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THE PEASANT MOVEMENT IN KWANGTUNG--A SELECTION FROM Kuang-tung Nung-min Yun-tung Pao-kao (A Report on the Peasant Movement in Kwangtung) by Gerald w. Berkley In the early 1920s a peasant movement was initiated in Kwangtung province. By ,mid-1926 peasant associations reportedly had a total membership of some 647,000 peasants.[1] This figure, while probably inflated, is nevertheless impressive, for it greatly exceeds the membership total for all.other provinces in China combined. The majority of credit for this rather spectacular mobilization effort properly.belongs to three individuals, P'eng P'ai, Lo Ch'iyuan , and Yuan Hsiao-hsien. P'eng (1896-1929),:a native of Haifeng, Kwangtung, is sufficiently well-known so that his exploits need not be recounted here.[2] Lo (1893-1930) is less known.[3] A native of Huichow, Kwangtung, he, like P'eng, came from a family of wealthy landowners. He became active in politics after graduation from middle school and joined the Socialist Youth Corps around 1921. Shortly thereafter he was admitted into the Kwangtung branch of the CCP. By 1926 he was extremely active in the peasant movement, having served as both Secretary of the Kuomintang Central Peasant Department and as Director of both the second and the fifth classes of the Peasant Movement Training Institute. Yuan is an even more obscure figure.[4] He did take part in the organization of a CCP branch in Shanghai in 1920, and around 1921 he also joined the Socialist Youth Corps. His work with peasant mobilization began shortly thereafter. In November 1924, he was listed as the person in charge of organizational work among the peasantry in the West River area of Kwangtung, and between January and April 1925, he 1 served as the Director of the Peasant Movement Training Institute's third class. These three individuals came together in the Kwangtung Regional Committee of the CCP.[5] Within this Regional Committee was a Peasant Committee (nung-wei), and it is here that P'eng, Lo, and Yuan were based. It not only directed the Kwangtung peasant movement, but also, by mid-1926, had become the vanguard of CCP peasant mobilization methodology. An excellent example of this is the translated document which follows this introduction. Presented in May 1926, at the Second Kwangtung Provincial Peasant Congress, "Nung-min ytin-tung i-chlieh-an" (Resolution on the Peasant Movement) deals with the procedure to be employed by the CCP when, as the Kwangtung Regional Committee had earlier proposed, the CCP seized the lead of the KMT and began devoting itself to the job of agrarian revolution rather than national revolution. 46 The Resolution, authored by P'eng, Lo, and Yuan, after outlining a m~n1mum economic and political program which was based on investigations of peasant grievances, states that: "We should use our Party's name and carry out open propaganda towards all circles, especially the peasants, so that the peasants would know that this is the assertion of the C.P." Further, • we should also use the Party's name and write an open letter to the Kwangtung Provincial Peasant Association and have the Provincial Peasant Association distribute this program to the peasant associations of all levels for discussion or have these peasant associations hold a representative meeting ••• so that the peasants will universally accept it and form it into a demand of their own." On the issue of past errors the Peasant Committee lists the following: (1) that the Party branches were established within the county peasant associations and, as a result, the CCP never got to the lower levels; (2) that the conditions for admitting peasants into the Party were too harsh; and (3) that little cadre training had been provided. For solutions to these problems the Committee proposed: (1) that the CCP build its foundation at the village level; (2) that admission criteria be revised to allow for the intake of more peasants into the Party; and (3) that training classes for cadres be established. Under the category of proper work procedure, it urges that all comrades engaged in the peasant movement understand: (1) the fundamental differences between the CCP and the KMT; (2) the functions of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 46-56
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
Open Access
No
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