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B.M Leizbon,

Marxism explains the necessity and inevitability of the social revolution by the conditions and requirements of the material life of society and by the objective laws of the class struggle. To petty-bourgeois revolutionism, however, the revolution is the reaction of a mutinous soul to injustice, the struggle for a moral ideal, the abstract idea of a better future.

Marxists consider that the basis for correct tactics can be "only an objective consideration of the sum total of the relations between absolutely all the classes in a given society, and consequently a consideration of the objective stage of development reached by that society and of the relations between it and other societies". [61•1 At the same time they regard all classes not as immobile, but in movement. That is why Marxists insist on a clear definition of the motive force and the nature of every revolution, its direct and ultimate aims, the relation between the various stages the revolution has to go through.

The only criterion for tactics advanced by petty-bourgeois revolutionism is that they be "the most revolutionary of all”. This explains their complete indifference to the assessment of the objective possibilities offered by the actual stage, their striving to advance maximalist slogans according to the "all or nothing" principle.

The anarchists accused Marx and Engels of opportunism. "Don’t you understand,” they said, 62 “that a revolutionary always should and does consider himself entitled to rouse the people to insurrection.” He who does not believe in the “readiness” of the people for revolution, they say, does not believe in revolution in general. "That is why we cannot wait, refuse to tolerate hesitation and wavering. The question ’What is to be done?’ should not worry us any longer. It has been solved long ago. We should make revolution. How? Everybody should do it as he can and knows best,” they add. Answering such revolutionary babble, Engels convincingly showed that all these slogans are advanced as though the people making them do not inhabit our sinful planet but live in the transcendental spheres of empty phrases, and that these are only phrases to "conceal revolutionary inaction". [62•1

In Italy, Spain and other countries the wild “revolutionary” phrases of the anarchists awoke a response when the working-class movement was only in embryo. The anarchists presented every manifestation of dissatisfaction as the end of the capitalist system. In 1873, when revolutionary events were maturing in Spain, the anarchists wrote in their newspaper: ”. . . As yet nothing has happened in Barcelona, but on the squares, in public places there is permanent revolution!" Engels caustically commented that this revolution of the anarchists "consists in constant drum-beating, and for this reason ’permanently’ does not budge from the ’spot’ ". [62•2

Anarchism does not draw any distinction between the concepts “bourgeois”, "bourgeois- 63 democratic" and “socialist” revolution. It solves without any difficulty the concrete problems which each one of them is called upon to solve as well as the complex relations between the successive stages of revolutionary struggle. The anarchists reduced the concept “revolution” to spontaneous mutiny, which was to become a "social liquidation”. The state is liquidated, the old culture uprooted, everything that can be destroyed is destroyed, and the new society grows up from nothing.

Hence the assertion that a revolutionary "knows only one science—the science of destruction”; hence also the gamble on the inborn instinct to mutiny, which is supposed to be present in everybody. When the working-class movement became more organised and rejected the naive mutinous ideas it had initially held, the anarchists declared that the working class was unfit for struggle. Bakunin divided all nations into those able and those unable to carry out a revolution. In his opinion, peoples who did not suffer material hardships lost the revolutionary spirit; only poor peoples, in particular peasants, could be revolutionaries. The peasantry was declared to be the spontaneous bearer of socialist ideas.

The Utopian views of the special mission of the peasantry, the fantastic ideas of the tactics in the revolutionary struggle were overcome as capitalist development eroded the basis on which the peasant Utopias rested and Marxist ideas increasingly gained ground and recognition as the only ones correctly expressing the development needs of modern society.

However, the ideas of the past do not disappear completely, they are able to revive under new 64 conditions, to adapt themselves to views that have become dominant in the revolutionary movement. A case in point was the adaptation by petty- bourgeois revolutionism of Marx’s and Engels’s term "permanent revolution" to create a concept having nothing in common with Marxism.

In the first appeal of the Central Committee to the Communist League, published in March 1850, Marx and Engels emphasised that the working class cannot rest content with victories that satisfy the bourgeoisie, and even the democratic petty bourgeoisie whose aim is to finish with the revolution as quickly as possible. "Our task,” they said, "is to make the revolution permanent, until all more or less possessing classes have been forced out of their position of dominance, until the proletariat has conquered state power...." [64•1 The appeal ended with a call to the workers to take up an independent stand, not to allow themselves to be sidetracked from organising their own party, whose slogan "should be the uninterrupted revolution".

The Marxist idea of the permanent revolution follows logically from the fact that the proletariat is the only consistent revolutionary class, one that refuses to stand any form of oppression —the class whose historical mission is to build a classless society.

At that time, Marxists thought that the socialist revolution could be victorious only if there was a world revolution, one embracing at least the main capitalist countries. By "permanent revolution" Marx and Engels understood the 65 victory of the proletariat in all the dominant countries in the world.

