Mao Zedong: Combat Liberalism

Great efforts were made, during the Chinese revolution and by Mao personally, to bring political issues out into the open -- to void shielding veterans and leading cadre from public criticism, and to have a frank lively atmosphere of speaking truth to each other (including about differences and errors).

 We are posting it here both because it has great value for revolutionaries, and also because we have had a discussion of  "what are the different meanings of the word liberalism?" in an accompanying thread.

This 1937 essay by Mao is available from the Marxist Internet Archives, along with Mao's other works. Kasama's earlier discussions around Mao are available here.

This essay digs into the distinctively Maoist meaning of the word "liberalism" -- and what communist practice should be around the conflict over ideas, actions and policies.

Combat Liberalism

by Mao Zedong

 

We stand for active ideological struggle because it is the weapon for ensuring unity within the Party and the revolutionary organizations in the interest of our fight. Every Communist and revolutionary should take up this weapon.

But liberalism rejects ideological struggle and stands for unprincipled peace, thus giving rise to a decadent, Philistine attitude and bringing about political degeneration in certain units and individuals in the Party and the revolutionary organizations.

Liberalism manifests itself in various ways.

To let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate. Or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and the individual are harmed. This is one type of liberalism.

To indulge in irresponsible criticism in private instead of actively putting forward one's suggestions to the organization. To say nothing to people to their faces but to gossip behind their backs, or to say nothing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards. To show no regard at all for the principles of collective life but to follow one's own inclination. This is a second type.

To let things drift if they do not affect one personally; to say as little as possible while knowing perfectly well what is wrong, to be worldly wise and play safe and seek only to avoid blame. This is a third type.

Not to obey orders but to give pride of place to one's own opinions. To demand special consideration from the organization but to reject its discipline. This is a fourth type.

To indulge in personal attacks, pick quarrels, vent personal spite or seek revenge instead of entering into an argument and struggling against incorrect views for the sake of unity or progress or getting the work done properly. This is a fifth type.

To hear incorrect views without rebutting them and even to hear counter-revolutionary remarks without reporting them, but instead to take them calmly as if nothing had happened. This is a sixth type.

To be among the masses and fail to conduct propaganda and agitation or speak at meetings or conduct investigations and inquiries among them, and instead to be indifferent to them and show no concern for their well-being, forgetting that one is a Communist and behaving as if one were an ordinary non-Communist. This is a seventh type.

To see someone harming the interests of the masses and yet not feel indignant, or dissuade or stop him or reason with him, but to allow him to continue. This is an eighth type.

To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along--"So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell." This is a ninth type.

To regard oneself as having rendered great service to the revolution, to pride oneself on being a veteran, to disdain minor assignments while being quite unequal to major tasks, to be slipshod in work and slack in study. This is a tenth type.

To be aware of one's own mistakes and yet make no attempt to correct them, taking a liberal attitude towards oneself. This is an eleventh type.

We could name more. But these eleven are the principal types.

They are all manifestations of liberalism.

Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency.

Liberalism stems from petty-bourgeois selfishness, it places personal interests first and the interests of the revolution second, and this gives rise to ideological, political and organizational liberalism.

People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma. They approve of Marxism, but are not prepared to practice it or to practice it in full; they are not prepared to replace their liberalism by Marxism. These people have their Marxism, but they have their liberalism as well--they talk Marxism but practice liberalism; they apply Marxism to others but liberalism to themselves. They keep both kinds of goods in stock and find a use for each. This is how the minds of certain people work.

Liberalism is a manifestation of opportunism and conflicts fundamentally with Marxism. It is negative and objectively has the effect of helping the enemy; that is why the enemy welcomes its preservation in our midst. Such being its nature, there should be no place for it in the ranks of the revolution.

We must use Marxism, which is positive in spirit, to overcome liberalism, which is negative. A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.

All loyal, honest, active and upright Communists must unite to oppose the liberal tendencies shown by certain people among us, and set them on the right path. This is one of the tasks on our ideological front.

Transcription by the Maoist Documentation Project. HTML revised 2004 by Marxists.org

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

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  • Guest (cigar guy)

    One of my favorite works by Mao. When non-communists categorize my politics as 'liberal', I love it, because it gives me the opportunity to clarify what a liberal really is, and that it has nothing to do with 'left or right', in the conventional sense. Most of my friends know not to call me a liberal, they know I'm a communist.
    Many claim that I love to argue because I don't let things slide. Now, don't get me wrong, I like a good, principled argument. But I don't argue for the sake of arguing. And one thing I won't accept from people (after they bring up a subject) is someone saying things like, 'I didn't mean to start an argument', or, I was just making conversation', or, 'whatever'. Those people are liberals. They want to make a controversial statement (like something out of Fox News), but don't want to get into it because they have no back up to their statement.
    I'm finding that some socialists I'm dealing with are guilty of liberalism in the form of retaliatory statements, the kind that are intended to make themselves look clever, but don't really speak to the issue. This is done to avoid real, principled struggle for unity. One example of this recently, was the day Martin Mcguinness shook the Queen's hand. I was at an ISO bbq (a fundraiser for their Chicago trip to Socialism 2012). A friend of mine, and new ISO member, asked me what I thought of it. So I started by saying that I would rather spit on the queen than shake her hand. I then went on to paraphrase the official position as stated by Gerry Adams that day. I made myself clear that this was Adam's position that I was giving, so as to allow a basis for struggle. Well, the leading comrade from the ISO joined in long enough to say, 'that would be like Ho Chi Minh going to Nixons' birthday party!', and then he walked away, laughing! I continued to attempt to struggle with my friend/comrade, but the tone was set and there was no further discussion.
    First, the leading ISO comrade acted in a sectarian manner. More importantly, whether Sinn Fein's position on the matter was correct or incorrect, it isn't analogous to Viet Nam vs U.S. Viet Nam and the U.S. were at war. There is no longer a war in Northern Ireland, there is in fact a peace agreement. So, the relationships amongst the main players are different. Besides war/no war, Ho and Nixon were heads of states. Neither McGuinness nor the queen of England are heads of states. Also, it is well known that secret meetings were held between the U'S. and Viet Nam during the war, in the interest of ending the war. Likewise, there were secret negotiations between the IRA and England during the 'troubles', in the interest of ending that war. So, Ho might not have gone to Nixon's birthday party, but that is irrelevant to the issue we were discussing. I think avoiding the actual struggle by cutely making a joke, and then walking away laughing, is a form of liberalism.
    I will continue to work with these people because they are the 'only show in town' right now, and they are doing alot of mass work. I also will continue to engage them in principled, communist struggle for unity. Combat liberalism!

  • Guest (Gary)

    The editor begins by noting a "distinctively Maoist meaning of the word 'liberalism'." I might add there are distinct meanings conveyed by the Chinese characters used to convey a western-derived concept that emphasize selfishness, individualism (as an "ism" or ideological construct) that grated on the nerves of the Confucian sort of collective (family/community) values traditionally inculcated in China, or at least parts of China. The word "liberalism" means different things in the U.S. and Britain, so it's not surprising that it have distinctive connotations in China. When I first read this essay at around age 18, my notion of liberalism was support for civil rights, opposition to the Vietnam War... mostly good things. So when I encountered Mao's attack on "liberalism" I was taken aback. Mao says somewhere that we should noy start analyses with definitions, but sometimes we need to define our terms. There are people who would certainly describe me as a "liberal" if only becasue their conception of the politicsl spectrum, based on their consumption of Fox/MSNBC/CCN news is: left/liberal ---- right/conservative. We need to insist on (at least) the recognition of a spectrum that goes way left of "liberal."

  • Guest (thegodlessutopian)

    Would it be correct of me to say that liberalism is when revolutionaries refrain from being direct and opt for indirect statements which confuse the matter and serve to derail the conversation and task at hand?

  • Guest (Carl Davidson)

    I've always liked this essay--but I've also always tempered it with the CCP's--I think from Chou En-lai--approach to united front work with those with whom you are in disagreement: 'Seek common ground, isolate differences, and solve problems one by one.'

    One of the first people I passed this essay on to was a seminarian at the University of Nebraska. He loved it, but saw it as instructive on being a 'good Christian' in dealing with his fellow seminarians. I suppose you can read it in many different ways.

  • Guest (armchairmaoist30)

    I just wish Mao had also written something on diplomacy and tact, because instructions from this thing have gotten me into hot water so many times with friends and family that people walk around me on eggshells. Not exactly the outcome I had in mind.

  • lol. me too.

    but really these are instructions for rocking the boat, not "go along to get along." And they are about taking the road seriously, not "leaving well enough alone."

    I think the questions of tact come in around "mass line" -- listening, crafting presentations to audience, picking your battles are all part of the massline.

  • Guest (Red Rat)

    I doubt that this is specifically Chinese understanding of liberalism; the term was also used in this meaning in Russia.

  • RR writes:

    <blockquote>"....the term was also used in this meaning in Russia."</blockquote>

    This may well be true, though obviously the term was made world famous by the methods of the Chinese revolution, and role that "combat liberalism" played in the "Yenan way."

    During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, "Combat Liberalism" was one of the "five constantly read articles" -- and appeared in a collection of those five articles. It was, in other words, a central text both of the ongoing revolution in China, and also of the internationally forming Maoist world movement.

    The "five constantly read articles" were:
    * <a href="/http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/mswv3_19.htm" rel="nofollow">Serve the People</a> (On basic worldview and stance)
    * <a href="/http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_25.htm" rel="nofollow">In Memory of Norman Bethune</a> (on internationalism)
    * <a href="/http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/mswv3_26.htm" rel="nofollow">The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains</a> (on strategic confidence, in both the communist cause and the masses of people)
    * <a href="/http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_5.htm" rel="nofollow">On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party</a> (on discipline, and a critique of individualism and ultra-democracy)
    * <a href="/http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_03.htm" rel="nofollow">Combat Liberalism</a> (On the importance of a candid and ongoing struggle over ideas and actions)

    As for the origins of the communist use of "liberalism" -- Do you have any citation from Soviet texts?

  • Guest (Tom Burke)

    For Cigar Guy,

    I appreciate your story and the lessons of it, but I think the queen of England is the official head of state? Not just for the UK either I believe. The monarch plays much more of a role in politics than the 1% let on, especially when there is a crisis, at home or in the "colonies". The queen of the 1%.

  • Guest (cigar guy)

    Tom Burke, more like titular head of state. All the real business of State is handled through parliament/Prime Minister. I agree that the queen plays an important role for the 1%, in a celebrity kind of way, but she doesn't make any real decisions. Decisions get made, and sometimes the royals are allowed to announce them, as though they are in charge. But, I think the royals are used as a way to divert the peoples' focus away from the parasytic nature of their 1%.

  • Guest (Tom Burke)

    Hello again Cigar Guy, we are not far apart here. I understand that the Prime Minister is the effective head of state, along with the House of Commons doing day to day business. However, I think the role of the monarchs gets underplayed. The queen is the head of state and the monarchs intervene in crisis periods with much more power than any of the rest of the capitalist class--more power than the completely corrupt and undemocratic House of Lords for instance. Bourgeois rule is a dictatorship of course, but the British form is even more reactionary than other forms. I'm turning this into a political science comparative studies class, but I wonder who wields more power--the figurehead President of France or the queen of England? Who can intervene in the affairs of state more and who actually does? I would bet on the queen, but don't really know.

  • Well, i suspect focusing on power misses the issue: The queen is also the symbol of legitimacy of the state... and of British possession. The elected officials are associated with policy, and are less marked as symbols of the system (and empire) as a whole.

    To bow before the queen is a sign of loyalty, in a way that meeting a prime minister isn't. (I.e. you meet with prime ministers to negotiate and discuss policy.... there is zero reason to meet the queen except to express and display a relationship with the system, the state, and the empire -- precisely because she has only symbolic power.)

    They don't plaster Tony Blair or whoever all over their stamps, or government buildings, but it is the "Queen's Guard" or the "Queen's riflemen" or the Royal Constabulary etc. that marks possession. Within the commonwealth, you may be "independent" but "she is still your queen."

  • Guest (cigar guy)

    Right, Tom Burke, we're not far apart. You're right, when push comes to shove, the bourgeoisie will circle their wagons and pull out all the stops, including using the queen to reign in her 'subjects'. I think Mike E. gave us some clarity on how the roles of elected vs royal govt. play out. i hope you do understand my point in my original comment re struggling with comrades for unity vs liberalism.
    On a side note, I grew up in a 'mixed' family--my father was an immigrant from England, very loyal to the 'Sun never sets on the British Empire', but not a 'royalist'. my mother was Irish. My father would wear orange on St. Patrick's day!! Very contradictory!

  • Guest (Red_Rat)

    Mike, I don't know much about Soviet texts (shame on me), but after googling a bit I've found it. I also knew where to look - of course it was in one of the Stalin's works:

    "Apparently, by no means all Party members clearly realise that between the former Trotskyist Opposition within the C.P.S.U.(B.) and the present Trotskyist anti-Soviet underground organisation outside the C.P.S.U.(B.) there is already an impassable gulf. Yet it is high time to understand and appreciate this obvious truth. Hence the "liberal" attitude that certain Party members sometimes display towards active figures in the Trotskyist underground organisation is absolutely impermissible. All Party members must appreciate this. More, it must be explained to the whole country, to the broad strata of the workers and peasants, that the illegal Trotskyist organisation is an anti-Soviet organisation, an organisation hostile to the proletarian dictatorship"

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1929/x01/x01.htm

  • Guest (Otto)

    I have always been troubled by this, because it looked like a rebuttal of “Let a hundred flowers Bloom.” I think a lot depends on the definition of liberalism. When I first read it, I thought of Archie Bunker and his rightwing narrow-mindedness and thought “Why would Mao want us to be close minded?”
    As with some other friends, I don’t correct always correct people when they call me a liberal because as Gary said:

    ” There are people who would certainly describe me as a “liberal” if only becasue their conception of the politicsl spectrum, based on their consumption of Fox/MSNBC/CCN news is: left/liberal —- right/conservative. We need to insist on (at least) the recognition of a spectrum that goes way left of “liberal.”

    I try to point out that I’m actually a communist, or at least a Marxist when I have the time to explain the difference. But I also don’t want to be associated with the right, which in this area is quite rude, extreme and just plain nasty. For example I’m pro-choice, pro-gay rights, which is associated with liberals and I don’t want people to think I’m against those things.
    There is also the work setting. I used to explain to people that the difference between a democratic socialist and a communist is that the socialist still has his or her job. I don’t want to commit suicide over my politics.

  • Guest (equalize)

    Seems to me that Mao's 'Combat Liberalism' is particularly relevant, for many of us (for sure, for me!) in our work right now.

    The best of the activists that emerged from the (first?) sequence of the occupy movement are seeking to build higher levels of unity in the changed environment. The context of occupy encouraged a kind of direct action oriented unity in which broader questions of theory, ideology and politics were secondary to building comradely solidarity, trust and unity of action. While I think we should have engaged in deeper ideological struggle during the flow of occupy, it was, in the main, good to put the focus on unity of action and building solidarity at that level. Now, in the ebb of occupy, we have a heightened need for unity-struggle-unity to forge higher levels of theoretical, ideological and political unity among the militant activists and to consolidate deeper solidarity in preparation for the next flow.

    Learning to promote ideological struggle, to oppose unprincipled peace, to not let things slide for the sake and peace and friendship and to engage in principled argument with our new comrades is not so easy. It demands breaking with old habits. It demands breaking with comfort zones for many of us. Traditions of liberalism (in the communist / maoist sense) are pervasive through out our society (it is 'impolite' to discuss politics and religion). Many of us, in the occupy action-oriented context, have grown very close in a short time with only superficial engagement of each others deeper views. Many fear engaging in principled unity-struggle-unity because they don't have a clear model of how that can be successfully done and don't really believe it is possible (or in some cases even necessary) and don't want to destroy important friendships.

    Some raise objections to principled ideological struggle to a theoretical level:

    1. Anarchists (as well as liberals -in the U.S. political sense) argue that it is not important. "We should unite on action now - discussion, for example, of how we actually make revolution or what kind of society we need to forge are in the far future, not relevant to our current tasks, and too much focus on that is divisive and has no function".

    2. There is a particular anarchist viewpoint that rejects higher levels of ideological, political and theoretical struggle because, we have such diverse views and, as they see it, it will be impossible to forge those higher levels of unity, so no real good will come out of struggling to do that. This view sees unity of action as the best we can achieve and denies the possibility (or desirability) deeper unity.

    These views are holding us back from enthusiastically engaging in the ideological struggle we need to move us to the next level.

    I think these are key points to engage:

    1. The ideological, theoretical and political struggles are critical. "The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line determines everything." Theoretical development is key ongoing task for revolutionaries. Combating Liberalism, in our current context, seems to me intrinsically associated with grasping the importance of ideological and political struggle.

    2. Theory cannot be relegated to a few 'experts' so that the rest can avoid it. Any activist who neglects theory, ongoing study, and ideological struggle will degenerate and cease to be a revolutionary.

    3. Theory is not academic - it is best engages in the context of the two line struggle, which is rooted in the active struggle for revolution.

    4. Theory is not an act of passive consumption, but of pro-active engagement.

    5. Unity-struggle-unity will forge deeper and more authentic solidarity and unity. We can struggle with each other without disrespecting each other or undermining our friendship. We need to patiently train ourselves and each other and learn to do this.

    6. Unity-struggle-unity involves combating ego, listening deeply, giving room for ourselves and our comrades to transform, humility, and a willingness to let go of coveted positions when we come to understand they are wrong.

  • Guest (thegodlessutopian)

    Before I begin with the study guide I wish to quote, in full, a selection from comrade Mike Ely in which he helps clarify what is meant by “liberal.”

    The use of “liberalism” in Maoist terminology
    Mao’s quote comes from his famous 1937 essay “Combat liberalism” — which is an essay about avoiding and papering over conflicts and disagreements among communists (and among the people). It is an essay about truth-telling, candor and honesty when dealing with problems. The “liberalism” Mao criticizes is a practice of favoritism toward old associates, avoiding conflict, etc.
    It is a distinctive use of the word “liberal” and (in this Maoist context) means a kind of “hands off” policy toward mistakes going on around us. And it has been a widely used guideline for principled interactions over politics and ideas among communists.

    Please keep this in mind while reading the study guide, thank you.

    ~ ~ ~

    Q1: Why do Maoists stand for active ideological struggle?

    A1: Communists stand for active ideological struggle because it is a tool for ensuring unity within both the Party and the revolutionary organizations of the masses. To battle the incorrect ideas of the counterrevolutionaries in a direct manner, to eliminate all threats to the revolution is to mean upholding the ideology of communism.

    Q2: What does Liberalism stand for?

    A2: Liberalism stands for unprincipled peace. This means a peace which rests on revolutionary ideas being push to the wayside and reactionary ideas sharing the light along with no hostility from revolutionary ones.

    Q3: Why is avoiding conflict with another person based on their history towards you a sign of liberalism?

    A3: When an individual within a revolutionary organization “does wrong” and one does not engage the other person in “principled debate” for sake of knowing them is liberalism because only through in maintaining Party purity will genuine revolutionary transformation of society be possible. If Liberal ideas are allowed to seep in than revolutionary thought will be muddled and revised thus societal transformation will be prevented.

    Q4: Why is “showing no regard for the principals of collective life” a sign of liberalism?

    A4: Gossiping behind peoples’ backs, avoiding discussion while at meetings, and privately criticizing instead of openly suggestions ideas in the open are signs of liberalism because one refuses to acknowledge the unique demands of communal life. These actions are what bourgeois organizations thrive on and as such have no place within communist organizations. Embracing these ideas means rejecting the advancement of society through collectivization.

    Q5: Why is remaining silent when you know the problem a sign of liberalism?

    A5: Refusing to contribute towards the collective organization when you have knowledge to give and to be “worldly wise” yet seek to “play it safe” is a show of liberalism because a revolutionary organization can only advance forward with all the members being active participants. If one understands a situation yet does not contribute they are sabotaging the revolution by hampering progress.

    Q6: Why is “demanding special consideration from the organization yet rejecting their discipline” a show of liberalism?

    A6: Refusing to obey orders and to demand special attention is a show of liberalism because it promotes ultra-individualism. It weakens the revolutionary collective and fosters a “great man theory” attitude; it is, above all, a vain play on the member’s part to demand consideration for their efforts when others in the organization have performed the same tasks while expecting nothing in return. In this situation one can see other Party members adhering to discipline in the form of not demanding recognition of their achievements. One can see the lack of discipline, and the embrace of liberalism, by the want for acknowledgement.

    Q7: Why is “indulging in personal attacks… instead of entering into an argument against incorrect ideas” a show of liberalism?

    A7: Resorting to personal venting in-place of entering into a structured principled argument is liberalism because only through the battling of incorrect ideas can progress be made. If one does not confront incorrect ideas for the sake of remaining on schedule on a delegated task than ultimately the whole suffers as the whole is than inflicted with non-revolutionary ideas.

    Q8: Why is “hearing counterrevolutionary ideas without reporting them” a show of liberalism?

    A8: Counterrevolutionary ideas weaken the whole organization as they are, by their very nature, harmful to the revolutionary ideas of the Party. Not reporting such thoughts when they are discovered means allowing destructive ideas to corrupt other members. This, in turn, slows progress on the construction of a revolutionary society and Party.

    Q9: Why is “being among the masses… and forgetting that one is a communist” a show of liberalism?

    A9: If a Party member is among the masses and refuses to conduct Party activities (propaganda, agitation, speaking, etc) he is displaying signs of liberalism because he is not radicalizing the masses. If masses are not radicalized then the revolutionary transformation of society into a communist one will never be possible. Failing to conduct this work thus hampers this transformation and prevents progress.

    Q10: Why is refusing to stop someone when they are harming the interests of the masses a show of liberalism?

    A10: Not reasoning with or not preventing individuals who have interests antithetical to those of the masses is liberalism because as a revolutionary communist one is supposed to always have the interests of the masses at heart. By allowing people who attack the masses free reign to agitate, one is effectively hampering the transformation of society into a progressive state. Such is contrary to communist thought.

    Q11: Why is “To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction” a show of liberalism?
    A11: To work without an understanding of the destination or result is a show of liberalism because it wastes resources of the collective. In order to promote the growth of a revolutionary society all of its resources must be used responsibly. Expending resources on a project whose aim is not definite only serves to hamper the transformation of society. It weakens the Party by wasting precious materials on useless projects.

    Q12: Why is “to be slipshod in work and slack in study” a show of liberalism?

    A12: To believe that one’s own contributions of thus negated the need to further improve one’s self by diligently studying relevant texts is a show of liberalism because it prevents the revolutionary whole (the Party) at developing into a well-honed machine. Any competent organization is only as strong as their members of willing to disregard their self and throw themselves completely into the struggle. This means educating one’s self on revolutionary theory. Believing that one’s past actions as a veteran have great bearings on the current struggle weakens the whole through idealist day dreaming.

    Q13: Why are being aware of your own mistakes yet not taking any actions to correct them a show of liberalism?

    A13: Participation within a revolutionary collective means always improving one’s self in hopes of also improving the party by extension. If one knows and understands the faults present within and yet takes no corrective course, they are showing signs of liberalism in their continuation of the degradation of the Party. With each mistake made the whole suffers. Within this understanding lies the reasoning that continuation of this course will only lead to more structural imbalance of the party.

    Q14: Where does liberalism stem from?

    A14: As Mao said, “Liberalism stems from petty-bourgeois selfishness” thus it stems from the ideas of counterrevolutionaries, from capitalists. The end result of this is that organizational, political, and ideological purity of the Party is lost.

    Q15: How do people who identify as liberal see Marxism?

    A15: People who see Marxism through a liberal mindset view Marxism as abstract dogma. They generally approve of Marxism yet are not ready to apply it towards their own lives. Instead they keep ample supplies of both liberalism and Marxism; for this they each have a use- Marxism they apply towards the masses while liberalism they apply towards themselves.

    Q16: Why do counterrevolutionaries welcome liberalism within the communists’ ranks?

    A16: The enemies of the revolution approve of liberalism within communist organizations because it is the manifestation of opportunism. Liberalism weakens the revolutionary Party and makes the whole more vulnerable towards reactionary attacks.

    Q17: How should a communist act in relation towards liberalism?

    A17: A communist should work to overcome liberalism and by using Marxism. Being active and placing the revolution above one’s self and waging a tireless struggle against incorrect ideas, is the only manner for a Party member to behave.