China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

59
The Cultural Revolution--Excerpt from "Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China"

CCP Central Committee

Source: Beijing Review, No. 27, 1981, pp. 20-26. The resolution was passed by the Sixth Plenum of the Eleventh CCP Central Committee on 27 June 1981.

The "cultural revolution," which lasted from May 1966 to October 1976, was responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the state, and the people since the founding of the People's Republic. It was initiated and led by Comrade Mao Zedong. His principal theses were that many representatives of the bourgeoisie and counter-revolutionary revisionists had sneaked into the Party, the government, the army, and cultural circles, and leadership in a fairly large majority of organizations and departments was no longer in the hands of Marxists and the people; that Party-persons in power taking the capitalist road had formed a bourgeois headquarters inside the Central Committee, which pursued a revisionist political and organizational line and had agents in all provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, as well as in all central departments; that since the forms of struggle adopted in the past had not been able to solve this problem, the power usurped by the capitalist roaders could be recaptured only by carrying out a great cultural revolution, by openly and fully mobilizing the broad masses from the bottom up to expose these sinister phenomena; and that the "cultural revolution" was in fact a great political revolution in which one class would overthrow another, a revolution that would have to be waged time and again. The theses appeared mainly in the 16 May Circular, which served as the programmatic document of the "cultural revolution," and in the political report to the Ninth National Congress of the Party in April 1969. They were incorporated into a general theory--the "theory of continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat"--which then took on a specific meaning. These erroneous "Left" theses, upon which Comrade

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