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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 25, 1965

RECORD OF PREMIER ZHOU’S FOURTH CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT TOURé

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    "Record of Premier Zhou’s Fourth Conversation with President Touré," January 25, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 203-00627-01, 40-54. Translated by Stephen Mercado. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165478
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Record of Premier Zhou’s Fourth Conversation with President Toure

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., 25 January 1964

Place: President’s villa, Labe

Participants:

Our side: Premier [Zhou Enlai], Vice Premier Chen [Yi], Assistant Minister Qiao [Guanhua], Ambassador Ke [Hua]

Guinean side: President [Ahmed Sekou], Minister of State [Diallo] Saifoulaye, Foreign Minister [Louis Lansana] Beavogui, Minister of Economic Development Ismael [Toure], Minister of National Defense Fodeba [Keita], President of the National Assembly Leon Maka, Ambassador to China Camara Mamady

Summary

(1) Premier Zhou praised Guinea’s role in the Africa national liberation movement and national democratic struggle.

(2) Premier Zhou introduced China’s experience of revolution and emphasized that if we combined Marxism-Leninism and Chinese practice and did not comply with this principle, the revolution would fail.

(3) [President] Toure basically agreed with the substance of the Premier’s remarks but emphasized that Guinea’s nationalist democratic system did not rely only on the working class but had to rely on all the people. He also said that Guinea had class struggle, but that the manner of struggle was non-confrontational.

(4) Premier Zhou commented on Guinea’s revolution, indicating: Guinea must follow the non-capitalist road; other than having united-front leadership, one also must have a strong leadership core; and ideology must be that of the working class, it cannot be that of the peasant class. Toure stressed that in Africa it was the peasants, not the workers, who were the most oppressed and the most advanced.

(5) The Premier recommended to the Politburo that they pay attention to the President’s security.

Premier: Your Excellency the President’s three presentations have clarified the course of Guinea’s fight in the national democratic struggle, foreign and domestic policies, and its position on foreign policy, allowing us a comprehensive understanding of the situation. We are grateful for this.

First of all, I must say that Guinea has made great achievements in the past several decades of struggle, particularly under Your Excellency’s leadership after the Second World War. I knew this when Your Excellency visited China. In this visit, I have come into contact with Guinea’s social reality and the people of Guinea, further confirming this knowledge.

For the past several centuries, Africa has been exploited and enslaved by Western imperialism. The African people suffered repeated misfortunes, in particular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Africa, like yesterday’s stage performance, was artificially divided. The First World War and the October Revolution played a role in enlightening the African people. After the Second World War, the African people further awakened. They stood up and demanded freedom, independence and unity, and solidarity. As Your Excellency said, some countries that acquired independence are now consolidating independence and some other countries are now fighting for independence. This is a general and irresistible trend. In my visit this time to North Africa and West Africa, everywhere I saw a vibrant spirit demanding liberation. It made a profound impression on me. It seems something similar to the period after China's revolution victory in 1949, a flourishing scene of people everywhere celebrated liberation. As the President said in his first conversation, the African people’s sense of pride and its initiative have been awakened.

Before and since independence, Guinea’s role at the forefront of the African national liberation movement and national democratic struggle has been clear. I think that Guinea henceforth will play an even greater role and that the people of Guinea, under the leadership of President Toure, will resist every foreign plot to intervene, wreck, and overthrow. This is the pride of the African people, which we greatly admire. This is also worth our studying. The President in two conversations has explained in detail that the tasks facing the people of Guinea are national and democratic ones, that your system is a nationalist democratic one, that you are carrying out a people’s democratic dictatorship, and that you are following a non-capitalist road. We are very impressed by this. Yesterday we said that we did not find it strange that you did not mention socialism. We simply would like to understand the proper reason for Guinea’s not mentioning socialism.

Your Excellency understands the laws of social development in each stage of history and that any revolution must suit the needs of the local people. In this sense, revolution cannot be exported. Marxism-Leninism is knowledge of the laws, the conducting of scientific analysis, the discovery of the laws of development for various societies, the different laws of development of different societies, and the common laws of development of similar societies.

