It is amazing that so little has been said in the imperialist media about the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution, especially considering that one-fifth of the world's people live in China and that it has become the manufacturing hub for much of the globe.
If you added up all the people of North, Central and South America, plus the Caribbean—in other words, all the 38 countries of theWestern Hemisphere--you would still need to add 400 million more people to reach the size of China. And the many different peoples in China all live under one central government and are affected by its plans for development.
1. How did it begin?
It was an earth-shaking event when, on October 1, 1949, after the defeat of the U.S.-supported Kuomintang army, Mao Zedong addressed a huge crowd inTienanmen Square and said, "The Chinese people have stood up." The revolutionary war, which had gone on for decades, not only liberated the peasants from the tyranny of the landlords and the workers from capitalist exploitation but it had an enormous impact on world events – and on Workers World Party.
At that time, the Soviet Union was considered the leader of the international communist movement.Both the USSR and People's China were helping defend the Democratic People's Republic of Korea against a massive invasion and war by U.S. imperialism, which was aimed at crushing the spread of revolution in Asia.
The Chinese Revolution was not just an agrarian reform or a national liberation struggle—although it incorporated both these vital features. He argued that it represented a fundamentalchange in class forces and that the new state rested on the working class and was oriented toward the building of socialism.
But the revolution was not "chemically pure." What did that mean?
The working class of China was then very small. In the course of the revolutionary war, the Communist Party had built what it called a "bloc of four classes" that included not only the workers, peasants, andpetty bourgeoisie but also elements of the capitalist class not aligned with either Japanese or Western imperialism.
Nevertheless, in the left movement here at the time that all who were for socialism, for workers' power, had a duty to stand with China and the other workers' states against domestic reaction and imperialist intervention.
The Chinese Communist Party moved forward withexpropriating the propertied classes. It inspired the masses of people to create social forms of production in the countryside as well as the cities.
The first issue of Workers World newspaper in 1959 contained an article on China called "Hail the Communes!" The communes were a tremendous step forward in the effort to raise up the peasantry and increase productivity so that China could feed its hundreds ofmillions of people.
After liberation from the blood-sucking landlords, farmers had begun to build collectives where labor was pooled and their product shared. But the communes went much further. They were a higher form of social organization. They brought schools and clinics to the countryside. They provided child care and made it possible for women to join social life on an equal basis aftercenturies of the deepest oppression. They incorporated small manufacturing with agriculture and taught new skills. The communes provided the elemental necessities of life—food, shelter, clothing—from the cradle to the grave. The Chinese called this social security the "iron rice bowl."
In the 1960s, China kept moving to the left under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Eventually it would launch the GreatProletarian Cultural Revolution, an attempt to uproot privilege and a growing bureaucracy. At the same time, it championed revolutionary movements, especially in the many countries that were trying to break the bonds of colonialism and neo-colonialism that kept them poor and underdeveloped.
To understand why this leftward movement was thwarted and China moved to the right under Deng Ziaoping,...
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