Na­tional lib­er­a­tion and so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

Com­rade Mao Ze­dong was a great pa­triot and na­tional hero of the mod­ern times, the core of the first gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese lead­er­ship and a great fig­ure who changed the face of the na­tion and led Chi­nese peo­ple to a new des­tiny. He was a great Marx­ist, a great pro­le­tar­ian rev­o­lu­tion­ary, strate­gist and the­o­reti­cian, and a pi­o­neer of the ap­pli­ca­tion of Marx­ism in China.

When he was young, Mao set for him­self the goal of lift­ing the Chi­nese na­tion out of cri­sis. Af­ter mak­ing re­peated com­par­isons of the ide­olo­gies and paths at that time, Mao made a res­o­lute de­ci­sion of choos­ing Marx­ism-Lenin­ism to re­vive China. Mao con­sis­tently ad­hered to such a pur­suit in his rev­o­lu­tion­ary ca­reer de­spite the enor­mous changes of the times and the ar­du­ous set­backs he suf­fered.

In search of truth and rev­o­lu­tion­ary vic­tory

The found­ing of the Com­mu­nist Party of China in 1921 cre­ated for the Chi­nese peo­ple the back­bone for ad­vance­ment. How­ever, China faced the spe­cial na­tional con­di­tion of peas­ants be­ing the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion in what was then a semi-colo­nial and semi-feu­dal so­ci­ety. The back­ward and scat­tered smallscale peas­ant econ­omy, its in­grained so­cial influences and the suf­fer­ings brought upon China by the in­va­sions and ex­ploita­tion of Western pow­ers pre­sented to the Chi­nese peo­ple a se­ri­ous ques­tion: What kind of path could lead the Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion to vic­tory?

Mao cre­atively re­solved a se­ries of ma­jor is­sues on how to com­bine the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of Marx­ism-Lenin­ism with China’s ac­tual con­di­tions, and made pro­found anal­y­ses of China’s so­cial for­ma­tion and class sta­tus. Through re­lent­less ex­plo­rations, Mao be­came fully aware of the essence, tar­get, task and forces of China’s rev­o­lu­tion, put for­ward a two-step strat­egy — from new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion to so­cial­ism — adopted the gen­eral new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion­ary line, and opened the rev­o­lu­tion­ary path of “sur­round­ing cities with the coun­try­side” and fi­nally achieved a na­tion­wide vic­tory.

Mao cre­atively built the CPC into a party armed with sci­en­tific the­o­ries and rev­o­lu­tion­ary spirit and with the “blood and flesh ties” of the peo­ple. He spear­headed the build­ing of a new peo­ple’s army. Mao cre­atively solved a se­ries of sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems fac­ing the build­ing of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary front that could unite the ma­jor­ity of the Chi­nese peo­ple and won over a broad al­lied force for the cause of the Party and the peo­ple. He led us to cre­atively put for­ward and im­ple­ment a se­ries of cor­rect strate­gies and tac­tics and re­solved one af­ter another com­pli­cated and dif­fi­cult is­sues in a timely man­ner in the process of the Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion.

Af­ter 28 years of tena­cious and bloody fight­ing and strug­gle, the Party and the Chi­nese peo­ple de­feated the Ja­panese im­pe­ri­al­ist in­vaders and over­threw the rule of im­pe­ri­al­ism, feu­dal­ism and bu­reau­cratic cap­i­tal­ism to achieve a new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion­ary vic­tory and re­al­ize na­tional in­de­pen­dence and peo­ple’s lib­er­a­tion which gen­er­a­tions of Chi­nese had dreamt of.

Build­ing China into a na­tion of strength and pros­per­ity

The found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China made the Chi­nese peo­ple the mas­ters of their na­tion, so­ci­ety and des­tiny, and was a gi­ant step to­ward the es­tab­lish­ment of peo­ple’s democ­racy. It also re­al­ized China’s re­uni­fi­ca­tion and na­tional unity and ended the semi-colo­nial and semi-feu­dal his­tory of old China.

Af­ter the found­ing of New China, the first-gen­er­a­tion Party lead­er­ship, with Mao at the core, led the Chi­nese peo­ple to over­come the war-in­duced trauma, re­stored the col­lapsed na­tional econ­omy and put for­ward a gen­eral line for the tran­si­tional pe­riod, cre­atively re­al­iz­ing a tran­si­tion from new demo­cratic to so­cial­ist rev­o­lu­tion and en­abling the na­tion with one-fourth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion to trans­form into a so­cial­ist so­ci­ety, the pro­found­est and great­est so­cial vi­cis­si­tude in China’s his­tory. The vic­tory of the new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion was the fun­da­men­tal po­lit­i­cal pre­con­di­tion and sys­tem­atic foun­da­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of China’s so­cial­ist sys­tem and all its de­vel­op­ment and progress in con­tem­po­rary times.

Af­ter the es­tab­lish­ment of the so­cial­ist sys­tem, the great­est ques­tion was: How should the Party pro­ceed with so­cial­ist con­struc­tion? In the fol­low­ing years, Mao minutely ex­plored the paths for so­cial­ist con­struc­tion that suited China’s na­tional con­di­tions. Within a not too long pe­riod, Chi­nese so­ci­ety wit­nessed earth­shak­ing changes, with the build­ing of a rel­a­tively in­de­pen­dent and com­plete in­dus­trial and eco­nomic sys­tem and the mak­ing of the “two bombs and one satel­lite (atomic and hy­dro­gen bombs and ar­ti­fi­cial satel­lite)” in­dige­nously. That helped the coun­try gather im­por­tant ex­pe­ri­ences on how to carry out so­cial­ist con­struc­tion in a coun­try with an ex­tremely back­ward pro­duc­tion sys­tem.

Mao has made his­toric con­tri­bu­tions to the vic­tory of China’s new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion, so­cial­ist rev­o­lu­tion and so­cial­ist con­struc­tion, as well as the re­al­iza­tion of in­de­pen­dence and re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion and the lib­er­a­tion of the Chi­nese peo­ple and their hap­pi­ness.

Mao’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion is lead­ing our Party and peo­ple in find­ing the cor­rect new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion­ary path, erad­i­cat­ing im­pe­ri­al­ism and feu­dal­ism from the coun­try, found­ing the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, mak­ing rudi­men­tary achieve­ments in the process of China’s so­cial­ist con­struc­tion, and of­fer­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ences for the build­ing of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Party mem­bers, with Mao Ze­dong as the ma­jor rep­re­sen­ta­tive, de­vel­oped the sci­en­tific guid­lines of Marx­is­mLenin­ism suited to China’s con­di­tions to make the rev­o­lu­tion suc­cess­ful and the na­tional con­struc­tion solid. This is known as Mao Ze­dong Thought. Mao Ze­dong Thought ed­u­cated sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of CPC lead­ers and mem­bers who played im­por­tant roles in the new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion, so­cial­ist rev­o­lu­tion and con­struc­tion pe­ri­ods of China.

Deng Xiaop­ing said we must never dis­card the ban­ner of Mao Ze­dong Thought or we deny the Party’s his­tory.

Mao be­longs to the world as well as China. He not only won the love and ad­mi­ra­tion of Party mem­bers and the peo­ple in China, but also of all the pro­gres­sive peo­ple across the world. His rev­o­lu­tion­ary prac­tices and glo­ri­ous achieve­ments are en­graved in China’s his­tory. His name and thought will mo­ti­vate us to stride for­ward for­ever.

Even the great leader made mis­takes in his late years

World his­tory shows that all coun­tries suf­fered set­backs in their quest for de­vel­op­ment. But dif­fi­cul­ties and hard­ships help a na­tion to ma­ture. Mao of­ten said the fu­ture is bright but the road has twists and turns. This is the his­tor­i­cal logic of all right­eous causes. The great­ness of our cause lies in the daunt­ing dif­fi­cul­ties we have and will over­come to achieve suc­cess.

It is un­de­ni­able, though, that Mao made er­rors in his ex­plo­ration of so­cial­ist con­struc­tion. He com­mit­ted grave mis­takes in his later life, es­pe­cially dur­ing the “cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion” (196676). As for his mer­its and de­mer­its, the his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment is­sued by the Sixth Plenum of the CPC’s 11th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in 1981 gives a com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion.

Deng said Mao’s achieve­ments are pri­mary, his er­rors sec­ondary, and his er­rors were caused be­cause he vi­o­lated his own cor­rect­ness and they are mis­takes com­mit­ted by a great rev­o­lu­tion­ary and Marx­ist.

There are no ex­am­ples of how to build so­cial­ism in a coun­try with so­cial and his­tor­i­cal con­di­tions like China. It is like climb­ing a high moun­tain on which hu­mans have not set foot be­fore. We have no choice but to cut a path through bram­bles and thorns.

A com­pre­hen­sive and dialec­ti­cal eval­u­a­tion

Mao’s mis­takes were caused by his mis­judg­ment as well as by the then com­plex fac­tors at home and abroad. Thus we must take a com­pre­hen­sive, his­tor­i­cal and dialec­ti­cal view of his mis­takes, an­a­lyze not only his own sub­jec­tive el­e­ments and in­di­vid­ual li­a­bil­ity, but also see them in the con­text of the com­pli­cated so­cial and his­tor­i­cal sit­u­a­tions pre­vail­ing at home and abroad at that time.

Rev­o­lu­tion­ary lead­ers are not gods, but hu­man be­ings. We can­not wor­ship them like gods or refuse to al­low peo­ple to point out and cor­rect their er­rors just be­cause they are great; nor can we to­tally re­pu­di­ate them and erase their his­tor­i­cal feats just be­cause they com­mit­ted

Mao’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion is lead­ing our Party and peo­ple in find­ing the cor­rect new demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion­ary path, erad­i­cat­ing im­pe­ri­al­ism and feu­dal­ism from the coun­try, found­ing the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, mak­ing rudi­men­tary achieve­ments in the process of China’s so­cial­ist con­struc­tion, and of­fer­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ences for the build­ing of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.


The past teaches peo­ple about the fu­ture. A Marx­ist party’s at­ti­tude to its own mis­takes is the most im­por­tant and re­li­able mea­sure of its com­mit­ment to ful­fill­ing the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties given to it by the peo­ple. Our Party has al­ways adopted a solemn at­ti­tude to­ward the faults and mis­takes com­mit­ted by the Party and im­por­tant lead­ers — that we should have the courage to ad­mit the mis­takes, cor­rectly an­a­lyze the causes, cor­rect the mis­takes and turn them into valu­able lessons.

The set­backs, hard­ships and dif­fi­cul­ties the Chi­nese na­tion has faced in its 5,000-plus years of civ­i­liza­tion, the past more than 170 years of strug­gle, the 90-plus years of the CPC’s toil and ef­forts and the over 60 years of de­vel­op­ment his­tory of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, ev­ery­thing has been writ­ten by the peo­ple. We draw lessons from his­tory to strive for a bet­ter fu­ture.

Un­der the lead­er­ship of Deng, our Party cor­rectly eval­u­ated Mao Ze­dong Thought’s his­tor­i­cal po­si­tion and made the strate­gic de­ci­sion 35 years ago to achieve so­cial­ist mod­ern­iza­tion in China, which are cru­cial in­ter-re­lated is­sues. The Party launched the re­form and open­ing-up and made so­cial­ist mod­ern­iza­tion with eco­nomic con­struc­tion the fo­cus of its at­ten­tion and work.

The rev­o­lu­tion, con­struc­tion and re­form of China led by our Party is a con­tin­u­ous his­tor­i­cal process and an in­te­grated cause to save, re­cover and pros­per and ul­ti­mately re­ju­ve­nate the na­tion.

The path de­cides the fate. The Party and Chi­nese peo­ple had to pay all kinds of costs to find the right path of build­ing so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

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