Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
The decadence of the state, the sufferings of humanity, and the darkness of society have all reached an extreme. To be sure, among the methods of improvement and reform, education, industrialization, strenuous efforts, creation, destruction (of that which is bad and outmoded), and construction are all right, but there is a method more fundamental than these, which is that of the great union of the popular masses.
If we study history, we find that all the movements that have occurred in the course of history, of whatever type may be, have all without exception resulted from the union of a certain number of people. A greater movement naturally requires a greater union, and the greatest movement requires the greatest union. All such unions are more likely to appear in a time of reform and resistance .
That which decides between victory and defeat is the solidity or weakness of the union and whether the ideology that serves as its basis is new or old, true or false....
[The aristocrats and capitalists and other powerful people in society have carried their oppression to an extreme ] .... and consequently the decadence of the state, the sufferings of humanity, and the darkness of society have also reached an extreme. It is then that reform and resistance arise, and that the great union of the popular masses is achieved.
When the great union of the popular masses of France opposed the great union of the adherents of the monarchy and the victory of political reform had been attained, many countries followed the French example and undertook all sorts of 'political reforms'. After last year's struggle in Russia, which pitted the great union of the popular masses against the great union of the aristocracy and the great union of the capitalists and led to the victory of 'social reform', many countries — Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany — have followed Russia's example and have undertaken all sorts of social reforms. Although this victory is not complete.... it may certainly become so, and one can also imagine that it will spread throughout the whole world.
Why is the great union of the popular masses so terribly effective? Because the popular masses in any country are much more numerous than the aristocracy, the capitalists, and the other holders of power in society....
We should know that our brothers of other lands have often employed this method in pursuing their interests. We must arise and imitate them, we must carry out our great union.... As soon as we arise and let out a shout, the traitors will get up and tremble and flee for their lives.
If we wish to achieve a great union, in order to resist the powerful people whom we face, who harm their fellow men, and in order to pursue our own interests. we must necessarily have many small unions to serve as its foundation.... Because our circumstances and professions are different, there are also certain differences, large or small. in the sphere of our common interests.... Hence, the method (union ) for seeking our common interests also displays certain differences, large or small. .
We are peasants, and so we want to unite with others who cultivate the land like we do, in order to pursue our various interests. The interests of us who cultivate the land can only be protected by ourselves! .... How do the landlords treat us? Are the rents and taxes heavy or light? Are our houses satisfactory or not? Are our bellies full or not? Is there enough land? Are there those in the village who have no land to cultivate? We must constantly seek answers to all these questions. . . We are workers, we wish to unite with others who work like ourselves in order to pursue the various interests of us workers.... We cannot fail to seek a solution to such questions concerning us workers as the level of our wages, the length of the working day, and the equal or unequal sharing of dividends..
We are students, we are already living in the twentieth century and yet they still compel us to observe the old ceremonies and the old methods. The country is about to perish, and yet they still paste up posters forbidding us to love our country.... We want our own union... We are women, we are sunk even deeper in a sea of bitterness, we want to carry out our union....
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung