Chinese Peasants and Communism

749 Words3 Pages
The Communist revolution in China was loosely based on the revolution in Russia. Russia was able to implement the beginnings of Marxist Communism in the way that it was intended They had a large working class of factory workers, known as the proletariat, that were able to band together and rise up to overthrow the groups of rich property owners, known as the bourgeoisie. The communist party wanted to adopted this same Marxist sense of revolution, but they realized that there were some fatal flaws in the differences between the two countries. The first was that there was not the same sense of class difference between people, yes there were peasants and landowners but there was not a sense of a class struggle. The other difference was that China was not industrialized like Russia so there was no proletariat group, as defined by Marxism, to draw the revolution from. What the Chinese Communists needed to do is re-define the proletariat for their situation, who they looked at were the peasants. To see how the Communists looked at the peasants the anarchist view needs to be considered as it can be argued the the anarchists were a precursor to the Communists in the view of peasants. The anarchists tried to instil the idea of class struggle by saying the peasant revolution is showing resistance to taxes and opposition to the government and landlords. By showing opposition to taxes and the government the anarchists tried to bring about collapse due to lack of money which would in turn bring about a communitarian property system where the peasants would share land. The anarchists also did not seem that it was a stretch that peasants could be united citing that villages will work to protect their own, so if the idea can spread that all peasants are one big village that they would be able to unite. Mao Zedong held a very similar belief when he was left in charge of the peasant revolution in his home province of Hunan. Rather than have the peasants in silent protests against the government he advocated terror attacks against the landowners and officials. This was completely against Chinese tradition which favors more moderate action and an emphasis on harmony. Mao believed that with these “terror attacks” by the peasants, or as he called it their revolutionary potential, that the party can assume a leadership role. Without these acts of violence, without using the fullness of their strength, Mao believes that the peasants could never overthrow the authority of the landowning class.
Open Document