Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Democratic Socialism is Capitalism Pt. 9

This is the ninth instalment of Wu Bin's refutation of Mr Xie Tao's advocacy of the restoration of capitalism in China. Links to the earlier chapters are appended to the end of this post. Once again, I must apologise for the delay in the translation, but I'm not an expert and I have a full-time job so I work at the pace I can manage. Only three more sections after this one!

9. Misrepresenting “The Three Big Transformations”, Negating Mao Zedong Thought

While misrepresenting and negating Marxism-Leninism, Mr Xie Tao has not forgotten to attack and slander Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought.

(1) His attack on Mao Zedong is for “’left’-leaning revisionism”, saying things like “the collapse of the Soviet Union, the great changes in Eastern Europe, China taking the path of reform and opening up, all these are the defeat of ‘left’-leaning revisionism and the victory of Marxism.”

He also shamelessly cooks up rumours about Mao Zedong. He says things like: “After Mao Zedong had completed his somewhat arrogant ”Three Great Transformations” in December 1956, he rapidly realised that he had made a mistake and put forward his new economic policy. He said: ‘The Shanghai underground factories and the state enterprises are in opposition. Because society needs it, start to develop it. It should be brought above ground and legitimized and allowed to hire labour. At the moment it takes three months to make clothing, the sleeves from cooperative factories have one long and one short, buttons don’t have buttonholes, and the quality is poor. It’s best to open privately run factories and have them compete with those above ground, and open some family run businesses. Advertising for labour should also be allowed. This is called the new economic policy. I suspect the Russian New Economic Policy ended too early. It was only carried out for two years, and turned a retreat into an attack; there have been insufficient social commodities up till the present time. We have retained 2.5 million people in privately run enterprises (1.6 million in industry and 900,000 in commerce) whereas the Russians only retained eighty or ninety thousand people. We can also give consideration, so long as society needs it, to increasing the numbers of underground factories and opening big private factories and arrange a treaty that for ten or twenty years they will not be confiscated. If the overseas Chinese invest for twenty years, we won’t confiscate for 100 years. We can also open investment companies and repay the capital with interest. We can promote state control and private control. We can abolish capitalism and we can promote capitalism” (“Compilation of documents on the road taken since the founding of the Republic” [1953-1956] p. 308). This is a policy that Mao Zedong came to recognize, but which he didn’t have the courage to implement. These ideas in opposition to his own mistakes merely stuck to his lips, they were a single spark of a correct policy which was quickly put out. Now we need to put right the mistakes recognised by Mao Zedong but which he lacked the courage to correct, and to implement his new economic policy.”

Mr Xie Tao cites this passage from Chairman Mao, the original source of which is p. 107 of Vol 7 of the Collected Works of Mao Zedong, and the title of which is “Discussions with Responsible Cadres in Civil Construction and the Association of Industry and Commerce”, dated December 7, 1956. In this article, Chairman Mao emphasizes how, in the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce, to better carry out our Party’s guiding principles and policy questions. In this discussion, Chairman Mao said: “I’ll explain the basic accomplishments of the approximately three years of industrial and commercial transformation. My report, and Comrade Liu Shaoqi’s report, to the Eighth National Congress were different, talking about the basic achievements of the first half of this year. Who was correct? The report from the Eighth National Congress was correct. The basic accomplishment spoken of was joint state-private ownership, not nationalisation, for nationalisation is a complete accomplishment. This was approximately three years. In relation to this sentence of mine, some people had a misunderstanding and thought there was no need to cancel the fixed interest (an annual rate of interest paid by the state to the national bourgeoisie on the money value of their assets for a given period of time after the 1956 conversion of capitalist industry and commerce into joint state-private enterprises – Trans.). The cancellation of fixed interest is a complete accomplishment, not a basic accomplishment.” On the second day of these talks, in “Discussions with Personages in Industrial and Commercial Circles” (December 8, 1956), Chairman Mao pointed out: “We have a two-stage revolution. We have already passed through the bourgeois democratic revolution and solved its problems. The socialist revolution is now also already basically completed. However, it is still not yet finally completed. There are still many problems in the cooperative transformation of agriculture, the cooperative transformation of handicraft industry, in joint state-private ownership and in other matters. After the complete achievement of socialist transformation in the future, there will also be many problems.” “In relation to the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce, this is carried out by everyone. The bourgeoisie as a class must be abolished, however everyone will carry this out.” “Why do we need to carry out state-private ownership, why do we need to carry out socialism? This if for making it easy to begin the development of the nation, for socialism has more advantages than the system of private ownership in the development of the nation’s economy and culture, and in bringing about national independence.” We must bring together these two talks of Chairman Mao’s over two days, for obviously the position of Chairman Mao and the Party is to develop the socialist economy as quickly as possible in the transition from new democracy to socialism, because “socialism has more advantages than the system of private ownership in the development of the nation’s economy and culture, and in bringing about national independence.” The things said by Mr Xie Tao about Mao Zedong having “rapidly realised that he had made a mistake…after the ‘Three Great Transformations’”, and having “a policy that Mao Zedong came to recognize, but which he didn’t have the courage to implement. These ideas in opposition to his own mistakes merely stuck to his lips, they were a single spark of a correct policy which was quickly put out,” this sort of analysis and inference is entirely his own fabrication.

In our country, the shift to socialism was made in a timely way after the victory of the new democratic revolution, and this was the greatest aspiration and best choice of the Chinese working class and the Chinese people, and an inevitable trend of the development of the Chinese revolution, as well as the only road to national prosperity and people’s well-being.

After the founding of New China, our country embarked on the socialist road, not taking the road back to capitalism and this was decided by the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and the revolution, and by Chinese circumstances. During the Liberation, more than 80% of the fixed assets of bureaucratic capital comprising industry, mining and transport had already been confiscated by the Government and transformed within a state-owned economy which was socialist in nature. At that time, the People’s Government already controlled the lifeline of the national economy and rapidly realized national financial and economic unity, with the absolute authority to regulate and control the national economy and had a strong foundation for planning national economic development. In the process of restoring the national economy, whilst capitalist industry and commerce played a positive role, at the same time it increasingly became evident that there was also a negative side. Thus, after the restoration of the national economy, along with large-scale economic development, an agenda for the socialist transformation of individual farming, handicraft industry and capitalist industry and commerce was inevitably put forward, and through the conscientious efforts of the whole nation and whole people, it must be said that this profound social change was implemented relatively smoothly. For a large country of hundreds of millions of people to smoothly embark on the socialist road was of great significance and impact not only for China, but was also profound and far-reaching for the whole world.

(2) Mr Xie Tao continues his attacks, saying “Mao Zedong had not read ‘Capital’, nor did he read works by Engels written in the last years of his life (Engels’ most important work from his declining years ‘An Introduction to the Class Struggles in France’)…what he read most of was works by Lenin and Stalin.” As mentioned previously, he also attacks Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong as “the greatest revisionists”; and attacks Mao Zedong for “taking the ‘methods of struggle of 1848’ abandoned by Engels as a banner to wave, revising Marxism from the ‘left’”.

As long as they have a clear conscience and aren’t prejudiced about it, anyone will acknowledge that Comrade Mao Zedong throughout his whole life was diligent in study and was a model for the entire Party and the people of the whole nation. Not only was he assiduous in his studies and in his research on the works of Marxism and Leninism, he was exceptionally proficient in the basic theories of Marxism and Leninism; not only was he serious in his studies of the works of Marxism-Leninism, he also encouraged the whole Party and the people of the whole country to study the works of Marxism-Leninism and armed the people of the whole nation with Marxism-Leninism.

As early as 1938, during the holding of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Congress of the CCP, Mao Zedong pointed out: “Ours is the task of leading a great nation of several hundred million in a great and unprecedented struggle. For us, therefore, the spreading and deepening of the study of Marxism-Leninism present a big problem demanding an early solution which is possible only through concentrated effort,” he pointed out. “So far as shouldering the main responsibility of leadership is concerned, our Party's fighting capacity will be much greater and our task of defeating Japanese imperialism will be more quickly accomplished if there are one or two hundred comrades with a grasp of Marxism-Leninism which is systematic and not fragmentary, genuine and not hollow.” (Selected Works of Mao Zedong Vol 2 p 533 Chinese ed.) After the founding of New China, in order to get the whole Party to adapt to the new requirements of socialist revolution and construction, Mao Zedong and the Central Committee repeatedly issued calls for the entire Party to study Marxist-Leninist theory. On the 20th March, 1951, he issued “Decision of the central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on Strengthening Theoretical Education [Draft]”. In August 1956, in his “Talks with Music Workers”, Mao Zedong pointed out: “…not to accept Marxism would be bad for us. It would be unreasonable not to accept it” (“Collected Works of Mao Zedong” Vol 7, p 78 Chinese ed.) “These works by the forefather Marx must be read and we must observe their basic principles” (“Collected Works of Mao Zedong” Vol 8, p. 109 Chinese ed.)

After the 20th Congress of the CPSU, in order to oppose and prevent revisionism and wage struggle against these fake Marxist demagogues and identify their conspiracies, and to prevent the restoration of capitalism in China, Mao Zedong repeatedly stressed that in order to study the basic theories of Marxism we had to study the original works. He personally set out the works of Marx and Lenin to be studied and personally made the arrangements for their study. He said we must study several, more than a dozen, or several scores of Marxist-Leninist works. In a planned manner, and within a few years, we must have read several dozens of Marxist-Leninist books. For this reason he proposed to write a series of Notes for the classics of Marxism-Leninism, with the possibility that the Notes would exceed the original texts in length. On February 15, 1964, when organizing the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin for high cadres to study, included 8 works by Marx, 3 by Engels, 11 by Lenin, 5 by Stalin and 3 by Plekhanov. On June 16 of the same year, he proposed at a workshop of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, in view of the lessons from the practice of revisionism by the Krushchov clique in the Soviet Union, that we had to pay attention to raising successors to the proletarian revolution. How should they be raised? The first thing is that they “they must have some knowledge of Marxism-Leninism; it would be best if they have a bit more knowledge of Marxism-Leninism.” On November 6, 1970 the Central Committee issued “Notice on Questions of Study for Senior Cadres” that had been carefully checked by Mao Zedong, and transmitted the instructions by Mao Zedong at the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Party Congress about senior cadres finding the time for the study of Marxist-Leninist works, and suggesting that the cadres in each unit study 6 works by Marx, Lenin and Stalin and 5 by Mao Zedong. From 1971 until his death in 1976, Mao Zedong many times emphasized paying attention to the propagation of Marx and Lenin, and the study of books by Marx and Lenin. He requested that members of the Central Committee and the high and middle-level Party cadres should earnestly read and study and get a good grasp of Marxism. Looking over Mao Zedong’s whole life, no matter whether it is the revolutionary era or the period of peaceful construction, he never forgot to study and demanded that the cadres of the entire Party studied the works of Marxism-Leninism.

Comrade Mao Zedong was a great proletarian revolutionary statesman, military strategist and revolutionary, a wise teacher and leader loved by the Chinese people and also an outstanding Marxist. Comrade Mao Zedong combined the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution, creatively developed Marxism, developed it to a new stage and shaped the guidance of the Chinese revolution from its victory to the victory of Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong Thought is a new milestone in the development of Marxism-Leninism. Mao Zedong Thought not only belongs to the Chinese people, but also to the revolutionary people of the whole world. Even though the international communist movement has moved to a low ebb over the last couple of decades, the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, together with the banner of Marxism-Leninism, still flutters high all over the globe, and Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought is still the strong ideological weapon of the international proletariat and revolutionary people in their life and death struggle against imperialism and the bourgeoisie. The name of Mao Zedong is inscribed on the banner of the Marxist parties of the Third World leading the national democratic liberation movement.

(Comrade Prachanda, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal [Maoist] in front of portraits of the great leaders of the proletariat)

For example, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), holding high the banner of Mao Zedong’s ideology of people’s war, has gained a great victory in the development of their military struggle. Venezuelan President Chavez, a highly respected opponent of US imperialism, has the Works of Mao Zedong on his office desk; he has meticulously studied Mao Zedong Thought and quoted from Mao Zedong many times in his speeches. He said, “I have worshipped Chairman Mao all my life”. Studying the experiences of the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, and carrying out a resolute struggle against US imperialism, he is determined to build Venezuela into a “21st Century socialism”. Examples like this are too numerous to mention.

Mr Xie Tao, in slandering Mao Zedong like this, is connecting with the forces of bourgeois liberalisation in our country and their ideological trend of “de-Maoification” that is said to have taken off. After the death of Chairman Mao, in order to bring China under the influence of capitalism, those traitors to the Communist Party and running dogs of imperialism, worked themselves into a simple frenzy of throwing filth all over Chairman Mao and Mao Zedong Thought. Not long ago, wasn’t that Mr Mao Yushi writing an article condemning Mao Zedong Thought as “an extremely destructive Thought” and the “main opponent of a harmonious society”? These people, they just want to cut down the flag, they just want to restore the old! There is a great feeling of “the wind sweeping through the tower heralds a rising storm in the mountains”. Clearly the current class struggle is sharp and fierce! However, like ants trying to shake a tree, this is easier said than done! Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought have already firmly taken root in the hearts of the people of China and of the world.

