Mao Zedong and China in Twentieth-Century; A concise History
Professor Rebecca. E Karl s’ book.
Establishing Revolutionary Bases. From Jingganshan to Yan’an, 1928-1935
1. Mao established a revolutionary base at a place called Jingganshan in the Jiangxi province in 1927- 28. The White Terror made him realized the need of a strong revolutionary army and base from where he could easily and safely launch his Revolution in China.
2. In this revolutionary base Mao married He zizhan, a female comrade while his first wife was executed by the Nationalist of GMD in 1930 as retribution.
3. The continued attacks from GMD and the blocked of Jingganshan revolutionary base by the GMD Army compelled the Red Army of Mao to move to another safe haven, Ruijin City, a faraway area of Jiangxi province.
4. Two key factors for Mao’s Red Army survival was, one it’s ideological coherence and staunchness and second it’s protracted or guerrilla warfare. Knowing very well the ground realities Mao ignored Li Listen advice to disperse his force into small groups and hid into nearby population for protecting his Red Army.
5. The tension between the local communist party and CCP yielded into the Fustian Incident (1930) in which Red Army crushed the mutineers. Mao’s ideology and distribution of property and the local communist party disagreement with it resulted infighting between two the communist comrades.
6. This internecine war between the two communist ideologues provided Chiang Kaishek opportunity to launch his 2nd and 3rd exterminating campaigns against them.
7. Mao killed thousands of Li Listen sympathizers and supporters believing that they are in collusion with GMD. Li Listen was thrown from the chairperson ship of CCP at Shanghai with accusation for working against Party and its ideology. His Xunwa Report (1930) glimpses his Marxist socio-political and economic ideals.
8. Chiang Kaishek launched his 4th campaign against Soviet Jiangxi in 1932 even though Japan was conquering Manchuria at that time.
9. Mao and his fellow comrades left Soviet Jiangxi for the Zunyi City in Guizhou province and then farther for the Shaanxi province, the only safe and surviving communist base then.
10. This was the birth of Long March ending in October 1935 with only 8000 comrade-in-arms reaching Shaanxi province with Mao from their withdrawal from the Soviet Jiangxi base.
Point to Ponder
a.. Mao’s first revolutionary base at Jingganshan.
b.. Mao second marriage. GMD attacks and movement to Ruijin City.
c.. Guerrilla warfare and Futian Incident. Removal of Li Lisen from CPC chairmanship.
d.. Chiang Kaishek 4th anti-communist campaign
e.. The Long March to Shaanxi province
Yan’an, the War of Resistance against Japan and Civil War, 1935-1949
1. In Ya’an base (Shaanxi) Mao personal analysis and interpretation of Marxist ideas and its application is now known by the name of “Mao Zedong Thoughts”.
2. Mao divorced his wife He Zizhan and married a film star Jiang Quing in Ya’an base.
3. Chiang Kaishek was so blind in his anti-communist pursuit that he ignored the requests of his Generals to depute some troops against the invading Japanese Army.
4. This tussle between loyal Chinese Generals and Chiang Kaishek became so deep that the Xi’an Incident (1936) took place where General Zhang held hostage Chiang Kaishek for two weeks until he agreed to depute some GMD troops against Japanese Army.
5. The Second United Front between GMD and CCP was formed in 1937 to counter the full-scale invasion of Japan after the concocted incident of “Marco Polo Bridge”.
6. Mao’s Protracted war, Guerrilla war or Jigsaw war strategy and his tactic of “luring the enemy deep” developed by him in the Jiangxi Soviet now re-evaluated by him on a nation-wide struggle against Japan.
6. American, Soviet and European powers left GMD at Japan’s mercy. Mao believed that Chinese could win this war if they overcome the sense of defeatism and loss and focus on them only, not looking to anybody else.
7. The three elements of a protracted war are;
One is the Objectivity or the Cause of war that has to be scientifically analysed. Second is the Strategizing or Planning for a Protracted war.
While third element is analysing the previous historical events and movements and then sort outing a clear, scientific and comprehensive analysis and comparison between the Two phenomena, old and new ones, and apply them to the current situations/ occurrences for a solution.
10. Mao developed his theory of “New Democracy” in Yun ‘an, based on the mutual development and relation of different social classes. This New Democracy was Mao’s mass politics for the uplifting of all social classes.
11. Culture and literature were Mao’s two important things for raising the political and class consciousness in the masses. The artist would be a “cultural worker” in Mao’s new revolutionary culture for praising and criticizing both friends and foes alike for the true revolutionary outcomes.
12. This new culture and literature would not be elite-centric but must be mass-styled and mass-centric.
13. Ding ling, the female editor of the Party literary Journal, critiqued the Party abysmal failure to give equal status to their woman comrades. After this article publication she was fired from the editorship of the Journal and was sent again for “proper education in Maoism”.
14. The alliance between CCP and GMD already a strained one, broke down with “the New Fourth Army Incident (1941)”. In which 7000 soldiers of Red Army along with their commanders were killed by GMD.
15. Both CCP and GMD were suspicious of each other. After the Second World War, Stalin and President Truman urged the two sides for peaceful mutual settlement.
16. As soon as the US army General George C Marshall left from China, a bloody civil war broke out between CCP and GMD.
17. Chiang Kaishek and his followers after defeat took refuge in nearby Island of Taiwan. This is the issue that still pester Beijing about China’s unity and oneness as a country.
18. On October 1, 1949, Mao declared the birth of People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Point to Ponder…
a.. Mao’s opinions in the “thoughts of Mao Zedong”.
b.. Mao third marriage and Xi’an Incident.
c.. The Second United Front and his Protracted War strategy.
d.. Mao New Democracy or mass politics.
e.. The ideals of new Revolutionary Culture.
f.. Civil war and fleeing of GMD to Taiwan.
Stabilizing Society and Transition to Socialism, 1949-1957
1. People’s Republic of China, PRC, was “the People’s Democratic Dictatorship”. A contravention of Maoism, it was democracy for “the people” who supported the Revolution through any means. Whether by deeds or by words! Hence they are the real Revolutionary and deserve more space, respect and privilege in the New Revolutionary China.
While those who resisted or did not partake in this Revolution are “the non-peoples”. They are anti-revolutionary and had to be forced to “re-education and reformation” to become “the people”.
2. The economic, social and political conditions of China was ruinous. The fleeing Forces of GMD had deliberately destroyed everything valuable. The CCP had to tackle a number of problems and evils in the Revolutionary China including maintaining the austerity and simplicity of the Red Army.
3. The post revolution embargoes on China by USA and its Allies left no option with Mao but to go to Soviet Union and Stalin for aid and assistance.
4. Soviet Union promised support to China if USA and Japan attack it in return for its continued occupation of Manchuria. While Stalin discouraged attack on Taiwan but signalled assistance in Tibet occupation. Stalin gave very nominal financial aid to China but sent scientific and technological advisors to for its development.
5. Mao life was a very simple and austere life in Beijing. Being a revolutionary leader, he was tough, studious, smoker, womanizer and of course a late- night owl.
6. After his Soviet Union visit in 1950, Mao decided to embark on the much promised and awaited Land Reforms in Revolutionary China. These Land Reforms completed in 1952.
7. Peasants wanted piece of land for themselves without any landlordism and indebtedness to them. CPC wanted to break the backbone of feudales through this reforms. While thirdly and more focused, communist economists wanted to build an Agricultural Economy of Scale through collectivization that in turn will run and speed-up other sectors of economy along with itself. They did not want to confiscate land from small poor peasants as is normally pointed out by petty bourgeoisie. Rather they wanted to develop a large Agrarian Economic Machine for China running the economy of whole nation.
8. CCP leadership was conscious about the fragility and weakness of their new Revolution and CIA funded GMD militia operating in Tibet and China borders. Amid this tense and alarming situation, the Korean War (1950) broke out.
9. United States entry into war was perceived a quick and upfront threat to China and its Revolution. In Washington, GMD lobbied to involve China in this war.
10. In October 1950, the US troops reached the Yalu River separating Manchuria from Korea. The boasting and threat of “Nuking China” by some US senators impelled Mao to mobilize “the Chinese Volunteers” for the Korean defence against America and their dogs.
11. The guerrilla General Peng Dehani led the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), name changed from Red Army to People’s Liberation Army after successful Chinese Revolution of October 1949. When US General MacArthur attacked the Chinese mainland and troops Peng Dehani gave them crushing defeats. The 38th Parallel between North Korea and South Korea is the reminiscent of this war.
12. This era of “Resisting America and Aiding Korea” further drained the already weak and impoverished Chinese economy. Mao’s son Anying, was killed in this war and buried in the Korean battlefield.
13. After Korean War, Mao planned for the cultural and political transformation of China. Mao conception of Development was totally different from those of traditional one. He believed on a Revolutionary Development that would truly revolutionize a society. Development for mere high growth, turnovers and economic had no value for Mao. It was dilemma for CCP how to solve it. If one factor is kept in focus for example economic development, the other one, revolutionizing the society, is lost.
14. CCP was forced to follow the Soviet Union’s steps of Modernization and Industrialization after the trade embargoes of America and Europe. Agriculture had to fund the industrial development in cities through its surplus production. The huge domestic population of China would have to be used to produce anything China needed for itself.
15. Mao’s notion of Centralized Decentralization was in total contrast to that of CCP centralization. His said that local situation and condition had to be analysed for the practicality and implementation of Revolutionary Ideals. Centralization from atop is of no use as each area have their own locales and situations.
16. Hu Feng affair was the turning point when he questioned “Mao Zedong Revolutionary Thoughts” and CCP policies. He was of the opinion that CCP is creating and “cultural desert” by wholly solely submitting to Mao’s thoughts for Truth. Disgruntled by this critique, CCP arrested Hu Feng in 1955 for his anti-revolutionary and capitalists support. Languishing for 25 years in prison, Hu Feng died in 1985.
17. Premier Zhou Enlai participation in Bandung Conference (1955) shows Mao concern with 3rd world countries who do not want to be part of any power bloc. It was also a move to look beyond Soviet Union by Beijing.
18. Stalin was posthumously eulogized as the great socialist leader in China while under-carpeting his crimes from the Chinese people. Khrushchev denunciation of Stalin created a dilemma for Mao and CCP.
19. The Hungarian outbreak and its Soviet suppression exposed the weakness and imposed nature of communist party there. Mao believed that the Hungarian intelligentsia failed to educate the masses and the organic growth of communist party in Hungary.
20. To transform China fully in a socialism, Rural Collectivization (1953) was adopted by Mao though CCP disagreed with him. These peasant collectives were not producer-collectives but rather they were peasant- cooperatives for them.
21. At the same time Mao distanced himself from Party which he now alluded as non-revolutionary and anti-people waning the revolutionary spirit in it. He was now focusing on the revolutionary activities of local cadres and peasants.
22. The Chinese develop mentalists favoured the Soviet Union’s styled maximum extraction from the peasants whose worsening condition was hard for Mao to accept.
23. Mao’s speech on February 1957 put the CCP on the searchlight of Chinese people. Mao criticized the Party for losing the aura of socialism within a short period of seven years.
24. This period of “Blooming and Contending of Hundred Flowers”, from May to June 1957, critiqued the CCP for its policy failures. When at last Mao and the Party came around on them for their capitalist, bourgeoisie and counter revolutionary views for the Chinese Revolution.
Point to Ponder…
a.. the difference between “people” and “non-people”.
b.. the economic conditions of China after Revolution and trade embargoes of USA and West.
c.. Stalin promises to Mao. Land Reforms and developing a Chinese Agrarian Economic Machine.
d.. the Korean War and CIA backed militias.
e.. Mao’s notion of revolutionary development and decentralized centralization.
f.. Hu Feng arrest and death.
g.. Bandung Conference. Stalin death and Hungarian Revolution.
h.. Mao’s criticism of the Party and interest in peasants and local cadres.
I.. the Blooming and Contending of Hundred Flowers and Party’s crack down on it.