Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
November 6, 1957
[Speech at a joint meeting of the two Soviets of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (namely the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities) in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Great October Revolution. Extracted from the magazine People's China. Beijing, December 1, 1957.]
On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, I myself and the other members of the Chinese delegation, representing the National People's Congress and the State Council of the People's Republic of China, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and all the People and Communist Party members of China, have the honor to offer warm fraternal congratulations to the people, government and Communist Party of the great Soviet Union (enthusiastic applause), and to all the comrades and friends present here. (Enthusiastic applause.)
As our revolutionary teacher Lenin pointed out time and again, the great revolution carried out by the Soviet people forty years ago initiated a new epoch in world history.
Historically there have been revolutions of many kinds, but none to compare with the October Socialist Revolution.
For thousands of years the working people of the world and all progressive humanity have dreamed of building a society in which there would be no exploitation of man by man, This dream was realized on one-sixth of the earth's land surface for the first time in history by the October Revolution. This revolution proves that, without the landlords and the bourgeoisie, the people are completely capable of building a free and happy new life in a planned way. It also proves that different nations of the world are completely capable of living together amicably once there is no imperialist oppression.
In the past forty years the Soviet people have traveled a hard road. The imperialists tried by every means to destroy the world's first socialist republic. The enemies of the Soviet Union appeared for a time to be stronger than the Soviet Union and twice launched armed attacks against it. But the courageous Soviet people, led by their glorious Communist Party, thoroughly smashed the attacks of the aggressors. (Applause.)
The Soviet Union has been invincible because it is a country in which the socialist system has replaced the capitalist system and the dictatorship of the proletariat has replaced the dictatorship of the exploiting classes ¾ a country which develops its social productive forces at a speed of which the capitalist countries are incapable ¾ and a country which truly practices proletarian internationalism, genuinely opposes national oppression and helps oppressed nations to emancipate themselves. Such a country enjoys the enthusiastic support of all its own people and the peoples of all the countries in the world. The Soviet Union enjoys these two kinds of support to a degree without parallel in the history of nations.
The face of the Soviet Union has changed completely in the past forty years. Before the revolution Russia was relatively backward economically and technically. Now the Soviet Union has become one of the world's first-class industrial powers. The living standards of the Soviet people have been steadily rising. The scale of development of educational, scientific and cultural establishments in the Soviet Union far surpasses that of the capitalist countries. The Soviet Union set up the world's first atomic power station, made the world's first batch of passenger jet planes and intercontinental ballistic rockets and launched the world's first and second man-made earth satellites. The whole world acknowledges that the success of the Soviet Union in launching the man-made earth satellites on two occasions has opened up a new era in the conquest of nature by man. Not only the Soviet people, but also the world proletariat and all mankind can take pride in all this. (Applause.) Only a few reactionaries are unhappy about it.
The creative application of Marxism-Leninism by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in tackling practical tasks has ensured unbroken success in the Soviet people's construction work. The fighting programme for communist construction in the Soviet Union put forward by the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is a good example. The wise measures taken by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on the questions of overcoming the cult of the individual, developing agriculture, reorganizing the administration of industry and construction, extending the power of the union republics and local organizations, opposing the anti-party group, consolidating unity within the Party and improving the Party and political work in the Soviet army and navy, will undoubtedly promote still further the consolidation and development of all undertakings in the Soviet Union.
Throughout the world the people have begun to see their own future ever more clearly in the successes gained by the Soviet people. Essentially, the path of the Soviet Union. the path of the October Revolution, is the bright common way for the progress of all mankind. (Enthusiastic applause.) The masses of the people throughout the world celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the October Revolution warmly, because the history of the past forty years has convinced them that the proletariat is certain to defeat the bourgeoisie, socialism is certain to defeat capitalism, and the oppressed nations are certain to defeat the imperialists, Of course, difficulties, twists and turns still face the people. But it was well said by Lenin thirty-six years ago: "The important thing is that the ice has been broken, The broken, the road is open and the path has been blazed. "(Enthusiastic applause.)
The peoples revolution led by the Chinese Communist Party has always been a part of the world socialist revolution of the proletariat initiated by the October Revolution. The Chinese revolution has its own national characteristics and it is entirely necessary to take these into consideration. But in our own revolution and socialist construction we have made full use of the rich experience of the Communist Party and the people of the Soviet Union. The Chinese people are fortunate in having the experience of the October Revolution and of the socialist construction in the Soviet Union, which enables them to make fewer mistakes, to avoid many other and to pursue their cause fairly smoothly, although they still face many difficulties.
It is clear that, after the October Revolution, if a proletarian revolutionary of any country should overlook or not seriously study the experience of the Russian revolution, of the proletarian dictatorship and of socialist construction of the Soviet Union, and should fail to use these experiences analytically and in a creative way in the light of the specific conditions in his own country, he would not be able to master Leninism, which represents new stage in the development of Marxism, and he would not be able to solve the problems of revolution and construction in his own country correctly. He would either commit doctrinaire or revisionist mistakes. We must oppose both these deviations simultaneously, but at present, to oppose revisionist deviation is a particularly urgent task.
It is equally clear that, since the October Revolution, any government that refuses to be on friendly terms with the Soviet Union only harms the real interests of its own people. (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
In the world today a series of European and Asian countries with an aggregate population of over nine hundred million people have victoriously taken the path of the October Revolution and form a powerful world system of socialism. Capitalism has for some time foist its superiority, and socialism has become invincible.
In the end the socialist system will replace the capitalist system. This is an objective law independent of human will. No matter how hard the reactionaries try to prevent the advance of the wheel of history, revolution will take place sooner or later and will surely triumph. (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.) "To lift a rock, merely to crush one's own foot" is a Chinese saying to describe the action of fools. The reactionaries of every country are just such fools, Their persecution of the revolutionary people will only end in rousing the people to broader and fiercer revolution. (Enthusiastic applause.) Did not persecution by the Russian tsar and Chiang Kai-shek of the revolutionary people serve precisely to stimulate the great Russian and Chinese revolutions?
As well as staking their fate on the oppression of the peoples at home and in the colonial and semi-colonial countries, the imperialists put their hope in war. But what can they expect out of war? In the past half century, we have experienced two world wars, After the First World War, the Great October. Socialist Revolution took place in Russia. And after the Second World War, more revolutions took place in East Europe and in the East. If the imperialist warriors are determined to start a third world war, they will bring about no other result than the end of the world capitalist system. (Enthusiastic applause.)
The governments and peoples of the socialist countries are the builders of a new peaceful life. We absolutely do not want war, and are firmly opposed to a new world war. The Soviet Union, China and the other socialist countries have been consistently working for the relaxation of international tension. The proposals made again and again by the Soviet Union For disarmament and the prohibition of the manufacture, use and testing of weapons of mass destruction, represent the common stand of the socialist countries, and accord at the same time with the interests of all peoples. We firmly stand for peaceful competition between the socialist and the capitalist countries, and for the settlement of the internal affairs of each country by its own people in accordance with their own desires. We firmly maintain that all nations should practice the well-known Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence.
The U.S. imperialists obstinately try to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, including those of the socialist countries. For example, they are interfering with the liberation of Taiwan by China and they engineered the counter-revolutionary riots in Hungary. They are particularly rabid in Interfering in the internal affairs of those countries situated in the area between the U.S. and the socialist camp, The U.S. is still planning to invade independent Syria through Turkey or Israel, it is still conspiring to subvert the anti-colonialist Egyptian Government. This maniac aggressive policy of the U.S. has not only precipitated a crisis in the Middle East, but has also created the danger of a new world war. All people in the world who love peace and freedom stand by Syria and oppose the U.S. and Turkish aggressors, just as they stood by Egypt and opposed the British, French and Israeli aggressors in October last year. The Soviet Government has served warning on the U.S. and Turkey to give up their aggressive plan immediately. The Chinese Government and people resolutely support Syria in its struggle to defend itself and firmly endorse the just position of the Soviet Union. (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
The imperialist wolves should remember that the days when they could manipulate the fate of humanity and carve up the Asian and African countries as they liked have gone for ever.
The U. S. imperialists have tried and are still trying hard to undermine the liberation of the Chinese people. But in the end they could not prevent the six hundred million Chinese people from bravely taking the path of socialism. (Applause.) In the short period of eight years, China has already achieved such results in various fields of construction as it was not able to achieve in the past hundred years. In China, a handful of bourgeois rightists try to oppose taking the path of socialism and oppose the leading position of the Communist Party in national life, and the close alliance between China and the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. Their vain efforts have been utterly defeated by the counter-attack of the people throughout our country. (Applause.)
The Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party, are carrying out a vigorous rectification campaign in order to develop socialism in China rapidly and on a firmer basis. It is a campaign to resolve correctly the contradictions which actually exist among the people and which have to be resolved immediately, by means of a nation-wide debate which is both guided and free, carried out in the urban and rural areas on such questions as the socialist road and the capitalist road, the basic systems and major policies of the state, the working style of the Communist Party and government functionaries, and the welfare of the people a debate conducted by bringing out the facts and by argument. This is a socialist campaign of self-education and self-remolding by the people and great successes have already been recorded in it. The socialist consciousness of the people has been rapidly raised, false ideas clarified, shortcomings in work overcome, unity within the ranks of the people strengthened, and labour discipline and productivity increased, wherever the campaign has been carried out. (Applause.) We are now carrying forward this people's self-education campaign among our six hundred million people stage by stage and section by section and it is probable that in another few months nation-wide success will have been achieved. in future we intend to conduct a rectification campaign every year or every other year-the time it takes can be greatly shortened -as one of the main methods of resolving various social contradictions in our country during the whole period of transition. The basic starting point in practicing this method is the firm confidence that the majority of the masses are after all on our side and that they will listen to reason. This point has been proved by all our experience in the campaign.
In many years of revolutionary practice we have developed the method of the rectification campaign in accordance with the Leninist principles of keeping in close contact with the masses, recognizing the initiative of the masses, and practicing criticism and self-criticism. The correctness of this method has once again been proved by the present socialist self-education movement.
China has received brotherly assistance towards its socialist construction in many fields from the Soviet Union. In celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the October Socialist Renovation, please allow us to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Communist Party, the government and the people of the Soviet Union, for giving China such friendly help. (Enthusiastic, prolonged applause.)
Soon after it was founded, the People's Republic of China concluded a Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance with the Soviet Union. This is a great alliance of two great socialist countries. We share the same destiny and the same life-spring with the Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp. (Enthusiastic applause.) We regard it as the sacred international obligation of all socialist countries to strengthen the solidarity of the socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union. (Applause.)
All possible means of sowing discord are used by the imperialist powers headed by the U.S. in their efforts to disrupt the friendship and solidarity of the socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union. But reality is sure to disappoint the imperialists. The socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union are more closely united than ever. Since the dawn of history, it was not possible for relations between nations to be based on such identity of interests, such mutual respect and confidence, and such mutual assistance and inspiration as between the socialist countries. This is because the socialist countries are of an entirely new type in which the exploiting classes are overthrown and the working people are in power. The principal integrating internationalism with patriotism has been practiced in the relations between these countries. We are closely bound by common interest and ideals. Marx said in his inaugural address to the Workingmen's International Association: "Past experience has shown how disregard of that bond of brotherhood which ought to exist between the workmen of different countries, and incite them to stand firmly by each other in all their, struggles for emancipation, will be chastised by the common discomfiture of their incoherent efforts," This teaching of Marx more than ninety years ago will never be out-of-date for us. (Applause.)
Dear comrades, the fact that representatives of the working class and masses of the people of various countries of the world are here today to attend this grand meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, held to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the October Revolution demonstrates in itself the great solidarity of the people's forces of the world and symbolizes the flourishing condition of the international socialist movement. Let us continue our efforts to strengthen the solidarity of the socialist countries, and of the working people and oppressed nations of the world, in order to attain new and greater victories. (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
Long live the great October Socialist Revolution! (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.) Long live the solidarity and friendship of the socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union! (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
Long live the great banner of Marxist-Leninist internationalism! (Prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
The proletariat and peace-loving people of the whole world, unite! (prolonged, enthusiastic applause.)
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung