All Central bureaus, all provincial, municipal and regional Party Committees, all Central ministries and commissions, all Party organizations and Party Committees in departments of State organs and People’s organizations, the People’s Liberation Army General Political Department
The Centre has decided to revoke the “Outline of the Report of the Five-Person Cultural Revolution Group concerning the Present Academic Discussion” it transmitted on 12 February 1966, to abolish the original “Five-Person Cultural Revolution Group” and its office bodies, and to re-establish the Small Cultural Revolution Group, subordinate to the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The report Outline of the so-called “Group of Five” is fundamentally mistaken, it violates the line of the Socialist Cultural Revolution put forward by the Centre and Comrade Mao Zedong, and violates the guiding principles of the 10th Plenum of the 8th Party Congress concerning the issue of class and class struggle in Socialist societies. This Outline feigns compliance with but actively resists this Cultural Revolution that Comrade Mao Zedong himself leads and initiated, and the instructions concerning criticising Wu Han that Comrade Mao Zedong gave at the Central Work Conference of September and October 1965 (i.e. at a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee where all responsible comrades of Central bureaus participated).
The report Outline of the so-called “Group of Five” in fact is only a report Outline of Peng Zhen individually, Peng Zhen drafted it according to his own opinions, avoiding the “Group of Five” member, Comrade Kang Sheng and other comrades. In dealing with such a document on major issues that involve the entire picture of the Socialist revolution, Peng Zhen essentially did not discuss or consult matters within the “Group of Five”, he did not solicit opinions from any local Party Committee, he did not explain that, as an official Centre document, it was necessary to submit it to the Centre for inspection, and certainly did not obtain the agreement of the Central Committee Chairman, Comrade Mao Zedong, he adopted extremely improper means, was arbitrary and imperious, he abused his powers, he stole the name of the Centre to hastily issue it to the entire Party.
The main errors of this Outline are the following:
(1) This Outline stands on a bourgeois viewpoint, it uses bourgeois worldviews to deal with the situation and nature of present academic criticism, and fundamentally reversed the relationship between the enemy and ourselves.
Our country is currently facing the magnificent high tide of the proletarian Cultural Revolution. This high tide powerfully washes over the vestiges of the bourgeoisie and feudalism, and all remaining degenerate ideological and cultural battlefields. This Outline does not inspire the entire Party to freely mobilize the cultural soldiers among the worker and peasant masses and the bourgeoisie to continue their charge ahead, but it strives to pull this movement to the right. This Outline uses confused, self-contradictory and false expressions to obfuscate the acute class struggle on the present cultural and ideological front, it especially obfuscates the fact that the objective of this great struggle is the criticism of Wu Han and a large batch of other anti_-Party and anti-Socialist bourgeois representatives (there is a batch of these bourgeois representatives in the Centre, all Centre organs, all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions). This Outline does not mention the point raised again and again by Chairman Mao that the crucial point of Wu Han’s “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office” is the question of dismissal from office, it conceals the serious political essence of this struggle.
(2) This Outline goes against the basic Marxist viewpoint that all class struggle is political struggle. When newspapers and periodicals just began to touch upon the political problems of Wu Han’s “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office”, the writers of the Outline actually put forward that “discussion in newspapers and periodicals must not be limited to political questions, we must fully unfold and discuss questions involving all sorts of academic theory.” They again declared on various occasions that in judging Wu Han, it was not permitted to talk about the crucial question, it was not permitted to talk about the question of the removal from office of the rightist opportunists at the 1959 Lushan Conference, it was not permitted to talk about the problem of Wu Han and others opposing the Party and opposing Socialism. Comrade Mao Zedong regularly tells us that the ideological struggle with the bourgeoisie is a long-term class struggle, it is not something that can hastily be resolved by coming to a political conclusion. Peng Zhen wilfully started rumours, he told many people that the Chairman believed that a political conclusion about the judgment of Wu Han could be reached in two months. He also said that political questions would be discussed again after two months. His objective was that he aimed to bring the political struggle in the cultural area into a so-called “pure academic” discussion, as regularly propagated by the bourgeoisie. It is very clear that this opposes giving prominence to proletarian politics, and aims to give prominence to bourgeois politics.
