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MaoZedong

ReportonanInvestigationofthePeasantMovementinHunan,March1927

TheImportanceofthePeasantProblem

DuringmyrecentvisittoHunanImadeafirsthandinvestigationofconditionsinthefivecounties
ofHsiangtan,Hsianghsiang,Hengshan,LilingandChangsha.InthethirtytwodaysfromJanuary4
toFebruary5,Icalledtogetherfactfindingconferencesinvillagesandcountrytowns,whichwere
attendedbyexperiencedpeasantsandbycomradesworkinginthepeasantmovement,andIlistened
attentivelytotheirreportsandcollectedagreatdealofmaterial.Manyofthehowsandwhysofthe
peasantmovementweretheexactoppositeofwhatthegentryinHankowandChangshaaresaying.I
sawandheardofmanystrangethingsofwhichIhadhithertobeenunaware.Ibelievethesameis
trueofmanyotherplaces,too.Alltalkdirectedagainstthepeasantmovementmustbespeedilyset
right. All the wrong measures taken by the revolutionary authorities concerning the peasant
movementmustbespeedilychanged.Onlythuscanthefutureoftherevolutionbebenefited.Forthe
presentupsurgeofthepeasantmovementisacolossalevent.Inaveryshorttime,inChina'scentral,
southernandnorthernprovinces,severalhundredmillionpeasantswillriselikeamightystorm,like
ahurricane,aforcesoswiftandviolentthatnopower,howevergreat,willbeabletoholditback.
Theywillsmashallthetrammels'thatbindthemandrushforwardalongtheroadtoliberation.They
willsweepalltheimperialists,warlords,corruptofficials,localtyrantsandevilgentryintotheir
graves.Everyrevolutionarypartyandeveryrevolutionarycomradewillbeputtothetest,tobe
acceptedorrejectedastheydecide.Therearethreealternatives.Tomarchattheirheadandlead
them?Totrailbehindthem,gesticulatingandcriticizing?Ortostandintheirwayandopposethem?
EveryChineseisfreetochoose,buteventswillforceyoutomakethechoicequickly.

DownWiththeLocalTyrantsandEvilGentry!AllPowertothePeasantAssociations!

Themaintargetsofattackbythepeasantsarethelocaltyrants,theevilgentryandthelawless
landlords, but in passing they also hit out against patriarchal ideas and institutions, against the
corruptofficialsinthecitiesandagainstbadpracticesandcustomsintheruralareas.Inforceand
momentumtheattackistempestuous;thosewhobowbeforeitsurviveandthosewhoresistperish.
As a result, the privileges which the feudal landlords enjoyed for thousands of years are being
shatteredtopieces.Everybitofthedignityandprestigebuiltupbythelandlordsisbeingsweptinto
thedust.Withthecollapseofthepowerofthelandlords,thepeasantassociationshavenowbecome
the sole organs ofauthority and the popular slogan"all powerto the peasant associations" has
becomeareality.Eventriflessuchasaquarrelbetweenhusbandandwifearebroughttothepeasant
association.Nothingcanbesettledunlesssomeonefromthepeasantassociationispresent.The
associationactuallydictatesallruralaffairs,and,quiteliterally,"whateveritsays,goes."Thosewho
areoutsidetheassociationscanonlyspeakwellofthemandcannotsayanythingagainstthem.The
localtyrants,evilgentryandlawlesslandlordshavebeendeprivedofallrighttospeak,andnoneof
themdaresevenmutterdissent.Inthefaceofthepeasantassociations'powerandpressure,thetop
localtyrantsandevilgentryhavefledtoShanghai,thoseofthesecondranktoHankow,thoseofthe
thirdtoChangshaandthoseofthefourthtothecountytowns,whilethefifthrankandthestilllesser
frysurrendertothepeasantassociationsinthevillages.