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Mao Tse-tung

Nigel Harris et al.

Mao Tse-tung

Other Thoughts of Mao

‘Next there is the implementation of a ten hour day and progressive piece wage systems using wages to increase production and raise labour consciousness... the egalitarian supply wage system obliterates the distinctions between skilled and unskilled labour, and between industriousnessand indolence – thereby lowering worker activism; we must replace the supply system with a progressive piece rate system to stimulate worker activism and increase the quantity and quality of output’
Economic and Financial Problems, 1942, Ching wen t’i yu ts’ai cheng we t’i, as originally published, New Democracy, Hong Kong 1949, p.115 (cited by Howe, Wage Patterns and Wage Policy in Modern China 1919-1972, London 1973, p.59)

‘Revolution is the emancipation of productive forces; it promotes the development of productive forces.’
(Liberation Army Daily, 3 Aug. 1967, and People’s Daily, 3 Aug. 1967)

‘Those who have no practical knowledge are pseudo-red, empty headed politicoes.’
(Feb. 1958, in Mao Papers, pp.64-65)

‘Sometimes this isn’t so (that the masses are understanding and reasonable). Once the masses are aroused, they become blind, and we have our own blindness too. In the past during the Wuhan epoch, the masses mobilized factory strikes against reduction of wages, there was unemployment and blindness.’
(20 Dec. 1964, Forum on Central Committee Work, Miscellany, ii, p.417)

‘Our experience is that if cadres do not discard their haughty airs and identify themselves with workers, the workers will frequently look upon the factory not as their own, but as the cadres’. The lordly behaviour of the cadres makes workers unwilling to consciously observe and implement labour discipline.’
(1961-62, comment on Soviet experience. Miscellany II, p.283).

‘When China really wins her independence, then legitimate trading interests will enjoy more opportunity than ever before. The powers of production and consumption of 450 million people is not a matter that can remain the exclusive interest of China.’
(to Edgar Snow, Red Star over China, London 1973, p.96)

‘We welcome foreign investments if such are beneficial to China’s economy and are made in observance of China’s laws... We shall be able to absorb vast amounts of foreign investment.’
(On coalition government, 1945, as originally published, in A Documentary History, op. cit., p.312).

‘There has been an erroneous emphasis on “doing everything as the masses want it done”, and an “accommodation to wrong views existing among the masses”, of “one-sidedly propagating a poor peasant-farm labourer line” ... that the democratic government should be a government of the peasants only, or that the democratic government should listen only to the workers, poor peasants and farm labourers, while no mention at all was made of the middle peasants, the independent craftsmen, the national bourgeoisie and the intellectuals.’
(Feb. 1948, Selected Works IV, p.197).

‘We should get rid of the enemy. Rigid bureaucrats should be reformed into creative bureaucrats. If after a long time they can’t become creative, then we should get rid of them.’
(9th Plenum/8th Central Committee, Jan. 1961, in Miscellany II, p.240)

‘The method of simply rejecting everything and negating everything, of directing the struggle against cadres who shoulder most of the responsibilities and do most of the work of against the ‘heads’ (of departments) must be abandoned.’
(Jun.1967, in Mao Papers, p.141)

‘In my opinion, he (a recent graduate) may not be qualified to be a departmental head. A departmental head must have some scholarship! Since you haven’t yet completed your academic work, or have only just graduated, you have no teaching experience, no experience of administering a department.’
(Feb. 1967, Miscellany II, p. 452)

‘We must believe that more than ninety per cent of our cadres are good or comparatively good.’
(13 May 1966, Mao Papers, p.154)

‘I am the black hand that suppressed the Red Guards.’
(July 1968, Miscellany II, p.480)

‘Nor can we put all the blame on Comrade Shao-ch’i and Comrade Hsiao-p’ing. They have some responsibility, but so has the Centre. The Centre has not run things properly.’
(Liu Shao-ch’i, President of the Republic and Mao’s chosen ‘heir’, 1945-1966; and Teng Hsiao-p’ing, General Secretary of the Party up to 1966; the two leading ‘capitalist roaders’ attacked in the Cultural Revolution and removed from office; from Mao Unrehearsed, p.274)

Workers should ‘firmly stick to their production posts, firmly uphold the system of eight hours work, and make revolution only in the spare time outside their working hours.’
(New China News Agency, Peking, Feb. 10 1968, Survey of Mainland China 4119, Hong Kong, Feb. 15, 1968, p.10)

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Last updated: 20.1.2008