Mao Tse Tung
Quotations from Mao Tse Tung

Socialism and Communism


Communism is at once a complete system of proletarian ideology and a new social system. It is different from any other ideological and social system, and is the most complete, progressive, revolutionary and rational system in human history. The ideological and social system of feudalism has a place only in the museum of history. The ideological and social system of capitalism has also become a museum piece in one part of the world (in the Soviet Union), while in other countries it resembles "a dying person who is sinking fast, like the sun setting beyond the western hills", and will soon be relegated to the museum. The communist ideological and social system alone is full of youth and vitality, sweeping the world with the momentum of an avalanche and the force of a thunderbolt.

"On New Democracy" (January 1940), Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 360-61. *

The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man's will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, eventually revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph.

"Speech at the Meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution" (November 6, 1957).

We Communists never conceal our political views. Definitely and beyond all doubt, our future or maximum program is to carry China forward to socialism and communism. Both the name of our Party and our Marxist world outlook unequivocally point to this supreme ideal of the future, a future of incomparable brightness and splendor.

"On Coalition Government" (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 282. *

Taken as a whole, the Chinese revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party embraces the two stages, i.e., the democratic and the socialist revolutions, which are two essentially different revolutionary processes, and the second process can be carried through only after the first has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. The ultimate aim for which all communists strive is to bring about a socialist and communist society.

"The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party" (December 1939), Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 330-31. *

Socialist revolution aims at liberating the productive forces. The changeover from individual to socialist, collective ownership in agriculture and handicrafts and from capitalist to socialist ownership in private industry and commerce is bound to bring about a tremendous liberation of the productive forces. Thus, the social conditions are being created for a tremendous expansion of industrial and agricultural production.

Speech at the Supreme State Conference (January 25, 1956).

We are now carrying out a revolution not only in the social system, the change from private to public ownership, but also in technology, the change from handicraft to large-scale modern machine production, and the two revolutions are interconnected. In agriculture, with conditions as they are in our country co-operation must precede the use of big machinery (in capitalist countries agriculture develops in a capitalist way). Therefore we must on no account regard industry and agriculture, socialist industrialization and the socialist transformation of agriculture as two separate and isolated things, and on no account must we emphasize the one and play down the other.

On the Question of Agricultural Co-operation (July 51, 1955), 3rd ed., pp. 19-20.

The new social system has only just been established and requires time for its consolidation. It must not be assumed that the new system can be completely consolidated the moment it is established, for that is impossible. It has to be consolidated systematically. To achieve its ultimate consolidation, it is necessary not only to bring about the socialist industrialization of the country and persevere in the socialist revolution on the economic front, but also to carry on constant and arduous socialist revolutionary struggles and socialist education on the political and ideological fronts. Moreover, various contributory international factors are required.

Speech at the Chinese Communist Party's National Conference on Propaganda Work (March 12, 1957), first pocket ed., and p. two. *

In China the struggle to consolidate the socialist system, the struggle to decide whether socialism or capitalism will prevail, will still take a long historical period. However, we should all realize that the new system of socialism will unquestionably be consolidated. We can assuredly build a socialist state with modern industry, modern agriculture, and modern science and culture.

Ibid. pp. 2-3.

The number of intellectuals who are hostile to our state is very small. They do not like our state, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat, and yearn for the old society. Whenever there is an opportunity, they will stir up trouble and attempt to overthrow the Communist Party and restore the old China. As between the proletarian and the bourgeois roads, as between the socialist and the capitalist roads, these people stubbornly choose to follow the latter. In fact, this road is impossible, and in fact, therefore, they are ready to capitulate to imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism. Such people are to be found in political circles and in industrial and commercial, cultural and educational, scientific, technological, and religious circles, and they are extremely reactionary.

Ibid. pp. 3-4.

The serious problem is the education of the peasantry. The peasant economy is scattered, and the socialization of agriculture, judging by the Soviet Union's experience, will require a long time and painstaking work. Without socialization of agriculture, there can be no complete, consolidated socialism.

"On the People's Democratic Dictatorship" June 30, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 419.

We must have faith, first, that the peasant masses are ready to advance step by step along the road of socialism under the leadership of the Party, and second, that the Party is capable of leading the peasants along this road. These two points are the essence of the matter, the main current.

On the Question of Agricultural Co-operation (July 31, 1955), 3rd ed., p. 18. *

The leading bodies in co-operatives must establish the dominant position of the poor peasants and the new lower middle peasants in these bodies, with the old lower middle peasants and the upper middle peasants - whether old or new - as the supplementary force. Only thus can unity between the poor and middle peasants be attained. Moreover, the co-operatives can also be consolidated, production can be expanded and the socialist transformation of the entire countryside be correctly accomplished in accordance with the Party's policy. Otherwise, unity between the middle and poor peasants cannot be attained, the co-operatives cannot be consolidated, production cannot be expanded, and the socialist transformation of the entire countryside cannot be achieved.

Introductory note to "How Control of the Wutang Co-operative Shifted from the Middle to the Poor Peasants" (1955), The Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Chinese ed., Vol. II.

It is essential to unite with the middle peasants, and it is wrong not to do so. But on whom must the working class and the Communist Party rely in the countryside in order to unite with the middle peasants and realize the socialist transformation of the entire countryside? Surely on none other than the poor peasants. That was the case when the struggle against the landlords was being waged and the land reform was being carried out, and that is the case today when the struggle against the rich peasants and other capitalist elements is being waged to achieve the socialist transformation of agriculture. In both these revolutionary periods, the middle peasants wavered in the initial stages. It is only after they clearly see the general trend of events and the approaching triumph of the revolution that the middle peasants will come in on the side of the revolution. The poor peasants must work on the middle peasants and win them over, so that the revolution will broaden from day to day until final victory.

Introductory note to "The Lesson of the 'Middle-Peasant Cooperative' and the 'Poor-Peasant Co-operative' in Fuan County" (1955), The Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Chinese ed., Vol. II.

There is a serious tendency towards capitalism among the well-to-do peasants. This tendency will become rampant if we in the slightest way neglect political work among the peasants during the co-operative movement and for a very long period after.

Introductory note to "A Resolute Struggle Must Be Waged Against the Tendency Towards Capitalism" (1955), The Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Chinese ed., Vol. I.

The agricultural co-operative movement has been a severe ideological and political struggle from the very beginning. No cooperative can be established without going through such a struggle. Before a brand-new social system can be built on the site of the old, the site must be swept clean. Invariably, remnants of old ideas reflecting the old system remain in people's minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way. After a co-operative is established, it must go through many more struggles before it can be consolidated. Even then, the moment it relaxes its efforts it may collapse.

Introductory note to "A Serious Lesson" (1955), The Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Chinese ed., Vol. I.

The spontaneous forces of capitalism have been steadily growing in the countryside in recent years, with new rich peasants springing up everywhere and many well-to-do middle peasants striving to become rich peasants. On the other hand, many poor peasants are still living in poverty for lack of sufficient means of production, with some in debt and others selling or renting out their land. If this tendency goes unchecked, the polarization in the countryside will inevitably be aggravated day by day. Those peasants who lose their land and those who remain in poverty will complain that we are doing nothing to save them from ruin or to help them overcome their difficulties. Nor will the well-to-do middle peasants who are heading in the capitalist direction be pleased with us, for we shall never be able to satisfy their demands unless we intend to take the capitalist road. Can the worker-peasant alliance continue to stand him in these circumstances? Obviously not! There is no solution to this problem except on a new basis. And that means to bring about, step by step, the socialist transformation of the whole of agriculture simultaneously with the gradual realization of socialist industrialization and the socialist transformation of handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce; in other words, it means to carry out co-operation and eliminate the rich-peasant economy and the individual economy in the countryside so that all the rural people will become increasingly well off together. We maintain that this is the only way to consolidate the worker-peasant alliance.

On the Question of Agricultural Co-operation (July 31, 1955), 3rd ed., pp. 26-27.*

By over-all planning, we mean planning which takes into consideration the interests of the 600 million people of our country. In drawing up plans, handling affairs or thinking over problems, we must proceed from the fact that China has a population of 600 million people, and we must never forget this fact.

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), first pocket ed. p. 47.

In addition to the leadership of the Party, a decisive factor is our population of 600 million. More people mean a greater ferment of ideas, more enthusiasm and more energy. Never before have the masses of the people been so inspired, so militant and so daring as at present.

"Introducing a Co-operative" (April 15, 1958).

Apart from their other characteristics, the outstanding thing about China's 600 million people is that they are "poor and blank". This may seem a bad thing, but in reality it is a good thing. Poverty gives rise to the desire for changes the desire for action and the desire for revolution. On a blank sheet of paper free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful characters can be written; the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted.

Ibid .

After the countrywide victory of the Chinese revolution and the solution of the land problem, two basic contradictions will still exist in China. The first is internal, that is, the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie. The second is external, which is the contradiction between China and the imperialist countries. Consequently, after the victory of the people's democratic revolution, the state power of the people's republic under the leadership of the working class must not be weakened but must be strengthened.

"Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (March 5, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 369.

"Don't you want to abolish state power?" Yes, we do, but not right now. We cannot do it yet. Why? Because imperialism still exists, because domestic reaction still exists, because classes still exist in our country. Our present task is to strengthen the people's state apparatus - mainly the people's army, the people's police and the people's courts - in order to consolidate national defense and protect the people's interests.

