141 Mao Zedong Quotes

Speak politely
Do not damage crops
Do not ill treat captives
Pay fairly for what you buy
Return everything you borrow
Let a hundred flowers bloom
Pay for anything you damage
Obey orders in all your actions
Turn in everything captured
Do not hit or swear at people
To read too many books is harmful
All reactionaries are paper tigers
Strike, when he retreats, pursue
Do not take liberties with women
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun
Without a people's army the people have nothing
Poison but also purges us of our own filth
The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea
Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses
Be resolute, fear no sacrifice, and surmount every difficulty to win victory
You say, away with you Communists, we say, away with you imperialists
When the enemy advances, withdraw, when he stops, harass, when he tires,
Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive one, it is man
Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun
The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history
Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy
Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed
An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy
We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul
The army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army. Such an army will be invincible
War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun
The revolutionary war is a war of the masses, it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them
Our principle is that the Party commands the gun and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party
I have witnessed the tremendous energy of the masses. On this foundation it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever
The organs of state must practice democratic centralism, they must rely on the masses and their personnel must serve the people
For a military school, the most important question is the selection of a director and instructors and the adoption of an educational policy
We can learn what we did not know. We are not only good at destroying the old world, we are also good at building the new
In this world, things are complicated and are decided by many factors. We should look at problems from different aspects, not just from one
In agricultural production our fundamental task is to adjust the use of labor power in an organized way to encourage women to do farm work
The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The Theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism
Cadres are a decisive factor, once the political line is determined. Therefore, it is our fighting task to train large numbers of new cadres in a planned way
In class society everyone lives as a member of a particular class, and every kind of thinking, without exception, is stamped with the brand of a class
Every Communist working in the mass movements should be a friend of the masses and not a boss over them, an indefatigable teacher and not a bureaucratic politician
Fewer and better troops and simpler administration. Talks, speeches, articles and resolutions should be concise and to the point. Meetings also should not go on too long
We must thoroughly clear away all ideas among our cadres of winning easy victories through good luck, without hard and bitter struggle, without sweat and blood
Production by the masses, the interests of the masses, the experiences and feelings of the masses, to these the leading cadres should pay constant attention
The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities, these are the basic guarantees of the sure triumph of our cause
But when it moves to the peaceful years I hate it. Not because I love chaos but because a time of peace is not good for the development of the people. It is unbearable
The Party branch is organized on a company basis. This is an important reason why the Red Army has been able to carry on such arduous fighting without falling apart
We must have faith in the masses and we must have faith in the Party. These are two cardinal principles. If we doubt these principles, we shall accomplish nothing
We should rid our ranks of all impotent thinking. All views that overestimate the strength of the enemy and underestimate the strength of the people are wrong
Both in the army and in the local organizations, inner-Party democracy is meant to strengthen discipline and increase combat effectiveness, not to weaken them
Political work is the life-blood of all economic work. This is particularly true at a time when the social and economic system is undergoing fundamental change
The Communist Party does not fear criticism because we are Marxist, the truth is on our side, and the basic masses, the workers and peasants, are on our side
You can't solve a problem? Well, get down and investigate the present facts and its past history! When you have investigated the problem thoroughly, you will know how to solve it. Conclusions invariably come after investigation, and not before. Only a blockhead cudgels his brains on his own, or together in a group to "find a solution" or "evolve an idea" without making any investigation. It must be stressed that this cannot possibly lead to any effective or any good idea
Even if we achieve gigantic successes in our work, there is no reason whatsoever to feel conceited and arrogant. Modesty helps one to go forward, whereas conceit makes one lag behind. This is a truth we must always bear in mind
You have many good qualities and have rendered great service, but you must always remember not to become conceited. You are respected by all, and quite rightly, but this leads easily to conceit, If you become conceited, if you are not modest and cease to exert yourselves, and you do not respect others, do not respect the cadres and the masses, then you will cease to be heroes and models. There have been such people in the past, and I hope you will not follow their example
Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be "to be insatiable in learning" and towards others "to be tireless in teaching"
If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience
Every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a Communist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people
Marxist philosophy holds that the most important problem does not lie in the understanding the laws of the objective world and thus being able to explain it, but in applying the knowledge of these laws actively to change the world
The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you
We stand for self-reliance. We hope for foreign aid but cannot be dependent on it, we depend on our own efforts, on the creative power of the whole army and the entire people
In order to build a great socialist society, it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole
New things always have to experience difficulties and setbacks as they grow. It is sheer fantasy to imagine that the cause of socialism is all plain sailing and easy success, without difficulties and setbacks or the exertion of tremendous efforts
Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people's interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected, that is what being responsible to the people means
We must see to it that all of our cadres and all our people constantly bear in mind that ours is a big socialist country but an economically backward and poor one, and that this is a very great contradiction. To make China rich and strong needs several decades of intense effort, which will include, among other things, the effort to practice strict economy and combat waste, i.e. the policy of building up our country through diligence and frugality
Anyone should be allowed to speak out, whoever he may be, so long as he is not a hostile element and does not make malicious attacks, and it does not matter if he says something wrong. Leaders at all levels have the duty to listen to others. Two principles must be observed: (1) Say what you know and say it without reserve, (2) Don't blame the speaker but take his words as a warning. Unless the principle of "Don't blame the speaker" is observed genuinely and not falsely, the result will not be: "Say what you know and say it without reserve"
The criterion the Communist Party should apply to its cadres policy is whether or not a cadre is resolute in carrying out the Party line, keeps to Party discipline, has close ties with the masses, has the ability to find his bearings independently, and is active, hardworking and is unselfish. This is what "appointing people on their merit" means
The only way to settle questions of an ideological nature or controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, of criticism, of persuasion and education, and not by the method of coercion or repression
We must help all the young people to understand that ours is still a very poor country, that we cannot change this situation radically in a short time, and that only through the united efforts of our younger generation and all of the people, working with their own hands, can China be made strong and prosperous within a period of several decades. The establishment of our socialist system has opened the road leading to the ideal society of the future, but to translate this ideal into reality needs hard work
We must never adopt an arrogant attitude of great-power chauvinism and become conceited because of the victory of our revolution and certain achievements in our construction. Every nation, big and small, has its strong and weak points
Wherever our comrades go, they must build good relations with the masses, be concerned for them and help them overcome their difficulties. We must unite with the masses, the more of the masses we unite with, the better
Ask your subordinates about matters you don't understand or don't know, and to do not lightly express your approval or disapproval. We should never pretend to know what we don't know, we should "not feel ashamed to ask and learn from people below" and we should listen carefully to the views of the cadres at the lower levels. Be a pupil before you become a teacher, learn from the cadres at the lower levels before you issue orders. What the cadres at the lower levels say may or may not be correct, after hearing it, we must analyze it. We must heed the correct views and act upon them. Listen also to the mistaken views from below, it is wrong no to listen to them at all. Such views, however, are not to be acted upon but to be criticized
In transforming a backward agricultural China into an advanced industrial country, we are confronted with arduous tasks and our experience is far from adequate. So we must be good at learning
We, the Chinese nation, have the spirit to fight the enemy to the last drop of our blood, the determination to recover our lost territory by our efforts, and the ability to stand on our own feet in the family of nations
Conditions are changing all the time, and to adapt one's thinking to the new conditions, one must study. Even those who have a better grasp of Marxism and are comparatively firm in their proletarian stand have to go on studying, have to absorb what is new and study new problems
Every comrade must be helped to understand that as long as we rely on the people, believe firmly in the inexhaustible creative power of the masses and hence trust and identify ourselves with them, we can surmount any difficulty, and no enemy can crush us while we can crush any enemy
If the U.S. monopoly capitalist groups persist in pushing their policies of aggression and war, the day is bound to come when they will be hanged by the people of the whole world. The same fate awaits the accomplices of the United States
In order to speed up this restoration and development of agricultural production and industrial production in small towns, we must do our utmost, in the course of our struggle for the abolition of the feudal system, to preserve all useful means of production and of livelihood, take resolute measures against anyone's destroying or wasting them, oppose extravagant eating and drinking and pay attention to thrift and economy
Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. They come from social practice, and from it alone, they come from three kinds of social practice, the struggle for production, the class struggle and scientific experiment
Apart from their other characteristics, the outstanding thing about China's 600 million people is that they are "poor and blank". This may seem to be a bad thing, but in reality it is a good thing. Poverty gives rise to the desire for change, 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 picture can be painted
It is only through the unity of the Communist Party that the unity of the whole class and the nation can be achieved, and it is only through the unity of the whole class and the whole nation that the enemy can be defeated and the national and democratic revolution accomplished
The masses have boundless creative power. They can organize themselves and concentrate on places and branches of work where they can give full play to their energy, they can concentrate on production in breadth and depth and create more and more welfare undertakings for themselves
We must know how to judge cadres. We must not confine our judgment to a short period or a single incident in a cadre's life, but should consider his life and work as a whole. This is the principle method of judging cadres
A proper measure of democracy should be put into effect in the army, chiefly by abolishing the feudal practice of bullying and beating and by having officers and men share weal and woe. Once this is done, unity will be achieved between officers and men, the combat effectiveness of the army will be greatly increased, and there will be no doubt of our ability to sustain the long, cruel war
Communists must use the democratic method of persuasion and education when working among the laboring people and must on no account resort to commandism or coercion
Just because we have won a victory, we must never relax our vigilance against the frenzied plots for revenge by the imperialists and their running dogs. Whoever relaxes vigilance will disarm himself politically and land himself in a passive position
Protect the interests of the youth, women and children, provide assistance to young student refugees, help the youth and women to organize in order to participate in an equal foot in all work useful to the war effort and to social progress, ensure freedom of marriage and equality as between men and women, and give young people and children a useful education
The imperialists are bullying us in such a way that we will have to deal with them seriously. Not only must we have a powerful regular army, we must also organize contingents of the people's militia on a big scale. This will make it difficult for the imperialists to move a single inch in our country in the event of invasion
This army has an indomitable spirit and it is determined to vanquish all enemies and never to yield. No matter what the difficulties and hardships, so long as a single man remains, he will fight on
What is a true bastion of Iron? It is the masses, the millions upon millions of people who genuinely and sincerely support the revolution. That is the real iron bastion, which it is impossible, and absolutely impossible, for any force on earth to smash. The counter-revolution cannot smash us, on the contrary, we shall smash it. Rallying millions upon millions of people round the revolutionary government and expanding our revolutionary war, we shall wipe out all counter-revolution and take over the whole of China
Without preparedness superiority is not real superiority and there can be no initiative either. Having grasped this point, a force, which is inferior but prepared can often defeat a superior enemy by surprise attack
If we tried to go on the offensive when the masses are not yet awakened that would be adventurism. If we insisted on leading the masses to do anything against their will, we would certainly fail. If we did not advance when the masses demand advance, that would be Right opportunism
It is up to us to organize the people. As for the reactionaries in China, it is up to us to organize the people to overthrow them. Everything reactionary is the same, if you don't hit it, it won't fall. This is also like sweeping the floor, as a rule, where the broom does not reach, the dust will not vanish of itself
The enemy will not perish of himself. Neither the Chinese reactionaries nor the aggressive forces of U.S. imperialism in China will step down from the stage of history of their own accord
With victory, certain moods may grow within the Party, arrogance, the airs of a self-styled hero, inertia and unwillingness to make progress, love of pleasure and distaste for continued hard living. With victory, the people will be grateful to us and the bourgeoisie will come forward to flatter us. It has been proved that the enemy cannot conquer us by force of arms. However, the flattery of the bourgeoisie may conquer the weak-will in our ranks. There may be some Communists, who were not conquered by enemies with guns and were worthy of the name of heroes for standing up to these enemies, but who cannot withstand sugar-coated bullets, they will be defeated by sugar-coated bullets. We must guard against such a situation
Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and the sciences and a flourishing culture in our land
Our slogan in training troops is, "Officers teach soldiers, soldiers teach officers and soldiers teach each other". The fighters have a lot of practical combat experience. The officers should learn from the fighter, and when they have made other people's experience their own, they will become more capable
We are advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war, but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun, it is necessary to take up the gun
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery, it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another
If there is to be revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its running dogs
Opposition and struggle between ideas of different kinds constantly occur within the Party of contradictions between classes and between the new and the old in society. If there were no contradictions in the Party and no ideological struggles to resolve them, the Party life would come to an end
The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge
This army has achieved remarkable unity in its own ranks and with those outside its ranks. Internally, there is unity between officers and men, between the higher and lower ranks, and between military work, political work and rear service work, and externally, there is unity between the army and the people, there is unity between the army and governmental organizations, and between our army and the friendly armies. It is imperative to overcome anything that impairs this unity
Thoroughgoing materialists are fearless, we hope that all our fellow fighters will courageously shoulder their responsibilities and overcome all difficulties, fearing no setbacks or gibes, nor hesitating to criticize us Communists and give us suggestions. "He who is not afraid of death by a thousand cuts dares to unhorse the emperor". This is the indomitable spirit needed in our struggle to build socialism and communism
We are for peace. But so long as U.S. imperialism refuses to give up its arrogant and unreasonable demands and its scheme to extend aggression, the only course for the Chinese people is to remain determined to go on fighting side by side with the Korean people. Not that we are warlike. We are willing to stop the war at once and leave the remaining questions for later settlement. But U.S. imperialism is not willing to do so. All right then, let the fighting go on. However, many years U.S. imperialism wants to fight, we are ready to fight up to the moment when it is willing to stop, right up to the moment of complete victory for the Chinese and Korean peoples
A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution, always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and the masses, he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any individual, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist
Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history, such is the history of civilization for thousands of years. To interpret history from this viewpoint is historical materialism, standing in opposition to this viewpoint is historical idealism
All the reputedly powerful reactionaries are merely paper tigers. The reason is that they are divorced from the people. Look! Was not Hitler a paper tiger? Was Hitler not overthrown? I also said that of the Tsar of Russia, the emperor of China and Japanese imperialism were all overthrown. U.S. imperialism has not yet been overthrown and it has the atom bomb. I believe it also will be overthrown. It, too, is a paper tiger
In the fight for complete liberation, the oppressed people rely first of all on their own struggle and then, and only then, on international assistance. The people who have triumphed in their own revolution should help those who still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty
Our educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture
The people of the countries in the socialist camp should unite, the people of the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America should unite, all peace-loving countries should unite, and all countries subjected to U.S. aggression, control, intervention or bullying should unite, and so form the broadest united front to oppose the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war and to defend world peace
As for the training courses, the main objective should be to raise the level of technique in marksmanship, bayoneting, grenade-throwing and the like and the secondary objective should be to raise the level of tactics, while special emphasis should be laid on night operations
It is man's social being that determines his thinking. Once the correct characteristic of the advanced class are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force which changes society and changes the world
On what should our policy rest? It should rest on our own strength, and that means regeneration through one's own efforts. We are not alone, all the countries and people of the world opposed to imperialism are our friends. Nevertheless, we stress regeneration through our own efforts. Relying on the forces we ourselves organize, we can defeat all Chinese and foreign reactionaries
Our concern should extend to non-Party cadres as well as Party cadre. There are many capable people outside the Party whom we must not ignore. The duty of every Communist is to rid himself of aloofness and arrogance and to work well with non-Party cadres, give them sincere help, have a warm, comradely attitude towards them and enlist their initiative in the great cause of resisting Japan and reconstructing the nation
The atom bomb is a paper tiger, which the U.S. reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. Of course, the atom bomb is a weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of war is decided by the people, not by one or two new types of weapon
To understand these two different types of contradictions correctly, we must first be clear on what is meant by "the people" and what is meant by "the enemy." At the present stage, the period of building socialism, the classes, strata and social groups which favor, support and work for the cause of the people, while the social forces and groups which resist the socialist revolution and are hostile to or sabotage socialist construction are all enemies of the people
We shall solidly unite all of the forces of our Party on democratic centralist principles of organization and discipline. We shall unite with any comrade if he abides by the Party Program, Constitution and decisions
Without the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party, without the Chinese Communists as the mainstay of the Chinese People, China can never achieve independence and liberation, or industrialization and the modernization of her agriculture
The commanders and fighters of the entire Chinese People's Liberation Army absolutely must not relax in the least their will to fight, any thinking that relaxes the will to fight and belittles the enemy is wrong
The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system, this is the objective law independent of man's will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, sooner or later revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph
To behave like "a blindfolded man catching sparrows" or "a blind man groping for fish", to be crude and careless, to indulge in verbiage, to rest content with a smattering of knowledge, such is the extremely bad style of work that still exists among many of comrades in our Party, a style utterly opposed to the fundamental spirit of Marxism-Leninism. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin have taught us that it is necessary to study conditions conscientiously and to proceed from objective reality and not from subjective wishes, but many of our comrades act in direct violation of this truth
Our comrades must understand that ideological remolding involves long-term, patient and painstaking work, they must not attempt to change people's ideology, which has been shaped over decades of life, by giving a few lectures or by holding a few meetings. Persuasion, not compulsion, is the only way to convince them. Compulsion will never result in convincing them. To try to convince them by force simply won't work. This kind of method is permissible in dealing with the enemy, but absolutely impermissible in dealing with comrades or friends
A dangerous tendency has shown itself of late among many of our personnel, an unwillingness to share the joys and hardships of the masses, a concern for personal fame and gain. This is very bad. One way of overcoming it is to simplify our organizations in the course of our campaign to increase production and practice economy, and to transfer cadres to lower levels so that a considerable number will return to productive work
The socialist countries are states of an entirely new type in which the exploiting classes have been overthrown and the working people are in power. The principle of integrating internationalism with patriotism is practiced in the relations between these countries. We are closely bound by common interests and common ideals
Or point of departure is to serve the people wholeheartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from one's self-interest or from the interests of a small group, and to identify our responsibility to the people with our responsibility to the leading organs of the Party
Our purpose is to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapon for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the enemy, and that they help the people fight the enemy with one heart and one mind
Pleasure seeking. In the Red Army there are also quite a few people whose individualism finds expression in pleasure-seeking. They always hope that their unit will march into big cities. They want to go there not to work but to enjoy themselves. The last thing they want is to work in the Red areas where life is hard
All officers and soldiers of our army must heighten their sense of discipline and resolutely carry out orders, carry out our policy, carry out the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention, with army and people united, army and government united, officers and soldiers united, and the whole army united, and permit no breach of discipline
The People's Liberation Army is always a fighting force. Even after countrywide victory, our army will remain a fighting force during the historical period in which classes have been abolished in our country and the imperialist system still exists in the world. On this point there should be no misunderstanding or wavering
Thousands upon thousands of martyrs have heroically laid down their lives for the people, let us hold their banner high and march ahead along the path crimson with their blood
Our army has always had two policies. First, we must be ruthless to our enemies, we must overpower and annihilate them. Second, we must be kind to our own, to the people, to our comrades and to our superiors and subordinates, and unite with them
In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is, in fact, no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above all classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause, they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine
All our officer and fighters must always bear in mind that we are the great People's Liberation Army, we are the troops led by the great Communist Party of China. Provided we constantly observe the directives of the Party, we are sure to win
All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants and soldiers, they are created for the workers, peasants, and soldiers and for their use
There is in fact no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause
People of the world, unite and defeat the U.S. aggressors and all their running dogs! People of the world, be courageous, dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed
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 long period after
We are confronted by two types of social contradictions, those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people themselves. The two are totally different in their nature