One of the most arresting aspects of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has been the confrontation between Mao Tse-tung (or the Maoist group) and the Chinese Communist party. There is, to be sure, an area of vagueness and uncertainty concerning this whole matter. Have the Maoists attacked the party as such? What indeed is the party as such? The party may be conceived of as the sum total of its actual members—of its human composition. It may be conceived of in terms of its organizational structure—its “constitution,” rules, and established mechanisms. To any genuine Marxist-Leninist, it is, of course, more than its cells and anatomy. It is a metaphysical organism which is more than the sum of its parts. The “soul” of this collective entity incarnates all those intellectual and moral capacities which Marx had attributed to the industrial proletariat.
Now there can be no doubt whatsoever that the Maoists have carried out a frontal assault on the human apparatus on the highest the middle, and perhaps even the basic levels of party organization, at least in urban areas. There is also considerable evidence that party structures and mechanisms are in a shambles and that even where they survi...
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