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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Mao Zedong. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong (Chinese: 毛泽东; pinyin: Máo Zédōng pronounced [mǎu tsɤ̌.tʊ́ŋ]; usually romanized historically as Mao Tse-tung; December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he ruled as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, his theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism.

Mao was the son of a prosperous peasant in Shaoshan, Hunan. He had a Chinese nationalist and an anti-imperialist outlook early in his life, and was particularly influenced by the events of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and May Fourth Movement of 1919. He later adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University, and became a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the CCP, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies, and ultimately became head of the CCP during the Long March. Although the CCP temporarily allied with the KMT under the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), China's civil war resumed after Japan's surrender and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalist government, which withdrew to Taiwan.

On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the PRC, a single-party state controlled by the CCP. In the following years he solidified his control through campaigns against landlords, suppression of "counter-revolutionaries", "Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns" and through a psychological victory in the Korean War, which altogether resulted in the deaths of several million Chinese. From 1953 to 1958, Mao played an important role in enforcing planned economy in China, constructing the first Constitution of the PRC, launching the industrialisation program, and initiating the "Two Bombs, One Satellite" project. In 1955–1957, Mao launched the Sufan movement and the Anti-Rightist Campaign, with at least 550,000 people persecuted in the latter, most of whom were intellectuals and dissidents. In 1958, he launched the Great Leap Forward that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from agrarian to industrial, which led to the deadliest famine in history and the deaths of 15–55 million people between 1958 and 1962. In 1963, Mao launched the Socialist Education Movement, and in 1966 he initiated the Cultural Revolution, a program to remove "counter-revolutionary" elements in Chinese society which lasted 10 years and was marked by violent class struggle, widespread destruction of cultural artifacts, and an unprecedented elevation of Mao's cult of personality. Tens of millions of people were persecuted during the Revolution, while the estimated number of deaths ranges from hundreds of thousands to millions, including Liu Shaoqi, the 2nd Chairman of the PRC. After years of ill health, Mao suffered a series of heart attacks in 1976 and died at the age of 82. During Mao's era, China's population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million while the government did not strictly enforce its family planning policy.

A controversial figure, Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in the twentieth century. He is also known as a political intellect, theorist, military strategist, and poet. During Mao's era, China was involved in the Korean War, the Sino-Soviet split, the Vietnam War, and the rise of Khmer Rouge. He ruled China as an autocratic and totalitarian regime responsible for mass repression, as well as destruction of religious and cultural artifacts and sites. It was additionally responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 40 to 80 million victims through starvation, persecution, prison labour and mass executions. Supporters of Mao have credited him with transforming China from a semicolony to a powerful sovereign state, with increased literacy and life expectancy.

In our international relations, we Chinese people should get rid of great-power chauvinism resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely.

--Mao Zedong

Disaster and chaos are always good.

--Mao Zedong

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.

--Mao Zedong

Communism has nothing to do with love. Communism is an excellent hammer which we use to destroy our enemy.

--Mao Zedong

The question is not whether or not there should be a cult of the individual, but rather whether or not the individual concerned represents the truth, if he does then he should be worshiped.

--Mao Zedong

Ours is a people's democratic dictatorship, led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance.

--Mao Zedong

Revolutionary war is an antitoxin which not only eliminates the enemy's poison but also purges us of our own filth.

--Mao Zedong

Imperialism is a paper tiger.

--Mao Zedong

Conditions are changing all the time, and to adapt one's thinking to the new conditions, one must study. Even those who have a better grasp of Marxism and are comparatively firm in their proletarian stand have to go on studying, have to absorb what is new and study new problems.

--Mao Zedong

There is no such thing as abstract Marxism, only concrete Marxism... The Sinofication of Marxism -- that is, making certain that its manifestation is imbued with Chinese peculiarities -- is a problem that must be understood and solved by the party without delay.

--Mao Zedong

Khrushchev should get a one-ton medal.

--Mao Zedong

A Communist must never be opinionated or domineering, thinking that he is good in everything while others are good in nothing; he must never shut himself up in his little room, or brag and boast and lord it over others.

--Mao Zedong

The spark from a tiny star can ignite the plains.

--Mao Zedong

Every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a Communist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

--Mao Zedong

The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.

--Mao Zedong

We are advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war; but war can only be abolished through war.

--Mao Zedong

To Be Attacked by the Enemy Is Not a Bad Thing but a Good Thing.

--Mao Zedong

We must thoroughly clear away all ideas among our cadres of winning easy victories through good luck, without hard and bitter struggle, without sweat and blood.

--Mao Zedong

Wherever our comrades go they must build good relations with the masses, be concerned for them and help them overcome their difficulties. We must unite with the masses, the more of the masses we unite with, the better.

--Mao Zedong

What is work? Work is struggle. There are difficulties and problems in those places for us to overcome and solve. We go there to work and struggle to overcome these difficulties. A good comrade is one who is more eager to go where the difficulties are greater.

--Mao Zedong

We should support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports.

--Mao Zedong

The enemy will not perish of himself. Neither will the Chinese reactionaries nor the aggressive forces of U.S. imperialism in China step down from the stage of history of their own accord.

--Mao Zedong

After the enemies with guns have been wiped out, there will still be enemies without guns; they are bound to struggle desperately against us, and we must never regard these enemies lightly. If we do nor now raise and understand the problem in this way, we shall commit the gravest mistakes.

--Mao Zedong

Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. They come from social practice, and from it alone; they come from three kinds of social practice, the struggle for production, the class struggle and scientific experiment.

--Mao Zedong

All our officers and fighters must always bear in mind that we are the great People's Liberation Army, we are the troops led by the great Communist Party of China. Provided we constantly observe the directives of the Party, we are sure to win.

--Mao Zedong

In literary and art criticism there are two criteria, the political and the artistic.

--Mao Zedong

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.

--Mao Zedong

Let one thousand flowers bloom.

--Mao Zedong

A revolution does not march a straight line. It wanders where it can, retreats before superior forces, advances wherever it has room, attacks whenever the enemy retreats or bluffs, and above all, is possessed of enormous patience.

--Mao Zedong

Anyone who sees only the bright side but not the difficulties cannot fight effectively for the accomplishment of the Party's tasks.

--Mao Zedong

Even though I believe we should promote Chinese medicine, I personally do not believe in it. I don't take Chinese medicine.

--Mao Zedong

The arrow of Marxist-Leninism must be used to hit the target of the Chinese Revolution.

--Mao Zedong

Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.

--Mao Zedong

In class society everyone lives as a member of a particular class, and every kind of thinking, without exception, is stamped with the brand of class.

--Mao Zedong

We stand for self-reliance. We hope for foreign aid but cannot be dependent on it; we depend on our own efforts, on the creative power of the whole army and the entire people.

--Mao Zedong

There should be celebration rallies when people die... We believe in dialectics, and so we can't not be in favor of death.

--Mao Zedong

We must have faith, first, that the peasant masses are ready to advance step by step along the road of socialism under the leadership of the Party, and second, that the Party is capable of leading the peasants along this road. These two points are the essence of the matter, the main current.

--Mao Zedong


The whole world is very bright. The darker the clouds, the greater the light.

--Mao Zedong

You have never suffered-how can you be a leftist?

--Mao Zedong

When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.

--Mao Zedong

It was the Russians that introduced the Chinese to Marxism. Before the October Revolution, the Chinese were not only ignorant of Lenin and Stalin but did not even know of Marx or Engels. The salvos of the October Revolution awoke us to Marxism-Leninism.

--Mao Zedong

There may be thousands of principles of Marxism, but in the final analysis they can be summed up in one sentence: Rebellion is justified.

--Mao Zedong

All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.

--Mao Zedong

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 Zedong

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.

--Mao Zedong

Reactionaries must be deprived of the right to voice their opinions; only the people have that right.

--Mao Zedong

Not to have a correct political point of view is like having no soul.

--Mao Zedong

Dogma is less useful than cow dung. One can make whatever one likes out of it, even revisionism .

--Mao Zedong

The officers do not beat the men; the officers and men receive equal treatment. Soldiers are free to hold meetings and speak out. Trivial formalities have been done away with and the accounts are open for all to inspect.

--Mao Zedong

I am hated by many, especially comrade Pang Dehuai, his hatred is so intense that he wished me dead. My policy with Pang Dehuai is such: You don't touch me, I don't touch you; You touch me,
I touch you. Even though we were once like brothers, it doesn't change a thing.

--Mao Zedong

History shows that wars are divided into two kinds-just and unjust. All wars that are progressive are just, and all wars that impede progress are unjust.

--Mao Zedong

There is a serious tendency towards capitalism among the well-to-do peasants. This tendency will become rampant if we in the slightest way neglect political work among the peasants during the co-operative movement and for a very long period after.

--Mao Zedong

The commanders and fighters of the entire Chinese People's Liberation Army absolutely must not relax in the least their will to fight; any thinking that relaxes the will to fight and belittles the enemy is wrong.

--Mao Zedong

As for the imperialist countries, we should unite with their peoples and strive to coexist peacefully with those countries, do business with them and prevent any possible war, but under no circumstances should we harbour any unrealistic notions about them.

--Mao Zedong

Don't wait untill problems pile up and cause a lot of trouble before trying to solve them. Leaders must march ahead the movement, not lag behind it.

--Mao Zedong

In the struggle to defend the legacy of Leninism ... Stalin proved himself to be an outstanding Marxist-Leninist fighter... Stalin's works should, as before, be seriously studied ... to see what is correct and what is not.

--Mao Zedong

The attitude of Communists towards any person who has made mistakes in his work should be one of persuasion in order to help him change and start afresh and not one of exclusion, unless he is incorrigible.

--Mao Zedong

The contest of strength is not only a contest of military and economic power, but also a contest of human power and morale. Military and economic power is necessarily wielded by people.

--Mao Zedong

We must learn to do economic work from all who know how, no matter who they are. We must esteem them as teachers, learning from them respectfully and conscientiously. We must not pretend to know when we do not know.

--Mao Zedong

If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution.

--Mao Zedong

All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.

--Mao Zedong

If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it.

--Mao Zedong

Longer Version:

If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.


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.

--Mao Zedong

In times of difficulty we must not lose sight of our achievements, must see the bright future and must pluck up our courage.

--Mao Zedong

As far as world war goes, there are really only two possibilities: either war provokes revolution, or revolution averts war.

--Mao Zedong

The main form of struggle is war; the main form of organization is the army... . Without armed struggle there would be no place for the proletariat, there will be no place for the people, there will be no place for the Communist Party, and there will be no victory in revolution.

--Mao Zedong

New things have to experience difficulties and setbacks as they grow.

--Mao Zedong



Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in class society, and without them it is impossible to accomplish any leap in social development and to overthrow the reactionary ruling classes and therefore impossible for the people to win political power.

--Mao Zedong

Despise the enemy strategically, but take him seriously tactically.

--Mao Zedong

In transforming backward agricultural China into an advanced industrialized country, we are confronted with arduous tasks and our experience is far from adequate. So we must be good at learning.

--Mao Zedong

What is basic guerilla strategy? Guerilla strategy must be based primarily on alertness, mobility, and attack. It must be adjusted to the enemy situation, the terrain, the existing lines of communication, the relative strengths, the weather, and the situation of the people.

--Mao Zedong

In a suitable temperature, an egg becomes a chicken, and there are no chickens born of stones.

--Mao Zedong

The sky is no bigger than the mouth of the well.

--Mao Zedong

The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. Young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you...The world belongs to you. China's future belongs to you.

--Mao Zedong

There is in fact no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause.

--Mao Zedong

An army of the people is invincible!

--Mao Zedong


Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and the sciences and a flourishing culture in our land.

--Mao Zedong

Passivity is fatal to us. Our goal is to make the enemy passive.

--Mao Zedong

Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.

--Mao Zedong

Women hold up half the sky.

--Mao Zedong

We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.

--Mao Zedong

I voted for you during your last election.

--Mao Zedong

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