Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Directives Regarding Cultural Revolution



It is to the advantage of despots to keep people ignorant; it is to our advantage to make them intelligent. We must lead all of them gradually away from ignorance.



This big-character poster at Peking University is a Marxist-Leninist one which should be at once broadcast and published in the newspapers.



Wind will not cease even if trees want to rest.



Without destruction there can be no construction; without blockage there can be no flow; without stoppage there can be no movement.



The exploiters and reactionaries are, under any circumstance, the minority while the exploited and revolutionaries are the majority. Therefore the dictatorship of the former is unjustifiable, whereas that of the latter is fully justifiable.



(Comments on the Seven Good Examples of the Manual Work of Chekiang Cadres)

Class struggle, productive struggle, and scientific experiment are three great revolutionary movements for the construction of a great socialist country, the safeguard for a communist against bureaucratism, revisionism, and dogmatism so that he can be ever victorious, and the dependable guarantee for the proletariat to unite with other broad working masses to carry out democratic dictatorship.



In the great proletarian Cultural Revolution, it is imperative to organize and enlarge proletarian left-wing forces, depending on them to arouse, unite, and educate the masses.



No need to be afraid of tidal waves; human society has been evolved out of ‘tidal waves’.


Swimming has its rules. It is easy to learn once you know the rules.



My wish is to join all the comrades of our party to learn from the masses, to continue to be a school-boy.

Even the transformation from a quantitative to a qualitative change and the negation of negation are both unifications of contradictions. However you argue, they are still struggles of opposites. Dialectics can be made monistic, never pluralistic. Nature and society are full of contradictions. As soon as a contradiction is resolved, a new one emerges. There is no world or society without contradictions. Sometimes we may not be able to name a specific contradiction, but it exists all the same. Contradictions are the motivating force of the development of everything. This has been so in the past, is so at present, and will be so in future.



For our youth, the major subject of study is class struggle.



You should pay attention to state affairs and carry the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution through to the end!

(Statement to the crowd on ‘meeting the masses’ in Peking on 10 August 1966)


We must never detach ourselves from the masses, so that we may know them, understand them, be with them, and serve them well.



This is a movement on a vast scale. It has indeed mobilized the masses. It is of very great significance to the revolutionization of the thinking of the people throughout the country.

(Statement at first Red Guard rally; 18 August 1966)


A communist must never stay aloof from or above the masses like a bureaucrat. He ought to be like an ordinary worker in the presence of the masses, join them, and become one of them.



Let the rest of the country come to Peking or Peking go to the rest of the country. . . Let [those who live] at other places come and see. After all, the trains are free now, are they not?



Almost ninety per cent of the work teams throughout the whole country have committed general mistakes in their orientation.



It will not do to depend on the work teams coming from the Navy, Air Force, and governmental agencies. They neither teach nor learn. How can they understand the conditions in the schools? There is Chien Po-tsan at Peking University who has written many books and essays. Have you read them? You see, how do you [begin to] criticize them? The Cultural Revolution at schools must not depend on work teams; nor must it depend on you [those attending the eleventh plenum – Ed.] or me. It must depend, on the revolutionary teachers and students at schools.



(I [Ch’en Yi] did things like this in the past. I beat people up and put dunce caps on landlords and local ruffians.) But Chairman said: ‘We must not do it this way. This is the peasants’ way, not our way’.

(Reported by Ch’en Yi in a speech to the students of the Foreign Language School, 30-8-1966).


(Chairman Mao wrote these eight characters in the Sixteen Articles): ‘yao yung wen-tou; pu yung wu-tou’ (wage peaceful, not violent, struggles). (These eight characters were added by Chairman Mao personally; the original draft [of the 16 Articles] did not have them. . . Words to the effect ‘Do not beat people up’ were copied from the 23 Articles and they were crossed out by the Chairman who personally wrote these eight characters.)

(Reported by the first secretary of the Hunan provincial committee of the CCP at a
meeting of the staff and students of the colleges in Ch’angsha, 31-8-1966).


None of those who repressed student movements has ended well. The Manchu government repressed them; how did it end? The Northern warlords did the same. How did they end? Chiang Kai-shek repressed them; how, did he end? Lu P’ing of Peking University and Chiang Nan-hsiang of Tsinghua University did exactly the same; how did they end? The work teams sent out later also repressed them. Now they have met their doom. Of course, we must add that the blame goes to those who sent them.



The great proletarian Cultural Revolution is a revolution that touches the souls of the people.

To realize [the goals of] this revolution, [we must] resort to peaceful, not violent, struggles.



In any revolution, its internal causes are fundamental and its external ones are supplementary.



A revolution depends on an inner core. This, the bourgeois faction in authority and the faction in authority which has committed mistakes know best; [their] peripheral organizations merely add fuel to the fire.



The more you study, the more stupid you become. You are now at a crucial time of transition; you must learn the right way.

Young people should be permitted to make mistakes. As long as their general orientation is correct, let them make minor mistakes. I believe that they can correct themselves in practical work.



The basic contradiction the great proletarian Cultural Revolution is trying to resolve is the one between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the proletarian and bourgeois roads. The main point of the movement is to struggle against the capitalist roaders in authority in the party.



Young people can look at problems this way and that way. The like-minded of them often club together, this is nothing unusual.



As soon as [you] grasp the class struggle, it works [for you].



The peoples of the world must have courage, dare to fight, and fear no hardships. When the ones in front fall, the others behind must follow up. In this way, the world will belong to the people and all the demons will be eliminated.



I have read the revised draft [of your ‘Summing up the Past Two Months’]. It is very good. Please consider the insertion at some place of the two phrases: ‘Grasp the Revolution; Promote Production.’ [The Summing Up] should be printed in pamphlets in large quantities and each party cell and each red guard group must have at least one copy.

(Sent direct to Comrade [Ch’en] Po-ta, (24-10-1966).


[One can never be sure that what is written in a resolution will be carried out by all our comrades; some of them will not.

(October 1966).


You should put politics in command, go to the masses and be one with them, and carry on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution even better.

(Statement to ‘some leading comrades’ at seventh Red Guard Rally, 10 November 1966.)


Long live comrades!

You must let politics take command, go to the masses, and be with the masses. You must conduct the great proletarian Cultural Revolution even better.

(Spoken in front of a microphone on the rostrum of the Tienanmen, on the occasion of the seventh review of the great armies of the Cultural Revolution, ibid.

[Since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, these have been the only words spoken by Mao directly to the public below the rostrum of the Tienanmen. – Ed.]


The overthrown bourgeoisie tries by hook or by crook to use literature and arts to corrupt the masses, thus paving the way for a capitalist restoration. This makes our tasks in literature and art heavier rather than lighter. Our leadership on the literary and art front should be strengthened instead of weakened. To carry out their glorious tasks, our literary and art organizations must carry the great proletarian Cultural Revolution through to the end.



The idea of training revolutionary teachers and pupils by army cadres is a good one. The training will make a great difference. By it, [the teachers and pupils] can learn from the PLA, politics, military affairs, the four firsts, and three-eight style, the three great disciplines and eight points of attention, and strengthen the discipline of their organizations.



Mistaken leadership which is harmful to the cause of the revolution should not be unconditionally accepted; instead, it should be resolutely rejected.

Democracy sometimes looks like an end in itself, but in fact it is merely a means to an end.



The comrades of the Broadcasting Station have won the power of control. It is a good thing that power is now in the hands of proletarian revolutionaries. I have heard that the comrades there are split. This can be dealt with according to the [way] the contradictions among the people are handled: differences in opinion can be discussed and resolved.



(The Chairman having read the document from X X of Anhwei and Comrade Lin Piao’s comment on it.)


You must dispatch troops to support the broad left-wing revolutionary masses. Later on, whenever true revolutionaries need support from the PLA, you should do likewise. The so called ‘non-interference’ is untrue. [The PLA] has been involved for some time. I think on this matter you should issue new orders; the old ones should be cancelled.



Economize on consumption and carry on revolution. Protect the property of the country.



To The PLA,

1. I think [we] must have an order of priorities; [we] must not carry on in all the military districts simultaneously.

2. The great revolution is being ferociously developed in the regions and the struggles for power are continuing. Our armed forces should support the left-wing revolutionaries there in their power struggle, and therefore they must not be involved in local cultural revolutions.

