Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lin Biao : In Memory of his 50 years since his speech on "Long Live People's War" by Harsh Thakor

This article expresses the personal views of Harsh Thakor and not the views of Democracy and Class Struggle.

The Democracy and Class Struggle view on Lin Biao can be found here

In memory of his 50 Years since his speech on  ‘Long Live the Peoples War. ‘

Today on September 3rd we commemorate 50 years since Lin Biao gave his historic speech on ‘Long live the Peoples War!’

Today in the Communist movement on Lin  Biao we have  views of  2 extremes.

One view classes Lin as solely a renegade and gives him credit for no achievements or contribution.

They class him as a modern day ‘Confucius.’They hardly  throw light on his role in the peoples war in the 1940’s or his role as a military leader.

The other camp upholds Lin Biao as the true Maoist and a figure who represented the  correct line. They term Mao’s line as counter revolutionary from 1969.

To me there were 2 Lin Biao’s .One was before 1966 and the other from 1966 till his death in 1971.

Maoists should uphold his positive contributions and negate his  gross errors towards the end.

In my view whatever wrong deeds he committed as a result of erroneous political thinking he had played a great role in the Chinese revolution, and in the period from 1959-65.

Lin played an immortal role in the victory of the Chinese Revolution, the political transformation of the Peoples Liberation army and in publishing and projecting Chairman Mao’s teachings .

However he reversed his role in the era of the Cultural revolution where he principally played the role of a military bureaucrat projecting his revolutionary credentials.

Overall I may rate him around 50% correct and 50 % wrong.


In the 1940’s he played a heroic role as a military commander.

Quoting Wickepedia: Lin was absent for most of the fighting during World War II, but was elected the sixth-ranking Central Committee member in 1945 based on his earlier battlefield reputation.[17] After the Japanese surrender the Communists moved large numbers of troops to Manchuria, and Lin Biao moved to Manchuria to command the newly created "Communist Northeast Military District" in the fall. The Soviets transferred Japanese military equipment that they had captured to the Communists, making Lin's army one of the most well-equipped Communist forces in China. By the time that units from the Kuomintang were able to arrive in the major cities of Manchuria, Lin's forces were already in firm control of most of the countryside and surrounding areas.[25]

By the end of 1945 Lin had 280,000 troops in Manchuria under his command,[26] but according to Kuomintang estimates only 100,000 of these were regular forces with access to adequate equipment. The KMT also estimated that Lin also had access to 100,000 irregular auxiliaries, whose membership was drawn mainly from unemployed factory workers. Lin avoided decisive confrontations throughout 1945, and he was able to preserve the strength of his army despite criticism from his peers in the Party and the PLA.[27]

For the sake of bargaining with the Kuomintang in peace negotiations in 1946, Mao ordered Lin to assemble his army to take and defend key cities, which was against the previous strategy of the Red Army. Lin disagreed with this position, but was ordered by Mao to draw the KMT into a decisive battle and "not give an inch of land" around Siping, Jilin. In April 15 Lin orchestrated an ambush and forced KMT forces there to withdraw with heavy casualties. When the local KMT commander, Du Yuming, launched a counterattack on April 18, Mao ordered the troops there to hold the city indefinitely. The fighting continued until Mao finally allowed Lin to withdraw on May 19, which Lin did immediately, barely saving his army from encirclement and destruction.[28]

desertion during the retreat. On June 10 the two forces agreed to a ceasefire brokered by George Marshall, and fighting temporarily ceased. Mao ordered Lin to counterattack that winter, but Lin refused, replying that his forces were exhausted and not logistically prepared to do so.[29]

When Du led the majority of his forces to attack Communist forces on the Korean border in January 1947, Lin finally ordered 20,000 of his soldiers to cross the Songjiang River, where they staged guerrilla raids, ambushed relief forces, attacked isolated garrisons, and avoided decisive confrontations with strong units Du sent to defeat them. While they did so they looted large quantities of supplies and destroyed the infrastructure of the KMT-held territories that they passed through, including bridges, railroads, fortifications, electrical lines, and boats. When Du sent his forces back south, they were ambushed and defeated. When Du requested reinforcements from Chiang Kai-shek, his request was rejected.[30]

On April 8 Lin moved his headquarters from Harbin to Shuangcheng in order to be closer to the front. In May 5 he held a conference with his subordinates and announced that his armies would change tactics, engage in a large-scale counterattack, and seek to defeat Du's forces in a decisive battle. On May 8 Lin launched the first of his "three great campaigns", the Summer Offensive, intending to engage a large garrison at Huaide while a second force positioned itself to ambush the force that would predictably be sent to relieve it. On May 17 they won a major victory and forced the survivors to retreat to Changchun and Siping. By the end of May 1947 Lin's forces had taken took control of most of the countryside (everything except for the rail lines and several major cities), infiltrated and destroyed most KMT forces in Manchuria, and re-established contact with isolated Communist forces in southern Liaoning.[31]

After the victory of the Summer Offensive, Lin's forces gained the initiative and Kuomintang defensive strategy became static and reactionary. Lin ordered his forces to besiege Siping, but they suffered very high casualties but made little progress, partially due to the defenders' strong entrenched position and air support, and due to the attackers' poor artillery support (he only had seventy pieces of artillery around Siping). Lin's forces broke into the city twice and engaged in street-to-street fighting, but were driven back both times with heavy casualties. By June 19 Lin's assault troops had become increasingly exhausted, and Lin began to rotate them to prevent them from becoming completely ineffective. On June 24 Nationalist reinforcements arrived from the south to lift the siege. Lin recognized that he did not have enough manpower left to defeat them, and on July 1 he ordered his forces to retreat back to the north of the Songhua River.[32]

The Communists suffered over 30,000 losses at Siping, and may have suffered a desertion rate of over 20% during the withdrawal, while the Nationalist garrison at Siping fell from 20,000 to slightly over 3,000 before the siege was broken. 

Lin volunteered to write a self-criticism after the defeat. He also criticized his commander at Siping, Li Tianyou, for demonstrating poor tactics and for lacking "revolutionary spirit". 

Despite the army's setbacks he reorganized the army, combining surviving regiments and raising local militia forces to the status of regular units. 

By the fall of 1947 he had 510,000 soldiers under his command: approximately equal to Nationalist forces in the region.[33]

Before Du's replacement, Chen Cheng, could cross north and begin an offensive, Lin moved his army south and began the Autumn Offensive, in which his forces destroyed rail lines and other infrastructure, attacked isolated Nationalist units, and attempted to provoke and ambush strong Nationalist forces. Chen's forces responded to the campaign by withdrawing into their city garrisons. The Communists were not able to provoke a decisive confrontation, and the Autumn Offensive ended in a stalemate.[34]
Chen's forces remained static and reactionary, at the end of 1947 Lin led his armies back south in his final Manchurian campaign, the Winter Offensive. 

His initial plan was to repeat the goal of his last offensive, to besiege Jilin City and ambush its relief force, but after reviewing Kuomintang troop dispositions he determined that southern Manchuria would be an easier target. On December 15 Lin's forces attacked Fakui, Zhangwu, and Xinlitun. Chen sent reinforcements to relieve Fakui, and when the Communist ambush failed Lin ordered his forces to withdraw and join in the siege of Zhangwu. When Chen did not intervene and the town fell on December 28, Lin assumed the main part of the campaign was over and he dispersed his forces to rest and attack secondary targets.[35]

Chen saw Lin's withdrawal as an opportunity to seize the offensive. He ordered his forces to attack targets in northern Liaoning on January 1, 1948, and on January 3 Lin successfully encircled the isolated Nationalist 5th Corps. Its commander, Chen Linda, realized that he was being surrounded and requested reinforcements, but Chen Cheng only responded that he would "allow" Chen Linda to withdraw. The attempted breakout failed, and the 5th Corps was destroyed on January 7. After this defeat Chen Cheng was replaced with Wei Lihuang ten days later, but Wei was not able to prevent the Communists from capturing Liaoyang on February 6, destroying the 54th division, and severing an important railroad that linked Wei's forces from their ports on the Bohai Sea.[36]

Lin continued his advance, defeating all garrisons in western Manchuria or inducing them to defect by late February. On February 26 Lin reorganized his forces as the Northeast Field Army and began preparations to return and take Siping, whose garrison had been transferred elsewhere by Chen Cheng and never re-strengthened. 

