The Causes of the Victory of the Chinese Communist Party
The diverse causes of the CCP victory over the Kuomintang .. it possible for the CCP to transform the former unfavorable relationship of forces toward Chiang's. The Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China: Some Recent Relations Party's (CPC) rivalry with the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang; KMT), each . The best way to understand what is the relationship between CCP and China, is to , Chiang Kai-shek betrayed the KMT revolution and killed all CCP.
Therefore we have sufficient reason to say that during the war the relations between the CCP and the Kremlin not only were not cut off, but on the contrary became closer than ever. As for the postwar period, since the Soviet occupation of Manchuria, and with so many Soviet representatives working in the CCP and the army, the intimacy between Moscow and the CCP has been too evident to need further clarification. If we make a comparison of the policies and measures adopted by the YCP and those of the CCP in the course of the events, the distance between them would be even more apparent.
In the course of the anti-imperialist national liberation movement duringthe YCP already destroyed the bourgeois-landlord regime, step by step, and consummated its proletarian dictatorship in the first period after the war Octoberdespite its somewhat abnormal character.
Simultaneous with or a little later than the creation of the proletarian dictatorshipit succeeded in carrying out agrarian reform and the statization of industry and banking, and expropriated private property by law.
Meanwhile, on many important problems, the YCP had already formulated its own views, which were different from and independent of the Kremlin. It even tried to postpone carrying out the land reform to the latest possible date. Here we must note that the differences in attitude expressed by the YCP and the CCP in the course of the events are not quantitative, but qualitative. To assume therefore that the CCP has completed the same process of development as the YCP and ceased to be a Stalinist party in the classical sense of the word is to go entirely beyond the facts.
First, since the CCP withdrew from the cities to the countryside init established a quite solid apparatus and army the peasant army. For these twenty years it used this army and power to rule over the peasant masses—as we know, the backward and scattered peasants are the easiest to control—and hence a stubborn and self-willed bureaucracy took shape, especially in its manner of treating the masses.
Even toward the workers and students in the KMT areas, it employed either ultimatistic or deceitful methods instead of persuasion. Second, in ideology the CCP has further fortified and deepened the theory of Stalinism through its treatment of a series of important events: This was especially true in its rejection of the criticism of its concepts and policies by Trotsky and the Chinese Trotskyists.
Third, over these two decades the CCP has received special attention from the Kremlin, and it follows that its relations with the latter are particularly intimate. The YCP on the other hand has traversed an entirely different course.
This party was almost created out of the national anti-imperialist mass movement, and in a comparatively short span of time. It was not able to form a bureaucracy and Stalinist ideology as tenacious as that of the CCP. Since it was actually quite isolated from the Kremlin during its resistance war, it was more disposed to empirically bend to mass pressure. Therefore, we must say that the conquest of power in these two cases has only an apparent resemblance. From this judgment and explanation, should we deduce a further inference, that the CCP will at all times and under any conditions resist mass pressure and never come into conflict with the Kremlin?
What we have demonstrated above is that the most important turns the CCP underwent in the past were entirely the result of pressure from the Kremlin, and in violation of the will of the masses. Accordingly, it would more or less concede to demands of the masses within certain limits and within the possibilities permitted by its own control; i.
These are the solid facts of its yielding to mass pressure. It is possible that this kind of leftward turn will appear more often and to a greater extent in the future. Also, for the same reasons we can believe that in the past certain differences or conflicts must have occurred between the CCP and the Kremlin. But these conflicts have not yet burst to the surface.
For example, the dispute between Mao and Li discussed above may be a significant reflection of this existing conflict, which is not only unavoidable in the period ahead but will be further intensified. So I must say that the error made by Comrade Germain, taken up earlier, is not one of principle, but of fact. Yet I must also point out that the mistake made on such an important question may not only give rise to a series of other mistakes—such as underestimation of the bureaucratism of the CCP, its Stalinist ideology and methods, and overoptimism on perspectives concerning the CCP, etc.
We cannot group events which are similar only in appearance under the same principle or the same formula, or force events into accommodation with a given principle or formula. First of all, we must examine and analyze the concrete facts of the events themselves, particularly taking account of whatever exceptional circumstances have played a decisive role in the events, and judge whether this event conforms to a certain principle or formula, whether it actually is the true expression of this principle or formula.
