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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Comment On T’ao Lu-Ch’ieh’s Report On The Five-Level Cadre Conference

March 30, 1959

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Zedong Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

The saying that “old debts are seldom collected” was written into the talks at Chengchow, but it is incorrect and ought to be altered to: “only with old debts can we put into practice the objective law of value”; this law is a great school and only by making use of it can we teach our several tens of millions of cadres and several hundred million people and build our socialism and communism. Otherwise, everything is impossible. For the masses there would be no possibility of venting their indignation; for the cadres, it would mean being destroyed by us. There are innumerable disadvantages and no advantages. If one commune can pay back its original advanced cooperative cash receipts of four million yuan to the original owners, why cannot others pay them back? Don’t act as if “money for charity is hard to part with.” It must be recognized that this is money from robbery. Uncompensated appropriation of other people’s labor is not permissible.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung