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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Talk At The Work Conference
Of The Centre

August 23, 1966

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

The main question is what policy to adopt towards the so-called chaos at various places. In my opinion, we should let the chaos go on for a few months and just firmly believe that the majority is good and only the minority bad. It does not matter if there are no provincial [party] committees. There are still district and county [party] committees! The People’s Daily has published an editorial, calling on the workers, peasants, and soldiers to stop interfering with students’ activities, and advocating non-violent, not violent, struggles.

In my view, Peking is not all that chaotic. The students held a meeting of 100,000 and then captured the murderers. This caused some panic. Peking is too gentle. Appeals have been issued, [but after all] there are very few hooligans. Stop interfering for the time being. It is still too early to say anything definite about the reorganization of the centre of the [Youth] League; let us wait four months. Decisions taken hurriedly can do only harm. Work teams were dispatched in a hurry; the left was struggled against in a hurry; meetings of 100,000 were called in a hurry; appeals were issued in a hurry; opposition to the new municipal [party] committee of Peking was said, in a hurry, to be tantamount to an opposition to the [party] Centre. Why is it impermissible to oppose K? I have issued a big character poster myself, ‘Bombard the Headquarters!’ Some problems have to be settled soon. For instance, the workers, peasants, and soldiers should not interfere with the students’ great Cultural Revolution. Let the students go into the street. What is wrong with their writing big-character posters or going into the street? Let foreigners take pictures. They take shots to show aspects of our backward tendencies. But it does not matter. Let the imperialists make a scandal about us.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung