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the Comintern were imported into the Chinese party. Those who opposed party policy were labeled as "Trotskyites," "Anarchists," "Right Deviationists," "Left Deviationists," etc. Once labeled their objection to policy was more easily dealt with by the Party Center. The idea of "correct line" also had consequences for the Party Center itself. It could not recognize faults in its own leadership and thus policy failure was followed by the hunt for "scapegoats" who had sabotaged the party’s correct line.

The tendency toward the dominance of an organizationally derived ideological truth was inherent in the choice of a Bolshevik form of organization from the beginning. Yet in the early stages it was not so readily apparent. The CCP had been organized before there had been any serious discussion of Marxism in China, and indeed the choice of a Bolshevik organization removed the need for theoretical analysis. As a result "an organizationally defined analysis became for them [the original founders] a substitute for theoretical analysis." Naturally, it was presumed that those from Soviet Russia or their emissaries had a greater understanding of this problem and the relevant policy needs.

One last general question that deserves our attention is the relationship between the Comintern and the rise to power of Mao Zedong. Some previous analyses viewed Mao Zedong’s rise to power within the CCP as occurring in spite of the Comintern, but more recently available materials suggest that the Comintern was at least willing to acquiesce in Mao’s rise and his victories over rivals within the party such as Zhang Guotao and Wang Ming (Moscow’s own trainee). In the conflicts with Zhang and Wang, the actions and words of the Comintern tended to favor Mao over his opponents. Whether the Comintern perceived so clearly what was at stake is another matter. Further, on a number of occasions the Comintern called for the CCP not to ape Soviet experience, but to develop its own policy, and the Comintern’s Seventh Congress (1935) accepted that individual parties should have more freedom. Whether the Comintern approved of what was finally developed is a different question. In September 1938, the Comintern informed the CCP that it approved of the united front policy during the previous year, a year during which the party had been under the control of Mao Zedong and during which he had been in competition for dominance with Wang Ming. Further Dimitrov, the person responsible for Chinese affairs at the time, let it be known that Mao Zedong should be the party’s senior leader in preference to Wang Ming (the man thought of as Moscow’s closest ally). Thus, the Comintern was not anti-Mao nor was Mao inevitably opposed to the Comintern.


A) 1920-1927: From Intellectual Groups to Organized Party

The early years of the CCP is period is marked its development from a set of disparate small intellectual groups to a more rigorously organized Leninist party. This process did not go uncontested and resulted in the departure of most of the original members and their replacement by those tempered in the urban struggles of the twenties. The question of collaboration with the GMD proved contentious. However, following Comintern promptings, there were increasingly desperate attempts to justify the continued

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