Confucius was a reactionary who doggedly defended slavery and whose doctrines have been used by all reactionaries, whether ancient or contemporary, Chinese or foreign, throughout the more than 2,000 years since his time. The bourgeois careerist, renegade and traitor Lin Piao was a thorough devotee of Confucius and, like all the reactionaries in Chinese history when on the road to their doom, he revered Confucius, opposed the Legalist School and attacked Chin Shih Huang, the first emperor of the Chin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.). He used the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius as a reactionary ideological weapon in his plot to usurp Party leadership, seize state power and restore capitalism in China.
Adhering to or opposing Confucianism is in essence a struggle between Marxism-Leninism on the one hand, and revisionism on the other, between progress and retrogression, between revolution and counter-revolution, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the capitalist and the socialist roads, and betareen the revolutionary and the revisionist lines. Thorough repudiation of Confucian-Mencian doctrines, with the repudiation linked with the condemnation of Lin Piao, is vital to deepening the criticism of Lin Piao's revisionist line and an urgent task of the socialist revolution in the realm of the superstructure.
The worker-peasant-soldier masses of China are the main force in the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius. They plunge into the struggle with strong revolutionary indignation. It is with the aim of helping the reader to understand this campaign of criticism that we have collected these articles by workers, peasants and soldiers, reflecting their conscientious study of theory and their revolutionary spirit in using Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as weapon, integrating theory with practice and overcoming every difficulty on their way to learning. The articles also show that a theoretical force of the Chinese workers, peasants and soldiers has been formed and is steadily growing in the struggles of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius. Guided by the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao Tsetung, China's workers, peasants and soldiers are determined to carry the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius through to the end and do still more for the revolution in the course of the struggle.
FIGHT A PEOPLE'S WAR OF CRITICIZING LIN PIAO AND CONFUCIUS ............................... 1
CONSCIENTIOUSLY STUDY AND ADVANCE DESPITE HARDSHIPS ................................... 9
THOROUGH EXPOSURE OF COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY AMBITION ................................15
LIN PIAO'S REACTIONARY PROGRAMME FOR RESTORING CAPITALISM ........................ 20
PERSEVERE; IN MAKING REVOLUTION, OPPOSE RESTORATION .................................... 30
REPUDIATE LIN PIAO'S FALLACY, CONTINUE THE REVOLUTION ..................................... 40
EMANCIPATED SERFS IN TIBET WILL NEVER TOLERATE RESTORATION ...................... 47
ONLY SOCIALISM CAN SAVE CHINA ......................................................................................... 53
THE THEORY OF "GENIUS" IS PURE DECEPTION .................................................................... 58
TO SLANDER THE WORKING PEOPLE IS TO OPPOSE THE REVOLUTION ...................... 63
"INNATE KNOWLEDGE" IS UTTER NONSENSE ....................................................................... 72
PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP IS OUR SAFEGUARD .............................................................. 77
PERSIST IN THE MARXIST PHILOSOPHY OF STRUGGLE ..................................................... 82
TO SHOW "BENEVOLENCE" TO THE ENEMY IS TO BETRAY THE PEOPLE ...................... 92
BREAKING DOWN MALE SUPREMACY ...................................................................................... 96
OUR REVOLUTIONARY YOUTH AIM HIGH ............................................................................... 103
FIGHT A PEOPLE'S WAR OF CRITICIZING LIN PIAO AND CONFUCIUS
WITH the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius going deeper, the idea of worshipping Confucius and opposing Legalism has also been subjected to more penetrating criticism. Many comrades have actively plunged into the class struggle and blasted Lin Piao and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius in spoken and written words like thousands of guns firing on target. This momentous event in the struggle between the two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and between the two lines, revolutionary and revisionist, merits serious consideration. The masses must be mobilized extensively and intensively to ensure victory in this people's war.
In repudiating a wrong line, it is necessary to analyse its class, historical and ideological origins. "Restrain oneself and return to the rites" was Confucius' reactionary political programme formulated to serve his aim of preserving the slave system. The careerist, renegade and traitor Lin Piao salvaged this rot from the Confucian-Mencian dump in his attempt to subvert China's proletarian dictatorship and restore capitalism in the country. Lin Plao took this rot as the greatest treasure in the world and put it first on the agenda. When Lin Piao and company, out of their eagerness to usurp Party and state power, dished up their anti-Party political programme, they based themselves on the Confucian concept of "correct titles," clamouring that if the state power was not placed in Lin Piao's hands, "the titles would not be correct and words would not carry weight." The Lin Piao outfit, therefore, brazenly attempted to legalize their counter-revolutionary activities for restoring capitalism in China. Again, in their assault on the Party at the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Central Committee, where they hawked their anti-Party theoretical programme, they scavenged something from Confucius. This time, like a drowning man clutching at a straw they seized upon the Confucian idea of "heaven's will" and adopted the idealist concept of "genius," shamelessly to prime Lin Piao in his counter-revolutionary attempt at capitalist restoration. In making their clandestine plan for the armed counter-revolutionary coup d'etat known as the Outline of Project "571," they sneaked into the Confucian shop once more looking for such tarnished wares as "government by benevolence," and "rule by rites," at the same time shouting "do or die" to give their gang a shot in the arm for the purpose of subverting the proletarian dictatorship, suppressing the revolutionary people, and unloosing ghosts and monsters of all descriptions. In assailing the Party's policies of cadre participation in productive labour and educated youth going to the countryside, they were also taking as their reactionary weapon the Confucian-Mencian exploiting-class idea of "those who work with their minds govern, while those who toil with their hands are governed." These few ironclad facts are sufficient to open people's eyes to the poisonous ideological and political root of Lin Piao!
In China, the reactionaries through the ages invariably worshipped Confucius and opposed the Legalists. They heaped honorary titles on Confucius and lauded him to the skies, as if evoking the ghost of Confucius could save their moribund rule. Such farces of Confucius-worship and opposition to Legalism went on without interruption in China's modern history. From Tseng Kuo-fan, the butcher in the suppression of the Taiping Revolution (1851-64), to the usurper of state power Yuan Shih-kai; from Chang Hsun and Kang Yu-wei, who clung to Confucianism and monarchism, to the autocrat and traitor to the people Chiang Kai-shek, all acted according to Confucianism. Later, the ringleaders of opportunist lines within our Party chorused these reactionaries' hymns to Confucius. Chen Tu-hsiu lauded Confucius and Mencius as "outstanding personages" among the "scholar-officials." Wang Ming drivelled that the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius were "virtues of the nation." The renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi turned historical facts on their heads in claiming that "Confucian thinking in its time reflected the progressive trend and demands of the society and, viewed in our days, it still has rational elements," and that "we should utilize it fully." His sinister book on "self-cultivation" is in essence a refurbished version of the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius. Lin Piao, treading in the footsteps of Wang Ming and Liu Shao-chi, came up with the reactionary thinking of Confucius, disguised and fitted it out to be used as a "brick to open doors" for capitalist restoration. Chinese history has shown that the reactionary class, when in power, invokes Confucianism to defend its rule and deceive the people; and, when not in power, it also relies on Confucian thinking to dupe the people in order to stage a come-back This historical experience is noteworthy.
Confucius was a representative of the moribund slave-owning class. The doctrines of Confucius and Mencius are an ideological system of the exploiting classes. Reactionaries in history, including Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao, though far removed in time from Confucius, all belonged to the declining exploiting classes and their ideologies shared a common nature that had been passed down. Lin Piao was China's modern Confucius. Our in-depth criticism of Confucius will identify the extremely Rightist character of Lin Piao in wantonly attempting to restore capitalism and turn back the wheel of history. It will also enhance our ability to distinguish true Marxism from false. The criticism of Lin Piao tallies entirely with that of Confucius, and the pen of every Chinese should be used in integrated criticism of the pair.
Some claim that criticizing Confucius "is a job for the philosophers, historians and men of letters and has very little to do with workers, peasants and soldiers." But this view both disregards the class nature of the struggle and negates the role of the masses in it.
To label this life-and-death class struggle as "polemics" of "pure academic interest" is a shop-worn trick of the bourgeoisie, and vigilance is called for against being duped. In class society, the realm of ideology is always a battlefield of class struggle; it is never a vacuum and haven above classes. Further, class struggle has always been the common cause of the millions, not the concern of a few "scholars" and "literati." The 10th National Congress of the Communist Party of China reminded the whole Party, army and nation: "We should attach importance to the class struggle in the superstructure, including all spheres of culture, transform all parts of the superstructure which do not conform to the economic base." The current movement to criticize the worship of Confucius and opposition to Legalism is closely linked with the contemporary struggles between the two classes, two roads, and two lines. Criticizing Confucius is a component part of the criticism of Lin Piao. The superstructure, including the sphere of ideology, is used as a bridgehead by the exploiting classes from which to launch counter-assaults against the proletariat. How well we do in this battle has vital bearing on the question of our Party and country keeping their political colour and so is of paramount concern to every one of us. Fighting this battle well, therefore, is our common duty, and no one of us should view it casually or stand aside.
In summing up the historical experience of the May Fourth Movement of 1919, Chairman Mao incisively pointed out that the workers and peasants were the basic revolutionary forces and "the intellectuals will accomplish nothing if they fail to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants." The broad worker-peasant-soldier masses are the main force in the three great revolutionary movements of class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment. They are the most intelligent and the most capable. And not only are workers, peasants and soldiers the main force on the political and economic fronts, but they are the main force on the ideological and theoretical fronts. They have the greatest say in the realm of the superstructure. Chairman Mao has always trusted and relied on the masses and stressed that in doing any work a vigorous mass movement is necessary; dependence on a few persons working in solitude will not do. He personally initiated and led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in the course of which he brought up for discussion by the people of the entire country the struggles in every sphere of the superstructure and the two-line struggle within the Party. This method brought the great victory of the Cultural Revolution. It shows the confidence that Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee have in us -- a great encouragement. The entire experience of the Chinese revolution demonstrates that only by courageously mounting the rostrum of the superstructure can the proletariat enforce overall dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in every sphere of that realm.
Specialists' research and convincing, analytical, substantive writings are needed, but these alone cannot overcome obstinate enemies. A fatal blow is inflicted only by the concentrated fire of guns by the millions. Old ideas remaining from the old system are bound to be stubborn; they will not just fade from the stage of history. Only the concerted action of the entire nation can deny sanctuary to the old ideas. The reactionary mentality of Confucius has spread its poison far and wide. More than half a century ago, in the May Fourth Movement, there arose the slogan "Down with the Confucian shop!" But the spectre of that shop-owner is still around and often plays the devil. It is necessary now to rouse the masses in their millions to criticize Confucius, to wash away the slime and filth left over from the old society.
The deeply ingrained Confucian thinking may seem like a formidable giant; in reality it, too, like all reactionary things, is only a paper tiger. Both Confucius' ideas and practices ran counter to the objective reality of his time and the law of historical development. The proletariat and people are on solid ground in despising Confucius and in believing that our criticism will discredit him. Lu Hsun said: "The ordinary men and women of China, especially those known as the 'witless mob,' though they call Confucius a sage, have never really looked upon him as such." Lu Hsun also said: "Yet I fancy no other people in the world know Confucius as well as the 'witless mob' in China." Confucius was boosted to prominence by the reactionary ruling classes, while the people never considered him a person deserving of respect. In his own time and down through the centuries, Confucius has always been roundly criticized. Thr working people contemporary with this "sage" assailed him as a person "whose four limbs do not toil and who does not know the difference between the five grain," and accorded him treatment that often placed him in an awkward position. In China's modern history, the peasant army of the Taiping Revolution not only attacked the landlord class militarily and politically but it also launched a large-scale ideological campaign against Confucius. The Taiping leader Hung Hsiu-chuan destroyed shrines to Confucius and called him "a devil whose books, presumably meant to teach people, are all fallacious." This had completely deflated the prestige of reactionary Confucianism.
In our day, with the unprecedented dissemination of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, the ability of the people to criticize wrong things has been so enhance that they can fight them like winged tigers. To discredit Confucius' political corpse poses no insuperable problem for them.
We will take up our pens in today's class struggle of criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius and, as described in these lines from Chairman Mao's poem, "Farewell to the God of Plague," "illuminate the sky" with our militant repudiation.
*A People's Liberation Army fighter of the Shenyang Command.