Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
January 23, 1934
[This is a report presented by comrade Mao before the Second National Congress of workers and peasants deputies, held in Juichin in Kiangsi, on January 23, 1934. Extracted from Chinese workers correspondence Shanghai, Vol. 4. No. 11, March 31, 1934. (Please also see Maos article Our Economic Policy, S.W., Vol. I, p,141.)]
Two years have elapsed since the 1st National Soviet Congress convened. Facts and events of the past two years tell us that the imperialist Kuomintang rule has further declined in the process of its debacle while the Soviet movement proceeded and developed vigorously towards its victory!
Now we have arrived at the era when the Chinese Revolution has become further acute and the whole world is passing its transitory period leading to a new turn of war and revolution. The opposition of the socialist world to the capitalist world has become much sharper. On the one hand, the socialist construction in the Soviet Union and the peace policy of the Soviet Government have achieved sweeping success, all conducive to the consolidation of the position of the Soviet Union, in sharp contradiction to the capitalist world where the eversharpening of the economic crises has led the imperialist powers to seek a workable solution in the attack on the Soviet Union and China. Preparations for the intervention against the Soviet Union have never ceased for a single minute while the imperialist division of China and the intervention against the Chinese revolution are in full swing.
But the world proletariat revolution and the revolution of the oppressed nations are extending in every direction precisely under the influence of the successful socialist construction in the Soviet Union and in face of the menace of the imperialist crisis and war. A part of the world revolution, the Chinese revolution, is growing out of the sharpening of the national crisis, the collapse of national economy, the success of the Soviet movement at an accelerated pace, resulting in pushing the Chinese revolution to the foreground in the world revolution.
The dominating factors of the present Chinese situation are: Wide civil war; death-and-life struggle between revolution and counter-revolution; sharp contrast between the worker-peasant Soviet power and the Kuomintang power of landlords and bourgeoisie. On the one hand, the Soviet power is summoning, organizing, and leading the country-wide masses to fight in national revolutionary war to overthrow the rule of landlords and bourgeoisie throughout the country; to oust imperialism from oppression and exploitation by imperialists and Kuomintang; to save the country from colonization and to build up Soviet China of complete freedom, independence and territorial integrity.
The growing acute contrast between the two powers cannot but promote the death-and-life struggle between them to assume more and more violent proportions,. It had now come to the decisive historical stage of the struggle. The Kuomintang is launching its 5th offensive against us. The historical task of the soviet power is : to summon, to organize and to lead all revolutionary masses both in the Soviet Districts and in other parts of the country to fight in this decisive war; to mobilize broad worker-peasant masses to join the Red Army; to improve the political, cultural and technical levels of the Red Army; to enlarge the local armed forces and partisans; to agitate for broad partisan wars; to strengthen the concentrated and unified leadership of the Soviet over all Soviet districts and Red Army; to strengthen the working speed and quality of the Soviet work in every field; to strengthen the financial and economical work of the Soviet so as to guarantee the material demands of the revolutionary war; to develop the class struggle of the working masses; to organize the revolutionary initiative of the working masses into the struggle of smashing the 5th offensive of the enemy; to develop the agrarian revolution of the peasants; to mobilize the broad masses to fight for the acquisition and protection of land; to call all working and peasant masses of the Soviet Districts and throughout China to fight with all efforts and at all cost in the revolutionary war. This is the way to smash the 5th offensive of imperialists and the Kuomintang, to save China from being colonized and to attain the soviet victory in one or several provinces and in the whole territory of China!
The greatest events in the past two years in China since the inauguration of the Provisional soviet Central Government were imperialist attacks and the 4th and 5th offensives waged upon revolution by counter-revolution. The occupation of Manchuria, Mongolia and North China by Japanese robbers and the intensified control of Tibet, Sikong, Yunnan, the Yangtze Valley by British, French and American imperialists, are all directed by the Imperialists to wreck the Chinese Soviet power and to completely enslave the Chinese nation as a preliminary step towards the war against the USSR. The Kuomintang of landlords and bourgeoisie still sticks to its long followed policy of capitulation while, on the contrary, the anti-imperialist movement of the country-wide revolutionary masses, with the unprecedented national crisis before them, has developed with extreme violence.
At the present movement two powers of opposite directions are laid before the country-wide revolutionary masses: the Kuomintang which surrenders completely to imperialism with all means suppresses the anti-imperialistic masses; the Soviet which is determinably anti-imperialistic and does its best to support and lead the anti-imperialist movement.
In the past two years the Provisional Soviet Central Government has repeatedly circulated statements denouncing the predatory wars waged by the Japanese Imperialists and the traitorous capitulation of Kuomintang. On April 14, 1932, the Provisional Central Government formally declared war on Japan and issued mobilization orders for war against her. The Provisional Central Government and the Revolutionary Military Council have more than once announced their readiness to conclude agreement with any armed unit of the Kuomintang for joint anti-Japanese and anti-imperialist military movement under the following conditions: (1) Immediate stop of offensive against the Soviet districts; (2) Guarantee of Civil rights for the masses; (3) Arming of the masses and creation of anti-Japanese volunteers. The Tankoo Agreement concluded between the Kuomintang and Japan on May 30, 1933, and Sino-Japanese direct negotiations since then are policies and actions against the national interests but repeatedly repudiated by the Provisional Central Government in its statements made public of late. The Soviet has supported the anti-Japanese struggle in any and every part of the country. To speak alone of the anti-Japanese strike of the textile workers in West Shanghai. 1932, the Soviet aided them with $ 16, 000.
In the Soviet territories, imperialist privileges have been abolished and imperialist influence wiped out. Imperialist pastors and fathers were ousted by the masses; estates of the people seized by imperialist missionaries were returned, missionary schools were turned into Soviet schools. In short, the Soviet districts in China alone are liberated from the imperialist yoke.
These facts point to one thing; the Soviet is the sole anti-imperialist government. The Soviet Government wants to make known to the country-wide masses: the greatest responsibility of the Soviet and the whole masses is to win victory over imperialists by means of direct war. The fulfillment of this work depends upon the development of the mass anti-imperialist struggle. First of all, the lackey of Imperialism, the Kuomintang, should be smashed because it is the greatest obstacle on the way before the anti-imperialist Soviet and masses.
Because the Chinese Soviet districts are the revolutionary base for the Chinese anti-imperialist movement, because the Chinese Red Army is the main pillar of the Chinese anti-imperialist forces, and because the Soviet movement and the revolutionary war are proceeding violently, the Kuomintang with the direct help of the imperialists and with all force at its disposal, waged four offensives and is now waging the 5th one against the Soviet and Red Armies in an attempt to put down the Chinese revolution and to fulfill its task of cleaning the ground for imperialism. But every offensive of imperialism and the Kuomintang ended in glaring failure. The victories of the Soviet and Red Armies have further confirmed the belief of the country-wide masses that the Soviet and Red Armies alone are fighting for the national independence and freedom, and that they are the sole forces for the salvation of China.
The 4th offensive of the enemy began right after the Kuomintang had surrendered Manchuria to the Japanese and concluded the Shanghai Truce Agreement of May 5th, 1932. The traitorous Kuomintang did not mobilize a single soldier to fight the Japanese aggression. On the contrary, despite the fact that the Soviet and Red Armies have more than once proposed to conclude an anti-Japanese military agreement with any anti-Japanese troops, the Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai-shek, chief of all traitors, concentrated hundreds of thousands of troops to attack the Hupeh-Honan-Anhui and Hunan-Hupeh West Soviet districts and forced the Red Armies to withdraw from the cordon they formed around the district of Wu-Han. On our side, because of some tactical mistakes, coupled with our reluctance to have a direct clash with a force of the enemy which was overwhelmingly stronger than ours, the 4th Red Army Corps was obliged to withdraw from the Hupeh-Honan-Anhui Soviet district and began the famous expedition to Szechuen where a new and big Soviet base embracing Tungkiang, Bachun, Nanking, Hsunhan and Suiting has been created. During the expedition, the 4th Red Army corps had widely disseminated seeds of the Soviet in the comparatively revolutionary backward zones of the Northwest where broad revolutionary struggle of the masses have been brought up to develop. In not more than one year, the 4th Red Army Corps has sovietized more than ten hsien and called forth leaning of the Szechuen toiling masses and soldiers of the White troops toward the Soviet revolution. Meantime the 2nd Red Army Corps which evacuated from the Hung Lake Zone not only has suffered no serious loss but also gained new success in the Szechuen-Hupeh-Hunan frontier regions in its operation in coordination with the 4th Red Army Corps. Even in the Hung Lake zone, Red partisans are still active. In the Hupeh-Honan-Anhui Soviet district, we did not lose much of our base. On the contrary, we are now very successful there in the strife to consolidate our position and to develop partisan wars in the surrounding neighborhood.
As to the Central Soviet District (Kiangsi), it is the location of the Central Soviet Government headquarters of the country-wide Soviet movement and the chief target of the offensive of the enemy. Around this district and its neighbouring Soviet zones the enemy has concentrated most of its forces in the so-called "Central Government" troops, the units under the command of militarists Chiang Kwang-lai, Tsai Ting-Kai, together with those under the command of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, and Hunan warlords. Through one year's hard struggles, we have gained unprecedented success. The biggest victory was that we gained in the spring of 1933 when the Red Armies of the Central Soviet district alone destroyed 23 regiments, 6 battalions and 2 companies of the enemy and smashed 3 divisions, 12 regiments, 3 battalions and 2 companies and captured twenty thousand rifles and one thousand machine guns and autorifles. Particularly in the battles of Tungpi and Hangpi, we annihilated a complete column of the crack troops of the enemy. These battles ended in the 4th offensive of Nanking with a complete failure to the enemy.
The failure of the 4th offensive of the enemy had brought along qualitative and quantitative growth of the Red Army. The commanders and fighters of the Red Army have become more determined politically and more skillful in military techniques, showing long strides of progress as compared with the time before the 4th offensive. Moreover, the Soviet territory has been enlarged. Besides the new Soviet district in Szechuen, we have now Fukien- Kiangsi province, another new Soviet district in the east part of Kiangsi, which increased the population of Soviet China by almost one million. Our old Soviet districts are further consolidated. This has been shown by the improvement of the Soviet work, by the rise of the militancy of the worker-peasant masses, by the development of class struggle both in cities and villages, and by the suppression of the remnants of counter-revolution in the Soviet districts. This sum-total of the success of the Soviet revolution has also its influence in the Kuomintang-ruled districts where the struggling spirit of oppressed worker-peasant masses has been further promoted, the soldiers and commanders of the White troops have shown their further wavering, and Chiang Kai-shek himself was even obliged to proclaim his desperate order of "Death punishment to all who do not fight the 'bandits' but demand to fight the Japanese."
Since the failure of the 4th offensive, the only manifestation of the Kuomintang has been to further shamelessly surrender to imperialism. From the imperialists the Kuomintang has received new loans and consignments of military supplies. Directly led by the imperialists and with foreign advisers helping it reorganize its forces (training of new recruits, air forces, and the Blue Jacket officials), the Kuomintang has been enabled once more to proceed with its 5th offensive against the Soviet and Red Army. The struggle of the C.E.C. of the Party, namely, "to make it impossible for imperialist crisis to seek its way out, or in other words, to struggle for the independence and freedom of Soviet China." Indeed, the struggle against the 5th offensive is to determine whether China goes down to complete independence, freedom. and territorial integrity.
We have acquired all fundamental conditions to win our struggle against our enemy since our victory over the 4th offensive. We have to point out that enemy has far more difficulties than we; the wavering of the soldiers of the White troops; the hatred against the rulers of the workers-peasant masses together with the broad petty-bourgeoisie in the enemy-ruled districts; the disintegration of the militarists; the clashes and conflicts among the imperialists who are supporters of the Kuomintang; the financial and economical bankruptcy of the Kuomintang. These are all objective conditions that show the possibility of victory for the revolution.
We get to know its environment, now and past, together with the tasks the environment calls forth, before we explain the fundamental policies of the Soviet. The Soviet has grown up from partisan wars and from many isolated and small districts beyond the boundaries of which is the world of the enemy. The enemy has been quite busy with the destruction and oppression of the Soviet. Yet the Soviet has been victorious. It is able to defeat the enemy and has grown up through its repeated victories over the enemy. This is the environment of the Soviet. In many respects, the environment of the Soviet at present is different from that of the past. It has a wider territory, broader masses and stronger Red Army. It has concentrated many of its scattered forces (although the work has not been complete). It has been organized into a state, the Soviet Republic of China, which has now its central and local organization. The central organ, the Provisional Central Government is the nucleus of concentrated power depending upon the broad masses and their armed force - the Red Army. This Government is the power of workers and peasants themselves. It is the revolutionary workers peasant democratic dictatorship which is ever enlarging its influence throughout the country by virtue of the growing confidence of the broad masses in it. Evidently, the Soviet now no longer has the same environment confronting it as in the partisan war stage. Yet it still has to face constant warfare which is becoming wider and more violent. The reason is that the opposition between it and the landlord-bourgeoisie Kuomintang is growing daily acute and the time has come when the two contending parties have to fight a decisive battle. In short, before it there is at present a big scale offensive of Imperialists and the Kuomintang and that is its environment nowadays.
This very environment determines the tasks of the Soviets. It must do its best to mobilize, organize and arm the masses, concentrate all of its strength for the development of the revolutionary war and fight out the other dictatorship together with the imperialist rule that has acted as the supporter and director of that other dictatorship. The aim of knocking down imperialism and the Kuomintang is to unify China, to bring the bourgeois democratic revolution to realization and to make it possible to turn the said revolution later to a higher stage of socialist revolution. This is the task of the Soviet.
From this we may understand what the various Soviet policies and tasks are. They are: to consolidate the victoriously established worker-peasant dictatorship; to develop this dictatorship to the whole country; to mobilize, organize and arm the Soviet and country-wide masses to fight in the determined revolutionary war to overthrew the imperialist Kuomintang rule and to consolidate and develop the worker-peasant dictatorship; to prepare the present bourgeois democratic revolution for its turn toward the socialist proletarian dictatorship in the future. All these form the starting point of the Soviet policies .
Let us first speak of the armed masses and Red Army of the Soviet. To fight against the offensive of the enemy and to wage the revolutionary war, the first task of the Soviet is to arm the masses and to organize strong and iron Red Army, local forces and partisans, and provisions, supplies, and transportation for the war. The Soviet has been successful in its work along this line during the past two years, particularly during the 4th offensive and the present determined struggle against the 5th one.
The formation of the Central Revolutionary Military Council has unified the leadership over the national Red troops and made the Red forces in every Soviet district and on any front to be able to fight and to operate in good coordination under the unified tactics. This is an important turn to convert the scattered activities of partisan troops into activities of regular and big scale Red Armies. The Revolutionary Military Council in the past two years has victoriously led the country-wide Red Armies, particularly those of the Central Soviet district, in the smashing of the 4th offensive and in the initial successes of the struggle against the 5th offensive. The Red Army is now several times bigger than it was two years ago. This work owes its success to the militancy of the broad worker peasant masses to join the Red Army, to the improvement of the mobilization methods, and to the determined execution of the special treatment for the red fighters by the Soviet. During May, 1933, in the Central Soviet district alone, the Red Army was increased by twenty thousand new fighters from the various hsien. This smashed the various opportunistic points of view that the masses are not willing to join the Red Army or that enlargement of the Red army cannot be achieved in new Soviet districts. There are many models of the work to enlarge the Red Army. For instance. in Chankanhsian, Kiangsi, 80 per cent of the men between 16 and 45 and in Shangwanshihsian, Fukien, 88 per cent of them are now serving in the Red Army. In these villages with the overwhelming majority of the adults going to bravely fight in the revolutionary war, the daily affairs of farming production are not only not affected, but also improved and enlarged! Why is that so? The village labour power has been readjusted and reorganized better, and the difficult problems confronting the families of the Red fighters have been solved through the efforts exerted by the Labour Cooperative and Farming Volunteers.
The strengthening of the Red army has proceeded along with its enlargement. Now the Red army is proceeding to assume the form of ironsides as regular revolutionary armed forces. The causes are: (1) Growth of the percentage of worker-peasant toiling masses in it; (2) More worker cadres and universal practice of political commissioner system; (3) The progress of political training strengthened the determination of the Red fighters to fight for the final victory of the Soviet, raised the class-conscious discipline and increased the relation between the Red Army and the masses; (4) General rise of military techniques; (5) Better organization increased the organized strength. These have promoted the fighting strength of the Red Army and made it the formidable force of the Soviet.
Red Defence and Young Vanguards are ready made reservists for the Red Army on the fighting front, forces of defence for the Soviet districts and the bridge that is leading the present voluntary military system to the conscription system of tomorrow.
Partisan units are creator of new Soviet districts and inseparable detachments of the main force -- the Red Army. In the past two years more of them are developed in the various Soviet districts with their political and military training considerably improved. They have in the past offensives of the enemy showed marvelous success in their work for the defence of the Soviet districts, and in their operation to take the troops of the enemy by surprise and to disturb their rear. Many of their performances were even thought by the enemy as miracles. Their activities have offered the greatest difficulties to the enemy in attempting to invade the Soviet districts. This has been particularly shown in the Central and Kiangsi-Checkiang Soviet districts.
To satisfy the Red Army with supplies and provisions, to organize the military transportation between the front and the rear and to organize sanitary organs and hospitals for the Red fighters are all tasks of decisive importance to the revolutionary war. Since we have not yet captured many central cities and since the economic blockade of the enemy against us is very strict, there are numerous difficulties confronting us in our work along this lines. However, in the past two years the militancy the broad masses in the Soviet district has guaranteed continued supplies, provisions and transportation for the Red army. This is also one of our big successes.
The fundamental task of the Soviet is revolutionary war and to mobilize all mass strength to fight in the war. Around this fundamental task the Soviet has many urgent tasks. It has to practice wide democracy; to determinably suppress the counter-revolution under its jurisdiction; to promote class-struggle of the workers; to promote agrarian revolution of the peasants; to promote the militancy of the worker-peasant masses under the principle of workers leading the worker-peasant alliance; to administer the correct financial and economic policies so as to guarantee the material needs of the revolutionary war; to wage the cultural revolution so as to arm the heads of the worker-peasant masses. All these, together with other policies, are but directed to one goal: to overthrow the imperialist-Kuomintang rule through revolutionary war, to consolidate and develop the worker-peasant democratic dictatorship and to be prepared to proceed to the stage of proletarian dictatorship.
The Soviet of the worker-peasant democratic dictatorship is the government of the masses themselves, directly depending upon them maintaining the closest relation with them and, therefore, able to operate its maximum strength. It has already been the organizer and leader of the revolutionary war and the mass life. Its enormous strength is incomparable to any form of state in the history. it needs a strong power to cope with its class enemy. But to the worker-peasant masses it exercises no strong power but wide democracy. The wide democracy of the Soviet is, first of all, manifested in its election. The Soviet gives the right to vote to all oppressed and exploited masses regardless of sex. This right to the worker-peasant masses is unprecedented in human history. The experience of the past two years tells us that the Soviet has been very successful in its election. The particulars of the Soviet elections are as follows: (1) The names of the electors are written on a big red paper and an election meeting with no exploiters participating in it takes the place of the general mass meeting of the past. (2) The proportions of social composition are as follows: one from every fifteen workers and their family members; one from fifty peasants and poor people; all the city and village Soviet councils are formed this way. The method guarantees the leading position of the workers in the worker-peasant alliance. (3) According to the Election Act proclaimed by the Central Soviet Executive Committee in September 1933 the electron units for the peasants are villages while workers have another rule. This makes the election universal among the peasants while the workers can also elect their best representatives to work in the Soviet Council. (4) During the two elections in 1932 and the election in the autumn of 1933 in many places more than 80 per cent of the electorate joined it. In some places, the sick people and those on defense duty did not join. (5) In many city or village Soviet councils women form a percentage of above 25 per cent. In the Soviets of Shangtsaishihhsian and Shiatsaishihhsian, of Shanhan, in Fukien, the percentages of women are 60 and 66 per cent respectively. Broad woman masses are now participating in the affairs of state administration. (7) Before the election takes place the electors have the chance to hear reports about the past work of the City or Village Soviet in a preparatory meeting. They are led to led give criticisms of the past work. This was more universally practiced during the fall election of last year. All these have helped the masses in getting familiar with the Soviet election, primary step of state administration, and have guaranteed the consolidation of the Soviet power.
Next, the Soviet democracy is also manifested in the City and hsiang councils which form the foundation of the organization of the Soviet. Two years gives us now better organization of the councils. The characteristics are as follows: (1) The delegates are scattered evenly to live among the people the so that they will have the closest relation with them (usually one delegate leads and lives with 30 to 70 people). This makes the council not separated from the masses. (2) The delegates are grouped in from 3 to 7 with their fellow-members in the neighborhood having a head who serves as the a immediate connector between them and the presidium of the council . The group has the regular task of summoning meetings of the people under them by order of the presidium to solve problems of minor importance. All groups in one village have a general head who is responsible for the whole village This makes the connection between the presidium and the delegates very close and guarantees strong leadership over the work of each village. (2) There are various permanent or temporary committees under the City or hsiang Councils such as Cultural, Irrigation, Sanitary, Food, Red Army Families Defence, etc., which absorb the active elements among the masses to work. In this way, the Soviet work is made into the form of a net and the broad masses can directly participate in it. (4) Election of City or hsiang Soviet takes place once in six months and that of province or hsien Soviets once in a year. This makes it easy for the opinions of the masses to reach the Soviet. (5) Any delegate who commits serious errors may lose his seat through the suggestion of ten or more electors, seconded by more than one-half of the whole electorate or through the resolution of the council meeting.
The City and hsiang Soviets are the foundation for the government organs of the Soviets above them; they are all formed by the Soviet congresses and their executives. Government workers are also appointed by election. If any one is found to be incompetent, he may be recalled by public opinion. The solution of all problems is based on public opinion. So the Soviet is really the government of broad masses.
The Soviet democracy is also shown by the fact that all revolutionary masses are given the right of free speech, free association, free assembly, free publication and free strike. The Soviet gives them all facilities such as meeting places, paper, printing shop, and other material needs. Moreover, to consolidate the worker-peasant democratic dictatorship, the Soviet always welcomes the supervision and criticism of the broad masses. Every revolutionary citizen has the right to disclose the error or shortcoming of any Soviet functionary in his work. Finally, the Soviet democracy is also found in the division or administrative to hsiang are now smaller than before. This makes the Soviets of various grades to know exhaustively the demands of the masses and makes the opinions of the masses to be quickly reflected in the Soviets.
The Soviet is not democratic to the exploiters landlord and bourgeoisie who have been knocked down by the revolutionary masses. The Soviet maintain a different attitude toward them. Although overthrown, they still have a deep foundation and their remnants have not yet been wiped out. They have a superior knowledge and techniques. They are always thinking of the restoration of their power. Particularly in the course the civil war, they are always seeking to support the attacking enemies through counter-revolutionary activities Hence, the Soviet has to curb and oppress them from all sides.
First of all, the Soviet rules the exploiting elements out of the political power. In the Soviet Constitution, they are all deprived of the rights of election and military service The Soviet has been ceaselessly engaged in bitter struggles against the alien elements in the Soviet organs. The past experience tells us that this task has been very important work of the Soviet . Secondly, all landlords and bourgeoisie are deprived of the freedom of speech, publication, assembly and association.
Thirdly, counter-revolutionary activities are under the suppression of the revolutionary forces and revolutionary courts. The Soviet courts directly depend upon the mass armed forces, the activities of the State Political Defence Bureau, and the class-struggle of the broad masses. All these have offered strict suppression to the counter-revolutionary activities in the Soviet districts. The well known cases were the suppression by the Soviet courts of the activities of A-B Corps in the Central and Hunan-Kiangsi Soviets, of the Social-Democrats in Fukien, of the Re-organizationists in Hupeh-Hunan west, Hupeh-Honan-Anhui, Fukien- Chekiang-Kiangsi, and Fukien-Kiangsi Soviet districts and of the Trotskist-Chen Groupings in Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi Soviet district Through these suppressions, the State Political Defence Bureaus and the Soviet courts have acquired abundant experience and corrected many errors in the past that were committed through the diversion from the correct class line. The mass character of the Soviet Court, namely, the suppression of counter-revolutionary activities by the Soviet courts in coordination with the me mass struggle ale against counter-revolutionary intrigues, has been making long strides of progress. The practice of the Traveling Court is a proof of this.
The Soviet has formally proclaimed prohibition of corporal punishment. In the Soviet prisons, except for those prisoners who are sentenced to death punishment, all other prisoners are put under reformatory education; that is to say, the Soviet policy for prisoners is to train them in the communistic spirit and with labour discipline. In sharp contradiction to this situation is the practice in full bloom of medieval tortures in the Kuomintang courts and prisons. To put own counter-revolutionary intrigues, to keep the Soviet territory in revolutionary order and to abolish all feudalistic and barbarous remnants in the field of jurisdiction constitute the aim of the Soviet court. The improvement of the Soviet in this direction is of historical significance.
In summary, the Soviet has by far the widest revolutionary democracy for the broad masses and out of it rises its enormous power -- a power which is built upon the determined faith and self-conscious needs of the millions of the worker-peasant masses. Having this power in operation, the Soviet shapes itself into a dictatorship and organizes the revolutionary war and the revolutionary court which wage violent attacks upon the class enemy from all directions. This brings about the enormous function of the Soviet court in the Soviet territory.
The Soviet, based on the class character of its political power and on its enormous task of arming the toiling masses to fight out imperialists and the Kuomintang through a revolutionary war, must initiate class struggles of workers, defend their every day interests, develop their revolutionary initiative, organize this initiative in the enormous revolutionary war and turn the workers into active leaders for the revolutionary war and pillars for the consolidation and development of Soviet power. Interests of the workers are completely protected under the Soviet labour policy. The labour situation under it as compared with that n the past while under the Kuomintang rule, or with that of the districts now still ruled by the Kuomintang, forms a sharp contrast which is comparable only to the difference between heaven and hell. Before the Soviet districts came to exist, that is to say, when the Kuomintang were the rulers, the workers were slaves of employers. The long working hours, the meagre wages, the brutal treatment, and the absence of any legal means whatsoever for protecting the interests of workers are what will remain permanently in the memory of every worker. All these disadvantages for the workers still exist in the Kuomintang-ruled districts and are aggravated . Lately, the real wages of workers in the white districts have been cut by more than fifty per cent. Cut of production, mass-dismissal, and lockout, have been the common methods of capitalists to launch attacks upon their employees. It logically follows that broad workers alone the unemployed now exceeds 60 per cent. In the Kuomintang-ruled districts, strike is a criminal act in the eyes of the rulers. In March, 1933, the Kuomintang authorities at Hankow even proclaimed death punishment for strikers. Whenever there is a conflict between labour and capital, the Kuomintang never fails to stand on the side of the capitalist to suppress the workers.
In the Soviet districts these things have been completely wiped out. Under Soviet power, workers are masters themselves and are leading the broad peasantry in the enormous task of consolidating and developing the Soviet. Hence the basic principle of the Soviet labour policy is to protect the interests of the workers and to consolidate and develop the Soviet power. The Labour Act proclaimed in December. 1931, was based on this principle. It was revised and reproclaimed in March, 1933, better applicable to towns, villages, big enterprises and small ones.
The eight-hour system is now universally observed in the Soviet districts. There is also a wide practice of labour agreement and collective agreement. In many urban and rural districts, there are Labour-Inspection offices which send our inspectors to examine whether the Soviet Labour Act is violated by employers or not. There is the Labour Court for cases in which the employer is accused of violating the Soviet Laws. To guard against control of labour by employers and to work for the interests of the unemployed the Soviet has the absolute control of employment. All employers must go to the soviet for hiring workers. Unemployment relief measures are in broader practice. Generally speaking, unemployed workers can now get concrete relief. Village workers have their own farming land. The social insurance system is administered by a Social Insurance Bureau established in the Soviet towns. These are what the workers cannot get at all in the Kuomintang-ruled districts, but what the Soviet considers as its big responsibility to fulfill.
Because of the determined execution by the Soviet of its labour policy, the living conditions of the workers in the Soviet districts are greatly improved. First of all is the wages. The real wages of the workers of the Soviet districts has been generally increased as compared with the pre-Revolutionary period. The following table is a comparison of wages of the workers in Tingchow before and after the revolution which may be taken as an example:
|Oil- paper workers||5||''||21||16||2||17||15||19|
|Boatmen||14||each travel from
Tingchow to Shanghan
[P-r means pre-Revolutionary period; A-r means after the revolution; d- means difference.]
From this table we can easily see the great difference in the wages of the workers in Tingchow before and after revolution. The smallest increase is 32 per cent (carpenters) and the biggest is 1450 per cent( weaving workers ). What a contrast it is as compared with the decreasing wages in the Kuomintang era! In other districts where the employers supply meals to the workers, the wage level is slightly lower. The wages of a carpenter and mason of Jukin is now 45 cents a day as compared with 25 cents a day in the pre-revolutionary period. The increase is 80 per cent.
Wages in the village are also increased. The following table is the comparison of daily wage scales in cents which prevailed in different periods in Tienchen district of Kanhsien:
|Maximum||Handicrafts men||Paper Workers||Farming hands||Coolies|
|Before May 1, 1931||30||40||30||67.5|
|Before May 1, 1931||25||24||15||39|
|Before May 1, 1931||15||21||6||..|
This is the story of only one village. A similar situation is found in other villages. As to the wage scale prevalent in the state enterprises, there has been a general increase of from 20 percent to 40 percent in the past two years.
Generally speaking the wages of the workers are paid on time. Because of the superintendence of the Soviet, very few employers delay their wage payments to workers. Some stubborn capitalists did try to do so, but were brought under control by the Labour Court.
Concerning the legal al working hour, the 8 hour system has been introduced to all Soviet cities and towns in the past two years and in the villages there are but rare cases in which employees work more than eight hours a day. Employees between the age of 16 and 18 have shorter hours than do adults.
Equal work, equal pay, rest before and after confinement, prohibition of infant workers below fourteen years and so on, are in general practice.
As to apprentices, the apprenticeship period is shortened, treatment improved and feudalistic oppression abolished. The living conditions of apprentices are increased. For instance, in Kiangsi apprentices receive allowance to amount of from fifteen to thirty-six dollars annually.
Sanitary conditions and food supplies for the workers in general, and for the employees of the state enterprises in particular have been greatly improved. In the cities the workers food is rated at least six dollars a month. In the villages, the farming employees eat the same food as served to their employers.
The Soviet workers are organized in their strong class trade union which is the pillar of the Soviet power, burg for the workers themselves and school in which the broad working masses learn communism. With its interests protected by the Soviets, the membership of the trade union is ever on the increase. According to the statistics of the All China Trade Union Federation, the trade union membership in Central Soviet District, together with its neighbouring Soviet zones, amount to 229,000. The distribution is al follows: Central Soviet District 110,000 persons; Hsiang-Kan (Hunan-Kiangsi) 23,000 ; Hsiang-O-Kan (Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi) 40,000; Min-Che-Kan (Fukien-Chekiang-Kiangsi) 25,000; Min-Kan (Fukien-Kiangsi ) 6 000 ; North Fukien, 5,000. According to statistics compiled by the Central Soviet District there are 3,676 non-trade union workers in the said district which means not more than five per cent of the whole working body. In other words, 95 per cent of the workers in the Central Soviet District are members in the Trade Unions. In the district of Hsinkuo this percentage reaches as high as 98 per cent. Can this be dreamed of in the Kuomintang-ruled districts? Except for U.S.S.R., can this be dreamed of in any of the imperialist countries?
In short, in the course of only two years, the Soviet Labour Act has been generally observed in all towns and all villages. In the two years, the capitalists and the kulaks attempted to resist the Act. But the active struggles of the working masses, together with the close superintendence of the Soviet, have frustrated them. In dealing with independent producers and middle peasants who would have violated the Labour Act in their relation with farming hands or other employees, the method of convincing them with frank explanations has been used. All these account for the general improvement of the living conditions of workers, the development of their militancy in the revolution and their vital task in the revolutionary war and the Soviet reconstruction.
According to reports from Kun-lu Wantai, Lun-kan, Hsin-kuo, Shien-li, Sikiang, Yu-tu, Chinwu, Shanghan, Ninhua, Changting, and Hsinchien, out of the 70,580 trade union members in these twelve hsien 19,960 are now serving either in the Red troops or in the local partisan units forming 28 percent of whole membership, and also 6,752 in various Soviet organs forming 10 per cent. The two make a total of 38 per cent. The remainder amounts to 43,860 persons. It was they who cancelled the 2nd Government Bonds to the amount of $43,855 and bought the bonds to the amount of $4.5 or the average. Among them, 12,435 are members of the Communist Party or the Young Communist League, the percentage being 28 percent.
From these statistics, one learns how ardently the working masses are joining the Red army, support the revolutionary war and favour the Communist Party. But these are nothing but the outcome of the work of the Soviet for their interests and to promote their militancy. Some one said that workers gained nothing since the revolution, neither have their militancy been promoted. This is completely a vile slander!
The Chinese Soviet and Red army have grown up from development of the agrarian revolution, which liberates the, broad peasantry from the brutal oppression and exploitation by landlords and the Kuomintang militarists The principle of the land policy of the Soviet is to completely wipe out the feudalistic and semi-feudalistic oppression and exploitation. In any village of the Kuomintang district, past or now, there are horrible land rents ( 60 per cent to 80 per cent ), horrible usury ( 30 per cent to 100 per cent ), and horrible, onerous taxes (there are above 1,700 different kinds of taxes throughout the country ) . Consequently, the land is concentrated in the hands of landlords and kulaks. The overwhelming majority of the peasantry lost their land and are obliged to live in extreme misery. The relentless exploitation has exhausted them of their means to combat catastrophe. The whole country is therefore, exposed to constant inundation or drought. The catastrophe stricken area in 1931 amounted to 809 hsien covering a population of 44,000,000. The exploitation has also exhausted the peasantry of their production power. Much land has been turned infertile or left uncultivated. Yet with their meager products, they have to face the dumping of the imperialist agricultural productions. All these lead the Chinese rural economy to the state of complete bankruptcy from which outbreaks the violent agrarian revolution.
The power of the agrarian revolution in the Soviet districts has wiped out all feudalistic remnants. The millions of the peasantry awakening from their long dark age confiscated land from all the landlords and fertile land from the Kulaks, abolished usury and onerous taxation, knocked down all that are against the revolution and built up their own government. For the first time, the Chinese peasant masses break their way out of the hell and make masters themselves. This is the fundamental situation that differs the rural district under the Soviet from those under the Kuomintang.
The First National Soviet Congress proclaimed the Land Act which has since served as the correct guidance for the proper solution of the land problems in this country. There have been numerous arguments over the analysis of classes in the villages owing to the acute class struggle. Based on the experience of the agrarian revolution, the People's Council has passed a resolution on the various problems of the struggle for land. Undoubtedly, this will promote the further development of the village struggle. As to the methods of partition in connection with the distance, fertility, infertility, forests, waters, etc., it is now of urgent need to work out a definite resolution out of the experience of all places so as to make it the guidance for the partition of land in the new Soviet districts.
The inspection movement mobilized by the Central Government is directed to thoroughly wipe out the feudalistic remnants and to make sure that the real benefits resulting from the agrarian revolution have gone to the farming employees and poor and middle peasants. According to the statistics of July, August, and September, 1933, through this movement in the Central Soviet District that further called forth the revolutionary militancy of the peasant masses, landlords to the number of 6,988 families and the Kulaks to the number of 6,638 families were disclosed with land to the size of 17, 539 mou revoked and money forfeits from the landlords and fines from the Kulaks, to the sum of $606,916 seized. The Farming Employee Trade Union and the Poor Peasant Corps have now formed the pillars of the Soviet in the villages! This is only the result of three months' work which tells that the Soviet has as to pay yet closer attention to the class struggle in the villages. The result also shows that the land inspection movement is an effective means to further develop the village struggle and to annihilate the feudalistic remnants in the rural districts. The class line of the agrarian revolution is to depend upon the farming employees and poor peasants, to ally the middle peasants, to exploit the Kulaks and to annihilate the landlords. The correct practice of this line is the key to the success of the agrarian revolution and foundation for all other policies of the Soviet in the villages. Hence the Soviet should deal seriously with those erroneous tendencies that attempt to infringe upon the middle peasants or to annihilate the Kulaks. At the same time, it should also not compromise with the landlords and Kulaks. That is the way to lead the agrarian revolution in the correct direction. In the past two years we have gained much experience in our mass work in the agrarian revolution. summarized particular are as follows:
(1) Full mobilization of agricultural workers, poor and middle peasants for struggle against landlords and Kulaks is necessary in the partition and inspection movements. The partition and inspection works should be done with concurrence of the masses. The determination of class should be passed by mass meeting. To conduct these works solely through the activities of a few Soviet functionaries is liable to cause danger of lowering the struggling spirit of the masses.
(2) When belongings other than land of the landlords and surplus drag animals and farming implements of the Kulaks are confiscated, the greater part of them must be shared by the poor mass. It is bad to have them only shared by a few for it will lower the struggling spirit of the masses on the one hand and favor the opposition of the exploiters on the other.
(3) The partition of the land should be completed in the shortest possible period Unless it is demanded by a considerable mass of the peasants, re-partition is not a good policy, for otherwise the militancy of the peasant masses to promote agricultural production may be destroyed and the exploiters may take advantage of it to hinder the development of the struggle.
(4) The aim of the inspection movement is to disclose the exploiters, but not to disturb the exploited. So the inspection should not be made from house to house and from one piece of land to another. It should be done through the mobilization of broad masses.
(5) Those counter-revolutionary elements who work to hinder the partition and inspection movements should be seriously dealt with. They should be severely punished by mass judgement or through mass concurrence to serve imprisonment or even to face death penalty. This is necessary for otherwise the agrarian revolution will be handicapped.
(6) Class struggle should be promoted while clashes between families and localities should be avoided. The land lords and Kulaks are always thinking of displacing class struggle with family or local struggle.
(7) The development of the agrarian revolution depends upon the class-consciousness and organizational strength of the basic masses in the villages. The Soviet functionaries must have, therefore, broad and deep propaganda in the villages and work to strengthen the organizations of farming employees and poor peasants.
The aim of the agrarian revolution is not only to solve the land problem of the peasants but also to promote them to increase the productivity of their land. Because of the adequate leadership of the Soviet, and the initiative of the peasant masses themselves, the agricultural production has been restored in most places and in some places it is even increased.
On this foundation, the living conditions of the peasantry have been much improved.
In the past, the peasants lived on tree bark or grain husks for months in a year. This situation no longer prevails and there is no more starvation in the Soviet districts. The life of the peasantry is better and better year by year. They are no longer in rags. They eat meat more constantly, which was a luxury to them in former times.
Which kind of government and which and which kind of life is liked by the peasants? We have this question for the peasants in the Kuomintang-ruled districts to answer.
The financial policy of the Soviets assured ample supplies demanded by the revolutionary war as well as all the money needed by revolutionary work. With a comparatively small territory characterized by economic backwardness and pursuing a policy of taxation beneficial to masses, the Soviet have got along fairly well in sharp contrast to the KMT who, controlling a vast territory and increasing its exploitations from day to day, is now facing financial Bankruptcy. In accordance with the principle of class and revolution the Soviet raise its revenue from the following sources: (1) confiscation or requisition from all feudal exploiters, (2) taxation, (3) development of national economy.
Under the 1st heading, landlords and kulaks both in the KMT and Soviet districts are required to raise funds for the soviets, which, as shown by the past experience, from the largest item in the revenue of the Soviet government. This is in direct contradiction to the KMT, who always places the financial burdens on the shoulders of the toiling masses. The Soviet progressive taxation consists of two categories, namely, the commercial and agricultural taxes, both imposed on the exploiters. The commercial tax is again divided into two classes viz., the customs duty and business tax. The former is designed to control importation with a tariff ranging from entire exemption to 100 per cent duty, free from any intervention from any foreign power. It means a that only the Soviets can realize customs autonomy in China. After payment of the customs duty all goods can flow freely within the Soviet territory without having to pay any more taxes in contrast to the goods passing through the KMT territory which are still subject to various taxes similar to likin.
