During the Sino-Japanese war of 1937, the Kuomintang immediately suffered majormilitary defeats and lost control of eastern China. It was only saved from totalhopelessness or defeat by Japan’s suicidal decision to attack the United Statesand invasion of Southeastern Asia.
But military rescue from Japan brought nosignificant improvement in the Kuomintang’s domestic performance in thepolitical and economic fields, which if anything to get worse. Clearly thepre-Communist history of Modern China has been essentially one of weakness,humiliation, and failure. This is the atmosphere in which the CPC developed itsleadership and growth in. The result has been a strong determination on the partof that leadership to eliminate foreign influence within China, to modernizetheir country, and to eliminate Western influence from eastern Asia, whichincluded the Soviet Union. China was changing and even developing, but itsoverwhelming marks were still poverty and weakness.
During their rise to powerthe Chinese Communists, like most politically conscious Chinese, were aware ofthese conditions and anxious to eliminate them. Mao Tse-tung envisioned a mixedeconomy under Communist control, such as had existed in the Soviet Union duringthe period of the New Economic Policy. The stress was more upon social justice,and public ownership of the “commanding heights” of the economy thanupon development. In 1945, Mao was talking more candidly about development,still within the framework of a mixed economy under Communist control, andstressing the need for more heavy industry; I believe because he had beenimpressed by the role of heavy industry in determine the outcome of World WarII. In his selected works he said “that the necessary capital would comemainly from the accumulated wealth of the Chinese people” but latter added”that China would appreciate foreign aid and even private foreigninvestment, under non exploitative conditions.
” After Chiang Kai-shek brokeaway from the CPC they found themselves in a condition that they were notaccustom to, they had no armed forces or territorial bases of its own. It had noprogram of strategy other than the one that Stalin had compromised, who from theSixth World Congress of the Comintern in 1928 to the Seventh in 1935 insisted,largely because the disaster he had suffered in China that Communist Partieseverywhere must promote world revolution in a time of depression. The CPC wasridden with factionalism; the successful effort to replace this situation withone of relative “bolshevization” or in layman’s term this meansimposed unity, which was ultimately made by Mao Tse-tung, and not by Stalin. Parallel with the Comintern-dominated central apparatus of the CPC in Shanghai,there arose a half dozen Communist-led base areas, each with a guerrilla army,in Central and South China. These bases existed mainly by virtue of the effortsof the local Communist leadership to satisfy the serious economic and socialgrievances of the local civilians, often violently, through such means asredistribution of land at the expense of landlords and the reduction of interestrates at the expense of moneylenders. Of these base areas, or soviets, the mostimportant was the one led by Mao Tse-tung and centered in the southeastern cityof Kiangsi.
Correspondingly, in return for such service Mao was elected chairmanof a Central Soviet Government, who supposedly controlled all the Communist baseareas in 1931. Before I tell about Mao Tse-tung, I will tell you about Maoism. By Maoism or “the thought of Mao Tse-tung” as the CPC would put it isthe entire evolving complex of patterns of official thought and behavior thatCPC has developed while under Mao’s leadership. It was very difficult tounscramble Mao’s individual contribution while not confusing it with otherthinkers of this time period as many have done and are still doing to this date.
It is also difficult to separate the pre-1949 and the post-1949 aspects and thedomestic from the international aspects. The first basic and most importantcharacteristic that I believe is a deep and sincere nationalism that has beenmerged with the strictly Communist elements. Then closely resembling nationalismwas his populism approach so full of strain that the CPC saw itself not merelyas the Vanguard of the common people, plus as the progressive side of the middleclass, but as representative of the people. This was important as it played theopposite position of the “three big mountains” (imperialism,feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism) and still yet accept the passively theleadership CPC.
Maoism still possessed two other points that are significant inunderstanding this ideology, it recognizes the decisive importance in history ofconscious, voluntary activity and of subjective forces in more detail than thesometimes compared Leninism which was opposed to deterministic, objectiveforces. The last point it brings out is that Maoism stresses contradictions andstruggle, or what might be called the power of negative thinking, to the pointwhere it invents enemies of all types and comments on their size and calls them”paper tiger” as he did in a speech in 1950.Politics