Lin began the general assault on the city on March 13, and took the town one day later. The capture of Siping ended Lin's Winter Offensive. The KMT nearly lost all of Manchuria by the end of the campaign and suffered 156,000 casualties, most of which survived as POWs that were indoctrinated and recruited into Lin's forces. By the end of winter 1948 the Kuomintang had lost all of its territory in the Northeast, except for Changchun, Shenyang, and an area connecting the rail line from Beiping to those cities.[37]

Following Lin's Winter campaign, Mao wanted him to attack targets farther south, but Lin disagreed because he did not want leave a strong enemy at his back, and he believed the defeat of a strong city would force Chiang to abandon the Northeast. By May 25, 1948, the Northeast Field Army had completely encircled Changchun, including its airfield, and for the rest of the siege the Nationalist commander, Zheng Tongguo, depended entirely on supplies airdropped into the city. On May 19, Lin submitted a report to Mao in which he expected heavy casualties. 

By July 20 the siege was at a stalemate, and Lin deferred to Mao, allowing some of his army to attack Jinzhou farther south, beginning the Liaoshen Campaign. When Chiang airlifted reinforcements to defend Jinzhou, Lin ordered his army to abandon the siege and return to Changchun, but Mao disagreed and overruled him, and Lin was ordered to engage the defenders in a decisive confrontation. On October 14, the Northeast Field Army began its assault on Jinzhou with 250,000 men and the bulk of Lin's artillery and armour. 

After nearly 24 hours of fighting, Lin's forces were victorious, suffering 24,000 casualties but capturing the enemy commander, Fan Hanjie, and 90,000 enemy soldiers.[38]

After hearing the news about the defeat at Jinzou, a KMT regiment from Yunnan and its commander, Zeng Zesheng, defected and abandoned its position on the outskirts of Changchun on October 14. This doomed the remaining Nationalist forces in the city, and Zheng Tongguo was forced to surrender two days later. Chiang ordered an army of 500,000 men to travel north and take Jinzhou, but Lin directed nearly all of his forces to stop them, and they began to encircle it on October 21. After a week of fighting, the Nationalist army was destroyed on October 28. Remaining KMT garrisons in the Northeast attempted to break out of the region and flee south, but most were unsuccessful. After Changchun, the only major KMT garrison in the Northeast was Shenyang, where 140,000 KMT soldiers were eventually forced to surrender. By the end of 1948 all of Northeast China was under Communist control.[39]

Defeating the Kuomintang

After taking control of the Manchurian provinces, Lin then swept into North China. Forces under Lin were responsible for winning two of the three major military victories responsible for the defeat of the Kuomintang. Lin suffered from ongoing periods of serious illness throughout the campaign.[17] Following the victory in Manchuria, Lin commanded over a million soldiers, encircling Chiang's main forces in northern China during the Pingjin Campaign, taking Beijing and Tianjin within a period of two months. Tianjin was taken by force, and on January 22, 1949 General Fu Zuoyi and his army of 400,000 men agreed to surrender Beijing without a battle, and the PLA occupied the city on January 31. The Pingjin Campaign saw Lin remove a total of approximately 520,000 enemy troops from the enemy's battle lines. Many of those who surrendered later joined the PLA.[40]
After taking Beijing, the Communists attempted to negotiate for the surrender of the remaining KMT forces. When these negotiations failed, Lin resumed his attacks on the KMT in the southeast. After taking Beijing, Lin's army numbered 1.5 million soldiers. By the end of 1949 the Red Army succeeded in occupying all KMT positions on mainland China. The last position occupied by Lin's forces was the island of Hainan.

Lin Biao was considered one of the Communists' most brilliant generals after the founding of the People's Republic of China, in 1949. Lin was the youngest of the "Ten Marshals" named in 1955, a title that recognized Lin's substantial military contributions.[17]


It was Lin Biao who gave Comrade Mao Tse Tung a firm base to launch the Great proletarian Cultural Revolution through the reforms he made in the Peoples Liberation army. 

Ranks were abolished for the first time. Soldiers were engaged in manual labour, including commanders as never before in any Socialist Country. 

The Quotations of Chairman Mao were published for the first time through the Little Red book in 1964 whereby Mao’s writings could relate to the broad masses. 

The Socialist education movement was one of the most important precursors for the Cultural Revolution in which Lin Biao’s role was immense. 

Even the USSR did not have an army with such political indoctrination .

If you read excerpts’ from ‘Daily life in Revolutionary China’ one will know how the Army served the people. 

In 1965 Lin on September 3rd gave his historic speech which inspired Chairman Mao’s theory of peoples War. 

For the first time Lin enabled the people of the world  to endorse Chairman Mao’s concept of peoples war. 

It had a lot of generalization but nevertheless  gave colour to Mao’s military teachings. Where Lin ‘s theory was lacking was that in many countries subjective conditions did  not exist for launching peoples war. 

It also wanted every country to imitate the Chinese experience in toto.

Even the CPC stressed that the Chinese experience should not be coped in toto.

Lin superbly elaborated Chairman Mao’s theory of peoples war narrating the Chinese experience .

Although several Maoists will disagree with my viewpoint I do not think protracted peoples war can be deployed in capitalist countries.

In the end it was Lin Biao who was the pioneer in recognizing Mao Zedong thought as the third stage of Marxism.

Quoting  the Leading Light Communist Organization .in an article written  on July 2013 titled ‘Was Lin Biao guilty plotting a coup?’: Lin Biao enters politics as part of the power struggles that occurred toward the end of the Great Leap. 

There was a debate about how to sum up the problems of the Great Leap. The rightists and revisionists that had gathered around Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping saw the failures as stemming from Maoist fanaticism and populism. 

The Maoists, while acknowledging problems, held that the basic direction emphasizing ideology, egalitarianism, collectivism, social experiment, populism, and enthusiasm was correct. Thus began a tug-of-war within the leadership. 

The revisionists and rightists sought to toss the collective economy, the Maoists sought to preserve it. 

As part of these struggles, Mao had lost his ability to rely on the Party to implement his radical policies. Mao had lost his authority in the Party. 

The revisionists under Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping had control of the Party machine.  As part of these struggles, the Maoists were able to dislodge one of their main critics, Defense Minister Peng Duhuai in 1959. 

As the new Defense Minister, Lin Biao made sure that the army would be reorganized around Maoist lines. Lin Biao took the army back to its roots as a people’s army. 

The army was not simply to be a fighting force, but an economic, social and political one as well. Many of the Maoist programs and policies that would later become part of the Cultural Revolution were first implemented in Lin Biao’s military. 

The army was a kind of experimental ground for campaigns before they were implemented over society as a whole. The cult of personality around Mao, and also Lin Biao, was promoted heavily in the military in the years leading up to the Cultural Revolution in order to ensure loyalty. “The  little red book,”  Quotations from Chairman Mao, was first prepared for the military by Lin Biao. 

Later, this book would be distributed throughout society, becoming more and more popular during the Cultural Revolution. Lin Biao promoted the “three constantly read articles.”  

Like many campaigns that began in the military, the popularization of Mao’s  “Serve the People,” “In Memory of Norman Bethune,”  and  “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains” was later promoted to society as a whole during the Cultural Revolution. 

It was Lin Biao who would elevate Mao’s theories as a creative, third, superior stage of Marxism as part of these efforts to increase ideological education. During the Cultural Revolution, the army would serve as a model that the Maoist media would praise and encourage the masses to emulate. 

The instruction to put  “Politics in command!,” which during the Cultural Revolution was promoted throughout society, was originally part of Lin Biao’s “Four Firsts” policy in the army in 1959.  The policy elevated man over weaponry, elevated political over other work, ideological work over routine work, living ideas over book study. 

By design, the “Four Firsts” and “Three Eight work style” both had an impact far beyond just the military. 

Lin Biao’s army strove for an egalitarian, communist ideal that would be embraced by the Cultural Revolutionaries. As part of this, the army also eliminated outward display of rank. 

Under Lin Biao, the military press pushed society to strive to reach communism. Mao, publicly, and even privately, was impressed by Lin Biao’s efforts and hailed his achievements as “great.” (5)

Quoting a sentence in the report of the 10th Congress in 1973 “Lin Piao, this bourgeois careerist, conspirator and double-dealer, engaged in machinations within our Party not just for one decade but for several decades.”

To me such a statement is injustice to the contribution of Lin Biao till 1965.


In 1965 Lin Biao on September 3rd gave his historic speech which inspired Chairman Mao’s theory of peoples War. For the first time Lin enabled the people of the world  to endorse Chairman Mao’s concept of peoples war. It had a lot of generalization but nevertheless  gave colour to Mao’s military teachings. Where Lin ‘s theory was lacking was that in many countries subjective conditions did  not exist for launching peoples war. It also wanted every country to imitate the Chinese experience in toto.Even the CPC stressed that the  Chinese experience should not be coped in toto.Lin superbly elaborated Chairman Mao’s theory of peoples war narrating the Chinese experience.

Although several Maoists will disagree with my viewpoint I do not think protracted peoples war can be deployed in capitalist countries .What is important is that it was the writings on peoples war were no original creation of Lin ‘s but of Chairman Mao’s .Lin interpreted Chairman Mao’s military concept for the context of the present world being a pioneer in that respect.

Lin Biao - Long Live the Victory of People’s War!

The International Significance of Comrade Mao-Tse Tung’s Theory of People’s War

The Chinese revolution is a continuation of the great October Revolution. The road of the October Revolution is the common road for all people’s revolutions. The Chinese revolution and the October Revolution have in common the following basic characteristics: (1) Both were led by the working class with a Marxist-Leninist party as its nucleus. (2) Both were based on the worker-peasant alliance. (3) In both cases state power was seized through violent revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat was established. (4) In both cases the socialist system was built after victory in the revolution. (5) Both were component parts of the proletarian world revolution.

Naturally, the Chinese revolution had its own peculiar characteristics. The October Revolution took place in imperialist Russia, but the Chinese revolution broke out in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. The former was a proletarian socialist revolution, while the latter developed into a socialist revolution after the complete victory of the new-democratic revolution. The October Revolution began with armed uprisings in the cities and then spread to the countryside, while the Chinese revolution won nation-wide victory through the encirclement of the cities from the rural areas and the final capture of the cities.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s great merit lies in the fact that he has succeeded in integrating the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution and has enriched and developed Marxism-Leninism by his masterly generalization and summation of the experience gained during the Chinese people’s protracted revolutionary struggle.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of people’s war has been proved by the long practice of the Chinese revolution to be in accord with the objective laws of such wars and to be invincible. It has not only been valid for China, it is a great contribution to the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples throughout the world.

The people’s war led by the Chinese Communist Party, comprising the War of Resistance and the Revolutionary Civil Wars, lasted for twenty-two years. It constitutes the most drawn-out and most complex people’s war led by the proletariat in modern history, and it has been the richest in experience.
In the last analysis, the Marxist-Leninist theory of proletarian revolution is the theory of the seizure of state power by revolutionary violence, the theory of countering war against the people by people’s war. As Marx so aptly put it, “Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. ” 1
It was on the basis of the lessons derived from the people’s wars in China that Comrade Mao Tse-tung, using the simplest and the most vivid language, advanced the famous thesis that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. 2

He clearly pointed out:

The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries. 3

War is the product of imperialism and the system of exploitation of man by man. Lenin said that “war is always and everywhere begun by the exploiters themselves, by ruling and oppressing classes”. 4 So long as imperialism and the system of exploitation of man by man exist, the imperialists and reactionaries will invariably rely on armed force to maintain their reactionary rule and impose war on the oppressed nations and peoples. This is an objective law independent of man’s will.

In the world today, all the imperialists headed by the United States and their lackeys, without exception, are strengthening their state machinery, and especially their armed forces. U.S. imperialism, in particular, is carrying out armed aggression and suppression everywhere.

What should the oppressed nations and the oppressed people do in the face of wars of aggression and armed suppression by the imperialists and their lackeys? Should they submit and remain slaves in perpetuity? Or should they rise in resistance and fight for their liberation?

Comrade Mao Tse-tung answered this question in vivid terms. He said that after long investigation and study the Chinese people discovered that all the imperialists and their lackeys “have swords in their hands and are out to kill. The people have come to understand this and so act after the same fashion”. 5 This is called doing unto them what they do unto us.

In the last analysis, whether one dares to wage a tit-for-tat struggle against armed aggression and suppression by the imperialists and their lackeys, whether one dares to fight a people’s war against them, means whether one dares to embark on revolution. This is the most effective touchstone for distinguishing genuine from fake revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists.

In view of the fact that some people were afflicted with the fear of the imperialists and reactionaries, Comrade Mao Tse-tung put forward his famous thesis that “the imperialists and all reactionaries are paper tigers”. He said,

All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful. 6

The history of the peoples war in China and other countries provides conclusive evidence that the growth of the people’s revolutionary forces from weak and small beginnings into strong and large forces is a universal law of development of people’s war. A people’s war inevitably meets with many difficulties, with ups and downs and setbacks in the course of its development, but no force can alter its general trend towards inevitable triumph.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung points out that we must despise the enemy strategically and take full account of him tactically.

To despise the enemy strategically is an elementary requirement for a revolutionary. Without the courage to despise the enemy and without daring to win, it will be simply impossible to make revolution and wage a people’s war, let alone to achieve victory.

It is also very important for revolutionaries to take full account of the enemy tactically. It is likewise impossible to win victory in a people’s war without taking full account of the enemy tactically, and without examining the concrete conditions, without being prudent and giving great attention to the study of the art of struggle, and without adopting appropriate forms of struggle in the concrete practice of the revolution in each country and with regard to each concrete problem of struggle.

Dialectical and historical materialism teaches us that what is important is primarily is not that which at the given moment seems to be durable and yet is already beginning to die away, but that which is arising and developing, even though at the given moment it may not appear to be durable, for only that which is arising and developing is invincible.

Why can the apparently weak new-born forces always triumph over the decadent forces which appear so powerful? The reason is that truth is on their side and that the masses are on their side, while the reactionary classes are always divorced from the masses and set themselves against the masses.
This has been borne out by the victory of the Chinese revolution, by the history of all revolutions, the whole history of class struggle and the entire history of mankind.

The imperialists are extremely afraid of Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s thesis that “imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers”, and the revisionists are extremely hostile to it. They all oppose and attack this thesis and the philistines follow suit by ridiculing it. But all this cannot in the least diminish its importance. The light of truth cannot be dimmed by anybody.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of people’s war solves not only the problem of daring to fight a people’s war, but also that of how to wage it.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung is a great statesman and military scientist, proficient at directing war in accordance with its laws. By the line and policies, the strategy and tactics be formulated for people’s war, he led the Chinese people in steering the ship of the people’s war past all hidden reefs to the shores of victory in most complicated and difficult conditions.

It must be emphasized that Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of the establishment of rural revolutionary base areas and the encirclement of the cities from the countryside is of outstanding and universal practical importance for the present revolutionary struggles of all the oppressed nations and peoples, and particularly for the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America against imperialism and its lackeys.

Many countries and peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America are now being subjected to aggression and enslavement on a serious scale by the imperialists headed by the United States and their lackeys. The basic political and economic conditions in many of these countries have many similarities to those that prevailed in old China. As in China, the peasant question is extremely important in these regions. The peasants constitute the main force of the national-democratic revolution against the imperialists and their lackeys. In committing aggression against these countries, the imperialists usually begin by seizing the big cities and the main lines of communication, but they are unable to bring the vast countryside completely under their control. The countryside, and the countryside alone, can provide the broad areas in which the revolutionaries can manoeuvre freely. The countryside, and the countryside alone, can provide the revolutionary bases from which the revolutionaries can go forward to final victory. Precisely for this reason, Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of establishing revolutionary base areas in the rural districts and encircling the cities from the countryside is attracting more and more attention among the people in these regions.

Taking the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called “the cities of the world”, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute “the rural areas of the world”. Since World War II, the proletarian revolutionary movement has for various reasons been temporarily held back in the North American and West European capitalist countries, while the people’s revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America has been growing vigorously. In a sense, the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. The socialist countries should regard it as their internationalist duty to support the people’s revolutionary struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The October Revolution opened up a new era in the revolution of the oppressed nations. The victory of the October Revolution built a bridge between the socialist revolution of the proletariat of the West and the national-democratic revolution of the colonial and semi-colonial countries of the East. The Chinese revolution has successfully solved the problem of how to link up the national-democratic with the socialist revolution in the colonial and semi-colonial countries.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung has pointed out that, in the epoch since the October Revolution, anti-imperialist revolution in any colonial or semi-colonial country is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletariat-socialist world revolution.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung has formulated a complete theory of the new-democratic revolution. He indicated that this revolution, which is different from all others, can only be, nay must be, a revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism waged by the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat.

This means that the revolution can only be, nay must be, led by the proletariat and the genuinely revolutionary party armed with Marxism-Leninism, and by no other class or party.

This means that the revolution embraces in its ranks not only the workers, peasants and the urban petty bourgeoisie, but also the national bourgeoisie and other patriotic and anti-imperialist democrats.
This means, finally, that the revolution is directed against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.

The new-democratic revolution leads to socialism, and not to capitalism.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of the new-democratic revolution is the Marxist-Leninist theory of revolution by stages as well as the Marxist-Leninist theory of uninterrupted revolution.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung made a correct distinction between the two revolutionary stages, i.e., the national-democratic and the socialist revolutions; at the same time he correctly and closely linked the two. The national-democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the national-democratic revolution. There is no Great Wall between the two revolutionary stages. But the socialist revolution is only possible after the completion of the national-democratic revolution. The more thorough the national-democratic revolution, the better the conditions for the socialist revolution.

The experience of the Chinese revolution shows that the tasks of the national-democratic revolution can be fulfilled only through long and tortuous struggles. In this stage of revolution, imperialism and its lackeys are the principal enemy. In the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys, it is necessary to rally all anti-imperialist patriotic forces, including the national bourgeoisie and all patriotic personages. All those patriotic personages from among the bourgeoisie and other exploiting classes who join the anti-imperialist struggle play a progressive historical role; they are not tolerated by imperialism but welcomed by the proletariat.

It is very harmful to confuse the two stages, that is, the national-democratic and the socialist revolutions. Comrade Mao Tse-tung criticized the wrong idea of “accomplishing both at one stroke”, and pointed out that this utopian idea could only weaken the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys, the most urgent task at that time. The Kuomintang reactionaries and the Trotskyites they hired during the War of Resistance deliberately confused these two stages of the Chinese revolution, proclaiming the “theory of a single revolution” and preaching so-called “socialism” without any Communist Party, wipe out any revolution and prevent the advance of the national-democratic revolution, and they used it as a pretext for their non-resistance and capitulation to imperialism. This reactionary theory was buried long ago by the history of the Chinese revolution.

The Khrushchov revisionists are now actively preaching that socialism can be built without the proletariat and without a genuinely revolutionary party armed with the advanced proletarian ideology, and they have cast the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism to the four winds. The revisionists’ purpose is solely to divert the oppressed nations from their struggle against imperialism and sabotage their national-democratic revolution, all in the service of imperialism.

The Chinese revolution provides a successful lesson for making a thoroughgoing national-democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat; it likewise provides a successful lesson for the timely transition from the national-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution under the leadership of the proletariat.

Mao Tse-tung’s thought has been the guide to the victory of the Chinese revolution. It has integrated the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution and creatively developed Marxism-Leninism, thus adding new weapons to the arsenal of Marxism-Leninism.

Ours is the epoch in which world capitalism and imperialism are heading for their doom and socialism and communism are marching to victory. Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of people’s war is not only a product of the Chinese revolution, but has also the characteristics of our epoch. The new experience gained in the people’s revolutionary struggles in various countries since World War II has provided continuous evidence that Mao Tse-tung’s thought is a common asset of the revolutionary people of the whole world. This is the great international significance of the thought of Mao Tse-tung


During the G.P.C.R. Lin’s contribution had a  different colour. Lin placed emphasis on the role of the military.

Lin was not as antagonistic towards Liu Shao Chi and Deng Xiaoping as Chiang Ching of Chang Chun Chiao.

He supported actions of the cultural revolution to promote himself politically. He made errors in deploying the Peoples Liberation army to curb the movement of the red guards. 

No doubt the base of a P.L.A.was required for the success of the G.P.C.R but the P.L.A. led by Lin often wrongly intervened to curb movements. 

From 1967-68 itself Lin endowed the line that production should be the main criteria like Liu and Deng and that soldiers should not engage in manual labour.

Lin  felt that the Cultural Revolution should be terminated. He also demanded greater power for the P.L.A.

Comrades like Chiang Ching were unhappy with Lin right from 1966 but because of the complexities of the situation Lin could not be attacked. 

It was only in Lushan in May 1970 that Mao’s differences with Lin formally came out Mao felt that Lin was trying to promote him as a ‘genius ‘to ultimately promote himself .Lin suggested that Mao become head of state so that he would have absolute power when he succeeded Mao.Lin also felt that China should establish relations with U.S.S.R.  and not establish any relations with U.S.A.Lin did not understand Mao’s tactics of peaceful co-existence and it was necessary for China  to establish relations with U.S.A.

No doubt Lin now had endorsed revisionist ideology and had Mao supported him China would have abandoned the Socialist road.

Lin died in a plane crash after his aborted coup failed.

As such Lin played no major role in movements like the establishment of the Shangai commune or Dazhai.Quoting a passage in Raymond Lotta’s ‘Last Great Battle ‘Lin’s power grabs and deception were not the result of some kind of megolamania.

These methods flowed from a political line –a revisionist line of not relying on the masses to change the world. 

At the 9th central Commitee Conference  held in 1970,Lin’s forces were madly waving the red flag to oppose the red flag-extolling Mao’s genius in order to render him a harmless icon while they planned to have themselves installed in various posts.

Lin by then had been openly attacking many of the gains and transformations of the Cultural Revolution, labelling cadre participation in productive labour as ‘forced labour reform’ and declaring the policy of snding youth to the countryside as ‘disguised unemployment.Lin Biao’s power basewas mainly the army and he sought to fill vacant post with these men.Mao’s first major clash with Lin was in a political report prepared on the 9th Congress which stated that the Cultural Revolution had achieved it’s aims and it was now time to push forward the economy.’ 

Quoting an excerpt from ‘World to Win’ Organ of R.I.M “Lin Piao had been closely associated with the Left in the mid-1960s when they needed allies to get their views disseminated and to bolster their offensive against the Right and against the danger of capitalist restoration. 

At the time, Lin Piao played an important role in carrying out socialist education in the military, rectifying Peng Te-huai's line (of "modernizing" the army by relying on advanced technology, as did the Soviet revisionists). 

But Lin Piao and his supporters also used the occasion to build a tighter base of support and to glorify Mao, and even Chiang Ching to some extent, as icons they hoped to knock down. Lin Piao wanted to use the army to restore order, and by 1967-1968 he was already saying production should be above political struggle.”

By the Ninth Party Congress in 1969 Lin's fully rightist programme had become clear: the principal contradiction was said to be between the advanced socialist system and the backward productive forces the same Chinese goulash line as that of Liu Shao-chi, defeated years before “He waved the red flag to defeat it. On one side it was red, but on the other was a black skull and crossbones”, Chiang Ching remarked bitterly.[47]

Quoting wickepedia :Lin's support impressed Mao, who continued to promote Lin to higher political offices. After Mao's second-in-command, Liu Shaoqi, was denounced as a "capitalist roader" in 1966, Lin Biao emerged as the most likely candidate to replace Liu as Mao's successor. 

Lin attempted to avoid this promotion, but accepted it on Mao's insistence.[17]

Privately, Lin opposed the purging of Liu and Deng Xiaoping, on the grounds that they were "good comrades", but was not able to publicly oppose Mao's condemnation of them. 

Lin privately admired Liu, and once told his daughter that Liu had "a better understanding of theory than Mao". Zhou Enlai was also considered for the position of Vice-Chairman, but Zhou successfully withdrew from the nomination, leaving Lin the only candidate.[61]

After 1966, Lin's few personal political initiatives were efforts to moderate the radical nature of the Cultural Revolution. Privately, he expressed unhappiness with the Cultural Revolution, but was unable to avoid playing a high-profile role due to the expectations of Mao, China's unpredictable political environment, and the manipulations of his wife and son, Ye Qun and Lin Liguo.[17] 

After 1966, Lin, like Liu before him, attempted to build his own base of support so that he could better position himself for the inevitable, unpredictable political situation that would occur following the death of Mao.[68] Lin's few proactive attempts to direct the Cultural Revolution were attempts to protect Red Guards and his political allies from political persecution, and to mediate the attempts of Jiang Qing and her followers to radicalize China's political climate.[49] 

In May 1967, Lin's follower, Chen Boda, saved Zhou Enlai from being persecuted by Red Guards by convincing them that Zhou was Lin's follower and supporter. Zhou repaid Lin's assistance by giving him excessive public praise three months later, in August, but was forced to write a formal apology to Lin after Lin complained to Mao that such praise was inappropriate.[69]

Lin and Jiang cooperated at the outset of the Cultural Revolution, but their relationship began to deteriorate in 1968 as Jiang frequently attempted to interfere in Chinese military affairs, which Lin found intolerable.[70] 

By 1970 Lin and Ye were very unfriendly with Jiang Qing: Lin referred to her as a "long-nosed pit viper".[49] From 1968 until his death in 1971, Lin and his supporters disagreed with Zhou Enlai and his followers over the issue of China's relationship with the United States and the Soviet Union. 

Lin believed that both superpowers were equally threatening to China, and that they were colluding to thwart China's interests. 

Zhou Enlai believed that China should become closer to the United States in order to mediate the threat posed by the Soviet military. Lin was supported by Jiang Qing in his opposition to pursuing a relationship with the United States, but was not able to permanently disrupt Zhou's efforts to contact the American officials.[71]


The Chinese Communist party led by Chairman Mao Tsetung is waging anti-Lin Piao anti-Confucius great struggle. Huge workers-peasants-soldiers and revolutionary intellectuals are taking part in that struggle. The anti-Lin Piao anti Confucius struggle played big role in repulsing the conspiracy of capturing power of China by the revisionist and capitalist roaders, restoration of capitalism in Socialist China by them, establishing bourgeoisie dictatorship via overthrow of proletarian dictatorship and transforming China into plundering field of Social Imperialism and Imperialism. 

One of the reactionary, fraud, saboteur, clique, traitor and double dealer in Chinese history Lin Piao took Confucianism as ideological weapon of capturing power and restoring capitalism by him. In the history of the Chinese Communist Party, Wang Ming-Liu Chao Chi etc renegade traitors also had taken Confucianism to oppose Marxism-Leninism.

The double dealer fraud Lin Piao would never talk without chanting Long Live Mao Tse tung and would never go outside without quotation in hand. He followed the blind path of Wang Ming-Liu Chao Chi. In class society, either Marxist ideology or reactionary ideology has to be taken. There is no middle way. This is why we see in history of Communist Movement, the revisionist Bernstein, Kautsky, Khrushchev, Togliatti, Brezhnev took bourgeoisie ideology in the name of Marxism and are opposing Marxism by that. Lin Piao, in order to oppose Marxism, like the revisionist reactionaries of China and world, took Chinese reactionary ideology Confucianism.

This is why the anti Lin Piao struggle is connected with the anti-reactionary ideology of Lin Piao—the Confucianism. If that ideological struggle is deducted, the anti-Lin Piao struggle will remain incomplete and the soul of that struggle will be deducted. This is the reason why anti Confucian struggle has been added to anti-Lin Piao struggle in China. Confucius was alive about two thousand years before. Chinese society was going through huge change during that time. Slave society in China was breaking down and feudalist society was being established. Confucius propagated on behalf of restoration of slave society and opposed the then progressive social system—feudalism.

He tried to restore slave society via restoring ritual, the eliminated lineage and post. Of course, Confucius failed to resist the motion of society. Feudalist social system was established in China. When progressive role of the owner of the feudalist social system ended, they took Confucianism to sustain feudalism and suppress peasants. During the time of infiltration of capitalism in China, the imperialism and its collaborator the bureaucratic capitalists took Confucianism to suppress people of China.

The class basis of Lin Piao was bureaucratic capitalism and feudalism. 

He was not free from that ideology too. In order to oppose Marxism, Socialism and Communism, he too took this reactionary ideology and existed inside party as a hidden traitor and waited for an opportune time to seize party and state power. Lin Piao, by putting forward the reactionary ‘Restrain and restore ritual’ theory of Confucius, conspired to capture power in the second meeting of the Ninth Central Committee. He said, as there is state now, so there must be President. That means he tried to be president of China. It is practice that makes genius. Lin piao denied historical material truth that not individual but people alone is the fundamental motive force of social development; he propagated Confucian idealist theory of inborn genius, individual is the reason behind social change etc and put forward himself and his family as genius great men.

Lin’s demise in 1971  caused a reversal in the G.P.C.R. and many rightists had to be re-instated into the C.P.C.and the P.L.A. The Peoples Liberation army had also lost it’s old base This showed the weakness of Socialist China in depending so much on the P.L.A. Had Lin supported Mao quite probably China could have has a Socialist state for many decades more. 

Now a very strong movement was launched to refute Lin Biao and bracket him with ‘Confucius’.To relate to the Chinese people the movement against Lin Biao was  launched with a movement against Confucius. This hardly had much rationality.Lin contributed so much to class struggle in his career that major errors at the end do not equate him with ‘Confucius.’ True it was  method of ideologically indoctrinating the masses against Lin but calling him ‘Confucius’ was mythological. Although great mass movements were led by the gang of 4 in education, agriculture,industry etc rather than focusing on defeating the ‘capitalist road’ exaggerated emphasis was placed on exposing Lin Biao.

True  Lin Biao had caused havoc in the end and his politics had to be fought but  it was not only Lin Biao who was the enemy. In fact the errors of Lin Biao started in 1966 itself but only after his coup and death  was he openly refuted. 

Thus although great broad mass movements took place a strong bureaucracy still existed. Infact  Chairman Mao Tse Tung also has to take responsibility for the creation of his personality cult as well as the C.C.P. and not only blame Lin Biao.To me it was a gross error of Chairman Mao to choose Lin Biao as a successor to Mao in 1969 after the 9th Congress. To me it reflected sufficient revolutionary democracy or proletarian power did not exist in China .This was reflected in powerful factional tendencies in the Cultural Revolution. 

Two line struggle existed but adequate political consciousness ,scope for debate or democratic functioning did not exist in the revolutionary Committees. in also erroneously called it the era of ‘total collapse of Imperialism’ and worldwide victory of proletarian revolution’, replacing the era of ‘Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution.’However it is the C.C.P.who should be attributed the blame as much for this erroneous evaluation of the era.

Below I am re-posting an excerpt from an article by Rangakayaama in 1983.later re-published in Frontier Autumn number of 2006.

Quoting Rangayakaama in an article in Frontier: What conspiracy did Lin Piao hatch, according to the CPC? That he attempted to organize an armed revolt? Are there details in that report regarding the day on which he attempted, the kind of attempts he made and how the Chinese came to know about those attempts? ‘He hatched a conspiracy’; ‘he had a scheme’; ‘he wanted to establish capitalism’ — these were the accusations. On the one hand they say they exposed his scheme and on the other hand they say they don’t have the facts to frame charges!

“When the plot was discovered….” Say the Chinese. What did they discover? If they had discovered on September 12 & 13, 1971 why did they start negative campaign against him since 1970?

If they knew about his fleeing five hours before the plane took off, why did they let that ‘traitor’ leave? Was five-hour time not enough to cancel all the flights? Did they not feel the need of keeping watch on the airports that were available to Lin? Did they want the fun of imposing war on people?

“…the party has been purged, has emerged stronger, and with a higher level of consciousness in the struggle between the two lines and in the class struggle,” said the Chinese. Who waged this class struggle? Who raised the level of consciousness of the party? This means, two gangs butt each other, one gang knocks down another gang and the gang that gains upper hand starts campaigning that it won the class struggle!

Chinese comrades, it cannot be class struggle. It is merely gang war. The world witnessed this gang war for a thousand generations. The only difference is that you are waging that war in the name of Communism. 

But the world looked at you with wonder that you were waging class struggle. How long would it watch unless it finds something. All it found were this sort of ‘wonderful things’.

Your report gave a wonderful clue for discouraging Mao’s cult from 1970. 

Since you started anti-Lin Piao campaign since 1970, you needed a list of blunders, which Lin Piao committed. You wanted to put the blame of cult entirely on Lin’s group. If you want to say, ‘Lin Piao did all this, Mao didn’t like it at all’,  first you need to start saying, ‘cult is not necessary’. No doubt Lin was also responsible for Mao’s cult and he must be criticized for that. But why didn’t they criticize him at that time? Why are they criticizing him only now? What is the secret behind this? This is an important question for us.

They started to sing a new song: that all the praises showered on Mao were anti-Marxist, that all those actions connected with cult were idealism and Mao criticized Lin Piao in the past itself.

Is there any document that proves the claim that Mao criticized Lin in the past? If they say that Mao scolded Lin Piao at the personal level [My dear Lin, don’t commit mistakes!], this issue is not something akin to, to borrow a Telugu expression, ‘scolding wife’s brother’.

Why didn’t we hear in the past comments like ‘cult is idealism and anti-Marxism’? If Mao did not like his cult, what would this report say about Mao’s interview with Edgar Snow? 

Is it enough if you put the entire blame on Lin and criticize him singularly? 

Did Mao make a self-criticism thus, ‘I too committed mistake in this issue’. 

The first mistake was Mao’s. Did Mao ever write an article criticizing those who carried his pictures around their necks, worshipped those pictures and who resorted to many more wrong practices? Did he ever teach his countrymen or the outside world through news papers or Radio thus, ‘to exhibit your love for me in this manner is a terrible insult to me. 

This means you are treating me as some body who yields to superstitious forms. Oppose every one who encourages cult of individual. We do not want Personality Cult. What we want is collective spirit and action. Socialist practice.”

Mao felt happy and kept quiet while his personality cult has been undertaken on such a large scale for so many years. But the CPC puts the entire blame of Personality cult on Lin Piao since Mao had ‘some’ problems with Lin Piao. True, that there are millions of people who blindly believe what the party says but it is stupidity to think that those millions of people will remain so blind forever.

After giving a haphazard report on Lin to the Communist Parties of other countries (not to all countries), the Chinese government published a news report for the consumption of its people on September 22, 1972, didn’t it?  Apart from that news report, as the party was obliged to publish some document, the Chinese released a document at the end of 1972 enumerating 10 major charges leveled against Lin as follows. (Van Ginnekan 1976: 287)

1.               Lin Piao attempted to usurp the party leadership. He placed individuals above the party and insisted that his name must be mentioned as the heir apparent of Mao in the party constitution (in April 1969).
2.               From 1966 to 197l, he implemented his opportunistic line opposing the correct line of Chairman Mao.
3.               Between 1969 and 1970, he undermined Democratic Centralism and argued that army should lead the party.
4.               Right from the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Lin made several attempts to kill Mao especially between 1966 and 1971.
5.               When the party criticized anti-party clique of Peng and Huang, he took advantage of it and tried to usurp the military leadership before and after Lushan conference in 1958-59.
6.               He disregarded party discipline. Formed cliques. He relied only on his followers and recruited traitors into the military.
7.               To oppose the red flag, he raised the red flag of ‘study of Mao’s writings’ to a disproportionate height. He has been resorting to political tricks since 1969 for his selfish ends.
8.               During the period of Cultural Revolution especially between 1967 and 68, he organized indiscriminate attacks on the party cadres and dismissed many leading cadres and other comrades who should not be removed. He organized ill-motivated attacks on our cadres.
9.               Between 1970-71, he opposed the correct foreign policy of Chairman Mao.
10.               He maintained illicit relations with foreign countries in 1971.

I disagree with point 5.

It totally negates Lin’s positive work in the P.L.A.

I also think point 6  is unfair.It totally negates Lin’s work in the army.

These accusations indicate that Lin Piao has been following conspiratorial methods since 1958. Why did they ignore such a person until 1971? If he had apologized in the past, why do they raise them again today?

No one has any right to consider it a crime if a person argued that army must lead the party. A person would argue like that in accordance with his understanding. Or he would argue as per his class nature. An argument of a single member can not be the decision of the entire party. If that argument was wrong, others should make efforts to enable the members grasp the correct argument and defeat the wrong one. But, you have no right to accuse him for that argument. If you do so, it will close the doors for discussions.

Inclusion of his name in the party constitution as the heir apparent of Mao is a clear proof to say that Lin Piao made a mistake. Based on this, we can conclude Lin Piao lacked communist outlook. But lack of communist outlook itself does not amount to a crime if it does not harm others. But declaration of heirship did harm. Though the party is meant to defend the collective interests of the people, Lin Piao misused it for his selfish-end. 

Thus, he committed an act that harmed millions of people. But, party members other than Lin Piao had also given their consent for the heirship [It happened since the majority accepted it]. Therefore, members other than Lin Piao were also responsible for that mistake. We cannot say, ‘Majority was at fault, minority was not at fault because they opposed it.”

In 1973 when Chou En-Lai gave the report of the 10th Congress Lin was branded as a traitor and totally negated.In 1975 even Chang Chun Chiao associated everything reactionary with Lin.True Lin’s line had to be negated but atleast his achievements should have been his positive role in the P.L.A.

Quoting the Leading Light Communist Organization

Lin Biao was guilty for promoting the personality cult. Lin Biao issued the Red Book as part of the Maoification of the PLA, without which the Maoists would not have had the power base to launch the Cultural Revolution. However, the cult is something that the entire Maoist left, and even the right and revisionists, were guilty of to various degrees. 

The cult existed to various degrees before Lin Biao entered politics and after his fall, when the Gang of Four controlled much of the propaganda machinery. It is fine if people want to claim that the cult was an error, but they need to be consistent about it.

The reality is that Mao himself gave his tacit support to the cult. Thinking that the blame for the personality cult can be placed entirely at Lin Biao's feet is ridiculous.

Mao could have easily gone public with his criticisms, if he had them at all
yes, Mao circulated his "letter" that critiqued the cult, conveniently, after Lin Biao's fall. Let's be real. Mao could have announced his supposed criticism of the
cult from Tiananmen for the whole world to hear, if he really wanted to. The most likely explanation is that Mao was well aware that he needed the cult as a battering ram against the Party and state, againstthe revisionists. Mao's personal authority, the cult, was used to mobilise the masses against the authority of Party and state functionaries. -


Today there is  a trend that links Lin Biaoism with third world Maoism. This exposes very strongly that even if it does not directly support Lin biao his influence led to revisionist thinking. The organization, Leading Light Communist Organization line supporting  third worldism  supports lin Biao. 

The fact that the Leading Light support Lin Biao in their third worldism shows the link between Lin’s erroneous ideology  on the Communist movement. 

It displays their lack on understanding Mao’s ideology of the continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It shows the rightist essence of Lin Biao’s line after 1966.

There is also a tendency to bracket Lin Biaoism with Maoism which has to be refuted. 

It was Mao’s  theory continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the Proletariat that gave Maoism the cutting edge from Lin Biaoism. 

This very concept introduced in the G.P.C.R  took what was then Mao Zedong thought as a third stage after Marxism mad Leninism. 

We have to tooth and nail refute Lin Biao but recognize his achievements. One of the most significant studies is the development of democracy within the party in the G.P.C.R.Vanguardist tendencies existed over the peoples mass organizations and insufficient revolutionary democracy or revolutionary democratic organs of power led to the reversal in Socialist China. 

There is a tendency propagated by K.N.Ramchandran  ,general secretary of C.P.I.(M.L.) Red Star that the C.P.C.practised a Lin Biaoist line. K.N.ramchandran equates theory of peoples war with Lin Biaoism and not an integral part of Maoism. Propagating that would virtually mean that proletarian revolutionary line was not prevalent in the G.P.C.R.

Quoting  the  Leading Light Communist Organization in article posted on  June 6 th 2011 on Two Roads Defeated in the Cultural Revolution Part 2: Lin Biao’s Road by Prairie Fire

‘:Lin Biao’s road elevated the significance of Maoism in the International Communist Movement. Following Chen Boda’s earlier elevation of Maoism as the path for the colonial and semi-colonial world, Lin Biao’s Second Road recognized that Mao had “creatively and comprehensively and has brought it [Marxism-Leninism] to a higher and completely new stage. Mao [Zedong]‘s Thought is Marxism-Leninism of the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to world-wide victory.” (21) The elevation of Maoism is militantly internationalist. 

This line was also associated with elevating people’s war generally. So much so, that whether one dared to wage people’s war was a mark of whether one was a true communist or revisionist. (22) (23) This was not the ordinary politics of shortsightedness and compromise. 

This was a farsighted strategy that departed from the politics of the ordinary in its efforts to remake the world. Recently, some revisionists have accused other revisionists as “Lin Biaoist” for their efforts to establish a Fourth International of Mao-influence parties. (24) (25) However, there is no evidence that Lin Biao’s road sought to establish a new Comintern to micro-manage a global people’s war. 

At one point, Indian Maoists influenced by Lin Biao sought to appoint Mao as the chairman of their party. The Chinese rejected this move; they rejected the patriarchal party model of the Soviet revisionists. (26) 

There is no evidence that Lin Biao sought to revive such a model, nonetheless, the First Road and Lin Biao’s Second Road were later criticized for self-glorification and Trotskyism by Zhou Enlai. (27) 

Echoing the post-Lin Biao consensus, Samir Amin recently called the Second Road’s global people’s war model as “too extreme to be useful.” (28) 

Contrary to this consensus, Leading Light Communism has revived the global people’s war model. Today, global people’s war is at the heart of the rebirth of the International Communist Movement.’

My analysis of the above:The link between  concept of global peoples war and Lin Biao is wrongly depicted. Global peoples war is not a Maoist concept. Mao’s theory of peoples war was not global peoples war .

Peoples war is fought in different countries and several nations are not launching it together.

Quoting the Leading Light Communist Organization in article written on  July 2013  in Was Lin Biao guilty plotting a coup?

As the Cultural Revolution unfolded, the mass movements grew bolder and bolder. They would come to target the Chairman of the State, Liu Shaoqi and Vice-Chairman of the Party Deng Xiaoping. They came under increasing criticism from the masses. Both had been involved in suppressing the student movement, sometimes violently, in the previous months. As Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping fell, Lin Biao rose. By July 1966, Liu Shaoqi had lost his power. In the next year, he would be made to stand before the students and answer for his crimes of suppressing the student movement. Red Guard Kuai Dafu, working closely with the Cultural Revolution Group, would lead the campaign against him. By 1968, Liu

The mass movements not only sought to widen the purge of the revisionists, but they also came to fight each other. The mass movements came more and more into conflict with rightist who were loyal to Mao like Zhou Enlai and with conservative military leaders, especially in the provinces where Lin Biao’s power was weaker. This led to the Wuhan incident in July of 1967. General Chen Zaidao suppressed the radicals in his province. 

He mutinied against the Maoist leaders in Beijing. Although he was officially removed temporarily, the tide was turning against the mass movements. More and more were turning against the movements as the violence spread.  The British mission was ransacked by Red Guards. The Foreign Ministry was taken over. Foreign diplomats were beaten. Radicals began calling for the ousting of Zhou Enlai and they called on the masses to “drag out” military leaders in the provinces who opposed the Cultural Revolution. For Mao, things were spinning too far out of control. 

Throughout the end of 1967 and into 1968, the student and worker movements were ended. 

Zhang Chunqiao now called for the Red Guards to be disciplined by workers organized into work teams — not unlike Liu Shaoqi’s earlier reaction to the student movement. 

However, the main role of ending the factional violence often fell on Lin Biao’s army, the strongest and functioning arm of the state. 

The power of the mass movements was turned over to Revolutionary Committees. The Ninth Congress was to be held in 1969 with power firmly in the hands of the Maoists. 

It was at the Ninth Congress of the Communist Party where Lin Biao would be at the peak of his power. The single biggest power bloc at the Congress was the military. It fell on Lin Biao to read the Ninth Congress Report. It was there that Lin Biao would be officially written into the Party’s constitution as the successor to Mao.”

Quoting Leading Light Communist Organization on  July 2013  in Was Lin Biao guilty plotting a coup?

 “At the onset of the Cultural Revolution, since the revisionists controlled the Party and much of the state bureaucracy, the Maoists needed to find a way around them. Lin Biao’s military would play the key role in launching the Cultural Revolution. 

The Maoists would come to rely on Lin Biao’s military as the key institution to push their political line. Lin Biao’s military, with its political department, its cultural institutions, its alternative media, its involvement in the economy, its guns, etc. would serve as a kind of dual power that the Maoists could rely on against the revisionist controlled institutions. 

The revisionists could thwart the Maoists in other institutions, but the military — at least at the center, where Lin Biao’s power reigned — was loyal. Mao could bypass the Party and state by using Lin Biao’s dual military institutions. 

The army gave Mao the key institutional base from which to retake power. Mao went around the revisionist bureaucracies by relying on the army and using his popularity and appealing directly to the masses. Mao — almost always using Lin Biao as his stand-in — called on the masses, the students and workers, to rise up against the Party. 

Rebel students and workers, Red Guards, took to the streets as huge mass movements from 1966 to 1968. Not only did Lin Biao helped set the stage, he used the muscle of the military to create a protective bubble so that the mass movements could run their course. His Maoist pretorian guard, led by Lin Biao, held back, as best as they could, those who would suppress the chaos that was unleashed by the Maoists. As the mass movements ran their course, as the Party and state were torn apart, the army,  the pillar of the dictatorship of the proletariat  would come to fill the power vacuum. As Mao liked to say, there is no creation without destruction.”

My analysis of the above assessment.: Above one can study the weakness the Leading light has on the role solely on the military. In the 1st article They call the military the single biggest power bloc and claim that the main role of factional violence fell on Lin Biao’s army.They also talk of Lin Biao being at the peak of his power.

It is significant that a pro Lin Biao force is critical of Chang Chun Chiao-one of the most dedicated followers of Mao’s line. and brackets  him with Liu Shao Chi.

Quoting an Excerpt of the Leading Light Comunist Organization in on  July 2013  in Was Lin Biao guilty plotting a coup?

“At the onset of the Cultural Revolution, since the revisionists controlled the Party and much of the state bureaucracy, the Maoists needed to find a way around them. 

Lin Biao’s military would play the key role in launching the Cultural Revolution. The Maoists would come to rely on Lin Biao’s military as the key institution to push their political line. Lin Biao’s military, with its political department, its cultural institutions, its alternative media, its involvement in the economy, its guns, etc. would serve as a kind of dual power that the Maoists could rely on against the revisionist controlled institutions. 

The revisionists could thwart the Maoists in other institutions, but the military — at least at the center, where Lin Biao’s power reigned — was loyal. Mao could bypass the Party and state by using Lin Biao’s dual military institutions. The army gave Mao the key institutional base from which to retake power. 

Mao went around the revisionist bureaucracies by relying on the army and using his popularity and appealing directly to the masses. Mao — almost always using Lin Biao as his stand-in — called on the masses, the students and workers, to rise up against the Party. Rebel students and workers, Red Guards, took to the streets as huge mass movements from 1966 to 1968. Not only did Lin Biao helped set the stage, he used the muscle of the military to create a protective bubble so that the mass movements could run their course. 

His Maoist pretorian guard, led by Lin Biao, held back, as best as they could, those who would suppress the chaos that was unleashed by the Maoists. As the mass movements ran their course, as the Party and state were torn apart, the army,  the pillar of the dictatorship of the proletariat  would come to fill the power vacuum. 

As Mao liked to say, there is no creation without destruction.”

My assessment  of the above view :It depicts the military line of Lin Biao and how political groups that support Lin Biao principally l support the aspect of the control of the military which was the P.L.A in China.One of Lin Biao’s major errors was the excessive intervention of  the army in curbing peoples movements.Supporting Lin means virtuall supporting the control of the army in every branch.
Quoting K.N.Ramchandran in Red Star September 2015:

“Mao had pointed out on every available occasionthat the pre-revolutionary Chinese situation and the path of revolution followed there were unique and the experience of the Chinese revolution hould not be mechanically copied anywhere else.  what happened was the reverse. When the fierce struggle against the capitalist roaders weregoing on, under the guise of fighting it a left adventurist line led by Lin Biao emerged during the Cultural Revolution. 

As explained in his book:Long Live the Victory of People’s War, which came out in 1966, Lin reversed Mao’s teachings on all fundamental questions and advocated “Chinese Path” as the panacea for the communist parties in Asian, African and Latin American countries. 

The positions it put forward included the concept of a New Era under which Mao’s Thought was explained as the Marxism-Leninism of this new era. In the Quotations from Mao published during these days the slogan “political powergrows out of the barrel of the gun” was one-sidedly glorified, rejecting the importance of massline. It led to left adventurist deviations in all the Marxist-Leninist parties and groups emerging at that time.”

My analysis of view of Red Star :There is significance in what is written on applying Mao’s ideology throwing light on the subjective factors prevailing in different countries. But we can learn how such a staunch opponent of ‘Maoism’ as K.N.Ramachandran states that Mao Tse Tung Thought was not the Marxism –Leninism of that era and that Lin Biao reversed Mao’s teachings by advocating peoples war.Lin  was wrong in terming the era as that of total collapse of Imperialism but not on the question of peoples war.K.N.ramchandran negates the universal significance of Chairman Mao’s teachings on Peoples War.


The phenomenan of Lin Biao was one of the most complex aspects of the International Communist Movement. 

We must respect the C.P.C.from 1966-76 as they were carrying out a revolution never before attempted in the history of the world , being a struggle  within a Socialist Society. 

No doubt it made some of the most glorious achievements in the history of mankind in that period. I would not put the entire blame on Lin Biao for the reversal in the GP.C.R. 

Rather than solely putting the blame on Lin Biao we have assess the weaknesses of the C.P.C. and the grassroot causes which led to the phenomena of a  Lin Biao in it’s leadership or the personality cult of Mao. 

Without inherent weaknesses within  the C.P.C.  Lin Biao would not become the successor of Mao or preside over the 9th Congress. There was a tendency in the highlight individuals rather than the principal line of  struggle against capitalist-roaders. 

Just as bureaucratic tendencies existed in the Bolshevik party and not sufficient power existed in the Soviets in China there was insufficient power in the people’s organizations to check the party. 

To me it is really strange that Chen Boda and Lin Biao presided and read the report of the  the 9th Congress.Lin Biao had to be ideologically refuted but the fact that the C.P.C totally rejected his earlier contribution depicts their weakness. 

In my view excessive power was awarded to the Peoples Liberation army  by the C.P.C. This again highlights the need for greater democracy with Socialist China in the 1960’s.

Lastly we have to analyze what was the true story of Lin’s coup? Was it real? One thing there is no doubt as against the version of the Leading Light Communist Organization Lin Biao’s line had gone counter-revolutionary and he did wish to overthrow Mao. Lin was bidding for the chair and was now a strong opponent of Mao’s line. 

There are some historians who feel Lin did not launch a coup and his plane crashing was a myth. However later Soviet Union confirmed that Lin and his family had died in an air crash by checking the D.N.A of the bodies. 

Even if Lin had not attempted a coup  his activities were conspirational and he was greatly embittered by not receiving support from Mao. 

Even if he had not launched a coup his political practice and aspirations were very akin to a powerful political personality wishing to usurp power. he was  no doubt a very powerful figure at the time. 

The essence of this study on the coup should be on the political line of Lin .Hypothetically had Lin Biao not launched this coup  he would have launched a struggle for political power just like what  Hua Kuo feng and  Deng Xiaoping  did later and would have ultimately tried to smash the gang of four.

No doubt the Dengist rightists forces  would not be re-instated but the control of the P.L.A would be much greater.Mao would have no choice but to politically fight Lin Biao so in a way it is inconsequential whether Lin had launched a coup or not.

One of the most useful essays on this topic is by Frontier weekly on the personality cult during Mao’s era.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article.