction is but a reflection of the objective law in man’s thinking. Therefore, Marx and Engels had satirized Hegel and pointed out that he had stood truth on its head.
Marx and Engels reversed this position and pointed out that these laws of dialectics are inherent in objective things. This was made clear by Engels in his Anti-Duhring and Dialectics in Nature.
A new development arose in Lenin’s time. The question arose as to which of the three laws of dialectics is the most basic. In the third sentence of his article, Comrade Mao Tse-tung refers to Lenin’s article On The Question of Dialectics and points out that “Lenin often called this law (i.e, the law of contradictions”) the essence of dialectics; he also called it the kernel of dialectics.”
Although Lenin pointed out that this law was the kernel of dialectics, he did not live to point out the relation between this kernel and the other two laws of dialectics.
Later, when the philosophical circles in the USSR dealt with these things, they pointed out the three laws but put them in a different order. They put them in the following order:
(1)The law of the unity of opposites,
(2)The law about quantitative and qualitative changes,
(3)The law of the negation of negation.
This was the formula used in the USSR for a long time.
In 1938, in History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Stalin presented 4 features of the dialectical method.
(1)All phenomenon are inter-connected and inter-dependent;
(2)All matter is in a process of motion and movement and development;
(3)Quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes;
(4)Everything develops on the basis of the struggle of the opposites.
Stalin, thus, put the law of the unity and struggle of the opposites as the last instead of as the first one. When the philosophical circles in the USSR dealt with the three laws of dialectics or when Stalin wrote about the four features of the dialectical method, both sections were putting the law of contradiction and the law of the unity of the opposites on an equal footing with the other laws instead of treating it as the basic law of dialectics.
Developed Marxist Dialectics
Comrade Mao Tse-tung has systematically studied the laws of the Marxist-Leninist dialectics and has developed Lenin’s thesis contained in his work On the Question of Dialectics. Comrade Mao Tse-tung does not deny the law about quantitative and qualitative change or the law of the negation of the negation. Engels had dealt with all these things in his Anti-Duhring. But, what Comrade Mao Tse-tung does point out clearly is that out of these three laws, the most basic law is that of the law of contradictions and the law of the unity of opposites. In this way, he has put this question in a monistic way. He has refuted the theory of putting these three basic laws on a parallel footing.
For example, Stalin says that the second feature of the dialectical method is the law of motion or development. Actually, motion or movement is inherent in contradiction and this had been pointed out by Engels in his Anti-Duhring when he said “motion itself is a contradiction.” If we grasp that the law of contradiction, i.e., the law of the unity of opposites is the most basic law of materialist dialectics, then we can understand that all the other laws of dialectics spring from this basic law.
Thus, it is clear that by asserting the primacy of the law of contradiction, the law of the unity of the opposites, Comrade Mao Tse-tung has creatively developed Marxist-Leninist philosophy and dialectics.
Although Mao Tse-tung’s article On Contradiction is his most important contribution to Marxist philosophy, he has also developed Marxist philosophy on a number of other points.
Another important philosophical work of Comrade Mao Tse-tung is his article On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. In this work, he deals with the question of how to handle contradictions among the people as opposed to how to handle contradictions between the enemy and ourselves. He also deals with the theory of how contradictions of different natures can be converted into each other. He also uses the law of contradiction to explain how to deal with the struggle between different views and ideas inside the party.
Already, in his article, On Contradiction, Comrade Mao Tse-tung had pointed out that “Opposition and struggle between ideas of different kinds constantly occur within the Party; this is a reflection within the Party of contradiction between classes and between the new and old in society. If there were to be no contradiction in the Party and no ideological struggle to resolve them, the Party’s life would come to an end.”
This was the first time that Comrade Mao Tse-tung used the law of contradiction, the law of the unity of the opposites, to explain the question of opposition and struggle between different ideas within the party. This is a creative development of Marxism-Leninism.
In the past, in the history of the Communist Party of China and in respect of some comrades in other parties also, incorrect views prevailed about the attitude to opposition and struggle between contradictory ideas inside the Communist Party. Some comrades admitted the law of contradiction when they dealt with phenomena outside the Party. However, when they came face to face with contradictory views inside the Party, they failed to use the dialectical method and, instead, used the metaphysical approach. In other words, they failed to understand that contradictions are universal and would also exist inside the Party too as a reflection of the contradictions outside the Party. Therefore, when these comrades came across contradictions and struggles inside the Party, they thought that it was terrible and bad.
It was an answer to such metaphysical approach that Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out the universality of contradiction and that, therefore, opposition and struggle between different ideas constantly occurs inside the Party too. This was nothing strange because it was a reflection of class contradictions outside and the struggle between the old and new inside the Party. If these contradictions and the consequent ideological struggles to resolve them ceased to exist within the Party, then the life of the Party would itself cease.
Only if we understand this aspect of inner-party struggle and its virtual inevitability in any living and developing Party can we understand the struggle that developed inside the Communist Party of China against Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping.
When the imperialists saw the Cultural Revolution in China and the exposure of Peng Chen and Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping, they thought that the Communist Party of China would be finished. When the Soviet revisionists saw the same phenomenon they also thought that the Communist Party of China would collapse and that the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung would be overthrown.
Even some friends did not understand this question correctly and felt sad and thought that everything inside the Communist Party of China is not good. They did not understand that if such contradictions and ideological struggles to resolve them did not occur, then the life of the Party would come to an end.
The reasons why these comrades get these wrong ideas is that they do not look at these ideological struggles from a dialectical view-point. That is why, at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Comrade Mao Tse-tung said that the Cultural Revolution was a sign of the sound development of the Chinese Party.
Therefore, comrades and friends should look at the phenomenon of the Chinese Cultural Revolution from this Marxist-Leninist dialectical standpoint. They will, then, realize that it is a good thing and not at all a bad thing. They will then realize the tremendous significance of the struggle against Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping and their wrong views. They will also understand that if this struggle had not been carried out, revisionism would have triumphed in China, capitalism would have been restored and China would have changed colour. This has been proved by the experience of the Soviet Union.
The Theory of Class Struggle
How has Comrade Mao Tse-tung developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the class struggle? This matter is dealt with very brilliantly in an editorial of the Peking People’s Daily under the heading A Great Historic Document. (This has been reproduces in this year’s 21st issue of Peking Review).
This article is a result of the attempt to study how Comrade Mao Tse-tung has developed Marxism-Leninism. A very important problem in the history of the development of Marxism-Leninism is raised in this article.
The article divides the history of development of Marxism-Leninism into three stages. It describes three landmarks. To quote: “Marx and Engels founded the theory of scientific socialism, Lenin and Stalin developed Marxism, solved a series of questions of the proletarian revolution in present era and solved the theoretical and practical questions of carrying on the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. These are three monumental milestones in the history of the development of Marxism.”
Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s special contribution to the development of the Marxist-Leninist theory of class struggle is that he gave a positive answer to the question whether classes and class struggles exist even under socialism.
The above-mentioned article poses this question clearly in the following way: “Are there still classes and class struggle in socialist society, particularly, after the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production has in the main been accomplished? Do all the class struggles in society still centre round the question of the fight over political power? Under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat do we still have to make revolution? Against whom should we make revolution? And how should we carry out the revolution?
“Marx and Engels could not possibly solve this series of major theoretical problems at their time. Lenin saw that after the proletariat seized power, the defeated bourgeoisie still remained stronger than the proletariat and was always trying to stage a come-back. At the same time, the small producers were incessantly generating capitalism and the capitalist class anew, thus posing a threat to the dictatorship of the proletariat. In order to cope with this counter-revolutionary threat and overcome it, it was therefore necessary to strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat over a long period of time. There was no other way. However, Lenin died before he could solve these problems in practice.
“Stalin was a great Marxist-Leninist who actually cleared out a large number of counter-revolutionary representatives of the bourgeoisie who had sneaked into the party, including Trotsky, Zionviev, Kamenev, Radek, Bukharin, Rykov and their like. But where he failed was in not recognizing, on the level of theory, that classes and class struggle exist in society throughout the historical period of the dictatorship of the proletariat and that the question of who will win in the revolution has yet to be finally settled; in other words, if all this is not handled properly there is the possibility of a come-back by the bourgeoisie. The year before he died, Stalin became aware of this point and stated that contradictions do exist in socialist society, and, if not properly handled, might turn into antagonistic ones.
“Comrade Mao Tse-tung has given full attention to the whole historical experience of the Soviet Union. He has correctly solved this series of problems in a whole number of great writings and instructions, in this great historic document (the reference is to the May 16, 1966 circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party—ed.) and in the most significant practice of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution personally initiated by him.
“This is a most important sign indicating that Marxism has developed to an entirely new stage. In the early years of the 20th century, Marxism developed into the stage of Leninism. In the present era, it has developed further into the stage of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought.”
Marx and Engels raised the question of the revolution of the proletariat. They also raised the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Lenin developed this theory and put it into practice by carrying out the Great October Revolution. The Soviet Union became the first country where the dictatorship of the proletariat became a reality.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung developed this Marxist-Leninist theory of revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat and carried out the revolution of the proletariat in his own country. The dictatorship of the proletariat became a reality in China, a country with a population of 700 million people. He also solved the question of how to make revolution in the present era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to world-wide victory. He has also solved the question of how to make revolution under conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The position can, therefore, be summed up as follows: Marx and Engels raised the question of proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Lenin made this a reality in the Soviet Union. Comrade Mao Tse-tung not only made this a reality in China but also solved the question of how to make revolution under conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. He also solved the question of how to prevent the dictatorship of the proletariat from changing colour, of how to prevent the restoration of capitalism and of how to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, It is obvious, therefore, that Comrade Mao Tse-tung has creatively developed the Marxist-Leninist theory of uninterrupted revolution.
The central question with regard to class struggle is the question of state power. The aim of the proletarian revolution is to seize state power. Marx and Lenin pointed out that he who only recognizes class struggle is not yet a Marxist. A real Marxist is one who not only recognizes the class struggle but also extends this recognition to the necessity for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The question is whether, after the proletariat has seized state power, after the dictatorship of the proletariat has become a reality, it is still true to say that the central question with regard to class struggle is still the issue of state power.
It was impossible for Marx and Engels to have answered these questions in their time. As we have already shown, Lenin did not realize that after the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the vanquished bourgeoisie will be stronger than the proletariat that vanquished it and that it always tried to stage a come-back; and that small producers would constantly give rise to capitalism and the capitalist class.
Lenin made this question very clear in his book Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky. In this book, Lenin said that the period of capitalism to communism was a whole historical epoch; and that, throughout this historical epoch, before communism is established, the vanquished bourgeoisie was bound to attempt to stage a come-back; they were bound to turn their attempts into action.
This was a great Marxist-Leninist prophecy. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has only further developed this profound observation by Lenin. Take Lenin’s remark that a whole historical epoch existed between capitalism and communism. Comrade Mao Tse-tung meant precisely this when he said that, after a socialist society had been established, it would take fifty, a hundred, years or more before communism is established.
This statement of Comrade Mao Tse-tung has been slandered as Trotskyism. In actual fact, it is Leninism.
The old-line revisionists, Bernstein, Kautsky etc., were against carrying out a socialist revolution in the Soviet Union. Their theory was known as the theory that production is everything. Thus, they held that because capitalist production in Russia was not developed –
socialist revolution was impossible, and that the October Revolution could only pave the way for capitalism in Russia; and that when capitalist productive forces had reached a certain level in Russia, only then could it naturally and peacefully grow into socialism. This was their theory of the peaceful transition to socialism.
This fallacious theory was clearly expressed by Kautsky in 1918 in his pamphlet On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and also in his Bolsheviks who are in a Desperate Situation Inside the Russian Party.
Later, Zionviev, Trotsky and Bukharin used this theory of old-line revisionists to oppose the socialist revolution, socialist construction and the theory that socialism could be built in one country. At the 7th session of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, Trotsky made the statement that the superiority of socialist production in Russia could be shown not now but only after 50 years or 100 years.
When Trotsky enunciated this fallacy, Stalin seriously refuted him. Because, the superiority of the socialist system of ownership over the system of private ownership in the capitalist countries was made quite clear at the very beginning itself, immediately after the revolution, when private ownership was abolished and public ownership established.
Stalin pointed out that Trotsky’s false theory was the same that propounded by the social democrat economist, Sukanov, who held that, because production was not well developed, therefore the October Revolution could only pave the way for capitalism and not socialism. Therefore, the position of Trotsky was that he was opposed to socialist revolution and socialist construction.
Trotsky’s false theory had nothing in common with the theory put forward by Lenin that the period from capitalism to communism was a whole historical epoch. It was also opposed to the theory enunciated by Comrade Mao Tse-tung that this period will take several decades or one century or several centuries. Both Lenin and Comrade Mao Tse-tung were discussing how long the period would be between capitalism and communism.
Those who distort these facts and try to slander Comrade Mao Tse-tung by identifying his view with those of Trotsky are not really attacking Trotsky but merely trying to prettify him. They are doing it either through ignorance or a deliberate intention to slander Lenin and Comrade Mao Tse-tung.
Stalin had already dealt with this false theory of Trotsky and identified it as the same as that put forward by the social democracy, Sukanov, who gave two reasons why socialist revolution and construction could not succeed in Russia. The first was that capitalist production was not sufficiently developed. The second was that the peasants in Russia were backward and their cultural level was low.
In his work, On the Revolution in our Country, Lenin pointed out that although the cultural level of the Russian peasantry was low, it had made the revolution along with the proletariat and that it was in favour of socialism. Lenin admitted that it was true that capitalist production was not so developed in Russian as in some European countries. But why was it impossible to greatly develop production after the proletarian revolution and under the dictatorship of the proletariat? From which book had Sukanov learnt that things could not be done this way? It was Napoleon who said: “Plunge into battle first before you want to see the outcome of it.”
Lenin maintained that after the means of production of the bourgeoisie and the imperialists and the land of the landlords had been confiscated, it would be possible to develop production greatly.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution initiated by Comrade Mao Tse-tung is precisely directed against the fallacy of Kautsky, Sukanov, Trotsky and Bukharin, which is a thesis opposing taking the socialist road and advocating taking the capitalist road.
The representative of these views in China today is Liu Shao-chi. In the summer of 1949 when China just won liberation, Liu Shao-chi said that because capitalist production was not sufficiently developed in China, it was not possible to take the socialist road. He said then that the problem in China was not that there was too much capitalism but too little. He also said that capital exploitation was not a crime but a credit and that the workers were not against exploitation but would welcome it. Therefore, he held that, after liberation, China should take the capitalist road instead of the socialist road.
This is exactly the same theory as put forward early in respect of the Soviet Union by Kautsky, Sukanov, Trotsky, etc., and which was known as the theory that production was everything. The Thought of Mao Tse-tung and the line advocated by Comrade Mao Tse-tung is sharply contrary to and diametrically opposed to the theory of these people. The Thought of Mao Tse-tung is the same as that of Lenin when he pointed out that, after the October Revolution, they should firmly oppose taking the capitalist road and should firmly take the socialist road.
What is the basic difference between the two lines contending in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution? The main question is the struggle between the two roads: Should China take the capitalist road or the socialist road? The struggle between these two lines existed in the past. It exists at the present and will exist in the future also.
That is why Comrade Mao Tse-tung has said that the present Cultural Revolution is only the first one and that, in the future, there would be many more.
The reason for this is that it is not merely a question of overthrowing the old exploiting classes and finishing with revolution for all time. New exploiting elements always crop up and a new bourgeoisie is always created. When Lenin dealt with this question his book, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky he pointed out that, throughout the historical period of transition from capitalism to communism, the former exploiting classes will try to stage a come-back and that they will try to turn their attempts into action. Here Lenin was referring to the former exploiting classes.
But in “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder, he pointed out that not only will the old exploiting classes try to stage a come-back but that in a socialist society a new bourgeoisie would be created. Lenin raised these questions but, as has already been pointed out, died too early to have been able to solve these problems.
Stalin was a great Marxist-Leninist who, as the People’s Daily editorial referred to earlier points out, solved a number of theoretical and practical problems connected with proletarian revolution and the question of building socialism in one country. But, on the theory of class struggle he made mistakes.
It is not correct to say that, after the October Revolution, Stalin completely neglected the question of the class struggle. Actually, before 1928, Stalin stressed very much that class struggles should be carried out in the Soviet Union. Stalin’s speeches before 1928 to the Komsomol and to the Control Commission dealt with this problem. He criticized certain people for forgetting class struggles in times of peace.
But, what was his shortcoming? After 1928, when the problem of the kulaks had been solved, when collectivization of agriculture was completed, when the first 5-year Plan was completed, he said classes had been entirely eliminated and no longer existed. This incorrect idea was clearly expressed in his report on the Soviet Constitution in 1936.
Stalin’s shortcoming was that in the field of theory he did not recognize that, throughout the entire historical epoch from capitalism to communism and under the dictatorship of the proletariat, classes and class struggles would continue to exist in society. While Stalin recognized the existence of classes and class struggle before 1928, he did not recognize their existence after that period.
But the fact was that, even after collectivization of agriculture and after the new Soviet Constitution, the class struggle against the bourgeoisie still existed. The danger of restoration of capitalism still existed. However, facts taught Stalin and, in his last years, he was conscious of this in some ways.
Stalin perceived the truth about the existence of classes and class struggles one year before he died. He then said that in socialist society contradictions shall exist and that if such contradictions were not properly handles they could become antagonistic ones. This view was expressed in his last work Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR.
But nevertheless, it must be stated that even in his book Stalin not only failed to state how the problem should be solved but also failed to state how the problem should be solved but also failed to give a clear exposition of the problem.
In the present era, Comrade Mao Tse-tung paid attention to all the historical experiences of the Soviet Union. The 50th anniversary of the October Revolution falls this year. It is going to be celebrated under conditions where the revisionists have seized power and carried out the restoration of capitalism. This is a bitter experience and deserves the serious attention and study by all Marxist-Leninists. There is also the experience of the Chinese Revolution.
It is as a result of studying these experiences that Comrade Mao Tse-tung has held that, in a socialist society and under the dictatorship of the proletariat, classes and class struggles exist although the form is different. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has not only elaborated this theory in his works but also, by personally initiating the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, correctly solved a whole series of questions concerning how to make revolution under conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
This is the most important landmark in the development of Marxism-Leninism by Comrade Mao Tse-tung. It indicates that Marxism-Leninism has developed to any entirely new stage, Marxism, which was first developed to the stage of Leninism, has now been further developed to the stage of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought.
The Communique of the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Eight Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which it adopted on August 12, 1966, states the question as follows:
“Comrade Mao Tse-tung is the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has inherited, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism with genius, creatively and in an all-round way, and has raised Marxism-Leninism to a completely new stage. Mao Tse-tung’s Thought is Marxism-Leninism of the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to world-wide victory. It is the guiding principle for all the work of our Party and country.”
Liberation Vol. 1, No. 2-N. Sanmugathasan