Chapter 3 Socialism and Communism

The Little Red Book


Chapter 3 of Mao Zedong's Little Red Book was entitled Socialism and Communism. This chapter was about communism being the best form of government. Communism according to Mao, is the only way for China to have a "supreme ideal of a future" and that communism should be spread so that eventually Capitalism and Feudilism are things of the past. Mao also believes that by having a socialist society, then agriculture and industrialization will thrive. However, the only way to obtain this socialist society is that the people of China must get rid of all intellectuals or borgeois who have unrevoluntary motives or do not act towards revolution. Also, all the poor peasants and the middle/upperclass peasants must unite with each other to spread the word of socialism and to create a socialist society. Mao believes that to unite the poor and upperclass peasants, the poor peasants must work very hard to educate the upperclass to be for communism and socialism and act only towards the revolution. Mao believes that anyone who goes against revolution should be severly punished. In this chapter Mao also states that the working class will lead the revolution because with out their work spreading the word of socialism, working hard, and re-educating; then the counterrrevolutionaries will take over and China will be in shambles.


"Communism is at once a complete system of proletarian ideology and a new social system. It is different from any other ideological and social system, and is the most complete, progressive, revolutionary and rational system in human history. The ideological and social system of feudalism has a place only in the museum of history. The ideological and social system of capitalism has also become a museum piece in one part of the world (in the Soviet Union), while in other countries it resembles "a dying person who is sinking fast, like the sun setting beyond the western hills", and will soon be relegated to the museum. The communist ideological and social system alone is full of youth and vitality, sweeping the world with the momentum of an avalanche and the force of a thunderbolt."

"On New Democracy" (January 1940), Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 360-61. *

In this quotation, Mao is saying that not only is communism the best system in the world but it is also the most effective in terms of progression and revolution. From this quoation Mao believes that feudilism is not a good form of government and that it will eventually be only a thing of the past. Like feudalism, capitalism is no longer a form of governement in some parts of the world but where it is used (Western countries USA, UK) those countries will eventually stumble and fall because of it. This basically means that capitalism is very bad and countries who practice it will fall. Mao is also saying that the spread of communism around the world is unstoppable and very effective.

Connections to Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

There were many connections between Chapter 3 of Mao's Little Red Book and B&LCS......

The first connection appears in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, the book reads "...the son of a pulmonary specialist, the other the son of a notorious class enemy who had enjoyed the privilege of touching Mao's teeth - from the other hundred- odd 'young intellectuals' who were banished to the mountain known as the Phoenix of the Sky"(Sijie 11). This connects to Mao's quotation because Mao believed that it was important for the peasants to reeducate all the intellectuals through hard work and labor. Ma and Luo were taken to be reeducated in Balzac because their parents were considered to be intellectuals. They needed to be reeducated so that all thoughts of counterrevolution were diminished and thoughts of revolution and communism were replaced. In Chapter 3, Mao also tells of wanting all the intellectuals punished or reeducated because he knew that if they were not then they could eventually take over and get rid of communism.

The second connection appears in Mao's quotation, his quotation reads "... then it would not take long, perhaps only several years or several decades at most, before counterrevolutionary restoration on a national scale inevitable would occur..." (Zedong Chap. 3) This connects to B&LCS because in one section of Balzac the narrator tells a story to the village tailor from one of his western forbidden books. The village tailor did not become a counterrevolutionary against Mao because of the narrator's story, however the story influenced the type of clothing that the village tailor made for his clients. The newly influenced clothing that the tailor made became so popular that everyone on the mountain owned or wanted a piece of his clothing. This relates to the quotation because it shows how quick the little act of defiance from the narrator to the village headman spread. It shows how fast counterrevolution could occur which is why Mao wanted the counterrevolutionaries suppressed so badly.

Contrasting to American History

Chapter 3 from Mao's Little Red Book is completely different from American society. American society today and in the past has been a democratic republic which means, ultimate authority and power is derived from the citizens. This completely goes against everything that Mao stood for. Mao believes that a communist party which is a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs, is the best systematic system in the world. Mao believed that a democratic or capitalist society will "soon be relegated to the museum." (Zedong Chap. 3) Unfortunatly for Mao the democratic system in America has worked. America is a very powerful nation that has a lot of influence all over the world. However the same could go for communism. Even though some people do not agree with communism, China has one of the best economies in the world. They must be doing something right if most of the stuff we own is from them. The democratic system in the United States is less extreme than Mao's extreme view on communism. In America, people are free to share their beliefs and have their opinions. If someone says something bad about the way the government runs or about democracy that is their right; people will not be punished or killed for it.

Chapter 3 "in action" in America

This picture above is an American political cartoon from the 1950s. This cartoon depicts the Red Scare of 1950 which was a time period in America when Americans feared that there would be a potential rise and takeover of communism in America. In the picture it shows Uncle Sam riding a boat labeled USA that is going to hit a red iceberg. On the icebergs there are many graves which show the names of different countries , the first one being China. The graves symbolize countries that have fallen into communism because of hitting the red iceberg- communism taking over the country. This picture relates to Chapter 3 of The Little Red Book because it shows Mao Zedong's strong desire for communism to spread was a real threat in America at one point. It makes evident that even some of the strongest countries are still influenced by not only Mao's teachings of communism but communism as a whole.

Representation from Farehnehit 451

The book I chose to represent Chapter 3 of Mao's Little Red book is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book takes place in a futuristic society where the main character, Guy Montag's job is to set books on fire because books go against society and what it stand for; they are outlawed. As the book progresses Montag becomes curious about books and eventually reads one of them. Once Guy realizes the knowledge and curiosity that books bring to him, he immediately goes against the law and society to preserve all books and perseve the knowledge that they have inside. Fahrenheit 451 mirrors exactly what Mao was referring to in chapter 3. The books represent the intellectuals - Mao wants them reeducated or killed because he knows that they can change society and are smart enough to overrule him/communism and take over. Guy Montag represents a few different people. In the beginning of the book, he and his colleagues represent the Red Guard - The Red Guard is there to enforce revolution and to punish anyone who is against revolution. The fire burners in 451 are there to destroy all the books and make sure that no one reads them and gains knowledge. As the book progresses Montag represents an intellectual who seeks knowledge but has to suppress it because of what society will do to him. And lastly, Montag represents a counterrevolutionary. At the end of the book Montag does not follow society and does everything to preserve the books and the wisdom that they have (kind of like Four Eye's parents in Balzac).