In the last article, I tried to prove how a cadre of the WPB succeeded to introduce IN the WPB, revisionist political concepts, using a at that time still existing form of « left » opportunism, so-called « Maoism ». With CHOSEN quotes, he let Mao « prove » the correctness of his « pseudo-Marxist » conceptions: « Mao formulate the mass line with the following words: ».
So he CHOOSES a SELECTED quote of Mao Zedong (tearing it out of the context of the original text and out of the historical context in which this text was written and out of the context of the CONCRETE problems for which Mao had written this text , to « prove« that Mao Zedong had developed a general strategically concept « THE mass line » :
« In all the practical work of our Party all correct leadership is necessarily "from the masses, to the masses". This means: take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action. Then once again concentrate ideas from the masses and once again go to the masses so that the ideas are persevered in and carried through. And so on, over and over again in an endless spiral, with the ideas becoming more correct, more vital and richer each time. Such is the Marxist theory of knowledge. »
There is no general tactic or general strategy to be applied by communists, put forward by Mao Zedong that should be titled as « The Mass Line ».
The « theory » of « the mass line » is IN FACT based on a chapter out of the « Red book of quotes of Mao Zedong » edited and promoted by ….. Lin Piao. (or Lin Biao …)… and with a recommending foreword of….. Liu Chiaochi
Each quote comes out different texts of Mao Zedong (and that texts were written by Mao Zedong for different purposes: they are speeches, general texts used for formation or teaching, texts that give a concrete guideline based on a concrete analyse of a concrete problem/situation that was THEN actual - but is now historical)
Communists or communist organisation that are defining themselves as « Maoist « or as basing themselves on Marxism Leninism and the Thought of Mao Zedong, JUST BECAUSE they are PRIORITAR applying « the mass line », have - that is my opinion and experience - a problem to develop a fundamental concrete program or strategy towards the socialist revolution that they once will have to lead and with which they have to mobilise the workers to get organised in function of that revolution and with which they can discuss with the workers to direct their struggle in that direction..
They have perhaps true revolutionary and communist ambitions:
They are convinced that capitalism has to be overthrown, capitalists has to be expropriate, the workers organised in one big mass organisation of struggle has to take the power and that has to be leaded by the vanguard IN THE WORKING CLASS by raising the majority of the workers step by step to that vanguard position. The vanguard of the working class has therefore to be organised in one communist party. The program, the communist party, the organisation of the mass of the workers are in function of that concrete revolution (being a part of the world revolution) in a concrete part of the world. (that is conceived as « the capitalist state apparatus that has to broken down»)……
But they have only general ideas(you can say dogmatic ideas) based on a - that is my opinion- wrong way of applying Marxism.
So it is NOT the question if I consider those individuals or organisations as REVISIONIST. I am saying that those individuals or organisations, having real revolutionary and communist ambitions, are allowing, or are blind for, some forms of opportunism.
And this opportunism -that is my opinion and experience- is used CONSCIOUSLY by revisionist ( you can say « renegade ») individuals or fractions to develop a revisionist line in that circle of revolutionaries or in revolutionary organisations (I gave an example in the last article, you can read here)
Now about the quote of Mao out of the Red Book of quotes of Mao
The quote her above is out of "Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership" (June 1, 1943), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 119.
What is the context of the quote, and what is the context of the text itself?
The beginning of the text gives already the context:
« 1. There are two methods which we Communists must employ in whatever work we do. One is to combine the general with the particular; the other is to combine the leadership with the masses.
2. In any task, if no general and widespread call is issued, the broad masses cannot be mobilized for action. But if persons in leading positions confine themselves to a general call — if they do not personally, in some of the organizations, go deeply and concretely into the work called for, make a break-through at some single point, gain experience and use this experience for guiding other units — then they will have no way of testing the correctness or of enriching the content of their general call, and there is the danger that nothing may come of it. In the rectification movement of 1942, for example, there were achievements wherever the method of combining the general call with particular and specific guidance was used, but there were no achievements wherever this method was not used. In the rectification movement of 1943, each bureau and sub-bureau of the Central Committee and each area and prefectural Party committee, in addition to making a general call (a rectification plan for the whole year), must do the following things, gaining experience in the process. »
There is a presumption here by Mao Zedong of the existence and the knowledge of that « general call ». That is NOT a « general apology » to revolution in very general words, to « overthrow capitalism » formulated in very general words and to destroy «the » capitalist state (very general defined)in very general words..
No, that is a very CONCRETE « what is to be done? » (like that of Lenin)
You can read this concrete formulation« what is to be done? » proposed by Mao to the CCP and the Chinese workers in different articles, document and speeches of Mao in Selected Works II. For example:
- POLICIES, MEASURES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR RESISTING THE JAPANESE INVASION FOR THE MOBILIZATION OF ALL THE NATION’S FORCES FOR VICTORY IN THE WAR OF RESISTANCE
-PROBLEMS OF STRATEGY IN GUERRILLA WAR AGAINST JAPAN
-ON PROTRACTED WAR
-THE ROLE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY IN THE NATIONAL WAR THE QUESTION OF INDEPENDENCE AND INITIATIVE WITHIN THE UNITED FRONT
-PROBLEMS OF WAR AND STRATEGY
-THE CHINESE REVOLUTION AND THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY
- ON NEW DEMOCRACY
There is in no way any historical analogy of the situation and the problems that were confronting the CCP and the Chinese people in 1943, by which you can say that the guideline that Mao proposed to the cadres and members of the CCP in « Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership" can count in general for all communists and all communist parties in the world in all concrete situations. And surely not arbitrarily ONE ISOLATED guideline (the quote in the beginning of this article coming out of the Little Red Book) out of a whole and putting that as FIRST decisive guideline: « The mass line ».
When a communist of a communist party is doing this, then this is - to my opinion - OPPORTUNISM. The base of that opportunism occurring by some communists or communist organisations is - as I see it - that they have NO concrete « general call » or having no sight on, how to develop such a concrete « general call », or capitulating for their first task: develop such a concrete« general call » or a « what is to be done? »:
A concrete analyse of the actual state of the capitalism and what are the implications on the part of the world where you as communists are living and working (and struggling); what will be the biggest contribution to the final world revolution that those communists can make. So making a class analyse of that part of the world where those communists are living and placing for example that part of the working class that lives in that same part of the world.
What are the objective tasks of that part of the working class in the world, living in that part of the world where you as communists are living? And so coming to the formulation of a as concrete and clear as possible program for those communists, leading to the conclusions how to organise and to mobilise that part of the world the proletariat for that concrete part or concrete step of the world-revolution and how the communists (as the vanguard of the working class) should organise themselves.
While having themselves not a concrete and correct « general call », some communists or communist organisations are saying : « It are the masses, or the working class whois not yet ready or not yet convinced for « that general call ». So, those communists are saying: « In the meantime and waiting until the working class will develop revolutionary aspirations, we have to « apply the mass line ». We will take what we will see (after some investigation) as the actual highest aspirations of the masses in their struggle and we will help them with their struggle round those ‘actual highest possible aspirations’ ». In fact those « centralised highest possible actual aspirations » are the highest possible political goals…… in the heads of those communists. They have to ask themselves: « Are we still convinced of the necessity and possibility of the revolution? »….
In a idealistic and activist (and in fact ECONOMIST) way they are « helping the masses and leading them in their actual struggle until they will develop (out of themselves?) more revolutionary aspirations and accept then our leadership for that revolutionary struggle »
And that opportunism (not having a clear sight on what revolution you once will have to lead, and for what revolution you have to mobilise the masses and make the masses conscious of) is the base of a possible emerging of revisionists among those communists or in that communist party: « renegades » who have no belief anymore in the possibility of revolution and are most willing to develop a « Marxist sounding line » of postponing revolution to a far utopian future and making of revolution and socialism a vague utopian (in fact not to realise « ideal ») something.
« Meanwhile », so the revisionists will say, « our task is: reforming capitalism ».
How this happened in the WPB, how opportunism gave the possibility of installing a REVISIONIST leadership in the WPB, I will develop further in the next article.
 Citaten van Voorzittter Mao Tsetoeng, (het rode boekje), Uitgeverij Vereniging België China, 1971, p.136-137. But IN FACT coming out of: "Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership" (June 1, 1943), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 119.
 « Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership" (June 1, 1943), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 119.