Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Dialogues During Inspection Of North,
Central – South And East China

July - September 1967

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


Dialogues in Shanghai

Within the working class, there is no basic conflict of interest. Within the working class under proletarian dictatorship, there is all the more no reason why there must be two major hostile factional organizations.

(Comments on the Report of Trade Union Headquarters)

Chang Ch’un-ch’iao: There are some organizations in Shanghai that cannot get united.

Chairman Mao: Why can’t they get united?

Chang: The question as to who is going to be the nucleus has yet to be resolved.

Chairman Mao: Don’t stress that point. Unity should be unconditional. Who is going to be the nucleus is a matter settled during the process of struggle. Wang Ming and Ch’en Tu-hsiu stressed that they were the nucleii. Have they not ended in failure?


Dialogues in Chekiang

Nan P’ing: We still use kneeling and dunce hat wearing as ways of punishment.[1]

Chairman: I have always objected to this kind of practice. You cannot deal with cadres in the same way as you deal with landlords. We have a good tradition; that is, unity-criticism-unity. “One divides into two” should be applied to cadres.


Dialogues in Kiangsi

(Ch’eng Shih-ch’ing Reported on the collection of weapons)

Chairman: Who issued these rifles? As I see it, both sides issued them. Who issued more?

Ch’eng: These rifles were issued to the conservatives by the military subdistrict and People’s Militia Command.

Chairman: Oh!

(Referring to the Foochow problem)

Chairman: The Foochow problem deserves a little study. Why do they become so bold? They always call a meeting to size up the situation, convincing the people that both domestic and world situations are favourable to them, and then proceed. Their estimate of the situation is incorrect, I think.

(Referring to a Foochow faction which was in control of nine counties)

Chairman: Judging by this point, I think that they are trying to expand their influence by attacking Nan-ch’ang. What is the nature of this problem?

Ch’eng: According to the spirit of the directive of the Central Committee, this is military rebellion.

Chairman: Have you decided?

Ch’eng: Yes, we have decided.

Chairman: Has your decision been approved?

Ch’eng: Approved by the Premier.

Chairman: Oh! It is by nature a rebellion, an all-out surprise attack. It is said that there is no civil war in China, but I think this is a civil war, not a foreign war. This is an armed struggle, not a cultural struggle. In Kan-chou, Chi-an, I-ch’un and other places, rural control has been put into effect. From each production team one person is drafted. From each production brigade, ten or more than ten persons are drafted. Compulsory methods are used. The draftees are given labour points, and each draftee is paid 60 cents a day. Now the rural areas are encircling the cities; I think this situation should not be allowed to continue.

(Referring to the Central Committee’s decision on the Kiangsi problem)

Chairman: I think we ought to use education to approach this problem. Bad people are always in the minority. In the people’s militia commands good people are always in the majority. Many people in the military subdistrict are being kept in the dark. Some of them committed mistakes. They should be given an opportunity to correct their mistakes.

We should by all means persuade the masses of the rebellious faction without attack or retaliation. Killing is always bad. Being killed is bad; killing others is not good, either. Attack, retaliation, kneeling, dunce hat wearing, sign carrying, oh, yes, there is another way of punishment, the “jet plane type.” All these are not good.

(Referring to some good articles in Wen Hui Pao that had some great influence)

Chang Ch’un-ch’iao: People also oppose us because we are inclining to the right, saying that we are rightists.

Chairman: This is a problem of educating the leftists, not one of our inclining to the right. For example, in the past, there were so many mountain strongholds. There were the central Soviet in Kiangsi the Hunan-Kiangsi Soviet, the Fukien-Kiangsi Soviet, and the Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi Soviet. In addition, there were the Hupeh-Honan-Anhuei-Kiangsu Soviet, Tung-nan-pa, and Northern Shensi. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, there were even more bases of operation. We used a single principle to unite them all, regardless of what faction they belonged to. We cannot have just one mountain stronghold and no others. It does not work if there is only one faction.

I am still inclined to protect more people. Those who can be saved should be saved. As long as we can win over the majority, it is all right for a minority to persist in their stubbornness. Let us give them rice to eat without any grudge.

I learned from Huo-hsien Chan-pao (Fire Line Combat News) what is described as emergency of Nan-ch’ang, fall of Nan-kang and Lu- white terror, rural control in I-ch’un, and what is known as rural areas encircling cities. Tension was at its highest point in June, July and August. In times of tension, I think, problems are unveiled, and things become easy to resolve. How can problems be resolved without tension?

Now there are people instigating the soldiers to oppose their superiors, and saying that while you are making only 6 yuan a month, the officers are making much more and enjoying the luxury of riding in automobiles. The peasants are willing to join the Liberation Army, because to be a member of the Liberation Army is glorious. They receive 6 yuan a month, and their families receive preferential treatment. The peasants are willing to be soldiers. I don’t think the instigators will succeed.

(Referring to the province-wide political work conference of the rebel faction to be convened in October)

This is good. The rebel faction also needs to be lectured. They can not sit tight, and their minds are running wild.

My assessment of the present rightist faction is not that rigid. Once they are lectured, they will turn around. There are bad people, but they are very few in number. Most of them recognize the problem. Some interpret the problem of recognition as a problem of where one stands. Once we touch upon the problem of standpoint, we get into the matter of committing ourselves to a policy from which we cannot turn around for the rest of our lives. Should one’s standpoint never be changed? As far as most of the people are concerned, standpoint can be changed. There are very few bad people whose standpoint cannot be changed. In short, the scope of attack should be narrowed, and the scope of education should be broadened to include the leftists, centrists and rightists. If left uneducated, the leftists will become ultra left.


Dialogues in Hunan

(Referring to the great alliance)

Everyone should do self-criticism, and talk less about other people’s shortcomings. Don’t direct the spearhead toward the opposition. In the past, we had some experience concerning the relationship between the soldiers and local people. The soldiers offered to support the government and cherish the people, and the local people offered to support the soldiers and treat the soldiers’ families preferentially. The soldiers took the lead in conducting self-criticism. The two sides got along very well

Both factions are workers. One faction is rebellious, and the other is conservative. Those conservatives are hoodwinked by their superiors. You cannot suppress the masses who are being hoodwinked. The more you suppress, the more they will resist. We ourselves are the product of Chiang Kai-shek’s suppression. After the great revolution, we had only several tens of thousands of men. Chiang Kai-shek’s suppression gave us hope. His suppression produced at once 300,000 Red Army soldiers and 300,000 party members.


Dialogues in Hupeh

(Referring to the problem of liberating cadres)

I am a fellow who has been expelled by others five times, and then invited back. Thus, the leader of the masses is not self-appointed. He attains his stature in mass struggle. What is the long march? The long march was an outcome of fighting. It was forced on us. After the long march, the quality of the cadres improved. Among these cadres today, who was not wounded on the battlefield? Who has not committed mistakes in the revolution? Nevertheless, they still established meritorious service records during the democratic revolution. Although they committed mistakes in the great cultural revolution, it is all right if they correct their mistakes. When the war comes, and as soon as I give the order, these old cadres will be as brave as ever on the battlefield. You cannot be skeptical about everything, or overthrow everything. To doubt everything or to overthrow everything is not good, unfavorable to the revolution.

In China’s revolutions, according to my own personal experience, those who were most likely to succeed were those who thought, not those who cut prominent figures. Those who now make a lot of noise are not likely to be mentioned in history as men of consequence.


Dialogues in Honan

Chairman Mao: Are you Chi Teng-k’uei? Old friend.

Liu Chien-hsun[2]: Jailed for four months; suffered four months of struggle.

Chairman Mao: (To Chi Teng-k’eui) Would you say that all this was useless?

Chi Teng-k’uei: A great deal was gained.

Chairman Mao: That was done by Wen Min-sheng, Chao Wen-fu, and Ho Yun-hung. As I stopped over at Chengchow last time, I saw a big slogan: “The situation is stabilized; 7 February will definitely win!” The situation in Honan was pretty good.

Liu Chien-hsun: (Reported on the situation of cadres)

Chairman Mao: Is Ho Yun-hung that tough! This is Ho Yun-hung’s work!

(Referring to the situation in the army)

Chairman Mao: They used a few slogans in the army for a short time, but now these slogans are no longer effective. They don’t support the army. As soon as they do, they will have no target.


Dialogue on Train Returning to Peking

(Referring to the good news brought to the Chairman about the conclusion of a great alliance agreement by the three factions within the railway system)

Congratulations, may I present you four characters: “Tou-ssu Pi-hsiu” [Struggle against private interest; criticize revisionism].



[1.] The custom of parading people in dunce caps in order to humiliate them has a long history in China.

[2.] Liu Chien-hsun, at this time he was the first secretary of CPC, Honan branch and concurrently the first political commissar of the military district of Honan.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung