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A Quotation From Chairman Mao Tse-tung

It is man’s social being that determines his thinking. Once the correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force which changes society and changes the world.

— “Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?”

Illuminated by Mao Tse-tung’s Thought

A New All-Round Leap Forward Situation Emerges

[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #40, Sept. 30,
1966, pp. 7-11. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]

ALL over China, the mass movement to study and apply Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s works creatively and the unparalleled great proletarian cultural revolution are rushing forward triumphantly. Both have greatly speeded up the people’s ideological revolutionization and further released the forces of production and mobilized the people’s enthusiasm and initiative, thus creating new and favourable conditions for a big development in industry and agriculture. The great spiritual force that is Mao Tse-tung’s thought is being transformed into a great material force.

1966 is the first year of China’s Third Five-Year Plan for the Development of the National Economy. Guided by Mao Tse-tung’s thought, the people of the whole country are implementing the Party’s general line for building socialism and taking firm hold of the revolution to promote production. They are channelling their tremendous revolutionary drive generated in the great cultural revolution into industrial and agricultural production and scientific experiment, with the result that every kind of work is being done in a way that brings greater, faster, better and more economical results and a new all-round leap forward is emerging in production and construction.

Situation in Industry Is Excellent

On the industrial front, the broad masses of the workers and staff are taking Taching as their example and running socialist enterprises in accordance with Mao Tse-tung’s thought. They are putting politics in command over production, stressing the ideological revolutionization of man, thus giving impetus to the big leap forward in production. Output has been greatly increased, the range of goods considerably extended and quality markedly improved. In the iron and steel industry, for example, the output of steel, forgings and rolled stock, pig iron and coke in the first eight months of this year rose by 20 per cent or more as compared with the same period last year. More than 500 types of new steels and forgings and rolled stock were successfully developed, a figure surpassing the level of any previous eight-month period since the founding of the Chinese People’s Republic. Compared with 1965, a greater proportion of the steel, forgings and rolled stock and pig iron made was up to standard, and average coke consumption in smelting each ton of iron was cut by 31 kgs.—a new record in China’s history. In the petroleum industry, state targets for crude oil and major petroleum products, such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil and lubricants in the first half of this year were all overfulfilled and big increases were registered over those of the same period last year. In the first eight months of 1966 the state targets for major textile products, including cotton, woollen, silk, bast and chemical fibres and textile machinery, were overfulfilled. There was a fairly large increase in output, quality was steadily improved and costs lowered. Cotton yarn output rose by 18 per cent to set a new post-liberation record.

At present, the news from the industrial front continues to be good. In Shanghai, China’s biggest industrial centre, the revolutionary spirit of the workers and staff members is unprecedentedly high. On the wings of their tremendous achievements in the first half of this year, they continued to forge ahead in July and August. Production in the metallurgical, chemical and textile industries is ordinarily easily affected by high temperature in the hot months. This year, however, workers and staff members in these industries overcame a rare and protracted period of high temperature, broke the past pattern and, instead of producing less, kept output stable and even made a slight increase. Products of major importance for the development of the national economy which have showed fairly big increases in output as compared with the same period last year include: new types of metal materials, high polymer synthetic materials, instruments and meters used in automation, transistors, optical instruments, low-temperature equipment, precision machine tools, tractors, motor vehicles, chemical fertilizers, insecticides and synthetic fibres. The quality of the city’s major industrial products has remained stable and has improved in some cases. A number of important new products up to modern advanced levels have been successfully developed.

Mao Tsetung’s Thought Is the Locomotive
Leading The Advance of the Working Class

The great thought of Mao Tse-tung is the locomotive leading the Shanghai working class in its vigorous advance on both the spiritual and the material fronts. In the great cultural revolution, the workers and staff members, relying on Mao Tse-tung’s thought, have charged to the very forefront, and have conquered one height of science and technology after another. In the workshops of every factory, on the machines, and in all places of activity and struggle, the workers have put up posters inscribed with quotations from Chairman Mao. They constantly draw infinite strength from Chairman Mao’s teachings in everything they do.

The achievements of many factories and plants testify to the fact that, once those people in authority in the Party who are taking the capitalist road are exposed and discredited, once the reactionary bourgeois “specialists” and “authorities” are thoroughly criticized and the many spiritual fetters of the old world are shaken off, the infinitely rich creative wisdom and talent of the masses of workers and staff members will be released to the greatest extent. In the last few months, the workers and staff members have swiftly developed many important new products. These include high, and low temperature resistant new-type plastics for making high-speed machine parts and high-grade insulators, new-type high-grade transistors, small jig-boring machines with a boring accuracy of up to three microns, big gear grinders capable of processing precision gears of 1.6 metres in diameter, and a continuous vacuum film-coating unit.

A cause for special rejoicing is that large numbers of formerly unknown young people have come to the fore on Shanghai’s industrial front and demonstrated remarkable ingenuity. They are courageous path-breakers in the great cultural revolution as well as fearless fighters in the struggle for production. Thirty-odd young workers and technicians of the Huguang Scientific Instruments Plant, whose average age is less than 25, together with other workers and staff members in the plant, wrote big-character posters and joined in the big debates against the plant’s bourgeois “authorities” until the latter had been completely exposed and discredited and the various manifestations of the mentality of fawning on everything foreign had been thoroughly repudiated. They carried out scientific research in accordance with Chairman Mao’s great teaching that the humble are the wisest and the haughty are the most stupid. After six months of hard work, they were able to make for the first time from materials produced entirely in China two important precision measuring instruments—a high-precision standard condenser and a high-precision alternating current resistance box, so that, in one giant step, the level of these two types of products jumped from the 1940s into the 1960s.

Breaking Down Foreign Conventions and Following
China’s Own Road of Industrial Development

Holding high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and steadfastly following Chairman Mao’s brilliant policy decision on breaking down foreign conventions and following China’s own road of industrial development, workers and staff members of the Lanchow Oil Refinery have, in a few short years, transformed their enterprise, which was originally built according to foreign design, into a large Chinese-type oil refinery employing advanced technology. Whereas the enterprise could only process one type of crude oil and produce 16 types of ordinary petroleum products before, it can now process three different types of crude oil simultaneously and turn out over 100 petroleum products, including many high-grade ones. The quality of many of its major products has reached or surpassed advanced international standards. The variety and output of the refinery’s products have also increased year by year and it has manufactured a whole range of new products for the country.

The following example demonstrates how, once they have grasped Mao Tse-tung’s thought, the workers and staff members become invincible. The Lanchow refinery twice had experimented, and failed, to make a type of high-grade oil urgently needed by the country but which the Soviet revisionist clique had tried its best to keep China from getting. Foreign technical “authorities” had declared that “this high-grade oil cannot be produced from Chinese crude oil.” Faced with difficulty, the workers studied the relevant works of Chairman Mao and realized that the conclusion drawn by these foreign “authorities” is not at all sacred and inviolable. Chairman Mao has said: “The history of human knowledge tells us that the truth of many theories is incomplete and that this incompleteness is remedied through the test of practice. Many theories are erroneous and it is through the test of practice that their errors are corrected.” Acting in accordance with Chairman Mao’s teaching, the workers and staff members were determined to break down all old conventions and restrictions. They were finally able to produce this type of high-grade oil, whose properties, when tested, proved superior to those of the imported product.

Daring to Think, Act and Scale the Summits in Science and Technology

The workers and staff members of the famous Taching Oilfield, whose revolutionary spirit has mounted ever higher in the great cultural revolution, have scored one new and greater victory after another. Using Mao Tse-tung’s thought as the guide to all their actions, and developing the spirit of daring to break through the “barriers” and storm the “fortress,” two oil drilling crew, Nos. 1202 and 1205, both broke the 60,000-metre mark in seven months and 21 days. This feat, accomplished on September 11 and 12 respectively, far surpassed the best Soviet record of 40,816 metres made known last year, which took I.B. Polyakovski’s drilling crew all of 1965 to do. The average monthly drilling of the two Taching crew was 7,850 metres, the best level ever reached anywhere in the world. The workers and staff members of these two teams said that it was by relying on the invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung that they had overcome all enemies, surmounted all difficulties and seized every victory.

New Experience Gained in Capital Construction

An all-round leap forward situation has also emerged on the capital construction front. A constant rise in the level of political consciousness and a soaring enthusiasm in construction has taken place among the workers and staff members in the field of capital construction during the great proletarian cultural revolution. Their fulfilment of the capital construction investment plan between January and August has meant an 18 per cent increase over the same period in 1965. The big and medium-sized construction projects that have been wholly or partially completed and put into operation have increased considerably over the same period last year. Productive capacity for turning out electric power, coal, cement, sugar and other industrial products has increased by a wide margin; newly added power generating capacity and coal-mining capacity have doubled or risen even more in comparison with the same period in 1965. The progress made in these construction projects, particularly mine construction, has been tremendously accelerated.

Even more important, by raising high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and taking the Taching Oilfield as their example, the workers and staff members have gained new experience in carrying out industrial and agricultural production and construction with greater, faster, better and more economical results. Many construction units and newly built factories have, on a trial basis, integrated factories with communes, with the former guiding the latter, along with the simultaneous development of industry and agriculture. They have not only vigorously supported neighbouring communes and production brigades with respect to production techniques, culture and health, they have first of all, helped the peasants in the political field: helping them to conduct the socialist education movement, helping them to study Chairman Mao’s works, and propagating the Party’s principles and policies and the spirit of the Tachai brigade among them, thereby raising the peasants’ level of political consciousness, promoting the development of agricultural production and bringing into play their initiative to take part in construction. The peasants in turn warmly support the construction of factories by sending them peasant-workers and skilled artisans, doing transport work and making bricks and tiles for them, supplying them with vegetables and other nonstaple foodstuffs and guaranteeing safety at work-sites. All this has greatly boosted industrial construction.

New Victories on the Agricultural Front

On the agricultural front, along with the development in depth of the socialist education movement, the rural people’s communes have been further consolidated and developed. By vigorously giving prominence to politics, creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao’s works, emulating and overtaking the Tachai brigade and displaying a fearless spirit, the broad masses of cadres and commune members in the rural areas have carried out heroic and stubborn struggles against natural calamities and have thus gathered in good harvests for four successive years. Summer crops, such as wheat and early rice, have been greatly increased over vast areas in many places this year. Late rice and certain other grain crops in the south are growing very well and a good harvest is in sight. The elated masses of commune members in the north have begun harvesting maize, millet, sorghum and other autumn crops. Both in the southern and northern cotton regions, the cotton plants are bearing well. It is a gratifying sight. A bumper autumn harvest this year is now certain. There also have been big advances in forestry, animal husbandry, side-occupations, fisheries and other undertakings as well as in the building of rural water conservancy projects, and mechanization and electrification in the rural areas. Outstanding units of the Tachai type, in the spirit of self-reliance, hard work and battling the elements and changing backward features, have come to the fore everywhere.

To gather in a good harvest is not only an important link for fulfilling the plan for industrial and agricultural production this year, but it will create favourable conditions for the fulfilment of the entire Third Five-Year Plan (1966-70). Success in autumn harvesting and sowing will help promote a new upsurge in our country’s socialist agriculture.

This year the three provinces of Liaoning, Kirin and Heilungkiang in northeast China raised a bumper harvest, the fourth in four years. In most parts of north China’s Hopei Province, grain crops ripening in early autumn (millet, maize and sorghum) all have made varying gains over last year’s bumper harvest. Following raised yields of early rice over large areas, Kiangsu Province in east China is expecting a rich harvest of semi-late rice and maize on most of its farmland. In Hunan Province along the middle reaches of the Yangtse River, bumper harvests of both early rice and semi-late rice have been reported. Peasants in Tibet got their eighth consecutive bumper harvest following the democratic reform, and all crops in Tibet this year show considerable increases over last year.

The nation’s cotton promises a rich crop. Commune members in Hupeh, the leading cotton producing province in 1965, have held high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and overcome this year’s serious drought. As a result, cotton plants are growing quite well. In most parts of Kiangsi Province, cotton plants are generally better than last year. The great majority of cotton plants in the Kuanchung region, the main cotton producing area in Shensi Province, are growing sturdily and there are prospects for a rich harvest.

Results of Creative Study and Application of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought

The basic reason for the excellent situation in China’s countryside must be attributed to the fact that the broad masses of peasants have creatively studied and applied Chairman Mao’s works and armed their minds with Mao Tse-tung’s thought, thereby bringing about profound changes in their ideological outlook. By studying Chairman Mao’s works, members of the Tachai brigade have firmly established the idea of farming for the revolution. They have turned the old Tachai, known for its poor soil and poverty, into the socialist new Tachai which has a prosperous collective economy. Through the study of Chairman Mao’s works, members of the Huangshandong brigade in Polo County, Kwangtung Province, have dumped their selfish ideas, fostered the spirit of working for the common interest and worked heart and soul for the collective. Thus, everyone strives to become a living “Foolish Old Man” (a legendary figure known for his determination to remove two huge mountains and mentioned in one of Chairman Mao’s articles) who dares to transform the face of nature, and a “good comrade” (a term from Chairman Mao’s works) who fears no difficulty. Using the revolutionary spirit of forging ahead valiantly, they set out to transform their poor and backward brigade by building extensive water conservancy works and turning poor soil into land giving high yields. These measures succeeded in more than doubling the brigade’s rice output. A wealth of facts from different places proves that once the peasants are armed with Mao Tse-tung’s thought, they will be freed from concepts stemming from private ownership and become revolutionized peasants of a new type who work devotedly for the common interest and warmly love what belongs to the collective.

Through the study of Chairman Mao’s works, commune members in northeast China have come to understand that farming for the revolution must have the revolutionary spirit of being fearless in the face of difficulties and of hard work and self-reliance. They scored big successes in the drive to build water conservancy works last winter and this past spring. Though frost came unusually early, timely spring sowing ensured the ripening of this year’s autumn crops (maize, sorghum and millet) before frost set in.

A big section of Kiangsu Province was hit by a serious drought this year. In the struggle to overcome this natural calamity, all affected places gave prominence to politics and organized the masses to seriously study Chairman Mao’s works, including “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains” and “Cast Away Illusions, Prepare For Struggle,” and relevant quotations from Chairman Mao’s works. This helped the commune members to raise their class consciousness, heightened their determination to prevail over the drought and reap a bumper harvest, and ensured the normal growth of crops.

Excellent Situation Also Exists for Autumn Sowing

Rural China has embarked on the busy autumn sowing season. Holding aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and taking a firm hold on the revolution to promote production, commune members in the farming areas of the five northern provinces—Honan, Shantung, Hopei, Shensi and Shansi—and Peking are using high standards as they start a production upsurge in the sowing of winter wheat. Those provinces and Peking are the nation’s major winter wheat producing area, generally accounting for more than 60 per cent of the sown area of this crop. They all plan to sow wheat on larger areas than they did last year.

In this major wheat area, the situation for sowing wheat is better than any previous year. During the upsurge of the great proletarian cultural revolution, the masses of rural cadres and commune members make more conscious efforts to study and apply Chairman Mao’s works in a creative way, put Mao Tse-tung’s thought in command of the autumn sowing, strive to complete the task of using high standards in sowing wheat, and thus ensure victory in both revolution and production.

This year’s material and technical preparations for sowing wheat are more adequate than before. First of all, tremendous gains have been made in learning from the Tachai brigade, building water conservancy works and setting up farmland on the Tachai pattern. In Shansi irrigated wheat farmland has been extended from 3.6 million mu in the previous season to 6 million now, and there are also 4 million mu of newly set up land of the Tachai type to be sown for wheat. These 10 million mu which give guaranteed high yields lay the foundation for a bumper wheat harvest in Shansi next year. The five provinces and Peking prepared fairly adequate amounts of ground manure for sowing wheat, and many places will apply more manure per mu than in past years. Honan also planted a large area of green manure. Abundant wheat seeds are in stock in the communes or brigades and the area sown to good strains will be extended further.

Prosperous Scenes in Urban and Rural Markets

Urban and rural markets all over the country are more prosperous than ever as a result of the vigorous advances made in industrial and farm production, which provide a strong material basis for the market. In the first eight months of 1966, the total value of industrial and agricultural products purchased by the state trading departments all over China increased by 12.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year. The sales of commodities on the market handled by these departments rose by 10.4 per cent during the same period. On the basis of sustained increases over the past few years, both purchases and sales show fairly large increases this year.

The great majority of major commodities show large increases in their sales in urban and rural markets. Sales of commodities which support agriculture, such as chemical fertilizers, semi-mechanized farm tools and insecticides, rose by more than 40 per cent compared with the corresponding period in 1965. Sales of daily necessities, including cotton cloth, cotton knitwear, rubber and plastic shoes, kerosene, edible salt, pork, sugar, vegetables and other consumer goods increased between 10 and 30 per cent. The supply of machine-made thin paper rose by more than 20 per cent to meet the needs of the great proletarian cultural revolution.

Though the supply of commodities increased by a large margin, trading department stocks still continue to rise. Prices have remained stable and the people’s standard of living has shown further improvement.

The excellent situation in the nation’s urban and rural markets is a result of the big development in industrial and agricultural production. It is also the result of the efforts of the workers and staff members of the trading departments who, following Chairman Mao’s directive that “political work is the life-blood of all economic work,” vigorously give prominence to politics, creatively study and apply Chairman Mao’s works, and bring about revolulionization of their ideology.

Since the start of the great proletarian cultural revolution, in co-ordination with the socialist education movement, the commercial workers and staff members have taken an active part in this unprecedented great cultural revolution. Vigorously supporting the Red Guards in various places, they have set out to destroy the “four olds” (old ideas, culture, customs and habits) and establish the “four news” (new ideas, culture, customs and habits) in a big way, and have changed the existing capitalist methods and working style of management in certain aspects of their work. This introduced profound changes on the market, showing more clearly the character of the socialist market which serves industrial and agricultural production as well as the workers, peasants and soldiers.

They have also devoted their high revolutionary enthusiasm to their work in the purchase, supply, distribution and storing of commodities, and have rapidly turned this spiritual force into an enormous material force, and thereby achieved greater, faster, better and more economical results in all their work.

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