-- that suited us fine, we gained the initiative. As an editorial in the People's Daily puts it, "The tree may prefer calm, but the wind will not subside." They wanted to raise a gale, a typhoon of some force! Well then, we started building a "shelter belt". This was the anti-Rightist struggle, the rectification movement.
Rectification consists of two tasks: one is to fight against the Rightists, including the fight against bourgeois ideology, and the other is to carry out reforms, which also entails a struggle between the two lines. Subjectivism, bureaucracy and sectarianism are all bourgeois phenomena ~hose presence in our Party should be blamed on the bourgeoisie. Will it still be possible to blame it on the bourgeoisie a century or two hence? That would be rather difficult, I'm afraid. Will there still be bureaucracy and subjectivism then? Yes, there will but the blame will be placed on backwardness. In society there will always be the Left, the middle and the Right, and there will always be the advanced, the middling and the backward. By that time, if you are guilty of bureaucracy and subjectivism, you will be backward.
The rectification movement will go on till May 1 next year, there is that much time for it. Is there going to be a slackening again after May 1? I think yes. Can such a slackening be called a Right deviation?
I think not. Take a meeting for example. If it goes on and on, night and day for six months on end, I'm afraid many people will simply disappear. Therefore we should do our work according to circumstances, now speeding it up, now slowing it down. Last year we scored such a big victory that the capitalists beat drums and struck gongs to show their allegiance; if we hadn't allowed a slackening, we would have found it hard to justify ourselves, as there was no adequate excuse. We have said that the problem of ownership is solved basically but not completely. Class struggle has not died out. Hence slackening is not a concession in principle but is called for by the circumstances.
I think that the rectification should go on till May I next year and that it should stop in the latter half of the year. We shall see then whether there is any need for another rectification or another debate in the countryside and shall discuss the matter next year. Anyway, there must be another rectification the year after next. If we do not launch one then, or worse still, for several years, the old and new Rightists and the ones currently emerging will start wriggling again; besides, some elements to the right of centre, some middle elements and even some on the Left are liable to change. There are some queer characters in the world whose Right deviationist sentiments will surface and who will come forward with unwholesome comments and Rightist observations if you slacken for any length of time. It is also necessary to carry out constant education in our army units on the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention. If you suspend it for a few months, morale will slacken. Morale should be boosted several times a year. Education should be conducted among the new recruits. Even the ideology of veterans and senior cadres would change without rectification.
A word in passing about our differences with the Soviet Union. First of all, there is a contradiction between us and Khrushchov on the question of Stalin. He has drawn such a black picture of Stalin, and we do not agree with him. He has made Stalin so terribly ugly! This then is no longer a matter that concerns his country alone, it concerns all countries. We have put Stalin's portrait up in Tien An Men Square. This accords with the wishes of the working people the world over and indicates our fundamental differences with Khrushchov. As for Stalin himself, you should at least give him a 70-30 evaluation, 70 for his achievements and 30 for his mistakes. This may not be entirely accurate, for his mistakes may be only 20 or even 10, or perhaps somewhat more than 30. All things considered, Stalin's achievements
are primary and his shortcomings and mistakes are secondary. On this point we take a view different from Khrushchov's.
Next, we also disagree with Khrushchov and his associates on the question of peaceful transition. We maintain that the proletarian party of any country should be prepared for two possibilities, one for peace and the other for war. In the first case, the Communist Party demands peaceful transition from the ruling class, following Lenin in the slogan he advanced during the period between the February and October Revolutions. Similarly we made a proposal to Chiang Kai-shek for the negotiation of peace. This is a defensive slogan against the bourgeoisie, against the enemy, showing that we want peace, not war, and it will help us win over the masses. It is a slogan that will give us the initiative, it is a tactical slogan. However, the bourgeoisie will never hand over state power of their own accord, but will resort to violence. Then there is the second possibility. If they want to fight and they fire the first shot, we cannot but fight back. To seize state power by armed force -- this is a strategic slogan. If you insist on peaceful transition, there won't be any difference between you and the socialist parties. The Japanese Socialist Party is just like that, it is prepared for only one possibility, that is, it will never use violence. The same is true of all the socialist parties of the world. Generally speaking, the political parties of the proletariat had better be prepared for two possibilities: one, a gentleman uses his tongue, not his fists, but two, if a bastard uses his fists, I'll use mine. Putting the matter this way takes care of both possibilities and leaves no loophole. It won't do otherwise. Now the Communist Parties in a number of countries, the British Communist Party for example, only advance the slogan of peaceful transition. We talked this over with the leader of the British Party but couldn't get anywhere. Naturally they may well feel proud, for as their leader queried, "How can Khrushchov claim to have introduced peaceful transition? I advanced it long before he did!"
Besides, the Soviet comrades do not understand our policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend. What we want is to have a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend within the framework of socialism, within the ranks of the people and with the exclusion of counter-revolutionaries. Of course, realignment may take place among the people themselves, a section of whom may turn into our enemies. Take the Rightists for instance. In the past they were among the people, but now it seems to me that they are one-third people and two-thirds counter
revolutionary. Shall we deprive them of the right to vote? On the whole, it is preferable not to do so, except for those few who are to be punished by law or reformed through labour. Some of them may even be allowed to sit on the National Committee of the Political Consultative Conference, because anyway it is all right for the committee to have about a thousand people. In appearance the Rightists are still in the ranks of the people, but in reality they are our enemies. We openly declare that they are our enemies and that the contradiction between us and them is one between the people and the enemy, because they are against socialism, against the leadership of the Communist Party and against the dictatorship of the proletariat. In short, their words and deeds do not conform to the six criteria! They are poisonous weeds. A few poisonous weeds will always crop up among the people, no matter when.
Lastly, we should bestir ourselves and make arduous efforts in our study. Mark these three words, "make", "arduous" and "efforts". We must bestir ourselves and make arduous efforts. Now many of our comrades do not make arduous efforts, and some comrades devote their surplus energy after work chiefly to playing cards and mahjong and to dancing, and this I think is bad. We should devote our surplus energy after work chiefly to study and should make study a habit. What then should we study? For one thing, we should study Marxism-Leninism, for another, technology and for a third, natural science. Besides, there is literature, and especially the theories of literature, which leading cadres must know something about. They should also have some knowledge of journalism and education. In short, there is a very wide range of knowledge, of which we should get some general understanding. For we are supposed to exercise leadership over these matters! What kind of specialists can people like us be called? We can be called political specialists. How can we carry on without knowing about these matters and exercising leadership over them? All provinces have their own newspapers, which were neglected in the past, and their own literary and art journals and organizations, which were also neglected, as were the united front and the democratic parties, and as was education. All these things were neglected, and so it was precisely in these fields that rebellion erupted. But once these things were attended to, the whole situation changed within a few months. Lo Lung-chi asked, how could little proletarian intellectuals lead big petty-bourgeois intellectuals? He was wrong there. He says he is petty bourgeois but actually he is bourgeois. The "little intellectuals" of
the proletariat will do precisely that -- exercise leadership over the big bourgeois intellectuals. The proletariat has had a group of intellectuals in its service, the first of whom was Marx, then there were Engels, Lenin and Stalin, and now there are people like us and many others. The proletariat is the most advanced class, it will lead the revolution all over the world.
The five major movements were the agrarian reform, the movement to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea, the elimination of counter-revolutionaries, the movement against the "three evils" and the "five evils", and the ideological remoulding.
This refers to the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce.
"The Democratic Movement in the Army", Note 1, Selected Work of Mao Tsetung, Vol. IV.
Liangshan Mountain in Shantung Province was a rebel peasant base in the Sung Dynasty. Most of the rebel leaders in the classical novel Water Margin were forced to take refuge on Liangshan Mountain as a result of oppression by the authorities or despotic landlords. The expression "driven to join the Liangshan Mountain rebels" has since come to mean that one is forced to do something under pressure.
Han Ying (Western Han Dynasty), Commentary on the Book of Songs, Chapter 9.
See page 412 above. [Transcriber's Note: See Mao's "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People". -- DJR]