Chapter 25-26

Unity and Discipline Icon

January 12, 2022

The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities - these are the basic guarantees of the sure triumph of our cause.

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957). 1st pocket ed., pp. 1-2.

It is only through the unity of the Communist Party that the unity of the whole class and the whole nation can be achieved, and it is only through the unity of the whole class and the whole nation that the enemy can be defeated and the national and democratic revolution accomplished. “Win the Masses in Their Millions for the Anti-Japanese National United Front” (May 7, 1937), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 292.* We shall solidly unite all the forces of our Party on democratic centralist principles of organization and discipline. We shall unite with any comrade if he abides by the Party’s Programme, Constitution and decisions. “On Coalition Government” (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 317.* This democratic method of resolving contradictions among the people was epitomized in 1942 in the formula “unity, criticism, unity”. To elaborate, it means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. In our experience this is the correct method of resolving contradictions among the people.

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), 1st pocket ed., p. 12. This [our] army has achieved remarkable unity in its own ranks and with those outside its ranks. Internally, there is unity between officers and men, between the higher and lower ranks, and between military work, political work and rear service work; and externally, there is unity between the army and the people, between the army and government organizations, and between our army and the friendly armies. It is imperative to overcomeanything that impairs this unity. “On Coalition Government” (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 264.*

Chapter 26. DISCIPLINE

Within the ranks of the people, democracy is correlative with centralism and freedom with discipline. They are the two opposites of a single entity, contradictory as well as united, and we should not one-sidedly emphasize one to the denial of the other. Within the ranks of the people, we cannot do without freedom, nor can we do without discipline; we cannot do without democracy, nor can we do without centralism. This unity of democracy and centralism, of freedom and discipline, constitutes our democratic centralism. Under this system, the people enjoy extensive democracy and freedom, but at the same time they have to keep within the bounds of socialist discipline. On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), 1st pocket ed., pp. 10-11. We must affirm anew the discipline of the Party, namely:

  1. the individual is subordinate to the organization;
  2. the minority is subordinate to the majority;
  3. the lower level is subordinate to the higher level; and
  4. the entire membership is subordinate to the Central Committee. Whoever violates these articles of discipline disrupts Party unity. “The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War” (October 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 203-04.* One requirement of Party discipline is that the minority should submit to the majority. If the view of the minority has been rejected, it must support the decision passed by the majority. If necessary, it can bring up the matter for reconsideration at the next meeting, but apart from that it must not act against the decision in any way. “On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party” (December 1929), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 110. The Three Main Rules of Discipline are as follows:
  5. Obey orders in all your actions.
  6. Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses.
  7. Turn in everything captured.The Eight Points for Attention are as follows:
  8. Speak politely.
  9. Pay fairly for what you buy.
  10. Return everything you borrow.
  11. Pay for anything you damage.
  12. Do not hit or swear at people.
  13. Do not damage crops.
  14. Do not take liberties with women.
  15. Do not ill-treat captives. “On the Reissue of the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention - Instruction of the General Headquarters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army” (October 10, 1947), Selected Military Writings, 2nd ed., p. 343. They [all officers and soldiers of our army] must heighten their sense of discipline and resolutely carry out orders, carry out our policy, carry out the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention - with army and people united, army and government united, officers and soldiers united, and the whole army united - and permit no breach of discipline. “Manifesto of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army” (October 1947), Selected Military Writings, 2nd ed., p. 340.

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