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RESOLUTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR PARTY
ADOPTED AT THE 7TH PLENUM OF THE EXPANDED 6TH CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA
Communist Party of China
|Selected Works, Vol. 3|
Foreign Languages Press
The Red Flag
RESOLUTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR PARTY
Ever since its birth in 1921, the Communist Party of China has made the integration of the universal truth of marxism-leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution the guiding principle in all its work, and Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s theory and practice of the Chinese revolution represent this integration. With the founding of our Party a new stage of the Chinese revolution was immediately unfolded, the stage of the new-democratic revolution, as pointed out by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Throughout the 24 years of struggle for new democracy (from 1921 to 1945), throughout the three historical periods — the 1st Great Revolution, the Agrarian Revolution and the War of Resistance Against Japan — our Party has consistently directed the broad masses of the Chinese people in extremely arduous and bitter revolutionary struggles against their enemies, imperialism and feudalism, and has gained great successes and rich experience. In the course of its struggle the Party has produced its own leader, Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Representing the Chinese proletariat and the Chinese people, Chairman Mao Tse-tung has creatively applied the scientific theory of marxism-leninism, the acme of human wisdom, to China, a large semi-feudal and semi-colonial country in which the peasantry constitutes the bulk of the masses and the immediate task is to fight against imperialism and feudalism, a country with a vast area and a huge population, where the situation is extremely complicated and the struggle extremely hard, and he has brilliantly developed the theories of Lenin and Stalin on the colonial and semi-colonial question as well as Stalin‘s theory concerning the Chinese revolution. It is only because the Party has firmly adhered to the correct marxist-leninist line and waged a victorious struggle against all erroneous ideas opposed to this line that it has scored great achievements in these three periods, has arrived at today‘s unprecedented ideological, political and organizational solidarity and unity, has developed into the powerful revolutionary force of today, having over 1,200,000 militants and directing China‘s Liberated Areas with their population of nearly 100,000,000 and an army of nearly 1,000,000, and has become the centre of gravity for the whole nation in the War of Resistance Against Japan and in the cause of liberation.
In the first period of China‘s new-democratic revolution, from 1921 to 1927, and especially from 1924 to 1927, the great anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution of the Chinese people, correctly guided by the Communist International and influenced, impelled forward and organized by the correct directorship of the Communist Party of China, advanced rapidly and won great victories. In this great revolution, all the militants of the Communist Party of China carried out tremendous revolutionary work, developed the labour, youth and peasant movements throughout the country, pushed forward and assisted in the reorganization of the Kuomintang and the formation of the National Revolutionary Army, provided the political backbone of the Eastern Campaign1 and the Northern Expedition, led the great countrywide struggle against imperialism and feudalism, and so wrote a most glorious chapter in the history of the Chinese revolution. Nevertheless, this revolution ended in defeat because in 1927 the clique of reactionaries in the Kuomintang, which was then our ally, betrayed the revolution; because the combined forces of the imperialists and the reactionary Kuomintang clique were then too strong; and in particular because the Rightist ideology in our Party, represented by Chen Tu-hsiu, developed into a line of capitulation during the concluding period of this revolution (for about six months) and dominated the Party‘s directing body, which refused to carry out the many wise directives of the Communist International and of Comrade Stalin and refused to accept the correct views of Chairman Mao Tse-tung and other comrades, with the result that, when the Kuomintang betrayed the revolution and sprang a surprise attack on the people, the Party and the people were unable to organize effective resistance.
In the ten years from the defeat of the revolution in 1927 to the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan in 1937, it was the Communist Party of China, and the Communist Party of China alone, which continued in unity to hold aloft the great banner of anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism under the counter-revolutionary reign of extreme terror and which directed the broad masses of workers, peasants, soldiers, revolutionary intellectuals and other revolutionaries in great political, military and ideological struggles. During these struggles the Communist Party of China created the Red Army, established the government of councils of workers, peasants and soldiers, set up revolutionary bases, distributed land to impoverished peasants and resisted both the attacks of the reactionary Kuomintang government and, after September 18th, 1931, the aggression of Japanese imperialism. As a result, the Chinese people achieved great successes in their new-democratic cause of national and social liberation. Similarly, the whole Party fought in unity against the counter-revolutionary activities of the trotskyist Chen Tu-hsiu clique and of Lo Chang-lung,2 Chang Kuo-tao3 and others who tried to split the Party and who betrayed it; thus the unity of the Party on the basis of the general principles of marxism-leninism was ensured. Over these ten years, this general policy of the Party and the heroic struggles to carry it out were entirely correct and necessary. Countless Party militants, countless numbers of the people and many revolutionaries outside the Party carried on fiery revolutionary struggles on the various fronts, dauntlessly fighting and sacrificing themselves, indomitably stepping into the breach as others fell; by their spirit and deeds they have won immortality in our country‘s history. Without all this, the War of Resistance Against Japan could not have been effected; or having been effected, it could not have been sustained and carried through to victory because it would not have had as its backbone a Communist Party which had accumulated a rich experience of people‘s war. This is beyond all doubt.
We rejoice especially in the fact that in those ten years our Party, with Chairman Mao Tse-tung as its representative, made very great advances in creatively applying to Chinese conditions the revolutionary theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. At last, towards the end of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, our Party definitely established the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung in the central directing body and throughout the Party. This was the greatest achievement of the Communist Party of China in that period and it is the surest guarantee of the liberation of the Chinese people.
We must point out, however, that besides its great achievements in those ten years, our Party at certain times committed a number of errors. The gravest of all was the „Left“ error in the political, military and organizational lines from the time of the 4th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee of the Party in January 1931 to the meeting of the Expanded Political Bureau of the Central Committee in January 1935 (the Tsunyi Meeting). That error caused serious losses to our Party and to the Chinese revolution.
In order to learn the historic lessons of the Chinese revolution, „to learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and to cure the sickness to save the patient“, to make „the overturning of the chariot in front a warning for the chariot behind“ and in order, on the basis of a common marxist-leninist ideology, to unite the whole Party like one harmonious family, like solid steel, to fight for total victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and for the complete liberation of the Chinese people, this 7th Plenum of the Expanded 6th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China considers it useful and necessary to set forth formal conclusions on certain questions of Party history during those ten years, and particularly on the line of the central directorship from the 4th Plenum to the Tsunyi Meeting.
After the defeat of the revolution in 1927, both „Left“- and Right-deviations occurred in our Party.
The handful of capitulationists of the period of the 1st Great Revolution, with Chen Tu-hsiu as their representative, became pessimistic about the future of the revolution and gradually turned into liquidationists. They took the reactionary trotskyist position, holding that after the 1927 revolution the Chinese bourgeoisie was already victorious over imperialism and the feudal forces, that its rule over the people was being stabilized, and that Chinese society was already one in which capitalism was dominant and would develop peacefully. Therefore, they arbitrarily asserted that the bourgeois-democratic revolution in China had been completed and that the Chinese proletariat must wait until the future to make the „socialist revolution“ and could engage for the time being only in a so-called legal movement centring on the slogan „For a National Assembly“, thus liquidating the revolutionary movement. Therefore, they opposed all the revolutionary struggles waged by the Party and slandered the Red Army movement as a „movement of roving rebels“. They not only refused to accept the Party‘s advice and abandon their opportunist, liquidationist anti-Party viewpoint, but even joined with the reactionary trotskyites4 and formed an anti-Party faction; as a result, they had to be expelled from the Party and later degenerated into counter-revolutionaries.
On the other hand, small-bourgeois revolutionary impetuosity, which was aggravated by hatred of the Kuomintang‘s policy of massacre and by indignation at Chen Tu-hsiu‘s capitulationism, was also reflected in the Party and led to a rapid growth of „Left“ sentiment. This „Left“ sentiment first appeared at the emergency meeting of the Party‘s Central Committee on August 7th, 1927. In the history of the Party the August 7th Meeting made a positive contribution. At a critical moment in the Chinese revolution, it resolutely corrected and ended the capitulationism of Chen Tu-hsiu, decided upon a general policy of Agrarian Revolution and armed resistance to the Kuomintang reactionaries‘ massacres and called on the Party and the masses to continue the revolutionary fight. All this was correct and constituted the main aspect of the meeting. But in combating Right errors the meeting paved the way for „Left“ errors. Politically, it failed to realize that either appropriate counter-attacks or necessary tactical retreats had to be organized at that time, according to the different conditions in the different localities, in order to preserve revolutionary positions and muster the revolutionary forces in a planned way. Instead, it tolerated and fostered tendencies towards adventurism and commandism (especially the forcing of workers to strike). Organizationally, the meeting initiated excessive and sectarian inner-Party struggles, unduly or improperly stressed the importance of the directors‘ being exclusively of working-class origin and brought about a rather serious state of ultra-democracy in the Party. After the August 7th Meeting this „Left“ sentiment continued to grow until, at the enlarged meeting of the central directing body in November 1927, it took shape in a „Left“ line of putschism (that is, adventurism) and for the first time brought the „Left“ line into a dominant position in the central directing body of the Party. The putschists then maintained that the Chinese revolution was by nature a so-called permanent revolution (they confused the democratic with the socialist revolution) and that the Chinese revolution was in a situation of so-called permanent upsurge (they denied the defeat of the 1927 revolution). Consequently, they not only failed to organize an orderly retreat but, on the contrary, disregarding the enemy‘s strength and the state of the masses after the defeat of the revolution, they ordered handfuls of militants and followers of the Party to stage local insurrections all over the country which had not the slightest hope of success. Along with this political adventurism, there also developed a sectarian organizational policy of attacking comrades. However, as this wrong line from its outset evoked correct criticism and objection on the part of Chairman Mao Tse-tung and many comrades working in the White areas, and as it caused many losses in practical work, it had ceased to be applied in many places by the beginning of 1928 and by April of the same year (less than six months from its beginning) it was virtually terminated in practical work throughout the country.
The line of the 6th National Congress of the Party, held in July 1928, was basically correct. The Congress rightly affirmed that Chinese society was semi-colonial and semi-feudal, pointed out that none of the fundamental contradictions giving rise to the contemporary Chinese revolution had yet been resolved, and therefore defined the Chinese revolution at the present stage as still a bourgeois-democratic revolution and proclaimed a „Ten-Point Programme“5 for that democratic revolution. The Congress correctly pointed out that the current political situation was an interval between two revolutionary high tides, that the development of the revolution was uneven and that the general task of the Party at the time was not to take the offensive or organize insurrections but to win over the masses. It waged a two-front struggle, repudiating both Right-Chen Tu-hsiu-ism and „Left“-putschism, and in particular indicated that the most dangerous tendency in the Party consisted in putschism, military adventurism and commandism which alienate the masses. All this was absolutely necessary. On the other hand, the 6th Congress also had its shortcomings and mistakes. It lacked correct estimates and policies concerning the dual character of the intermediate classes and the internal contradictions among the reactionary forces; it also lacked the necessary understanding of the Party‘s need for an orderly tactical retreat after the defeat of the Great Revolution, of the importance of rural base areas and of the protracted nature of the democratic revolution. Although these shortcomings and mistakes prevented the thorough eradication of the „Left“ ideas existing after the August 7th Meeting, and although they were made more extreme and were greatly magnified by the subsequent „Left“ ideas, nevertheless they cannot eclipse the correctness of the Congress in its main aspect. For some time after the Congress, the Party‘s work was fruitful. During that time, Chairman Mao Tse-tung not only, in practice, developed the correct aspect of the line of the 6th Congress and correctly solved many problems which the Congress had either not solved or had solved incorrectly, but also, in theory, provided a fuller and more concrete, scientific marxist-leninist basis for the orientation of the Chinese revolution. Under his guidance and influence, the Red Army movement gradually developed into an important political factor in the country. In the White areas, too, Party organizations and Party work to some extent revived.
But during the second half of 1929 and the first half of 1930 certain „Left“ ideas and policies that still existed in the Party once more gained some ground. From this basis they developed into the second „Left“ line when events turned in favour of the revolution. Excited by the domestic situation after the outbreak of war in May 1930 between Chiang Kai-shek on the one side and Feng Yu-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan on the other, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, directed by Comrade Li Li-san, adopted on June 11th the „Left“ resolution: „The New Revolutionary High Tide and Winning Victory First in One or More Provinces“, whereupon the „Left“ line came to dominate the central directing body for the second time. This wrong line (the Li Li-san line) arose for a number of reasons. It arose because Li Li-san and other comrades failed to recognize that the revolution required adequate preparation by the building up of its own organizational strength, but held that „the masses want only big actions, not small ones“, and therefore believed that the incessant wars among the warlords at the time, together with the initial unfolding of the Red Army movement and the initial revival of our work in the White areas, already provided conditions for „big actions“ (armed insurrections) throughout the country. It arose because they failed to recognize the uneven development of the Chinese revolution but held that the revolutionary crisis was growing uniformly in all parts of the country, that preparations should be made everywhere for immediate insurrections and that the key cities in particular should take the lead and become centres of a countrywide revolutionary upsurge; and they slandered as „utterly erroneous […] localism and conservatism characteristic of peasant mentality“ Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s idea that for a long time we should employ our main strength to create rural base areas, use the rural areas to encircle the cities and use these bases to advance a high tide of countrywide revolution. It arose because they failed to recognize the uneven development of world revolution but held that the general outbreak of the Chinese revolution would inevitably lead to a general outbreak of world revolution, without which the Chinese revolution could not possibly be successful. And it arose because they failed to recognize the protracted character of China‘s bourgeois-democratic revolution but held that the beginning of victory in one or more provinces would mark the beginning of the transition to socialist revolution, and so they formulated a number of untimely and „Left“ policies. With these wrong views, the leaders of the Li Li-san line drew up an adventurist plan for organizing armed insurrections in the key cities throughout the country and for concentrating the whole of the Red Army to attack these cities. Then they merged the various directing bodies of the Party, the Youth League and the trade unions into action committees at corresponding levels for preparing armed insurrections, and thus brought all day-to-day work to a standstill. In the course of formulating and executing these wrong decisions, Comrade Li Li-san rejected the correct criticisms and suggestions of many comrades and stressed the fight within the Party against the so-called „Right-deviation“, under the slogan of which he wrongly attacked those cadres who disagreed with his views, thereby deepening inner-Party sectarianism. Thus, the Li Li-san line assumed a more fully developed form than did the first „Left“ line.
However, the domination of the Li Li-san line in the Party was also short-lived (lasting less than four months). Since the Party and the revolutionary forces suffered losses wherever this line was put into practice, broad sections of cadres and Party militants demanded that it should be corrected. Chairman Mao Tse-tung in particular never agreed with the Li Li-san line, and indeed most patiently corrected the „Left“ mistakes of the 1st Front Army of the Red Army6; consequently, instead of suffering losses in this period, the Red Army in the revolutionary base in Kiangsi actually grew stronger by utilizing the favourable situation created by the war between Chiang Kai-shek and Feng Yu-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan, and it successfully smashed the enemy‘s first campaign of „encirclement and suppression“ in late 1930 and early 1931. With a few exceptions, the Red Army in the other revolutionary base areas achieved similar results. In the White areas also, there were many comrades engaged in practical work who opposed the Li Li-san line through the organizational channels of the Party.
The 3rd Plenum of the 6th Central Committee held in September 1930 and the subsequent central directorship played a positive role in putting an end to the application of the Li Li-san line. Although the documents of this session showed a conciliatory and compromising spirit with regard to the Li Li-san line (for instance, in denying that it was a wrong line and in saying that it was only „wrong tactically“) and although organizationally this session continued the error of sectarianism, it nevertheless corrected the ultra-„Left“ appraisal of the situation of the Chinese revolution, dropped the plan for organizing a general countrywide insurrection and concentrating the whole of the Red Army to attack key cities, and restored the independent organizations and the day-to-day work of the Party, the Youth League and the trade unions; it thereby terminated the most characteristic errors of the Li Li-san line. At the 3rd Plenum, Comrade Li Li-san himself admitted the mistakes that had been pointed out and then relinquished his directing position in the Political Bureau. The central directorship after the 3rd Plenum, going a step further, declared in its supplementary resolution of November 1930 and in Circular No. 96 of December that the line of Li Li-san and other comrades was wrong and that the conciliatory attitude of the plenum was wrong too. Of course, both the 3rd Plenum and the subsequent central directorship failed to examine the ideological essence of the Li Li-san line thoroughly and to correct it, and so certain „Left“ ideas and policies that had existed within the Party ever since the August 7th Meeting in 1927, and especially since 1929, strongly persisted at this session and afterwards. However, since both the 3rd Plenum and the subsequent central directorship did take the positive measures described above to end the Li Li-san line, all Party comrades should have made further efforts, on the basis of these measures, to carry through the struggle against the „Left“ errors.
But at this time, a number of Party comrades who were inexperienced in practical revolutionary struggle and guilty of „Left“-dogmatist errors came forward, with Comrade Chen Shao-yu (Wang Ming) at their head, and fought against the central directorship under the banners of „Against the Li Li-san Line“ and „Against the Line of Conciliation“, taking a sectarian position even more violent than that of the Li Li-san line. Their fight was not designed to help the central directorship liquidate the ideological essence of the Li Li-san line and those „Left“ ideas and policies which had existed in the Party since the August 7th Meeting in 1927, and particularly since 1929, and had never been thoroughly dealt with. They put forward what was actually a new political programme in Comrade Chen Shao-yu‘s pamphlet published at that time: „The Two Lines or The Struggle for the Further Bolshevization of the Communist Party of China“, a programme that continued, revived or developed the Li Li-san line and other „Left“ ideas and policies in a new guise. Thus, there was a further growth of „Left“ ideas in the Party which took the form of a new „Left“ line.
Although this new „Left“ line under Comrade Chen Shao-yu‘s directorship criticized the „Left“ errors of the Li Li-san line and the error of conciliation on the part of the 3rd Plenum, its distinctive feature was that it mainly criticized the Li Li-san line as „Rightist“, that it accused the 3rd Plenum of „doing nothing to expose and attack the consistently Right-opportunist theory and practice of the Li Li-san line“ and that it blamed Circular No. 96 for failure to see that „the Right-deviation is still the main danger in the Party at present“. On the question of the nature of Chinese society and class relations, the new „Left“ line exaggerated the relative weight of capitalism in China‘s economy, exaggerated the significance of the struggle against the bourgeoisie and the rich peasants and the significance of the „elements of socialist revolution“ at the present stage of the Chinese revolution, and denied the existence of the intermediate camp and of third parties and groups. On the question of the revolutionary situation and the tasks of the Party, the new „Left“ line continued to stress that there was a „revolutionary high tide“ throughout the country and that the Party should have a „line of taking the offensive“ on a countrywide scale, and it held that an „immediate revolutionary situation“ would soon occur in one or more major provinces containing key cities. From a „Left“ viewpoint it slanderously asserted that in China there was as yet no „genuine“ Red Army and no „genuine“ government of councils of workers, peasants and soldiers and asserted with special emphasis that the main danger in the Party then consisted of „Right-opportunism“, „opportunism in practical work“ and „the rich peasant line“. Organizationally, the exponents of this new „Left“ line violated discipline, refused the work assigned them by the Party, committed the error of joining with a number of other comrades in factional activities against the central directorship, wrongly called upon the Party militants to set up a provisional central directing body and demanded that „fighting cadres“ who „actively support and pursue“ their „Left“ line should be used to „reform and strengthen the directing bodies at all levels“; they thereby created a serious crisis in the Party. Hence, generally speaking, the new „Left“ line was more determined, more „theoretical“, more domineering and more fully articulated in its „Leftism“ than the Li Li-san line, even though it did not call for organizing insurrections in the key cities and, for a time, did not call for concentrating the Red Army to attack those cities.
In January 1931 the 4th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee of the Party was convened under circumstances in which pressure was being applied from all directions by the „Left“-dogmatist and -sectarian elements headed by Comrade Chen Shao-yu and in which some comrades in the central directing body who had committed empiricist errors were compromising with these elements and supporting them. The convening of this session played no positive or constructive role; the outcome was the acceptance of the new „Left“ line, its triumph in the central directing body and the beginning of the domination of a „Left“ line in the Party for the third time during the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War. The 4th Plenum immediately put into effect two interrelated and erroneous tenets in the programme of the new „Left“ line: the fight against the alleged „Right-deviation“ as the „main danger in the Party at present“, and the „reform and strengthening of the directing bodies at all levels“. Ostensibly it still carried the banner of opposition to the Li Li-san line and to the „line of conciliation“, but in essence its political programme was chiefly „against the Right-deviation“. In its resolutions, the 4th Plenum did not analyse the current political situation or lay down concrete political tasks for the Party and merely opposed the so-called „Right deviation“ and „opportunism in practical work“ in a general way, but in fact it approved Comrade Chen Shao-yu‘s pamphlet, „The Two Lines or The Struggle for the Further Bolshevization of the Communist Party of China“, the pamphlet which represented the „Left“ ideas in the Party and was taken by people then, and for another ten years or more, to have played a „correct programmatic role“, although, as can be seen from the above analysis, it was basically a completely wrong, „Left“-opportunist general programme „against the Right-deviation“. Under this programme the 4th Plenum and the subsequent central directorship promoted the „Left“-dogmatist and -sectarian comrades to responsible positions in the central directing body on the one hand; on the other, they excessively attacked those comrades who had committed the errors of the Li Li-san line, wrongly attacked those comrades headed by Chu Chiu-pai7 who were alleged to have committed „the error of the line of conciliation“, and immediately after the session the Central Committee wrongly attacked the great majority of the so-called „Rightist“ comrades. In fact, the then „Rightists“ were mainly the creation of the factionalist struggle „against the Right-deviation“ conducted at this session. Of course, among these people there was a handful of splitters headed by Lo Chang-lung, who later became real Rightists, degenerated into counter-revolutionaries and were permanently expelled from the Party, and who, beyond any doubt, had to be resolutely combated; their establishment of a duplicate Party organization and their persistence in maintaining it were absolutely impermissible according to Party discipline. But as for Lin Yu-nan8, Li Chiu-shih9, Ho Meng-hsiung10 and some 20 other important Party cadres who were then attacked, they had done much useful work for the Party and the people and maintained close ties with the masses, and when they were arrested shortly afterwards, they stood firm and unyielding before the enemy and died as heroes. Comrade Chu Chiu-pai, who was alleged to have committed „the error of the line of conciliation“, was then a Party leader of prestige, and after he was attacked, he continued to do much useful work (mainly in the cultural field) and died heroically in June 1935 at the hands of the enemy executioners. The memory of the proletarian heroism of all these comrades should be cherished for ever. The kind of „reform“ which the 4th Plenum carried out in the central body was likewise extended to the local organizations in all the revolutionary bases and White areas. As compared with the 3rd Plenum and the subsequent central directorship, the central directorship after the 4th Plenum was more insistent and more systematic in sending its representatives, agencies or new directors to all parts of the country to carry through its fight „against the Right-deviation“.
The resolutions issued by the central directorship on May 9th, 1931, shortly after the 4th Plenum, showed that the new „Left“ line was already being concretely applied and developed in practical work. Then a series of major events occurred in China. Before the central directorship following the 4th Plenum had time to carry through its erroneous line, the Red Army of the Central Area in Kiangsi, under the correct leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung and through the vigorous efforts of all comrades, won great victories and smashed the enemy‘s 2nd and 3rd campaigns of „encirclement and suppression“; most of the other revolutionary base areas and Red Army units also won many victories and made much progress in the same period and under the same conditions. Meanwhile, the Japanese imperialist invasion, which began with the September 18th Incident in 1931, aroused a new upsurge in the national-democratic movement throughout the country. From the very beginning, the new central directorship made an entirely wrong appraisal of the new situation created by these events. It greatly exaggerated both the current crisis of the Kuomintang regime and the growth of the revolutionary forces; it ignored the fact that after the September 18th Incident the national contradiction between China and Japan was mounting and that the intermediate classes were making demands for resistance to Japan and for democracy; it emphasized that Japanese imperialism and other imperialist powers would combine to attack the Soviet Union and that the imperialist powers, the Chinese counter-revolutionary cliques and even the intermediate groups would combine to attack the Chinese revolution; and it categorically asserted that the intermediate groups were the most dangerous enemy of the Chinese revolution. The new central directorship therefore continued to advocate „down with everything“ and held that „the very heart of the political situation in China is a life-and-death struggle between counter-revolution and revolution“; hence it once again put forward many adventurist proposals, such as the seizure of key cities by the Red Army in order to win victory first in one or more provinces, the arming of workers and peasants everywhere in the White areas and the calling of general strikes there. These errors first found expression in its „Resolution on the Urgent Tasks Arising from the Smashing of the Enemy‘s 3rd Campaign of ‚Encirclement and Suppression‘ by the Workers‘ and Peasants‘ Red Army and from the Gradual Maturing of the Revolutionary Crisis“, dated September 20th, 1931. They were repeated and given fuller expression in the following documents, which were drawn up either by the subsequent provisional central directorship or under its guidance:
- „Resolution on the Forcible Occupation of Manchuria by Japanese Imperialism“ (22.09.1931).
- „Resolution on the Struggle for the Victory of the Revolution First in One or More Provinces“ (09.01.1932).
- „Resolution on the January 28th Incident“ (26.02.1932).
- „Opportunist Vacillation Within the Communist Party of China in the Struggle for the Victory of the Chinese Revolution First in One or More Provinces“ (04.04.1932).
- „Resolution of the Central Area Bureau of the Central Committee on Directorship of and Participation in a Campaign Week Against the Imperialist Attack on the Soviet Union and Against Partition of China and for Extending the National Revolutionary War“ (11.05.1932).
- „The Mounting Revolutionary Crisis and the Tasks of the Party in Northern China“ (24.06.1932).
The period from the establishment of the provisional central directorship headed by Comrade Chin Pang-hsien (Po Ku)11 in September 1931 to the Tsunyi Meeting in January 1935 was one of continued development of the third „Left“ line. During this period, because of the serious damage the incorrect line had done to the work in the White areas, the provisional central directorship moved to the southern Kiangsi base area early in 1933, and this move facilitated the further application of its incorrect line there and in the neighbouring base areas. Before that, the correct line followed in the base areas of southern Kiangsi and western Fukien had already been maligned by the Party congress of the southern Kiangsi base area in November 1931 and by the Ningtu Meeting of the Central Bureau of the Red Base Areas in August 1932, in accordance with the erroneous programme of the 4th Plenum „against the Right deviation“ and for „reforming the directing bodies at all levels“ — the correct line had been called a „rich peasant line“ and an „error of the most serious and consistent Right-opportunism“ and the correct Party and military directorship had been removed. Nevertheless, owing to the profound influence in the Red Army of Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s correct strategic principles, the campaign against the 4th „encirclement and suppression“ achieved victory in the spring of 1933 before the erroneous line of the provisional central directorship had been fully enforced in the army. On the other hand, an utterly wrong strategy gained complete control in the campaign against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“, which started at the close of 1933. In many other policies, too, and particularly in the policy regarding the Fukien Incident, the erroneous „Left“ line was fully applied.
The 5th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee, convened by the provisional central directorship in January 1934, marked the peak of the development of the third „Left“ line. Disregarding the setbacks which the „Left“ line had caused the Chinese revolutionary movement and the people‘s anti-Japanese democratic movement in the Kuomintang areas after the incidents of September 18th, 1931 and January 28th, 1932, the 5th Plenum blindly concluded that „the revolutionary crisis in China has reached a new acute stage — an immediate revolutionary situation exists in China“ and that the struggle against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“ was a „struggle for the complete victory of the Chinese revolution“, which would decide for China „the question of ‚who conquers whom‘, of the road of revolution or the road of colonialism“. Repeating the views of the Li Li-san line, this plenum declared that „when we have extended the democratic revolution of the workers and peasants to important parts of China, the socialist revolution will become the basic task of the Communist Party; only on this basis can China be unified and the Chinese people achieve national liberation“, etc., etc. Using the slogans of fighting „Right-opportunism, the main danger“, „fighting the conciliatory attitude towards Right-opportunism“ and fighting „the use of double-dealing to sabotage the Party line in practical work“, it continued and developed the excessive factional struggles and the policy of attacking comrades.
In the revolutionary base areas the most disastrous consequence of the third „Left“ line was the failure of the campaign against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“ in the area where the central directing body was located and the withdrawal from there of the main forces of the Red Army. In the military operations during the withdrawal from Kiangsi and on the Long March, a different error, the error of flightism, was committed under the „Left“ line, causing further losses to the Red Army. Similarly, on account of the domination of the „Left“ line, the Party‘s work suffered defeat in most of the other revolutionary bases (the Fukien-Chekiang-Kiangsi area, the Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei area, the Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi area, the Hunan-Kiangsi area, the western Hunan-Hupeh area and the Szechuan-Shensi area) and in the vast White areas. As for the Chang Kuo-tao line, which once dominated the Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei and the Szechuan-Shensi areas, it not only was a „Left“ line of the general type but was also characterized by a particularly serious form of warlordism and by flightism in the face of enemy attacks.
Such was the main content of the erroneous „Left“ line which dominated the whole Party for the third time and the leaders of which were the two dogmatists, Comrades Chen Shao-yu and Chin Pang-hsien.
Cloaking themselves in „marxist-leninist theory“ and relying on the political and organizational prestige and influence built up by the 4th Plenum, those comrades who were guilty of dogmatist errors were responsible for the domination of the third „Left“ line in the Party for four long years, gave it the fullest and most systematic expression ideologically, politically, militarily and organizationally, and enabled it to exercise the most profound influence in the Party and consequently to do the greatest damage. Nevertheless, in defiance of the facts, the comrades guilty of this wrong line bragged long and hard about the „correctness“ and the „immortal achievements“ of the line of the central directorship following the 4th Plenum, using such dogmatic phrases as „further bolshevization of the Communist Party of China“ and „100% bolshevik“. Thus they completely distorted the history of the Party.
The comrades who advocated the correct line, with Chairman Mao Tse-tung as their representative, were diametrically opposed to the third „Left“ line during the period of its domination. They disagreed with the „Left“ line and demanded that it should be corrected, and as a result their correct directorship was everywhere overthrown by the central directorship that followed the 4th Plenum and by the agencies or representatives it dispatched. But the repeated failures of the „Left“ line in practical work, and especially the repeated defeats in the campaign against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“ in the area where the central directing body was located, had begun to reveal the wrongness of this line to more and more directors and rank-and-file Party militants and to arouse their doubt and dissatisfaction. After the Red Army in that area set out on the Long March, this doubt and dissatisfaction grew to such an extent that some comrades who had committed „Left“ errors began to awaken and take a position against them. Accordingly, large numbers of cadres and Party militants who were opposed to the „Left“ line rallied under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung. It was therefore possible for the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, held under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung in January 1935 at the city of Tsunyi in Kweichow Province, triumphantly to put an end to the domination of the „Left“ line in the central directing body and to save the Party at that most critical juncture.
The Tsunyi Meeting was entirely correct in concentrating all its efforts on rectifying the military and organizational errors, which at that time were of decisive significance. The meeting inaugurated a new central directorship, headed by Chairman Mao Tse-tung — a historic change of paramount importance in the Communist Party of China. Precisely because of this change, our Party was able to conclude the Long March victoriously, to preserve and steel a hard core of cadres in the Party and the Red Army under the extremely difficult and dangerous conditions of the Long March, successfully to overcome the line of Chang Kuo-tao who insisted on retreating and fleeing and actually set up a duplicate Party, to save the northern Shensi revolutionary base area from the crisis brought about by the „Left“ line,12 to direct the national salvation movement of December 9th, 1935 correctly, to settle the Sian Incident of 1936 correctly, to organize the Anti-Japanese National United Front, and to set in motion the sacred War of Resistance Against Japan.
Since the Tsunyi Meeting, the political line of the central directing body of the Party, led by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, has been entirely correct. The „Left“ line has been gradually overcome politically, militarily and organizationally. Since 1942, under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Party-wide movement for the rectification of subjectivism, sectarianism and stereotyped Party writing and also for the study of Party history has corrected, at their very ideological roots, the various „Left“ and Right errors that have arisen in the history of the Party. The overwhelming majority of the comrades who committed „Left“ or Right errors have made great progress through a long process of learning from experience and have done much good work for the Party and the people. They are now united with the masses of other comrades on the basis of a common political understanding. This Expanded 7th Plenum is happy to point out that through its successes and reverses our Party has at last attained, under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the unprecedentedly high level of solidarity and unity it now enjoys — ideologically, politically, organizationally and militarily. It is a Party that will soon win victory, a Party no force can conquer.
This Expanded 7th Plenum holds that, since the stage of the War of Resistance is not yet concluded, it is appropriate to postpone to a future date the drawing of conclusions on certain questions in the history of the Party during the War of Resistance.
In order that comrades may have a better understanding of the errors of the various „Left“ lines, and particularly of the third „Left“ line, so that, „learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones“, they may prevent the recurrence of such errors, we set forth the main content of these lines where they were contrary to the correct line politically, militarily, organizationally and ideologically.
As Comrade Stalin pointed out13 and as Chairman Mao Tse-tung has analysed in detail, China at the present stage is a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country (reduced in some parts to a colony since the September 18th Incident), and the Chinese revolution since the 1st World War has been a national democratic revolution in the era in which the international proletariat has won victory in the Soviet Union and the Chinese proletariat has awakened politically. This determines the character of the Chinese revolution at the present stage as an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution under the leadership of the proletariat, with the workers and peasants forming the main body and with other broad social strata taking part, that is, it is a new-democratic revolution, distinct both from the old democratic revolution and from a socialist revolution. As China at the present stage is a large semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, dominated by a number of powerful yet conflicting imperialist countries and by the feudal forces of China, her economic and political development is extremely uneven and lacking in uniformity. This determines the extreme unevenness in the development of China‘s new-democratic revolution and renders it necessary for the revolution to go through a protracted, tortuous struggle before countrywide victory can be achieved; at the same time, this renders it possible in the struggle to make extensive use of the enemy‘s contradictions and to set up and maintain armed revolutionary base areas, first in those vast territories where the enemy‘s control is comparatively weak. These basic characteristics and basic laws of the Chinese revolution, which have been verified by Chinese revolutionary practice, were not comprehended but were contravened both by the various Right lines and by the various „Left“ lines, an especially by the third „Left“ line. Therefore, the „Left“ lines were wrong politically in three main respects.
First. The various „Left“ lines were in error, above all, on the question of the task of the revolution and the question of class relations. As far back as the period of the 1st Great Revolution, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, like Comrade Stalin, pointed out not only that the task of the Chinese revolution in its present stage is to fight imperialism and feudalism, but also, and more particularly, that the peasants‘ struggle for land is the fundamental content of the fight against imperialism and feudalism in China, that the Chinese bourgeois-democratic revolution is in essence a peasant revolution and that the basic task of the Chinese proletariat in the bourgeois-democratic revolution is therefore to direct the peasants‘ struggle.14 In the early period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, Chairman Mao Tse-tung again pointed out that what China still needed was the bourgeois-democratic revolution and that China „must go through such a democratic revolution“ before one could speak of the prospect of socialism.15 He stated that the Agrarian Revolution was all the more important because of the defeat of the revolution in the cities and that „in the revolution in semi-colonial China, the peasant struggle must always fail if it does not have the leadership of the workers, but the revolution is never harmed if the peasant struggle outstrips the forces of the workers“.16 He pointed out that after the big bourgeoisie‘s betrayal of the revolution there was still a difference between the liberal bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie; that there were still broad strata of people who demanded democracy and especially demanded a fight against imperialism; that it was therefore necessary to treat the various intermediate classes correctly and do everything possible to make an alliance with them or neutralize them; and that in the countryside it was necessary to treat the middle and rich peasants correctly („taking from those who have a surplus and giving to those who have a shortage and taking from those who have better and giving to those who have worse“ while firmly uniting with the middle peasants, protecting the upper-middle peasants, providing certain economic opportunities for the rich peasants and also enabling the ordinary landlord to make a living).17 These are all basic ideas of new democracy, yet they were not understood and were opposed by the exponents of the „Left“ line. Although many of the revolutionary tasks set by the various „Left“ lines were democratic in character, the exponents of the „Left“ lines were invariably confused about the definite distinction between the democratic revolution and the socialist revolution and subjectively were anxious to go beyond the democratic revolution; they invariably underestimated the decisive role of the peasants‘ anti-feudal struggle in the Chinese revolution; and they invariably advocated a struggle against the bourgeoisie as a whole, including even the upper small bourgeoisie. The third „Left“ line went further and put the struggle against the bourgeoisie on a par with the struggle against imperialism and feudalism, denied the existence of an intermediate camp and of third parties and groups and laid particular stress on the struggle against the rich peasants. Especially after the September 18th Incident in 1931, there was an obvious and great change in China‘s class relations, but, so far from recognizing this change, the third „Left“ line categorically labelled as „the most dangerous enemy“ those intermediate groups which had contradictions with the reactionary Kuomintang rule and were taking positive action. It should be said that the exponents of the third „Left“ line did direct the peasants in distributing the land, in setting up political power and in offering armed resistance to the attacks of the Kuomintang government. All these undertakings were correct. However, owing to the „Left“ views mentioned above, they were mistakenly afraid to acknowledge that the Red Army movement was a peasant movement led by the proletariat, and they mistakenly opposed what they called the „peculiar revolutionariness of the peasants“, „peasant capitalism“ and „the rich peasant line“. Instead, they carried out a number of so-called „class-line“ policies going beyond the democratic revolution, for instance, a policy of eliminating the rich peasant economy and other ultra-„Left“ economic and labour policies; a State policy in which no exploiters had any political rights; a policy of people‘s education which in its content stressed communism; an ultra-„Left“ policy towards the intellectuals; a policy of working among enemy troops to win over only the soldiers but not the officers; and an ultra-„Left“ policy in the suppression of counter-revolutionaries. Thus, the immediate tasks of the revolution were distorted, the revolutionary forces were isolated and the Red Army movement suffered setbacks. Similarly, it should be said that in the Kuomintang areas after the defeat of the revolution in 1927, our Party persevered in directing the people‘s national-democratic movement, in directing the economic struggles of the workers and the other masses and the revolutionary cultural movement, and in fighting the Kuomintang government‘s policies of betraying the national interests and oppressing the people. After the September 18th Incident, in particular, our Party directed the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, supported the war of January 28th, 1932 and the Anti-Japanese Allied Army in northern Chahar, formed an anti-Japanese democratic alliance with the Fukien People‘s Government, put forward three conditions on which the Red Army would ally with the Kuomintang troops to resist Japan18 and six conditions for forming a Committee for National Armed Self-Defence with all sections of the people,19 and on August 1st, 1935 issued „An Appeal to All Fellow-Countrymen for Resistance to Japan and for National Salvation“ which called for the formation of a government of national defence and of an anti-Japanese united army. All this too was correct. But because the guiding policy was erroneous during the dominance of the various „Left“ lines, and especially of the third, the Party was unable to solve problems correctly in practice and consequently, in the Kuomintang areas too, the Party‘s work either did not achieve such results as it should have, or ended in failure. On the question of resistance to Japan, of course it was not yet possible to foresee the changes that would take place after the Northern China Incident of 1935, and particularly after the Sian Incident of 1936, within the Kuomintang‘s chief ruling groups, which represented the main sections of China‘s big landlords and big bourgeoisie. But the intermediate strata and some local groups of the big landlords and big bourgeoisie were already changing into our allies against Japan. While this change was recognized by the broad ranks of our Party militants and the people, it was either ignored or denied by the exponents of the third „Left“ line, who thus created a serious state of closed-doorism and fell far behind the Chinese people in political life. This state of isolation and lagging behind, which resulted from the error of closed-doorism, remained basically unchanged until the Tsunyi Meeting.
Second. The various „Left“ lines were in error on the question of revolutionary war and revolutionary base areas. Comrade Stalin said: „In China the armed revolution is fighting the armed counter-revolution. That is one of the specific features and one of the advantages of the Chinese revolution.“20 Like Comrade Stalin, Chairman Mao Tse-tung had correctly pointed out as far back as the early period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War that, in the Chinese revolution, arme struggle is the main form of struggle and an army composed chiefly of peasants is the main form of organization, for the reason that semi-colonial and semi-feudal China is a large, non-uniform country which lacks democracy and industry. Chairman Mao Tse-tung also pointed out that the vast rural areas inhabited by the broad masses of the peasantry are the indispensable, vital positions of the Chinese revolution (revolutionary villages can encircle the cities, but revolutionary cities cannot detach themselves from the villages), and that China can and must establish armed revolutionary base areas as the starting point for countrywide victory (democratic unification of the whole country).21 In the period of the 1924-27 revolution, when a coalition government had been formed through Kuomintang-communist cooperation, the base areas had certain big cities as their centres, but even then, in order to consolidate the foundations of the base areas, it was necessary, under the leadership of the proletariat, to build a people‘s army with the peasants as the main body and solve the land problem in the rural areas. But in the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, since the cities were all occupied by powerful counter-revolutionary forces, base areas had to be set up, expanded and consolidated mainly by relying on peasant guerrilla warfare (not on positional warfare) and first of all in the countryside where counter-revolutionary rule was weak (and not in the key cities). Chairman Mao Tse-tung pointed out that in China the historical conditions for the existence of such armed revolutionary rural base areas are the „localized agricultural economy (not a unified capitalist economy) and the imperialist policy of marking off spheres of influence in order to divide and exploit“ and the resulting „prolonged splits and wars within the White regime“.22 He also pointed out the historic significance of such base areas for the Chinese revolution:
„Only thus is it possible to build the confidence of the revolutionary masses throughout the country, as the Soviet Union has built it throughout the world. Only thus is it possible to create tremendous difficulties for the reactionary ruling classes, shake their foundations and hasten their internal disintegration. Only thus is it really possible to create a Red Army which will become the chief weapon for the great revolution of the future. In short, only thus is it possible to hasten the revolutionary high tide.“23
As for mass work in the cities during that period, the principal policies should have been those advocated by Comrade Liu Shao-chi, the exponent of the correct line for work in the White areas, namely, to act chiefly on the defensive (and not on the offensive); to utilize all possible legal opportunities for work (and not to reject the use of legality) so that the Party organizations could go deep among the masses, work under cover for a long time and accumulate strength; and always to be ready to send people to develop armed struggle in the rural areas, and thereby to coordinate with the struggle in the countryside and advance the development of the revolutionary situation. Therefore, until such time as the general situation again made it possible to form democratic governments in the cities, the Chinese revolutionary movement should have made rural work primary and urban work supplementary. Victories of the revolution in the countryside and temporary inability to win victories in the cities, offensives in the countryside and a general defensive position in the cities, even victory and the offensive in one rural area and defeat, retreat and the defensive in another — all these formed the criss-cross pattern of revolution and counter-revolution up and down the country during that period and accordingly determined the course from defeat to victory which the revolution had to follow. But the exponents of the various „Left“ lines did not understand the specific features of semi-colonial and semi-feudal Chinese society, did not understand that the bourgeois-democratic revolution in China was in essence a peasant revolution and did not understand the uneven, tortuous and protracted nature of the Chinese revolution; therefore they underestimated the importance of military struggle, and especially of peasant guerrilla warfare and rural base areas, and opposed what they called „the doctrine of the gun“ and the „localism and conservatism characteristic of peasant mentality“. They were for ever dreaming that the struggles of the workers and the other masses in the cities would suddenly break through the enemy‘s severe repression and surge forward, erupt into armed insurrections in key cities, achieve „victory first in one or more provinces“, and bring about a so-called countrywide revolutionary high tide and countrywide victory; and they made this dream the basis on which all their work was planned and organized. In reality, however, given the general relation of class forces after the defeat of the revolution in 1927, the first result of this dream was none other than the failure of the urban work itself. This was how the first „Left“ line met with defeat; the second „Left“ line repeated the same error, the only difference being that now support was demanded from the Red Army, for the Red Army had become a considerable force. The second „Left“ line too ended in failure, yet the third „Left“ line continued to demand „real“ preparations for armed insurrections in the big cities, the only difference being that now the main demand was for the Red Army to seize big cities, because it had grown even stronger, while the work in the cities had shrunk even further. The result of subordinating rural work to city work, instead of the other way round, was that after the work in the cities failed, most of the rural work failed too. It should be pointed out that after 1932 the actions aimed at capturing key cities had in fact come to a halt because the Red Army could not capture or hold them, and particularly because the Kuomintang was attacking on a large scale; furthermore, after 1933, owing to the still greater damage done to our city work, the provisional central directorship itself moved from the city to a rural base area. Thus a change did take place. But as far as the comrades pursuing the „Left“ line were concerned, this change was not made consciously or as a result of correct conclusions reached through a study of the specific characteristics of the Chinese revolution; therefore they continued to direct all the work in the Red Army and the base areas from their erroneous urban viewpoint, and caused great damage to the work. The following instances are clear proof: they advocated positional warfare and opposed guerrilla warfare or mobile warfare of a guerrilla character; they wrongly stressed what they called „regularization“ of the Red Army and opposed its so-called „guerrilla-ism“; they did not realize that they had to adapt themselves to dispersed rural areas and to protracted guerrilla warfare in areas cut off from one another by the enemy, and so they did not use the manpower and material resources in the base areas sparingly or take other necessary measures; in the campaign against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“ they put forward the wrong slogans of „The decisive battle as between the two roads for China“ and „Do not yield a single inch of territory in the base areas“.
This Expanded 7th Plenum declares emphatically that a change in the situation is now imminent, the very change our rural work should have promoted and our city work should have awaited in the period discussed above. Only now, in the final stage of the War of Resistance Against Japan, when the army under our Party‘s directorship has grown strong and will grow still stronger, is it correct to place work in the Japanese-occupied cities on a par with work in the Liberated Areas, actively to prepare all the conditions for annihilating the Japanese aggressors in the key cities by coordinated attacks from within and without and then to shift the centre of gravity of our work to these cities. This will be a new change of historic significance for our Party, which shifted the centre of gravity of its work to the countryside with so much difficulty after the defeat of the revolution in 1927. All Party militants should prepare for this change with full political awareness and should not repeat the error of the „Left“ line on the matter of the shift from the cities to the countryside during the Agrarian Revolutionary War, an error which was manifested first in opposing and refusing a shift and then in shifting reluctantly under compulsion and without political awareness. In the Kuomintang areas, however, conditions are different; there our immediate tasks, whether in the countryside or in the cities, are to go all out to mobilize the masses, resolutely to oppose a split and civil war, to strive for unity and peace and to demand redoubled efforts in the war against Japan, the abolition of the Kuomintang‘s one-party dictatorship and the formation of a unified democratic coalition government. When the Japanese-occupied cities are liberated by the people and a unified democratic coalition government is really established and consolidated, the rural base areas will have accomplished their historical task.
Third. The various „Left“ lines were also in error on the directing of tactics for attack and defence. Correct direction of tactics, as Comrade Stalin points out, requires a correct analysis of the situation (a correct estimate of the relation of class forces and a correct judgement of the ebb and flow of the movement), requires correct forms of struggle and organization based thereon, and requires correctly „taking advantage of every rift in the camp of its enemies, and the ability to find allies“;24 and one of the best models is Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s directorship of the Chinese revolutionary movement. After the defeat of the revolution in 1927, Chairman Mao Tse-tung correctly pointed out that the tide of revolution was at a low ebb throughout the country, that the enemy was stronger than we in the country as a whole, and that adventurist attacks would court inevitable defeat, but that it was possible for „one or more small areas under Red political power“ to emerge „in the midst of a White regime which encircles them“25 in the general conditions in which there were incessant splits and wars within the reactionary regime and the demand of the people for revolution was gradually reviving and growing, and in the specific conditions in which the masses had gone through the struggles of the 1sr Great Revolution, there was a Red Army possessing considerable strength and there was a Communist Party with correct policies. He also stated that in a period when there are splits within the ruling classes the expansion of Red political power „can be comparatively adventurous and the area carved out by military operations can be comparatively large“, whereas in a period of relative stability for the ruling classes, such expansion
„must be one of gradual advance. In such a period, the worst thing in military affairs is to divide our forces for an adventurous advance, and the worst thing in local work (distributing land, establishing political power, expanding the Party and organizing local armed forces) is to scatter our personnel and neglect to lay a solid foundation in the central districts.“26
Even within one and the same period, our tactics should vary according to our enemies‘ differences in strength; therefore, the area we carved out on the Hunan-Kiangsi border was „on the defensive against Hunan with its comparatively strong ruling power, and take the offensive against Kiangsi with its comparatively weak ruling power“.27 Later, when the Red Army of the Hunan-Kiangsi border reached the Fukien-Kiangsi border, a plan was proposed to „contend […] for Kiangsi Province and also for western Fukien and western Chekiang“.28 An important basis for determining our varying tactics is the different impact of the revolution on the interests of different enemies. Consequently Chairman Mao Tse-tung has always advocated that we „utilize every conflict within the counter-revolution and take active measures to widen the cleavages within it“,29 and „oppose the policy of isolation, and affirm the policy of winning over all possible allies“.30 The application of the tactical principles, „make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one“,31 was brilliantly developed in the campaigns Chairman Mao Tse-tung directed against „encirclement and suppression“ and especially, after the Tsunyi Meeting, in the Long March and in the work of the Anti- Japanese National United Front. Comrade Liu Shao-chi‘s ideas on tactics for work in the White areas are likewise a model. Correctly taking into account the glaring disparity between the enemy‘s strength and our own in the White areas, and particularly in the cities, after the defeat of the revolution in 1927, Comrade Liu Shao-chi advocated systematic organization of our retreat and defence and „the avoidance of decisive engagements with the enemy for the time being, while the situation and conditions are unfavourable to us“, in order „to prepare for revolutionary attacks and decisive engagements in the future“.32 He also advocated that the Party‘s open organizations of the period of the 1924-27 revolution be transformed systematically and strictly into underground organizations, while „utilizing open legal means as far as possible“ in mass work to enable the Party‘s underground organizations to conceal their strength for a long time in such mass work, go deep among the masses and „accumulate and strengthen the forces of the masses and heighten their political consciousness“.33
With respect to directorship in mass struggles, Comrade Liu Shao-chi held that it was necessary,
„in accordance with the situation and the specific conditions at a given time and place and the degree of political consciousness of the masses, to advance limited slogans, demands and forms of struggle acceptable to the masses in order to set the mass struggle in motion and then, in accordance with the changing conditions in the course of the struggle, either gradually to raise the mass struggle to a higher stage or, ‚knowing how far to go‘, temporarily to conclude the battle so as to prepare for the next battle at a higher stage and on a larger scale.“
On the question of utilizing the enemy‘s internal contradictions and winning temporary allies, he held that it was necessary
„to push these contradictions to the breaking point and form a temporary alliance against the chief enemy with those elements in the enemy camp who may cooperate with us or who are not yet our chief enemy“;
„to make necessary concessions to the allies who are willing to cooperate with us, induce them to join with us and participate in common action and then influence them and win over their mass following.“34
The success of the December 9th Movement in 1935 proved the correctness of these tactical principles for work in the White areas. In contrast to such correct direction of tactics, the comrades taking the various „Left“ lines failed to examine the balance of forces between the enemy and ourselves objectively, failed to adopt corresponding forms of struggle and organization and did not recognize or pay sufficient attention to the enemy‘s internal contradictions. Therefore, not only did they meet with defeat as a result of blindly executing a so-called „offensive line“ when they should have been on the defensive, they also met with defeat even when an offensive was timely, because they did not know how to organize a victorious offensive. Their way of „appraising a situation“ was to take individual, incipient, indirect, one-sided and superficial phenomena favourable to their viewpoint and magnify them into something widespread, grave, direct, all-sided and essential, and they were afraid to acknowledge or were blind to all facts not in conformity with their viewpoint (such as the enemy‘s strength and temporary victory, our weakness and temporary defeat, the inadequate political consciousness of the masses, the enemy‘s internal contradictions and the progressive side of the Centrists). They never envisaged the most difficult and complex situations which might arise; they always dreamed about the most favourable and simplest situations which could not possibly arise. In the Red Army movement, they invariably described the enemy encircling the revolutionary base areas as „terribly shaky“, „extremely panicky“, „approaching final extinction“, „collapsing at an accelerating speed“, „totally collapsing“, and so on. The exponents of the third „Left“ line even held that the Red Army enjoyed superiority over the entire Kuomintang forces, which outnumbered it many times, and therefore kept on pressing the Red Army to make reckless advances regardless of the conditions and even without resting. They denied the unevenness of revolutionary development as between southern and northern China resulting from the 1924-27 revolution (a situation that was not reversed until the War of Resistance Against Japan), wrongly opposed what they called „the theory of the backwardness of the north“ and demanded the establishment of Red regimes everywhere in the countryside of northern China and the organization of mutinies in all the White armies there so as to form Red Army units. They also denied the unevenness of development as between the central and border sections of the base areas and wrongly opposed what they called the „Lo Ming line“.35 They refused to make use of the contradictions among the warlords attacking the Red Army and to reach compromises with those forces which were willing to stop attacking. As for work in the White areas, they refused to take the necessary steps for retreat and defence or to make use of all legal possibilities in the cities where the revolutionary tide had ebbed and the counter-revolutionary ruling forces were very powerful. Instead, they continued to take the offensive in forms inadmissible under the prevailing conditions, they set up large unprotected Party organizations and various „Red mass organizations“ divorced from the masses and duplicating the Party, they constantly and regardless of conditions called for and organized political strikes, joint strikes, and strikes of students, merchants, troops and policemen, and also parades and demonstrations, lightning meetings and even armed insurrections — actions which were unlikely or unable to win the participation or support of the masses — and they misrepresented the failures of these actions as „victories“. To sum up, the comrades taking the various „Left“ lines, and particularly the third, were versed in nothing but closed-doorism and adventurism, they believed blindly in „struggle above all and all for struggle“ and in „continuously expanding the struggle and raising it to a higher level“, and they therefore continuously met with defeats which should not have occurred and could have been avoided.
At the present stage of the Chinese revolution, military struggle is the main form of political struggle. During the Agrarian Revolutionary War it became the most urgent question in the Party line. Chairman Mao Tse-tung has applied marxism-leninism and formulated not only the correct political line for the Chinese revolution, but also, beginning with the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the correct military line subordinate to this political line. Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s military line proceeds from two fundamental points. First, our army is and can be an army of only one kind; it must be an instrument subordinate to the ideological leadership of the proletariat and serving the struggle of the people and the building of revolutionary base areas. Second, our war is and can be a war of only one kind; it must be a war in which we recognize that the enemy is strong and we are weak, that the enemy is big and we are small, and in which therefore we fully utilize the enemy‘s weaknesses and our strong points and fully rely on the strength of the masses for survival, victory and expansion. From the first point, it follows that the Red Army (now the 8th Route Army, the New 4th Army and the other armed forces of the people) must fight whole-heartedly for the line, programme and policies of the Party, that is, for all the manifold interests of the whole people, and must combat the tendencies towards warlordism which run counter to this. Therefore, the Red Army must oppose the purely military point of view and the roving-rebel ideology, according to which the military does not obey the political, or even commands the political. The Red Army must simultaneously shoulder the threefold task of fighting, doing mass work and raising funds (which at present means production); doing mass work means becoming a propagandist and organizer for the Party and for the people‘s political power and means helping the local people in land distribution (at present, the reduction of rent and interest) and in establishing armed forces, organs of political power, and Party organizations. Hence, in its relations with the government and the people, it is required that the Red Army scrupulously respect the organs of the people‘s political power and the mass organizations, strengthen their prestige and strictly observe the „Three Main Rules of Discipline“ and the „Eight Points for Attention“.36 Within the army it is necessary to establish a correct relationship between officers and fighters and to have both an appropriate democratic life and an authoritative military discipline based on political consciousness. In the work among the enemy troops, it is necessary to have a correct policy for disintegrating enemy forces and winning over prisoners. From the second point of departure, it follows that the Red Army had to recognize that, during the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, guerrilla warfare and mobile warfare of a guerrilla character were the main forms of warfare, and must recognize that only a people‘s war, in which the main forces are integrated with regional forces, the regular army with guerrilla units and people‘s militia, and the armed masses with the unarmed masses, can bring victory over an enemy many times stronger than ourselves. Hence, in strategy, the Red Army must oppose a war of quick decision, and in tactics, must oppose protracted fighting; in strategy, it must adhere firmly to protracted warfare and in tactics, to quick decisions; in campaigns and battles it must oppose the use of the few to defeat the many and must adhere firmly to the use of the many to defeat the few. The Red Army must therefore carry out the following strategic and tactical principles:
- „Divide our forces to arouse the masses, concentrate our forces to deal with the enemy.
- The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.
- To extend stable base areas, employ the policy of advancing in waves; when pursued by a powerful enemy, employ the policy of circling around.“37
- „Lure the enemy in deep.“38
- „Concentrate superior forces, pick out the enemy‘s weak spots, and fight when you are sure of wiping out part, or the greater part, of the enemy in mobile warfare, so as to crush the enemy forces one by one.“39
Militarily, the various „Left“ lines were diametrically opposed to the line of Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The putschism of the first „Left“ line caused the Red Army to become alienated from the masses of the people; the second „Left“ line led the Red Army into adventurist attacks. But neither was completely systematized militarily. A fully articulated system emerged only with the third „Left“ line. On the question of building the army, the exponents of the third „Left“ line reduced the Red Army‘s threefold task to the single one of fighting and neglected to educate the Red Army on the correct relations between army and people, between army and government and between officers and fighters; they demanded undue regularization and opposed the then sound guerrilla character of the Red Army as „guerrilla-ism“; furthermore, they fostered formalism in the political work in the army. On the question of military operations, they denied the premise that the enemy was strong and we were weak; they demanded positional warfare and so-called regular warfare, which relied solely on the main forces; they demanded the strategy of a war of quick decision and the tactics of protracted fighting; they demanded „attack on all fronts“ and „strike with two fists“; they opposed luring the enemy in deep and regarded necessary shifts of troops as „retreat and flightism“; and they also demanded fixed battle lines and an absolutely centralized command. In brief, they negated guerrilla warfare and mobile warfare of a guerrilla character and did not understand how to conduct a people‘s war correctly. During the campaign against the 5th „encirclement and suppression“, the exponents of the third „Left“ line began with adventurism in attack, urging that we „engage the enemy outside the gates“; then they turned to conservatism in defence, calling for division of our forces to defend everything, for „short, swift thrusts“ and for „a contest of attrition“; and they ended with real flightism, when they were compelled to withdraw from the Kiangsi base area. Such were the consequences of their attempt to substitute positional warfare for guerrilla and mobile warfare and to substitute „regular“ warfare for a correctly conducted people‘s war.
During the stages of strategic retreat and strategic stalemate in the War of Resistance Against Japan, there has been an even greater disparity between the enemy‘s strength and our own, and so the correct principle for the 8th Route Army and the New 4th Army has been: „Guerrilla warfare is basic, but lose no chance for mobile warfare under favourable conditions.“ It would have been a mistake to press for too much mobile warfare. But in the approaching stage of strategic counter-offensive, just as the centre of gravity in the work of the whole Party will have to be shifted from the countryside to the cities, so in strategy it will be necessary to shift from guerrilla warfare as primary to mobile and positional warfare as primary, provided our forces obtain modern equipment. For this impending change, too, the whole Party must make preparations with full awareness.
As Chairman Mao Tse-tung says, the correct political line should be „from the masses, to the masses“. To ensure that the line really comes from the masses and in particular that it really goes back to the masses, there must be close ties not only between the Party and the masses outside the Party (between the class and the people), but above all between the Party‘s directing bodies and the masses within the Party (between the cadres and the rank and file); in other words, there must be a correct organizational line. Therefore, just as in each period of the Party‘s history Chairman Mao Tse-tung has laid down a political line representing the interests of the masses, so he has laid down an organizational line serving the political line and maintaining ties with the masses both inside and outside the Party. There were important developments in this respect during the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, which were crystallized in the resolution of the 9th Party Congress of the 4th Red Army in 1929.40 This resolution raised Party building to the plane of ideological and political principle and firmly upheld the leading role of proletarian ideology; it fought in a correct manner against the purely military viewpoint, against subjectivism, individualism, egalitarianism, the roving-rebel ideology, putschism and other tendencies; and it pointed out the roots and harmfulness of these tendencies and the methods for correcting them. At the same time, the resolution firmly upheld strict democratic centralism, opposing improper restrictions either on democracy or on centralism. Proceeding from the interests of the unity of the whole Party, Chairman Mao Tse-tung insisted that the part should obey the whole and, in accordance with the concrete characteristics of the Chinese revolution, he defined the proper relationships between new and old cadres, between outside and local cadres, between army cadres and other cadres working in the locality and between cadres of different departments or localities. Thus Chairman Mao Tse-tung provided us with a model of how to combine perseverance in truth as a matter of principle with submission to organization as a matter of discipline, a model of how to conduct inner-Party struggles in a correct way while maintaining inner-Party unity in a correct way. Conversely, whenever an erroneous political line became dominant, an erroneous organizational line inevitably emerged, and the longer the domination of the erroneous political line, the more the harm done by its organizational line. Accordingly, the various „Left“ lines of the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War were opposed to Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s organizational line as well as to his political line; they created a sectarianism which alienated the masses within the Party (that is, which did not subordinate the partial interests of some of the Party militants to the interests of the whole Party and did not regard the directing body of the Party as the concentrator of the will of the whole Party) as well as one which alienated the masses outside the Party (that is, which did not regard the Party as the representative of the interests of the masses and the concentrator of their will). In particular, in order to enforce their will, the exponents of the third „Left“ line invariably and indiscriminately branded all Party comrades who found the wrong line impracticable and who therefore expressed doubt, disagreement or dissatisfaction, or did not actively support the wrong line or firmly carry it out; they stigmatized these comrades with such labels as „Right-opportunism“, „the rich peasant line“, „the Lo Ming line“, „the line of conciliation“ and „double-dealing“, waged „ruthless struggles“ against them and dealt them „merciless blows“, and even conducted these „inner-Party struggles“ as if they were dealing with criminals and enemies. This wrong kind of inner-Party struggle became the regular method by which the comrades who led or carried out the „Left“ line raised their own prestige, enforced their own demands and intimidated the Party cadres. It violated the fundamental principle of democratic centralism within the Party, eliminated the democratic spirit of criticism and self-criticism, turned Party discipline into mechanical discipline and fostered tendencies to blind obedience and docility; thus the development of living and creative marxism was hampered and damaged. A factionalist policy towards cadres was combined with this incorrect kind of inner-Party struggle. The factionalists did not regard veteran cadres as valuable assets of the Party; instead they attacked, punished and dismissed from the central and local organizations large numbers of veteran cadres who were experienced in work and had close ties with the masses but were uncongenial to the factionalists and unwilling to be their blind followers and yes-men. Nor did they give proper education to new cadres nor handle their promotion seriously (especially those of working-class origin); instead they rashly promoted new cadres and cadres from outside who lacked working experience and close ties with the masses but were congenial to the factionalists and were merely their blind followers and yes-men, substituting them for veterans in the central and local organizations. Thus, they not only attacked old cadres but spoiled new ones. Moreover, in many places where an incorrect policy for suppressing counter-revolutionaries became entangled with the factionalist policy towards cadres, large numbers of fine comrades were unjustly dealt with under false charges, and this caused the Party most grievous losses. Such factionalist errors very greatly weakened the Party, causing dislocation between higher and lower organizations and many other anomalies in the Party.
This Expanded 7th Plenum hereby declares: Any penalty, or any part of a penalty, that was wrongly inflicted upon a comrade by the exponents of the erroneous line shall be rescinded in accordance with circumstances. Every comrade who upon investigation is proved to have fallen victim to false charges shall be exonerated and reinstated as a Party militant, and their memory shall be held in honour by all comrades.
The correctness or incorrectness of any political, military or organizational line has ideological roots — it depends on whether or not the line starts from marxist-leninist dialectical materialism and historical materialism and whether or not the line starts from the objective realities of the Chinese revolution and the objective needs of the Chinese people. From the very day he embraced the cause of the Chinese revolution, Chairman Mao Tse-tung has devoted himself to applying the universal truth of marxism-leninism to the investigation and study of the actual conditions of Chinese society; time and again during the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War, he laid great stress on the principle: „No investigation, no right to speak“, and time and again fought against the dangers of dogmatism and subjectivism. Indeed, the political, military and organizational lines then laid down by Chairman Mao Tse-tung were brilliant achievements which he made on the basis of the universal truth of marxism-leninism, of dialectical and historical materialism, by his concrete analysis of the actual situation and its characteristics inside and outside the country and inside and outside the Party and by his concrete summing up of the historical experience of the Chinese revolution, and especially of the 1924-27 revolution. For Chinese communists, living and fighting in China, the purpose of studying dialectical materialism and historical materialism should be to apply them to the study and solution of the practical problems of the Chinese revolution, as Chairman Mao Tse-tung has done. But, of course, none of the comrades who committed „Left“ errors was then able to understand or accept his method, and the exponents of the third „Left“ line even slandered him as being a „narrow empiricist“. The reason was that their ideology was rooted in subjectivism and formalism, which during the domination of the third „Left“ line expressed itself in a still more pronounced form as dogmatism. It is characteristic of dogmatism that it starts not from actual conditions but from particular words and phrases taken out of books. The dogmatists did not base themselves on the marxist-leninist position and method to make a serious study of China‘s past and present — political, military, economic and cultural — and of the practical experience of the Chinese revolution, to draw conclusions as a guide to action in the Chinese revolution and to test the validity of these conclusions in the practice of the masses. On the contrary, throwing away the essence of marxism-leninism, they transported particular words and phrases from marxist-leninist literature into the country and took them for dogma, without any study of the suitability of these quotations to the actual conditions of present-day China. Inevitably, therefore, the „theories“ of the dogmatists were divorced from reality, their directorship was divorced from the masses, and instead of seeking truth from facts they were opinionated, arrogant, glib and afraid of proper criticism and self-criticism.
Empiricist ideology, which was the collaborator and assistant of dogmatism in the period of its domination, is likewise a manifestation of subjectivism and formalism. Empiricism differs from dogmatism in that it starts not from books but from narrow experience. It should be emphasized that all the useful experience gained by vast numbers of comrades in practical work is a most precious asset. It is definitely not empiricism, but marxism-leninism, to sum up such experience scientifically as the guide to future action, just as it is definitely not dogmatism, but marxism-leninism, to take the theories and principles of marxism-leninism as the guide to revolutionary action and not as dogma. But if there are some comrades among all those versed in practical work who remain satisfied with their own limited experience and with that alone, who take it for dogma that can be applied everywhere, who do not understand and moreover do not want to acknowledge the truth that „without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement“41 and that „in order to lead, one must foresee“,42 and who consequently belittle the study of marxism-leninism which is the summation of world revolutionary experience, and are infatuated with a narrow practicalism which is devoid of principle and with a brainless routinism that leads nowhere; and if they nevertheless sit and give orders from on high, if in their purblindness they style themselves heroes, put on the airs of veterans and refuse to heed the criticism of comrades or to practise self-criticism — then indeed these comrades have become empiricists. Thus, in spite of their different points of departure, the empiricists and the dogmatists were essentially one in their method of thinking. Both severed the universal truth of marxism-leninism from the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution; both violated dialectical and historical materialism and magnified partial and relative truths into universal and absolute truths; and the thinking of neither corresponded to the objective, actual situation as a whole. Hence they shared many misconceptions about Chinese society and the Chinese revolution (for instance, their erroneous views about the cities as the centre of gravity, about work in the White areas as the centre of gravity and their erroneous views about „regular“ warfare, irrespective of actual conditions). Such were the ideological roots which made it possible for these two different sets of comrades to collaborate. On account of their limited and narrow experience, most of the empiricists lacked independent, clear-cut and systematic views on problems of a general nature and therefore they usually played second fiddle in their association with the dogmatists; but the history of our Party proves that it would not have been easy for the dogmatists to have „spread their poison throughout the Party“ without the collaboration of the empiricists; and after the defeat of dogmatism, empiricism became the main obstacle to the development of marxism-leninism in the Party. Hence we must overcome subjectivist empiricism as well as subjectivist dogmatism. Only by completely overcoming both dogmatist and empiricist ideology can the marxist-leninist ideology, line and style of work spread far and wide and take deep root in the whole Party.
The errors discussed above in their four aspects, political, military, organizational and ideological, were the fundamental errors of the various „Left“ lines, and especially of the third. And the political, military and organizational errors all stemmed ideologically from the violation of marxist-leninist dialectical and historical materialism, from subjectivism and formalism, from dogmatism and empiricism.
This Expanded 7th Plenum points out that in negating the errors of the various „Left“ lines we must bear in mind and carry out Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s injunction: „Treat all questions analytically; do not negate everything.“43 It should be noted that the comrades who made these errors were not wrong in all their views; some of their views on fighting imperialism and feudalism, on the agrarian revolution and on the war against Chiang Kai-shek were in agreement with the views of the comrades who upheld the correct line. It should be further noted that, despite the especially long domination of the third „Left“ line and the especially heavy losses it inflicted on the Party and the revolution, the Party in the same period scored great achievements in practical work in many areas and in many fields (for example, in warfare, in building the army, in war mobilization, in building political power and in the work in the White areas), thanks to the active work and heroic struggles of vast numbers of cadres and members, together with the masses of the soldiers and the people. It was precisely because of these achievements that over several years we were able to sustain the war against the attacks of the enemy and to hit him hard; and it was only because of the domination of the erroneous line that these achievements were in the end destroyed. The Party and the people will for ever revere all the leaders, directors and cadres inside and outside the Party, all the militants of the Party and the masses who heroically sacrificed their lives in the interests of the people during the domination of the various erroneous lines, just as they revere those who sacrificed their lives in other periods of the Party‘s history.
The errors of the „Left“ line in the four aspects discussed above were not accidental; they had very deep social roots.
Just as the correct line represented by Chairman Mao Tse-tung reflected the ideology of the advanced elements of the Chinese proletariat, so the „Left“ line reflected the ideology of the Chinese small-bourgeois democrats. Semi-colonial and semi-feudal China is a country with an enormous small bourgeoisie. Not only is our Party surrounded by this vast stratum; within the Party too, people of small-bourgeois origin make up most of the militants, the reason being that large numbers of small-bourgeois revolutionary democrats have turned to the proletariat for a way out of their predicament, because in China a strong small-bourgeois political party has been rendered impossible by the great world victories of marxism-leninism following the October Revolution, by the existing social and political conditions in China, and especially by the historical development of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. Moreover, in the economic conditions of China, even the masses of workers and Party militants of working-class origin are liable to have a small-bourgeois tinge. It is therefore not surprising but inevitable that small-bourgeois ideology should frequently be reflected inside our Party in every shape and form.
Among the small-bourgeois masses outside the Party, in addition to the peasants who form the main force in the Chinese bourgeois-democratic revolution, the urban small bourgeoisie is also one of the motive forces of the revolution in the present stage because the great majority of its members are subjected to all kinds of oppression, are being constantly and rapidly driven to poverty, bankruptcy and unemployment, and very urgently demand economic and political democracy. But as a class in transition, the small bourgeoisie has a dual character. As for its good and revolutionary side, the great majority of this class are receptive to the political and organizational influence of the proletariat and even to its ideological influence, at present they demand a democratic revolution and are capable of uniting and fighting for it, and in the future they can take the path of socialism together with the proletariat; but as for its bad and backward side, not only does this class have various weaknesses which distinguish it from the proletariat, but when deprived of proletarian leadership, it often veers and falls under the influence of the liberal bourgeoisie, or even of the big bourgeoisie, and becomes their prisoner. In the present stage, therefore, the proletariat and its vanguard, the Communist Party of China, should base themselves on a firm and broad alliance with the masses of the small bourgeoisie outside the Party, and should, on the one hand, be lenient in dealing with them and tolerate their liberal ideas and style of work, insofar as these do not impede the struggle against the enemy or disrupt the social life we share in common and, on the other, give them appropriate education so as to strengthen our alliance with them.
But the case is entirely different with those people of small-bourgeois origin who have voluntarily abandoned their original class position and joined the party of the proletariat. The Party should adopt a policy towards them that differs in principle from that towards the small-bourgeois masses outside the Party. Since such people were close to the proletariat to begin with and joined its party voluntarily, they can gradually become proletarian in their ideology through marxist-leninist education in the Party and steeling in mass revolutionary struggles, and they can be of great service to the proletarian forces. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the people of small-bourgeois origin who have joined our Party have fought bravely, made sacrifices for the Party and the people and progressed ideologically, and many of them have already become marxist-leninists. It has to be emphasized, however, that the revolutionary character of the small bourgeois who has not yet been proletarianized is essentially different from the revolutionary character of the proletarian, and that this difference can often develop into a state of antagonism. Party militants with a small-bourgeois revolutionary character have joined the Party organizationally, but they have not yet joined the Party ideologically, or have not done so fully, and they are often liberals, reformists, anarchists, blanquists44, etc. in the guise of marxist-leninists. Such being the case, not only are they incapable of leading to victory China‘s communist movement of tomorrow, but they cannot even lead to victory its new-democratic movement of today. If the advanced elements of the proletariat do not draw a firm and sharp line between marxist-leninist ideology and the original ideology of those Party militants who came from the small bourgeoisie and do not educate them and struggle with them in a serious but appropriate and patient way, it will be impossible to overcome their small-bourgeois ideology, and what is more, these militants will inevitably strive to remould the vanguard of the proletariat in their own image and usurp Party directorship, thus damaging the cause of the Party and the people. The more numerous the small bourgeoisie outside the Party and the more numerous the militants of small-bourgeois origin inside the Party, the more strictly must the Party preserve its purity as the vanguard of the proletariat; failing this, small-bourgeois ideology will assail the Party the more violently and the damage will be the greater. In the history of our Party, the struggles between the correct line and the various erroneous lines have been in essence the acting out within the Party of the class struggle outside it, and the political, military, organizational and ideological errors of the „Left“ lines discussed above have been reflections in the Party of precisely this small-bourgeois ideology. This question may be analysed from three aspects.
First, the method of thinking. The small-bourgeois method of thinking manifests itself basically in subjectivism and one-sidedness in viewing problems, that is, it does not proceed from an objective and comprehensive picture of the balance of class forces, but takes subjective wishes, impressions and empty talk for reality, takes a single aspect for all aspects, the part for the whole and the tree for the forest. Being detached from the actual process of production, small-bourgeois intellectuals have only book knowledge and lack perceptual knowledge, and so their method of thinking is apt to manifest itself in the dogmatism discussed above. Though they have some perceptual knowledge, those small-bourgeois elements associated with production suffer from the limitations characteristic of petty production — narrowness, diffuseness, isolation and conservatism — and so their method of thinking is apt to manifest itself in the empiricism discussed above.
Second, political tendency. The political tendency of the small bourgeoisie is apt to manifest itself in vacillation between the „Left“ and the Right because of its mode of life and the resulting subjectivism and one-sidedness of its method of thinking. Many representatives of the small-bourgeois revolutionaries hope for an immediate victory of the revolution in order to bring about a radical change in their present status; therefore, they lack the patience needed for protracted revolutionary endeavour, are fond of „Left“ revolutionary phrases and slogans and, in their sentiments and actions, are given to closed-doorism or adventurism. Reflected in the Party, this small-bourgeois tendency gave rise to the various errors of the „Left“ line on the questions discussed above, namely, the tasks of the revolution, the revolutionary base areas, the direction of tactics and the military line.
But the same small-bourgeois revolutionaries when placed in a different set of circumstances — or another section of the small-bourgeois revolutionaries — may become pessimistic and despondent and express Rightist sentiments and views, tailing after the bourgeoisie. The Chen Tu-hsiu-ism of the latter period of the 1924-27 revolution, the Chang Kuo-tao-ism of the latter period of the Agrarian Revolution and the flightism of the early period of the Long March were all reflections within the Party of such small-bourgeois Rightist ideology. And during the War of Resistance Against Japan, capitulationist ideas appeared once again. Generally speaking, „Left“ errors are more liable to occur in periods when there is a split between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (for instance, the „Left“ line dominated the directing body of the Party no less than three times during the period of the Agrarian Revolution), while Rightist errors are more liable to occur in periods when there is an alliance between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (for instance, in the latter part of the 1924-27 revolution and in the early part of the War of Resistance Against Japan). But whether „Left“ or Right, these tendencies benefit not the revolution but only the counter-revolution. Vacillation to the „Left“ or to the Right, the fondness for going to extremes, flashiness without substance and slick opportunism, all of which occur under the stress of changing conditions, are features of the bad side of small-bourgeois ideology. They are all reflections in the ideological sphere of the unstable economic status of the small bourgeoisie.
Third, organizational life. Because of the limitations in the way of life and the method of thinking of the small bourgeoisie in general, and particularly because of China‘s backward and decentralized social environment with its clans and guilds, the tendency of the small bourgeoisie in organizational life is apt to manifest itself in individualism and sectarianism, which alienate the masses. This tendency, when reflected in the Party, led to the erroneous, „Left“ organizational line, which was discussed above. The fact that the Party had for a long time been fighting a scattered guerrilla war in the countryside made it still easier for this tendency to grow. This tendency consisted not of working selflessly for the Party and the people, but of exploiting the strength of the Party and the people and undermining their interests for personal or sectarian ends; it was therefore incompatible with the Party‘s principle of close links with the masses, incompatible with the democratic centralism of the Party and with Party discipline. This tendency frequently took such forms as bureaucracy, patriarchalism, punitiveness, commandism, individualistic heroism, semi-anarchism, liberalism, ultra-democracy, assertion of „independence“, the guild mentality, the „mountain-stronghold“ mentality45, favouritism towards fellow-townsfolk and schoolmates, factional squabbles and rascally tricks, all of which undermine the Party‘s ties with the masses and its internal unity.
These are the three aspects of small-bourgeois ideology. The subjectivism in ideology, the „Left“- and Right-deviations in politics and the sectarianism in organization, which have all appeared on various occasions in our Party, are obviously anti-marxist-leninist and anti-proletarian manifestations of small-bourgeois ideology, whether or not they crystallize into a line and gain control of the Party directorship. In the interests of the Party and the people, it is absolutely necessary to use the method of education to analyse and overcome small-bourgeois ideology within the Party, and to help transform it into proletarian ideology.
It can be seen from the above that the various „Left“ lines, and especially the third „Left“ line, which dominated the whole Party, were not accidental but were the products of specific social and historical conditions. Hence if we are to overcome erroneous „Left“ or Right ideology, we cannot go about it either casually or impetuously, but must deepen marxist-leninist education and raise the ability of the whole Party to differentiate between proletarian and small-bourgeois ideology; we must give full play to inner-Party democracy, develop criticism and self-criticism, proceed with the work of patient persuasion and education, make a concrete analysis of errors and their dangers and explain their historical and ideological roots as well as the means of correcting them. Such is the proper attitude for marxist-leninists in overcoming errors within the Party. This Expanded 7th Plenum points out that the policy Chairman Mao Tse-tung has adopted for the present rectification movement throughout the Party and for the study of Party history, namely, „learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient“, and achieve „clarity in ideology and unity among comrades“,46 is a model of the correct attitude for marxist-leninists in overcoming errors within the Party. Therefore it has led to great achievements in uniting and raising the level of the whole Party ideologically, politically and organizationally.
This Expanded 7th Plenum points out that the struggles which the Party waged in the course of its history against Chen Tu-hsiu-ism and Li Li-san-ism were absolutely necessary. The defect in these struggles was that they were not undertaken consciously as serious steps for correcting the small-bourgeois ideology which existed on a serious scale in the Party; consequently they neither clarified the ideological essence and roots of the errors thoroughly nor properly indicated the methods of correcting them, and so it was easy for these errors to recur. Moreover, undue stress was placed on personal responsibility in the belief that once an erring comrade was attacked, the problem was solved. Having examined the errors committed during and after the 4th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee, the Party considers that such defects must be avoided in all future inner-Party ideological struggles and that Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s policy must be resolutely applied. So long as any comrade who has erred in the past understands his errors and has begun to correct them, we should welcome him without prejudice and unite with him to work for the Party. We should take a sincere and comradely attitude even towards those comrades who have not yet properly understood and corrected their errors but who no longer persist in them, and we should help them to realize and correct these errors. The whole Party is now unanimous in its understanding of the erroneous lines of the past. The whole Party has rallied round the Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Therefore, the task of the entire Party from now on is to strengthen unity by clarifying thinking and holding fast to principle, or, in the words of the second section of this Resolution, to „unite the whole Party like one harmonious family, like solid steel, to fight for total victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and for the complete liberation of the Chinese people“. All our Party‘s analyses, criticisms and controversies concerning questions of Party history should start from the desire for unity and arrive at unity; any violation of this principle is wrong. Since small-bourgeois ideology in the Party has its social roots and the Party has long been placed in an environment of protracted and scattered guerrilla warfare in the countryside, since ideological remnants of dogmatism and empiricism still exist and the criticism of empiricism in particular has been inadequate, and since the „mountain-stronghold“ mentality with its sectarian tendencies is still quite widespread although serious sectarianism has been mainly overcome in the Party, the whole Party should be alert to the fact that a long process of continuous struggle to overcome wrong ideas is required if the Party is to achieve complete marxist-leninist ideological unity. This Expanded 7th Plenum therefore resolves that the whole Party must strengthen its marxist-leninist ideological education and stress the linking of marxism-leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution, so as further to develop a correct Party style of work and completely overcome such tendencies as dogmatism, empiricism, sectarianism and the „mountain-stronghold“ mentality.
This Expanded 7th Plenum emphatically declares that the practice of the Chinese revolution during the last 24 years has proved, and continues to prove, that the line represented by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the line of struggle of our Party and of the people of the whole country, is entirely correct. The great successes achieved by our Party in the present War of Resistance and the decisive role our Party has played testify most vividly to the correctness of this line. When viewed in relation to the Chinese revolution as a whole with its stormy development, great achievements and rich experience in the past 24 years under the directorship of our Party, the „Left“ and Right errors in the Party during certain periods were only partial phenomena. It was difficult to avoid such phenomena completely at a time when the Party lacked adequate experience and political consciousness. Furthermore, it has been precisely through the struggle to overcome these errors that the Party has grown firmer and stronger. Today, with unprecedented unanimity the whole Party recognizes the correctness of Chairman Mao Tse-tung‘s line and with unprecedented political consciousness rallies under his banner. As marxist-leninist ideology, which Chairman Mao Tse-tung represents, more and more profoundly grips more and more of the cadres, the Party militants and the masses of the people, the result will surely be tremendous progress and invincible strength for the Party and the Chinese revolution.
This Expanded 7th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee is firmly convinced that under the correct directorship of the Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Communist Party of China, with the rich experience of the three revolutionary struggles — the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan — will assuredly lead the Chinese revolution to complete victory.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA
1In 1924, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, in alliance with the Communist Party and the revolutionary workers and peasants, defeated the „Merchants‘ Corps“, an armed force of the compradors and landlords which engaged in counter-revolutionary activities in Kwangchow in collaboration with the British imperialists. The revolutionary army, which had been founded on the basis of cooperation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, set out from Kwangchow early in 1925, fought the Eastern Campaign and, with the support of the peasants, defeated the troops of the warlord Chen Chiung-ming. It then returned to Kwangchow and overthrew the Yunnan and Kwangsi warlords who had entrenched themselves there. That autumn it conducted the 2nd Eastern Campaign and finally wiped out Chen Chiung-ming‘s forces. These campaigns, in which militants of the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League fought heroically in the van, brought about the political unification of Kwangtung Province and paved the way for the Northern Expedition.
2Lo Chang-lung, an early militant of the Communist Party of China, later turned traitor to the revolution. At the time of the 4th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee of the Party in 1931, Lo Chang-lung, who was pessimistic about the future of the Chinese revolution, openly supported the counter-revolutionary position of the trotskyist Chen Tu-hsiu clique in opposition to the line of the 6th National Congress of the Party, vilified the Red Army and the red base areas, and distributed leaflets in which he betrayed the names of communist cadres to Chiang Kai-shek‘s gang. To undermine the revolutionary struggle directed by the Party, he set up the so-called „Emergency Central Committee“, „2nd Provincial Committees“, „2nd Regional Committees“ and „2nd Party Factions in Trade Unions“ and carried out splitting activities in the Party. He was expelled from the Party in January 1931.
3For Chang Kuo-tao, see „Rectify the Party‘s Style of Work“, Note 5.
4After the failure of the Chinese revolution in 1927, a small number of trotskyites appeared in China, too. Ganging up with Chen Tu-hsiu and other renegades, they formed a small counter-revolutionary clique in 1929 and spread such counter-revolutionary propaganda as that the Kuomintang had already completed the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and they became a dirty imperialist and Kuomintang instrument against the people. The Chinese trotskyites shamelessly joined the Kuomintang secret service. After the September 18th Incident, to fulfil the order given by the criminal renegade Trotsky „not to impede the occupation of China by imperial Japan“, they began collaborating with the Japanese secret agents, received subsidies from them and engaged in all kinds of activities facilitating Japanese aggression.
5For the „Ten-Point Programme“, see „Our Study and the Current Situation“, Note 5.
6The 1st Front Army of the Red Army launched its second offensive against Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, in September 1930. As the enemy forces put up a stubborn defence behind fortifications and had the support of aircraft and warships, the Red Army failed to capture the city even after prolonged attacks. Meanwhile, enemy reinforcements were concentrating and the situation became unfavourable for the Red Army. Chairman Mao Tse-tung impressed upon the cadres of the 1st Front Army the need to withdraw the troops besieging Changsha, and then persuaded them to give up their idea of seizing the key city of Kiukiang in northern Kiangsi and attacking other big cities and to change their policy, divide their forces and capture Chaling, Yuhsien and Liling Counties in Hunan and Pinghsiang and Kian Counties in Kiangsi. This enabled the 1st Front Army to expand greatly.
7Comrade Chu Chiu-pai, one of the earliest militants and leaders of the Communist Party of China, was elected to the Central Committee at the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th National Congresses of the Party in the years 1923-28. During the 1st Revolutionary Civil War he actively fought against the anti-communist, anti-people „Tai Chi-tao doctrine“ of the Kuomintang‘s Right and against the Right-opportunism represented by Chen Tu-hsiu in the Communist Party of China. After the Kuomintang‘s betrayal of the revolution in 1927, he called the emergency meeting of the Central Committee of the Party on August 7th, which ended the domination of Chen Tu-hsiu-ism in the Party. But from the winter of 1927 to the spring of 1928, while directing the work of the central directing body, he committed the „Left“ error of putschism. In September 1930 he conducted the 3rd Plenum of the 6th Central Committee of the Party, which put an end to the Li Li-san line that was harming the Party. However, at the 4th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee in January 1931, he was attacked by the „Left“-dogmatists and -factionalists and was pushed out of the central directing body. From that time to 1933 he worked in the revolutionary cultural movement in Shanghai in cooperation with Lu Hsun. In 1933 he arrived in the red base area in Kiangsi and was made Commissioner of People‘s Education in the Workers‘ and Peasants‘ Democratic Central Government. When the main forces of the Red Army embarked on the Long March, he was asked to stay behind in the Kiangsi base area. In March 1935 Comrade Chu Chiu-pai was arrested by the Chiang Kai-shek gang in the Fukien guerrilla area and on June 18th he died a martyr‘s death in Changting, Fukien Province.
8Comrade Lin Yu-nan, a militant of the Communist Party of China and one of the early leaders and organizers of the Chinese trade union movement, was Director of the Wuhan office of the Chinese Trade Union Secretariat, a member of the Executive Committee and concurrently General Secretary of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. In 1931 he was arrested by the Chiang Kai-shek gang and died a martyr‘s death at Lunghua in Shanghai.
9Comrade Li Chiu-shih, a militant of the Communist Party of China, served in 1928 on the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and was head of its Propaganda Department and chief editor of its organ, Chinese Youth. In 1931, while working in the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Party, he was arrested by the Chiang Kai-shek gang in Shanghai and died a martyr‘s death at Lunghua.
10Comrade Ho Meng-hsiung, a militant of the Communist Party of China, was one of the early organizers of the trade union movement in northern China and founder of the Railway Workers‘ Union on the Peking-Suiyuan Line. After the Kuomintang betrayed the revolution in 1927, he served as a member of the Communist Party‘s Kiangsu Provincial Committee in Shanghai and as secretary of its Peasant Department. In 1931 he was arrested by the Chiang Kai-shek gang and died a martyr‘s death at Lunghua.
11Comrade Chin Pang-hsien, also known as Po Ku, was a militant of the Communist Party of China. From September 1931 to January 1935 he was at the head first of the Party‘s provisional central directorship in Shanghai and then of its Central Bureau of the Red Base Areas. During this period he committed the serious error of the „Left“ line. He worked in the Southern Bureau of the Party‘s Central Committee during the early period of the War of Resistance Against Japan. After 1941, under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, he founded and directed the Liberation Daily and the New China News Agency in Yenan. He was reelected to the Central Committee at the 7th National Congress of the Party in 1945. In February 1946 he went to Chungking to take part in the negotiations with the Kuomintang. He died in April in an airplane crash on his way back to Yenan.
12Comrade Chu Li-chih, who committed „Left“ errors, arrived in the autumn of 1935 in the northern Shensi revolutionary base area (comprising the Shensi-Kansu border area and northern Shensi) as a representative of the central directing body. In collaboration with Comrade Kuo Hung-tao, who was there and who also committed „Left“ errors, he carried through the „Left“ opportunist line in political, military and organizational work, and they pushed out Liu Chih-tan and the other comrades who had pursued the correct line and had built up the Red Army and the revolutionary base area in northern Shensi. Then, in the work of suppressing counter-revolutionaries, they made the serious error of arresting a large number of cadres who were carrying out the correct line, and thus created a grave crisis in the northern Shensi revolutionary base area. The central directorship of the Party, which arrived in northern Shensi in November 1935 after the Long March, corrected these „Left“ errors, released Liu Chih-tan and the other comrades from prison, and thus saved the northern Shensi revolutionary base area from its dangerous situation.
13See J. V. Stalin: „Questions of the Chinese Revolution“, „The Revolution in China and the Tasks of the Comintern“ and „The Prospects of the Revolution in China“.
14See Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan“, March 1927.
15See Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „The Struggle in the Chingkang Mountains“, 25.11.1928.
16From the Letter of the Front Committee in the Chingkang Mountains to the Central Committee of the Party in April 1929, quoted in Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire“, 05.01.1930.
17See Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China?“, 05.10.1928, and „The Struggle in the Chingkang Mountains“, 25.11.1928.
18In January 1933, the Communist Party of China made a declaration proposing to all Kuomintang troops attacking the revolutionary base areas and the Red Army that a cease-fire agreement be concluded and joint resistance conducted against Japan on three conditions:
- Stop attacking the revolutionary base areas and the Red Army.
- Grant freedoms and rights to the people.
- Arm the people.
19The six conditions were those contained in the „Chinese People‘s Basic Programme for Fighting Japan“ put forward by the Communist Party of China in 1934 and published over the signatures of Soong Ching-ling (Mme. Sun Yat-sen) and others. They were:
- Mobilize all sea, land and air forces to fight Japan.
- Mobilize the people throughout the country.
- Arm all the people.
- Confiscate the property of the Japanese imperialists in China and of the traitors to defray war expenditure.
- Establish an all-China committee for national armed defence, to be elected by the representatives of workers, peasants, soldiers, students and businessmen.
- Form an alliance with all the forces opposed to the Japanese imperialists, and establish friendly relations with all countries observing benevolent neutrality.
20J. V. Stalin: „The Prospects of the Revolution in China“.
21See Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China“, 05.10.1928, and „A Single Spark Can Start a Prarie Fire“, 05.01.1930.
22Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China“, 05.10.1928.
23Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „A Single Spark Can Start a Prarie Fire“, 05.01.1930.
24J. V. Stalin: „The Foundations of Leninism“, April 1924.
25See Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „The Struggle in the Chingkang Mountains“, 25.11.1928.
28From the Letter of the Front Committee in the Chingkang Mountains to the Central Committee of the Party in April 1929, quoted in Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire“, 05.01.1930.
29„General Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the Fight Against the Enemy‘s 5th Campaign of ‚Encirclement and Suppression‘“ (Resolution of the Tsunyi Meeting).
30Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Problems of Strategy in China‘s Revolutionary War“, December 1936.
31Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „On Policy“, 25.12.1940.
32Liu Shao-chi: „Eliminate Closed-Doorism and Adventurism“.
33Liu Shao-chi: „Letter to the Central Committee on Past Work in the White Areas“.
34Liu Shao-chi: „Eliminate Closed-Doorism and Adventurism“.
35Lo Ming, formerly a militant of the Communist Party of China, was the acting secretary of the Fukien Provincial Committee of the Central Red Base Area in 1933. He was attacked by the „Leftists“ because he held that as the Party was confronted with a rather difficult situation in Shanghang, Yungting and other outlying parts of western Fukien, its policy there should be different from that in the stable base areas. The „Leftists“ wrongly and exaggeratedly represented his views as „a line of opportunist-liquidationist flight and retreat, due to pessimism and despair about the revolution“, and, organizationally, waged the so-called „struggle against the Lo Ming line“.
36The „Three Main Rules of Discipline“ and the „Eight Points for Attention“ were drawn up by Chairman Mao Tse-tung for the Chinese Workers‘ and Peasants‘ Red Army during the Agrarian Revolutionary War and were later adopted as rules of discipline by the 8th Route Army and the New 4th Army and the present People‘s Liberation Army. As these rules varied slightly in content in the army units of different areas, the General Headquarters of the Chinese People‘s Liberation Army in October 1947 issued a standard version as follows:
The „Three Main Rules of Discipline“:
- Obey orders in all your actions.
- Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses.
- Turn in everything captured.
The „Eight Points for Attention“:
- Speak politely.
- Pay fairly for what you buy.
- Return everything you borrow.
- Pay for anything you damage.
- Do not hit or swear at people.
- Do not damage crops.
- Do not take liberties with women.
- Do not ill-treat captives.
37From the Letter of the Front Committee in the Chingkang Mountains to the Central Committee of the Party in April 1929, quoted in Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire“, 05.01.1930.
38Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Problems of Strategy in China‘s Revolutionary War“, December 1936.
39From „The Conclusions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Breaking Through the Enemy‘s 5th Campaign of ‚Encirclement and Suppression‘“, February 1935.
40The resolution of the 9th Party Congress of the 4th Red Army in 1929 refers to the article by Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party“, December 1929.
41V. I. Lenin: „What Is To Be Done?“, End of 1901-February 1902.
42J. V. Stalin: „The Work of the April Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission“.
43Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Our Study and the Current Situation“, 12.04.1944.
44Blanquism is the ideology of revolutionary adventurism as represented in France by Auguste Blanqui (1805-81). The blanquists denied class struggle and imagined that humanity could be delivered from the system of capitalist exploitation not through the class struggle by the proletariat, but through conspiracy by a handful of intellectuals.
45For the „mountain-stronghold“ mentality, see „Our Study and the Current Situation“, Note 8.
46Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Our Study and the Current Situation“, 12.04.1944.