To Hsu T'eh-li

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To Hsu T’eh-Li  (1937) 
by Mao Zedong, translated by Foreign Language Press, Peking
[(1877-1968) went to Japan and joined Sun Yat-sen’s Alliance Society (T’ung Meng Hui) in 1912. Hsu visited France, Germany and Belgium in 1920-3 as a student and a worker and also Russia to study at the Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow in 1928-30. At the age of 57 he joined the Long March.] The source from which this work was transcribed comes from the Marxists Internet Archive.

Old Comrade Hsu,

You were my teacher twenty years ago; you are still my teacher; you will continue to be my teacher in future. When the revolution failed and many members left the party, even defecting to the enemy, you joined [the party] in the autumn of 1927 and adopted an extremely active attitude. From then until now you have shown through a long period of bitter struggle greater positiveness, less fear of difficulty and more humility in learning new things than many younger members of the party. “Age”, “declining physical and mental abilities”, and “hardships and obstacles” have all surrendered to you, in spite of the fact that they have served as excuses for the timidity of many people. You know a great deal but always feel a deficiency in your knowledge, whereas many “half-buckets of water” [people of superficial intelligence] make a lot of noise. What you think is what you say or what you do, whereas other people hide filthy things in a corner of their minds. You enjoy being with the masses all the time, whereas some others enjoy being without the masses. You are always a model of obedience to the party and its revolutionary discipline, whereas some others regard the discipline as restraint for others but not for themselves. For you, it is “revolution first”, “work first”, and “other people first”, whereas for some others it is “limelight first”, “rest first”, and “oneself first”. You always pick the most difficult things to do, never avoiding you responsibilities, whereas some others choose easy work to do, always shunning responsibilities. In all these respects, I admire you and am willing to continue to learn from you. I also hope that other party members will learn from you. I write this congratulatory letter to you on your sixtieth birthday with my wishes that you will enjoy good health and a long life and continue to be a model for all the members of our revolutionary party and all the people.

Revolutionary Salute!

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