Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


October 13, 1957

[Speech at the Thirteenth Session of the Supreme State Conference.]

A form has now been found for the rectification movement, namely, speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big-character posters. It is a new form created by the masses which is different from other forms employed by our Party in the past. True, there were a few big-character posters during the rectification in Yenan, but we didn't encourage them. Nor was this form subsequently used in the Three Check-ups and Three Improvements. In the period of the revolutionary wars we received no pay and had no ordnance factories, what our Party and army relied on were the soldiers and the people in different localities, the masses. And so a democratic style of work has evolved over the years. But in those days there was no such form as speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big-character posters such as there is now. Why? Because we were then in the heat of war and the class struggle was very acute, and if we had allowed a free-for-all within our own ranks, that would have been bad. Things are different now. The war is over and the whole country except Taiwan Province is liberated. Hence this new form. New revolutionary content must find a new form of expression. Our revolution today is a socialist revolution, its aim is to build a socialist country and it has found this new form. This form can be speedily popularized, it can be readily picked up in a few months.

There are chiefly two fears when it comes to speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big-character posters. One is fear of disorder. Are you afraid of disorder? I think many are. The other is fear of not being able to get out of one's predicament. Those who serve as factory or co-operative directors, college heads or Party committee secretaries are all afraid that they won't be able to extricate themselves once views are aired or fires lit. It is easy now to convince people not to be afraid, but it was rather difficult in May. In Peking's thirty-four institutions of higher education the free airing of views was not allowed until after many meetings had been held. Why is there no need for fear? Why is the airing of views to our advantage? Which is to our advantage -- airing views in a big way, or in a small way, or not at all? No airing of views is not to our advantage and airing views in a small way can solve no problems, therefore views must be aired in a big way. First, this will not bring on disorder and, second, it will not make extricating oneself impossible. Of course, the case is different with certain individuals, for example, Ting Ling cannot extricate herself, nor can Feng Hsueh-feng, who has lit a fire to burn up the Communist Party. They are only a handful and are Rightists. Other people need not worry, they should be able to extricate themselves. At most they have such faults as bureaucracy, sectarianism or subjectivism, and if they do, they need only correct them, so there is no ground for fear. The basic thing is to have faith in the majority of the people, in the fact that the majority are good. The majority of the workers are good, and so are the majority of the peasants. And so are most members of the Communist Party and the Youth League. None of them want to throw our country into disorder. Most of the bourgeois intellectuals, the capitalists and the members of the democratic parties can be remoulded. Therefore we need not be afraid, for there won't and can't be disorder. We must have faith in the majority, and by that do we mean 51 per cent? No, we do not, we mean 90 to 98 per cent.

The socialist revolution is new to us all. The revolution we carried out in the past was only a democratic revolution, which was bourgeois in nature. It only destroyed imperialist, feudal and bureaucrat-capitalist ownership, but not individual ownership or national capitalist ownership. Thus many people could pass the test of the democratic revolution. While some were not really keen on a thoroughgoing democratic revolution and barely managed to come through, others were willing to work hard for it and passed the test all right. The test now is socialism, and it is hard for some people. Take for example that Party member in Hupeh Province who was originally a farm labourer. For three generations his family had to go begging. Liberation brought him a new life, he grew well off and became a cadre at the district level. However, he complained bitterly about socialism and strongly disapproved of agricultural co-operation; he demanded "freedom" and opposed the state monopoly of the purchase and marketing of grain. An exhibition about the life of this man has now been organized to serve as class education. He wept bitter tears of remorse, saying he would mend his ways. Why is the test of socialism hard to pass? Because socialism means destroying capitalist ownership and transforming it into socialist ownership by the whole people, destroying individual ownership and transforming it into socialist collective ownership. Of course, this struggle will go on for many years, and it is hard to say for sure right now just how long the transition period will be. The struggle this year is like a crest in the waves. Will there be such a crest every year like those in the Yellow River? I am afraid not. Nonetheless there will be some in the years ahead.