The business tax is again progressive It takes more from the larger enterprises. with higher profit but less from the smaller enterprises with lower profit. Undertakings with less than $100 capital, cooperatives, farmers selling their own surpluses, are all exempted.
The agricultural tax is likewise progressive. It is heavier for the larger families who have obtained more land but lighter for those who have got less land. The poor peasants and middle peasants but the kulaks pay more. Farm hands and families of the red armies are all exempted. This tax may be reduced or exempted in case of a disaster.
On the other hand, the KMT lays the principal burden on the peasantry and the small proprietors. It collects the surtax on the regular ones at a much heavier rate. According to the Ta Kung Pao, of Tientsin, March 21, 1933, the KMT collects as many as 1,756 taxes, and the Szechwan militarists have collected the land tax up to 1987. In Shensi the KMT has increased the tax by 25 times.
The development of national economy as a source of the Soviet finances forms an important part of the financial policy of the Soviets. It has begun to make progress in Mien che-kang and Kiangsi. The financial and economical organs ought to do more in this direction. Here it may be pointed out that the state banks must issue notes to meet the needs for the development of national economy, considering financial needs as only secondary.
The use of money shall be governed by the principle of economy. Corruption and waste are the greatest crimes. Great achievements have been registered in the struggle against these crimes. "Save every penny for the revolutionary war" is the guiding principle of the Soviet accounting system.
With the expansion of the red army, with the development of the revolutionary war, the Soviets are of course facing financial difficulties which will, however, create conditions for their own solution. The Soviet finances will improve when conquering more territory from the KMT, developing national economy on a larger scale, etc., with the financial burdens placed on the exploiters.
Confronted with an impoverished people, the KMT, however, spread lies against the Soviets, saying that the Soviet government is bankrupt. The KMT is bent on the destruction of the Soviets not only by guns and cannon but by economic measures, the most ruthless of which is "blockade." With the broad masses and the red army behind it, the Soviets have been able to smash the KMT drives one after another. And it has, too, succeeded a to certain extent in economic reconstruction within its territory, a step which has been taken to break the blockade of the enemy.
Engaged in a battle against imperialism and KMT, at the same time located in a region economically backward encircled by the economic blockade of the enemy, the Soviets must proceed, whenever possible with the economic reconstruction, concentrate its forces on war supplies, improve the life of the masses, consolidate the alliance between the workers and the peasants in the economic field, assure the leadership for the proletariat over the peasantry, create the development of socialist construction in future.
The central tasks involved in economic reconstruction of the Soviets are development of agricultural production, of industrial production, of foreign trade, of cooperatives.
Agriculture in Soviet districts is apparently forging ahead at a big pace. Agricultural products in 1933 have increased 15 per cent on the average as against 1932. The rise in Mien-che-kang is 20 per cent. In the couple of years following the Soviet revolution agricultural production showed a downward trend, but thanks to the certainty in the division of land, the promotion of the Soviets and the growth of enthusiasm among the masses, production has been moving upwards steadily. In some cases production has been restored to its original level, but in others it has exceeded the original level. Fallow land has been cultivated again while new land reclaimed. Wide masses of women have joined the shock work in agricultural production. These are the facts never witnessed under the KMTs rule. Satisfied with the land obtained, encouraged by the Soviets, the peasants have shown a great enthusiasm in working up the land allotted to them. Under present conditions, agricultural production shall be the first task in the economic reconstruction of the Soviets. It shall solve the food problem as well as secure raw materials for articles of every-day use. It shall emphasize afforestation and increase in livestock. Taking the small farm economy as a basis, plans must be worked out for certain branches of agriculture as, for example, cotton, whose production shall be fixed for each province.
The Soviets must lead the peasants to solve such vital problems as labour, oxen, fertilizers, seeds, irrigation, etc. Here the organized mobilization of the labour force and the participation of women in production are of vital importance. The Soviets must lead the peasantry in launching the Spring and Summer ploughing campaigns. About 25 per cent of the peasantry is in need of oxen, hence the necessity of organizing the oxen cooperatives. The Soviets must direct the greatest attention to irrigation. At present we are not in need of Soviet farms and collective farms, but for agricultural improvement an experimental station shall be set up in each district. In addition, agricultural research institutes shall be established, agricultural products show rooms arranged.
As a result of the blockade of the enemy, difficulties have arisen in our exportation, and many handicraft industries in the Soviet districts have declined. Tobacco and paper have suffered most. But these difficulties are by no means invincible. Owing to the large consumption of the people, the Soviet goods can find a big market within the Soviet territory. In the first half of 1933 the efforts of the Soviets and the development of the cooperatives resulted in the revival of many industries as, e.g., tobacco, paper, tungsten, camphor, fertilizers, agricultural instruments, etc. Attention shall be directed to cloth, drugs, sugar industries. New industries have sprung up in Mien-che-kang province (paper, cloth, etc.). To relieve the shortage in salt, nitrate-salt has been manufactured. It is hard to map out a plan for the scattered handicraft industries but it is possible to elaborate a plan for the leading industries, above all, for the undertakings operated by the state and cooperatives. The Soviet and cooperative-controlled enterprises shall make an appraisal of the production of materials (raw) as well as market both in the white and red districts.
The Soviet shall organize foreign trade and directly control the flow of such goods as the importation of salt and clothes, the exportation of food and tungsten. It shall see to it that food be equally distributed within the Soviet districts. This work began in Mien-che-kang at an early date, followed by Kiangsi in the Spring of 1933. The inauguration of the foreign trade bureau produced the initial success in this direction.
In the Soviet territory national economy is composed of three parts, namely state cooperative and private enterprises. The state undertakings are at present very much limited in scope but have a bright prospect in future. Within the pale of law, private economy is, far from being restricted, rather encouraged, owing to the Soviets need for private economy. Not only at the present time, but for a long time to come, private economy is predominant. Now it assumes the form of small capital in the Soviet districts.
The cooperative enterprises are making a rapid advance. According to the statistics of September, 1933, there are 1,423 cooperatives with a capital of $305,531 in 17 hsiens. In certain hsiens like Suikin and Sinkuo the number of cooperatives has doubled owing to the encouragement of the economic conference. At present the consumption and food cooperatives are of major importance. They overshadow the production cooperatives. As to the credit cooperatives, they are just in the initial stage. No doubt the development of the cooperatives constitutes an important lever of Soviet economy. Combined with state enterprises, it will become a mighty force in the economic field, assert its supremacy over private economy in a protracted struggle, create conditions for transition of Soviet economy to socialist economy. State enterprises shall be pushed together with the big-scale development of the cooperatives, at the same time, private economy will be encouraged.
As an aid to the development of the state enterprises and the cooperatives, $3,000,000 economic reconstruction bonds have been issued thus enlisting the support of the masses to the Soviet economic construction. In face of millions of starving people and with an impoverished country, the Soviets alone boldly embark on economic reconstruction in a planned way which will carry out the task of saving millions now in distress from final collapse.
For making sure the victory of the revolution, for consolidating the Soviets, for drawing the gigantic forces of the masses in the revolutionary class struggle, for creating a new revolutionary generation the Soviets must proceed with far-reaching cultural reforms designed to shake off the spiritual yoke of the reactionary ruling class as well as to create a new Soviet culture for the workers and peasants.
As is known to all, cultural institutions of the KMT are without exception in the hands of the landlord and bourgeoisie, employed to spread demagogical propaganda to check the revolutionary thought of the oppressed classes. In support of illiteracy they exclude the workers and peasants from education. Educational appropriations have been used for the attack on the revolution. Legions of colleges and universities have closed down, throwing out thousands of students. Over 80 per cent of the population under the KMT is still illiterate. Left wing thought has been ruthlessly suppressed by the white terror. Left writers have been arrested by the Fascist thugs. Educational institutions have become a hell for the masses, a fact that characterizes the educational policy of the KMT.
But in the Soviet territory all cultural and educational institutions are under the direct control of the workers and peasants, giving their children a preferred right to enjoy education, The Soviets have done its best in raising the cultural level of the masses. In spite of the Soviets being located in a backward region and threatened by war from all sides, cultural reconstruction has been going on at an accelerated pace.
For the 2,931 villages in Kiangsi, Fukien and Yeh-kang provinces there are 3,052 Leninist primary schools with 89,710 pupils, 64,612 evening schools with an attendance of 94,517; 32,388 reading groups with a membership of 155,371; 1,656 clubs with 49,668 workers. These are only the statistics compiled up from the data in the central Soviet districts.
A majority of the school-children have attended the Leninist primaries. For instance, out of the 20,969 school children in Sinkuo, 12,860 have attended the Leninist primaries. The school children spend most of the time in reading and reserve only a small fraction of the time for family work. They also join the red boy scouts and learn practical communism therein.
Women are very enthusiastic for education, too. In Sinkuo there are 15,740 pupils for the evening schools, out of which 4,988(31 per cent) are men, and 10,752(69 per cent) are women. Among the reading groups of Sinkuo we find that 40 per cent of the membership is men, while the female members amount to as high as 60 per cent. Not only eager for education, some of the women have occupied high positions in the cultural institutions. They serve as heads of the primaries or evening schools, or as directors of the reading groups. The delegate council of woman workers and peasants is almost universal in the Soviets, directing close attention to the interests of the toiling women, including education.
A vigorous campaign against illiteracy is in full swing. Evening schools for reading have been established (in Sinkuo the number of people who joined the reading groups, scattered all over the hsien, 3,387 ). To help reading, signboards inscribed with characters have been set up close to the highways.
The cultural advance of the Soviets may be illustrated by the increase in the circulation of the papers. In the Central Soviet district we have some 34 papers big and small. The Red China, organ of the Soviet government, has increased its circulation from 3,000 to 40,000; the True Word of the Youth up to 28,000; the Struggle, (organ of the Central Communist Party), 27,000; the Red Star (organ of the red army), 17,300, an increase that testifies to the rapid advance of the masses in the cultural field.
The revolutionary arts of the Soviets have already made a good start with the formation of the worker and peasant drama club and the commencement of the blue-shirt movement extending in all directions in the villages. Red sports have been gaining ground everywhere. Gymnasium fields may be seen here and there.
Now the Soviets, though having not much to show in the construction of technical education, have nevertheless succeeded in establishing the Red Army University. The Soviet University, the Communist University and many higher schools under the direct control of the ministry of education, all calculated to train leaders for the revolutionary leadership. Colleges and high schools must follow closely on the heels of the development of the ordinary schools as is scheduled in the educational plan.
For training the revolutionary intelligentsia, for the development of education and culture the Soviets have utilized the services of the landlord-bourgeoisie intelligentsia a point that cannot be overlooked in the cultural policy of the Soviets.
The general line of the cultural policy of the Soviets is to educate the broad masses in the spirit of communism, to subordinate education to the revolutionary war and the class struggle, to link labour with education. In the educational field the central tasks confronting the Soviets are the enforcement of compulsory education throughout the whole land, the development of social education on a wide scale, the rapid liquidation of illiteracy, the training of large numbers of cadres for revolution. All these tasks can be performed only under the Soviets because they signalize the sharpened class struggle and an unprecedented victory for spiritual emancipation.
To free women from the most barbarous marriage system handed down through thousands of years, the Soviets as early as November, 1931, proclaimed the equality of men and women in marriages by a new set of regulations which declared complete liberty of marriage and divorce, abolish the sale of women as wives, interdict child marriage, provisions that have been enforced throughout the Soviet territory. As a rule, a man of twenty may marry a girl of 18 by simple registration with the Soviets provided he is free from dangerous disease. Lineal descendants from the same grandfather, however, cannot marry each other within five generations. Divorce may be granted by the Soviets if one of the parties to the marriage insist on it.
This liberation of women from the feudal marriage fetters is made possible only under the democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants subsequent to the overthrow of the landlord-bourgeoisie and the accomplishment of the land revolution. Men and women, particularly the latter must have first of all political liberty and also some measure of economic liberty as a guarantee for free marriage. More oppressed by the feudal marriage system than men, women have been given more protection in the matter of marriage, and the burden arising from divorce is imposed for the most part on the shoulders of men.
Of vital importance to the revolution are children who we may say are new revolutionists, to whom protection must be afforded. The Soviets recognize the illegal children and give them protection. The protection of children has been laid down in the Soviet Law.
The point of departure for the Soviet nationality policy is the capture of all the oppressed minorities around the Soviets as a means to increase the strength of the revolution against imperialism and KMT. The oppressed minorities such as the Mongols, Tibetans, Koreans, Annamites, Miaos etc. General Geng Yu-hsiang massacred the Mohammedans in Kansu while General Pei Tsung-shi butchered the Miaos in Kwangsi to mention but two recent examples of the Kuomintang in maltreating the minorities. On the other hand, the ruling classes of the minorities such as princes, living Buddas, Lamas etc. have allied with the KMT in oppressing and exploiting the mass of people, especially the toilers. In the case of Tibet, Sinkiang and Inner Mongolia the ruling classes have directly surrendered to imperialism and accelerated the colonization of their country.
The Soviets, on the other hand, are decisively against the exploitation of the minorities by imperialism and KMT. The constitution of the Soviets as passed by the 1st Soviet Congress in November, 1931, is quite clear on this point (Article 14):
"Soviet China recognizes the complete self-determination of the minorities who may go so far as to secede and form independent free states. Soviet China shall see to it that the minorities be freed from the misrule of imperialism and KMT and secure complete emancipation from the misrule of their won princes and Lamas. In this regard the Soviets will gladly aid the minorities in carrying out this task. The Soviets will permit the development of national culture and languages among these minorities."
Article 15 of the same constitution provides that "Soviet China will give the right of asylum to the revolutionaries either from the nationalities in China or from other countries who should have been persecuted by the reactionary rule; it will help them in securing complete victory for the revolutionary movement sponsored by them."
The fact that any Korean, Annam and Taiwan comrades attended the 1st Soviet Congress and 2nd Soviet Congress is a concrete proof that the Soviets mean what it says. The common revolutionary interests will unite the toilers of China with those of the minorities in a firm alliance. The free union of nationalities will replace national oppression, an event that is possible only under the Soviets. To achieve complete emancipation the minority nationality shall, on its part, assist the Soviet-revolution in securing a victory on a national scale.
In the past two years the Soviets have scored successive victories over the KMT; as a result of which the relation of power between the Soviets and KMT has apparently changed in favour of the former, but at the expense of the latter. The Soviets have consolidated but the KMT has been steadily on the decline. The masses in KMT territory have put up the revolutionary flag. But owing to the fact that the Soviets are situated in a region economically backward with only a comparatively small area, we must extend our territory and fight for the realization of the task of capturing one or more provinces. We must shatter the illusions of those who are satisfied with the present limited area of the Soviets. The revolutionary masses under the Soviets are called on to fight for the carrying out of the following urgent tasks:
First of all the central revolutionary military committee shall be strengthened in its leadership of the whole red army so as to make it possible for the red armies to act more efficiently under a unified, strengthened command. In the second place, the expansion of the red army to 1,000,000 as a slogan must be popularized among the toiling masses, enabling them to understand that 1,000,000 red army is a decisive factor in the struggle against imperialism and KMT. Recruiting shall be made through political agitation instead of compulsion. At the same time, a sharp class struggle together with the Soviet laws shall be directed against the alien elements who blocked the expansion of the red army by desertions. The families of the red armists shall be treated in a better way. Land shall be cultivated and ploughed for them, articles of every-day use supplied to them, in order to comfort them spiritually. The Soviets shall see to it that all those who sabotage the work in this respect shall be punished by law.
To consolidate the red army a political education is of special importance. It will enable the red armists to fight consciously for the victory of the Soviets, to value conscious discipline as a guarantee for the victory of the revolution. The system of the political commissioners shall be observed in all the units of the red army, more workers drawn in OT act as military or political directors, more cadres turned to from the red army schools, decisive blows directed against the landlord-bourgeois elements who try to steal into the red army, technique of the red army improved.
The red guards and youth vanguards shall be universally formed in all the Soviet districts, all the grown boys and girls armed as a reserve in defense of the rear. Every youth vanguardist shall be made to understand that conscription plays a big role in the future big-scale civil wars against imperialism and the KMT. Conscription in general shall be popularized among the masses, model youth vanguards be incorporated into formal red armies, more red partisans organized in the bordering districts who may penetrate far into the white regions. A closer relation shall be maintained between the red armies and the toiling masses.
The supplies and transport for the red armies shall be assured and taken care of by the financial and economic organs of the Soviets as well as by the transport and sanitary organs of the red army.
To crush the economic blockade of the enemy, to counteract the manipulation of the wicked merchants, to assure the revolutionary needs, to improve the lot of the workers and peasants, the Soviets must proceed at once with economic reconstruction in various fields.
In the first place, agricultural production shall be raised, enthusiasm of the masses for such production aroused, propaganda campaigns in ploughing and harvest time launched, all peasantry drawn into the production campaign (including peasant women). Labour mutual assistance and ploughing corps shall be widely organized, the oxen and seed problems solved with the aid of the Soviets. Our fighting slogans are "Liquidate all fallow land." "Increase the crops by 20 per cent." The food bureau of the Soviets shall maintain a more close relation with the food cooperatives to assure ample food for the red army and the masses. The commissar of national economy shall map out a plan for the more important branches of agriculture, as food and cotton.
The tasks of the Soviet economic reconstruction rest need of the revival of the handicraft industry and the needs of the war. In elaborating the plans for economic reconstruction, consideration must be taken of the needs of the revolutionary war, the needs of the masses and the possibility of exports to the white regions. Maximum energy shall be devoted to the leading industries as Tungsten, coal, iron, lime, agricultural instruments, tobacco, paper, cloth, sugar, drugs, nitrate-salt, lumber, camphor, etc. Production cooperatives shall be organized for these industries, drawing in the unemployed, independent workers and peasants. Private investment being permitted, the Soviets shall not monopolize all the productive enterprises but concentrate on those beneficial to the state. The vital means to raise production are more incentive to labour, competition in production reward to those who have made achievements on the production front.
The exchange of Soviet surplus (as food, tungsten, lumber, tobacco, paper) with salt, cloth, oils, etc., from the white regions as may be made possible through the development of foreign trade serves as an important lever in breaking through the blockade of the enemy and in promoting the development of our national economy. The commercial institutions of the Soviets shall be consolidated while private merchants be encouraged for exportation and importation of necessaries. Wide masses of the workers and peasants shall be organized in consumption cooperatives to be set up everywhere, and thus enabled to buy cheap but sell at higher prices their products to the white regions, a possibility that plays a vital role in the economic reconstruction of the Soviets. The Soviets must strengthen their leadership of the central consumption cooperatives, and see to it that such centers be established where they do not yet exist.
The solution of the capital problem as involved in economic reconstruction is found in the absorption of capital from the masses through the development credit cooperatives which will smash usury to pieces. The money of the masses will flow into the state enterprises through such channels as economic bonds, subscriptions, to the stock of the state bank, etc. Capital in the Soviet districts will be made mobile through the encouragement of the private capital. The note issue of the Soviet banks shall correspond to the needs of the market and absorb the deposits from the masses, to lend the money so gathered to production enterprises. The soviet banks shall provide financial relief within the soviet territory and lead the struggle of the cooperatives against the speculative merchants.
The central Soviet Government inaugurated as the supreme leader of the Soviet movement in China has a vital significance, and has in the past two years scored glorious success in the fight against imperialism and KMT, but many weakness are found in the organization and work of the central government. The organization and work of the presidium of the central executive committee shall be improved and strengthened, the commissariats shall have a sufficient working staff, more commissariats created, if necessary, so the central government can fulfill its role as the supreme leader of the revolution.
As an important link with the central government as well as with local Soviets, the provincial Soviet government has been lax in its work in certain respects, a defect which shall be overcome hereafter.
The village and town Soviets constitute the basis of the Soviet system and for this simple reason merit the utmost attention . Congresses shall be established in places where they do not yet exist, and their work strengthened. Presidia shall be set up, committees moved into the villages, militant workers and peasants drawn into the Soviets, relation between a delegate and a number of inhabitants established, each village shall have a general delegate permitting him to call a conference of the delegates and inhabitants to discuss the work to be done. The village and town Soviets are the direct organs for the mobilization of the masses and do practical work in the village and street. The latter may compete with each other in order to raise the efficiency of their work. As regards the work done by local Soviets, the system of inspection shall rigorously be enforced. The district Soviets shall give an efficient leadership in regard to the lower Soviets.
The provincial Soviets shall direct maximum attention to the work in new Soviet territory where a revolutionary committee exists in place of the Soviets. In regard to organization and work, the revolutionary committee differs radically from the Soviets and its work (as arming the inhabitants, waging the mass struggle, clearing the counter-revolutionaries, etc.) shall be strengthened.
Soviet democracy has progressed far but not enough. A struggle shall be waged against bureaucratism and dictation still remaining among the Soviet functionaries. Persuasion shall replace dictation vis-à-vis the masses. The worker and peasant inspection commissariat shall draw in large masses for the critical examination of the work of the Soviet functionaries and lead the struggle in criticizing the evil functionaries, even punish them in accordance with Soviet laws, thus maintaining the good relations between the Soviets and the masses. In the Soviet elections more electors shall be drawn in and alien elements, bureaucrats, etc., barred. More workers shall be attracted into the Soviets in order to strengthen the workers' hegemony in the government. In order to Bet close to the masses the Soviets must establish an intimate connection with the labour unions, the poor peasant unions, cooperatives, etc.
All the work of the Soviets shall be adapted to the needs of the revolutionary war, any relaxation among the Soviet functionaries be stamped out, the functionaries aroused to enthusiasm and consciousness that they work for the worker and peasant democratic dictatorship. Slogans shall be put forward "Subordinate all work to the revolutionary war," "For the greater speed and better quality of the work," all to be brought before the functionaries of the Soviets. In this respect the responsible leaders of the Soviets, especially the worker and peasant inspection commissariat, must win over the Soviet functionaries by persistent persuasion and education.
The Soviets shall enforce the following laws: labour (eight-hours, minimum wages, etc. ), land revolution (confiscation of land of the landlord, land inspection, etc.), culture and education, and, finally, all the laws and orders against the counter-revolutionaries (GPU and Soviet courts drawing in large masses in the struggle against the reactionaries.
The Soviets must strengthen its leadership of the anti-imperialist struggle throughout the whole country as well as of the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants against the KMT in the white territory. Passivity on the part of the Soviets in this direction means connivance at the aggression of imperialism, prolongation of the KMT misrule and limitation on the development of the Soviets in the territorial aspect. The Soviets must look forward to the vast area of the KMT and lead the workers, peasants and petty bourgeoisie there in the struggle against imperialism and KMT. By utilizing the concrete facts of the KMT's surrender to imperialism the Soviets may arouse the masses in the white regions to a sharp struggle against imperialism and its lackey, the Kuomintang. The Soviets shall call on the masses to organize and arm themselves, to fight for the independence of China, to drive imperialism out of China; in Manchuria and Jehol where Japanese imperialism still marches on with bayonets, the people, revolutionary army and volunteers shall be organized, the existing volunteers be alienated from the influence of the KMT in a determined fight against Japanese imperialism. The Soviets must give aid to every anti-imperialist struggle of the workers, peasants and petty-bourgeoisie.
The Soviets shall aid in every way possible the revolutionary struggle of the workers against capital and of the peasants against the landlord, and lead it to victory. The functionaries of the Soviets must understand that expansion of the Soviet territory and success of the revolution on a national scale depends much on the work of the Soviets in the KMT area, that they have to devote the greatest attention to the white regions where the masses are subject to the military slavery and other exaction and are most apt to accept our influence, the more so in the districts bordering on the Soviets.
By making use of every opportunity the Soviets in the borderland shall establish regular contact with the masses, organize their everyday struggle, organize their revolt, develop partisan fighting, bring the new districts under the control of the Soviets. The work in the borderland is of special importance. The partisans must observe the fundamental policy of the Soviets and refrain from making indiscriminate attacks on the Tuhao without any regard to class distinctions. In addition, the opposition of the reds to the whites, the flight of the masses, the salt question, the refugee problem, etc., shall be solved on the class principle and in accordance with the principle of mass work. The causes of the opposition of the reds to the whites and the flight of the masses have to be removed, and in the work in the borderland to be improved, factors that can play a decisive role in changing the white into red districts.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung