Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


September and December 1955

[In editing Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Comrade Mao Tsetung wrote cod notes, of which 4, have been selected here. At the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held in Chengtu in March 1958, part of the notes was reprinted. On March 19, 1958 Comrade Mao Tsetung wrote an explanation, the full text of which reads:

These notes which appeared in the book entitled Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside were written in September and December 1955. To this day some have not lost their significance. There is however one statement in the notes to the effect that 1955 was the year in which socialism won basic victory in the decisive battle with capitalism; it is not proper to put it that way. This is the way it should be put: 1955 was the year in which basic victory was won as regards the aspect of ownership in the relations of production, while in the other aspects of the relations of production as well as in some aspects of the superstructure, namely, on the ideological and political fronts, either a basic victory was not won or, if won, the victory was not complete, and further efforts were required. We did not anticipate that such a great storm would burst upon the world in 1956, nor did we anticipate that a campaign to "oppose rash advance" would occur in the same year in our country, a campaign which dampened the enthusiasm of the masses. Both events gave a considerable stimulus to the Rightists in mounting their wild attacks. Hence a lesson can be drawn: neither socialist revolution nor socialist construction is plain sailing, and we should be prepared to cope with the many great difficulties that may crop up at home and abroad. Both internationally and domestically the general situation is favourable, we can be sure of this, but many serious difficulties are bound to occur and we must be prepared to tackle them.]


This is a very well written article which deserves to be recommended to the reader as the first piece in this book. As described at the beginning of the article, in many parts of the country there are still quite a few people who are "steering clear of the co-op" because they are ignorant about it and are afraid of being asked questions. "Resolute contraction", the wholesale dissolution of co-operatives by command, is likewise a manifestation of "steering clear of the co-op"; the only difference is that, instead of taking a passive attitude of evasion, these people take a very active attitude and "axe" (to use their own expression) a great many co-operatives with one fell blow. Axe in hand, they chop and thus avoid troublesome problems. They say that there are all sorts of difficulties in running co-operatives, and according to them the difficulties defy the imagination. However, there are countless examples throughout the country which give the lie to their arguments. One such example is the experience of Tsunhua County, Hopei Province. In 1952 no one there knew how to run a co-operative. Their solution was to learn how. Their slogan was: "The Party secretary pitches in and all Party members help run the co-ops." The result was: "from knowing nothing to knowing a lot", "from a few knowing how to many knowing how", "from district cadres running the co-ops to the masses running them". In the three years from 1952 to 1954, the eleven townships of the Tenth District, Tsunhua County, Hopei Province, basically completed semi-socialist co-operative transformation, with 85 per cent of the 4,343 peasant households drawn into co-operatives. Compared with 1952, production in agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry in this district showed the following increases in 1954: grain 76 per cent, timber trees 56.4 per cent, fruit trees 62.87 per cent and sheep 463.1 per cent.

Now we have every reason to raise this question: if this could be done here, why can't it be done elsewhere? If you say it can't, what are your reasons? I can see only one reason -- unwillingness to take the trouble, or, to put it more bluntly, Right opportunism. Hence "steering clear of the co-op", hence the Party secretary not pitching in and all Party members not helping to run the co-operatives, and hence from knowing nothing to still knowing nothing, from a few knowing how to still only a few knowing how, from district cadres running the co-operatives to still only district cadres running them. Or else, axe in hand, chopping down any troublesome co-operative in sight. If that reason prevails, then nothing can be accomplished. We have put forward such slogans as "active leadership and steady advance" and "comprehensive planning and more effective leadership", and we agree with the perfectly correct slogan raised by the comrades of Tsunhua County, "The Party secretary pitches in and all Party members help run the co-ops." Hasn't there been "active leadership and steady advance" in Tsunhua County? Hasn't there been "comprehensive planning and more effective leadership"? Of course there has. Is this dangerous? Is this "rash advance"? Such danger as exists lies in "steering clear of the co-op", and this has been overcome by the Tsunhua County comrades. The danger also lies in "axing" co-operatives wholesale on the pretext of opposing "rash advance", but this did not happen in Tsunhua County. If, as is alleged, "the development of the co-operatives has gone beyond the level of political consciousness of the masses and the ability of the cadres to lead", how can one explain what happened in Tsunhua County? There the masses actually pressed for co-operation, there the cadres did change from knowing nothing to knowing a lot. Everybody has eyes, does anyone see any danger in Tsunhua County? In the three years in which they completed co-operative transformation step by step, grain increased by 76 per cent, timber trees by 56.4 per cent, fruit trees by 62.87 per cent and sheep by 463.1 per cent. Can this be considered any kind of danger? Can this be called "rash advance"? Can this be regarded as "having gone beyond the level of political consciousness of the masses and the ability of the cadres to lead"?

In the Tsunhua County co-operative movement there is the Wang Kuo-fan Co-operative, once known as a "paupers' co-op" because its twenty-three poor peasant households owned only "three legs" of a donkey. Relying on their own efforts, its members "made the mountains yield" [1] a substantial amount of the means of production in three years, a feat which moved not a few visitors to tears. This, in my view, is the image of our entire nation. Why can't 600 million "paupers" create a prosperous and strong socialist country in several decades by their own efforts? Society's wealth is created by workers, peasants and working intellectuals. Provided they take their destiny into their own hands, provided they have a Marxist-Leninist line and energetically tackle problems instead of evading them, they can overcome any difficulty on earth.

Finally, we wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline. Brimming with enthusiasm and writing in a lively style, he gives a detailed description of the process of the co-operative transformation of agriculture in one district. This will be no small contribution to co-operative transformation in the whole country. We hope every province, prefecture and county can produce one or more such articles.

(Note to "The Party Secretary Pitches In and All Party Members Help Run the Co-ops")


For many people in China 1955 has been a year of shattered illusions. In the first half of the year many still clung tenaciously to their own beliefs on certain questions. But by the second half, they could no longer do so and had to believe in the new. Examples follow: They held that "co-operative transformation in three years" as demanded by the masses was only an idle dream; that co-operation could be achieved more quickly in the north but not in the south; that it was impossible to run co-operatives in backward townships, in mountain areas, in minority nationality areas, in areas populated by several nationalities or in areas stricken by natural calamities; that it was easy to set up a co-operative but hard to consolidate it; that the peasants were too poor and had no way of raising funds; that the peasants were illiterate and bookkeepers were not available; that more co-operatives meant more troubles; that the development of the co-operatives had gone beyond the level of political consciousness of the masses and the experience of the cadres; that the Party's policy of state monopoly for the purchase and marketing of grain and its policy on co-operation were dampening the peasants' enthusiasm for production; that unless the Communist Party backed down immediately on the question of co-operation, it would be running the risk of breaking up the worker-peasant alliance; that co-operative transformation would produce a vast pool of surplus labour-power for which there would be no outlet. And many more examples of the kind could be cited. In a word, these were all illusions. All of them were shattered after being criticized by the Sixth Plenary Session (Enlarged) of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in October 1955. A high tide of socialist transformation is sweeping through the rural areas, and the masses are jubilant. This has been a profound lesson for all Communists. The masses have such a vast reservoir of socialist enthusiasm, but why was it that many of the leading organizations could be so insensitive or only barely sensitive to this a few months ago? Why was there such a difference between what was on the minds of some leaders and what was on the minds of the masses? Taking this as a lesson, how should one handle similar cases and problems in the future? There is only one answer. Don't divorce yourselves from the masses; instead learn to discern the enthusiasm of the masses in its essence.

(Note to "A 'Backward' Village Is Not Necessarily Backward in Every Respect")


All those who believe it impossible for each individual area to achieve lower-stage co-operative transformation in three years (co-operation in three years was the slogan raised by the masses but criticized by the opportunists) and all those who believe it impossible for the areas liberated later to go co-operative at the same time as those liberated earlier, please take a good look at this township in Kunshan County, Kiangsu Province! Here, co-operative transformation took not three years but two. It is not an old liberated area but a 100 per cent new liberated area. And it is running ahead of many of the old liberated areas. What can you do about it? Pull it back? Of course not. The opportunists just have to admit defeat. The masses have a vast reservoir of enthusiasm for socialism. Those who know no better than to keep to the old routine even in times of revolution are utterly incapable of seeing this enthusiasm. They are blind and all is dark ahead of them. At times they go so far as to confound right and wrong and turn things upside down. Haven't we come across enough of such people? Only knowing how to keep to the old routine, they invariably underestimate the people's enthusiasm. Let something new appear and they always disapprove and immediately oppose it. Later they admit defeat and do a little self-criticism. The next time something new appears, they again go through the same process, one attitude alternating with the other. And this is the way they will behave in regard to everything new. Such people are always passive in that at the critical moment they stand still and have to be given a hard shove in the back before they take a step forward. Just how long will it be before such people can manage to move of their own accord and walk properly? There is a cure for those who have this kind of ailment: take some time out and go among the masses, learn what they are thinking about, see what they are doing, and find out their advanced experience and spread it. This is an effective prescription for chronic Right opportunism, and those so afflicted are advised to give it a try.

(Note to "This Township Goes Co-operative in Two Years")


This is a good article. Reading it one can see that the Uighur peasants are very eager to take the road of co-operation. They have already trained the cadres they need for semi-socialist co-operative transformation. Some people claim that co-operation cannot succeed among the minority nationalities. This is not so. We have seen quite a few co-operatives run either separately by the Mongolian, Hui, Uighur, Miao, Chuang and other minority nationalities or jointly by people of several nationalities, and they are all very successful. This fact refutes the erroneous views of those who look down on the minority nationalities.

(Note to "Township and Village Cadres Are Capable of Giving Leadership to the Formation of Co-operatives")


This is an excellent article which will convince many people. The Party organization here has never wavered on the question of co-operation. It stood four-square behind the badly-off peasants in their demand for organizing a co-operative, with the result that they won out in their competition with the well-to-do middle peasants, developed a small co-operative into a big one and increased production each year, and that the whole village went co-operative in less than three years. The well-to-do middle peasants had jeered, "Imagine, those paupers think they can set up a co-op. Never heard of chicken feathers flying up to heaven." And yet the chicken feathers have done just that. This is a struggle between the two roads -- socialism versus capitalism. In China, the rich peasant economy is very weak (that portion of the rich peasants' land operated in a semi-feudal way was requisitioned during agrarian reform, most of the old rich peasants no longer hire labour, and socially they are very much discredited), but the well-to-do and fairly well-to-do middle peasants who constitute 20 to 30 per cent of the rural population are quite strong. An important aspect of the struggle between the two roads in China's countryside manifests itself in the peaceful competition of the poor and lower-middle peasants with the well-to-do middle peasants. Who can increase production within two or three years, the well-to-do middle peasants working on their own, or the poor and lower-middle peasants working together in co-operatives? In the beginning, the competition was between a number of poor and lower-middle peasants organized in co-operatives and the well-to-do middle peasants working on their own, with most of the poor and lower-middle peasants looking on; it was a contest between the two sides to win over the masses. Behind the well-to-do middle peasants were landlords and rich peasants, who gave them support, sometimes openly, sometimes secretly. On the side of the co-operatives stood the Communist Party members, who should be as firm in their support for the co-operatives as were the Communists in Nantsuichuang Village, Anyang County. It's a pity that not all the rural Party branches were so firm. And where they were not, confusion arose. First of all, there was the question of public opinion on whether chicken feathers could fly up to heaven. It is of course a question of great importance. In thousands of years, who had ever seen chicken feathers flying up to heaven? That they could not seemed a truism. Many a poor or lower-middle peasant would have been confused if the Party had not refuted this truism. Secondly, as for cadres and, thirdly, as for such material resources as loans, the co-operatives would have run into great difficulties if the Party and the state had not come to their aid. The well-to-do middle peasants dared to spread such hoary truisms as "chicken feathers can't fly up to heaven" because the co-operatives had not increased their output, the poor co-operatives had not become rich ones, and the co-operatives had not grown in number from a few isolated ones to tens and hundreds of thousands. They dared to do so because the Party had not yet conducted vigorous nation-wide propaganda about the advantages of co-operation and because the Party had not yet pointed out in clear-cut terms that the hoary truism "chicken feathers can't fly up to heaven" no longer holds good in the era of socialism. The poor are turning their past upside down. The old system is dying, a new system is being born. Chicken feathers really are flying up to heaven. In the Soviet Union, this has already happened. In China, it is happening now. And it is going to happen all over the world. Many of our local Party organizations were not solely to blame for failing to give strong backing to the badly-off peasants because, higher up, opportunist ideas had not yet been dealt mortal blows, comprehensive plans had not been made to promote cooperative transformation and more effective leadership had not been given to the movement on a national scale. In 1955 we did all this and in the space of a few months the situation changed completely. Onlookers before, large numbers of people now came over in groups to the side of the co-operatives. The well-to-do middle peasants also changed their tune. Some applied to join the co-operatives and others were getting ready to do so. Even the most stubborn among them no longer dared talk about whether chicken feathers could fly up to heaven. The landlords and rich peasants were completely deflated. The fact that the People's Government punished a number of counter-revolutionaries who had disrupted public order and tried to sabotage the co-operative transformation also played a part here. In short, in the second half of 1955, a fundamental change took place in the balance of class forces in our country: socialism soared and capitalism plunged. Given another year of hard work in 1956, the foundation will have been basically laid for the socialist transformation in the transition period.

(Note to "Who Says Chicken Feathers Can't Fly Up to Heaven?")


The almost ubiquitous Right opportunists inside the Party who hinder the masses of poor and lower-middle peasants from taking the road of co-operation act in concert with the forces of capitalism in our society. This article gives an apt description of the situation. The author lashes out with great indignation at the opportunists and champions those peasants who are badly off. Some people are supposed to be Communists, but they show hardly any interest in the socialist tasks that have to be undertaken now. Instead of supporting the enthusiastic masses, they pour cold water on them. Nineteen fifty-five has been the decisive year for the struggle between socialism and capitalism in China. The decisive battle unfolded first of all in the three conferences called in May, July and October by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. In the first half of 1955 the atmosphere was foul and dark clouds threatened. But in the second half of the year there has been a complete change and the climate is entirely different; in response to the call of the Central Committee tens of millions of peasant households have swung into action and gone co-operative. At the time the editor is writing these lines, over sixty million peasant households have joined co-operatives all over the country. This is a raging tidal wave sweeping away all demons and monsters. People of all sorts in our society have been clearly revealed for what they are. It is the same in the Party. By the end of this year the victory of socialism will be largely assured. Of course, many more battles lie ahead and further efforts must be made to carry on the fight.

(Note to "The Ill Wind of Opportunism Is Dying, the Fair Wind of Socialism Is Rising")


This is an interesting article too. Opportunists trying to stem the tide are found almost everywhere, but the tide can never be stemmed, and socialism is advancing triumphantly everywhere, sweeping away all obstacles. Society progresses daily in this way and people's thinking is transformed in the process, particularly when there is an upsurge in the revolution.

(Note to "The Workers' Families Are Very Keen on the Co-operative Movement")


This article tells a moving story. We hope the reader will go through it carefully. Those comrades who do not believe the peasant masses are eager to take the socialist road and those comrades who are only too ready to pick up the axe to "chop" the co-operatives are particularly urged to do so. Throughout the countryside the socialist factors are growing daily and hourly, the peasant masses are pressing to form co-operatives and large numbers of intelligent, capable, fair-minded and enthusiastic leaders are emerging from among the people; this is a very heartening situation indeed. The most serious failing is that in many places the Party leaders have not bestirred themselves to keep pace. Our present task is to get the local Party committees at various levels to take the initiative on this matter in conformity with the Marxist-Leninist stand, assume full responsibility for agricultural co-operation and lead the movement forward with enthusiasm, warm responsiveness and drive. The story of Lord Yeh who professed to love dragons should not be repeated, one must not just talk about socialism for years and then suddenly turn pale when socialism comes knocking at the door.

(Note to "A Co-operative Set Up Spontaneously by the Masses Against the Wishes of the Leadership")


The correct line is being followed in this township, which already has five agricultural producers' co-operatives, seven combined mutual-aid teams, three permanent mutual-aid teams and fourteen temporary mutual-aid teams. This means the total membership amounts to 98.4 per cent of the peasant households which ought to be organized. Before December 1954, this township Party branch did not lay stress on the mutual-aid and co-operative movement in exercising its leadership, and Party members were afraid of difficulties in leading the mutual-aid teams. Instead of "the Party secretary pitching in and all Party members helping run the co-ops", this Party branch leaned on the work team (apparently sent from above). In the whole country, there are quite a few rural Party branches just as weak and incompetent on the question of agricultural co-operation. Apart from these Party branches, it is quite possible that some of the higher Party committees are also in this state. There's the rub. Whether the socialist transformation of agriculture can keep pace with the industrialization of the country and whether the co-operative movement can develop in a healthy way with a minimum of shortcomings and a guaranteed increase in production depends on whether the local Party committees at various levels can quickly and correctly shift the emphasis of their leadership to agricultural co-operation. Work teams should be sent in, but it must be made clear that they are there only to help the local Party organizations, not to take their place and render them idle and completely dependent. This township in Kweichow Province achieved remarkable success in only a little over five months after the leadership changed its approach to work in December 1954. Instead of being dependent on the work team, they pitched in themselves, and Party members stopped being afraid of difficulties. A change of this sort depends first and foremost on the secretaries of the Party committees at all levels -- province and autonomous region, prefecture and autonomous prefecture, county and autonomous county, and district -- as well as on the Party branch secretaries; they themselves must assume full responsibility for agricultural co-operation. To be afraid of trouble and difficulties and to refuse to pitch in when confronted with this great task but instead simply to pass it on to the Party's rural work departments or to the work teams -- such an attitude will not only make it impossible to accomplish the task but will also cause a great deal of trouble.

(Note to "How Chunghsin Township, Fengkang County, Launched the Mutual-Aid and Co-operative Movement Under the Leadership of the Party Branch")


The author of this article says it was after a joint meeting of co-operative directors in the county that this co-operative developed the practice of seasonal contracts from that of occasional contracts. From this one can see that county leadership is very important. We hope that the leading body in each of China's well over two thousand counties will closely watch the development of its co-operative movement, identify the problems, work out solutions to them, call timely meetings of the directors of all its co-operatives or of selected ones, make decisions and carry them out quickly. Don't wait until problems pile up and cause a lot of trouble before you tackle them. Leaders must be in the van of the movement, not lag behind it. Within each county, it is the county Party committee that should play the main role in giving leadership.

(Note to "Contracts on a Seasonal Basis")


This material is very convincing. Healthy co-operative transformation in a locality depends on the Party's policies and methods of work. If our Party's policies for co-operative transformation are correct, if its method of work in mobilizing the masses to join co-operatives is not high-handed or simplistic, but one of explaining and analysing things to the masses and relying entirely on their initiative and willingness, then it should not be very difficult to achieve co-operative transformation and raise output. Tungchuankou Village, Hsingtai County, Hopei Province, lies in an old liberated area. Before 1952 the seventy households in the village had all joined mutual-aid teams and they had a strong Party branch and in Wang Chih-chi a leader who enjoyed the trust of the masses. All the conditions were ripe. So in 1952 the village organized a co-operative, accomplishing semi-socialist co-operative transformation in barely over a month. What about places where conditions are not as ripe as in this village? Then it is a question of creating the conditions and this can be done in a few months, a year, or a little longer. The required conditions can be created while the work is being carried on. To set up a few small co-operatives is to create the conditions for the co-operative transformation of the whole village, the whole township and the whole district. This material about Tungchuankou also explains at length how a Party branch should conduct propaganda and education among the masses and how it should rely on the initiative and willingness of the masses themselves to establish co-operatives. The method of "reverse propaganda"[2] used in this village is well worth paying attention to. The material describes how the co-operative traversed a zigzag course in tackling the problems of organizing and supervising labour and went on to achieve great success in increasing production from year to year. Facts have proved that this co-operative is sound. The main criterion by which every co-operative judges whether it is sound is to see whether its production is rising and by how much.

(Note to "The Whole Village Goes Co-operative in Barely over a Month")


This material points to the truth that any co-operative in a state of confusion can be put in order. Since co-operative members are all working peasants, whatever the differences among the various strata, they can be ironed out in the end. For a time there really was confusion in some co-operatives, solely because they got no leadership from the Party which did not explain its policies and measures to the masses. "We know it's a good thing to set up a co-opt But when we did set one up, nobody bothered about us, neither the county Party committee, nor the district Party committee, nor the local Party branch. Perhaps they didn't think much of our poor village, they couldn't eat and live well here, and so they never came our way." This, and this alone, accounts for such confusion as exists. Without leadership from the Party, confusion naturally arises. The moment leadership is given, confusion will end. This material also raises the question of whether co-operatives can be established in backward villages. The answer is "yes". The very co-operative the author describes lies in a backward village. Something like 5 per cent of China's villages are backward; we must set up co-operatives in all these villages and in the course of this struggle wipe out their backwardness.

