Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Interjections At A Central Conference

December 27, 1964

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

(Note: Remarks in brackets were made by Comrade Ch’en Po-ta[1])

[What is the principal contradiction? The Chairman has summed up everyone’s view. The principal contradiction is the contradiction between socialism and capitalism. Four cleans and four uncleans do not explain the nature of the problem. The feudal society is the problem of clean officials and corrupt officials. The drama Four Imperial Scholars (Ssu Chin-shih) is one which is opposed to corrupt officials!]

When the viceroy of the province made an inspection tour, the earth would shake and mountains would tremble. It was so formidable!

[Clean officials during the feudal era were fictitious in substance “Serving three years as a clean perfect official, one can earn 100,000 ounces of silver.” The word clean has different class meaning in different societies. There are also so-called clean officials in capitalist society, but these clean officials are plutocrats.]

In Lao-ts’an’s Travels (Lao-ts’an Yu-chi by Liu O of the Ch’ing dynasty, it is stated that clean officials were even more pernicious than corrupt ones. Later, I discovered that they held the same view in the Wei-History (Wei Shih) of the history of Southern and Northern dynasties.

[Which epoch had no internal contradictions? Contradictions intertwine both inside and outside the party, and there are parties within the party. The Kuomintang also has had this problem].

There are at least two factions in our party: one is the socialist faction, and the other the capitalist faction.

[The Chairman has stressed that we must listen to the words of all quarters; Good words, bad words, especially words of opposition. We must listen patiently. This determines whether or not work is done well.]

What if one has talked too long? As Comrade Li Hsueh-feng[2] has said one will be given zero for a grade if one is long-winded. Let him ramble on, and anyway, nobody would listen to him!

[Many people have forgotten whence they have come. One should not forget one’s origin! If I myself did not join the revolution, I’d be at best a primary school or a middle school teacher.]

Big officials came from small officials, and small officials came from the people. We have all come from the people, and are still common people! “Generalissimo Chiang” was not named Chiang, but his family name was Cheng, and was called Cheng San Fa-tzu. He was a native of Honan. He knows only his mother but not his father. Didn’t he also come from the people?

[The Chairman has often said that one must not consider one’s self as being right. When a village cadre reaches a position of authority, he’d consider his own opinion as the correct one.]

One must not consider that his own opinion is right when he gains power. When one believes he is always in the right he would never believe he is. Why then should there be meetings? Because opinions are divided. If they are unanimous, why should they meet?

[One isn’t afraid of officials; one is afraid of control!]

Small officials are afraid of big officials; big officials are afraid of foreigners.



[1.] Ch’en Po-ta (1903- ) born in Huian in Fukien, studied at a teachers training college in Amoy before he went to Shanghai to study at the Labour University where he joined the CPC. In 1927 he was a student at the Sun Yat-sen University, Moscow, and in 1935 he helped Liu Shao-ch’i organizing the December 9th Student Demonstration against Chiang Kai-shek’s appeasement of Japan. He had worked in Yenan since 1937 and became an alternate member of the Central Committee of the CPC in 1947. After 1949 he was a deputy head of the party’s Propaganda Department and since 1955 the deputy head of the Academy of Sciences. Ch’en became an alternate member of the Politburo in 1956 and the editor of the party organ, Red Flag, in 1959. Since the Cultural Revolution, his political importance has been greatly enhanced, being the leader of the Cultural Revolution Team, a full member of the Politburo. He is widely believed to have been Mao’s secretary for many years.

[2.] Li Hsueh-feng (1907- ), born in Yungchi, Shansi, became a member of the CPC when he studied at the National Teachers Training College, Taiyuan. During the Anti-Japanese war he was active in the T’aihang region and in 1952 became the first deputy secretary of the Central-south Bureau of the party. After his visit to Moscow in 1959, he was appointed the first secretary of the North China Bureau in 1963; after his visit to Indonesia in 1965, he became the first secretary of the Peking branch of the party in 1966.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung