The mass line, the correct line and the closed circle

Rolf Martens rolf.martens at
Wed May 8 17:34:35 MDT 1996

Hello Chris & others,


(I hope)
>Rolf could engage in ever more detailed discussions of the moment
>at which China went revisionist. But he himself implies a weakness
>in the Maoist model of two line struggle. He quotes, convincingly
>IMO, evidence that Mao was balancing the two wings and looking
>for a third way, and he seems to support this. That in itself
>suggests that "Two Line Struggle" may at least at times
>be a dangerous simplification even from a Maoist point of view.

I do intend to write more about this, when I find the time
for it. Among other things, there was an imoprtant analysis
in 1977 by the German party KPD/ML(NEUE EINHEIT), which only
much later (end of '80:s) degenerated. I published a Swedish
translation of this article of theirs in early 1979.

But: Mao was *not* "balancing" the two "wings". He was
*opposing doth *deviations*. Not out of a desire for
"popularity" either, but aiming for what was in the
interest of the great majority of people, both in
China itself and internationally.

"Two-line struggle" - should it be called "three-line
struggle" instead? No, both deviations were expression
of the bourgeois line within the communist party. So
saying "two-line struggle" is not an oversimplification.
It's important to see, though, and it was stressed very clearly
at the important Tenth Congress of the CPC in August 1973:
There is often the phenomenon of "one tendency covering another".
I quote from Zhou Enlai's report (which I quoted in my "UNITE!
Info #3en", too, 01.01.96) (here the old-style transcription
of names was still used):

"It is imperative to note that one tendency covers another.
The opposition to Chen Tu-hsiu's Right opportunsm which
advocated 'all alliance, no struggle' covered Wang Ming's
'Left' opportunism which advocated 'all struggle, no
alliance'. The rectification of Wang Ming's 'Left' deviation
covered Wang Ming's Right deviation. The struggle against
Liu Shao-chi's revisionism covered Lin Piao's revisionism."
(Peking Review No. 35-36 / 1973 p. 21)

It was a similar struggle precisely at that time and in the
next 2-3 years, with the Right opportunism of Deng Xiaoping
and the "Left" opportunism of the "Gang of Four" (named so
by Mao in 1974) covering each other and in the end, with
the international support of US imperialism, which backed
*both* of them, and Soviet social-imperialism, which above
all backed the "Gang", leading to the overthrow of socialism
in China.

Some people whom I deeply respect IMO are wrong on the entire
history of this, which I think I essentially understand mainly
because I was told by my then comrades in Germany about their
analysis of it, in April 1978. They had been watching developments
closely in particular since early 1975, when they saw certain
reasons for suspicion against two of the "Gang" members, in the
form of their participating in receptions for forces in Germany
whom they (my then comrades) well knew to be quite reactionary

But as I've already said, it will be necessary for me to
write some longer article about this, with proof of the
various details.

Rolf M.

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