Shansi: Power Seized by Rebels from Below

"Thorougly criticize the bureaus of industry of the Shanghai city, region and district and the reactionary line of the capitalist class."-February 1967

“Thoroughly criticize the bureaus of industry of the Shanghai city, region and district and the reactionary line of the capitalist class.”-February 1967

During the earth-shaking revolutionary rebellion, the revolutionary rebels of Shansi province have set up a great alliance on the foundation of the thought of Mao Tse-tung, formed a strong revolutionary force, and seized power from the hands of the handful of power-holders within the Party who take the capitalist road. The major victory the revolutionary rebels in Shansi province have won in their struggle to seize power is a brilliant page of the history of the great proletarian cultural revolution.

It has furnished new experience for the proletarian revolutionary struggles to seize power which are underway all over the country. It has also made new contributions to the great proletarian cultural revolution in China. Chairman Mao has said: “To organise millions upon millions of people and to dispatch our mighty revolutionary army is the requirement of the revolutionaries to attack the counter-revolutionaries today.” For a long time in the past, the counter-revolutionary revisionist bloc within the Shansi Provincial Committee have forced all sorts of brutal persecution on the revolutionary rebels, so that the broad masses of revolutionary rebels see their ugly faces more and more clearly.

Common struggle, common destiny and common feeling have made the revolutionary rebels rally and unite themselves together quickly round the great red banner of the thought of Mao Tse-tung. This great alliance includes not only the revolutionary workers, revolutionary peasants, revolutionary students, revolutionary intellectuals and ordinary revolutionary cadres, but also revolutionary armymen and revolutionary leading cadres. This extensive great alliance has isolated the enemy to the greatest possible extent and put the handful of counter-revolutionary revisionists of the Shansi Provincial Committee in an encirclement of revolutionary masses.

Under the standard of the revolutionary great alliance, the revolutionary rebels have stood up one group after another. A group of revolutionary leading cadres within the Shansi Provincial Committee have stood up. Five leading cadres, with Comrade Liu Ko-p’ing at the head, firmly stood on the side of the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao, after having launched a life-and-death struggle between the proletarian revolutionary line and the bourgeois reactionary line. On January 10, they put up a big-character poster, launching a fierce attack on the handful of counter-revolutionary revisionists within the Shansi Provincial Committee. Their action won warm support from the broad masses of revolutionary rebels.

In the Party Central Committee and the local Party organisations, some of these revolutionary leading cadres had for a long time in the past launched irreconcilable struggle against the handful of power-holders within the Party who took the capitalist road. During the great cultural revolution, they stood tests in the mass movement. At the critical moment of the struggle to seize power, they resolutely stood up and joined the revolutionary rebels in fighting battles and winning victories, despite their being called “careerists” and “string pullers,” their being misunderstood and distrusted for the time being by the masses, and their being encircled and cursed by the royalists. During the long struggle, the broad masses of revolutionary rebel fighters also got familiar with these cadres. Applying their viewpoint of class analysis, they saw clearly that these cadres stood on the side of the proletarian revolutionary line. Accordingly, the revolutionary cadres, regardless of being derided by other people and being accused of “following the line at the top level” and “having alienated themselves from the masses,” resolutely got together with these leading cadres, thus initiating a new situation of the great cultural revolution.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army that is infinitely loyal to Chairman Mao has also given the broad masses of revolutionary masses effective support. Comrade Chang Jih-ch’ing, Second Political Commissar of the Shansi Military Command, and the broad masses of commanders and fighters consciously and honestly executed Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, smashed the hard and fast rules that hindered the revolution, firmly stood on the side of the revolutionary rebels, and took a direct part in the “January 10” struggle to seize power. This greatly encouraged the spirit of the proletarian revolutionaries and took the wind out of the sails of the counter-revolutionary revisionists and bourgeois royalists.

Some reactionaries were scared to death by the great alliance of revolutionaries. They made all-out efforts to vilify the great alliance. “You are being manipulated by the power-holders. You are being played upon by the rascals.” These words resembled a dagger which they tried to use to injure the revolutionary rebels. Chairman Mao has taught us: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.” Some people think that all power-holders are bad elements, and distrust them and pull them down all alike. This idea of negating and rejecting everything is a viewpoint of class analysis that is essentially against the thought of Mao Tse-tung. The handful of malicious rascals vainly attempt to spread rumours to sever the relationship between the revolutionary rebels and the revolutionary leading cadres, so as to attain their aim of sabotaging the great alliance of revolutionary rebels.

We should by no means allow them to realise their schemes. To struggle against the tide of the petty-bourgeois ideology is an impending task. This is a key to whether we can carry Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line through to the end. The revolutionary rebels must break away from the anarchical ideology. “You don’t believe that the masses can emancipate themselves.” What strange talk! The revolutionary leading cadres and the broad revolutionary masses have risen to seize power. Yet, they are said to disbelieve that the masses can emancipate themselves. Actually, the revolutionary leading cadres support and carry out Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line, trust the masses, and rely on them. They also are more experienced in struggle and have stronger organisational power. Therefore, they can mobilize the masses fully and exploit the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses.

