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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


October 1, 1943

[This inner-Party directive was written by comrade Mao Tse-tung on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.]

1. As the time for autumn harvest is come, the leading bodies in the base areas must ask Party and government organizations at all levels to check up on the application of our policy of rent reduction. Wherever it has not been carried out in earnest, rents must be reduced this year without any exception. Wherever this work has not been thorough, it must be done thoroughly this year. Party committees should immediately issue directives based on the agrarian policy of the Central Committee and conforming to local conditions, and they should inspect a few villages at first hand, pick out good examples and so expedite the work in other places. At the same time, the press should carry editorials on rent reduction and reports of good examples. As rent reduction is a mass struggle by the peasants, Party directives and government decrees should guide and help it instead of trying to bestow favours on the masses. To bestow rent reduction as a favour instead of arousing the masses to achieve it by their own action is wrong, and the results will not be solid. Peasant organizations should be formed or reconstituted in the struggle for rent reduction. The government's position should be one of enforcing the decree on rent reduction and adjusting the relative interests of the landlords and the tenants. Now that the base areas have shrunk in size, it is of more immediate importance than at any time in the past six years for the Party to win the masses there by patient, conscientious and thorough work, and to share weal and woe with them. If during this autumn we check on how far the policy has been carried out and perform the task of rent reduction thoroughly, we shall be able to arouse the initiative of the peasant masses and, in the coming year, intensify our struggle against the enemy and give impetus to the production campaign.

2. In the base areas behind the enemy lines most cadres have not yet learned how to get the personnel of the Party and government organizations, the troops and the people (including everyone, men and women, old and young, soldiers and civilians, and people in public and private employment) to undertake production on a wide scale. During this autumn and winter the Party committee, the government and the army in each base area must get ready to launch a big area-wide production campaign next year, covering both public and private farming, industry, handicrafts, transport, animal husbandry and commerce, with the main emphasis on farming--a campaign for overcoming difficulties by our own efforts (the slogan of "ample food and clothing" should not be raised for the time being except in the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region). There should be planning household by household and mutual aid in labour (known as labour-exchange teams in northern Shensi and once known as ploughing teams or mutual-aid working groups in the former Red areas in Kiangsi), labour heroes should be rewarded, emulation in production should be practised and co-operatives serving the masses should be promoted. In the financial and economic field, the Party and government personnel at the county and district levels should devote nine-tenths of their energy to helping the peasants increase production, and only one-tenth to collecting taxes from them. If pains are taken with the first task, the second will be easy. In the present war conditions all organizations, schools and army units must make great efforts to grow vegetables, breed pigs, collect firewood, make charcoal, expand handicrafts and raise part of their own grain supply. Apart from the development of collective production in all units, whether big or small, every individual (except for those in the army) should also be encouraged to engage in some spare-time agricultural or handicraft production (but not in trade), the proceeds of which he can keep for himself. Seven to ten-day training courses should be given on vegetable-growing and pig-farming, and on the preparation of better food by the cooks. Thrift should be stressed, waste combated and corrupt practices forbidden in all Party, government and army organizations. At all levels, the leading personnel in the Party, government and army organizations and in the schools should master all the skills involved in leading the masses in production. No one who fails to study production carefully can be considered a good leader. Any soldier or civilian who is not serious about production and who likes to eat but does not like to work cannot be considered a good soldier or a good citizen. Village Party members who are not diverted from production should realize that one of the qualifications for becoming a model among the masses is to work well in increasing production. In the campaign for production, it is wrong to take a conservative and purely financial point of view which concentrates on revenue and expenditure to the neglect of economic development. It is wrong to have a handful of government functionaries busying themselves with collecting grain and taxes, funds and food supplies to the neglect of organizing the enormous labour power of the rank and file of the Party, the government and the army, and that of the people, for a mass campaign of production. It is wrong simply to demand grain and money from the masses (as does the Kuomintang) without making every effort to help them to increase production. It is wrong to have a few economic departments organizing a small number of people for production and to neglect the launching of extensive mass campaigns for production. It is wrong to consider it dishonourable and selfish either for Communists in the countryside to engage in household production in order to support their families or for Communists in government organizations and schools to engage in private spare-time production in order to improve their own living conditions, for all such activity is in the interests of the revolutionary cause. It is wrong simply to exhort people in any base area to endure hardship in the bitter struggle without encouraging them to increase production and thereby try to improve their material conditions. It is wrong to regard the co-operatives as money-making concerns run for the benefit of the small number of functionaries or as stores run by the government and not as economic organizations run by and for the masses. It is wrong not to introduce the model methods of work used by some of the agricultural labour heroes of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region (e.g., mutual aid in labour, repeated ploughing, frequent hoeing and ample manuring) on the pretext that these methods are not applicable in certain base areas. It is wrong, in production campaigns, to shift the task of production to the heads of the local departments in charge of economic development, the army supply chiefs or the administration chiefs in governmental and other bodies, instead of ensuring that the leading cadres themselves assume responsibility and participate personally, that the leading group links itself closely with the masses and general calls are combined with particular and specific guidance, that investigation and study are undertaken and priority is given to what is urgent and important, that efforts are made to bring everyone into production--men and women, young and old, and even the loafers --and that cadres are trained and the masses given education. In the present circumstances the organization of labour power is the key to increasing production. In each of the base areas, even under present war conditions, it is possible and altogether necessary to organize the labour power of tens of thousands of men and women in the Party, the government offices and the army, and hundreds of thousands of the people for production purposes (i.e., to organize on a voluntary basis all people who are capable of performing part-time or full-time labour, using the forms of household-by-household planning, labour-exchange teams, transport teams, mutual-aid working groups or co-operatives, and keeping to the principle of exchange of equal values). Communist Party members must attain a full grasp of all the principles and methods of organizing labour power. Rent reduction carried out universally and thoroughly in all the base areas this year will stimulate a broad increase in production next year. And the great production campaign that will be carried on next year by Party and government, soldiers and civilians, men and women, and young and old, to increase the supply of grain and other necessities and to prepare against natural disasters, will lay the material foundation for the continued maintenance of the anti-Japanese base areas. Otherwise, we will encounter grave difficulties.

3. For the Party, the government and the army to be at one with the people in developing next year's anti-Japanese struggle and campaign for production, the Party committees and the leading army and government bodies in every single base area should prepare to launch a large-scale mass campaign in the first month of the coming lunar year to "support the government and cherish the people" and to "support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of soldiers who are fighting the Japanese". The troops should publicly renew their pledge to "support the government and cherish the people", hold meetings for self-criticism, arrange get-togethers with the local people (to which representatives of the local Party and government organizations should also be invited), and apologize and give compensation for any past infringements upon the interests of the masses. Under the leadership of the local Party, government and mass organizations, the masses on their side should publicly renew their pledge to support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of the soldiers fighting the Japanese, and should set going an ardent campaign for greetings and gifts to the army units. In the course of these campaigns, the army on its side and the Party and the government on theirs should thoroughly examine the shortcomings and mistakes of 1943, and should resolutely correct them in 1944. From now on, such campaigns should be launched everywhere in the first month of every lunar year, and in the course of them the pledges to "support the government and cherish the people" and "support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of the soldiers who are fighting the Japanese" should be read out time and again, and there should be repeated self-criticism before the masses of any high-handed behaviour by the troops in the base areas towards the Party or government personnel or towards civilians, or of any lack of concern for the troops shown by the Party or government personnel or the civilians (each side criticizing itself and not the other) in order that these shortcomings and mistakes may be thoroughly corrected.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung