Thursday, October 1, 2015

66th Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution

Democracy and Class Struggle re-publish the anniversary statement from 1999 on the 50th Anniversary of Chinese Revolution by Comrade Mukesh as a tribute to 66th Anniversary of Chinese Revolution as it still a good summation for 66th anniversary.

In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Chinese Revolution - Historic Significance And Relevance Today – Comrade Mukesh

Forty years ago, on October 1, 1949, Comrade Mao Tsetung declared the formation of the People’s Republic of China. With this, one-third of humanity had broken free from the chains of exploitation and oppression, and entered a world of freedom.

In just a century after the communist manifesto was written, Marx’s dream of a new society became a living reality in a large part of the globe.

In human history, no single ideology has transformed society so rapidly and so thoroughly, as did Marxism.

Having taken birth in Europe, it spread to all corners of the earth, liberating even a most backward country like China.

On that occasion, Mao declared that "the Chinese people have stood up". "Stood up" against 2000 years of feudal oppression; against a century of colonial plunder and robbery; against inhuman oppression and exploitation ... and "stood up" as self-respecting people no longer cowed down by any form of tyranny, old or new.

The Chinese revolution was an epic saga in human endurance, sacrifice and indomitable courage.

The legendary Long March was itself a feat of herculean endeavour, where a poverty-stricken army of peasants and workers, traversed 12,500 kms, over mountains and grasslands, fighting at every step a sophisticated enemy force, ten times its size.

Implanting enroute, the seeds of revolution, and setting up its headquarters in the mountains of Yenan, the embryo of the new society was taking root in the womb of the old.

And it was here, in a room structured out of a cave in the Yenan mountains, that Mao wrote some of his path-breaking works that, till this day, act as a guide for revolutionaries throughout the world.

The CPC was born in the midst of a powerful democratic revolutionary movement against imperialism and feudalism.

The nationwide upsurge ignited by the students in the May 4th (1919) movement coupled with Sun Yat-sen’s repeated attempts to overthrow the war-lords and set up a Republic of China, created the favourable grounds for a joint Kuomintang-Communist struggle for the overthrow of feudalism.

With the betrayal of the revolution by the Kuomintang after the failed Northern Expedition, and a number of defeats in urban insurrectionary tactics,

Mao was to evolve new insights into the course of revolution in backward countries.

His earth-shaking concepts ‘New Democracy’ and ‘Protracted People’s War’ came out of the earlier failed experiences which sought to mechanically implant the Russian path to the Chinese revolution.

In his concept of ‘New Democracy’ Mao gave a more scientific shape to Lenin’s concept of two-stage revolution. In this, Mao, for the first time, pointed out that: while all anti-feudal, anti-imperialist revolutions in the pre-1917 period were part of the old bourgeois democratic revolution, in the post-1917 period, they were part of the World Socialist Revolution; while the former was led by the national bourgeoisie, the latter must be led by the proletariat; the bourgeoisie now splits into two camps — the comprador bourgeoisie, that is a target of the revolution, and the national bourgeoisie that is its ally; and the revolution must be built on the four-class alliance, with the peasantry as the main force and the proletariat as a leading force.

This theory contributed to a leap in the Marxist understanding of two-stage revolution in the post-1917 era.

In his concept of "Protracted People’s War", Mao chalked out a new path, which is today valid for all revolutions in backward countries.

(DCS see this as universal concept and not just for backward countries, while it is a universal concept it is mediated by local particularities)

Fighting against various left lines that negated the role of the peasantry and that sought to make revolution through urban insurrection on the Russian pattern, Mao developed the strategy of peasant guerilla warfare; of setting base areas in the countryside and step-by step encircling the cities.

And while fighting this war, first against the Kuomintang reactionaries and then against the Japanese aggressors, Mao developed the science of "people’s war", and for the first time gave the international proletariat its military theory.

In his concept of people’s war, Mao said that the masses must not merely be armed, but organised militarily.....comprising a regular army and a people’s militia, working in close coordination. Mao said that the Red Army fights "in order to conduct propaganda among the masses, organise them, arm them, and help them establish revolutionary political power".

In this, Mao developed the laws of guerilla warfare, mobile warfare and its relations with positional warfare. Moreover, he worked out the minutest details on how to conduct this war, which till today, is a necessary military manual for any serious revolutionary fighter.

While fighting a non-stop war, Mao was not a mere peasant guerilla leader, as made out by some  so-called Marxists, he was first and foremost an exemplary communist. This was evident not only in his deep insights into Marxist Philosophy but also his major contribution to building a proletarian party of a new type.

It was Mao who further developed Lenin’s theory of the unity and struggle of opposites in his article ‘On Contradictions’. He also raised the Marxist understanding on the theory of knowledge in his major work ‘On Practice’. More important, Mao brought to centre-stage of all policy, the question of the proletarian world outlook, and the necessity to continuously remould one’s bourgeois outlook.

His concepts of ‘Serve the People’, Mass-Line, and acquiring the communist spirit of selflessness, simplicity, modesty and concern for others, is a theme that flows through his entire writings.

On the question of the proletarian party, Mao saw it not as some static monolithic entity, but, as a dynamic body, developing, like any other phenomena, through the unity and struggle of opposites — i.e., the struggle between the proletarian view point and the bourgeois view point.

Mao developed the understanding of how to preserve the proletarian revolutionary character of the party through waging a two-line struggle against opportunist and revisionist tendencies and lines; and by the ideological remoulding of party members through criticism and self-criticism and through rectification movements.

Today, without adding these principles, to the already existing Leninist Party principles, it is difficult for any proletarian party to grow and develop.

So we find that in the course of victory of the Chinese revolution, a more developed science of Marxism was taking shape in the form of Mao Tsetung Thought or Maoism. This particularly gives to the Chinese revolution, like that of the Russian revolution, its historical significance. But, with victory in 1949, the revolution did not end, but continued in a new form. And here the Chinese experience and Mao’s contribution is, probably, even more significant than in the earlier period. On the very eve of the Liberation of the country

Mao said : "To win country-wide victory is only the first step in a long march of ten thousand li."

And he was proved right... the class struggle in the course of building socialism, proved to be as acute, as ruthless, as that in the pre-revolution period.

The first task before the new communist government was to rehabilitate a war-ravaged economy, while at the same time smashing the old rule of imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism and replacing it with a new democratic structure and economy. The next step required the step-by-step transition to socialism.

Finally, it required the continuous consolidation of the socialist system until communism. Throughout the entire period this meant continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

By 1953 the economy had been put on a sound footing, by the land reforms in the countryside and the revival of industry, both state-owned and private. By 1956, the transition to socialist ownership in the means of production was, in the main, completed — through cooperativisation of agriculture, and by gradually bringing private industry and commerce under state control and/or part-ownership. From 1958 began the process of consolidation of the socialist system with the formation of communes in the countryside, bringing industry under the control of the workers and by restricting bourgeois right.

To undertake this entire process of change there was a fierce class struggle .... first, against remnants of the old system; second, against a new bourgeoisie engendered through widespread petty commodity production; and third against old ideas, habits, customs and culture as well as against revisionist ideas within the party that called for ‘stabilisation’ of the economy at the new democratic stage and opposed transition to socialism. It is in this process that Mao’s gigantic contribution to the development of Marxist theory came, with his detailed elucidation of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In doing so he put forward a ‘Critique of Soviet Economy’ and more scientifically elaborated the laws of development under socialism. He more concretely put forward the dialectical relationship between the economic base and the superstructure, and the important role of the latter in facilitating the transformation of the former. He put forward the nature of the principal contradiction during the entire period of socialist construction. He evolved the economic principle of ‘walking on two legs’ and of taking ‘agriculture as the base and industry as the leading factor.’

He devised the Great Leap Forward to take technology to the peasantry, and smelt iron and steel in the ‘backyard’. And, most important of all, he discovered the form for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, in the historic Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR)

In evolving the laws for socialist construction Mao said that the principal contradiction for this entire period was that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie; he said "class struggle is the key link and everything else hinges on it"; he attacked Liu Shao-chi’s theory of productive forces that saw the principal contradiction as that between the backward productive forces and advanced production relations; he pin-pointed the headquarters of the new bourgeoisie as being capitalist roaders in authority within the very communist party itself; he indicated the process for resolving the three major contradictions — that between the working class and the peasantry, town and countryside, and mental and physical labour; he evolved the methods to restrict bourgeois right and curb the ‘Law of value’; etc.

To bring about this revolution in the superstructure, Mao evolved the GPCR. While explaining the aims of the Cultural Revolution Mao said, "struggling against the capitalist roaders is the principal task, but in no way is it the goal. The goal is to resolve the problem of world outlook; it is the question of pulling up the roots of revisionism....

The CC has emphasised many times that the masses must educate and liberate themselves, the world-view cannot be imposed on them.

To transform ideology it is necessary that external causes work through internal causes, although these latter are principal. What would victory in the Cultural Revolution be if it did not transform world outlook ?

If the world-view is not transformed the 2000 capitalist roaders of today will become 4000 the next time."

Mao’s various slogans during the GPCR reflected this goal. The call to "Grasp revolution, promote production" dialectically handled the relationship between revolution and production, consciousness and matter and the superstructure and the economic base.

 By the slogan "keeping politics in command" and "never forget class struggle," Mao sought to maintain a proper balance between the growth of the productive forces and the development of the production relations.

His call to "fight self, repudiate revisionism" was combined with the mass movement for struggle-criticism-transformation, in an attempt to go even deeper and eradicate the bourgeois outlook from its very roots.

Such then were Mao’s gigantic contributions to understanding the laws of socialist construction and working out the forms to bring about the necessary change.

No communist can conceive of building socialism in the future, without understanding these contributions, of Mao’s in this sphere.

Finally, it was Mao who led the struggle against revisionism not only within China, but also at the international plane.

When, from the land of the Great Lenin, Khrushchev began spouting his revisionist trash, and threw the international communist movement into chaos, it was Mao and the CPC who led the great ideological battle. It was a relentless struggle in the glorious tradition of Lenin’s struggle against the Second International.

Through this ‘Great Debate’ not only did Mao defend Marxism-Leninism from the betrayers, he rallied the international communist forces from all over the world, to make a clean break with ‘modern revisionism’ and establish genuine Marxist-Leninist parties.

This monumental contribution to the Marxist cause is an invaluable weapon with which to counter revisionists of all hues.

Notwithstanding the reversal by the Deng revisionists, the Chinese revolution is of historical significance primarily because, in its course, it developed Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage — that of Mao Tsetung Thought or Maoism.

Mao developed Marxist science in every conceivable sphere :

in philosophy,
political economy,
scientific socialism, 
proletarian tactics,
party organisation, 
military science,
The herculean effort to create the new communist man.

Today, there are many in India who claim to be Maoists, but do not apply these principles to their daily practice. Chanting Mao’s name is no panacea for revolution: the point is to apply it in practice to the concrete conditions of the country.

There are those who deny, in their actual practice, the minimum tasks necessary for launching a people’s war; there are others who get stuck in the morass of parliamentarism; there are yet others who indefinitely postpone armed struggle; and there are others who ‘wave the red flag to oppose the red flag’ by dogmatic, stereotyped rendering of Maoist quotations like formulas. Mao taught us, particularly through the GPCR, how to distinguish real Marxism from sham Marxism.

On this the 50th Anniversary of the historic victory of the great Chinese revolution, let us widely propagate the glorious achievements of this revolution; let us undertake a wide campaign for the propagation of Maoism throughout the country, and learn how to apply it concretely in our daily practice.