Chinese Revolution

cultural rev womenThe Chinese Revolution is second only to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 as the greatest event of the 20th century. In 1949, the People’s Liberation Army led by the Chinese Communist Party took power and within a short span of time snuffed out capitalism and landlordism. Hundreds of millions of human beings threw off the humiliating and degrading yoke of Western imperialism, and China entered world history as an independent nation. The establishment of the People’s Republic of China marked a monumental change in world history.

However, this revolution took place in a distorted manner, thanks to the mis-leadership of Stalin's Communist International. In this section, you will find articles that detail how his bureaucratic methods wrecked the first Chinese revolution of 1925-7, the fallout from which, combined with Stalin’s continued meddling, pushed the Chinese Communist Party into a false strategy of rural armed struggle.

Despite these errors, the crisis of imperialism and Chinese capitalism, and the corresponding impetus to revolution, were so great that, in 1949, the CCP conquered power. But the regime that was established mirrored its parent in Moscow: that is, it was from the very beginning a totalitarian regime in the Stalinist mold, lacking workers' democracy. It was destined to be this way as a result of the rural, petty-bourgeois methods by which it was established, which denied a role for the urban working class in the revolution. Ultimately, the bureaucratic character of this regime would be an obstacle to achieving socialism and laid the basis for the eventual return to capitalism in China.

Using the method of Marxism to describe the regime of Tito, and hence explain the split with Stalin, this document by Ted Grant from 1949 takes the argument further and extends it to the example of China. It elaborates further the process by which Mao Tse Tung established his regime, explaining that it was, of necessity, 'deformed' from the very beginning.

In January 1949 Ted Grant analysed the historical significance of the victory of Mao in China. Key to this victory was Mao's agrarian reform which won over the peasants while the feudal landlords and capitalists clung to the rotten Kuomintang. The Chinese revolution was second in importance only to the Russian October, but with one important difference: from day one the Chinese masses were expropriated of their political power by the Stalinist bureaucracy. 

Building upon the theoretical work which had already been undertaken in relation to Russia, Eastern Europe and the Tito-Stalin split, the article by Ted Grant puts forward a perspective in relation to China that is lucid and consistent from a Marxian point of view, and moreover, brilliantly prophetic. With the world 'leaders of Trotskyism' still humming and hawing, the article goes straight to the point and applauds 'the destruction of feudalism and large-scale capitalism, in this important section of Asia, even though it is carried out under the leadership of Stalinism. In its long-term implications, it is as important as the October revolution itself.'

In an attempt to discredit the Trotskyists once again, the CP attempted to disorient and confuse the working class by spreading out-and-out lies on the Chinese Revolution. Ted Grant replies to these points in a effort to set the record straight and expose the methods of the Stalinists.

The Chinese  revolutionary movement of 1925-1927 ended not with a victory, but with a horribly sanguinary defeat for the proletariat and the peasantry. How was this possible? Leon Trotsky's writings at the time, collected in this volume, provide the required analysis.