X hits on this document

PDF document






5 / 48

positive assessment while underestimating opposition within the GMD to cooperation with the communists.

Further, to get their message across, Comintern representatives had to find local "carriers" to propagate their views within the CCP. In some cases this worked well but in others it did not. For example, Pavel Mif was able to work through Wang Ming and Bo Gu in the early thirties to repudiate the policies of Li Lisan and keep the focus of official policy on revolutionary activity on the urban areas. By contrast, Maring was often frustrated in his attempts to push cooperation with the GMD and to establish a viable pro- CCP labor movement. Even Chen Duxiu, who supported Maring’s view of the need for cooperation with the GMD at the CCP’s Third Congress, had originally rejected Maring’s ideas. In fact, it was only after Maring appealed to Comintern discipline that he was able to get Chen and other key CCP leaders on his side, albeit only briefly.

Two areas where Comintern representatives were particularly successful in instilling their ideas among CCP members were on the need for strong organization and the role that ideology played in inner-party debates. Bolshevik organization was attractive to a number of CCP leaders from an early stage. The collapse of the Confucian bureaucracy after the 1911 Revolution left an organizational vacuum that many CCP leaders felt could be filled by a modern party organized along Bolshevik lines. This kind of party was expected to provide an institutional form that transcended the personal authority of an individual leader and a rational hierarchical structure that would facilitate decision-making and policy implementation.

A number of the CCP’s leaders who emerged during the twenties were attracted to the Bolshevik form of organization because they felt that it would challenge what they saw as a traditional Chinese political culture that stressed obedience to the powerful individual leader. To some extent, they simplified the analysis of the past as comprising a traditional system that culminated in an institution centered on an individual, the "Emperorship." However, previous Chinese rulers had been aware of the role played by "abstract" institutions and a relatively sophisticated bureaucracy had been developed. In their search for a suitable organizational form, these early CCP leaders overlooked the fact that while, in theory, Bolshevik organization would transcend the individual, from the outset it was inseparable from the role of Lenin. Subsequently, this tendency towards the domination of the organization by the supreme leader became more apparent under Stalin.

In addition, Bolshevik organization seemed to offer an alternative to the rule of individual warlords or the GMD, which from its reorganization in the early twenties, combined Leninist organization with leader worship. Sun Yat-sen was a supreme leader, a function subsequently taken over by Chiang Kai-shek. In the CCP, the reemergence of a leader dominate organizational system took longer and came with the assumption of supreme power by Mao Zedong in the Shaan-Gan-Ning communist base area in Northwest China in the forties.

A number of factors combined to instill the notion of the Bolshevik party among CCP members. First, there was the translation of key works and the promotion of the

Document info
Document views189
Page views189
Page last viewedFri Jan 20 12:32:20 UTC 2017