and "formed an independent kingdom"; therefore, Hu Peng and company wanted revenge. The question of the Literary Gazette  was "merely a breach that has been seized upon" and was "by no means an isolated one", it was most necessary to "extend and generalize" it and "show that the question was one of factionalist rule", and "factionalist and warlord rule" at that. The matter was so serious that they "fired off" a lot of ammunition to mop us up. In so doing Hu Feng and company attracted attention. After careful investigation of many of these persons, this clique was found to be of some size.
Previously they were known as "a small group". No, that's not so, there are quite a few of them. Previously they were known simply as a group of men of letters. No, that's not so, they have wormed their way into political, military, economic, cultural and educational departments. Previously, they seemed to be a group of revolutionaries operating in broad daylight. No, that's not so, most of them have a very shady background. The main force of the clique consists of imperialist and Kuomintang secret agents, Trotskyites, reactionary army officers, or renegades from the Communist Party; with these persons serving as the backbone, a counter-revolutionary faction hidden in the revolutionary camp, an underground independent kingdom, was formed. This counter-revolutionary faction, this underground kingdom, has set itself the task of overthrowing the People's Republic of China and restoring imperialist and Kuomintang rule. Whenever and wherever possible, they go nosing around for our shortcomings which they use as pretexts for sabotage. Wherever they have their men, strange things happen. After liberation, this counter-revolutionary clique expanded and, if unchecked, would go on expanding. Now that the truth about Hu Feng and company has come to light, many phenomena can be satisfactorily explained and their activities stopped.
Sure enough, Hu Feng subsequently acted on Lu Tien's suggestion to use offensive tactics for defence. Thus he came to Peking to ask for a job, requested that his case be discussed, submitted the 300,000-word memo to the Central Committee, and finally seized upon the question of the Literary Gazette to open fire. Generally, when things are going badly for them, all kinds of representatives of the exploiting classes use offensive tactics as a means of defence in order to survive today and grow tomorrow. Rumours are fabricated out of thin air and lies told point-blank; certain superficial phenomena are seized on for attacking the essence of things; some people are lauded while others are condemned; and matters are distorted and exaggerated to "make a breakthrough at certain points" so as to put us in a difficult position. In short, they are assiduous in studying what tactics to use against us and "spying out the land" in order to attain their end. Sometimes they "play possum" and wait for a chance to "spring a counter-attack". They have long years of experience in class struggle and are
skilful in different forms of struggle, legal and illegal. We revolutionaries must know their tricks and study their tactics in order to defeat them. Never be so bookish and naive as to treat complex class struggle as a simple matter.
It is conceit, self-complacency, lack of vigilance and absorption in the day-to-day job to the neglect of politics on our part as revolutionaries that have made it possible for many counter-revolutionaries to "penetrate" our "liver". They are by no means confined to the men of the Hu Feng clique, many other secret agents and bad elements have also sneaked in.
When a Party member is criticized for his liberalistic tendencies, Hu Feng elements say he is "being attacked". If his "fighting will is rather weak", that is, if he does not cling to his liberalistic stand but is willing to accept Party criticism and come over to the correct stand, then he is not much of a hope to the Hu Feng clique and cannot be dragged away. On the contrary, if his "fighting will" to cling to his liberalistic stand is not "rather weak" but "rather strong", he is in danger of being dragged away. Hu Feng elements are sure to "have a go" at it, and they are already calling him "comrade". Shouldn't this be taken as a warning? What then should be the attitude of a Party member when he is criticized for having made ideological and political mistakes? There is a choice of two courses before him: one is to correct his mistakes and be a good Party member, the other is to slide further down the path and even fall into the pit of counter-revolution. The second alternative really exists and counter-revolutionaries may be beckoning him on.
