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Marxism does not involve revolutionary peasants. To Marx, the peasants were conservative rather than radicle. "[The peasant] fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history." The revolutionary class in China was not composed entirely of the proletariat. The peasants actually made up of the majority of the revolutionary class. China's revolution can be summed up in terms of the peasant's revolt, for it was the peasants who provided the backbone of the revolution. They supplied the Chinese Red Army with food and shelter, and even enlisting in the army which was composed almost entirely of peasant farmers. They did not try to reverse history as Marx envisioned, but helped to advance the revolution. "Given time the [Chinese] Red Army could turn defeat into final victory. But it had to live off the land and this was possible only if the peasants and the countryfolk accepted and supported them." Without the peasants, it is doubtful any revolution after the Guomindang took power would have been successful at all. Unlike the industrialized nations where peasants were grouped with the capitalistic middle class, Chinese peasants were closer to the proletariat.
proletariat and peasant farmers were similar. They were
in the bottom strata of an oppressive hierarchy, making
up the masses. They were the backbone of the society, and
were exploited by the people above them. "All
previous historical movements were movements of
minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The
proletarian movement is the self conscious, independent
movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the
immense majority." The proletariat class to Marx is
synonymous to the Chinese serfs. The Communist Revolution
of China offered many promising reforms to the poor
peasant farmers whom never had much power in the past.
Like the proletariat, the peasant class was an immense
group which was often neglected. Both the proletariat and
the peasants usually lived an unpleasant life. The
industrial workers of Europe lived in filthy slums where
little attention was paid to their welfare. There was
little security. If someone was injured, then they would
become unemployed and effectively left to die. Children
often fell asleep in front of dangerous machines. The
peasant farmers were no better off.