Created: 10/30/1970

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The metal eiempilons lir ihis rJicument are (Dim and Ibliai


Intelligence Report


(Reference Title: POLO XLI)





This broad-perspective study sets forth new findings and judgments concerning China's Cultural Revolution, profiting from previous examinations in depth of certain aspects of it. This study views the Cultural Revolution in

the context of Mao Tse-tung's self-defeating efforts of the past two decades to keepmomentum alive in China; and ascribes central importance to Mao's attempt to fashion the masseseapon against an entrenched and obstructive party apparatus. The nature and consequences of his audacious efforts to save the Party by destroying it are the subject matter of this essay.

Its mainMao's new institutionalizing of group interest andfundamental questions regarding China's future. Has Mao's mystical faith that


human nature can be remolded been invalidated? Because Mao remains dominant yet unable to move China as he wishes, must solutions for many of its problems be postponed until he is gone? Can they be? And, what will be the resulting restraints, if any, on China's external behavior?

In preparing the study this Stafffrom the comments anda number of China officers and offices;views nonetheless represent theand of its author, 1 1

Chief,pecial Kesearcn staff





How Power Was

The Attempt to Regain

The Struggle to Seize Power9

The Struggle to Consolidate Power





"Tke aim of every revolutionary struggle in the world ie the eeizure andof politioal power."Mao Tse-tung

One of the most extraordinary aspects of Communist rule in China is that Mao Tse-tung. afterears as the leadorotalitarian system of government, should have found it necessary toecond political revolution to seize power. This paper is an attempt to describe briefly both the origin and development of the Cultural Revolution and the new political system which has emerged in Chinaesult of the Cultural Revolution.

This analysis is based primarily upon: .-

Party documents (principally the speeches, diWW?ves and letters of Chairman Mao Tse-tung) published during the Cultural Revolution whichnique insight into the inner workings of China's political system. They show, for example, how Mao Tse-tung lost effective power when his revolutionary vision of the good society and his "mass-line" leadership doctrine for achieving it were slighted by the Chinese Communist Party following the collapse of the radical Great Leap Forward and commune programs in thes. They show how Mao sought in theo regain the power he had lost through reform of the system from within and, then, frustrated in this endeavor, launched the Cultural Rovolution in an attempt to "seize power" from without. They also show that, in enlisting the support of the "revolutionary masses" and the military tocorrupt" Party and government, Mao Tso-tuna



hasew political system whichgroup interest and group conflictay that, no Communist Party has ever done.

How Power Was Lost

"In both ascialiet revolution end szrialist construction, it ie nsossszry tt ad'isrs to the mass line, boldly arouse zhe masses and unfold mass movementsarge soils."Mao Tse-tung, quoted in "On Khrushchev's Phoney Communism and its Historical Lessons for the4

"You say there are no faottons utthin the Party? But there are. For sxsmpls, there are two factions vith regard zc mass"ao Tse-tung, Speech at Plenary Session of the Central committee,

It is an underlying thesis of this paper that China's Cultural Revolution should be viewedtruggle between adhorents and opponents of Mao Tse-tung's leadershipof the "mass line." consisting of organizational and leadership techniques developed during the Yenan period of China's revolutionary war, the "mass line" doctrine is based on the premise that it is possible, by meanseries of interactions between individual leaders (Party cadres) and the led (theo involve the masses as enthusiastic and total participants in Party programs. Faith in the power of ideology to guide and motivate, in the efficacy of political indoctrination, and in thecreative power" of theare the main ingredients of the "mass line" leadership approach which had proved so successful in the political and military struggles of China's revolutionary war. Mao's insistence on applying these same techniques ins to the more complicated task of modernizing the backward economy and

traditional society of China led, however, to loss ofand effective power and ultimately to the Cultural Revolution.

Explaining during the Cultural Revolution how he had earlier lost power, Mao Tse-tung traced the origin of this process, it is interesting to note, to the time "wher. we entered tho cities." Reflecting the essentially rural and guerrilla nature of his leadership doctrine, Mao blamed entry into the cities for having generallythe Chinese Communist Party and,esult, for having severed the intimate Party-mass relationship so essential to the successful functioning of the "mass line."

A second important development, in Mao's account of his loss of power, was his "deliberate" decision at the time of the Eighth Party Congress6 toubstantial portion of his political power to Liu Shao-chi (the senior Vice-chairman of the newly established Standing Committee of the Politburo; and to Teng Hsiao-ping (the Secretary-General) who would, respectively, "preside over important conferences" and "take charge of the daily operations" of the Party This had been done both to promote greater efficiency ;the new central organs had been set up "owing to the pressure of Partynd tomooth succession in the(and thus avoid the errors committed in the Soviet Union following Stalin's daath)"to foster these people's authority so that no great changes would arise ln the country when the time came for me to meet my Heavenly King."

The viability of this arrangement, whereby Mao delegated substantial administrative power whilegeneral decision-making power in his own hands, depended on mutual trust and joint commitment to the "mass line" leadership doctrine. Tho ultimate expression of thisindoctrination, "mass line" approach to economic development was, of course, the Great Leap Forward program initiated The first test of this division of power within the top leadership occurred at the Lushan Party conference inhen for the first tin*ao Tse-tung's personal leadership and programs were openly subjected to attackong-time "comrade in arras" (the then Minister of National Defense Peng Te-huai)


who, moreover, had managed to muster considerable support within the Central Committee". Although Liu shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping rallied to Mao's support on this occasion, the issues and tensions generated during this intra-Party struggle at Lushan would persist and finally precipitate the Cultural Revolution.

The combined effect of irrational economic policy, successive bad harvests, and the Soviet withdrawal of technicians in the summer0 dealt Mao's Great Leap Forward program of economichattering blow. Confronted with the threat of economic and political the Chinese Communist regime respondederies of urgent corrective measures in the winternd then, reluctantly and painfully, with even more drastic remedieseriod of further retreat in At an extraordinary Centraltee work conference convened in2 to analyze the causes of this national crisis, Liu Shao-chi then expressed views so critical of the results of the Great Leap Forward and commune programs as to cast doubt on the validity of these programs, of the "mass line" doctrine upon which they were based, and, by extension, of the leadership of the author and champion of this doctrine, Mao Tse-tung. ense, the speeches by Mao and Liu and those of their supporters atontinuation of the great debate which had taken place earlier at Lushan, with thedifference that this time those questioning Mao's leadership were "the Liueng Hsiao-ping group" in charge of the Party apparatus-

On the key issue of assigning responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the Great Leap Forward and commune programs, Liu Shao-chi asserted that "it isto point outarge conference that for all these

China, showing that this decision via

scuwen^ of theal Revolution have ser-jea ro olarify the oiroumsvances surrounding Mao's aecieion to resign ae President of -he People's Republia of


and therefore vaa net related to vhe failure of the Great Leap Forward program.


defects and mistakes in work over the past several years the Center must primarily take the responsibility." rincipal cause of these mistakes, moreover, was that the "mass movements" mobilized for economic development had gotten out of control, "wasting thef the masses" and "seriouslyhe enthusiasm and effort of the In addition to policy errors in the economic and social fields, according to Liu, the Center had promoted an "excessive" political struggle, with the result that "both the masses andared not tell thethere was no exchange of opinion between the top andnd "democratic centralism in the life of thebeen gravely impaired."

Aligned on the other side of this debate were Mao Tse-tung and Lin Piao breathing "revolutionarys expressed in Mao's assertion at this time that "the situation is very favorable." Although willing tothat the Central Committee and ha personally were in part responsible, Mao emphasized in his speech to this extraordinary Party conference that the policy lines of the Center had been basically correct and that therefore principal responsibility for "the shortcomings andin work lay with Party cadres who had erred in implementing these policies. To atone for these mistakes, Mao underlined the necessity for "Leading personnel of the Party" at all levels to go before the masses to engage in "criticism and self-criticism." This was necessary to reunite the Party and the masses, to "mobilize the enthusiasm of the masses" without which it was impossible todifficulties." Failure to do so, Mao warned prophetically,hreat directed specifically at "veteranwould lead "one day to your downfall."

In brief, the debate staged at this crucial Party work conference in2 concerned basic questions of organizationommunist society. Although both sides professed devotion to the "massiu Shao-chi stressed the responsibility and need for admission of error by the Party Center as essential to regain the confidence and support of the rank and file of Party cadres and thus protect the institutional integrity and efficacy of the Party as an instrument for carrying out "revolution from




above." To this end, Liuactic called for greater democracy within the Party, Including the right tobasic policy, and in effect used this principle to bring pressure on Mao Tse-tung to change this policy. Mao countered by enlisting the masses as an ally to criticize and bring pressure on Party cadres, some of whom he attacked as "bourgeois representatives" who posed the dangercapitalist restoration" in China. And by calling for "arousing thend supervision by the masses" to prevent this from happening, Mao appeared already to be searching for allies and organized support torevolution from below"efective Party and state apparatus held responsible for the failure of his revolutionary policies.

The Attempt to Regain Power

"Comrade Mao Tse-tung hae called upon us in the current socialist educationto 'reorganise our revolutionary ranks and educate man anew. "'Peng Chen, "Talk at the Festival of Peking Opera on Contemporaryn Red Flag,4


"The main target of the great proletarian cultural revolution ie those within the party who are in authority and taking the capitalisthe aim of the great proletarian cultural revolution ie to revolutionise people's ideology so asachieve greater, faster, better and more eoonomical results in all fields of work.Decision of the central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning tha Great Proletarian Culturaln Peking Review,nd p. IT.



At the time of tho Tenth Plenum of the Central Committee inhree years of privation and ignominious retreat from the original goals of the Great Leap Forward and commune programs had bredand dissatisfaction among large segments of Chinese society and, even more alarming,arge proportion of Party cadres extending into the top ranks of the Politburo. It was in response to this crisis of confidence that Mao Tse-tung at this time launched the "socialist education"ampaign designed to persuade the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people once again of the validity of his revolutionary vision and of the "mass line" as the best method for achieving it.

Despite their differences over policy andMao Tse-tung and Liu shao-chi were apparently able toacit agreement at the Tenth Plenum. As revealed in Mao's speech at the plenum, it was agreed thatime economic reconstruction would take priority over politicale must not allow the class struggle to interfere with ourn this interim period, the task of dealing with "revisionism and the bourgeois question within the Party" was to be entrusted to the Party and state apparatus (two "special examination committees" and the Ministry of Public Security), with respect to the "socialist education" campaign which would focus on the countryside, moreover, both Mao and Liuommon interest in seeking to re-establish control over agriculturererequisite for new economic development.

It was, however, an uneasy and short-lived In economic planning and development, as revealod subsequently in the documents of the Cultural Revolution, Liu Shao-chi and the Party apparatus continued to slight the central tenets of Mao's "mass line" policy,centralized control for decentralization and local self-sufficiency, stressing material over ideologicaland relying on expertise and organization rather than mass campaigns. The resultontinuing debate over method and pace of economic development in the ensuing three yearebate which culminated in Chairman Mao's "stern criticism and rejection" of the Third Five Year Plan drawn up under Party auspices.


As the "socialist education" campaign began to founder in its effort torevolutionary spirit"self-sacrifice in the Chinese people, Maoby once againefective Party apparatus for failure to implement properly the directives upon which the campaign was based. That Mao held senior Party officials primarily responsible for this failure wasby an urgent Central committee instruction of Directed at Party cadres of "high and intermediatehis instruction criticized the work style of these cadres as "conservative, arrogant and complement" and demandedemedy that they engage in "criticism and self-criticism" and openly admit "their shortcomings and mistakes."

A year later,entral Committee workin the most serious offenders among these high level Party officials were for the first time attacked by Mao as class enemies, identified as "those within the Party who are in authority and taking the capitalist road." The principal charge against these{first and foremost of whom, although unnamed, was Liu Shao-chij was again violation of the "massn this case attacking basic level cadreshole during the "socialist education" campaign instead of relying on and uniting "more thanercent of the cadres and more thanercent of the masses" as stipulated in thisdoctrine.

With the unveiling of the Cultural Revolution at an expanded Politburo session inao revealed that the main source of his "revisionist" opposition was indeed located at the very highest level of Party umber of these top leaders in July, Mao disclosed that revolutionary students and teachers (tho precursors of tha Red Guards) were going "to impose revolution of you people because you did not carry out the revolution yourselves." Employing the Red Guardsask force to expose, criticize and intimidate hiswithin the Party, he then held forth the prospect of redemption to leaders who would "admit and examine their errors, and alongside the masses, criticize what they had done wrong." By engaging in self-criticismthe masses (as Mao had been demanding since January


nd pledging their loyalty both to Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung's thought. Party leaders at the central and regional levels night yet save themselves.

Itoot point whether Mao actually expected that this strategy of employing an extra-Party mass(the Red Guards) to compel the Party to carry out rectification and reform would actually succeed. In his6 speech at the Eleventh Plenum of theCommittee which adopted the cultural Revolutionhe expressed confidence that because of changes in the top leadership and becausemall minority" of Party cadres would actively resist, the prospects for successful implementation of the Cultural Revolution were good.

On the other hand, he may have recalled his warning at Lushan seven years previously, that the process of ideological rectification. thought reform) cannot be successful when "carried out under coercion." And when in ensuing months this coercion took the formave of violent attacks by militant Red Guards, it was not surprising that Party committees throughout China reacted by organizing workers and peasants in their defense. ery short time, Mao was forced to concede (in that "most old cadres still do not understand the Cultural Revolution" and to call for the overthrow of the Party and government apparatus which they controlled. Mao Tse-tung's undertaking2 to reform the Party and the political system from within had failed.

The Struggle to Seize Power

"With the Commune inaugurated, do we still need the Party? hink we need it because we mustard oove, whether it is called cftc Communist Partyocialparty." Mao Tse-tung, quotedpeech by Chang Chun-chiao,

"It ie neoeeaory to oarry out the polioy of the revolutionary three-in-one aombina-tion inrovieional organ of power uhioh is revolutionary and repre-sentative and enjoye proletarian authority."Mao Tse-tung, quoted ln Red Flag editorial entitled "On The Revolutionary Three-in-One0

Inommunist China'sewtage of violent overthrow of allositions of authority ir. the Party and government who refused to accept the new "revolutionary" order. Understandably alarmed by the strong resistance, Mao Tse-tung reacted by inciting the "revolutionary

masses" to "seize power from below" and by authorizing the croation on an experimental basis of neworgans of power modeled after the Paris Commune. As the ultimate expression of Mao's "mass line" approach to politics, this undertaking to rely on "revolutionary mass organizations" (such as student Red Guards and worker "revolutionarynd revolutionary cadres toiable substitutebureaucratic" Party andapparatus was probably doomed from the outset.

Factionalism, more than any other single factor, undermined Mao's grand design to mobilize the forces of

the "revolutionary Left" to seize power from his opponents Explaining late in the year why this movement had failed, Premier Chou En-lai pointed to alternating "seizures" and "counter-seizures" of power by contending factions as havingituation in which "seizure of power became surrender of power and power could not be retained." The most serious problem facing the Maoists in the wake of the January Revolution was that it had succeeded too well, destroying the Party and government control apparatus without providing an effective The end result, as regime spokesmen emphasized, wasituation aggravated by rivalry and clashes between revolutionary mass organizations acting likeost of dragonseader."


To provide this leadership, Mao then affirmed the needparty" to constitute the "hard core* inform the new revolutionary organ of power might take. The key question, of course, was what kind of "party" composed of what kind of people- Mao's almost contemptuous reference in7 to the conmunist Party as only oneumber of different possible parties reflected both his bitter experience with the old Party which in his view had turned against himetermination to reorganize this Party drastically before restoring itosition of dominance in the new structure of power.

Until such time, power was to be entrustedrovisional organ of revolutionaryearly7 to replace the abortive Commune. In theory, power was to be shared in more or less equal proportions among three components comprising the Revolutionary"revolutionary three in one combination" or "three way alliance" ofof the People's Liberation Army, ofParty cadres" 'veteran cadres deemed loyal to Mao) and of the "revolutionary masses" (now cadres drawn from student Red Guards and worker "revolutionaryepresenting groups with widely differing interests, the three components of the leadership were also expected to perform differing roles, with tho PLA responsible fororder, the old cadres charged with providingand administrative expertise, and the new cadres assigned such important tasks as maintaining contact with the masses, promoting revolutionary enthusiasm and,observing and reporting on the performance of the military and veteran cadres to Peking. ommonto, and understanding of, Mao Tse-tung's thought would, again in theory, provide the basis for asharing of power between these divergent "allies."


The end result of this searchcompletely new organizational form for the state organs of thedictatorship" (which, it was claimed, would "greatly enrich and develop the experience of the Parisf theas to introduce group interest and group conflict formally into the political

system of China. Although intended perhaps asransitional form, the introduction of this "three-way alliance" principle into the new political structure had lasting consequences which persist to the present day.

Given the divergent goals and interests of these three "allies" and the requirement that all three agree on the composition of these new provisional organs of power, it was not surprising that by7 only Shanghai and four provinces had succeeded in setting up Revolutionary Committees approved by the central Instead, the phenomenon of "false power seizure" appeared in many provinces, with local military commanders held responsible for suppressing the "revolutionary Left" and, in at least one instance, for "carrying out savage armed suppression of revolutionary masso prevent this from happeningentral Committee directive in early April stripped the army of all real authority in dealing with the "revolutionary Left",it to open fire or to take any important action toward these mass organizations without first receivina

instructions from Peking.

Establishing what wouldamiliar pattern of development in the Cultural Revolution, Mao's decision to enhance the role of the "revolutionary masses" at the expense of the PLA produced another nation-wide outbreak of factional violence in the summer Reacting to this threat of anarchy, Mao thengreat strategic plan" in September consistingeries of "supreme instructions" designed to restore order from below by disciplining and reorganizing theranks" and to restore order from above by speeding up the establishment of the new governmental structure. As Mao saw it, what had gone wrong to produce thedisturbance was not the principles underlying the Cultural Revolution but rather that these principles had been misunderstood and mistakenly applied. In fact, the principal lesson which Mao appeared to derive from his September review of developments was that all threeof the new revolutionary organs of power (the PLA, the revolutionary cadres and tho revolutionary rebels) had made mistakes and would have to undergo rectification and ideological education

The first attempt to establish Revolutionaryat provincial and local levels had ended in armed struggle among and between the three components of those new revolutionary organs of power. The solution was not to scrap the design as inherently defective, but rather to change the forum of political combat from theto the national level, with delegations from all delinquent provinces ordered to come to Peking to hammer out agreements under the supervision of the central Even in Peking it was not possible "to solve very quickly" the problems of these provinces since, as explained by Chou En-lai, the composition and membership of these Revolutionary Committees could not be decreed arbitrarily from above but had to be approved by all three groups comprising these organs. This meant that top leaders of the Party Center (notably Chou himself) would be forced to spend night after night of exhausting negotiating sessionsonth or more, during which the factional groups from the province concerned wrangled over the degree of representation and share of power to be allotted each.

esult of the delay imposed by this time-consuming process, Mao's instruction to establish the new Revolutionary Committee structure in all therovinces and principal cities of China by the end of8 proved hopelessly unrealistic. Before this could be accomplished, moreover, it would be necessary to cope in the spring8ew threat to "restore the old" in at least some of the provincial Revolutionarywhich had been so slowly and laboriously constructed in the preceding year. As had beenear earlier, it was considered necessary to rectify the imbalance in the three-way alliance structure of the Revolutionary Committee system by strengthening the position of the representatives of the "revolutionary mass organizations" {viewed as the "revolutionaryn relation to the military and Party cadre representatives (viewed as prone to Rightist error).

The effect of once again unleashings might have been expected, was to revive armed struggle. Responding to this rising crescendo


of violence, Mao Tse-tung on8 issued aorder authorizing the army to put an end to armed struggle, dissolve the rebellious factions and restore order, with the ensuing rapid formation of the last five provincial Revolutionary Committees, it was possible to proclaim, as Premier Chou En-lai didass rallyeptember, thatesult of the "tremendous victory" in theonth long struggle "to seize power from the capitalist roaders" China was now "all Red."

The Struggle toower

"In order toood Job in admitting new Partyt is also necessary toew leading body [in Party organisations] whichevolutionary three-in-one combination and resolutely carries out Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line."Red Flag editorial,Fresh Blood from then Important Question in

If the establishment at long last of Revolutionary Committees could be characterized as "the recapture by the proletariat of all the power usurped by China'sand his agents in varioushe central problem confronting the Maoist leadership in the fall8 was how to utilize this power in the concluding stage of the Cultural Revolution. Of the two principal tasks in this final phase, the first in order of priority and importance was to reconstruct the Chinese Communist Party tohard core" of leadership within the Revolutionary Committee structure and thus consolidate the power already won. The second was an ambitiousto reorganize radically China's institutionalin accordance with Mao Tse-tung's revolutionary vision

- M-


and, by once again arousing Che revolutionary fervor of the masses, bringnew Leapnconstruction." The limited progress achieved to date in implementing either of these programs raises serious questions about the ability of the Maoistin Peking to impose its will at provincial and basic levels of the new power structure in China.

The crucial question in rebuilding the Partyin the fall8 remained the same as at the outset of the Cultural Revolution: how to ensure that the new Party would be composed of loyal and dedicated Maoist supporters. undamental premise of the Culturalit would serve to identify Mao'sand supporters by their conduct during thehad been proven largely erroneous. As Lin Piao would reveal in his keynote political report to the Ninth Party Congress inhat actually happened was that the Cultural Revolution produced "an extremely complicated situation" in which (quoting Mao) it was "hard" to"between ourselves and the enemy."

The professed belief at the outset that themasses" would spontaneously recognize "class enemies" and unite to form the "genuine proletarian Left" had broken down in repeated clashes between self-proclaimed Maoists contending for position and influence in the new revolutionary structure of power. The ensuing failure of the People's Liberation Army to identify and "support the revolutionary Left" . real Maoists)umber of provinces had, moreover, been subjected to severe criticism, resulting in the purging and reorganization of most of the Military Region and Military Districtin China. To allow veteran Party cadres to take charge of reconstructing the Party was, of course, out of the question, since it had been the unwillingness or inability of the old Party apparatus to adequately reform itself which had brought on the Cultural Revolution in the first place.

For these reasons, apparently, the same "three-way alliance" principle which had governed construction of


new organ of state power (the Revolutionary Committee) was extended in the fall8 to apply to construction

cftheram as we LI.

Khe application or tins organizational principle totne^TasK of Party "consolidation and building" would mean that selection of new Party members and leaders at all levels would be governed by the same process ofarguments, deliberations, consultations andwhich had characterized the earlier formation of Revolutionaryrotracted process ofconsultation" in which all three components would first have to reach agreement and then submitigher level for approval. The protracted nature of this process is graphically illustrated by the fact that today, nearly two years later, the Party has yet to assume its assigned role of leadership within the provincial Revolutionary Committee system, nor, withfew exceptions, has it done so at basic levels of society.

Tho "three-way alliance" principle, it is important to note, did not apply to selection of the top leadership of the Party. As revealed in the proceedings of the Ninth Party Congress and of the first meeting of the new Central Committee inhe selection of Mao Tse-tung as Chairman and Lin Piao as Vice-Chairman as the only two officers to head the new central Committee was clearly designed to underline the primacy of these two top leaders, with Lin now officially enshrined in the new Partyas "Comrade Mao Tse-tung's close comrade in arms and successor." The composition of the Politburo Standing Committee (Mao Tse-tung, Lin Piao, Chou En-lai, Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng) places control over theof the Party's most important affairs in the hands of hard-core Maoistsargin of four to one. Although less clear-cut, the composition of the fullember Politburo also suggests that loyalty to Mao and Linboth before and during the Cultural Revolutionominant consideration in their selection.

The composition of the new, much larger Central Committee "elected" at the Congress, however, suggests a


representatives of the percent;epre-

conscious effort to apply the "three-way alliance'1at this important level of the Party structure.riterion of primary association,ull and alternate members of the new Central Committee consist of: epresentatives of the People'sArmy, aboutercent? revolutionaryboutentatives of the "revolutionar percent.

The second principal task of the concluding stage of the Cultural Revolution was to "transform" theand once again mobilize the massesew attempt to realize Mao's visionelfless,and authentic Communist society in China, One of Mao's important objectives in this revolution, of course, has been to reform radically the educational system. The sending of teachers and students by the millions to labor in factories and communes in the autumn8 marked the first step in this educational revolution.

swel the countryside down as part of ment bureaucracy well-known anti-another, much mc be called Mao's to disperse all to "the front li

the ranks of this mass migration to

were large numbers of urban cadres sent

a sizable reduction in force of the govern-

This program, as an expression of Mao's bureaucratic bias, was soon combined with re ambitious program expressing what might anti-urbanan undertaking unemployed or underemployed urban residents ne of agricultural production."

addition to these large-scale, centrally directedumber of radical social and economicreminiscent of the Great Leap Forward and commune period were also introduced in the fall8rial basis- Reflecting the claim inctober National Day editorial that this new stage of the Culturalwould "consolidate andhina's socialist economicn undertaking to establish higher levels


oth in production and distribution, was reportedumber of provinces in the winter.

The most striking new reformm acampaign of learning from and emulating the model Tachai agricultural production brigade) wasfree supply" system under which farm families wouldarge portion of income in the form of "free" food, medical care and education and other basic services. In some instances, communes inaugurating thia new system required that peasants surrender their private plots and in others there were plans to re-establish public mess halls. But this attempt to re-introduce the "supply system"rominent feature of the Great Leap Forward and commune period) proved to be short-lived. Confronted with rising peasant discontent andhreatenedin production, the Maoist leadership was forced toasty retreat in the spring

It is important to note the rationale for this retreat, as set forth9 Red Flag editorial entitled "On Summing Up Experience." The responsibility for failure could not, of course, be assigned to Mao's programs, but rather to "leading comrades at all levels" who had failed to understand "chairman Mao's basicnd integrate them with specific conditions in eachand unit." Since these "leadingost cases were army representatives in the Revolutionary Committee structure, the military was being heldfor violating the "mass line" and resorting toeading cadresuard against arrogance andisten attentively tohen confronted by resistance to these radical reforms.

The process of organizational reform begun at the extraordinary Central Committee work conference in2 when Mao firstefective Party apparatus for failing to implement properly his Great Leap Forward and commune programs had now turned full circle. After six years of intensive political indoctrination, theresponse of the "revolutionary masses" to the first attempt in tho wintero revive some of the



radical features of these programsontinued unwillingness on the part of the Chinese people to sub^dinate

revolutionary vision- Nor had the wholesale destruction and reconstruction of the Partymachine over that period been able to produce

?ntnP"fKatUSpt at ^nslating thesepolicies into the conscious action of the masses."

The combined effect of these radical campaigns had by the time of the Ninth Party Congress produced disunity and confusion at all levels of society. As revealed in Mao's speech to the first plenary session of the Ninth Central Cooaaittee held in lateneof this disunity was widespread dissensionumber of provincial Revolutionaryhenomenon which he also attributed in large part to tho defective work style of PLA cadres serving on these committees. As in aarlicr phases of the culturalwhon, in Mao's view, the pendulum had swung too far in the direction of order imposed from above, it wasonce again to stress the role of the "revolutionary masses." And, as on each occasion whon this had happened in the past, the end result would be still another outbreak of factional violence and anarchism.

Increasingly apprehensive about the possibilityoviet armed attack in the spring and summerha Maoist leadership responded ln late August bya massive drive to "prepare for war" in which,the army was authorized to use whatever force was required to restore public order, in recent months, the "war preparations" movement has been extended to encompass all aspects of China's political, economic and social life (as expressed in the slogan "observe everything, check everything and do everything in the light of preparedness againstnd has begun to take on the appearanceermanent campaign. It remains to be seenoviet military threat from without and by stubborn resistance from within, Mao Tse-tung will continue to insist on implementation of the radical, inherently disruptive domestic programs which he deems necessary to achieve his revolutionary vision.


"At that time , there were many who did not agree witht vas said that my point of view wae anachronistic* "Maoalk with Foreign Visitors,

"Why is there so muchthere is no life and death enmity, why soe must realize that those who oppose us are not necessarily bad people*"Mao Tse-tung, Speech at Plenary Session of the Central Committee,

road sense, China's Cultural Revolution hasispute about the way toommunist system ofispute about the roles and functions of the loader, the political party and the massesommunist society. Originatingime of national crisis following the collapse of the Great Leap Forward and commune programs, the dispute centered initially on the causes for the collapse of those programs and for the failure of the "mass line" upon which they were based. Was this failure the resultefective strategy of economic and social development, an "anachronistic"to apply wartime techniques developed in Yenan to the much more complicated task of economicas Liu Shao-chi- representing the Party, maintained? Or was it the result of faulty executionundamentally correct strategybureaucratic" Party apparatus, as Mao Tse-tung, the leader, maintained? In the struggle which followed, first to reform and then torevisionist" Party and government, Mao's search for loyal supporters has resulted in tho creationew political system with unforeseen characteristics.

The most distinctive characteristic of the new political system is that it institutionalizes group


interest and group conflictay no Communist system of rule has ever done. That this was not Mao's intent at the outset of the Cultural Revolution soems clear. Originating within the Revolutionary Committee structureemporary expedient, the extension of the "three way alliance" principle to govern reconstruction of the Chinese Communist Party as well reflected continuing doubts concerning the reliability of the new Party The incorporation of these threehe People's Liberation Army, the old Party cadres, and the "revolutionaryintegral parts of the new administrative machinery hasituation at provincial and local lovels of the new power structure in which each "ally" tends to promote its own special interests and in which agreement dependsomplex and protracted process of bargaining.

The need to engage in bargaining has served, in turn, to distort and block the channels of communication within the new political system, preventing, on the one hand, the flow of accurate information to the Party Cent* upon which policy decisions are based and, on the other hand, the prompt transmission of these decisions to the basic level for implementation. This obstruction of the communication system is responsible at least in part for the continuing inability of the Maoist leadership in Peking to complete on schedule such important domestic programs as rebuilding of the Party, draftingew Five year Plan, and, most recently, convening the long-overdue National People's Congress.

Another characteristic of the new system, as it has operated to date, has been decentralization of power to intermediate and local levels. Ineliberate undertaking to encourage local initiative and massin Mao's revolutionary programs, the growth of local power, as expressed in sluggish compliance: with central directives and, until recently, in periodicof armed struggle and anarchism, has clearly exceeded the limits originally intended. By undermining the authority formerly enjoyed by Party and state cadres at the local level, moreover, Mao has gone further to

return some of the power formerly held at the basic level to the people and society at large.

Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the newof power has been the part played by the military. As the only nation-wide organization capable of restoring order and imposing administrative control, the army has tended to dominate the new revolutionary structure of power, especially at provincial and basic levels, since the start of the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, the People's Liberation Army has discharged its role as the main oxecuter of policy during the Culturaland as the whipping-boy for problems resulting from that policy, with remarkable discipline and obedience. Whether in recognition of demonstrated loyalty or its entrenched position of power, the military appears destined to continue torominent, if not decisive, role at provincial and local levels of the evolving political system in China.

The final,omewhat paradoxical, characteristic of the new political system is that there appear to be not one but two political systems operating in China today.

n Peking and charged with the conduct of such key programs as national defense, foreign policy and modernization of the economy, night be called the national political system. This system has operated oyer the course of the past two years with relativeand decisiveness, the record suggesting that the national leadership is able to function effectively under the domination of Mao Tse-tung.

The socond, located outside Peking and responsible

for carrying out the more radical political, economic and

social programs which comprise Mao's revolutionary vision,

might be called, for wantetter term, the local

political system. The outstanding characteristics of

this local system, discussed at some length in this paper,

are continuing disunity and instability induced by the

three way alliance" principle which governs its

How these two systems will be combined toingle, nation-wide political system is, on the basis of


present evidence, difficult to predict. One possibility is that dissension and group conflict will spread from the provinces to Peking, an eventuality more likely to occur if Mao should die in the near future. Anotheris that Mao (or his successor, Lin Piao) will feel constrained to give up tha "three-way alliance" principle of political organization at provincial and localnd return to the traditional conceptighly disciplined, monolithic party. Whatever theit is ironic that Mao Tse-tung, four years after launching the Cultural Revolution, should find himself presidingolitical system which still frustrates his efforts to impose his will on the people and society of China.

Original document.

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