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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


September 25, 1931

[This is the full text of a proclamation disseminated in 1931]


Soldiers, Our Brothers!

Do not the Kuomintang militarists frequently tell you that it is your responsibility to 'defend the country and protect the people' ? But look, at present Japanese imperialist troops have already occupied all the most important cities of Manchuria. They have massacred the toiling masses of workers and peasants in Manchuria and our soldiers with guns, cannons, and bombs , and already regard Manchuria as their colony. May I ask: How are the Kuomintang militarists carrying out their responsibility to ‘defend the country and protect the people'? What do they tell you now? 

Confronted by such violent behaviour on the part of Japanese imperialism, the Kuomintang militarists tell you ‘we must not resist’, they tell you ‘reasonable people should submit to violence’; they ask you to stretch out your neck and let the Japanese imperialist robbers butcher you; they ask you to submit peacefully and to become ‘men without a country', slaves of Japanese imperialism. From this you can see that the Kuomintang militarists can only toady and capitulate to imperialism, can only act as the running dogs of imperialism. They cannot 'defend the country' nor can they 'protect the people' .

And yet, for the sake of enlarging their own spheres of influence, and of exploiting and butchering the Chinese people on a still larger scale, the Kuomintang militarists have, year after year, carried on a confused military struggle among themselves. And in the name of these wars among militarists, they bravely urge you to go to the battlefield to kill your own brothers, to destroy the lives and property of the people; they levy vexing and irregular taxes, impress men into coolie service and requisition horses; they suck the last drop of blood of the toiling masses; they butcher the revolutionary workers and peasants; they force people to grow opium to poison the masses; they have created calamities (floods, drought, and famine) without precedent throughout China; in exploiting and butchering the masses they have shown great resolution and courage!

Especially when the masses of workers and peasants of our soviet area arose on their own initiative and drove out all the imperialists, overthrew the rule of the Kuomintang, confiscated all the land of the landlord class, enforced the eight-hour day, created the Workers and Peasants' Red Army and established the Soviet Government of the workers, peasants, and soldiers, all the militarists of the Kuomintang were mortally offended and manifested their resolution and courage. Once, twice, three times, they attacked us with the aid of the imperialists; they used airplanes, bombs, poison gas, cannons, and machine guns to butcher the people of the soviet area. If we do not destroy them root and branch, they will definitely not leave us alone, although their attacks have all been defeated through strenuous effort by us and by masses. They are also extraordinarily brave in attacking the people’s soviet political power and the people's Red Army.

Soldiers, our brothers! You have had enough of the deception and oppression of such militarists. Think for a moment. Why do you risk your lives on behalf of these militarists? Can you say you do so in order to live and feed your families? In reality you yourselves often do not receive a copper of pay. You yourselves have neither enough to eat nor warm clothing. How can you feed a family? Your superior officers treat you like cattle, like cannon fodder; they want you to risk your lives to massacre your own worker and peasant brothers so that they can rise in rank and enrich themselves.

Soldiers, our brothers! You must think of another way out. There is a way out for you -- revolution! You now have guns and cannons in your hands. First kill your reactionary superior officers then unite with the workers, peasants, and all the toiling masses of your area to overthrow the fucking Kuomintang Government [Kuomintang ti tao cheng-fu]; confiscate the land of the landlord class and distribute it among the poor peasants, confiscate the food and the houses of the wealthy and distribute them among the poor; let the workers do only eight hours of work a day; then, organize yourselves to run your own affairs. In this way, you will have created a government of the workers, peasants, and soldiers, that is, a Soviet Government. You will have become the armed force of the workers and peasants — the workers' and peasants' Red Army. If there is a Soviet Government and a Red Army near your garrison area, then when you have either taken as prisoners or killed your reactionary superior officers, present yourself there to join the Red Army. Only the Soviet Government and only the Red Army can protect the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers, overthrow the Kuomintang, overthrow imperialism, and really defend the people.

Soldiers, our brothers! Turn your guns in the opposite direction and fight to overthrow imperialism and the Kuomintang, which exploit, oppress, and butcher the Chinese labouring masses; fight to establish the Soviet Government and the Red Army of the workers, peasants, and soldiers! We your brothers, the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of the Red Army, truly welcome you to our ranks.

Down with imperialism and the Kuomintang!

Establish the Workers', Peasants', and Soldiers' Soviet Government!

Long live the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army!

Long live the victory of the Chinese Soviet Revolution!

Commander in Chief of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and Commander of the First Army:

Chief of the Central Political Department of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army:

Commander of the Second Army of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants’ Red Army: HO LUNG

Commander of the Third Army of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army:

General of the Third Army of the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants' Red Army: HUANG KUNG- LUEH

25 September 1931

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung