Mao Tse-tung: “Speech at a Meeting of All Circles in Yenan to Commemorate Stalin’s 60th Birthday”

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

SPEECH AT A MEETING OF ALL CIRCLES IN YENAN TO COMMEMORATE STALIN‘S 60TH BIRTHDAY

Mao Tse-tung
21.12.1939

Reproduced by The Red Flag

SPEECH AT A MEETING OF ALL CIRCLES IN YENAN TO COMMEMORATE STALIN‘S 60TH BIRTHDAY

This speech was first published in the „People‘s Daily“, 20.12.1949.

Today we are holding a meeting to congratulate Stalin on his 60th birthday. „From ancient times, few men have reached the age of 70“, and living to the age of 60 is also rare. But why do we celebrate only Stalin‘s birthday? And why, moreover, are such celebrations taking place not only in Yenan but in the whole country and in the whole world? Provided only that they know who the man is who was born this day, provided that they know what manner of man he is, then all those who suffer oppression will congratulate him. The reason is that Stalin is the savior of all the oppressed. What kind of people are opposed to congratulating him and do not like to congratulate him? Only those who do not suffer oppression but, on the contrary, oppress other people, first of all, the imperialists. Comrades! A foreigner, who is separated from us by thousands of miles, and whose birthday is celebrated by everyone — is this not an unprecedented event?

This is because he is leading the great Soviet Union, because he is leading the great Communist International (CI), because he is leading the cause of the liberation of all mankind, and is helping China to fight Japan.

At present, the whole world is divided into two fronts struggling against each other. On the one side is imperialism, which represents the front of the oppressors. On the other side is socialism, which represents the front of resistance to oppression. Some people imagine that the national-revolutionary front in the colonies and semi-colonies occupies an intermediate position, but its enemy is imperialism, and hence it cannot do otherwise than call upon the friendship of socialism, and it cannot but belong to the revolutionary front of resistance to the oppressors. China‘s die-hards imagine that they can play the harlot and, at the same time, set up arches in honor of their own virtue, fighting Commuism with one hand, and resisting Japan with the other. They call themselves the middle-of-the-road faction, but they will never achieve their aims. If they do not repent, they will certainly end by going over to the side of counter-revolution. Both the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary fronts must have someone to act as their leader, someone to serve as their commander. Who is the commander of the counter-revolutionary front? It is imperialism, it is Chamberlain. Who is the commander of the revolutionary front? It is socialism, it is Stalin. Comrade Stalin is the leader of the world revolution. This is an extremely important circumstance. Among the whole human race, this man, Stalin, has appeared, and this is a very great event. Because he is there, it is easier to get things done. As you know, Marx is dead, and Engels and Lenin too are dead. If there were no Stalin, who would give the orders? This is indeed a fortunate circumstance. Because there is now in the world a Soviet Union, a Communist Party and a Stalin, the affairs of this world can be dealt with more easily. What does a revolutionary commander do? He sees to it that everyone has food to eat, clothes to wear, a place to live and books to read. And in order to achieve this, he must lead a billion and more people to struggle against the oppressors and bring them to final victory. This is precisely what Stalin wants to do. Since this is the case, should not all those who suffer oppression congratulate Stalin? I think they should, I think they must. We should congratulate him, support him and study him.

The two aspects of Stalin which we want to study are the doctrinal aspect and the practical aspect.

There are innumerable principles of Marxism, but in the final analysis they can all be summed up in one sentence: „To rebel is justified.“ For thousands of years everyone said: „Oppression is justified, exploitation is justified, rebellion is not justified.“ From the time that Marxism appeared on the scene, this old judgment was turned upside down, and this is a great contribution. This principle was derived by the proletariat from its struggles, but Marx drew the conclusion. In accordance with this principle, there was then resistance, there was struggle and socialism was realized. What is Comrade Stalin‘s contribution? He developed this principle, developed Marxism-Leninism and produced a very clear, concrete and living doctrine for the oppressed people of the whole world. This is the complete doctrine for establishing a revolutionary front, overthrowing imperialism, overthrowing capitalism and establishing a socialist society.

The practical aspect consists in turning doctrine into reality. Neither Marx, Engels nor Lenin carried to completion the cause of the establishment of socialism, but Stalin did so. This is a great and unprecedented exploit. Before the Soviet Union‘s two 5-Year Plans, the capitalist newspapers of various countries proclaimed daily that the Soviet Union was in desperate straits, that socialism could not be relied upon, but what do we see today? Chamberlain‘s mouth has been stopped, as have the mouths of those Chinese die-hards. They all recognize that the Soviet Union has triumphed.

Apart from helping us from the doctrinal standpoint in our War of Resistance Against Japan, Stalin has also given us practical and concrete aid. Since the victory of Stalin‘s cause, he has aided us with many airplanes, cannons, aviators and military advisers in every theater of operations, as well as lending us money. What other country in the world has helped us in this way? What country in the world, led by what class, party or individual, has helped us in this way? Who is there, apart from the Soviet Union, the proletariat, the Communist Party and Stalin?

At present, there are people who call themselves our friends, but in fact they can only be classed with Li Lin-fu of the Tang Dynasty. This Mr. Li Lin-fu was a man who had „honey dripping from his tongue and a sword concealed in his heart“. The imperialists all have honey dripping from their tongues and swords concealed in their hearts, and Chamberlain is a present-day Li Lin-fu. What imperialist country has abolished the special privileges enjoyed by many countries in China such as the right to station troops, consular jurisdiction, extratorriality and so on? Not a single one. Only the Soviet Union has abolished them.

In the past, Marxism-Leninism provided theoretical guidance to the world revolution. Today something has been added: it is possible to give material aid to the world revolution. This is Stalin‘s great contribution.

After we have celebrated Stalin‘s birthday, we must continue to carry out propaganda among the people of the whole country to make these facts known. We must explain things clearly to the 450.000.000 Chinese, so that our whole people understands: only the socialist Soviet Union, only Stalin, are the good friends of China.