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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 21, 1975

CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHINESE LEADER MAO ZEDONG AND CAMBODIAN LEADER POL POT

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    Mao Zedong muses on the nature of the struggle between the capitalist and socialist forces within China. He tells Pol Pot not to blindly follow the Chinese model, but adopt Marxist theory to the Cambodian realities. Excepts.
    "Conversation between Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Cambodian Leader Pol Pot," June 21, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP Working Paper 22, "77 Conversations." https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111267
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MAO ZEDONG AND POL POT

Beijing, 21 June 1975

[Mao Zedong:] During the transition from the democratic revolution to adopting a socialist path, there exist two possibilities: one is socialism, the other is capitalism.  Our situation now is like this.  Fifty years from now, or one hundred years from now, the struggle between two lines will exist.  Even ten thousand years from now, the struggle between two lines will still exist.  When Communism is realized, the struggle between two lines will still be there.  Otherwise, you are not a Marxist.  This is unity existing among opposites.  If one only mentions one side of the two, that is metaphysics.  I believe in what Marx and Lenin have said, that the path [of advance] would be tortuous.  From the era of Lenin to the era of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the Soviet Union has changed.  But in the future it is certain that it will return to Lenin’s path.  China is also like this.  It may turn to revisionism in the future, but it will eventually return to the path of Marx and Lenin.  Our state now is, as Lenin said, a capitalist state without capitalists.  This states protects capitalist rights, and the wages are not equal.  Under the slogan of equality, a system of inequality has been introduced.  There will exist a struggle between two lines, the struggle between the advanced and the backward, even when Communism is realized.  Today we cannot explain it completely.  

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You should not completely copy China’s experience, and should think for yourself.  According to Marx, his theory is a guideline for action, but not a doctrine.