The Mass Line and the American Revolutionary Movement

15. The Mass Line Method—Gathering the Ideas of the Masses

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. (Mao)[1]

The first step in the mass line method is gathering the ideas of the masses. In this chapter we will consider that gathering process in more detail. How do we know what to gather? How is the gathering done? What are the factors that facilitate that gathering?

Let's remind ourselves in very general terms of what we are setting out to gather; namely, the ideas of the masses, explicit and implicit, and specifically any of their ideas relevant to the question of what needs to be done in the given situation. We also need to appraise the mood of the masses, their level of experience, other elements of the objective situation, etc. But the starting place for the mass line is the ideas the masses have about how to advance the situation. Since this is so, we must first be clear on what the current situation is, what the actual problem is that needs to be resolved, and how the masses themselves view that situation or problem. In other words, we must first be clear on the specific goal.

First Be Clear on the Goal

In order to use the mass line, you must have a specific problem to solve, a social goal which you want to help lead the masses in achieving. Often the specific goal to be achieved is very clear, is a given. In that case, we can move directly to the gathering process itself.

Sometimes, however, there may be difficulties even in ascertaining what the next goal should be. In that case the mass line may be used in connection with a more general goal in order to help determine the next step or subsidiary goal. This leads to the question, what—if anything—is the very most general goal, the most central goal which serves to guide all our activity? For a genuine Marxist, the answer to this can never be in doubt.

The whole reason for the existence of the proletarian party is to lead the masses in making revolution, and transforming the present abysmal capitalist society into communist society. Thus the overall goal of the mass line is communist revolution.

In a sense, even this overall goal can be viewed as having been determined by an unconscious use of the mass line on the basis of still more general goals and principles. The need for revolution was summed up by Marx and Engels in the 1840s by considering the various conflicting needs, desires and goals of the masses, their long range interests, their capabilities, the nature of the system that was oppressing them, and so forth. In a sense even communist revolution may be viewed as a means to more general goals, namely, the serving of the real needs and interests of the masses. (There is nothing more basic than that in Marxist morality or politics.)

But since, as a matter of established fact, communist revolution is the only means to truly meet the needs and interests of the masses in the long run, in practical Marxist-Leninist politics it is communist revolution which must be our most general goal, our unshakable basic target. Revolution encapsulates the interests of the masses, and is the only means of fully satisfying those interests. This, as Mao noted in the following comment, is the most central truth of Marxism, and one which no one can possibly forget and still be a Marxist: "Marxism consists of thousands of truths, but they all boil down to the one sentence, 'It is right to rebel!'"

Thus, in an overall sense, our goal is always revolution; all other goals are subsidiary to that great end. To really use the Marxist mass line our overall conscious goal must be proletarian revolution, and any specific goal we are addressing must be subsidiary to revolution. But we must develop many such subsidiary goals since revolution is far too complex a goal to be accomplished in one simple act.

By now the science of revolution (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) has advanced to the point where a great many of the basic subsidiary goals involved in communist revolution are already known, and within many of these subsidiary goals, we are already well aware of sub-sub-goals, sometimes many levels deep. We know, for example, that to make revolution we must educate the masses by means of agitation and propaganda. We know that in order to do that we need a revolutionary newspaper as one of our primary tools. We know that to build such a newspaper we must involve the masses not only as readers, but as contributors, distributors, and supporters. And we are aware of many of the sub-goals involved in accomplishing each of these tasks. Thus we have already determined a very large number of specific goals to which the mass line can and must be applied.

Of course specific new goals are always arising, as the struggle and the world in general develop. It is completely ridiculous to imagine that all the specific goals which we and the masses must accomplish in order to make revolution have been identified—or even that all the really major ones necessarily have been. We are faced with myriad tasks and sub-tasks, many old and familiar, many new and unforeseeable in advance. That is the nature of life.

The mass line is the primary tool for leading the masses in achieving their goals. But it is also the primary tool for prioritizing goals where we are unsure of priorities, and discovering new subsidiary goals where we are unsure as to how to proceed. It is our primary, all-round, leadership tool.

The most important goal in any situation is the one that should be focused on, never lost sight of. Putting this in dialectical terms, in any situation there is a primary contradiction which must be resolved before there can be any fundamental change in the situation. On the other hand, in order to resolve the primary contradiction, it will probably be necessary to proceed step by step. And each of these steps may also pose subsidiary problems, present subsidiary goals, and constitute subsidiary contradictions. Not only that, the resolution of each of these subsidiary contradictions may also require that we proceed step by step, and each of these steps may pose sub-sub-problems, present sub-sub-goals, and constitute sub-sub-contradictions. If the original primary contradiction is a big one—such as the basic contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat which necessitates proletarian revolution—there will be many layers of subordinate contradictions to resolve as part of resolving the primary contradiction.

On the other hand there will also be distractions, other problems and contradictions around which—though they may be related in various ways to the primary contradiction—are not key contradictions which must first be resolved in order to resolve the primary contradiction. The trick in resolving the primary contradiction most expeditiously is to constantly keep it in mind and only work on other tasks, other contradictions, if they are truly part of the process of resolving the primary contradiction. (See chapter 31 for more on this, and the general topic of the contradictions which the mass line addresses.) Focusing on irrelevant or tangental distractions is merely another way of giving up the effort to resolve the primary contradiction.

Of course, to say that everything that even the most revolutionary individual does must be directly or immediately revolutionary is also ridiculous. (One must eat! One must sleep!)

Similarly for the party. To be sure, essentially everything the party does should advance the revolution either directly or indirectly. But some tasks are going to have to be quite indirect, such as the job of someone assigned the task of proofreading a revolutionary newspaper or putting a new light bulb in the fixture in the newspaper office. More to the political point, there will also be reformist struggles to engage in which will only indirectly advance the revolutionary struggle. While some such reformist struggle must be engaged in by the party, the trick is to engage in it primarily for the purpose of (indirectly) advancing the revolutionary struggle, and never to engage in it if it moves things away from the revolutionary path, if it is in opposition to revolution. (Admittedly this is often difficult to determine. Of course some mistakes will be made. We don't have to be perfect; we need only get it more or less right.)

We may say, therefore, that while the overall goal is proletarian revolution, and the primary role of the mass line is to enable the party to lead the masses in making revolution, there are subsidiary goals along the way which the mass line must also be used to achieve, which may not be directly revolutionary, and there are other possible goals, distractions, which must be ignored because they are neither directly or indirectly revolutionary.

Which Masses, Exactly?

Which masses, exactly, should we gather ideas from?

On the one hand, we must be ready to learn from anybody, no matter who. Even the enemy, on occasion. We must keep our ears open no matter where we are.

But on the other hand, we must recognize that the primary source of ideas will be the masses that are connected with, have an interest in, or are in any way concerned with, the specific situation or goal we are working on. Especially important in this connection are any of the masses who have actually been engaged in practice or struggle around the issue. There is nothing like the experience of struggle to set a person thinking.

And of course the mass line really comes into its own in the midst of widespread revolutionary struggle by the broad masses. Lenin said that

History as a whole, and the history of revolutions in particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even the best parties, the most class-conscious vanguards of the most advanced classes. This can readily be understood, because even the finest of vanguards express the class-consciousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of thousands, whereas at moments of great upsurge and the exertion of all human capacities, revolutions are made by the class-consciousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of millions, spurred on by a most acute struggle of classes.[2]

Here we see an excellent example of Lenin's almost subconscious grasp of the basic principle of the mass line, for he clearly recognizes that it is incumbent upon the party to learn from the ideas, will, passion and imagination of these tens of millions in the midst of their acute revolutionary struggle. It is always important to gather the ideas of the masses, but never more so than from the broad masses during their revolutionary upsurges. The mass line is always important, but it is never more important than in the midst of mass upheaval.

But most of the time when we gather the ideas of the masses, we are talking about gathering them from lots of particular individuals, and not ideas which are "suddenly in the air all around us". And in a sense it is easier to gather suddenly ascendant ideas, suddenly very popular ideas that thousands or millions gravitate towards, than it is ideas held only by isolated individuals among the masses. But to really provide sustained leadership it is usually necessary to get in on the ground floor, to find good ideas while they are still unpopular, and to participate in the process of making them popular via the medium of the mass line. (To be capable of gathering only already popular ideas is to succumb to populism.)

Of course it should be kept in mind that the particular ideas of individuals among the masses on any topic may be good or bad. Even people with immediate knowledge about a situation, or deeply engaged in practice in connection with the problem under investigation, may have incorrect ideas. Sometimes, for example, narrow specialization of particular individuals among the masses results in blindness and one-track thinking. Sometimes the co-workers of somebody doing a specific job might have more ideas about how to go about doing it better than the person actually doing it.

(Even bourgeois "management research", such as that done at MIT for the past couple decades by Thomas Allen, demonstrates "that innovative project solutions are more likely to occur when there is contact and communication among people of varying backgrounds, experience, and education—people who see the world in different ways."[3])

Thus in attempting to use the mass line to improve the editing work of a revolutionary newspaper, for example, we should focus on the ideas of the editors and writers, but we should also consult with everyone else concerned, certainly including the newspaper's readers, and even including some readers who may be barely literate. As Mark Twain wrote in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, "the true statesman does not despise any wisdom, however lowly may be its origin".[4]

Moreover, we are not just canvassing the ideas of those who basically agree with our politics. We want the ideas not only of revolutionary-minded workers, but of all the masses.

Communists must listen attentively to the views of people outside the Party and let them have their say. If what they say is right, we ought to welcome it, and we should learn from their strong points; if it is wrong, we should let them finish what they are saying and then patiently explain things to them. (Mao)[5]

Which Ideas Should We Gather?

Once we are clear on the situation, on the problem, on the goal, we have our primary guidelines as to what sort of ideas and experiences of the masses to gather. Obviously, we want to gather the ideas of the masses (expressed or implied) which are in any way relevant to achieving the goal being aimed at. In other words, not just explicit proposals for action, but any or all comments relevant to the situation. Even negative comments, such as a reason why someone believes a certain plan of action would not work, may prove invaluable. (Maybe it is something important to consider, even if there are ways of getting around the difficulty.)

Of course there will also be many irrelevant ideas you will come across, irrelevant to the problem at hand. They may be interesting, or important for other purposes, but keep in mind the necessity of focusing on the primary contradiction.

The danger in the gathering step of the mass line process is seldom that too many ideas will be gathered. The usual problem is that too view ideas are gathered, or too narrow a range of views. To minimize this danger, every effort should be made to be systematic and thorough in gathering the ideas of the masses.

In order to work out a complete set of specific principles, policies and measures under the guidance of the general line, we must employ the methods of drawing on the masses and of making systematic, thorough investigation and study. (Mao)[6]

And again:

Some of our comrades are not very resourceful and unable to make decisions. Resourcefulness involves willingness to listen to assorted opinions from subordinates, secretaries, plant managers, workers and peasants, and in particular divergent opinions. Collect and analyze all opinions and then make a judgment. (Mao)[7]

Being systematic and thorough means somewhat different things in different circumstances. But it includes such obvious points as talking to a lot of the masses, not just a few; and talking to a variety of different kinds of people. This includes not only various nationalities, both sexes, and people of all ages, but also different categories of people based on employment, experiences, and so forth.

Being systematic and thorough in gathering the ideas of the masses also means drawing them out, and not just waiting for people to come to you with their ideas. "We don't get to know people when they come to us; we must go to them to find out what they are like." (Goethe)[8] And also to find out what they think and what they know.

Avoid Premature or Peremptory Analysis

You must recognize that many of the ideas of the sort you are seeking, will be undeveloped, perhaps poorly expressed, perhaps even half-baked. Most such ideas will be verbal, rather than written. Don't expect the masses to bombard you with polished "theses on the current situation", though once in a while a revolutionary-minded intellectual may come up with something like that. There may well be aspects of incorrectness or even overt nonsense associated with ideas which also contain important aspects of truth. So you must train yourself to not dismiss the ideas of the masses out of hand, even if initially they may sound foolish to you. In the gathering process, you must of course not forget everything you know, must not forget your own Marxist ideology. But neither should you dismiss all ideas which conflict in any way with those you already have. After all, the point of the exercise is to gather new ideas.

To gather ideas is already to make a selection, but the point in the gathering process of the mass line is to work very hard not to make the selection too narrow to begin with. "The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." (Linus Pauling)[9]

In gathering the ideas of the masses it is important to remember that all the analysis of these ideas cannot and should not be done at the moment you first hear them. Many ideas will require further consideration. Moreover, you as an individual are not the only person who should reflect on and analyze the ideas of the masses which you come across. Many of these ideas, even a good selection of the ideas which you yourself consider to be valueless, should be passed upward through the ranks of the party, so that the party leadership may really be in a position to examine the ideas of the masses themselves, and not only your ideas.

Preconditions For Gathering the Ideas of the Masses

An important point to stress here is that to gather the ideas of the masses one must be close to the masses. This means being physically close to the masses, but more important than that, it means being psychologically close. To be psychologically close to the masses means to be able to understand them, and to know what they are thinking. The reason for being physically close, and putting oneself in the same situation and circumstances as the masses, is so that you can be psychologically close to them—so that they can understand, influence and educate you, and so that you can understand, influence and educate them.

Mao said

Our comrades must associate with the masses, truly understand their feelings, and impress our mind with their thinking and emotions. If our mind is not deeply impressed with the feelings of the masses, it becomes easy to waver. If our mind is thus deeply impressed, even if we should run into problems in our work, we will be able to handle them.... We have accumulated decades of experience. We well know that, whenever we encounter a difficult problem, we can solve it by consulting with the masses, sleeping [on] it, and holding a meeting.[10]

Not only must you be close to the masses physically and psychologically, you must respect them. You must really believe that they know things that you do not, that you can learn from them. If you don't believe this, then you will most likely miss the good ideas all around you.

Another vitally important principle here is that you must not only be close to the masses, and must not only respect the masses, but you must also actively interact with them. There are a number of ways of doing this. One very important method is through active agitational work. The RCP emphasized this when they wrote:

But learning from the masses, knowing them and knowing them well as Mao puts it, is not a question of individual self-cultivation, "rubbing elbows" with the masses. Learning, too, involves agitation.[11]

By becoming a teacher you put yourself in an excellent position to learn. (Of course this assumes you are determined to learn, as well as to teach!)

(As was noted in chapter 11, while the view that "learning involves agitation" (or teaching) is correct, it is also true that "teaching involves learning". There is a dialectical interpenetration of opposites here. Moreover, while both principles are true, the second ("teaching involves learning") is overall the primary aspect.)

Another extremely important method of actively interacting with the masses in order to gather their ideas is by participating with them in their struggles. The best ideas come from practice, and the best ideas about how to change things come from the practice of trying to change things, from struggle. Of course the experience in struggle of any individual is limited, but the overall experience of the masses in struggle is enormous (even in reactionary periods). We gather the ideas which come from an individual's experience in struggle as one small step in gathering the ideas of the masses as a whole in struggle.

Yet another important precondition is that you must take on the process of gathering the ideas of the masses with a spirit of strong determination. You must be determined enough so that you are willing to go out of your way to talk to people, willing to attentively listen to their views, and willing to consult and learn from people who may in some respects be more backward than yourself, because you know that in other respects they are most likely more advanced than you. Despite all your political sophistication, all your Marxism, the masses still know things you do not. You must strive to be as willing and as determined as Mao Zedong was to learn from the masses:

Formerly, I was principal of a primary school, and a teacher in a middle school. I am also a member of the Central Committee, and was once a department chief for the Kuomintang. But when I went to the rural areas and spent some time with the peasants, I was deeply struck by how many things they knew. I realized their knowledge was wide, and I was no match for them, but should learn from them.[12]

Moreover you must be persistent. Mao explains that while he learned many things from the masses, it wasn't always easy. Often it took repeated investigations, and lots of time. When one investigation failed to yield the right answer, he made another. When a short investigation did not suffice, he kept at it for a much longer time. Here he explains how he came to a correct class analysis of Chinese peasant society which allowed him to formulate a successful program of land reform, that in turn played such a crucial role in the revolution:

I spent 10 years before and after the land reform program (documents of 1933). I could not have done it without the 10 years. During the great revolution I held two lecture and study sessions on the peasant movement, one in Canton and one in Wuhan, and did some investigation and study, but still did not have a solution. Only later when I carried out eight investigations in Hsing-kuo and other regions and investigated Ch'ang-kang Township and Ts'ai-chi Township, could I solve the problem. The masses taught it to me; they told me how to do it.[13]

Forward the Ideas of the Masses to the Leadership

Although an individual can apply the mass line, it is primarily a tool to be applied by an organization of people working in concert, that is to say, by the proletarian party. As such, all the steps of the mass line method are collective steps, carried out by numerous individuals working according to a plan (hopefully). The gathering of the masses' ideas is thus normally done by many party members.

Ideally every party member working on a given problem participates to some degree in all the steps of the mass line process, including the gathering of ideas from the masses. But nothing in the world is entirely uniform, and no two party members are equally situated and equally skilled. The individual party members that are best situated to gather the ideas of the masses are those in closest contact with the masses. It is therefore important for the party to especially rely on these members when applying the mass line. This is certainly true for the first and third steps of the method, the gathering of ideas and the returning of the processed ideas to the masses, though it is also true to a degree in the second, processing step as well. (The rank and file members who are close to the masses participate in the second step of the mass line method primarily by making the "first cut" in selecting the ideas of the masses to forward up to higher bodies. But if the party leadership is wise, it will also consult with many of these valuable members in the course of processing the ideas of the masses which have been passed upward to it.)

The leadership of the party should also play a role in all three steps in the mass line method, to the maximum degree possible. This means that they also should participate in gathering the ideas of the masses and returning the processed ideas to the masses. But the leadership has its greatest responsibility when it comes to the second step of the method, the processing of the ideas of the masses which the entire party has gathered. Obviously this step must be done centrally so that a unified line is arrived at that the whole party may put into effect (or at least all those concerned with the specific problem being worked on). Otherwise party members would be working at cross purposes and much of the potential strength of the party would be vitiated.

In order that the party leaders may accomplish this processing step, they must receive the appropriate input from the rest of the party. Even if the party leaders seriously participate in the gathering of the masses' ideas, this will be a small part of the entire gathering process. If the party leadership does not have a good selection of the ideas of the masses to work with, its determination of the appropriate line to return to the masses will be hampered, and tend towards subjectivity. In other words, there will be more mistakes, and perhaps some very serious mistakes.

Thus the responsibility of the rank and file party members to pass upward the ideas they have gathered from the masses must be strongly and constantly stressed. There is a tendency on the part of those who know something to think that other people also know it, at least within their group, their party. Unfortunately this is often false. In reality everyone should be impressed with two things: how much other people know, and how much they don't know!

There is especially apt to be a problem here in parties that have excellent and authoritative leaders who have won wide respect and admiration among their membership. There is the tendency on the part of many rank and file members to imagine that they themselves could not possibly instruct such good leaders. Actually all leaders, even the very best (even Lenin and Mao!), need instruction and information from others. If they stop getting it, they will make serious mistakes.

(This is one of the reasons I am against the tendency of many Maoist parties to develop personality cults around their top leaders. Mere mortals may feel it is presumptuous to instruct the gods. This is downright dangerous for the party's ability to correctly apply the mass line.)

The better that leaders really are, the more they will stress the collective work of the party, and the more they will be modest about their own contributions. Good leaders should be open about their need to learn from the masses and the party as a whole, and should constantly remind the other party members of their obligation to pass on knowledge and information. As part of this, rank and file members should even be instructed to pass upward the views and attitudes of the masses which may seem to them completely obvious. The party leaders should frankly admit that they are ignorant of many things which are commonplace and obvious to the masses and the party rank and file that is in close contact with those masses.

The party should develop the skills of its rank and file in summarizing the ideas of the masses. Many rank and file members may not be used to writing reports and summaries of their discussions with the masses, but this is something which can be learned. Of course many things will be communicated verbally, and the party should not become an organization of paper pushers. But the tendency is always to fail to write adequate summaries and pass them upward, and this tendency must be struggled against.

It is partly because it takes constant struggle within a proletarian party to correctly apply the mass line, and to correctly apply each of the three main steps in the method, that you will find parties that take the mass line seriously constantly talking about it. ("Forever going on about it...", as the bourgeoisie complains. See chapter 34.) One of the aspects of the mass line that needs to be constantly talked about is the importance of summarizing the ideas of the masses and passing them upward to the party center.

Special Problems for the Party Leadership in Gathering the Ideas of the Masses

I mentioned above that not only the party rank and file, but also its leadership at all levels should participate in gathering the ideas of the masses. A few more words must be said about this.

The main thing to emphasize is that no matter how effective the party rank and file becomes in gathering the ideas of the masses and passing them upward, there will inevitably be some distortions in the centralization process. At each level a further trimming of the ideas occurs, and a reinterpretation based on preconceived ideas. In other words there is inevitably a tendency for more and more subjectivity to be introduced as the ideas are passed upward to the center. These distortions will be negligible under optimum conditions, but will be fatal under the worst conditions.

When I worked as a programmer for a huge bank, there was an all-too-true parody of the bank management that was passed around, the gist of which went as follows:
      [Programmer to Supervisor:] "This proposed computer program plan by management is ridiculous; it really stinks."
      [Supervisor to Senior Manager:] "The plan is not very good; it is malodorous."
      [Senior Manager to Vice President:] "The plan has some weak points; if it is approved as is it will be hard to come out smelling good."
      [Vice President to Senior Vice President:] "It's a pretty good plan, but it will take some work for us to come out smelling good."
      [Senior Vice President to President:] "It's a very good plan, and we should come out smelling good."
      [President to Chairman of the Board:] "We've got this great new plan, that will make us come out smelling like roses!"

Of course no genuine proletarian party could ever be as bureaucratic as a large capitalist corporation. But even within a proletarian party there are bourgeois influences and bureaucratic tendencies. Consequently there need to be checks on the transmission process of ideas from lower to higher levels. The prime check is the direct contact with the masses and their ideas by the party's leaders themselves.

It is not just that the words tend to get revised as they are passed upward; even if the words themselves are unchanged, the real significance of the words will be different for those without close contact with the originators of the ideas.

These sorts of problems are of course much worse in large parties with multiple layers of authority, and the situation will tend to be far more serious, vastly more dangerous, once such parties come to power. Mao is well known for his constant criticism of the CPC in this regard. Here is one of many examples:

Go down to the grass roots and study the problems there. I hope that the comrades on the Central Committee and the leading comrades in charge of the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and of the central departments will all do this. I have heard that many leading comrades no longer do so, which is not good. The central organs are miserable places where you can get no knowledge at all. If you are seeking knowledge, you won't find any by staying put in your office. The factories, the co-operatives and the shops are the real sources of knowledge. If you stay in your office, you will never get a clear idea of how factories, co-operatives and shops are run. The higher the office, the less the knowledge. To tackle problems, you must go down personally or invite people to come up.[14]

Since the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, all Maoists have recognized that it is the possible embourgeoisment of the proletarian party in socialist society that constitutes the main danger to the revolution at that stage. But even before coming to power there are serious dangers of creeping embourgeoisment that threaten the success of our work, and especially threaten our successful application of the mass line. This is one of the reasons that Mao remarked in 1945 that "Our congress should call upon the whole Party to be vigilant and to see that no comrade at any post is divorced from the masses."[15]


[1] Mao, Quotations, p. 118; translation modified from "Preface and Postscript to Rural Surveys" (March & April 1941), SW 3:12.

[2] Lenin, "'Left-Wing' Communism—An Infantile Disorder" (May 1920), LCW 31:95-6.

[3] Thomas Allen's comment as summarized by Franklin Becker, Mobile Office, July 1996, p. 34.

[4] Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), chapter XXVI.

[5] Mao, Quotations, pp. 274-5; translation slightly modified from "Speech at the Assembly of Representatives of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region" (Nov. 21, 1941), SW 3:33.

[6] Mao, "Talk at an Enlarged Working Conference Convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (Jan. 30, 1962), Peking Review, #27 (July 7, 1978), pp. 17-18.

[7] Mao, "Sixteen Articles Concerning Work Methods" (May 1959), MMTT, p. 178.

[8] Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quoted in Rudolf Flesch, ed., The New Book of Unusual Quotations (NY: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 276.

[9] Quoted in John Peers & Gordon Bennett, 1,001 Logical Laws, Accurate Axioms, Profound Principles, Trusty Truisms, Homey Homilies, Colorful Corollaries, Quotable Quotes, and Rambunctious Ruminations for All Walks of Life (NY: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1979), p. 71.

[10] Mao, "Speeches at the Second Session of the Eighth Party Congress", speech of May 17, 1958, MMTT, pp. 104-5.

[11] Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, "On the Role of Agitation and Propaganda", Revolution, vol. 3, #15, (Dec. 1978), p. 4.

[12] Mao, "Talks With Mao Yuan-hsin [Mao's nephew]" (1966), CMTTTP, p. 251.

[13] Mao, "Remarks at a Briefing" (March 1964), MMTT, p. 341.

[14] Mao, "Talks at a Conference of Secretaries of Provincial, Municipal and Autonomous Region Party Committees: Talk of Jan. 27, 1957", SW 5:378.

[15] Mao, "On Coalition Government" (April 24, 1945), SW 3:315.

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