THERE has been a remarkable and swift development of the situation throughout the country since the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China. In response to our great leader Chairman Mao’s great call “Unite to win still greater victories,” the people of all nationalities in the country have rallied even more closely around the Party’s Central Committee with Chairman Mao as its leader and Vice-Chairman Lin as its deputy leader. In order to further consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, the mass movement for struggle-criticism-transformation is developing in a deep-going way and the socialist revolutionary emulation drive is surging forward vigorously. A new upsurge in socialist revolution and socialist construction has emerged.
The developing situation calls for Party organizations and revolutionary committees at all levels to pay still greater attention to methods of work. Chairman Mao has taught us: “To lead means not only to decide general and specific policies but also to devise correct methods of work. Even with correct general and specific policies, troubles may still arise if methods of work are neglected.” Chairman Mao has also taught us: “It is not enough to set tasks, we must also solve the problem of the methods for carrying them out. If our task is to cross a river, we cannot cross it without a bridge or a boat. Unless the-bridge or boat problem is solved, it is idle to speak of crossing the river. Unless the problem of method is solved, talk about the task is useless.” Chairman Mao has always paid great attention to the question of methods of work.
When he set new fighting tasks for the whole Party in every historical period of the development of the revolution, he always urged us to pay attention to methods of work. At the Ninth Party Congress and the First Plenary Session of the Ninth Central Committee of the Party, Chairman Mao issued a new fighting call to the whole Party and he once again reminded us to pay attention to methods of work. Chairman Mao said: “Work meticulously. Meticulous care is necessary; to be careless will not do for that often leads to errors.” What methods of work should we pay attention to at present?
I. Grasp the ideological work of the leading members well. To do ideological work well among tens of millions of people in a province, it is necessary, first of all, that the ideological work of those leading the tens of millions be grasped well, namely, the revolutionization of the leading body. Earnest and persistent efforts must be made to grasp the leading body’s living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought, its resolute adherence to Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, its implementation of all the policies set forth by Chairman Mao and its using Mao Tsetung Thought to command everything. Likewise, this should be done in every county, factory and people’s commune.
II. Take hold of selected basic units. The leadership should collect first-hand information by taking hold of such units so as to guide the movement. It is necessary to take good hold of such units, and energy should be concentrated on fighting battles of annihilation instead of ranging widely. Comrades who go to such units must be clear about policy. Policies should be explained clearly. Leading comrades should combine their work in a selected unit with work in an area, take the problems collected from the area to that unit for study and popularize the experience gained in the unit throughout the area.
III Grasp the work in one-third of an area. The experience gained in selected units cannot be spread all at once to the whole area. It is necessary to map out an overall plan and have a good grasp of the work in one-third of the area before dealing with the rest. When we have a good grasp of one-third of the area, we will be able to have a good grasp of two-thirds or more of the area.
IV. Take the whole situation into consideration. In everything we do, we should proceed from the strategic concept “Be prepared against war, be prepared against natural disasters, and do everything for the people,” and observe, check and do everything in the light of it. This is what we mean by keeping the overall situation in mind. People in every trade and profession must give prominence to proletarian politics, pay attention to studying the situation and ideological trends and handle the work of a particular unit in the light of the overall situation. To work without keeping the overall situation in mind is a purely technical viewpoint.
V. Keep the masses in mind. What we decide about a problem and how we handle it concerns the masses. We must consult the masses, listen to different views, let the masses discuss matters of major importance and obtain their approval and support.
VI. Direct contact between the leadership and the masses. This revolutionary method of work has been universally adopted in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. We must not confine ourselves to a small circle and be satisfied with reports level by level. We must live among the masses, learn from them and with them carry through the principles and policies laid down by Chairman Mao and the Party,s Central Committee.
VII. Run Mao Tsetung Thought study classes well. The various types of Mao Tsetung Thought study classes should be run in such a way as to shoot the arrow at the target, that is, with specific problems in mind. Once they are started, they must be run well so as to solve problems effectively.
VIII. Hold meetings to exchange experience in the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought. The masses have a rich store of good experience in using Mao Tsetung Thought to solve problems. Organize them to give talks, for such talks are concrete, lively and most convincing.
IX. Fewer but better. Meetings, documents and forms should be drastically cut down and simplified. Do not have endless meetings or bury yourself in documents for days on end. Short meetings and short articles should be encouraged and news reporting should also be clear and concise.
X. Provide leeway. In fighting a battle, there must reserves. In arranging daily life, one must have something in reserve. There must be some leeway in all work. If leeway for maneuver is not provided, one is liable to land in a passive position.
XI. Combine exertion and rest. There must be relaxation as well as alertness. The more energetic the masses are, the greater care must be given to their well- being.
XII. Put stress on real effect. It is imperative to work hard without fuss and do the work in a down-to-earth way. Make tireless efforts at key points, and solve existing questions. Don’t put on a show. Don’t complicate things. The question of the method of work is also one of method of thinking, a question of world outlook. Whenever you do something, you use certain methods. If you are not using the correct method, you are using the wrong method. The method of work which Chair- man Mao advocates is the method of the mass line, the method of integrating theory with practice the method of materialist dialectics.
This method of work is opposed to bureaucratic subjective and formalistic methods of work. The Marxist-Leninist method of work which Chairman Mao has consistently advocated has been grasped by growing numbers of old and new cadres during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and has therefore greatly raised the revolutionary cadres quality of leadership. However, some of our comrades from time to time still use methods of work that run counter to Mao Tsetung Thought. We must follow Chairman Mao’s teachings, pay attention to methods of work, conscientiously study Chairman Mao’s many instructions on methods of leadership and methods of work, improve the quality of leadership of Party organizations and revolutionary committees at all levels, carry out Chairman Mao’s proletarian policies in a still better way, and fulfill the fighting tasks set by the Ninth Party Congress.
(“Renmin Ribao” editorial, November 5, 1969)