Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung,
Foreign Languages Press
First Edition 1961
Second Printing 1967
Third Printing 1969
May 24, 1948
It is necessary to give over-all consideration to the tactical problems of rural work in the new Liberated Areas. In these areas we must make full use of the experience gained in the period of the War of Resistance Against Japan; for a considerable period after their liberation we should apply the social policy of reducing rent and interest and properly adjusting the supplies of seed and food grains and the financial policy of reasonable distribution of burdens; we should aim our main blows only at the important counter-revolutionaries who side politically with the Kuomintang and stubbornly oppose our Party and our army, just as we only arrested the traitors and confiscated their property during the period of the War of Resistance, and we should not immediately apply the social reform policy of distributing movable property and land. The reason is that only a few bolder elements would welcome the premature distribution of movable property and that the basic masses would not get anything and would therefore be dissatisfied. Moreover, hasty dispersal of social wealth is to the disadvantage of the army. Premature distribution of land would prematurely place the entire burden of military requirements on the peasants instead of on the landlords and rich peasants. In the sphere of social reform, it is better not to distribute movable property and land but instead to reduce rent and interest universally so that the peasants will receive tangible benefits, and in financial policy we should effect a reasonable distribution of burdens so that the landlords and rich peasants will pay more. In this way, social wealth will not be dispersed and public order will be comparatively stable, and this will help us concentrate all our forces on destroying the Kuomintang reactionaries. After one, two or even three years, when the Kuomintang reactionaries have been wiped out in extensive base areas,
when conditions have become stable, when the masses have awakened and organized themselves and when the war has moved far away, we can enter the stage of land reform -- the distribution of movable property and land as in northern China. The stage of rent and interest reduction cannot be skipped in any new Liberated Area, and we shall make mistakes if we skip it. The above tactics must also be carried out in those parts of the large Liberated Areas in northern, northeastern and northwestern China which border on enemy territory.