8. The heart of land reform is the equal distribution of the land of the feudal classes and of their property in grain, animals and farm implements (rich peasants hand over only their surplus property); we should not overemphasize the struggle to unearth hidden wealth and in particular should not spend too much time on this matter lest it should interfere with the main work.
9. In dealing with landlords and rich peasants we should distinguish between them in accordance with the Outline Land Law.
10. Within the framework of the principle of equal distribution of land, we should also distinguish among the big, middle and small landlords, as well as between those landlords and rich peasants who are local tyrants and those who are not.
11. After the people's courts have given the handful of arch-criminals who are really guilty of the most heinous crimes a serious trial and sentenced them and the sentences have been approved by appropriate government organizations (committees organized by local governments at county or sub-regional level), it is entirely necessary for the sake of revolutionary order to shoot them and announce their execution. That is one side of the matter. The other side is that we
must insist on killing less and must strictly forbid killing without discrimination. To advocate killing more or killing without discrimination is entirely wrong; this would only cause our Party to forfeit sympathy, become alienated from the masses and fall into isolation. Trial and sentence by the people's courts, a form of struggle provided in the Outline Land Law, must be carried out in earnest; it is a powerful weapon of the peasant masses for striking at the worst elements among the landlords and rich peasants, it also avoids the mistake of beating and killing without discrimination. At the proper time (after the land struggle has reached its height), we should teach the masses to understand their own long-term interests -- to regard those landlords and rich peasants who do not persist in wrecking the war effort or the land reform and who number tens of millions in the country as a whole (as many as 36 million out of a rural population of about 360 million) as a labour force for the country and to save and remould them. Our task is to abolish the feudal system, to wipe out the landlords as a class, not as individuals. In accordance with the Land Law we must give them means of production and means of livelihood, but not more than to the peasants.
12. We must criticize and struggle with certain cadres and Party members who have committed serious mistakes and certain bad elements among the masses of workers and peasants. In such criticism and struggle we should persuade the masses to adopt correct methods and forms and to refrain from rough actions. This is one side of the matter. The other side is that these cadres, Party members and bad elements should be made to pledge that they will not retaliate against the masses. It should be announced that the masses not only have the right to criticize them freely but also have the right to dismiss them from their posts when necessary or to propose their dismissal, or to propose their expulsion from the Party and even to hand the worst elements over to the people's courts for trial and punishment.
III. ON THE PROBLEM OF STATE POWER
1. The new-democratic state power is the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal state power of the masses of the people led by the working class. Here, the masses of the people include the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie
who are oppressed and injured by imperialism and by the reactionary Kuomintang regime and the classes it represents, namely, the bureaucrat-capitalist class (the big bourgeoisie) and the landlord class. The main body of the masses consists of the workers, peasants (soldiers being chiefly peasants in uniform) and other working people. The masses of the people form their own state (the People's Republic of China) and establish a government (the Central Government of the People's Republic of China) to represent this state. The working class through its vanguard, the Communist Party of China, exercises the leadership in this state belonging to the masses of the people and in its government. The enemies this People's Republic and its government oppose are foreign imperialism and the Kuomintang reactionaries at home and the classes they represent -- the bureaucrat-capitalist class and landlord class.
2. The organs of state power of the People's Republic of China are the people's congresses at different levels and the governments at different levels which these congresses elect.
3. In the rural areas in the present period, we can and should, in accordance with the demands of the peasants, convene village peasant meetings to elect the village governments, and convene district peasant congresses to elect the district governments. Since the governments at or above county or municipal level represent not only the peasants in the countryside but also the people of all strata and occupations in the towns, county seats, provincial capitals and big industrial and commercial cities, we should convene people's congresses at county, municipal, provincial or border region levels to elect the governments at corresponding levels. In the future after the revolution triumphs throughout the whole country, the central government and the local governments at all levels should be elected by the people's congresses at corresponding levels.
IV. THE PROBLEM OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THOSE WHO LEAD AND THOSE WHO ARE LED
IN THE REVOLUTIONARY UNITED FRONT
The leading class and the leading party must fulfil two conditions in order to exercise their leadership of the classes, strata, political parties and people's organizations which are being led:
(a) Lead those who are led (allies) to wage resolute struggles against the common enemy and achieve victories;
(b) Bring material benefits to those who are led or at least not damage their interests and at the same time give them political education.
Without both these conditions, or with only one, leadership cannot be realized. As an example, the Communist Party, in order to lead the middle peasants, must lead them to struggle resolutely together with us against the feudal classes and achieve victories (destroying the landlords' armed force and dividing up their land). If there is no resolute struggle or if there is struggle but no victory, the middle peasants will vacillate. Furthermore, we must allot part of the land and other property of the landlords to those middle peasants who are relatively poor and must not damage the interests of the well-to-do middle peasants. In the peasant associations and the village and district governments we must draw the activists among the middle peasants into the work and must provide suitable quotas for them (for instance, one-third of the committee members). Do not make mistakes in determining the class status of middle peasants and be fair to them in regard to the land tax and civilian war service. At the same time, give the middle peasants political education. If we do not do all these things, we will lose the support of the middle peasants. In the cities, the same holds true for the working class and the Communist Party in exercising their leadership of the middle bourgeoisie, democratic parties and people's organizations oppressed and injured by the reactionary forces.
For the criteria for class identification in the rural areas, see "How to Analyse the Classes in the Rural Areas", Selected Work of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. I, and "The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party", Chapter 2, Section 4, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II.
The new rich peasants were those who had developed from middle peasants or poor peasants in the revolutionary base areas. The old rich peasants were those who had already been rich peasants before the revolutionary base areas were established. The old rich peasants generally and to a great degree had the character of feudal and semi-feudal exploiters. See "The Present Situation and Our Tasks", Note 6, p. 175 of this volume.
Labour-exchange teams and work-exchange groups were organizations for mutual aid and co-operation in agriculture. "Labour-exchange" or "work-exchange" was a means by which the peasants adjusted labour-power among themselves and took such forms as the exchange of man-workdays for man-workdays, ox-workdays for ox-workdays and man-workdays for ox-workdays. Peasants who joined labour exchange teams contributed their labour-power or animal-power to cultivate the land of each member-family in rotation or collectively. In settling accounts the workday was taken as the unit of exchange; those who contributed more man-workdays or animal-workdays were paid for the difference by those who contributed less.
This refers to the valuables buried by the landlords.