Half a century later, the Marxist view of the revolution in permanence was developed by Lenin in his theory on the growing-over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution. Since the world capitalist system as a whole has now become mature for transition to socialism, a revolution which begins as a bourgeois one has every objective possibility not to stop with the destruction of feudal survivals, but to continue until the dictatorship of the proletariat is established. Lenin said that everything would depend on who would head the revolution: the bourgeoisie, interested in stopping it as quickly as possible, or the proletariat, which rallying all working people around itself, can lead the revolution to the victory of socialism. ”. .. From the democratic revolution,” Lenin wrote in 1905, "we shall at once, and precisely in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution." [65•1 In 1905, Lenin had not yet formulated the conclusion on the possibility of socialism triumphing in a single country, but his entire theory of the growing-over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution is based on the internal possibilities of the revolution. His book Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution and all other works written during the turbulent years of the first Russian Revolution are permeated with the conviction that the prospects of the movement, and 66 the speed with which the stages of the revolution will change, depend primarily on the strength of the working class, its organisation and its ability to win over the peasantry.

This explains also Lenin’s demand "to expand enormously" the limits of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and his thorough understanding that it is impossible to jump over the stage of that revolution and to begin to solve socialist tasks immediately. Lenin said that disregard of the democratic stage and of the tasks connected with it, belittling of these tasks, means "a travesty of theoretical Marxism...." [66•1

He called upon the Party to set the entire people broader general democratic tasks with more courage and initiative, and considered the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry as a new type of power, one that can carry the bourgeoisdemocratic revolution through to the end and ensure its growing-over into a socialist revolution.

This was not the only period during which a "travesty of theoretical Marxism" was made. It appeared in many variants in later years, and not only in Russia, but also in the international communist movement.

Trotsky, too, made a travesty of Marxism when in opposition to Marx’s and Engels’s propositions on permanent revolution and to Lenin’s theory of the growing-over of a bourgeoisdemocratic revolution into a socialist revolution he advanced his own "permanent revolution" theory which Lenin called "absurdly Left". [66•2

“No tsar, but a workers’ government"—was the slogan Trotsky proclaimed in 1905. It expressed the endeavour to jump over the bourgeoisdemocratic revolution which was already under way in Russia. "Trotsky’s major mistake,” Lenin said, "is that he ignores the bourgeois character of the revolution and has no clear conception of the transition from this revolution to the socialist revolution." [67•1

After the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917, Lenin advanced the slogan "All power to the Soviets!”, realising that they could pave the way for the transition to the socialist revolution. "Are we not in danger of falling into subjectivism, of wanting to arrive at the socialist revolution by ’skipping’ the bourgeois-democratic revolution—which is not yet completed and has not yet exhausted the peasant movement?" asked Lenin in his Letters on ’Tactics. "I might be incurring this danger if I said: ’No tsar, but a workers’ government.’ " [67•2 Some time later, speaking at the Petrograd City Party Conference, Lenin again emphasised that Trotsky’s slogan "No tsar, but a workers’ government" was erroneous.

Under Russian conditions, the Trotskyist "permanent revolution" meant to ignore the revolutionary possibilities of the peasantry, to regard it as an anti-revolutionary force. The Trotskyists continued their anti-peasant policy also after the triumph of the socialist revolution. If, however, we look at Trotskyism not only in its Russian variant, but also consider it as a claim to provide a general scheme for the world social- 68 ist revolution, we see that the main thing in Trotskyism is its endeavour to jump at any cost over stages of revolutionary development. In some cases this skipping means a break with the peasantry, in others, it may lead to the rejection of other allies—the national bourgeoisie, the urban petty-bourgeoisie, etc.

Characteristically, modern Trotskyists, while continuing to admire the so-called "permanent revolution" theory, which the "Fourth International" considers its "precious heritage”, actually reject Trotsky’s view of the peasantry as a reactionary force. Wishing to adapt their stand, at least in some degree, to the growing national liberation movement, the Trotskyists now speak of the peasant countries of the East as of "the emergent new vanguard”, and ascribe to them "a radical and decisive role”, while continuing to propagandise the "doctrine of permanent revolution”, which is supposed to hold out for Asia, Africa and Latin America the prospect of a leap to socialism.

Trotsky, trying to prove the possibility of skipping stages of social development, said: "It is nonsense to claim that it is impossible in general to jump over stages.” Marxist-Leninists do not deny leaps in the revolutionary process, but they regard a leap as an objective phenomenon prepared by the entire preceding development and not as the result only of revolutionary enthusiasm.

Mao Tse-tung holds the same methodological views as the Trotskyists as regards both the subjectivist striving to jump over stages and the contraposing of the revolution in one country to the world revolution. Like the Trotskyists, the Maoists have always and everywhere stood for the establishment of socialism in every country, irrespective 69 of the conditions prevailing there, and have always insisted that this must be done by armed insurrection.

According to the views of the Maoists, the peoples in the developing countries who have embarked on the road of independent national development should overthrow their governments by force of arms and immediately proclaim socialist construction.

Peking attacks the Communist Parties in the developed capitalist countries for regarding the struggle for the vital needs of the working people, for democracy, and for peace as a means of promoting the victory of socialism. Since this struggle has not yet taken the form of a revolution they call it opportunism.

This is obvious from Peking’s attitude to the parliamentary activity of Communists and their courageous struggle to defend democracy. The dialectics of history is such that with the growth of the liberation movement and the influence of the working class, the bourgeois democratic system becomes irksome to the monopoly bourgeoisie. It therefore launches an assault on democratic freedoms and endeavours to revise the constitution, to cancel all more or less progressive laws. Under these conditions, the defence of democracy, even if it is a very limited and formal bourgeois democracy in many respects, the movement for the extension and renovation of this democracy becomes a struggle against the monopolies and undermines the foundations of the capitalist system.

“At a time when the united anti-monopoly front is consolidating and expanding, when the working class and its allies are gaining ever greater political weight in society, they can make 70 a wider use of their hard-won democratic rights and institutions in the struggle against monopoly rule. The democratic reforms, expressing the interests of the working class and the non- proletarian sections of working people, which are being enforced under pressure of the masses, result in the consolidation of the positions of the progressive forces, and expand the bridgehead for launching a decisive offensive against capitalist positions. The movement to win greater rights for the people in the bourgeois countries is an important aspect of the class battles and an integral part of the struggle for socialism." [70•1

The Mao Tse-tung group denies any possibility that the working people’s struggle for democracy may be successful, and calls even its most obvious successes hand-outs of the ruling classes.

In the article "Once Again on Comrade Toglliati’s Differences With Us”, the editorial offices of the Renmin ribao and the Hung-chi “explained” that seats in a bourgeois parliament are not won by struggle but are handed out at will by the bourgeoisie in order to deprave the working class and its leaders. "In its interests,” they wrote, "the bourgeoisie admits representatives of the working class political party to its parliament under definite conditions. It thus strives to lead some representatives and leaders of the working class astray, to corrupt and even to bribe them.” So it seems that the victories of the Communists in elections are no more than bourgeois hand-outs and parliamentary cretinism.

Only blind supporters of pseudo-revolutionary schemes can deny that democratic gains reflect the balance of forces in the country, that they are the result of struggle and proof of the growing influence of the working class and the Communist Party. Many facts from the practice of the international communist movement corroborate Lenin’s statement that political changes "of a truly democratic nature, and especially political revolutions, can under no circumstances whatsoever either obscure or weaken the slogan of socialist revolution. On the contrary, they always bring it closer, extend its basis, and draw new sections of the petty bourgeoisie and the semiproletarian masses into the socialist struggle". [71•1

By revolution Marxism-Leninism understands first and foremost the conquest of state power by the revolutionary class. It does not link the concept of revolution with the method by which this conquest is made. "The passing of state power from one class to another is the first, the principle, the basic sign of a revolution, both in the strictly scientific and in the practical political meaning of the term." [71•2 That is why Marxists never agreed with those who shift the emphasis from the content of revolution to the methods by which it is carried out. Peking, however, holds a different view. The pamphlet Long Live Leninism says: "By revolution we understand the use of revolutionary violence by the oppressed class, a revolutionary war."

When in 1938, during the long drawn-out civil war and the armed resistance against the Japanese invaders, Mao Tse-tung said that in China 72 war was the main form of struggle and that "the rifle gives birth to power”, this really applied in the concrete conditions then prevailing in China. But even at that time Mao did not intend this as a characteristic of the specific features of the struggle in China, he considered it universally valid. His article extolling weapons as the source of all power begins with a categorical statement: "The central task of the revolution and its highest form is the seizure of power by force of arms, i.e., the solution of the question by war. This revolutionary principle of Marxism-Leninism is universally correct, it is undoubtedly correct for China and also for other countries." [72•1

The activity of the Maoist groups in the European countries shows how they regard revolutionism in modern conditions. To them revolutionism is expressed by terrorist acts, arson, obstructions, fights, and the cut-throat methods once advocated by the anarchists, methods which did not rest on a sound basis even then, and are absurd today, when the working-class movement is organised on a mass scale.

Thus, the Maoists recognise as revolutionary action only a revolutionary war, only armed insurrection, and consider all other forms of struggle against the ruling classes as opportunism and treachery.

Such stereotyped patterns for the methods and forms of struggle have nothing in common with genuine revolutionism. An analysis of the specific features of our epoch has shown that under definite conditions there is a real possibility of uniting the bulk of the people, of carrying out a 73 successful socialist revolution and of seizing state power without civil war.

In appraising the forms of struggle, Lenin did not proceed from abstract positions of maximum revolutionism; he assessed them according to their suitability in the objective conditions in which the social forces have to contend and according to how much these forms help to expand the mass movement and raise it to a higher stage. Lenin emphasised that the Bolsheviks could not and would not adopt the slogan of being "more revolutionary than anybody else”, that the senseless “revolution-making” of the anarchists was entirely alien to them.

The most revolutionary slogan calling for the most decisive form of struggle must inevitably become an empty phrase if it is proclaimed without due regard for the specific conditions of the current stage and the forms taken by the mass movement. "When people refuse to reckon with the actual situation that has arisen and the actual conditions of the particular mass movement, because of a slogan misinterpreted as unchangeable,” Lenin said, "such an application of a slogan inevitably degenerates into revolutionary phrase-mongering." [73•1

There are not and cannot be universal forms of struggle suitable in all conditions. A form which in some conditions might seem the only possible one, and might really play a revolutionary role, may become anti-revolutionary in other historical conditions. And, vice versa, a form which in certain conditions might be a rejection of revolutionary struggle, may become 74 an important form for advancing the revolution in different historical conditions.

Any attempt to make some form of struggle universal is dogmatic and essentially antirevolutionary. Nobody can invent forms of struggle They are evolved by the mass movement and depend on the concrete features of every historical moment. "Under no circumstances,” Lenin said, "does Marxism confine itself to the forms of struggle possible and in existence at the given moment only, recognising as it does that new forms of struggle, unknown to the participants of the given period, inevitably arise as the given social situation changes." [74•1 That is why Lenin stressed with such insistence that the revolutionary class "in order to accomplish its task . . . must be able to master all forms or aspects of social activity without exception .. . must be prepared for the most rapid and brusque replacement of one form by another." [74•2

Jumping over stages is only one aspect of the "permanent revolution" of the Trotskyists. The other deals with the relation between the revolutionary struggle within the country and the development of the world revolution.

Realising that the ignoring of bourgeoisdemocratic tasks in a backward country would put the proletariat in a difficult position by isolating it from the broad mass of the peasants, Trotsky saw only one way out of this dilemma, namely to spread the fire of revolution to the international arena. In 1922, he explained the essence of his "permanent revolution" as follows in the preface to his book 1905: "The contradictions in the 75 position of a workers’ government in a backward country with a predominantly peasant population can be resolved only on an international scale, in the arena of the world proletarian revolution."

Lenin’s theory of revolution did not underestimate the importance of the external conditions in which the revolution develops or ignore the significance of the international factor, but it proceeded first and foremost from the internal motive forces and proved that the revolution could be accomplished by relying on those forces. The "permanent revolution" theory, however, stresses not the development of the internal possibilities of the revolution, but the degree to which it can enkindle revolutionary development in other countries, making the fate of the revolution in one country entirely dependent on international support. The seeming revolutionism of the slogan "No tsar, but a workers’ government" reflects not faith in the internal possibilities of the revolution but, on the contrary, complete disbelief in them, and adventurist reliance on external support alone.

Compelled to reckon with the triumphant spread of Lenin’s ideas in the working-class movement, Trotsky hypocritically camouflaged his ideas as Leninism, denied that Trotskyism was hostile to Leninism. Right up to 1928 Trotsky stated that "the difference between the two lines, the ’permanent’ and the Leninist, are of secondary and subordinate significance.. . .” He attempted by all means to prove that the " permanent revolution" theory was nothing else than the Leninist theory of the growing-over of the democratic revolution into a socialist one, with the only difference that he (Trotsky) regarded the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the 76 proletariat and the peasantry (which Lenin considered to be the substance of the “growing-over”) as unrealistic, and the "permanent revolution" slogan as leading directly to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Trotsky’s attempts to picture the difference between the Leninist theory of the socialist revolution and his "permanent revolution" as a matter of secondary importance were designed to screen over the main thing, the substance, and to conceal the abyss dividing Leninism and Trotskyism.

However, the fact that these were not abstract theoretical problems, not differences of " subordinate importance”, but vital policy problems was becoming obvious not only in Russia, but also in all other countries where Leftist elements endeavoured to make the fate of the revolution depend on the victory of the revolution on a world-wide scale.

The anti-Marxist views on the relation between the revolution in one country and the world revolution became current in China as early as the thirties. Li Li-san, maintaining that "a direct revolutionary situation is maturing throughout the world”, said in 1930: "The victory of the Chinese revolution cannot be ensured and achieved without the victory of the world revolution.” Here, as in petty-bourgeois revolutionism in general, ultra-revolutionary phraseology easily coexists with capitulationism and lack of faith in the internal revolutionary forces. Many variants of the "permanent revolution" theory spread in China during subsequent years.

The problem of the relation between the revolution in one country and the world revolution has a direct bearing on the prospects of social 77 development after the triumph of the revolution.

Immediately after the Great October Socialist Revolution, Trotsky’s "permanent revolution" theory was intended by its creator to justify a policy leading to the destruction of the young Soviet state, since the latter was unable to crush world imperialism. After the Civil War and the defeat of the interventionists, the "permanent revolution" theory was used as the ideological basis for denying the possibility of building socialism in one country.

When the country had to decide whether it was to advance along the road of socialist construction without relying on immediate help from the world revolution, whether it was to make every possible use of the peaceful respite or to carry out a policy of unleashing a revolutionary war, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union displayed new vigour in exposing the adventurist nature of Trotsky’s "permanent revolution" theory.

The success of the C.P.S.U. in rousing the people to work for socialism and winning a brilliant victory solved the question whether or not it was possible to build socialism in one country. Events disproved the Trotskyist Cassandras. Socialism triumphed in the Soviet Union in the most difficult conditions, at a time when the country was surrounded by capitalist states. Despite persistent efforts by the defenders of the "permanent revolution" theory over many years to deny the socialist nature of the Soviet system and their predictions of its inevitable degeneration, the facts belied them.

Mao’s followers also practically deny that it is possible for socialist society to develop successfully in a single country or even in a community 78 of socialist states. They make the prospect of socialist construction and the gradual transition from socialism to communism directly dependent upon the destruction of world imperialism.

When the new Programme of the C.P.S.U. outlining the basic directions of communist construction in the U.S.S.R. was approved by the entire world communist movement, the Chinese leaders also called it a "grandiose plan for the building of communism by the Soviet people”. This was said in the greetings addressed by the Central Committee of the C.P.C. to the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. and signed by Mao Tse-tung. [78•1 Some time later, however, Mao Tsetung ceased to call the construction taking place in the Soviet Union communist, [78•2 and subsequently he declared that the Programme of the C.P.S.U. was aimed "against the revolution of the peoples”, "at preserving and restoring capitalism".

Again the thesis is advanced that, as long as capitalism exists in the world, a country that has carried out a socialist revolution is unable to solve its internal contradictions on a national scale, that this can be done only on an international scale. Formerly this pseudo-revolutionary but actually capitulationist statement was directed against socialist construction; now it is levelled against communist construction. Formerly the Trotskyists denied the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country; now Mao Tse-tung’s 79 followers deny the possibility of the triumph of communism in several countries, asserting that this is possible only on a world scale. They refuse to believe that a programme for building communist society can be implemented in presentday conditions, in a world in which there is still imperialism. Similar to the approach the Trotskyists once adopted to socialist construction, the Maoists now say that any attempt to build communist society in one or several countries while imperialism still exists is an effort to achieve the impossible, that is, acting without a sense of responsibility and at variance with proletarian internationalism. How familiar all this sounds! Even the same old words are used: "striving to achieve the impossible”, "departure from proletarian internationalism”, etc.

In their attacks on communist construction in the U.S.S.R., the Maoist propagandists seek enthusiasm in verbal strivings to kindle the world revolution by all and every means. The danger of building communism, they say, is that people will rest content with what they have achieved in their country and will stop thinking about the world revolution, that "the political consciousness of the people, its militancy will drop....” In their opinion, the shortest way to communism is not to work out and implement a programme of communist construction, but "to fight imperialism by all possible means".

It is extremely difficult for adherents of the abstract formula "a revolutionary must make revolutions" to understand that earnest, conscientious work in a socialist country is also an expression of revolutionism, that a diplomat pursuing the peaceful policy of a socialist country is also working for the revolutionary cause. Naturally 80 the image of the Red Army man with a cartridge belt over his shoulder is more impressive than the image of a scientist in the laboratory or the director of a factory, but today revolutionism in the socialist countries is expressed not by fighting on barricades but by working to improve the socialist system, by raising its economic and military potential, by increasing its spiritual wealth.

The Chinese hurrah-revolutionaries reject Lenin’s view that socialism will exert its main influence on international development by its economic successes, that the emergent new society will revolutionise human development by the force of its example. They want to implant in the communist movement adventuristic ideas springing essentially from their distrust of the socialist forces.

Attacking communist construction in the U.S.S.R., the Maoists do not believe it possible that socialism will triumph in their own country. The ninth article in the series, "Replies to the Open Letter of the C.G., C.P.S.U.”, published in the Renmin ribao on July 14, 1964, states explicitly that it is impossible to build full socialism before imperialism and capitalism have been destroyed throughout the world. In accordance with this statement, the Maoists believe that the period of building socialism and the transition to communism will take not years or decades, but centuries or even millennia. This article says that "the stage of the permanent socialist revolution”, the "stage of the dictatorship of the proletariat" will last "hundreds, thousands and even ten thousand years”. Throughout that period, which is longer than the entire preceding history of class society, there will be, they say, 81 a sharp class struggle conducted according to the principle of "who will beat whom".

It should not be thought that Mao has always held such views. Quite recently, in 1958, he advanced the slogan "three years of persistent labour—10,000 years of happiness".

It is not hard to see what has brought about this radical change of mind—it is a typical case of petty-bourgeois swinging from one extreme to the other.

At its Eighth Congress in 1956, despite pronounced Leftist trends on some concrete questions of economic construction, the C.P.C. still stood on more or less realistic positions. The resolution of the congress set the task of " creating within three five-year plans or a somewhat longer period an integral industrial system so that industrial production should hold the basic place in social production”, emphasised the need for "a rational combination of construction in the country with an improvement of the well-being of the people”, and warned that, if the real situation was not taken into account and excessively high rates were fixed "this will hinder economic development and the fulfilment of the plan and therefore be an adventuristic error". [81•1 The tendency "to run blindly ahead" was criticised at the congress.

Subsequent events showed, however, that Mao Tse-tung’s followers, unable to make their line prevail at the congress, had begun to carry it out in circumvention of the decisions adopted by it.

In 1958, the "great leap" was announced. 82 Slogans were advanced which had no chance of success whatever and which expressed the unbridled voluntarism and complete irresponsibility of their authors. No sooner had the Politbureau of the C.C., C.P.C. decided in August 1958 to increase the grain harvest in a year by 60 per cent than the Hung-chi (November 16) wrote that Mao Tse-tung demanded that the grain harvest be doubled not only in 1958 but also in 1959. The slogan "To overtake and outstrip Britain in the output of key industrial production within 15 or a few more years”, advanced early in 1958, was soon amended and the task was set for seven years, and later, in some branches, for 2-3 years. The 1962 targets for many branches were higher than the output of these branches in U.S. industry. This clearly subjectivist attempt to skip unfulfilled tasks of the transition period was a dismal failure. It took several years to make up for the losses caused by the adventurist "great leap”. According to many observers (statistics are no longer published in China), the Chinese national economy is still on the 1957 level.

