verified elite notetaker
Popular in Department
This 41 page Bundle was uploaded by Jie Li on Tuesday February 10, 2015. The Bundle belongs to jsisa464 at University of Washington taught by in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 76 views.
Reviews for reading
Great notes!!! Thanks so much for doing this...
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/10/15
SELECTED WORKS 0f MAO TSETUNG Volume One LONDON LAWRENCE amp WISHART LTD 9S Lf 0 REPORT OF AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 39l39his article was written in reply to criticisms made both inside and outside the Party against the peasants revolutionary struggles in 1926 7 Comrade Mao Tsetung went to Human and spent thirtytwo days making investiga tions and then wrote this report The Right opportunists in the Party headed by Ch en Tuhsiu were unwilling to accept Comrade Mao s views and persisted in their erroneous opinions Their chief mistake was that scared by the reactionary current of the Kuomintang they dared not support the great revolutionary struggles of the peasants that had broken out or were breaking out To appease the Kuomintang they preferred to desert the peasantry the chief ally in the revolution and thus landed the working class and the Communist Party in helpless isolation The Kuomintang took advantage of this weakness of the Communist Party and was emboldened in the summer of 1927 to betray the revolution launch its campaign to purge the party and make war against the people THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PEASANT PROBLEM During my recent visit to Hunan1 I conducted an investigation on the spot into the conditions in the ve counties of Siangtan Siangsiang Hengshan Liling and Changsha In the thirty two days from january 4 to February 5 in villages and in county towns I called together for fact nding conferences experienced peasants and comrades working for the peasant movement listened attentively to their reports and collected a lot of material Many of the hows and whys of the peasant movement were quite the reverse of what I had heard from the gentry in Hankow and Changsha And many strange things there were that I had never seen or heard of before I think these conditions exist in many other places All kinds of arguments against the peasant movement must be speedily set right The erroneous measures taken by the revolutionary authorities concerning the peasant movement must be speedily changed Only thus can any good he done for the future of the revolution For the rise of the present peasant movement is a colossal event In a very short time in China s central southern and northern provinces several 21 22 MAO TSETUNG hundred million peasants will rise like a tornado or tempest a force so extraordinarily swift and violent that no power however great will be able to suppress it They will break all trammels that now bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation They will send all imperialists warlords corrupt of cials local bullies and bad gentry to their graves All revolutionary parties and all revolutionary comrades will stand before them to be tested and to be accepted or rejected as they decide To march at their head and lead them Or to follow at their rear gesticulating at them and criticising them Or to face them as opponents Every Chinese is free to choose among the three alternatives but circumstances demand that a quick choice be made GET ORGAN ISED The peasant movement in Hunan so far as it concerns the counties in the central and southern sections of the province where the movement is already developed can be roughly divided into two periods The rst period was the period of organisation extending 39 from January to September of last year In this period there was the stage from January to June a stage of underground activities and the stage from July to September when the revolutionary army expelled Chao Hengt iz a stage of open activities In this period the membership of the peasant association totalled only 300000 400000 and the masses it could directly lead numbered but little more than a million as there was hardly any struggle in the rural areas very little criticism of the association was heard Since its members served as guides scouts and carriers the of cers in the Northern Expedition Army even had a good word or two for the peasant association The second period was the period of revolutionary action extending from last October to this January The membership of the peasant association jumped to two million and the masses over whom it could exercise direct leadership increased to ten million people As the peasants mostly entered only one name INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 23 for each family when joining the association a membership of two million therefore means a mass following of about ten million Of all the peasants in Hunan almost half are organ ised In counties like Siangtan Siangsiang Liuyang Chang sha Liling Ningsiang Pingkiang Siangyin Hengshan Hengyang Leiyang Chen and Anhwa nearly all the peasants have rallied organisationally in the association and followed its leadership The peasants with their extensive organisation went right into action and within four months brought about a great and unprecedented revolution in the countryside DOWN WITH THE LOCAL BULLIES AND BAD GENTRY ALL POWER TO THE PEASANT ASSOCIATION The peasants attack as their main targets the local bullies and bad gentry and the lawless landlords hitting in passing against patriarchal ideologies and institutions corrupt of cials in the cities and evil customs in the rural areas In force and momen tum the attack is like a tempest or hurricane those who submit to it survive and those who resist it perish As a result the privileges which the feudal landlords have enjoyed for thou sands of years are being shattered to pieces The dignity and prestige of the landlords are dashed to the ground With the fall of the authority of the landlords the peasant association becomes the sole organ of authority and what people call All power to the peasant association has come to pass Even such a tri e as a quarrel between man and wife has to be settled at the peasant association Nothing can be settled in the absence of people from the association The association is actually dictating in all matters in the countryside and it is literally true that what ever it says goes The public can only praise the association and must not condemn it The local bullies and bad gentry and the lawless landlords have been totally deprived of the right to have their say and no one dares mutter the word No To be safe from the power and pressure of the peasant association the rstrank local bullies and bad gentry ed to Shanghai the secondrank ones to Hankow the thirdrank ones to Changsha and the fourthrank ones to the county towns the fthrank ones and even lesser fry can only i wquot 24 MAO TSETUNG remain in the countryside and surrender to the peasant association I ll donate ten dollars please admit me to the peasant association one of the smaller gentry would say Pshaw Who wants your lthy money the peasants would reply Many middle and small landlords rich peasants and middle peasants formerly opposed to the peasant association now seek admission in vain Visiting various places I often came across such peOple who solicited my help I beg they would say the committeeman from the provincial capital to be my guarantor The census book compiled by the local authorities under the Manchu regime consisted of a regular register and a special register in the former honest people were entered and in the latter burglars bandits and other undesirables The peasants in some places now use the same method to threaten people formerly opposed to the association Enter them in the special register Such people afraid of being entered in the special register try various means to seek admission to the association and do not feel at ease until as they eagerly desire their names are entered in its register But they are as a rule sternly turned down and so spend their days in a constant state of suspense barred from the doors of the association they are like homeless people In short what was generally sneered at four months ago as the peasants gang has now become something most honourable 7 Those who prostrated themselves before the power of the gentry now prostrate themselves before the power of the peasants Everyone admits that the world has changed since last October AN AWFUL MESS AND VERY GOOD INDEED The revolt of the peasants in the countryside disturbed the sweet dreams of the gentry When news about the countryside reached the cities the gentry there immediately burst into an uproar When I rst arrived in Changsha I met people from various circles and picked up a good deal of street gossip From the middle strata upwards to the rightwingers of the Kuomin tang there was not a single person who did not summarise the INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 25 whole thing in one phrase An awful mess Even quite si39wilutionary people carried away by the opinion of the awful mess school which prevailed like a storm over the whole ily became downhearted at the very thought of the conditions in the countryside and could not deny the word mess Even wry progressive people could only remark Indeed a mess but inevitable in the course of the revolution In a word nobody muld categorically deny the word mess But the fact is as stated above that the broad peasant masses have risen to ful l their historic mission that the democratic threes in the rural areas have risen to overthrow the rural li39udal power The patriarchalfeudal class of local bullies bad gentry and lawless landlords has formed the basis of autocratic government for thousands of years the cornerstone of imperial ism warlordism and corrupt of cialdom To overthrow this Iiudal power is the real objective of the national revolution What Dr Sun Yatsen wanted to do in the forty years he devoted to the national revolution but failed to accomplish the peasants have accomplished in a few months This is a marvellous feat which has never been achieved in the last forty or even thou sands of years It is very good indeed It is not a mess at all It is anything but an awful mess An awful mess that is obviously a theory which in line with the interests of the landlords aims at combating the rise of the peasants a theory of the landlord class for preserving the old order of feudalism and obstructing the establishment of a new order of democracy and a counterrevolutionary theory No revolutionary comrade should blindly repeat it If you have tirmly established your revolutionary viewpoint and have further more gone the round of the villages for a look you will feel overjoyed as never before There great throngs of tens of thousands of slaves Le the peasants are overthrowing their cannibal enemies Their actions are absolutely correct their actions are very good indeed Very good indeed is the theory of the peasants and of all other revolutionaries Every revo lutionary comrade should know that the naii naLIevolutpn requires a profoundghaggcin the countryside The Revolution of 19113 did not bring about this changequot hence its failure Now the change is taking place which is an important factor 26 MAO TSETUNG necessary for completing the revolution Every revolutionary comrade must support this change or he will be taking the counterrevolutionary stand THE QUESTION OF GOING TOO FAR There is another section of people who say although the peasant association ought to be formed it has gone rather too far in its present actions This is the opinion of the middleof theroaders But how do matters stand in reality True the peasants do in some ways act unreasonably in the country side The peasant association supreme in authority does not allow the landlords to have their say and makes a clean sweep of all their prestige This is tantamount to trampling the landlords underfoot after knocking them down The peasants threaten Put you in the special register they impose nes on the local bullies and bad gentry and demand contributions they smash their sedan chairs Crowds of people swarm into the homes of the local bullies and bad gentry who oppose the peasant association slaughtering their pigs and consuming their grain They may even 1011 for a minute or two on the ivory beds of the young mesdames and mesdemoiselles in the families of the bullies and gentry At the slightest provocation they make arrests crown the arrested with tall paperhats and parade them through the villages You bad gentry now you know who we are Doing whatever they like and turning everything upside down they have even created a kind of terror in the countryside This is what some people call going too far or going beyond the proper limit to right a wrong or really too outrageous The opinion of this group reasonable on the surface is erroneous at bottom First the things described above have all been the inevitable results of the doings of the local bullies and bad gentry and lawless landlords themselves For ages these people with power in their hands tyrannised over the peasants and trampled them underfoot that is why the peasants have now risen in such a great revolt The most formidable revolts and the most serious troubles invariably occur at places where the local bullies and INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 27 had gentry and the lawless landlords were the most ruthless in tIuir evil deeds The peasantsl eyesattemperfectly discerning As to who is bad and who is not who is the most ruthless and who is less so and who is to be severely punished and who is to be dealt with lightly the peasants keep perfectly clear accounts and very seldom has there been any discrepancy between the punishment and the crime Secondly a revolution is not the same as inviting people to dinner or writing an essay or painting a picture or doing fancy needlework it cannot be anything so re ned so calm and gentle or so mild kind courteous restrained and magnani mous 4 A revolution is an uprising an act of violence whereby uneclasjswpverthmws another A ruramn IS a revolution by which the peasantry overthrows the authority of the feudal landlord class If the peasants do not use the maximum of their strength they can never overthrow the authority of the land lords which has been deeply rooted for thousands of years In the rural areas there must be a great fervent revolutionary upsurge which alone can arouse hundreds and thousands of the people to form a great force All the actions mentioned above labelled as going too far are caused by the power of the peasants generated by a great fervent revolutionary upsurge in the countryside Such actions were quite necessary in the second period of the peasant movement the period of revolutionary action In this period it was necessary to establish the absolute authority of the peasants It was neces sary to stop malicious criticisms against the peasant association It was necessary to overthrow all the authority of the gentry to knock them down and even trample them underfoot All actions labelled as going too far had a revolutionary signi cance in the second period To put it bluntly it was necessary to bring about a brief reign of terror in every rural area other wise one could never suppress the activities of the counterQrevolu tionaries in the countryside or overthrow the authority of the gentry To right a wrong it is necessary to exceed the proper limits and the wrong cannot be righted without the proper limits being exceeded 5 The opinion of this school that the peasants are going too far is on the surface different from the opinion of the other 28 MAO TSETUNG 6 school mentioned earlier that the peasant movement is in awful mess but in essence it adheres to the same viewpoint and is likewise a theory of the landlords which supports the interests of the privileged classes Since this theory hinders the rise of the peasant movement and consequently disrupts the revolution we must oppose it resolutely THE SOCALLED MOVEMENT OF THE RIFFRAFF The right wing of the Kuomintang says The peasant move ment is a movement of the riffraff a movement of the lazy peasants This opinion has gained much currency in Chang sha I went to the countryside and heard the gentry say It is all right to set up the peasant association but the people now running it are incompetent better put others on the job This opinion and the dictum of the right wing come to the same thing both admit that the peasant movement may be carried on as the peasant movement has already risen no one dares say that it shouldn t but both regard the people leading the movement as incompetent and hate particularly those in charge of the associations at the lower levels labelling them ri 39raff In short all those who were formerly despised or kicked into the gutter by the gentry who had no social standing and who were denied the right to have a say have now to everyone s surprise raised their heads They have not only raised their heads but have also taken power into their hands They are now running the township peasant associations peasant associa tions at the lowest level which have been turned into a for midable force in their hands They raise their rough blackened hands and lay them on the gentry They bind the bad gentry with ropes put tall paperhats on them and lead them in a parade through the villages This is called parading through the township in Siangtan and Siangsiang and parading through the elds in Liling Every day the coarse harsh sound of their denunciation assails the ears of the gentry They are giving orders and directions in all matters They rank above everybody else they who used to rank below everybody else that is what people mean by upside down iNVIiSTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 29 VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION W hen there are two opposite approaches to a thing or a kind of people there will be two opposite opinions An awful mess and very good indeed riffraff and vanguard of the revolution are both suitable examples We have seen the peasants accomplishment of a revolu tionary task for many years left unaccomplished and their important contributions to the national revolution But have all the peasants taken part in accomplishing such a great revolutionary task and in making important contributions No The peasantry consist of thrwegiections wthe richmpugasants the middle peasants and the poor pigs ants The circumstances of the three sections differ and so do their reactions to the revolu tion In the rst period what reached the ears of the rich peasants was that the Northern Expedition Army had met with a crushing defeat in Kiangsi that Chiang Kaishek had been wounded in the leg6 and had own back to Kwangtung and that Wu P eifu 3 had recaptured Yochow So they thought that the peasant association certainly could not last long and that the Three People s Principles9 could never succeed because such things were never heard of before The of cials of a township peasant association generally of the socalled riff raff type bringing the membership register and entering the house of a rich peasant would say to him Please join the peasant association How would the rich peasant answer Peasant association For years I have lived here and tilled the elds I have not seen anything like the peasant association but I get along all the same You had better give it up this from a moderate rich peasant What peasant association Association for having one s head chopped off don t get people into trouble this from a violent rich peasant Strangely enough the peasant association has now been established for several months and has even dared to oppose the gentry The gentry in the neighbourhood have been arrested by the association and paraded through the villages because they refused to surrender their opiumsmoking kits In the county towns moreover prominent members of the gentry have been put to death such as Yen Yungch iu of Siangtan 30 MAO TSETUNG and Yang Chihtse of Ningsiang At the meeting celebrating the anniversary of the October Revolution the antiBritish rally and the grand celebration of the victory of the Northern Expedition at least ten thousand peasants in every county carrying big and small banners with poles and hoes thrown in marched in demonstrations in great columns like rolling waves When all this happened the rich peasants began to feel perplexed In the grand celebration of the victory of the Northern Expedition they learnt that Kiukiang10 had been taken that Chiang Kaishek had not been wounded in the leg and that Wu P eifu had been nally defeated Furthermore Long live the Three People s Principles Long live the peasant association and Long live the peasants were clearly written on the decrees on red and green paper posters Long live the peasants Are these people to be regarded as emperors 1 The rich peasants were greatly puzzled So the peasant association put on grand airs People from the association said to the rich peasants We ll enter you in the special register or In another month the admission fee will be ten dollars It was only in these circumstances that the rich peasants tardily joined the peasant association some paying fty cents or a dollar the regular fee being only one hundred cash others securing admission only after people had put in a good word for them at their request There are also quite a number of die hards who even up to the present have not joined the association When the rich peasants join the association they generally enter the name of some old man of sixty or seventy of their family for they are always afraid of the drafting of the adult males 13 After joining the associa tion they never work for it enthusiastically They remain inactive throughout 39 How about the middle peasants Their attitude is vacillating They think that the revolution will not do them much good They have rice in their pots and are not afraid of bailiffs knocking at their doors at midnight They too judging a thing by whether it ever existed before knit their brows and think hard Can the peasant association really stand on its own feet Can the Three People s Principles succeed Their conclusion INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 31 is Afraid not They think that all these things depend entirely on the will of Heaven To run a peasant association Who knows if Heaven wills it or not In the rst period people from the peasant association registers in hand would enter the house of a middle peasant and say to him Please join the peasant association No hurry replied the middle peasant It was not until the second period when the peasant association enjoyed great power that the middle peasants joined up In the association they behave better than the rich peasants but are as yet not very active and still want to wait and see It is certainly necessary for the peasant association to explain a good deal more to the middle peasants in order to get them to join The main iorce in the countryside whichwh asmalyyays the bitterest ghtisthe 99911 peasants Throughout both the period of underground organisation and that of open organisa tion the poor peasants have fought militantly all along They accept most willingly the leadership of the Communist Party 39l39hey are the deadliest enemies of the local bullies and bad gentry and attack their strongholds without the slightest hesita tion They say to the rich peasants We joined the peasant association long ago why do you still hesitate The rich peasants answer in a mocking tone You people have neither a tile over your head nor a pinpoint of land beneath your feet what should have kept you from joining Indeed the poor peasants are ng aigwgf losing anything Many of them really have neither a tile over their Head nor a pinpoint of land beneath their feet what should have kept them from joining the association According to a survey of Changsha county the poor peasants comprise 70 per cent of the rural population the middle peasants 20 per cent and the rich peasants and landlords 10 per cent The poor peasants who comprise 70 per cent can be subdivided into two groups the utterly impoverished14 and the less impoverished The completely dispossessed is those who have neither land nor money and who without any means of livelihood are forced to leave home and become mercenary soldiers or hired labourers or tramp about as beggars all belong to the utterly impoverished and comprise 3 2 MAO TSETUNG 20 per cent The partly dispossessed Le those who have a little land or a little money but consume more than they receive and live in the midst of toil and worry all the year round ag the handicraftsmen tenantpeasants except the rich tenantpeasants and semitenant peasantsmall belong to the less impoverished 15 and comprise 50 per cent This enormous mass of poor peasants altogether comprising 70 per cent of the rural population are the backbone of the peasant association the vanguard in overthrowing the feudal forces and the foremost heroes who have accomplished the great revolutionary undertaking left unaccomplished for many years Without the poor peasants the riffraff as the gentry call them it would never have been possible to bring about in the countryside the present state of revolution to overthrow the local bullies and bad gentry or to complete the democratic revolution Being WW the poor peasants have won the leadership in the peasant association Almost all the posts of chairmen and committee members in the peasant associations at the lowest level were held by poor peasants in both the rst and second periods of the of cials in the township associations in Hengshan the utterly impoverished comprise 50 per cent the less impoverished comprise 40 per cent and the impoverished intellectuals comprise 10 per cent This leadership of the poor peasants is absolutely necessary Lithont the poor peasantsthereganbgno revolution To reject them is to reject the revolution Toll i a t taCk them is to attack the revolution Their general direction of the revolution has never been wrong They have hurt the dignity of the local bullies and bad gentry They have beaten the big and small local bullies and bad gentry to the ground and trampled them underfoot Many of their deeds in the period of revolutionary action described as going too far were in fact the very needs of the revolution Some of the county governments county headquarters of the party18 and county peasant associations in Hunan have com mitted a number of mistakes there are even some which at the request of the landlords sent soldiers to arrest the lower of cials of the peasant associations Many chairmen and committee men of the township associations are imprisoned in the jails IN V ESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN u Hengshan and Siangsiang This is a serious mistake which 1 mtly encourages the arrogance of the reactionaries To judge vhether or not it is a mistake one need only see how as soon is the chairmen and committeemen of the peasant associations m arrested the local lawless landlords are elated and reac innary sentiments grow We must oppose such counter rvolutionary calumnies as riifraff movement and movement itquot the lazy peasants and must be especially careful not to unmit the mistake of helping the local bullies and bad gentry n attack the poor peasants As a matter of fact although some of the poor peasant mders certainly had shortcomings in the past most of them nave reformed themselves by now They are themselves ener t39lically prohibiting gambling and exterminating banditry Where the peasant association is powerful gambling and bandi ry have vanished In some places it is literally true that people in not pocket articles dropped on the road and that doors are ot bolted at night According to a survey of Hengshan 85 per ent of the poor peasant leaders have now turned out to be luite reformed capable and energetic Only I 5 per cent of them retain some bad habits They can only be regarded as the few undesirables and we must not echo the local bullies md bad gentry in condemning indiscriminately everybody as quotriffra quot To tackle this problem of the few undesirables we can only on the basis of the association s slogan of strength ening discipline carry on propaganda among the masses and zducate the undesirables themselves so that the discipline of the association may be strengthened but we must not wantonly send soldiers to make arrests lest we should undermine the prestige of the poor peasantry and encourage the arrogance of the local bullies and bad gentry This is a point we must particularly attend to FOURTEEN GREAT DEEDS People criticise the peasant association for having done many evil things I have already pointed out that the peasants attacks on the local bullies and bad gentry are perfectly revolu tionary actions and are in no way open to criticism But the 3 34 MAO TSETUNG peasants have done many things and in order to answe people s criticisms we must closely examine all their activitie one by one to nd out what exactly they have done Afte classifying and summarising their activities in the last fer months I found that they have under the leadership of th peasant associations performed the following fourteen grea deeds I ORGANISING THE PEASANTS INTO THE PEASANT ASSOCIATIOI This is the rst great deed performed by the peasants I counties like Siangtan Siangsiang and Hengshan nearly a the peasants are organisedwthere are almost no peasants ii any remote corner who have not risen this is the rst grade In some counties like Yiyang and Hwajung the majority c the peasants is organised while the minority remains unor ganised this is the second grade In some counties lik Chengpu and Lingling only a minority has been organisec while the majority remains unorganised this is the third grade In many counties in western Hunan dominated by Yua Tzuming the peasants remain completely unorganiseu because the propaganda of the peasant association has nc reached them this is the fourth grade In general th counties in central Hunan with Changsha as the centre ar the most advanced those in southern Hunan come second while western Hunan is only beginning to get organised According to the provincial peasant association s statistics survey of last November organisations were set up in thirty seven out of the province s seventy ve counties totallin a membership of 1367727 Of this number about one millio were organised during last October and November when th power of the association ourished while up to last Septembe there were only 300000 400000 Another two month December and January have now elapsed and the peasan movement continues its brisk growth By the end of Januar the membership must have reached at least two million As family which averages ve persons generally enters only on name there should be a mass following of about ten millior Such an amazingly accelerating expansion is the reason wh INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN the local bullies and bad gentry as well as the corrupt of cials have been isolated why the general public has been astonished to see that the present world is so completely different from the past and why a great revolution has come to pass in the muntryside This is the rst great deed which the peasants have accomplished under the leadership of the peasant association 2 DEALING POLITICAL BLOWS AGAINST THE LANDLORDS After the peasants are organised the rst thing they do is to smash the political prestige and power of the landlord class especially of the local bullies and bad gentry 3 to overthrow the power of the landlords so far as their social position in the countryside is concerned and to foster the growth of the power of the peasants This is a most serious and vital struggle It is the central struggle in the second period the period of revolutionary action Without victory in this struggle no victory will be possible in any economic struggle such as the struggle for reducing rent and interest or for securing land and other means of production In many places in Hunan like Siangsiang Hengshan and Siangtan this of course no longer presents any problem since the power of the landlords has been completely overthrown and the peasants have become the sole authority But in counties like Liling there are still some places like the western and southern districts of Liling where as the actual political struggle has not been intense the landlords are surreptitiously opposing the peasants though they seem to be less powerful than the latter In such places it cannot yet be said that the peasants have won their political victory and they must wage more vigorous political struggles until the power of the landlords is completely overthrown The peasants deal political blows to the landlords in the following ways Auditing of Accounts Most of the local bullies and bad gentry are guilty of embezzling the public funds under their manage ment and their accounts are not in order Now the peasants have used the auditing of accounts as a lever to overthrow a great many local bullies and bad gentry In many places 4 vanwk set x 39 39quot quotD u 36 MAO TSETUNG auditing committees are set up for the speci c purpose of settling with the local bullies and bad gentry who shudder at the men sight of the of cers of such committees Auditing campaign like these have been carried out extensively in all countie where the peasant movement has risen and their signi canc lies not so much in recovering the funds as in exposing th crimes of the local bullies and bad gentry and knocking then down from their political as well as social position Fitting Embezzlement exposed through auditing past mis deeds of oppressing the peasants present activities to under mine the peasant association violation of the ban on gamblin or refusal to surrender opiumsmoking kits 0n such charge the peasants resolve to ne this local bully so much or tha representative of the bad gentry so much and the sum ma range from tens to thousands of dollars Naturally those wht have been ned by the peasants lose face completely Contributions Raising funds among the rich and brutal land lords for the relief of the poor for the organisation of coopera tives and of rural credit agencies or for other purposes Sucl contributions are also a form of punishment though milde than nes There are also quite a number of landlords whc in order to avoid trouble have made voluntary contribution to the peasant associations Minor protests In case a person undermines the peasan association by word or deed and his offence is a minor one large number of people rally together and swarm into his hous to make a mild protest As a result he usually has to write ceaseanddesist pledge stating explicitly that henceforth h will stop defaming the peasant association by word or deed Major demonstrations A big crowd is rallied to demonstrat against a local bully or one of the bad gentry who is hostile t the association They take their meals at his house slaughterin39 his pigs and consuming grain as a matter of course quite a fei such cases have occurred Recently at Makiaho Siangtan crowd of fteen thousand paid such a punitive visit to si families of the bad gentry they stayed four days and slaugh tered more than 130 pigs After such demonstrations th peasants usually impose nes Parades through the villages in tall paperhats Such things hav NVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN been staged many times in various places The local bullies md bad gentry are crowned with tall paperhats which bear hgcnds like Local bully so and so or So and so one of the hatl gentry They are led on a rope and escorted by big 139 st both in front of and behind them Sometimes gongs trc beaten and ags waved to attract attention This form of punishment more than any other makes the local bullies and had gentry shudder with fear He who has once been crowned with the tall paperhat loses face for ever and can never hold up his head again Thus many of the wealthy would rather pay a line than wear the tall paperhat But put it on they must if the peasants insist One township peasant association was very ingenious it arrested an obnoxious member of the gentry and umounced that he was to be crowned with the tall paperhat that very day He turned blue with fear But then the associa tion decided to put the whole thing off For they argued that if he were crowned that day he would become quickly resigned to his fate and would not be troubled any more with his guilt it would be better to let him go home and crown him some other day This man not knowing when he would be made to put ml the hat stayed at home in daily suspense dgeting about and starting at every sound Imprisonment in the county jail This is a heavier punishment than wearing the tall paperhat The local bullies and bad gentry are arrested and sent to the county jail to be locked up and the county magistrate is asked to sentence them The people sent to prison now are different from those in the past formerly it was the gentry who sent the peasants to jail and now it is the other way round Banishment The peasants do not want to banish those among the local bullies and bad gentry who are notorious for their rrimes and wrongdoing but to arrest or kill them Afraid of luring arrested or killed they run away In the counties where the peasant movement is well developed almost all the promi nent local bullies and bad gentry have ed and consequently are as good as banished Among them those of the rst rank have ed to Shanghai the second to Hankow the third to Changsha and the fourth to the county towns Those who ed to Shanghai are the safest Some of those who ed to Hankow 38 MAO 39I SETUNG like the three from Hwajung were eventually captured and brought back Even those who ed to Changsha go in fear of being apprehended at any moment by students in the provincial capital who hail from the counties I myself saw two of them arrested when I was in Changsha Those who ed to the county towns are after all only in the fourth rank and as the peasants have many sources of information can be easily tracked down Once when the Hunan Provincial Government found itself in straitened circumstances its nancial authorities laid the blame on the peasants for having banished the wealthy people and so made it dif cult to raise money this again gives us some idea of the way the local bullies and bad gentry are no longer tolerated at home Shooting This punishment was invariably meted out to the most notorious of the local bullies and bad gentry on the demand of the peasants together with the people generally For example Yang Chih tse of Ningsiang Chou Chiakan of Yoyang and Fu Taonan and Sun Pochu of Hwajung were shot by the government at the insistence of the peasants and the people generally The peasants shot Yen Yung ch iu of Siangtan on their own responsibility after they and the general public had compelled the magistrate to agree to taking him out of prison Liu Chao of N ingsiang was killed by the peasants themselves P eng Chihfan of Liling and Chou T ienchueh and Ts ao Yun of Yiyang will be executed pending the decision I of the special court for local bullies and bad gentry The execution of one of such notorious local bullies and bad gentry has its repercussions throughout the whole county and is very effective in eradicating the remaining evils of feudalism Scores or at least a few of such notorious local bullies and bad gentry are to be found in every county and the only effective way of suppressing the reactionaries is to execute in every county at least thosewof them whose crimes and wrongdoing are most serious When the local bullies and bad gentry were at the height of their power they themselves killed peasants without batting an eyelid Ho Maich uan head of the defence corps of the town of Sinkang Changsha county was in charge of the corps for ten years the poor peasants who died at his hands numbered almost a thousand and this he euphemistically INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN described as execution of bandits T ang Chunyen and Lo Shu lin heads of the defence corps of the town of Yintien in my native county Siangtan killed more than fty and buried Inur alive in fourteen years since 1913 Of the more than fty they murdered the rst two were perfectly innocent beggars 39lquotang said Let me kill two beggars to start the business and alas two poor wretches lost their lives Such being the atrocities of the local bullies and bad gentry as well as the White terror created by them in the rural areas how can one say that the peasants should not now rise and shoot a handful of them and create a little terror in suppressing the counter revolutionaries 3 DEALING ECONOMIC BLOWS AGAINST THE LANDLORDS Bans on sending grain out of the area on forcing up the price of grain and on hoarding and speculation This is a great event in the economic struggle of the Hunan peasants in recent months From last October up to the present the poor peasants have prevented the out ow of the grain of the landlords and rich peasants and have placed a ban on forcing up the primrof grain and on hoardingandspeglamn As a result the poor asants have achieved their objectives completely the ban on the out ow of grain is watertight grain prices have fallen and hoarding and speculation have disappeared Ban on increasing rents and deposits18 propaganda for reducing rents and deposits In July and August last year when the peasant association was still weak the landlords in accordance with their old idea that exploitation cannot be too heavy one after another noti ed their tenantpeasants of an increase in rent and deposit By October however with the tremendous growth in the power of the association the peasants rose unanimously in protest and the landlords were so scared they dropped the matter Since November last year the peasants having grown stronger than the landlords have gone a step farther to agitate for reductions in rents and deposits What a pity they say that the peasant association was not strong enough when the rent was being paid last autumn otherwise it would have been reduced then The peasants are carrying I if f 39Mt439 v 4o MAO TSETUNG out a big campaign to have rent reduced this autumn and the landlords are trying to ascertain how the reductions will be carried out Reduction in deposit is under way in Hengshan and other counties Ban on cancelling leases In July and August last year there were still many cases of leases being cancelled and farms relet by the landlords After October nobody dared cancel the leases any more Now cancelling leases and reletting farms are out of the question the only problem that remains to some extent unsettled is whether a lease can be cancelled if the land lord wants to cultivate the land himself In certain places even this is not allowed by the peasants In other places while this is permissible there arises the problem of the tenantpeasants becoming unemployed No uniform settlement has yet been found for this problem Reduction of interest Interest has generally been reduced in Anhwa and similar reductions are being effected in other counties But wherever the peasant association is powerful moneylending has virtually disappeared from the countryside as the landlords have completely stopped lending for fear of socialisation of property What is called reduction of interest is at present con ned to old loans Not only is the interest on old loans reduced but the creditor is even forbidden to press for the repayment of the principal The poor peasant would say Don t blame it on me It s too old an affair and I ll pay it next year 4 OVERTHROWING THE FEUDAL RULE OF THE LOCAL BULLIES AND BAD GENTRY quotTHE TU AND T39UAN The old tn and farm zle the districts and township organs of political power especially those at the in level which is next to the county level used to be almost entirely in the hands of the local bullies and bad gentry The in had under its jurisdiction 39 a population of from ten to fty or sixty thousand an inde pendent armed force namely the defence corps independent power in scal collection which included the acreage levy19 and independent judicial power which included arrest im prisonment trial and punishment of the peasants at its own INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 41 discretion The bad gentry in such a body were virtually kings in the countryside The peasants paid comparatively little heed to the president the military governor20 or the county magis trate for their real chiefs were these kings in the countryside when these men hummed through their noses the peasants knew that they must watch their step As a consequence of the present revolt in the countryside the power and prestige of the landlord class has been largely overthrown and such organs of rural administration dominated by the local bullies and bad gentry have naturally collapsed The chiefs of the tu s and f uan s all steer clear of the people now and dare not face them They refer all local matters to the peasant association and put peeple off with the remark It s none of my business Whenever their conversation touches on the chiefs of the fu s and t uan s the peasants say indignantly That bunch 1 hey are down and out now The phrase down and out certainly describes the fate of the 31d organs of rural administration in places over which the empest of revolution has swept 5 OVERTHROWING THE LANDLORDS ARMED FORCES AND BUILDING UP THE PEASANTS ARMED FORCES The armed forces of the landlord class in Hunan were smaller 11 the central part of the province than in its western and outhern parts With an average of 600 ri es in each county here are altogether 45000 ri es in seventy ve counties and here may in fact be even more In the southern and central gtarts where the peasant movement is most developed ag n the counties of Ningsiang Pingkiang Liuyang Changsha iling Siangtan Siangsiang Anhwa Hengshan and Hengyang ecause the peasants have risen with tremendous momentum he landlords cannot hold their own and their armed orces have largely capitulated to the peasant association and re now upholding the interests of the peasants A small Lumber of the landlords armed forces ag in counties like aoking are taking a neutral stand but are inclined to capitu ate Another small section of them ag in the counties of Chang Linwu and Kiaho are opposing the peasant associations 42 MAO TSETUNG but the peasants are now dealing out blows to them and may before long wipe them out The armed forces thus taken over from the reactionary landlords will all be reorganised into the housetohouse regular militia21 and placed under the new organs of rural selfgovernment organs of rural selfgovernment under the political power of the peasantry Taking over these old armed forces is one way in which peasants armed forces are being built up There is also another means by which armed forces are being built up namely the spear corps of the peasant association Such spears a weapon with a pointed doubleedged blade mounted on a long shaft number 100000 in the county of Siangsiang alone Other counties like Saingtan Hengshan Liling and Changsha have each 70000 80000 or 50000 60000 or 30000 40000 spears In all counties where the peasant movement is afoot the spear corps is growing rapidly These peasants armed with spears form the housetohouse emergency militia This vast force of spears is larger than the 01d armed forces mentioned above and is an armed force freshly formed at the sight of which the local bullies and bad gentry tremble with fear The revolutionary authorities in Hunan should see to it that such armed forces are built up on a really large scale among the more than twenty million peasants in the seventy ve counties that every peasant whether young or in his prime possesses a spear and that no restriction is placed on possessing one as though that were something dreadful Anyone who is afraid of such spear corps is a coward indeed Only the local bullies and bad gentry are afraid of them revolutionaries should not be 6 OVERTHROWING THE POLITICAL POWER OF HIS EXCELLENGY THE COUNTY MAGISTRATE AND HIS BAILIFFS That the county government cannot become clean until the peasants have risen was proved some time ago in Haifeng Kwangtung Now we have sufficient proof of this particularly in Human In a county dominated by the local bullies and bad gentry the magistrate no matter who he is almost without exception turns out to be a corrupt of cial In a county where NVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN IC peasants have risen there is clean government no matter ho is in charge In the counties I visited the magistrates we to consult the peasant association on everything In a unty where the power of the peasants is at its height the ord of the peasant association works instant miracles If e peasant association demands the arrest of a local bully or re of the bad gentry in the morning the magistrate dares not lay it till noon if it demands the arrest by noon he dares t postpone it till the afternoon When the power of the peasants was just beginning to grow the countryside the magistrate and the local bullies and bad ntry collaborated to deal with the peasants When the asants power rose and became equal to that of the landlords e magistrate tried to ingratiate himself with both the land rds and the peasants accepting some of the peasant associa n s suggestions while rejecting others The above remark that e word of the peasant association works instant miracles lds true only after the power of the landlords is completely 39erthrown by that of the peasants At present the govern ental situation in counties like Siangsiang Siangtan Liling 1d Hengshan is as follows 1 Everything is decided by the joint council of the magistrate and 2 revolutionary mass organisations The council is convened by the agistrate and held at his of ce It is called in some counties e joint council of the public organisations and government ldiCS and in others the council of county affairs The ople who attend it are besides the magistrate himself the presentatives of the county peasant association the county 1de union council the county chamber of commerce the unty women s association the county school teachers and Lff members association the county student association and e county headquarters of the Kuomintang22 What in u ces the magistrate at such a council meeting is the opinion the mass organisations and he invariably does what he is d Therefore the adoPtion in Hunan of the democratic mmittee system for the county government organisation ould not present much of a problem The present county vernments are already quite democratic both in form and in astance And this situation has been brought about only in 44 MAO TSETUNG the last two or three months that is after the peasants had risen all over the countryside and overthrown the power of the local bullies and bad gentry The magistrates seeing that their old stand bys had fallen and that they could not retain their posts without new standbys began to curry favour with the mass organisations hence the situation as described 2 The judicial assistant has scarcely any cases to handle The judicial system in Hunan remains one in which the county magistrate is concurrently in charge of judicial a airs with a judicial assistant helping him during trials To become rich the magistrate and his underlings relied entirely on collecting taxes and levies on procuring men and provisions for the troops and on extorting money in civil and criminal lawsuits by confounding right and wrong the last being the most regular and reliable source of their income In the last few months with the downfall of the local bullies and bad gentry all pettifogging lawyers have disappeared Moreover the peasants problems big and small are all settled in the peasant associations at various levels Thus the judicial assistant in the county government simply has nothing to do The judicial assistant in Siangsiang told me When there was no peasant association the county government received on the average sixty petitions a day for civil and criminal suits since i1 appeared the county government has received only an average of four or ve a day Thus the purses of the magistrate and hi underlings cannot but remain empty 3 The armed guards the policemen and the magistrate s bailz all watch their step and dare not go to the countryside to practis rackets and extortiom In the past people in the countryside wert afraid of the city people now the city people are afraid of the people in the countryside In particular the erce jackal kept by the county government the policemen the armec guards and the bailiffs mare afraid of going to the countryside and when they do go there they no longer dare practise thei rackets and extortions They all tremble at the sight of th peasants spears INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 7 OVERTHROWING THE CLAN AUTHORITY OF THE ELDERS AND ANCESTRAL TEMPLES THE THEOCRATIC AUTHORITY OF THE CITY GODS AND LOCAL DEITIES AND THE MASCULINE AUTHORITY OF THE HUSBANDS A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority I the system of the state political authority ranging from the national provincial and county government to the township government 2 the system of the lam clan authority ranging from the central and branch ancestral temples to the head of the household and 3 the system of gods and Spirits theocratic authority including the system of the nether world ranging from the King of Hell t0 the city gods and local deities and that of supernatural beings ranging from the Emperor of Heaven to all kinds of gods and spirits As to women apart from being dominated by the three systems mentioned above they are further dominated by men the authority of the husband These four kinds of authority political authority clan authority theocratic authority and the authority of the husband represent the whole ideology and institution of feudalism and patriarchy and are the four great rords that have bound the Chinese people and particularly the peasants We have already seen how the peasants are over throwing the political authority of the landlords in the country side The political authority of the landlords is the backbone of all other systems of authority Where it has already been overthrown clan authority theocratic authority and the authority of the husband are all beginning to totter Where the peasant association is powerful the clan elders and administra tors of temple funds no longer dare oppress members of the clan or embezzle the funds The bad clan elders and administrators have been overthrown as local bullies and bad gentry No ancestral temple dare any longer as it used to do inflict cruel mrporal and capital punishments like beating drowning and burying alive The old rule that forbids women and poor people to attend banquets in the ancestral temple has also been broken On one occasion the women of Paikwo Heng shan marched into their ancestral temple sat down on the seats and ate and drank while the grand patriarchs could only 7 m 9 I mema 7 46 MAO TSETUNG look on At another place the poor peasants not admitted to the banquets in the temples swarmed in and ate and drank their ll while the frightened local bullies bad gentry and gentle men in long gowns all took to their heels Theocratic authority begins to totter everywhere as the peasant movement develops In many places the peasant associations have taken over the temples of the gods as their of ces Everywhere they advocate the appropriation of temple properties to maintain peasant schools and to defray association expenses calling this public revenue from superstition Forbidding superstition and smashing idols has become quite the vogue in Liling In its northern districts the peasants forbade the festival processions in honour of the god of pesti lence There were many idols in the Taoist temple on Fupo hill Lukow but they were all piled up in a corner to make room for the district headquarters of the Kuomintang and no peasant raised any objection When a death occurs in a family such practices as sacri ce to the gods performance of Taoist or Buddhist rites and offering of sacred lamps are becoming rare It was Sun Hsiao shan the Chairman of the peasant association who proposed all this so the local Taoist priests bear him quite a grudge In the Lungfeng Nunnery in the North Third district the peasants and school teachers chopped up the wooden idols to cook meat More than thirty idols in the Tungfu Temple in the South district were burnt by the students together with the peasants only two small idols generally known as His Excellency Pao 23 were rescued by an old peasant who said Don t commit a sin In places where the power of the peasants is predominant only the older peasants and the women still believe in gods while the young and middleaged peasants no longer do so Since it is the young and middleaged peasants who are in control of the peasant association the movement to overthrow theocratic authority and eradicate superstition is going on everywhere As to the authority of the husband it has always been com paratively weak among the poor peasants because the poor peasant women compelled for nancial reasons to take more part in manual work than women of the wealthier classes have obtained more right to speak and more power to make INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN decisions in family affairs In recent years rural economy has become even more bankrupt and the basic condition for men s domination over women has already been undermined And new with the rise of the peasant movement women in many places have set out immediately to organise the rural women s association the opportunity has come for them to lift up their heads and the authority of the husband is tottering more and more every day In a word all feudal and patriarchal ideolo gies and institutions are tottering as the power of the peasants rises In the present period however the peasants efforts are t39UIICCIltI ath on the destruction of the landlords political authority Where the political authority of the landlords is already completely destroyed the peasants are beginning their attacks in the other three spheres namely the clan the gods and the relationship between men and women At present however such attacks have only just begun and there can be no rumplete overthrow of the three until after the complete wictory of the peasants economic struggle Hence at present our task is to guide the peasants to wage political struggles with their utmost strength so that the authority of the land lords may be thoroughly uprooted An economic struggle should also be started immediately in order that the land problem and other economic problems of the poor peasants ran be completely solved The abolition of the clan system of superstitions and of inequality between men and women will follow as a natural tiOl lSCqUCnCC of victory in political and economic struggles If we crudely and arbitrarily devote excessive efforts to the abolition of such things we shall give the local bullies and bad gentry a pretext for undermining the peasant movement by raising such slogans of counterrevolutionary propaganda as The peasant association does not show piety towards ances tors The peasant association abuses the gods and destroys religion and The peasant association advocates the com munity of women Clear39proof has been forthcoming recently at both Siangsiang in Hunan and Yangsin in Hupeh where the landlords were able to take advantage of peasant opposition to the smashing of idols The idols were set up by the peasants and in time they will pull them down with their own hands 48 MAO TSETUNG there is no need for anybody else prematurely to pull down the idols for them The agitational line of the Communist Party in such matters should be Draw the bow to the full without letting go the arrow and be on the alert 24 The idols should be removed by the peasants themselves and the temples for martyred virgins and the arches for chaste and lial widowed daughtersinlaw should likewise be demolished by the peasants themselves it is wrong for anyone else to do these things for them In the countryside I too agitated among the peasants for abolishing superstitions What I said was One who believes in the Eight Characters25 hopes for good luck one who believes in geomancy hopes for the bene cial in uence of the burial ground26 This year the loca bullies bad gentry and corrupt of cials all collapsed withir a few months Is it possible that till a few months ago the were all in good luck and all under the bene cial in uence 0 their burial grounds while in the last few months they have all of a sudden been in bad luck and their burial grounds a1 ceased to exert any bene cial in uence on them The local bullies and bad gentry jeer at your peasan association and say How strange It has become a work of committeemen look you can t even go to the latrine without meeting one of them Quite true in the towns am in the villages the trade unions the peasant association th Kuomintang and the Communist Party all have thei executive committee members it is indeed a world of com mitteemen But is this due to the Eight Characters and th burial grounds What a strange thing The Eight Character of all the poor wretches in the countryside have suddenl39 changed for the better And their burial grounds hav suddenly started to exert a bene cial in uence The gods They may quite deserve our worship But 39 we had no peasant association but only the Emperor Kuan2 and the Goddess of Mercy could we have knocked down th local bullies and bad gentry The gods and goddesses ar indeed pitiful worshipped for hundreds of years they hav not knocked down for you a single local bully or a single on of the bad gentry INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN Now you want to have your rent reduced I would like to ask How will you go about it Believe in the gods or believe in the peasant association 39l liese words of mine made the peasants roar with laughter 8 EXTENDING POLITICAL AGITATION If ten thousand schools of law and political science had been opened could they have achieved in such a short time so much political education among men and women young and old all the way into the remote corners of the country as the peasant associations have now done I think not Down with imperialism Down with the warlords Down with the mrrupt of cials and Down with the local bullies and bad gentry these politicalslogans are ying about everywhere rntering into the heads of adults youngsters old men children and women in countless villages and coming out from their mouths If a group of children is at play and if you see one of them get angry at another opening his eyes wide stamping his loot and shaking his st you will instantly hear the shrill cry Down with imperialism In Siangtan when two children pasturing cattle stage a light one will act as T ang Sheng chih and the other as Yeh K aihsin28 after a while one will be defeated and the other pursue him the pursuer being T ang Sheng chih and the pursued Yeh K aihsin Of course almost every child in the lawns can sing the song Down with the Imperialist Powers but now many children in the villages can sing it Some of the peasants in the countryside can even read the 39l39cstament of Dr Sun Yatsen They pick up from it terms like freedom equality the Three People s Principles and unequal treaties and apply them rather crudely in their daily life When a peasant meets a gentrylike person on a path who for prestige s sake will not make way he will say mgrily Hey you local bully you bad landlord don t you know the Three People s Principles The peasants from the suburbs of Changsha used to be harried by the police when entering the city to sell vegetables But now the peasants have got a weapon the Three People s Principles Whenever a 4 13 3973a a s39r L39 39 hiswquot a allZ m 5o MAO TSETUNG policeman strikes or swears at a peasant selling vegetables t peasant will silence him by invoking the Three PCOplt Principles Once in Siangtan there was a dispute between district peasant association and a township peasant associatio and the chairman of the township association declared Oppc the unequal treaties imposed by the district peasant association The extension of political agitation throughout the ma areas is entirely an achievement of the Communist Party a1 the peasant association Simple slogans cartoons and speecl have achieved unusually great and quick results exercisi such an in uence on the peasants that every one of them see to have attended a political school for some time Comrac engaged in rural work report that political agitation has be extensively carried out in the course of three great In rallies namely the antiBritish demonstrations the an39 versary celebrations of the October Revolution and the gra celebrations of the victory of the Northern Expedition such occasions wherever peasant associations existed politi agitation was extensively carried out and the whole countrysi was aroused the effect was tremendous From now on should utilise every opportunity gradually to enrich the conte and clarily the meaning of those simple slogans 9 THE PEASANTS PROHIBITIONS When under Communist leadership the peasant associat has established its authority in the countryside the peasa begin to place prohibitions or restrictions on things they disli The most strictly prohibited are three things gambling gan professional gambling and opiumsmoking Gambling games In places where the peasant associatio powerful mahjong dominoes and card games are comple1 banned The peasant association in the Fourteenth districw Siangsiang burnt two basketfuls of mahjong sets If you go to the countryside you will nd none of ti games being played he who violates the ban is immedia1 punished without the least leniency Professional gambling People who were once gamble are now themselves suppressing professional gambling it INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN 51 disappeared together with gambling games in places where the peasant association is powerful Opiumsmoking Very strictly prohibited When the peasant association ordered the surrender of opium pipes no one dared raise the least objection In Liling one of the bad gentry did not surrender his pipes and was arrested and paraded through the villages This movement for disarming the Opiumsmokers of their guns compares favourably in its impressiveness with the disarming of the troops of Wu P eifu and Sun Ch uanfang29 by the Northern Expedition Army Quite a few venerable fathers in the families of the of cers of the revolutionary army so addicted to opiumsmoking that they depended on the gun for their very life were all disarmed by the emperors 3 as the peasants are called derisively by the bad gentry The emperors have not only prohibited the growing and smoking of opium but also its traf c Large quantities of opium which were being transported from Kweichow to Kiangsi via the counties of Paoking Siangsiang Yu and Liling were inter cepted on the way and burnt This affected the government finance Finally the provincial peasant association out of consideration for military expenditure in the Northern Expe dition ordered the peasant associations at the lower levels to postpone temporarily the ban on opium traf c This how ever upset and displeased the peasants 39 39 Besides these three there are many other things the peasants have prohibited or restricted among which are the following The ower drum A minor theatrical entertainment forbidden in many places Sedan chairs In many counties and especially in Siangsiang there have been cases of smashing sedanchairs The peasants heartily detesting the people sitting in the chairs are always anxious to smash them but the peasant association has for bidden them to do so The of cials of the peasant association say to the peasants If you smash the chairs you only save the rich money and the carriers will lose their jobs isn t that just hurtng our own people The peasants having thought the matter over and seen the point have worked out a new tacticn 52 MAO TSETUNG to increase considerably the charges of the sedanchair bearers as a penalty for the rich people Winemaking and sugarre ning The use of rice for making wine and re ning sugar is prohibited everywhere and conse quently the wine makers and sugarre ners have made endless complaints Winemaking is not banned in Futienpu Heng shan but the price of wine is xed very low the Vintners deprived of any pro t have had to stop making wine Pigs The number of pigs a family can keep is limited for pigs consume grain Chickens and ducks In Siangsiang the raising of chickens and ducks is prohibited but the women object to this prohibition In Hengshan county each family is allowed to keep only three fowls at Yangtang and ve at Futienpu In many places the raising of ducks is completely banned for ducks which not only consume grain but also ruin the rice plants are of even less use than chickens Feasts Sumptuous feasts are generally forbidden In Shao shan Siangtan it has been decided that only three kinds 0 animal food namely chicken sh and pork are to be servec to guests It is forbidden to serve bamboo shoots seaweed and lentil noodles In Hengshan it was resolved that only eight dishes can be served not a single one more Only ve dishes are allowed in the East Third district in Liling and onlji three meat and three vegetable dishes in the North Secont district while newyear feasts are forbidden in the West Thirt district In Siangsiang there is a ban on the spongeoak feast which is by no means sumptuous When a family ii the Second district of Siangsiang gave it at a son s wedding the peasants considering the host to have violated the prohibi tion swarmed into the house and smashed up the feast In th town of Kiamo Siangsiang the people have decided to give u all delicacies and use only fruit when sacri cing to thei ancestors Draughtoxen They are a treasure to the peasants As it i practically a religious tenet that those who slaughter cattle i this life will become cattle themselves in the next draughi oxen must never be killed Before rising to power the peasam had no means of stopping the slaughter of cattle except th INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN religious taboo Since the rise of the peasant association they have extended their jurisdiction even over the cattle and have prohibited their slaughter in the cities Of the six butchers shops in the county town of Siangtan ve are now closed and the remaining one sells only the meat of sick or disabled cattle tattleslaughter is prohibited throughout the county of Heng shall A peasant whose cow stumbled and broke a leg had to consult the peasant association before he dared to kill it When the Chamber of Commerce of Chuchow rashly slaughtered a cow the peasants went to the town to protest and the Chamber besides paying a ne had to let off recrackers by way of apology Vagabondage A resolution has been passed in Liling prohibit ing such things as chanting New Year greetings to the accom paniment of castanets praising the local deities and singing lotus rhymes32 In various other counties they have either been prohibited or have disappeared simply because nobody cares to practise them any more There are a number of beggar bullies or vagabonds who used to be extremely aggressive but now they have no alternative but to bow to the peasant association Daredevil vagabonds who had made a haunt of the temple of the Rain God at Shaoshan Siangtan left quietly after the rise of the peasant association The peasant association in Huti township in the same county caught three such vagabonds and made them carry clay for the brick kilns A resolution has been passed prohibiting the foolish custom of paying New Year calls Besides the abovementioned many other minor prohibitions have been introduced in various places such as the prohibition in Liling of festival processions in honour of the god of pestilence of buying pastry and fruit for ritual presents of burning paper clothing during the Festival of Spirits33 and of pasting up posters for good luck in the New Year In Kushui of Siangsiang there are prohibitions on smoking waterpipes In the Second district letting 0H recrackers and ring shotguns are forbidden those who let off recrackers are ned 1 20 and those who re shotguns 240 In the Seventh and Twentieth districts Taoist or Buddhist services for the dead are prohibited And in the Eighteenth district gifts of money offered at funerals are t L at t av k 5nii 39zi 35f39E39 its ii 3quot ii I 5 m u 54 MAO TSETUNG forbidden Things like these are too many to enumerate and may be generally called the peasants prohibitions These prohibitions are of great signi cance in two respects First they represent a revolt against bad social customs such as gambling games professional gambling and opiumsmoking These customs arose together with the corrupt r gime of the landlord class once the landlords authority is overthrown these things are also swept away in its wake Secondly they are a form of peasants selfprotection against exploitation by the city merchants ag the prohibition of sumptuous feasts and of pastry and fruit for ritual presents As the prices of indus trial goods are extremely high and those of farm produce extremely low the peasants are impoverished by the ruthless exploitation of the merchants thus they have to cultivate frugality as a means of selfprotection As to the peasants ban on sending grain outside the area this was imposed because the poor peasants not having enough grain to feed themselves had to buy grain on the market and consequently to prevent the price from going up All these things are due to the impoverishment of the peasants and the contradictions between town and country the peasants are certainly not practising the socalled doctrine of Oriental Culture34 by rejecting industrial goods or trade between town and country To protect them selves economically the peasants should organise cooperatives for collective purchasing as consumers Furthermore the government should give aid to the peasant association so that it can establish credit loan cooperatives After that the peasants would naturally nd it unnecessary to place an embargo on the out ow of grain as a means of keeping down its price nor would they as a means of economic self protection resort to the prohibition of the entry of certain industrial goods to the countryside IO ELIMINATING BANDITRY From Yu T ang Wen and Wu35 down to the Manchu emperors and the presidents of the Republic no ruler in any dynasty I think has shown such prowess in eliminating ban ditry as the peasant association today In places where the INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN peasant association is powerful not a trace will be found of bandits of any kind It is indeed remarkable that in certain places even the petty pilferers of vegetables have vanished In others pilferers can still be found But there was not a trace of banditry in the counties I visited not even in places formerly banditridden The reasons are First the members of the peasant association are scattered all over the hills and dales spears or cudgels in hand hundreds will go into action when one gives the alarm and the bandits can nd no hidingplace Secondly since the rise of the peasant movement the price of grain has dropped it was six dollars a picul last spring but only two dollars last winter and the problem of food becomes less serious to the people than before Thirdly members of the secret societies have joined the peasant association in which they can openly and legally play the hero and vent their grievances and there is no further need for the existence of such secret mountain hall shrine and river organisations36 Killing the pigs and sheep of the local bullies and bad gentry and imposing on them heavy levies and nes they have found an adequate outlet for their resentment against their erstwhile oppressors Fourthly the armies are recruiting large numbers of soldiers and many of the unruly fellows have joined up Thus the evil of banditry has come to an end with the rise of the peasant movement In this respect even the gentry and the rich approve of the peasant association Their comment is The peasant association Well upon my word I must say that it has some good points too In prohibiting gambling games professional gambling and opiumsmoking and in eliminating banditry the peasant association has won the approval of the general public 11 ABOLISHING EXORBITANT LEVIES As the whole country is not yet uni ed and the power of imperialism and the warlords is not yet overthrown it is still impossible to remove the heavy burden of government taxes and levies on the peasants or to put it more explicitly the mama ma 323qu n no um 56 MAO TSETUNG burden of military expenditures of the revolutionary army However with the rise of the peasant movement and the down fall of the local bullies and bad gentry the exorbitant levies imposed on the peasants when the local bullies and bad gentry dominated the rural administration 3 g the acreage levy have been abolished or at least reduced This should be counted also among the achievements of the peasant association 12 CULTURAL MOVEMENT In China culture has always been the exclusive possession of the landlords and the peasants had no access to it But the culture of the landlords is created by the peasants for its source is nothing else than the peasants sweat and blood In China 90 per cent of the people have no culture or educa tion and of these the majority are peasants With the downfall of the power of the landlords in the rural areas the peasants cultural movement has begun And so the peasants who hitherto bitterly hated the schools are now zealously organising evening classes The foreignstyle schools were always unpopular with the peasants In my student days I used to stand up for the foreignstyle schools when upon returning to my native place I found the peasants objecting to them I was myself identi ed with the foreign style students and foreignstyle teachers and always felt that the peasants were somehow wrong It was during my six months in the countryside in 1925 when I was already a Communist and had adopted the Marxist viewpoint that I realised I was mistaken and that the peasants views were right The teaching materials used in the rural primary schools all dealt with city matters and were in no way adapted to the needs of the rural areas Besides the primary school teachers behaved badly towards the peasants who far from nding them helpful grew to dislike them As a result the peasants wanted old style rather than modern schools Chinese classes as they call them rather than foreign classes and they preferred the masters of the oldstyle school to the teachers in the primary schools Now the peasants are energetically organising evening classes INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN which they call peasant schools Many such schools have been Hpt ncd and others are being established on the average there is one school to every township The peasants are very enthusi tstit about establishing such schools and regard only such mhools as their own The funds for evening classes come from the public revenue from superstitious practices the funds of ancestral temples and other kinds of public funds or public property that have been lying idle The county education hoards wanted to use these public funds for establishing primary schools that is foreignstyle schools not adapted to the needs of the peasants while the peasants wanted to use them for peasant schools as a result of the dispute both sides gut part of the funds though in certain places the peasants got the whole As a result of the growth of the peasant move ment the cultural level of the peasants has risen rapidly Before long there will be tens of thousands of schools sprouting up in the rural areas throughout the whole province and that will be H mcthing quite different from the futile clamour of the intelli tgtntsia and socalled educators for popular education which for all their hullabaloo has remained an idle phrase 13 THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT Clooperatives especially consumers marketing and credit moperatives are certainly what the peasants need Exploited hy the merchants when buying goods getting the worst of the hargain when selling their farm produce and subject to extortion by usurers when borrowing money or grain the peasants are demanding an immediate solution for these three problems During the ghting last winter in the Yangtze valley when the trade route was cut off and the price of salt was forced up in Hunan many of the peasants organised cooperatives to purchase salt And now that the landlords have stopped lending the peasants in various places have also attempted to organise credit agencies for obtaining loans The major problem is the absence of detailed and proper rules of organisation As the cooperatives organised by the peasants themselves in various places often fail to conform to the prin t39iples of cooperation the comrades working among the peasants Rani Tr 94m ram 1 g I A f be 4 wwmmrw 39J T39 Z 45 39i h raga3 quot1 m A J Lquot39 yarn4 lrs2m39r 39 quot 39Y 39 1v 58 MAO TSETUNG are always inquiring eagerly about rules of organisation If there is proper guidance the cooperative movement will develop everywhere along with the expansion of the peasant association 14 BUILDING ROADS AND EMBANKMENTS This is also an achievement of the peasant associations Before the peasant association the country roads were exceedingly bad Roads cannot be repaired without money and as the wealthy were unwilling to contribute money the roads could only be left to deteriorate Minor repairs if any were regarded as works of charity a little money was collected from those families willing to gain merit in the other world and a few narrow thinly paved roads were built Since the peasant association arose it has issued directives specifying such grades of width three ve seven or ten ch ih37 as may suit the requirements of the road and has ordered the landlords living along the roads to repair a section each Once an order is given who dares disobey In a short time many good roads have appeared This is no work of charity but the result of compulsion yet a little compulsion of this kind is after all quite justi ed The same is true of the embankments The heartless land lords always tried to get everything out of the tenantpeasants but grudged a few coppers to repair the embankments they would let the ponds dry up and the tenantpeasants starve caring about nothing but the collection of land rent Now that the peasant association exists orders can be bluntly given to compel the landlords to repair the embankments When the landlords refuse to do this the people from the peasant asso ciation will say gently to them Very well If you don t see to the repairs you can contribute grain A tau 3 3 a day for each worker As the landlords think that a bad bargain they hasten to carry out the repairs themselves Consequently many embankments in bad condition have been turned into solid constructions All the fourteen deeds enumerated above have been accom plished by the peasants under the leadership of the peasant INVESTIGATION INTO PEASANT MOVEMENT IN HUNAN associations Considering the general spirit in which they have lwen carried out and the revolutionary signi cance they possess 1 would ask the reader to think them over and say which of them is bad I think that only the local bullies and bad gentry will say that they are bad Curiously enough it is reported l39rorn Nanchang39 that in the opinion of Mr Chiang Kaishek Mr Chang Chingchiang and others the activities of the peasants in Hunan are rather to be disapproved The opinion of Mr Chiang and Mr Chang is shared by Liu Yochih 1 and utllCI leaders of the right wing in Human who say This is simply going Red But where would the national revolution be without this little bit of Red If one shouts every day about arousing the masses of the people but is scared to death when the people do rise what is the difference between that and Lord Sheh s love of dragons 2 March 1927 c39 39 n Edit fT39 u w w 5 viA u 39 avLA m v 1 I lt I v IAA scam is 324
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'