Advertisement

Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong

From Academic Kids

Disambiguation note: Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung is also the title of a play by Edward Albee.
Missing image
Little_red_book.png
Cover of Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong with Chinese words "Supreme Directives"

Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong (毛主席语录 Pinyin: Mo Zhǔx Yǔl), better known in the West as The Little Red Book, has been published by the Government of the People's Republic of China since 1966. As its title implies, it is a collection of quotations excerpted from Mao's past speeches and publications. The book's alternative title The Little Red Book was coined by the West for its pocket-sized edition, which was specifically printed and sold to facilitate easy carrying, but that name is in fact never used in China and bears no meaning there.

The estimated number of copies in print well exceeds one billion, certainly a record in mainland China (although, worldwide, its publication is a distant second to the Bible, or third if all publications and printings of the annual Ikea catalog [1] (http://www.martinrothonline.com/MRCC23.htm) [2] (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/homes/articles/1261423) are counted as a book). The book's phenomenal popularity, however, is due to the fact that it was essentially an unofficial requirement for every Chinese citizen to own, to read, and to carry it at all times under the latter half of Mao's rule, especially during the Great Cultural Revolution. At the height of that period of turmoil, the punishment for failing to produce the book upon being asked would range from being beaten on the spot by Red Guards to being given years of hard-labor imprisonment.

During the Cultural Revolution, studying the book was not only required in schools (from primary grades to universities), but was also a standard practice in the workplace as well. All units, in the industrial, commercial, agricultural, civil service, and military sectors, organized group sessions for the entire workforce to study the book during working hours. Quotes from Mao were either bold-faced or highlighted in red, and almost all writing (including scientific essays) had to quote Mao.

To defend against the theory that it would be counter-productive, it was argued that understanding Mao's quotes could definitely bring about enlightenment to the work unit, resulting in production improvement to offset the time lost. However, this was not the case, and the Cultural Revolution is now widely considered to have been an economic disaster.

During the 1960s, the book was the single most visible icon in mainland China, even more visible than the image of the Chairman himself. In posters and pictures created by CPC's propaganda artists, nearly every painted character (except Mao himself), either smiling or looking determined, was always seen with a copy of the book in his/her hand.

After the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the importance of the book waned considerably, and the glorification of Mao's quotations was considered to be left deviationism and a cult of personality. In fact, the book is often seen as only a piece of memorabilia today.

Mao's quotations are categorized into 33 chapters in the book. Its topics mainly deal with Mao's ideology (known as Maoism).

Content and Format

Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong is composed of 427 quotations, divided thematically into 33 chapters. The quotations range in length from a sentence to a few short paragraphs, and borrow heavily from a group of about two dozen documents in the four volumes of Mao's Selected Works. In the book's latter half, a strong empiricist tendency evidences itself in Mao's thought. Usually the quotations are arranged logically, to deal with one to three themes in the development of a chapter. The table below summarizes the book; please note that the summaries represent what Mao is claiming or writing in each chapter.

Chapter Number of Quotations Title Summary
1 13 The Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party is the core of the Chinese revolution, and its principles are based on Marxism-Leninism. Party criticism should be carried out within the Party.
2 22 Classes and Class Struggle The revolution, and the recognition of class and class struggle, are necessary for peasants and the Chinese people to overcome both domestic and foreign enemy elements. This is not a simple, clean, or quick struggle.
3 28 Socialism and Communism Socialism must be developed in China, and the route toward such an end is a democratic revolution, which will enable socialist and communist consolidation over a length of time. It is also important to unite with the middle peasants, and educate them on the failings of capitalism.
4 16 The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People There are at least two basic kinds of contradiction: the antagonistic contradictions which exist between communist countries and their capitalist neighbors, and the contradictions among people unconvinced of China's new path, which should be dealt with in a democratic and non-antagonistic fashion.
5 21 War and Peace War is a continuation of politics, and there are at least two types: just (progressive) and unjust wars, which only serve bourgeois interests. While no one likes war, we must remain ready to wage just wars against imperialist agitations.
6 10 Imperialism and All Reactionaries Are Paper Tigers U.S. imperialism, and European and domestic reactionary forces, represent real dangers, and in this respect are like real tigers. However, because the goal of Chinese communism is just, and reactionary interests are self-centered and unjust, after struggle, they will be revealed to be much less dangerous than they were earlier perceived to be.
7 10 Dare to Struggle and Dare to Win Fighting is unpleasant, and the people of China would prefer not to do it at all. At the same time, they stand ready to wage a just struggle of self-preservation against reactionary elements, both foreign and domestic.
8 10 People's War China's masses are the greatest conceivable weapon for fighting against Japanese imperialism and domestic reactionaries. Basic strategic points for war against the Kuomingtang are also enumerated.
9 8 The People's Army The people's army is not merely an organ for fighting; it is also an organ for the political advancement of the Party, as well as of production.
10 14 Leadership of Party Committees Internal life of the Party is discussed. Committees are useful to avoid monopolization by others, and Party members must demonstrate honesty, openness in discussing problems, and the ability to learn and multitask.
11 22 The Mass Line The mass line represents the creative and productive energies of the masses of the Chinese population, which are potentially inexhaustable. Party members should take their cue from the masses, and reinterpret policy with respect to the benefit of the masses.
12 21 Political Work It is necessary for intellectuals, students, soldiers and the average peasant to pay attention and involve themselves with political work. This is particularly true in wartime.
13 7 Relations Between Officers and Men Non-antagonistic and democratic relations between officers and men make for a stronger army.
14 6 Relations Between the Army and the People An army that is cherished and respected by the people, and vice verse, is a nearly invincible force. The army and the people must unite on the grounds of basic respect.
15 8 Democracy in the Three Main Fields Democracy and honesty play roles in the reform of the army, as well as in the life of the Party, and of cadres. "Ultra-democracy", which is defined as an individualistic bourgeois aversion to discipline, is to be avoided.
16 9 Education and the Training of Troops Education must have a practical and political basis for the army, Party and cadres. Along democratic lines, it will also be possible for the officers to teach the soldiers, for the soldiers to teach the officers, and for the soldiers to teach each other.
17 9 Serving the People It is the duty of the cadres and the Party to serve the people. Without the people's interests constantly at heart, their work is useless.
18 7 Patriotism and Internationalism The patriotism of a communist nation and an internationalist sympathy for just struggles in other countries are in no way exclusive; on the contrary, they are deeply linked, as communism spreads throughout the world. At the same time, it is important for a country to retain modesty, and shun arrogance.
19 8 Revolutionary Heroism The same limitless creative energy of the masses is also visible in the army, in their fighting style and indomitable will.
20 8 Building Our Country Through Diligence and Frugality China's road to modernization will be built on the principles of diligence and frugality. Nor will it be legitimate to relax if, 50 years later, modernization is realized on a mass scale.
21 13 Self-Reliance and Arduous Struggle It is necessary for China to become self-reliant in the course of the revolution, along the usual lines of class struggle. At the same time, it is a mistake for individuals to only see the good or the bad in a system, to the exclusion of all else.
22 41 Methods of Thinking and Methods of Work Marxist dialectical materialism, which connotes the constant struggle between opposites in an empirical setting, is the best method toward constant improvement. Objective analysis of problems based on empirical results is at a premium.
23 9 Investigation and Study It is necessary to investigate both the facts and the history of a problem in order to study and understand it.
24 15 Correcting Mistaken Ideas Arrogance, lack of achievement after a prosperous period, selfishness, shirking work, and liberalism, are all evils to be avoided in China's development. Liberalism is taken to mean that one may avoid conflict or work in order to be more comfortable for the moment, while the problem continues to grow.
25 5 Unity Unity of the masses, the Party and the whole country is essential. At the same time, criticism may take place along comradely lines, while at the same time a basic unity is felt and preserved. This is the dialectical method.
26 5 Discipline Discipline is seen not to be exclusive to democratic methods. Basic points of military conduct are also enumerated.
27 15 Criticism and Self-Criticism Criticism is a part of the Marxist dialectical method which is central to Party improvement; as such, communists must not fear it, but engage in it openly.
28 18 Communists A communist must be selfless, with the interests of the masses at heart. He must also possess a largeness of mind, as well as a practical, far-sighted mindset.
29 11 Cadres Cadres, the instrument for uniting with and working for the people, must be leaders versed in Marxist-Leninism. They must both have guidance, and the freedom to use their creative inititave in solving problems. Newer cadres and older cadres must work together with a comradely respect, learning from each other.
30 7 Youth The Chinese Youth represent an active, vital force in China, to be drawn upon. At the same time, it is necessary to educate them, and for the Youth League to give special attention to their problems and interests.
31 7 Women Women represent a great productive force in China, and equality among the sexes is one of the goals of communism. The multiple burdens which women must shoulder are to be eased.
32 8 Culture and Art Literature and art are discussed with respect to communism, in an orthodox fashion.
33 16 Study It is the responsibility of all to enculturate themselves, and study Marxism-Leninism deeply. It is also necessary for people to turn their attention to contemporary problems, along empirical lines.

External links


de:Das kleine Rote Buch fr:Petit Livre Rouge ja:毛主席語録 sv:Maos lilla rda zh-cn:毛主席语录

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools