Mao can be described as both a peasant and an emperor due to his policies and actions. On the one hand he has very humble beginnings and grew up in the countryside and throughout his life he espoused the virtues of the peasant lifestyle. He is also relied heavily on the rural peasants as the core of his power base and it was the peasant class who formed the bulk of his revolutionary army. On the other hand, Mao was the undisputed ruler of China and leader of the Chinese Communist Party. His authority was paramount and his edicts were the law, Mao commanded almost total loyalty from those around him and ruled with almost absolute power of the Chinese emperors of old.