"According to the CCP, the Japanese redirected their attention to communist base areas during 1941 and 1942. At this time, they employed 83,000 soldiers in 132 “mopping-up” operations against various communist base camps. In 27 of these attacks, more than 10,000 soldiers were involved. […] The Japanese army’s chief of staff for the northern China zone admitted that 7,700 new blockhouses had been built in the northern China theater and that the line of the blockade had reached 11,860 kilometers in length. This was six times the length of the Great Wall and a quarter of the length of the earth’s circumference."
Michael Dutton, Policing Chinese Politics: A History, p. 344 (n. 43)
In 1950 — the year after the PRC was founded and most of China was brought under Communist control — more than 40,000 Party cadre and local leaders were assassinated by enemies of the government. Remnant Nationalists, landlords, bandits and imperialist spies carried out killings and terrorist attacks against military and political targets, power plants and factories, transportation infrastructure and anywhere else that could cause the people suffering and make them grow dissatisfied with the new regime. Ordinary people demonstrated outside local Party headquarters demanding that the new government take firmer action to protect their lives and well-being.
What I would really love to know is what our anti-authoritarian and anti-statist friends would suggest should have been done in that situation. What is the anti-authoritarian way to proceed when enemies of revolution are killing government officials, military officers, and ordinary people in a coordinated imperialist-backed campaign of sabotage? How would the absence of a state or any state security organs lead to the solution of this problem in the context of implacable enemies whose livelihoods are fundamentally threatened by the success of your revolution?
Amid China’s tumultuous dash to become rich, one man’s photographs of families posing with their worldly goods will soon seem like records from a distant era.
Huang Qingjun has spent nearly a decade travelling to remote parts of China to persuade people who have sometimes never been photographed to carry outside all their household possessions and pose for him.
"Given this kind of official condemnation of the Great Leap Forward, one might expect lower-level federation leaders –women who advocated on behalf of women – to be critical of this period as well. But many former Women’s Federation leaders whom I interviewed described the Great Leap Forward as the high point of women’s liberation in China."
Kimberly Manning, “Making a Great Leap Forward? The Politics of Women’s Liberation in Maoist China”
Happy birthday to people’s China! It was not so long ago that Mao Zedong announced its founding in Beijing, marking a decisive advance in the revolutionary process forged by the tireless work and sacrifice of millions of Chinese people
More on the Chinese protests against Japan and discussion of their threat to the CCP leadership here. I think that aspect is a little overblown as it usually is in American reporting on China, but it’s still worth watching. The prominence of Mao posters in the protests is pretty striking and in context can only be seen as pretty sharply critical of the current CCP leadership.
Incidentally, according to some reports on Leftist Trainspotters there has been substantial PLA presence in the area of at least some of these protests, which would be striking if true. Haven’t seen that confirmed in other reports though.
And with good reason. He was forced to watch the start of the unraveling of the Chinese revolution and the rise of the rightist faction in the CCP.
Ok I am always pretty down to support Lin Biao (and stoked to find someone else on here who does) but I always come up against the problem of his alleged coup and (less ambiguous) attempt to flee to the USSR. I find that pretty hard to square with anti-revisionism. Curious if there’s an argument to be made that those are consistent, or any reason not to believe the official CCP story about what happened to him?
There is great reason not to believe the official story. No real evidence was ever presented against Lin to support the coup story. The only ‘evidence’ the rightists claimed to have were ‘confessions’ from purged allies of Lin. The official CCP narrative was used to purge the Maoist leftists . The CCP later ordered the so-called ‘evidence’ against Lin to be destroyed. So little is known about the events of Lin’s disappearance, and you can’t rely on the CCP source because anything in regards to Lin Biao or the Cultural Revolution is held in a negative view.
On the anti-revisionist issue: China was already well on it’s way to becoming revisionist at the time of Lin’s disappearance. The political vacuum was filled by rightists, Mao was continually shifting right. From the ‘Shift of 1972’ on Mao aligned with the US. He embraced capitalist dictators, he supported the US crushing genuine communist movements in the third world, on the basis that supporting Marxist revolutions in the third world was ‘social imperialist’. The only ‘revolution’ China would support would be one to overthrow a soviet supported government. Internal policy dropped the mentioning of revolution and communism in favor of fighting ‘soviet social imperialism’. China saw big changes in foreign and internal policy after Lin Biao’s disappearance.
Thanks for the answer, that’s very helpful in clarifying your view. I certainly agree that the CCP’s official account can’t be taken as gospel, although IMO it’s pretty clear that Lin did die in a plane crash in Mongolia (based on photos and corroborating sources from all three governments), which does require a certain amount of explanation.
Unfortunately I think you are largely right about the rightward shift in Chinese policy in the later Mao years. (Although that period is a contradictory and complicated one IMO.) I’m curious how you view the Gang of Four in that case — do you see them as representing a rightwing current in the revolution (compared to Lin Biao), rather than the anti-Deng leftwing current that they’re usually portrayed as?
BTW I think the “ultra left” groups in this period who are left out of most accounts of the GPCR (including communist accounts) are extremely interesting and important. The largest of these, the May 16th movement, appears to have had more members suppressed than any other group in the GPCR. Sadly I have only been able to find out bits and pieces about them so far; and their politics least of all. Li and Perry’s Proletarian Power is very interesting for its discussion of “ultra lefts” in Shanghai.