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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Comments On Reply To Comrades A. V. Sanina And V. G. Vinshire

Circa 1959

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

Fundamentally, this is incorrect. The basic standpoint is mistrust of the peasants, distrust of the peasants. Agricultural machines were tightly held, and as a result, the state has the peasants under rigid control. Likewise, the peasants rigidly controlled the state.

From an overall point of view we do not perceive the role played by man. In the two transitions, Stalin was unable to find the means and method. He spoke only on the relationship of production and did not talk about the superstructure. In China, the rectification movement, the sending down of cadres to lower levels to do manual labor, the two participations and one reform [workers’ participation in management and cadres participation in production and the reform of irrational rules and regulations], the elimination of old rules and regulations, for example, are all political problems. They are problems belonging to the superstructure. He talked about economics but said nothing about politics.

It appears that the problems of the transition from the system of collective ownership to the system of ownership by all the people has not been resolved. Let us air it a little and study it.

“All for one, one for all.” This phrase is incorrect. It was not translated properly. Systems are the principal manifestations of the concept of bourgeois rights. A portion of our educational system has been destroyed. The three bad styles of work and the five undesirable airs have also been eliminated. With the production of commodities and the law of value yet to be implemented, it is not possible to expect the elimination of all concepts of bourgeois rights.

With the exception of rights and rich peasants, everyone wants to join the communes. However, success cannot be attained in a single step. The commune must, on one hand, develop production for its own consumption and, on the other hand, develop the production of marketable commodities. Our nation is deficient in commodities. It is a country insufficient in marketable grains. Communes should further develop the production of commodities to improve livelihood. This is the problem our economists avoid discussing. If the production of commodities is not carried out wages cannot be paid. The concept of bourgeois rights must definitely be eliminated. Wages, [preferential] treatment and grades are all wrong. The 1956 wage reform was correct and the concessions made at that time were necessary. There were flaws when it was implemented. The number of grades grew too large. Similar to the relationship of the cat and the mouse, all these must be eliminated.

Attention should be given to the system of communes. A responsible organizational corps is still necessary for it plays an effective role in the deployment of labor forces. The communes’ mess must be managed well and the element of nutrition should be given study. It is all right to struggle strenuously for several consecutive days and nights, but be mindful of rest. The adoption of the system of ten hours of work and two hours of study in the rural areas is not exactly the same as in the urban areas. Hot brick beds are still needed in northern Shensi province and the big cities should slow down the pace of setting up communes. Peking will not willingly fall behind.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung