On Criticism and Self-Criticism

by Bob Avakian

RW #580, November 11, 1990

We Maoists talk a lot about criticism and self-criticism and how important this is--for the vanguard and in the ranks of the revolutionary people in general. And it is also very important to be clear on what we mean by criticism and self-criticism.

In the interview recently printed in the Revolutionary Worker, Comrade X did a beautiful job in speaking to this, in making very clear what this means--and what it doesn't mean--that it doesn't mean tearing other comrades down, it means building up our revolutionary ranks. The comrade gets into why many brothers and sisters have a hard time with this at first and how to get a better understanding of it. People should definitely check out what the comrade has to say, get into it deeply, and take it to heart.

Here I just want to give this very basic summation:

For Maoists, self-criticism means looking honestly, without fear, anger, or any kind of ego thing, at what we do wrong--as well as what we do right--digging out the reasons for this, and moving to correct what is wrong and build on what is right. Criticism means helping other comrades do the same. And in this we are guided by one goal, one purpose: to serve the people, and do our part in making revolution to emancipate the oppressed people, all over the world.