Mao Zedong

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It is vanity to desire a long life and to take no heed of a good life.
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Let a hundred flowers bloom: let a hundred schools of thought contend.

Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung in Wade-Giles; Simplified Chinese 毛泽东 ; Traditional Chinese: 毛澤東 (1893-12-261976-09-09) was leader of the Communist Party of China.


  • 谁是我们的敌人?谁是我们的朋友?这个问题是革命的首要问题。
    • Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.
    • ANALYSIS OF THE CLASSES IN CHINESE SOCIETY (March 1926), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 1.
All reactionaries are paper tigers...
  • 一切反动派都是纸老虎。看起来反动派的样子是可怕的,但是实际上并没有什么了不起的力量。从长远的观点看问题,真正强大的力量不是属于反动派,而是属于人民。
    • All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.
    • Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong (August 1946), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 100.
  • 百花齐放,百家争鸣 (Simplified Chinese), 百花齊放,百家爭鳴 (Traditional Chinese), bǎihuāqífàng, bǎijiāzhēngmíng (Pinyin)
    • Let a hundred flowers bloom: let a hundred schools of thought contend.
      • Slogan used at the start of the Hundred Flowers Campaign for open criticism of the communist government that began in late 1956 and ended in July 1957.
  • Ours is a people's democratic dictatorship, led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance.
    • On the Correct Handling of Contradiction (1957)
  • "Maybe you're afraid of sinking. Don't think about it. If you don't think about it, you won't sink. If you do, you will.

  • 江山如此多娇,引无数英雄竞折腰。惜秦皇汉武,略输文采;唐宗宋祖,稍逊风骚。一代天骄,成吉思汗,只识弯弓射大雕。俱往矣,数风流人物,还看今朝。
    • The country is so beautiful, where so many heroes had devoted their lives into it. Sorry that the Qin Emperor or the Han Wu Emperor lacks a sense for literacy; while the founders of the Tang and Song dynasties came short in style. The great man, Genghis Khan, only knew how to shoot eagles with an arrow. The past is past, to see real heroes, look around you.
    • Qinyuanchun - Snow(沁园春•雪) (1936)
  • 假如办十件事,九件是坏的,都登在报上,一定灭亡。那我就走,到农村去,率领农民推翻政府,你解放军不跟我走,我就找红军去。【在庐山会议上的讲话(1959年7月23日)】
    • If we did ten things, nine were bad and got disclosed by the newspapers, we will be over. Then I will go, to the countryside, lead the peasant and revolt. If the Liberation Army do not follow me, I will get the Red Army. (July 23, 1959)
    • Speech at the Lushan Conference, 23 July 1959

Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
  • 凡是敵人反對的,我們就要擁護;凡是敵人擁護的,我們就要反對。 (1939)
    • We shall support whatever our enemies oppose; and oppose whatever our enemies support.
    • Chapter 2
  • 枪杆子里面出政权
    • Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
    • Chapter 5
The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.
  • 美国垄断资本集团如果坚持推行它的侵略政策和战争政策,势必有一天要被全世界人民处以刑。其他美国帮凶也将是这样。
    • If the U.S. monopoly capitalist groups persist in pushing their policies of aggression and war, the day is bound to come when they will be hanged by the people of the whole world. The same fate awaits the accomplices of the United States.
    • Chapter 6
  • 革命战争是群众的战争,只有动员群众才能进行战争,只有依靠群众才能进行战争。
    • The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.
    • Chapter 8
  • 没有一个人民的军队,便没有人民的一切。
    • Without an army for the people, there is nothing for the people.
    • Chapter 9
  • 我们的原则是党指挥枪,而决不容许枪指挥党。
    • Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.
    • Chapter 9
  • 下定决心,不怕牺牲,排除万难,去争取胜利。
    • Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory.
    • Chapter 19
  • 要使文艺很好地成为整个革命机器的一个组成部分,作为团结人民、教育人民、打击敌人、消灭敌人的有力的武器,帮助人民同心同德地和敌人作斗争。
    • [Our purpose is] to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the enemy, and that they help the people fight the enemy with one heart and one mind.
    • Chapter 32
  • 革命的集体组织中的自由主义是十分有害的。它是一种腐蚀剂,使团结涣散,关系松懈,工作消极,意见分歧。它使革命队伍失掉严密的组织和纪律,政策不能贯彻到底,党的组织和党所领导的群众发生隔离。这是一种严重的恶劣倾向。
    • Individualism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency.
    • Chapter 24


Some of these cite dates, but not a specific speech, publication or other source.

  • 军民团结如一人,试看天下谁能敌。
    • If the military and the peasantry unite as one, then none on this earth could possibly subvert them.
    • Excerpt from one of Mao Zedong's various works of poetry
  • 中国知识分子有几种。工程技术人员接受社会主义要好一些。学理科的其次。学文科的最差。【关于板田文章的谈话 1964、8、24】
    • There are different types of intellectuals in China. Engineers and technicians are more receptive to socialism. Scientists are next. Those who study liberal arts are the worst.
  • The cult of xenophobia is the cheapest and surest method of obtaining from the masses the ignorant and savage patriotism, which puts the blame for every political folly or social misfortune upon the foreigner.
    • somewhere in "Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings"
  • Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.


  • It's always darkest before it's totally black.
    • This is a humorous misattribution that US Senator John McCain has sometimes used since at least January 2000, but there is no indication that Mao actually ever made such a comment, which is a joke referencing the common English proverb "It's always darkest before the dawn." It has also been humorously misattributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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