3. Internationally, both imperialism and revisionism are making use of our great Cultural Revolution to carry on their anti-Chinese activities. For instance, the Soviet Union is suppressing [our] students; [Soviet] aeroplanes near the Sinkiang border are more active; and [Soviet] ground forces are mobilized. All the armed units stationed in the big military districts along the frontiers such as Tsinan, Nanking, Foochow, and Kunming should be alerted and made ready. Therefore the time schedule of the great Cultural Revolution must be slightly postponed on account of the general situation, but it will be carried out in future.



The eight articles are excellent, to be issued as they are.

(Comment on the Decree of the Military Commission Issued on This Day, 28-1-1967)


The PLA should actively give support to the truly proletarian revolutionary groups and resolutely oppose the rightwing.

(February 1967)


The armed forces advance [an inch];
Production grows an inch
Tighten the discipline [so that]
Revolution is always successful.



In order to overthrow a regime, [we] must first of all take control of the superstructure, the ideology, by preparing public opinion.



Permit them to reform themselves and redeem their mistakes by making contributions, as long as they are not anti-party and anti-socialist elements who stubbornly refuse to correct their mistakes in spite of repeated exhortations.

(Reform the Wrong- 23-2-67)


This document (dated 8-3-1967) may be issued to the whole country. The PLA should separately and in sessions give military training to university students and children of middle schools and the upper formers of primary schools. They should also take part in the work of re-openings schools, re-adjusting school organization, setting up leadership bodies of the three-way alliance, and carrying out struggle, criticism, and reform. They should set up experimental points first and then apply the experience so acquired to a wider scope. They ought to convince students and children [to accept] what Marx taught us  —  ‘The proletariat must emancipate mankind as a whole before it can emancipate itself.’ In military training, they must not reject teachers and cadres who have made mistakes. These people must be allowed to take part so as to facilitate their reform; the only exceptions to this are the aged and sick. All this is quite easy, if it is conscientiously carried on.



At the places and in the organizational units where power struggle is necessary, there the principle of the revolutionary three-way alliance should be applied to setting up a revolutionary, representative, and proletarian provisional power structure which may be called a revolutionary committee.



Resume classes and carry on revolution.



There subsist various non-proletarian ideas in the Party. This is an extremely great obstacle to the application of the Party’s correct line.

(March 1967)


Was it the Chinese people who organized the Boxer groups and sent them to Europe, America, and Japan to rebel [against the governments there] and to kill and burn. Was it the imperialist powers which came to invade China and exploit the Chinese people, thus provoking the Chinese people to fight imperialism and its lackeys, to corrupt officials of China? This is a grave matter of right and wrong and should be made absolutely clear.

(On The Film ‘The Secret History Of The Ching Court,’ 1-4-67)



This is excellent.

(Comment on the Decree of the Military Commission on This Day 6-4-1967)


The recording of Comrade Lin Piao’s talk on 20 March 1967 should be broadcast to all the members of the PLA and the red guards of the whole country. Comrade Lin Piao’s talk is a report of the utmost importance to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thought; it is highly significant in guiding the current great proletarian Cultural Revolutionary movement and in promoting further victories for the proletarian revolutionaries in their struggles at two fronts. The party committees of all the military districts, party committees at various levels, revolutionary committees of all the provinces and cities, all the military control committees, and all the revolutionary mass organizations must organize themselves and study conscientiously Comrade Lin Piao’s talk and must put it into practice meticulously.



Grasp the revolution, hasten the preparation for war [defence?], speed up work, promote production, and support the army and cherish the people.



The masses, the army, and the cadres are the three pillars on which we rely.

(End of April or Beginning of May 1967)


It is difficult to avoid mistakes, the point is to correct them honestly. Too many people have been arrested in Szechwan and many mass organizations are branded as reactionary. All these are wrong, but they have been quickly rectified.

(The Resolution on Szechwan adopted by the Centre of the CCP (the Ten Red Articles), 7-5-67)


With the growth of such vigour in socialist China, a country with a quarter of the world’s population, we shall be able to make a great internationalist contribution.

Our goals will and certainly can be fulfilled.



Trust and rely on the masses; trust and rely on the PLA; trust and rely on the majority of the cadres.



When the army and the people unite as one, Who in the world is their equal?

(12-5 67)


The victory or defeat of the revolution can be determined only over a long period of time. If it is badly handled, there is always the danger of a capitalist restoration. All members of the party and all the people of our country must not think that after one, two, three, or four great cultural revolutions there will be peace and quiet. They must always be on the alert and must never relax their vigilance.



Guard against revisionism, particularly the emergence of revisionism at the party Centre.



Who are our enemies and who are our friends? This is the first and foremost question of a revolution and it is also the first and foremost question of the great Cultural Revolution.



Veteran cadres have made their contributions in the past, but they must not live on that ‘capital’. They should reform themselves and make fresh contributions in the great proletarian Cultural Revolution.



Protect the left-wing; support the left-wing, form and enlarge left wing units.



Everything has its major and minor reasons; all the major ones govern the minor ones. People of our country must think in terms of major reasons if they want to think and act properly.



Everything must be handled and reasoned out from the point of view of class and class struggle and with the method of class analysis; all leading cadres should be treated in the same way. The method of simply rejecting everything and negating everything, of directing the struggle against the cadres who shoulder most of the responsibility and do most of the work against the ‘heads’ [of departments] must be abandoned.



Let people speak up. The sky will not fall and you yourself will not be deposed as a result of it. [What if you] do not let people speak up? You may be deposed one day.



Do not stop half way and do not ever go backward. There is no way behind you.



[We] must skillfully direct the petty bourgeois ideology in our ranks on to the path of the proletarian revolution. This is the key to the victory of the great proletarian Cultural Revolution.



[We] must stand on the side, not on the opposing side, of the masses. This is a fundamental problem of the standpoint of a Marxist-Leninist.



Trust the majority of the cadres and the masses. This is essential.



Popularize the work of heart-to-heart talks. It is a good method.



We, the communists, do not want official positions; we want revolution. We must have a thoroughly revolutionary spirit and must be with the masses every hour, every minute. As long as we are with the masses, we shall always be victorious.



The organization of millions of people and the mobilization of a tremendous revolutionary force are what the present revolution needs in its offensive against the reactionaries.


Whenever acute opposition exists between the mass organizations of two factions, there will be need for careful political ideological work which can help to resolve all the differences. Careful political ideological work is needed even when [we] are dealing with conservative and reactionary organizations.


Revolution is the emancipation of productive force; it promotes the development of productive force.


Cadres who have made mistakes can re-establish themselves, provided that they do not persist with their mistakes, but reform them, and are forgiven by the revolutionary masses.


The basic problem of a revolution is the problem of political power. The possession of political power means the possession of everything, the loss of it means the loss of everything.



All proletarian revolutionaries unite and fight for political power against the handful of capitalist roaders in authority.



If our country does not build up a socialist economy, what is it going to be? It will be like Yugoslavia, a capitalist country in fact. The proletarian dictatorship will be transformed into a bourgeois dictatorship, worse still, a reactionary and fascist dictatorship. This problem deserves our fullest attention and [I] hope our comrades will give it their thought.



It is difficult not to make mistakes. The thing is to correct them conscientiously.



They [the revisionists] deny the party and class characteristics of a newspaper; they overlook the differences in principle between proletarian and bourgeois news services; they confuse the news service which reflects the collective economy of a socialist country with that which reflects the economic anarchy and group competition of a capitalist country.



Newspapers in a socialist country are fundamentally different from those in a capitalist country. In a socialist country, newspapers reflect the planned socialist economy based on public ownership. This is quite different from newspapers in a capitalist country which reflect economic anarchy and group competition. As long as class distinction exists in the world, newspapers are a means of class struggle.



Although the socio-economic system has been transformed, reactionary thought, bourgeois and upper-petty-bourgeois thought inherited from the past, still exists in the minds of a considerable number of people, and cannot be transformed quickly. Its transformation needs time, a long period of time. This is the class struggle in (our) society.



The present Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is only the first; there will inevitably be many more in the future. The issue of who will win in the revolution can only be settled over a long historical period. If things are not properly handled, it is possible for a capitalist restoration to take place at any time in the future.

(August 1967)


Think hard!



Throughout the socialist stage, there exist classes and class struggle. The struggle is protracted and complicated, sometimes even fierce. [Therefore] the instruments of our dictatorship must not be weakened; on the contrary, they should be strengthened.



Develop still further the movement of supporting the army and cherishing the people.



The four firsts are good; they are original. Since Comrade Lin Piao put forward the four firsts and the three-eight style, the PLA’s political and military work has taken a giant step forward. It has become more concrete and theoretically [more advanced].



Reactionaries who appear in disguise show people their false image and hide away their true faces. However since they are counter-revolutionaries, they can never cover up their true faces completely.



Within the working class, there is no basic clash of interests. Under the proletarian dictatorship, the working class has absolutely no reason to split into two hostile factional organizations.



Some of our comrades toddle along like women with bound feet. They complain about others: ‘Too fast, too fast!’



In a few more months the entire situation will be even better.

(September 1967)


Correct treatment of cadres is the key to creating the revolutionary ‘three-in-one’ combination, consolidating the revolutionary great alliance, and making a success of struggle-criticism transformation in each unit. It must definitely be handled well.

(September 1967)


The revolutionary red guards and revolutionary student organizations must form a grand alliance. As long as they are revolutionary mass organizations, they must form a great alliance according to revolutionary principles.



We must preserve a high degree of alertness in all departments of our work. We must be good at distinguishing fake supporters of the revolution who are actually reactionaries and douse them away from all our battle fronts, so that we may preserve the victories which are already won and will be won.



The form of revolutionary organization is determined by the requirements of revolutionary struggle. If an organizational form does not meet the requirements of a revolutionary struggle, it must be abandoned.



The cadre problem must be tackled through education by widening educational work.



Expand education and reduce attack.

What is fake is fake. Strip off the disguise!



To carry on the proletarian Cultural Revolution, [we] must depend on the broad masses of revolutionary students and teachers in schools and on the revolutionary workers. We must depend on the activists among them, i.e. the proletarian revolutionaries who are determined to carry the great proletarian Cultural Revolution to the end.



Therefore the great proletarian Cultural Revolution is a great revolution that touches the souls of the people and solves the problem of a world view for the people.



A revolutionary party and the revolutionary people must repeatedly undergo both positive and negative education. Through comparison and contrast, they become tempered and mature, thus making sure of victory. To belittle the role of the negative teacher is not to be a thorough dialectical materialist.



The handful of capitalist roaders in power in our party are the representatives of the bourgeoisie in our party.



The basic ideological programme of the great proletarian Cultural Revolution is ‘to combat selfishness and criticize revisionism.’



The Cultural Revolution can only be the emancipation of the masses by the masses.



This great Cultural Revolution, using the great democratic methods of the proletarian dictatorship, has mobilized the masses from below. At the same time, it puts into practice the grand alliance of the proletarian revolutionaries, the three-way alliance between the revolutionary masses, the PLA, and the revolutionary cadres.



The situation in the great proletarian Cultural Revolution is not just good, but excellent. The over-all situation is better than at any time in the past. The important sign of the excellent situation is that the masses have been fully aroused. Never before has a mass movement been aroused so extensively and penetratingly as it is at present.



The relationship between the levels should be properly handled; the relationship between the cadres and masses should also be handled well. In future, cadres should go individually and see what is happening below. They must hold fast to the mass line, discuss with the masses whenever a problem crops up, and be the pupils of the masses. In a certain sense, the fighters who have the richest practical experience are the most intelligent and the ablest.



The study classes organized by the PLA must have the participation of soldiers.



The two factions should talk less of each other’s weaknesses and mistakes. Let the others talk about their own weaknesses and mistakes. Each side ought to do more self-criticism seeking general agreement and leaving minor differences intact.



1. We must step forward to meet the masses, to accept their criticism, and to do our own self-criticism. This is to get oneself near the fire [so to speak].

2. We must step forward to explain our policies to the masses. Those who have had to wear a dunce cap or had their face blackened should take the cap off, clean their face, and go straight to work.

3. Think of long-term interests and unite the majority. The freaks and monsters are the landlords, rich peasants, reactionaries, bad elements, and rightists  —  the minority. Even some who have made serious mistakes should be saved by letting them correct their errors. Otherwise, how can we unite more than ninety-five per cent [of the people].

4. Convince the cadres and make them understand. Do not let everyone who has been through the test [criticism] become ashen with despair. We must go out, not with the word ‘fear’ (p’a) but with the word ‘dare’ (k’an) [in our minds]. In this way we can solve questions of any magnitude. If we go out with the word ‘fear’, [the opponents] will make more and more demands.

(Four Instructions at a Standing Committee Meeting of the Politburo, 1967)


The struggle to reshape the world by the proletariat and revolutionary peoples consists of these tasks: to reshape the objective world and also to reshape their own subjective world.

(12-1 68)


How do the counter-revolutionaries play their game of duplicity? How do they manage to present a false image to deceive us while clandestinely carrying on [activities] we do not even suspect? Millions of good people do not know this and therefore many counter-revolutionaries have wormed their way into our ranks. Our people do not have good eye-sight, they are unable to differentiate the upright from the crooked. They may be able to tell the good from the bad in the light of their activities under normal conditions. Nevertheless, we are rather inept at singling out certain people in the light of their activities under special conditions.



The party organization must consist of the advanced elements of the proletariat As a vigorous vanguard organization, it should be able to lead the proletarian revolutionary masses in their struggle against class enemies.


Setting up study classes is a good procedure, because many problems can be solved in them.


Form a strong people’s air force to defend the fatherland and to prepare for the repulsion of invaders.

(Inscription for the New Chingkangshan District  —  originally Chian, Kiangsi, 12-2-68)


Develop the revolutionary tradition and win even greater victory.



Resolutely overcome lack of discipline or even, in many places, anarchy.

Anarchy is detrimental to the interests of the people and against their wishes.



The experience of the revolutionary committees is threefold:  1. they have representatives from the revolutionary cadres; 2. they have representatives from the PLA; and 3. they have representatives from the revolutionary masses. They have carried out the revolutionary three-way alliance. The revolutionary committees must achieve a unified leadership by cutting through duplicated administrative structures. [Following the principles of] eliminating incompetent soldiers and simplifying the administration, the committees should organize a revolutionized leading core to make contacts with the masses.



The ‘three-way alliance’ revolutionary committee is an invention of the working class and the masses in this great Cultural Revolution.

The essential point of reforming the state agencies is to make contact with the masses.



The great proletarian Cultural Revolution is in essence a great political revolution under socialist conditions by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. It is the continuation of the long struggle against the Kuomintang reactionaries waged by the CPC and the broad revolutionary masses under its leadership. It is continuation of the struggle between the proletariat [and the] bourgeoisie.



Except in the deserts, at every place of human habitation there is the left, the centre, and the right. This will continue to be so 10,000 years hence.



We must believe that more than ninety per cent of our cadres are good or comparatively good. The majority of those who have made mistakes can be reformed.



Protect or, on the contrary, repress the masses: this is the basic distinction between the CPC and the KMT, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and between the proletarian and bourgeois dictatorships.



The old Social Democrats in the past decades, and modern revisionists in the past dozen years or so. . . have formed a group of anti-communist, anti-people, and counter-revolutionary elements against whom we are waging a life-and-death struggle. There is no equality between us and them. Therefore the fight against them is a fight for our preservation and their extinction. The relationship between us and them can never be one of equality; it is a relationship of one class oppressing another  —  i.e. proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie.

The day when the people are happy will be the day when the counter-revolutionaries begin their misery.



We must still run colleges. Here I must stress that we should still run physics and engineering colleges, but the period of schooling ought to be shortened, the education revolutionized, proletarian politics put in command, and the way of training technical personnel from the ranks of the workers advocated by the Shanghai Machine-Tool Factory adopted. Students must be selected from workers and peasants with practical experience, and after their study at school for several years they should return to practical production.



Our country has a population of 700 million people and the working class is the leading class. The leading role of the working class in the Cultural Revolution and all fields of work should be developed. The working class should also constantly raise its own political consciousness in the course of the struggle.



Set up three-way alliance revolutionary committees, conduct thorough criticisms, purify the ranks of the class, reform the party, simplify the administration, revise unreasonable rules and regulations, send down office personnel, and carry out ‘struggle-criticism-transformation’ in factories. Roughly speaking, these are the stages [we shall] pass through.



To carry out the proletarian educational revolution, it is imperative to have the leadership of the working class and its participation, together with the revolutionary three-way alliance of the soldiers of the PLA, students, and teachers, and the activists among the workers who have resolved to carry the proletarian educational revolution through to the end. Workers propaganda teams should remain at the schools for a long time to share the task of ‘struggle-criticism-transformation’ and to perpetuate their leadership there. In the countryside, schools are to be run by the most reliable allies of the working class  —  the poor, lower, and middle peasants.



The physician who has moved from the city to the countryside proves that the majority, even overwhelming majority, of students educated in old-style schools are capable of integrating with workers, peasants, and soldiers. Some of them can even be inventive and creative. However, they must be re-educated by workers, peasants, and soldiers under the guidance of the correct line [so that] their old thinking may be reformed thoroughly. Such intellectuals are welcomed by workers, peasants, and soldiers.

(12 and 4-9-68)


It is an excellent opportunity for the great number of cadres to learn anew by being sent down to do manual work. Only the aged and sick are exempted from taking this opportunity. Cadres who hold offices should be sent down on a rota basis.



 I.  A human being has arteries and veins and his heart makes the blood circulate. He breathes through the lungs, exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen afresh, that is, getting rid of the waste and letting in the fresh. A proletarian party must also get rid of the waste and let in the fresh, for only in this way can it be full of vigour. Without eliminating waste and getting fresh blood the party has no vigour.

II.  Our power  —  who gives it to us? The working class gives it to us and the masses of labouring people who comprise over ninety per cent of the population give it to us. We represent the proletariat and the masses, and have overthrown the enemies of the people. The people therefore support us. One of the basic principles of the communist party is to rely directly on the revolutionary masses.



For consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, preventing a capitalist restoration, and constructing socialism, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has been absolutely necessary and timely.



Historical experience is noteworthy. A line or a view must be constantly and repeatedly explained. It will not do to explain it only to a few; it must be made known to the broad revolutionary masses.



It is absolutely necessary for educated young people to go to the countryside to be re-educated by the poor and lower-middle peasants. Cadres and other city people should be persuaded to send their sons and daughters who have finished junior or senior middle school, college, or university to the countryside. Let us mobilize. Comrades throughout the countryside should welcome them.



In purifying our class ranks, it is necessary to take a firm hold first and then pay attention to the policy.

In treating the counter-revolutionary elements and those who had made mistakes, it is necessary to pay attention to the policy. The target of attack must be narrowed and more people must be helped through education. Evidence, investigation, and study should be stressed. It is strictly forbidden to extort confessions and accept such confessions. As for good people who have made mistakes, we must give them more help through education. When they are awakened, we must liberate them without delay.



a.  Serious attention should be given to policy in this stage of the struggle-criticism-transformation in the great proletarian Cultural Revolution.

b.  In formulating plans it is necessary to mobilize the masses and carefully leave some leeway.



The broad masses and the majority of the party members and cadres in the Soviet Union are good and revolutionary; so revisionist domination will not long survive.



It is necessary to sum up experience conscientiously.

When one goes to a unit to get to know the situation there, one must become acquainted with the whole process of the movement: its inception, its development, and its present state; how the masses have acted and how the leadership has acted; what contradictions and struggles have emerged and what changes have occurred in these contradictions; and what progress people have made in their knowledge so as to find out its laws.



The present is the time of spring farming. Let us hope that leading comrades, responsible personnel, and the popular masses will seize the opportunity to grasp the links in the chain of production in order to overtake last year’s records.



The poisonous pests have arranged their own grave-diggers. Their date of burial will not be too far away.

(Russian Revisionism, 29-3-09)


The proletariat is the greatest class in human history. Ideologically, politically, and numerically it is the greatest revolutionary class. It can and must unite the overwhelming majority of people around itself in order to isolate as much as possible and attack a handful of enemies.



We have won a great victory. But the defeated class will continue to struggle. Its members are still about and it still exists. Therefore we cannot speak of the final victory, not for decades. We must not lose our vigilance. From the Leninist point of view, the final victory in one socialist country not only requires the efforts of the proletariat and the broad popular masses at home, but also depends on the victory of the world revolution and the abolition of the system of exploitation of man by man on this earth so that all mankind will be emancipated. Consequently, it is wrong to talk about the final victory of the revolution in our country light-heartedly; it runs counter to Leninism and does not conform to facts.


Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung