Assertion: Leading Role of the Peasantry in the Chinese Revolution

Hoxha insinuates that, according to Mao Tsetung, not the proletariat but the peasantry played the leading role in the revolution.

"The anti-Marxist concepts of 'Mao Tsetung thought' about the revolution are even more obvious in the way Mao has treated the motive forces of the revolution. Mao Tsetung did not recognize the hegemonic role of the proletariat."(45)

This is a blunt lie, for as early as 1926, when the industrial proletariat consisted of only two million workers, Mao Tsetung wrote in his class analysis:

"The leading force in our revolution is the industrial proletariat."(46)

This has always been Mao Tsetung's position; at the same time he drew a distinction between the main force of the peasantry, numbering in millions, and the leading force of the proletariat:

"As every schoolboy knows, 80 per cent of China's population are peasants. So the peasant problem becomes the basic problem of the Chinese revolution and the strength of the peasants is the main strength of the revolution. In the Chinese revolution the workers rank second to the peasants in number. There are several million industrial workers in China and several tens of millions of handicraft workers and agricultural labourers. ... the revolution cannot succeed without the modern industrial working class, because it is the leader of the Chinese revolution and is the most revolutionary class."(47)

The emphasis of the leading role of the proletariat in the Chinese revolution can be proven by numerous passages in Mao Tsetung's writings. Compared to the huge Chinese population as a whole, the working class was small in number. That's why the peasants and not the workers were the main force. With reference to Stalin, Mao emphasizes the importance of the peasants' struggle in the national-democratic revolution – which Hoxha calls a "petty-bourgeois theory"(48). He quotes Mao Tsetung incompletely.

The complete quotation runs as follows:

"Stalin has said that 'in essence, the national question is a peasant question'. This means that the Chinese revolution is essentially a peasant revolution and that the resistance to Japan now going on is essentially peasant resistance. Essentially, the politics of New Democracy means giving the peasants their rights."(49) (Hoxha only quotes the passage in bold print.)

Hoxha concludes that Mao held "that the peasantry and not the working class should play the hegemonic role in the revolution".

This is the method Hoxha employs against Mao Tsetung. He transforms the importance of the peasants' struggle into the hegemonic role of the peasants in the revolution.

Let us see what Lenin says on this question. At the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1907, he stated:

"For this reason, the agrarian question, that is the struggle of the peasants against the landowners for the land, proved one of the touchstones of the present revolution. This struggle for the land inevitably forces enormous masses of the peasantry into the democratic revolution, for only democracy can give them land by giving them supremacy in the state. The victory of the peasantry presupposes the complete destruction of landlordism.
Such an alignment of social forces inevitably leads to the conclusion that the bourgeoisie can be neither the motive force nor the leader in the revolution. Only the proletariat is capable of consummating the revolution, that is, of achieving a complete victory. But this victory can be achieved only provided the proletariat succeeds in getting a large section of the peasantry to follow its lead. The victory of the present revolution in Russia is possible only as the revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry."

We think that Mao Tsetung Thought and Lenin's concept of the role of the peasants and the leading part of the proletariat are basically the same. We shall now turn to the question of the national bourgeoisie in the national democratic revolution.