Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Directives After Hearing The
Reports Of Ku Mu And Yu Ch’iu-li
On Planning Work

January 1965

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

(In January 1965, Comrades Ku Mu and Yu Ch’iu-li reported to the Chairman on planning work. They mentioned dare to think and dare to do.)

One must dare to think and dare to do, instead of being random; one must break down superstitions, not science. Don’t try to spend half a day talking, with planning and with experimenting, or there will be no results in the end.

(They reported on how many X X ten thousand tons of steel can be produced this year)

Isn’t there such a report that when the British heard that we were engaged in making adjustments and consolidation, they were afraid? Don’t undertake adventurism, but do concern yourself with quality, variety and specifications; then they will be afraid. Add quantity slowly. Don’t be impatient.

(They mentioned three-line construction.)

We must grasp three-line construction firmly, especially during the time of struggle with imperialism and with revisionism.

(They reported that our technology must catch up with and surpass international standards.?)

Yes, we must have . . . no matter what country, no matter what missiles, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, we must surpass them. I have said before, when the atomic bomb is exploded, even if one-half of mankind perishes, there will still be one-half left. When Snow[1] was talking with me, he asked me why I did not deny the rumour, and I said I did not want to. I simply said that if war breaks out and one-half of mankind dies, the other half will still be left. There are some people who are even more terrible than me. There is an American movie which describes the situation so terribly. Khrushchev has said much, much more than I. He said there is a weapon which could wipe out mankind, a death ray. I did not refer to China, but said that one third of the world’s population will perish, and at most, one-half will die! With three-line construction, we will develop the steel industry, national defense, machinery, chemical and petroleum industries, and railway bases. By that time, we won’t be afraid if war breaks out. If they are not completed, what can we do if there is war? We can fight them with conventional weapons. Before we did not have aircraft and artillery. . . and no TNT, and did we not win? We can continue to construct even when we are fighting: you fight your war and we do our construction.

(They mentioned that new technology must be adopted in designing.)

One must compare in designing, as to what costs less and accomplishes more, and what costs more and accomplishes less. Should the design personnel design at their own home or on-the-spot? I have seen an article on the design of a 12,000-ton hydraulic press, and some designs have failed once, twice, or even hundreds of times. There won’t be success without failure.



[1.] Edgar Snow, an American journalist and author of ‘Red Star Over China’ and other books on China. He had a talk with comrade Mao in 1965, the text of which is given as an appendix at the end of this volume.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung