chapter  5
46 Pages

Fluctuations Between Order and Disorder

During his talks with provincial leaders in the summer of 1967, Mao made a number of remarks which were published as his latest instructions. In comparison with his call, at the beginning of the year, to wage an 'all-round class struggle', there clearly was a change of tone. Mao now pointed out that 'there is no fundamental clash of interests within the working class. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is no reason whatsoever for the working class to split into two big irreconcilable organisations'. 1 He urged the students to unite in great alliances. In view of the large number of conservatives, he played down the importance of the differences between them and the radicals. If some people had joined the conservative organisations, this was a matter of perception, he said. Even if it was a question of standpoint, as some people held, so what? The standpoint could be changed.2