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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Speech At The Closing Ceremony
Of The Eleventh Plenum Of
The Eighth Central Committee

August 12, 1966

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

With regard to the Ninth Congress, I think it’s time we made some preparations. We should prepare to make a decision as to when the Ninth Congress will be held. It has been a good many years; in two years’ time it will be ten years since the Second Session of the Eighth Congress. Now the Ninth Congress must be held, probably at a suitable time next year. We must now prepare for it. May I propose that we entrust the necessary preparations to the Politburo and its Standing Committee?

Whether the decisions taken by this conference are correct or incorrect will be shown by future events.[1] But it seems that our decisions are welcomed by the masses. For example one of the important decisions of the Central Committee concerns the Great Cultural Revolution. The broad masses of students and revolutionary teachers support us and resist the policies of the past. Our decision was based on their resistance to past policies. But whether this decision can be implemented will ultimately depend on the action of leaders at all levels, including those present today and those who are not. Take for example the question of reliance on the masses. One way is to implement the mass line. Another way is not to implement the mass line. It must by no means be taken for granted that everything which is written down in our resolutions will be implemented by all our Party committees and all our comrades. There will always be some who are unwilling to do so. Things are perhaps better than in the past, since in the past we had no such publicly taken decisions. Furthermore, there are organizational guarantees for the implementation of these decisions. This time our organization has undergone some changes. The adjustments in the full and alternate membership of the Politburo, in the Secretariat and in the membership of the Standing Committee have guaranteed the implementation of the Decision and Communiqué of the Central Committee.

Comrades who have made mistakes should always be offered a way out. They should be allowed to correct their mistakes. You should not first take the view that they have made mistakes and then deny them the chance to correct them. Our policy is ‘punish first offences to avoid their recurrence and cure the disease to save the patient’, ‘first watch and then help’, and ‘unity-criticism-unity’. Do we have a party outside our Party? I think that we do, and that we have factions inside the Party. We used to criticize the Kuomintang, who said: ‘No party outside the Party and no factions inside the Party.’ Some people put it, ‘No party outside the Party is autocracy; no factions inside the Party is nonsense.’ The same applies to us. You may say that there are no factions in our Party, but there are. For instance, there are two factions as regards attitude toward the mass movements. It is just a question of which faction is the majority and which is the minority. If we had delayed holding this meeting a few months longer, things would have been in much more of a mess. So it is a good thing that this meeting was held. It has produced results.



[1.] The Resolutions of the Eleventh Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPC – the sixteen Articles:

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung