Chronicles of a revolution (9.3)

Mao as known Communist became cadre in the Kuomintang as was foreseen in the agreements between the KMT and the CCP. Although principally working following the agreed guidelines Mao was marginalised IN the CCP by a part of the leadership which had, as was proved later, another ideological agenda......
In February Mao returned to Shanghai, to become secretary of the Organising Department (Propaganda) of the Shanghai branch of the KMT, in charge of liaison. (...)
He was involved in a multiplicity of details and they drained his mind and his strength. He was appointed one of the three Communists to serve on the committee to examine and draw up the new Kuomintang Party constitution. Painstaking he drew up a structure, showing a shrewd grasp of its weaknesses.
'There are too many high-level functionaries sitting in posts in Kuanchow and doing little, whereas there are too few outside of the capital city.' Where was the strength of the national movement? Among the masses; but the decisive organisations, which gave the leadership to the members, were in the cities, or at the county town level, and the latter were much too remote. There was no contact between the people and the high bureaucrats who put orders on paper, order 'empty of significance'. The people were enthusiastic and patriotic, but they get no real directives from the KMT. (...)
It was on Mao's proposal that the Kuomintang established a Peasant Department in its Central Executive Committee. The scheme was submitted in February 1924, and by the summer the institute for training peasant cadres was working. From its inception the institute would be in Communist hands.
That Mao should be the only one out of that galaxy of intellectuals to work out a complete KMT reorganisation plan is puzzling. No one else really seemed to want to do the arduous groundwork involved in such a overhaul. Liao Chung-kai praised Mao Tsetung and his 'extraordinary talent' and recommended his report to Sun Yatsen. But the Kuomintang was too full of dissension and venality to be able to reform itself. By April 1924 already the first attacks against 'Communist orientation' were becoming vocal. The accusation of 'creating a bloc within the KMT' was launched; the alliance with Russia was not attacked, only the alliance with local Communists. (...)
Hence 1924 was a year of great mental and physical strain for Mao. He found men of repute, men whom he had revered and respected, utterly disillusioning at close range. The admired Wang Ching-wei, who had thrown a bomb at the Manchu regent in 1906, and been at one time the idol of progressive students, would turn out to be an intriguer, an opportunist, a weak man with a big mouth. Hu Han-min, who also had the reputation of a revolutionary, was weak, vain and corrupt. And there was Chen Tu-hsiu, perhaps the greatest disillusionment of all. Mao had thought highly of him, acknowledged how much Chen had influenced him, both in personal meetings and through his New Youth magazine, Mao had looked up to him with all the ardour of a young man seeking a model to emulate. But affection, respect, could not blind him, as increasingly he saw Chen Tu-hsiu evade, compromise, prevaricate. To those whose dedication is revolution, there are bound to be such traumatic experiences. For them everything is measured by that supreme and rigorous passion which takes all of a man's life, the sinews of his body and the strength of his spirit, and wrings him dry and wrecks him often. All other relationships, emotions, passions, are removed from the soul's centre; all must inevitably be sifted and weighed in the pitiless measure of sacrifice. For such a revolutionary there can be no loyalty, no love, except that 'based on principle', which means revolution.
When Mao began to doubt Chen as a Communist, then he had to oppose him, however much it cost him in personal anguish. By the end of 1924, Mao was seeing another Chen Tu-hsiu, no longer a tower of strength bit more like a weak bamboo; a vapid, arrogant and yet pusillanimous man to whose elegant intellect workers' demonstrations, strikes, the very idea of peasant uprisings were repugnant. Chen's fear of violence was an atavistic panic, a class reaction, backed by long centuries of elitism, of the almost ineradicable superiority of scholars above manual labourers. (...)
Mao Tsetung was present at the Fourth Congress, contrary to reports that he did not attend because of illness. He was ill, though the cause may have been overwork, but he was there, and he gave warning that 'organisationally within the CCP, and also in mass organisations, we must be prepared'. For the worst. He asked for workers' and peasants' alliances, to take part in the national revolutionary movement. Resolutions to strengthen and expand peasants' and workers' unions were passed, but little was done to implement these. The complacency of the secretary-general Chen, studiously avoiding 'friction' with the Kuomintang, was unshaken. In fact, at the Congress, a tendency to speak in terms of 'restraining' the peasants was evidenced in his speeches. Emphasis on the importance of the workers dominated the Congress, due to the strong representation of the 'left' wing, Chang Kwo-tao, Li Li-san, in the All-China Labour Federation and in the Central committee. Mao seems pretty much a lone figure, and a very underestimated one, at this Congress. Dissent between himself and the 'city-oriented' Communists gave rise to sharp arguing. Mao's repeated proposals that the Communist Party should train its own peasant cadres and mobilise the peasantry, that the training should be extended all over China, to provide a rear base in any province and not to be confined merely to the area where the Kuomintang government held away, were watered down in the bland rotundity of resolutions. It was not till 1926 that CCP would organise its own Peasant Department.
At the end of January 1925, an exhausted Mao went back to his own province of Hunan. He went under an official cloud; for had he not proved 'unsatisfactory' in liaison work? So write some biographers1, more intent on faulting Mao's performance in his impossible job than in grasping the essence of his disgust. He returned not to rest but to organise the peasantry. So secret, so quiet was he in beginning his work that for a long time nothing was known of his activities from January to August 1925. And because he was considered 'right'-wing by the city-oriented leftists in the Party, he had not been re-elected to the Central Committee of the CCP.2

The bourgeois part of the KMT was AGAINST the revolutionary alliance of peasants and workers; the “right” AND “left” opportunists in the CCP ALSO. Mao was marginalised in his own party, just because he followed the best as he can the concluded congress-decisions AND the advices of the COMINTERN.
As he went among the peasantry, the puzzles and confusions of the slick city intellectuals fell into place. To serve a spurious 'unity' in the councils of the alliance of the Kuomintang, the peasants and workers were in danger of being sacrificed. Already it had been suggested that the lowering of land tenure rents should not be left to peasant associations, but to 'collective bargaining' process. Yet all around him the reality of China was peasant revolution. How would he now proceed? Obedience to the 'leadership' against what his mind and conscience cried out to him was the right course, or defiance? But never for a moment did he think of abandoning the Revolution, for that would be abandoning the peasants, the workers. He could never do it.
In February and March, the tall, thin young Mao went walking from village to village, staying with peasants in their farmhouses, working with them for his meals and lodging, in the evenings sitting with them and listening. 'I have so much yet to learn from them, they know so much more than I do3'. 'Three old cobblers equal one Wise Man!4' Once again exalted, informed, vitalised by his immersion in the vibrant, enormous life of the working people of China, once again, like Antaeus touching earth, Mao was filled with creative power and vision. He wrote, analysed, investigated, planned. He went back to Changsha, and from there moved around the countries to establish peasant unions, peasant Party cells. His investigations in the countryside during the spring planting season revealed that 10 percent of the population consisted of landlords and rich peasants, 70 percent of poor peasants, and 20 percent of middle peasants. By the end of the following year, 1926, 37 out of 75 countries in Hunan had peasant unions. In the district of Hengshan, where Mao placed some of his recruits and where his adopted sister also worked for the Party, 85 percent of the peasant union membership was of poor peasant origin.
In the attic of the Mao farmhouse in Shaoshan, above his parents' bedroom, meetings were held. It was there that the first peasannt Party branch was organised in August 1925. During these seven months form the end of January to August, Mao elaborated a science investigation technique which laid the foundations for Marxist social research in China;(...)

In Kuangchow, the Peasant Department at the First Congress of the Kuomintang in 1924 had taken shape as a Peasant Institute in April 1924.
The Kuomintang Party, with his disparate composition and varied cliques, was wholly agreed on the necessity for rallying the peasantry, the 'foot soldiery' of any military expedition. There had never been an overthrow of dynasty without peasant armies. It was they, the many-millioned, who made empires and destroyed them, but the power had always fallen back into the hands of the mandarinate and the landlord class, and after reforms by the new rulers – tax and rent remissions – the peasantry was again exploited. This repeated betrayal was the feudal pattern for two millennia. The KMT military unification of Chine would need soldiers, armies, food; only the peasantry could fulfil those needs. Chiang Kai-shek summed it up: 'The task of the peasantry is to provide us with information concerning the enemy, food and comfort in our encampments, and soldiers for our armies.' Not a word about the duties of the Kuomintang, once it came to power, towards the peasantry! It was taken for granted that the peasants would serve a purpose and die unprotestinhly, or be beaten back into submission should they revolt. Mao Tsetung was not prepared to accept this repetition of Chinese history, but Chen Tu-hsiu was; hence Chen's reluctance to see the peasantry really armed, really taking power.
This was the heart of the matter. And yet since 1919 Lenin had stressed the importance of the peasants to the revolutions in Asia.

The national revolution in China, and the creation of the anti-imperialist front, will necessary be followed by an agrarian revolution of the peasantry against the remnants of feudalism. The revolution can be victorious only if it become possible to draw into the movement the basic masses of the Chinese population; i.e., the peasants with small holding ... Thus the peasant problem becomes the central point of the entire policy of the Chinese Communist Party5.
Far from obeying the directives of the Comintern, Chen was actually paying no attention to them where the peasants were concerned.(...)
Chen Tu-hsiu had retorted: 'Farmers are petty bourgeois ... how can they accept Communism? How can a Communist movement extend itself successfully in rural China?' Peasant revolutionary excesses would 'disrupt' the national revolution, bring about 'splits' and 'misunderstandings' with the bourgeoisie. These slurs upon peasant potential expressed the same fear as that of the feudal landlords. Chang Kuo-tao also wrote that the peasantry was 'conservative', 'demanding only a good harvest under an emperor' and 'scattered, individualistic, unreasonable'.Both the 'right' and 'left' wings in the CCP were united in their contempt of the peasantry.(...)
In December 1924 a warlord named Chen Chiung-ming marched against Kuangchow to oust Sun Yatsen once again. But Sun Yatsen was no longer at the mercy of a militarist coup. The Whangpoo Military Academy cadets and the workers' battalions organised by the Communists defeated Chen Chiung-ming, who fled to Hongkong. In their subsequent pursuit of his troops through the countryside, the cadets were astonished by the enthusiastic help they received from the peasantry when they crossed Haifeng county. 'We had never seen such things before.'
The peasants organised militia battalions, took the small towns while the landlords fled; supplied stretcher bearers for the wounded, carriers, an intelligence service. This demonstration of peasant power won admiration but increased panic; the mobilisation of the peasantry, though essential for the military expedition planned, was 'dangerous'. If peasants were capable of such formidable initiative, they could seize power – and keep it. How was one to utilise them and then discard them? This was the task Chiang Kai-shek would perform. While despondency settled upon the big landlords of the Kuomintang, Chiang play the leftist, for he needed peasant and worker support to hoist himself to power.
Only Sun's personal prestige, by the end of 1924, was keeping the Kuomintang Party from open dissension. But Sun died of cancer in March 1925 in Peking, where he had gone for talks on a possible peaceful unification with the militarist Feng Yu-hsiang, then in power in a North China warlord coalition. No sooner was Sun dead than a covert power struggle began between Chaing Kal-shek and Wang Ching-wei,each claiming to be Sun's chosen disciple. Chiang was a poor militarist but a master in intrigue. Wang was to be no match for him. (...)
After Sun Yatsen's death, a triumvirate was organised to tule the Kuomintang. It was composed of Hu Han-min, Wang Ching-mei and Liao Chung-kai. On 23 May 1925 a resolution by the KMT Central Executive Committee announced the goal of a Northern Expedition – as the military campaign to reunify China was called- to be led by Chiang Kai-shek as commander-in-chief of the Nationalist armies, as well as director of the Whangpoo Academy. This reinforced the popular image of a revolutionary party; it also appeared a victory for the Communists, since the revolution added that 'the only government in the world with which the Kuomintang can work hand in hand is that of Soviet Russia'. Borodin's prestige was enhanced, and the Kuomintang appeared to be more and more left-inclined. High-sounding declarations lulled the doubts of some Communist Party members and reinforced their desire to 'cooperate'.(...)
There had been in that summer a sudden upsurge in Communist strength, in response to the killing of Chinese by British and Japanese soldiers garrisoned in Shanghai and Kuanchow. On 15 May a Chines worker had been killed by a Japanese foreman in a textile mill in Shanghai. On 30 May the students demonstrated in the International Settlement; British soldiers fired and killed a dozen of them. In Kuanchow, on 23 June, workers, students and cadets of Whangpoo demonstrated in front of Shameen, an islet on which Brittish, French and other European commercial firms had installed their personnel. The British fired upon the demonstrators and fifty-sex people were killed. This gave rise to a monster protest movement throughout China. Strikes and demonstrations occurred in every city; walls were plastered with pamphlets denouncing Western imperialism. The withdrawal of all foreign troops, abolition of extra-territoriality, the return of foreign concessions to China were demanded by the Communist-led Federation of Labour. Already in 1922, the big strikes on the mainland had been followed by a strike of 100.000 workers in the British colony of Hongkong. This time, 150.000 striking workers from Hongkong came into Kuanchow, and a strike committee was formed. Hongkong was paralysed. The Communist labour unions found their membership growing with amazing speed; the workers organised revolutionary committees for militia, security, welfare, education and cultural activities; 'power to the working class' became a daily slogan. The Communist Party all-China membership, only 995 in January 1925, was 10.000 by November, with another 9.000 members in the various Youth Corps. The All-China Labour Federation counted 540.000 members in 1925, and 1.240.000 members in May 1926. By 1927 there were to be 2,8 million members, including dock workers and handicrafts men.
It was this sudden vast increase in Communist manpower and influence, the appearance in Kuanchow of armed workers' militia in May and June 1925, which alarmed the Kuomintang right wing and precipitated the murder of Liao Chung-kai,who had sided with the workers. But this intrigue was masked by an apparent split of the Kuomintang itself into conservative and progressive factions; with the right wing apparently cast out, in exile outside Kuangchow ( it was to form what became as the Western Hills group because it held a conclave in the Western Hills near Peking). In the end there would be little difference between the two factions; both would be recuperated by the same landlord and compradore capitalist6 interests. The national capitalist class and the petty bourgeoisie, fearful and leaderless, would follow where they were led by the big capitalists and big landlords, because no valid leadership had seized the occasion to produce a new orientation which they could follow.
It was in the middle of this tangle of intrigue and deception that Mao Tsetung returned to Kuangchow in September 1925.7

The intrigues of the bourgeois part of the KMT and the “left” AND “right” opportunism in the CCP lead to an OBJECTIVELY identical counterrevolutionary practice.....costing the life of thousand workers and peasants and a temporarily downfall of the revolution and giving the initiative in the hands of the bourgeoisie
The Ways Divide
When Mao got back to effervescent Kuangchow, Communist influence was at a peak. Everyone talked of the workers' battalions, of the impressive growth of the worker movement. Mao, erstwhile trade union organiser, founder of workers' evening schools and clubs, looked shunted to a side way - peasant associations and peasant Party cells in Hunan seemed very remote and unimportant in the general excitement of the southern city, with soldiers marching, drums beating, red flags everywhere.
After the May and June killings by the British and Japanese, other shooting incidents had taken place in Shanghai in September. Every bullet, every corps brought more adherents to the Communist cause, more defiance of Western imperialism and its aggressive outlawry. The walls of Kuanchow screamed denunciations; milling crowds cheered orators at every street corner. The workers' militia drilled at dawn to the sound of trumpets; the Whangpoo cadets were acclaimed and mobbed; the excited population roared its approval of the Northern Expedition to 'smash both feudalism and foreign imperialism'.
But within the Kuomintang the counter-revolution was being organised. Chiang Kai-shek's rise to power had begun. (...)
Chiang was far more worried about the worker militancy than he was about the peasants, although the Haifeng and Lufeng experiences had disturbed him. The peasants were now dispossessing landlord families, and 70 percent of the Whangpoo cadets, and Chiang himself belonged to landlord or rich peasant families. Thus the Whangpoo cadets were confronted with social revolution within the national war for unification of China. Some wanted to 'punish' the peasants, others took the peasants' side. This caused open quarrels and even fisticuffs between the cadets. Chiang mediated, and made revolutionary speeches which pleased Borodin. He was called 'the red hope of the revolutionary army'; the 'dark-haired darling' of Borodin. He declared he would kill his own brother should the latter 'betray' the Revolution. He shouted: 'Long live the world revolution' and 'Down with the imperialists' as heartily as any worker.
In that autumn of 1925 the Kuanchow-Hongkong Workers' Strike Committee was very powerful. Strength lay in the workers' councils, in the peasant associations (also beginning to arm themselves), in the left-wing groups of Whangpoo cadets, the League of Military Youth under Chou En-lai. 'They raised the KMT nationalist leaders on their shoulders,' writes Isaacs. 'They were to carry Chiang to victory.' Such was their power that even after Chiang began to deliver telling blows to the Communist leadership, he had still to pretend to be a radical. This appeared scarcely credible by the ineffectual, flabby non-leadership of the CCP secretary general Chen Tu-hsiu.8
1See Jerome Chen, Mao and the Chinese Revolution, trs. M. Bullock and J.Chen, Oxford University Press, London and New York, 1961.
2Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
3In 1967.
4The Wise Man alluded to is the renowned strategist of the Three Kingdoms, Chuke Liang.
5Comintern resolution received by the CCP before the Third Congress in 1923.
6The Chinese Communists distinguish between 'national' capitalists, whose money and resources do not serve outside monopolies or interests, and who therefore may form part of the united front and can and must be rallied to the revolutionary cause, and 'compradore' capitalists, who serve as middlemen for the invasion and exploitation of China by imperialist powers.
7Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
8Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890


Chronicles of a revolution (9.2)

Although there was not a concrete guideline of the CCP (but in agreement with the advices of Lenin and of the COMINTERN), Mao was working IN PRACTICE on a revolutionary alliance between peasants and workers under leadership of the working class.
“In 1923 Mao Tsetung organised the first workers-peasant union at Yuehpei in Hunan; his adopted sister Mao Tse-chien, was to work there for over two years, as also did his wife Yang Kai-hui. He recruited Anyuan workers in 1925 and sent them to train in Kuangchow at the Peasant Institute, and again in 1926[1]. He was to pay more visits to the Anyuan mines in September 1927, before the Autumn Harvest Uprising, when he recruited one thousand soldiers and cadres from the miners.[2]
The First United Front….
But each organisation representing other interests of other classes and each individual having an ideological CLASS-position of a certain class and so defending those respective CLASS-interests (formulated in whatever “revolutionary” phraseology), had another idea of this “First United Front”)
“In his first visit to China in 1920, Sneevliet (alias Maring or Ma-lin), later said to be present at the CCP First Congress, had suggested to Chen Tu-hsiu a 'grand anti-imperialist alliance to take in all classes' based on the 'bloc of four classes' urged by Lenin. Trotsky had opposed Lenin on this point; Chang Kuo-tao at the First Congress also opposed a united front.
Sun Yatsen, sounded out by Chicherin and other Russian envoys[3], was at first obdurate. He would have no alliance with Communism. But according to Dr Percy Chen, the eminent lawyer now resident in Hongkong, it was his father, Dr Eugene Chen, together with the eminent and respected scholar Dr Liao Chung-kai, Sun Yatsen's most trusted friend, who successfully persuaded Sun Yatsen to agree to such an alliance. Sun's disheartening experiences with various warlords helped him to take this decision; since 1911 Sun had been several times at the mercy of militarists; Yuan Shih-kai among others. They would help him to power, but topple him when he did not serve their mercenary purposes. They were out for personal gain; Sun was an idealist and a revolutionary. (...)
But Sun Yatsen now realised the Russians needed a friendly China, as China needed allies in her struggle against domination by the Western powers and Japan. It was with him that the Soviet government finally decided that cooperation would be most fruitful; overtures to various warlords had proved futile. Lenin had spoken favourably of Sun Yatsen's party in 1912; Sun had cabled Lenin, hailing the October Revolution of 1917. Though mistrustful of Communism, Sun was now disgust with Western democracy. And after 4 May 1919, Sun Yates’s opinions began to change. He began to read the works of Marx and Lenin. The combined persuasion of Dr Liao Chung-kai and of Sun's own wife, the brilliant and courageous Soong Ching-ling[4], finally convinced Sun of the usefulness of an alliance. He started to write down his political credo, the 'Three People's Principles',  now incorporating socialism in his third principle, 'People's livelihood', 'Nationalism, democracy and socialism' became his new formula for he three principles which at various times he had enunciated, but which had remained vague in content until now, revised and redefined, they began to look like a definite programme. It was not until 1923, however, that this identification with socialism occurred; it was 1924 when he clearly opted for socialism. (...)
Sun Yatsen encountered great opposition in his own party to this leftward switch. 'If Communism is a good ally, why do members of the Kuomintang oppose the Communist Party? The reason may be that members of the Communist Party do not themselves understand what is Communism; and thus they have spoken against the Three People's Principles.' Sun was obviously referring to the unflattering comments made about him and his party at the First Congress of the CCP in July 1921. 'We cannot use the actions of some individuals for opposing a whole group ... then why has this trouble arisen among our Kuomintang comrades? Because they not realise that my third principle is a form of Communism.'
This forthright endorsement, made in 1923, opened the door for the admission of Communist Party members into the Kuomintang, and for a Communist-Kuomintang alliance, which would last till 1927 and be known as the First United Front. (...)

