These appointments decided upon by Chairman Mao aroused the bitter hatred of the "gang of four," as was conclusively proved by the "Thoughts on February 3, 1976," furtively churned out by Chang Chun-chiao. Thwarted at every turn, they hit back ten times more vehemently and a hundred times more vengefully and stepped up their machinations to usurp Party and state power in defiance of the directives by Chairman Mao and the Central Committee. In their press propaganda and talks, they openly championed a counter-revolutionary political programme which equated veteran cadres with "democrats" and "democrats" with "capitalist-roaders," frantically whipped up counter-revolutionary demagogy in their attempt to mould public opinion and muster their forces to knock down large numbers of leading comrades, both central and local, who adhere to Chairman Mao's revolutionary line.
Chairman Mao foresaw that the "gang of four" would create disturbances after his death. At the beginning of 1975, in castigating Chiang Ching he said, "After I die, she will make trouble." In 1976, as Chairman Mao's illness worsened, the "gang of four" did become more unscrupulous in their anti-Party activities. However, in consideration of Chairman Mao's health and with the overall interest in mind, comrades of the Political Bureau, while adhering to principle, exercised restraint. When Chairman Mao passed away, the "gang of four" thought their opportunity had come and were impatient to take action and usurp supreme power in the Party and state. On September 11, without the knowledge or authorization of the Central Committee, they notified the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions that they should report to them and get their instructions on major questions. This was a futile attempt to sever the ties between the Central Committee and the localities and take over the authority to issue orders to the whole country. Through overt campaigning and covert manoeuvring, they urged people to write letters to Chiang Ching pledging allegiance and imploring her to take over supreme power. Wang Hung-wen clandestinely had his "official photograph" taken, to be used on his ascent to power. They were busy everywhere, fabricating rumours and fanning up evil winds and sinister fires to incite opposition to the Central Committee, and making preparations for the "grahd festival" in celebration of their usurpation of power. In early October, Chang Chun-chiao wrote in a memo that there should be "suppression of counter-revolutionaries" and "executions." In Shanghai they hurriedly distributed quantities of arms and ammunition in their plot for an armed rebellion. Still more sinister was their forgery, "act upon the principles laid down," which they claimed to be Chairman Mao's "deathbed injunction." They had this phrase published as an insertion in an editorial in the Party newspaper, and then gave it wide publicity in the press, but they refused to publicize Chairman Mao's principles of the "three do's and three don'ts." When the Central Committee nailed down their forgery on October 2, they went so far as to publish an anti-Party article on October 4, "Forever Act Upon the Principles Laid Down by Chairman Mao," in which they said: "Tampering with the principles laid down by Chairman Mao means betrayal of Marxism, betrayal of socialism and betrayal of the great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat." They threatened: "Any revisionist leader who dares to tamper with the principles laid down by Chairman Mao will definitely come to no good end." Thus they openly issued a counter-revolutionary mobilization order to overthrow the Central Committee. As anticipated, they were really out to create disturbances and stage a coup. It was at this most critical moment that the Political Bureau took decisive action, smashed with one stroke the plot of the "gang of four" to usurp Party and state power, and thus fulfilled Chairman Mao's unfulfilled wish to settle the question of the "gang of four."
The causes that led the "gang of four" to plot the usurpation of supreme power in the Party and state in the fond hope of reversing the course of history and restoring capitalism in China are deep-rooted in their class origin and past records. Chang Chun-chiao has been a Kuomintang secret agent, Chiang Ching is a renegade, Yao Wen-yuan an alien class element, and Wang Hung-wen a new bourgeois element. The "gang of four" are a sinister clique formed of old and new counter-revolutionaries who sneaked into our Party. They are typical representatives within our Party of landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries and bad elements as well as of the old and new bourgeoisie, and they embody the desire of class enemies at home and abroad to restore capitalism in China. Their reactionary class nature determines the ultra-Right essence of their counter-revolutionary revisionist line and underlies all their criminal activities. The material that furnishes evidence first of the crimes of the "gang of four" in plotting to usurp supreme power in the Party and state and second of their counter-revolutionary past has been distributed throughout the Party, army and nation. This material fully demonstrates with conclusive and irrefutable evidence that the contradiction between our Party and the "gang of four" is a contradiction between the people and the enemy. The struggle against the gang is a continuation of the prolonged struggle waged by the Chinese Communist Party and the revolutionary masses under its leadership against the Kuomintang reactionaries, a continuation of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, a continuation of the struggle between Marxism and revisionism.
In accordance with the demand of the whole Party, the whole army and the people of all nationalities, and in conformity with the provisions of the Party Constitution, the Third Plenary Session of the Tenth Central Committee unanimously adopted the resolution to expel Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan from the Party for ever, strip them of all their posts inside and outside the Party, and thoroughly settle accounts with their counterrevolutionary crimes against the Party and the people.
Comrades! The "gang of four" debased Marxist philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism in their entirety. They are a clique of counter-revolutionary conspirators cloaking themselves with Marxist theories. Lenin said, "The dialectics of history are such that the theoretical victory of Marxism obliged its enemies todisguise themselvesas Marxists." Thanks to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao's great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat has taken firmer root among the masses and become the glorious banner guiding our people in their hundreds of millions in the struggle for victory. That is why the "gang of four" made special efforts to deck themselves out as champions of this theory and while flaunting it as their banner, they set out to pervert it to serve their counterrevolutionary political scheme for the usurpation of Party, and state power, subversion of the dictatorship of the proletariat and restoration of capitalism. As far as ideology and theory are concerned, the eleventh struggle between the two lines in our Party has unfolded around the question of whether to uphold or to vitiate the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is the salient feature of this struggle.
As we all know, Chairman Mao's great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat occupies an especially prominent place in the history of the development of Marxism. Lenin's outstanding contributions to the theory of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat are that he revealed the law of development of imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, and created the great theory that victory in the proletarian revolution could be won and socialism built in the country forming the weakest link in the imperialist front. In the same field, Chairman Mao's outstanding contributions are that he summed up the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat since Lenin, inherited, defended and developed the teachings of Marx and Lenin, revealed the law of development of socialist society, created the great systematic theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and clearly charted the true road to consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, preventing capitalist restoration and building socialism for the countries in which the proletarian revolution has triumphed. It is the most important achievement of Marxism in our time.
In this theory Chairman Mao applies the dialectical materialist law of the unity of opposites to the study and analysis of socialist society and points out that socialist society covers a historical period of considerable length and that in this period classes, class contradictions and class struggle, the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road and the danger of capitalist restoration invariably continue to exist, and there is the threat of subversion and aggression by imperialism and social-imperialism. Therefore, in this historical period, it is imperative for the proletariat to persist in its struggle against the bourgeoisie and in its dictatorship over the latter and it is imperative to persist in continuing the revolution under this dictatorship. Hence, this theory explodes such revisionist fallacies as the "dying out of class struggle," a "party of the whole people" and a "state of the whole people."
In this theory Chairman Mao applies to socialist society the Marxist thesis that the contradictions between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base are the basic contradictions in society and points out that in socialist society there is correspondence as well as contradiction between the relations of production and the productive forces, between the superstructure and the economic base. In so far as the relations of production do not correspond with the productive forces and the superstructure does not correspond with the economic base, the development of the productive forces is hindered. Therefore, it is necessary to carry on the revolution in the realm of the superstructure and consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat in this realm, which includes all branches of culture, so that the superstructure will correspond better with the socialist economic base. It is necessary to carry on the revolution in the realm of the relations of production and to consolidate and develop socialist public ownership and other aspects of the socialist relations of production, so that they will correspond better with the expanding productive forces. It is necessary to introduce technical innovations, carry out the technical revolution and speedily develop the productive forces so as to provide the socialist system with a growing material base and promote change and development in the relations of production and the superstructure. Only by doing all this can we consolidate and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat, steadily propel the socialist cause forward, and finally reach communist society in which all classes are eliminated.
Chairman Mao made a scientific analysis of the classes in Chinese society following the basic completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production and put forward the thesis that the contradictions among the people and those between ourselves and the enemy in socialist society must be correctly distinguished and handled. Speaking of the socialist revolution Chairman Mao said: "What classes are involved in this struggle? [It] is a struggle waged by the proletariat at the head of the working people against the bourgeoisie." The working class must closely unite with and rely on its most dependable allies - the poor and the lower-middle peasants, unite with and rely on the revolutionary intellectuals, and also win over and unite with the majority of the upper-petty bourgeoisie and of the bourgeois intellectuals, those among the national bourgeoisie who are willing to accept socialist transformation, and other patriotic democrats, so as to enforce dictatorship over the reactionary classes and elements and all those who resist socialist transformation and oppose socialist construction. People who favour socialism account for 90 per cent of the total population of the country, while those who do not favour or who oppose it make up 10 per cent, of whom 8 out of 10 may be won over through our efforts, and so the diehards bitterly opposed to socialism make up only 2 per cent. The series of masterly articles by Chairman Mao in 1957 laid the scientific basis for this class analysis. With the deepening of the socialist revolution Chairman Mao continued to enrich and develop this class analysis. He further stressed the necessity of uniting with more than 95 per cent of the cadres and the masses and advanced a comprehensive theory concerning the struggle against Party persons in power taking the capitalist road. Chairman Mao's class analysis of socialist society has systematically solved such theoretical questions as the nature, the motive forces and the targets of the continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The "gang of four" completely corrupted Chairman Mao's great theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Party's basic line for the entire historical period of socialism. In particular they perverted Chairman Mao's teaching on the question of capitalist-roaders within the Party, thus creating much confusion. The most concentrated manifestation of this distortion is the counter-revolutionary political programme they dished up equating veteran cadres with "democrats" and "democrats" with "capitalist-roaders." Now let us see what Chairman Mao actually said on the question of capitalist-roaders within the Party, how the "gang of four" distorted and doctored what he said and how in so doing they tried to push their counterrevolutionary political programme and weave their plot to usurp Party and state power.
Chairman Mao's thesis on capitalist-roaders within the Party is based on a penetrating analysis of the class struggle in socialist society and the special characteristics of that struggle. The principal contradiction in socialist society is that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the socialist road and the capitalist road. It is bound to be reflected inside the ruling Communist Party, hence the emergence of Party persons in power taking the capitalist road. Although the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production has in the main been completed and the proletariat has won gigantic victories on the political and ideological fronts in its struggle against the bourgeoisie, the old bourgeoisie is still around, the vast petty bourgeoisie constantly breeds capitalist forces, and new bourgeois elements keep on emerging. The old and new bourgeoisie constitutes a considerable force in society in terms of their capacity for manoeuvre and the influence they wield. They will invariably seek out agents in the Communist Party, pinning their hopes for capitalist restoration on the capitalist-roaders within the Party. Chairman Mao pointed out that the main aim of the socialist education movement and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is to "strike at those Party persons in power taking the capitalist road." He further stated, "You are making the socialist revolution, and yet don't know where the bourgeoisie is. Right inside the Communist Party - those in power taking the capitalist road." This scientific thesis of Chairman Mao's was evolved and developed step by step by summing up the experience of Stalin's struggle against Trotsky, Zinoviev and Bukharin, the lessons drawn from Khrushchov's and Brezhnev's restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the experience in our own Party's struggle against capitalist-roaders. The struggles which smashed the three bourgeois headquarters in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution clearly testify to the fact that it is the absolutely unrepentant capitalist-roaders in the Party such as Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao, and the "gang of four" - Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan - who pose the chief danger of capitalist restoration.
While stressing the necessity of struggle against the capitalist-roaders, Chairman Mao explicitly pointed out that there were only a handful among the cadres in our Party. As early as 1967, he said, "The overwhelming majority of our cadres are good and only a tiny minority are not. True, those Party persons in power taking the capitalist road are our target, but they are a mere handful. Except for those who defected, turned renegade, or surrendered to the enemy, the overwhelming majority of our cadres have surely done good things in the last dozen years or so, or in the last few decades. We must unite with the majority of the cadres."
Applying his thesis on differentiating between the two types of contradictions to the struggle against capitalist-roaders, Chairman Mao stated: "Of those who have made the mistake of taking the capitalist road, only a few are absolutely unrepentant, while the majority can correct their mistake through education. Don't regard anyone as a bad person the moment he is called a 'capitalist-roader.'" This is a development in the socialist period of his teachings concerning inner-Party struggle. The actual struggles which have unfolded within the Party since the founding of the People's Republic show that capitalist-roaders originate from two categories of people: one, the renegades, enemy agents, counter-revolutionaries, alien class elements, degenerates, new bourgeois elements and other class enemies who have sneaked into the Party; two, Party members who, with an unchanged bourgeois world outlook, disapprove of or even oppose the socialist revolution, including those who still remain at the stage of the democratic revolution ideologically. For people of the second category who have committed the error of taking the capitalist road there are two possibilities: one, they may make amends; two, they may not. Only a few are absolutely unrepentant and with them it is a case of contradiction between ourselves and the enemy. The majority are willing and able to correct their mistake, and the case is one of contradiction among the people. Towards these comrades we must apply the principle of learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient.
In the struggle against the Lin Piao anti-Party clique, Chairman Mao summed up experience in the inner-Party struggle between the two lines and put forward the three basic principles - "Practise Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don't split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire" - thus further pointing up the essential criteria for identifying capitalist-roaders in the Party. He reiterated them in the struggle against the "gang of four." Adhering to these criteria, we will be able to guide the numerous cadres and the masses in accurately identifying capitalist-roaders in the complicated struggle between the two lines, unite with more than 95 per cent of the masses and cadres, including those comrades who have made the mistake of taking the capitalist road but are willing to correct it, completely isolate absolutely unrepentant capitalist-roaders like Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and the "gang of four," and concentrate our attack on them.
It is on the question of who are our enemies and who are our friends, a question of the first importance for continuing the revolution, that the "gang of four" altogether reversed the relationship of the people to the enemy in the historical period of socialism by appropriating for their own ends the revolutionary slogan of opposing capitalist-roaders and by tampering with Chairman Mao's comprehensive thesis on the question of capitalist-roaders inside the Party. In pursuit of their counter-revolutionary purpose of usurping Party and state power they attempted to overthrow all those leading cadres, whether old, middle-aged or young, at various levels in the Party, government and army, who have upheld the three basic principles, observed the instructions of Chairman Mao and the Central Committee and refused to follow them or to become their retainers. They labelled veteran or middle-aged cadres "capitalist-roaders" and the young ones "capitulationists." They directed the spearhead of their attack at the veteran revolutionary cadres holding key positions of leadership at various levels. They went for the veteran cadres both in their so-called "criticism of the big Confucian in the Party" during the campaign to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius and in their so-called "opposition to empiricism" during the movement to study the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Later they put forward the counter-revolutionary political programme which equated veteran cadres with "democrats" and "democrats" with "capitalist-roaders," maligning these veteran cadres as having formed "a bourgeois class" inside the Party. This was a vicious attack on our Party's veteran cadres and a shameless vilification of our Party's character and history.
The Chinese Communist Party founded and nurtured by Chairman Mao is the political party of the proletariat. His proletarian revolutionary line predominates in our Party. The great majority of our Party cadres support and implement this line. Chairman Mao pointed out long ago, "The handful of Party persons in power taking the capitalist road are the representatives of the bourgeoisie within the Party." When he said that the bourgeoisie was right inside the Communist Party, Chairman Mao was referring to the capitalist-roaders within the Party, and in no way did he mean there was a bourgeois class inside our Party. So long as supreme Party and state power rests with a leading core that adheres to the Marxist-Leninist line, the capitalist-roaders cannot possibly grow into a bourgeois class inside the Party because they are a mere handful and, what is more, they are being constantly exposed and weeded out. Only when the capitalist-roaders succeed in usurping supreme Party and state power, as they have done in the Soviet Union, is a bureaucrat monopoly capitalist class formed and the Party turned into a bourgeois party. It was to prevent the capitalist-roaders from usurping supreme Party and state power and turning our Party into a bourgeois party, and likewise to educate the leading cadres at all levels to keep firmly to the socialist road and guard against the error of taking the capitalist road, that Chairman Mao instructed our Party to fight against capitalist-roaders. Our Party's successive victories over absolutely unrepentant capitalist-roaders like Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and the "gang of four" furnish convincing proof that representatives of the bourgeoisie in its ranks will invariably meet with defeat and that our Party deserves to be called a proletarian political party which has stood prolonged tests and attained political maturity.