"One Divides Into Two" Reveals Struggle; "Two Combine into One" Reveals Unity

Contemporary Chinese Thought 12 (1):22-36 (1980)
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Abstract

In 1964, a great controversy over "one divides into two" and "two combine into one" broke out on the Chinese philosophical battlefront. Thanks to the chicanery of those "authorities on theory" and to the fact that some of our comrades were not able to comprehend or describe fully and accurately the dialectical materialist view of contradiction, this debate arrived at the erroneous conclusion that "one divides into two" is the dialectical method, is the law of the unity of opposites, while "two combine into one" is metaphysical and represents placating or compromise between the opposites of a contradiction. Later, Lin Biao and the "gang of four" adopted and extended this conclusion in their strident call for the "philosophy of struggle" which formed the theoretical foundation of the ultraleftist line. In their distortions of the struggle of contradiction they denied the unity of contradiction. Under the direction of this philosophy of "struggle, struggle, struggle," which distorted the struggle aspect of contradiction and denied the unity of contradiction, which recognized only "dividing" and not "combining," the class struggle in China was expanded for many years, the battlelines of struggle were deepened, the enemy-versus-us-contradiction was intensified, wreaking destruction on the Party, the nation, and the people. Now it is time that we restore order from this chaos, distinguish clearly between which theories are true and which are false, and separate right practice from wrong. In order to really accomplish this, we must again present this case for a fair, public, and scientific trial

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