By the summer of 1937, the situation in republican China had taken on portentous properties. Insistence that the government mobilize resistance to Japanese aggressions had matured to the point that nominal allies of the Nationalist Party leadership chose to force Chiang Kai-shek to modify his policies. There was a constant drumbeat for a fully committed patriotic War of Resistance against Japan—and it is clear that Chiang’s decision, in that summer, to move against Japan was not entirely of his own choosing. Nonetheless, the very fact that Chiang was prepared to modify the temperate policies that he had pursued for seven years with respect to Japan reflected his conviction that he had completed at least the minimum preparations for mounting a plausible defense against the modern armies of the Empire of Japan.2
- Communist Party
- Chinese Communist Party
- Nationalist Government
- Chinese Revolution
- Bolshevik Revolution
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In spite of certain unavoidable weaknesses, for instance, its smallness (as compared with the peasantry), its youth (as compared with the proletariat in the capitalist countries) and its low educational level (as compared with the bourgeoisie), the Chinese proletariat is nonetheless the basic motive force of the Chinese Revolution. Unless it is led by the proletariat, the Chinese Revolution cannot possibly succeed.
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Mao Zedong, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party,” Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1965), vol. 2, 325. Hereafter SWM.
Mao’s writings on military tactics are conveniently available as Mao, Selected Military Writings (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1967).
For a more extensive discussion of the evolution of classical Marxism into its variants, see A. James Gregor, Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009), chaps. 1, 2, and 5, particularly pages 118–26.
Lenin identified Marxist “theory” as the product of “bourgeois intellectuals” and its transfer to working class consciousness as the consequence of a similarly “declassed” bourgeois elite intervention. See V. I. Lenin, “What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement,” Collected Works (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961) vol. 5, 370, 375, 383–84. Hereafter LCW.
Josef Stalin, Problems of Leninism (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953), 36–37.
The summary account below follows those provided by contemporary sources. The following have been found most helpful: Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (London: Vintage Books, 2006), chaps. 27–30;
Jay Taylor, The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), chaps. 7–9.
© 2014 A. James Gregor
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Gregor, A.J. (2014). Mao Zedong and the Conquest of China. In: Marxism and the Making of China. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137379498_5
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