As Lenin said, the facts are forever alive, while formulas often tend to become rigid. Our movement has assumed and stressed that it is possible for the masses to pass beyond the boundaries of Stalinism, and that hidden, profound contradictions exist between various Communist parties and the Kremlin. This principle and this formula is correct in its basic theoretical premise, and has already been justified by the Yugoslav events or to be more exact, it is rather derived from them.
This is exactly what has happened in China. We believe that similar events may possibly be repeated in other Asian countries Vietnam, Burma, etc. What the Kremlin fears is the victory of a genuine revolutionary movement of the workers, especially in the advanced countries, simply because it will not be able to control this victorious revolution, which will in turn threaten its very existence. If it does not face this kind of threat, and if its action will not involve immediate direct intervention by imperialism, the Kremlin would not give up an opportunity to extend its sphere of influence and would naturally permit a Communist party under its control to take power.
This is the lesson that can be drawn from the Chinese events and that we must accept. While this still falls under the heading of the conquest of power by a Communist party, we should at least see it as something supplementary to the lesson of the Yugoslav events. Only in this manner can we avoid falling into the mistake of transforming a principle into a rigid formula, of imposing this formula on every apparently similar event, and thereby producing a series of erroneous conclusions.
We Marxists react toward events by analyzing the concrete facts of their development with our methods and principles, testing and enriching our principles through this analysis, or if necessary, modifying our principles and formulas, for the truth is always concrete.
We have selected four of the most representative articles in this controversy and translated them into English for reference. So in this report it is not necessary to recount in detail the points of divergence in their discussion.
I am simply going to give my personal criticism and explanation of the essential arguments, particularly those of the comrades with oppositional views.
On the basis of our traditional conception of revolution and the experiences of revolutions in modern times—especially the Russian October revolution—they conceive of the revolution only in the sense that huge masses, especially the working class, are mobilized from bottom to top, go beyond the domain of the general democratic struggle to armed rebellion, directly destroy the state apparatus of the ruling class, and proceed to build up a new regime.
That we can call the beginning of the victory of a real revolution. As the facts stand, the CCP relied solely on the military action of the peasant army instead of the revolutionary action of the worker and peasant masses. From this, these comrades asserted that this victory is only the victory of a peasant war, and not the beginning of the third Chinese revolution.
We must admit that the traditional conception of revolution held by these comrades is completely correct, and the facts they enumerate are irrefutable.
But they have forgotten a small matter. That is, that the epoch in which we live is not that of the victory of the October revolution, the time of Lenin and Trotsky. These are the main features of this epoch: On the one hand, the capitalist world, having experienced two world wars, is in utter decay, while the objective revolutionary conditions have gone from ripe to overripe.
On the other hand, the Stalin bureaucracy, by dint of the prestige inherited from the October revolution and the material resources of the Soviet Union, has done everything it can to retain its grip on the Communist parties of the world, and through them it attempts to subordinate the revolutionary movements of different countries to its own diplomatic interests.
These exceptional circumstances have not led universally to the frustration and defeat of revolutionary movements in various countries; in some countries the revolutionary movements have only been deformed.
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The victory of the movement led by the CCP is a prominent example of this deformation of its revolution. Further, it marks a great dividing line in modern Chinese history. The destruction of the bloody twenty-year rule of Chiang Kai-shek and the blow dealt to the imperialist powers who have trodden on the Chinese people for centuries are quite sufficient to prove that this event can stack up with the first Chinese revolution Inasmuch as a sizable general land reform has been carried out no matter how incompletethe feudal remnants that have persisted for thousands of years are for the first time being shoveled away on a wide scale.
And since this work is still being carried on, should we still insist that it is not an epoch-making revolutionary movement? The comrades in opposition contend that they have completely acknowledged the progressive aspects of this movement, but nevertheless, they are by no means identical with the initial triumph of a real revolution, or the beginning of the third revolution, since they have been achieved by military and bureaucratic means. In order to obtain a more precise understanding of this question of deformed revolution, let us recall the discussions on the nature of the states in the buffer countries of Eastern Europe.
In these buffer countries, with the exception of Yugoslavia, the dispossession of the bourgeoisie from power, the land reform procedures, and the nationalizations of industry, banks, and means of transport and exchange were either not at all or only to a small degree carried out through the revolutionary action of the worker and peasant masses.
The statized properties and enterprises of the new regime have never been placed under the supervision and control of the masses, but are, under occupation by the Soviet army, operated and monopolized by the Communist bureaucrats of the Kremlin order.
Ideology, Legitimacy, and Party Cohesion: KMT and CCP in Comparative Perspective
As the property relations in these countries have been fundamentally changed, i. But while maintaining this assertion, the International has not overlooked the detestable way the bureaucrats of the Soviet Union and the Communist parties of these countries are monopolizing all economic and administrative power and the way the police and the GPU are strangling the freedom and initiative of the masses.
But the CCP has not mobilized the worker masses. It has not pushed the revolution forward through the agency of the working class leading the peasant masses. In other words, because it substituted the military-bureaucratic methods of Stalinism for the Bolshevik revolutionary methods of mobilizing the masses, this revolution has been gravely distorted and injured, and its features are misshapen to such an extent that they are hardly recognizable. However, we Marxists judge all things and events not by their appearance, but by the essence concealed under the appearance.
We must understand that our epoch is a transitional one, lying between capitalism and socialism, the most consequential and complex epoch in the history of humanity. Hence, many of the events and movements, under the influence of diverse factors, develop out of accord with the normal procedures of our logical thinking that are derived from historical experience or principles.
These people have nothing in common with Marxists. We Trotskyists must bear the responsibility for the coming revolution. And we must carry on an untiring fight in face of this situation to alter it in the course of the struggle and turn it toward our goal. The whole movement has been placed under its. This is an absolute reality, although distorted and contrary to our ideals. But unless we accept the reality of this movement, penetrate it, and actively join in all mass struggles, all our criticisms will be futile as well as harmful.
This task is, of course, extremely difficult and it will not necessarily proceed in tune with our efforts. But at least by participating in this movement we can lay down a basis for future work. Then, when we are faced with a more favorable situation, we shall be able to intervene and even to lead the movement.
We would then quit the movement and the masses and finally, inevitably withdraw from all practical political struggles and be swept away by the historical current. I must also point out that our oppositional comrades have committed another mechanical error by maintaining that the CCP-led movement was purely a peasant war and for that reason denying the significance of its mass character.
But even more, behind it stands the great mass of the peasantry. Historical experience has shown us that once the peasant movement erupts, it is often involved in armed struggle. This has become almost a law of the peasant movement. We must also note that the present army differs greatly from any former peasant army.
It has been systematically organized and trained by the Stalinist party. It has been endowed with a nationwide and up-to-date program of democratic reform as the general direction of the struggle, no matter how opportunist this program has been. It is for this reason that we cannot call this movement simply a peasant war but an abnormal revolutionary movement, and only this designation is true to the facts and to dialectic logic.
They exaggerate or even misinterpret the facts. This is just as harmful. This is not only mechanical, but is entirely contradictory to the actual facts, as I have indicated above.
Moreover, Comrade Ma says: Here I would like to emphasize one point. In the second Chinese revolution, the majority of the working class was organized in such groups as the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee and the Shanghai General Labor Union which were then functioning practically as Soviets.
The workers were mobilized, and occupied the leading position in the nationwide movement, launching a number of general strikes and giant demonstrations. In addition, the working class engaged in several victorious armed revolts, such as the case of the worker masses in Hangkow and Chiuchiang, who seized the British settlements, and in Shanghai where they occupied the entire city with the exception of the foreign concessions.
But in this movement of the CCP, from its beginning to the conquest of power, there has neither been the rising of the working masses in any city to the point of general strikes or insurrections, nor even a small-scale strike or demonstration.
Most of the workers were passive and inert, or at most showed a certain hopeful, attitude toward this movement. This is an indisputable fact. How can we compare this present movement with the revolutionary movement of the second Chinese revolution? This idealization of events will not only foster illusions but will objectively lead to wrong judgments.
Both will be dangerous, because illusions are always the origin of disappointment or discouragement, while wrong judgments will inevitably become the root of erroneous policies.
We should never overlook the extremely serious dangers implicit in the deformation of the third Chinese revolution fostered by the CCP: All these dangerous factors combined preclude any overoptimism in regard to the development and perspective of the third Chinese revolution that is now underway.
They will make it extremely difficult for Trotskyists to work in this movement. Despite all these circumstances we should never adopt a sectarian or pessimistic attitude, nor give up our efforts and our revolutionary responsibility to try to push this movement forward or transform it. At the same time we must also reject all naive ultraoptimism, which always tends to disregard the difficulties in the movement and the hardships in our work.
At the beginning, ultraoptimists might throw themselves into the movement with great zeal. But when they encounter the severe difficulties in the course of their work, they will become disheartened and shrink back. However, with the entire perspective of our movement in sight, we Trotskyists always hold firm to our unbending faith and revolutionary optimism. In other words, we profoundly believe that the victory of the proletarian revolution in the whole world and the reconstruction of human society can be accomplished only under the banner and the program of Trotskyism, the most enriched and deepened Marxism-Leninism of modern times.
Yet we should not overlook the formidable roadblocks on the way from the present period to the eventual victory, particularly the obstacles laid down by Stalinism. We must first of all bring to light these obstacles, then overcome them with the most precise program, correct methods, and utmost patience and perseverance.
The sectarians find their excuses in the fact that the movement does not conform to their preconceived norms and they attempt to flee from it in advance.
The naive optimists idealize the movement. But as soon as they discover that the movement does not follow the track of their idealization, they leave it. Revolutionary optimists have nothing in common with these two sorts of people. Since we have the strongest faith in the victory of the revolution, since we understand the enormous difficulties lying on the road to this victory, we cut our path through the thorniest thickets only with revolutionary methods and absolute persistence to reach the ultimate goal.
These controversies have produced certain unhealthy effects on the party. Though it is not possible for me to dwell in detail on a description and criticism of these controversial opinions, I should express my fundamental attitude toward this discussion especially since many Chinese comrades have asked me to do so. It is altogether reasonable that a political organization, on the morrow of a great event, should examine and discuss its past policy carefully in order to readjust its political line.
Therefore I do not agree with some comrades who object to this discussion. But I should also insist that we must proceed with the discussion in a fully responsible way, both for the revolutionary tasks and for our party, and in a circumspect, exact, and precise manner. The experience of history has already taught us that a political party is most susceptible to centrifugal tendencies under the pressure of a great event, especially in face of growing difficulties in its conditions of work.
Unfortunately, some of our comrades are not prudent enough in their criticisms of the policy we adopted in the past period. In reality, our party has maintained and struggled over long years for the traditional line of Trotskyism, the line of the permanent revolution.
This presentation is not only exaggerated and a distortion of the facts, but it is actually an insult to the party. Therefore it naturally has stirred up vehement indignation, outrage, and protests, and even, to a certain extent, confusion and vacillations among the comrades.
It was with the premonition of such consequences that I forewarned our comrades not to be too hasty in making a degree turn. I have already pointed out that our party did not envisage the victorious conquest of power by the CCP. From this major error in estimating the whole event flows a series of mistakes on the evaluation of events in the course of their development, and certain tactical errors in our propaganda to the outside world.
These errors in estimation have affected our attitude to the entire event, which more or less tended to passive criticism and an underestimation of its objective revolutionary significance. This is what we seriously admit and must correct. But, as I have said above, these are mistakes in estimating the events rather than mistakes of principles, and therefore can be easily redressed.
Marxism is the most effective scientific method of predicting social phenomena. But it has not yet reached such exactness as meteorology in foretelling the weather or astronomy in astral phenomena, since social phenomena are far more complicated than those of nature. So Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky also made mistakes in their evaluation of events. What distinguished them was not infallibility in estimating any and all events, but their constant, cautious, and exact observation of the objective process of events.
And once they realized that the development of events did not conform to their original estimates or that their estimates were wrong, they immediately readjusted or reestimated them. This is the attitude of a real Marxist, and is the example we should try to follow. The class nature of the CCP and the new regime Though there has not been much discussion among the Chinese comrades on this question, some opinions exist among the comrades of the International that tend to deviate from the Marxist line.
I therefore consider it necessary to raise this question for serious discussion and to make a definite appraisal that can serve as the premise in determining our position in relation to the CCP and its new regime.
About the nature of the CCP, virtually all the Chinese comrades have declared it to be a petty-bourgeois party based on the peasantry. This has been a traditional conception of the Chinese Trotskyists for the past twenty years, and is one defined by Trotsky himself. The main reason for this judgment was as follows: It threw its whole strength into village guerrilla fighting and therefore absorbed into the party a great number of peasants. Furthermore during the prolonged period of living in the countryside they also assimilated the peasant outlook into their ideology, little by little.
Not only has there been no fundamental change, but the petty-bourgeois composition represented by peasants and intellectuals has, on the contrary, been strengthened. The unprecedented growth of the CCP during and after the Resistance War was almost completely due to an influx of peasants and petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Before its conquest of power, the party claimed about 3. Of this total number, the worker element was very weak and at most was not more than 5 percent including manual laborers.
We can therefore confirm that up to the time it came to power the CCP still remained petty bourgeois in composition. Comrade Germain, for example, is of this opinion. From the fact that the CCP has overthrown the Kuomintang bourgeois system and set up its own power, it is quite evident that the nature of the party has changed.
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Unfortunately, this kind of reasoning leads to only a superficial resemblance to the truth, because the CCP overthrew the Chiang Kai-shek regime not through the revolutionary action of the working class leading the peasant masses, but by relying exclusively on the peasant armed forces. Therefore the newly established regime still remains bourgeois. We will return to the characterization of this regime. So how can this fact be used as a criterion to judge the change in the nature of the party?
On the contrary, we could say that the very fact that the CCP did not mobilize the working masses and depended solely on the peasant armed forces to conquer power reveals the petty-bourgeois nature of this party. Has the nature of the party changed, then, after it came into the cities? The answer must again be in the negative. A political party can never change its composition in twenty-four hours, especially in the case of the CCP, which has an unusually large peasant base.
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We can be assured that up to now the CCP is still a party in which peasant members are predominant, and hence is still largely petty bourgeois in nature. In fact, since this party has seized power and occupied the great cities, in its eagerness to seek support among the working class it has empirically stressed recruiting its members from the workers.
At the same time, it has temporarily ceased to recruit peasants into the party. However, this is a future possibility and cannot replace the reality for today. The resolution of the Seventh Plenum of the IS has pointed out: Any attempt to organize a worker-peasant party under the conditions of present-day society including in the backward countries is reactionary, petty-bourgeois, and extremely dangerous to the proletarian revolution.
The quality of education was guaranteed by regularly visiting Russian officers. Many of the leaders of both the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party graduated from the academy—the chief commander of the People's Liberation ArmyLin Biaograduated from Whampoa as did Zhou Enlaiwho later became prime minister of Communist China.
Together against the warlords and imperialists[ edit ] The Soviet Union had its own interests in supporting the Kuomintang. The Bolsheviks, in exchange for their help, demanded that the Kuomintang form an alliance with the Chinese communists. Moscow was not convinced that the communist party alone would be able to complete the revolution in the country, which was thought to be ready for communism right after the bourgeoisie destroyed the old Chinese dynastic system.
China's newly founded communist party had only a few hundred members at the beginning of the s, whereas the Kuomintang had over 50, The idea was that the communists would gain broader support by joining the common front with the nationalists, after which they would eventually take over from the Kuomintang.
At the request of the Russians, the Chinese communists—among them Mao Zedong —became members of the Kuomintang, and thus the first coalition of the two parties was born.
With the help of the Soviet Union the Kuomintang did succeed in gaining more support, and with renewed vehemence it continued to vigorously pursue its goal—the unification of the republic. Securing its grip on southern China, the Kuomintang was ready to unite the country by launching a military campaign against the North.
The coalition with the communists, however, was a forced union, held together only by their common enemies: After the death of Sun Yat-Sen in cooperation began to weaken, and the right wing of the Kuomintang soon put an end to the brotherhood with the Soviet Union and the Chinese communists.
The initial aim was to help defeat the warlord threat through the Northern Expedition of —28but both parties actually had ulterior motives with this alliance.
The CCP formed it mainly so it could spread communism through the KMT's numbers, while Chiang's aim was to help control the Communist party from the inside. Having said that, he was also the main reason the relationship fell apart, due to his desire to control the Communist party, ultimately leading to the disintegration of the United Front. After purging the Communists and Soviet advisors from Whampoa and his Nationalist army during the " Canton Coup ", Chiang went on to kill a large number of Communist forces in mid, which is aptly called the Shanghai massacre.