For a long time debate has been going on in Leftist circle about the significance of Maosim. Or whether there is anything called Maoism that really exists in the realm of Marxist ideology.
Following is a part of a statement by RIM(Revolutionary International Movement) about their view on Maosim, which they propagate.
However many organisations and individuals disagree with their views about Maoism inspite of themselves believing in Maoism.
Mao Tsetung developed Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage in the course of his many decades of leading the Chinese Revolution, the world-wide struggle against modern revisionism and, most importantly, in finding in theory and practice the method of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to prevent the restoration of capitalism and continue the advance toward communism. Mao Tsetung greatly developed all three component parts of Marxism - philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism.
Mao said, -Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.- Mao Tsetung comprehensively developed the military science of the proletariat through his theory and practice of People-s War. Mao taught that people, not weapons, are decisive in waging war. He pointed out that each class has its own specific forms of war with its specific character, goals and means. He remarked that all military logic can be boiled down to the principle -you fight your way, I-ll fight my way-, and that the proletariat must forge military strategy and tactics which can bring into play its particular advantages, by unleashing and relying upon the initiative and enthusiasm of the revolutionary masses.
Mao established that the policy of winning base areas and systematically establishing political power was key to unleashing the masses and developing the armed strength of the people and the wavelike expansion of their political power. He insisted on the need to lead the masses in carrying out revolutionary transformations in base areas and to develop these politically, economically and culturally in the service of advancing revolutionary warfare.
Mao taught that the Party should control the gun and the gun must never be allowed to control the Party. The Party must be built as a vehicle capable of initiating and leading revolutionary warfare. He emphasised that the central task of revolution is the seizure of political power by revolutionary violence. Mao Tsetung-s theory of People-s War is universally applicable in all countries, although this must be applied to the concrete conditions in each country and, in particular, take into account the revolutionary paths in the two general types of countries - imperialist countries and oppressed countries - that exist in the world today.
Mao solved the problem of how to make revolution in a country dominated by imperialism. The basic path he charted for the revolution in China represents an inestimable contribution to the theory and practice of revolution and is the guide for achieving liberation in the countries oppressed by imperialism. This means protracted People-s War, surrounding the cities from the countryside, with armed struggle as the main form of struggle and the army led by the Party as the main form of organisation of the masses, mobilising the peasantry, principally the poor peasants, carrying out the agrarian revolution, building a united front under the leadership of the Communist Party to carry out the New Democratic Revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and establishing the joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes led by the proletariat as the necessary prelude to the socialist revolution which must immediately follow the victory of the first stage of the revolution. Mao put forward the thesis of the -three magic weapons- - the Party, the Army and the United Front - the indispensable instruments for making revolution in every country in accordance with its specific conditions and path of revolution.
Mao Tsetung greatly developed the proletarian philosophy, dialectical materialism. In particular, he stressed that the law of contradiction, the unity and struggle of opposites, is the fundamental law governing nature and society. He pointed out that the unity and identity of all things is temporary and relative, while the struggle between opposites is ceaseless and absolute, and this gives rise to radical ruptures and revolutionary leaps. He masterfully applied this understanding to the analysis of the relationship between theory and practice, stressing that practice is both the sole source and ultimate criterion of the truth and emphasising the leap from theory to revolutionary practice. In so doing Mao further developed the proletarian theory of knowledge. He led in taking philosophy to the masses in their millions, popularising, for example, that -one divides into two- in opposition to the revisionist thesis that -two combines into one-.
Mao Tsetung further developed the understanding that the -people and the people alone are the motive force in the making of world history-. He developed the understanding of the mass line: -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-. Mao stressed the profound truth that matter can be transformed into consciousness and consciousness into matter, further developing the understanding of the conscious dynamic role of man in every field of human endeavour.
Mao Tsetung led the international struggle against modern revisionism led by the Khrushchevite revisionists. He defended the communist ideological and political line against the modern revisionists and called upon the genuine proletarian revolutionaries to break with them and forge parties based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles.
Mao Tsetung undertook a penetrating analysis of the lessons of the restoration of capitalism in the USSR and the shortcomings as well as the positive achievements of the construction of socialism in that country. While Mao defended the great contributions of Stalin, he also summed up Stalin-s errors. He summed up the experience of the socialist revolution in China and the repeated two-line struggles against revisionist headquarters within the Communist Party of China. He masterfully applied materialist dialectics to the analysis of the contradictions of socialist society.