(Note to "A Co-operative in a State of Confusion Is Put in Order")


This is a common but serious problem. Party committees at every level and comrades sent to guide the work of co-operative transformation in the rural areas should give it their full attention. It is imperative to establish the dominant position of the present-day poor peasants and the new lower-middle peasants in the leading body of a co-operative, with the old lower-middle peasants and the new and old upper-middle peasants as the auxiliary force; only thus can unity between the poor and the middle peasants be attained, the co-operatives be consolidated, production be expanded and socialist transformation in the entire countryside be correctly carried out in line with the Party's policy. In the absence of this condition, it is impossible to attain unity between the middle and the poor peasants, consolidate the co-operatives, expand production and achieve socialist transformation in the entire countryside. Many comrades fail to understand this point. They maintain that in the period of agrarian reform it was necessary to establish the dominant position of the poor peasants, because the poor peasants, who then accounted for 50, or 60 to 70 per cent of the rural population, had not yet moved up to the status of middle peasants, while the middle peasants were wavering with regard to agrarian reform, and so the necessity was indeed real. They argue that we are now in the period of the socialist transformation of agriculture and most of the former poor peasants have become new middle peasants and that, moreover, the old middle peasants own plenty of the means of production and without their participation it is impossible for the co-operatives to cope with the shortage of the means of production. Therefore, these comrades maintain that we should no longer raise the slogan of relying on the poor peasants or establishing their dominant position and that this slogan is harmful to the co-operative movement. This view, we believe, is wrong. If the working class and the Communist Party are to bring about a thorough transformation of the small peasant private ownership of the means of production in the entire countryside in accordance with the socialist spirit and the socialist system, they can do so relatively smoothly only by relying on the masses of the poor peasants, the former semi-proletarians, otherwise it will be most difficult. For the rural semi-proletariat are not so stubborn in clinging to small peasant private ownership of the means of production; they are more ready to accept socialist transformation. Most of them have now become new middle peasants, but except for a section who have become well-to-do, the majority of the new middle peasants have a higher level of political consciousness than the old middle peasants, as they can easily recall their past misery. Then there are the old lower-middle peasants, in economic status and political attitude, they are more or less similar to the new lower-middle peasants but different from the new and old upper-middle peasants, i.e., the well-to-do or fairly well-to-do middle peasants. Therefore, in the course of co-operative transformation we must pay attention to (1) the poor peasants, who are still in difficulty, (2) the new lower-middle peasants, and (3) the old lower-middle peasants -- the three sections who are more ready to accept socialist transformation. They should be the first ones to be drawn into the co-operatives, batch by batch and stage by stage; a number of them with higher political consciousness and greater organizational ability should be selected and trained as the mainstay of the leadership of the co-operatives, and there should be special emphasis on selecting them from among the present-day poor peasants and the new lower-middle peasants. This does not mean a new determination of class status is to be made in the rural areas; it is a policy to be carefully followed in the course of co-operative transformation by the Party branches and the comrades sent to the countryside to guide the work, and this policy should be publicly explained to the peasant masses. Nor do we mean to keep the well-to-do middle peasants out of the co-operatives; what we do mean is to admit them only when they have raised their socialist consciousness and are willing to join and accept the leadership of the poor peasants (including the present-day poor peasants and all the new lower-middle peasants who were formerly poor peasants), and not to set eyes on their oxen and farm implements and force them to join when they are unwilling. Those already in co-operatives may stay on if they wish. Those who have asked to withdraw but have been persuaded to change their minds may also stay on. Co-operatives can be organized even with scanty means of production, as has been proved by the many co-operatives organized by poor and lower-middle peasants. Furthermore, we do not mean that none of the well-to-do middle peasants should be allowed to serve as co-operative cadres. A few well-to-do middle peasants, who are well thought of by the majority of co-operative members for their higher level of socialist consciousness, fair-mindedness and competence, may serve as cadres. However, it is imperative to establish the dominant position of the poor peasants in the co-operatives (to repeat, they include the present-day poor peasants and all the new lower-middle peasants who were formerly poor peasants, and together they constitute the majority, or the overwhelming majority, of the rural population). As for the composition of the leading body, the poor peasants should account for some two-thirds, while the middle peasants (including the old lower-middle peasants and the new and old upper-middle peasants) should form about one-third, but no more. As for the guiding principle, the co-operatives must pursue policies beneficial to both the poor and the middle peasants and not harmful to the interests of either. For this purpose, too, it is necessary to establish the dominant position of the poor peasants. In co-operatives where the middle peasants occupy the dominant position, the poor peasants are usually pushed aside and their interests violated. The experience of Kaoshan Township, Changsha County, Hunan Province, fully shows that it is imperative and possible to establish the dominant position of the poor peasants and thereby firmly to unite with the middle peasants, and how dangerous it can be if this is not done. The author of this article thoroughly understands the Party line. And the procedure is also a correct one, that is, first of all fulfilling the urgent task of increasing production and then establishing the dominant position of the poor peasants in the leadership. As a result, the poor peasants did themselves proud and the middle peasants were impressed too. The author also tells us something very important. Is it better to dissolve a co-operative that is in a state of confusion or give it a good shake-up and help it to get out of the confusion and on to a sound basis? Is it possible to put such a co-operative in order and consolidate it? He very convincingly tells us that instead of dissolving Class III co-operatives we should set about putting them in order. After such an effort, it is entirely possible for Class III co-operatives to become Class I co-operatives. This experience is shared by many other places in the country and is not peculiar to Kaoshan Township, Changsha County.

(Note to "How the Dominant Position Passed from the Middle Peasants to the Poor Peasants in the Wutang Agricultural Producers' Co-operative or Kaoshan Township, Changsha County")


The problem discussed here is of general significance. It is essential to unite with the middle peasants, and it is wrong not to do so. But who should the working class and the Communist Party rely on in the rural areas in order to unite with the middle peasants and achieve socialist transformation in the entire countryside? Surely none other than the poor peasants. That was the case in the past when the struggle was waged against the landlords to carry out agrarian reform, and that is the case today when the struggle is being waged against the rich peasants and other capitalist elements to achieve the socialist transformation of agriculture. In both these revolutionary periods the middle peasants wavered in the initial stage. Only when the middle peasants see clearly which way the wind is blowing and only when victory in the revolution is within sight will they come in on the side of the revolution. The poor peasants have to work on the middle peasants and win them over, so that the revolution will broaden from day to day until final victory is achieved. The management committees of the agricultural producers' co-operatives today, like the peasant associations in the past, must draw in the old lower-middle peasants and a number of the new and old upper-middle peasants who are representative of this stratum and have a relatively high level of political consciousness, but there should not be too many of them on the committee, one-third is about the right proportion. The other two-thirds should be poor peasants (including the present-day poor peasants and the new lower-middle peasants who were formerly poor peasants). Generally speaking, the key posts in the co-operative should be held by the poor peasants (to repeat, including the present-day poor peasants and all the new lower-middle peasants who were formerly poor peasants), but such posts may also be filled by old lower-middle peasants and some of the new and old upper-middle peasants who have a high level of political consciousness and are really fair-minded and competent. In Fuan County, Fukien Province, a co-operative led by the poor peasants and another led by the middle peasants take different attitudes towards the cause of socialism; this is true everywhere and should not be regarded as an isolated phenomenon.

(Note to "A Lesson Drawn from the Existence of a 'Middle Peasants' Co-operative' Side by Side with a 'Poor Peasants' Co-operative' in Fuan County")


This material is useful and worth general attention. It describes the trends among the various strata in the countryside. The poor peasants are the most enthusiastic about co-operative transformation Many middle peasants want to "wait and see for a while" and would like to "stay outside and be free", mainly because they want to find out whether they would get a bad bargain if they invested their means of production in the co-operatives; they can swing either way. Many well-to-do middle peasants have strong feelings against co-operation, the worst among them sell off their means of production, spirit their money away, or rig up fake co-operatives, and a few even gang up with landlords and rich peasants. We hope that all the comrades engaged in rural work will carefully observe and analyse the trends among the various strata in their localities so as to adopt policies suited to the circumstances. This material mentions the mistaken tendency of paying attention to the co-operatives to the neglect of the mutual-aid teams and recommends over-all planning and all-round consideration, and this is correct. The "network of mutual aid and co-operation" is a good idea, which takes into consideration both the co-operatives and the mutual-aid teams, with the co-operatives providing real help to the mutual-aid teams and peasants working on their own in solving their current production difficulties. The poor peasants' fund must be made available to the villages at once. Those poor peasants who have not yet joined the co-operatives should be told that they can draw on this fund whenever they join.

(Note to "New Situation and New Problems")


The policy of this co-operative is correct. All co-operatives should do the same. In their resolutions or directives on the question of co-operative transformation, the provinces should point out that it is the responsibility of all co-operatives to help solve the difficulties of the widows, orphans and other members without a provider, who have no labour-power (it was right to admit such people), and also of those members who have labour-power but are suffering great hardship. At present there are quite a number of co-operatives in which the socialist spirit of helping needy families is lacking and from which the poor peasants are even excluded; this is utterly wrong. The government has now set up a poor peasants' fund which can help them solve the problems of oxen and farm implements but cannot as yet solve the problems of some poor peasant families short of labour-power, or solve entirely the problems of some other families short of food before the new harvest. These problems can be solved only by relying on the strength of the masses in the co-operatives.

(Note to "The Party Branch of Chingfeng Township, Hsiangtan County, Helps Badly-off Co-operative Members Tide Over Their Difficulties")


This is a very interesting story. Socialism, which is new, comes into being only through severe struggle against what is old. At one time, a section of society is very stubborn in following a set routine. At another, the very same people are quite capable of changing their attitude and favouring the new. In the first half of 1955, most of the well-to-do middle peasants were still opposed to co-operation, but in the second half a number of them changed their minds and expressed a desire to join the co-operatives, although some did so because they hoped to obtain the leadership of the co-operatives. Another group wavered a great deal, they said they wanted to join, but at heart they were reluctant. A third group were obdurate and still wanted to wait and see. On this matter the rural Party organizations should be patient with this stratum and give them time. In order to establish the dominant position of the poor and new lower-middle peasants in the leading bodies, it may well prove to be an advantage if some of the well-to-do middle peasants join the co-operatives a little later.

(Note to "They Firmly Choose the Road of Co-operation")


Political work is the life-blood of all economic work. This is particularly true at a time when the social and economic system is undergoing fundamental change. From the start, the agricultural co-operative movement has been a severe ideological and political struggle. No co-operative can be established without going through such a struggle. Before a new social system can be built on the site of the old, the site must be swept clean. Remnant old ideas reflecting the old system invariably persist in people's minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way. Having been established, a co-operative must go through many more struggles before it can be consolidated. Even then, it may collapse if efforts are relaxed. A case in point is the Sanlouszu Co-operative in Hsiehyu County, Shansi Province, which nearly collapsed for lack of sustained effort after it had been consolidated. Not until the Party branch of the co-operative had criticized its own errors, resumed education for socialism and against capitalism among the co-operative members and revived its political work was the crisis overcome and the co-operative able to grow again. To oppose spontaneous tendencies towards capitalism which is characterized by selfishness and to foster the socialist spirit which postulates the principle of integrating collective interest with individual interest as the criterion for judging all words and deeds -- these are the ideological and political guarantees for the gradual transition from a scattered small peasant economy to a large-scale co-operative economy. This entails doing an enormous amount of hard work, not in a crude and oversimplified way, but concretely and painstakingly in the light of the peasants' own experience. It should proceed together with and not apart from economic work. We now have fairly rich experience in this kind of work on a national scale. This is shown in almost every article in this book.

(Note to "A Serious Lesson")


The viewpoint of this article is correct. Co-operatives must stress doing political work well. The basic requirement of political work is constantly to imbue the peasant masses with a socialist ideology and to criticize capitalist tendencies.

(Note to "Political Work in the Changkuochuang Co-operative")


This situation merits attention. There are serious tendencies towards capitalism among the well-to-do peasants. These tendencies will become rampant if we in the slightest way neglect political work among the peasants not only during the co-operative transformation but also for a very long period afterwards.

(Note to "Wage a Resolute Struggle Against Capitalist Tendencies")


This is a very good account of how to consolidate a co-operative and should be recommended. The birth of a new social system is invariably accompanied by cheering and shouting, that is to say, by propagating the superiority of the new system and criticizing the backwardness of the old. It is impossible to carry out in an atmosphere of tranquillity such an earth-shaking task as getting some 500 million Chinese peasants to undertake socialist transformation; therefore it behoves us Communists to conduct patient, lively and easily understandable propaganda and education among the peasant masses who are weighed down with the burdens of the old system. This is now being done in every part of the country and many of the comrades engaged in rural work have proved themselves good propagandists. The method described in this article, "make four comparisons and five calculations",[3] is a fine one for explaining to the peasants, in terms easy to understand, which system is good and which bad. It has great powers of persuasion. It is quite unlike the method of those comrades who are not so good at propaganda work and can produce nothing convincing but merely say, "Either you follow the road of the Communist Party, or you follow the road of Chiang Kai-shek," thus trying to subdue their audience by threatening to stick labels on them. It is a method that draws on the local peasants' own experience and provides them with a detailed analysis; hence its great powers of persuasion.

(Note to "Good Experience in Consolidating a Co-operative")


Sabotage of the co-operative movement by counter-revolutionaries is a common occurrence and not limited to the Fifth District of Tuyun County, Kweichow Province, but very little is written about it in simile publications in other provinces. In the course of co-operative transformation, all comrades engaged in rural work must pay full attention to the struggle against counter-revolutionary wrecking activities. As in this district in Tuyun County, security units with Party and Youth League members as the mainstay should be set up within the co-operatives. It is absolutely necessary for the district Party committee, led and supervised by the county Party committee, to study the situation, carry out propaganda and explain things to people inside and outside the Party, alert the masses to counter-revolutionary wrecking activities, and then investigate, clear out and punish the counter-revolutionaries and other bad elements who have wormed their way into the leading bodies of the co-operatives. However, those to be cleared out must be confirmed counter-revolutionaries and bad elements; good persons or persons merely with certain shortcomings must not be labelled bad elements. In particular, punishment must be appropriate and has to be approved by the county authorities.

(Note to "Wage a Resolute Struggle Against Counter-Revolutionary Sabotage")


In order to build a great socialist society it is most important to mobilize the masses of women to join in productive activity. In production men and women must receive equal pay for equal work. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole.

(Note to "Women Are Now on the Labour Front")


This is an excellent article which can serve as reference material for all localities. Young people are the most active and dynamic force in society. They are the most eager to learn and the least conservative in their thinking, and this is especially true in the era of socialism. We hope that the Party organizations in all places, working in concert with the Youth League organizations, will pay particular attention to bringing the energy of our youth into full play, and not just take them for granted and ignore their characteristics. Of course, the young should learn from the older people and try as far as possible to win their agreement for doing useful things. Older people are more encumbered with conservative ideas and often restrain the progressive activities of the young; they will not be convinced until the young people make a success of something. All this is very well described in the article. Naturally, there should be no compromise with conservative ideas. Well then, let's have a try at it, and if it works, they'll agree.

(Note to "The Youth Shock Brigade of the Ninth Agricultural Producers' Co-operative in Hsinping Township, Chungshan County")


Here is another good article which can serve as reference material for all localities. It mentions organizing the participation of middle school students and primary school graduates in the co-operative movement. This is especially noteworthy. All such educated young people who can go and work in the countryside should be glad to do so. The countryside is a big world where much can be accomplished.

(Note to "Experience in Planning Co-operative Transformation in a Township")


Here is another one, Chen Hsueh-meng. In China, such heroes are legion, but it is a pity that our writers do not seek them out, and as for those people who go to the countryside to guide the co-operative movement, they see a lot but write very little.

(Note to "Chen Hsueh-meng, Pace-Setter in Co-operative Transformation")


This very well written article deserves to be recommended to all Party and Youth League committees at the county and district levels and to all township Party and Youth League branches. All co-operatives should follow the example described. The author understands the Party line and hits the nail on the head. The language is good, the article is easy to read and does not smack of stereotyped Party writing. Here we should like to call the reader's attention to the fact that many of our comrades are addicted to stereotyped Party writing and that the articles they turn out are not lively, not vivid, and give the reader a headache. They care little for syntax or diction, and they fancy a style that is a cross between the literary and the colloquial, at times verbose and rambling, at times elliptical and archaic, as though they were out to torment the reader. Quite a number of the more than 170 articles selected for this book reeked heavily of stereotyped Party writing. Only after repeated polishing were they made fairly readable. Even so, a few remain rather obscure and hard to understand. They have been included only for their content. How much longer will it be before we read less of this stereotyped Party writing which gives us such headaches? It is up to those comrades who work as editors on our newspapers and periodicals to pay attention to this matter, ask their contributors to write coherently and vividly, and take it upon themselves to polish the manuscripts.

(Note to "Political Work in the Co-operatives")


The co-operative introduced here is the "paupers' co-op" led by Wang Kuo-fan. Diligence and thrift ought to be the principle for managing all our agricultural producers' co-operatives, nay, all our economic enterprises. Diligence and thrift should be practiced in running factories, stores and all state-owned, co-operative and other enterprises; this principle should be observed in doing everything. It is the principle of practicing economy, one of the basic principles of socialist economy. China is a big country but it is still very poor, and it will take several decades to make China prosperous. Even then the principle of diligence and thrift will still have to be observed, but it is in the coming decades, in the span of several five-year plans, that diligence and thrift must be particularly stressed and special attention paid to practicing economy. At present, many co-operatives pay little attention to practicing economy; this is an unhealthy tendency which should be immediately corrected. Co-operatives run with diligence and thrift can be found in every province and county, and these examples should be publicized for all to follow. Those co-operatives which are industrious and thrifty, get the highest yields and do well in all respects should be commended, whereas those which are wasteful, get very low yields and do poorly in all respects should be criticized.

(Note to "Run the Co-operative with Diligence and Thrift")


This is a long-range seven-year plan for a large co-operative (theycall it a collective farm, that is, a co-operative) which will embrace the township's thousand or so households. The plan can serve as reference material for all localities. People will understand the need for this kind of long-term plan after they have gone over the contents here. The development of mankind goes back hundreds of thousands of years, but here in China it is only today that conditions have been secured for the planned development of our economy and culture. Given these conditions, the face of our country will change from year to year. The change in each five years will be considerable and after several five-year periods very much bigger.

(Note to "The Long-Range Plan of the Red Star Collective Farm")


This is a good article. Everyone ought to read it and co-operatives in all localities can consult it when they draw up their own long-term plans. As the author puts it so aptly, "The whole process of drawing up a production plan is one of struggle between advanced and conservative thinking." Conservative ideas are causing trouble almost everywhere. To overcome them and take the productive forces and production a big step forward, all localities and co-operatives should draw up their own long-range plans.

(Note to "The Three-Year Production Plan of a Co-operative")


This township has made a two-year plan for co-operative transformation, increased production, water conservancy, consolidation of the Party and Youth League organizations, cultural and educational work, etc., and so should every township in China. Some people say plans are hard to make, then how did this township manage it? In 1956 every county, district and township in our country should draw up a comprehensive plan, which should include more items than the above plan, items such as side-line production, trade, finance, afforestation and health work. Even if the plan is a bit crude and not quite in accord with actual conditions, it is better than none. If one or two counties, districts and townships in a province can produce fairly good plans, these can be immediately publicized and serve as models for other counties, districts and townships. Planning is said to be hard, but actually it's not so hard.

(Note to "Yitao Township's Comprehensive Plan")


This article is very useful and can serve as reference material for all counties. In its over-all planning every county should map out an appropriate plan for water conservancy. Water conservancy is an important measure to ensure increased agricultural production, small projects are well within the capacity of every county, district, township and co-operative, and it is therefore most necessary for plans to be drawn up and carried out in stages over a number of years to ensure irrigation in times of drought and drainage in times of water-logging, barring extraordinary and uncontrollable floods and droughts. This is certainly practicable. Organized in co-operatives, the masses have immense strength. Insoluble for thousands of years, the problems of ordinary floods and droughts can now be solved in a matter of a few years.

(Note to "Let Everyone Have One Mou of Irrigated Land")


Pig-raising is an important matter which has a direct bearing on the provision of fertilizer, meat supply and the earning of foreign exchange from exports; therefore all co-operatives should include the raising of pigs in their plans, and naturally the provinces, prefectures, counties and districts should all have their own plans. Pig-feed is readily available; some kinds of grass and tree leaves, sweet potatoes and their vines are all pig-feed, and it need not necessarily be grain, still less a lot of it. Apart from collective pig-raising by co-operatives, every peasant household should be advised to raise one or more pigs, and this goal is to be attained by stages in a few years. Of course exceptions should be made in the case of some minority nationality communities where pig-raising is taboo and of some families which object to raising pigs on religious grounds. A set of measures should be devised to reward pig-raising and the experience of the Shanghua Co-operative in Chekiang Province can serve for the reference of all localities.

(Note to "Plenty of Pigs Are Raised Here")


Before the co-operative transformation of agriculture, surplus labour-power was a problem in many parts of the country. Since then many co-operatives have felt the pinch of a labour shortage and the need to mobilize the masses of women, who did not work in the fields before, to take their place on the labour front. This was a major development that came as a surprise to many people. People had generally expected a surplus of labour-power in the wake of co-operation. A surplus already, and what if there should be another one? In many places co-operation in practice has dispelled such misgivings, as the problem has not been a surplus but a shortage of labour-power. Some places did find a surplus of labour-power for a while following co-operation, but that was because they had not yet extended the scale of production, initiated diverse economic undertakings or started: intensive cultivation. For many places the labour shortage becomes: evident as production grows in scale, the number of undertakings increases, the efforts to remake nature become more extensive and intensive and the work is done more thoroughly. This is only the beginning, and it will become more evident as the years go by. It will be the same after agriculture is mechanized. In the days to come all kinds of enterprises undreamed of before will make their appearance and agricultural output will rise several times, a dozen times, perhaps scores of times, above the present level. The expansion of industry, communications and exchange will defy the imagination of past generations. It will be the same with science, culture, education and health work. Women form a great reserve of labour-power in China. This reserve should be tapped in the struggle to build a great socialist country. The principle of equal pay for equal work for men and women must be enforced to encourage women to engage in productive activity. All co-operatives can draw upon the experience of Chienteh County in Chekiang Province.

(Note to "Labour Shortage Solved by Rallying Women to Join in Production")


This is also a common problem. The experience of these two co-operatives shows that under present conditions of production there is already a surplus of roughly one-third of the labour-power. What required three people in the past can be done by two after co-operative transformation, an indication of the superiority of socialism. Where can an outlet be found for this surplus labour-power of one-third or more? For the most part, still in the countryside. Socialism has not only liberated the working people and freed the means of production from the shackles of the old society but has also released the boundless resources of nature which the old society could not exploit. The masses have unlimited creative power. They can organize themselves to take on all spheres and branches of work where they can give full play to their energy, tackle production more intensively and extensively and initiate more and more undertakings for their own well-being. So far we have not touched on the mechanization of agriculture. With mechanization, much more labour-power can be saved. Will there be an outlet? Yes, there will be one, too, according to the experience of certain mechanized state farms. As the scope of production expands, the number of undertakings increases and the work is done more intensively, there is no need to worry about labour-power not being put to use.

(Note to "An Outlet Has Been Found for Surplus Labour-Power")


Things in this county also show us that an outlet can be found in the villages for rural surplus labour-power. As management improves and the scope of production expands, every able-bodied man and woman can put in more work-days in the year. Instead of over one hundred work-days for a man and a few score for a woman as described in this article, the former can put in well over two hundred work-days an the latter well over one hundred or more. Some co-operatives in other parts of the country have already reached that level. Side-line production must have an assured market and not develop blindly -- this is correct. Taking the country as a whole, rural side-line production in a large measure caters to the countryside, but a fair part, which is likely to expand in the future, must cater to the cities and meet export requirements. The point is that the state must have a unified plan so as gradually to eliminate blind development.

(Note to "Hsiangyin County Has Found an Outlet for Surplus Labour-Power")


This article is very good and what it describes should be the example for all localities. "Bookkeepers are not available" -- this is one of the excuses of those who are against the rapid development of co-operation. Agricultural co-operation throughout the country calls forseveral million bookkeepers, and where are they to be found? As a matter of fact such manpower is available, since large numbers on primary school and junior middle school graduates can be mobilize to do the job. What is required is to train them quickly and raise their literacy level and vocational ability in the course of their work. In each district organize the bookkeepers from the producers', the supply and marketing and the credit co-operatives into a bookkeepers' mutual-aid network -- this would be a good way to raise their literacy and vocational levels. Such a network in Changwu County's Third District has helped raise the bookkeepers' level in both these respects and has done a lot of economic and political work besides. Party organizations at the county and district levels must give their attention and guidance to the work discussed here.

(Note to "Experience in Organizing Bookkeepers for the Agricultural Producers', the Supply and Marketing and the Credit Co-operatives into a Bookkeepers' Mutual-Aid Network")


The experience discussed here should be popularized. Lenin said that "a communist society cannot be built in an illiterate country".[4] In our country today there are so many illiterates, and yet the building of socialism cannot wait until illiteracy is eliminated ; thus an acute contradiction arises. In our country today, it is not only the many school-age children who have no schools to go to, but also large numbers of young people above that age, to say nothing of adults. This serious problem must be, and can only be, solved in the course of agricultural co-operation. With the formation of co-operatives, the peasants have a strong urge to learn to read and write out of economic necessity. With the formation of co-operatives, the peasants have collective strength, the situation changes completely and they can organize their own literacy classes. First, to be able to record work-points, they must learn to write the names of the persons and places in their village or township, the names of farm implements, the terms for different kinds of farm work and other indispensable words -- two or three hundred in all. Next, they must acquire a bigger vocabulary. Two kinds of textbooks are thus needed. The first should be compiled with the needs of the co-operatives in a particular locality in mind by the local educated people with the help of the comrades guiding the work of co-operation. Each locality should compile a textbook of its own, and there should not be a uniform text for all. This textbook does not need approval by the higher authorities. The second textbook, also with a vocabulary of a few hundred words and to be compiled in the same manner, should be based on things and expressions pertinent to a relatively limited area (for instance, a county or prefecture), and in addition on certain things and expressions of the province (or municipality or autonomous region) and the whole country. This kind of textbook need not be uniform in all localities either, but it should be examined promptly by the educational authorities of the county, prefecture, or province (or municipality or autonomous region). After these two steps, a third should be taken; this will require the educational authorities of each province (or municipality or autonomous region) to prepare a third textbook for general use. More advanced textbooks will subsequently have to be compiled. The cultural and educational authorities at the national level should give proper guidance in this matter. The Youth League branch of Kaochialiukou Village, Chunan County, Shantung Province, has done something creative. It is most gratifying to see how things are going there. They found teachers among the graduates of their township primary school. Progress was rapid with more than a hundred young people and adults learning over two hundred words in two and a half months. They can now keep records of their own work-points and some have become work-point recorders for the co-operative. "A course for recording work-points" -- that's an apt name, too. Such courses should be opened everywhere. Youth League organizations at every level should give guidance to this work and all Party and government organizations should give it their support.

(Note to "The Experience of the Youth League Branch of Kaochialiukou Village, Chunan County, in Starting a Course for Recording Work-Points")


This is about the Gold Star Agricultural, Forestry and Livestock Producers' Co-operative led by Li Shun-ta. In the three years since its formation it has grown into a large co-operative with 283 households. It is located in a barren area in the Taihang Mountains, but by sheer hard work on the part of all during these three years it has begun to take on a new look. The utilization rate of labour-power is now 110.6 per cent higher than in the days of individual farming before the anti-Japanese war and 74 per cent higher than in the period of the mutual-aid teams before the co-operative was formed. The co-operative's accumulation has increased from 120 yuan in its first year to over 11,000 yuan. In 1955 each member received an average of 884 catties of grain, which is 77 per cent more than in the days before the anti-Japanese war and 25.1 per cent more than in the mutual-aid team period. This co-operative made a five-year plan, but after three years its total output value is already 100.6 per cent of the target set by the plan. The experience of this co-operative poses the following question to us: If large increases in output can be attained in places where the natural conditions are poor, why can't places where the natural conditions are more favourable do even better?

(Note to "Run the Co-operative with Diligence and Thrift, Develop the Mountain Areas")


This is a well managed co-operative. One can learn a great deal from its valuable experience. Chufu County is Confucius' home town where the old man ran a school for many years and trained a good number of capable disciples, a fact that is quite well known. But he didn't care much about the economic aspects of the life of the people. When his disciple Fan Chih asked him how to do farming, he not only parried the question but abused Fan Chih behind his back as belonging to "the lower orders".[5] Now the people in his home town have set up socialist co-operatives. After three years of co-operation, the economic and cultural life of the people, who were poor and destitute for over two thousand years, has begun to change. This demonstrates that the socialism of our time has indeed no parallel in history. Socialism is infinitely superior to the Confucian "classics". I would like to suggest to those interested in visiting the Temple and Tomb of Confucius that on their way they might well go and have a look at the co-operative described here.

(Note to "An Agricultural Producers' Co-operative Increases Production by 67 Per Cent in Three Years")


This article is very well written and worth reading. Most of the existing semi-socialist co-operatives are small, each with only twenty or thirty households, because co-operatives of that size are easy to set up and give the cadres and members an opportunity to gain experience quickly. But with its few members, little land and scanty funds a small co-operative cannot operate on a large scale or use machinery. Co-operatives so small in size still hamper the development of the productive forces; they should not remain at this stage for long, but should gradually merge. In some places a single co-operative may embrace an entire township, in a few places several townships, but, of course, in many others one township may have several co-operatives. Big co-operatives can be formed in mountain areas as well as on the plains. The township in Anhwei Province where the Futzuling Reservoir is situated is all hills for dozens of li around. It is precisely here that a big co-operative has been set up which goes in for agriculture, forestry and livestock in a comprehensive way. Of course the amalgamation of co-operatives should proceed step by step with the members' consent and when suitable cadres are available.

(Note to "The Superiority of the Big Co-operative")


The experience of the Red Flag Co-operative on Hainan Island has again demonstrated the greater advantages of big co-operatives and co-operatives of the advanced type. Only one year after its formation, this big co-operative was ready to move on to the advanced stage. Of course, this is not to say that all co-operatives should follow suit, for' they must first consider whether their conditions are ripe before deciding when to merge and move on to the advanced stage. But generally speaking, a period of three years is about right. The important thing is to set examples for the peasants. When they see that big co-operatives and co-operatives of the advanced type yield greater advantages than small and elementary ones, they will want to merge their co-operatives and move on to the advanced stage.

(Note to "The Red Flag Agricultural Producers' Co-operative in the First District of Chiungshan County Grows Strong in the Struggle Against Natural Disasters and Capitalist Ideology")


It is necessary to consider changing elementary co-operatives to advanced ones when their conditions are ripe, so as to further develop their productive forces and production. Since elementary co-operatives maintain a system of semi-private ownership,[6] with the passage of time this will hamper the development of the productive forces and people will begin to demand a change in the system of ownership, so that the co-operative will become a collectively managed economic unit in which the means of production are owned wholly in common. Once the productive forces are further freed, production will expand even more. Some places can make the change-over fairly quickly, others will probably have to go a bit more slowly. After functioning for about three years co-operatives of an elementary type will in the main acquire the necessary conditions. The Party organizations in every province, municipality and autonomous region should look into this matter and make preparations, and during 1956 and 1957 establish a number of experimental co-operatives of the advanced type with the consent of the masses. In general, the co-operatives today are small, and when they switch over to the advanced type, the many small co-operatives should be merged into big ones with the consent of the masses. If in 1956 and 1957 every district can get one or more such co-operatives organized and their superiority over the elementary type is made plain to the masses, this will create favourable conditions for co-operatives to merge and move on to the advanced stage in the years to follow. This work must be co-ordinated with over-all planning to expand production. When people see that big co-operatives and co-operatives of the advanced type have greater advantages than small and elementary ones, when people see that long-range planning brings a much higher level of material and cultural life in its train, they will agree to merge their co-operatives and move on to the advanced stage. The elevation to the advanced stage will proceed more quickly in the suburban areas. The experience of this co-operative in Peking can serve as reference material for other co-operatives with similar conditions.

(Note to "A Co-operative That Goes from the Elementary to the Advanced Type")


1. In its early days the Wang Kuo-fan Co-operative was woefully short of means of production, Instead of asking for state loans, the co-operative organized its members to go into the mountains some thirty li away to collect firewood which they sold to pay for means of production. So the co-operative members said that they "made the mountains yield" a substantial amount of the means of production.

2. Here "reverse propaganda" means making clear to the masses the difficulties and adversities they may come across in forming co-operatives, in addition to publicizing the advantages and favourable conditions. This was done when the masses were fully aroused and applied in great numbers for co-operative membership, so that they could weigh the matter thoroughly and join of their own free will.

3. The four comparisons were to compare and see which was better: (1) the co-operative, the mutual-aid team, or peasants working on their own; (2) socialism or capitalism; (3) a system with exploitation or a system without exploitation, and (4) personal enrichment or prosperity for all. The five calculations referred to the calculation. of the superiority of the co-operatives with respect to (1) coping with natural disasters, (2) increasing earnings through the promotion of side-lines, (3) increasing workpoints by arousing enthusiasm for labour, (4) increasing production as a result of mutually beneficial co-operation by the poor and the middle peasants, and (5) overcoming difficulties in production and in livelihood.

4. V. I. Lenin, "The Tasks of the Youth Leagues".

5. Confucian Analects, Book XIII, "Tzu Lu".

6. The elementary co-operative characterized by the pooling of land as shares an unified management was semi-socialist in nature. It maintained private ownership b the co-operative members of such means of production as land, draught animals an the larger farm implements, and the co-operative had to pay "dividends" to its men bets for their use. The elementary co-operative was therefore said to have retainssemi-private ownership.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung