Mao’s letter to the Red Guards at Qinghau (1966)

In this letter, dated August 1st 1966, Mao Zedong replies to the Red Guards at Qinghau [Tsinghua] University School and offers endorsement of their actions:

“Red Guard comrades of Qinghua University Middle School, I have received the big character posters you sent on July 28th, as well as the letter you sent to me asking for an answer.

The two big character posters you wrote on June 24th and July 4th express your anger and denunciation of all landlords, bourgeois, imperialists, revisionists and their running dogs who exploit and oppress the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals and revolutionary parties and groupings.

You say it is right to rebel against reactionaries. I enthusiastically support you. I also give enthusiastic support to the big character poster of the Red Flag Combat Group of Beijing University Middle School, which said that it is right to rebel against the reactionaries. Also to the very good revolutionary speech given by… the Red Flag Combat Group at the big meeting attended by all the teachers, students, administration and workers at Beijing University on July 25th.

Here I want to say that I myself, as well as my revolutionary comrades in arms, all take the same attitude. No matter where they are, in Peking or anywhere in China, I will give enthusiastic support to all who take an attitude similar to yours in the Cultural Revolution movement.

Another thing… while supporting you, at the same time we ask you to pay attention to uniting with all who can be united with. As for those who have committed serious mistakes, after their mistakes have been pointed out you should offer them a way out of their difficulties by giving them work to do, enabling them to correct their mistakes and become new men. Marx said that the proletariat must emancipate not only itself but all mankind. If it cannot emancipate all mankind, then the proletariat itself will not be able to achieve final emancipation. Comrades, please pay attention to this truth too.”