Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

The Masses Can Do Anything

September 29, 1958

[SOURCE: Extracted from a statement to a reporter of the Hsin Hua Agency, on 29 September 1958, following a tour of the country.]

During this trip, I have witnessed the tremendous energy of the masses. On this foundation it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever. We must first complete the tasks on the iron and steel fronts. In these sectors, the masses have already been mobilized. Nevertheless, in the country as a whole, there are a few places, a few enterprises, where the work of mobilizing the masses has still not been properly carried out, where mass meetings have not been held and where the tasks, the reasons for them, and the methods have still not been made perfectly clear to the masses or discussed by the masses. There are still a few comrades who are unwilling to undertake a large-scale mass movement in the industrial sphere. They call the mass movement on the industrial front ‘irregular’ and disparage it as ‘a rural style of work’ and ‘a guerrilla habit’. This is obviously incorrect.

However, while devoting ourselves to iron and steel production on a large scale, we must not sacrifice agriculture. . . The 1959 task in agriculture is to achieve a leap forward even greater than that of 1958. Consequently, we must organize the industrial and agricultural labour force effectively and extend the system of people’s communes throughout the whole country. . . .

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung