Mao Zedong Quotes

A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery.

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 are for their use.

All reactionaries are paper tigers.

An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.

Anyone who sees only the bright side but not the difficulties cannot fight effectively for the accomplishment of the Party’s tasks.

As far as our own desire is concerned, we do not want to fight even for a single day. However, if circumstances force us to fight, we can fight to the finish.

As for criticism, do it in good time; don’t get into the habit of criticizing only after the event.

Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory.

Be united, alert, earnest and lively.

Class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment are the three great revolutionary movements for building a mighty socialist country.

Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.

Communism is at once a complete system of proletarian ideology and a new social system. It is different from any other ideological and social system, and is the most complete, progressive, revolutionary and rational system in human history.

Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.

Communists must be ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interests of the people; Communists must be ready at all times to correct their mistakes, because mistakes are against the interests of the people.

Communists should set an example in study; at all times they should be pupils of the masses as well as their teachers.

Despise the enemy strategically, but take him seriously tactically.

Don’t wait until problems pile up and cause a lot of trouble before trying to solve them. Leaders must march ahead of the movement, not lag behind it.

Enable every woman who can work to take her place on the labour front, under the principle of equal pay for equal work.

Every Communist must grasp the truth; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole.

History shows that wars are divided into two kinds, just and unjust.

I have witnessed the tremendous energy of the masses. On this foundation it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever.

I voted for you during your last election.

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 theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its running dogs.

If we have a correct theory but merely prate about it, pigeonhole it and do not put it into practice, then that theory, however good, is of no significance.

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.

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.

In general, any form of exercise, if pursued continuously, will help train us in perseverance. Long-distance running is particularly good training in perseverance.

In time of difficulties, we must not lose sight of our achievements.

In waking a tiger, use a long stick.

Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.

Knowledge is a matter of science and no dishonesty or conceit whatsoever is permissible. What is required is definitely the reverse – honesty and modesty.

Learn from the masses, and then teach them.

Learn to “play the piano”. In playing the piano, all ten fingers are in motion; it will not do to move some fingers only and not others. However, if all ten fingers press down at once, there is no melody. To produce good music, the ten fingers should move rhythmically and in co-ordination.

Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.

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.

Liberalism is extreme]y harmful in a revolutionary collective.

No political party can possibly lead a great revolutionary movement to victory unless it possesses revolutionary theory and knowledge of history and has a profound grasp of the practical movement.

Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

Our country and all the other socialist countries want peace; so do the peoples of all the countries of the world.

Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.

Passivity is fatal to us. Our goal is to make the enemy passive.

People like me sound like a lot of big cannons.

People of the world, unite and defeat the U.S. aggressors and all their running dogs!

Policy and tactics are the life of the Party; leading comrades at all levels must give them full attention and must never on any account be negligent.

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Political work is the life-blood of all economic work.

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.

Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in class society, and without them it is impossible to accomplish any leap in social development and to overthrow the reactionary ruling classes and therefore impossible for the people to win political power.

Swollen in head, weak in legs, sharp in tongue but empty in belly.

The analytical method is dialectical. By analysis, we mean analyzing the contradictions in things. And sound analysis is impossible without intimate knowledge of life and without real understanding of the pertinent contradictions.

The army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army. Such an army will be invincible….

The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the United States reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn’t.

The attitude of Communists towards any person who has made mistakes in his work should be one of persuasion in order to help him change and start afresh and not one of exclusion, unless he is incorrigible.

The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction at each point of the historical process and to work out a central line to resolve it.

The Communist Party does not fear criticism because we are Marxists, the truth is on our side, and the basic masses, the workers and peasants, are on our side.

The differences between friends cannot but reinforce their friendship.

The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism.

The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.

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.

The oppressed peoples and nations must not pin their hopes for liberation on the “sensibleness” of imperialism and its lackeys. They will only triumph by strengthening their unity and persevering in their struggle.

The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.

The People’s democratic dictatorship needs the leadership of the working class. For it is only the working class that is most far-sighted, most selfless and most thoroughly revolutionary. The entire history of revolution proves that without the leadership of the working class revolution fails and that with the leadership of the working class revolution triumphs.

The people’s state protects the people.

The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; only mobilizing the masses and relying on them can wage it.

The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man’s will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, eventually revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph.

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.

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. The world belongs to you. China’s future belongs to you.

There is a serious tendency toward capitalism among the well-to-do peasants.

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.

To read too many books is harmful.

Unite and take part in production and political activity to improve the economic and political status of women.

War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.

War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes.

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.

We are for peace.

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.

We Communists are like seeds and the people are like the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them.

We have the Marxist-Leninist weapon of criticism and self-criticism. We can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.

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 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 or small, has its strong and weak points.

We shall heal our wounds, collect our dead and continue fighting.

We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul….

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.

We should support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports.

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.

We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.

Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not things that are decisive. The contest of strength is not only a contest of military and economic power, but also a contest of human power and morale. People necessarily wield military and economic power.

What really counts in the world is conscientiousness, and the Communist Party is most particular about being conscientious.

What we need is an enthusiastic but calm state of mind and intense but orderly work.

Whoever sides with the revolutionary people is a revolutionary. Whoever sides with imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism is a counter-revolutionary. Whomever sides with the revolutionary people in words only but acts otherwise is a revolutionary in speech. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense.

Without a People’s army, the people have nothing.

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.

Women hold up half the sky.