China Today 6

China Today 6

From the Restoration of Capitalism to Social Imperialism in China

Part I: Revisionist Domestic Policy

German edition May 1981, published by the Central Leadership of
Kommunistischer Arbeiterbund Deutschlands (KABD)
(Communist Workers’ League of Germany)

English edition October 1987, published by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)

Publishing house: Neuer Weg Verlag und Druck GmbH, Germany

Improved English edition 2019
(part of quoted material translated from the German
replaced by English-language sources)



I. Seizure of Power and Development of Revisionism after Mao Tsetung’s Death

1. The Trial against the So-Called Gang of Four, an Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought and the Proletarian Cultural Revolution

2. The Destruction of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in China

The Rising of the Right Deviationist Wind and the Struggle against it

The Arrest of the So-Called Gang of Four and the Rehabilitation of
Deng Xiaoping – a Counterrevolutionary Coup

The Further Measures of Counterrevolution

3. A New Variety of Khrushchev Revisionism

II. Deepening Restoration of Capitalism Sharpens the Contradictions between the New Bourgeoisie and the Masses

1. Just Four Years Passed – Chaos in Economy

2. The Revisionists Have Destroyed the Foundations of Socialist Economy

First: Socialist Economic Planning Has Been Abandoned

Second: Profit Becomes the Main Stimulus of the Enterprises

Third: Capitalist Competition Is Encouraged among the Enterprises

Fourth: Private Ownership of the Means of Production
Inevitably Redevelops on a Larger Scale

Fifth: Capitalist Laws in Operation Result in Inflation,
Unemployment, Speculation and Corruption

The Revisionists See the Solution for the Emerging Difficulties
in Further Deepening the Restoration of Capitalism

3. Material Incentives Serve to Exploit and Split the Working Class

4. The Destruction of Socialist Ideology and Culture

5. Under the Cloak of “Democratization” the Working Class Is Deprived of Political Rights

The Revolutionary Committees Are Smashed and Staff Representative Assemblies Established as “New Organs of Power”

The Right to Speak out Freely and Freedom to Strike Are Abolished in Practice

The Core of the New Penal Law Is to Oppress the Revolutionary Struggle of the
Working Class and to Prohibit the Building of a New Communist Party

III. The Struggle of the Chinese Masses against the New Capitalist Class Rule

The Trial – a Defeat for the Revisionists



In complete contradiction to Mao Tsetung, the current Chinese leadership has recently been referring to the social-imperialist Soviet Union as a socialist country again. In Beijing Review, No. 11, 1987 (p. 18), for example, they state that the Soviet Union is “just at the beginning of a developed socialist society”. The revisionist seizure of power at the 20th Party Congress in 1956 under Khrushchev’s leadership is termed in this article an “economic structural reform”. The Soviet leaders have taken kind notice of this: “We attach great importance to the fact that the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of China take similar approaches to a number of major international issues.” (Quote translated from the German.) The similarity of which Gorbachev speaks in an interview given on May 20, 1987, is an expression of the revisionist unison of the Chinese and Soviet leaders in basic ideological-political matters.

The pamphlet in hand was published in 1981 by the precursor of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD), the Communist Workers’ League of Germany (KABD). The pamphlet summarized the critique of the revisionist theory and practice of the new bourgeoisie under Deng Xiaoping. It is the restoration of capitalism and the development of China into a new, independent social-imperialism which causes China to move closer to and interpenetrate with the state monopoly countries of the West and the Soviet Union.

In the interest of the unity of the international Marxist-Leninist and workers’ movement, all Marxist-Leninists must step up the international struggle against the modem revisionism of Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. Ultimately there are only two possibilities: either defend Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought and fundamentally criticize modern revisionism or progressively adopt the revisionist line of the current leadership of China, including their rehabilitation of Soviet modern revisionism.

Then as now, this pamphlet is an important contribution to the defense of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought in the struggle against modem revisionism.

Central Committee

of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany

Essen, October 22, 1987

I. Seizure of Power and Development of Revisionism after Mao Tsetung’s Death

1. The Trial against the So-Called Gang of Four, an Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought and the Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Four years after Mao Tsetung’s death, the so-called gang of four was put on trial in Peking, allegedly because of their “crimes”. Actually the new revisionist leaders wanted to put Mao Tsetung Thought and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution on trial. The charges fall back on the accusers:

• plot to overthrow the political power of the dictatorship of the proletariat,

• prosecution and oppression of a large number of cadres and common citizens and

• attempt of an armed, counterrevolutionary coup.

The Cultural Revolution was indeed a matter of political power, but in a sense completely different from what the revisionists want us to believe today.

The “Circular of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” of May 16, 1966, which initiated the Cultural Revolution, reads as follows:

“Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked in­ to the Party, the government, the army and various spheres of culture are a bunch of counterrevolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Some of them we have already seen through, others we have not. Some are still trusted by us and are being trained as our successors, persons like Khrushchev, for example, who are still nestling beside us. Party committees at all levels must pay full attention to this matter…

Their struggle against us is one of life and death, and there is no question of equality. Therefore, our struggle against them, too, can be nothing but a life-and-death struggle, and our relationship with them can in no way be one of equality. On the contrary, it is a relationship in which one class oppresses another….”(2)

From the negative experiences in the Soviet Union, where petty-bourgeois bureaucrats had developed into a new bourgeois class and seized power after Stalin’s death, Mao Tsetung drew the conclusions and mobilized the broad masses of the people for a comprehensive movement of criticism and self-criticism, because the problem could not be solved by administrative measures alone. In the course of this Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the paramount form of class struggle in socialism, the two main representatives of the new bourgeoisie were also criticized and dismissed. Whereas the head of state at that time, Liu Shaoqi, was excluded from the Party, Deng Xiaoping was allowed to remain in the Party so that his further conduct could be observed. Today these measures are being slandered as “defamation of Party and state leaders”. Certainly there were also violent conflicts, for a revolution is, as Mao Tsetung put it, “not doing embroidery”. As the Report of the Central Committee to the 9th Congress of the Communist Party of China stated,

“No reactionary class will ever step down from the stage of history of its own accord. When the revolution touched that portion of power usurped by the bourgeoisie, the class struggle became all the more acute.” (3)

Against counterrevolution a rigid dictatorship is necessary. Having come to power, the reactionaries will not hesitate to employ the means of violent oppression and terror against the revolutionaries and the masses of the people. This has been shown by the historical experiences of the labour movement and by the terror sentences and the methods of the revisionists in the Peking show trial.

The Enlarged 12th Plenary Session of the Central Committee in August, 1966, summed up the importance of the Cultural Revolution as follows:

“Practice in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution proves that, as Comrade Mao Tsetung has said, the current Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is absolutely necessary and most timely for consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, preventing capitalist restoration and building socialism.” (4)

It was a great further development of Marxism-Leninism under the conditions of class struggle in socialism. In its theoretical organ, Revolutionarer Weg, the KABD has summed up its fundamental importance in four points:

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is:

1. the highest form of class struggle in socialist society;

2. the awakening and rapid development of socialist consciousness in the masses by means of criticism and self­criticism and by studying and, at the same time, putting into practice Mao Tsetung Thought;

3. the concrete form of exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat to prevent the bureaucratization of the Party, the government and management apparatus (against the capitalist-roaders in power);

4. the building of an ideological-political barrier against the danger of capitalist restoration.” (5)

When Deng Xiaoping and his followers talk about a “plot to overthrow the dictatorship of the proletariat”, they actually mean theory and practice of the Cultural Revolution. And so they assert in a comment on the trial:

“Comrade Mao Tsetung in his later years, especially in the years of the ‘cultural revolution’ which he personally initiated and led, made mistakes and brought great misfortune to the Party and the people.” (6)

In accordance with their reactionary aims were the methods of preparing and carrying out the trial, which in every way stand comparison with the class justice of the Western capitalists:

• After four years of solitary confinement, the defendants received the indictment a week before the trial began.

• The “public” consisted of 800 selected followers of the new bourgeoisie.

• “Publications” on the trial in the Chinese press were subject to stern censorship.

• Various statements by Jiang Qing were published only in fragments. While she was holding her speeches accusing the new rulers, the microphones went off.

• Foreign observers were not admitted to the trial.

• For years an ugly smear campaign had been conducted against the defendants to create an atmosphere in favour of the terror sentences already written up.

• The four Marxist-Leninists were deliberately put on trial along with members of the counterrevolutionary Lin Biao clique.

Form and contents of the trial showed how much the new bourgeoisie fears the truth and the masses of the Chinese people. The bourgeoisie’s hatred of the Cultural Revolution is easy to understand, remembering the fact that it had given their bourgeois­egotistic aims a mighty blow. However, this blow had not been hard enough, as further events showed.

2. The Destruction of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in China

The Rising of the Right Deviationist Wind and the Struggle against It

The bourgeois forces never accepted their defeat in the Cultural Revolution. They aroused a Right deviationist wind in order to abolish the achievements which the masses had won in the struggles of the Cultural Revolution. Concrete effects of this ideological trend could be seen in domestic as well as foreign policy. The main representative of this Right deviationist wind was Deng Xiaoping. After he had assured he would never “reverse previous correct verdicts” and the Party had believed him, a period of probation having passed, he was re-instated in his former offices. But he abused this confidence placed in him. Once again a two-line struggle developed within the Communist Party of China. After Zhou Enlai’s death in January 1976, a broad ideological-political struggle against the Right deviationist wind began.

Peking Review No. 12/1976 reports on this:

“Facts show that the capitalist-roaders are still taking the capitalist road, and capitulationists are indeed around. Where is the source of the Right deviationist wind? The source lies exactly in that Party person in power taking the capitalist road who has clung to the revisionist line of Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao and has to this day refused to mend his ways…

With a firm hold on the essence of the Right deviationist wind of reversing correct verdicts, which aims at negating the taking of class struggle as the key link, changing the Party’s basic line and restoring capitalism, the cadres and masses have made a systematic and penetrating criticism of the revisionist fallacies in educational circles as well as in other fields in society….

What is the key link? The revolutionary teachers of the proletariat made it clear long ago in their brilliant expositions. Marx and Engels pointed out: ‘For almost forty years we have stressed the class struggle as the immediate driving power of history, and in particular the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat as the great lever of the modern social revolution; it is, therefore, impossible for us to co-operate with people who wish to expunge this class struggle from the movement.’ (Marx and Engels to A. Bebel, W. Liebknecht, W. Bracke and Others [‘Circular Letter’].)

Lenin pointed out: ‘Politics cannot but have precedence over economics. To argue differently means forgetting the ABC of Marxism.’ (‘Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin’) ‘Opportunism does not extend the recognition of class struggle to what is the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to Communism, to the period of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie.’ (The State and Revolution)” (7)

Mao Tsetung pointed out,

“Never forget classes and class struggle.” “Stability and unity do not mean writing off class struggle; class struggle is the key link and everything else hinges on it.” (8)

This was directly levelled at Deng Xiaoping, whom he assessed as follows:

“This person does not grasp class struggle; he has never referred to this key link. Still his theme of ‘white cat, black cat’, making no distinction between imperialism and Marxism. This tells us that both production and modernization will go astray if we abandon the key link of class struggle, and if we reject the correct, Marxist line and the socialist road. If we follow his revisionist line, we can never develop production but will only sabotage it; we can never achieve socialist modernization but will only degenerate into capitalism!” (9)

The development later on showed how correct this assessment and Mao Tsetung’s warnings were. In the beginning of April it came to a counterrevolutionary political incident on Peking’s Tien An Men Square, where Mao Tsetung was attacked and Deng Xiaoping raised up. After this, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China unanimously decided to dismiss Deng from office on April 7, 1976.

“Having discussed the counterrevolutionary incident which took place at Tien An Men Square and Deng Xiaoping’s latest behaviour, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China holds that the nature of the Deng Xiaoping problem has turned into one of antagonistic contradiction. On the proposal of our great leader Chairman Mao, the Political Bureau unanimously agrees to dismiss Deng Xiaoping from all posts both inside and outside the Party while allowing him to keep his Party membership so as to see how he will behave in the future.” (10)

Deng’s dismissal was a victory of the proletarian line in the sharpening class struggle. It is, however, unclear why he was allowed to remain in the Party although, according to the exact words of the resolution, it was an antagonistic contradiction, that is, no contradiction among the people, but to the enemy.

The further development also proved this a mistake, for this was a question of principle. As the Political Bureau decided unanimously to leave Deng Xiaoping in the Party, there is no doubt that Mao Tsetung, within the scope of collective responsibility of the Political Bureau and particularly as Chairman of the Central Committee, is also responsible for it. We cannot, however, on grounds of the material at hand, judge how far his personal responsibility goes.

Until Mao Tsetung’s death, the ideological-political struggle against Deng Xiaoping and his revisionist line was broadly waged and deepened, but these counterrevolutionary elements were not fought with the necessary severity. On September 9, 1976, Mao Tsetung died. He was the greatest Marxist-Leninist in our time.

The Arrest of the So-Called Gang of Four and the
Rehabilitation of Deng Xiaoping – a Counterrevolutionary Coup

Originally it seemed as if the Central Committee would remain faithful to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought and continue Mao Tsetung’s work. A Peking Review article emphasized in October, 1976:

“The people of all nationalities have declared their firm determination to carry out Chairman Mao’s behests, uphold Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, adhere to Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line and ‘practise Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don’t split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire.’

They have pledged to rally most closely round the Party Central Committee headed by Comrade Hua Guofeng, take class struggle as the key link, adhere to the Party’s basic line, deepen the struggle to criticize Deng Xiaoping and repulse the Right deviationist attempt to reverse correct verdicts, grasp revolution and promote production and other work and preparedness against war, consolidate and develop the achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and carry through to the end the cause of the proletarian revolution in China which Chairman Mao pioneered.” (11)

Only a few days later, however, the so-called gang of four was arrested unexpectedly, members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee who had taken a leading part in the Cultural Revolution and the struggle against the Right deviationist wind. On October 7, 1976, the Central Committee appointed Hua Guofeng chairman of the Party and the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

A campaign against the “gang of four” began, in which the most fantastic accusations were made. Accordingly, the criticism of Deng Xiaoping and the Right deviationist wind died away. Allegedly, the arrest of the four was “the swift realization of the wise decisions made by the great leader Chairman Mao before he passed away” and “a great victory for the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and for Mao Tsetung Thought” (12).

But the revisionists could not prove this at all, for the arrest of the four members of the Political Bureau was actually the first step in a counterrevolutionary coup and the starting point of a fundamental change of socialist society in China. The arrest of and campaign against the so-called gang of four were the prelude to outright terror with purges and arbitrary arrest of many honest revolutionaries.

At the same time the campaign against the so-called gang of four served to prepare·the rehabilitation of the revisionist Deng Xiaoping, who was actually pulling the wires. With this aim the “gang of four” was accused of “going their own ways” in criticizing Deng Xiaoping.

At the 3rd Plenary Session of the 10th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on July 21, 1977, Deng Xiaoping was rehabilitated. After his dismissal and the broad campaign against his revisionist line, this was a decisive turning point. At a special plenary session on August 7, 1977, the Central Leadership of KABD thoroughly dealt with the development of class struggle in China, especially with Deng Xiaoping’s rehabilitation by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. An essential result was a declaration on this matter and the decision to publish a documentation on the development of class struggle in China on the basis of official material of the Communist Party of China. It was published in China Today 1. The declaration read:

“What would happen with Deng Xiaoping, who in the past was twice exposed as a right-wing opportunist and a revisionist, was the main question in judging the ideological-political conduct of the leadership of the Communist Party of China after Mao Tsetung’s death…. Deng Xiaoping had been condemned and removed from power on Mao Tsetung’s proposal and by the unanimous decision of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China – no one can deny this. It was necessary because Deng Xiaoping followed a right-wing opportunist, revisionist line. His rehabilitation means acknowledging this line, means a change of course, that is, sailing in the Right deviationist wind. This is a fatal road for the development of class struggle in the People’s Republic of China and for the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

It is the duty of all Marxists-Leninists to criticize most sharply and to fight this course the leadership of the CP of China is taking in sailing in the Right deviationist wind.” (13)

At that time we left open the question as to what consequences would follow from this, for this had to be shown by the further events. The developments confirmed that, with the rehabilitation, the new bourgeoisie with Deng Xiaoping at its head had gained power.

“From the moment the new bourgeoisie seizes state power, socialism is eliminated and supplanted by state monopoly capitalism of a new type.” (14)

For objective and subjective reasons, the cadres who held on to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought were not able to prevent the victory of revisionism. For lack of information we are, of course, not able to make a comprehensive analysis. We know, however, that in socialism as a transitional period to actual communism, the two-line struggle, the struggle between the bourgeois and the proletarian line, takes place by law of nature in every social field and, under certain circumstances, also emerges as a two-line struggle within the party. Thus the two-line struggle is the objective law of the development of inner-Party contradictions.

In socialism, commodity production and bourgeois law still exist. Particularly in a developing country like China, where the large majority of the population are still peasants and petty-bourgeois influence is still strong, this is by nature a special material basis for revisionism. In the form of petty-bourgeois mentality, it has effects also upon the working class and the revolutionary Party. Lenin said,

“The dictatorship of the proletariat is the most determined and most ruthless war waged by the new class against a more powerful enemy, against the bourgeoisie, … whose power lies not only in the strength of international capital, in the strength and durability of the international connections of the bourgeoisie, but also in the force of habit, in the strength of small production. For, unfortunately, very, very much of small production still remains in the world, and small production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, daily, hourly, spontaneously, and on a mass scale.” (15)

Even before Mao Tsetung’s death, revisionism had regained strong influence within the leadership of the CP of China, and this made necessary the campaign against the Right deviationist wind. The degeneration of numerous leading cadres had its inner cause in the influence of petty-bourgeois mentality, which prevailed in them and made them develop systematically into a new class.

Objectively, the victory of revisionism could have been prevented only by a new proletarian cultural revolution. In spite of Mao Tsetung’s warnings, the revolutionary, principled comrades underestimated the danger of the revisionists seizing power after his death as well as the liquidationist methods of the revisionists. Revolutionary vigilance was not sufficiently developed.

Like all liquidationists, the revisionists, in their campaign against the so-called gang of four, must have taken advantage of past mistakes, especially in the work among the masses.

The Further Measures of Counterrevolution

The reinstatement of Deng Xiaoping was the prelude to a whole wave of rehabilitations. Bourgeoisified bureaucrats and revisionists who had been condemned and dismissed in the Cultural Revolution were put back in office. The climax was the rehabilitation of Liu Shaoqi. In the Cultural Revolution he counted as the main capitalist roader and was characterized as a “Chinese Khrushchev”. The Deng-Hua clique regarded his exclusion from the CP of China in 1968 as the “greatest misjudgment in the history of the Party”.

But in order to destroy the dictatorship of the proletariat completely, a whole series of further extraordinary measures was necessary, marking the individual steps of counterrevolution:

I. Step by step the revolutionary committees, set up in the Cultural Revolution as organs of power of the proletarian dictatorship, were smashed, and the right to air views freely on wall posters was abolished.

II. Material stimulus by premiums was extended to a new quality in order to split the working class and bribe the workers into supporting the new course. In the countryside private allotments were enlarged in order to restore capitalism and to win the peasants over as allies for the new bourgeoisie.

III. Marxism-Leninism was revised. This was, above all, done by:

1. Summing up right-wing opportunist views in the “three worlds” theory as a strategic conception. With this theory the Chinese revisionists paved the way for counterrevolutionary cooperation with the Western imperialists, making the accelerated restoration of capitalism in China possible, and for the development of a social-imperialist foreign policy. In order to make this theory more credible, the revisionists impudently asserted that Mao Tsetung was its originator. Actually it was Deng Xiaoping who as early as 1974 tried to transform Mao’s correct tactical conception into a right-wing opportunist strategic conception.

2. Falsifying Mao Tsetung’s fundamental line for continuing revolution under socialism.
For this purpose

a) they presented the theory of a “fundamental change in the class structure in China”, according to which the former capitalists by re-education have become working people and the intellectuals part of the working class. This served mainly to disarm the working class ideologically by denying the further necessity of class struggle, to ensure the support of former capitalists and high-ranking intellectuals against the workers and peasants, and to destroy the revolutionary alliance between working class and petty-bourgeois intelligentsia.

b) they invented the theory of class struggle with a “new character” according to which “class struggle is no longer the struggle of one class against the other”, but “in future will center around socialist modernization”. Thus they tried to lead the working class and the revolutionary cadres astray, to distract them from their own counterrevolutionary usurpation of power, and to suppress resistance against the restoration of capitalism.

IV. The revisionists initially pursued the tactic of justifying many of these measures demagogically by detaching statements of Mao Tsetung from their context. The deeper the process of restoring capitalism went and the more the revolutionary cadres and the working class waged resistance against dismantling the achievements of the Cultural Revolution, the more it became necessary to attack Mao Tsetung and Mao Tsetung Thought openly. This was done by:

a) discrediting Mao Tsetung in the “struggle against the cult of personality”, in which the revisionists did not shrink back from slandering Mao Tsetung personally in the meanest way. For example, they rage: “If a leader acts blindly, if he becomes conceited and arrogant because of great victory and overconfident because of repeated successes, he will overestimate his own role….” (16)

b) slandering Mao Tsetung by presenting the Cultural Revolution, which was led by him personally, as “a terrible disaster”. “In the decade of the Cultural Revolution, from the second half of 1966 to that of 1976, our Party committed grievous and serious mistakes. As Chairman of the Party, Comrade Mao Tsetung of course bore responsibility for these mistakes.” (17)

When the revisionists maintain that “one thing is certain: The Chinese people will never do to Chairman Mao as Khrushchev did to Stalin” (18), this is nothing but hypocrisy. Because Mao is highly recognized by the Chinese masses and the working people of the whole world, they do not dare to deny him completely. It is, however, nothing but tactics when they reason as follows:

“Chairman Mao’s contributions occupy the first place while his mistakes are secondary. It is reported that the Chinese Communist Party will soon make an overall appraisal of his contributions and mistakes….

It should be said that, before the 1960s or, rather, before the last few years of the 1950s, many of his thoughts had guided the Chinese people to advance from victory to victory.

However, because of victory, he became less prudent. Unhealthy ideas, mainly ‘Leftist’ ideas, began to emerge when he was advanced in years.” (19)

Actually they have totally betrayed Mao Tsetung Thought!

3. A New Variety of Khrushchev Revisionism!

In order to establish the rule of the new bourgeoisie in China and to restore capitalism, the revisionists under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping were forced to revise Marxism-Leninism, just like Khrushchev after the revisionist seizure of power in the Soviet Union. The crowning of Khrushchev’s revisionist theories was the theory of the “state of the whole people”. Its function was to justify the destruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to cover up the fact that the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie was being established against the interests of the people. Based on the teachings of the Marxist classics and the experiences of socialist construction in the SU und in China, Mao Tsetung states clearly:

“Socialist society covers a considerably long historical period. In the historical period of socialism, there are still classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there is the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road, and there is the danger of capitalist restoration.” (20)

The core of Deng Xiaoping’s ideological-political line is also the attack on the dictatorship of the proletariat. Without openly attacking Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought in the beginning, he revised step by step Mao Tsetung’s basic line on the continuation of class struggle in socialism. The central points here were the theory of a “new class analysis” and the theory of “class struggle with new character”. In Beijing Review, No. 46, 1979, in the article “Fundamental Change in the Class Structure in China” it is stated:

“A fundamental change has occurred in the class structure in China; the landlords, rich peasants and capitalists no longer exist as classes.” (21)

This fundamentally contradicts Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought. Lenin declares clearly and plainly:

“And classes still remain and will remain in the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship will become unnecessary when classes disappear. Without the dictatorship of the proletariat they will not disappear.

Classes have remained, but in the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat every class has undergone a change, and the relations between the classes have also changed. The class struggle does not disappear under the dictatorship of the proletariat; it merely assumes different forms.” (22)

The revisionists explain their anti-Marxist theory as follows:

“When the means of production are no longer in the hands of a class and when one group of people can no longer appropriate the labour of another, this class, of course, also ceases to exist.” (23)

Contrary to this one-sided and erroneous view, Lenin demonstrates in the article mentioned above the various factors in their dialectical relations for the continuing existence of the bourgeoisie under socialism.

“The class of exploiters, the landowners and capitalists, has not disappeared and cannot disappear all at once under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The exploiters have been smashed, but not destroyed. They still have an international base in the form of international capital, of which they are a branch. They still retain certain means of production in part, they still have money, they still have vast social connections. Because they have been defeated, the energy of their resistance has increased a hundred and a thousandfold. The art of state, military and economic administration gives them the superiority, and a very great superiority, so that their importance is incomparably greater than their numerical proportion of the population.” (24)

The bourgeoisie will not be eliminated completely in a political and military sense and thus liquidated as a class until the transition to actual communism, that is, classless society, after the necessary internal and external conditions have been created.

“Only when the gradual success of the proletarian world revolution has eliminated capitalist rule in the entire world will the external conditions exist for the transition from the first to the second phase of communism. The internal conditions consist in gradually overcoming the differences between town and country (and thus also between workers and peasants) and between manual and mental labor (and thus also between workers and intellectuals); in the merger of the two forms of ownership (ownership by society and cooperative ownership combine into merely social ownership); in the creation of an abundance of products as the basis for moving on to the distribution principle ‘To each according to his needs’.” (25)

With their “new class analysis” Deng and Hua follow in the footsteps of Khrushchev, who justified the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the same way, claiming that there were no more antagonistic classes in the Soviet Union. They prove to be willful disciples of Liu Shaoqi, who maintained that the “contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has been basically resolved” and that the principal contradiction in the country was that “between the advanced socialist system and the backward productive forces of society.” (26)

On the basis of their “new class analysis”, they further developed his revisionist program with the theory of “class struggle with new character”.

“Therefore, class struggle in the days to come will no longer be a struggle between classes as a whole, as it was historically…. Class struggle in the past usually manifested itself directly in the struggle between those wanting to seize political power and those wanting to hold on to their political power, between those trying to take over and those fighting against it. In the future, class struggle will mainly centre around socialist modernization and be made to serve socialist modernization….” (27)

They really somersault to give Marxism-Leninism this twist. Class struggle, yes – but not as a “struggle of one class against the other”. Above all, not as a struggle for power. Simply spoken: The workers should kindly concentrate on production and on the profits of their factories and especially keep away from the idea that a new revolution is necessary. This class struggle does in fact have a “new character”. In the campaign against the Right deviationist wind, this was appropriately characterized: Deng Xiaoping

“put forward the revisionist programme of ‘taking the three directives as the key link’ and advocated the theories of the dying out of class struggle and of productive forces to counter the theories of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought on class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat.…

When he negated class struggle as the key link, he did not mean writing off class struggle altogether, his real aim was to blunt the revolutionary vigilance of the proletariat and the masses. What he wanted was to negate the class struggle waged by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie; as for the bourgeoisie’s attack against the proletariat, he had no intention of giving it up, but was actually intensifying it.” (28)

What do the theories of the “new class analysis” and the “class struggle with new character” amount to? Nothing else but the revisionist swindle of Khrushchev’s “state of the whole people”. Any denial of the existence of antagonistic classes and class contradictions in socialism finally amounts to this. It can be assumed that the revisionists will further systematize the revision of Marxism­Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought at the 12th Party Congress, which will soon take place. They will have to adapt their theory to the further development of their revisionist practice. A foretaste of what is coming is supplied by the right-wing opportunist KBW (Communist League of West Germany), whose CC-representative in Peking, J. Noth, maintains in his “Statements on the Present Situation in China”:

“In 1957/58 Mao developed … the following concept: During the entire historical period of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, during the entire historical period of transition from socialism to communism – which will take a number of years or even longer – class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie and struggle between socialism and capitalism will continue to exist. From Mao’s comments on the Soviet compendium of political economy, it can be derived undoubtedly – according to my opinion – that by ‘socialism’ he means the whole period up to the beginning of the higher stage of communism and not the period of transition to the lower stage of communism, which would make these statements correct…. In fact this concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat … is not backed up by the classics…. This corresponds to Mao’s concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat … which he also considers as the political form valid for the whole period up to communism (meaning the higher stage). This contradicts Marx and Lenin, who regarded it as a political form typical for the transition to communism of the lower stage (socialism).” (Emphasis by the editor.) (29)

Thus the KBW becomes a supporter of Deng’s theory on “class struggle with new character” without “struggle of one class against the other” and an outrider of the Chinese revisionist liquidationist frontal attack on Mao Tsetung Thought.

It is, however, not Mao Tsetung, but the CC of the KBW who is contradicting Marx and Lenin in claiming that the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat is a mere matter of transition from capitalism to communism in its lower stage (socialism). Actually the KBW agrees, like Deng Xiaoping, with Khrushchev’s modem revisionism. It was the latter, too, who stated that in defining the historical period of the proletarian dictatorship, Marx and Lenin only meant the period of the transition from capitalism to communism in its lower stage (socialism). He said in his comment on the new program of the CPSU at the 22nd Party Congress in 1961:

“The elimination of distinctions between classes, now under way, makes for even greater homogeneity of society....” And he concluded: “The State of the whole people is a new stage in the development of the Socialist State, an all-important phase on the road from Socialist Statehood to Communist public self-government.” (30)

On April 22, 1981, the bourgeois daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reported in this sense:

“According to new reports from Hsinhua, the term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ will be deleted from the constitution and replaced by the term ‘democratic people’s dictatorship’, because there are no more exploiting classes in China.”

All classics of Marxism-Leninism objected to this revisionist nonsense, for every state is bound to class rule. According to Lenin, the state is the product and the expression of irreconcilable class contradictions. It is an instrument for the oppression of one class by another, a power instrument of the ruling class. In a letter to Bebel, Engels wrote:

“As, therefore, the state is only a transitional institution which is used in the struggle, in the revolution, to hold down one's adversaries by force, it is pure nonsense to talk of a free people’s state: so long as the proletariat still uses the state, it does not use it in the interest of freedom but in order to hold down its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom the state as such ceases to exist.” (31)

Lenin especially defended and further developed the Marxist concept of the state in general and the proletarian dictatorship in particular in his work The State and Revolution. What is the dictatorship of the proletariat? Lenin’s answer is clear:

“And the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organisation of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force….

Further. The essence of Marx’s theory of the state has been mastered only by those who realise that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from ‘classless society’, from communism. Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism is certainly bound to yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (Italics by Lenin, bold emphasis by the editor.) (32)

The invention by the KBW of a “lie of survival of the socialist camp up to the present” shows the liquidationist results to which their theories lead. The above quoted J. Noth writes on this:

“This legend consists of the assertion that the transitional formation which has come into being by smashing reaction and bourgeoisie in an underdeveloped country is socialism, that is, the lower state of communism, which Marx described in his critique of the Program of Gotha and Lenin in The State and Revolution etc.” (33)

In other words: Stalin as well as Mao Tsetung were liars when they called the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China socialist, and millions of communists have fallen for this “lie of survival” for years. How excellent that now the KBW uncovers the historical truth – provided that the Trotskyites of all countries do not insist on their copyright for these worn-out, anticommunist phrases!

II. Deepening Restoration of Capitalism Sharpens the Contradictions between the New Bourgeoisie and the Masses

1. Just Four Years Passed – Chaos in Economy

After their seizure of power, the revisionists loudly announced that they would overcome the chaos ostensibly brought about by the Cultural Revolution, by developing economy according to the “objective economic laws” in the future. With the program of the four modernizations as the central political task, China would rise into the group of the big industrial nations by the end of the century.

In 1979 they already had to correct these ambitious plans and pass a plan for “three years’ regulation of national economy”. But another two years later, at the beginning of 1981, they had to admit:

“Since last year, the seriousness of the disproportionate development of the economy has fully revealed itself. The planned scale of capital construction has proved to be beyond the nation’s economic and financial capabilities, and some imported projects are not suited to the actual conditions in China…. Indications are readjustment of the economy, which started in 1979, will take more than three years to accomplish…. [There has been] a deficit of more than 10 000 million yuan.” (34)

Actually this is still playing down the real development:

  • In 1979, the budgetary deficit amounted to 17 billion yuan.

  • According to official information, there was a foreign debt of 3.4 billion dollars by the end of 1980, but this is probably greatly understated.

  • The construction of some hundred big and medium-sized as well as of some thousand smaller projects had to be stopped temporarily or even completely.

  • The development of industrial and agricultural production is marked by falling rates of growth. Whereas in 1971 – a year which is said to have been disastrous – the total production in industry and agriculture rose by 10 per cent, the increase planned for 1981 is only 5.5 per cent.

In order to cover up this development, the revisionists must resort to lies. They claim, for example:

“State plans for coal, crude oil and natural gas were all fulfilled last year. The output of coal was 600 million tons, that of crude oil was 105.8 million tons and natural gas reached 13 700 million cubic metres.” (35)

As can be proved, however, by a simple comparison taken from the Beijing Review, coal production was 20 million tons less than in the preceding year and 18 million tons less than in 1978.

From the same source it can be gathered that petroleum production decreased by 350 000 tons and grain production by 10 to 15 million tons compared to the preceding year. With the same method they had previously slandered the economic development during and after the Cultural Revolution as one big chaos and disaster. They maintained, for example, that China’s steel production had increased only from 18.66 to 20.46 million tons between 1960 and 1976. In contrast, Zhou Enlai stated at the 4th National People’s Congress that steel production had increased by 120 per cent between 1964 and 1974. In 1975 it already amounted to 24 million tons.

The one and only aim of their lies is and has been to slander the Cultural Revolution in order to restore the economic laws of capitalism. No one else than the revisionists have brought about a chaos in China’s economic development by abandoning the laws of development of a socialist planned economy.

2. The Revisionists Have Destroyed the Foundations of Socialist Economy

“Socialism is a social order in which the essential means of production are not the private property of individuals, but the common property of all the working people. Necessary prerequisite for this social order is that the working class holds state power, that a dictatorship of the proletariat exists, which wrests the means of production from the capitalists and administers the socialized means of production in the interests of the working people.” (36)

Destruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat has abolished social property of the means of production. The collective owner is now the new bourgeoisie, the bureaucracy in Party, state and management, and the working class is again turning from the ruling class into the class of exploited and oppressed wage slaves.

By the “economic reform” and the “reform of the economic administrative system” in 1978, the revisionists destroyed the foundations of socialist economy. This can be shown in the following main points:

First: Socialist Economic Planning Has Been Abandoned

Lenin had explained: “Socialism is inconceivable … without planned state organisation, which keeps tens of millions of people to the strictest observance of a unified standard in production and distribution.” (37)

He said further, “that without comprehensive state accounting and control of the production and distribution of goods, the power of the working people, the freedom of the working people, cannot be maintained, and that a return to the yoke of capitalism is inevitable.” (38)

Contrary to this, the revisionists orientate production to the laws of the capitalist market:

“To do away with these abuses in the existing economic structure in a thorough-going way, it is necessary to carry out reforms. For instance, we must change the system of unified purchasing and marketing of products and integrate adjustment of plan with regulation of the market.”

That means for state enterprises:

“In the current reforms in the economic structure, we must be determined to expand the administrative power of the enterprises. All enterprises have the right to work out their own production and marketing plans according to the needs of the state and the market.” (39)

Second: Profit Becomes the Main Stimulus of the Enterprises

In capitalism, aim and content of production is pursuit of maximum profit. In socialism, however, production serves to satisfy the people’s needs. Stalin summed up this basic law of economy:

“The essential features and requirements of the basic law of socialism might be formulated roughly in this way: the securing of the maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirements of the whole of society through the continuous expansion and perfection of socialist production on the basis of higher techniques.” (40)

The revisionists claim to adhere to this. However, they themselves write:

“The interests of the enterprises themselves are the centre of attention…. After the workers’ wages and bonuses have been deducted from the enterprise’s income, the net profit will be divided between the state and the enterprise according to a certain ratio.” (41)

In the socialist economic system “profit” is only an arithmetic quantity for measuring the effectiveness of the individual enterprises. Here, however, profit becomes a means of accumulating capital. Capital accrued in this way, like all capital, determines its value not by its capacity to satisfy the masses’ needs, but only by its capacity to expand itself. And that means: the driving force of production is, as in capitalism, the pursuit of maximum profit.

Third: Capitalist Competition Is Encouraged among the Enterprises

In socialism the relations between enterprises and sectors of production are, in contrast to capitalist competition, marked by mutual support and cooperation. When profit becomes the main stimulus, however, the mutual relations between the enterprises also change essentially.

“Competition among socialist enterprises is encouraged. This is a new policy adopted in China recently. Since the introduction of reforms in economic structure last year, competition has emerged in many places, adding vitality to economic work…. Economists hold that, under socialism, there are objective conditions for competition between factories. Recognition of the commodity economy and revival of the market are the external causes of competition, while the internal causes are the growing concern of each factory for its own economic interests and the heightened enthusiasm of the workers after the implementation of the new policy of permitting the factories to retain part of their profits.” (42)

It is nothing but a trick when the revisionists assert:

“The loser in the socialist competition will not go bankrupt as in a capitalist country. This is because such competition is not based on diametrically conflicting interests of the enterprises involved.” (43)

The same article says that in the course of competition there is a selective process:

“Poorly managed enterprises which cannot sell their products and suffer loss over a long period will inevitably be eliminated in the course of competition. This is conducive to the readjustment of the national economy. More than 100 such enterprises have ceased to operate in Beijing, and their personnel, buildings and equipment have been transferred to those enterprises producing goods needed on the market.” (44)

That was in the middle of 1980. Meanwhile, a campaign in the press has been preparing the population for “temporary difficulties” for the employees of certain enterprises – that is, unemployment – caused by the “regulation of economy” and the “necessary shutdown of unprofitable firms”.

Fourth: Private Ownership of the Means of Production
Inevitably Redevelops on a Larger Scale

The revision of the principles of socialist planned economy must necessarily result in extending private property of the means of production on a large scale instead of further restricting it. At the moment this is done especially by the advancement of “joint ventures with foreign investment participation” and private enterprise. By the law on “joint ventures” passed by the 5th National People’s Congress, the imperialists are invited to establish themselves in China, to plunder its raw materials and to exploit the Chinese working population.

“China does not confine herself to the established international practice of 51 per cent and 49 per cent…. The proportion of investment by foreign companies can be higher than 50 per cent, and the duration may be ten years, 20 years or even longer…. Foreign investors can send abroad the profits they have earned from the joint enterprises so long as they abide by the Chinese law and tax policy.” (45)

Particularly South China has turned into a paradise for the imperialists. A leading official of the city of Guangzhou reported:

“We will offer facilities and preferential terms to foreign investors so that they can make money…. Guangzhou is the largest city in south China, with a population of 2.9 million, 600 000 of them being industrial workers. In accordance with a decision of the Party Central Committee and the State Council last year, Guangzhou has begun to adopt special policies and flexible measures in its economic dealings with businessmen overseas…. Last year the city received more than 400 businessmen overseas and signed some 600 contracts for joint ventures, compensatory trade, and the assembling and processing of products with parts or raw materials supplied by these businessmen.” (46)

In the Soviet Union as well as in China there was still private property after the essential means of production had been socialized. The Communist policy under the dictatorship of the proletariat consisted in controlling and further confining this, in order to eventually liquidate it completely by developing the productive forces and the socialist consciousness of the masses. The new revisionist leadership is turning about by 180°, is again enlarging private enterprise and wants to destroy socialist consciousness.

“While ensuring the dominant position of the socialist public ownership, the policy of restricting individual economy should be changed to giving it appropriate support and improving overall control. This was the view of a number of economists at a recent discussion meeting in Beijing on the structure of the ownership of the means of production…. In Beijing, more than 500 households have started or reopened their stores since the municipal bureau of industry and commerce issued a notice to the effect that retired personnel with special skills and young people waiting for jobs are permitted to engage in any work on their own.” (47)

Fifth: Capitalist Laws in Operation Result in Inflation, Unemployment, Speculation and Corruption

In our book, The Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union, we showed what devastating consequences reforms of this kind have already brought about in the Soviet Union. There is not enough space here to present all these consequences once more. Therefore we shall select one of them as an example:

“Pursuit of profit has special consequences for supply of spare parts and jeopardizes plan fulfillment at numerous factories and collective farms. Profit margins for production of spare parts are generally smaller than for production of complete units. Moreover, spare parts production targets are usually specified as money values with the result (as Ekonomicheskaya Gazeta, Nos. 7 and 12, 1969, report) that the most expensive spare parts, which yield a higher profit and meet the targets more easily, are produced, while screws, bolts and washers, for example, are not. Thus, in 1968 only 47.7 percent of the required nuts and bolts and only 20.5 percent of the necessary screws were supplied (ibid., No. 4, 1969). The newspaper writes further that 140 million screw bolts are needed annually for fastening plowshares, but only 15 million are produced. The collective farms themselves must produce what they lack by primitive means.” (48)

What consequences of these reforms can be seen in China to date? In a brochure published in 1976, titled Why China Has No Inflation, the author quoted the textile worker Chang Baochi, talking about the living conditions of his family:

“You see, food, clothing, and other necessities have cost the same all these years. My family doesn’t have a high standard of living, but our income covers our needs and we don’t worry that our money will buy less.” (49)

Inflation, this evil of capitalism which forces the worker into a constant struggle to maintain his standard of living, was a foreign word in socialist China. The reason for this was described in the brochure as follows:

“The building of a socialist system enables China to conduct the production, circulation and distribution of commodities, as well as currency issue, under a unified state plan. Production is no longer aimed at making profits or confined to what is profitable. Instead, it serves socialist construction and satisfies the needs of the people. The amount of goods to be produced by the factories, the amount to be put on sale in the shops, the volume of currency issue – all are set by annually-made state plans and kept in overall balance. The state thus regulates the supply of money on the one hand and plans the marketing and pricing of goods on the other. The achievement of this equilibrium stabilizes currency and uproots inflation at its very source….

Only older parents, in teaching their children the history of China, can personally recall the nightmare of inflation in their own youth…. To most Chinese past middle age, mention of inflation evokes memories of traumatic experiences before the liberation. The Kuomintang government, politically rotten and economically bankrupt, adopted the policy of unlimited currency issue to make up its deficits and finance its criminal war against the people.” (50)

Today, after socialist planned economy has been destroyed and capitalism has been restored, inflation, speculation and corruption are again the necessary consequences. An article in the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau on April 1, 1981, cites concrete examples of this. (The editor of this bourgeois paper is certainly not suspect of being a fundamental opponent of the restoration of capitalism, which he himself calls a “reformatory course”.)

“But more and more the Chinese are experiencing the dark sides of this new economic policy: inflation and rural exodus, job shortage and uneven distribution of welfare. It was only two years ago that Peking circulated a propaganda pamphlet all over the world entitled Why China Has No Inflation. In the meantime it has been withdrawn without commotion. Official sides have admitted a general increase in prices of 7.2% in 1980, but experts estimate that an inflation rate of more than 10% is closer to reality.

Important consumer goods like eggs, fish, poultry and various vegetables are often not available, or only in poor quality, in state-owned shops. On the free market supply and variety are satisfactory, but the products often cost twice as much. However, not only the private market, but also the state-owned shops force up inflation for many articles of daily use. Cheap goods disappear from retail and reappear with new brand names in slightly different wrappings at higher prices. A worker complained in a letter to the editor of a Cantonese daily newspaper that he could only purchase coal briquets for a high price including delivery although the shop is right around the corner and he would gladly transport them home himself. Even basic food articles with state-regulated price limits are affected by price increases. For example, broken rice of fourth-rate quality turns up as a better third-rate quality, and in the shops the shelves for price-regulated products such as soy sauce, beans or certain kinds of fish remain empty while on the other side of the shop under the sign ‘products at market prices’ any amount of the more expensive kind can be bought…

The government has mended a hole in the budget of 20 billion marks by printing more money and thus is responsible for a considerable part of inflation. (Emphasis by the ed.)

In another article on April 6, 1981, the same author reported on the sudden development of “white-collar crime”, mainly relying on regional Chinese papers as his source:

“Last year more than 14 000 cases of business crime were examined in the courtrooms of the People’s Republic of China. 6 626 persons were indicted and 3 162 have meanwhile been convicted, as the Chinese Legal Journal reports in its latest edition. But this is only the tip of an iceberg, and in China as elsewhere the big bosses are caught only in a very few cases…. Many business crimes have not become interesting for potential delinquents until the new policy, which gives the state and cooperative enterprises more influence on sale of the products, prices and terms of sale. For example, at the end of December, Yao Lianyuan, official of the Peking Diesel Engine Factory, was arrested in Peking. He was responsible for making delivery contracts with other firms and took bribes in form of small favours in exchange for granting favourable terms of sale. Within seven months he collected 1 300 marks in cash, a TV set, a Japanese watch, an electric fan…” etc. …

The open-door policy toward foreign business and the new wave of consuming have also given rise to smuggling and speculation. Imported goods in high demand (especially products of the electronic branch) are sold by the state only at a price many times higher than they were bought for. Therefore, especially in South China, a prosperous illegal trade with capitalist neighbours has developed…. But the biggest defrauders of revenue are probably the local state enterprises themselves. Ever since many enterprises are allowed to divide up a part of their profits among the staff in form of premiums and social benefits, false production figures and profits are constantly reported to the central authorities.”

Certainly not so much the employees, but rather the managers profit from this.

“In Nanking the director of a machine factory was arrested because his enterprise had embezzled a total of 130 000 marks in taxes. When the bureau of taxation realized this and sent him a back-payment order, he gave his bookkeepers instructions to produce false receipts for exaggerated expenses in order to cover up the profits of the enterprise. In Canton the customs office even discovered prosperous automobile trading with the neighbouring British crown colony of Hong Kong. The receivers of more than 100 smuggled cars were state authorities who had no problems in getting the cars across the border. Even in Peking, authorities – such as the museum administration of the old emperor’s palace – got duty-free diplomatic vehicles for themselves.” (All italics added.)

Thus all the phenomena well known from the Soviet Union, Poland and other revisionist countries have come up in China, too. Those who suffer for it are the working people. Even more apparent than in the other revisionist countries is the development of unemployment. Today, as a result of the restoration of capitalism, there are already between 15 and 20 million unemployed in China. Up to now this affects mainly young people who do not find a job after finishing school. Even if the revisionists try to make statistics look better by directing the young people towards advanced training or jobs as street-vendors or in small private shops, it is easy to predict that, by the effect of the laws of capitalism, unemployment will become a permanent phenomenon in China.

The right to work, written in the constitution of China, becomes a mere scrap of paper under the rule of these laws. For example, regulations for joint ventures say:

“the joint ventures have the right to hire or fire their workers.” (51)

The Revisionists See the Solution for the Emerging Difficulties
in Further Deepening the Restoration of Capitalism

The effects of their policy are so evident that the revisionists cannot help but write about them in the press. In order to veil the restoration of capitalism in China as the cause of these phenomena, far too obvious results are called “criminal activities in the economic field”. Thus Beijing Review No. 6/1981 reads:

“But, there are really some people or groups of people who are out to grab exorbitant profits. They employ all kinds of illegitimate means, such as conniving to smuggle, evade taxes, offer and receive bribes, buy and sell grain coupons and coupons for other materials supplied according to plan, engage in speculation and inflating prices….” (52)

By no means, however, do the revisionists think of stopping these “criminal activities”. On the contrary, they want to turn them into an additional source of revenue. Thus they write:

“We should mainly impose economic sanctions on these criminal activities in the economic field, such as imposing heavy taxes and confiscating the excessive profits made illegally. We should not let them get any undue benefit economically, but, on the contrary, should make them pay a price for their illegal activities.” (53)

By the end of June 1980, there were 6 600 state-owned enterprises in which the “reform of the economic administrative system” had been carried out.

“… their output value and profits make up about 60 and 70 per cent respectively of the total.” (54)

Concerning the development in agriculture is said:

“The reforms that have taken place in some of our state farms have already demonstrated their vitality and this is only a beginning. Contradictions, however, still exist between the integrated enterprises of farming, industry and commerce on the one hand and the entire economic structure on the other. The ultimate way to resolve them is to reform the economic structure as a whole.” (55)

The conclusion in light of an admitted “momentous disproportion of national economy” is, of course:

“Such readjustment is entirely necessary at present; in a more profound sense, it is intended to free basically our economic work from the shackles of ‘Left’ ideas….” (56)

An example of this liberation from the “shackles of ‘Left’ ideas” is the new method of investment set for introduction in 1981:

“Investments in China’s capital will switch from the present system of government allocations to bank loans…. The new procedure requires that enterprises engaging in capital construction sign contracts with the People’s Construction Bank for the loans. Annual interests will have to be paid and the loans will have to be repaid according to the contracts. Rewards will be given if the projects are completed ahead of schedule and the loans are repaid on time, while unwarranted delays in the completion of the projects or failure to repay the loans on time will be fined.” (57)

Thus capitalist competition between enterprises, with all its consequences for the workers, will sharpen in the future. The developing phenomenon of permanent unemployment will further intensify the contradictions between the working class and the new bourgeoisie following 1980’s widespread discontent over large price increases.

3. Material Incentives Serve to Exploit and Split the Working Class

In order to commit the working class to their course, soon after their seizure of power the revisionists launched a campaign for “carrying out the socialist principle: distribution according to work”. Under the banner of struggling against petty-bourgeois equalitarianism, they promoted the expansion of material stimulus, especially by premiums.

“Countering Chairman Mao’s consistent teachings, the ‘gang of four’ used petty-bourgeois ideas to fan up an equalitarian trend of thought and undermine distribution according to work…. Bonuses are characterized by the fact that they can fairly accurately reflect in good time actual changes in the amount of labour a labourer gives society.” (58)

In the Cultural Revolution the system of premiums had been broadly criticized by the masses, as it led to individualism instead of encouraging the development of socialist consciousness; it divided the workers into competitors, who fought against one another for the highest premium. Nevertheless, according to the socialist principle of “distribution according to work”, the scale of eight wage groups was maintained.

“As long as we find ourselves in the first phase of communism, as long as the productive forces are not so developed yet that all people’s requirements can be met, and as long as there are still remnants of bourgeois thinking, idlers and swindlers, the distribution of consumer goods according to the work done by the individual is the only possible principle of distribution.

In communist society, on the other hand, ‘after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want’ and ‘all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more abundantly’, the transition can be made to the communist principle of distribution: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’.

Though it is one of the principle tasks of the phase of socialism to educate the workers in the new, communist labor morale and to advance gradually to the communist principle of distribution, payment for labor based on the amount of work performed by the individual is retained as the chief principle in socialism. Above all, it is necessary to prevent individuals or groups of the working people from acquiring privileges or suffering discrimination which is determined neither by the amount of their work nor by their specific needs.” (59)

In contrast with capitalism, this socialist principle of distribution is an enormous progress, for it is based on the abolition of capitalist exploitation of the working people. Are the revisionists in China, however, interested in the restoration of this principle, as they claim? The very fact that they tie the premiums to profit makes evident that this is not the case.

“So that each and every enterprise is truly and fully responsible for its own economic results, so that the entire body of staff members and workers as well as the leadership will show concern for production and do their best to increase output, reduce expenditure of labour and raise labour productivity, it is imperative to implement the following principle: Enterprises which are run well and have achieved big economic results should receive more material rewards while those which are not run very well should receive less, or even undergo certain material penalties.” (60)

In this way high premiums are not given to workers who do more and better work, but to those who work in more profitable enterprises. This has nothing to do with realizing the principle of “distribution according to work”. On the contrary – it destroys it! Actually the revisionists are interested in creating a basis within the working class for restoring capitalism; they do so by promising the workers a personal advantage from maximum profits. In this way the working class is supposed to get an interest in intensifying their own exploitation; the worker is to identify himself with the competitive position of “his enterprise”, and the fellow workers of one factory are to be split. The aim is to destroy socialist consciousness and class solidarity. As usual in capitalism, premiums are a means of making the workers work faster. This is shown by an example from Yanzhou in eastern China, where a coalfield is being constructed.

“The policy of more pay for more work and the bonus system are playing a positive role. In 1979, a piece work system practised among tunnellers raised average labour efficiency 18.4 per cent.” (61)

The relationship between managers and workers in China today is one between managers of the new bourgeoisie and exploited workers, because the dictatorship of the proletariat and social ownership of the means of production have been destroyed, because the pursuit of profit has become the main stimulus for the enterprises, and because the socialist principle “distribution according to work” has been abandoned.

As the premiums are normally calculated as a certain percentage of the wage, even today the managers receive a greater part of the premiums of an enterprise because of their higher basic wage.

In the course of the restoration of capitalism and after completion of the announced reforms of the wage scale system, exploitation will be further intensified. As soon as capitalist laws have started to operate, all the other consequences will follow. The bulk of the profits extracted from the workers does not, however, go to the managers, but to the top echelons of the new bourgeoisie in the Party, state and economic apparatus, the source of this being the state budget. By means of the central “Construction Bank”, the leading revisionist clique can control credits all over the country, the investment funds (= monetary values and assets for financing machines, factory halls etc.) and the floating capital of the enterprises as well as their finances.

In view of the intensified class contradiction between the new bourgeoisie and the working class, it is a compelling necessity for the revisionists to split the workers by means of the premium system. But in doing so, they meet with great obstacles, because this had been debated in the Cultural Revolution. An indication of this difficulty is the fact that in many enterprises the funds available for premiums have simply been collectively distributed.

“But in some enterprises a tendency to hand out bonuses without regard to merit emerged last year. This indicates misunderstanding of the principle of material rewards and is a distortion of the socialist principle of distribution – ‘to each according to his work’… Bonuses will prove ineffective if they are handed out without regard to merit.” (62)

4. The Destruction of Socialist Ideology and Culture

In order to secure their rule, the revisionists must destroy the socialist consciousness of the masses. In the Cultural Revolution, this consciousness developed rapidly in broad parts of the masses through criticism and self-criticism and widespread study, and simultaneous practical application, of Mao Tsetung Thought. The coup of the revisionists, the destruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the revision of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought was also the starting point for the systematic destruction of socialist ideology and culture. In What is to be done? Lenin emphasized:

“either bourgeois or socialist ideology. There is no middle course (for mankind has not created a ‘third’ ideology, and, moreover, in a society torn by class antagonisms there can never be a non-class or an above-class ideology). Hence, to belittle the socialist ideology in any way, to turn aside from it in the slightest degree means to strengthen bourgeois ideology.” (63)

Revisionism is a form of bourgeois ideology. The ruling class, the new bourgeoisie, also directs the intellectual life of society and suppresses the revolutionary ideology of the proletariat. The revisionist theories of “disappearance of the exploiting classes”, the “fundamental change of class structure” and “class struggle of a new character” serve to veil the actual fundamental change of the proletariat’s class situation and distract the working class and its allies from class struggle. The introduction of the profit motive and of material stimulus not only affects the economic basis but also serves to undermine the class consciousness of the working class. The revisionists are in a contradictory situation: On the one hand, they destroy socialist consciousness as the driving force of productivity in socialism; on the other hand, they try, at any price, to increase profits by exploiting the working people. They deplore the consequences which they themselves have brought about:

“More and more forms of bonuses were offered. It grew so bad that nothing was done if there were no pay for it. ‘Seems you can’t ask anyone to do a thing if you don’t fork out money’, sighed one of the brewery leaders.” (64)

Further consequences are the flourishing of corruption, speculation, smuggling and crime. Especially the young people “do not look to the future with great confidence”. (65)

By granting bourgeois culture broad influence, the revisionists undermine socialist culture:

“Without a new, socialist culture, proletarian revolution cannot win in the long run. The political, economic and cultural revolutions form a unity and interact with each other. Socialist culture reflects socialist politics and economy. This reflection of the life of socialist society finds expression in revolutionary literature and art. But creating this is only possible if the writers and artists take their subjects and their heroes from the life of the people and depict them realistically.” (66)

In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution the CP of China led a determined struggle against bourgeois culture and for the development of socialist culture. Jiang Qing, now sentenced to death, said in July, 1964:

“Theatres are places to educate the people, but now the stage is dominated by emperors and kings, generals and ministers, scholars and beauties – by feudal and bourgeois stuff. This state of affairs cannot serve to protect but will undermine our economic base….

The grain we eat is grown by the peasants, the clothes we wear and the houses we live in are woven and built by the workers, and the People’s Liberation Army stands guard at the fronts of national defence for us and yet we do not portray them on the stage. May I ask which class stand you artists take? And where is the artists’ ‘conscience’ you always talk about?” (67)

It is the role of socialist culture to confirm and develop socialist consciousness. The role of bourgeois culture is to promote petty bourgeois mentality, to propagate individualism and careerism as positive characteristics, to undermine systematically the awareness of the necessary joint struggle; this can be done by propagating heroes detached from the masses or by offering a world of fantasy far away from reality.

After the revisionists had seized power, the bourgeois plays and artists that had been criticized in the Cultural Revolution were rehabilitated and once again determine what motion pictures and theatre plays are shown. Not enough, the revisionists also systematically open the doors to Western imperialist culture. They maintain that now, the “gang of four” having been overthrown, literature and art “display a wonderful splendor” and are “full of bright spring light”. Beijing Review itself gives examples of the “wonderful splendor” of literature and art:

“After Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers*(The Sorrows of Young Werther) came out, the book actually evoked a concerted response from some impressionable youth who in their dejection were driven to drown themselves.… In some films some tricks of foreign film-makers are copied mechanically…. Music in some of our films is meticulously patterned after the rhythm of some foreign songs….” (68)

In order to consolidate their power, the ruling Chinese bureaucracy must make bourgeois ideology and culture the leading intellectual force. They cannot, however, openly worship Western imperialist culture, but must hypocritically criticize some exaggerated forms of imperialist culture in order to keep up their deceitful mask in front of the Chinese people. But they accept and spread the core of imperialist culture. Their statements are only intended to distract from their own responsibility for it and to make sure that the spreading of bourgeois ideology does not meet with major resistance. They even admit this:

“Lately, for a short time, films about sex and murder have been showing in some places in our country; some people, on stage or in novels, have glamourized power and money or presented scenes of out-and-out indecency. This cannot but become a contributing factor in fomenting social disorder.” (69)

* Novel by Goethe, in which a fanciful and enthusiastic young man commits suicide out of disappointed love and despair over the society of the bourgeoisie and nobility.

5. Under the Cloak of “Democratization”,
the Working Class Is Deprived of Political Rights

The revisionists are aware of the fact that their course of material stimulus and destruction of socialist ideology and culture must meet with resistance. Above all, it is the working class and the revolutionary cadres adhering to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought whom they must get under control. Therefore they have step by step abolished the rights of the working class gained in the Proletarian Cultural Revolution and changed the instruments of the dictatorship of the proletariat into instruments of the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie over the working class. In preparation for the individual measures, they launched an intensive propaganda campaign which slandered the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as a disaster and fascist dictatorship and characterized the individual measures as a contribution to “democratization” and “strengthening of the socialist legal system”. The first thing they did was to smash the revolutionary committees.

The Revolutionary Committees Are Smashed and Staff Representative Assemblies Established as “New Organs of Power”

In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution the revolutionary committees became power organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which the masses could directly take part in exercising state power. They were established in schools and scientific institutes, in factories, mines and other firms, in urban residential districts and in villages. They consisted – according to the principle of the “three-in-one combination” – of members of the Party and the People’s Liberation Army and of workers’ and peasants’ representatives. The members of the revolutionary committees were, after proposal by the Party, elected by the masses, to whom they were accountable. Thus the revolutionary committees served three purposes:

  • they served self-education, the active and responsible effort of the working class under the leadership of the Communist Party;

  • they were bridges from the Party to the masses of workers and peasants;

  • they were socialist organs of power in the hands of the working class.

In China Today 4 we showed how, against the workers’ resistance, the revolutionary committees were smashed in three steps. Following reasons were given for their complete abolition by decree of the Fifth National People’s Congress, according to Beijing Review No. 28/1979:

“The revolutionary committee, a provisional institution which appeared during the Cultural Revolution, is no longer able to meet the needs of the new period of socialist modernization.” (70)

Indeed, they do not any longer meet the requirements of the new stage, which is not, however, socialist modernization, but restoration of capitalism. The factory revolutionary committees were replaced by the “system of the director’s responsibility” as practised before the Cultural Revolution, under the leadership of the now revisionist Party. Parallel to this, the “congress of workers and staff members” was introduced as “a major channel through which the Chinese workers and staff members can give full play to democracy in running their factories.” (71)

“This system of the congress of workers and staff was a great creation by our working class in the 1950s. However, because it was later interfered with and sabotaged, it could not be revived and developed until after the downfall of the gang of four.” (72)

A report on its introduction in the majority of the 4 000 Tianju enterprises says:

“This congress of workers and staff is an organ of power through which workers and staff manage the enterprise, supervise cadres, and practise democracy politically, technically, economically and in everyday life.” (73)

But what rights do these alleged organs of power of the workers and staff have: They can

  • propose decisions to be passed by the upper levels

  • discuss the elaboration, revision and repeal of important rules and regulations

  • discuss the utilization of retained profits gained by overfulfilment of the plan

  • discuss the interests of the employees concerning everyday life. (74)

This shows that actually it is merely an institution where the workers can discuss various problems without any practical power and can, at the most, make proposals to the upper levels. In another article this is openly admitted a few weeks later:

“Generally speaking, the current system of the congress of workers and staff is still far from perfect. One main problem is that the congress’ power is quite limited. For instance, it has no decisive power over major issues of the enterprise nor has it the right to appoint, replace, award or punish the enterprise’s leading members. In fact, it has only an advisory and supervisory right of raising criticisms and making suggestions.” (75)

That is what the assemblies are like which had before been praised as “organs of power of the staffs”, as a “major channel of democracy”. As this fraud is far too obvious it will be refined soon, according to the Beijing Review article mentioned above:

“To make this congress an organization in which the workers and staff can exercise their rights as masters, and not turn it into an optional organization or a tool serving the leading cadres, the congress must be made into an organ of power in an enterprise. It must possess the right to discuss and decide major issues, the right to elect and remove the leading administrative personnel and the right to check and supervise the work of all the functional departments and their management personnel. These rights of the congress involve many problems concerning the system of enterprise leadership. Therefore, reforms should be undertaken in the light of the directives of the Party Central Committee step by step after necessary preparation work has been done.” (76)

The prototype of this concept is the revisionist model of “workers’ self-government” in Yugoslavia, about which Hua Guofeng said on his visit to Yugoslavia in August 1978:

“Proceeding from the scientific theory of Marxism and Yugoslavia’s specific conditions, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia has established and developed the social system of self­ management.” (77)

This “social system of self-management” praised by Hua Guofeng was exposed as a mere hoax by the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of Mao Tsetung in 1963, in the Polemic on the General Line with the Khrushchev clique.

“In fact, the ‘workers’ self-government’ of the Tito clique does not provide self-government on the part of the workers; it is a hoax. The enterprises under ‘workers’ self-government’ are actually in the clutches of the bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie represented by the Tito clique. It controls the enterprises’ property and personnel and takes away much the greater part of their income.” (78)

Is there any difference to the “reform of the congresses of workers and staff” now propagated by the Chinese revisionists? Obviously not, for the article goes on:

“Of course, practising democratic management in enterprises does not negate the unified and centralized leadership of production and management. … when the congress is in session, the representatives can expound their viewpoints while discussing important matters concerning their enterprises, thereby drawing on the collective wisdom and making comparatively correct resolutions which conform to the policies, regulations and laws of the Party and state.” (79)

These “policies, regulations and laws” are, however, those decreed by the revisionists; they have restored profit as the main stimulus and capitalist competition between the industrial enterprises and serve to protect the rule of the new bourgeoisie. Another article on the “reform in economic management” and the experimental introduction of the new “chain of command” in factories says:

“First, the congress, which is directly elected by workers and staff members, is the organ of power for the enterprise…. It elects a director and discusses the list of deputy directors recommended by the director, and then submits the names to the higher leading body for appointment. Secondly, the director assumes full responsibility for the production and management of the enterprise. He submits major programmes to the congress for examination and is responsible for their implementation.” (Emphasis by the ed.) (80)

It only appears as if the directors are elected by the congress of workers and staff. Actually they are appointed by the revisionist leaders and are their agents in the factories. In the Polemic on the General Line the “workers’ council” was shown to be a swindle:

“Abundant information published in the Yugoslav press proves that the workers’ council is merely formal, a kind of voting machine, and that all power in the enterprise is in the hands of the manager. The fact that the manager of an enterprise controls its means of production and the distribution of its income enables him to appropriate the fruits of the workers’ labour by means of various privileges.” (82)

This serves to delude the Chinese working class as to its actual lack of rights in the factories after the smashing of the revolutionary committees and to win it over for participation in strengthening the position of their factories in capitalist competition.

The Right to Speak Out Freely and Freedom to Strike Are Abolished in Practice

After smashing the revolutionary committees, the revisionists prepared to abolish the right of free statement of opinion by wall posters. When revising the Constitution as resolved by the first session of the Fifth National People’s Congress, they did not yet dare to strike the so-called “four great rights” which had been won in struggle against the revisionist bureaucracy in the Cultural Revolution.

“It is precisely for the purpose of ensuring great democracy under the leadership of the proletariat that the draft of the revised Constitution provides that citizens have the right to ‘speak out freely, air their views fully, hold great debates and write big­character posters’.” (82)

That was in March 1978. They were still crying: “The gang of four restricted the rights!” Then, in February 1980, after an intensive propaganda campaign, the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 11th Central Committee came to the following conclusion:

“But experience shows that the practices of ‘speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big­character posters’ are not a good way to achieve this. These practices, taken as a whole, never played a positive role in safeguarding the people’s democratic rights but, on the contrary, hampered the people in the normal exercise of their democratic rights. To help eliminate factors causing instability, the plenary session decides to propose to the National People’s Congress that the stipulation in Article 45 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that citizens ‘have the right to ‘speak out freely, air their views fully, hold great debates and write big­character posters’’ be deleted.” (83)

At the same plenary meeting Liu Shaoqi was rehabilitated and Deng’s intimate friends, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, were elected to the standing committee of the Political Bureau. Today they are General Secretary of the Central Committee and Prime Minister. Besides this, it was decided to summon the 12th Party Congress prematurely and to discuss “guidelines for inner-Party life”; also an amendment of the draft of the Party statute was discussed. The guidelines aim at oppressing the resistance against the revisionist line, existing within the Party up till today, despite mass expulsions:

“Party members continue to engage in factionalist activities and do what they like in disregard of organizational principle and discipline.” (84)

In order to deceive the masses, who were being deprived of their rights, the revisionists assert that the right to speak out freely is “now as before vested” for the working people in Article 45 of the Constitution, which says:

“Citizens enjoy freedom of speech, correspondence, the press, assembly, association, procession, demonstration and the freedom to strike.” (85)

Revealing, however, is the bourgeoisie’s idea of how the people are to “normally exercise their rights”:

“Citizens may, without fear of retaliation, write to leading bodies or leading members at various levels to express their views or make suggestions.” (86)

And they can write letters to the editor of the press controlled by the revisionists. That is indeed a contribution to fighting “instability”, “factors of unrest” and to “democratization”. It is true that the freedom to strike still exists formally in the Constitution, but new regulations against violating labour discipline in industry and on the use of police and army cancel it in reality. The regulations about joint ventures say, for example:

“Punishment including dismissal may be meted out to those who seriously violate the labour disciplines.” (87)

In October, 1980, the police fired on workers of a Peking silk weaving mill who were on strike against low wages and the raising of production norms; and at a Central Committee conference in December, 1980, Deng Xiaoping even threatened with establishing martial law and mobilizing the army in case of strike movements.

It is within sight that another revision of the Constitution will also delete the freedom to strike, unless this is prevented by the growing resistance of the working class.

The Core of the New Penal Law Is to Oppress the Revolutionary Struggle of the Working Class and Its Allies and to Prohibit the Building of a New Communist Party

In the same way in which the revisionists are replacing proletarian democracy by the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie, they have changed the instruments of the proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie and all the class enemies into instruments for oppressing the working class and its revolutionary struggle. With this aim they have changed the class content but, in order to deceive the masses, continue to use the old terms. Those who resist the restoration of capitalism are now “counterrevolutionaries”. Those who organize resistance for defending the interests and rights of the working class and the people now form a “counterrevolutionary group”. The Chinese working class is facing the historical task of constructing, in close connection with the practical development of struggles, a new revolutionary party based on Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought, of overthrowing the rule of the new bourgeoisie by a proletarian revolution and of re-establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The penal law which the revisionists passed in July, 1979, and praised as another contribution to “strengthening socialist democracy” contains nothing but the oppression of the revolutionary struggle of the working class and of any resistance against the restoration of capitalism. Several of its articles make this quite clear:

  • Article 92 Whoever conspires to overthrow the government or split the state shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or to imprisonment for not less than ten years.”

  • Article 98 Whoever organizes or leads a counter-revolutionary group shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than five years.”

  • Article 102 Whoever commits any of the following acts for the purpose of counter-revolution shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years, or to detention, or to public surveillance or to deprivation of political rights; chief offenders, or any others who commit any such offences in serious degree, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than five years:

(1) Inciting the masses to resist or sabotage the implementation of any law or decree; and

(2) Inciting others to overthrow the state power of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist system through counter-revolutionary posters or leaflets or by other means.” (88)

The Chinese revisionists will, however, have to learn that revolution cannot be prohibited!

III. The Struggle of the Chinese Masses against
the New Capitalist Class Rule

The restoration of capitalism has completely changed the class status of the Chinese working class. Today the working class is again exploited and oppressed and stands in antagonistic contradiction to the rule of the new bourgeoisie, who has established a new type of state-monopoly capitalism as in the Soviet Union.

With the restoration of capitalism, agriculture was also brought under the command of the new bourgeoisie. This leads to a new class stratification in the countryside, too. Here capitalist laws come to bear fully with inevitable consequences for agricultural production and especially for the situation of the poor and lower middle peasants. It is the historic task of the Chinese working class, in alliance with the poor peasantry and great parts of the urban petty­bourgeois middle strata, to overthrow the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie by force in a new proletarian revolution, to smash the bourgeois state apparatus and to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat anew.

Although we have no illusions about a swift victory over revisionism and, on account of the little information we have, cannot yet thoroughly judge the present extent and the leadership of opposition to revisionism, we can be certain that the revisionists in China will never find peace.

The Deng Xiaoping clique was confronted with massive open opposition from the beginning. These are revolutionary cadres brought up in the Cultural Revolution and in the struggle against the “Right deviationist wind”, who are holding on to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought. Unlike the coup d’etat of the Khrushchev clique, which could hardly be recognized from outside, in China the counterrevolutionary coup was easier to see through because previously Deng Xiaoping had been deposed, the so-called gang of four arrested and numerous revisionists rehabilitated who had been condemned in the Cultural Revolution.

The Marxists-Leninists will learn the lessons out of the temporary defeat against revisionism. Under the difficult conditions of illegality they will struggle to unite all the communists and build a new revolutionary party, in close connection with unfolding the struggles of the working class and the masses against the effects of capitalist restoration, deprivation of political rights and China’s participation in an imperialist war.

In all this the communists must link up economic, political and military struggle, combat the destruction of socialist ideology among the masses and do patient work in exposing revisionism.

The future deepening of capitalist restoration will necessarily sharpen the contradiction between the new bourgeoisie and the masses of the people.

The Trial – a Defeat for the Revisionists

With the trial against the so-called gang of four, the Chinese revisionists aimed at preparing the ideological frontal attack on Mao Tsetung Thought at the 12th Congress, at intimidating the revolutionary cadres and the masses and reassuring their allies, the old bourgeoisie and the Western imperialists, that there would be no new revolution in China. Although Wang Hongwen and Yao Wenyuan did not pass this test of revolutionary struggle, particularly Jiang Qing, Mao Tsetung’s wife, took a bold and principled stand, thus frustrating the plans of the revisionists. Jiang Qing turned her speech of defence into an accusation against the new Chinese bourgeoisie. Typically, the microphones in the room went out of order during her speech of defence. The revisionists were shaken, the Congress had to be adjourned for three months, and they had to admit that resistance was organizing all over the country. It is just as Jiang Qing said at the trial:

“They aim at slandering me and Chairman Mao and revising the achievements of Chairman Mao and his great contribution to Marxism-Leninism. By slandering me and Mao Tsetung, they slander thousands who joined the Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” (89)

In the poem My Simple Conviction, which she had written in confinement, she showed appropriately how weak revisionism actually is and that, in spite of terror sentences, it has no future.

“Now you are uncovering your nature in a very ugly and violent manner by covering untold crimes while rehearsing a beautiful mask. In search of glory while leading the people astray, you can never cover up the truth with your big lie. You are very clever in robbing the sky and hanging up a paper sun.

You are deceiving the great and the small and putting the hat of a Chiang on the head of a Li. In dark places you are stealing beautiful blossoms and putting them on dry trees in order to put the blame on others. You are distracting the people’s attention by whitewashing stinking names… Witnesses are persecuted and brought to silence. Everyone who knew what was going on is persecuted and brought to silence.

Revisionism is a grasshopper that wants to stop a rolling waggon. Revisionism is weak and cannot endure. Only the masses of the people make history…. Rebellion is justified! Making Revolution is no crime!” (90)

The courageous stand of Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao has encouraged the Chinese people, the revolutionary cadres and the Marxists-Leninists all over the world to rise against revisionism.

We can be sure that more and more communists in China will see through revisionism and break with it. Although the revisionists are temporarily succeeding in leading the people astray, the people will learn as class struggle develops further. The working class will, with the aid of the true communists, further develop its class consciousness according to the new situation and take over the leadership in the struggle to overthrow revisionist rule. It is their struggle which deserves our fraternal solidarity as German communists. Into them we put all our hopes that they will realize what Mao Tsetung already predicted in 1966:

“If the Right stage an anti-Communist coup d’etat in China, I am sure they will know no peace either and their rule will most probably be short-lived, because it will not be tolerated by the revolutionaries, who represent the interests of the people making up more than 90 per cent of the population.” (91)