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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Daily LIFT #410

Mao at the Third National Congress of the Chinese New-Democratic Youth League, 1957 -- Daily LIFT #410

We are living in a period of great social change. Chinese society has been in the midst of great changes for a long time. The War of Resistance Against Japan was one period of great change and the War of Liberation another. But the present changes are much more profound in character than the earlier ones. We are now building socialism. Hundreds of millions of people are taking part in the movement for socialist transformation. Class relations are changing throughout the country. The petty bourgeoisie in agriculture and handicrafts and the bourgeoisie in industry and commerce have both experienced changes. The social and economic system has been changed; individual economy has been transformed into collective economy, and capitalist private ownership is being transformed into socialist public ownership. Changes of such magnitude are of course reflected in people's minds. Man's social being determines his consciousness. These great changes in our social system are reflected differently among people of different classes, strata and social groups. The masses eagerly support them, for life itself has confirmed that socialism is the only way out for China. Overthrowing the old social system and establishing a new one, the system of socialism, means a great struggle, a great change in the social system and in men's relations with each other. It should be said that the situation is basically sound. But the new social system has only just been established and requires time for its consolidation. It must not be assumed that the new system can be completely consolidated the moment it is established; that is impossible. It has to be consolidated step by step. To achieve its ultimate consolidation, it is necessary not only to bring about the socialist industrialization of the country and persevere in the socialist revolution on the economic front, but also to carry on constant and arduous socialist revolutionary struggles and socialist education on the political and ideological fronts. Moreover, various complementary international conditions are required. In China the struggle to consolidate the socialist system, the struggle to decide whether socialism or capitalism will prevail, will take a long historical period. But we should all realize that the new system of socialism will unquestionably be consolidated. We can assuredly build a socialist state with modern industry, modern agriculture, and modern science and culture. - Mao, speech March 12, 1957 to the Chinese Communist Party's National Conference on Propaganda Work


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