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 A New Socialist Village Grows Amidst Struggles

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A New Socialist Village Grows Amidst Struggles

Source: Peking Review, No. 40, September 30, 1970
Transcribed by www.WENGEWANG.ORG


ADVANCING courageously along the socialist course charted by Chairman Mao amidst the fierce struggles between the two classes, the two roads and the two lines since liberation, the poor and lower-middle peasants and revolutionary cadres of the Hsiatingchia Production Brigade in Huanghsien County, Shantung Province, have succeeded in building a poor ravine into a thriving new socialist village.
   The Hsiatingchia Brigade is situated in a mountain area. Most of its cultivated land is on the mountain slopes, and it is hit by drought in nine years out of left. Before liberation, the poor and lower-middle peasants here lived in dire misery, cruelly oppressed and exploited by the landlords. After liberation, they took the road of collectivization. Responding to our great leader Chairman Mao's call to "transform China in the spirit of the Foolish Old Man who removed the mountains," the peasants have battled the elements and succeeded in transforming their village.
   Working with their own hands over the past decade and more, the brigade's poor and lower-middle peasants have completed in the ravine a "three-storeyed" irrigation network consisting of 19 reservoirs and ponds, S pumping stations, a river dam and 10 ditches extending some 15 kilometres round the mountain. In the first storey, water is drawn from the river and wells to irrigate the fields at the foot of the mountain. Several reservoirs and ponds built half-way up the mountain make up the second storey and are used to irrigate the terraced fields on the slopes. The third storey is high up on the mountain, with reservoirs, ponds and pump-inn stations providing water for the terraced fields. In case of a dry spell, all these facilities are turned to account, and the brigade's nearly 2.000 mu of irrigated land can be watered in seven days. The peasants have also transformed the poor soil on the mountain and the sandy land on the river banks by building embankments, levelling and deep ploughing. As a result, 75 per cent of the brigade's cultivated land can now give stable and high yields in spite of drought or waterlogging.
   Grain output in the Hsiatingchia Brigade has been rising year after year. Per-mu. yield in a good year in the early post-liberation period was only a little over 200 jin. The yield averaged some 660 jin in 1956 after the co-operatives were organized. Per-mu yield continued to rise and topped 800 jin on the average in 1959 after the people's commune was set up. In the past 11 years the brigade was hit by four droughts, two floods, a windstorm, a hailstorm and an invasion of insect pests. But the per-mu yield of grain remained stable at around 900 jin, and the brigade has delivered and sold 3.79 million jin of grain to the state, thereby giving powerful support to the country's socialist construction. In addition, it has 340,000 jin of grain in reserve and its collective accumulation has steadily increased.
   Our great leader Chairman Mao has taught us: "If socialism does not occupy the rural front, capitalism assuredly will." The brigade has experienced five big battles between the two classes, and the poor and lower-middle peasants and revolutionary cadres have won great victory on each occasion by relying on invincible Mao Tsetung Thought. Every victory in class struggle has resulted in a new upsurge to transform nature and in further increases in production. The history of the Hsiatingchia Brigade since liberation is one of victory of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line over the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line, and one of constant victories won by the proletariat in the struggle against the bourgeoisie.
   The first fierce class struggle centred round the co-operative movement. When Hsiatingchia was preparing to advance from mutual-aid teams to elementary agricultural producers' co-operatives in 1953, some advocated taking the road of individual farming "to get rich and bring prosperity to the family." Class enemies seized the opportunity to carry out disruptive activities. The Party organization led the poor and lower-middle peasants in studying Chairman Mao's brilliant article Get Organized! This inspired them to firmly lake the road of collectivization and set up agricultural co-operatives. In 1955, guided by Chairman Mao's brilliant article On the Question of Agricultural Co-operation, the seven elementary co-operatives in Hsiatingchia pooled their resources and set up an advanced co-operative. At that time, the old county Party committee pushed the renegade Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line of slashing the co-operatives, and it turned down three applications by the peasants for approval. Upholding Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, the poor and lower-middle peasants went ahead with their advanced co-operative in spite of the opposition.
  