(My photo of a not uncommon scene in rural China - in this case in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region - of a poster of Chairman Mao alongside the "ten great Marshalls" of the PLA in a peasant's house. Taken May 2008.)

Within our country, although the “de-Maoification” has strengthened in the last couple of years, it still cannot stop wave after wave of “Mao crazes”! Not only in our country, but also internationally, the prestige of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought continues to rise. A few years ago, the US Time Inc. selected the 100 most influential persons and things over the last thousand years, amply demonstrating and affirming the giant status of Mao Zedong in the eyes of the people of the world. As a result of this selection, there was neither Roosevelt nor Washington, worshipped by Xie Tao and Xin Ziling, although Mao Zedong whom they attack and slander appeared twice. Amongst these 100 people, there was the sole selection of Mao Zedong’s famous quote “Where there is oppression, there is resistance”. American scholar Michael Hart said with emotion, “The reason why Mao Zedong’s status is slightly higher than Washington’s is that the changes he brought to China are even more important than the changes Washington brought to the US. The reason his ranking is higher than that of Napoleon and many others is that his influence in the future will probably be greater than theirs”. Many foreigners place Mao Zedong alongside Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin as the teachers of the revolution. Japanese Member of Parliament Okada Haruo said: “Mao Zedong and Lenin are the same – they changed world history and are the greatest persons of the Twentieth Century”. US China expert Trier said: “The experience of Mao Zedong is enough to make him the embodiment of Marx, Lenin and Stalin for the Chinese revolution” (“Around the World”, 2001, No. 11).

This is the logic of the people and of the revolution, that no matter who he is, no matter how great his reputation, it is just wishful thinking to try and uproot Mao Zedong from the hearts of the people, it just cannot be done! All anti-Mao people will come to no good end, and will surely bring shame and ruin upon themselves, and they will become as filthy and contemptible as a pile of dog droppings!

(The poster reads: Chairman Mao is the red sun that will never set in our hearts)

(3) Mr Xie Tao fabricating a wild tale, says, “’The salvoes of the October Revolution’ were sent by Leninism, not by Marxism”, and attacks Mao Zedong for “after the founding of the nation, and in spite of the backward condition of China’s productive forces, giving up new democracy and the capitalist path of development and persisting with communism, relying solely on having a powerful state apparatus at hand and not fearing the rebellion of the national bourgeoisie. From this we can see the influence of Blanquism and Leninism on him. It is not accidental that Mao Zedong embarked on the road of violent socialism.” He slanders Mao Zedong as “a hundred times fiercer than Qin Shihuang, as an emperor without the dragon robes”. He attacks the “power structure and political system designed by Mao Zedong” for “turning into the greatest tyranny of all times and of all places”. He says, “A revolution that results in the elimination of private ownership, a social system characterised by rejection of the advanced productive forces, no matter in whose majestic name, can have no future at all”.

As a member of the Communist Party, Mr Xie Tao is able to come out with such filthy language! It can be seen that he’s not qualified to be a Party member at all! These sorts of people like him and Xin Ziling, Li Rui etc who wear the label of a Communist, insult the sacred name of Communism, insult the Chinese working class, insult the Chinese people, and insult the countless martyrs to the revolution!

In his “Preface”, Mr Xie Tao uses a very insidious “strategy” and trick, that of pitting Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought against Marxism, of setting them against each other; he separates the five revolutionary leaders – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong - and sets them against each other. On the one hand, they use the gimmick of distorting Marxism to negate Marxism. Just as Lenin once pointed out: “attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it….They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie” (State and Revolution, Ch. Ed. p. 6). As we have often said, this is flaunting the banner of Marxism in order to oppose Marxism. On the other hand, they use the banner of Marxism (already revised) to attack and slander Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, to attack and slander Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. They hate Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong precisely because Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong didn’t “revise” Marxism, but held high the banner of Marxism and followed Marxist theory and led the proletariat and the revolutionary people in rebellion against the bourgeoisie, in rebellion against imperialism, overthrew the rule of the bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union and in China, and put into practice socialism minus the exploitation and oppression of the bourgeoisie. Thus, in the opinion of Mr Xie Tao and his associates, in order to overthrow socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is first necessary to strike down the leaders of the proletariat and the revolutionary people, to negate their revolutionary theory – this is the “strategy”, the trickery and the reactionary logic of Mr Xie Tao and his ilk!


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