Mao taught that the Party must play the vanguard role - before, during and after the seizure of power - in leading the proletariat in the historic struggle for communism. He developed the understanding of how to preserve the proletarian revolutionary character of the Party through waging an active ideological struggle against bourgeois and petit bourgeois influences in its ranks, the ideological remoulding of the Party members, criticism and self-criticism and waging two-line struggle against opportunist and revisionist lines in the Party. Mao taught that once the proletariat seizes power and the Party becomes the leading force within the socialist state, the contradiction between the Party and the masses becomes a concentrated expression of the contradictions marking socialist society as a transition between capitalism and communism.
Mao Tsetung developed the proletariat-s understanding of political economy, of the contradictory and dynamic role of production itself and of its interrelationship with the political and ideological superstructure of society. Mao taught that the system of ownership is decisive in the relations of production but that, under socialism, attention must be paid that public ownership is socialist in content as well as in form. He stressed the interaction between the system of socialist ownership and the other two aspects of the relations of production, the relations between people in production and the system of distribution. Mao developed the Leninist thesis that politics is the concentrated expression of economics, showing that under socialist society the correctness of the ideological and political line determines whether the proletariat actually owns the means of production. Conversely, he pointed out that the rise of revisionism means the rise of the bourgeoisie, that given the contradictory nature of the socialist economic base it would be easy for capitalist roaders to rig up the capitalist system if they come to power.
He profoundly criticised the revisionist theory of the productive forces and concluded that the superstructure, consciousness, can transform the base and with political power develop the productive forces. All this took expression in Mao's slogan, -Grasp Revolution, Promote Production.-
Mao Tsetung initiated and led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which represented a great leap forward in the experience of exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat. Hundreds of millions of people rose up to overthrow the capitalist roaders who had emerged from within the socialist society and who were especially concentrated in the leadership of the Party itself (such as Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Deng Xiao-ping). Mao led the proletariat and masses in challenging the capitalist roaders and imposing the interests, outlook and will of the great majority in every sphere that, even in socialist society, had remained the private reserve of the exploiting classes and their way of thinking.
The great victories won in the Cultural Revolution prevented the capitalist restoration in China for a decade and led to great socialist transformations in the economic base as well as in education, literature and art, scientific research and other parts of the superstructure. Under Mao-s leadership the masses dug away at the soil which engenders capitalism - such as bourgeois right and the three great differences between town and country, between worker and peasant, and between mental and manual labour.
In the course of fierce ideological and political struggle, millions of workers and other revolutionary masses greatly deepened their class consciousness and mastery of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and strengthened their capacity to wield political power. The Cultural Revolution was waged as part of the international struggle of the proletariat and was a training ground in proletarian internationalism.
Mao grasped the dialectical relationship between the necessity of revolutionary leadership and the need to arouse and rely on the revolutionary masses from below to implement proletarian dictatorship. In this way, the strengthening of the proletarian dictatorship was also the most extensive and deepest exercise in proletarian democracy yet achieved in the world, and heroic revolutionary leaders came forward such as Chiang Ching and Chang Chun-chiao who stood alongside the masses and led them into battle against the revisionists and who continued to hold high the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the face of bitter defeat.
Lenin said, "Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat." In the light of the invaluable lessons and advances achieved through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution led by Mao Tsetung, this dividing line has been further sharpened. Now it can be stated that only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the recognition of the objective existence of classes, of antagonistic class contradictions, of the bourgeoisie in the Party and of the continuation of the class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat throughout the whole period of socialism until communism. As Mao so powerfully stated, "Lack of clarity on this question will lead to revisionism."
The capitalist restoration following the 1976 counter-revolutionary coup d-etat led by Hua Kuo-feng and Deng Xiao-ping in no way negates Maoism or the world-historic achievements and tremendous lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; rather this defeat confirms Mao-s theses on the nature of socialist society and the need to continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Clearly, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution represents a world-historic epic of revolution, a victorious high point for the world-s communists and revolutionaries, an imperishable achievement. Although we have a whole process ahead of us, that revolution left us great lessons we are already applying, such as, for example, the point that ideological transformation is fundamental in order for our class to seize power.