27 April 1957
The first rectification movement that our Party started in 1942 has gained major, revolutionary and victorious results. Now, our country has entered from a period of revolution into a period of Socialist construction, and is therefore undergoing new, intense and magnificent change. Social relationships have fundamentally changed, the people’s ideas are also changing in their wake. Our Party and the working class must be able to further and even better leading all of society in transformation and the construction of a new society, they must be able to even better muster all positive forces, unite all people that can be united, and transform negative forces into positive forces, in their struggle for the objective of constructing a magnificent Socialist country, they must at the same time transform themselves. However, there are many comrades inside the Party who do not understand or do not greatly understand these kinds of new circumstances and the Party’s new tasks. At the same time, because the Party has established its governing position nationwide, and has gained the support of the broad masses, many comrades easily adopt methods of simple administrative orders to deal with problem, and there are some elements whose standpoints are not firm who easily are infected by the vestiges of the old society and the Guomindang work style, have shaped a sort of privileged thinking, and even use methods of attack and suppression in dealing with the masses. Since a few years, in our Party, there has been a new growth of bureaucratism, factionalism and subjectivism that result in separation from the masses and separation from reality. Because of this, the Centre believes it is necessary to, according to the principles of “starting from the hope of unity, through criticism and self-criticism, achieving a new unity on a new basis”, again conduct a universal and profound rectification movement against bureaucratism, against factionalism and against subjectivism in the entire Party, raise the entire Party’s levels of Marxist thinking and improve work styles, in order to adapt to the demands of Socialist transformation and Socialist construction.
This rectification movement shall take the two reports that Chairman Mao, representing the Centre, made at the Supreme State Conference of February of this year and the Propaganda Conference convened in March of this year, and make correctly dealing with the problem of contradictions among the people into the main theme of the present rectification. These two reports by Comrade Mao Zedong have been circulated among the broad cadres and intellectuals, in the future, it is also necessary to circulate them to the whole body of Party members and the popular masses. The circulation of these two reports has attracted enthusiastic discussion inside and outside of the Party, where our Party is concerned, in fact, this is the beginning of the rectification movement. All levels’ Party Committees must organize study sessions concerning these two reports, and summarized and improve work in their localities, departments and work units according to the basic thinking in these two reports, and with reference to a number of other documents. In these study sessions, the most important matter for leading bodies and cadres at all levels is that they must inspect and deal with the problem of contradictions among the people, inspect the implementation situation of Party policies such as “letting a hundred flowers bloom, letting a hundred schools of thought content, long-term coexistence and mutual supervision” and the implementation situation of the policy of “building up the country through thrift and hard work”, inspect those phenomena of bureaucratism of becoming removed from the working masses, the peasant masses, the soldier masses, the student and intellectual masses, inspect the factionalist phenomena of not starting from uniting 600 million people, not starting from uniting all peoples, all ethnicities, all parties and the broad masses outside of the Party, and not starting from uniting the entire Party, inspect those subjectivist tendencies of not starting from the real situation, but truly implement the Centre’s instructions concerning “correctly handling contradictions among the people”. With regard to common Party members, the main matters that they must understand are: serving the people; consulting matters with the people of problems occur, being the first to suffer hardship, being the last to enjoy gains; implementing criticism and self-criticism. Concerning intellectual Party members, apart from the above-mentioned requirements, we must also stress to demand of them that they link up with the worker and peasant messes, distinguish the proletariat standpoint from the capitalist and bourgeois standpoint, overcome individualist and liberalist tendencies, and strengthen their Party spirit. In order to overcome the subjectivity and bias in thinking methods, leading cadres and intellectual Party members must also conduct study of dialectical materialism for an appropriate period in the near future, plans concerning study in this area will be provided separately.
This rectification movement shall be an ideological education movement that is serious and conscientious as well as gentle and mild, and shall be a movement of apt criticism and self-criticism. Meetings should only be limited to forums and small group meetings with few attendants, and more methods of heart-to-heart talks between comrades should be adopted, that is to say individual conversations, it is not necessary to hold large criticism meetings or large struggle meetings. Forums and small group meetings, when engaging in criticism, or when engaging in individual conversations, criticism should be given a free hand and encouraged, firmly implement the principle of “say all you know, speak without reserve; don’t blame the speaker, take warning from words; if there is a problem, change it, if there is no problem, make greater efforts”, one should not approve everything of their own, and reject other persons’ criticism. Every person should humbly listen to the opinions of other persons, vigorously put forward opinions to other persons, but they may not coerce the person being criticized to accept criticism he does not agree with. Concerning some debates involving matters of principle, a necessary conclusion should be reached where possible, but it must be tolerated that different opinions are maintained. Concerning people where it is found, during the rectification movement, that they have made mistakes, regardless of how large the mistake is, apart from grave matters violating laws and upsetting discipline, no organizational punishment shall be given without exception, but positive and patient assistance must be given. In this way, the objectives of “learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and healing the disease and saving the patient” are to be achieved.
Non-Party members who wish to participate in the rectification movement should be welcomed. But this must be completely voluntary, coercion is not permitted, furthermore, they must be permitted to leave freely at any time.
In order to strengthen the links between the Party and the broad working people, and thoroughly changing the phenomenon that many leading personnel have become removed from the masses, at the same time as conducting the rectification movement, we shall also propose rules that all able-bodied levels’ main leading cadres in the Party, the government and the military participate in physical labour together with the workers and peasants for a period of time, and ensure that these rules are progressively reshaped into a kind of long-lasting structure. Our Party’s leading cadres have shared joy and sorrow together with the worker, peasant and soldier masses for a long time, this sort work style of close relationships with the masses is one of the fundamental factors ensuring the victory in the Chinese revolution. However, in the past few years, many comrades have stepped backward in this area. At present, the Party’s task, apart from conducting work style rectification and study, raising the Party’s internal ideological understanding, rectifying flaws and mistakes in work, is also to is to completely uphold and carry forward the excellent traditions of arduous struggle of our party in real life, and to strive to further establish a basic system in which the mental labour and physical labour of Party and State leading workers are integrated, ensuring that leaders are on the same page with the masses, ensure that relationships among the people are completely renewed, and ensuring that bureaucratism, factionalism, subjectivism and old-timer manners are greatly reduced. The way to integrate Party and State leading workers’ mental labour and physical labour shall start shall be to start with a small amount of people within the Party. It is fine even if there only is a small bit of this sort of physical labour. When experiences are gained, and appropriate steps are taken, this will be rolled out in a planned and progressive manner to all Party, government and military leading work personnel who are able to engage in a certain amount of physical labour and main management personnel in economic and cultural organizations. Some concrete rules need to be provided concerning these issues, the Centre will provide special instructions separately.
This rectification should begin first in county-level and higher or regiment-level or higher Party organizations as well as Party organizations in factories, mines and higher education institutes, it should also start with inspecting the ideology and work style of leading cadres.
When conducting this rectification, all work units shall organize leading small groups. The first secretaries of Party Committees must take responsibility themselves and closely grasp leadership. The rectification plan shall implement the principle of neither neglecting work styles and work, and must integrate the rectification movement with improvement in work, integrate it with the concrete resolution of contradictions among the people, prevent rectification behind closed door and impairment to work. Rules for the organizational leadership and concrete work plans for this rectification will be provided and implemented by the Centre’s directly subordinate Party Committee, the Party Committee in Centre and State bodies, the General Political Department and all provincial (municipal) committees, and autonomous region Party Committees, and it is hoped that this sort of concrete plans can be reported to the Centre within two weeks of receiving these instructions.