The Chinese Revolution 1912-49 The Truncated Version for ush theoretical Maoism



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The Chinese Revolution 1912-49 The Truncated Version for USH

Theoretical Maoism

Maoism in Theory I

  • 1. Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history, such is the history of civilization for thousands of years. To interpret history from this viewpoint is historical materialism; standing in opposition to this viewpoint is historical idealism.
  • "Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle" (August 14, 1949), Selected Works,  Vol. IV, p. 428.
  • 2. A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
  • "Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan" (March 1927), Selected Works,  Vol. I, p. 28.*

Maoism in Theory II

  • 3. The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man's will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, sooner or later revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph.
  • "Speech at the Meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution" (November 6, 1957).
  • 4. "Don't you want to abolish state power?" Yes, we do, but not right now; we cannot do it yet. Why? Because imperialism still exists, because domestic reaction still exists, because classes still exist in our country. Our present task is to strengthen the people's state apparatus - mainly the people's army, the people's police and the people's courts - in order to consolidate national defence and protect the people's interests.
  • "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship" (June 30, 1949), Selected Works,  Vol. IV, p. 418.
  • Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925)
  • 1. Nationalism
  • 2. Democracy
  • 3. Quality of Life
  • Overthrow of Manchu Dynasty (1644-1911)
  • Sun, father of the Republic, tries to maintain peace among growing factions—esp. KMT and CCP
  • Sun Yatsen becomes president Hopes to establish govt. based on the three principles of the people.
  • Era of the Warlords in the ROC (1916-1926)
  • Power Vacuum
  • Military leaders & local gentry take control of the provinces.
  • Warlord armies
  • Millions of peasants die of famine & disease.
  • Peasants’ desire for land went unresolved; landless grew
  • World War I in Asia
  • Japan seeks foothold in China
  • 1917-China aides Allies vs. Germany
  • 1919 Treaty of Versailles:
  • Japan gains territory & privileges previously belonging to Germany in China.
  • Result: May 4th Movement - an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles. Reformers turned against Sun Yatsen’s pro-Westernism.

Civil War (1945 – 1949)

  • KMT: Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) (also GMD)
    • Chiang Kai-shek (President)
    • Nationalist
    • Modernist/Westernist—took aid from US
    • U.S. & UK recognize and support KMT
    • Stronghold in the East & South, all cities
    • Receive $2.5 bil. from USA
    • Chinese economy collapses on Chiang’s watch.
  • CCP: Chinese Communist Party
    • Mao Zedong Chairman
    • Zhou Enlai
    • Marxist-Leninist—took aid from USSR early and often
    • Stronghold in North & West, rural areas

Origins of Split in the ROC, 1925

  • KMT
  • Sun dies 1925
  • Chiang Kai-shek
  • Fear of CCP. Purges.
  • Modern
  • Industrial
  • Pro-Western
  • CCP
  • Est 1921
  • Mao and Rural
  • Capitalism as cause of foreign exploitation & aggression.
  • Anti Western

The Long March, 1934-35

  • Massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade KMT
  • Not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south escaped to the north and west.
  • Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, led CCP in retreat to the west and north. 12,500 kilometers (8,000 miles) over 370 days.
  • Mao’s ascent to power
  • Bitter struggles, only 10% survived. Symbolically significant episode in the history of CCP

Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945)

  • The United Front: Myth and Reality
  • Russian Aid 1937
  • U.S. Intervention 1941
  • BOTH U.S. and Russia offered aid earlier
  • Russia offered mil. aid (KMT preferred to get mil. aid from Russia)
  • U.S. gave $1.5 billion
  • Chiang Kai-shek with FDR & Winston Churchill

From the Record: The US State Department Reaction

“War of Liberation”

Mao Zedong’s Basic Goals

  • A revolution from above to remove “3 big mountains”
    • imperialism
    • feudalism
    • bureaucratic-capitalism
  • A “United Front” of …


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