The President has spoken a great deal in regard to the situation for Africa’s development. I would just like to introduce the situation of China’s revolution and highlight how we combine Marxism-Leninism and Chinese practice. If we do not comply with this principle, the revolution will fail.

The Chinese revolution for a very long time was bourgeois democratic in character. From the Opium Wars until 1949, it was this type of revolution, a nationalist democratic revolution characterized by opposition to foreign aggression as the leading factor. This 110-year revolution can be divided into two stages. The first stage was from the Opium Wars until 1919. At that time, China’s nationalist bourgeoisie   would have been somewhat larger compared to Africa’s, but it was very minor in strength. Later there was development, but it remained very frail. Even under the leadership of the great nationalist fighter Sun Zhongshan [Sun Yat-sen], in 1911 it overthrew Qing Dynasty rule, but imperialist and reactionary forces were very powerful and the revolution failed. In the second stage, the Communist Party was born, the proletariat gradually grew, and there was National-Communist cooperation, which was influenced by the Communist Party’s political and thought leadership. The revolution entered a new stage. Chairman Mao called this stage that of democratic revolution. This stage, from the birth of the Communist Party to the founding of New China, all together lasted 28 years. That the period of struggle was so long was not only because enemy, imperialist, and feudal forces and the comprador bourgeois (hereafter called the bureaucratic bourgeoisie) were powerful, but also because our own leadership committed errors and brought about losses. Subjective conditions were fundamental. In those 28 years the Communist Party of China had two errors of right opportunism and three errors of left opportunism. Our party history already has these materials. The President probably knows about the great revolutionary period of 1924-1927. At that time, the party leader, Chen Duxiu, committed the first left error in the party’s history, allowing Chiang Kai-shek to seize power and suppress the revolution. At that time, Comrade Mao Zedong and other comrades went to the countryside, mobilized the peasants, set up armed forces, used the countryside to surround the cities, and did their utmost to prepare revolutionary bases to conduct protracted struggle. This was the road that correctly suited Marxism-Leninism. Stalin once said: Colonial and semi-colonial struggle against colonialism can only be a peasant armed struggle.

Comrade Mao Zedong was correct. At that time, however, the Party leadership insisted on engaging in workers movements in the cities, organizing strikes, demonstrations, and uprisings. This caused the Party’s forces in the cities to suffer tremendous losses and also affected the forces in the countryside. The third left error left us in 1935 with no choice but to carry out the Long March of 12,500 li, from Jiangxi Province to China’s northwest. On the Long March, there was finally established Chairman Mao Zedong’s correct leadership. From 1935 to 1949, under Comrade Mao Zedong correct leadership, the Party’s line was correct, but individual leaders in individual regions still committed errors. In the early period of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, some leading comrades committed a Right line error. At that time it was a good thing to join Chiang Kai-shek in resisting Japan, but Chiang Kai-shek was a grand bourgeois who was unable to resolutely resist Japan. Communist Party members mobilized the people to resist Japan and maintained independent forces. Yet, those who committed Right line error advocated everything passing through Chiang Kai-shek. This was a grave error. Chairman Mao and the Party Center at that time criticized and rectified this error, which allowed the revolutionary forces to develop. This thus enabled us to win the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and, when Chiang Kai-shek later launched the civil war, we were able to fight back strongly and achieve the liberation of the entire country. The two Right errors were both due to abandoning the leadership of the proletariat at a time of cooperation with the bourgeoisie and carrying out unprincipled compromise. This is capitulationism and is also revisionist in character. The three Left errors were all due, when splitting with the bourgeoisie, to not understanding how to penetrate the masses, primarily the peasants, to persist in the struggle. Rather, they mechanically and dogmatically applied Marxist-Leninist principles. It was not suited to China’s actual conditions, which would have separated us from the masses and caused the revolution to fail. In regard to this there was also a joke at that time regarding persons who had studied Marxism-Leninism in Moscow returning to China.

Laughing, Comrade Mao Zedong said that Marxism-Leninism will not grow on a mountaintop. History has shown that only those who are dogmatists learn Marxism-Leninism from books. They have caused the revolution to suffer losses. Among comrades who, in penetrating the countryside and persisting in the struggle, have combined Marxism-Leninism with the reality of struggle there have emerged such outstanding Marxist-Leninists as Comrade Mao Zedong. There cannot be monopolies on revolution, Marxism-Leninism, or truth. Only those who participate in revolutionary practice and combine theory and practice can become true Marxist-Leninists.

After the 1949 victory, the Chinese revolution faced the issue of how to continue the revolution. At that time, the Party Center and Chairman Mao did not immediately raise the slogan of socialist revolution. We believe that the Chinese revolution needs a transition period from the democratic revolution to the socialist revolution. In this period, on the one hand we carry out the nationalist democratic revolution to the end, while on the other hand we must create the conditions for the socialist revolution. Our tasks at that time were to carry out thorough land reform throughout the country, destroy the feudal system, distribute land to the peasants, confiscate and take over management of imperialist and bureaucratic capitalist enterprises, and completely remove the remnants of the colonial and semi-colonial economy. Our authority is called the people's democratic dictatorship. Comrade Mao Zedong has explained that this dictatorship has two aspects: democracy and people’s democracy. At that time, participating in the regime were workers, peasants, petty bourgeois, nationalist bourgeois, and patriots and democrats. In regard to them, we carry out democracy. On the other hand, against those in opposition to the regime –reactionaries and agents of the remnant forces of landlords and rich peasants -- we carry out dictatorship and repression. We have a political organization called the People’s Democratic United Front. The building of the regime is based on this front, with the working class as the leaders, with an alliance of workers and peasants as its base, and united with the other forces just mentioned. After the national victory, the number of our country wage workers was very small. Relative to the country’s population, it was even smaller than yours. The industrial proletariat was less than one percent of the population; the agriculture population accounted for 90 percent of the country’s population. Other than landlords, rich peasants, and peasants occupy over 85 percent of the population. In the cities, the proportion of the petty bourgeoisie – including the small and medium petty bourgeoisie – is large. The true bourgeois including the middle and grand bourgeoisie, as well as the nationalist bourgeoisie, together with their families, all together are less than one percent of the national population. The situation for the structure of China’s society is that the proportion occupied by the working class and bourgeoisie is still not large. The assets of China’s bourgeoisie are somewhat greater than those of Africa, but China’s bourgeoisie is fragile and cannot lead the revolution. The revolution is represented by the Communist Party on behalf of the working class, the consciousness of the Communist Party is high, and its thought is advanced. After being put to the test, individuals within the Communist Party may be eliminated by history, but the collective of the entire Party represents advanced thought, that is, working-class thought.

Following the completion of the domestic nationalist democratic revolution, we have created the conditions for socialist revolution. Externally, we also have experienced a trial of strength with the United States, which invaded Korea and invaded and occupied our country’s territory of Taiwan to oppress us. We have not yielded. Under the situation of the enemy not heeding our warning, we sent the [Chinese People’s] Volunteer Army, carried out two and a half years of armed struggle, and settled the war through peace talks. The forces of the United States at that time were very powerful. They believed that, due to our only just having achieved victory, they could suppress. The United States supported Chiang Kai-shek in his waging of civil war, suffered defeat, and lost a vast market. With that and the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, they have a profound hatred for us. We can never forget that.

After the conclusion of the domestic and foreign transition stages, we have entered the stage of socialist revolution. In agriculture, we have carried out collectivization. Cooperatives have developed from elementary to advanced, and they have also developed into people’s communes. These three organizations are all socialist in character, with collective ownership. Those large in scale and the small ones are different. Its distribution system is based on reward for labor. In industry, they have carried out joint ventures with the nationalist bourgeois. Proceeding via joint venture classifies the entire enterprise as state-owned, but it gives national capitalists a certain interest. The nation’s nationalist bourgeois assets are estimated at 2.2 billion Chinese yuan, equivalent to 800 to 900 million US dollars, and an annual interest rate of five percent. Starting from 1956, we have given it eight years and will give another two years. The amount of this capital is pitifully small compared to the industrially developed countries. After another two years of contact, we will give it some more consideration, which will realize Lenin’s desired redemption policy. The Soviet Union in those years did not succeed, because their bourgeoisie turned counterrevolutionary. In our country, most of the bourgeoisie is willing to cooperate with the regime. This has reduced the resistance to the revolution, and it has done the same in regard to commerce. We have also carried out the collectivization of handicraftsmen but have retained a small number of them. Small and middle merchants and handicraftsmen, under the leadership of state commerce, carry out retail activity, responsible for their own profits and losses. There is still a certain number of handicraftsmen who are working on their own, but under the national administration.

Nine years have passed since our country’s socialist revolution began in 1956. The revolution has achieved victory, but is not complete. The revolution not only has to change economic ownership but must also resolve issues in politics and thought. The socialist revolution has abolished exploitation. Although the bourgeoisie are still receiving their fixed interest payments, they can no longer directly engage in exploitation. But class still exists. Class struggle, too, will exist for a long period of time, different only in form and degree. This is the same as the situation in Guinea that the President has discussed. The situation of China’s class struggle is very complicated. There are still several tens of thousands of exploiting elements, such as landlords and rich peasants, dispersed in the countryside. Although their land has been confiscated, they have an exploitative consciousness, they are dissatisfied with the regime, and their political attitude still affects the rich peasants. The urban bourgeoisie are still receiving their fixed interest payments, and the petty bourgeoisie is still under bourgeois influence. The old thinking of the intellectuals who used to serve the bourgeoisie has still not been reformed. Not only do the original exploiting elements and those influenced by exploitative thinking still exist, in the 14 years since liberation, there have emerged some new bourgeois elements and rich peasants in the countryside. Although their private plots of land are not many, they are always keen on their private plots and free markets, destroying the collective economy. The urban merchants have engaged in speculation and profiteering, and the original bourgeois elements also joined in it. They involved factories, office staff, and even some backward workers in speculation, corruption, and theft. Their number is very small, but it shows a combination of new and old bourgeois elements to destroy the new phenomenon of socialist economic life. Class struggle at times is very fierce. Although the number of these saboteurs is not large, less than one percent of the entire country’s population, they constitute a problem for society. The foreign enemy, too, wants to use these persons for collaboration. Our leadership is strong, so they cannot succeed. But they want to influence society. We must ceaselessly carry out class struggle, criticize these people, bind them, and eliminate their influence. This is long-term work.

The new society is born from the old society. The new society does not reform the old society, which will influence the new society. We must ceaselessly carry out struggle and repeatedly attack the old society’s remnant forces. We cannot resolve the issue immediately. As the President has said, contradiction will always exist. Otherwise, neither nature nor society can develop. We have seen that the entire socialist revolutionary stage passes through class struggle. When the revolution triumphs completely with the death of capitalism, it will finally be possible to resolve the issue of which of the two roads will triumph. Our Mali friends asked me if were possible that the issue of the two roads had still not been resolved in China. I said that socialism had occupied the political high ground, but there had been no final resolution. Even though the bourgeois elements are few, they want to exert their influence. If we are not vigilant, then we will meet with mishap. So, occupying the political high ground does not resolve all the issues. We cannot consider things safe and sound. Any society is like this. The old class before passing away is always unwilling to fail and will always contest leadership. The economic base produces the ideology. Some socialist countries in which revisionism has arisen have such economic conditions. If we are not vigilant and do not carry out struggle, even if revisionism does not arise in this generation, it will do so in the next generation. One cannot guarantee that, because China at present opposes revisionism, it will not arise in the next generation.

Therefore, in the 14 years since liberation, apart from the class struggle reflected in daily life, we have also carried out three large-scale mass movements. In 1952 we opposed the corruption of our cadres. In 1957 we criticized the anti-party leaders and the bourgeois rightist elements opposed to the socialist road. The third time was the criticism of the movements of speculation and profiteering, corruption and bureaucratism, and excessive decentralization that began last year. These objects of criticism are all reflections of bourgeois thinking. There will also be such mass movements in the future, because once a movement has struck the remnants of old thinking, after a period of time these remnants will emerge again. Therefore, political and thought struggle in society, that is, class struggle, is essential. Class struggle not only is reflected in the masses, but also in the Party’s leading organs. The base of our Party Center is united, but after the victory there also emerged two incidents of betrayal against the Party. The small group of persons opposed to the Party met with the opposition of the entire Party and were thoroughly isolated.

Having spoken of the issue of errors and class struggle in the course of our revolution, I would like to explain that, although China's revolution has achieved victory and at present has also achieved status in construction and in the international arena, not all will be smooth sailing on the course ahead. At time the Party will commit errors, there will be saboteurs among the masses, and we will need to carry out class struggle. We are like a ship advancing against wind and waves in the Atlantic Ocean.

President: I completely agree with the substance of what you have said. Any decision has class content. There can be no compromise between freedom and bondage, or between progress and reaction. If it is not the former, then it is the latter.

Premier: There are two types of freedom. If it is not the freedom of the majority, then it is the freedom of the minority.

President: The national democratic system depends not only on the working class, but on all the people. A people are the goal, not the means. Our party's resolve must be to correctly resolve issues, oppose those attempting to exploit others, and protect the interests of the exploited. In our party, anyone engaged in exploitative activities, such as merchants in the past, cannot participate in leadership work. The leaders at all levels are under the control of the laborers. Former feudal lords can join the party but cannot join the leading organs. Some of the reactionary elements we know also can join the party but, other than their being absolutely excluded from the leading organs, we completely agree with the class struggle of which you spoke. Some of the classes in our party’s six congresses have been reactionary. Some of them have been progressive. We should rely on those classes. Each party congress must examine each class for reactionary behavior and prevent reactionary elements from entering the leading organs. The resistance and sabotage of some social classes of which you spoke also exist in Guinea. It is frequently revealed to us that reform of thinking indeed does not take place as quickly as political or economic reform. The new situation emerged because the old situation was not good. The problem is that, based on our experience, we must rely not only on the working class but on all the people. Of course, within the people it is still necessary to carry out class struggle, but the form of struggle is not one with a character of open confrontation. We do not have leftist or rightist struggle. The PDG is our nation’s only party. We have taken measures to prevent reactionary elements from seizing its leadership. The Labe district has a population of 250,000, of which 160,000 are party members. So long as people are willing to enter the party and agree with the party’s policies and objectives, they can be enrolled in the party. Merchants, too, may freely participate. The PDG broadly enrolls party members to expand the organization, different from other parties.

Premier: I have only spoken of our own experience. The specifics differ, but we have points in common, such as the laws of class struggle. Of course, the form and extent of struggle are different. In addition, there is also the law of the unity of opposites. It there is contradiction in society, then there will be struggle, after which there emerge new contradictions. Only by such repetition can society develop. I am very pleased to see that the President in these several conversations has used this law to analyze the philosophy and thought central to these issues. This law is the essence of Lenin’s dialectical materialism and is the one that Chairman Mao is most adept in using.

If I were to offer advice for Guinea’s revolution, I might say that I think that Guinea’s revolution is in a transitional stage and, after having rid itself of colonial rule, Guinea must follow the non-capitalist road of development, and non-capitalist development certainly must lead to socialism. Of course, the way of achieving socialism needs to have Guinea’s own characteristics.

