A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
— From Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan
The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.
War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes.
— From Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War
Every Communist must grasp the truth, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
Discussion Questions 4. In "Serve the People," Mao argues that the masses are the leaders of the revolution while the actions of revolutionaries are guided by love for the people. In his quotation on political power, however, he says that power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Is this a contradiction? Why or why not? 5. Do you feel that all revolutions must be violent? Why or why not? 6. In "In Memory of Norman Bethune," Mao speaks of "utter devotion to others without any thought of self." Do you know of anyone like that? Do you agree with Mao that a person's ability is only as great as his moral integrity? 7. Compare the Chinese revolution with the Russian Revolution and Mao's ideas with those of Lenin and Stalin