Inner-Party Struggle and Party Development-Chih Heng


FILLED with proletarian revolutionary pride, we have greeted the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in the the excellent situation in which the struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao- ping and repulse, the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts has won great victories. The series of important instructions issued by Chairman Mao in the struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and repulse the Right deviationist attempt is an important development of the Marxist-Leninist theories on class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat and on the Party. By deepening the study of Chairman Mao’s important instructions, conscientiously summing up the experience of the two-line struggle within the Party and persistently struggling against the bourgeoisie in the Party, we are bound to greatly strengthen Party building Ideologically and. organizationally and further promote the Party-led great cause of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Inner-Party Struggle is the Universal Law Governing Growth of a Proletarian Political Party

Engels said: “The development of the proletariat proceeds everywhere amidst internal struggles.” (Engels to A. Bebel) Chairman Mao has said: “If there, were no contradictions in the Party and no ideological struggles to resolve them, the Party’s life would come to an end.(On Contradiction.) Without struggle, there is no progress.” These teachings of the proletarian revolutionary teachers have profoundly summarized the historical experience of the international communist movement and of our Party and set forth in a deep-going way the universal law governing, the progress and development of the proletariat and its political party. It is essential to know and grasp this law .and deepen the criticism of Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionist line in order to strengthen Party building and promote the development of the Party. A proletarian political party is the product of the class struggle waged by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and a tool in the proletariat’s hands for waging this struggle. A party emerges i n the wake of class struggle, and as long as the party exists there is inner party struggle which reflects class struggle.

The Chinese Communist Party is the vanguard of the Chinese proletariat. During the period of democratic revolution to overthrow the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, our Party led the people of the whole country i n waging protracted revolutionary struggles and revolutionary wars. In the -course of that revolution, inner-Party two line struggle took place on several occasions in connection with the issues of the united front and armed struggle. Since we entered the period of socialist revolution, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has become the principal contradiction in society, and the two-line struggle in the Party centering round the question of taking the socialist road or the capitalist road has never ceased. This struggle will continue throughout the historical period of socialism. Only by. using, the viewpoint of class struggle to observe inner-Party life can we. really understand the inevitability of inner-Party struggle, be ideologically, prepared, for protracted struggles inside the Party and build and expand the Party in the course of struggle.

Under the conditions of socialism, inner-Party struggle is mainly the struggle between the Marxists in the Party and the capitalist-roaders, the bourgeoisie in the Party. It is a struggle between the two major antagonistic classes —the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. A characteristic of the capitalist-roaders is to use the power in their hands to push the revisionist line, so inner-Party class struggle finds concentrated expression in the struggle between the Marxist line and the. revisionist line. In 1964, Chairman Mao pointed out in a directive concerning the socialist education movement: “The bureaucrat class on the one hand 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 also stated in this directive: “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 for socialist revolution? Those people are the target 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” In studying this important directive, we come to a deeper understanding of the brilliant thesis that the bourgeoisie exists “right in the Communist Party.”

The concepts  the”bureaucrat class'” and “those leading cadres who are taking the ‘capitalist road” mentioned by Chairman Mao have a clear-cut class content; they refer to the capitalist-roaders, to the bourgeoisie which exists in the Party during the period of socialism. Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao- ping, all members of the bourgeoisie in the Party, oppressed and exploited the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants politically and economically, and were in a state of sharp class struggle with the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants. They were the main targets of the socialist revolution. They held in their hands a considerable portion of Party and state power, and they formulated and pushed the revisionist line from above and engaged in extensive activities to restore capitalism in the superstructure as well as in the economic base; their vain attempt was to turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. They are much more ruthless and dangerous than the bourgeoisie outside the Party. Therefore, we must see through the reactionary bourgeois nature of the capitalist-roaders, understand that inner-Party struggle is serious, class struggle, and be resolute in using Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line to defeat the revisionist line which represents the bourgeoisie.

Use Materialist Dialectics to Guide Inner-Party Life

Some people consider that since the Communist Party is the vanguard of the’ proletariat, there should be no contradictions and struggle within the Party and that the Party should be absolutely pure. This is a naive concept which runs counter to materialist dialectics. “The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics.” (Mao Tsetung: On Contradiction.) Everything in the world divides into two. Purity is relative and impurity is absolute. The two aspects of a contradiction are united and at the same time struggle against each other, and it is this which propels the movement and change of things.

This is the fundamental law of the development of all things, and is also the fundamental law of the development of the Party. Our Party does not live in a vacuum, but exists in an environment of complex class struggle. During the period of democratic revolution, especially when the revolution was in a high tide, i t was inevitable that there was an admixture of the genuine and the false and that a few secret agents, renegades, alien class elements and other undesirable elements wormed their way into the Party. It was not strange for some people who only accepted the Party’s minimum program to varying degrees and who were imbued with ideas of bourgeois democratic revolution to have joined the Party. After liberation, with the gradual deepening of the socialist revolution, division among the Party ranks constantly took place. Part of the Party members, who clung to the bourgeois stand, refused to remould their ideology and, not willing to go forward, opposed the socialist revolution and became capitalist-roaders.

The existence of classes and class struggle, the existence of bourgeois right and the influence of the international bourgeoisie and revisionism engender new bourgeois elements within the Party. The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie within the Party will inevitably find expression in inner-Party class struggle and two-line struggle. It is only through this struggle that the Party can develop and advance. It is Chairman Mao’s consistent thinking that in Party building it is necessary to use materialist dialectics to guide inner-Party activities and to achieve progress and development through struggle. Speaking of Party consolidation during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao pointed out: “A human being has arteries and veins through which the heart makes the blood circulate, and he breathes with his lungs, exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling fresh oxygen, that is, getting rid of the stale and taking in the fresh. A proletarian party must also get rid of the stale and take in the fresh, for only thus can it be full of vitality. Without eliminating waste matter and absorbing fresh blood the Party has no vigour.” Here Chairman Mao used a simple and vivid simile to profoundly expound the dialectics of inner-Party contradictions and the objective law that only through persistent inner-Party struggle can the Party maintain its vitality.

Historically speaking, the slave-owning class, the feudal landlord class and the bourgeoisie .were once vigorous, revolutionary and progressive and were real tigers before they won state power and for. a period afterwards. But with the lapse of time, they changed step by step into the reverse, into reactionaries, backward people, paper tigers and obstacles impeding social development and the progress of history. “The proletariat is the “most far-sighted, most selfless and most thoroughly revolutionary class.” (Mao Tsetung: On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship.) It is a vigorous, advanced class which fights for the realization of communism. The seizure of political power is only the beginning of a long march of the proletarian revolution. The historical mission of the proletariat is to carry the socialist revolution through to the end and abolish classes. A political party of the proletariat must reflect in a concentrated way these class characteristics of the proletariat and educate the proletariat and the masses to know their own historical mission and fight persistently for its realization.

But the proletarian nature and thoroughgoing revolutionary spirit of the Party can only be maintained and developed in the course of struggle. If inner-Party struggle were not upheld, if Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line were not used to defeat the revisionist line of the capitalist-roaders, then the Party would change its nature once the revisionist line dominates the Party. The Soviet Communist Party founded and led by Lenin had once been vigorous, but later when its leadership was usurped by the Soviet revisionist renegade clique, it turned into a revisionist party, a bourgeois party, a fascist party and an extremely reactionary and. decadent political force. Judging from the historical experience, both at home and abroad and both positive and negative, isn’t it quite clear that persistence in inner-Party struggle is of tremendous significance to combating and preventing revisionism and to strengthening Party building?

Difference in Principle Between Two Lines In Party Building

Whether to persist in inner-Party struggle or not is a principled difference between Chairman Mao’s line and the revisionist line in Party building. Out of their counter-revolutionary political needs, chieftains of the revisionist line Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping did their utmost to propagate the theory of the dying out of class struggle in Party building. They either negated the class content of inner-Party struggle by distorting it into a struggle between individuals, or attacked inner-Party struggle as “creating contradictions,” denying the objective reality that struggle exists within the Party. These fallacies fundamentally betrayed the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the theory of Party building. It was a hypocritical double-dealing tactic of these chieftains of the revisionist line to preach the theory of the dying out of class struggle in Party building, a tactic designed to cover up their own frenzied attacks on the Party and the proletariat.

While talking loudly about “making accommodations for the sake of overall interest,” Liu Shao-chi did his utmost, to protect his bunch of renegades and sworn followers and rigged up his bourgeois headquarters. As for Lin Piao, while he babbled that “when two sides, live in harmony, they become friends,” he plotted a counter-revolutionary armed coup, aiming at overthrowing. the proletariat. Teng Hsiao-ping on the one hand denied the existence of. inner-Party, two-line struggle, but on the other he put forward the revisionist program of “taking the three directives as the key link,” stepped up the organization of “restorationist legions,” and was impatient to reverse the correct appraisal of the Great Cultural Revolution and settle accounts with it. Thus it can be seen that i n negating and distorting inner-Party struggle, chieftains of the revisionist line in the Party tried to disarm Party members ideologically in the face of serious class struggle and two-line struggle so that they could wantonly engage in activities to restore capitalism and change the proletarian nature of the Party and state.

This tells us from the negative side that we must deepen the criticism of Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionist line and further eliminate the pernicious influence of the theory of the dying out of class struggle. “To lead the revolution to victory, a political party must depend on the correctness of its own political line and the solidity of its own organization.” (Mao Tsetung: On Contradiction.) We must, i n the course of struggle to uphold Chairman Mao’s correct line and criticize the revisionist line, continuously consolidate and develop the unity of the whole Party and strive for greater victories in the revolutionary cause. To oppose Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, chieftains of the revisionist fine Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping invariably engaged in counter-revolutionary activities to undermine Party unity organizationally and split the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao.

To maintain Party unity, we must fight resolutely against the splittist activities of these chieftains of the revisionist line in the Party. At present, we must deepen the criticism of Teng Hsiao-ping, eliminate his pernicious influence and achieve further successes in the struggle to beat back the Right deviationist wind so as to strengthen the unity of the whole Party on the basis of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line. .In the. struggle, we must implement Chairman Mao’s consistent policy, pay attention to distinguishing the two types of contradictions which are different in nature and adopt correct methods. Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionist line must be severely criticized and the policy of “learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones” and “curing the sickness to save the patient” must be taken towards those cadres who have committed mistakes. The struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and beat back the Right deviationist wind must be carried out under the unified leadership of Party committees at various levels, and no fighting groups should be formed. Party organizations must stick to the principle of grasping- revolution, promoting production and other work and preparedness against war, warmly support socialist new things, guard against trouble-making and sabotage by the class enemies and see to it that work in every field continues to advance along Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line.

This Party of Ours Has a Bright Future

During his inspection tour in August and September 1971, Chairman Mao said: “We have been singing the Internationale for fifty years, yet on ten occasions certain people inside our Party tried to split it. As I see it, this may happen another ten, twenty or thirty times. You don’t believe it? You may not believe it. Anyhow I do. Will there be no more struggle when we get to Communism? I just don’t believe it. There will be struggles even then, but only between the new and the old, between what is correct and what is incorrect! Tens of thousands of years from now, what is wrong- still won’t get by, it won’t stand up.

During the struggle to beat back the Right deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts, Chairman Mao again pointed out: “Will there be need for revolution a hundred years from now? Will there still be need for revolution a thousand years from now? There is always need for revolution.” These brilliant theses of Chairman Mao’s, which brim wife, the revolutionary optimism characteristic of the proletariat elucidate the protracted nature of class struggle and the two-line struggle in the Party. Historically, there was invariably a long and repeated trial of strength before a revolutionary class defeated a counter-revolutionary class. It is inconceivable that without encountering many heart-stirring fierce struggles and without going through, an arduous and tortuous, fighting course, the proletariat can thoroughly overthrow the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie with the dictatorship of the proletariat and capitalism with socialism and finally realize communism.

All genuine Marxists are always full of confidence and plunge into the fiery revolutionary struggles to create a bright future through fighting. Evading contradictions and wearying of struggle are not part of the mental outlook of Marxists. Chairman Mao has pointed out: “This Party of ours has a bright future.” In the last half century and more, our Party has undergone major two-line struggles on many occasions, and a batch of chieftains of opportunist lines have made their appearance. However, none of them could block the swift advance of the proletarian revolutionary cause. As a result of the triumph of Chairman Mao’s correct line over the opportunist lines, our Party has led the people of the entire country in achieving great victories in the new-democratic revolution and in the socialist revolution. Our Party has become purer and stronger and has further developed since the Great Cultural Revolution began. It is the proletariat and the masses of the people who want to continue the revolution, and not any social group and social forces, including the bourgeoisie inside the Party, which aim at restoration and retrogression, that determine the orientation of history.

Since Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line conforms to the objective law of historical development and represents the fundamental interests of the proletariat and the masses, it is invincible. On the contrary, chieftains of the revisionist line In the Party represent the bourgeoisie, they go against the trend of history and truth is not on their side, and they go against the will of the people and are extremely isolated, so they are bound to fail. So long as we adhere to Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, uphold the philosophy of struggle and rally closely round the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao, the schemes of the bourgeoisie for restoration will meet with ignominious defeat and the revolutionary cause of the proletariat will win complete victory no matter how many more struggles there will be and no matter what changes may take place in the form of struggle.

(Translation of an article in “Hongqi,” No. 7, 1976. Subheads are ours.)

This entry was posted in Editor's desk, resistance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.