However, as soon as the economy had recovered a little, Mao renewed his drive for new “leaps”. During the "cultural revolution" it was announced that Mao had taken no part in the decisions of the Eighth Congress of the C.P.C., which were thenceforward considered erroneous by his group.

During the "cultural revolution”, the subjectivism and arbitrary appraisal typical of pettybourgeois revolutionism were accompanied more than ever before by wanton vilification of all those who held different ideas, and accusations of. revisionism and opportunism were levelled against everybody who did not share the adventuristic ideas of Mao Tse-tung.

From the hysterical outcries against "the handful of highly placed people in authority in the Party who are following the capitalist line" it is impossible to determine exactly what that “handful” is accused of. The use of allegory and allusion is here carried to the extreme. "The black line”, “revisionism”, “reaction” are labels which provide no clue to what is behind them. This puts one in mind of Lenin’s sarcastic description of the heroes of the revolutionary “screeching” "who regard ’slogans’, not as a practical conclusion from a class analysis and assessment of a particular moment in history, but as a charm with which a party or a tendency has been provided once and for all". [83•1

However, some of the most frequent reproaches show that the points at issue are the ways of progress and the methods of resolving internal contradictions.

The revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting classes and the conquest of power by the working people ushers in the period of building a new society. Here, as Lenin said, an entirely new approach must be adopted, and he called it a reformist approach as compared with the preceding, revolutionary one. "The period of unprecedented proletarian achievements in the military, administrative and political fields has given way to a period in which the growth of new forces will be much slower; and that period did not set in by accident, it was inevitable; it was due to the operation not of persons or parties, but of objective causes. In the economic field, develop- 84 ment is inevitably more difficult, slower, and more gradual; that arises from the very nature of the activities in this field compared with military, administrative and political activities. It follows from the specific difficulties of this work, from its being more deep-rooted, if one may so express it." [84•1

The C.P.S.U. succeeded in overcoming all difficulties and leading the country to the triumph of socialism because it smashed the Leftist adventurists and steadily strove for as deep- rooted as possible economic development, although the international situation continually called for accelerated rates.

China’s transition to peaceful construction after 22 years of armed struggle inevitably also provided an occasion for Right opportunist and Leftist vacillations. Her economy was more backward in 1949 than Russia’s had been in 1921. It is true that the difficulties facing China were different in quality to those that had to be overcome by the Soviet Union, the first socialist state in the world, surrounded by hostile capitalist countries.

However the leading group in the C.P.C. capitulated in face of the difficulties. It refused to reckon with the fact that military methods are no good for peaceful economic development. Mao Tse-tung disregarded the fact that the transition to other methods and rates is not accidental, but inevitable, that it is not the fault of individuals or parties, but is a result of objective causes. He also refused to reckon with the fact that socialism can be built in a backward country only in alliance with the world socialist system and the 85 international working-class movement. Having renounced this alliance, the Maoists have actually abandoned socialist ideals and begun to look for a way out in adventuristic policies.

It is an objective law that questions of economic development and increased production are placed in the foreground after the victory of the revolution. Socialism can assert itself only on the basis of a highly developed industry and progressive technology in all branches of the social economy. A backward country, in which political power is held by the working people, can by-pass the capitalist stage of development, but not the stage of providing the material and technical basis of socialism. No matter how much economic growth rates rise after the triumph of the revolution, socialist construction cannot be carried out in leaps and bounds. Despite all its power to work changes, politics can be successful only if it is not opposed to economics, but corresponds to it, or, as Lenin said, becomes a concentrated expression of economics.

In adopting a subjectivist stand and refusing to reckon with reality, Mao’s group set their politics in opposition to economics in the most adventuristic way. Politics, they allege, is a commanding force, superior to any economic laws. According to the leader in Hung-chi, No. 11 for 1967, "all talk about a so-called organisation of social life and the development of the productive forces is but knavish tricks of old revisionism".

All those who thought that the development of the productive forces should take a central place in the Party’s activity, that economic progress should be gradual and balanced, were declared revisionists.

In China the enormous army of Hungweipings is “educated” on such "exhaustive directives" of Lin Piao, as the following: "There are two ways to build our state. The first is that of the Soviet Union, where one-sided attention is given to the production of material wealth, to the production of machinery, mechanisation, and some sort of material incentive.

“The other way is the one we have taken under the leadership of Chairman Mao. Under the leadership of Chairman Mao we have created a state of a new type. This state considers that, alongside mechanisation, revolutionisation is most important. We shall guide mechanisation with the help of revolutionisation". [86•1

This hazy definition gives us no idea what should be understood by “revolutionisation”. But some hints now and again appear in the Chinese press to the effect that "we must be ready to accept responsibility for the liberation of the bulk of the peoples throughout the world". [86•2

Shattered hopes about the possibility of ensuring the complete victory of socialism at one stroke led to the declaration that socialist revolution was uninterrupted. "One leap after another, one revolution after another”; one uninterrupted leap, one uninterrupted revolution; "when one revolution is complete, the next should begin"—such statements began to appear in the Chinese press as early as 1958 and increased in frequency until revolution was finally declared a permanent state of society. The Maoists began to portray "permanent revolution" as the only way of solving all social problems, as a means 87 which "constantly stimulates the enthusiasm of cadres and masses”, while the propagandist apparatus began to extol Mao as the creator of the teaching on the revolution under the proletarian dictatorship.

The Maoist variant of the "permanent revolution" theory as applied to the internal tasks of a country declares that problems of building a new society which may seem to have been solved long ago will emerge again and again with ever greater urgency.

It now appears that China, where according to all official documents of the C.P.C., a dictatorship of the proletariat has been set up, again faces a struggle for power. That is why fanaticism and personal devotion to the leader are extolled instead of the qualities typical of a revolutionary of Lenin’s type—the ability to maintain constant links with the masses, organisational talent, firmness and flexibility. The terminology of the anarchists, who reduced the concept " revolutionary" to “rebel”, “mutineer”, has been dusted off and put to use again. Detachments of young people and adolescents—the Hungweipings and the Tsaofans (made up of people a bit older than the former)—have been set up. They not only call themselves rebels, but also resort extensively to the methods of violence and destruction extolled by the anarchists.

The idea of a struggle for power after the revolutionary conquest of power has nothing in common with the Marxist-Leninist theory of classes and the class struggle. Classes differ from each other according to their relation to the means of production. "The abolition of classes,” Lenin said, "means placing all citizens on an equal footing with regard to the means of production 88 belonging to society as a whole. It means giving all citizens equal opportunities of working on the publicly-owned means of production, on the publicly-owned land, at the publicly-owned factories, and so forth." [88•1 This process was going on in China, as also in other countries which embarked on socialist construction.

Equal relations to the means of production are the basis on which the unity of society is built and they also determine the way in which the contradictions emerging in that society are resolved. However, this does not suit Mao Tse-tung’s followers. Some ten years after it was announced that the question of "who will beat whom" had been solved in China, it is explained with a wise air that in order to liquidate the exploiting classes it is necessary not only "to liquidate classes in the economic sphere”, but also to "destroy the classes in the sphere of politics, ideology, world outlook, way of life, etc.”. This makes it more than easy for political or ideological reasons, because of world outlook or way of life, to accuse anybody, irrespective of his social position, of being a bourgeois and a class enemy. It is enough for a person to express disagreement with, or even doubt in the correctness of, any statement by Mao, and he is branded a “capitalist”.

The Socialist-Revolutionaries in Russia were indignant when Lenin exposed them as champions of petty-bourgeois interests. They held extremely ridiculous ideas about classes, and Lenin derided them saying that they ”. .. write about the petty-bourgeoisie as if this term did not signify a social category, but was simply a polemical- 89 turn of speech". [89•1 Similarly, for the modern Chinese representatives of petty-bourgeois revolutionism, the concept “bourgeoisie” does not denote a social category. It has become merely a term of abuse, a label that can be attached to anybody who does not agree with them. They fulminate against those whom they call bourgeois, yet the real bourgeois in China are let alone and are still entitled to share in the profits from their former enterprises. [89•2

For example, the Chinese press seriously alleged that Lu Ping, Secretary of the Party Committee and rector of Peking University, had established in the university a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, that Chou Yang, assistant chief of the propaganda department of the C.C., C.P.C., was nothing but "a representative of the bourgeoisie”. But that was only the beginning. Later, generalisations were made from these individual “facts”. The editorial of the Hung-chi No. 3 for 1967 asserted that "not a dictatorship of the proletariat but a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie has been carried out" in organisations which were for a long time controlled by a handful of people disagreeing with Mao’s ideas.

Then, Chen Po-ta, one of the chief ideologists of the "cultural revolution”, took it upon himself to “explain” what was happening in the country. In January 1967, he said: "Our struggle for power must lead to the assumption of power by the proletariat from the bourgeoisie, from the representatives- 90 of the bourgeoisie, from the agents of the bourgeoisie. As our Chairman Mao once said, this is a struggle for the elimination of one class by the other.” It appears that, in spite of what Mao asserted before, liberation has not fully solved the question of the seizure of power, it is being solved now, in the course of the "cultural revolution”, which is an "unprecedented, great event in the world".

When asked what sort of government Chairman Mao had headed for 18 years, Chen Po-ta, his ideological henchman, did not give any answer. It would have been embarrassing to admit that Mao had headed a bourgeois state; but if it was stated that the victory of the people’s democratic revolution had placed the working class and peasantry at the helm of state, how could one ideologically justify the severe repressive measures carried out under the so-called cultural revolution against people holding different views.

However, these "irksome questions" had to be answered. Obviously, the question, what kind of power had been established in China since 1949, was bound to arise again and again. That is why, in the summer of 1967, the Hung-chi explained that for 17 years the dominating "position was held in our state by the dictatorship of the proletariat and not the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This was the case also in recent years. There should be no doubt about it".

Thus, Mao’s followers are forced to recognise that the Maoist "permanent revolution" is a purely subjectivist scheme, in no way connected with the social character of power, and adapted to the task of destroying those who oppose Mao’s adventurism.

The struggle against Mao’s opponents, which is pictured as a struggle "for the elimination of one class by the other”, shows that Mao’s clique tries to bolster up its power by using revolutionary terms. But that is the end of all ideology.

Those who are unable to make both ends meet are given “ideological” assistance by the Hungweipings, the witches’ sabbath experts. It is said that out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come forth pearls of wisdom. Ignoramuses called to the banner of the "cultural revolution" are not burdened with the knowledge of Marxism, their perception needs no intermediary. Proclamation No. 1 of the HQ of the revolutionary rebels in the Shansi Province, published in January 1967 says, "Chairman Mao Tse-tung teaches us: many thousands of Marxist principles can in the final analysis be reduced to one: ’Mutiny is a just cause.’" This echoes Bakunin, who said that "every mutiny is always useful".

This statement would have shocked even Trotsky, although the press of the so-called Fourth International recently noted with satisfaction that the "Chinese have worked out a theory directly related to the theory of permanent revolution”. The founders of mutinous anarchism may congratulate themselves on having found new followers. And thus, sterile revolutionism with its "permanent revolution" leads to senseless mutiny.

The Maoist “permanent” revolution is an endless process. Wenhuai pao wrote on February 26, 1967 that the “victories” of the Tsaofans cannot be regarded as final. "It will not be long before the overthrown, those in power in the party and following the capitalist path, are able to find agents in our revolutionary organisations, 92 while the revolutionary Tsaofans now in power may degenerate."

So as not to leave any doubt about the endlessness of the fight against the "black line”, the leader of the army organ Chienfangchiun pao explained on April 18, 1966 that "after the liquidation of this black line, there may emerge new black lines, and then it will be necessary to renew the fight. This is a difficult, complex and lengthy struggle. It will take several decades, perhaps even centuries".

Such are the prospects of the "permanent revolution”. No wonder the adventurists who advocate it are looking for a way out of their difficulties in the international arena, and break out in hysteria over the "crafty designs" of external enemies as their internal difficulties grow. The world revolution is expected to save the bankrupt adventurists and if it has not broken out yet, it must be given a push.

Lin Piao said at the so-called Ninth Congress of the C.P.C. in 1969 that final victory in one socialist country requires not only efforts by the proletariat and fhe broad mass of the people of that country, but depends also on the triumph of the world revolution and the abolition of exploitation of man by man all over the globe. The Trotskyist denial of the possibility of a victory of socialism in individual countries is now proclaimed in China the official line, with all the consequences arising therefrom.

Communists in all countries link the expectation of future victories with an upsurge of the mass revolutionary movement of their people. They object against any import of revolution, against pushing it from outside, they condemn those who think that revolutions can be arranged 93 artificially, at somebody’s wish. "Of course,” Lenin said in 1918, "there are people who believe that revolution can break out in a foreign country to order, by agreement. These people are either mad or they are provocateurs. We have experienced two revolutions during the past twelve years. We know that revolutions cannot be made to order, or by agreement; they break out when tens of millions of people come to the conclusion that it is impossible to live in the old way any longer." [93•1

The ideas once developed by Trotsky and other "revolutionary phrase-mongers" on the need to push revolutions, were resolutely condemned by Lenin as adventuristic, deeply alien to Marxism, and fraught with the danger of bringing about a state of affairs when the working people who were to have been "made happy by socialism" through a revolutionary war, through the import of revolution, will, as a result of this policy, be prisoners of their own bourgeoisie. Now Mao endeavours to turn to his advantage the absurd theory of "permanent revolution" with its jumping over stages, its denial of the possibility of socialism triumphing in separate countries and its calls for "revolutionary wars".


[61•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 21, p. 75.

[62•1] K. Marx/F. Engels, Wcrkc, Bd. 18, 1962, S. 552, 554.

[62•2] Ibid., pp. 481–82.

[64•1] K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1962, p. 110.

[65•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 9, pp. 236–37.

[66•1] Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 112.

[66•2] Ibid., Vol. 20, p. 346.

[67•1] Ibid., Vol. 15, p. 371.

[67•2] Ibid., Vol. 24, p. 4S.

[70•1] Fiftieth Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, Theses of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U., pp. 57–58.

[71•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 21, p. 339.

[71•2] Ibid., Vol. 24, p. 44.

[72•1] Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works, Vol. 2, Russian editon, p. 379.

[73•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 15, p. 215.

[74•1] Ibid., Vol. 11, p. 213.

[74•2] Ibid., Vol. 31, p. 96.

[78•1] See The Twenty-Second Congress of the C.P.S.U., October 17–31, 1961. Stenographic Report, Vol. 1, Moscow, 1962, pp. 327–28.

[78•2] See "Greetings on the Occasion of the 46th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution”, Pravda, November 7, 1963.

[81•1] Materials of the Eighth All-China Congress of the Communist Party of China (in Russian), pp. 472, 477,478.

[83•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 15, p. 154.

[84•1] Ibid., Vol. 33, p. 28.

[86•1] Chienfangchiun pao, March 5, 1967.

[86•2] Jiefang ribao, May 23, 1965.

[88•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 20, p. 146.

[89•1] Ibid., Vol. 6, p. 199.

[89•2] There are over a million capitalists in China. The payments of a share of the profits made by their former enterprises was to end in 1962, later the term was prolonged to 1966. now it has been extended by another ten years.

[93•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 27, p. 480.