Archive for the 'China' Category

Mao on Practical Organizing and Studying Theory

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong (1893-1976), in 1930, wrote:

The method of studying the social sciences exclusively from the book is likewise extremely dangerous and may even lead one onto the road of counter-revolution.  Clear proof of this is provided by the fact that whole batches of Chinese Communists who confined themselves to books in their study of the social sciences have turned into counter-revolutionaries.  When we say Marxism is correct, it is certainly not because Marx was a “prophet” but because his theory has been proved correct in our practice and in our struggle.  We need Marxism in our struggle.  In our acceptance of his theory no such formalistic or mystical notion as that of “prophecy” ever enters our minds.  Many who have read Marxist books have become renegades from the revolution, whereas illiterate workers often grasp Marxism very well.  Of course we should study Marxist books, but this study must be integrated with our country’s actual conditions. We need books, but we must overcome book worship, which is divorced from the actual situation.  (Mao, 42-43)


Mao Tsetung.  Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tsetung.  Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1971.


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