Notes about concrete historical developments in China proving the “doublespeak” of Deng Xiaoping

I have already made some notes about historical developments in China which will show already some “doublespeak” of Deng Xiaoping, historical falsifications to which WPB-cadre Boudewijn Deckers is totally blind ( read HERE about the blindness of Boudewijn Deckers).
The “expansion of Marxism” about “the first stage of socialism” and “stabilisation/consolidation for decades” in that “stage”; the development of the “backward” productive forces BEFORE any change in production relations is “allowed”, the “leftist exaggerations of collectivisation”; the “proving” with quotes of Marx, Engels, Lenin and even of Stalin and Mao himself..... it was not invented by Deng Xiaoping... it was just a RETURN to the revisionist positions of Liu Shao-chi which he developed since the BEGINNING of the revolution..
I found this in one of the books once strongly promoted in AMADA and in the WPB when I became member.... In fact I would not have KNOWN of those books when I had not became member of the WPB and would not had followed the formation-course for every candidate-member..... But probably Boudewijn Deckers never studied those books himself....: Wind in the Tower of Han Suyin. This book is preceded by The Morning Deluge. This book I used to begin with a “distillation” of the lessons we can learn about “making revolution: “Chronicles of a revolution”.
But here some unmasking of the history-falsifying of Deng Xiaoping.

About “first stage of socialism” and the stage of “new democracy”
“In 1945 the Communist Party had committed itself to a united front to rally for reconstruction all who could be united, and had proposed a coalition government i which it would cooperate with the Kuomingtanng.1 On May 1, 1948, in the midst of the war against Chiang Kaishek, Mao drafted plans for a political consultive conference which would gather «all democratic parties, people's organisations and public personages .... to discuss and carry out the convening of a people's congress and the formations of a democratic coalition government
This shrewd tolerance was vindicated by the wholesale and enthusiastic flocking of many members of the Kuomingtang, intellectuals and even generals of Chiang's armies to Mao's side. Altogether twenty ore more parties or groups would assemble in the summer of 1949 to form a coalition as suggested. Twenty-five years later many non-Communists from such groups would still hold positions in the government of the People's Republic of China.
Mao is a dialectician; he knows that every situation carries it obverse within it. The very success of the move, rallying so many diverse individuals and groups, might well drown revolutionary goals in an indecisive liberalism; just so, too were the well-disciplined forces of the PLA now dangerously swollen with Kuomingtang deserters (almost two million of them).
It was therefore essential to set down a clear line, guiding principles, for the period to come. Within the Party itself, Mao Tsetung had to deal with divaricating groups. A strong right wing had as its chief protagonist the Party vice-chairman Liu Shao-chi, considered Mao' s closest comrade in arms. An extreme left wing, small but raucous, called for the total liquidation of the bourgeoisie and immediate communism. And there was the dangerous euphoria of triumph, warping revolutionary will and vigilance.(...)
The right wing in the Party was influential. Its arguments appeared rational, and it was backed of the intelligentsia newly rallied to the victors. Paradoxically, it could quote Mao to undo Mao; for only a few years back, not thinking victory could be achieved for a decade at least, Mao had spoken of a “new democratic stage” for “decades”. And the formula Liu Shao-chi put up was “consolidation of the new democratic stage.”
The new democratic stage Mao had talked about in 1940, however, was already outpaced by events in 1949. The phenomenon historians know as the acceleration of history has nowhere more evident than in the last thirty years, and in China particularly. Mao had felt it when he noted that “ the march of events in China is faster than people expected.” The outpacing of surmise by events is today an acknowledged fact, but it still catches most men unprepared. Mao had not expected victory in three short years. The situation brought about by the swift and total collapse of the Kuomingtang meant that all programs must be updated.(....)
The new democratic stage was already anachronistic. But Liu Shao-chi stuck to the concept of a “consolidation of new democracy” that would last for twenty or thirty years. Bolstered with arguments from Russia's New Economic Policy in the 1920's, he argued that even Lenin had had to brake and reverse himself. China was not ripe for “socialism”, he said. And he made it sound “ultra-left” even to talk of socialism.
Mao did not see it that way. He refused to be delayed, as he refused to be hurried. In his essay On New Democracy in 1940 (widely circulated in 1949), Mao had explained that the new democratic stage was a crossroads situation, it opened up two possible roads, one towards socialism, one towards capitalism. The decision which road to take depended upon the leadership which prevailed. Hence there could be no “consolidation” of the new democratic stage. The period to come was one of “transition to socialism” said Mao, quoting Lenin, who had made the point that there could not be an intermediate stage between the bourgeois democratic revolution and the socialist revolution. Liu Shao-chi's argument was ideologically incorrect. The time had come to orient China towards socialism, even if gradually. To freeze it into a “new democratic” establishment was to give up the very goal for which the revolution had been fought, to open wide the door to capitalist exploitation.
But, his opponents countered, had not Mao himself, in December 1947, argued that there would be a “prolonged period” of a capitalist small property and middle property class? Liu Shao-chi strongly urged that capitalists, owners of industrial enterprises producing manufactured commodities (such as there were in the pitifully under-industrialised China of 1949), should be “reassured”. There must be a rehabilitation period, in which capitalists should be encouraged to return to production. Mao aggreed, but these enterprises must be regulated and restricted. There must not be in position to control the economy, and hence the destinies of the state.
“Chairman Mao struggled against both the left deviation, who wanted immediate communism, and the right, led by Liu Shao-chi who wanted the return of capitalism.”2 During the nine days of March 5 to 13, Mao Tsetung fought for the vision, the orientation, the leadership which would transform China, bring it to power and prosperity, but also and above all to social justice, independence, and the true liberation of the minds of its people. The struggle between two views, two concepts, of what China should become was initiated then.(...)
The Chinese Communist Party had never been a monolithic entity, not since its birth in 1921. Six times during 1929 to 1949 it was subject to internecine strife representing opposite ideological concepts, which on at least five occasions threatened its very existence. In the next twenty-five years through to 1974, four more major struggles within the Party would occur.(...)
Although little publicised, the two-line struggle at the second plenum3 was intense. It was preceded by abundant discussions on economic problems: restoration of production in the cities, the city-countryside relationship; flow of exchanges between city and countryside.
Liu Shao-chi argued that nationalisation of the major industries, which under Chiang Kai-shek had been in the hands of the bureaucratic capitalists as a monopoly, was enough to create a state industrial sector; apart from that the private sector of small capitalist concerns must be encouraged to expand and be given a “free hand.” “At the present time it is better to allow the forces of capitalism full play to expand production.” This expansion of a private sector would put production in its feet, increase employment of workers (many of them now unemployed because of industrial shutdowns), and supply consumer needs. These two sectors, one nationalised, one private would be kept for two or three decades. This was the meaning of “consolidation of the new democratic stage”. The capitalists were “essential” for the rehabilitation period. They alone had the knowhow necessary to run enterprises, and the very word “socialism” panicked them – hence it must not be used. (....)
The coexistence of a state sector (which would perforce be sabotaged by the private sector, as occurs in India, or else be inefficient through lack of knowhow) with a private sector would immensely favor capitalist development. But capitalist expansion would mean exploitation of the workers and peasants: betrayal of the revolution.
As for the direction of industrial development, some muddleheaded comrades maintain that we should chiefly help the the development of private enterprise and not state enterprise, whereas others hold the opposite view that it suffices to pay attention to state enterprise and that private enterprise is of little importance.”4
It all boiled down, in Marxist terminology, to different class stands. Liu, who argued for maintaining “for decades” this ambiguous system, was actually trying to preserve an even to strengthen the capitalist class. He invoked Lenin's New Economic Policy, but this did not impress Mao, who knew his Lenin far better en knew how Lenin's concepts had been distorted in the USSR.
On whom shall we rely in our struggle in the cities? Some muddleheaded comrades think we should rely not on the working class but on the masses of the poor ... Some comrades who are even more muddleheaded think we should rely on the bourgeoisie.... We must wholeheartedly rely on the working class, unite with the rest of the laboring masses, win over the intellectuals, and win over to our side as many of the national bourgeoisie elements as possible ... or neutralise them .... Our present policy is to regulate capitalism, not to destroy it, but the national bourgeoisie cannot be the leader of the revolution, nor should it have the chief role in state power.”5
Mao Tsetung through reasoned debate and persuasion carried the vote in the Central Committee. The policy of “controlling, regulating and restricting” though not forbidding capitalism was passed. Another problem discussed at the plenum, the city-countryside relationship, was also formulated by some right-wing economists as an “industry versus agriculture” contradiction. Liberal economists joined hands with Liu's “Marxist” formulation to argue that the first priority was heavy industrialisation; whatever funds there were should be invested chiefly in industrial “rehabilitation”. For had this been the “socialist road” taken by the USSR?(....)
The right wing argued that Stalin himself in 1928 had said that the peasantry must make its “tribute” to the buildup of heavy industry as a priority. But Mao replied that it was not possible to build a socialist industry based on feudal countryside, or one where cruel exploitation held sway. If the countryside remained neglected and exploited and backward while industry flourished, that would mean capitalism and not socialism, wether a “nationalised” state sector in industry was created or not. “Only through socialism ..... can our motherland free herself from an semicolonial, semifeudal state and take the road to independence, freedom, peace, unity and prosperity,” said Mao at the plenum.6 And “without socialisation of agriculture there can be no complete, consolidated socialism.” (...)
Liu Shao-chi argued that there should not be land reform, so as not to disturb production, but a return to the rent reduction system operated in Yenan.7 Undue socialisation in the countryside would bring confusion. The peasant was “basically conservative .... slothful, easygoing .... only interested in food and profit,” said Liu. He favored a “rich peasant” line.8
This contemptuous view of the peasant masses was vigorously resisted bu Mao. “Under no circumstances should the villages be ignored and only the cities given attention, such thinking is entirely wrong.” Mao conceded that the minds of the peasantry must be changed by “socialist education ..... this is the most important problem.” However; socialist education must be accompanied by tangible steps: land reform, and collectivisation step by step. This would receive the support of the poor and middle peasantry, 70 percent of China's population. (...)
In the end, it was Mao who would lay down the ideological line in two masterly documents. His report at the second plenum is today held as an example of how to achieve unity and consensus, and therefore leadership authority, in a complex situation: promoting revolutionary goals with principled flexibility, making timely short-term concessions, but leaving the future wide open and invalidation none of the radical shifts to come.
The plenum finally passed resolutions that the state economy and not private economy should be “in the leadership role,” and that agriculture should be led from individual operation to collective development “step by step”. Priority for manufactured goods would go to the rural areas; the supply differences between city and countryside were to disappear.
Then happened the curious incident, raised later during the cultural revolution, of Liu Shao-chi's visit to Tientsin9. “When industry and trade were virtually at a standstill in Tientsin, Mr. Liu Shao-chi ... was sent there to improve the situation. He held a conference with local industrialists and commercial leaders ... Mr. Liu said that China had only four big capitalists, namely the Chiang, Soong, Kung, Chen-families ... aside from these China had no big capitalists to speak of ... He then encouraged the Chinese capitalists to be big capitalists ... He said the Chinese Communist Party will enforce communism in the end .... twenty or thirty years from now.”
Referring to exploitation, Liu had said there were two kinds of exploitation. One was “slavery and feudalistic exploitation” and another “equal value exploitation”. He said while the first must be wiped out, the latter must stay, “for the reason that through this form of exploitation there will develop production, and therefore greater employment.”
He hoped the Chinese capitalists will go on with the latter exploitation, and he assured the audience that 'the Chinese Communist Party will not stop you' “
At a self-criticism session in 196710, eighteen years later, Liu would say he had forgotten this episode. Even if one does allow that Liu was trying to rally support from the capitalists, he was certainly doing this in a strange way, dilating on the benefits of exploitation. He brushed off the workers who had congregated and wanted to see him. The workers were discouraged.” It dampened our revolutionary enthusiasm ... Was this revolution?”11 (...)
The two-line struggle on the ideology and strategy of development continued. It would be 1953 before Mao Tsetng won a clearvictory on the definition of the period.- “consolidation of new democracy” or “transition to socialism.”
In September 1949 Liu Shao-chi was to refer with some asperity to Mao12 “In the course of consultation .... some delegates .... suggested including in the common program the topic of the future of socialism, but we did not think it proper to do so, because the adoption of socialism in China will be a serious step in the fairly distant future.”
During the years 1950-1952, Liu would refer time and again to the “distant future” of socialism. but the acceleration of history was on Mao's side. By october 1953 Mao would win; after a series of meetings the Central Committee would pass a resolution for The General Line on the Transition Period to Socialism. And this was the end of “consolidation of new democracy.”
in September 1954, in his speech presenting the constitution of the People's Republic of China at the first National People's Congress (NPC), Liu Shao-chi castigated those who “wanted to halt at the crossroads.”
Mao had said and would repeat in 1955 in the continuing battle with Liu: “ There are people who after the victory of the new democratic stage have remained at that stage .... they are still attempting to speak of new democracy and linger at the crossroads, refusing to make the step towards socialist transformation.”
Liu now seemed to agree: “The only correct road ... is to pass from the present society ... to a society with a unified socialist economic structure, that means transition from the present new democratic society to a socialist society ... Some people may perhaps think of maintaining the status quo, taking neither a capitalist road nor a socialist road ... We all know that China is now in a transition period, building a socialist society .... this period is also called in our country the new democratic period.”
Thus Liu Shao-chi appeared to surrender to Mao's politics. But as the ensuing years would show, he continued to hold on to his own views.”13

About the collectivisation
“Throughout 1949 and early 1950, policies towards the rural countryside were discussed with great vigor, and opposition to Mao's insistence on land reform continued Mao Tsetung did win the consensus against those who wanted only “reduction of rent in kind” (the system operated in Yenan in 1940-1944) and land reform was officially announced in June 1950. Landlordism would be abolished, but the adoption of the “rich peasant” 14line or “kulak” line which Liu Shao-chi proposed was upheld in the land reform resolution passed that month. In fact the “conservative” trend was so strong that in certain areas where peasants had begun to share the land on their own, they were enjoined to return it to the former owners.
Mao Tsetung bowed to consensus. “There should be a change in our policy towards the rich peasants ... from a policy or requisitioning the surplus land and property ... to one of preserving the rich peasant economy in order to further the early restoration of production in rural areas .... This will also serve to isolate the landlords while protecting the middle peasants.”15
Mao urged that land reform be achieved by arousing the peasantry itself to denounce its own exploitation and to rise against the landlords. It was to be an education in politics as well as the accomplishment of needed change. The peasants must do it themselves; the Party could not do it for them. Agricultural cooperatives were “the only road to liberation for the people, the only road from poverty to prosperity.... Agriculture can and must be led prudently, step by step, and yet actively, to develop towards modernisation and collectivisation; the view that they may be left to take their own course is wrong ... The greatest efforts must be made to organise various mutual assistance cooperatives and for the improvement of agricultural techniques.”
Liu Shao-chi's view that the natural forces of the countryside must have a free hand was reflected in his “four freedoms” suggestion: freedom to buy and sell land, to hire tenants, to select crops to plant, free markets and pricing. This suggestion, though not official, circulated at cadre level, and its effect was to diminish the effectiveness of newly formed peasant associations in carrying out land reform.
Liu insisted that “no requisitioning of surplus land and property of rich peasants will be done ... This is a long-term policy ... Only when conditions are mature for the extensive application of mechanised farming, for the organisation of collective farms and for the socialist reform of the rural areas, will the need for a rich peasant economy ease, and this will take a somewhat long time to achieve” (June 14, 1950).
The land reform swung into action that summer. Represented abroad as a grim purge – although many landlords were spared; only tyrants were tried by people' courts and condemned to death – it started the process of change.16
The land reform teams were made up mostly of army cadres, and intellectuals and students from urban areas who were to be educated by participation. “We must forbid the beating of any individual or destruction of property at will; we must start the struggle ... according to circumstances and to the degree of awakening and organisation of the masses ... To depart from the realities of the situation and and amplify the struggle is dangerous” (Mao, June 6, 1950). In some areas it took weeks, sometimes months, before land reform teams could energise the poor peasants into moving against the landlords; but in other areas the peasants moved spontaneously to smash the landlord system.
Peasant associations based on the 70 percent poor and landless were given the responsibility for proceeding in each locality, and land-reform was officially completed by the summer of 1952. Though the landlords lost out, the rich peasant and the wealthier middle peasant remained. They still had better land, better equipment, draft animals, capital, prestige and influence. Usury was still possible. Trade shops and workshops belonging to landlords went untouched. Big landlords fled to the cities, leaving their landholdings in the keeping of poorer relatives; it would take more years and repeated “struggles” to really change the system.17 (...)
Within a year after land reform had begun, exploitation by rich peasants was producing a new rural polarisation. Nationwide rural surveys in 1951 and 1952 showed that poor and landless peasants, even when given land, could not effectively work it because of scarcity of implements and capital, and were once more falling prey to the wealthier farmers. To resist this retroversion, in Shansi province, in the spring of 1951, the poor peasants banded together to form cooperatives, without any directive from the Communist Party. But within the space of two harvests many poor peasants began to lose their newly acquired land under the “freedom to sell land” circular18. With the Korean War (1950-1953), price manipulation in the cities, under the “free market” theme promoted by Liu Shao-chi, led to a black market and resurgent hoearding. Landlords and rich peasants with connections in the cities (and many were also traders in grain) helped to drain countryside produce towards city speculation.(...)
On May 1951, Liu derisively called the few cooperatives which had sprung up spontaneously “isolated islands in the ocean of the countryside.” In June an article by Po I-po19 called Strengthen the Party's Political Work in the Countryside derided the cooperatives. In July Liu called a Shansi province Party committee report on cooperatives “utopian .... mistaken ... dangerous.” In July at a lecture at the Marx-Lenin Institute for Higher Cadres, Liu expounded: “Such spontaneous forces cannot be checked ... hiring labour and individual farming should be unrestricted ... no collectivisation before mechanisation ... production and financial reconstruction are top priorities.”
Mao was undeterred. “If socialism does not occupy the rural front, capitalism assuredly will” (1951). “our aim is to eliminate the rich peasant evonomy and the smallholder economy in the countryside so that the rural people will become increasingly well of together.” (...)
The poor and landless, 70 percent of the rual population, wanted cooperatives. “A rich is like a snake in one's pocket,” the poor said. By January 1952, 43 percent of the peasantry had forced mutual aid teams “as a way of avoiding poverty and bankruptcy.” Investigation showed that between 1953 an 1954, eight hundred peasant families out of five thousand in one area had been compelled to sell their newly acquired land within a year.
Although mutual aid teams helped with routine planting and harvesting, they were most in demand when everyone was busy on their own fields, including the members of the teams. They could not cope with farm management or climatic disasters, initiate technical improvement of tools, organise water conservancy projects. The tendency for their aid to be monopolised by wealthier farmers was also strong.
Again Mao Tsetung toured, investigated. In October 1953 The General Line for the Period of Transition to Socialism, passed by the Central Committee, affirmed collectivisation and cooperatives. The rich peasant economy formally disappeared. The draft on agricultural production penned by Mao two years previously was passed in December 1953. (...)
Cooperatives were now official, but the pace of their formation was slow at first. Landlords and rich peasants infiltrated them or resisted their formation, asserting their own “leadership”. Lower-level cadres sometimes lacked drive and vision, but more often were impeded by the Liu-controlled party apparatus at a higher level and by conflicting directives. One such obstacle was the sending of “work teams” from higher echelons, which discouraged cooperative formation “dampened enthusiasm” as Mao put it, in the name of “orderly process.” (...)
Mao's view that only rural collectivisation could unshackle and increase the productive forces of China's agriculture (upon whose surplus industrial expansion depended), and that collectivisation must precede mechanization, was not a new concept but one based upon his intensive study of Lenin. (...)
Already in 1939 Mao had expressed an idea basic to Leninism which would guide all the politics he initiated twenty years later:
When it is impossible for the productive forces to develop without a change in the relations of production, then the change in the relations of production plays the principal an decisive role ... While we recognise that in the general development of history the material determines the mental, and social being dertermines social consciousness ... we also, and indeed must ... recognise the reaction of mental on material things, of social consciousness on social being.”20 And now he argued that: “In agriculture, with conditions as they are in our country, cooperation must precede the use of big machinery ..; socialist industrialisation cannot be carried out in isolation from agricultural cooperation.”21(....)
It was Liu Shao-chi, and the anticollectivist right wing, who proved “Stalinist”, quoting the experience of the USSR, emphasizing the priority of heavy industry, without a sober quest of China's practical needs. Liu would uphold the “theory of productive forces” as the motor of change,22

Deng's accusation of “Mao's leftism” with the “Great Leap Forward” and the Communes, is the same accusation of Liu Shaochi, which is the same of .....Kruschov!
“The first five-year plan was not published until 1955, though it began in 1953. On September 23, 1954, in his report to the first National People' congress, Chou En-lai had said that the blueprint was ”not yet complete and final.” It was completed in February 1955, and passed in June.
The main target was to double industrial output, increasing national income 43 percent. Sixty percent of the basis construction work would be designed by Soviet experts, the remainder by Chinese planners working under Soviet specialists. (...)
The story of the next eighteen years would be marked by Mao's efforts to cleanse the Party, to avoid its degeneration into an exploiting new class, so that the country « will not change colour .... become revisionist ... or a fascist state. »23 In his strenuous efforts to revolutionise the superstructure, Mao came up against not only Liu Shao-chi, but against an embedded political culture – twenty-five centuries of literocratic administration – which is now, in 1975-1976, being vigorously challenged in the great movement against Confucian ideas.
Liu Shao-chi represented a way of thought far more prevalent than it seemed, not only in the Party but in society at large. For him the Party organisation was revolutionary line; the Party was se the vanguard of the proletariat and revolution a by-product of the Party's existence. This automatic view of the Party as superior, infallible almost, because it held the “correct” theory, was itself a new Confucianism.(...)
Confucianism classified men as superior an inferior, the learned and the manual labourers, the litocracy and the “small men”, as determined by Heaven's mandate. The links of superior to inferior – father and son, teacher and pupil, husband and wife – were immutable. No revolt to this order could be allowed: “ Above is the knowledge; below is ignorance.” It followed that a leadership group such as the Party would automatically assume (until pulled by Mao) its own absolute superiority. “It is the masses who are intelligent ... while the intellectuals are often stupid ... childish,” Mao repeated countless times. “A Communist must never set himself above the masses .... he must learn from them humbly .... Learn before you can leas.” It was not the “heroes”, but the masses, “the slaves ... who make history.”
It is Mao who has truly democratised the Chinese revolution, “without democracy .... socialism cannot be established.” he introduced voting in Party meetings, “open door” supervision of Party cadres by the masses, public criticism through “big character” posters24, and the righti to revolt “against reactionaries”, even if these were Party leaders. In his eightieth year he would continue to uproot from the depths of the Chinese soul Confucian authoritarianism, docility and submission. “It is wrong .... blindly to carry out directives without discussing them ... simply because they come from a higher organ.” One can imagine what China would be like, what the CCP would be like, had it been Liu Shao-shi, whose contempt for the “ignorant” masses was flagrant, who prevailed. And how the tidy-souled bureaucrats of the Party, heirs to mandarins of old, must have resented Mao from upsetting their prerogatives of authority! (..)
Party recruitment thus was also a “two-line struggle.” The concepts that Liu Shao-shi promoted – that collectivisation must wait for mechanization, that there must be capitalist exploitation to develop a proletariat before socialism could work – rest upon the fundamental assumption that the working people, the base, are “not ready”, and that it is the “superstructure” which is in advance and is socialist, whereas the productive forces are still backward. Thus class struggle is denied as the motive force of revolutionary change, it is “production” and “the economic forces” which achieve the goal of “socialism”.
Mao fundamentally disagreed with this view, and criticised it when it was practiced in the Soviet Union. For him it was the superstructure, still permeated with past modes of thought and behaviour, traditions, customs and attitudes, which obstructed the surge of the economic base. “When the superstructure obstructs the development of the economic base, political and cultural changes become principal and decisive.”
Party membership, the quality and class standpoint and consciousness of the cadres, their dedication in serving the people was therefore of paramount importance. If the dominant influence within the party was an elitist, feudal-minded intelligentsia selfishly bent on achieving its own supremacy, the revolution would fail. (....)
Mao Tsetung would do his best to stop the Chinese Party from being turned into another Confucian, mandarin-like bureaucracy.(....)
The word “revisionism” was first used by Mao as a hint to the Kremlin leadership in December 1956.25 Again in his March 1957 speech at the National Conference on Propaganda Work, Mao warned against revisionism at home. “ One of our current important tasks of the ideological front is to unfold criticism of revisionism.” However, it appears that until 1963 the Chinese Party in the main did not feel that China could have “revisionists” in its upper echelon.(...)
Mao had always been critical of what he called “blind faith”, unthinking acceptance of everything that Russia did because it was “the fount of socialism.”He hoped that “blind faith” would stop in the Chinese Party. The lessons of historical experience must be learned, he said, and Party members must develop their critical faculties.(...)
But if Mao was both relieved and worried, the worry prevailed. Not so, however with Liu Shao-chi. This does not imply that Liu at any time was in collusion with Krushchev, but simply that he thought along similar lines. This coincidence of opinion was ironically referred to by Mao in his speech in Chengtu (March 1958) when he alluded to Krushchev's main thesis at the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU: “peaceful transition to socialism”. “Some people [certain Communist parties] were delighted .... a milestone had dropped from their neck ... now the world was at peace.” “Such people were no longer revolutionaries, but wanted socialism to come peacefully, without their own exertions.”26 (...)
Liu's main speech at the Eighth Congress shows his thinking, and the approval of his report by the Congress bears out the evidence that the right wing was then in preponderant position.. Liu's speech is full of quiet sniping at Mao. He notes that “some comrades want to lower the rate of development of heavy industry ... this is wrong.” He averred that “ the tendency of deviation to the 'left' has manifested itself in demanding that socialism be achieved overnight.” On class struggle, Liu's major theme was directly contrary to Mao. Liu spoke of “the decisive victory of socialism”. “ The national bourgeoisie elements are in the process of changeover from exploiters to working people ... the working class has won ruling power throughout the country.” The resolution of September 27, 1956, passed by the first plenum of the Eight Central Committee spoke of the “decisive victory .... won in socialist transformation ... the contradiction in our country between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has been basically resolved.”
In international relations, Liu praised the theses of Khrushchev at the Twentieth Congress and declared that there was definite hope of “an era of peace” and of “relaxation of tension.”
Liu derided Mao's fundamental view that changes in relations of production and the superstructure were essential and primary in China. The basic contradiction in China, Liu declared was “between the productive forces which are backward and the advanced socialist system.” This meant that no criticism from the masses who were “backward” could be acceptable; the Party was “advanced”, and its leadership must be reinforced.
Neither Liu nor Khrushchev was prepared to rectify and educate the Party by plunging it into the masses and practising open-door debate and criticism, so fundamental to Mao's thinking. Both saw the Party organisation as a power base. And both would initiate an ostensible “thaw” to allow certain privileged intellectuals into the Party, thus producing a fusion of high Party cadres and a technocratic elite.
The notion of the “dying out of class struggle”, therefore, far from being ore democratic or “liberal”, was paradoxically the opposite – a means of reinforcing absolutism though a new class. “Criticism of inferiors by superior is all right ... but the other way round, things become chaotic”, said Liu Shao-shi.(...)
In the summer of 1959 Mao was preparing himself for the eighth plenum of the Eighth Central Committee ,where, as everyone knew, matters of great import would have to be trashed out.(...)
At the end of June Mao Tsetung went to Lushan, the cool and beautiful resort where the Central Committee was to assemble for its eighth plenum. (...)
The initial attack on Mao at the plenum came from Peng Teh-huai, minister of Defence. Peng had left China in April, during the session of the National People's Congress, to attend a meeting of ministers of Warsaw Pact powers. For several weeks hè toured the USSR and East European countries in order to learn advanced modern techniques.'(...)
The Politburo, of which Peng was a member, sat in meetings throughout late June. Mao's opposition took heart. The mighty USSR had cancelled the agreements. Did not this prove Mao utterly wrong?
In July, Peng Teh-huai toured China, investigating and collecting data against the Leap. So did Chang Wen-tien. So did others. They were preparing a case against Mao. It is in this context that Wu Han's Hai Jui Upbraids the Emperor becomes meaningful. It showed Peng Teh-huai that he had moral support two months before hè delivered his attack against Mao.
Peng arrived in Lushan and started lobbying the Central Committee members as they assembled in preliminary discussions for the enlarged plenum. He lobbied the numerous generals and marshals invited to attend, as well as regional representatives. A Russian observer team was also in attendance. On July 14 Peng Teh-huai circulated his 'letter of opinion.' On the 17th Mao received a copy of it. On the 18th Khrushchev in Poland attacked the communes and the Great Leap Forward as 'petty bourgeois ... fanatic ... adventurism.' Peng had used the same terms in his 'letter of opinion'. On the first of August, Army Day, articles appeared in the Russian press lauding Peng Teh-huai. Khrushchev's covert attempt to topple Mao was not revealed until 1963, and then obliquely, when the Chinese wrote that Khrushchev had expressed 'undisguised support for anti-Party elements in the Chinese Party' at the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU in October 1961. The struggle at the Lushan plenum was not only an intra-Party confrontation. It now had implications of collusion with a foreign - even if also socialist — power.
While the plenum was in session, the Chinese Communist Party magazine Red Flag came out with a strange article entitled Peaceful Competition Is an Inevitable Trend (August 16), which indirectly took up the Khrushchev thesis.
Peng Teh-huai's letter of opinion was an attack on all Mao's policies, which had been approved by the Central Committee and therefore were the Party line. The Leap, the communes, the steel drive ... 'Hasty ... waste of resources and man-power ... we have not handled the problems of economic con­struction in so successful a way as we dealt with the problem of shelling Quemoy and Matsu and quelling the revolt in Tibet.' He called the effort petty bourgeois fanaticism. 'In the view of some comrades, putting politics in command is a substitute for everything, but it is no substitute for economie principles.'(...)
A minister of defense who submits a memorandum criticizing the head of his party to a foreign statesman, who states that there might be cause to call upon a foreign army's help, would in any country and under any circumstances be relieved of his post.27 Peng Teh-huai's attack was not an honest criticism of the Leap; it was an attack on the basic principles of socialist construction, upon all of Mao's concepts; it implied also an attack upon Mao's stance against Moscow's military demands, which Mao was preparing to resist even at the cost of losing Soviet aid.
Others rose to speak against Mao. There were two strands of opposition to him: one was the "military club", military commanders in alliance with Peng; the other, officials in civilian departments who disapproved of Mao's policies toward the USSR. Both groups assailed his economic policies. The harvest that year would be only 160 million tons, 25 million less than in 1957. Peng even opined that ther should be "no investigation of personal responsability," thus appearing not to attack Mao personally. But this phrase shoed he wanted to punt the onus of everything on Mao.
The debate occupied almost the whole of the three weeks allotted to the plenum to review problems and fashion policies.(...)
Mao rose to speak again. "After coming up the mountain, I expressed these three sentiments: Achievements are great. Problems are considerable. And the future is bright." Suddenly there had been this frantic attack by rightist opportunists. It was an attack on the Party, the socialist movement, on the 600 million people. "The struggle that has arisen in Lushan is a class struggle ..... the continuation of the life or death struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the process of the socialist revolution during the past decade." This would continue for twenty, fifty years, and there would be many more struggles. The problem of Peng Teh-huai and his supporters resembled the Kao Kang and Jao Shou-shih problem of 1954. Peng Teh-huai was but yesterday a man of great merit, but people were ignorant of the complexities and the deviousness of their own past history. This lapse had its deep roots in their own unreformed ideology.
It was, however, necessary to keep Peng Teh-huai and those with him in the party to give them opportunity to repent and to change. (...)
It is not known when Mao learned of Peng's consultation with Khruschev in Tirana. But he mentioned the matter indirectly on September 11 at an enlarged session of the Military Affairs Committee: "It is absolutely impermissible to go behind the back of our motherland and to collude with a foreign country." In 1967, when full details of the struggle against Peng Teh-huai were published, its world revolutionary context became widely recognised. Peng's attack had come "when the reactionary forces at home and abroad were exploiting certain transient and partial shortcomings ... An attack at such juncture launched from inside the Central Committee of the Party is clearly more dangerous than an attack from outside the Party." The activities of Peng Teh-huai and others had been purposive, prepared, planned, organised, a continuation of the Kao Kang and Jao Shou-shih affair.28 (...)
On August 26 Chou En-lai reported on the "readjusted" 1959 plan. "Facts prove that the simultaneous development of large, small and medium industrial enterprises and the use of both modern and indigenous methods, walking on two legs, have their advantages ... the enterprises are widely distributed; it takes less time to build them .... it forces an extensive survey of resources, and economy in the use of transport .... The steel drive is a magnificent spectacle ... part of the people's understanding how to transform China from a poor and blank country into a industrial state .... unparalleled in Chinese history."
The 1958 grain targets were corrected from 375 million tons to 250 million tons. "Due to lack of experience in assessing harvests under condition of bumper crops, inadequate allocation of labor power... which led to rather hurried reaping, threshing ... the calculations were a bit high." But industry continued to leap; it had doubled output in the first six months of 1959.
Peng Teh-huai dropped out of sight but was named to a fairly high regional post, and remained a member of the Central Committee. he seems to have written to Mao asking to "go down" to labor in the countryside, but Ma said he was too old, he could spend time going around inspecting communes if he wished. He would be arrested by Red Guards in December 1966 and publicly "struggled" against and paraded through the streets in July 1967. He is reported living in retirement in Szechuan province. (....)
The years 1959 to 1962 are murky and confused, a season of divaricating statements and divergent policies. The whole world appeared to be against China and predicted her failure; she was beset at home with climatic and agricultural disasters, as well as sustaining major confrontations with both the United States and the Soviet Union. She was labelled bellicose, aggressive, expansionist, and Mao a megalomaniac and tyrant; it was difficult to discover any accurate, much less sympathetic, portrait of China.
In a by no means impartial western press, the event deemed the utmost "evidence" of China's danger to the world was the border conflict with India. Only now, fifteen years later (the writing of the book ended in 1975 and first edited in 1976, NICO), has the prevalent picture of a peaceful democratic India attacked by a bellicose invasive China given place to a more balanced view.29 But in 1962 the minor border conflict, for such it was, was played up. The episode's interest lies in the close link it reveals between India and the USSR, leading in what amount to joint operation against China.(...)
The year 1960 began badly: an iron-hard winter without snow, followed by two hundred days of drought. The Yellow River shrank until it was a pencil thread lost in sand. Forty million hectares of cultivated land were affected. In Shangtung peasants replanted grain five times. Townspeople came to help, including schoolchildren, forming long chains to carry water to the fields. The South was flooded, immense seas drowning the crops. Summer hail killed off the wheat in Hopei and Honan.30
And then the communes showed their worth. Fifteen million people in Shangtung planted turnips and sweet potatoes to make up for the destroyed wheat crops. Eighteen million in Honan formed an anti-drought army, with four hundred thousand cadres from the cities joining in.
Mao insisted there should be no procurement of grain or other staple food from the alleged regions. As a result, there were shortages in the cities and stringent rationing. Pig cholera took its toll of the depleted pig population, and the staple diet in Peking that winter was cabbages.31
Purchases of wheat from abroad for the cities began: 2,5 million tons in 1960, 5,8 million ton in 1961-1962, and 5,6 million tons in 1962-1063. The foreign exchange required amounted to 33 to 39 percent of China's total foreign exchange earnings, yet the shortfall amounted to only 3 to 4 percent of the total harves, and China continued to export rice, one to two million tons to Albania and to North Vietnam.”32

1On Coalition Government, April 24, 1945. Selected Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition Peking 1961-1965), Vol. III.
2Footnote to speech of Mao Tsetung at the second plenum of the Seventh Central Comittee, March 5, 1949. See Selected Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition Peking 1961-1965), vol. IV.
3Report to the Seond Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Comittee of the Communist Party of China, March 5, 1949. Selected Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition Peking 1961-1965), vol. IV.
4Report to the Second Plenum of the Seventh Central Comittee of the Communist Party of China, March 30, 1949. Selected Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition 1961-1965), vol. IV.
5On the People's Democratic Dictatorship, June 30, 1949. Select Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition, Peking 1961-1965), vol IV.
6Monthly Report, Shanghai, July 1949.
7See The Morning Deluge, page 360.
8“Rich peasant” line or “kulak” line was a term coined to devote a laissez-faire policy of individual farming. In practice it would have retained landlordism, for new landlords would have arisen from the rich peasants, who would have exploited the majority of landless and poor.
9Monthly Report, Shanghai, July 31, 1949, page 20, article entitled Communist Theoretician Speaks.
10See Collected Works of Liu Shao-chi, 1958-1967 (Hong Kong 1968), pages 365-366.
11Author's interviews with workers in Tienstsin in 1969.
12At the Political Consultative Conference, September 9, 1949, when it adopted a common program for the inauguration of the new government. The Political Consultative Conference was called for by Mao Tsetung in 1948. It was to assemble individuals from all political parties, including those members of the Kuomingtang who called to the Communists (see The Morning Deluge, page 498).
13Out of “Wind in the Tower – Mao Tsetung and the Chinese revolution, 1949-1976”, by Han Suyin. Published in 1978 by Triad/Panther Books, ISBN 0 586 04505 8.
14Rich peasant” line or “kulak” line was a term coined to devote a laissez-faire policy of individual farming. In practice it would have retained landlordism, for new landlords would have arisen from the rich peasants, who would have exploited the majority of landless and poor.
15Mao Tsetung Struggle for a Fundamental Turn for the Better in the Financial and Economic Situation in China (Third Plenum, Seventh Central Committee, June 6, 1950. Author's translation.
16The author is constantly surprised by the existence of landlords in all of today's (in 1975, NICO) communes. Though they were deprived of voting rights, their influence would remain strong for a considerable number of years. In clan villages where all have the same name, and kinship is claimed to enforce feudal authority, a patriarchal connection exists between landlord and tenant. See Han Suyin, China in the year 2001 (London 1967)
17An “ultra-left” tendency also occurred at the time, with landlords and rich peasants totally deprived of land and constrained to flee to the cities or become bandits. Mao also spoke against this extremism.
18See higher the intra-Party document expounding Liu Shao-chi's “four freedoms” policy....
19Po I-po, born in 1907, in 1952 a member of the State Planning Commission, alternate member of the Politburo and vice-premies in September 1956, director of the Industry and Communication Ministry in 1961. He is said to have been one of those who abjured in 1936.
20On Contradiction. Select Works of Mao Tsetung (English edition Peking 1961 -1965), vol I.
21On the Question of Agricultural Cooperation, July 31, 1955. Selected Readings of Mao Tsetung (English edition Peking 1971).
22Out of “Wind in the Tower – Mao Tsetung and the Chinese revolution, 1949-1976”, by Han Suyin. Published in 1978 by Triad/Panther Books, ISBN 0 586 04505 8.
23Mao at the Ninth Congress of the CCP, April 1969.
24Wall posters (tatzepao) pasted up by anyone on any street, in factories, universities and schools, villages, etc.
25People's Daily Editorial Department On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, April 5, 1956 and December 29, 1956 (English edition Peking 1957).
26In this general remark, Mao hints at the CCP, but also includes “other” parties, notably that of the USSR – meaning Krushchev.
27 Certainly Peng's letter was not merely an innocent statement of opinion, since Peng had written to the Soviet Communist Party three months earlier, criticizing the great leap forward policies' (Lois Dougan Tretiak, Far Eastern Economie Review, November 30, 1967).
28Resolution of the eight plenum of the Eight Central Committee and Lushan, August 17, 1959; published August 1967.
29See Neville Maxwell "India's China War" (London 1970)
30The Times, London, November 9 and December 30, 1960, China's Long Battle Against Record Drought. The article quotes the areas affected as 230.000 square miles, half the cultivated land in China. See also Far Eastern Economic Review, September 19, 1960
31Author's personal experience while in China in 1959,1960,1961, 1962.

32Out of “Wind in the Tower – Mao Tsetung and the Chinese revolution, 1949-1976”, by Han Suyin. Published in 1978 by Triad/Panther Books, ISBN 0 586 04505 8.

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