Business as Normal For the New Year, Calm Before the Storm

At Stake at the Time:

The New Year’s editorial talks about the third sequence of five-year plans, conveying that things are progressing “according to plan” and without interruption. The Cultural Revolution is relegated to the sphere of study and culture, maintaining the insistence of Peng Zhen and others in  Beijing that critiques of Beijing intellectuals be considered an “academic” rather than “political” matter. This is in diametric contrast to the editorial in Hongqi printed the day before. During this time, the People’s Daily remained under the control of Peng Zhen and his network.

At Stake at the Present:

After the twists and the turns of the Cultural Revolution, to this day there are segments of the masses in China who insist that the Cultural Revolution was always supposed to be about “culture,” i.e.  non-violent, and without a reflection in political struggle. However this can be seen  in contrast to the Marxist understanding that revolutions are never peaceful matters, and also the understanding derived over the course of the Chinese Revolution and synthesized by Mao that class contradictions  often come to a head at the ideological level of society, which at certain points in history can become central to defining the political stakes and positions of a movement.

Welcoming 1966 — The First Year of China’s Third Five-Year Plan

— New Year’s Day Message — 

[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #1, Jan. 1, 1966, pp. 5-9.]



NINETEEN SIXTY-SIX, the first year of China’s great Third Five-Year Plan, has arrived. Full of boundless joy, the Chinese people of all nationalities are determined to make still greater achievements in the socialist revolution and socialist construction in the new year, to make the new Five-Year Plan a success from the very start.


The Third-Five Year Plan

The Third Five-Year Plan is a magnificent plan of the Chinese people to develop their national economy. During the period of the Third Five-Year Plan, we must hold aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, continue to carry out, in a deep-going way, the three great revolutionary movements of class struggle, the struggle for production, and scientific experiment. We will carry out the socialist education movement in the countryside and cities on a still wider scale. We will strive to increase agricultural production year by year, and implement still more effectively the National Programme for Agricultural Development. While bringing into full play the latent capacities of present industrial enterprises and transport and communications services on the basis of constant technical innovations and a constant rise in labour productivity, great efforts will be made to build a number of new enterprises, strengthen national defence, strengthen basic industries, communications and transport, and further improve the distribution of industry in the country; corresponding efforts will be made to expand light industry and improve the people’s livelihood step by step on the basis of the development of production—to do all this in order to build up an independent, fairly comprehensive industrial system and national economy. We will make strenuous efforts in order to catch up with and surpass advanced world levels in science and technology and build China into a strong socialist country with modern agriculture, modern industry, modern national defence and modern science and technology within twenty to thirty years.


Most Favourable Conditions

Since liberation, there have never been such favourable conditions for the national economy as now, when China’s Third Five-Year Plan is being launched.

Since liberation, China has gone through a period of two Five-Year Plans, after the period of the rehabilitation of the national economy. The First Five-Year Plan was overfulfilled by 1957. The Second Five-Year Plan, which was launched in 1958, was basically fulfilled in 1960, two years ahead of schedule. In the five years from then to the present, we made an overall readjustment of the national economy in the first three years and, in the following two years, we organized a new upsurge in the national economy, creating in every respect sound and adequate foundations for implementing the Third Five-Year Plan. From 1959 to 1961, China was hit by three successive years of natural calamities and there were some shortcomings and mistakes in our work; moreover, the Khrushchov revisionist clique perfidiously and suddenly attacked China by tearing up several hundred agreements and contracts, cutting off the supply of important items of equipment and technical data and withdrawing all Soviet experts working in China, thus adding to our economic difficulties. But all these serious difficulties did not overwhelm us. Through the efforts of the whole Party and the whole people, these big difficulties were turned into very good things.

In the past several years, under the brilliant leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, we have made progress in learning how to apply Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking in understanding things, analysing situations and grasping and solving problems. We found in good time ways of overcoming difficulties and ways of bringing about a great leap forward in a certain historical period. We have learnt methods of implementing the mass line more effectively. By relying on and bringing into play the strength of the masses, not only did we overcome our difficulties but we have brought about an all-round upsurge in the national economy. The Khrushchov revisionist clique’s betrayal strengthened our determination to exert greater efforts to implement the policy of self-reliance and to break down the notion of relying on others and having blind faith in them. This has greatly increased the material forces for building the country by our own efforts, and enabled us to find the correct road and a whole set of concrete measures for carrying out the socialist revolution and socialist construction in conformity with objective laws and the specific conditions of China. We have seriously summed up the experience and lessons of our work and learnt how to more comprehensively implement the general line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism. Facts have fully confirmed that our experience has become richer and our strength greater.


Socialist Education Movement

Class Struggle. It should be particularly pointed out that based on Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s teaching that classes and class struggle should always be borne in mind, we have taken class struggle in the past few years as the key to all our work, unfolded the socialist education movement in the countryside and the cities, and re-educated Communist Party members, cadres and the masses with the spirit of uninterrupted and thoroughgoing revolution, of carrying the socialist revolution through to the end. We have consolidated and expanded the position of socialism in the political, economic, ideological and organizational spheres and dealt a heavy blow to the noxious influences of capitalism. This greatly invigorated the outlook of the people throughout the country and their revolutionary enthusiasm is rising higher and higher. The struggle against Khrushchov revisionism has greatly raised the Marxist-Leninist ideological level and proletarian internationalism of the cadres and the masses. This is of far-reaching historic significance in preventing the restoration of capitalism and in promoting the advance of socialism in China and of world revolution.

Cultural Revolution. The cultural revolution has been developed in depth; a series of great debates and reforms have been carried out in philosophy, history, literature, art and education, spreading Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, repudiating revisionism, upholding proletarian thinking and uprooting the ideas of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class. Many of those working in the social science field have gained a deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking. Many writers and artists have more clearly recognized their direction of serving proletarian politics, serving the workers, peasants and soldiers and serving the economic base of socialism. While continuing to reform the full-time schools, educational workers started to put the system of part-farming, part-study and part-work, part-study into practice experimentally. The intellectuals have gone to rural areas, factories and army units to integrate themselves with the workers, peasants and soldiers; this has helped them to remould their thinking and greatly heighten their socialist consciousness.

Mass Movement to Study Mao Tse-tung’s Thinking. The study of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking by people all over the country has developed on an unprecedented mass scale. A vast number of people and cadres have creatively studied and used Mao Tse-tung’s works and their socialist consciousness has been raised to an all-time high. Reading Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s books, following his teachings and working in accordance with his guidance have become conscious acts of the masses of people. Mao Tse-tung’s teaching has become a powerful ideological weapon which is being used by tens of millions of people with increasing consciousness, and a great motivating force for progress in all fields of work. Learning from the People’s Liberation Army, from the Tachai Production Brigade and from the Taching Oilfield has become a nationwide campaign. The revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and hard struggle is taking root, blossoming and bearing fruit in different trades and occupations. Learning from Lei Feng and Wang Chieh and from all advanced people has grown into a movement of self-education for the broad masses. The revolutionary style of doing everything in the interest of others, disregarding one’s own interests, fearlessness in the face of trials or death and wholehearted devotion to the revolution have become new lofty moral trends in our society. All this encourages the masses of people to make greater contributions to the socialist revolution and construction, since the spirit it engenders is transformed into a material force.


Most Powerful Material and Technical Basis Ever

The material and technical basis of our country has never been so powerful as now, when we are embarking on the great Third Five-Year Plan.

In the past few years, under the guidance and inspiration of the general line for building socialism, we have had great success in carrying out the general policy of developing the national economy with agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor.

Agricultural Production. Agricultural production has made tremendous advances and remarkable results have been achieved in steadily increasing output. The system of rural people’s communes has been further consolidated and its superiority has been brought into fuller play.

The work of building water conservancy projects and improving farmland has been very fruitful. In agriculture, the Tachai Production Brigade has come forward as a brilliant pace-setter. Rural areas all over the country made great efforts to learn from Tachai. Many outstanding farming units have emerged in the style of Tachai. In 1965, there were good harvests for the fourth year running. Grain, cotton, sugar-bearing crops and tobacco output rose considerably.

Industrial Production. There was new progress in industrial production, with a new leap forward in the increased number of varieties and improved quality. Many weak links in industry were greatly strengthened. Many gaps were filled in. The petroleum industry in particular made an important breakthrough and has made China virtually self-sufficient. Communications and transport also made great advances. The Taching Oilfield rose up as an illustrious pace-setter on the industrial, communications and transport front. Various places in the country are making great efforts to learn from Taching. As a result, many outstanding industrial enterprises have emerged in the style of the Taching Oilfield. Industrial production last year registered considerable increases, with higher labour productivity and lower costs. Many construction projects made fairly rapid progress; the quality of construction work improved, and investments yielded rather substantial results.

The supply of commodities on the market increased steadily, in line with the development of industrial and agricultural production. In 1965, there was a big increase in the supply of pork, edible oil, sugar and cotton cloth; commodity prices remained stable and the market was brisk.

A Country That Owes No Foreign Debt. In the past few years state revenue and expenditures were balanced and the foreign trade plan was well fulfilled. All foreign debts were repaid and China has become a country that owes no debt to any country. The capital and interest on government bonds have been repaid on time, and in two or three years China will be a country without any domestic debt.

In the past few years, great achievements have been made in culture, education, public health and physical culture work; research in science and technology in particular advanced by leaps and bounds. All departments in the national economy made significant gains in the use of new designs, new techniques, new technological processes, new materials and new equipment. The successful explosion of two atomic bombs showed in a concentrated way that China has made a big leap forward in its efforts to catch up with and surpass the world’s advanced scientific and technical levels.

China’s National Defence Strength Has Become Unprecedentedly Great. It is especially noteworthy that in the past few years the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, public security forces and the militia, troops who are the sons and brothers of our people, have creatively studied and used Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, given prominence to politics, persisted in carrying out the “four firsts”1 and “three-eight” working style.2 They have made great strides in their advance to revolutionization and modernization and have won important victories in the defence of our territorial air and waters and our border areas and in strengthening public security. China’s national defence strength has become unprecedentedly great.

All this has provided a solid ideological base and a powerful material basis for our country to carry out the Third Five-Year Plan. Our people have never been so high in spirit and so strong in morale as at present. Our country has never before been so prosperous.


1966—A Good Beginning

Nineteen sixty-six is the first year of the Third Five-Year Plan. We must fight the battle of the first year well so as to make a good start in bringing about the smooth realization of this grand plan.

Central Task for 1966. In the coming year, we shall continue the socialist education movement thoroughly and effectively, carrying it out by stages and by groups. We shall continue to implement in an all-round way the Party’s General Line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism. We shall launch a solid nationwide movement to increase production and practise economy. We shall put great effort into the development of agriculture. All Communist Party committees at provincial, regional, county and people’s commune levels should place agriculture first. They should increase grain and cotton production, develop a diversified economy and work energetically to resist and take precautions against natural calamities. We shall carry forward the movement for technical innovations and the technological revolution so as to give full play to the existing potentialities in the fields of industry and communications and transport; at the same time we shall have to speed the construction of new projects by way of “waging a war of annihilation with concentrated forces” in order to enable them to go into early operation. We shall redouble our effort to increase the production of raw materials and other materials, fuels, electricity and major machinery and electrical equipment. We shall give agriculture vigorous support by turning out more products suited to the needs of the countryside. We shall organize the circulation of commodities rationally and raise the standard of the trading services so as to better serve production and the people. We shall take further steps in directing our work towards the rural areas in the fields of culture, education and health in order to push forward the cultural revolution. We must also work hard to strengthen national defence, the People’s Liberation Army and the militia.

The Viewpoint of One Dividing Into Two. We should always bear in mind Mao Tse-tung’s teaching that we should apply the viewpoint of one dividing into two in dealing with our work. The more successful our work and the greater our achievements, the more attention we must devote to the difficulties that will arise along the road of advance as well as to the shortcomings and mistakes that exist in our work. For example, our agriculture is still not strong enough to withstand the natural calamities which always affect some parts of the country every year. There are still quite a number of weak links in our industry, communications and capital construction. And quite a number of our departments still have a considerable gap to bridge before they reach advanced world scientific and technical levels.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung taught us: “Even if we have achieved extremely great successes, there is no reason whatever to be conceited or complacent. Modesty helps a person to make progress whereas conceit makes him lag behind. This is a truth we must always bear in mind.” All areas, departments and units must, in accordance with the teachings of the Party’s Central Committee and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, constantly sum up their experience, improve their work, make discoveries and inventions, and keep on creating and advancing.

Politics in Command. Politics is the supreme commander, the very soul of our work. It is necessary to put ideological and political work above all other work. The key in striving to accomplish and overfulfil the tasks for 1966 is to strengthen the Party’s leadership, give prominence to politics, put Mao Tse-tung’s thinking in command, and accelerate the revolutionization of man’s ideology. Practice has proved that the more prominence we give to politics and the higher we hold the red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, the more fully does the superiority of the socialist system show itself and the more assured is the victory of the cause of revolution and construction. In order to achieve still greater successes, we must follow the road of engaging energetically in revolution so as to promote production and construction.

In the new year, we must do still better in leading and organizing the cadres and the masses in studying Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s works, and in particular do our best to apply his thinking to practice. In all fields of work, we should carry out the mass line still better and bring the initiative of all people into fuller play. We should persist in effectively combining revolutionary spirit with scientific approach, work with great vigour and advance in steady steps, and do things in a careful and thoroughgoing manner. We should be proficient at summing up and popularizing the experience of the people and units that have become pace-setters. We should be good at discovering, supporting and fostering the new things that continually appear. We must go further in learning from the People’s Liberation Army, the Tachai Production Brigade and the Taching Oilfield by developing the mass movement to “compare with, learn from, catch up with and surpass the advanced and help the less advanced.” We should carry forward and develop the fine tradition of self-reliance, working assiduously and with vigour to make China strong, and building the country by thrift and diligence. In this way, we shall certainly be able to accomplish and overfulfil the great tasks for 1966.


Never Forget the International Class Struggle

Be Prepared for Early and Large-Scale War by U.S. Imperialism. While we carry out socialist revolution and socialist construction, we must never for a moment forget the international class struggle. U.S. imperialism regards as the biggest obstacle to carrying out its policies of aggression and war the increasingly powerful China which holds aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism, the banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking and the banner of proletarian internationalism, and which resolutely supports the revolutionary struggles of all countries. U.S. imperialism constantly carries out all kinds of wild provocations against China and wants to have another trial of strength with it. Many facts show that the focus of the counter-revolutionary global strategy of the United States is being shifted from Europe to Asia. U.S. imperialism is extending its war of aggression against Vietnam and plotting to impose war upon the Chinese people. We must maintain sharp vigilance and arrange all our work on the basis of coping with the eventuality that U.S. imperialism will launch an early and large-scale war. If the U.S. aggressors should dare to invade our country, we shall wipe them out resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely.

Resolute Support for Revolutionary Struggles of the Peoples of the World. U.S. Imperialism is the common enemy of the people of the whole world. The people of all countries support each other in the struggle against U.S. imperialism. We must never confine our view to China only, but should see the world as a whole. We are engaging in production and construction not only for the Chinese revolution and in the service of the Chinese people but also for the world revolution and in the service of the people of the whole world. Comrade Mao Tse-tung told us: “The people who have triumphed in their revolution should help the struggle of those who are still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty.” In order to fulfil this great duty, we must spare no effort in resolutely supporting the Vietnamese people, who are in the forefront of the anti-U.S. struggle, and the people of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the rest of the world in their struggles to overthrow U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.

Combat Khrushchov Revisionism to the End. The Khrushchov revisionists are following a line, diametrically opposed to ours. They betray Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, regard U.S. imperialism as their closest friend, dream of world domination through U.S.-Soviet collaboration, and work in every conceivable way to sell out the revolutionary interests of the people of all countries. We must carry through the struggle against Khrushchov revisionism to the very end. More than 90 per cent of the people of the world want revolution. We stand firmly on their side, and we shall never be isolated. The ones who are isolated are the handful of imperialists, revisionists and reactionaries who are hostile to the masses, and these are bound to become more and more isolated as time goes on. For 16 years the U.S. imperialists have been pursuing their policy of isolating China, and for a number of years the Khrushchov revisionists have done the same. But the result in both cases is that they have lifted a rock only to crush their own feet. China’s prestige is rising higher and higher and its revolutionary influence is growing greater and greater. We have friends all over the world.

International United Front. We shall unite still more firmly with the people of the countries in the socialist camp, with the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with the people of all countries in the world, including the American people, and with all peace-loving countries and all forces opposed to U.S. imperialism, to form a broad international united front and struggle to the very end for the defeat of U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.

In the new year let us hold still higher the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, have the country in our hearts and a world view in our minds, and forge ahead to win new, great victories.



1   The “four firsts” are: First place must be given to man in handling the relationship between man and weapons; to political work in handling the relationship between political and other work; to ideological work in relation to the other aspects of political work; and to living ideas in ideological work.

2   The “three-eight” working style (which in Chinese is written in three phrases and eight additional characters) means firm and correct political orientation; a plain, hard-working style; flexibility in strategy and tactics; and unity, alertness, earnestness and liveliness.

December 31 1965: The Political is the Commander, the Political is the Soul


December 31 1965.  New Year Editorial from Hongqi (Red Flag Magazine, the CCP’s main theoretical outlet). Also reprinted in the People’s Daily.

At play at the time:

This editorial, probably written by Mao’s close ally Chen Boda, strongly advocates putting politics in command, and helps to elucidate this core concept of Mao Zedong thought. It is a not so thinly veiled criticism of the Liu Shaoqi Deng Xiaoping wing of the party who favored a more market oriented approach for the Chinese economy. Hongqi’s editorials will gradually supplant those in the People’s Daily as the primary source for political summations of the Cultural Revolution.

The Political is the Commander, the Political is the Soul

People’s Daily 1965.12.31 Page 1

Red Flag magazine 1966 New Year’s Editorial

1966, A new year begins. In the past year the Chinese people continued to raise high the great red flag of Mao Zedong Thought, giving prominence to politics on every battlefront, as such it was a year of splendid achievements

Comrade Mao Zedong repeatedly instructed us; politics is the commander, the soul in everything “Not to have a correct political orientation is like not having a soul”“Political work is the life-blood of all economic work.”

To give prominence to politics, to put politics in command, is the emphasis of Mao Zedong thought, pragmatically study and use Mao Zedong Thought at the front of all work, and strengthen political work. In every kind of work, if you do this, then you can persist in the correct direction, you can prevail over every difficulty, and achieve remarkable accomplishments. Every time you do not do this or do it badly, then you certainly will not improve, or even follow an evil path. This is a truth repeatedly proven in our practice.

The relation between the  political and  economics, technical work and other services, and what position political work is put in, will impact the success or failure of our revolutionary and constructive policy and line questions.

Proletarian politics, reflects the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. Our work is an integral part of the proletarian revolutionary cause. All work is subordinate to proletarian politics, all work is subordinate to the proletarian political line, and all work is at the service of proletarian politics. If it is not proletarian politics, then it is bourgeois politics. Economic, Military, Cultural, etc., politics that are not subordinate in truth do not exist. In reality, there are no economic politics, military politics, cultural politics, and so on, that are not subordinate. Lenin said: “without a correct political approach to the matter the given class will be unable to stay on top, and, consequently, will be incapable of solving its production problem either.”Thus we must continue to put politics in command, this fundamental principle of Marxism Leninism.

Comparing Political work and Economic work, Political work must come first. Comrade Mao Zedong has always stressed that politics is the concentrated expression of economics. Politics should lead economics, rather than economics leading politics. The so-called viewpoints of “good economy is good politics” and “good production is good politics” are wrong.

Comparing Political work and Military affairs, Political work must come first. The Military is only one tool for completing political tasks. Politics should lead military affairs, rather than military affairs leading politics.

Early in 1929 at the famous Gutian meeting, Comrade Mao Zedong resolved the problem of the relationship between military affairs and politics: Politics leads the military; it is not the other way around. The so-called viewpoint of “good military is good politics” is wrong.

Comparing political work and scientific work, political work must come first. Politics must lead science, rather than science leading politics. The so-called viewpoint of “good science is good politics” is wrong.

You can only arrange the relationship of politics with economics, military affairs, science and technology, and the relationship of political work with business, in this way.

Of course there are contradictions between political work and business. But to resolve this contradiction, we cannot weaken political work, or use the method of squeezing out political work. We can only give prominence to politics, strengthen political work, and place political work in front of professional work, in order to carry out business. By following this course politics can lead business, and allow business to advance.

Comrade Mao Zedong said politics “is the struggle of class against class.”

In our country, who will win the battle of socialism versus capitalism still will have to experience a long historical period. In the world, Marxist Leninists and the revolutionary people are in a serious battle with American imperialists, reactionaries and modern revisions from every country. This is the class struggle on a global scale.

In this situation, raising politics to prominence requires us to always be alert for class enemies internally and externally. On every battlefront we must grasp the class struggle, grasp the battle of the two roads of socialism and capitalism, and implement and carry out the party’s class line. Only by doing this can we advance and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, so that our cause can healthily advance along the socialist road, and remain invincible, and more effectively support the revolutionary struggle of the people of the world. If we forget the class struggle, forget the two-line struggle, our work will lose direction, revisionism will arise, capitalism will get the upper hand, and our cause will change appearance.

Comrade Mao Zedong said, “Politics mean class politics, the politics of the masses.” Departing from the mass struggle is not politics.

Now, our fundamental task is to make the socialist revolution to the end, and continuously push forward socialist construction. To accomplish this task, we must mobilize the masses, and rely on the masses. To accomplish this, the most fundamental thing is to arm the people’s minds with Mao Zedong Thought to increase public awareness and mobilize the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses, to make their talents come out, and fully develop the peoples’ role.

Learning and using Mao Zedong thought, revolutionizes people’s thinking, it is the guarantee of good work. The masses of workers and peasants said it well: “Mao Zedong thought arms the people’s minds, makes the people’s hearts red, eyes bright, guts strong (brave), bones hard.” “If you have Mao Zedong thought in your brain, then you will not be scared away by difficulties, or bent aside by snags.” Mao Zedong thought is the greatest weapon and the greatest political power. The people who use the weapons of Mao Zedong thought have the greatest fighting strength.

Under the teachings of Mao Zedong thought have arisen the heoric people of Daqing, and the heroic people of Dazhai, on every battlefront many Lei Fengs have arisen, and communist soldiers such as Wang Jieshi. With self-reliance they struggle arduously and work energetically for the prosperity of the country. They do not fear hardship, they do not fear death. They work wholeheartedly for the revolution; they give everything for the revolution.

No matter what task, no matter what job, they all cherish the motherland, and view the world broadly.

They care about national affairs, party affairs, class affairs, and the affairs of the people, and international affairs. They care the most about politics. They understand the political goal and meaning of their work, and can self-consciously follow general political tasks. They can bring every specific task together with political undertakings, and bring every bit of commonplace work together with communist ideals. The Chinese people’s spirited appearance is the result of Mao Zedong thought being deeply rooted in their hearts.

The material becomes spiritual, and the spiritual can also become material. People’s spirited appearance towards any work has a resolved meaning.

You only need to grasp Mao Zedong thought, and give prominence to politics, and then production will go well, technology will go well, and enterprises will go well. If you do not put politics in the lead then production, technology, and enterprise will not go well. In fact it is like this. Once Mao Zedong thought has been grasped by the great masses of the people then it transforms into a great material force.

Modern revisionists oppose putting politics in command. They advocate “material incentives,” “profit incentives,” “award incentives,” and the development of bourgeois individualist egoism. Lenin once pointed out: Work to make money… this is the ethic of the capitalist world.”(6) Modern Revisionists precisely pursue this sort of ethic of the capitalist world.

A soul of proletarian politics that puts politics in command, or a soul of material incentives that puts individual fame and profit in command, represent two fundamentally opposed world views. Are they two fundamentally opposed political lines? We put forward the political, put politics in front, this is persisting upon the proletarian worldview, opposing the capitalist world view in supporting the Marxist Leninist political line, opposing the revisionist political line.

China’s third five year plan has begun. In the age of the new battle, as long as we continue to put politics in front in all forms of work, and continue to put the living and learning of Mao Zedong thought in the first place  the people will continually revolutionize their thought, and undoubtedly will achieve new and  greater achievements.

① Mao Zedong”On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.” 1957.
② Mao Zedong”Editor’s Notes From Socialist Upsurge In China’s Countryside.” 1948.
Once Again On The Trade Unions,
④⑤ “Talks At The Yenan Forum On Literature And Art.” 1942.
⑥ Lenin” Report on the joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.”1918.

Editorial Repudiates Appeals to Unity by the Soviet Union as an Excuse for Collaboration with U.S. Imperialism: December 30, 1965, People’s Daily Editorial

At Stake at the Time

By printing the Soviet Union’s attacks on China’s political direction in full, today’s edition of the People’s Daily and the following editorial attempts to expose the false banner of unity which party members there, and others at home in China, were calling for. Then Cultural Revolution had overlapping national and international dimensions. Previously this month, Mao critiqued general Luo Ruiqing, in an effort to weaken military pressure for overt war in Vietnam led by a China-Soviet coalition with the logic that such a move would silence internal struggle in China about the direction of the socialist revolution. This editorial’s advocacy for the primacy of people’s struggle in Vietnam, rather than international diplomatic maneuvers on behalf of the Vietnamese people, follows a tenet of the movement that international revolutionary armed struggles are a necessary part of the road towards communism. The path of negotiation under the guidance of the Soviet Union is critiqued here as in effect a form of collaborating with the aims of U.S. imperialism. The CIA’s report from the previous May indicated that a victory of the Vietnamese forces over the U.S. would be a vindication of Chinese political line a repudiation of the Soviet one, and a blow to the global trust is US ability to counter guerrilla insurgency

 (see: ),The editorials in Pravda this month condemning this “break from unity” are symptomatic of these differences coming to a head.

At Stake at the Present

Some today argue that a broad united front is the best the left can hope for given its comparatively weak status. However, the politics of this editorial advocate that principled unity is the only alliance capable of revolutionary aspirations.

The Leaders of the C.P.S.U. are Betrayers 
of the Declaration and the Statement:

by the Editorial Department of “Renmin Ribao”

On December 30, 1965, the day the following article was published, Renmin Ribao reprinted in full the December 12 anti-Chinese article by the editorial department of Pravda, entitled “Line Confirmed by Life Itself.” It also reprinted extracts from the following six anti-Chinese articles appearing recently in the Soviet press…

ON the fifth anniversary of the issuance of the Statement of 1960, the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. staged a short anti-Chinese farce by publishing a batch of articles.

The revolutionary principles of the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960 are as diametrically opposed to Khrushchov revisionism as is fire to water. In trying to confuse people by flaunting the banner of the Declaration and the Statement the faithful followers of Khrushchov revisionism only help to reveal their own ugly features still further.

During the drafting of the Declaration and the Statement, the Marxist-Leninists waged intense struggles against the Khrushchov revisionists.

The revisionist line advanced by Khrushchov at the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. is the opposite of the revolutionary principles of the Declaration of 1957. The 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. created grave confusion in the international communist movement. Together with other fraternal Parties, the Communist Party of China conducted a principled struggle against Khrushchov’s revisionist line at the Moscow Meeting.

It was again at Khrushchov revisionism that the revolutionary principles of the Statement of 1960 were directed. By that time, Khrushchov had completely transposed enemies and friends, was openly collaborating with U.S. imperialism, had thoroughly undermined the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties and countries and was creating a split in the international communist movement. Together with other Marxist-Leninist Parties, the Communist Party of China waged a tit-for-tat struggle against the Khrushchov revisionist clique and safeguarded the purity of Marxism-Leninism.

Of course, the formulation of certain questions in the Declaration and the Statement is not altogether clear and there are even weaknesses and errors. As the leaders of the C.P.S.U. repeatedly requested that allowances should be made for their need to connect this formulation with the formulation of the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U., we made certain concessions at that time in order to reach agreement. On more than one occasion, we have expressed our readiness to accept any criticism of us on this point. Despite all this, the Declaration and the Statement set forth a series of revolutionary principles which all Marxist-Leninist Parties should abide by.

In the eyes of the Khrushchov revisionists, however, both the Declaration and the Statement were mere scraps of paper. They tore up these documents on the very day they signed them. The Khrushchov revisionists had made up their minds to sing a tune opposite to that of Marxism-Leninism and the Declaration and the Statement. By the time of the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. they produced the revisionist Programme of the C.P.S.U., casting to the four winds all the basic theses of Marxism-Leninism and all the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement.

Let us contrast the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement with the line laid down at the 20th and 22nd Congresses and in the Programme of the C.P.S.U., which is being followed tenaciously by its new leaders.

The Declaration and the Statement lay down a revolutionary line. But the Khrushchov revisionists are pressing forward with their anti-revolutionary line of “peaceful coexistence,” “peaceful competition” and “peaceful transition.” They themselves do not want revolution and forbid others to make revolution. They themselves oppose the armed revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations and forbid others to support armed revolutionary struggles.

The Declaration and the Statement point out that U.S. imperialism is the common enemy of the people of the world and that the people throughout the world must form the broadest united front against the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war. But the Khrushchov revisionists are uniting with U.S. imperialism against the people of the world and carrying out the policy of U.S.-Soviet collaboration for world domination.

The Declaration and the Statement point out that socialist countries must maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat and carry out socialist revolution and socialist construction. But the Khrushchov revisionists advance the fallacies of the “state of the whole people” and the “party of the entire people,” abolishing the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union and changing the character of the C.P.S.U. as the vanguard of the proletariat. They are enforcing the dictatorship of the privileged bourgeois stratum in the Soviet Union and have embarked on the road of capitalist restoration.

The Declaration and the Statement point out that unity among all the Communist Parties and socialist countries must be based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and that in their relations with each other fraternal Parties and countries must follow the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual support and the attainment of unanimity through consultation. But the Khrushchov revisionists practise big-power chauvinism, national egoism and splittism, waving their baton everywhere, wilfully interfering in the affairs of fraternal Parties and countries, trying hard to control them and carrying out disruptive and subversive activities against them, and splitting the international communist movement and the socialist camp.

The Declaration and the Statement point out that all Communist Parties must wage struggles against revisionism and dogmatism, and particularly against revisionism, which is the main danger in the international communist movement at present, and the Statement, moreover, explicitly denounces the Yugoslav Tito clique as renegades. But the Khrushchov revisionists join the Tito clique in a passionate embrace and publicly try to reverse the verdict an this gang of traitors. They gather around themselves revisionists of all descriptions to oppose the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people throughout the world.

The great debate in the international communist movement over the last few years represents a great struggle over whether to uphold or to betray Marxism-Leninism and whether to safeguard or to discard the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement.

The “Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement” which the Communist Party of China put forward on June 14, 1963, sums up the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement, upholds the Marxist-Leninist position and refutes Khrushchov revisionism on a series of fundamental questions relating to the revolution in our times.

Preliminary but important results have already been achieved in the Marxist-Leninists’ fight against the Khrushchov revisionists. The new leaders of the C.P.S.U. love to talk of the “line confirmed by life itself,” don’t they? Please open your eyes and have a look. The results “confirmed by life itself” are quite clear. In the face of resolute struggle by all the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people, the great people of the Soviet Union included, Khrushchov revisionism has been discredited and its founder driven off the stage of history. This is a great victory in the struggle to defend Marxism-Leninism. It is a great victory in the struggle to defend the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement.

In an article in Pravda, the new leadership of the C.P.S.U. said, “The C.P.S.U. has been and will continue to be loyal to the general line of the international communist movement.” Well, let us now examine what the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. have been and will continue to be.

What were they in the past? They were Khrushchov’s close comrades-in-arms. They were loyal to the general line of Khrushchov revisionism. They had to relegate to limbo the illustrious Khrushchov, the founder of their faith and the maestro who “creatively developed Marxism-Leninism,” simply because Khrushchov was too disreputable and too stupid to muddle on any longer, and because Khrushchov himself had become an obstacle to the carrying out of Khrushchov revisionism. The only way the Khrushchov revisionist clique could maintain its rule was to swop horses.

What are they now? They are the old cast of the Khrushchov revisionist leading group. They remain loyal to the general line of Khrushchov revisionism. They never weary of swearing that the general line worked out at the 20th and 22nd Congresses of the C.P.S.U. under Khrushchov’s sponsorship is their “only, immutable, line in the entire home and foreign policy.” At times they give the appearance of opposing the United States, but all their policies boil down to one of U.S.-Soviet collaboration for the domination of the world. They have reaffirmed time and again “the immutability of the policy of the U.S.S.R. aimed at establishing all-round co-operation with the United States.” While proclaiming that they are building “communism” in the Soviet Union, they are speeding up the restoration of capitalism. Amidst the dust and din of their “united action,” they called the divisive March Moscow meeting, stepping up their divisive activities, and they are now hatching a big plot for a general attack on China and a general split in the international communist movement and the socialist camp. They are going farther and farther along the road of Khrushchov revisionism.

And what will they continue to be? Whether or not they can return to the path of Marxism-Leninism and whether or not they can return to the path of the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement, depend mainly on whether or not they themselves can repudiate the revisionist general line laid down at the 20th and 22nd Congresses and in the Programme of the C.P.S.U. Unless they utterly repudiate this line, whatever tricks they play and whatever patching they do can only prove that they are still practising Khrushchov revisionism without Khrushchov. All Marxist-leninists, the great Soviet people and the revolutionary people everywhere have no alternative but to continue to expose them and fight them to the end.

The new leaders of the C.P.S.U. are shouting themselves hoarse for “united action.” Above all, they are clamouring for “united action” on the question of Vietnam. But it is precisely on this question, which is the focus of the present international struggle, that their anti-revolutionary position is revealed in its most concentrated form. Far from believing that the Vietnamese people can win in a people’s war against U.S. imperialist aggression, they are afraid that this will bring “troubles” and hamper their collaboration with U.S. imperialism. Whatever pretences they put up, in the final analysis all their activities are aimed at united action with U.S. imperialism to bring the question of Vietnam into the orbit of Soviet-U.S. collaboration, help U.S. imperialism to realize the plot of “peaceful negotiations” and extinguish the raging flames of the Vietnamese people’s revolution. The slogan of “united action” has now become a poisoned weapon in the hands of the Khrushchov revisionists for sowing dissension. In co-ordination with U.S. imperialism, they are vainly trying to use this slogan to undermine the fighting friendship between the Chinese and Vietnamese peoples and the Vietnamese people’s unity against U.S. aggression. The Vietnamese people are waging a victorious struggle against U.S. imperialism and for national salvation. It is the duty of the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people to give their staunch support to the just revolutionary struggle of the Vietnamese people and firmly expose the plot of “united action” hatched by the new leaders of the C.P.S.U.

The new leaders of the C.P.S.U. assert that anyone who does not take “united action” with them is “encouraging the imperialists to launch their ventures.” This is turning things upside down. Is it not the very policies of appeasement and capitulationism of the revisionist leading group of the C.P.S.U. and its line of Soviet-U.S. collaboration for world domination that are helping to inflate the aggressive arrogance of U.S. imperialism? It should be pointed out that it is the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. themselves who are actually “encouraging the imperialists to launch their ventures.”

What the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. fear most is that the Marxist-Leninists will draw a line of demarcation between themselves and these leaders. But, as Lenin said,

The great work of uniting and consolidating the fighting army of the revolutionary proletariat cannot be carried out unless a line of demarcation is drawn and a ruthless struggle is waged against those who serve to spread bourgeois influence among the proletariat.1

By clinging to their revisionism and splittism the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. have placed themselves in direct antagonism to Marxism-Leninism. In such circumstances, can the Marxist-Leninists be expected to fall to draw a line of demarcation, both politically and organizationally, between themselves and the new leaders of the C.P.S.U.?

If we failed to draw a clear line of demarcation, both politically and organizationally, between ourselves and the Khrushchov revisionists:

Wouldn’t we be joining them in betraying Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement and become revisionists ourselves?

Wouldn’t we be joining them in entering into the service of U.S. imperialism and acting as its accomplices?

Wouldn’t we be joining them in undermining the revolution of the fraternal Vietnamese people and rendering service to the U.S. imperialist policy of aggression against Vietnam and of war expansion?

Wouldn’t we be accepting them as the “patriarchal father Party” and serving as an instrument under their baton, recognizing their big-power privileged status and serving as their appendage?

Wouldn’t we be following them in restoring capitalism at home and once again reducing the broad masses of labouring people to a position in which they are oppressed and exploited?

Wouldn’t we be following them in putting ourselves in antagonism to the people of our own country and the whole world and heading for a miserable end without being able to escape the punishment of history?

As a serious Marxist-Leninist Party, the Communist Party of China can only give the categorical answer that we will do none of these things either now or in the future.

The Chinese Communist Party has consistently upheld the unity of the international communist movement and of the socialist camp. The only genuine unity is unity based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and on the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement. What the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. call “unity” is sham unity. They have betrayed Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism and the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement, and their betrayal can only lead to a split. We want genuine unity and resolutely oppose sham unity. It is for the sake of achieving genuine international proletarian unity that we are waging struggles against Khrushchov revisionism.

Together with all the other Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people of the world, the Chinese Communists will continue, as always, to hold aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, abide by the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement and carry the struggle against Khrushchov revisionism through to the end.

The world is on the march. It is our strong conviction that the struggle of the people of the world against imperialism, reaction and modern revisionism and the cause of world peace, national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism are bound to keep on winning new great victories.


1 V.I. Lenin, “Resolution Adopted by the Second Paris Group of the R.S.D.L.P. on the State of Affairs in the Party,” Collected Works, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1963, Vol. XVII, p. 223.


Renmin Ribao, on December 29, 1965, devoted nearly three pages to the full text of the following three articles marking the 5th anniversary of the publication of the Moscow Statement:

1, The December 6 editorial of the Korean paper Rodong Shinmoon, “Unite All Revolutionary Forces and Wage a More Powerful Anti-Imperialist Struggle.”

2, The December 10 article of the editorial department of the Albanian paper Zeri i Popullit, “The Khrushchov Revisionists Are Facing Serious Difficulties, Setbacks and Contradictions.”

3, The December 7 editorial of the Japanese Communist Party organ Akahata, “Struggle Against Modern Revisionism, Strengthen the International Fight Against U.S. Imperialism.”

On the same day, Renmin Ribao also reprinted extracts from an article in the December issue (No. 17) of the Australian Communist, the theoretical journal of the Australian Communist Party (Marxist-leninist). The article condemned the Khrushchov revisionists for entering into an alliance with the U.S. imperialists and the Indian reactionaries to oppose China and oppose revolution. —P.R. Editor.

Peking Review’s translation of the editorial from:


December 29 1965 “Do Trade and Financial Work By Making It Political”

December 29 1965 “Do Trade and Financial Work By Making It Political”

On December 29th the People’s Daily ran two articles on trade and finance.

“Do Trade and Financial Work By Making It Political” and “Grass Roots Advanced Workers Discuss the Experience of Revolutionary Commerce, You Must Rely On Politics To Do Business.” Both articles argue that finance and trade are not merely economic activities but should be treated as political activities:

“Trade and finance is not just economic work but is also revolutionary work.”

“You must treat commercial work as political work, only if you look at commercial work in this way can you understand it is revolutionary work. Only if you are engaged in commercial work in this way then you can do commerce well.”

The articles give examples of how shop keepers have applied the idea of treating commercial work as political: The paper gives multiple examples of sales clerks going out of their way to help customers. Salespeople should not treat profit as the motive for their work; to this end clerks with bad class backgrounds are criticized as being too aggressive.

The CCP slogan “Serve the People,” taken from the title of the September 1944 article (, is deployed to show that the aim of commerce is not for personal gain but for the greater good of the people and the revolution.

At Play at the Time:

Besides from having good manners and being helpful these articles do not go into great detail about how to treat commercial work as political work. Importantly failures to do business in a suitable manner are blamed on class enemies. It highlights cooperation between people engaged in commerce and the peasant and classes. Any class tension is due not to a growth of new class tensions under socialism, but the latent influence of the corrupt bourgeoisie from the old society.

A Search for A New Commune Model: December 28, 1965

Use Dazhai’s Spirit to Encourage the Drive of the Masses, Use Dazhai’s Spirit to Activate the Wisdom of the Masses, Red Flag Brigade Sees Success After Independently Activated Auxiliary Productive Activities: People’s Daily, December 28, 1965

The article covers the experience of the Red Flag Brigade, located in the East #4 Commune of Liaoning’s Haicheng County. The brigade suffered from excessive flooding in the previous year.

In the aftermath of the disaster, members of the commune decided that they would rely on their own efforts for relief by promoting secondary production work.

This followed studying the examples of Dazhai Commune, which opened production through members’ ability to expand terraced fields and irrigation systems. In addition, members studied examples such as “the foolish man who removed the mountains:”

(see ).

An emergency fund of 500 yuan provided by the nation was returned by the brigade, the envelope unopened.

At first people thought that the area lacked the conditions for secondary forms of production. However, through relying on local knowledge of reed weaving, including reed mats and grass baskets and by inviting neighboring experts, the brigade was able to achieve a large increase in production, the profits of which were shared between cooperative members and the collective.

At Play at the Time

Cooperatives and communes often were privatized following the setbacks experienced during the Great Leap Forward. However, the learn from Dazhai Campaign, promoted by Mao in 1963, was an effort to retrench and experiment with models of collective agriculture. Its example was wildly emulated during the Cultural Revolution, and the local leader of the commune, Chen Yonggui, became a national figure, and a proponent of rural progress towards communism. He remained prominent in China until Deng Xiaoping repudiated the Dazhai model in favor of private plots after the Cultural Revolution. Secondary production was a way of realizing local knowledge and abilities, and represented a divergence from “economy of scale” type planning best known of during the Great Leap Forward period. However, the GLF itself began as a movement towards decentralization, and secondary production was encouraged during the movement in urban communes as well during the movement. Local experiments often explored various forms of commune management, and are an under-reported component of the Cultural Revolution. Often the devil is in the details with such projects, especially regarding the democratic character of such mobilizations, their private versus public character, and relatedly, their relationship to rival neighboring villages and communes.

At Play at the Present

Chen Yonggui in particular was something of a people’s hero in China, and represents something of a parallel inquiry during the Cultural Revolution, the search for a rural path towards communism. The relationship between the urban movement and the rural movement during the Cultural Revolution in China provides insight into the inevitable unequal development of political movements across geographies and economies.

December 27 1965: U.N. Has No Right to Discuss Korean Question

In the December 27 edition of the People’s Daily an editorial lambasted the UN Security council’s resolution calling for UN supervised elections uniting North and South Korea. The editorial argues that the UN as a belligerent in the Korean war had no right to call for an election uniting North and South Korea. The resolution was just another imperialist ploy to undermine the North Korean communist regime.

The main focus of the editorial is the argument that the UN was a tool of joint US Soviet imperialism used for the suppression of anti-colonial revolutionary forces. To this end the article enumerates multiple instances of Soviet-American cooperation in the United Nations.

  • Supporting India against Pakistan in the conflict in Kashmir. The CCP considered the Indian state to be reactionary, and supported Kashmiri self determination.
  • Supporting British suppression of anti imperialist revolts in Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe)
  • Establishment of a permanent UN peace keeping force.
  • Opposing Nuclear Proliferation, which was namely seeking to stop the PRC from developing Nuclear Weapons.

“People have seen that like Khrushchov, the new Soviet leaders have used the United Nations as an avenue for collusion with the U.S. imperialists, and they have even gone further than Khrushchov. In trying to fulfill their fond dream of Soviet-American co-operation for worldwide domination, they have not hesitated to betray the revolutionary cause of the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America and of the people of the world in general, and they have readily served as an accomplice of the U.S. imperialists.”


At Play at the Time:

The Korean War was the source of a long-standing disagreement between the CCP and the CPSU, and a major factor in the Sino-Soviet Split. For reasons not well understood, in 1950, Stalin refrained from vetoing the United States’ resolution to use the UN to combat the North Korean regime’s annexation of South Korea. The Soviet Union subsequently failed to do much to support the North Korean war effort, leaving China to essentially be the sole supporter of the North Korean Communists against the US army fighting under the banner of the UN. After being provoked by US forces under General MacArthur, who was eager to provoke war with the PRC, the PLA suffered heavy casualties driving invading American forces back to the 38th parallel.

Moreover, the PRC was at this time still unrecognized by the UN, and unrepresented; the UN recognized the US backed dictatorship in Taiwan, under the name the Republic of China, as the only legitimate Chinese government.

The rift between the Soviet and the PRC was not only confined to ideological and organizational differences. Both states pursued different foreign policy objectives, which were often in conflict with one another. They encouraged the growth of diverging tendencies in the international communist movement. This would become more pronounced with the emergence of Maoist parties across the world in the following few years.

At play in the present

This editorial raises questions about the role of imperialist powers on “peace keeping missions” in current day conflicts. The United States, the UK, Germany, France, and Russia, and Turkey are all currently involved combat missions in Syria and Iraq. While combating the arch-conservative group ISIS, not a single one of these groups supports self-determination for the oppressed people of the region, most notably the Kurds. Imperialist military and intelligence leaders all freely admit that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, yet offer no viable alternative and gleefully continue to bombard population centers. A central question posed for anti-war activism in the current day is how is it possible to both oppose imperialistic intervention as well as the fascistic forces that it seeks fight at the same time as giving meaningful aid to the oppressed people of Syria and Iraq.


The Masses of Peasants and Workers Know and Understand Best: Chinese artists cast clay models of landlord oppression in rural art center. Six peasant women walk over 30 kilometers to check out the scene on opening day

December 26th 1965.

(R:  Image of the exhibition from the article, L: Present Day Image of the exhibition)

An article in People’s Daily describes the opening of the exhibition  “rent collection yard” (收组院) in Anren town in Sichuan’s Dayi County. The exhibition contained clay renditions portraying the oppressive collection of rent from peasants by a landlord and his servants.

It states that the project was not an ordinary art exhibition but was a classroom for class education.

The artists on the project left the backdoor to their studio open and invited peasants walking past or taking a rest to come in and comment on the art in progress. In the process some critiqued the peasants’ clothing as “too new.” Others critiqued the countenance of the people, and suggested that they themselves serve as models for display.

Although the showcase was not finished, during the national day holiday it was temporarily opened for three days to the public.

Several people proudly exclaimed that they had been represented in the project as a result of their contributions.

Two women, one, Luo Erniang, who in the past had served as a wet-nurse for a landlord, and comrade Leng Yueying, who had been imprisoned in a landlord’s dungeon, could not wait to see the exhibition. The motion of a an older woman beating her chest in the fourth scene “hounding for rent” was the result of Leng Yueying’s contribution. She explained that “at the time, we transferred our last bit of grain to the landlord.  That really made our hearts ache. From the heart ache, we then beat our chests with out two hand.”

Six women, all wearing new blue neck-scarfs walked through the entryway. Clearly they had traveled a long way to see the exhibition. One, a 66-year old woman, upon seeing the landlord’s dog-leg (i.e. his servant used to collect duties and rent), beat her bamboo walking stick towards the statue before being restrained by others around her.

A map from the present day showing routes that these women have used to walk to the exhibition.

“If not for the comrades here, I would destroy that clay” she said. A discussion followed among the audience members, with a circle forming around the women.

After the artists talked to the women, they discovered the six had walked for over 40 kilometers from Chongqing County’s Lamb-Horse Commune’s Sixth Production Brigade. Qin Daniang, now over sixty, had organized mutual-aid groups since the start of liberation, and now is head of the women’s team in her production brigade. In the past she also had served as a wet-nurse to a landlord at the same time as her own son starved to death on a bed. When she heard that the exhibit had built over 100 statues  for the peasants, she organized a group of class-sisters to attend. Each bought an illustrated booklet depicting landlords’ actions in the past. They explaind, “Although we don’t know how to read, we can show these pictures to the youth so they don’t forget the bitterness of the old society.”

One people’s liberation soldier yelled in anger after seeing the exhibition.

An elderly woman stood in front of a rendition of a grandfather selling his granddaughter. She tearfully exclaimed, “she is the same as me!”

Caption from cartoon in article:  “Those who don’t understand class, don’t understand exploitation, and don’t understand revolution.”

The Funeral of Huang Yanpei: honoring the former industrialist in the People’s Daily: December 25, 1965


Party and state leaders Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Guo Moruo, Yang Mingxuan, Cheng Qian, Lin Feng, et. all, observing a moment of silence for Vice Chairman Huang Yanpei. Xinhua News Agency Zhang Binshe.

Huang Yanpei passed away on December 21st 1965, a state funeral held in his honor at Zhongshan in Park in Beijing was held on December 24th. A short article about the funeral and a large photo spread appeared as the first article in the People’s Daily on the 25th.

Huang was a former industrialist and founding member of the China Democratic League (CDL), a liberal political party that sided with the CCP against the Guomindang in the Chinese Civil War (The historian Wu Han, who was concurrently under criticism was also a prominent member of the CDL in the 1940’s). He had served multiple terms as the Vice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an important but largely symbolic advisor body whose members are drawn from outside of the Communist party. During the republican period Huang was very influential in educational circles, founding many schools and sitting on educational advisory boards. Notably, Huang had opposed the nationalization of industry in the 1950’s and openly advocated for a market-based economy.

At Play at the Time:

The special treatment that Huang’s funeral received in the People’s Daily points to the continuing influence of the former national bourgeoisie in Chinese government and education. The photo of leading communists Premier Zhou Enlai, Marshall Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Guo Moruo, Yang Mingxuan, Cheng Qian, and Lin Feng paying tribute to Huang belies this point. The center, represented by Zhou Enlai, and right wing of the Communist Party, represented by Deng Xiaoping, were signaling their support for Huang and fellow high ranking former capitalists at the same time that Mao was stirring up class conflict from his retreat in Hangzhou. This represented a fundamental difference in interpretation of the role of class struggle under socialism: the right wing supporting the Stalinist interpretation the class conflict ended under state socialism and that threats to Chinese Communism were primarily external, and the left wing arguing that class conflict continued and threats were primarily internal.

The bourgeoisie, unlike the landlords that were annihilated as a class during the land reform campaign in the late 1940-early 1950’s, although lacking in social prestige, still maintained high standards of living, and were over represented in industrial management, cultural, and academic, jobs. Their good fortune was due to the fact instead of allowing the working class to expropriate the means of production in the first half of the 1950’s the Communist state bought out all privately owned factories. Fearing a lack of expertise in management, the CCP paid the old factory owners to stay on as managers and consultants, with high salaries, which matched or came close to matching their former income. The continued fortune of the bourgeoisie under the state socialism contributed to growing class tensions in schools and factories. In factories, workers resented the effectively unchanged labor regime, and continued high stature of their former bosses under socialism. This compounded class conflicts between the working class and the emerging bureaucratic cadre class, which helped to inspire a massive strike wave in Shanghai 1957 (See Perry, Elizabeth J.. 1994. “Shanghai’s Strike Wave of 1957”. The China Quarterly, no. 137. Cambridge University Press: 1–27). Moreover, cadres and workers resented the high wages that the former bourgeoisie continued to receive (See: Wang, Shaoguang. “The Roots of Discontent 1949 to 1966” Failure of Charisma: The Cultural Revolution in Wuhan. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1995. 23-53). The children of the bourgeoisie and intellectuals disproportionately made up the teaching staff at schools and their children disproportionately attended the best schools in the country. This caused resentment among the children of cadres, who felt that they as the children of revolutionaries deserved the most favored treatment. At the same time the children of workers, peasants, and intellectuals, resented the special privileges enjoyed by the children of cadres. A few months later when the Cultural Revolution officially began these grievances came out into the open. (see Andreas, Joel. “Cradle of the Red Engineers” in Rise of the Red Engineers The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2009. 63-83).

Abbie adds: Many of Huang Yanpei’s patriotic actions during the civil war period can be seen as one aspect of the successful united front policy enacted by the Party, based on the basis for participation in the proletarian led struggle by sections of the oppressed national bourgeoisie, based on an analysis that saw China beset by the “three mountains” of capitalism, imperialism, and feudalism. However, following the founding of the People’s Republic, this situation shifted. During the start of the Cultural Revolution, China could be seen at a fork in the road, in which development could precede on a path towards imperialist capitalist development, or towards continuing socialist revolution. Many of those at Huang’s funeral probably would not have recognized, or not opposed, the potential for the former path.

At Play in the Present:

This article brings up the importance of close reading of seemingly banal happenings. Whom state leaders chose to honor is often quite important, but rarely explained, see for example Hillary Clinton’s recent cozying up to war criminal Henry Kissinger. There are often hidden class politics at play in public displays of propaganda, and it can be quite important to dissect and try to discover these politics, as it certainly was at the time for the readers of the People’s Daily in 1965.


December 24 1965: Storm Clouds at Home and Abroad: Peng Zhen Presides over the People’s Daily, the U.S. Incites War in Cambodia

Today December 24, 1965: Peng Zhen, fresh from his meeting with Mao Zedong tells Wu Han, “Regarding your errors, you should self-criticize, carry forward with what is right, carry forward the truth, correct the mistakes.” This carries forward his previous “even-handed” approach to the Wu Han question, having stated to Mao in Hangzhou that there is no organizational relationship between Wu Han and Peng Dehuai, and in late November reassured Wu Han that “in front of the truth, all are equal.” Source, Mao Zedong zhuan 1949-1976, Zhonggongyang Wenxianjiushii, 1789.

Also Today: People’s Daily Editorial:

No Aggression Should be Permitted Against the Sacred Territory of Cambodia

Soldiers from the Laotian Liberation Army shoot back against American Bombers from Phou Khout mountain, which maintained resistance after one year of continuous attack during which more than two meters of earth were wiped off the peak by thousands of tons of bombs from the American air force.     (Photo from a separate article in People’s Daily from December 24, 1965).




According to American reports, America has authorized its war headquarters in Vietnam to cross the border into Vietnam and “ pursue the Vietnamese Congressional Army.”

American imperialism is increasing its military provocation of the Cambodia Kingdom. It is using the Thai military and the Vietnamese puppet army to continuously invade and harass the Cambodian border, and has dispatched its air force to bomb Cambodia’s peaceful villages, killing the Cambodian people.

America’s henchmen still issue all sorts of rumors, saying something of “Cambodia is an important supply base for the Vietnamese Congressionals” or “Many troops from the Vietnamese Congressionals and Northern Vietnam are located in Cambodia,” etc. This is completely used as an excuse by American imperialism and its running dogs to embark on a large scale invasion of Cambodia. The American government now announces that the American invading army has the right to “pursue and attack” in Cambodia. This proves that American imperialism not only wants to expand its invasive flames of war into Laos, but also brazenly plans to expand the flames of war into Cambodia.

The American government’s so called proclaimed right to “pursue and attack” is precisely the same act used at the time by the Nazi Hitler during the launching of invasion and war in Europe. Cambodia is a peace loving country…America and its running dogs have no rights to invade one inch of Cambodian land. No matter what excuse they use, as long as they cross the border, this counts as an invasion, and the Cambodian people have the sacred right to carry out resistance. All peace loving, justice-protecting countries, have the right to support the Cambodian people’s resistance struggle…

You boys in Washington, in the era of the people, you still dream that “all earth under the heavens belongs to the king.” Such is arrogant and stupid to the extreme. Honestly we tell you, in today’s world, no matter where you storm into, the people there certainly will struggle and resist, and you certainly will face misfortune.

The Cambodian people are a brave people. Prince Sihanouk has again announced that the Cambodian people will resist against the military provocation from U.S. Imperialism, and that Cambodia has already completed preparation. Prince Sihanouk states that if the U.S. expands the war… it will find itself surrounded by the Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Laotian peoples, who “will see this as a long-waited opportunity to smash their sworn enemy, and American imperialism will in the end be buried in the earth of Indochina and Asia.”….

The Chinese peoples completely support this firm standpoint of resistance which Prince Sihanouk represents…If American imperialism dares to invade Cambodia, 650 million Chinese people will support the Cambodian people, and completely defeat the American invaders.

At Play at the Time:

Peng Zhen has been in charge of the five-person Cultural Revolution Group since early in 1965, tasked with exploring the possibility for a Cultural Revolution in China. At the present, he is also in charge of editorials at the People’s Daily. Editorials at the paper are the most significant place from which to disseminate party views. The frequency of editorials per month from the paper can loosely be read as a bell-weather of party stability. Well before the November 11 Shanghai polemic, from September to October of 1965, Mao gave instructions to criticize Wu Han, the vice-mayor Of Beijing and major intellectual figure in establishment. Peng Zhen however was weary to carry this through. In addition, as a result of this friction, in October, editorials in the People’s Daily dropped from 25 in September, to 12 in October.  From Chang Man, The People’s Daily and the Red Flag Magazine During the Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong: Union Research Institute, 1969 (more clear image coming).

In red is the number of editorials which appeared in December (22) and January (28), a sign of Peng and his allies’ attempt to reassert control of the media apparatus. The chart continues on a downward slope before reaching a total of 0 editorials in the month of June 1968 at which time political summations were issued by other organs.



Peng Zhen, an ally of Liu Shaoqi, is generally viewed to have a conciliatory approach to the technocratic view of socialist development promoted by the Soviet Union at the time.

In the meantime, the conflict in South Asia following American involvement has escalated. The guerilla forces fighting against the U.S. are generally seen to be an outgrowth of the strategy of “people’s war” honed during the Chinese revolution. As a CIA report released in May 5, 1965 states, “If a Communist victory could be brought off in South Vietnam in the face of US military power, Peiping would have made a major advance in world affairs. The Chinese line in the Communist dispute would be vindicated, Soviet pretentions to leadership of the world movement would be discredited, US capability to counter local guerilla insurrections would be placed in doubt throughout the world, and US prestige seriously damaged,” (Robert Hutchings, ed., “Communist China’s Foreign Policy, Submitted to the Director of Central Intelligence, 5 May 1965, from Tracking the Dragon, National Intelligence Estimates on China During the Era of Mao, 1949-1976). Hence we can begin to grasp the immensity of internal and external opposition  to the revolutionary left at this moment in history. The bombardment of Cambodia in 1969 and 1970 resulted  outcry in the U.S. several years later.  However it was only in 2000 when air force documents were released that Americans “discovered” bombardment had occurred in Cambodia during the Johnson administration (see: The People’s Daily editorial from 1965 however reported this news 45 years earlier.

At Play at the Present

The thrust of the Cultural Revolution centered on the idea that the dominant threat to a revolutionary movement was internal and not external. Even in the face of external encirclement, Cultural Revolution rebels risked dismantling the existing state apparatus to expose and oppose “capitalist roaders” within the government and party. When establishing vehicles for political opposition at present, a related focus on the basis for internal unity will likely be essential to promote forward motion.   


Peng Zhen Digs in Heels, Promotes Top-Down Model as “Maoist Thought,” December 23, 1965

People’s Daily Headline Article “Mao Zedong Thought is the Key Guiding Principle for All Work”


 Comrade Zhou Mingshan Discusses the Experiences of the Nanliu Production brigade.


The headline article for December 23rd 1965’s People’s Daily promotes the organizational style of the Nanliu production brigade, which was a model work unit in Shanxi province. Its organizational form is being promoted by Beijing mayor Peng Zhen, who had met with Mao the previous day in Beijing.

The main focus of the article is on using “Mao Zedong thought” in order to increase production in rural production brigades, and details how the cadres and peasants in Nanliu successfully did so. It promotes a multi-layered hierarchical approach to organization, with correct organizational policies and interpretations of Mao Zedong thought being disseminated down a chain of cadres from the local party branch, to local cadres, from local cadres to activists and from activists to the masses. This ran counter to some key points of Mao’s favored model community model Da Zhai, which was somewhat less top-down and highlighted local initiative and more input from workers and peasants.

see: Solomon, Richard H. Mao’s Revolution and the Chinese Political Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971. 448.

At Play at the Time:

This article points to Peng Zhen’s continued influence at the highest levels of the state and media, despite the developing political contest between himself and Mao Zedong. Like the previous day’s article on machine innovation, this article continuously references Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong thought, while pushing forward an organizational model that was opposed by Mao.

At Play at the Present:

At first glance this article seems to be putting forward a line of thought in concordance with Mao’s own line of thought. This similarity points to the difficulty in parsing out the often-subtle differences between different political lines, and the issue raised yesterday of “waving the red flag to oppose the red flag.” At times what seem like minor disagreements will later become major points of conflict. Often activists will use to radical language to attack others or put forward a supposedly radical agenda, concealing a conservative agenda.