The PDG seems to reflect two situations. On the one hand, there is the national and democratic united front, which has mobilized broadly under the banner of opposition to imperialism and colonialism. Anyone against imperialism and colonialism and in favor of African unity and independence can join it. This is a good form of organization, one capable of mobilizing all forces, but one must take note of the differences in the party’s internal composition. There are workers and peasants, and there are also former feudal lords, merchants, minority capitalists, and reactionary elements as well. Even though they do not participate in the leading organs, they are different in political attitude. They will inevitably have an effect. New and old forces exist within the party, so there will be class struggle over politics and thought. Resolving contradictions will depend on the leadership core. Exploiting and reactionary elements should be excluded from the leadership core, allowing those with experience in struggle and who have gone through trial to participate in the leadership group. Those who have committed errors must be criticized or replaced. If the leadership core is strong, the thought is progressive, and the organization is rigorous, undoubtedly it will reflect working-class thought. The working class here refers to industrial workers, no matter how many. Because they participate in collective production, their thought is progressive. The party’s name is unimportant. The party may also include a united front, but the leaders must have communist-class thought. Only then can they direct the revolution’s progress and carry through the nationalist democratic revolution to the end and complete non-capitalist development. The President has said that so long as one has progressive thought one can propel the revolution. Progressive thought cannot be peasant thinking, nor can it be nationalist bourgeois or petty-bourgeois thinking. It can only be working-class thought. The PDG at present has two parts. One is the united front. One is the leadership group. Both parts can and must co-exist for a while, but one must distinguish between the leadership core, with its progressive thought, and the united front on the periphery. In this way, only then will there be benefit to the broad masses of people, the working people will be able to understand the leadership core's progressive thought, and the party can strengthen its own organization and discipline. Contradiction must be reflected in the people. The Party must stand on the side of progress, stand on the side of the freedom of the majority, and oppose the backward. Among the countries of Asia and Africa, apart from Japan, there are very few workers. Between workers and peasants there is difference but no fundamental contradiction. The issue is not low wages. The difference in wages between workers and peasants is a temporary phenomenon. One should pay attention to eliminating this difference. The President’s approach to raising wages, of which he spoke, is very good. We, too, are prepared to do so. If we do not eliminate this difference, we cannot enter into a communist society. It is also difficult to consolidate a socialist society. I have spoken of my ideas, and these ideas are not necessarily correct.

President: We concluded at the end of our report that a chaotic situation could arise if the party's leadership is not sufficiently resolute in implementing its principles. The nationalist democratic system will not last long and will collapse. If the system is progressive in substance and we make an effort to accelerate change, we can produce content of a new character in the form of nationalist democratic morality. It will also enhance the party's character.

The origin of the difference between workers and peasants lies in their ways of life and levels of civilization. Whether or not this difference is evident depends on whether or not capitalism is developed. In the capitalist countries of Europe, this difference is clear. In Guinea, more than 95 percent of the workers serve the state, and peasant production also possesses a national character. The peasants cannot themselves stipulate prices for agricultural products to exploit consumers. The peasants do not have the right to export agricultural products, or the right to import goods. They produce according to the needs of the state, which administers everything. The peasants are only masters of labor. This shows that the less developed is capitalism, the less evident is the difference between workers and peasants. The concept of class is to see whether or not there is confrontation, confrontation between different ways of life. Are you able or not to point out any confrontation between workers and peasants? The peasants are laborers, as are the workers. It is only that their wages are not fixed, but given in exchange for their own labor. When we speak of class, we are speaking only of a hopeful laboring class. All who directly use the fruits of their own mental or physical labor to live and who do not carry out exploitation belong to this class. Our dictatorship is a dictatorship of the laboring class, in which workers and peasants are equal and there is no difference. It is only in their individual political consciousness that each is different. There is no opposition between them. We regard workers and peasants as two parts of the laboring class. If the peasants themselves control the products and exploit consumers in the capitalist manner, that would be another matter. Then, workers and peasants were different. Now, the peasants produce for the collective.

Premier: Without a doubt, between the working class and peasant class there is no confrontational contradiction. Both are laborers. Peasants carry out individual labor. There is private ownership. But the production of workers is ownership by the whole people. Even after agricultural collectivization, collective ownership is distinct from ownership by the whole people.

President: Our land here is state-owned. There is no private ownership.

Premier: In state ownership of the land, peasants still have farming tools, and there are two forms of agricultural production. One is private ownership and one is collective ownership, which in the future will also develop into ownership by the whole people. There is still a difference between the two of them.

President: Although the farming tools may be privately owned by the peasants, the farming tools are all very simple. At the same time, the fruits of production are not distributed by the peasants themselves.

Premier: The results of the peasants’ production are collectively distributed. There is also state distribution.

President: The state stipulates prices for buying and selling.

Premier: May the peasants not sell everything and keep a portion for themselves?

President: We would look at the situation of their consumption.

Premier: They could then set aside more or less.

President: The state can allocate.

Premier: Would it permit their keeping a greater portion?

President: Possibly, but they could not sell it themselves. Sales can only be to the State.

Premier: Then there are two possibilities. The peasant, after keeping a greater portion, either would consume more or give it to others.

President: We would then have to see if he labored well or not. If he labored well, he may consume more.

Minister of Economic Development: The state stipulates the ratio of the portion kept to income.

President: Agricultural products acquired by the state are distributed based on the interests of all. For the workers, we also oppose Yugoslavia’s practice, that is, the factory being owned by the workers and the income being distributed among the workers without regard to the needs of the state. We also oppose this practice among the peasants.

Premier: At present peasant productivity is not high, and the state acquires not a little. We have been considering whether or not this has an effect on increasing production.

Minister of Economic Development: In the future there will be improvement in tools, productivity will be increased, and efforts should be made to limit personal property.

President: The problem now is that there are few products, not that there is excess production. In the future, after we increase production, we will not permit the accumulation of personal wealth. We are now carrying out compulsory education nationwide, educating the children that in the future everything must be collectivized.

Working-class thought is revolutionary thought, but revolutionary thought is not necessarily working-class thought. Those with the most resolute revolutionary will in a country are those who have been most oppressed. In our country, the most oppressed have not been the workers, but the peasants. On many issues, the peasants are very determined and the workers are hesitant.

Premier: My view is that the working class exists as a collective, and its thought is advanced.

President: We agree.

We have criticized the French Communist Party’s workerism. The influence of bourgeois thought among the workers is greater than among the peasants. Because their style of living is different, when we issued our own currency, the workers thought to leave for the foreign currency zone -- it is not convenient to travel abroad -- but the peasants would not have such thoughts. When we decided to give subsidies to women, most workers and functionaries were against it, but the peasants agreed.

Premier: China, too, has backward workers. I am referring to the working class, this collective, not to certain workers in a certain place. They are two different things. Those who have been most oppressed are the most resolute in revolution. They are always brave and in the right.

President: In Africa, such persons are the peasants.

Premier: So, too, are China’s peasants. We achieved victory in relying on the peasants, but the most promising thing to adapt for the development of society is working-class thought. In the future the peasants, too, must become workers.

President: There is no more problem now. I thought that you were sectarian regarding the peasants.

Premier: This is impossible for China’s revolution. We relied on peasant warfare to gain victory. Chairman Mao’s thought was correct in proposing to use the countryside to surround the city, but we must recognize that Marxist-Leninist thought was produced in the workers’ movement. In the future, after the elimination of class, everyone will become workers.

President: What we call the laboring class are workers, instructors, and scientists, all of whom belong to the laboring class.

Premier: The laboring class is broad. Peasants, as working people, also must use machines to become workers. At the same time, in the most advanced society, the difference between physical laborers and mental laborers will also disappear.

All right, we can stop discussing this. The main point is the same. I am willing to repeat it. I want to explain that in your party there should be maintained a certain difference between the leadership core and the party members. This difference is very important. With it, you can propel class struggle forward. We advise you to pay attention to this point.

Now let us discuss political issues. The military is a tool against domestic enemies and reactionary dictatorship. In times of peace, it serves the people, joins in production, and at the same time is also a propaganda team.

President: I completely agree.

Premier: I propose to the Politburo, in the name of friendly fraternal countries, that I hope that you concern yourselves with the President’s health. This is not personal superstition. The President is the leader of the masses. The President is close to the masses. I agree. This is the revolution’s characteristic. The President speaks of democracy and seeks the views of the masses. This can concentrate the wisdom of the masses and improve the party’s program. But now your position is different. Before independence, you had persons among the masses who shielded you. Now, you are the leaders of the country. The masses all see you. The enemy, too, can clearly understand your actions. Therefore, the President’s present freedom should accept a certain restriction by the people. He cannot himself drive a car and go out as he likes. Although we are countries on two continents, in the interest of the revolution, I appeal to the Politburo, asking that you pay attention to the President’s security, not only for the sake of your own country and Africa, but for the entire world. There have been dangers in the past, and there will be others in the future. The attempted assassinations against President [Kwame] Nkrumah and President [Ahmed] Ben Bella are examples. Your Excellency the President spoke of class struggle. This is class struggle. I sincerely make this suggestion.

Next time, I will briefly speak of the issue of economic construction.

[…]