Mao Tse-tung^s Contribution to Theory and Tactics of Resolution
IN HIS NOTE under the same title in Social Scientist 50 (September 1976) E M S Namboodiripad has taken pains to suggest that ^Mao did not have to work out (as Lenin had to) the theory and tactics of proletarian revolution in the world as a whole and in a new epoch of human history. His was the more modest task of applying the theory and tactics of proletarian revolution worked out by the Communist International to the specific conditions of China.'9 Therefore, says E M S, it is not fair to compare Mao's ^services to the Chinese revolution with the monumental wnk turned out by Lenin." (Emphasis added.) Yet, through his note E M S draws continued comparison and contrast of Mao with Lenin and Stalin. Indeed he wishes that Mao's stature be redrawn to the Chinese scale.
We wonder why E M S takes up such a crude and irrelevant comparative approach when he himself admits that ^the Chinese revolution...provides an exceedingly rewarding lesson for all Marxist-Leninists^ particularly in Asia and Africa where conditions are approximately the same." The crucial importance of an agrarian revolution in backward countries was indeed emphasized by the Comintcrn. But Mao was undoubtedly the pioneer to work out a model through unflinching creative practice, even against occasional contrary advice from the highest levels of international communist leadership.
Further, while we still have no adequate data for a full appraisal of the Chinese cultural revolution, it would not be appropriate only to focus on its reported excesses and distortions. Mao had enough vision and courage to experiment with the idea of a permanent cultural revolution in China, in order to make the path to communism safe and sure with the experience so gathered. This is surely not a modest task on charted lines, nor one to benefit China alone. Chinese experience of the cultural revolution has shown that this is possible without the new society being broken up. Though shaken to its bones more than once, the Chinese society has in fact emerged from the cultural revolution stronger and more confident.