Remembering the Chinese Revolution

In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the

Chinese Revolution



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Remembering the Chinese Revolution

On October 1, 1949, Comrade Mao Tsetung, issued a message to the entire world, solemnly proclaiming the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The liberation of a quarter of humanity from the imperialist stranglehold. The freedom of 600 million people from centuries of feudal and medieval oppression. The emancipation of the entire Chinese people from poverty, oppression and tyranny by a handful of rulers, backed by their imperialist masters. On this historic occasion Mao declared "The Chinese people have stood up." And with this victory, over one-third of the entire world had become part of a socialist camp.

On this, the 50th Anniversary of the Chinese revolution, we recollect some of those gigantic achievements. Achievements that show the stupendous possibilities open to man, once inspired by a vision of a just and equitable order; the earth-shaking changes made possible by a mass of people fired by a scientific and selfless outlook; and a living example of the validity of the statement, that when Marxism-Leninism grips the masses, it becomes a motive force. And in this herculean experiment, heavens were overturned; ‘eternal’ gods came crushing to the earth; entrenched archaic values and traditions were reduced to dust; economics and politics, standing on their head, were safely placed on their feet; and through this turmoil and disorder there arose the embryo of a new order and a new being — the socialist society and the communist man.

The Chinese revolution is an epic of gigantic proportions, enacted in one of the most backward societies of the world. An epic of unbelievable acts of human endeavour; of enormous sacrifices; of great setbacks followed by gigantic successes; acts of failed insurrections and a successful protracted people’s war ..... An epic written in the blood of the masses, which saw an entire populace emerge from darkness to light; from illiteracy, superstition and backwardness to modern scientific thought; from disease and poverty to welfare and security; and from misery and suffering to freedom and happiness. And through this epic emerged gigantic revolutionaries, which produced Mao’s Thought or Maoism — a quantum leap in man’s knowledge of the laws of society; a significant enrichment of all aspects of Marxism.

And amidst this turbulence, nothing was sacrosanct, save one — that is, the interests of the common man. Mao’s ‘Serve the People’ was the cornerstone for all policy, which put the well-being, self-respect and advancement of the common man, as the basis for all change. Mao’s calls to "Put politics in Command", to "never forget class struggle", to "combat self-interest and repudiate revisionism", etc., were geared to serve the interests of the masses, as the cornerstone of all policy. The results achieved in the three decades of revolution and another 28 years of socialist construction were unbelievable. The leading factor behind this immense transformation was the Communist Party of China led by Com. Mao Tsetung.

That this great success story has since been reversed by the Deng revisionists, in no way detracts from the enormous significance of the achievements of the half century. On the contrary, it vindicates all that Mao stood for, and his continuous warnings of the possibility of a reversal. It establishes the Leninist understanding of the perniciousness of the bourgeois order, bourgeois values, the bourgeois world outlook entrenched in man over centuries, and the necessity to continuously fight it. The causes for the great betrayal will no doubt be there; to be seen, not only in certain weaknesses in policies, but, more particularly in the rawness of the first such experiment of its kind. Lessons must definitely be drawn, so that communists in this coming century, can advance and grow, enriched with the experiences of past revolutions, and particularly that of the Chinese revolution.

On this 50th Anniversary, to recount the significant achievements of the Chinese revolution, as also the causes for the reversal, are important for a number of reasons. First, with the loss of all socialist bases, there is a certain pessimism about the future of socialism; a pessimism that, to some extent, has its basis in the immediate reality of the setbacks. Second, with the barrage of a hi-tech propaganda machine, coupled with the promotion of crass consumerism, there is a tendency to negate ideology, just ideals and the possibility of a new social order. Third, with the setback, the growth of a strong revisionist current within the communist movement, which tends to negate the international significance of the Chinese revolution and its product, Mao Tsetung Thought or Maoism. Fourth, with a tendency even amongst some Maoists, to pay mere lip-service to this great experience, or otherwise to reduce it to sectarian slogan-mongering, thereby, in practice, negating its importance as a key guiding experience for the communist revolutions of the future. And lastly, with the urgent necessity to counter the conspiracy of silence, not only by the bourgeoisie and revisionists, but particularly by those so-called social practitioners of the NGO variety, who consciously attempt to hide the truth and reality of the concrete achievements of the Chinese revolution and socialist construction.

In this brief booklet, we shall first touch on the history through which the Chinese revolution traversed; next we shall concentrate on the period of socialist construction and the subsequent restoration of capitalism; finally, we shall look at the historical significance of the Chinese Revolution.



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