home Featured, Politics ‘On the correct handling of contradictions among the people’ – lessons from Mao Zedong

‘On the correct handling of contradictions among the people’ – lessons from Mao Zedong

By BO Staff Writer

While many of us are able to identify a counter revolutionary current and those driving it, we are not capacitated to deal with this phenomena. Moreover, we are often unable to differentiate between the contradictions that exist between the oppressed people and the enemy, and; the contradictions that prevail between the people. Mao Zedong assists us to understand how these various contradictions should be addressed. His immortal contribution “on the correct handling of contradictions among the people” is most instructive here. The following extract is noteworthy:

“The question of suppressing counterrevolutionaries is one of a struggle between us and the enemy, a contradiction between us and the enemy. Among the people, some see this question in a somewhat different light. Two kinds of persons hold views different from ours. Those with a Rightist way of thinking make no distinction between the enemy and us and take the enemy for our own people. They regard as friends the very persons whom the broad masses regard as enemies. Those with a “Left” way of thinking magnify contradictions between ourselves and the enemy to such an extent that they take certain contradictions among the people for contradictions with the enemy and regard as counter-revolutionary persons who are actually not counter-revolutionaries. Both these views are wrong. Neither can lead to the correct handling of the question of suppressing counter-revolutionaries or to a correct assessment of this work.

Qualitatively different contradictions can only be resolved by qualitatively different methods. For instance, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is resolved by the method of socialist revolution; the contradiction between the great masses of the people and the feudal system is resolved by the method of democratic revolution; the contradiction between the colonies and imperialism is resolved by the method of national revolutionary war; the contradiction between the working class and the peasant class in socialist society is resolved by the method of collectivization and mechanization in agriculture; contradiction within the Communist Party is resolved by the method of criticism and self-criticism; the contradiction between society and nature is resolved by the method of developing the productive forces. . . . The principle of using different methods to resolve different contradictions is one that Marxist-Leninists must strictly observe.”

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