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Mao Tse-tung’s Thought Must Be Studied
Conscientiously and Diligently

[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #43, Oct. 21,
1966, pp. 9-10. Thanks are due to the WWW.WENGEWANG.ORG
web site for some of the work done for this posting.]

COMRADE LIN PIAO recently called on the People’s Liberation Army to carry forward the mass movement for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works to a new stage. These directions are fully applicable both to the whole army and to the whole Party and the entire people. They are extremely important and timely for all.

Over many years, the People’s Liberation Army has held aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, given prominence to proletarian politics, creatively studied and applied Chairman Mao’s works, and made great achievements in revolutionizing thinking, work and other matters. It has set a brilliant example for the people throughout the country.

In 1964, Comrade Mao Tse-tung issued a great call to the people throughout the country, urging them to go all out in learning from the Liberation Army. Following the example of the Liberation Army, the people of the whole country have strengthened political and ideological work and developed a vigorous mass movement for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works. Large numbers of advanced units and outstanding people have come forth on all fronts in the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works in the short space of a few years. The unprecedented great proletarian cultural revolution, which is eliminating bourgeois ideology and promoting Mao Tse-tung’s thought in a thoroughgoing way, has created a new situation in the whole Party and the entire country in the mass movement for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works.

We are now in a new era of world revolution and at a new stage in our country’s socialist revolution. The situation of class struggle at home and abroad is changing greatly. Only by studying Chairman Mao’s works still more consciously and conscientiously and mastering Mao Tse-tung’s thought, the powerful ideological weapon of the proletariat, can we cope with the new situation and new changes in the class struggle and push the wheel of revolution forward.

Comrade Lin Piao has pointed out: Mao Tse-tung’s thought is the science of the proletarian revolution, it is proletarian truth which has stood the test of prolonged revolutionary struggles, it is Marxism-Leninism conforming closest to reality, it is the unified programme of action for the whole Party, the whole army and the people of the whole country.

However complex the work and however varied the conditions on the various fronts in our country, there is one point in common, i.e., to unify our thinking with Mao Tse-tung’s thought. When the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works is successfully grasped, politics is placed in the forefront and men’s ideology is revolutionized, every kind of work receives an impetus and can be done well.

In the past few years, the Liberation Army has accumulated rich experience in the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works.

(1) Study for revolution. Chairman Mao has said: “Our comrades must understand that we study Marxism-Leninism not for display, nor because there is any mystery about it, but solely because it is the science which leads the revolutionary cause of the proletariat to victory.” We likewise study Chairman Mao’s works for the sake of the Chinese revolution and the world revolution. We must be imbued with the firm determination to engage in revolution our whole lifetime, study Chairman Mao’s works our whole lifetime and remould our ideology our whole lifetime, making the study of Chairman Mao’s works the first need in our lives. On this ideological basis, everyone will have a high degree of consciousness in study, have drive and tenacity and find time to study, and no obstacle can stop him and no difficulty can subdue him.

(2) Study with deep and rich proletarian feeling. Comrade Lin Piao has said: “Mao Tse-tung’s thought reflects the objective laws of the domestic and international class struggle; it reflects the fundamental interests of the proletariat, of the working people.” Only when one holds fast to the proletarian standpoint, is imbued with deep and rich proletarian feeling and has boundless love for, loyalty to and faith in Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung’s thought, can he understand Chairman Mao’s works deeply, apply them well and really “do things in the way Chairman Mao says.”

(3) Make great effort to apply what one studies. Comrade Lin Piao has said: “Chairman Mao’s works should be studied with problems in mind, they should be studied and applied in a creative way, study should be combined with practice, one should study first what is urgently needed so as to get quick results and should make great effort to apply what one studies.” This method of study is a method of combining theory with practice; it is the most effective Marxist method of study and has been tested in practice. We must link our study of Chairman Mao’s works closely with the current class struggle inside and outside the country and with the policies of the Party, link it closely with our own thinking and work, using the “arrow” of Mao Tse-tung’s thought to shoot at the “target” of ideological and practical problems. It is necessary to pay special attention to making great effort to remould one’s bourgeois world outlook, eliminate selfishness and build up devotion to the public interest, energetically eradicate bourgeois ideas and vigorously foster proletarian ideas.

(4) Study and apply in the course of struggle. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has said: “In order to have a real grasp of Marxism, one must learn it not only from books, but mainly through class struggle, through practical work and close contact with the masses of workers and peasants.” When a person studies and applies Chairman Mao’s works creatively and truly grasps Mao Tse-tung’s thought in the course of sharp and complicated class struggle, he is able to see clearly, stand firmly and withstand any pressure so that “typhoons cannot shake him and thunderbolts cannot shatter him.” At the same time, he receives an education from both the positive and negative side, draws experience and lessons, and tempers and improves himself in the teeth of great storms and waves.

(5) Study the particularly important articles constantly and the basic points of view repeatedly. Comrade Lin Piao has urged the armed forces to regard Chairman Mao’s works as required study. “Both cadres and fighters should select a number of articles which are most closely related to the current practical struggle as their required lessons for intensive study, understand their essence and use them to solve practical problems current in the armed forces.” He has also advocated the study of quotations from Chairman Mao by linking them up with reality and the memorizing of a number of revolutionary maxims. Thus, through repeated study and application, many of Chairman Mao’s basic points of view will gradually go deep into people’s minds and take root.

(6) Cadres should take the lead in study. Study Chairman Mao’s writings, follow his teachings and act according to his instructions and be his good fighters these four phrases are not addressed to fighters alone, but first of all to cadres, particularly senior cadres. Whether a cadre raises the red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought high or not, whether he studies Chairman Mao’s works well or not, this is the criterion of first importance in judging whether he is a good cadre or a bad one. There are now large numbers of young people who have done very well in the study of Chairman Mao’s works. If the comrades who are cadres do not study conscientiously, they will inevitably fall behind.

The great proletarian cultural revolution which is how developing is a great school for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao’s works. This revolution, which is extremely sharp, complex and profound, is storming every corner of social life and touches everyone to the very soul. To the revolutionary masses and cadres, the mighty waves of the great proletarian cultural revolution that have been surging forward during the past few months under the banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought provide a lesson not in the form of a lesson given in a school, a test not in the form of a test taken in a classroom; it is ten thousand times more profound than a lesson in school, it is ten thousand times more exacting than a test in a classroom.

The great proletarian cultural revolution is a great revolution to unify the thinking of the people throughout the country with Mao Tse-tung’s thought; it is a great undertaking that will have its bearing on many later generations, an undertaking to dig out the roots of revisionism, prevent capitalist restoration and ensure China’s transition from socialism to communism, step by step.

In the storms of struggle, large numbers of new, courageous fighters armed with Mao Tse-tung’s thought are maturing quickly. Mao Tse-tung’s thought is changing the outlook of the whole society and the mental outlook of people still further. Bathed in the sunlight of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, our great motherland shines with brilliance.

Let our whole Party, our whole army and all our people study Chairman Mao’s works conscientiously and diligently and in a thoroughgoing way, truly master Mao Tse-tung’s thought and truly and quickly turn the whole country into a great school of Mao Tse-tung’s thought!

(“Renmin Ribao” editorial, October 12.)

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