At the Second Congress of the CCP in 1922, which Mao had missed ('I forgot the name of the place where it was to be held, could not find any comrade, and missed it'), alliance and cooperation with the Kuomintang had again been discussed, but the majority of the delegates still remained opposed to united front strategy. But from the autumn of 1922, and throughout the next year, the violent suppression of fomented strikes, and the massacres of the railway workers on 4 February 1923, by Wu Pei-fu, had forced rethinking. The tiny Communist Party could not remain isolated. It was not growing fast, except in Hunan. Many activists were already being slaughtered.
The manifesto of the Second Congress already stated: ' The Chinese Communist Party must, in the interest of the workers and the poor peasants, support the national democratic revolution, and forge a democratic united front of workers, poor peasants, and the petty bourgeoisie'. But no united front policy was spelled out till the Third Congress, held in June 1923 in Kuangchow.
Coming via Shanghai to Kuangchow, Mao attended the Third Congress, where he gave a detailed report on the workers' movement in Hunan. ‘There must be a great revolutionary union. One cannot fight alone.' Mao is reputed to have stated. All this Third Congress, however, the right wing of the CCP headed by Chen Tu-hsiu advocated virtual dissolution of the CCP. Frightened by repression, Chen suggested that the KMT make his own bourgeois revolution first, and that the CCP begin its proletarian revolution 'after the historic period' of KMT rule. Chen Hu-hsiu, possessed by discouragement, told his friends that he hated 'violence'. The ultra-left wing, with Chang Kuo-tao, maintained that the Communist Party should be free from bourgeois entanglements, and again castigated the KMT.
Mao Tsetung, together with his friend Ho Shu-feng and a young intellectual called Chu Ciu-pai[5], opted for the united front, but with the Communist Party keeping its own autonomy, Mao and Chu were elected members of the Central Committee, and a majority voted for Mao's proposal. The Chen Hu-hsiu 'right'-wing and Chang Kuo-tao 'left'-wing theses were both criticised.
Some historians say this was due to Russian pressure. At the Comintern in Moscow, Karl Radek had scolded the Chinese delegation for its opposition to a united front. They were too theoretical, and just as the old Chinese scholars studied Confucius behind closed doors and pretended to know the world merely by reading books, they were reading Marxism but did not know how to apply it. This observation was pertinent, but it must be noted that Mao Tsetung had already indicated his option for a united front in 1922, as his articles indicate.
However, he stressed that the CCP must keep its independence of action and the leadership of the working class and the peasantry in its hands. Leadership of the Revolution could not be handed over to the .Kuomintang. He made this point forcefully. It agreed with the Leninist thesis on a united front. And Mao was already a Leninist. (....)
At the time of the Third Congress, there were only 342 Communist Party members in the whole of China.
An agreement between the CCP and the KMT was concluded at the end of 1923. In that autumn Michael Borodin, a Comintern agent, arrived in China with other Russian personnel to advise Sun Yatsen's Kuangchow government in shaping policies and institutions. The organisation of a nationalist army, under officers and cadres trained by the KMT, was a top priority. The goal was to fight the warlords and to unite China. Sun Yatsen was convinced that without an army to implement the national policies of the KMT the Revolution would always be at the mercy of sundry warlords.
This development gave a great impetus to the KMT. A new hope animated its ranks, and new personages were to come into the limelight, among them Chiang Kai-shek, known at the time as a disciple of Sun Yatsen. Chiang made a good impression on Borodin, and was sent to Russia in the autumn of 1923 to study Russian military methods. He stayed in Russia five months. By June 1924 thirty Soviet instructors were attached to the newly built military academy, known as the Whangpoo Military Academy, and Chiang Kai-shek had returned from Moscow to head it as director. Once again the prestige of the 'Russian-returned student' label resulted in promotion to a position of influence and command.
The admission of Communists to the KMT was formally blessed by Sun himself at the First Congress of the KMT in January 1924. Li Ta-chao, China's first Marxist, was personally inducted by Sun Yatsen into the KMT. Sun insisted that Communists should be admitted without any curtailment of their activities as Communists and no one dared to contradict him openly. (...)
One of the Communists who became member of both parties was Mao Tsetung, who was given the task of liaison between the CCP and the KMT. To be entrusted with this important and delicate work was a tribute to his merit as organiser, recruiter, persuader, orator and his staunch advocacy of the alliance. But due to the composition of the Kuomintang it was an almost impossible responsibility as the contradiction between the two parties became intractable[6] (...)
In later years Mao would analyse what was wrong with this first united front. The strategy of a united front had been correct, but the CCP had failed to recognize that leadership must never be relinquished. 'The Party .... was in its infancy .... inexperienced in the three basic problems of the united front, armed struggle and Party building, a party without much knowledge of China's historical and social conditions[7]. No other Communist Party member at the time seems to have given so much thought to Sun Yatsen's own programme, and to the structure of the Kuomintang Party, as well as to the study of Lenin's united front techniques, as Mao did.[8]

This text “On New Democracy” of Mao Zedong, you can read here, (or here, but to which I am adding my own study-notes while studying the text)

[1]     See further chapters.
[2] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[3]     The Comintern envoys also contacted the powerful warlord Wu Pei-fu and even Chao Heng-ti, the reactionary governor of Hunan.
[4]     See the Selected Works of Madame Soong Ching-ling (in Chinese). The book of Emily Hahn, The Soong Sisters, does not do justice to the greatest and noblest of the three sisters. Another sister, Soong Mei-ling, is de widow of Chiang Kai-shek.
[5]     Chu Ciu-pai had joined the Moscow precursor group of the CCP in 1921. See T. A. Hsia, 'Chu Chiu-pai's Autobiographical Writings', China Quarterly, January-March 1966.
[6]     A note on the Kuomintang: From 1885 to 1905 Sun Yatsen's organisation was known as the Hsin Chung-hui; it was after 1905 and in Japan that it was renamed the Tung Meng Hui. It became the Kuomintang (National Party) in 1912, on the eve of the first elections to China's first 'parliament', the National Assembly. Until 1911 it was an anti-Manchu, anti-dynastic alliance vaguely democratic and republican but without a very definite programme.
[7]     Introducing The Communist, 4 October 1939; also On New Democracy, January 1940; both in Selected Works, Vol II.
[8] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890


Chronicles of a revolution (9.1)

So in the Chinese Communist Party were gathered people who can not all be seen as “Communists”. Communists are people who once made the choice to put their life in function of the objective interests of the by imperialism oppressed masses: the overthrow of imperialism by revolution and the installing of new communist production relations.
Whatever class-origin, a communist make the free choice (by practice of the struggle, by study and by analysis of the society in which he is living) to put his life in function of the objective interests of the working class and to become a VANGUARD element of the working class, propagating, mobilising and organising as much as people around the objective interests of the working class which should become the interests of the majority of the people: overthrowing imperialism and proceeding into the socialist revolution.
The way certain members and cadres of the Chinese Communist Party developed their practice, their engagement in the class struggle and in the measure that they made – or did NOT made - a real ideological choice for the OBJECTIVE interests of the working class (which are the interests of ALL the people suffering from exploitation of imperialism), FROM THE BEGINNING (of the existence of the CCP)  are an explanation of their later ideological development…. and their final revolutionary or counterrevolutionary choice.
(You can follow the history of the revolutionary developments in China and the practice and engagement of the different classes IN these developments here)

Mao was implementing the concluded congress-decision as far in a revolutionary direction as possible
“In December 1921 Mao returned again to Anyuan with his brother Mao Tse-min, whom he was training in Party work, and they lodged in a small eating house. The first Anyuan Party cell was organised in a warehouse in January 1922 in Five Happiness Lane with several miners, five of whom would be killed before 1931. In that same January 1922 Mao went to the city of Hengyang in south Hunan and organised a Party cell there at the Normal College in Changsha. The railway workers on the Kuangchow – Hankow Railway at Hengyang and at Changsha also were organised into Party-cells and Communist trade unions. All together 12.000 workers were thus enrolled.
The establishment of workers' cooperatives at Anyuan in 1922 was an initiative taken by Mao's brother Mao Tse-min, who seemed to have a financial talent (...)
Mao Tse-min ran the cooperative, but was difficult to maintain, as there was no capital and a total hostility from the administration.
Mao Tsetung the set up a school for Anyuan workers, as he had done in Changsha. The miners were at first reticent. What was the use of a school when they spent their lives in the pits? He then conceived the idea of a day school for the children of the miners. This had a magic effect – the miners all wanted education for their children, and there were no schools for them. Mao brought a weekly paper from the Cultural Bookstore, through the medium of this school circulated it among the miners, and established a branch bookstore. He then tried to get the men learn reading and writing; urged them to write their own articles in their own newspaper – a suggestion which stunned the hard-driven illiterates who worked naked and had almost come to accept their half-beast condition. But the suggestion caught on, and some of the survivors are today's (in 1972, when Han Suyin wrote her book - NICO) most brilliant high-level officials and ambassadors. (...)
Mao Tsetung's activity among the Anyuan miners was based on a concept to be given nationwide propagation in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: Revolutionisation of the proletariat by itself, through awareness, political education, action, organisation. Hence his action in Anyuan is a model. Both there and in Pinghsiang the workers were to become a source of future Party cadres. Mao Tsetung's stature as a leader of the proletariat, not of the peasantry alone, rests upon the work he began with the coal miners, which received no publicity in China until 1967.
The workers' club, founded to give the workers education in the form of lectures, reading newspapers, and so on, was in late summer to be put under the direction of Li Li-san, appointed by the Politburo in Shanghai. Mao's work was commended as 'of great value', and Li Li-san was sent, as was later Liu Shao-chi, to reinforce this working-class nucleus of potential Communist cadres. (...)
Mao sent Chiang Hsien-yun, one of his recruits and a member of the Socialist Youth Corps of Hunan, to help in Anyuan when the membership of the club swelled from a few hundred to over 60 percent of workers. Mao was busy with the mass education movement, with a club of railway workers at Changsha, at Hengyang. Railway workers' unions, Communist-controlled, were being set up in the north to south railways between Peking and Wuhan, and between Wuhan and Kuangchow. Mao journeyed to Liling and Pingshiang, both mining areas, ostensibly to inspect schools (was he not a director of a school?) but actually to set up labour unions and to organise Party cells. Thus he spun a web of Party cells throughout the province in all the key industrial enterprises.[1]

Liu Shao-chi, president of the CCP  after the revolution of 1949 until the Cultural Revolution and who always opposed Mao Zedong, trying to marginalising Mao in the CCP, was FROM THE BEGINNING a REFORMIST, not a revolutionary
“There were then 123 Communist Party members in Hunan, but the labour union of Anyuan miners had just been disbanded by order of Governor Chao Heng-ti, who also put a ban on railway labour unions and workers' clubs. The famous railway workers' strike was about to begin, to be followed by a strike of the Anyuan miners.
Because these strikes were Communist-inspired, great attention was paid to them at the Shanghai headquarters of the Communist Party. Liu Shao-chi was sent by the All-China Labour Federation in Shanghai, where he worked with Chang Kuo-tao, to reinforce and to direct the strike at Anyuan. Liu Shao-chi, who as we have seen had gone to Moscow in December 1920 via Vladivostok, enrolled at the Communist University for Eastern Toilers in 1921. In 1922, he travelled back to China via Japan and became secretary of the All-China Labour Federation. He had no direct experience of labour organisation before this first immersion in a full-blown strike at Anyuan. But due to the enormous prestige of the Soviet Union, 'returned students from Russia' were held in great reverence, a reverence almost Confucian in attitude, based on the concept of knowledge elite. This attitude would bedevil the CCP for some years.
Liu arrived in Anyuan on 11 September, three days before the strike explode on 14 September. Mao Tsetung, who had begun the agitation, had drawn up thirteen articles or demands for the workers, and was now proceeding to stimulate a general strike all over Hunan in sympathy with the miners and railway workers. By November more then twenty unions had formed themselves into an association of labour unions with Mao as chairman. This was a very strong movement, which Mao would lead towards an All-Hunan Federation of Labour.
Today (1972, when Han Suyin finished her book, NICO), at such a distance, it is difficult to tell what really happened, but obviously Liu's idea of the goals of the strike were widely different from Mao's. Liu saw it as a temporary, limited protest, useful for acquiring an improved standard of living and social benefits for a circumscribed number of coal miners. Mao saw it as a political spearhead to form a powerful base organisation upon which to be build the Hunan CCP branch. Nothing could be more different than the basic view of the two men as regards this single event.
Liu dismissed Mao's deputy, Chiang Hsien-yun. He and Li Li-san proceeded to lead the strike towards negotiated agreement with the mine management. Clippings from newspapers of that time relate that Liu issued 'guarantees that the strike would be peaceful'. Talks with the managers resulted in a compromise agreement; Liu told the workers to give up their demands – formulated under Mao's advice – as 'too drastic'. The Anyuan episode looms large in the struggle – between the two lines or two politics, between Mao's and Liu's vision of the world – which was to form the focus of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, forty-odd years later.
Repression continued, however, both in the mines and on the railways after the strike had terminated on 18 September. Wage increases were granted to the Anyuan miners, but after some minor and partial concessions they were rescinded and the strike leaders were expelled. However, for many years Liu Shao-chi was to base his reputation as a labour leader on the successful Anuyan strike, and a film was made in the early 1960s to extol his role as a 'leader of the proletariat'.
On 7 February 1923, a railway workers' strike at Chengshow on the Peking – Hankow Railway was put down by the warlord Wu Pei-fu, who had also once been hailed as 'liberal and progressive' until this slaughter revealed him as of the same stuff as any other tyrant. Over a hundred workers were killed or injured. In early 1923 Mao Tsetung returned to Anyuan to warn the workers that they must prepare for protracted struggle. 'The bent bow must wait to be released' is the way he phrased it at the time.
In August 1923, and again in 1924, Liu was to argue that 'in China's present situation, with such a childish proletariat, it will be a long time before any revolution happens, so let us not discuss it' He spoke against 'this infantile disease, blind struggle .... strike at every occasion ..... adventurist impulses'. In 1924, in his article Save the Han Yeping Company, Liu appealed to the workers to 'keep order' and not to disrupt anything during strikes. He also dismissed 140 workers from the Anyuan workers' club for 'indiscipline'. Liu 'only talked to the bosses .... did not go down the pits .... wrote rules and regulations for us'[2] This is the gist of what old Anyuan workers say of Liu Shao-chi. Without trying to assess whether the strike, handled otherwise, would have led to a greater upsurge and benefited the revolution, we may still pass a qualified judgment: that Liu was the kind of functionary who likes order and regulations, social benefits dispensed to the working class, rather than violent seizure of power, is the ideal to be achieved. Liu may have been a social reformist, but he was not a revolutionary.[3]

[1] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyiin http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890

[2]     Interview with Anyuan miners, 1968.
[3] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890


Propageerde Lenin het ordewoord "arbeiders-controle"?

Aan mijn trotskistische, EX-trotskistische, “stalinistische” vrienden en die vrienden die nu duidelijk afstand nemen van Stalin…..:
Allemaal baseren jullie je op het werkje van Lenin “De dreigende catastrofe en hoe die te bestrijden” (http://marx.org/nederlands/lenin/1917/catastrofe/index.htm  ) om uit te leggen dat “arbeiderscontrole” een (bijna) revolutionair ordewoord was voor een periode net voor de revolutie tot en met de volledige “onteigening” van de (grote) kapitalisten.
Met hand en tand probeerde jullie mij uit te leggen dat daarom NU een programma propageren van HERVORIMINGEN de juiste stap is naar toekomstige revolutie.
Maar NIEMAND van jullie heeft mij tot nu toe CONCREET kunnen uitleggen wat “arbeiderscontrole” nu eigenlijk inhield of kon dit vertalen naar een concreet te propageren ordewoord.

Welnu als dat orde-woord “arbeiderscontrole” (en ikzelf zal hier een concrete inhoud voor voorstellen verderop) ooit actueel en dringend was, dan is dat wel NU!

Zijn we akkoord over het volgende?
De “financiele” crisis, de “krediet”-crisis, de “schulden”-crisis zijn een uitvloeisel van de fundamentele OVERPRODUKTIE-crisis (zoals Marx die definieerde) waarin het kapitalisme (in zijn huidig IMPERIALISTISCH stadium) zich  sinds -pakweg- 1974 bevindt.
En wat betekent OVERPRODUKTIE (gedeeltelijk in de vorm van over-CAPACITEIT)?
Het hele kapitalistisch produktie-sisteem bestaat eruit om WAREN te produceren die VERKOCHT moeten worden om de MEER-WAARDE te realiseren (die dan door de kapialisten kan TOEGEËIGEND worden) De geproduceerde WAREN zouden eigenlijk moeten dienen om de BEHOEFTES te lenigen. Maar ten eerste zijn de kapitalistisch geproduceerde WAREN slechts de door de kapitalisten ontworpen waren ZOALS ZIJ die beschouwen als bevredigend voor bepaalde behoeften en beantwoorden zij daarom niet aan de ECHTE behoeften. Ten tweede zijn de behoeftes groter, massaler an bij MEER mensen aanwezig dan dat zijn omgezet kunnen worden in een KOOPKRACHTIGE vraag.
Zo zullen zeker 4 à 5 MILJARD mensen bepaalde MOBILITEITS-behoeftes hebben, doch slechts 800 miljoen kunnen dit omzetten in de AANKOOP van een personen-wagen. Als de CAPACITEIT van auto-productie die 800 miljoen overstijgt, spreekt men van OVER-CAPACITEIT.
De TIJDELIJKE en GEDEELTELIJKE “oplossing” bestond er (ondermeer) in in de levering van KREDIET:
Het gebrek aan inkomen en dus van de koopkrachtige vraag en de daarmee overeenkomende overcapaciteit werd dan tijdelijk “opgelost” door het KREDIET. De financiële instellingen van het kapitalisme konden degene met teweinig inkomen (om bepaalde aankopen te doen) een VOORSCHOT geven op zijn of haar TOEKOMSTIG inkomen. (in de toekomst dus terug te betalen….MET interest).
Dus PARADOXAAL: degenen die TE WEINIG inkomen heeft om CASH te betalen, betaalt uiteindelijk een HOGERE prijs: de prijs + de interest op het “voorgeschoten” toekomstig inkomen….En algemeen werd aangenomen (of voorgespiegeld) dat je toekomstig inkomen toch hoger zou liggen dus was er geen probleem.
….en nu kan men zijn of haar krediet niet af betalen…..omdat het inkomen niet gestegen is of zelfs WEGGEVALLEN.
Om kort te gaan: NU proberen AL die financiele instellingen toch te zorgen voor een terugbetaling van dat krediet. In de laatste instantie zullen dus de werkers COLLECTIEF gedwongen worden om al die ONBETAALDE leningen of schulden (mét interest) af te betalen. (ook al zijn die leningen of schulden niet van hen PERSOONLIJK)

“Arbeiderscontrole” NU actueel!
Aangezien dus de kapitalistische produktiewijze, met zijn kapitalistische produktie-verhoudingen (waarbij een relatief kleine groep van monopolie-kapitalisten het volledig productiesisteem controleren, beheren (in eigendom hebben) bestaat de enige oplossing erin dat de werkende klasse de volledige CONTROLE overneemt van dit produktiesisteem, om zo op basis van de onstane krachtsverhouding de problemen van die crisis af te wentelen op de monopolie-kapitalisten (en hun financiële instellingen) en NIET op de werkers.

Doorheen de komende stakingen en protesten tegen bezuinigingen, besparingen en sociale afbraak opgelegd door EUROPA en uitgevoerd door de respectievelijke lidstaat-regeringen, moet aan de uitbouw van één Europese werkersstrijdbeweging gewerkt worden die op basis van de ervaringen opgedaan in de stakingen een strategie ontwikkeld van het “in handen nemen” van de basis-industrie, de grondstoffen-industrie en hun aanvoerlijnen: dus de grote raffinaderijen, de basis-chemie, de energie-bedrijven, de aanvoerlijnen in de havens. De stakers en betogers uit andere sectoren zullen door hun stakingen en betogingen de aandacht van de repressie-diensten moeten verdelen. Tegelijk zullen stakers en betogers de bezettingen – de “controle”-macht in de basis-industrie (en hun aanvoerlijnen) versterken. Wijkcomitees, organisaties van werklozen, studenten kunnen deel uitmaken en taken opnemen (ofwel zelf strijdbewegingen ontketenen) in die eengemaakte werkersstrijdbeweging die zich zal uitstrekken op héél het Europees grondgebied.

De strijd tegen de hervormingen in het pensioenstelsel in Frankrijk won aan kracht toen de raffinaderijen werden stilgelegd en de mamoettankers noodgedwongen op zee moesten rondddobberen.(Er heerste dus “arbeiderscontrole” in die raffinaderijen en havens!) Het was alleen toen de “deeleisen” in die sectoren werden ingewilligd dat de Franse overheid kon het werk doen hervatten in die raffinaderijen en havens….waardoor het élan van de algemene staking gebroken was.

Chronicles of a revolution (12)

How the revolutionary strength and energy of the people can be unleashed by revolutionary leadership which has to be an integrated part OF those masses? .... And how those can be bound and chained by a 'false' leadership having another agenda than that of the revolution?
A “self-declared” leadership, but who is just “following” events and the tide, is objectively compliant to that conscious-working-for-another-agenda leadership.

“Allowing” the recuperation of the revolutionary energy of the workers is compliancy to the bourgeoisie.
“On 9 July 1926, the Nationalist Army left Kuanchchow for the Northern Expedition in the greatest enthusiasm. To the exultant crowds cheering in the grey-clad battalions, Chiang had promised to defeat all the warlords, unify China, secure the abolition of unequal treaties and extra-territoriality, the abolition of imperialism and the achievement of 'universal peace'. Chiang was the man of the hour, hero of the land. This was great timing; Chiang had again wrested the initiative; the CCP appeared a captive chained to his triumph.
Within two months Kiangsi, Hunan, Hupei provinces fell to Nationalist armies. On 12 September the army of General Tang Sheng-chih, a Hunan 'liberal' militarist who had rallied to Sun Yatsen's Kuangchow government in 1923, entered Changsha. By the end of September the province was in his hands, and Tang became acting governor; the other warlords fled.
In these swift victories, it became evident that success was largely due to organised strikes of city workers and to the peasant uprisings behind enemy lines. The fervour and self-sacrifice of the workers was unequalled; they formed militia battalions and took the warlord garrisons by surprise. The peasants in the countryside marched to seize police posts, acted as porters, couriers, guides, stretcher-bearers, fed and watered the Nationalist Army – all without pay. In Hunan, especially, where Mao Tsetung had worked so hard, the Nationalist Army was assisted by peasant self-mobilised militia which continued to expand on their own. The battles were won for the army before the battalions arrived. This massive demonstration of popular power frightened many of the officer cadets and big capitalists. Here was might and power, it could make a thoroughgoing revolution. The more victories, the more they feared for themselves.
In December 1926 Mao was back in Changsha. His presence there was of great importance, for he addressed the first Peasants and Workers Congress of Hunan (20-29 December 1926), of which he had been elected chairman. At this congress of workers and peasants whose significance has been blurred and even ignored, Mao made a speech important in its timing and also challenging, for it went against Chen Tu-hsiu's orders.
According to a report in the Changsha newspaper dated 29 December 1926, Mao said that a great chance was coming to China. Already 1.200.000 peasants had been organised; a united front of workers, peasants, traders and students was necessary. The Revolution needed a union of all revolutionary classes, but fundamentally the national revolution was a peasant revolution under leadership of the working class, and it therefore depended on the peasantry. He then analysed the market for the commercial trades in the countryside. He also analysed the situation of the students and intellectuals; most of them were non-revolutionary, some were progressive, a few were reactionary; if they wanted to make revolution they must ally themselves with workers and peasants[1]. We can imagine how unwelcome this speech was to Chen Tu-hsiu. But even more significant is the situation in which Mao found himself at that time.[2]

When a REFORMIST line rules the Communist Party, “(commanding or demanding) party-discipline” turns into its CONTRADICTION
“Mao was torn between what he felt ought to be done and what he had been ordered to do. Complaints by the Kuomintang through its delegates in Moscow about 'excesses' of the peasants and workers had even reached Stalin. Borodin received truculent messages from Chiang Kai-shek declaring that Hunan was 'out of control' and that there would be incidents due to peasant excesses. Strict orders were given to labour unions to restrict the workers and to peasant cadres to 'restrain' the peasantry in Hunan. This also was Mao's mission; he had been told to 'check and thwart', to tell the Congress of Peasants and Workers to submit to orders. But as he faced the tremendous tide of peasant power he saw the dreadfulness of the wrong decisions and the betrayal of the Revolution they entailed. The speech he made was therefore more militant than expected by Chen Tu-hsiu.
Meanwhile Stalin, who and advocated rousing the peasants, had now been swayed; this explains a telegram from Stalin in October 1926, in which he enjoined 'caution and restraint'. Stalin, who did not know the situation, could not imagine how Chen Tu-hsiu would jump at this chance to stop effective action.
In November Stalin reversed himself. 'The information we got is incorrect,' he said, and a telegram was then sent in November which reinforced the line of peasant mobilisation. In the same month the Comintern (seventh plenum) under Stalin's directive also reversed its resolution advising 'restraint'. But it is a pointer to the confusion and contradictoriness which existed – not to mention translation difficulties, misreporting, misinterpretation – that Chen Tu-hsiu did not show this later reversal to Mao, nor, it appears, to other members of the Politburo until much later, 'No one can direct a revolution by telegraph,' Stalin is reported to have said, yet this was now happening. The Comintern resolutions, Stalin's directives, came thick and fast because the CCP leadership was incapable of making its own decisions. But it was also incapable of making its own decisions. But it was also incapable of implementing those of others, and this 'think-tank help' from afar added to the disaster, so much that even today the tangle has led to erroneous interpretation[3] Moscow cables gave a stream of advice to China, but never knew in what circumstances it would misapply. The Comintern organised committees to work on the 'documentary material' and submit theses; these took time; two committees produced two divergent theses. Envoys were sent who squabbled openly and contradicted each other. And there was the time element; the situation changed so rapidly that by the time 'advice' came from Moscow all was radically different. And in Moscow.  Itself the Stalin – Trotsky struggle did not make things easier.
In the midst of this appalling muddle[4], what was Mao to do? A photograph shows him at this December Peasants and Workers Congress singularly gaunt, standing in a loose-fitting jacket, hands on his hips. His face is not happy. All we know is that he did not restrain the peasants and workers at the Congress, who passed resolutions for confiscation of land from the landlords.
In the meantime, the revolutionary army swept forward to Wuhan, which fell in December, Chiang Kai-shek arrived in Changsha and delivered a speech, in his role as a 'people's hero', calculated to please and audience of militant workers and banish all suspicion of himself.
'Only after imperialism is overthrown can China obtain independence ... The Third International is the headquarters of the world revolution ... We must unite with Russia to overthrow imperialism .... The Chinese revolution is part of the world revolution.... We must unite all partisans of world revolution to overthrow imperialism.' Thus he spoke, and already the workers in Kungchow were being murdered by his lieutenants.

'In Hunan I inspected peasant organisations and political conditions in five districts, Changsha, Liling, Hsiang Tan, Hungshan and Hsiang Hsiang, and made my report urging the adoption of a new line in the peasant movement.' This was Mao's famous Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan[5] based on a five-week tour, 4 January to 5 February 1927.
Suppression of the peasants' associations had begun right after Nationalist Army victory in Hunan at the end of September 1926. Yet the registered membership in the peasant associations had increased in two months, November and December, from one million to two million families; fifty-four counties out of seventy-five now had peasant associations. But the head of the CCP Peasant Department pelted Mao with angry telegrams urging that the 'riff-raff' be restrained so as not to antagonise the KMT. What were Mao's feelings as he clutched the telegrams, knew the policies wrong and heard round him the ovations of the peasantry? He could not 'check and thwart'. He investigated. Between 30 December and 3 January Mao spent five days in Shaoshan preparing his spirit for the great battle he would now begin.
The peasants had already started on their own to confiscate landlords' land, to punish bullies and corrupt officials; these actions, described as 'atrocities' by the fleeing landlords, had the approval of Mao Tsetung. Considering what they had suffered, the peasants were remarkably fair-minded and lenient. This was revolution, and Mao Tsetung found himself on the side of the peasant masses in the midst of this tornado, this tempest, as he was to describe it, outpouring of revolutionary energy, cosmic, elemental, irresistible; an avalanche capable of 'changing heaven and earth'.
All his life he would remember the impact of this extraordinary strength, 'mightier than any' when once set in motion, animated by the ideas that would 'teach the sun and moon to change places'. Every day and night of these thirty-two days he would remember as a bone-deep experience, shaping his thoughts.

'During my recent visit to Hunan I made a firsthand investigation of conditions ... I called together fact-finding conferences in villages and county towns ... I listened attentively ... Many of the hows and whys of the peasant movement were the exact opposite of what the gentry in Hankow and Changsha are saying. I saw and heard of many strange things of which I had hitherto been unaware. All talk directed against the peasant movement must be speedily set right. All the wrong measures taken by the revolutionary authorities concerning the peasant movement must be speedily changed. Only thus can the Future of the Revolution be benefited. For the present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time ... several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation.'

Mao Tsetung went on to describe, paragraph by paragraph, all he had seen, drawing anecdotes, vivid word pictures. The development of the peasant movement fell into two periods: before September 1926 a period of organisation, but from 'last October to January or this year ... of revolutionary action'. This latter period did coincide with the Northern Expedition, and during it the membership in peasant associations had jumped to 2 million families, which meant 10 million people[6] 'Almost half the peasants in Hunan are now organised.
They were attacking the local tyrants – landlords who respected no law or common humanity, who killed, raped the daughters and wives of peasants or kidnapped them at will – 'the privileges which the feudal landlords enjoyed for thousands of years are being shattered to pieces'. ' “All power to the peasant associations” has become a reality. Even trifles such a quarrel between husband and wife are brought to the peasant association.' So powerful were they that small landlords sought admission to the peasant association. 'Who wants your filthy money?' the poor peasants would reply, and refuse them.
But more telling is Mao's pointed remark on the reaction to all this. ' “It's terrible” ore “It's fine” ... When the news from the countryside reached the cities, it caused immediate uproar.' Even quite revolutionary-minded people in the cities were 'down-hearted,' said Mao, and thought 'It's terrible.' But Mao asserted that it was fine.

'The great peasant masses have risen to fulfil their historic mission ... In a few months the peasants have accomplished what Dr Sun Yatsen wanted but failed to accomplish in the forty years he devoted to the national revolution. This is a marvellous feat ... It's fine.'
If your revolutionary viewpoint is firmly established and if you have been to the villages and looked around, you will undoubtedly feel thrilled as never before. Countless thousands of the enslaved - the peasants – are striking down the enemies who battened on their flesh. What the peasants are doing is absolutely right; what they are doing is fine!
The peasants are clear-sighted. Who is bad and who is not ... the peasants keep clear accounts ... 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.'
Mao made fun of those who said the peasants were going too far. 'Proper limits have to be exceeded in order to right a wrong, or else the wrong cannot be righted.'
Mao listed 'fourteen great achievements' of the peasantry. These achievements sound very much like the suggestions and proposals which then being made by the Comintern. Mao was proving that the peasants were indeed carrying out the agrarian revolution and doing the things they were supposed to do, according to Communist dicta. They were organising themselves, hitting the landlords politically and economically, overthrowing feudal rule, defeating landlord armies, organising their own self-defence, eliminating bandits, abolishing levies and starting movements for education and cooperatives. They were also building roads and repairing embankments. And all this they were doing by their own strength, through their own organisations. Mao ended with a gibe at the Chen leadership: 'To talk about “arousing the masses of the people” day in and day out and then to be scared to death when the masses do rise – what difference is there between this and Lord She's love of dragons?' .This referred to a famous lord who loved dragons in paint, but when a real live dragon came to visit him, he nearly died of fear.
Back Mao went to Changsha with this piece, to find that things had very much deteriorated during the thirty-two days that he had been gone in the countryside. For now all was fear and faint-heartedness. In Wuhan, where the Kuomintang government[7] had moved from Kuangchow, he found things highly unpleasant. This corruption of the cities under the Kuomintang we must trace briefly; for much had happened during the time Mao was away in the countryside seeing peasant power ' teach the sun and the moon to change places.'
In Kuangchow and in other cities under the KMT actually under Chiang Kai-shek's military control, public meetings, the press, the workers' and peasants' volunteer corps, the right to strike, were restricted in the name of 'maintaining discipline to ensure the success of the Northern Expedition'. All strikes were labelled 'counterrevolutionary'. The secret society men from Shanghai had been pouring into Kuangchow since the summer of 1926; they came by sea from Hong Kong, laden with money and weapons (supplied in great part by the British and the French), to destroy Communist organisations.
The secret society men formed spurious labour unions. One gang became a 'policeman's union', and was then turned in armed attacks on the real workers' unions, a dress rehearsal for the massacres to take place the next year. The ferocity of the gangs, the cruel tortures they inflicted, gravely affected morale. More than fifty workers were killed in a few days, and hundreds crippled. The employers threw out the crippled workers without compensation; they were upheld by the 'collective bargaining' teams instituted and accepted by the CCP Labour Department[8].
In December, in a speech on the peasant question, Stalin himself had suggested the formation of elected revolutionary committees by the peasantry to carry out the agrarian revolution. He had added, 'I know there are people in the KMT, even in the Chinese Communist Party, who think it is impossible to have a revolution in the countryside, who are afraid that pushing the peasantry in the revolution will break the united anti-imperialist front ....This is a profound error ....The peasant question must be linked to the perspectives of the Chinese final aim.'
There is nothing in his speech of Stalin's supporting the restraint preached by Chen Tu-hsiu.[9]

[1]     Documents on Mao's speech seen by the author in Changsha museum, 1971.
[2] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[3]     See Kostas Mavrakis, Du Trotskysme, François Maspero, Paris, 1971, pp. 151-62.It is now reported in the USSR that the Russian General Galen established a plan for the Northern Expedition and all the military operations; but neither he or any of the other Russian advisers drew attention to the class struggle; they divided the KMT into 'right' and 'left' and stated that the 'left', 'due to the objective course of events',would 'remain with the CCP'. The Russian documents are interesting in that although they assess clearly most of the Chinese generals, they only mention Chiang Kai-shek favourable (the documents were prepared six months or more before Chiang's coup of March 1926). The Russians thought Chiang would be forced to keep 'left' because he depended on the Kuangchow government for funds and resources. In this way they signally failed to understand the financial network of Western big business in China.
[4]     M. N. Roy, the Comintern Indian who became a Trotskyte, and Bukharin, later to be purged by Stalin, hammered out between October and December 1926 two entirely divergent lines of action for the Chinese revolutionary situation. Tan Ping-shan, director of the CCP Labour Department, who was in Moscow as head of a delegation to the Comintern in November 1926, contradicted himself twice in his report. At one moment he was strongly urging that the peasant revolution should not be restricted but later urged that it should be. Borodin emphasised that the main task was military victory over the militarists, and Borodin's thesis was supported. The seventh plenum of the Comintern, however emphasised that ' the party of the proletariat must put forward a radical agrarian programme... or it will lose hegemony in the national revolutionary movement'. 
[5]     Selected Works, Vol. I.
[6]     As Mao explained, each family registered only one name.
[7]     The Kuomingtang government, previously sited in Kuangchow, installed itself in Wuhan on 1 Januari 1927.
[8]     To some foreign delegates of the Third International who visited Kuangchow in Januari 1927 (among them J. Doriot, then a French agent of the Comintern, later a fascist) General Li Chih-seng, Chiang's henchman there, declared that he 'loved and cherished tenderly the working class'! He was at that very moment beating, jailing and shooting them.
[9] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890