Under the leadership of our Party, the Chinese revolution went through the democratic revolution and developed into the socialist revolution. Our democratic revolution was a new-democratic revolution led by the proletariat. The state established after victory in the new-democratic revolution was a People's Republic under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The revolution we have been engaged in since the founding of the People's Republic is a socialist revolution. The overwhelming majority of our veteran cadres joined the revolution with the lofty ideal of realizing communism. True, many of them had bourgeois and petty-bourgeois democratic ideas when they were admitted into the Party, but, under the Party's leadership and through education in Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, they were gradually tempered through long participation in revolutionary wars and struggles and became vanguard proletarian fighters already in the period of the democratic revolution. Although some veteran cadres were not quite prepared mentally when the time came for the socialist revolution, by and large the overwhelming majority have followed Chairman Mao in continuing the revolution and, through study and tempering in practice, have become the mainstay of our socialist revolution and socialist construction. There are indeed certain people who were bourgeois democrats in the democratic revolution and who have turned into capitalist-roaders in the socialist revolution, but they are a tiny minority. The overwhelming majority of the veteran cadres in our Party are certainly not bourgeois democrats, they are proletarian revolutionaries.
The "gang of four" were talking nonsense when they alleged that all those who took part in the democratic revolution were "bourgeois democrats," that "it is an inexorable objective law that democrats will become capitalist-roaders" and that the capitalist-roaders in our Party are not a mere handful but a vast multitude, not a small number but "a bourgeois class inside the Party." Moreover, they stigmatized the overwhelming majority of veteran cadres in the P.L.A. as "capitalist-roaders in the army" forming "a bourgeois class inside the army." By the logic of their counter-revolutionary allegations, wouldn't it follow that our democratic revolution was an old democratic revolution led by bourgeois democrats and that the state we have established is a bourgeois republic? Wouldn't it follow that since the founding of the People's Republic we have not been carrying on socialist revolution at all but have been taking the capitalist road under the leadership of bourgeois democrats? Wouldn't it follow that our army is a bourgeois army and that from the very beginning our Party was a party of bourgeois democrats and has now become a bourgeois party like the Soviet revisionist party? This is the height of absurdity theoretically and extremely reactionary politically. Most certainly these charges were made not to oppose capitalist-roaders but altogether to negate the proletarian character of our Party, our army and our state, the predominance of Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line in all three, and the whole history of our revolution over the past half-century or so, in which Chairman Mao led our Party, our army and our people in arduous struggle for the realization of socialism and communism in China. These charges are out-and-out ultra-Right rubbish hostile to the Communist Party, the people and the revolution!
Moreover, the "gang of four" distorted Chairman Mao's instructions and, waving the revolutionary banner of "restricting bourgeois right," they went all out for counterrevolution. Just as they took past participation in the democratic revolution and present leading positions as the political criteria for defining a "capitalist-roader," they absurdly took higher rank and higher wages as the economic criteria. In order to provide a so-called economic argument for their preposterous fabrication that there was "a bourgeois class" inside the Party and army, they deliberately confounded the differences in distribution between the leading cadres of the Party, the government and the army on the one hand and the broad masses on the other with class exploitation. This is reversing right and wrong and calling black white. This whole bag of tricks is nothing but a component part of their counter-revolutionary political programme equating veteran cadres with "democrats" and "democrats" with "capitalist-roaders."
In order to push through this counterrevolutionary programme, the "gang of four" set in motion the media under their control and agitated for rounding up at all levels those they called "democrats" and "capitalist-roaders." Serving as shock troops of the "gang of four" in their attempts to usurp Party and state power, the group which they had handpicked from two universities in Peking to write "critiques" and the writing group of the erstwhile Shanghai municipal Party committee produced a spate of reactionary articles to advertise this programme. Literature and art as manipulated by the gang viciously attacked the Party leadership and traduced its image on the pretext of portraying "capitalist-roaders," becoming literature and art given over completely to conspiracy. History as manipulated by the gang abounded in the arbitrary falsification of facts, purposely sang the praises of "empresses" and condemned "prime ministers," "the acting prime minister" and "the big Confucian of our time," becoming history given over to'innuendo in the service of the gang. Education as manipulated by the gang plumped for what they called "the sole specialization, specialization in fighting the capitalist-roaders," a move calculated to delude young people into serving as their hatchetmen. What is more, under the guise of "opposing the theory of the all-importance of the productive forces," they stigmatized the leading cadres who have persisted in grasping revolution and promoting production as "capitalist-roaders." Under this guise they smeared vast numbers of cadres and the worker and peasant masses who have kept to their posts, exerted themselves in production and worked hard for socialism, saying that they were "putting feathers in the caps of the capitalist-roaders," and they instigated the stoppage of work and production and sabotaged our economy. They even attempted to spearhead the organs of dictatorship against the Party, clamouring that those they called "democrats" and "capitalist-roaders" should be "suppressed" and "shot." They openly called for the abolition of our Party and its substitution by their "mass organizations." On the pretext of "opposing capitalist-roaders," they went in for intrigues and splittism and opposed the Party and army in a futile attempt to plunge the whole country into chaos.
The counter-revolutionary political purpose of the "gang of four" became obvious when they dished up so much nonsense and perpetrated so many crimes on the question of "capitalist-roaders." They brazenly spread the views that "the present target of revolution is the democrats, who subsisted on chaff in the old society, were wounded in the War of Resistance Against Japan, fought in the War' of Liberation and crossed the Yalu River in the war to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea" and that those due to be overthrown now are "the capitalist-roaders who scaled the snow-topped mountains and traversed the marshlands or who wear P.L.A. collar-tabs and P.L.A. badges on their caps" and "the capitalist-roaders who are hardworking and honest and who are neither renegades nor enemy agents, neither embezzlers nor degenerates." All this has thoroughly exposed the gang for what they are - a bunch of old and new counterrevolutionaries filled with inveterate hatred for our Party, our army and our revolution. They spoke the minds of all the reactionary classes overthrown by our Party in the democratic and socialist revolutions, who were thirsting for revenge and restoration. They wanted to settle scores not only with the socialist revolution but with the democratic revolution as well. They were a veritable "landlords' restitution corps." Our Party has a contingent of old, middle-aged and young cadres steeled in struggles from the time the Party was founded all the way to and through the Cultural Revolution and it has a tested proletarian army. The two constituted an insurmountable obstacle to the gang's usurpation of Party and state power. The "gang of four" tried to overthrow these Party and army cadres, vainly hoping to destroy our Party, our army and the dictatorship of the proletariat and to institute instead their own feudal, bourgeois and revisionist hotchpotch of a "new heavenly state," by effecting what Chang Chun-chiao referred to as "a change of dynasty" and "replacing the old talisman of the New Year with a new." And this goes to the heart of all their nonsense on the question of "capitalist-roaders."
Totally negating Chairman Mao's scientific analysis of the classes in our society in the period of socialism, the "gang of four" dished up an absurd theory about "the new changes in class relations in the socialist period." By "the new changes" they meant that veteran cadres had turned into "capitalist-roaders" and veteran workers into "people with vested interests," young workers were "even worse," poor and lower-middle peasants "lagged behind ideologically" in the socialist revolution, and intellectuals were "the stinking ninth category" [coming after the eight categories of class enemies, namely, the landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, bad elements, Rightists, renegades, enemy agents and unrepentant capitalist-roaders - Tr.]. On the other hand, the "advanced elements" they relied on were the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, ghosts and monsters, and such political careerists, renegades, newborn counter-revolutionaries, gangsters and smash-and-grabbers as Ma Tien-shui, Yu Hui-yung, Chih Chun, Chang Tieh-sheng, Weng Sen-ho and Chen Ah-ta. In this way they completely reversed the relationship of the people to the enemy in the historical period of socialism and ranged themselves against all the people of China.
Whoever antagonizes the people is bound to be overthrown by the people. If the superstructure protects the old relations of production and undermines the new and if it hinders the growth of the productive forces, the people will rise and pull it down. This is an objective law borne out by the entire history of mankind. Together with their bourgeois factional setup the hotchpotch of theory, line, policy, ideology and press propaganda of the "gang of four" formed a most decadent and reactionary superstructure. For a time they were really on the rampage. However, such superstructure as they erected stood in sharp antagonism to the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the needs of the socialist economic base and the expanding productive forces. The working people didn't like it, nor did the oxen and the machines, because the working people who used them didn't like it at all. It was therefore only natural that the people should have risen and overthrown the gang and consigned them to oblivion. Historically their doom was inexorable.
Comrades! The smashing of the "gang of four" is a victory for our Party, for the proletariat and for the people. This great victory has not been won easily. Like Lin Piao, the "gang of four" are counter-revolutionary double-dealers. Over the years, they concealed their past records and, using the sleaziest counter-revolutionary double-faced tactics, wormed their way into the core of Party leadership and plotted to usurp Party and state power, causing grievous harm to the Party and the people. This fact brings into bold relief the very grave danger posed by counter-revolutionary double-dealers. Chairman Mao's serious illness and death and the position and power held by the "gang of four" were special circumstances that further heightened the complexity and difficulty of the latest struggle between the two lines. Yet, no matter how slyly the "gang of four" disguised themselves and how deeply they burrowed, our Party finally succeeded in unearthing them and dumped them on the garbage heap of history. This big victory has saved our Party from a major split, our country from a major bloodletting premeditated by the gang, our people from a major calamity and our revolution from a major reversal. It has further strengthened and consolidated China as a revolutionary base area for the world. This is of immediate and far-reaching historic significance to the revolution in China and in the world. It eloquently demonstrates once more that our Party, our army and our people deserve to be called a Party personally founded and nurtured by Chairman Mao, an army created and cultivated by him and a people armed with Mao Tsetung Thought.
Smashing the "gang of four" is yet another signal victory achieved in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Chairman Mao pointed out: "The current Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is absolutely necessary and most timely for consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, preventing capitalist restoration and building socialism." In the light of the historical lesson of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and the real danger of such a restoration in China, Chairman Mao, with unmatched revolutionary courage and vision, personally launched and led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which has no precedent in the history of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the course of this momentous political revolution, our Party won the ninth, tenth and eleventh major struggles of line and demolished the three bourgeois headquarters of Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and the "gang of four." Through repeated battles our Party wrested from their hands that portion of power they had usurped. As a result, the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country is more consolidated than ever and the way is open to applying Chairman Mao's revolutionary line correctly and in its entirety. In this revolution our Party has gained rich experience in how to rely directly on the people in their hundreds of millions in order to vanquish the capitalist-roaders in the Party. Vast numbers of cadres and the people, tested and tempered in trying circumstances, have immensely enhanced their consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines, and raised their ability to judge between right and wrong politically and spot political swindlers. The most vivid proof is the awareness and judgment they have shown in the arduous and complicated struggle against the "gang of four." Through this political revolution Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought has been disseminated, and in this great field of practice Chairman Mao's great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat has been enriched and developed and been grasped more profoundly by the numerous cadres and the masses. China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution provides the international communist movement with fresh experience in combating and guarding against revisionism, consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and preventing capitalist restoration. It makes the world proletariat much more confident of victory in their struggle for socialism and communism. Beyond any doubt, it will go down in the history of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a momentous innovation which will shine with increasing splendour with the passage of time.
At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution Chairman Mao said, "Great disorder across the land leads to great order." After the Tenth Congress, he pointed out more than once: "Eight years have passed since the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution started. It is preferable to have stability now. The whole Party and the whole army should get united." "It's better to have stability and unity." But the "gang of four" tried their hardest to cause damage and disruption. Now that the gang has been overthrown, we are able to achieve stability and unity and attain great order across the land in compliance with Chairman Mao's instructions. Thus, the smashing of the "gang of four" marks the triumphant conclusion of our first Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which lasted eleven years.
Stability and unity do not mean writing off class struggle. The victorious conclusion of the first Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution certainly does not mean the end of class struggle or of the continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Throughout the historical period of socialism the struggle between the two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and between the two roads, socialism and capitalism, continues to exist. This struggle will be protracted and tortuous and at times even very sharp. Political revolutions in the nature of the Cultural Revolution will take place many times in the future. We must follow Chairman Mao's teachings and continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to the end, gradually eliminate the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, bring about the triumph of socialism over capitalism and eventually realize our ultimate goal - communism.
The Situation and Our Tasks
The victorious conclusion of the first Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has ushered in a new period of development in our country's socialist revolution and socialist construction. At this critical moment, the Central Committee of the Party has made the strategic decision to grasp the key link of class struggle and run the country well, that is, to achieve stability and unity, strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat and consolidate and expand the achievements of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the midst of acute conflict between the two classes and between the two roads, so as to bring about great order throughout the country.
The gist of this decision is to hold high and defend the great banner of Chairman Mao, to carry the big struggle to expose and criticize the "gang of four" through to the end by fully mobilizing the masses and uniting with all forces that can be united, to eliminate the pernicious influence of the gang's counter-revolutionary revisionist line, consolidate and expand our successes in the eleventh struggle between the two lines, and comprehensively and correctly implement Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line in political, economic, military, cultural and foreign affairs. The whole Party, the whole army and the people of all nationalities should unite as one and make concerted efforts to carry out the Central Committee's strategic decision, striving for some initial successes this year and marked success within three years. If this is done, a solid foundation will be laid for making China a powerful and modern socialist country, the task which it is the historical mission of the Chinese working class and the Chinese people to accomplish in the rest of this century.
Comrades, since its Tenth Congress, our Party has firmly adhered to the line, principle and policy laid down by Chairman Mao personally in the field of foreign affairs and has further contributed to the development of the international situation in a direction favourable to the people of China and the world. Our country enjoys ever-growing international prestige and we have friends all over the world.