V. OTHER QUESTIONS
Most of the questions I am now going to discuss have been raised by the comrades here.
First, with regard to removing well-to-do middle peasants from leading positions in the co-operatives, it is necessary to pay attention to the steps to be taken and the methods to be used; do not dismiss them all at once. Although they are not fit to be leaders, they are nevertheless working people. Each case should be decided on its merits, depending on how the person acquits himself. Some well-to-do middle peasants must be removed, for it simply won't do to let them continue at their posts. But it must be made clear to the masses (for example, the members of the co-operative) as well as to the well-to-do middle peasant concerned that he is not really fit to go on serving as a leader. There
is another condition, namely, he is not to be removed until a better qualified person is ready to succeed him or has been trained to take his place. Some of the well-to-do middle peasants may continue at their posts after making a self-criticism and correcting their mistakes, others may be made deputy leaders or committee members. Of course those who have done a good job should not be removed, even though they are well-to-do middle peasants. Do not treat well-to-do middle peasants as rich peasants, they are not. Do not remove them all at once. This question must be approached with care and properly settled. The provinces and localities are expected to consider whether the various ways mentioned above are feasible.
Second, it must be made clear at the Party branches and among the masses that when we now say that the lower-middle peasants and the upper-middle peasants are two different social strata, it is not because we are redefining class status but because different social strata actually take different attitudes towards co-operative transformation, some active, some passive, and a similar difference exists among individuals within the same stratum. For instance, even among the poor peasants there are people who do not want to join the co-operatives for the time being. This fact can be used to convince the well-to-do middle peasants: "Look! Among the poor and lower-middle peasants there are also people who are rather passive. They don't want to come in, so we won't ask them to join. As you well-to-do middle peasants don't want to come in now, you may stay out too." We should first draw in those who are keen on joining, then make propaganda among a second group until they become keen enough to join, and then among a third group. This should be done by stages and in batches. In time all will join the co-operatives. So it is not a question of redefining class status.
Third, on the question of landlords and rich peasants joining the co-operatives. Perhaps we can try the following way: take the county together with the township as a unit (it is not enough to take the county alone as the unit, for a county may have basically gone co-operative while there may still be no co-operatives at all in some of its townships). When a county and township have basically gone co-operative, that is, when 70 to 80 per cent of the peasant households have joined, the consolidated co-operatives can start dealing with the landlords and rich peasants in groups and by stages according to their behaviour. Those who have a good record and are honest and law-abiding may be given co-operative membership. Others may join in collective labour in the co-operative and receive their share of remuneration but without
co-operative membership, being actually members on probation; if they do well, they too can become members, and so they will have something to look forward to. Those in a third group will not be allowed to join the co-operative for the time being, the question will be taken up later and settled on an individual basis. None of the landlords or rich peasants admitted to the co-operative are to be appointed to posts in it. As for educated young people from landlord or rich peasant families who have been through some testing, can't they be given such jobs as literacy teachers in the villages? In places where there are very few other intellectuals, there is a need to have them serve as literacy teachers under the leadership and supervision of the Party branch and the co-operative management committee. At present, there are still a fair number of such educated young people among the primary school teachers. These young people from landlord or rich peasant families are only seventeen or eighteen years old and have just finished primary or junior middle school, and I think it unnecessarily strict not to let them serve even as literacy teachers. We can enlist them in teaching the peasants to read and write, in wiping out illiteracy. Please consider whether this is feasible. However, assigning them to such work as bookkeeping would be rather risky.
Fourth, as regards the conditions for establishing co-operatives of the advanced type and how many to establish, I shan't say anything today but ask you comrades to study these conditions and then we'll discuss the matter next year. Different localities can act according to the existing conditions. In short, such co-operatives can be set up where the conditions are ripe and not otherwise, and you may start with only a few and later increase their number step by step.
Fifth, as to the time for establishing co-operatives, perhaps you can consider whether it must be concentrated in winter and spring each year and whether a number can also be set up in summer or autumn, as is actually being done in some places already. But it must be pointed out that there has to be an interval for rest and consolidation between two waves and that after a batch of co-operatives has been set up, there should be check-ups and consolidation before more are established. It is like fighting battles, there should be rest and consolidation between two battles. It is entirely wrong to do without, leave no interval and allow no breathing space. There was once the view in the army that rest and consolidation were dispensable, that a respite was unnecessary and that what was necessary was to march on and fight all the time, which, as a matter of fact, is impossible. Men must sleep.
If the meeting we are holding today should not adjourn but go on and on indefinitely, everybody would be against this, including me. Men need a long rest and consolidation every day -- seven or eight, or at least five or six, hours of sleep, not counting the shorter rests during the day. To say that the establishment of co-operatives, a matter of such major importance, can dispense with rest and consolidation is most naive.
Sixth, "Run co-operatives with diligence and thrift" is a very good slogan. It has been put forward by people at the grass-roots level. It is necessary to practise strict economy and combat waste. A vigorous campaign against waste is now under way in the cities and also in the villages. We must encourage diligence and thrift in running the household, running the co-operative and building the country. Our nation must be first diligent and second thrifty; we must not be lazy and extravagant. Laziness leads to decay, that is not good. To run co-operatives with diligence and thrift it is necessary to raise labour productivity, practise strict economy, reduce costs of production, institute economic accounting and combat extravagance and waste. All co-operatives must raise labour productivity and reduce costs of production. As for economic accounting, it is to be taken up gradually. As the co-operatives grow in size, they cannot manage without economic accounting; they must learn to do it step by step.
Seventh, it is a shortcoming of this session that no one has spoken on the subject of state farms. I hope the Rural Work Department of the Central Committee as well as the Ministry of Agriculture will study this question. In future the proportion of state farms will grow year by year.
Eighth, we must go on opposing Han chauvinism. It is one kind of bourgeois ideology. The Han people are so numerous, they are liable to look down on the minority nationalities and not to help them whole-heartedly, so we must relentlessly fight Han chauvinism. Naturally, narrow nationalism may arise among the minority nationalities, that also is to be opposed. But of the two the chief one, the one to be opposed first, is Han chauvinism. So long as the comrades of Han nationality take the correct attitude and treat the minority nationalities with real fairness, so long as the nationality policy they follow and the stand they take on the question of nationality relations are entirely Marxist and do not reflect bourgeois viewpoints, that is to say, so long as they are free from Han chauvinism, it is comparatively easy to overcome narrow nationalist views among the minority nationalities. At present, there is still a good deal of Han chauvinism, for example, monopolizing the affairs of the minority nationalities, showing no respect for their
customs and folk-ways, being self-righteous, looking down on them and saying how backward they are. At the National Conference of our Party last March, I said that China could not do without its minority nationalities. There are scores of nationalities in China. The regions inhabited by the minority nationalities are more extensive in area than those inhabited by the Han nationality and abound in material wealth of all kinds. Our national economy cannot do without the economy of the minority nationalities.
Ninth, as for the campaign to wipe out illiteracy, I think we had better get it going. In some places, this campaign has itself been wiped out. This is not good. It is illiteracy and not the campaign that should be wiped out in the course of co-operative transformation, that is, we should wipe out illiteracy and not the campaign to wipe it out.
Tenth, some people ask, what is meant by "Left" and Right deviations? As we have said on previous occasions, everything moves in space and time. Here I'll chiefly deal with the question of time. If the observation you make of the movement of things does not agree with reality, it is a "Left" deviation if your judgment is premature, and it is a Right deviation if your judgment lags behind. Take the co-operative movement for example. Although the conditions are already ripe, such as the masses' enthusiasm, the widespread presence of mutual-aid teams and the leadership of the Party, some comrades still deny this. When it is already possible (not several years ago, but right now) for the co-operative movement to develop in a big way, they still say it is impossible. All this is a Right deviation. On the other hand, it is a "Left" deviation if it is demanded that 80 per cent of the whole nation should go co-operative in a very short time, when such conditions as the level of political consciousness of the peasants and the leadership of the Party are not yet ripe. As the old Chinese sayings go, "When a melon is ripe, it falls off its stem," and "When water flows, a channel is formed." We should act in accordance with specific conditions and achieve our aims naturally instead of forcing their attainment. Take childbirth for instance. It requires nine months. If, in the seventh month, the doctor should exert pressure and force the child out, that would not be good, that would be a "Left" deviation. If, on the other hand, the unborn child is already nine months old and very much wants to come out and yet you don't allow it, that would be a Right deviation. In short, everything moves in time. When the right time comes for something to be done, it has to be done. If you don't
allow it, that is a Right deviation. If the right time has not come for something and yet you try to force it through, that is a "Left" deviation.
Eleventh, some people ask, isn't it possible that "Left" deviationist mistakes will occur? Our reply is that it is entirely possible. If the leadership in a given locality, whether a township Party branch or a district, county, prefectural or provincial Party committee, does not take note of the level of political consciousness of the masses and the development of the mutual-aid teams, and if instead of drawing up plans, exercising control and establishing co-operatives by stages and in batches, it only seeks quantity and does not care for quality, serious "Left" deviationist mistakes are bound to appear. When there is an upsurge of enthusiasm among the masses, when everyone asks to join the co-operative, it is imperative to envisage all kinds of difficulties and every unfavourable condition conceivable, openly make them known to the masses and let the masses consider the matter fully. If they are not afraid, they can join up; if they are afraid, they don't have to. Of course, we must not frighten people away. I suppose I won't scare you away today, for we have been in session for so many days. It is necessary to cool people's heads at the right moment so that they won't become hot-headed.
We are opposed to boundless anxiety and countless taboos and regulations. Does this mean that we should have no anxiety at all? Not a single taboo? Not a single regulation? Of course that is not the case. Who is there who does not have anxiety, the necessary anxiety, the warranted anxiety? And we should have the necessary taboos and regulations too. Without a few taboos, without a few regulations, how can we carry on? It is absolutely right to have the necessary anxiety, taboos and regulations, and the necessary pauses, intermissions, putting on of brakes and cut-offs.
Here is one method: when people are on the point of becoming conceited, when they are about to get cocky, they should be assigned a new task (for instance, we have now proposed a competition in quality and next year when you come here, the results will be compared; by then the question of quantity will have become secondary) so that they won't have a chance to become conceited, as they won't have the time. We have tried this method before. When an army unit won a battle and some comrades started talking about it with gusto to people around them and got too cocky, you set them a new task -- to fight another battle. No sooner was a new task set than they had to start considering
the problems it entailed and make preparations, so that they stopped being cocky and had no time for conceit.
Twelfth, some comrades have suggested that the county level might perhaps be given the right to a margin of manoeuvre of 10 per cent. Take the establishment of co-operatives, their number might be either 10 per cent less or 10 per cent more. I think this suggestion can be adopted, it is a good one, so don't make things too rigid. Please give the matter further thought.
Thirteenth, aren't there people who want to reverse our decision? There are quite a number. They think the co-operatives will come to nothing and what we are doing will be entirely reversed, and they say we are not Marxists, but opportunists. But, in my view, as the general trend indicates, this decision is irreversible.
Fourteenth, some people ask, what will be the trend in the future? It will be the basic accomplishment of socialist industrialization as well as of the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce within a period of about three five-year plans. So far as I can see, that will be the trend. Besides, it may be added, as I indicated at the last National Conference of our Party, that in about fifty to seventy-five years, that is, within a period of ten to fifteen five-year plans, we shall be able to make China a powerful socialist country.
During this period of fifty to seventy-five years, many serious and complicated conflicts and struggles will certainly take place abroad, at home and inside the Party, and we are bound to meet with a lot of difficulties. In our own experience, we have lived through I don't know how many conflicts, armed and peaceful, with bloodshed and without, so how can you guarantee that there will be none in future? There will certainly be conflicts, and not a few, but a lot. Among them there will be the outbreak of a world war, the dropping of atom bombs on our heads, and the appearance of Berias, Kao Kangs, Chang Kuo-taos and Chen Tu-hsius. Many things cannot be foreseen now. But, as we Marxists see it, it is definite that all difficulties can be overcome and that a powerful socialist China will emerge. Is that certain? I think it is. According to Marxism it is. The bourgeoisie has prepared a grave-digger for itself. Its grave is ready. How can it not die? Speaking of trends, this is roughly the trend.
Fifteenth, you have made many suggestions for the revision of the two documents -- the resolution and the regulations. That is very good.
We'll have your suggestions collected for consideration. After its adoption today, the resolution will be revised and published in a few days by the Political Bureau. The regulations will take a longer time. The democratic personages will have to be consulted and the legislative procedure will have to be followed. Or, like the Draft Bill, the regulations may first be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for discussion and then sent to the State Council for publication in order to get opinions. Tentatively and for a period of time, localities may act in accordance with the regulations until they are submitted to the National People's Congress for adoption next year.
Finally, in passing I would ask you to pay attention to writing. I hope all present will become "teachers of composition". Your articles are well written, except, perhaps, for a few shortcomings. You should take care to help other people improve their style of writing. Now, of the articles written by many comrades, some are long-winded and devoid of substance, but these are relatively few; the chief defects are an overuse of classical Chinese and too strong a flavour of the semi-literary, semi-vernacular style. In writing articles one must pay attention to logic. That is to say, one must pay attention to the structure of an article or speech as a whole, and there must be some sort of relation between the beginning, the middle and the end, a sort of inner relationship, and the three must not be at variance with one another. One must also observe the rules of grammar. Many comrades tend to omit the subject or the object of a sentence when it should not be omitted, or use adverbs as verbs or even leave out verbs. All this is ungrammatical. Attention must also be paid to rhetoric, to how to write more vividly. In short, to be logical, to be grammatical and to have a better command of rhetoric -- these are the three points I would like you to bear in mind when you write.
V. I. Lenin, "The Tax in Kind".
This refers to the compilation of How to Run Agricultural Producers' Co-operatives by Comrade Mao Tsetung, who undertook it after reading the reports on agricultural co-operation sent in by various localities. See "Prefaces to Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside " below.
In the classical Chinese novel Water Margin, Wang Lun (nicknamed "the scholar-in-white") becomes head of the peasant rebels when they seize Liangshan Mountain, and he wants to remain head. When Lin Chung, chief instructor to the capital garrison, is forced to rebel against the authorities and seeks shelter on Liangshan Mountain, Wang Lun first tries to turn him away and then makes things hard for him. Later, he refuses to allow Chao Kai, a rebel peasant leader, and his followers to join forces with the Liangshan Mountain rebels. In the end Wang Lun is killed by Lin Chung.
V. I. Lenin, op. cit.