[Translation]: The Near Impossible Road of the Chinese Revolution (2)

Original link: https://wmdpd.com/zhuan-zhong-guo-ge-ming-de-jin-hu-bu-ke-neng-zhi-lu-er/

[Translation]: The Near Impossible Road of the Chinese Revolution (2)

The extremely difficult situation faced by the Chinese revolution is analyzed above, and the extraordinary aspects of the road to victory in the Chinese revolution are discussed below.

One of the peculiarities of the Chinese revolutionary road The Chinese revolution mainly relies on the transformation of production relations, organization and ideology rather than the mastery of advanced productive forces

When I analyzed the difficulty before, I pointed out that one of the main difficulties of modern China is that it has repeatedly lagged behind the technological revolution, so that the gap in productivity is too great. Therefore , a natural idea is to focus on solving the problem of the development of productive forces, to make oneself rich and strong, and to obtain national independence and national security in the process . In modern times, there have always been various propositions of saving the country through industry and science, or by first creating a peaceful environment and steadily engaging in construction in order to enrich the country and strengthen the army. But none of these claims worked out. Or it is possible to forcefully adjust production relations (use force if necessary) to remove obstacles to the development of productive forces, and then develop production and technology to enrich the country and strengthen the army. This is the way Japan reformed and became a powerful country, which had a great influence on modern China, but it didn’t work out either.

The way to go in reality is to place the superstructures such as the organization of production relations and ideology in a position that is more important than productive forces, and mainly rely on the former instead of mastering advanced productive forces to accomplish the historical tasks of national salvation and independence.

To understand that the victory of the Chinese revolution is not mainly based on the development of advanced productive forces, it is not difficult to understand that the Communist Party has always relied on the countryside for a long time, under the premise that there is a huge gap between its military equipment and its opponents, and it is not difficult to understand. Or think about it again, in the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China after the victory of the revolution, China was still close to the point of poverty in industry, and a large part of the only industrial base (the part located in the south) was obtained at the stage of victory. , and the other part (the northeastern region) was only mastered when the revolutionary forces were already strong . Another example that illustrates the above point is the extra test at the time of the victory of the revolution: the Korean War. There is no doubt that the United States has a crushing advantage over China in terms of productivity. As a result, China achieved such an amazing record in the Korean War.

Considering that traditional Marxism and scientific communism place productive forces more fundamental than production relations, it is especially shocking that the Chinese revolution, with Marxist communism as its ideology, achieved victory in this inversion. . This is a more “deviant” breakthrough than Leninism. Let’s compare.

The Russian Revolution first took control of sectors representing advanced productive forces, such as megacities and (parts of) the army, before expanding to control the entire country. Therefore, despite the theoretical breakthrough of Leninism that “revolution does not take place in the countries with the most developed productive forces, but in the weak points of the imperialist chain”, the Russian revolution itself did not go beyond the path of controlling advanced productive forces and then winning.
This is very different from the line of the Chinese revolution.

Of course, I want to emphasize that I only think that mastering advanced productive forces is not as important as transforming production relations and organization, rather than denying that advanced productive forces or technology can play an important role. In fact, in the course of the Chinese revolution, the more advanced technologies (at the time) such as radio were crucial to the creation of organizational skills, but even in this case the main use of advanced technologies was not in the development of productive forces.

The second characteristic of the Chinese revolutionary road

The Chinese revolution adopted the line of mobilizing the peasants to encircle the cities from the countryside . Now everyone thinks this is justified, largely because this route wins. From the point of view of the people at the time, this is a route that has a theoretical possibility of victory but seems to have a very slim chance of victory.

The peasants are scattered, the peasants lack discipline, the peasants are very poor, the peasants are very ignorant, and the peasants do not represent advanced productive forces. In the world, no major country since modern times achieved national salvation and independence by relying on peasant uprisings. To rely on mobilizing peasants to try to win the revolution in a world that has entered the second industrial revolution and the industrialized countries have entered a fierce game, it sounds like turning back history.

Our history textbooks like to say that there are many ways to save the country in modern Chinese history, but after all attempts have ended in failure, in the end only revolution under the leadership of the Communist Party is the only possible way. But please think about it, if repeated attempts and failures (even one failure) are enough to consider this route unworkable, won’t it be proven long ago that winning by the power of the peasants is unworkable? Hasn’t it been repeated failures from the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom to the Boxer Rebellion?

Of course, after the Great Revolution of 1927, the Communist Party was desperate, it was difficult to stay in the city, and the mutiny failed one after another. Fortunately, there were some peasant movements in the past, coupled with the fact that the forces of the reactionaries in some marginal areas were weak due to the separatist regime of warlords, it was feasible to occupy some hilltops to establish some local regimes dominated by peasants. But from here to a national victory is still very, very far away.

In reality, has the revolution with the peasants as the main force failed, even though it has achieved such achievements as the Soviet state? And this is already a peasant revolution under the leadership of the Communist Party. Can this be regarded as proven by practice that even under the leadership of the Party, encircling the cities from the countryside will not work?

There is another serious problem with this route: Even if it works, it must take a very long time. According to the previous analysis, modern China cannot afford to waste time, and it is becoming more and more unbearable to wait. After the super slaughter of the First World War, and to the stage when Japan clearly has huge ambitions for China, the most reasonable approach seems to be to establish a stable regime as soon as possible, and then build on this foundation to enrich the country and strengthen the army.
(especially strong soldiers) to deal with the upcoming full-scale battle. But at this time the Chinese revolution has chosen a path destined to take a very long time to win. Isn’t this very dangerous?

In reality, however,
This line precisely grasped the drastic changes in the international situation, developed rapidly in the case of a huge power vacuum in North China after 1937-1938, and then reversed the situation in one fell swoop.
It not only made the road of encircling the city from the countryside under the leadership of the Party finally cleared in the second attempt, but also effectively avoided missing the time window of the post-war opportunity period. The issue of timing is discussed further below.

In short, China has chosen a route that, at first glance, has failed repeatedly, reversed history at first glance, and will completely ignore the ultra-tight time limit and thus may drag itself down and drag others down without any precedent for success. This is the ultimate gamble in modern Chinese history. If the bet is won, it can theoretically unleash the greatest potential of Chinese society and possibly solve many seemingly unsolvable problems before. But if the bet is lost, I think we will have to accept a cruel conclusion: there is no way for the revolution to win in modern Chinese history, and the Chinese people can only seek a half-win and half-defeat outcome. To walk this extremely difficult and long revolutionary road, revolutionaries must transform themselves and the world in extraordinary ways.

The third particularity of the Chinese revolutionary road

According to statistics, by 1950, 70% of the Communist Party members were still illiterate and semi-illiterate. If you add those with only primary school education, the proportion was as high as 97%. It can be seen that the main body of the Chinese revolution is the people with very low education level . On the other hand, from Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, the early leader of the Communist Party, to Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, the core leader after the 27-year Revolution, and several figures from the Soviet Union, they are all people with considerable knowledge and even profound philosophical attainments. It can be said that these people who have been deeply enlightened directly collided with the general public with a very low level of enlightenment, and sparked the revolution .

According to common sense, from a very high degree of enlightenment to a very low degree of enlightenment, some people with moderate enlightenment are needed as the intermediate transmission chain. If the Great Revolution did not fail, and if organizations could be deeply developed in the cities, then workers and people with primary education in the cities could play this role, and the cities could be enlightened first, and then the cities could educate the countryside. However, the failure of the Great Revolution interrupted this process, and as a result, the Chinese revolution had to follow the path listed in the title , and there were scenes of the philosopher king and the illiterate and semi-literate reasoning for a long time. By the way, I sometimes wonder a little bit, can a philosophical king like Lenin be able to do such a thing?

Going through such a path means that the Chinese revolution is not only a military operation and an organizational revolution, but also a difficult and complicated deep cultural enlightenment movement . From Ruijin to the Long March, fighting illiteracy while fighting, to the various ability education on how to do ideological and cultural work for the illiterate and semi-illiterate during the Yan’an period (such as opposing the party’s eight shares, etc.) direction.

In the Yan’an era, there was even a spectacle of cultural youth from developed areas going to the economically backward and geographically closed northern Shaanxi to receive political and cultural re-education and re-enlightenment. On this basis, Yan’an, a holy place of revolution, was further built into a center for systematic re-education and re-enlightenment for people at the primary and secondary levels of enlightenment.

The Yan’an era was a critical period for Chinese revolutionaries to build their own public culture, and the most prominent among them was the formation of new literary styles and new literature and art . The new style of writing has followed the trend of vernacular writing since the New Culture Movement. Through newspapers, radio, conferences, various pamphlets and other grounded propaganda methods, in the process of literacy, education and understanding of the situation, it has subtly shaped the The way of speaking and writing of a large number of Chinese people with the revolutionary team as the core . Many keen observers have mentioned that the language of the Communist Party, especially Mao’s style of writing, which was deeply influenced by Mao Zedong, had a profound impact on the public language of the entire republic later. The formation of new literature and art depends on the combination of a large number of middle-level enlighteners with the aesthetic foundation learned in Peiping, Shanghai, and even the Soviet Union and Western countries, and the general public’s emotional interest in the caves and caves in the fields.
It has formed a large number of literary and artistic works that are not only popular with the most people, but also never vulgar or old-fashioned. This is the best example of a combination of local and foreign or elegant and popular.

With the formation of new literary style and new art, red culture was born in the Yan’an era, which is the cultural foundation of the Republic . The New Culture Movement, which has lasted for about 30 years, has borne fruit, and it may have reached a height far beyond the expectations of many pioneers of the New Culture Movement. At the same time, some of the apparently extreme claims in the New Culture Movement, such as the complete abandonment of traditional Chinese culture, were not adopted by the red culture.

I have analyzed before that a huge pain faced by many late-developing countries in the world is the extremely unbalanced internal economic and cultural development.
This makes it difficult to combine a few elites who have access to advanced cultural ideas and the vast majority of extremely ignorant and conservative civilians.
Either the elites are not grounded (there are too many examples in this regard), or the elites have to make big setbacks and concessions in advanced culture in order to be grounded.
It is even controlled by local elites who directly draw strength from conservative cultures (such as the situation in many countries that relies on radical religions for mobilization). In the case of China, the most elite group of people in politics are directly combined with the most ignorant group of people in politics. The combination is so close, but it still strongly represents the direction of advanced culture .

Particularity of the Chinese Revolutionary Road No. 4 The Chinese revolution is characterized by the coexistence of a high degree of centralization and a high degree of decentralization in organization

The existence of a high degree of decentralization is evident , as geographically separated bases scattered throughout the region are largely based on distributed forces. Even after the near-devastating blow to the Party Central Committee, a base area in a remote area like northern Shaanxi could not only maintain its own existence but also effectively accept the Party Central Committee’s plate. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, this powerful ability to decentralize was also manifested. Without this ability to decentralize, not only would the work of the base areas in North China be impossible to do well, but there is also a risk that the loss of grassroots organizations in the vast South China would lead to the lack of a foundation for the Communist Party after the war.

In addition, there are a large number of urban underground parties and special personnel who break into the enemy’s interior. They all have a strong ability to act flexibly and autonomously, and many of them can save their own strength without the guidance of their superiors for a long time. It sounds like this is the ability of a powerful secret service organization,
But I think many of the underground workers at the time were probably not well-trained agents, at least they didn’t have the time or risk of systematic intensive training.
However, judging from the rapid liberation of several cities in the later period of the liberation war and the rapid restoration of order and production after liberation, their actual work ability is amazing, which is also a prominent manifestation of the ability to grow and act under the decentralization of powers.

On the basis of the strong ability to decentralize and act independently, the party organization also has a very strong ability to centralize power. A few prominent examples before the Yan’an era were: the army was absolutely led by the party after it underwent political reorganization, the main force of the party central committee still had extremely high authority in the base areas despite the severe consumption,

Zhang Guotao, who had the most troops in his hands, tried to split the party without fire and ended in failure, and so on. During the Yan’an period, marked by the rectification movement and the formation of Mao Zedong Thought, the party’s ability to centralize power reached a new peak, and many manifestations will not be repeated here.

At the same time, it has a strong ability to centralize power and a strong ability to decentralize and autonomously, which is an organizational goal that is difficult to achieve. Before the Chinese Communist Party, I really can’t think of any other place in modern history where such an organization has appeared? Perhaps the Bolsheviks of Lenin’s time had this characteristic at one point (but in Stalin’s time centralization greatly trumped decentralization).

The party organization possesses these two super abilities at the same time, which also means that the republic is a real regime with strong democratic and dictatorial abilities. This is extremely important in the later history of the republic, because there have been many major transitions between centralization and decentralization. When many people make fun of the organization, they like to say, “If you catch it, you will die, and if you let it go, you will be in chaos.” But on the other hand, please think about it, if you want to catch it, you can catch it until you die, if you want to let it go, you can let it go, you can let it go if you die, you can catch it when it is messed up, you can catch and let go in a continuous cycle, or even in Existing in parallel on different scales, what a dynamic and integrated organization this is.

Particularities of the Chinese Revolutionary Road No. 5 The Chinese revolution created a very special military-government relationship

There are three main characteristics of this special military-administrative relationship: first, a semi-military government and the base of the regime; second, a highly politicized army; and third, a strong ability to integrate and transform the roles of the regime and the army.

First there was the Communist Party, then there was the army founded by the Communist Party, and on the basis of military victories, political power was gradually established. This process has determined that the Communist regime has a high militarized character.

Historically, there have been many cases of militarized regimes established through military victories, so militarized regimes themselves are not unusual. However, militarized regimes in history can easily fall into the state of controlling the government with arms, or engage in spying organizations in order to forcefully control the army . This is not the case in China . While the semi-militarized regime was established, China realized that the military was absolutely controlled by the political organization (rather than the military itself), which is the fundamental manifestation of the high politicization of the military. Similarly, this is also determined by the birth and development of the army. The Party is first and foremost a political organization, and at the very beginning of its establishment, the Red Army established the principle of the Party’s absolute command of the gun. After the three-bay adaptation, the Gutian meeting, and the repeated forging of the Long March, the party’s absolute leadership over the army has become a sacred principle.

The army is controlled by the Party, which not only includes fighting wherever you want to fight, retreating when you retreat, and sacrifice when you want to sacrifice, etc. These are already rare military qualities, but also include “letting you take off your military uniform and taking off your military uniform, and letting you take labor tools.” Labor tools, let patience be patient, let the bone scraping cure poison be self-purification” and other political qualities. These characteristics were not only present in the revolutionary period, but have persisted to this day.

A fundamental political question in human history is who can control who, the army or the government? The answer given by the Chinese revolution is to choose neither, and no one can control the other. Above them is a party organization that leads everything. Both the army and the government are the means by which the party organization carries out its historical tasks. What is particularly important is that the core of the Party organization’s good military-government relationship is not to draw the two tracks of the military and government and then to balance or check and balance in the middle (this may be the first thought of many smart people), but the core point is to balance the functions of the military and the government. There is no clear boundary, and the two have strong integration and transformation capabilities.
A large number of government grassroots organizations maintain the potential to turn into paramilitary mobilization at any time even under normal conditions. For example, a large number of personnel can be immediately converted into militia as long as they are needed, and even a large number of women’s and children’s groups can perform military operations in emergency situations. Auxiliary tasks.

The military can turn into production teams, education and propaganda teams and political work teams at any time as needed. From the mass production movement in Yan’an, to the rapid transformation of prisoners of war during the War of Liberation, to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, etc.

Specifically, within the army, there is a basic feature of integration and coordination between military commanders and political commissars instead of confrontational checks and balances (although checks and balances also exist) . This is the key for China to outperform the Soviet political commissar system. To establish dual chiefs in the army and avoid internal friction that is obviously easy to generate, there is probably no other way than the militarized democratic centralization led by the party committee. This set of things is easy to say but difficult to implement, and there is no fundamental system design that can guarantee that it will work well. Only in the long-term struggle can a group of people who can play with this system can be forged , and then this group of people will train the next group of people in the way of mentoring. Under the premise that the military-democratic centralism ensures the integration and coordination of the military and political lines within the military, the military not only has high political attributes, but also cultivates a large number of military and political compound talents . Many people can be both military chiefs and excellent political workers, so that after the army has established a new regime, many people in the army can immediately incarnate as local administrative chiefs and make outstanding performance in their posts. This in turn has greatly consolidated and improved the military-political integration and transformation capabilities mentioned above from a high-level perspective.

In addition, military democracy is very beneficial to effectively collect information and experience from the grassroots, and it is necessary to fully convey the intentions of the superiors to the grassroots, so that even if the literacy level of the grassroots soldiers is not high, they can often fully understand their combat tasks and combat goals. and team nature. This ensures that the army can often be scattered but not scattered, and make flexible changes that are highly difficult from a purely military perspective. For example, it can be divided into several small teams to achieve the coordination of the overall task. For example, in the stage of a big retreat or a big victory, the organization can be easily broken up and reshuffled.

Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States also demonstrated strong military mobilization capabilities in the 20th century, and achieved relatively strong coordination between the military and the regime during the war. But their mobilization and military-political coordination were fundamentally different from those of the Chinese Revolution.

First, the military mobilization and wartime military-political coordination of Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States are a political abnormality, and they also have a serious overdraft effect on the economy. The mobilization and military-political coordination in the Chinese revolution itself is the normal state of the party’s long-term survival and struggle. It is not only sustainable for a long time, but itself is one of the important means to solve serious economic difficulties (this will be discussed later).

Second, the mobilization and coordination of Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States were based on strong industrialization and a very strong background of central planning.

The Chinese revolutionaries have achieved deep military mobilization and strong military-government coordination without industrialization, and although the major guiding principles are derived from the Party Central Committee, many specific business arrangements are explored by localities themselves under the condition of decentralization. , with strong dispersed self-organization characteristics.
But this self-organization is not decentralized . The center has always been a strong presence, and a semi-militarized democratic centralization relationship has also been formed between the center and the localities and within the center. The center itself also has strong learning and feedback capabilities. Once there is excellent local self-organization experience, it is easy to spread to the whole system through the summary and promotion of the center.

In a word, the special military-government relationship created by the Chinese revolution has enabled China to obtain extraordinary mobilization power. To a large extent, it is able to mobilize the potential of the whole society in depth to carry out the central task on the basis of lack of advanced productive forces and sufficient economic resources. Competitors of the Chinese Communist Party, because they do not understand this powerful system, are prone to seriously underestimate the revolutionary power led by the Communist Party.
Japan, the Kuomintang, the United States, and India all paid a heavy price for this.

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