The fundamental question for all kinds of revolution is the question of the political power of the state. “Political power is in the hands of which class … [is the] point [that] decides everything.” (Collected Works of Lenin, Vol. 25) After the proletariat’s seizure of political power and in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the major issue still lies in the question of the political power of the state is in the hands of which class. How does the proletariat prevent the loss of political power they have seized? How to prevent the state from turning the servants of society into masters of society? How to prevent the bureaucrat class from usurping the power of the Party and the state and from changing the proletarian character of the state. These are important questions confronting the international communist movement of modern times and China’s socialist revolution.
In their lifelong revolutionary practice, Marx and Engels continuously exposed the reactionary and hypocritical character of the exploiting classes and of the bourgeois state machinery in particular, as well as of various types of bureaucracy. Bureaucrats, bureaucratism and bureaucracy appear in the wake of the emergence and development of the state. In a society in which the exploiting classes occupy the dominant position, the ruling class invariably wants to foster a large number of bureaucrats so as to maintain the exploiters’ exploitation and oppression of the vast numbers of laboring masses. These bureaucrats form a special clique inside the ruling class to administer the state organs. They represent and reflect the interests of the ruling class and serve as a tool for fulfilling the will of the ruling class. Marx and Engels pointed out that even in [the] most democratic bourgeois republic, the state is virtually ruled by bourgeois bureaucrats and politicians who are a “parasitic excrescence” in bourgeois society.
In refuting the opportunists’ blind faith in the bourgeois state and their worship and respect of the reactionary bureaucrats, Marx and Engels repeatedly cautioned us: “The working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” (Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol 4) They must use revolutionary violence to smash the state machinery, destroy the bureaucracy, exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat to replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and transform the masters of society into the servants of society.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is a tool of the proletariat and the laboring people for oppressing the exploiting classes and ”constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.” (Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 4) In essence, this new type of state is basically antagonistic to the bureaucrats and bureaucratism. By affirming this basic question,. Marx and Engels also pointed out: “After the proletariat’s seizure of political power the proletariat’s enemies have not been eliminated and the old social organizations have not been abolished,” and socialist society is thus in every respect, economically’ morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.” (Selected Works of Marx and Engels Vol 2 and 3) Therefore, there are the soil and conditions giving rise to bureaucrats and there is the danger of once again turning the state political power, the servants of society, into masters of society. Marx and Engels praised the Paris Commune for overcoming this danger by adopting two important and revolutionary measures: All officials are elected by universal suffrage and are subject to supervision by the masses and to recall at any time; and the abolition of all privileges and allowances in the case of officials, the reduction of the remuneration of all servants of the state to the level of “workmen’s wages.” Both in theory and in practice, this will be “effective to prevent people from cherishing the notion of becoming officials and getting rich quick.” (Selected Works of Marx and Engels Vol. 2)
After the overthrow of the old bureaucrats, these measures will prevent the new bureaucrats from arising anew. Marx’s and Engels brilliant ideas concerning the smashing of the old state machinery and the prevention of the new state machinery from degenerating are the essential and fundamental things of Marx’s treatise of the state,”the highest achievement of Marxism in relation to the question of the state.” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 3) In the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, Lenin referred to the fresh experience in class struggle in his efforts to defend, enrich and develop this highest achievement of Marxism in relation to the question of the state. Lenin pointed out that in this new era, the nation’s monopoly capitalism had developed rapidly, the bourgeoisie had become utterly reactionary in the political arena, and the bureaucratic-military machinery had grown to gigantic proportions.
To smash this machinery was the most urgent and the most immediate problem for the proletarian revolution. Under the banner of Leninism, the October Revolution first of all resolved this basic question. Lenin made a profound analysis of the complicated relations between revisionism and bureaucracy. Under the dictatorship of the monopoly capitalists and in an attempt to disintegrate the workers’ movements, the imperialists tried to use a small portion of the big profits they had made to foster a group of elite workers and trade union bureaucrats. Bending their knees to the imperialist’s bureaucratic-military machinery, these revisionists did their best to meet the needs of the monopoly bourgeoisie, advocating “parliamentarism.” They alleged that the election of the members of the Social Democratic Party to become members of the bourgeois parliament would mean the start of the proletariat’s seizure of political power. They hankered after high positions in the bourgeois parliament, did their best to squeeze in, aspired to be promoted to the rank of ministers from their positions of members of the parliament, so as to creep into the ranks of the bureaucrats.
They served as principal replacements of the bourgeois bureaucrats and became their despicable accomplices. After the proletariat’s seizure of political power, the revisionists continued to peddle “parliamentarism.” Chiminev, Bukharin and their ilk attempted to change the socialist revolution into “parliamentary” reshuffles and redistribution of official positions and high salaries. They advocated “wedlock between the Soviet Union and the constitutional parliament” so as to change the proletarian political organs into bourgeois bureaucratic organs. Kautsky shouted that “we must have bureaucratic organizations” in socialist society. Lenin said: ”Kautsky has not understood at all the difference between bourgeois parliamentarism and proletarian democracy. The former combines democracy (not for the people) with bureaucracy (against the people). The latter will take immediate steps to uproot bureaucracy and will be able to carry out these measures to the end, to the complete abolition of bureaucracy, to the introduction of complete democracy for the people” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 3).
Those revisionists who wished to become high officials but did not want revolution invariably opposed proletarian democracy.Once they seized power they would ride roughshod over the laboring people and behave worse then the old bureaucrats. Under their protection a number of old officials who had been expelled from the government during the tsarist era once again sprang out, held their party membership cards or wore red collar insignia to sneak into the ranks of of red officials. Under their pernicious influence, a number of personnel of state organs sought fame and personal gain, becoming high officials and overlords gradually degenerating into new bureaucrats. The ringleaders of the revisionist line served as a protective umbrella for the old bureaucrats, as abetters for the new bureaucrats and commanders of the bureaucrat class.
Lenin said: Bureaucrats “enjoy special privileges and form a special stratum before the people.” “Bureaucratism subordinates the interests of our cause to the notion of becoming high officials.” (Selected Works of Lenin Vol 1 and 7) In accordance with the new changes in class relations and the new characteristics of class struggle, Lenin also pointed out: “At present,our enemies inside our ranks are not capitalists and landlords but speculators and bureaucrats.” “The Communist Party members have become bureaucrats. If we say something will destroy us, it’s none other than these people.” ( Collected Works of Lenin, Vols. 28 and 35) Lenin called upon the proletariat to wage unswerving struggle against bureaucrats and bureaucratism.
He taught the cadres especially the high ranking cadres of the proletarian state to become workers using special “tools” so they could be supervised by the masses and share weal and woe with them (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 3) Lenin instructed members. of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, officials of all committees of the government as well as high-ranking comrades to go to the the grassroots levels.
The Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) also adopted the resolution that “it is necessary to a implement the system of sending down the personnel who have worked long period of time with the Soviet government and the Party’ so they can work beside the machine tools and plows. It is also necessary to make arrangements so that their living conditions will be similar to those of the workers and peasants.” Lenin attached particular importance to the laboring people’s participation in management so that “everyone can exercise supervisory functions. ” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 3).
In elucidating the revolutionary dialectics of this strategic measure, Lenin said: “this will enable everyone to serve as a “bureaucrat” for the time being so no one will become a “bureaucrat”. (ibid). Even when he was seriously ill, Lenin was still concerned with the reform measures of the state organs and gave verbal instructions for completing his works How to Reorganize the Worker Peasant Inspectorate and Fewer, Better but Fewer. He repeatedly reminded the Party and the people of the danger that “there are bureaucrats, not only inside the Soviet government organs but also within the Party organs” and “it is necessary to sweep away residues of every description” (Selected Works of Lenin Vol 4).
He said “it is necessary for us to go into places where the dictatorship of the state is deeply rooted in order to recruit new manpower.” selecting and nurturing men of ability from among the worker peasant masses, who were young and vigorous communist forces that had been tempered in the civil war and poverty. He also called for the promotion of these new personnel to key leadership positions so as to guarantee the proletarian character of the Party and the state. The Soviet revisionist revisionist renegade clique was exactly the kind of dross Lenin wanted to sweep away.
They found concentrated expression in the reactionary character of the old bureaucrats, usurped the supreme leadership power of the state, thus causing the bureaucrat class of the Soviet Union to expand drastically and burying the first state of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is an extremely serious lesson drawn from the history of the international communist movement. Harsh facts of class struggle tell us that under the dictatorship of the proletariat, bureaucratism means revisionism and vice versa. Overthrowing the bureaucrat class is one of the basic tasks of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Our great leader Chairman Mao has inherited Marx and Engels’ revolutionary undertaking for opposing bureaucrats and bureaucratism. Chairman Mao’s theory and practice concerning continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat have resolved the major question for the international communist movement of modern times-how to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent the bureaucrat class from usurping the power of the Party and state. In 1964 Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev as the chief representative of the bureaucrat class of the Soviet Union, thus stepping up the fascist directorship of the bureaucrats and the monopoly bourgeoisie. The bureaucrat class headed by Liu Shao-ch’i followed in the footsteps of the Soviet revisionist renegade clique, frenziedly undermining the socialist education movement and vainly trying to restore capitalism in China.
At the crucial moment in the acute class struggle both at home and abroad, Chairman Mao issued a directive concerning the Socialist education movement He pointed out: “The bureaucrat class on the one side and the working class together with the poor and lower-middle peasants on the other are two classes sharply antagonistic to each other.” Chairman Mao further pointed out: “Management itself is a matter of socialist education. If the managerial staff do not join the workers on the shop floor. work, study and live with them and modestly learn one or more skills from them, then they will find themselves locked in acute class struggle with the working class all their lives and in the end are bound to be overthrown as bourgeois by the working class. If they don’t learn any technical skills and remain outsiders for a long time, they won’t be able to do management well either. Those in the dark are in no position to light the way for others.” Chairman Mao also stated: ‘Those leading cadres who are taking the capitalist road have turned, or are turning into bourgeois elements sucking the blood of the workers; how can they possibly realize fully the imperative need tor socialist revolution? These people are the targets of the struggle, the target of the revolution, and we must never rely on them in the socialist education movement. We can rely only on those cadres who are not hostile to the workers and are imbued with revolutionary spirit.”
This directive of Chairman Mao’s pointed out in good time that during the historical period of socialism there is still the bureaucrat class, a class sharply antagonistic to the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants Therefore, he issued this call to struggle against the bureaucrat class. At the same time, Chairman Mao also published Some Questions on the Present Socialist Education Movement, pointing out incisively: “The main target of the present movement is those in authority within the Party taking the capitalist road. The great proletarian cultural revolution was a major struggle waged between the proletariat and the bureaucrat class, that is, the capitalist roaders headed by Liu Shao-ch’i and Lin Piao. The criticism of Teng Hsiao-p’ing and the movement to beat back the Right deviationist wind to reverse verdicts are a continuation and deepening of the great cultural revolution.
In this struggle, Chairman Mao put forth the scientific thesis that the bourgeoisie “is right in the Communist Party.” This enables us to understand clearly that the bureaucrats and the capitalist roaders are the bourgeoisie inside the Party. This is a scientific generalization and summing-up of the positive and negative experiences of the dictatorship of the proletariat since the formation of the Paris Commune, the experiences of the various line struggles after liberation in China. This is a important development of Marxism-Leninism. First, Chairman Mao has incisively pointed out that under the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is the bureaucrat class sharply antagonistic to the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants. He has raised the struggle against the bureaucrat class to the plane of the life-and-death struggle between the major antagonistic classes.
The victory of the new democratic revolution and the start of the socialist revolution in China symbolized the virtual end of the reactionary rule of the old bureaucrats headed by the Chiang dynasty. This exemplified the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat an earth-shaking change that opened up vast vistas for the elimination of the bureaucrat class. However, it will take several hundred or even several thousand years of hard struggle before we can sweep this class into the garbage heap of history. The entire historical period of transition from capitalism to communism is pervaded with class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is a continuation of the class struggle in a new form. The triumphant proletariat controls and uses the state machinery to attack the bourgeoisie, while the bourgeoisie attempts desperately to recapture the political power it has lost. Their initial attempts at restoration often rely on the imperialists armed intervention and counter-revolutionary riots at home, so as to enable the old bureaucrats to resume their power. After these attempts have failed, they will step up their efforts to win over Party and government cadres of the working class, change the class character of the proletarian state and try to recapture the fortress from within. The rule of the bureaucrat class in the old China had a long history and the bureaucratic influences were deeply rooted. The remnant poison of bureaucracy and bureaucratism was all pervasive. By relying on this influence and spreading this remnant poison, the bourgeoisie has tried to encircle and erode the red political power. At the same time, the bourgeoisie inside the Party has also used bourgeois rights to protect the remnant forces of the old bureaucrats and nurture new bureaucrats. Our Party has waged struggles amidst the complex class relations and acute class struggles.
The ranks of our Party have been infiltrated by dissidents sent by the class enemies, by degenerate elements who were recruited by our enemies, by bourgeois democrats who joined the revolution for the. purpose of making profits, and by those who wished to take advantage of Party positions in pursuit of personal gain. After the Communist Party came to power. these persons, having become officials or high officials in particular, soon turned into bureaucrats. They tried to meet the needs of the bourgeoisie both at home and abroad for subverting the dictatorship of the proletariat, rallying under the revisionist line and forming a bureaucratic class.
Clearly, the emergence of the bureaucrat class under the dictatorship of the proletariat is a manifestation of the violent class struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie, a manifestation of class distinctions which is the inevitable outcome of class struggle. The class enemies alleged that bureaucrats and bureaucratism are the products of the system of the proletarian state. This is a reactionary logic they use in an attempt to shift the blame onto the red political power.
Lenin made an analysis of the shortcomings of the nascent Soviet political power and described the shortcomings by saying: “They may not be obnoxious but are at least lamentable.” He pointed out, hitting the nail on the head: “These shortcomings originate from the old things” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 4) Although the old and new bureaucrats emerge from different social forms, their roots are the same-the exploiting classes. One was an old poisonous weed grown on old soil, while the other is a new poisonous weed grown on the same old soil. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the bureaucrat class resembles a rice borer and infiltrates into the revolutionary ranks. This class is sharply antagonistic to the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants and they constantly struggle against each other.
In the “Circular” issued by the Party Central Committee on May 16, 1966, Chairman Mao pointed out: “They deny forthright that the history of mankind in the past several thousand years was a history of class struggle, disavowing class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. They deny forthright the proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship over the bourgeoisie. On the the contrary, they are faithful lackeys of the bourgeoisie and the imperialists. Together with the bourgeoisie and the imperialists, they cling to the bourgeois ideology of oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and to the capitalist system,opposing Marxist-Leninist ideology and the socialist system.” Chairman Mao summed up the sharply antagonistic class character between Marxism-Leninism on the one hand and the old Social Democratic Party and modern revisionism on the other.
Likewise, this is also a summing-up of the sharply antagonistic relations between the bureaucrat class on the one hand and the working class together with the poor and lower-middle peasants on the other. This antagonistic relation also represents the fundamental antagonism in the ideological and political line. The implementation of the revisionist ideological and political line characterizes the capitalist roaders in the Party. that is, the bureaucrat class. After the bankruptcy of the bourgeois theory of the state and the smashing of the bourgeois military-bureaucratic machinery. they clung to the bourgeois conception of the state in order to “revise” the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They alleged that “the state is the supreme ruler of society,” “officials are the people’s lawful superiors,” and “big officials should enjoy high remunerations.” They intended to use this bureaucrat philosophy to transform the proletarian state organs and civil service personnel. They dreamed of transforming the tool of the dictatorship of the proletariat into the tool of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat.
The working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants shed blood, gave their lives and overcame numerous difficulties in establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. Their aim is to break down the resistance of the exploiting classes, gradually win a complete victory in the world revolution, and build a new world in which there will be no imperialism, no capitalism and no system of exploitation. By delegating authority to the state cadres, they wished that the cadres would use power appropriately for the interests of their own class, so the cadres could wholeheartedly serve the vast majority of the people of China and of the world, and strive for the cause of communism. The struggle against the bureaucrat class is a continuation of the struggle against the bureaucrat class waged during the period of the democratic revolution. It is a life-and-death struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie for resolving the fundamental question for the revolution as to the political power is in the hands of which class [sic].
Throughout the period of transition, we can guarantee that the proletarian political power will never change its color if we wage an unswerving struggle against the bureaucrat class and defeat the bourgeoisie in the Party. Second, Chairman Mao has penetratingly exposed the reactionary character of the bureaucrat class which is worse than the capitalists in sucking the blood of the workers. He has also pointed out that this class is the target of the struggle and of the revolution. Both the old and new bureaucrats belong to the blood-sucking and parasitic class, and this is their common character. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the bureaucrat class is especially characterized by the fact that it behaves worse than the capitalists in sucking the blood of the workers. They first strengthen and extend bourgeois rights, tum their authority into capital, then turn capital into authority. This is the basic means for the bureaucrat class sucking the blood of the workers during the socialist period. The development of capitalism generally goes through the process of turning authority into capital and turning capital into authority.
The swelling of the capitalist force gives rise to the immediate need of a political regime that is able to protect and extend the blood-sucking crimes of the bourgeoisie. After the bourgeoisie’s seizure of political power it is necessary to have political power to protect the development of capitalism. Therefore, the bourgeoisie has always adhered to these two principles: 1. “How much money you have determines how much you are worth,” and “the amount of your capital [equals] the amount of your authority.” 2. “‘How much you are worth determines how much money you’ll have,” and “the amount of your authority (equals] the amount of your capital.”
In criticizing Struve’s moral codes, Marx and Engels said: “The amount of your authority equals the amount of your money, because the greater power you seize, the more you are worth” (Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol 3). These two principles have the same substance and complement each other. They vividly reflect the dialectical law of the mutual transformation of capital and authority into each other. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the bureaucrat class is increasingly fascinated by these principles and manipulated, under new circumstances, by this law of mutual transformation between capital and authority.
The bureaucrat class’s social and historical positions make it impossible for them to advance along the old bourgeois road for the development of capital and authority. Thus, they must first of all concentrate their efforts on usurping the power of the Party and state, altering the Party’s basic line, and regarding the usurpation of power as the prerequisite to sucking the blood of the workers. They pass through these three phases-usurping power, altering the Party’s line, and blood-sucking-in restoring capitalism. During the socialist period, there are bourgeois rights of varying degrees all the way from the economic base to the superstructure. These rights are the lifeblood of the bureaucrat class and create the soil and conditions for its existence. In the process of strengthening and extending bourgeois rights, they transform authority into capital, then change capital into authority. and suck the blood of the workers.
They invariably try to transform their authority into capital, turn their managerial and service functions into’ authority to oppress and exploit the people, and attempt to make super profits without investing capital. They’ll do everything within their power to exclude the laboring people from management and planning work, seize the right to manage and use the means of production and the product of labor, thus nullifying the socialist public ownership system. In line with this change in the ownership system, they also change the socialist mode of distribution into distribution according to authority and capital, Under the pretext of “caring for the leading personnel” and “meeting the needs of work,” they attempt to protect the interests of those high officials who practice revisionism. Doing things by fair means or foul, they turn public property into private property, use public property for personal purposes, speculating and squandering the fruit of the people’s labor. They lead a parasitic, decadent and corrupt life. After turning authority into capital, they transform capital into authority, extend the relations between commodity and money, convert commodities and money into capital. They buy over followers, woo the cadres, form factions for selfish ends, and expand their authority and positions.
Under the rule of the bureaucrat class, the common laborers are subject not only to ruthless economic exploitation but also to supra-economic exploitation and enslavement. If this transformation of authority and capital into each other is allowed to spread unchecked, the consequence will be more serious than the outcome of the circulation of capital, that is, the “ceaseless circulation of capital for making profits.” (Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 23) This will lead to nationwide restoration of capitalism. Furthermore, the bureaucrat class learned from the counter-revolutionary experiences of the reactionaries both at home and abroad, learned the tricks of all exploiting classes in history in exploiting the laboring people, combining frenzied plunder with hypocritical deception.
In a society in which the exploiting classes play a dominant role, the relations of exploitation change and develop constantly as a result of the movement and changes of contradictions in society. Historical dialectics has revealed the law of things, asserting that in the wake of the development and changes of the economic forms in class society, the form of exploitation will gradually become concealed and the intensity of exploitation greater. This law applies not only to the entire process of the development of the relations of exploitation but also to the specific process of the relations of exploitation of every type.
Under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the capitalist’s exploitation of the wage laborers is extremely intense. They wish they could get two sheets of hides by skinning a cow. ‘The blood-suckers will never let go as long as they can squeeze and grab every bit of flesh, every piece of sinew and every drop of blood from the laborers” (Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 23). As a result of the development of the social productive forces, both the absolute and relative quantity of the capitalist’s exploitation of the workers has greatly exceeded that of any exploitation in history. However, this exploitation is concealed under the theme of “exchange of equal value,” so “labor as a whole looks like paid labor” (Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 2). Under the dictatorship of the proletariat the bureaucrat class conceals its activities in sucking the blood of the workers by flaunting the socialist ensign of opposing exploitation.
In the garb of “Communist Party members,” “revolutionary cadres,” leaders of socialist enterprises,” “old-brand revolutionaries,” and even “officials who have rendered meritorious services,” the bureaucrats can usually remain anonymous in running factories and farms, in possessing the means of production, and in exploiting wage laborers. The relations between the upper and lower levels and those between leading bodies and subordinate offices conceal the relations of exploitation and oppression. The bureaucrats can usually go through legitimate procedures in obtaining a part of the means of subsistence.
There is no comparison between these bureaucrats and the exploiters in history as well as the bourgeoisie outside the Party. The intensity of exploitation can be subject to various restrictions as a result of the dominant position of the proletarian revolutionary line, the powerful strength of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the people’s high level of consciousness. However, it is easy for us to recognize the parasitic, decadent and avaricious character of the bureaucrat class. We must further recognize the high concentration of political and economic powers under the dictatorship of the proletariat. If the bureaucrat class succeeded in usurping power and·in its restorationist conspiracies throughout the country, then it would continue to flaunt the banner of socialism, take advantage of this high concentration of political and economic powers and tum the democratic centralism of the proletariat into the fascist centralism of the bureaucrat class.
In controlling and manipulating the means of production and the product of labor, these bureaucrats will be far more powerful than any previous exploiting classes and their political representatives, than the slave owners and feudal rulers who claimed that “all land under the sun is my territory and all people on earth are my subjects,” and than the bureaucrats and financiers in capitalist countries. In exploiting and plundering the laboring people, these bureaucrats will behave worse than the Chiang. Sung, Kung and Chen families in the Chiang family dynasty. In a similar vein, the present-day new tsars behave much worse than the old tsars . Furthermore, the new and old bourgeoisie during the socialist period as a class is being eliminated but it will not reconcile itself to its extinction.
Acting as the main body of this class, the capitalist roaders in the Party and the bureaucrat class, that is, the bourgeoisie inside the Party, are still in control of a part of the political and financial powers in the Party due to various reasons. They will use this power to wage a moribund struggle. They wish they could suck all the blood of the laboring people and grab all the social wealth at one stroke. If it is said that the bourgeoisie, during its reign, did ,undertake some tasks that were beneficial to social progress, then the bureaucrat class of today has become an obstacle to historical development and parasites in social institutions. This class gives expression to the moribund frenzy of the declining classes, to the avarice of the upstarts, and to the most insidious, decadent and reactionary character of the bureaucrats in history. They are bloodsuckers and behave worse than the capitalists. They are deadly enemies of the workers and the poor and lower- middle peasants, the most dangerous and vicious enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We must regard them as the main target of the struggle and the principal target of the revolution, and overthrow and eventually eliminate them.
