A long-term view of the launching of the Chinese Communist Party’s Yan’an Rectification Movement

Abstract: Starting from the problems faced by the Communist Party of China, it can be found that Mao Zedong launched the Yan’an Rectification Movement with profound ideological and historical roots, that is, how to deal with Marxism and the Comintern’s instructions. Before the Yan’an Rectification Movement, the party’s setbacks and failures were caused by the failure to solve these two problems. It is no wonder that without the concrete practice of the revolution, it is impossible for these two issues to be completely resolved in any case. At that time, the new question was what to do next. Moreover, ideological issues were intertwined with line policies and personnel relations. What Wang Ming did after returning to China in 1937 put the Chinese Communist Party in danger of repeating the same mistakes. In Mao Zedong’s view, the occurrence of the Southern Anhui Incident is a clear proof. This realistic motivation prompted Mao Zedong to finally make up his mind to change the party’s ideological style.

Key words: Mao Zedong; Wang Ming; Yan’an rectification; dogmatism; Marxism

The “Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the major achievements and historical experience of the party’s centenary struggle” specifically mentioned the role of the Yan’an rectification movement in the history of the Communist Party of China. Regarding the reasons for the Yan’an Rectification Movement, there have been many research results in the academic circles. Among them, a representative approach is to examine this issue from the perspective of Mao Zedong. In fact, Mao Zedong’s actions are inseparable from the survival and development of the Communist Party of China. It is undoubtedly difficult to analyze Mao Zedong’s role without the situation of the entire party. Regarding the launch of the Yan’an Rectification Movement, if we analyze the problems faced by the CCP at that time, we may see it more clearly.

1. Old habits remain unchanged—the legacy of dogmatism

Where does dogmatism come from? It can be said that the Communist Party of China has faced two problems since its establishment: one is whether its attitude towards Marxism is to be dogmatic or to be combined with the actual situation in China; the other is to treat the instructions and experience of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. Is to copy and do, or to be independent and self-determined. Before the Yan’an Rectification Movement, the success and failure of the Chinese Communist Party, and the mistakes and replacements of the top leaders of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China were all closely related to these two issues. When the Communist Party of China was a major nation, it copied some of Marx’s words and proposed to revolutionize the life of the bourgeoisie and establish socialism in China. However, it was soon discovered that there were not many bourgeoisie in China that could be “revolutionized”, but the dangers of foreign powers and warlords were felt strongly, and the three major labor movements in the early days were severely frustrated. During the Second National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the party’s understanding increased a step, and it was proposed that the object of the revolution was imperialism and feudalism, and the goal of the revolution was to achieve the minimum program – overthrowing autocratic rule and establishing a democratic republic. It should be said that the Second National Congress of the Communist Party of China correctly recognized the special national conditions of China in the early days of the founding of the Party, and took a big step on the road of Sinicization of Marxism. Since then, through the cooperation between the Third Party of the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang, a magnificent revolutionary wave has been set off. However, in the process of advancing the Great Revolution, Chen Duxiu and other instructors and leaders got caught up in the cooperation with the Kuomintang and got caught up in the actual struggle in China. They were not able to form a clear theoretical understanding. This one-sided understanding suggested that during the period of the National Revolution, the Communist Party was mainly to help the Kuomintang and be a “coolie” for the Kuomintang, so as to enable the Kuomintang to build a capitalist society. In the future, when the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie becomes acute, the Communist Party will rise again to revolutionize and seize power. . As a result, the issue of the leadership of the proletariat was not taken seriously, which led to the failure of the Great Revolution to a large extent.

Starting from correcting Chen Duxiu’s right-leaning mistakes, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China made three consecutive “left-leaning” mistakes, namely Qu Qiubai’s “Left” leaning activism, Li Lisan’s “Left” opportunism, and Wang Ming’s “Left” adventurism. Mainly manifested as copying the dogma of the communist revolution, adhering to the city-centered theory, implementing workers’ riots, and attacking the centrists. Of course, there was another situation during this period: Mao Zedong and other Chinese communists started from China’s special national conditions and began to explore the establishment of a revolutionary regime in the countryside, and finally successfully blazed a revolutionary path with Chinese characteristics of “encircling the city with the countryside and seizing power with arms” . However, the results achieved by Mao Zedong and others were eventually destroyed by the wrong “Left” people. In October 1934, the Central Red Army had to go on the Long March.

It should be said that from 1921 to 1935, whether the policies of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China were correct or not, they were deeply influenced by the Comintern, because the CCP was a branch of the Comintern, and it was considered natural to obey its leadership. Of course, this does not mean that CCP leaders do not want independence. Take Chen Duxiu as an example. As early as September 1921, he showed an independent tendency. According to Bao Huiseng’s recollection, when Comintern representative Ma Lin proposed that the Communist Party of China must accept the leadership of the Comintern, “Chen Duxiu slapped the table and said: ‘The revolutions of various countries have their own national conditions, we China is a country with backward production, we must keep it Independent power requires independent practices, how capable we are, and how much we can do, and we must not let anyone lead by the nose…'” But soon after, Chen Duxiu changed his original attitude, because if there was no communism International aid, at that time the CCP had almost no conditions to carry out work. Most of the early Communists were professional revolutionaries, and their living and revolutionary activities depended almost entirely on the support of the Comintern, as well as weapons and supplies. The economic base determines the superstructure, and the Soviet Union is a revolutionary advanced country. It is a matter of course to obey the Comintern in everything. In July 1927, on the eve of Wang Jingwei’s “partition of the Communist Party”, Chen Duxiu, in order to win his final bid, directly showed him the May letter from the Comintern, which can be said to have violated the taboo of the Comintern. With success, Chen Duxiu naturally could no longer be tolerated by the Comintern. In fact, even Li Lisan, who committed “Left” mistakes, has shown “independence”, but only from a more “Left” side. He clearly told people that the Comintern did not understand the situation in China. “Being loyal to the Comintern and abiding by the discipline of the Comintern is one thing, and being loyal to the Chinese revolution is another.” He also proposed independently that China will become the world’s The center of the revolution asked the Soviet Union to send troops to assist the Chinese revolution, trying to get the Soviet Union directly involved in the Chinese Revolutionary War. This was naturally intolerable to the Soviet Union and the Comintern, and Li Lisan was soon dismissed from his leadership position.

Since then, the Comintern and the Soviet Union tended to choose “comrades who are loyal to the international line” as leaders of the CCP, and Wang Ming came out as the times require. Wang Ming, whose real name is Chen Shaoyu, was a passionate revolutionary youth who wrote this poem at the age of 20:

The workers started the locomotive, and the earth shook Kyushu.

The north, south, east and west are integrated, and the farmers, soldiers, businessmen, and learning all share the same hatred.

Overthrow warlords for democracy, overthrow emperors for freedom.

Young people of our generation are boundless and courageous, dedicating their lives to the revolution to become the world.

In 1929, after Wang Ming left Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow and returned to China, he successively served as the propaganda officer of the Hudong District Committee, the secretary of the Central Propaganda Department, the editor of the “Red Flag” and “Labor” three-day magazines, and the officer of the propaganda department of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee. Ordinary, this obviously makes him “dedicated to the revolution to become global” feel underappreciated. By 1931, Wang Ming’s luck finally came. That year, Miff, Minister of the Eastern Department of the Comintern, was ordered to come to China to adjust the leadership of the CCP. When Miff was vice-president of Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow, Wang Ming was his translator. On January 7, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held in Shanghai, and the whole process was almost controlled by Miff. A total of 37 people attended the meeting, and a considerable number of participants, including Wang Ming, a total of 15 people were not members of the Central Committee, but they accounted for 40.5% of the total number of delegates. In order to ensure that the resolutions drafted before the meeting were passed, Miff compressed the meeting into one day, and the participants had no time to express their opinions; when some members of the Central Committee arrived at the meeting place due to the long distance, the meeting had already ended. What’s more serious is that Miff actually violated the organizational principles, allowing Wang Ming and other 15 non-voting delegates to enjoy the same right to vote and to be elected as members of the Central Committee. The Plenary Session made major adjustments to the leaders of the CPC Central Committee. Among them, only Xiang Zhongfa, Zhou Enlai, and Lu Futan were members of the Central Committee of the previous term, and the new additions were all student party members who had returned from the Soviet Union. Most notably, Wang Ming jumped from an ordinary party member to a member of the Central Committee, a member of the Politburo, and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. Since Xiang Zhongfa served as the general secretary of the party as a worker, which was mainly symbolic, the actual leadership of the CPC Central Committee fell into the hands of Wang Ming. In order to convince everyone, Miff highly praised Wang Ming for “proving to be a genius leader in the great struggle in Moscow, and it would be impossible to start the Chinese revolution without him.” He also said to those who did not support Wang Ming, Ming “It is 100% able to implement the international line. The Fourth Plenary Session is led by the international community. If you trust him, you trust the Comintern.”

In this way, the voices against Wang Ming gradually calmed down. Soon, however, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was almost wiped out. One day in April 1931, when Qian Zhuangfei, an underground party undercover in the Kuomintang Army’s Secret Service, was on duty, he suddenly received a telegram. He was extremely frightened after reading it. and its location, please complete the list as soon as possible. Gu Shunzhang had a special status at that time. He was not only an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, but also the head of the Special Branch of the Central Committee. It is conceivable that his mutiny caused great danger to the Party Central Committee. The situation was critical, Qian Zhuangfei quickly disguised himself as a businessman, managed to inform Zhou Enlai, and took emergency measures to turn the CCP Central Committee into a safe place. However, Xiang Zhongfa was captured by Gu Shunzhang, and later defected. In this way, the situation facing the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is even more dangerous. After deliberation, it was decided to evacuate. Wang Ming went to Moscow to serve as the representative of the Communist Party to the Comintern, while Zhou Enlai went to the Central Soviet Area to serve as the secretary of the Central Bureau. At the same time, it was decided to set up an interim Political Bureau of the Central Committee to stay in Shanghai, consisting of six people including Bo Gu, Zhang Wentian, Lu Futan, Li Zhusheng, Kang Sheng, and Chen Yun. Among them, Bo Gu, Zhang Wentian, and Lu Futan formed the Standing Committee, and Bo Gu was in charge. At that time, Bogu was only 24 years old, his party age was only six years, and his working hours were only two years. Before that, he was not a member of the Central Committee.

Although the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China suffered frequent accidents after the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee, the “Left” policy was actively implemented, mainly manifested in dispatching representatives of the Central Committee to various places to handle everything with full power. Among them, Zhang Guotao was sent to the Hubei, Henan, and Anhui Soviet areas, Xia Xi was sent to the western Hunan and Hubei areas, and a central delegation was sent to the central Soviet area, including Zhou Enlai, Ren Bishi, Wang Jiaxiang, etc. Mao Zedong and other former leaders of the central Soviet area were ostracized and suppress. In October 1932, Mao Zedong was deprived of party and military power at the Ningdu Conference. The convening of the Ningdu Conference was mainly facilitated by three factors: first, the interim central government urged the Central Soviet Area to carry out a struggle against “right opportunism” and thoroughly implement the central line; Zhou Enlai, secretary of the Central Bureau who was accompanying the army, wrote a letter to the Central Bureau at the rear, complaining that the front could not be centralized. At that time, Zhou Enlai, as the plenipotentiary representative of the Central Committee, had the final say on the course of action ahead. The members of the Central Bureau at the rear who participated in the Ningdu Conference were: Xiang Ying, Ren Bishi, Deng Fa, and Gu Zuolin, while the members of the Central Bureau at the front were: Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, and Wang Jiaxiang. Mao Zedong was the chairman of the Chinese Soviet government and the general political commissar of the Red Army. Members of the Central Bureau in the rear took turns to express dissatisfaction with Mao Zedong and criticize him. When some participants suggested that Mao Zedong should leave the army and return to the rear to preside over government work, Zhou Enlai, the chairman of the meeting, thought it was too much. He put forward two reconciling opinions: one is that he should be fully responsible for the war, and Mao Zedong will remain as an assistant in the front; Wang Jiaxiang also pointed out that when the enemy is facing the battle, he cannot change his generals. The meeting finally voted through Zhou Enlai’s first opinion. However, Mao Zedong did not accept it. In his opinion, since he could not be the master, he might as well not do it. Soon he went to the rear to recuperate. .”

Since then, in the past two years, no one actually bothered Mao Zedong. Later, Mao Zedong said that at that time he lived in a dilapidated temple, not even the ghosts came to the door, and spent the most frustrated, tormented and lonely days in his life. In any case, after all, under the auspices of Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong lost his power. After that, Zhou Enlai also served as the general political commissar of the Red Front Army that Mao Zedong once served. The Ningdu meeting has become a historical complex that the two cannot let go of for life, but it has not affected their cooperation and cooperation. After Mao Zedong left the front line, Zhou Enlai had to encourage his subordinates to “do it by themselves”, and he did a good job for a period of time. In the spring of 1933, he won the fourth “anti-encirclement and suppression” victory. However, in the same year, the Provisional Central Committee moved into the Central Soviet Area because it was unable to establish itself in Shanghai, thus enabling the “Left” line to be more fully implemented in the Soviet area. The most typical manifestation was its military opposition to “luring the enemy”. “Go deep” and advocate “defending the enemy outside the country’s gates”. In fact, Bogu did not understand the military, and relied on Li De, a German military adviser from the Comintern. At that time, he was also a German adviser who directed Chiang Kai-shek’s attack on the Red Army. Therefore, some people say that the fifth “encirclement and suppression” and “anti-encirclement and suppression” are two different things. A contest between two German military advisers. “Left” mistakes are extremely harmful. Politically, they show that they do not know how to form a united front. They shut out the 19th Route Army who launched the “Fujian Incident”, and ruined the opportunity for joint cooperation against Chiang Kai-shek; The land policy of “distributing the land to the rich peasants and destroying the land” caused the rural areas to be attacked too much, which was not conducive to the work of the Red Army; the struggle against the “Luo Ming Line” was carried out within the party, and the local leaders who supported Mao Zedong were attacked.

It is said that when Bo Gu first met Mao Zedong, he deliberately gave several Marxist-Leninist books to Mao Zedong, but Mao Zedong said he had read them all. Later, Mao Zedong said angrily: “Our lord is the most pitiful little worm. He knows nothing about the world, and only knows how to carry Marx, Lenin, and Stalin in a wrong manner.” In transforming this world, not only did he break his own head, but he also led a group of people to break his head.” Mao Zedong’s “breaking his head” actually refers to the serious consequences caused by dogmatism. The “Encirclement and Suppression” failed, and the Central Red Army suffered heavy losses. It had to go on the Long March in October 1934. After crossing the Xiangjiang River, more than half of the casualties were lost, and the Red Army faced the danger of collapse.

At such a critical moment, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held an enlarged meeting of the Politburo in Zunyi, Guizhou, known as the “Zunyi Meeting” in history. The meeting corrected the mistakes of “Left” opportunism, Mao Zedong was elected as a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, and entered the military command “Three Regiment”. In the military, as Zhou Enlai’s facilitator, Zhou Enlai was clearly responsible for the party’s “military final determination.” “, Zhang Wentian replaced Bo Gu in charge. Deng Xiaoping later recalled that after the Zunyi Conference, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Zhang Wentian were with him during the march. “On important issues, it is Comrade Mao Zedong who has ideas and other comrades agree. Although he is not the general secretary or chairman of the Military Commission in name.” Therefore, it can be said that after the Zunyi Conference, Mao Zedong gradually became the actual leadership core of the CPC Central Committee. This is also as pointed out in the “Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party’s Hundred Years of Struggle”, the Zunyi Conference “actually established Comrade Mao Zedong’s leadership in the Party Central Committee and the Red Army, and began to establish Comrade Mao Zedong as the main representative. The leadership of the correct line of Marxism in the Party Central Committee began to form the first generation of the Party’s central leadership collective with Comrade Mao Zedong as the core.” Under the circumstances at that time, the Zunyi Conference mainly solved the problem of the wrong route in the military. After the victory of the Long March, the Wayaobao Conference summed up experience and lessons in time, and further corrected the mistakes in the political line since the Fifth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee. However, the problem of thinking method has not been cleared up, that is to say, there is still a dogmatic atmosphere in the party. Unexpectedly, the legacy has not gone, the wind of new dogma rises again. On November 29, 1937, Wang Ming, a representative of dogmatism, suddenly fell from the sky.

2. A new right and wrong arises again – Wang Ming’s return to China and his “right deviation”

Starting from the overall situation and organizational principles, Mao Zedong warmly welcomed Wang Ming’s return to China. At that time, Wang Ming was also the head of the delegation of the Communist Party of China to the Comintern, a member of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, and the minister of the Eastern Department of the Comintern. After the plane that Wang Ming and others took arrived, Mao Zedong delivered a speech entitled “Drinking Water and Thinking of the Source”: “Welcome to the gods who descended from Kunlun Mountain, welcome our beloved international friends, and welcome comrades back from the Soviet Union. It’s a great event, it’s a joy that falls from the sky.” Although Mao Zedong had suffered from Wang Ming’s dogmatism before, this was their first meeting. Wang Ming’s return to China this time was mainly dispatched by Stalin and the Communist International. After Japan invaded China, Stalin was always worried that Japan would take the opportunity to attack the Soviet Union. In his opinion, if China could hold back the Japanese army on the battlefield, the Soviet Union could avoid two-front warfare, which was naturally in the national interest of the Soviet Union. However, he also believes that it is not the Communist Party that can effectively fight against Japan in China, but the Kuomintang. He once said that the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese working class were “too weak” and that “even if Chiang Kai-shek could not repel the Japanese aggression, he could hold it back for a long time.”

Under this conclusion, the Soviet Union, on the one hand, mainly aided the Kuomintang in material terms, and on the other hand demanded that the Communist Party make concessions to the Kuomintang and fight against Japan under the unified leadership of the Kuomintang. In fact, the Kuomintang and the Communist Party also embarked on the road of cooperative resistance against Japan from the national interests. However, the independent tendencies of the CCP Central Committee in the united front and some frictions with the Kuomintang made Stalin and the Comintern worried, worried that the actions of the CCP would undermine the united front. To this end, the Comintern believed that “new people who have a good understanding of the international situation are needed to assist the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China”. Before Wang Ming returned to China, Stalin also specifically asked him to talk, roughly meaning that the Chinese Communist Party must go all out to cooperate with the Kuomintang and fight for a long time. At the same time, Dimitrov, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, also asked the Chinese Communist Party to “use the experience of the French Communist Party in organizing the Popular Front, follow the principles of ‘everything obeys the united front’ and ‘everything goes through the united front’, and strive to influence the Kuomintang politically. , to be jointly responsible, lead, and develop together, and do not overemphasize independence.” It was with such a mission and Stalin’s strategic intentions that Wang Ming returned to China.

Due to the timely capture of changes in the “international situation”, Wang Ming had long wanted to adjust the CCP’s policy and line. After about 1933, he began to criticize some “Left” policies in his telegrams to Bogu. On August 1, 1935, when the Central Red Army was still on the Long March, Wang Ming drafted and published in the name of the Party Central Committee “A Letter to All Compatriots for Resisting Japan and Saving the Nation”, which is the famous “August 1 Manifesto”. The manifesto is seen as the beginning of the CCP’s policy of establishing an anti-Japanese national united front. However, Wang Ming’s efforts to correct the “Left” have gone too far and gone to the Right, which is mainly manifested in adhering to the will of the Comintern, blindly accommodating the Kuomintang, and not daring to let go and develop himself. Wang Ming’s “Left” and Right seem to be two extremes, but their ideological roots are actually the same. They are obviously mechanically implementing the instructions of the Comintern, making typical dogmatic mistakes. However, because Wang Ming had the hat of a theoretician and the banner of the Comintern, some of his views and propositions influenced most of the party members and cadres, again causing ideological confusion, and for a time gaining the upper hand.

In December 1937, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held a Politburo meeting to listen to Wang Ming’s instructions conveyed by the Comintern, known as the “December Meeting” in history. At the meeting, Wang Ming made a report on “How to Continue the National War of Resistance and Win the War of Resistance?” Although in the long run, Wang Ming believed that the CCP still had to go its own way, but at the same time, he put forward the slogan of “everything goes through the anti-Japanese national united front, and everything obeys the anti-Japanese”, and said, “We must support the unified command.” He criticized Mao without even naming him, arguing that too much emphasis on independence was problematic. Due to Wang Ming’s background and background in the Communist International, his speech and views were supported by most of the participants. Kang Sheng, who returned to China together, took the lead in agreeing, and further proposed that the Communist Party should help the Kuomintang buy arms. Zhou Enlai also believed that “independence was raised too high” in the past! In such a one-sided situation, Mao Zedong had no choice but to express that the Kuomintang and the Communist Party would be “jointly responsible and jointly lead” in the future, and admitted that there were indeed narrow and inadequate strategies in practical work. However, Mao Zedong had reservations on whether to maintain independence and self-presidency in the united front. Later, Mao Zedong said: “At the December meeting there were honest people who were deceived and made self-criticisms, thinking that they were wrong”, “and I am isolated.” The meeting finally decided that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China should set up a preparation committee for the Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Mao Zedong served as chairman and Wang Ming served as secretary. This seems to give the impression of co-leadership by Mao Zedong and Wang Ming. Judging from the title of the party’s post, it seems that Wang Ming is more prominent and more important.

After the meeting, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to establish the Yangtze River Bureau, which is located in Wuhan and is responsible for the cooperation with the Kuomintang. Wang Ming is the secretary, and the members include Zhou Enlai, Bo Gu, Kaifeng, etc. The Southeast Bureau, which is in charge of Xiang Ying, is also under the leadership of the Changjiang Bureau. Cooperation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party to resist Japan was the central work of the Communist Party at that time, and the main executor was the Changjiang Bureau. The Changjiang Bureau is responsible for and undertakes the party’s united front work, and should have implemented the instructions and orders of the CPC Central Committee. However, Wang Ming tried to override the CPC Central Committee. He even made foreign remarks directly in the name of the CPC Central Committee. Sexuality, objecting to Yan’an’s use of the name of the Secretariat. Why is this so? The main reason is that sometimes there are more members and alternate members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee in Wuhan than in Yan’an, and Zhang Guotao has defected at this time, Ren Bishi and Wang Jiaxiang are in Moscow, Liu Shaoqi is in Shanxi, and Zhu De, Peng Dehuai and Xiang Ying often go to Wuhan to participate in the Kuomintang’s meeting. During the military conference, only Mao Zedong, Zhang Wentian, Chen Yun and Kang Sheng were stationed in Yan’an. Therefore, Wang Ming felt very good about himself. He once demanded that the Secretariat of the Central Committee be located in Wuhan, and made it clear that Zhang Wentian and Mao Zedong should no longer issue instructions in the name of the Secretariat of the Central Committee. At the same time, he often directly issued orders to the Central Committee of Yan’an and the Eighth Route Army in North China; what’s more, he did not allow the “Xinhua Daily” to publish the article “On Protracted War” written by Mao Zedong. The Kuomintang is aware of these situations. At that time, there was a popular saying in Wuhan: Zhou Enlai and Dong Biwu could only represent Yan’an, but Wang Ming could also represent Moscow. A few years later, Mao Zedong recalled these situations and said: “The second Wang Ming line was actually two central authorities, one in Wuhan, and the one in Wuhan who really held the real power, while Yan’an was just a ‘left-behind place’.” This was indeed the case. , at that time, Soviet intelligence personnel also believed in a telegram to the Comintern, “Wang Ming’s group actually established the Second Central Committee in Hankou, ignoring those leaders in Yan’an. Mao Zedong’s instructions were not implemented, and many of his articles were not can be published”. Once, Li Weihan made a special trip to visit Mao Zedong. After talking about some situations, Mao Zedong said meaningfully: “My order does not allow this cave dwelling.”

However, Wang Ming did not achieve much in cooperation with the Kuomintang. On the contrary, the activities of the party were restrained everywhere, which greatly affected the development of the party. What was even more unexpected to Wang Ming was that Chiang Kai-shek had a growing appetite and sent someone to ask Wang Ming if he could abolish the Communist Party. Later, Mao Zedong satirized Wang Ming like a woman “dressing up and sending her to the door”, only to be slapped at the door by others. This situation gradually changed the central leadership, and many people began to realize that Wang Ming’s approach was not in the party’s interests. In March 1938, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held another Politburo meeting to study the issue of cooperation with the Kuomintang. At the meeting, Wang Ming still arrogantly discussed the point of view of further strengthening cooperation with the Kuomintang, advocating that the CCP should cooperate with the Kuomintang, and not offend Chiang Kai-shek by preying on the guest. Eight Politburo members attended the meeting. Mao Zedong, Zhang Wentian, and Ren Bishi raised some reservations about Wang Ming’s speech, but they were still in the minority. Mao Zedong suggested that Wang Ming should not go to work in Wuhan under the current situation. However, more than half of the comrades did not agree, and Wang Ming soon returned to Wuhan. This situation cannot but make Mao Zedong ponder: Why is Wang Ming “left” and some people follow him to “left”, Wang Ming is right, and everyone follows him to the right? In Mao Zedong’s view, this is actually all for the same reason, that is, subjectivism is at work, with obvious dogmatic tendencies. As a result, a pioneering work to solve the problem of ideological style began to brew in Mao Zedong’s heart, and history finally gave him the opportunity to show his talents.

3. Wake up like a dream – the stimulus of the Southern Anhui Incident

The occurrence of dogmatism, in addition to the problem of thinking and method, is more mainly a problem of attitude towards the Comintern. It should be said that after Mao Zedong and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China arrived in northern Shaanxi to regain contact with the Comintern, they were basically still obedient to the Comintern. From the peaceful settlement of the Xi’an Incident, to the establishment of the anti-Japanese national united front strategy, to the re-cooperation with the Kuomintang, this is all reflected, and this is also an important factor for Mao Zedong to win the trust of the Comintern. However, what really prompted Mao Zedong to change his attitude towards the Comintern and the Soviet Union was the Southern Anhui Incident.

In the second half of 1940, the relationship between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party became increasingly tense. For the Kuomintang, since the whole nation lost its city and lost its land and lost its troops, the Communist Party went deep behind enemy lines and grew rapidly, which was unbearable. Beginning in 1939, Chiang Kai-shek formulated measures to limit, prevent, dissolve, and oppose the Communist Party, while the Communist Party insisted on a “reasonable, beneficial, and restrained” struggle, and friction between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party occurred from time to time. By October of that year, there was a major conflict between the two sides: the Battle of Yellow Bridge. The conflict was provoked by the Kuomintang first, but the CCP prevailed. The New Fourth Army led by Chen Yi annihilated more than 10,000 people in three brigades of the Kuomintang Han Deloitte in one fell swoop. Chiang Kai-shek’s diary records: “The Communist bandits besieged Li Shouwei’s department in northern Jiangsu, and Li was killed in action, and many of the commanders of his subordinate divisions and brigades were killed in action.” This made Chiang Kai-shek and the upper levels of the Kuomintang very angry, and the local generals were eager to take revenge. The Central Committee of the Kuomintang quickly issued an ultimatum to the Chinese Communist Party in the names of He Yingqin and Bai Chongxi: to order all the Chinese troops to go to the designated area north of the old Yellow River within one month. At that time, the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army were nominally under the leadership of the Kuomintang Military Commission, so there was a question of whether to execute the order. On the one hand, Mao Zedong ordered Zhu De, Peng Dehuai, Ye Ting, and Xiang Ying to return the telegram, saying that the New Fourth Army in southern Anhui was preparing to move northward in accordance with the requirements of the Kuomintang, to seize the political opportunity and delay the Kuomintang’s attack on the New Fourth Army; The 150,000 elite soldiers first went to Henan, Gansu and other places in the rear of the Kuomintang.

However, regarding this plan, Mao Zedong was a little undecided. He was worried that “improper handling could lead to endless disasters in the future”, so he consulted the Comintern. The Comintern believes that, at present, the determination of the Kuomintang to “suppress the CCP” in an all-round way cannot be seen, and the CCP “should not take the rupture as the starting point” anyway. Mao Zedong finally accepted the advice of the Comintern, and then speculated that the Kuomintang army could not suppress the Communist Party on a large scale. “Everything he did was to scare me into making concessions.” However, under the influence of local generals, Chiang Kai-shek was determined to consolidate the Central China region. On December 9, he again ordered that the New Fourth Army must be moved to the north of the Yangtze River before December 31, and a month later to the north of the Yellow River. On December 25, Chiang Kai-shek specially met with Zhou Enlai, “to tell Zhu Bu to cross the river no longer.” Zhou Enlai seemed to realize the seriousness of the problem, and immediately informed Yan’an of the meeting. After Mao Zedong received the information, he immediately ordered Xiang Yingbei. shift. However, on January 4, 1941, when the headquarters of the New Fourth Army moved northward, it was ambushed by the Kuomintang army, with more than 9,000 people and a loss of 7,000 or 8,000 people. The wicked Kuomintang complained first, and quickly declared the New Fourth Army as a rebel, creating the Southern Anhui Incident that shocked China and foreign countries.

After the incident, Mao Zedong woke up like a dream. In his view, it is because of listening to Moscow’s misjudgment that such a heavy loss has been caused. He called Zhou Enlai and asked him to question Cui Kefu, a Soviet military adviser: “Ye Xiang was captured, the entire army was annihilated, and Chiang Kai-shek has been ruled so far. What should Cui Kefu do?” Listen, but you can’t hear it all.” This should be a truth that the CCP has learned from dealing with the Russians for 20 years. However, do other CCP leaders and ordinary party members and cadres understand this truth? Obviously, quite a few people are still in the dark. After the founding of New China, Mao Zedong also specifically said: “The rectification movement is actually a criticism of Stalin and the Third International’s mistakes in guiding the Chinese revolution, but we have not mentioned a word about Stalin and the Third International.”

The relevant parties in the Soviet Union did not mention a word, how did their “wind” “align”? In the first document of Rectification, Mao Zedong satirized some people who “must call themselves Greece”. In Yan’an at that time, how could the people who spoke of Marxism and Lenin “say what they say is Greece”? Needless to say, “Greece” refers to the Soviet Union. When summarizing the lessons of the Southern Anhui Incident, Mao Zedong warned everyone that the root of the problem lies in that some comrades did not link the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete reality of the Chinese revolution, or even did not understand the reality of the Chinese revolution, and did not understand that after ten years of anti-communism Chiang Kai-shek’s change. He also said that the failure of the New Fourth Army was first due to Xiang Ying’s lack of “understanding of the united front, and they all made mistakes of right opportunism”. For a long time before, the Southeast Bureau chaired by Xiang Ying was under the leadership of the Changjiang Bureau, and Xiang Ying and Wang Ming had a very close relationship. After the Southern Anhui Incident, Mao Zedong had become somewhat intolerable to the dogmatism and superstition of the Comintern within the party.

Beginning in 1938, Mao Zedong concentrated on thinking and summarizing the experience and lessons of the Chinese revolution, and successively published theoretical articles such as “On Protracted War”, “The Communist Party”, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”, and “On New Democracy”. Two philosophical works, “On Practice” and “On Contradiction”. These treatises are the theoretical achievements of Mao Zedong’s advocacy of the Sinicization of Marxism. Mao Zedong later said, “The Communist Party of any country, the ideological circle of any country, must create new theories, write new works, and produce their own theorists to serve the current politics.” Mao Zedong’s writings can be described as the Communist Party of China People’s specific understanding and application of Marxism according to their country’s history and national conditions. New theories have emerged, but it is still a question whether the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and even the whole party will accept them. In the final analysis, the rectification movement is to solve the problem of ideological unity of the whole party, that is, to arm the whole party with the newly generated theories in order to promote the revolutionary goals. accomplish.

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