The process of GPCR
Though the Tenth Plenary meeting of the Eighth CC in 1962 accepted the Socialist Cultural Revolution officially, its implementation was half hearted and in the opposite direction of Mao’s line. Finally the CC in the guidance of Mao dissolved the leading ‘Group of Five’ that was back stabbing the Cultural Revolution, in 1966 May. It formed a new ‘Cultural Revolution Group’ in the direct supervision of the Standing Committee of the Polit Bureau. With this the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution started in the actual way. The 1966 May 16th circular formulated the theory, line,
concepts and policies for GPCR. It called upon the whole Party and the whole masses of the country to aim and fight against the representatives of the bourgeois class. On the 5th of August, 1966 Mao personally put up a poster with big characters, ‘Bombard the Capitalist headquarters’. In 1966 Mao called for the Eleventh Plenary meeting of the Eighth CC on the 8th of August and presided over it. This meeting released the policy document for GPCR. This historically came to be known as the 16 point policy document. This selected the form of struggle basing on mass line. It requested the cadres of various levels to courageously announce each and every thing, to support putting up posters with big characters, to conduct great debate, to confide in the masses, to depend on them, to realize and respect their initiative, to encourage them to criticize the weaknesses and shortcomings of those in responsible posts. In this 16 point policy document the Party suggested thus – ‘Presently our aim is to fight against the capitalist roaders in power, to overthrow them, to criticize and reject the reactionary, bourgeois education officers, the ideology of the bourgeois class and all exploitive classes, to transform education, art, literature and all other things of the super structure that are unfavourable to the Socialist economic base and thus to facilitate the way to consolidate and develop the Socialist system’. After taking this decision, the CC withdrew the ‘work teams’ to investigate, observe and study the problems and to conduct movement for Socialist Education. It gave the initiative to the local level democratically elected Cultural Revolution Committees. In response to the call of the CC broad revolutionary masses came into the struggle. Lakhs of workers, peasants, students, youth, intellectuals, revolutionary activists and Red Guards came forth like a great wave. They stepped into the Cultural Revolution with courage and dare. The slogan of right to rebel against counter revolutionaries resounded across the world. Within three months two crores of youth organized in the Red Guard squads in the Educational institutions. Mao reviewed these squads in a big rally in Peking. Since then the Red Guards became the main pillars of revolution. They paid attention towards the affairs of the government. They criticized those in power. They propagated Cultural Revolution among the broad masses. They destroyed the old ideas, culture and customs and strived to bring new ones in that place. They became one among the peasants and workers. They tried to avoid violence. They distributed the 16 point policy document among the crores of masses across the country for study. The masses read and discussed it with great attention. Though Mao passed the policies of Cultural Revolution with his immense prestige, he was in minority in the CC by 1966. Three of the Standing Committee of Seven in the CC – Mao, Lin Piao and Chou En Lai stood for the proletarian revolutionary line. The control of the press in Peking and the propaganda department of the CC were in the hands of the rightists under the leadership of the President of the People’s Republic Li Shao Chi and the General Secretary of the Party Deng Hsiao Ping. By the time of CC meeting in October 1966, Lin Piao (then Deputy Prime Minister), Chen Po Ta (Editor of the Party organ Red Flag) came forth as the main leaders of Cultural Revolution. In 1966 the city of Peking became the centre of Cultural Revolution. Lakhs of students and red guards led the mass wave against the capitalist roaders. In a short time the main labour city of Shanghai became the centre of the Cultural Revolution. The movement took a new form with the call to destroy the main bourgeois centre (Shanghai Municipal Party Committee) and to establish power organs in the cities and states like the Paris Commune. The rightists tried to fight back the revolution by mobilizing thousands of people, by suddenly paying bonuses, hiking wages and trying to attract the workers with gifts. After Li Shao Chi was overthrown, his revisionist clique and agents started changing their tactics timely. They affected many to protect a few of their supporters; they doubted all, overthrew all and did other such things. They brought rightist slogans with weighty leftist jargon. They split the revolutionary masses. In order to protect themselves they diverted a section of the masses and deceived them. When proletarian revolutionaries nullified these schemes they fanatically started another counter attack. The leaders of Shanghai Municipal Party Committee Chen and Chao organized Red Militia in the opposite wind that flew from the winter of 1966 to the spring of 1967. They started violence against proletarian revolutionaries. They disrupted production. They went to the extent to cut electricity, water supply and transport facilities to the city to create confusion and to bring down the prestige of Cultural Revolution. But through these actions the workers disrespected them. The workers in the Ports and Railways started realizing the necessity to seize power. Mao timely summarized the experience of 1967
January storm and gave the call – ‘Proletarian revolutionaries, unite. Seize power from the few capitalist roaders in power in the Party’. He later directed the People’s Liberation Army to support the broad masses of the proletarian revolutionaries. The attack to seize power in Shanghai started in 1967 January. The proletarian revolutionaries initially achieved control on two main daily papers. Later they brought the Railway, Water, supply of Electricity and Banks under their control. Revolutionaries took over the Municipal government. A Revolutionary Committee constituting three forces formed. The cadres of revolutionary leadership, representatives of People’s Liberation Army and representatives of revolutionary masses were in this committee. Later they took forth the country wide struggle for the seizure of power. Anyhow, there was a little gap in ‘continuing revolution and increasing production in the factories’, according to the 16 points. The Central Revolutionary group gave a call to ‘fight self, eradicate revisionism from our own brains’. Thus a new situation developed from October 1967. A new outlook means an attempt to mould their outlook as proletarian world outlook to abolish selfishness. By the end of 1967, revolutionary committees gained ninety per cent of the power in the factories of Shanghai. Situation changed in the same way in many parts of the country. The New Year 1968 started with the widening of the revolutionary committees. By April, 23 out of the 27 Regional governments came into the hands of proletarian revolutionaries in the leadership of Mao. ‘Moral incentives’, ‘people’s mobilisations’ were taken up to make a deep influence on perspectives, incentives, organization and the capacity for production and to run the economy in a stable manner. Above all, these cultural revolutionaries overthrew the power of a special group comprising of bureaucrats, managers, technocrats and the ‘bureaucratic education officers’. ‘Continue revolution, develop production’, giving moral incentives in the place of material incentives, study classes for the workers became part of the factory life so that the proletarian cultural revolutionary committees as new organs of power fulfil the declared schemes as fast as possible. They paid much attention to education from July 1968. Mao said thus – ‘It is necessary to reduce the length of the lessons. We must keep proletarian politics in command. We must follow the path of Shanghai Tool Plant to make technicians from workers. Workers and peasants must select the students of practical experience. After few years they must participate in production’. In mid 1968, the movement of ‘struggle-criticism-transformation’ started. The role of workers in political units and ownership of production increased. The aim of the movement for ‘struggle-criticism-transformation’ is two phased. The first is to bring forth the method of study classes that would help to ‘fight self and repudiate revisionism’. As Mao said it means five necessities for the successors of revolution. They are to fight selfishness, fight against oneself, criticize revisionism, and carefully mould one’s world perspective according to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought (Maoism). The second is the one that Mao released in the beginning of 1968 – ‘The most important rule to reform the organs of government power is that they are in contact with the masses’. The directions to ‘continue revolution, increase production’ released earlier is to be implemented totally. This is the fundamental principle of ‘struggle-criticism-transformation’ that facilitates the superstructure to help Socialist economic base better. Commanders and fighters actively participated in large numbers in the efforts of three supports, two militaries (meaning support to industry, agriculture and broad proletarian revolutionary masses; military control, political-military training) in this Cultural Revolution. Though there is historical importance to the main objective of GPCR few negative trends too came forth in the process. The first being groupism the anarchists created and the second is the destruction the leftists did. An example of this is the May 16th conspiracy group. This group put up big character posters, ‘overthrow Prime Minister Chou En Lai’ on the eve of the first anniversary of the poster of Mao, ‘Bombard the capitalist headquarters’. This collapsed only after there was an open opposition from the central cultural group. GPCR was successful in its immediate aim in four years. In April 1969 the Ninth Congress of the Party was successful. It hailed the great achievements of the CPC in the leadership of Mao, consolidated Socialist achievements with the aim to step forward towards the formation of Communist society. It reviewed the new experience of GPCR. The Ninth Congress accepted the removal of secret traitor, renegade and disruptor Li Shao Chi from all the posts and expulsion from the Party. It declared Lin Piao as the new Deputy Chairman of CPC and the heir of Mao. Forty per cent of the Congress elected CC members was in CC since earlier. The rest were elected from the farmers, soldiers and workers. At this time a few ‘leftists’ in the top positions in the Party and Army were exposed and removed. The Ninth Congress decided to continue Cultural Revolution in the party against leftist trends, Commandism and bureaucracy. This task was fulfilled by introducing rotation system in the revolutionary committees. In the rotation system one third of the members of the revolutionary committees would be active in the leadership responsibilities. One third would continue their classical profession. Another one third would stay home and continue study in the May 7 Cadre School. The Ninth Congress also instructed that they should pay attention to re consolidate the Party in the basic level and establish its leadership on the Revolutionary Committees and Army. The Second Plenum of the Ninth CC in September 1970 exposed the secret schemes of the ‘leftists’. Lin Piao was appointed in the post of the president of the Republic of China. Though Lin Piao and the Military Generals of his clique were not exposed, through military coup. This was exposed. He died in a plane accident in Mongolia while he was fleeing to Social Imperialist Soviet Union. Party, Army and the worker-peasant, student-intellectual classes and sections of all kinds of nationalities discussed and criticized the issue in a serious manner. Later the anti Party clique of renegade Lin Piao was destroyed with mass strength. The movement to criticize Lin Piao and rectify the work style took roots among the masses. The Tenth Congress of the Party took place in August 1973. The conspiracy of bourgeois careerist, traitor Lin Piao was reviewed. The movement to criticize Lin Piao, to rectify work style, the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius became part of the struggle in the theoretical field. The Congress directed so, to strengthen revolutionary unity. By reviewing all this, it made the total ranks of the party realize the importance to enhance the knowledge of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought. All the top leaders who played an active role in the GPCR were elected into the Polit Bureau in this Congress. Deng Hsiao Ping came into the CC in the campaign against leftist trend in 1975. However he continued his revisionist theory. He said, ‘I am not bothered whether the cat is black or white as long as it catches the rat’. His reactionary bourgeois theory was that increase of production is important and it does not matter whether it is Capitalism or Socialism. Two months before the demise of Mao he was once again removed from all the posts. Before Mao’s demise rightist trend came up once more. The basic level Revolutionary Committees started becoming defunct. They stopped working. They discarded the process of calling back the elected members of the Committee through the people and re-electing them after the fixed time period. Thus the worker’s management groups and other organs became defunct. This back step is not ‘coincidental’. Counter revolutionary activities spread in a secret manner. Bourgeois influence increased. American imperialists and Soviet Social Imperialist, the domestic and foreign enemies all came together and formed ‘a sacred alliance’ and aimed their attack on the revolutionary forces. With the help of this ‘sacred alliance’ all the bourgeois forces hid in the government, party, army and other mechanisms tried to strengthen their power and to escape from vigilance by deceiving the people. Thus there was a back step. Lin Piaowho came forth as a leader of the struggle against rightist trend in the period of Cultural Revolution andChen Po Ta was exposed. His grand leftist jargon was criticized. He was removed from the Party. There was a campaign against such ‘political deceivers’. Then Mao released a declaration ‘waving red flag against red flag’. After this plenum there was a campaign against the grand leftist jargon and the excessive individual worship of Mao. In this campaign there was a fight against Lin Piao who played the main role in encouraging individual worship of Mao and formulated the ‘genius’ theory. At this time another wider campaign took place against the May 16th conspirators and the leftists who were responsible for destruction in many places. In addition to this a few leftists were removed from vital positions in the army and thus the influence of Lin Piao too was controlled. The people’s militia stopped by Lin Piao during the Cultural Revolution started to be trained again. In 1971 August Party was reconstituted. Firstly the lower level Party cells (in agricultural work teams, factories, workshops, villages and districts) were reconstituted. The bad elements were removed. New members were recruited. Committees were elected in Communes, Districts, States and High level Party Conferences. The same process was implemented in the government, military organisations and the old and the new mass organisations. Since he could find no opportunity to fulfil his aspiration to seize the leadership of China Lin Piao finally planned to murder Mao and seize power as an heir of Mao turned out to be a traitor in a short time. This showed negative affect on the Chinese society and the Communist revolutionary forces to some extent. The revolutionary forces did not make effective efforts like before, as per Comrade Mao’s teaching to continue revolution to the end. Five prominent Communist leaders – Mao, Chou En Lai, Chu Te, Kang Shen, Tung Pi-vu (one of the founders of the Party) died in 1976. This was a big blow to the Cultural Revolution that was going on against bad trends. After the death of Chou En Lai, Hua Kuo Feng became the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Public Security. Though he claimed to be a strong follower of Mao he was in fact a capitalist roader. Hua was on both the sides. He was a double dealer. He gradually seized top most power in the State, Party and the Army. Comrade Mao Tse Tung laid down his life in September 1976. Hua-Deng clique took chance of this situation and suppressed all the followers of Mao to destroy any kind of opposition to capitalist roaders. Within one month of Mao’s demise, Hua-Deng clique declared Chiang Ching, Chang Chun Chiao, Yao VenYuvan, Wang Hung Ven as ‘Gang of four’ and arrested them alleging that they conspired to seize power. This clique tried to deceive the people that the ‘Gang of Four’ was opposing the policies of Mao. However the masses did not agree these allegations. They came on to the streets and resisted these capitalist tricks. There were armed clashes in many states including Fukien, Hopei, Hunan and Shansi. These struggles of retaliation were suppressed mercilessly. Proletarian dictatorship was destroyed and on the contrary capitalist dictatorship was imposed in a bureaucratic manner.