How many people are there today in the whole country who do not approve of socialism? Together with many comrades in the localities, I have made an estimate. It shows that about 10 per cent of our total population disapprove of or oppose socialism. The figure comprises the landlord class, the rich peasants, part of the well-to-do middle peasants, part of the national bourgeoisie, part of the bourgeois intellectuals, part of the upper stratum of the urban petty bourgeoisie and even a few workers and poor and lower-middle peasants. What is 10 per cent of a population of 600 million? Sixty million. That's no small number and should not be underrated.

There are two underlying reasons for saying that we must have firm faith in the majority of the people. First, 90 per cent of our people are in favour of socialism. This comprises the proletariat, the poor peasants who are the semi-proletariat of the rural areas, the lower-middle peasants and the majority of the upper stratum of the petty bourgeoisie, the majority of the bourgeois intellectuals and part of the national bourgeoisie. Second, among those who disapprove of or oppose socialism, how many are the worst die-herds, namely, ultra-Rightists, counter-revolutionaries, saboteurs, and those who, while not engaging in sabotage, are most obstinate and are likely to carry their ossified heads to their graves? Probably only 2 per cent. What is 2 per cent of the total population? Twelve million. Banded together and equipped with guns, these twelve million would make a sizable army. But why won't there be any great disorder in the country? Because they are scattered in different co-operatives, villages, factories, schools and branches of the Communist Party, the Youth League and the democratic parties. Since they are scattered all over the place and cannot band together, there won't be any great disorder.

What is the scope of the socialist revolution, what classes are involved in this struggle? The socialist revolution is a struggle waged by the proletariat at the head of the working people against the bourgeoisie. Though relatively small in number, China's proletariat has allies in vast numbers, the most important of whom are the poor and lower-middle peasants who form 70 per cent or a little more of the rural population. The well-to-do middle peasants make up about another 20 per cent. The present-day well-to-do middle peasants may be roughly divided into three categories: those who are for co-operation, 40 per cent; those who are of two minds, 40 per cent; and those who are against, 20 per cent. Education and remoulding in recent years has brought about a split among the landlords and the rich peasants, some of whom are no longer entirely opposed to socialism. We should also take an analytical approach towards the bourgeoisie and bourgeois intellectuals and not regard them all as being opposed to socialism, because that is not the case. Ninety per cent of our entire population are for socialism. We must have faith in this majority. Through our efforts and great debates we may win over an additional 8 per cent, which will bring the total to 98 per cent. The die-herds bitterly opposed to socialism are only 2 per cent. Of course we must be on the alert, because they are still a considerable force, as Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping put it just now.

The rich peasants are the bourgeoisie in the countryside where very few people listen to them. The landlords are still more discredited. The comprador-bourgeoisie has long been discredited. As for the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intellectuals, the upper stratum of the rural petty bourgeoisie (the well-to-do middle peasants), the upper stratum of the urban petty bourgeoisie (the relatively well-to-do small proprietors) and the intellectuals from these strata, they do have a certain influence. The intellectuals in particular are much sought after, they are needed in every sphere. Universities need professors, primary and middle schools need teachers, newspapers need journalists, theatres actors and actresses, and construction projects scientists, engineers and technicians. At present there are five million intellectuals and seven hundred thousand capitalists, or together almost six million. If each has a family of five, five times six million are thirty million. Comparatively speaking, the bourgeoisie and its intellectuals have a high level of education and technical know-how. That's why the Rightists are so cocky. Didn't Lo Lung-chi say that the little proletarian intellectuals are incapable of leading a big petty-bourgeois intellectual like him? He insisted on saying that he is not bourgeois but petty bourgeois, a big petty-bourgeois intellectual. In my opinion, not only the little proletarian intellectuals but the workers and peasants who may know hardly any characters at all are a great deal wiser than Lo Lung-chi.

The Rightists and the middle elements among the bourgeoisie and its intellectuals and among the upper stratum of the petty bourgeoisie and its intellectuals are not reconciled to the leadership of the Communist Party and the proletariat. They say they support the Communist Party and the Constitution, in a way they mean it and their hands are raised in favour, but at heart they are not really reconciled. Here a distinction must be made between the Rightists who are hostile and the middle elements who are half inclined to be reconciled and half not. Aren't there persons who say the Communist Party is incapable of leading this or leading that? This view is not confined to the Rightists but is shared by some of the middle elements. In short, according to their argument, our days are numbered, the Communist Party has no choice but to move to another country and the proletariat to another planet. Because you are no good at anything! The Rightists say, you are not fit for any trade whatsoever. The main purpose of the current debate is to win over the half-hearted middle elements so that they will understand what the law of social development is all about and realize they'd better listen to the proletariat which does not have a high level of education and to the poor and lower-middle peasants in the countryside. Speaking of educational level, the proletariat and the poor and lower-middle peasants are not as good, but when it comes to making revolution, it is they who are really good at it. Can this convince the majority of the people? Yes, it can. It can convince the majority of the bourgeoisie, of the bourgeois intellectuals and of the upper stratum of the petty bourgeoisie. And also most of the university professors, primary and middle school teachers, artists, writers, scientists and engineers. Those who are not quite reconciled will gradually become reconciled, after some years.

With the majority of the people supporting socialism, the current appearance of the new form -- speaking out, airing views and holding debates in a big way and writing big-character posters -- is advantageous. This form has no class character. The Rightists too can use it. We are indebted to the Rightists for inventing the expression "in a big way". In my talk of February 27 this year I didn't use this expression, I said nothing about speaking out, airing views and holding debates in a big way. At a meeting here in May last year, when we talked about letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, we were referring to "airing views" and "speaking out", and in neither case was the expression "in a big way" used. What is more, letting a hundred flowers blossom was meant to apply only to the sphere of literature and art and letting a hundred schools of thought contend only to academic matters. Later on the Rightists called for extending the application to political matters, in other words, they called for the airing of views on all matters, for a "period of airing views", and, what is more, they wanted them aired in a big way. It is evident that this slogan can be used by the bourgeoisie as well as by the proletariat; it can be used by the Left, the middle and the Right alike. Which class really benefits from this slogan of speaking out, airing views and holding debates in a big way and writing big-character posters? In the final analysis, the proletariat, not the bourgeois Rightists. The reason is that 90 per cent of the population don't want disorder in the country, they want to build socialism. Of the remaining l0 per cent who disapprove of socialism or are opposed to it, many are of two minds, and only 2 per cent are dyed-in-the-wool anti-socialist elements. How can they possibly plunge the country into disorder? Therefore, in the final analysis, the slogan of speaking out and airing views in a big way, the form or method of speaking out, airing views and holding debates in a big way and writing big-character posters, benefits the majority of the people and helps them remould themselves. There are two roads -- the road of socialism and the road of capitalism, and it is socialism that this slogan benefits.

We should not be afraid of disorder or of being unable to extricate ourselves. On the other hand, the Rightists will find it difficult to extricate themselves, although it will still be possible for them to do so. In accordance with dialectics, the Rightists will, I think, split into two sections. Probably quite a few of them, pushed by the general trend of events, will clarify their thinking, change their stand, behave themselves and not be so stubborn. When that happens, their Rightist label will be removed, they will no longer be called "Rightists" and besides will be given jobs. A handful of the worst die-herds may remain unrepentant to the end and carry the Rightist label to their graves. It doesn't matter much, there will always be such individuals.

Since the Rightists stirred up trouble, we have been able to do some stock-taking: on the one hand, 90 per cent of the population are in favour of socialism, and with some effort we can make it 98 per cent; on the other hand, 10 per cent disapprove of socialism or are opposed to it, among whom the worst die-herds dead set against socialism account for only 2 per cent. With this stock-taking we know where we are. Under the leadership of the political party of the proletariat and with the majority of the people supporting socialism, we can use the method of speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big-character posters to avoid such incidents as the one in Hungary and what is happening in Poland now. There is no need for us to ban a journal as was done in Poland,[1] all we have to do is to publish a couple of editorials in the Party newspaper. We wrote two editorials criticizing Wen Hui Pao. The first one was not thorough and did not hit the nail on the head, but after the second Wen Hui Pao set about correcting its mistakes. So did Hsin Min Pao. This could not happen in Poland, for they have not solved the problems of counter-revolutionaries and Rightists and of which road to take, nor have they put emphasis on the struggle against bourgeois ideas. Consequently, banning a journal touched off an incident. I think things are easier to manage in China and I have never been pessimistic. Didn't I say there wouldn't be disorder and we shouldn't be afraid? Disorder can be turned to good account. Wherever views are aired to the full, with the worst types howling and growling and great disorder following in their wake, things will be much easier to manage.

Before liberation China had only four million industrial workers and now there are twelve million. Though small in number, the working class, and the working class alone, has great promise. The other classes are all classes in transition, they all have to make the transition towards the working class. In the first step of this transition, the peasants become collective peasants and in the second step workers on state farms. The bourgeoisie will be eliminated, but not physically; the bourgeoisie will be eliminated as a class but remoulded as individuals. The bourgeois intellectuals need remoulding, and so do the petty-bourgeois intellectuals. They can be gradually remoulded and eventually transformed into proletarian intellectuals. Once I quoted the saying, "With the skin gone, to what can the hair attach itself?" If the intellectuals do not attach themselves to the proletariat, they will be in danger of "dangling in mid-air". Many people have now joined the trade unions, and some ask, "Aren't we members of the working class now that we are in trade unions?" No. Some have joined the Communist Party and yet they are anti-Communist. Aren't Ting Ling and Feng Hsueh-feng Communists who are anti-Communist? Joining a trade union does not automatically make a person a member of the working class, for he has to undergo a process of remoulding. Members of the democratic parties, university professors, men of letters and writers have no friends among the workers and peasants. That is a serious drawback. Fei Hsiao-tung, for one, has over two hundred friends among the higher intellectuals in places like Peking, Shanghai, Chengtu, Wuhan and Wusih. He simply cannot break away from the group and, what is more, he has made a conscious effort to organize these people and has aired views on their behalf. That's the source of his trouble. I would ask, can't you change a little? Chuck your group of two hundred and seek another two hundred among workers and peasants. In my opinion, all intellectuals should make friends among the worker and peasant masses, where they can find true friends. Make friends with old workers. Among the peasants don't too readily make friends with the well-to-do middle peasants but seek your friends among the poor and lower-middle peasants. For the old workers have a keen sense of orientation and so do the poor and lower-middle peasants.

The rectification movement comprises four stages -- airing of views, counter-attack, reform and study. This means the stage of free airing of views, that of counter-attack on the Rightists, that of check-up and reform and lastly that of studying some Marxism-Leninism and making criticism and self-criticism in the manner of "a gentle breeze and a mild rain" in group meetings. When "a gentle breeze and a mild rain" was first proposed in a document on rectification issued by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on May 1 this year, quite a few people, mainly Rightists, took exception to the idea and wanted "a strong gale and a torrential downpour", which has turned out to be advantageous to us. This is what we had expected. For the same thing happened in the rectification movement in Yenan; instead of the gentle breeze we had proposed, a strong gale arose, but in the end it was the gentle breeze that prevailed. When big-character posters appeared in their thousands in factories, people in positions of leadership had a tough time. For ten days or so, some wanted to quit or resign, saying they couldn't take it any more, couldn't eat or sleep. That was the case with the secretaries of university Party committees in Peking, they lost their appetites and couldn't go to sleep. The Rightists said they must have an unrestricted airing of views and no rejoinders. We too said we would let them shoot their mouths off and not answer. So in May we left them alone and did not come out with any refutation until June 8, and thus all views were freely aired. Roughly speaking, more than 90 per cent of the views aired were valid and the Rightist ones were a tiny fraction. We just had to stick it out and hear them through before hitting back. Each organization has to go through this stage. The rectification has to be conducted in every factory and agricultural co-operative. It is now being carried out in the army. This is most necessary. If you skip it, the "free market" will expand. It is a strange world, for if rectification is allowed to lapse for three years, many queer arguments will crop up and bourgeois ideas will re-emerge in the Communist Party, the Youth League and the democratic parties, and among university professors, primary and middle school teachers, journalists, engineers and scientists. Just as one's house must be tidied up and one's face washed every day, I think rectification should, in general, be conducted once a year and last a month or so. Perhaps there will be crests again. We are not responsible for the current one, the Rightists are. Didn't we say that even in the Communist Party we had Kao Kang? Could it be that there wasn't a single Kao Kang in the democratic parties? I just don't believe that. Again, such types as Ting Ling, Feng Hsueh-feng and Chiang Feng have been found in the Communist Party, aren't their likes already found in the democratic parties too?

The bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intellectuals ought to recognize the necessity of remoulding themselves. The Rightists refuse to do so, and because of their influence some others are also reluctant to accept remoulding, claiming they have already been remoulded. Chang Nai-chi says remoulding is horrible, as bad as having one's tendons pulled out and one's skin torn off. We say one should cast off one's old self and he says that means having your tendons pulled out and your skin torn off. Now, who is going to pull out that gentleman's tendons and tear off his skin? Many have forgotten what our aim is, why we want to do all this and what is good about socialism. Why is ideological remoulding necessary? Because we want the bourgeois intellectuals to acquire the proletarian world outlook and transform themselves into proletarian intellectuals. The old intellectuals will be obliged to make the change because new intellectuals are coming on the scene. In terms of knowledge you can say that the new intellectuals haven't made the grade yet, but eventually they will. The emergence of these new forces will pose a challenge to the old scientists, engineers, professors and teachers and spur them on. We reckon that most can make progress and some can remould themselves into proletarian intellectuals.

The proletariat must build up its own army of intellectuals, just as the bourgeoisie does. The regime of a given class cannot do without its own intellectuals. How could bourgeois dictatorship be possible in the United States without its intellectuals? Ours is a dictatorship of the proletariat, and the proletariat must build its own army of intellectuals, including all those intellectuals from the old society who truly take a firm working-class stand after being remoulded. Probably Chang Nai-chi can be counted among those Rightists who refuse to change. When urged to make the change into a proletarian intellectual, he refuses, saying he made the change long ago and is now a "red bourgeois". Well, let's follow the method of self-assessment and public discussion; you can make the assessment yourself, but it has to be put to the public for discussion. We say you are not up to the mark, Chang Nai-chi, you are a white bourgeois. Some people argue for becoming expert first and red later. To be expert first and red later means to be white first and red later. Not red now but red in the future -- if they are not red now, then what is their present colour? White of course. Intellectuals should be at once red and expert. To be red, they must make up their minds thoroughly to transform their bourgeois world outlook. They don't have to read a lot of books, what they must do is to get a true understanding of the following questions. What is the proletariat? What is the dictatorship of the proletariat? Why is it that the proletariat alone has great promise while the other classes are all classes in transition? Why must our country take the socialist road and not the capitalist road? Why is the leadership of the Communist Party indispensable?

Many people take exception to what I said on April 30. [2] "With the skin gone, to what can the hair attach itself?" I said there used to be five skins in China. Three of them were old ones, namely, imperialist ownership, feudal ownership and bureaucrat-capitalist ownership. In the past the intellectuals depended on these skins for a living. They also depended on national capitalist ownership and on ownership by small producers, that is, petty-bourgeois ownership. Our democratic revolution was aimed at removing the first three skins and, counting from the time of Lin Tse-hsu, [3] it went on for more than a century. The last two skins, namely, national capitalist and small producer ownership, were targets of the socialist revolution. All these five skins are now things of the past. The three older skins disappeared long ago and now the other two are gone. What skin is there now? The skin of socialist public ownership. Of course, this is divided into two parts, ownership by the whole people and ownership by the collective. On whom do they depend for a living? Whether members of the democratic parties, professors, scientists or journalists, they all depend on the working class, on the collective peasants, on ownership by the whole people and on ownership by the collective, in a word, they live off socialist public ownership. With those five skins gone, the hair is flying in mid-air and it won't stay put when it comes down. The intellectuals still look with disdain on this new skin, they have a very low opinion of the proletariat and the poor and lower-middle peasants, who, they say, are as ignorant of astronomy as of geography, and they think that people of all "three religions and nine schools of thought"[4] are not fit to hold a candle to them. The intellectuals are reluctant to accept Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism was opposed by many people in the past. The imperialists opposed it. Chiang Kai-shek opposed it, day in day out, saying "Communism is not suited to China's conditions" and making people afraid of it. It requires time as well as a socialist ideological revolutionary movement for intellectuals to embrace Marxism-Leninism and transform their bourgeois world outlook into the proletarian world outlook. The movement this year is meant to pave the way.

After the counter-attack on the Rightists, all is calm now in some departments, organizations and colleges; those in leading positions are having an easy time and are unwilling to carry out the reforms called for by the many correct criticisms put forward. Such is the case with some departments, organizations and colleges in Peking. In my opinion, there should be another high tide of airing views at the present stage of reform. Put up big-character posters and ask, "Why don't you carry out reforms?" Challenge them! This challenge can be very useful. The stage of reform should be allowed a little time, say, a couple of months. It is to be followed by a period of study, to study some Marxism-Leninism and to make criticism and self-criticism in the manner of "a gentle breeze and a mild rain". That will be the fourth stage. Such study of course is not simply a matter for a couple of months, what I mean is that people's interest in study should be aroused as the movement draws to a close.

The counter-attack on the Rightists will have to draw to a close. Some Rightists have anticipated this. The storm will be over sooner or later, they said. That's quite true. You can't attack the Rightists all the time, day after day and year after year. For instance, in Peking the air is not as thick with the dust of the battle against the Rightists as before, because the counter-attack is nearly over. However, it is not quite over and we must not relax our efforts. To this day, some Rightists obstinately refuse to surrender, for instance- Lo Lung-chi and Chang Nai-chi. I think we should try reasoning things out with them a few more times, and if they still refuse to be convinced, what can we do -- call them to meetings every day? A number of die-herds will never mend their ways, and we will just have to give them up. They are only a handful, we'll leave them to their own devices and shelve them for several decades. Anyway, the majority will press ahead.

Are we going to throw the Rightists into the sea? No, not a single one. The Rightists are a hostile force because they oppose the Communist Party, the people and socialism. But now we don't treat them in the way we treat the landlords and counter-revolutionaries, and the basic indicator of the difference is that they are not deprived of their right to vote. Perhaps a few will have to be denied this right and made to reform through labour. Our practice is not to make arrests and not to deprive them of their right to vote but instead to give them some leeway, and this will help to split them. Didn't I say a while ago that the Rightists are of two types? Type one are those who, having mended their ways, will have the Rightist label removed and who may return to the ranks of the people. Type two are those who will remain incorrigible to the day they report to the King of Hell. They will say, "We are not the surrendering type, Your Majesty. See what 'integrity' we have!" They are the loyal servants of the bourgeoisie. The Rightists maintain ties and identify with the feudal remnants and counter-revolutionaries and act in concert with them. The landlords jumped with joy at that paper Wen Hi Pao and bought copies to read to the peasants and intimidate them. "Look here," they would say, "all this is printed in the newspaper!" They wanted to retaliate. Then there are the imperialists and Chiang Kai-shek who also identify with the Rightists. For instance, the reactionaries in Taiwan and Hongkong stand four-square behind Chu An-ping's allegation of the "monopoly of everything by the Communist Party", Chang Po-chun's demand for a "political planning chamber" and Lo Lung-chi's call for a "political rehabilitation committee". U.S. imperialism, too, is very sympathetic to the Rightists. I once put it to you, "If the Americans invade Peking, what will you do? What attitude will you adopt? What action will you take? Will you join the United States in setting up a puppet regime, or will you come along with us to the mountains?" I said then that my intention was to take to the mountains, first going to Changchiakou and then to Yenan. I was talking in extreme terms and considering the worst possibility--we are not afraid of disorder. Even if the United States should occupy half of China, it wouldn't frighten us. Didn't Japan have the greater part of China under its occupation? And didn't we fight back and create a new China? In conversations with some Japanese I said that we should thank Japanese imperialism for its aggression because it did us a lot of good by arousing the opposition of our whole nation and promoting the awakening of our people.

The Rightists are liars, they are dishonest and do bad things behind our backs. Who would have thought Chang Po-chun would do so many bad things? I think the higher the office these types hold, the greater their treachery. The Chang-Lo alliance was delighted with the two slogans, long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, and letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend. They used these two slogans to oppose us. We said we favoured long-term coexistence but they tried to turn it into a short-term one for us. We said we favoured mutual supervision and they rejected any supervision. For a time they ran amuck and in the end they got the opposite of what they wanted, turning long-term coexistence into a short-term one for themselves. What about Chang Po-chun's ministerial post? I'm afraid he can no longer keep it. Surely the people will not agree to a Rightist heading a ministry! Then there are some well-known Rightists who are deputies to the National People's Congress. What is to be done about them? I'm afraid it is difficult to keep them in these posts. For instance, Ting Ling can no longer be a deputy. In some cases, it may not be good if no posts or no jobs are given them. For instance, Chien Wei-chang can perhaps still keep his post as professor but not the vice-chancellorship. As for some other professors, perhaps they should not continue in that capacity for the time being because the students won't go to their lectures. Then what work can they do? We can assign them some other jobs on the campus, let them reform themselves in the meantime and take up teaching again after a few years. All these questions need considering, it is a complicated business. Revolution itself is a complicated business. So I would like you to discuss the question of how the Rightists are to be dealt with and what arrangements are to be made for them.

How do things stand with the various democratic parties and at the grass roots? I'm afraid you who are in responsible positions haven't a very clear idea. For a time die-hard Rightists may have muddied the waters in some organizations so that we could not see to the bottom. Investigation reveals that they actually account for only 1 or 2 per cent. Drop a little alum into the water and you can see to the bottom. The current rectification is like a dose of alum. After views are aired and debates held in a big way, we can see through to the bottom. We have been able to see through to the bottom of things in factories, villages and colleges, and get to the bottom of things in the Communist Party, the Youth League and the democratic parties.

Now a few words about the forty-article Programme for Agricultural Development. After two years of experience, the basic targets are still kept at four, five and eight, that is, an annual yield of four hundred catties of grain per mou north of the Yellow River, five hundred catties north of the Huai River and eight hundred catties south of the Huai River. This goal should be attained in twelve years, that's the essential point. Basically no change has been made in the programme as a whole with the exception of a few articles. Some questions have been solved, for instance, the question of co-operative transformation has been settled in the main, and the relevant articles have been revised accordingly. Previously some points were not emphasized, such as farm machinery and chemical fertilizer, and since big efforts are going to be made in these spheres, these points have now been stressed in the relevant articles. Some readjustment has been made in the sequence of articles. After due deliberation at the joint meeting of the Standing Committees of the National People's Congress and of the National Committee of the Political Consultative Conference, this revised Draft Programme for Agricultural Development will be promulgated for discussion throughout the countryside, as was its previous version. It may also be discussed in factories, various circles and the democratic parties. This draft programme put forward by the Chinese Communist Party was drawn up by our political planning chamber, that is, by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and not by the "political planning chamber" envisaged by Chang Po-chun.

It is essential to get the entire peasantry to discuss this programme. We must enhance the vigour and enthusiasm of the people. Enthusiasm flagged in the second half of last year and the first half of this and then dropped further because of the trouble created by the Rightists in town and country. The rectification and the anti-Rightist movement have given this enthusiasm a big push. In my opinion the forty-article Programme for Agricultural Development is well suited to China's conditions and is not the product of subjectivism. There was some subjectivism in the programme, but we have eliminated it. Taken all in all, there is great hope for this programme. China can be changed, ignorance can be changed into knowledge and lethargy into vitality.

There is an article in the programme about doing away with the four pests, that is, wiping out rats, sparrows, flies and mosquitoes. I'm very interested in this matter, I don't know how you feel about it. But I assume you are interested too. Doing away with the four pests is a big public health campaign and a campaign to destroy superstition. Eliminating them is not easy. To exterminate the four pests also calls for the free airing of views, great debate and big-character posters. If the entire nation is mobilized to do this and achieves some success, I believe there will be a change in the mentality of the people and the morale of the Chinese nation will be given a big boost. We must invigorate this nation of ours.

The prospects for the success of family planning are good. There should be a great debate on this matter too, and there should be periods of trial, expansion and popularization, each lasting several years.

There is much for us to do. Many things stipulated in the forty-article Programme for Agricultural Development need to be done. That's only a plan for agriculture; there are also plans for industry and for cultural and educational work. The look of our country will change when the first three five-year plans are fulfilled.

We estimate that the annual output of steel may reach 20,000,000 tons at the end of the Third Five-Year Plan. With output this year at 5,200,000 tons, the goal will probably be attained in ten years. India produced 1,600,000 tons of steel in 1952 and its current output is a little over 1,700,000 tons, an increase of only 100,000 tons or so in five years. What about us? Our output in 1949 was only 190,000 tons, it registered over 1,000,000 tons at the end of the three-year rehabilitation period, and now five years later it has reached 5,200,000 tons, an increase of more than 3,000,000 tons in five years. Five more years and our output may top the 10,000,000 mark or a bit more to reach 11,500,000 tons. Then, with the fulfilment of the Third Five-Year Plan, can we make it 20,000,000 tons? Yes, we can.

I say this country of ours is full of hope. The Rightists say it is hopeless, they are utterly wrong. They lack confidence; since they oppose socialism, naturally they have no confidence. We adhere to socialism and we are brimming over with confidence.


1. In October 1957 the Polish Government banned the weekly Po Prostu, which led to student riots.

2. This refers to the address by Comrade Mao Tsetung on April 30, 1957 at a meeting of leading members of the democratic parties and democrats without party affiliation on the rectification movement and the ideological remoulding of intellectuals.

3. Lin Tse-hsu (1785-1850), Ching Dynasty viceroy of Kwangtung and Kwangsi Provinces during the First Opium War, stood for resolute resistance to British aggression.

4. In ancient China, the three religions were Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, and the nine schools of thought were the Confucians, the Taoists, the Yin-Yang, the Legalists, the Logicians, the Mohists, the Political Strategists, the Eclectics and the Agriculturists. Later the "three religions and nine schools of thought" took on a broader meaning to indicate the different religious sects and academic schools. In the old society the phrase was also used to mean people in dubious trades.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung