Skip to main content

To Mao, people's health was prerequisite for class struggle to "neutralise" the right

By Sheshu Babu*
Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 - September 9, 1976) has been criticized for his policies, particularly by western media and writers. However, there is also the view that his philosophy contains human values, too, which are valuable to people. One of the most cited quotation by Mao in this context is his speech at Peking in 1957, where he said, “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the science and a flourishing socialist culture in the land" (www.phrases.org.uk).
This may appear to reveal his idea of welcoming criticism and freedom of expression.However, there is also a perception that he was intolerant towards right wingers and their ideas. 
This is reflected in Samir Amin’s article, “China 2013”, (monthlyreview.org, March 1, 2013,):
“Mao formulated and implemented a general principle for the political management of the new China that he summarized in these terms: rally the left, neutralize (I must add: and not eliminate) the right, govern from the centre-left. In my opinion, this is the best way to conceive of an effective manner for moving through successive advances, understood and supported by the great majority.” Samir adds:
“In this way, Mao gave a positive content to the concept of democratization of society combined with social progress on the long road to socialism. He formulated the method for implementing this: 'the mass line' (go down into the masses, learn their struggles, go back to the summits of power)... The 'mass line' was the means for producing consensus on successive, constantly progressing strategic objectives..." To combat the rightist tendencies in the party, Mao gave the slogan 'bombard the headquarters'. Mao said, “It is only when there is class struggle that there can be philosophy. It is a waste of time to discuss epistemology apart from practice” (“Talk on question of philosophy”, August 18, 1964, selected works, marxist.org). In fact, he advised comrades who study philosophy that they must go down to the countryside to participate in class struggles.
The three basic constituents of Marxism, Mao believed, are scientific socialism, philosophy and political economy which Lenin elaborated in 'The Three Sources and The Three Component Parts of Marxism’. At the same time, he acquired knowledge from Confucius, Kant and others. The real content of philosophy, in his view, is in mass struggles.
Seeking to link health of the people with class struggle, Mao tried to show concern about the health of people, chiding intellectuals who eat and dress well without any exercise. He believed, they should learn about class struggle and revolution by going and living with the people who work hard daily. In his view, it is important to acquire physical strength to face enemies (“A Study of Physical Education”, April 1917, Collected Works).
Mao's philosophy is universal love and welfare of the people also had an element of class struggle. In the concluding speech 'Be Concerned With The Well- Being of The Masses: Pay Attention to Methods of Work”, (January 27, 1934) he emphasised on the mobilisation of masses to overthrow imperialism to work for the well being of masses.
"If we want to win, we must do a great deal more: We must lead the peasants' struggle for land and distribute land to them, heighten their labour enthusiasm and increase agricultural production, safeguard the interest of workers, establish cooperatives, develop trade with outside areas and solve problems facing the masses – food shelter and clothing fuel, rice, cooking oil and salt, sickness and hygiene and marriage. In shots, all the practical problems in the masses' everyday life should claim our attention..." (“Be Concerned With The Well-Being of Masses”).
If these problems are attended, the masses will truly rally around the leaders and participate in revolution, he believed.
---
*The writer from anywhere and everywhere

Comments

Farooque Chowdhury said…
Thanks to Sheshu Babu for the article. Keep up the spirit. Farooque Chowdhury

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.