re-counter-revolution in china

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Fri May 3 12:35:12 MDT 1996

re-counter-revolution in china


>What are your sources for this claim--that the masses were forbidden from
>participating in the decision-making process?


Top-down decisions, in which the masses are elected to execute policy (by the
 Communist Party) has been one tradition of Mao Thought that Deng has
assiduously followed.

The beginning and end of the Great Leap Forward, the Hundred Flowers
Campaign, the beginning and end of the Cultural Revolution, the purge of
Deng by the Gang of Four, the purge of the Gang by Hua, the return of Deng,
the economic reforms - all have this in common: the mass line was implemented

>from the top down. None of the major changes in the mass line were made
through the participation of the masses.

Remember that Mao Zedong was prepared to plunder the peasants  - even during
a time of severe famine - in order to amplify the national power under his
command by building a nuclear warfare state. (In doing so, he believed he was
securing the Chinese people's right to an alternative path of development.
But in effect,  Mao thereby
placed China in a position of having to "catch up".)

The above is the most extreme form of top-down decision making in
revolutionary China, but it is far from unique. It is bound up with the
essentialist politics of the mass line.

In the words of Mao Zedong, this meant: "Take the ideas of the masses
and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into
concentrated and systematic ideas), and then go to the masses and propagate
explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to
and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in
(On the Mass Line).

"To be rich is glorious" - is one example of how this can operate. In fact,
politics of the mass line - which places the party rather than the masses in
control - are such that both Liu Shaoqui and Lin Biao both "applied the mass
line" during periods in which they held substantial power.

The active participation of the masses in the decision-making process itself
- a
democratic aspiration Mao voiced prior to the establishment of the republic
and again, in the sixties, at the time of the launching of the Cultural
Revolution - was blocked by the institutionalization of the Communist Party &
PLA, which depended on hierarchy and secrecy, and around which the resurgence
of class struggle in China

This was the contradiction that Mao could not overcome and which came to
threaten the socialist rights achieved by the working class in the national

By the time Mao was mummified, China had embarked down the capitalist road of

national development, after had Mao resolved the contradictions among the
in favour of national interest. The coup d'etat decided which clique would
come to
the fore to oversee the process.


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