“It is unlawful for the Army to support the” great cultural revolution in its locality.” What nonsense! In the past, the handful of bourgeois overlords in the Shansi Provincial Committee used such machines of dictatorship as politics, law and public security to suppress the revolutionary rebels and dispatched armed secret agents to shadow the revolutionary rebels. And yet you didn’t say a word. At the critical moment of the decisive battle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the great People’s Liberation Army stands on the side of the revolutionary rebels, firmly suppresses the counter-revolutionaries, and exercises dictatorship of the proletariat. Yet, you call this defiance of nature and violence of law. This really is reactionary logic! The encirclement and attack by the reactionaries consolidated more the great alliance of the revolutionaries. Amid the curses of the enemies, the revolutionary rebels of Shansi province saw more clearly who their enemies and who their comrades were, discarded the dregs in their ranks and united themselves more closely.

The “Shansi Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters” was born at a critical moment when the revolutionary rebels of Shansi province formed a great alliance and seized power in a big way. It took over all power of Shansi Provincial Committee and Shansi Provincial People’s Council and mastered the power of the Party and the government of the whole province. The establishment of the “Shansi Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters” was of vital significance. It was a germination of a new organisational form of the organ of proletarian dictatorship. The Shansi Provincial Committee had rotted after long occupation by the handful of counter-revolutionary revisionists. They did not exercise dictatorship of the proletariat, but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. It was necessary to smash thoroughly such an organ of political power .and to create a new one to take its place. Only in this way would the revolutionary rebels consolidate really the power they had seized and guarantee correct development of the revolution. Members of the “Shansi Revolutionray Rebel General Headquarters” have been elected by the congress of revolutionary mass organisations, PLA units in Shansi and revolutionary leading cadres. All important matters and problems of principle are discussed and decided by this congress.

The routine work is handled by the General Headquarters. The General Headquarters comprises workers, peasants, revolutionary students, revolutionary intellectuals, revolutionary trail blazers emerging in the violent class struggle during the great cultural revolution. They are relatively closely related to the masses and are trusted by the masses. Following Chairman Mao’s teaching, “You put politics in command, go into the midst of the masses, get together with them and carry the great proletarian cultural revolution in a still better way,” the revolutionary leading cadres working at the General Headquarters shed their air of loftiness, treat the ordinary people with equality and consult them on problems encountered. A member of the General Headquarters has said this: “We are the rank and file as well as the leaders. We are servants of the people.” The revolutionary masses supervise and criticise the functionaries of the General Headquarters. These functionaries can be replaced at any time if they are incompetent in their work.

The broad revolutionary masses express their firm support for the leadership of the Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters. They say: “This is our political power. We trust and support it!” Under the leadership of the General Headquarters, many localities set up their “seizing-power committees.” These “seizing-power committees” are formed jointly by the representatives of local revolutionary rebel organisations and are participated in by representatives of the General Headquarters. This further consolidates and reinforces the great alliance of the revolutionary leftists and guarantees quick development of the province-wide struggle to seize power. Firmly carrying out Chairman Mao’s instruction of “grasping revolution and promoting production,” the General Headquarters have set up “production committees” to lead industrial and agricultural production and construction all over the province.

The “Shansi Revolutionary Rebel General Headquarters” pays particular attention to developing the role of the revolutionary authorities and fully using the power it has seized to implement firmly Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line. Comrades of the General Headquarters say: “Our power is delegated by the people and confirmed by Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee. If we revolutionary rebels do not shoulder the load of leading the province-wide revolution, who will? If we revolutionary rebels do not take the weapon of suppressing the counter-revolutionaries, who will? We have the courage to seize power and are still more persevering in grasping power! If we merely occupy a number of buildings or seize a few seals of power, we shall have seized empty power. We must mobilize the revolutionary masses of various public organs, factories and villages to exercise the revolutionary power they have seized and to carry out an all-round struggle to seize power all over the province.”

On January 14, the representatives of the General Headquarters went to the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Reception Centre of Shansi Provincial Committee” where economism ran rampant. They first announced takeover of this reception centre and then united with the revolutionary rebels within this reception centre to set up an administrative committee, taking general control of the political and economic power of this reception centre. In a Taiyuan weaving mill where the royalist influence was prevalent, the representatives of the General Headquarters and the PLA fighters helped the revolutionary rebels of this mill—the “Red Guard Detachment”— seize power of the whole mill and exercise dictatorship over the handful of reactionaries who opposed the General Headquarters and resisted the revolutionary seizure of power. In the political and legal departments, the representatives of the General Headquarters, the representatives of revolutionary workers, peasants, businessmen, students and armymen and the rebels within the political and legal departments integrated themselves together to form the “Proletarian Dictatorship committee,” which exercised in a unified manner all power of the former provincial Department of Public Security, Court of Justice, and Procuratorate. They vigorously supported the revolutionary rebels and ruthlessly suppressed the counter-revolutionaries.

At present, under the leadership of the General Headquarters, the revolutionary rebels all over Shansi have launched new smashing attacks on the handful of power-holders within the Party who take the capitalist road. The counter-revolutionary revisionists are being overthrown one after another. Their royalist counter-revolutionary organisations are also disintegrating one after another. Experience of Shansi province shows: It is necessary to set up an authoritative revolutionary organ to lead the province-wide struggle to seize power. It is also necessary to bring the revolutionary authorities into full play and to suppress the struggle and counter-attack of the reactionary influence. Only in this way will it be possible to guarantee the victorious development of the struggle to seize power. Under the radiance of the great thought of Mao Tse-tung, the proletarian revolutionary rebels in Shansi are advancing in the wake of victory. They will break through all difficulties, defeat all enemies and become real masters of Shansi. A bright-red new Shansi will surely appear before the people all over the country!

Jen-min Jih-pao, Peking, February 13, 1967, translated in SCMP, No. 3888 p. 1, February 28, 1967.

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