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Rural revolution

Feb 13, 2016 | 0 comments

Feb 13, 2016 | Essays | 0 comments

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MAO AND REVOLUTION

What were the key components of Mao’s approach to rural revolution and revolutionary leadership and how and why were those ideas reflected in his political choices or strategies?

Introduction

Mao Zedong was a peasant who led a rural revolution for the oppressed poor village peasants. He promoted the idea of peasants could create a revolution and was also an active rural organizer. Under the rule and regions of the Kuomintang warlords, there was bankruptcy, economic blockade, and military campaigns of encircling peasants and suppression.[1] On the other hand, in the red areas which were liberated and were under Mao Zedong, the economic construction was blooming for the welfare of millions of peasants and workers liberated. The principle governing the economic policy under Mao was to proceed with all the economic construction and concentrate their economic resources on the effort of war in addition to improving the people’s lives, ensure proletarian leadership of the peasants, consolidate the peasant-worker alliance in the field of economics, and strive in securing the leadership by the state sector over the private sector of the economy. This created the prerequisites for future socialism advancement.[2] The key components of Mao’s approach to rural revolution and revolutionary leadership which was reflected in his political choices and strategies include; increasing agricultural and industrial production, Expanding trade with other countries, Developing co-operatives, and the well-being of the masses.

Economic liberation of the peasants and workers were the catalysts of rural revolution and Mao’s revolutionary leadership in China.

Increasing agricultural and industrial production

Increasing agricultural and industrial production idea was reflected in the political choices and strategies of Mao for different reasons and in many ways. In the year 1933, there was a huge agricultural production in red areas compared to the year 1932.[3] In his speech, Mao pointed out that “the agricultural output was 15% higher in western Fukien and southern Kiangsi and 20% higher in the border areas of Fukien-Chekiang-Kiangsi.” [4] After the establishment of the red areas for agricultural production, the peasant workers worked hard after the distribution and ownership of land is settled. Mao created a rural revolution using the idea of agricultural production by encouraging the peasants in the villages to cultivate the wastelands that were lying fallow during the revolutionary uprisings. Furthermore, in many places, plowing teams and mutual aid groups were organized to add more labor in the villages. Moreover, the formation of co-operatives ensured that there was no shortage of draught oxen. Women too were not left behind great numbers of women also participated in agricultural production.[5]

The revolution in the villages was introduced by Mao because everything that was introduced during the revolution was not happening in the Kuomintang days where the lands were in the care of the landlords, and so the peasant was not willing to improve their production or even have the means of improving them. It was only after the land was distributed to the peasants and after being encouraged to cultivate that labor enthusiasm grew, and production increased. Similarly, the idea of Agricultural was introduced under Mao to solve the problem of food and the need for raw materials such as bamboo, sugar cane, hemp, and cotton for paper, sugar, clothes, and other necessities.[6]

In his political choices and strategies, the idea of increasing agricultural and industrial production is reflected in the way he was leading in solving essential and difficult problems in products such as fertilizer, draught oxen, labor power, irrigation, and seed. Women were encouraged to do farm work, labor power was organized, small experimental farms were set up agricultural research schools and farm produces exhibitions were set up to stimulate agriculture development.[7]

Expanding trade with other countries

Expansion of trade with other countries was another idea which was an essential component of rural revolution and revolutionary leadership as reflected in the political choices and strategies of Mao. Since the enemy blocked major routes of marketing their goods to other regions, the political strategy of Mao was for the people in the Red areas to market their goods in their areas because of extensive market and high demand. “Many handicraft industries began to decline like paper making and tobacco curing while others increased such as Wolfram, camphor, fertilizers, farm implements, sugar, and medicine and cotton clothes.”[8]

This idea of external trade is reflected in Mao’s political choices and strategies when he organized a private external trading plan for the state to handle directly some essential commodities. For example, importation of cotton clothing and sugar, and exportation of Wolfram and grains. This was also made possible by establishing the Bureau of External Trade in addition to other agencies.

Developing co-operatives

Developing co-operatives was another idea which was an essential component of rural revolution and revolutionary leadership as reflected in the political choices and strategies of Mao. “As by 1933, there were about 1423 co-operatives with a 300,000yuan in total capital for 17 counties in Fukien and Kiangsi.”[9] Some of the major co-operatives which were formed under Mao included grain co-operatives, consumer producers, credit co-operatives. Mao encouraged co-operatives and coordinated with private enterprises and state enterprises to stimulate development.

This idea was reflected in his political strategy of issuing economic construction bonds valued at three million yuan for the development of state enterprises and also in assisting the co-operatives. The issuance of the bonds was possible because of the support of the masses. Furthermore, Mao’s political choice of ensuring that issuance of notes by the state bank was primarily for the country’s economic development and fiscal needs increased the revenue by developing the economy. Additionally, the guiding principle for Mao’s government expenditure was thrift. It was a great crime for government workers to waste resources by engaging in corruption. Saving of copper was the guiding principle for their accounting system for the revolutionary cause, war effort, and economic construction.[10]

The masses well-being

This was one of the key components of Mao’s approach to the rural revolution and revolutionary leadership, and this is reflected in many of his political choices and strategies. “The main task during the revolution period was to mobilize the masses in large numbers to overthrow Kuomintang and imperialism throughout China.”[11] Therefore, for war which depended on masses to succeed, Mao leads the peasants to struggle for land by distributing it to them, increasing agricultural production, heighten their enthusiasm for labor, established co-operatives, safeguarded the worker’s interest, solved the problems facing the people such as hygiene, marriage, sickness, salt, cooking oil, rice, clothing, shelter, and food, and developed trade with the outside regions. Practically, Mao considered all the problems of everyday life for the masses. This way, the masses accorded his government warm support and in taking part in the revolutionary war. He managed to convince the people that they represented their interests and that their lives were bound together.[12]

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mao led a rural revolution and showed revolutionary leadership through his political choices and strategies. In leading a revolution against the Kuomintang warlords, he had four key components of his approach which included Increasing agricultural and industrial production, Expanding trade with other countries, Developing co-operatives, and the well-being of the masses.

References

Halsall, Paul. 1998. ‘Internet History Sourcebooks’. Legacy.Fordham.Edu.

Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘BE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE MASSES, PAY ATTENTION TO METHODS OF WORK’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_10.htm.

Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.

  1. Halsall, Paul. 1998. ‘Internet History Sourcebooks’. Legacy.Fordham.Edu.
  2. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.
  3. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.
  4. Ibid
  5. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘BE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE MASSES, PAY ATTENTION TO METHODS OF WORK’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_10.htm.
  6. Halsall, Paul. 1998. ‘Internet History Sourcebooks’. Legacy.Fordham.Edu. http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1927mao.asp.
  7. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.
  8. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘BE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE MASSES, PAY ATTENTION TO METHODS OF WORK’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_10.htm.
  9. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.
  10. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘OUR ECONOMIC POLICY’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_9.htm.
  11. Tse-tung, Mao. 2015. ‘BE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE MASSES, PAY ATTENTION TO METHODS OF WORK’. Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_10.htm.
  12. Halsall, Paul. 1998. ‘Internet History Sourcebooks’. Legacy.Fordham.Edu. http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1927mao.asp.
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