A very interesting criticism on the revisionist- capitalist way of thinking on education issues during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. The Chinese communists criticize Kairov and his work (Pedagogika) to be pro capitalist and trying to bring back the capitalist way in education and culture. Mao and the red guards criticize the forces that try to bring capitalism back and state that the main issue is the contradiction of the working class with the bourgeois. This article is defending the proletariat way of thinking in education and the superstructure . On July of 1968 Mao gives the directive of the 21st of July, which sets the example of the Shanghai Machine Tools Plant in training technicians from amongst the workers and the issue of the separation of practice from theory with a vanguard way of thinking.
A comment on Kairov’s “Pedagogy” by the Shanghai Revolutionary Mass Criticism Writing Group
Drawn up under Chairman Mao’s personal guidance, the Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution pointed out: “In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a most important task is to transform the old educational system and the old principles and methods of teaching.” At present, we must press ahead with redoubled efforts to accomplish what Chairman Mao pointed out as “a most important task.”
An important experience gained in the course of the proletarian educational revolution is that we must persist in using Mao Tsetung Thought to carry out revolutionary mass criticism and eliminate the poisonous influence of the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi’s counterrevolutionary revisionist line in education.
The “theoretical” basis of Liu Shao-chi’s counterrevolutionary revisionist line in education is Pedagogy, edited by the Soviet revisionist “authority” on education Kairov. As explained in the first chapter of the 1956 edition, Pedagogy entirely serves the purpose of fulfilling “the new tasks in education put forward by the 20th Congress” of the Soviet revisionist party, that is, the “tasks” of restoring capitalism.
Shortly after the socialist revolution began in China, Liu Shaochi and his agents on the cultural and educational front -Lu Ting-yi and his bunch- brought in Kairov’s Pedagogy and designated it as teaching material for teachers’ colleges throughout the country. They did this to oppose Chairman Mao’s proletarian line in education. In 1957, they let Kairov visit Peking, Shanghai and many other places where he spread his poisonous influence. Liu Shao-chi personally received him and had a warm “hearty talk” with him. When the revolutionary teachers and students, guided by Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, launched a high tide in educational revolution in 1958 and severely censured Kairov’s Pedagogy, Lu Ting-yi tried to snuff out the vigorous educational revolution, rushing forth in defense and howling that Kairov’s Pedagogy “is socialist”.
In expounding the Law of class struggle in the socialist period, Chairman Mao pointed out: “The proletariat seeks to transform the world according to its own world outlook, and so does the bourgeoisie. In this respect, the question of which will win out,
socialism or capitalism, is still not really settled”. Who transforms whom? Should we use Chairman Mao’s proletarian thinking on education to transform the old bourgeois schools, or should we let Kairov’s Pedagogy carry the day in our schools? This is a serious struggle on the educational front between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. In order to deepen the educational revolution, it is therefore necessary to use Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to analyse and criticize Kairov’s Pedagogy.
Two Diametrically Opposed Views on Education
What is education?
In reply to this question, the first chapter of Kairov’s Pedagogy says: “Education is purely a human phenomenon”.This definition completely denies a most fundamental fact: In class society, education is a phenomenon of class struggle. It is by no means true that “a man should receive a proper education in order to be a man”. Every elass wants education to be given because it wants to maintain its rule. Education develops out of the need of class struggle, not of an abstract “human” need. Every class educates and transforms the younger generation in accordance with its own world outlook and political line, training its own successors and thereby achieving the purpose of consolidating its own rule. After seizing political power, the proletariat must turn education, which is an instrument for bourgeois rule, into an instrument for demolishing this rule and for completely eliminating, the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. The proletariat must make education an important position where “the proletariat must exercise all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in the realm of the superstructure, including the various spheres of culture”.
For the dictatorship of the proletariat to be consolidated and the socialist revolution and socialist construction carried through to the end, proletarian education must train working people with, socialist consciousness and culture from among the workers, poor and lower-middle peasants and fighters in the People’s Liberation Army. We will never allow anyone to deny this clear-cut class character of proletarian education on any pretext whatsoever.
But Kairov, lauded to the skies by Lu Ting-yi as a “socialist” educator, gave this definition when he spoke of the essence of education. Education, he said, is the “passing on of experience and knowledge to a new generation” by the “older generation”; in a socialist school, therefore, “the primary task is to give the students profound, accurate and common knowledge on the development of nature, society and human
Taking this as his cue, Lu Ting-yi parroted: “This thing called education is quite clear; it means passing on knowledge to others and learning knowledge from others. That is what education means”.
Is that really “what education means”?
Knowledge and the passing on of knowledge are not supraclass or supra-politics; nor is it true that “all children are equal” in this respect, as Kairov claimed.
Knowledge and culture are a reflection of social being. Chairman Mao has taught us: “Ever since class society came into being the world has had only two kinds of knowledge, knowledge of the struggle for production and knowledge of the class struggle”. Since education is an instrument of class struggle and class dictatorship, all the knowledge that comes from it is bound to be thoroughly permeated with a class character. In the schools the slave-owners set up for their own children, the students were taught to use living slaves as “targets” for practice in shooting and killing. This is passing on one kind of “knowledge”, that is, the slave-owners’ “knowledge”. Hitler growled that “we will train” fascists “before whom the world will tremble”. This is also passing on one kind of “knowledge”, that is, fascist “knowledge”. Socialimperialism has recently snarled that it will train a type of “young cadre” who can “make quick decisions equal to the occasion” and carry out tasks of aggression “without any reservation”. This is also passing on one kind of “knowledge”, that is, social-imperialist “knowledge”. Replete with lengthy descriptions of tsarist Russia’s “explorers and travellers”, Kairov’s Pedagogy “fascinatingly” “encourages the development of the spirit of adventure among the students”. Is it not clear what kind of “knowledge” Kairov was passing on? As Lenin had pointed out: “It was the declared aim of the old type of school to produce men with an all-round education, to teach the sciences in general. We know that this was utterly
false”. “Every word [the old schools gave] was falsified in the interests of the bourgeoisie”. (Lenin, Collected Works, Chinese ed., Vol. 31, p. 252.)
As regards the “passing on of knowledge”, is it possible that
“all children are equal”? This Lassallean opportunist view of “a national education with everybody enjoying equality” was thoroughly criticized by Marx long ago. Since the beginning of classes, all exploiting classes in a ruling position have held a tight grip on the monopoly of knowledge, making it absolutely impossible for the powerless exploited classes to receive an education. In ancient India, a country in the East under the slave system, a law stipulated an immediate death sentence for anyone allowing the Shudra class, which was considered to be lowly, to obtain any knowledge. Confucius, who represented the interests of ancient China’s declining slaveowners and aristocracy, did his utmost to advocate the policy of keeping the people in complete ignorance. He said that “the people can be made to follow a course, but they cannot be made to understand it”. Such a policy was later followed by the feudal landlord class for more than 2,000 years. Bourgeois education which emerged with the capitalist relations of production is entirely subordinate to the law of profit which reflects the bourgeoisie’s reactionary nature. The so-called “double-track system” of education which the bourgeoisie pushes is completely pervaded with its class character of enslavement and exploitation. All those who are children of the bourgeoisie will be given the “knowledge” of exploiting and oppressing the working people, and be trained to be the future rulers. But all those who are children of the working people will be kept out of the schools or, as Lenin said, be trained into “useful servants of the bourgeoisie” able to “create profits for it without disturbing its peace and leisure”. (Lenin, Collected Works, Chinese ed., Vol. 31, p. 252.)
It is therefore quite clear that any talk denying the class character of education is nothing but sheer political deception. Saturated with the class character of the bourgeoisie, Kairov’s Pedagogy is in fact an attack by the bourgeoisie on the proletariat. It was this same Kairov who, while boasting of the “guiding principle” of his Pedagogy in 1957, said: “The schools now have two tasks: to train students who will study in institutes of higher learning and to train students who will participate in labour and production”. The “two tasks” Kairov mentioned are the “two kinds of educational systems” advocated by Liu Shao-chi; they are also identical with the socalled competition in climbing the “pyramid”, as initiated by Lu Ting-yi: a few will get to the top and become new bourgeois elements, while the majority will be kept at the bottom, that is to say, they will have to engage in “labour and production” when capitalism is restored. Thus we have quite a variety of terminology -from Kairov’s “equality in education” to his “two tasks” of education, and from Liu Shao-chi’s “two kinds of educational systems” to Lu Ting-yi’s competition in climbing the “pyramid”. Though they go by different names, their essence is the same, namely, to achieve the counterrevolutionary purpose of transforming the proletariat according to the bourgeoisie’s world outlook and restoring capitalism.
Kairov openly declared: The educational thoughts of the 17th century Czechoslovak bourgeois educator Comenius and the 19th century Russian bourgeois educator Ushinsky all were “opposed to the ruling principles of the social systems” of their time and, therefore, they constituted “the most valuable experience in education” which we must now inherit in their entirety.
Hence bourgeois educational thoughts, which have grown from the economic base of capitalism, are not only “opposed” to the capitalist social system but are flaunted as “the most valuable experience in education” for the socialist educational system! This fully shows that Kairov’s stock in trade was, in essence, the same as the traditional bourgeois education. What such education “opposes” is not the capitalist system, but the socialist system. “There is no construction without destruction, no flowing without damming and no motion without rest”. From Kairov, a teacher by negative example, we have learnt that the proletariat must thoroughly criticize the bourgeoisie’s educational system and educational theories and thoughts in order to establish its own educational system. “Education must serve proletarian politics and be combined with productive labour”. “Our educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture”, On these fundamental questions, proletarian education must unequivocally draw a clear line of demarcation with respect to the educational thoughts of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. Two Diametrically Opposed Theories of Knowledge
On the basis of his already mentioned reactionary concept of education, Kairov, without exception, collected Comenius’ teaching principles, Ushinsky’s theory on moral education and even the “four-division teaching method” of the German reactionary educator Herbart. After some tinkering, he patched together his huge teaching “system”, which included “five teaching principles”, “six links in the classroom”, “a fivegrade marking system” as well as a host of “principles”, “structures”, “outlines”, “regulations”, “means” and “methods”. It was so typical of scholasticism that Lu Ting-yi and his gang greeted it with accolades, talked about how “scientific” it was, and ordered that teachers all over the country must carry it out most precisely.
Is it really so “scientific”? Certainly not. Actually, it is an antiscientific and bogus science.
Chairman Mao has taught us: “All work in the schools is for transforming the ideology of the students”. The process of teaching is one of knowing, and all of man’s knowledge is stamped with the brand of a class. Therefore, this process is one in which two ideologies struggle with each other, proletarian ideology overcomes non-proletarian ideology, and the students’ proletarian world outlook is gradually fostered in the living study and application of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and in the three great revolutionary practices -class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment.
The correct realization of the teaching process must be guided by a correct theory of knowledge. The proletariat has the dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge and the bourgeoisie has the idealist metaphysical theory of knowledge. From what theory of knowledge did Kairov proceed to arrive at his mass of “principles” and “methods”?
After quoting a passage of Lenin’s instruction on the theory of knowledge, Kairov openly stated that “teaching is not and cannot be a process identical with the scientific process of knowledge”. This is like saying: The Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge is null and void in the teaching process.
Having negated the Marxist theory of knowledge in one stroke, Kairov advanced his own “theory of knowledge”: As long as the students “comprehend the already known”, and the “available knowledge” that “man has accumulated over the centuries”, everything will be all right, because all this knowledge “belongs to scientifically solid and reliable wealth” and is absolute truth which can never be changed to the slightest degree.
In talking about “accumulated” and “available” plus “solid and reliable”, Kairov really can be said to be a “knowledge capitalist”! However, this “knowledge capitalist” doesn’t know a thing about the historical-materialist knowledge on class struggle.
The reactionary world outlook of the exploiting classes determines that the “knowledge” they have “accumulated” is full of mistakes which distort objective reality. Take history for example. As written by the exploiting classes, history has been turned upside down: The peasants in the uprisings which pushed history forward in feudal society were slandered as “brigands” and “bandits”; on the other hand emperors, kings, generals and ministers were described as the masters of history and their “policy of concessions” was said to have promoted the advance of history. Unless this reactionary point of view is criticized, it is impossible to get any “available” and scientific knowledge of history. How can we regard all of these reactionary and fallacious things the landlord class and the bourgeoisie have talked about “over the centuries” as “available” and “solid and reliable wealth” we can accept? Isn’t this an open plea for students to submissively “accept” all kinds of spiritual poison? Isn’t this training bourgeois slaves who resist all revolutionary truths? Isn’t this a typical theory for staging a cultural restoration?
Chairman Mao has taught us: “In the absolute and general process of development of the universe, the development of each particular process is relative, and that hence, in the endless flow of absolute truth, man’s knowledge of a particular process at any given stage of development is only relative truth. The sum total of innumerable relative truths constitutes absolute truth”. Even those parts of the “knowledge” that contain certain amounts of relative truth must also be examined, remoulded and developed in the light of today’s revolutionary practice of the proletariat and should not be regarded as something for ever unchangeable. To more rapidly master the latest knowledge in the field of natural science, that is, the newly discovered relative truth at a new stage of development it is sometimes unnecessary to go back to its development “over the centuries”. From the start, we can talk about the latest discoveries and latest creations by the working class. It should be pointed out that Kairov’s “solid and reliable wealth” poison was one of the reasons for the repetition and unnecessary complexity of textbooks in the past.
Kairov solidified knowledge not merely out of ignorance, but because of his reactionary bourgeois nature. Since the bourgeoisie have long been “sinking fast, like the sun setting beyond the western hills”, they dare not in the least face the fiery struggle of the proletariat and other revolutionary people and look at the revolutionary situation in which class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment advance at a fast rate. They can only turn their backs on the present and face the past, calling all the reactionary and rotten traditional ideologies of the slaveowner class, landlord class and bourgeoisie “solid and reliable knowledge”. They won’t allow people to wage revolution against this knowledge, criticize it and develop it. In doing so they have tried in vain to hold back the rapid spread of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought all over the globe. Didn’t Laa Ting-yi shout that “many universities are engaged in transforming education, and my attitude is to wait and see”? Their real purpose in “solidifying” knowledge is to “consolidate” the bourgeoisie’s ruling position, “consolidate” their right to carry out unlimited exploitation of the working people so they can live on the latter’s sweat and blood, and, in other words, “consolidate” tfieir “wealth”.
The law of the Marxist theory of knowledge is: “Practice, knowledge, again: practice, and again knowledge” and “The standpoint of practice is the primary and bask standpoint in tfee dtatectwal-materialist theory of knowledge”. But Kairov declared that he had found a “short cut”, that is, from the books, of the teachers to those of the students. In his own words, what “decides the quality of the students’ knowledge” is “classroom teaching” and “the sources of knowledge are concrete things themselves, as well as the description of matter, phenomenon, processes and events, printed matter
(first and foremost textbooks) and the teachers’ language”.
The small quantity of “printed matter” in the classes was limited to Kairov’s tiny orbit of “five principles” and “six links”. The maximum it could do was to cram into the students’ minds all the “classical” textbooks and teaching materials that had been, compiled by the bourgeoisie. Let’s look at the textbooks and teaching materials which Lu Ting-yi and his gang turned out in accordance with the requirements of Kairov’s Pedagogy. Anti-Marxist in their world outlook and their political content serving the needs of the bourgeoisie, they were completely cut off from the needs of the prevailing socialist revolution and construction. Their arrangements for teaching were filled with metaphysics. Courses were tremendously complicated and isolated from each other, and the lively objective world was cut to pieces. Enclosed all-yearround in the Kairov-designed classroom, which was like a hermetic can, the students were forced to gulp down, without digestion, stuff of the 18th or 19th century. For 16 or 17 years, they were unable to see rice, sorghum, and other kinds of grain, or how the workers work, how the peasants farm and how commodities are exchanged. Didn’t this deliberately turn them into imbeciles?
It must be pointed out that we do not exclude students getting indirect knowledge in the classroom and from books. Teaching consists partly of imparting indirect knowledge. Precisely as Chairman Mao pointed out: “All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience. Bat one cannot have direct experience of everything; as a matter of fact, most of our knowledge comes from indirect experience, for example, all knowledge from past times and foreign lands”. For students to really grasp it, indirect knowledge must also be combined with revolutionary practice. Only thus can it be transformed into “genuine knowledge”. In “making the past serve the present and foreign things serve China” and “weeding through the old to bring forth the new”, the key is in the latter and serving today’s revolutionary needs. Chairman Mao has taught us: “There are many things which cannot be learned from books alone; one must learn from those engaged in production, from the workers, from the peasants”. This means students should get out of the school into the midst of actual struggle and make the workers, peasants and soldiers their teachers. “While their main task is to study, they should also learn other things, that is to say, they should not only learn book knowledge, they should also learn industrial production, agricultural production and military affairs. They also should criticize and repudiate the bourgeoisie”. Colleges of science and engineering should set up factories, while colleges of arts should consider the whole society their factory.
People may ask: Should children also learn according to this law? Don’t they learn to distinguish between “good people” and “bad people” from picture books? Children also first learn to know individual and concrete things and then form a concept about a certain thing. Cattle are a broad concept, while the ox and the buffalo are narrow concepts. The ox a child sees is a concrete thing. Children below school age make society their school and imitate grown-ups in working and fighting. In this way they get a real-life education. But their perception was obstructed under the control of the revisionist line in education and this must also be reformed.
Kairov’s anti-Marxist theory of knowledge directly upheld the domination of schools by the handful of bourgeois reactionary educational “authorities” and bourgeois intellectuals. To facilitate a capitalist restoration, it also tried to turn the younger generation into bourgeois elements who fear revolution and the masses and resist new socialist things. Because of this, he went one step further in arbitrarily declaring:
“Every sentence and every instruction of the teacher” has “the nature of law”; “all scientifically disputable and unconfirmed things should be excluded from courses”.
Whose “law” is this? If this “law” is adhered to, all students become slaves of bourgeois education and their minds have only one function -endless memorization and recitation. Revolutionary students must unite with the revolutionary teachers in overthrowing this kind of “teachers’ dignity” advocated by the landlords and the bourgeoisie and in opposing dealing with students by methods used in dealing with the enemy. Both should also completely discredit the socalled “education of love” and must not let any one poison students with the bourgeois theory of human nature.
Revolutionary educational work is glorious and so is the labour of the revolutionary teachers. The view that “it’s tough luck to be a teacher” is wrong. Promoted by the proletarian revolution in education, completely new relations between teachers and students are taking shape in many of our schools. They are revolutionary comrades and comrades-in-arms and their relations are not those between the rulers and the ruled. The teachers should love the students, help them, use Mao Tsetung Thought to raise their political consciousness, bring their initiative, eniJnisiasm and ereativeness into full play, and train them to have the ability to analyse and solve problems. The students should respect the teachers, firmly abide by revolutionary discipline and revolutionary order, study hard for the revolution to a lively way and be filled with proletarian revolutionary spirit.
Truth has a class character. There have never been truths commonly regarded as “indisputable” by all classes in the field of social science. “The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system”. Can this objective truth which is regarded by the proletariat and the revolutionary people as indisputable be accepted likewise by the bourgeoisie? Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought develops in the course of struggle and can be learnt only in struggle. To oppose the revolutionary “contention” in the sehools is to oppose the proletarian revolutionary spirit and to oppose using Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to criticize and occupy those positions controlled by the bourgeoisie. Therefore, Kairov’s real aim is solely to allow the unchecked spread of bourgeois poisonous weeds, but not tolerate the existence of the proletarian truth. “It is one of our basic tasks to contrapose our own truth to bourgeois ‘truth’, and win its recognition”. (Lenin, Collected Works, Chinese ed., Vol. 31, p. 330.) All revolutionary students and teachers should use
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to occupy all positions, and strive to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in China and realize the great proletarian truth of “the abolition of the system of exploitation of man by man over the whole globe, upon which all mankind will toe emancipated”!
Bourgeois “Self“ Is the Nucleus
Wasn’t it Liu Shao-chi who concocted the notorious theory of “merging private and public interests”? This is the same as Kairov’s contraption, the theory of the “transformation of the public interest into private” which alleges: “The public interest when it is correctly understood is also my personal interest”.The wording is different, but the aim is the same: To “transform” the public interest into private, to “transform” socialism into capitalism. The entire set of theory and practice in Kairov’s Pedagogy proceeds from this theory of the “transformation of the public interest into private”. While peddling Kairov’s Pedagogy, Lu Ting-yi and company also used this crooked thesis as their bait.
Kairov stated in particular that among the entire mass of principles he concocted there was one main principle which “can be instituted in every stage and every link of the teaching process”, that is, “the principle of the students’ consciousness and initiative”.What kind of “consciousness and initiative” is this? How to stimulate this kind of student “consciousness and initiative”? Kairov’s answer: “Getting marks in school is the impulsive factor in the students’ life” and “a stimulus in learning”. How can such “impulsion” and “stimulus” be consolidated? Only when “famous people in the scientific and art fields or outstanding historical personages” “become the students’ ideal” will students “find their intellectual support in these images”.
Here lies the real aim. The so-called “consciousness and initiative” is nothing but a bait to make students strive in line with the “style” of the representatives of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class!
Of course it is necessary for the proletariat to master scientific knowledge. Lenin stated: “The working people are thirsting for knowledge because they need it to win”. (Lenin, Collected Works, Chinese ed., Vol. 28, p.70.) The proletariat knows that the victory Lenin meant, which includes becoming the real masters of knowledge, relies on the powerful dictatorship of the proletariat above all. Therefore, just as Chairman Mao has pointed out: “Youth should attach primary importance to a firm and correct political orientation”. We study for the sake of the revolution, the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In feverishly advocating that the students should regard their knowledge as their “wealth”, Kairov wanted to turn knowledge into personal capital for gaining fame and fortune. He wanted those with knowledge to be arrogant and sell their knowledge at a good price. How many young people have been poisoned by the feudal class trash that says: “I learn every craft in order to sell them to the imperial and royal families”, or the bourgeois trash that says: “When I have learnt mathematics, physics and chemistry, I wouldn’t have to worry about holding down a job anywhere in the world”!
In this process of converting knowledge into private property, can the students form “sublime” “world outlook and morality” as described by Kairov? It is sheer nonsense! Socrates, the Greek slave-owners’ educator, advocated the fallacy “knowledge is morality” 2,300 years before Kairov. Later on bourgeois philosophers advocated that “knowledge is strength”. But there is no “world outlook and morality” or “strength” in the world which stands above classes. What class’ “world outlook and morality” did Kairov want the students to form? What class’ reserve “strength” did he want to build up? Let us look at the process of formation he designed, the so-called “straight line” system of education: As soon as a student has entered school, his aim is to make his way up. By finishing primary school he looks forward to be admitted to middle school, by finishing middle school to be admitted to college, and by finishing college to get an associate doctorate or doctorate degree by studying in a research institute. While a few people gain the laurels of an associate doctor or doctor and are thus qualified to enter the “paradise” of the bourgeois privileged stratum, most people finish their primary or middle school education and become workers or peasants only to be exploited and oppressed by the bourgeoisie. Look at the highest criterion he set, the so-called “internal cultivation” -
“external cultivation” - “all-round development”. That is, from “internal cultivation” fostered to gain “social status”and “personal fulfilment” to “external cultivation” of “clothing”, “hair style” and “proper manners”, the students are expected to “develop in an all-round way” into the socalled “strength” imbued with bourgeois “morality” and into hypocrites, politicians and spiritual aristocrats of the bourgeoisie. Aren’t these “all-round developed” capitalist roaders in the social-imperialist country, who have both “internal cultivation” and “external cultivation”, still riding roughshod over the labouring people? What kind of a “straight line” is this? This is a “line” which creates class differentiation for the restoration of capitalism! What kind of “all-round development” is this? This is an out-and-out “all-round evolution” of capitalism! The proletariat’s revolution in education is to cut down this counter-revolutionary line in education and smash the “peaceful evolution” of the bourgeoisie. We should act according to Chairman Mao’s instruction and take the road of the Shanghai Machine Tools Plant to cultivate workers with both socialist consciousness and culture, to train them to be like the great communist fighter Lei Feng or into someone like the communist new man Chin Hsun-hua who is a model for revolutionary youth.
Didn’t Kairov repeat and repeat that choosing some kind of “stimulus” to “stimulate” both teachers and students is “necessary in studying many questions in education”? The “stimulus” he had in mind for students was using past
“famous” or “outstanding” representatives of the exploiting classes as their “stimulus” in pursuing fame and fortune and in climbing to the high position of spiritual aristocrats of the bourgeoisie. For teachers, he used the saying that “teachers are the personification of all things beautiful and examples to be followed” to “stimulate” their initiative to train bourgeois aristocrats, to bind them tightly to the house of the dead that is the bourgeois system of education and to make them reject ideological remoulding. Liu Shao-chi, Lu Ting-yi and their gang used this “art of stimulating” to the full. They recruited bourgeois reactionary “authorities” on education and bourgeois intellectuals to corrupt a number of young teachers and students to provide organizational guarantee for pushing their counter-revolutionary revisionist line in education and their political line. The magnificent victory of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution proclaimed the complete bankruptcy of this “art” of Kairov’s in the eyes of the mass of revolutionary intellectuals.
In the current movement of the proletariat’s revolution in education, revolutionary teachers and revolutionary students must repudiate this exploiting classes’ reactionary “art of stimulating.“ They should “fight self, criticize revisionism.“ In accordance with the outlook of the working class, they should remould themselves into fighters who “fear neither hardship nor death,“ fighters in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, fighters who battle all their lives for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and for the prevention of the restoration of capitalism.
Historical Experience That Merits Attention
Kairov’s trump card was; I am an opponent of the bourgeois school of “modern education”. Indeed, as a self-styled inheritor of the bourgeois school of “traditional education”, Kairov certainly superficially “opposed” Dewey, a representative of the bourgeois school of “modern education” and a scholar serving the interests of the U.S. imperialists. However, whether it is “giving knowledge” as emphasized by the “traditional education” school, or “training skill” as emphasized by the “modern education” school, it all reflected the dispute within the ranks of the bourgeoisie. In the final analysis, both serve training successors to the bourgeoisie, preserving capitalism and restoring capitalism. In fact, following the spread of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the world, all reactionary schools of education to be found among the bourgeoisie are joining hands to cope with the proletariat. After a careful look at them, people can see that there is no real difference between Kairov’s so-called thesis of seeds of knowledge in children and his thesis that education means “organizing children’s life” and Dewey’s pragmatic education involving the doctrine of the children being the centre and education is life. Lu Ting-yi let the cat out of the bag by declaring: The “merits” of Kairov’s Pedagogy “lie in the fact that it replaces Dewey’s”. It is just because of this that the handful of Dewey’s disciples in China, under the cloak of Liu Shao-chi’s counter-revolutionary revisionist line in education, all became so-called “experts” on Kairov’s
Pedagogy overnight. Some of them occupied leading positions in the departments of education, while others were scattered all over the country to do their dirty work and swindle people. What a thought-provoking phenomenon of class struggle is this! What is worth particular attention is that since Dewey’s pragmatic education had long lost its function of deceiving progressive American youth, Kennedy, chieftain of U.S. imperialism at the time, rushed in with the outstanding criterion of seeking knowledge in the early 60s, officially seeking help from “traditional education”. Under the cover of the so-called “strengthening the link between school and life”, Kairov and his kind in this same period went a step further towards Dewey’s pragmatic education. No wonder Western bourgeois papers said that these two schools “are intermingling” and “are marching along the same track”. Revisionism is sure to form a reactionary alliance, politically as well as ideologically and culturally, with imperialism in the end.
Kairov’s so-called “system“ is absurd, but the problem we see from viewing this “system” is serious: After the proletariat has gained political power, how the bourgeoisie stages a counterseizure of power from the proletariat through the fields of education and culture in order to suppress and rule over the proletariat again. This historical experience of the struggle between the bourgeoisie who fights for restoration and the proletariat who fights against restoration merits our serious attention.
Through the magnificent Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the last three years, led by the proletarian headquarters with Chairman Mao as its leader and Vice-Chairman Lin as its deputy leader, we used Mao Tsetung Thought the powerful weapon to overthrow the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi and his agents in the field of education. In the stage of struggle-criticism-transformation during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao put forward the timely programmatic instruction: “It is essential to shorten the length of schooling, revolutionize education, put proletarian politics in command and take the road of the Shanghai Machine Tools Plant in training technicians from among the workers. Students should be selected from among workers and peasants with practical experience, and they should return to production after a few years’ study”. Inspired by this brilliant instruction of Chairman Mao’s, an upsurge in the proletariat’s revolution in education has taken shape all over China. An educational system which serves proletarian politics and is closely linked with practice in the three great revolutionary struggles, and a teachers’ contingent determined to bring about the proletariat’s revolution in education are gradually being formed. However, class struggle on the educational front still goes on, and the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to win over the youth goes on. We have to be soberly aware that there is still a lot of work to be done concerning undertaking revolutionary mass criticism on the educational front. Only by deeply criticizing the bourgeois world outlook can we make a thoroughgoing transformation of the old educational system, teaching principles and teaching methods, and solidly set up a new educational system of the proletariat on the basis of Mao Tsetung Thought. Let us hold the great red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought still higher and welcome the coming of a new high tide in the proletariat’s revolution in education!
Peking Review, 13(10), 6 March 1970
 . There are two Chinese editions of Kairov’s Pedagogy — one translated from the 1948 Moscow Russian edition, the other from the 1956 Moscow Russian edition. In the following they are referred to simply as the old edition and the new edition.
 . Old edition, p. 18.
 . New edition, p. 1 and p. 23.
 . Old edition, p. 11 and p. 103.
 . “Academician Kairov on the Guiding Principle of the Newly
Compiled Pedagogy and the Problem of All-Round Development.”
 . Old edition, p. 21.
 . Old edition, p. 60 and p. 96.
 . Ibid.
 . New edition, p. .131 and p. 132.
 . Old edition, p. 60 and p. 96.
 . New edition, p. .131 and p. 132.
 . Old edition, p. 131 and p. 61.
 . Ibid.
 . New edition, p. 150-51.
 . Old edition, p. 99.
 . Kairov’s report to All-Russian Congress of Teachers
 . New edition, p. 148.
 . Old edition, p. 209 and p. 248.
 . Ibid.
 . Old edition, p. 56.
 . New edition, p. 224.
 . New edition, p. 314 and p. 21.
 . Old edition, p. 302.
 . New edition, p. 223 and p. 315.
 . Ibid.
 . New edition, p. 308 and p. 16.
 . New edition, p. 47.
 . Old edition, p. 16.
 . Kairov: “On the Problem of Improving and Raising the
Quality of Education in Common Schools in the Soviet Union.“