(3) The Outline especially stresses the so-called “liberation”, but it uses hugely fraudulent methods to fundamentally distort the policy of liberation discussed by Comrade Mao Zedong in his speech at the Party National Propaganda Work Conference of March 1957, it blots out the class content of liberation. It was exactly when discussing this question that Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out: “we will still carry out a long period of ideological struggle with the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie. Not understanding this situation and renouncing ideological struggle is mistaken. All mistaken thoughts are poisonous weeds, they are cow ghosts and snake spirits, they should all be criticized, we can absolutely not let them spread freely”. He also said that “liberation means giving a letting go one’s hold to let everyone state their opinions, to ensure that people dare to speak, dare to criticize and dare to dispute.” However, this Outline opposes “liberation” with the proletariat’s exposure of reactionary bourgeois viewpoints. Its so-called liberation is bourgeois liberalization, it only permits the liberation of the bourgeoisie, it does not permit the liberation of the proletariat, it does not permit the proletariat to attack the bourgeoisie, it shields the kind of reactionary bourgeois representatives of the kind of Wu Han. The so-called “liberation” of this Outline is anti-Mao Zedong Thought and suits the needs of the bourgeoisie.
(4) When we began to counterattack the bourgeoisie’s savage assaults, the authors of the Outline put forward that “everyone is equal in the face of the truth”. This slogan is a bourgeois slogan. They use this slogan to protect the bourgeoisie, oppose the proletariat, oppose Marxism-Leninism, oppose Mao Zedong Thought and fundamentally deny the class nature of truth. If in the, struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the struggle between Marxist truths and the fallacies of the bourgeoisie and all exploiting classes, it is not the East wind that overwhelms the West wind, the West wind will overwhelm the East wind, and any sort of equality will be out of the question. The struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the proletariat in the superstructure, which includes all cultural areas, the proletariat’s continuing to eliminate the bourgeoisie’s representatives that have infiltrated the Communist Party and oppose the Red Flag in the name of the Red Flag, etc., where these fundamental problems are concerned, are we able to permit that there is any equality? A few decades ago, the old Socialist-democratic Party and the Modern Revisionism of a few decades ago never permitted the proletariat to be equal to the bourgeoisie. They fundamentally denied that the millennia of human development are the history of class struggle, they fundamentally denied the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and fundamentally denied the revolution of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, and the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie.
Conversely, they are the faithful lapdogs of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, they are in league with the bourgeoisie and imperialism, they persist in bourgeois suppression, the ideological system of exploiting the proletariat and the capitalist social system, and they oppose the Marxist-Leninist ideological system and the social system of Socialism. They are a mass of anti-Party and anti-People counterrevolutionaries, their struggle with us is a struggle in which you die and I live, there cannot be the slightest talk of equality. Because of this, our struggle with them also can only be a struggle in which you die and I live, our relationship with them is absolutely not any kind of equal relationship, but it is another relationship of class suppression., it is a relationship in which the proletariat implements despotism or dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, and it cannot be any other relationship, such as a so-called equal relationship, a relationship of peaceful coexistence between the exploited class and the exploiting class, a relationship of virtue and morality, etc.
(5) The Outline says that “We must not only overwhelm the opponent politically, we must also greatly exceed and overwhelm the opponent in academic and professional terms”. This sort of thinking in which no class boundaries are drawn in academia is also very mistaken. The truth that the proletariat grasps in academia, the truth of Marxism-Leninism and the truth of Mao Zedong Thought have already greatly exceeded and overwhelmed the bourgeoisie long ago. The wordings in the Outline reflect that the authors adulate and favour the so-called “academic authority” of the bourgeoisie, and despise and stifle our newly emerging forces in academic circles that represent the proletariat and the struggle.
(6) Chairman Mao regularly says that there can be no construction without destruction. Destruction means criticism, it means the revolution. To destroy, we must stress the truth, stressing the truth is construction, the word destruction comes first, construction is among it. Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought have been established and incessantly developed in the struggle to destroy the bourgeois ideological system. But this Outline stresses that “without construction, it will be impossible to achieve true and thorough destruction”. This, in fact, is a prohibition of the destruction of bourgeois thought, and a prohibition of the construction of proletarian thought, it is diametrically opposed to the thinking of Chairman Mao, it runs counter to the revolutionary struggle of the great destruction of bourgeois ideology on the cultural front, and it is a prohibition of the proletarian revolution.
(7) The Outline puts forward that “we must not arbitrarily overwhelm others with power like a scholar-tyrant”, and “Guard against leftist academic workers marching the path of bourgeois experts and scholar-tyrants”. What are “scholar-tyrants” actually? Who is a “scholar-tyrant”? Does the proletariat not need to be dictators, must it not overwhelm the bourgeoisie? Must proletarian academia not overwhelm and eliminate bourgeois academia? When proletarian academics overwhelm and eliminate bourgeois academics, are they “scholar-tyrants”? The spearhead of the Outline’s opposition is pointed at the proletarian left, which obviously is aimed at putting on this “scholar-tyrant” hat on Marxists-Leninists, and at supporting the true bourgeois scholar-tyrants, by maintaining their tottering monopoly position in the academic area. In fact, those factions within the Party that march the bourgeois path and support bourgeois scholar-tyrants, those bourgeois representatives that have snuck into the Party to protect bourgeois scholar-tyrants, are great Party tyrants who do not read books, do not look at newspapers, do not engage with the masses, have no learning whatsoever, only rely on “arbitrarily overwhelming others” and steal the Party’s name.
(8) The authors of the Outline have ulterior motives, they wilfully muddy the water, they confuse the class alignment, they shift the objectives of the struggle, and put forward that we must conduct “rectification” of persistent leftists”. in this way, they hurriedly throw out the main objective of this Outline, which is the rectification of the proletarian left. They have especially collected leftist materials to seek for all sorts of excuses to attack the left, they also aim to use the name of “rectification” to further attack the left, vainly scheming to disintegrate the left’s teams. They brazenly defy Chairman Mao’s clear instructions that we must protect the left and support the left, and the policy he stressed of establishing and expanding the left’s teams. On the other hand, they confer the title of “persistent leftists” onto the bourgeois representatives, revisionists and traitors who have snuck into the Party, in order to shield them. They use this sort of method in an attempt to support the ambitions of the bourgeois right, and extinguish the dignity of the proletarian left. They are full of hatred for the proletariat, and full of love for the bourgeoisie. This is the idea of bourgeois universal love of the authors of the Outline.
(9) Exactly when a new acute struggle of the proletariat against bourgeois representatives on the ideological front had just started, and many sides and many localities had not yet begun to participate in the struggle, or although they had begun the struggle, the absolute majority of Party Committees did not quite understand the leadership of this magnificent struggle, were not very earnest, and were not yet very capable, the Outline repeatedly stresses that within the struggle, it is necessary that there is so-called “leadership”, that we are “cautious” and “careful”, and we must act “with the approval of relevant leadership organs”, this is all aimed at laying down many restrictions for the proletarian left, putting forward many rules and fetters, constraining the hands and feet of the proletarian left, and setting up layer upon layer of obstacles for the Cultural Revolution. In one sentence, they are hurriedly slamming the brakes, for a counterattack to come. The authors of the Outline utterly hate the articles in which the proletarian left counterattack the “authority” of the bourgeois that have already been published, and they will block those that have not yet been published. They have given a free hand to cow ghosts and snake spirits, letting them out of their cages, and for many years, they have stuffed our newspapers, radio, periodicals, books, teaching materials, plays, literary and artistic works, films, theatre, quyi, fine art, music, dance, etc., they have never advocated that we must be subject to the leadership of the proletariat, they would never approve this. From this contrast, it can be seen in which position the authors of the Outline actually are.
(10) The present struggle is the question of implementing or resisting the path of the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong. But the Outline says that “We must, through this struggle and under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, open up a path to resolve this question (i.e. “thoroughly implementing the bourgeois thinking in the academic area”. Comrade Mao Zedong’s “On New Democracy”, “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art”, “Letter to the Yan’an Peking Opera Theatre After Seeing “Driven to Join the Liangshan Rebels”, “On the Question of Correctly Handling Contradictions Among the People”, “Speech at the Chinese Communist Party national Propaganda Work Conference” and other such works have opened up a path for our proletariat on the cultural and ideological front long ago. However, the Outline believes that Mao Zedong Thought has not yet opened up a path for us, and that we must open up a path again. The Outline is an attempt to open up a path that is contrary to Mao Zedong Thought with this banner of “under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought” as a pretence, this is a path of modern revisionism, and is a bath of bourgeois restoration. In short, this Outline opposes carrying the Socialist revolution through to the end, it opposes the line of the Cultural Revolution of the Party Centre with Comrade Mao Zedong at the head, it attacks proletarian leftists, it shields the bourgeois rightists, and it provides public opinion preparation for a bourgeois restoration. This Outline is the reflection of bourgeois thinking within the Party, it is downright revisionist. Struggling with this revisionist line is absolutely no small matter, but relates to the fate of our Party and our country, it relates to the prospects of our Party and our country, it relates to the future appearance of our Party and our country, and it also relates to the major event of the global revolution.
All levels’ Party Committees must immediately cease the implementation of the “Outline of the Report of the Five-Person Cultural Revolution Group concerning the Present Academic Discussion”. The entire Party must abide by the instructions of Comrade Mao Zedong, hold high the great banner of the proletarian Cultural Revolution, thoroughly expose the bourgeois reactionary viewpoints of those so-called “academic authorities” who oppose the Party and oppose Socialism, thoroughly criticize the bourgeois and reactionary thinking in academic circles, educational circles, news circles, literature and art circles and publishing circles, and seize leadership power in these cultural areas. In order to achieve this, we must at the same time criticize the bourgeois representatives who have snuck into the Party, into government, into the military, and into all areas of the cultural sphere, purge these people, and in some cases, it will be necessary to transfer their posts. We can especially not trust these people to take up the work of leading the Cultural Revolution, and even though in the past and at present, there are many people who are doing this work, this is particularly dangerous.
The bourgeois representatives that have snuck into the Party, into the government, into the military and the various cultural circles are a batch of counterrevolutionary revisionist elements, one day when the opportunity is ripe, they will seize political power, and change the proletarian dictatorship into a bourgeois dictatorship. Some of these people have been unmasked by us, some have not yet been unmasked, some are currently receiving our trust, they are fostered to become our successors, persons such as Khrushchev, they are currently sleeping on our shoulders, all levels’ Party Committees must pay full attention to this point.
This Notice may, together with the mistaken document issued by the Centre on 12 February of this year, be sent to county Committees, Party Committees in cultural organs and Party Committees at the military unit level, they are requested to conduct discussions, on which document is mistaken and which document is correct, if they themselves understand how matters are, which successes there are and which mistakes there are.
（十）当前的斗争，是执行还是抗拒毛泽东同志的文化革命的路线的问题。但提纲却说，“我们要通过这场斗争，在毛泽东思想的指引下，开辟解决这个问题（指“彻底清理学术领域内的资产阶级思想”）的道路”。毛泽东同志的《新民主主义论》、《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》、《看了〈逼上梁山〉以后写给延安平剧院的信》、《关于正确处理人民内部矛盾的问题》、《在中国共产党全国宣传工作会议上的讲话》等著作，早已在文化思想战线上给我们无产阶级开辟了道路。提纲却认为毛泽东思想 还没有给我们开辟道路，而要重新开辟道路。提纲是企图打着“在毛泽东思想的指引下”这个旗帜作为幌子，开辟一条同毛泽东思想相反的道路，即现代修正主义的道路，也就是资产阶级复辟的道路。 总之，这个提纲是反对把社会主义革命进行到底，反对以毛泽东同志为首的党中央的文化革命路线，打击无产阶级左派，包庇资产阶级右派，为资产阶级复辟作舆论准备。这个提纲是资产阶级思想在党内的反映，是彻头彻尾的修正主义。同这条修正主义路线作斗争，绝对不是一件小事，而是关系我们党和国家的命运，关系我们党和国家的前途，关系我们党和国家将来的面貌，也是关系世界革命的一件头等大事。