… and the communist revolution in China – Part 1
Published on Countercurrents.org, by Li Onesto, 13 August, 2008.
(3 short excerpts of a long article): … In the China where Mao grew up, most people were poor peasants suffering under the system of feudalism. Big landlords owned most of the land and landless peasants were forced to work for them, getting barely enough to survive. The peasants lived in constant debt, subjected to the tyranny of the landlords and conditions of poverty, hunger and disease. Families sold their children because they couldn’t feed them …
… Developing Communist Theory:
But none of this could have happened spontaneously. Mao developed theory to solve the problems of the revolution, and guide its course. Through all this, he made important and necessary new contributions to the science of communism. During this period Mao tackled the problems of the strategy to make revolution in a nation oppressed by imperialism, military affairs, and philosophy. Such works as “On Contradiction,” “On Practice,” “On New Democracy,” and many others made important contributions to the understanding of revolutionaries all over the world—and continue to be relevant today. Moreover, Mao’s method and approach in tackling these problems is itself an important thing to learn from. In all these arenas Mao both thoroughly rooted himself in Marxist theory but also found it necessary to break with convention in certain important respects.
At the end of 1939, Mao wrote the path-breaking essay, “On New Democracy.” Dealing with the specific question of China, he showed that because it had been dominated by imperialist powers for decades, China had never been able to develop as an independent nation and its economy was distorted and dependent. Imperialist development had led to the transformation of some of China’s more backward production relations. But feudal and semi-feudal economic relations—like landlords owning land and oppressing peasants—existed alongside of, and were incorporated into, capitalist relations; the backward political institutions and ideas that went along with this continued in force, while the Chinese nation overall was dominated by the imperialist powers …
… A New Socialist China:
On October 1, 1949, Mao stood in Tiananmen Square in the capital city of Beijing to announce the formation of the People’s Republic of China. He spoke to a crowd of millions and declared: “The Chinese people have stood up!”
Mao had led the Chinese people in 20 years of armed struggle to overthrow their oppressors and drive out foreign imperialism. Now the people had the power to build socialism—as a transitional society with the goal of a communist world free of classes, and all the oppressive relations and ideas that go along with class society.
On this historic day, Mao shared in the people’s joy and celebration, but he also understood, as he had pointed out, that: “The Chinese revolution is great, but the road after revolution will be longer, the work greater and more arduous” … (full long text).