Just as we constantly appraise the balance of forces in the international and domestic class struggle, so does the enemy. But, being backward and decadent reactionaries, our enemies are doomed; they are ignorant of the laws of the objective world, are subjective and
metaphysical in their thinking, and thus are invariably wrong in their judgments. They are inexorably driven by their class instinct to believe that they are very superior and that the revolutionary forces can never amount to much. They invariably overestimate their own strength and underestimate ours. We have witnessed many counter-revolutionaries toppled one by one -- the Ching Dynasty government, the Northern warlords, the Japanese militarists, Mussolini, Hitler and Chiang Kai-shek; they made mistakes in thought and deed and could not do otherwise. All contemporary imperialists are bound to repeat such mistakes. Isn't it ludicrous? According to the Hu Feng elements, the Chinese people's revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party are "doomed", and they are nothing but "the sere, the yellow leaf" and "a rotting corpse". And how about the counter-revolutionary forces represented by the Hu Feng elements? Although "some fragile sprouts may be smothered", large numbers of sprouts "are breaking through" and will "grow sturdily". If to this day Royalist representatives are found in the bourgeois French National Assembly, then it is highly probable that some representatives of the Chiang Kai-shek dynasty will remain active here and there years after the complete elimination of all exploiting classes from the face of the earth. The worst die-hards among them will never admit defeat. That's because they need to deceive themselves as well as others, or else they could not carry on.
In this letter, the phrase "those veiled feudal forces are madly killing people" indicates that the counter-revolutionary Hu Feng clique is terror-stricken by the great struggle of our people's revolutionary forces to suppress the counter-revolutionary forces, and this feeling is typical of all counter-revolutionary classes, groups and individuals. What strikes terror into their hearts is precisely what makes the revolutionary masses jubilant. "Unprecedented in history" -- that's correct too. Except for the revolution which replaced the primitive communal system by the slave system, that is, a system of non-exploitation by one of exploitation, all revolutions in the past ended in the replacement of one system of exploitation by another, and it was neither imperative nor possible to do a thorough job of suppressing counter-revolutionaries. Only our revolution, the revolution of the
masses of the people led by the proletariat and the Communist Party aims at the final elimination of all systems of exploitation and all classes; therefore, the exploiting classes which are being eliminated are bound to come out and put up resistance through their counter-revolutionary political parties and groups or through certain individuals, and the masses of the people on their part must unite and suppress these forces of resistance resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely. Only at this time is such suppression imperative and possible. "The struggle has inevitably deepened" -- this is quite correct, too. The expression "veiled feudal forces", however, is wrong; it is a derogatory expression for "the people's democratic dictatorship led by the proletariat and the Communist Party and based on the worker-peasant alliance", just as the word "mechanism" used by this clique is a derogatory term for "dialectical materialism".
Here again we come across this Chang Chung-hsiao. He has a pretty good counter-revolutionary nose and outmatches many in our revolutionary ranks, including a number of Communists, in level of class consciousness and keenness of political sense of smell. Compared with men of the Hu Feng clique, many of our own people are vastly inferior in these respects. We must study and heighten our class vigilance and make our political sense of smell keener. If there is anything positive the Hu Feng clique can offer, it is that through the present soul-stirring struggle we shall raise our own political consciousness and sensitivity much higher, firmly suppress all counter-revolutionaries and greatly strengthen our revolutionary dictatorship; we shall thus carry the revolution through to the end and achieve the objective of building a great socialist country.
This refers to "Some Material About the Counter-Revolutionary Hu Feng Clique" submitted by Shu Wu, a member of the clique. It contains excerpts from a number of counter-revolutionary confidential letters Hu Feng wrote to Shu Wu before and after liberation.
From the end of October to the beginning of December 1954, the presidiums of the Federation of Literary and Art Circles of China and of the Union of Chinese Writers held enlarged joint meetings to examine the mistakes of the Literary Gazette in suppressing the criticism by young writers of the bourgeois ideas prevalent in studies of The Dream of the Red Chamber. Hu Feng believed his opportunity had come and began attacking the Communist Party. He said in a confidential letter to one of his followers, "This is merely a breach that has been seized upon, and it is most necessary to extend and generalize the matter."