[R-G] About existing " socialist cuntires
miyachi9 at gctv.ne.jp
Thu Mar 7 01:06:47 MST 2002
There are many debate about market socialism, economic characater of
cuba,evaluation of Roemer,etc.
We(BUND a faction of new left)already defined current world as "
Transitional world which included to define existing "socialist,or communist
contry as transitional contry toward socialism,and capitalist contries as
credit capitalcountiries which become to contradict itself toward
association society, so, our definition was not to recognize any socialist
Below is published inj 1978 in order to summerize critique of USSR& China
party. It can go under current situaiton
KOMAKI MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL
miyachi9 at gctv.ne.jp
study of the criticism against the “ gang of the Four” by the Chinese
A; criticism by Wu Lien
The china-Soviet dispute can be traced back to the 20th convention pf the
CPSU in 1956,but it did not become public untill 1963. The CCP formed a
different view on distribution acording to labor from tha of the CPSU in the
rocess of faction struggle with the CPSU about their termination of
socialistic reform by enlargement of pepole’s communes.
This unique view has much to do with the problem whether there are classes
and class struggle, whether there is a need for proletarian dictorship in a
socialist society, and particularly in China whether socialism is a reality
in present Soviet or Chinese society.
Wu Lien’s artic;e which was published inj 1960 in “ the study of
economics; no.5” defines socialist society as a transitional society from
the view-point that in a scoalist society there are classes, “two roads”,
and a need for the power of tge proletarian dictorship.
Wu Lien argue thqat the whole process of transformation from a capitalist
society to a higher stage of communist society is the transitional period
and, therefore, so is the socialist society which is the first stage of
communism,(Wu Lien does not emphasize the necessity of the proletariat
dictorship. The CCP came to emphasize its necessity after the CPSU declared
the dissolution of the proletarian dictorship and the establishment of
“ the whole people’s state” at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU in October,
961), Wu Lien’s argument confronted the revisionist nature of Khrushchev’s
policy in the 20th Congress of the CPSU where the general move from a
socialist society to a higher state of communism was discussed, and it
became a weapon of criticism against the dissolution of the proletarian
dictorship at the 22nd Congress.
Wu Lien’s understanding on distribution accroding to labor is, however,
based on a subjective interpretation of “ the birth-marks of the old scoety”
and “ bourgeois right” described in “ Critique of the Gotha Programme”.
The criticism by the CCP in the China-Soviet is politically correct, but
some subjective interpretation in it should be corrected.
In “Critique of the Gotha Programme”, Marx’s description of socialist
society states that it is “......still stamped with the birthmarks of the
old society from whose womb it emerges "
Wo Lien in turn, depicts "the birth-marks ofn the old scociety" as
『 This remnant of the old society appears in every aspect of the
socialisy production relationship. First, in the field of possession of
production means ,althoguh economic ownership by all the people has done
away with bourgeois right in ralation to production means,due to the
influence of the socialist material interest principle , there is an
incentive wage system in national coroporations, in which a small portion of
the profits is used fro the welfare of a group of employee ot individulals,
and here a bourgoies right is retained. At th same tome ,ata certaion stage
of socialism i.e. at an unddeceloped stage, there are two types of joint
ownership-economic ownership by all th4 people and socialist collective
owbership. Socialist collective ownersgip is what negates private ownership,
and there production means are basically public-owned and no exploitation is
allowed..... Collective ownership is ,however , a transitional forms of
economy from private possession to economic ownership by all the people, and
when compared to economic ownership by all the people , it has quite a few
remnents and traces of private ownership. This is because members of a
commune still have their own holdings of land and their tools-avocations.
Collecitive economy itself still has traces of private ownership. That is,
in collective ownership common property is still low and its scope is
limited. Here again a bourgoris right has been retained.
Secondaly, in human relationships n the process of labor, there is
basically no antagonism between people, but it is impossible to sweep away
all the influences of the old customs, to establish communistic equal
relationships ovetnight, and there is also a diffrence between industry and
agriculture, between a city and a framing village, between manual labor and
brain labor. Due to this diffrenece, whereas socialist distribution has
become common distirubution under collective production, distribution of
personal comsumer goods is still based on the scale of quantity of labor
given by each worker, and still embodies the principle of equivalent
exchange; here again a bourgoeis tight is retained.』
As quoted above, Wu Lien cites three exapmles of " the birth-marks of the
old society" in socialist society and calls them " bourgeis rights". The
first one is the incentive wage system in national corporations distributing
their profits. The secomd one is holdings of land or lack of common
property in the collective ownership economy. The third one is distribution
The first and second ones are no other than traces of the old society
present in today's China, but distirubution according to labor defined by
marx has not yet been realized either in the USSR or Chin. Hence, to regard
these three indiscirimately as traces of bourgeois right is cunfusing.,
The confusuin is based on the fact that Wu Lien grasp the present Chinese
society as that of the first stage of vommunism. As a result, traces of the
old society in today's China are understood as " the birth-marks of the old
society" in the socialist society as the as the first stage of communism,
and, in the field of distribution, what is in practice a wage system is
difined as distribution according to labor.
This confusion lead Wu Lien to come to state as follows;
『 As we undserstand, the bourgoeis right is in its fulll sense private
ownership, that is, ownership pf vommodities.』
In his "Critique of the Gotha Programme, describing distribution in the
first stage of of comminism, Marx points out, " In the cooperative society
based on common ownership of the means of production, a pruducer does not
exchage his product" Accrodingly, it is evident that the socialist society
in Marx's mind is not a society like today's USSR ot China where the
exchange of commodities still exists. Distribution accroding to labor in a
society where commodity exchange is extinct is defined as " a bourgeois
right in principle"(ibd,) because " when personal consumption means are
distributed amonf individual producers, the ruling principle is the same as
that of exchange of equivalent value-one from of labor is exchanged for
another form of labor of the same value,"(ibid)
In short, didtribution according to labor is ruled by the same law that
rules the exchange of commodities, and a right in this distribution is
"accompanied by a bourgoeis limiation," This is why Marx called it " the
birth-marks of the old society" and a " bourgoeis right"
Distirubition accroding to labor is , therefore, comletely different from
the wage system in the USSR ot China under which a worker is ranked
acccording to the quantity of his labor and by the money he receives with
which he purchases from the state materials for consumption as commodities.
As Wu Lien grasped the wage systems of China as distribution accroding to
labor, he took bouegoeis right for ownership of commodities, and by so
doing, he took Marx's " the birth-marks of the old society" for remnants of
the old society of China , exchange of commodities and profits.
Distribution according to labor was also taken for a remnant of the old
society in China.
『 Distiribution in a socialsit society is , on the one hand, common
distribution under communist collective production. Each worker must work
for the society according his ability; and all the products belongs to the
worker as a whole, are distrubited collectively and systematically. A part
of ther products( sueplus pruducts) is distributed accroding to the needs of
the society. All thse poits i sovialist distribution are communist elements.
On the other hand, considering the fact consumer goods are distributed by
the measure of labor, the principle of equivalent exchange still persists,
and it is not a characteristic of socialism but a trace of bourgeois right.』
The above is Wu Lien's staemnet concerning bourgeois right. He
undetstands that, in socialsit distribution, collective and systematic
distribution, and distribution according to the needs of the sociey are
communist elements, but that distribution of oersonal consumption materials
according to labor, and call the former communist. BUt his theory perverts
the meaning " accroding to needs " in a higher stage of communist society.
It is not what co-exists with distribution according to labor, but what is
far beyond it.
Nevertheless, it must be seen that Wu lien's view reflects the
distribution policy of the CCP in the transitional period. He describs the
wage policy of China as follows;
『In a wage system , the polivy is yo emphasize payment by the hour
rather than a piece wage and to increase the welfare of the groups.
Besides this, in farming villages distribution is done by the
vombination of a wage system which is mainly a recompence according to labor
and a rationing system which is distribution according to thr needs in
embryo.. These systems have already in part broken the frame of bougeois
right, and with the development of pruduction and the awakening of the
people and the public, will break it up further.』
Wu Lien regards the wage system as distribution to labor and the
rationing system as that according tyo need in the present Chinese
distribution system. And he suggests that to increase the latter is to break
the bourgeois right.
As was discussed beforem though the wage system in the transitiona period
is essentially diffrent from wage slavery in a capitalisy society. it is
based on the economic development stage where there exists commodity
production and vairous kinds of labor forces can be produced by giving s
worker a different amount of material for comsumption . Therefore, what part
is by rationing and what part by wage is dicided by various conditions of
production, and the Chinese rationing system is no longer than a part of
wage system. Distribution according to labor will be realized in a future
stage of economic developmet when the repoduction ability of various facets
of the labor forve will decide the amount of consumer goods for each worker,
and it will mean the extinction of the wage system. Even if there is a
difference in the amount of consumer goos, it will not brought about by th
economic need to ensure a variety in tje labor force.
The reason Wu Lien reprsented the ruling opinion of the CCP is that in the
transitional period the Chinese economy to a large extent was not modernized
in the field of industry and agriculture, and it was a historical period
when most of the producers were of about equal quality as the labor force.
B Yao-yuan's point of view
In "The Social Basis for Lin Piao's Anti-party Group"(Pekin weekly, no,11
1975), Yao Wen-yuan states " the exisistence of bourgeois right is an
important economic basis for producing new bourgeois elements" and
elabarates as follows;
『In a socialist society, there still are two types of joint
ownership-economic ownership by all the people and socialist collective
ownership. Due to this, what we have is the commodity system. Both the
analyses of Lenin and Chairman Mao tell us tjat bourgeois rights which
inevitably exists in the fields of distribution and exchage must be
restricted under the prolrtarian dictorship, and that ny so doing we must
reduce the three main diffrences and class differences, and must endeavor to
create material and spiritual conditions for tjem in the long process of the
Yao Wen-yuan regards the remnants of the old society in socialism as the
"commodity system" and it follows that bourgeois rights in the field of
ditribution and exchange is an inevitable result of existing " commodity
system". He shares the idea with Wu Lien that ther remnant of the old
society in present China are bourgeois rights, but he takes a more radical
view about restricting them.
This radical view is the result of the China-Soviet dispute. While the CPSU
maintain at the 22nd Congress that the Soviet Union had established the
first stage of communism and there was no longer a need for the prolertarian
dictorship, and that it has become the whole people's state, the CCP argued
that the proletarian dictorship needed to exist in the whole process from a
capitalist sovieity to a higher stage of communist society and that there is
class struggle between bourgeois and proletariat in a socialist society.
The CCP tightly exposed Khrushchev's revisionism by manintaining that "
every socialist country should hold fast to the proletarian dictorship"( The
dispute of General road in the International Cummunist Movement). It did not
,however succeed sufficietly with a theoretical critisism og Khrushchev's
What the CCP sould have criticized is Khrushchv's claim that the USSR has
realized socialim. The USSR has not yet established a socialist society, but
still is in the transitional period from capitalism to ther first stage of
socialism,.and there is , therefore, the need for proletarian dictorship.
The CCP, however ,criticized Khrushvhev from the standpoint that the
proletarian dictotship souid exist in socialism, and thus brought about
confusion and revision in the communist theory of Marx-Leninism.
The CCP, in claimimg the necessity of class struggles between the
bourgeois and proletariat in a socialsit society, needed to clalify the
ground for the the appearance of a bourgoies class in the production
relationship of a socialist society which had been presented by Marx. And it
found the ground in bourgeois rights-the birth-marks of th old society.
Wu Lien thouht it was impossible to elimminate bourgoeis rights, and he
expected that ny invreasing distribution according yo need, it would be
possible to realize the transtion to a higher stage of communism.
Yao-Wen-yuan, on the other hand, interpreted bourgoies right as elements and
, therefore, they should be restricted. He describes th eappearnce of
vourgeios element as follows;
『 A minority controls goods and money through certain legal routes of
distribution and through many illegal routes. This " material stimulation"
will induce the capitalist to think of money making and prifrit earning, tje
possibility pf converting public property to private ownership, speculation.
corruption. theft, and bribery,
The princple of caitalist commodity exchage will invade political life
and intra-party life, and the planned economy of socialism will collapse.
Capitalist exploitation by converting commodities and money into capital and
making labor power commoditiesw will appear , and in departments and unites
in which revisionism is practiced, the character of ownership will change
and the state of suppressing and exploiting the working people will reapear.
As the result, from among patry members, workers, rich farmers, and
bureaucrats of governmental organization, will appear a few bourgeois
elements and upstarts who will betray the proletarian class and working』
This phenomena is what is happening in present chinese society and is
what is inevitable in the transitional period. The partty must fight against
these bourgeiois elements with the proletarian dictorship. What Yao-Wen-yuan
describes is this struggle, but he does not undetstand that this is normal
in the transitional period from capitalism to the first stage of communism,
and thus he takes it for class struggle against the bourgeios elements as
the struggle against bourgeois rights which will exist in a future socialist
Yao Wen-Yuan developed Wu Lien's theory, but they boyj still share a
common misunderstanding. What they defined as distribution accroding to
labor is in reality the wage system pf the transitional period. The wage
system is inevitable in a proletarian dictorship state such as China where
modernizaition of industry and agriculture is necessary, and the differences
expressed in the system are determined by ecnomic neeed to obtain a variety
in the labor force, It is incorrect to regard " materialistic interest" as a
socialist element as Khrushchev did, but it is nesessary to from material
pre-conditions to aid in developimg socialistic elements.
As Yao-Wen-yuan did, tomregard the wage system as distribution accroding
to labor and to ngate " materialistic interest" in the name of restrivting
bourgeois right will negate the economic elements nesesary for formimg the
material preconditions of the development of socialist elements, and will
,thus, be against the economic development of ht society in the transitional
period. The Chinese theory of class sturggle played a definite role in
criticizing Khrushchev's revsionism, but with its limited revision of
Marx-Leninism, it failed to combine the economic development of socialist
elements. This was expressed politically the dawonfal of the " Gang of the
B. The conversion in China
1. critisism of the " Gang of the Four" in compliance eith the " Four
The new interpretation of distribution according to labor by the CCP
was published in Pekin Weekly(no,7 and no.31.1978)
In no.7, Li pang-lin interpterets bourgeois rights as stated by Marx in
his " Critique of the Gotha Programme as follows;
『 that it indicates only the exchange of equivalent labor is clear. In
a capitalist society, evrything is commodity and exchange of commodity is
ruled by the exchange of equinalent labor. In a socialist society, too,
distribution of material for personal consumption is ruled by the same
principle. Marx described it only from this point as bourgeois rights in
In this interpretation, Li Pang-lin critisizes the claim by the " gang of
the four" that " bourgeois right(i.e.. distribution according to labor) is
the way to pruduce the bourgeois class"
Yao Wen-yuan grasped bourgeois right not only in didtribution according to
kabor, but also in the commodity system inj general, but Li-Oang-lin
disregards this and concentrates on proving that bourgeois rights in distrib
ution according tyo labor does not produce bourgeois elements.
Li-Oang-lin maintains that bourgeois elements in a socialsit society are "
not produced by distribution according to labot, but they appear through
speculation, corruption, and theft or by speculation on collevtive ort or
oersonal property through various illegal privileges" In oppsition yo the
view that bourgeois elements are pruduced by saving a part of the wage and
speculating with it as capital. LI objects by stating that" speculation with
wages saved can not be blamed on the principle of distribution according to
labor" He concludes that the " economic system od socialsm, distruibution
according to labor,is not absolutely not the ground for the pruducing
In an article in the Peking-Weekly(no.31), a reviewer of the People's
Daily further develops Li-Pang- lin's view. He first states the influence
of the " Gang of thr Four" as follows;
『 They caused great confusion by falsely maintaining that distribution
according to labor is theoretically " practice revisionism" and " to
resurrect capitalism" Due to their accusation some of our comrades
questioned whether it is necessary to practice distribution according to
labor in the period of socialsm. Im the field of practice, the "Gang of the
Four " tried to distube and destory the prectice of distribution according
to labor. And they evene tried to negate all the efficiency wages and
material incentives and also time wages.』
It is very clear what the opposition around the distiribution according to
labor was. It was whether to introduce efficiency wages and material
incentives. The "Gang of the Four" were against them from the point of
restricting bourgeois rights and the review's article defend them on the
ground that bourgeois rights do not produce bourgeois elements.
The reviewer's article gives a new interpretation yo the " Critique of the
Gotha Programme" and criticizes the view od the " Gang og the Four". He
gives a frank oplinion about the characteristics of the lower stages of a
communist society and the acheivements of real Chinese society.
He first confrims that " In the first stage pf a communist society in
Marx's ideal, there will no longer be commodity production and exchange
through money" and then critisize the " Gang of the Four" by stating that"
nobody can say that there still exists a bourgeois class or capitalism in
such a society"
He describes the oresent development stage of Cinese society and the
ground for the appearance of bourgeois elements in it as follows;
『Our oresent society, of course, has not reached the first stage of
communism depicted by Marc. This is due to to the fact that we still have
commodity production and exchange throutgh money in our society, and also
there are classes and class struggle,and newly born bourgeois and capitalist
elements, But this fact does not strengthen the logic of the " Gang of the
Four". This is because, first, though out present society has not reached
the first stage of communism,. this fact does not imply that the socialist
principle of distribution according to labor is capitalistic. Secondly, in
our present society there exists newly-born bourgoeois elements and
capitalistic factors, but they do not appear from socialistic pruduction
relationship,nor from the socialistic princple of distribution according to
labor, Thet have emerged from the destruction of th socialistic production
and distribution accordinf to labor(ibd) 』
The reviewer's articlehas drastically changed ther Chinese socialist theory
which had been consistent since Wu Lien's article. CCP's socialist theory
since Wu Lien has been to difene real Chinese society as that of socialismn,
to regard the remnants of old society there as the bouegois rights described
in the "Critique of the Gotha Programme" and, by so doing, tyo justify the
existence of bouegeois rights aned clasds sturuggle in a socialist society.
Acccoridngly, Marx's assupmtion that a socialist society has no commodity
production or class has been negated. The reviewer's
article,however,accepts Marx's assumption and admits that chinese society
has not regarded this level i.e. socialist society.
Theoretically, The CCP'S thoery of socialism since Wu Lien's is wrong and
the reviewer's article is correct. But the latter neglects the fact that
the former had benn formed through the sturggle against Khrushchev's
revisionism and had played the part of a weapon in ther factional struggle
against revisonism, and , therefore, it can not rightly summarize previous
theorie of socialism. As a result, the reviewr's article is not different
from the revisionist thoery.
On the top of that, there is a decisively important confusing point in
the article. If the reviewer admits that in Marx's assumtion that commdity
production and classes are extinct in a socialist society and that Chinese
society has not reached that development stage yet, it is a contradiction to
claim that distrubution according to labor is practiced in present Chinese
society which Marx applied to the production relationship in the first
stage of communism. If he tried to stand completely on Marx'S theory, he
should state that distribution accroding to labor has not been realiazed in
China and sitll is a goal to attain. And this ambiguity is the reason for
its unconvincing criticism of the " Gang pf the Four" and its vague
difference from revisionism.
If the reviewer states that distribution accoring to labor has bee
realized in China and deducts " materalistic interest" from this
distribuition principle, it is the same as Khrushchev's revisionism. In
present China, it is necessary to organiaze " materialistic interst" anf to
maintain certain wage differences. But this necessity does not come from
distrubution according to labor. It is necessqary to realize, in the
transitional period, that modermizaition of industry and agriculture is
needed for the development toward a socialist society. The necessity to
organize " materialistic interest" is determined by economic need for
modernizaiton and for the increase of labor producctivity. It depend on the
CCP's plolicy whether this modernizaition and the increase of labor
productivity willbe utilized for the development of socialistic elements. If
it deduces this economic nedd from the principle of distrubution according
to labor and claims it to be a socialistic element, the CCP,like the
XPSU,can not develop socialistic ekements through modernizaition and
increase of labor activity.
C.criticism of tevisionism in the new policy
As marx states" at all times, distribution of consumer goods is merely
trhe resultof division of production conditions rhemselves"( Critique of the
Gotha Programme). Accrodingly, it is incorrect to organize the communist
movement by means of the distribution problem. When we evaluate the
societies of Russsia and China today, however, the analysis of distribution
of consumer goods is useful in that it throws light on the reality of
division of production conditions. In these state-owned economies, what
determines the character of a socieity is the relationhsip betweeen the
state which owns the production means and the immediate producer, and this
relationhsip and the policies of the party regulates each other.
The party which leads the class sturggle in the transitional period
need to recognize accurately the economic laws of the state-owned economy of
the transitional period and the practice of the party and of the
proletariat. This task is fulfilled when it bases itself on Marx-Leninism
and summarises the prectice of the party and the proletariat correcyly.
Stalin looked on nationalizaition of produciton means in industry and
ther formation of collective ownership in agriculture as completion of
socialist reformation in ownership, and prescribed that the USSR had reached
the first stage of communism. Due to this definition, he was forced to come
up with a new theory that allowed commodity production and value law in a
socialist society, and thus he revised the Marx's view of communist society.
Stalin's revision was enlarged further by Khrushchev, and it became a
tool to claim that bourgeois elements in USSR society were commmunistic
We have endevoured to expose Stalin's and Khrusgchev's revisonism on
distribution according to labor by claryfying the change of the CPSU's
dfefinition about the wage system in the USSR. This revisionism turns black
into wite inj every field of USSR society, by giving the name " all the
people's state" to the bourgeois character of the USSR state which oppress
the proletariat and ethnic groups, and beutifies the economic slavery of the
pruducers who are alienated from co-ownership of the state-owned production
means through the deteriration of the party and the state as " socialistic
The CCP criticized Khrushcheve's revisionisim and claimed that there
still would be remnants of the old society after socialistic reform of
ownership and that there would be class struggle between bourgeois and
proletariat in a socialist society and therefore there was a need for thr
dictorship of the proletarian. This claim was further developed in thr
process of the Great Cutltural Revolution as a criticisim against Liu
Shao-Chi plolicy.; we can't attain complete victory of socialism only by
socialist reformation of production means ownership.,but we must struggle
against bourgeios remnants in human relationships and in the field of
However. state ownership and collective ownership of production means
is the starting point of socialist ownership, and not the completion ofn
The CCP rightly insisted on the struggle against bourgeois remnants in
human relationships and in the field of disdtribution, but it coud not
accept the limits of Stalin'S doctrine which regarded state-and-collective
ownership as the completion of socialist ownership. When the " Gang og the
Four" criticized the " Four modernizaiton and insisted on the "
restricttion of bourgeois rights", that is in reality, impartialism, thet
based it on the view that socialistic reformation in human relationships and
in the field of distribution.. The CCP has advocated the " Four
modernizaition" after the downfall of the " Gang of the Four", but cannnot
tightly criticize their errors and thus tends to be revisionistic. In
order to develop socialistic elements through the " Four Nodernization",the
CCP needs to criticize Stalin's doctrine of socialism, and must ovetcome its
own limitations that criticism against Khrushchec by the CCP, especially
Mao Tse-tong,has been based on Stalin's doctrine.
Natioanlizaition and collective ownership does not mean the completion of
socialistic reform of ownership. Socialistic ownership is nothing else than
common ownership pf producers, and state and collective ownership is what
must be further reformed toward this. In China, the " Four
Modernizaitions " and the development of production power based on them is
the premise of htis further reformation. The " Gang of the Four" could not
grasp correctly the role of production power, because they clung to to the
dogma that the reform of ownership had been completed, and by doing so they
confined productionpower within the frame of the state and collective
In order to reform this ownership in the direction of common ownership of
producers, there must be the material premise of the " Four Modernizaition"
and the development of production power, and there needs to be communist
policies of the party.
After the downfall of the " Gang of the Four", the economic development
stage of China made it necessary for the CCP to adopt " material interest"
in order to realize the "Four Modernizaition". But it is revisonism to
derive this " material interest" from the socialist principle of
disdtribution according to labor and to define it as a socialst element.
This revisionism must be severely criticized.
Whether the " Four Modernizaiton" lead sto the development of socialstic
element or to the resurrection of capitalist element the CCP, to take the
first step. must criticize Stalin's doctrine of socialism, recover that of
Marxism and conquer the Stalinistic limitation of Maoism.
More information about the Rad-Green