Mao Quotes

Quotes tagged as "mao" (showing 1-25 of 25)
Mao Zedong
“An army of the people is invincible!”
Mao Zedong, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung

Alain Badiou
“I would say, if you like, that the party is like an out-moded mathematics...that is to say, the mathematics of Euclid. We need to invent a non-Euclidian mathematics with respect to political discipline.”
Alain Badiou, The Concept of Model: An Introduction to the Materialist Epistemology of Mathematics

Anchee Min
“We were meant to survive because of our minds' ability to reason, our ability to live with frustration in order to maintain our virtue. We wore smiling masks while dying inside.”
Anchee Min

Christopher Hitchens
“Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.'

All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was:

There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man!

Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Mao Zedong
“Make criticism in good time; don't get into the habit of criticizing only after the event.”
Mao Zedong, Selected Works

Nien Cheng
“One of the most ugly aspects of life in Communist China during the Mao Zedong era was the Party’s demand that people inform on each other routinely and denounce each other during political campaigns. This practice had a profoundly destructive effect on human relationships. Husbands and wives became guarded with each other, and parents were alienated from their children. The practice inhibited all forms of human contact, so that people no longer wanted to have friends. It also encouraged secretiveness and hypocrisy. To protect himself, a man had to keep his thoughts to himself. When he was compelled to speak, often lying was the only way to protect himself and his family.”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Jung Chang
“They verbally attacked each other with Mao's quotations, making cynical use of his guru-like elusiveness––it was easy to select a quotation of Mao's to suit any situation, or even both sides of the same argument.”
Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

Nien Cheng
“As I gazed at Mao’s face wearing what was intended as a benign expression but was in fact a smirk of self-satisfaction, I wondered how one single person could have caused the extent of misery that was prevailing in China. There must be something lacking in our own character, I thought, that had made it possible for his evil genius to dominate. Pg. 259”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Tony Benn
“Of course, Mao made his mistakes, because everybody does, but at least he allowed working people to smoke, even in the most trying circumstances, such as when, for one reason or another, they found themselves up before the firing squad.”
Tony Benn

Nien Cheng
“But it also had many large posters with messages of a more peaceful nature. These extolled the country’s economic achievement since the Cultural Revolution, which was supposed to have liberated the forces of production and increased productivity. Of course, the Cultural Revolution had done just the opposite. Official lies like this, habitually indulged in and frequently displayed by the authorities, served no purpose except to create the impression that truth was unimportant. Pg. 400”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng
“For so many years, the official propaganda machinery had denounced humanitarianism as sentimental trash and advocated human relations based entirely on class allegiance. But my personal experience had shown me that most of the Chinese people remained kind, sensitive, and compassionate even though the cruel reality of the system under which they had to live compelled them to lie and pretend. Pg. 409”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng
“As I stood in the room looking at it for the last time, I felt again the cold metal of the handcuffs on my wrists and remembered the physical suffering and mental anguish I had endured while fighting with all the willpower and intellect God had given me for that rare and elusive thing in a Communist country called justice. Pg. 351”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng
“While I listened to the words of homage to Mao, I remembered Mao’s awesome power, like a blanket over China threatening to smother whomever he chose. Pg. 218”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng
“Pilfering was common in Communist China’s state-owned enterprises, as the Party secretaries were slack in guarding properties that belonged to the government and poorly paid workers felt it fair compensation for their low pay. The practice was so widespread that it was an open secret. The workers joked about it and called it "Communism," which in Chinese translation means "sharing property." Pg. 390”
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

Mo Yan
“Mientras contemplaba al presidente tendido en el sarcófago de cristal, recordé la sensación de cataclismo que había tenido dos años antes al oír la noticia de su fallecimiento; el desengaño al descubrir que en el mundo no había dioses. Ni en sueños habríamos creído que el presidente Mao moriría un día, pero murió. Creíamos que si se moría el presidente Mao, sería el fin de China. Pero llevaba dos años muerto, y el país no sólo no había llegado a su fin, sino que iba mejorando paulatinamente [...]”
Mo Yan, Change

Slavoj Žižek
“Georgi M. Derluguian's Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus tells the extraordinary story of Musa Shanib from Abkhazia, the leading intellectual of this turbulent region whose incredible career passed from Soviet dissident intellectual through democratic political reformer and Muslim fundamentalist war leader up to respected professor of philosophy, his entire career marked by the strange admiration for Pierre Bourdieu's thought. There are two ways to approach such a figure. The first reaction is to dismiss it as local eccentricity, to treat it with benevolent irony - "what a strange choice, Bourdieu - who knows what this folkloric guy sees in Bourdieu...". The second reaction is to directly assert the universal scope of theory - "see how universal theory is: every intellectual from Paris to Chechenia and Abkhazia can debate his theories..." The true task, of course, is to avoid both these options and to assert the universality of a theory as the result of a hard theoretical work and struggle, a struggle that is not external to theory: the point is not (only) that Shanib had to do a lot of work to break the constraints of his local context and penetrate Bourdieu - this appropriation of Bourdieu by an Abkhazian intellectual also affects the substance of the theory itself, transposing it into a different universe. Did - mutatis mutandis - Lenin not do something similar with Marx? The shift of Mao with regard to Lenin AND Stalin concerns the relationship between the working class and peasants: both Lenin and Stalin were deeply distrustful towards the peasants, they saw as one of the main tasks of the Soviet power to break the inertia of the peasants, their substantial attachment to land, to "proletarize" them and thus fully expose them to the dynamics of modernization - in clear contrast to Mao who, in his critical notes on Stalin's Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR (from 1958) remarked that "Stalin's point of view /.../ is almost altogether wrong. The basic error is mistrust of the peasants." The theoretical and political consequences of this shift are properly shattering: they imply no less than a thorough reworking of Marx's Hegelian notion of proletarian position as the position of "substanceless subjectivity," of those who are reduced to the abyss of their subjectivity.”
Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek
“As is well-known among those who still remember Marxism, the ambiguous central point of its theoretical edifice concerns its premise that capitalism itself creates the conditions for its self-overcoming through proletarian revolution - how are we to read this? Is it to be read in a linear evolutionary way: revolution should take place when capitalism fully develops all its potentials and exhausts all its possibilities, the mythic point at which it confronts its central antagonism ("contradiction") at its purest, in its naked form? And is it enough to add the "subjective" aspect and to emphasize that the working class should not just sit and wait for the "ripe moment," but to "educate" itself through long struggle? As is also well-known, Lenin's theory of the "weakest link of the chain" is a kind of compromise-solution: although it accepts that the first revolution can take place not in the most developed country, but in a country in which antagonisms of the capitalist development are most aggravated, even if it is less developed (Russia, which combined concentrated modern capitalist-industrial islands with agrarian backwardness and pre-democratic authoritarian government), it still perceived October Revolution as a risky break-through which can only succeed if it will be soon accompanied by a large-scale Western European revolution (all eyes were focused on Germany in this respect). The radical abandonment of this model occurred only with Mao, for whom the proletarian revolution should take place in the less developed part of the world, among the large crowds of the Third World impoverished peasants, workers and even "patriotic bourgeoisie," who are exposed to the aftershocks of the capitalist globalization, organizing their rage and despair. In a total reversal (perversion even) of the Marx's model, the class struggle is thus reformulated as the struggle between the First World "bourgeois nations" and the Third World "proletarian nations.”
Slavoj Žižek
tags: lenin, mao, marx

Slavoj Žižek
“. The rather boring debate about the origins of Maoism (or Stalinism) oscillates around three main options: (1) the "hard" anti-Communists and the "hard" partisans of Stalinism claim that there is a direct immanent logic which leads from Marx to Lenin and from Lenin to Stalin (and then from Stalin to Mao); (2) the "soft" critics claim that the Stalinist (or, prior to it, Leninist) turn is one of the historical possibilities present in Marx's theoretical edifice - it could have turned otherwise, yet the Stalinist catastrophe is nonetheless inscribed as an option into the original theory itself; (3) finally, the defenders of the purity of the "original teaching of Marx" dismiss Stalinism (or already Leninism) as a simple distortion, betrayal, insisting on the radical break between the two: Lenin and Stalin simply "kidnapped" Marx's theory and used it for purposes totally at odds with Marx. One should reject all three versions as based on the same underlying linear-historicist notion of time, and opt for the fourth version, beyond the false question "to what extent was Marx responsible for the Stalinist catastrophe": Marx is fully responsible, but retroactively, i.e., the same holds for Stalin as for Kafka in Borges's famous formulation: they both created their own predecessors.”
Slavoj Žižek
tags: lenin, mao, marx

“Part of the Maoist project was the deliberate construction of a new moral identity. To do this it was necessary to destroy people’s previous sense of who they were and to make sure there was no room for it grow back.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

“Jung Chang said that Mao ruled by getting people to hate each other: ‘Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

Martín Caparrós
“Świat o tym nie wiedział – i wydawał się nie chcieć wiedzieć. W 1959 roku lord Boyd Orr, pierwszy dyrektor generalny FAO, wybitny specjalista od spraw wyżywienia, ogłosił, że „rządy Mao skończyły z tradycyjnym cyklem głodu w Chinach”. Jeszcze w 1961 roku pewien dziennikarz francuski, który przeprowadził wywiad z Mao Tse-Tungiem, napisał, że „naród chiński nigdy nie był bliski głodu”. Nazwisko dziennikarza brzmiało François Mitterand.”
Martín Caparrós, El hambre

Hanif Kureishi
“I’m using Mao as my inspiration. “Cast away illusions. Prepare for struggle.” I’m back in business, baby. You don’t know you’re stuck until you get moving.”
Hanif Kureishi, The Nothing

Douglas Adams
“The [Tiananmen] Gate was built during the Ming Dynasty and used by Emperors for making public appearances and proclamations. The Gate, like Tiananmen Square, has always been a major point of focus in the political history of China. If you climb up to the balcony, you can stand on the spot from which, on October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao proclamied the founding of the People's Republic of China. The spot is clearly marked, and there is an exhibition of photographs of the event clustered around it.

The view across the immensity of Tiananmen Square here is extraordinary. It is like looking across a plain from the side of a mountain. In political terms the view is more astounding yet, encompassing as it does a nation that comprises almost one-quarter of the population of this planet. All of the history of China is symbolically focused here, at this very point, and it is hard, as you stand there, not to be transfixed by the power of it. It is hard, also, not to be profoundly moved by the vision of the peasant from Shaoshan who seized that power in the name of the people and whom the people still revere, in spite of the atrocities of the Cultural Revolution, as the father of their nation.

And while we were standing on this spot, the spot where Mao stood when he proclaimed the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, the music we were having played at us by the public address system was first "Viva España", and then the "Theme from Hawaii Five-O."

It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure it wasn't me.”
Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

“Au même titre que l'on ne peut cesser d'aller son père et sa mère, nous ne pouvons enrayer notre amour pour Mao. Malgré les désillusions, les désastres et les morts, la vénération que nous lui portions atteignit même, alors, son apogée.”
Li Kunwu, Le temps du père

Kamotsu Kamonabe
“As it has been since the dawn of time, the light and dark are linked as one”
Kamotsu Kamonabe, Satan's Secretary, Vol. 1