(On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of China)
Successes of Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution is the first revolution in the political and ideological superstructure of the Chinese society. After capitalist restoration in the leadership of Khrushchev in Soviet Union in 1956, avoiding this, protecting Socialism and advancing towards Communism was an unsolvable complex problem in the International Revolutionary camp. The history of GPCR ascertained - that through continuing proletarian dictatorship, it was possible to totally eliminate the remains of capitalism, to avoid the attempts of capitalist restoration and to build powerful Socialist society on the stable basis of the aim to build Communist society is a powerful new weapon the great Marxist teacher Mao handed over to the Marxist-Leninist theoretical Armoury.
GPCR destroyed two bourgeois headquarters of Li Shao Chi and Lin Piao.
It criticized their revisionist line. It developed an understanding in the people towards revolutionary Socialist line developing in an independent and selfreliant manner. It encouraged a successful process of development to advance the aim of Socialism. Thus it avoided capitalist restoration in China for ten years. Revolutionary changes had occurred in the superstructure with the great turbulent success of GPCR. However classes, class struggle, capitalist forces and its influence continued to exist. The struggle between Marxism-LeninismMao Thought (now Maoism) and revisionism continued in the theoretical field in a sharp and complex manner. ‘New Socialist factors’ came forth in the fields of Education, Democratization, Industries, Agriculture, in fighting patriarchal domination, inequality between women and men, Health care, Culture and Military. The Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution firstly revolutionized Education system The aim of Cultural Revolutionary system of Education is the making of students Red and Expert and developing their knowledge and skills so as to solve the severe inequalities in the society and to be useful for the same. The second aim is to provide much more educational opportunities to the children of workers and peasants. The third is to develop collective system of education so that primary and middle students could have life long education. The most important aim is to provide proletarian political education. Before the Cultural Revolution very less number of school going children had upper primary and high school education. Very few went to the College and most of them were from the rich families. Most of the children in the rural areas could not even have primary education. Education was not available to all in the broad country side of China until 17 years after the CPC came to power. The education system after the seizure of power was not much different from the heredity of the exploitive ruling government. Colleges were not only not available for the children of worker-peasant classes but also remained to be bourgeois Universities moulding the future of the rich classes. As a part of the Cultural Revolution there was a severe change in the Primary, Middle and High schools in China’s Educational system. Before the Cultural Revolution, experts of the Education field dealt with the Education system of China. Instead of expanding the education system allowing possible number of children to schools, they put unbearable burden on the students in the name of Educational standards. Cultural Revolution liberated the Educational system from their control. It gave importance to the opinions of workers and peasants in providing education to their children. Every village built a school with the local material, appointed teachers and put all the children of the village in the school. Thus every village built a Primary school during the Cultural Revolution. All the children of the rural areas could go to school without any expenditure. There was a Middle school for every four villages. All the children who passed Primary education could go to the Middle schools without any examination or fees. There were three high schools for each commune during the Cultural Revolution. All the students who passed the Middle education could go to the High school. Girls and boys had military training in the Middle school. After passing out from the Middle school they joined the People’s Militia in a big number. As a result of the demand of the Beijing students during the GPCR the government of China started to change the education system. Due to this change the system of entrance examination for college studies was abolished. Workers and peasants selected the students depending upon their talent in work. Another important change is that Graduates returned to their areas to serve the people of their areas. Since the new system came into practice to select students, the feeling that colleges were the forums to mould the future of rich classes no more existed in the period of Cultural Revolution in China. Students did not try for better employment but identified their education with the worker-peasant masses. In the place of personal enlightenment and development, graduation bore a new perspective to dedicatedly serve the masses. They worked hard to develop their talent for the development of the Socialist society. For the first time in China, worker, peasant and military college students came to be known as the best students. Mao issued a direction regarding reforms in the education system in 1966 May – ‘‘The main aim of the students is to study, but at the same time they must learn other things too. For example, they have to study literature. They have to know about industries, agriculture and military science. They must also criticize the bourgeois class. The time to study must be less. We must revolutionize education. Bourgeois intellectuals must no more govern our schools’’. According to this direction, lakhs of students and teachers moved to rural areas and factories to unite with the peasantry and workers, to gain practical experience and to learn from the people by participating in production activities. The discrimination towards physical labour and the feeling that mental labour is greater than physical labour was transformed. Education in China developed in an unprecedented manner during GPCR. This brought major changes in the Chinese masses and the society. As the masses were educated, they became increasing empowered in political and economic activities. Thus GPCR in the field of education is a Socialist revolution with a deeply developing collective mentality. The system of selecting college students from workers, peasants and soldiers suddenly came to a stop in 1977. The capitalist leaders of the China government after Mao’s demise had nothing to do with the New Education Policy that came forth during the Cultural Revolution. They again revived the old education system for bourgeois necessities. GPCR – Democratisation of Chinese society One of the important achievements of GPCR was the empowerment of ordinary masses and the democratization of the Chinese society. Many speak of democracy in the world as a complex issue. But democracy is a straight and simple thing. Democracy provides partnership to the ordinary masses in decision making. It is different from the old society that allows the rich classes deal with political affairs. Democracy allows the ordinary masses to participate in governing their society. In order to implement democracy all the ordinary masses (worker, peasant, soldier, student, intellectual, and woman, masses of various nationalities, tribes and sections) should be provided equal empowerment. There would not be any classes with additional facilities or rich classes in a democratic society. Each and everyone are politically and economically equal. This is the pre-condition for democracy. In the so-called democratic systems of Western countries (of West Europe, North America continents) and backward countries like India almost all the property accumulated in the hands of the one per cent rich people. Due to this variation in property the handful rich people gain power, influence and control. They have clear monopoly. That is not at all true democracy. That democracy is name sake and a sham. GPCR tried to establish genuine democracy. It empowered ordinary masses to put up big character posters to criticize their leaders. Their leaders participated in physical labor like all.This is a great leap forward in the development of the Chinese society. During the Cultural Revolution, the life style of many of the Chinese officers was like that of the ordinary masses. Their homes were like that of the masses. Their children went to the same schools that all the children went. They went to work on bicycles like everyone. The peasants elected leaders of production teams’ everyday in the fields and they worked with the peasants. Since the village leaders had to attend meetings and prepare schemes for the village, they worked for 300 days a year with the farmers in the fields. The leaders of the commune worked for 250 days. The officers of the county government worked for 200 days. Chen Yang Guyi worked like a farmer all through his life. When the Communist Party came to power he became the secretary of the Party of Da Zhai village in Gjiang county of Shangsi province. He led the masses of the village efficiently for the construction of beautiful future. During the Cultural Revolution he was promoted as the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China. He was a member of the Polit Bureau of the CC of the CPC and worked as the in-charge of the agricultural field of China. He spent one third of his time working with the farmers in the fields. He clothed like a farmer when he met foreign officials. He stood exemplary for the peasants, workers and military officers emerged during GPCR. Though they were government officers they spent their lives like peasants, workers and soldiers. This is the democracy – the proletarian democracy that was planned/built during GPCR under the leadership of Mao. This democracy provided empowerment to 99 per cent of the masses on the one per cent rich classes. There are many national leaders like Chen Yang Guyi. Wang Jingsi was an ordinary worker in an oil industry at Nizhivu. He found out very effective drill bits. Ho Jiangsi was a capable textile worker from Quing Dao of Shan Dang province. They did not stop working in their work places even after becoming National leaders. Many workers and peasants served in this manner under the local government. They simultaneously continued their work among the workers and peasants. Proletarian dictatorship was implemented in its genuine spirit during Cultural Revolution. As Lenin said, ‘proletarian dictatorship is nothing but proletariat transforming into a ruling class’. It provides wide democracy and proletarian democracy to the masses. In the process of Cultural Revolution, the masses directly governed the cities and the villages. The organ of the CC
of the CPC, ‘Red Flag’ wrote thus – ‘The masses had the right to criticize the Party, the policies of the government and the relations in the government mechanism and the right to suggest’. The people had the right to criticize the leadership cadres, however great their service might have been however much their level would have been and however seniors they might have been. Like in the Paris Commune it became necessary to structure the general electoral system of all the organs of power leading the Cultural Revolution without any exclusion. People had the right to call back any elected member at any time and elect another in their place. People implemented broad democracy to unite the understandings and thought of the masses, to enhance their political consciousness and to achieve command in MLM. This kind of broad democracy is the best method for the self enlightenment of the masses’. ‘Without such broad democracy, without the attention of the crores of masses towards the affairs of the government, without the supervision of the organs of the Party and the government, without supervising the leadership cadres in all the levels, it is impossible to avoid the counterrevolutionary revisionist forces seize Party leadership and government power. It is impossible to avoid the transformation of proletarian dictatorship into bourgeois dictatorship’. So the concept of ‘mass line’ developed with the aim to adopt proper policies to – serve the masses; avoid the increase of wrong trends in the Party; to let the masses have direct political power; to supervise the government mechanism and the party; criticize those in the power, expel the degenerated elements; avoid restoration of capitalism and the transformation of proletarian dictatorship to bourgeois dictatorship. Thus GPCR created a strong Socialist social atmosphere in China. It increased respect towards labour. This led to an unprecedented economic growth in the history of the world. During the Cultural Revolution, those in the management participated in physical labour. Workers participated in the process of decision making in the Management. Workers, Engineers and the Management solved technical and management problems with mutual cooperation. With the help of the workers they reformed the rules and regulations not useful for the workers. The theory and style of revolutionary management developed the Workers, Engineers and the Management to work together. This led to large scale productivity.