   With the formation of the advanced co-operative, the collective economy was strengthened and favourable conditions were created for transforming nature. The Party organization led the poor and lower-middle peasants in studying Chairman Mao's teaching "Irrigation ... is the lifeblood of agriculture.'* They resolved to follow the example of the people on the plains to dig wells for irrigation. But in a mountain gully this meant drilling through rocks scores of feet deep. Sometimes they worked a whole day only to find that they had drilled no more than a foot deep. Wang Yung-hsing, secretary of the general Party branch, led the people in the arduous battle and finally succeeded in sinking 20 big wells and 64 small ones in two winters and springs. Since land in the village was very uneven, they started to level it to facilitate irrigation. In addition, they terraced the land on some slopes. The upshot was a 100 per cent increase in wheat output the following year.
   The second fierce class struggle took place in 1957 when the bourgeois Rightists attacked the Party. That year, Hsiatingchia was hit by the worst drought in its history. Many crops died for lack of water. The landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries and bad elements seized the opportunity and, in co-ordination with the bourgeois Rightists in their frenzied assault, viciously attacked and undermined the co-operative in a vain attempt to restore capitalism. But the general Party branch and the poor and lower-middle peasants remained firm in taking the socialist road pointed out by Chairman Mao. In a full airing of views and great debate, they poured out their grievances and recalled their misery in the old society and how individual farming had made them suffer. They studied Chairman Mao's teaching "Only socialism can save China” and praised the superiority of co-operation. This greatly heightened their class consciousness. They struggled against the class enemies, deflated their reactionary arrogance and, as a result, consolidated the collective economy.
   The high tide of revolution spurred growth in production. Victory in the struggle against the class enemies stimulated the commune members' enthusiasm to combat drought. Under the leadership of the general Party branch, more than 500 members of the brigade undertook to build 12 water conservancy projects, including reservoirs and ponds. They worked in winter waist-deep in the icy cold water to build a dam across the river. Their efforts paid: ail the 12 projects were completed during the winter and spring of 1957-58. Under the guidance of the three red banners of the general line for building socialism, the big leap forward and the people's commune, the commune members built more reservoirs in 1958 and extended the area under irrigation to more than 60 per cent of the total cultivated land.
   The third intense class struggle was waged against Liu Shao-chi's san zi yi bao (the extension of plots for private use and of free markets, the increase in the number of small enterprises with sole responsibility for their own profits or losses, and the fixing of output quotas on the basis of individual households). From 1960 to 1962, Liu Shao-chi whipped up the evil wind of san zi yi bao in the rural areas in an attempt to restore capitalism. The bad elements in Hsiatingchia came out viciously attacking the people's commune. They stealthily divided up the collective grain and incited people to take up individual farming. The Party organization and the masses timely saw through their plots and waged a tit-for-tat struggle against them. A great debate was conducted by the brigade's members. The bad elements who stuck to the capitalist road were repudiated and struggled against, and the evil wind of san zi yi bao was repulsed. The great debate helped the commune members further heighten their consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines, increased their revolutionary enthusiasm and brought about a new upsurge in reclaiming and levelling the land. Thus, the three years of temporary economic difficulties saw a continuous big leap forward in Hsiatingchia, and per-mu yield of grain averaged more than 850 jin.
   The fourth fierce class struggle took place during the socialist education movement in 1964. Liu Shao-chi and his agents sent a work team to Hsiatingchia and fabricated many groundless accusations so as to break up Hsiatingchia —a red banner in agriculture. They frenziedly attacked the brigade's revolutionary cadres and poor and lower-middle peasants who adhered to the socialist road, and supported the landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists in rising to reverse the previous correct decisions taken against them. The secretary of the general Party branch Wang Yung-hsing led the masses in studying Chairman Mao's teaching "Without the poor peasants there would be no revolution. To deny their role is to deny the revolution. To attack them is to attack the revolution." They saw through the vile schemes of Liu Shao-chi and his agents and struggled resolutely against them. When the brilliant document Some Current Problems Raised in the Socialist Education Movement in the Rural Areas formulated under the personal guidance of the great leader Chairman Mao reached Hsiatingchia in 1965, the poor and lower-middle peasants were greatly inspired and encouraged. Using the document as their weapon, they safeguarded the socialist orientation and won another victory.
   The call "In agriculture, learn from Tachai" issued by the great leader Chairman Mao in 1964 pointed out the way for the brigade's poor and lower-middle peasants to build a new socialist countryside. Having basically completed the water conservancy works halfway up the mountain and at its foot, they resolved to build reservoirs on the top of the mountain. There was no earth up on the mountain, so they used large rocks and grouted them with cement to build the dams. As this required large quantities of rocks, sand and cement, the commune members quarried 25,000 cubic metres of rocks on the slopes and carried them to the construction site. The sand and cement that were needed were carried basket by basket from the foot of the mountain to the work site. After two years of hard work, they built four reservoirs and three pumping stations high up on the mountain. They also transformed some 390 mu of sandy and rocky land and terraced over 200 mu of top-quality fields. All this enabled the brigade to reap a rich harvest in 1966, the per-tnu yield being more than 1,000 jin.
   The fifth fierce class struggle occurred in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. As soon as the Great Cultural Revolution started, the poor and lower-middle peasants of the brigade held high the great banner "It is right to rebel against reactionaries" and rose in vigorous rebellion against Liu Shao-chi and his agents. The revolutionary action of the masses was enthusiastically supported by the cadres of the brigade's general Party branch. Acting in accordance with Vice-Chairman Lin's instruction to regard oneself both as a motive force and as a target of revolution, the cadres took the initiative to go among the masses to listen to the criticism and opinions of the poor and lower-middle peasants. At that juncture, a renegade who had hidden himself in the brigade colluded with the class enemies and tried to seize power. When Wang Yung-hsing, secretary of the general Party branch saw this, he led the poor and lower-middle peasants in relentlessly exposing and criticizing Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line and resolutely struggling against the handful of class enemies. The peasants subsequently won ft great victory in both revolution and production.
   Closely following Chairman Mao's strategic plan, the poor and lower-middle peasants of the brigade forged a great revolutionary alliance and established a "three-in-one" revolutionary committee in March 1967.Wang Yung-hsing, who has proved himself to be a revolutionary cadre closely following our great leader Chairman Mao over the years and wholeheartedly adhering to the socialist road, was elected chairman of the revolutionary committee.
   "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is a powerful motive force for the development of the social productive forces in our country." The commune members of Hsiatingchia were fired with still greater revolutionary enthusiasm in the Great Cultural Revolution. Working hard for three years, they quarried over 6,000 cubic metres of stone, transported more than 30,000 cubic metres of earth and built stone embankments totalling 1,300 metres in length. They opened up more than 100 mu of land on the rock-strewn river banks and on the rocky mountain for cultivation. They also raised the embankments of eight reservoirs and ponds and enlarged five pumping stations. Although there were two windstorms in 1969, per-mu yield of grain still topped 980 jin.
   Reviewing the fighting course they had traversed, the poor and lower-middle peasants of Hsiatingchia summed up the basic experience they had gained as follows: Closely following Chairman Mao means victory, and studying and applying Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way enables the people to defeat all enemies, surmount every difficulty and keep advancing. Since entering the great 1970s, the poor and lower-middle peasants and the revolutionary cadres in the brigade are more vigorous than ever before. Closely following Chairman Mao's great strategic plan, they have brought about a new high tide in grasping revolution and promoting production, determined to make still greater contributions to the Chinese revolution and the world revolution.
  

Source: Peking Review, No. 40, September 30, 1970
Transcribed by www.WENGEWANG.ORG

  
  
  

 
 
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