"On the People's Democratic Dictatorship" (June 30, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 418.

Our state is a people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. What is this dictatorship for? Its first function is to suppress the reactionary classes and elements and those exploiters in our country who resist the socialist revolution, to suppress those who try to wreck our socialist construction, or in other words, to resolve the internal contradictions between ourselves and the enemy. For instance, to arrest, try and sentence certain counterrevolutionaries, and to deprive landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists of their right to vote and their freedom of speech for a specified period of time - all this comes within the scope of our dictatorship. To maintain public order and safeguard the interests of the people, it is likewise necessary to exercise dictatorship over embezzlers, swindlers, arsonists, murderers, criminal gangs and other scoundrels who seriously disrupt public order. The second function of this dictatorship is to protect our country from subversion and possible aggression by external enemies. In that event, it is the task of this dictatorship to resolve the external contradiction between the enemy and us. The aim of this dictatorship is to protect all our people so that they can devote themselves to peaceful labour and build China into a socialist country with a modern industry, agriculture, science and culture.

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People (February 27, 1957), 1st pocket ed., pp. 6-7.

The People's democratic dictatorship needs the leadership of the working class. For it is only the working class that is most far-sighted, most selfless and most thoroughly revolutionary. The entire history of revolution proves that without the leadership of the working class revolution fails and that with the leadership of the working class revolution triumphs.

"On the People's Democratic Dictatorship" (June 30, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 421.

The People's democratic dictatorship is based on the alliance of the working class, the peasantry and the urban petty bourgeoisie, and mainly on the alliance of the workers and the peasants, because these two classes comprise 80 to go per cent of China's population. These two classes are the main force in overthrowing imperialism and the Kuomintang reactionaries. The transition from New Democracy to socialism also depends mainly upon their alliance.


Class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment are the three great revolutionary movements for building a mighty socialist country. These movements are a sure guarantee that Communists will be free from bureaucracy and immune against revisionism and dogmatism, and will forever remain invincible. They are a reliable guarantee that the proletariat will be able to unite with the broad working masses and realize a democratic dictatorship. If, in the absence of these movements, the landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, bad elements and monsters were all allowed to crawl out, while our cadres were to shut their eyes to all this and in many cases fail even to differentiate between the enemy and ourselves but were to collaborate with the enemy and were corrupted, divided and demoralized by him, if our cadres were thus pulled out or the enemy were able to sneak in, and if many of our workers, peasants, and intellectuals were left defenseless against both the soft and the hard tactics of the enemy, then it would not take long, perhaps only several years or a decade, or several decades at most, before a counterrevolutionary restoration on a national scale inevitably occurred, the Marxist-Leninist party would undoubtedly become a revisionist party or a fascist party, and the whole of China would change its color.

Note on "The Seven Well-Written Documents of Chekiang Province Concerning Cadres' Participation in Physical Labour" (May 9, 1963), quoted in On Khrushchov's Phony Communism and Its Historical Lessons for the World, pp. 7l-72. *

The People's democratic dictatorship uses two methods. Towards the enemy, it uses the method of dictatorship, that is, for as long a period of time as is necessary it does not let them take part in political activities and compels them to obey the law of the People's Government and to engage in labour and, through labour, transform themselves into new men. Towards the people, on the contrary, it uses the method not of compulsion but of democracy, that is, it must necessarily let them take part in political activities and does not compel them to do this or that, but uses the method of democracy in educating and persuading them.

Closing speech at the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (June 23, 1950).

Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the Chinese people are carrying out a vigorous rectification movement in order to bring about the rapid development of socialism in China on a firmer basis. It is a movement for carrying out a nation-wide debate which is both guided and free, a debate in the city and the countryside on such questions as the socialist road versus the capitalist road, the basic system of the state and its major policies, the working style of Party and government functionaries, and the question of the welfare of the people, a debate which is conducted by setting forth facts and reasoning things out, so as correctly to resolve those actual contradictions among the people which demand immediate solution. This is a socialist movement for the self-education and self-remolding of the people.

"Speech at the Meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution" (November 6, 1957)

Most arduous tasks lie ahead of us in the great work of construction. Although there are over I0 million members in our Party, they still constitute a very small minority of the country's population. In government departments and public organizations and enterprises, much work has to be done by non-Party people. It is impossible to get this work well done unless we are good at relying on the masses and co-operating with non-Party people. While continuing to strengthen the unity of the whole Party, we must also continue to strengthen the unity of all our nationalities, democratic classes, democratic parties and people's organizations, and to consolidate and expand the people's democratic united front, and we must conscientiously get rid of every unhealthy manifestation in any link in our work that is detrimental to the unity between the Party and the people.

"Opening Address at the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China" (September 15, 1956).


Chapter 4: The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People