quotations from Chairman Mao
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) is a series of statements from speeches and writings by Mao bound in a bright red vinyl cover commonly known as ‘the little red book’. Marshal Lin Biao (Vice Premier of the Peoples Republic of China), directed the compilation of quotations and wrote an endorsing forward ‘study Chairman Maos writings, follow his teachings and act according to his instructions’. (This page was torn out following his death and public disgrace in September 1971). During the Cultural Revolution, every Chinese citizen was unofficially required to own, read and carry the pocket book at all times. Studying the quotations was a requirement in all schools and places of work. All writings and articles including scientific essays were to include quotations from Chairman Mao. Lin Biao also originated the ritual of waving the red book in the right hand by the Red Guards chanting slogans such as “long live the proletariat” promoting Mao’s cult of personality. The ‘little red book’ became a symbol of Mao Tse-tung thought or Maoism and is one of the most printed books in history.
Lin Biao (Piao) was a major Chinese Communist military leader who played a pivotal role for the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War against Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang government. Lin advocated a strategy of protracted guerilla warfare to weaken the enemy through feints, ambushes, encirclements and surprise attacks. In order to protect himself from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, he gave absolute support to Mao always at his side in public appearances waving a copy of ‘the little red book’. Lin was rewarded by being promoted to First-ranking Vice Premier of the Peoples Republic of China and Mao’s designated successor. Mao became uncomfortable with Lin’s growing power and asked all principal generals to write self-criticisms on their political positions and unconditional support. The official narrative states that Lin, harbouring a strong desire to seize power organized a coup with his son titled ‘project 571’…. later aborted. He attempted to flee to the Soviet Union to seek asylum boarding a plane which ran out of fuel and crashed killing all… including his wife and son. Within a month 93 people close to Lin were arrested and over 1000 senior military officials were purged. Scholars outside China are skeptical that one of the most successful Communist generals would attempt a poorly planned abortive coup. Eyewitness accounts state that Lin, convinced that he and his family were to be purged planned an escape. Lin’s daughter ‘Doudou’ reported this plan to the authorities and the doomed flight departed in haste while still refueling. A propaganda campaign ‘Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius’ began to scar his image and after Mao’s death, he was blamed for many negative aspects of the Cultural Revolution…. accused of taking advantage of ‘Mao’s mistakes’ to advance his own political goals. (years of service 1925-1971)
China aquires the atomic bomb. These images transfered on to pages of Mao’s 1966 first edition red book show the efforts required to achieve this goal…. farmers working the fields and young red guards and athletes striving to fulfill Mao’s dream. These pages of the red book are rare as they contain LinBiao’s forward; ‘study Chairman Mao’s writings, follow his teachings and act according to his instructions’, as well as; ‘we depend on the helmsman for sailing in the sea and depend on Mao Tse-tung thoughts for revolution’. These pages were supposed to be torn out after Lin Biao was denounced in 1971 or you would risk denunciations, arrest, beatings or even death. A vintage Mao pin symbolizes a basketball…. the youth striving to score points for China. This book also contains a personal note from one friend to another.
to my friend Zhun Chan
After two years together, we must now part
The feeling of departing you is like being put into boiling water
I hope we will become good steel in the furnace
I would like to shed my blood, to write a new history
your friend, Liang De
Nov. 8 1970