January 20, 1966: The Working Class Is Completely Capable Of Being The Masters Of Science And Culture

Cai Zuquan in a Fudan workshop

The January 20th ran an article written by Cai Zuquan, a party member and experimental glass worker at Fudan university. The editorial board gave a quick abstract to Cai’s article which is translated below:

“Comrade Cai Zuquan was born in a poverty stricken household. at the age of 14 he moved to Shanghai to be an apprentice at a pharmacy, he worked for nine years before liberation. in 1952 he went to Fudan university to be a glass machinist. For the pasty many years, under the party’s cultivation, he has grown from being a common worker with only three years of primary education into a specialist in electric lighting. Now he is a committee member on Fudan’s Party Committee, the director of lighting laboratory, and the party branch secretary. Under the leadership of the party, comrade Cai Zuquan has followed the path of working class knowledge. The party branch raised him up to a position of leadership, he still maintains natural qualities of the working class, and often participates in manual labor. While he is taking part in campaigns, he combines manual and physical labor, he establishes and dares to struggle, dares to eliminate superstition, dares to bring about innovation, dares to climb to the peaks of scientific learning. On the higher education battlefront he is a soldier in the third revolutionary movement. “

At play at the time:

The question of how to create and maintain a genuinely working class led revolutionary party and movement vexed the Chinese Communist movement. This was especially difficult in scientific, cultural, and engineering fields, where many of the workers and technicians did not come from working class backgrounds, but instead from petit-bourgeois, bourgeois, or landlord class backgrounds. In some cases, such as the case of Cai who was celebrated in the paper, ordinary workers rose to prominent in the party and in work places. However once an ordinary worker rose through the party and gained special privileges would they lose their working class consciousness and become revisionist?

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