By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media
This short text was used for a speech by an activist at a conference in 2016. It is not an official document from any organization, and reflects only the author’s own position. It has not been edited since 2016.
First, it should be noted that Chairman Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru has formulated principles based on lessons from the Chinese Cultural Revolution as concentrated in principles such as the armed sea of masses and people’s war until communism.
The world’s greatest Maoist has in other words led us further in our understanding of cultural revolution as a method. This is not a part of this brief speech, and – as always – comrades must use their critical sense in understanding this text.
The Cultural Revolution in China is the greatest revolution in human history. It is the peak of humanity’s social development thus far. It was the point where humanity stretched itself furthest towards the direction of communism. Today’s capitalist China shows the necessity of waging cultural revolution to stop capitalists from taking over the socialist state and transforming it into its opposite.
We must learn from this, and learn that cultural revolution is not just an individual occurrence, but a method for developing socialism to communism.
Speech on Cultural Revolution as Method
By an activist
Cultural revolution as a method is the theoretical and practical answer to one of the greatest problems of socialism:
How do we prevent workers’ power and socialism from being contorted into bureaucratism and state capitalism?
This question can be posed in several ways, but with the same content:
If socialism did not survive in the Soviet Union and China, how will it survive the next time?
Why should we believe that socialism in Norway will not be a lot of bureaucracy and all power to a few leaders?
Cultural revolution is not an EASY answer.
Some have attempted to resolve the question as a simple one and have claimed that the solution is to “develop democracy” and continue the [bourgeoise] multi-party system. They claim the solution is to have laws and regulations that guarantee power to the people. Red Youth [the youth wing of the social democratic party Red Party, trans.] is a Norwegian group that has proposed this under the name of “socialist rule of the people’s” [“sosialistisk folkestyre”].
Cultural revolution, on the other hand, is not a set of laws or a bureaucratic measure. We understand that whatever it says in a law on a piece of paper is irrelevant. Today’s capitalist China still has a semi-socialist legislation. But the super-rich Chinese capitalists bubble over with laughter at such laws, cheerful as the bubbles in the expensive champagne they drink. Laws promise more than they can deliver.
Cultural revolution is a METHOD.
It is a way to use tools in order to achieve one’s goal. We can compare it with the difference between a diet pill, which guarantees that overweight people will become slim, in other words a easy solution – and the difficult solution of healthy nutrition, a strict diet, and life-long exercise.
It could be so difficult that even if one KNOWS what the correct method is, one is still not guaranteed to accomplish it. Life is OFTEN like this. And this is how it is in political struggle too. Especially in revolutionary communist political struggle.
Knowledge is often overestimated. The protracted struggle is often underestimated. It is not enough to know what one must do, but one must also convince others, get others to join, make sacrifices, hold out, tire, struggle, and continue even if one does not want to. One must gamble and thereby risk something, perhaps risk great losses, because one must dare to win. Such is cultural revolution.
BUT – this is 1000 times better than having no answer, no solution. And it is 10,000 times better than easy solutions, that only cause insult to injury and merely delay having to find the correct answer even longer.
What kind of method is thus cultural revolution? Cultural revolution means applying the mass line in the struggle for the proletariat’s organizations moving on the path to communism. It is the method for the proletarian [red] line winning out over the bourgeois [right opportunist] line. It is the highest form of class struggle in socialism. It is a method for expanding the proletariat’s dictatorship to apply in all areas. It is a method for expanding the red power in great leaps from the positions one has already won, but nonetheless are at risk.
As in all our struggles, this struggle has to do with:
- Uniting the most active and most revolutionary and forging leaders among them.
- Gathering the less active around them, attempting to gather as many people as possible around the leadership.
- Waging ideological struggle to develop people in revolutionary theory.
- Identifying and attacking the enemy, attacking oppressors and capitalism in all its forms.
- Organizing the oppressed in strong organizations.
- Leading the most oppressed and exploited, first and foremost the proletariat, to power.
The core is the struggle for political power, because we are certain that without political power, the people have nothing. It is only if the people have political power that the people can liberate themselves – from oppression, from hunger and poverty, from the uncertainty and powerlessness that characterizes capitalism.
There are some know-it-alls, people who regard themselves as very smart and who wish to decide for other people. Those who believe that if only they were dictators, they would make the world nice for people. Such thinking is dangerous for communists. It leads to a bureaucratism and new oppression. Communists are neither smarter nor better people than others. We are human beings with mistakes and shortcomings. It is only when we understand this that we can begin to understand other things as well.
If we use this insight to meet socialism’s challenges, we greet the peoples’ activism welcome. We should ourselves fight for people to criticize our bad sides and that they do not wait for someone else to fix things for them, but rather organize themselves and struggle.
This is the mass line. This is the cultural revolution’s method. And it is a method that we must use TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE.
We want the people to make revolution and take power in Norway and in all the countries of the world. There are no socialist countries in the world today. But there are communists in all countries. And Maoism is growing in many places. There will be socialist countries in the future and many of us dedicate our lives so that Norway as soon as possible will become one of them.
But without cultural revolutions, tomorrow’s socialism will be corrupted. Without Maoism and cultural revolutions, it will also stagnate, develop extremely bureaucratic apparatuses, foster leaders who look down on people and believe themselves to be so smart that they will solve all problems for their stupid inferiors and ultimately end up with a new bourgeoisie forming, taking the power from the people, and reintroducing capitalism – as in Russia and China.
Therefore, we learn from the Cultural Revolution, because we ourselves will put it in motion and participate in cultural revolutions. Because tomorrow’s cultural revolutions will not suffer the same defeats as in China, but will happen early enough so as to prevent socialism from becoming state capitalism and in order to drive our parties forward and make them redder, more communist, and more proletarian through struggle – not just against external enemies, but also in internal struggle.