Third, Chairman Mao has put forth the wise thesis that management itself is a matter of socialist education. This has laid down the line in management for the proletarian state. He has called on the managerial staff to work, study and live with the workers so as to narrow the differences in the old division of labor. This is an important measure for sweeping away the soil that gives rise to the bureaucrat class. In a class society, management always means management by a class. In a state of the exploiting classes, “the main concern is how to manage for the purpose of plunder and how to plunder by way of management” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol 3). The main concern of the proletarian state is how to go through management in order to continuously consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat. Chairman Mao,s instruction that “management itself is a matter of socialist education” has laid down the line in management for the proletarian state.
To do a good job of management, we must take class struggle as the key link and continuously wage struggles against the bourgeoisie, especially the bourgeoisie in the Party. We must integrate management with the elimination of the bureaucrat class, with the abolition of classes, and with the transition to a communist society. We must continuously arm the masses with Marxism-Leninism, consciously restrict bourgeois rights, and narrow the differences in the old division of labor. We must delegate the leadership power of management to the Marxists and the immediate producers, and raise management to the plane of the struggle to combat and prevent revisionism. If we merely talk about management in production and in vocational techniques, then [we] shall step onto the evil road of revisionism. In history, division of labor is caused by the development of the productive forces, and class distinctions is the outcome of the division of labor. “The law of the division of labor is the basis of class distinctions” (Selected Works of Marx and Lenin, Vol. 3).
For the sake of private interests, the bourgeoisie invariably does everything possible to widen and deepen the differences in the division of labor, thus giving rise to an abnormal and narrow character to the division of labor. This leads to sharp class antagonisms and increasingly reveals the urgent need for narrowing and abolishing the old division of labor and for establishing a new and revolutionary division of labor. After the proletariat’s seizure of political power and completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production, the socialist relations of production basically plays a dominant role. This provides favorable conditions for the narrowing and abolition of the old division of labor. During the socialist period, all kinds of social relations are in a state of constant change and transition, resulting in the extinction of old things and the emergence of new things. This also applies to the question of the division of labor. Generally speaking, division of labor between physical and mental labor is no longer a relationship between ruler and ruled. In those enterprises and units which have implemented the “charter of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company,” the managerial staff takes part in physical labor and the immediate producers participate in management.
A new thing has emerged because there is no longer a distinction between high and low positions despite the differences in their division of labor. Many persons such as Chiao Yu-lu, Wang Kuo-fu and Men Ho have emerged. They are “officials” but do not behave like officials. They are just and selfless, serving loyally as servants of the people. However, bourgeois rights persist in men’s relations during the socialist period and there still is relatively fixed division of labor between leading bodies and subordinate units between the immediate producers and the managerial and technical staff. The traditional notions of this kind of division of labor are still deeply rooted. There are still acute struggles between the two ideologies and the two lines with regard to the question of the division of labor. Attempting to restore the old system, the old and new bureaucrat classes invariably try to continuously strengthen and extend bourgeois rights.
Lin Piao despicably advocated inducements such as official appointments, emoluments, favor, and described the old division of labor as absolute and inviolable. Liu Shao-ch’i and Teng Hsiao-p’ing also vigorously preached the “theory of the division of labor,” alleging that “those who labor with their brains govern others and those who labor with their strength are governed by others.” They described this as “a universal principle.” In the areas, departments and units in which they had usurped the leadership power, they frenziedly pushed the revisionist line in management. They used the golden whip of “profit in command” and “material incentives,” the steel whip of “controlling, checking and coercing,” and advocated the old method of running factories by experts.” Through inducements and coercion, they tried to restore the management system of the exploiting classes.
Prior to the abolition of bourgeois rights and the elimination of the old division of labor, the differences between the managerial staff and the immediate producers will, under a given condition, develop into acute class struggle. This will lead to the emergence of a new bureaucrat class. “Within the scope of the division of labor, men’s relations inevitably and unavoidably develop into class relations and will remain permanently as such class relations” (Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 3). If the proletariat and its political power do not take revolutionary measures in good time to establish and improve the new relations between men, then the bureaucrat class will grow up. In accordance with the law of quantitative and qualitative change and when time is opportune, the role of the bureaucrat class will change from being the non-principal aspect of a contradiction to becoming its principal aspect. Then, this will change the color of the Party and the state.
Chairman Mao has suggested two important measures to implement the line that management itself is a matter of socialist education, to narrow and eliminate the old division of labor and to prevent the emergence of a new bureaucrat class. The first measure calls upon the managerial staff “to join the workers on the shop floor, work, study and live with them” and must not consider themselves as exceptional. This measure hits the nail on the head in dealing with the shortcomings of the old division of labor-the managerial staffs separation from physical labor and from the masses. The measure requiring the managerial staff to work, study and live with the workers” is mainly aimed at strengthening the remolding of their world outlook. The core and basis of this measure is to “labor with the workers.”
Undertaking physical labor characterizes the laboring people and this is one of the fundamental conditions for the life of mankind. One of the common characteristics of the exploiting classes is their separation from physical labor, reaping where they have not sown. The root of all evils in the world is non-participation in physical labor. If the managerial staff is divorced from physical labor and from the masses, then the gap between them and the immediate producers will widen continuously until they will eventually be overthrown along with the bourgeoisie. As a popular saying goes, a knife will gather rust if it is not sharpened, meaning one will become revisionist if he does not take part in physical labor. To combat and prevent revisionism, Chairman Mao has repeatedly instructed the Party of the need to implement the system of cadre participation in collective productive labor. This is one of the fundamentals under the socialist system, because it helps us overcome bureaucratism, prevent revisionism and dogmatism.
Another important measure is to have the managerial staff “modestly learn one or more skills from the workers” To implement this measure, they must, first of all, take part in physical labor along with the workers. The laboring people taking part in the three great revolutionary movements form the main body in social practice, putting their true knowledge into practice. To learn skills the managerial staff must put politics in command and continuously criticize the revisionist viewpoint of stressing techniques. They must criticize the idealist conception of history that “the highest are the wise and the lowest are the stupid”‘ do away with bureaucratic airs, and learn from the immediate producers. They must take part in practical activities in order to make progress in an all round way and become both red and expert. Otherwise, they may learn some skills but will serve as “a weapon for protecting the privileges of those who hold the purse and for protecting the rule of capital over the people” (Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. 3).
In adopting these two important measures put forth by Chairman Mao, we must regard them as a long-term system and implement it persistently and unconditionally. In this way we can strengthen the Party’s leadership in production and vocational techniques, and overcome bureaucratic management. It is more important for us to implement the class line that we must “wholeheartedly rely on the working class.” This will enable the managerial staff to thoroughly remold their world outlook and make a rupture with old traditions and concepts, so they can really identify themselves with the workers and peasants. They are “officials” but do not behave like officials, serving in the capacity of both managerial staff and ordinary workers. This will sweep away the soil that gives rise to the bureaucrat class and eventually enable us to make the biggest flying leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom in the history of mankind.
Chairman Mao has always attached importance to the struggle against bureaucratism. Back in the period of revolutionary wars, he instructed the Party that “the ugly evil of bureaucracy, which no comrade likes, must be thrown into the cesspit” (Pay Attention to Economic Work). In the socialist revolution period, Chairman Mao once again placed the struggle against bureaucratism on the plane of the life-and-death struggle between the two antagonistic classes, thus further pointing out the orientation for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The criticism of Teng Hsiao-p’ing and the great struggle to beat back the Right deviationist wind to reverse verdicts have struck a new and heavy blow at the bureaucrat class. Under the guidance of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, our country’s great cause of the dictatorship of the proletariat is bound to be consolidated and developed continuously in the course of struggle against the capitalist roaders and against the bureaucrat class, that is, the bourgeoisie inside the Party.
Originally published in Beijing Daxue xuebao (Beijing University journal, philosophy and social sciences edition. no. 4, September 1. 1976). Translation extracted from Selections from People’s Republic of China Magazines 895 (October 28, 1976): 18-30.