1966 - Comrade Chou En-lai’s Speech
At Peking’s Mass Rally [on Aug. 18, 1966] Celebrating the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
How are you all?
Greetings and proletarian revolutionary salutations to you!
We express our warm welcome to the revolutionary students, teachers, staff members and workers who have come from different parts of the nation! You’ve travelled a long way and worked hard!
The Central Committee of the Party has just held its Eleventh Plenary Session. This session was presided over by Chairman Mao himself. It was a meeting of great historic significance. Its success is a new victory for Mao Tse-tung’s thought. In the last few days all Peking has been astir with joy as have been the towns and rural areas throughout the country. To the accompaniment of gongs and drums, people everywhere are sending their messages of greetings, holding celebration meetings and giving their pledges. Hundreds of millions of people have plunged into the mighty current of the great proletarian cultural revolution. Today, together with our great leader Chairman Mao, we are holding a celebration rally here too in Tien An Men Square to greet the new upsurge in the great proletarian cultural revolution!
The 16-point decision [concerning the great proletarian cultural revolution] adopted by this session was formulated under the personal leadership of Chairman Mao and is the programme of the great proletarian cultural revolution. All revolutionary comrades should conscientiously study it, become familiar with it, grasp it and apply it. It is the weapon with which we fight in the great proletarian cultural revolution and it is our compass for action. We must study and apply this great programme well and carry it through in our practical action.
Chairman Mao has taught us that we must rely on ourselves to make revolution. We will educate ourselves, liberate ourselves and rise up ourselves to make revolution. All revolutionaries should serve the people wholeheartedly and be the servants of the people. They should be pupils of the masses before becoming their teachers. They should set themselves firmly against monopolizing things which should be done by the masses themselves, against acting as high and mighty bureaucrats, standing above the masses and blindly ordering them about.
We hope that the revolutionary students of Peking and those from other parts of the country will learn from each other, support one another, exchange their revolutionary experience and strengthen their revolutionary unity. You students of the capital are the hosts; you should receive the guests well, develop the spirit of proletarian class friendship, enthusiastically help them solve difficulties and when questions crop up properly consult with them.
The main task of the revolutionary teachers and students both in Peking and in other parts of the country is to carry out the great cultural revolution well in their own schools: do a good job, first, in struggling [against and crushing those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road], second, in criticizing and repudiating [the reactionary bourgeois academic “authorities” and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes], and third, in transforming [education, literature and art and all other parts of the superstructure that do not correspond to the socialist economic base]. This is both a very glorious and arduous task. You must dare to shoulder this task by yourselves and we believe you can certainly do it!
In the great proletarian cultural revolution, we must eradicate bourgeois ideology and foster proletarian ideology with the utmost vigour, that is, vigorously establish the complete ascendancy of Mao Tse-tung’s thought. Sailing the seas depends on the man at the helm and our great helmsman is Chairman Mao. We must respond to the call of Comrade Lin Piao to unfold to an even greater extent the mass movement to creatively study and apply Chairman Mao’s works throughout the Party, the army and the country.
We must hold aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought, carry through to the end the great proletarian cultural revolution, build socialist China into an impregnable proletarian state and fulfil the glorious historic mission entrusted to us by the Chinese people and the revolutionary people of the world.
Long live the great proletarian cultural revolution!
Long live the dictatorship of the proletariat!
Long live the Communist Party of China!
Long live the invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung!
Long live our great leader Chairman Mao! Long live, long live Chairman Mao!