Chinese communism is quite unique. This is mostly because it has been able to withstand the challenges of time, and led to the rapid development of the country into one of the best in the world. It all began in the Chinese Revolution, a peasant revolution that was led by Mao Zedong in 1949 (Meisner 6). Mao’s vision marked the beginning of challenging times that eventually created a social and economic force in the world economy. This paper addresses issues relating to communism and the role of Maoism in it.
Fall of the Qing dynasty and Failure of the New Republic
On 10 October 1911, there was a Republican revolution in China. This led to the fall of the ruling Qing Dynasty. The country was let in political confusion and land lords took advantage of the situation to exploit the citizens and life became unbearable. A new warlordism developed, lasting between 1916 and 1927. Warlords attacked each other even though they seemingly had similar ideas and goals, making it a regrettable era in China’s history. This marked the beginning of the growth of communism in china, an aspect that has become a distinct characteristic of the nation. When the warlord government split, creating the North and South, Sun-Yat sen, the southern president sought support from the west and failed. In 1921 he approached the Soviet Union but this opted to support both sides, creating a showdown between the nationalists and communists (Morton & Lewis 22).
Growth of Communism in China and the role of Mao Zedong
The communist ideal in china is mainly attributed to Mao Zedong, a poorly-educated but intelligent man who later strongly adopted Marxist principles. During the era of warlords, communist ideas started spreading and drew a lot of support from the masses. The lower classes in society were especially attracted by the principles which called for equality as they suffered from extreme poverty, starvation and grief. They also embraced the atheistic views of communism. After the rule by warlords as at 1916, a large number of Chinese started engaging in revolutionary political party and group activities with the hope that they would be able to attaining some change for their country. The period of the Great Revolution and soon afterwards (1914—1918) was characterized by the development of many movements that effectively prepared the country for the acceptance of communism (Gay 32).
The Communist Revolution
The revolution began 1949 as a movement to liberate lowly and exploited workers. Anarchy had by then been controlled by the republican administration. However, there were shortcomings in new policies, leading to frequent failure. Mao’s initiatives later created some social equality. However, it did not benefit everyone. Instead, most people got extremely poor. There was a loss in the advantage that was supposed to be there in education, technology and science, reducing its ability to become competitive (King 41).
When Mao took over, he developed a balance between the classes, peasants and workers, using them to expropriate capitalists. He then suppressed worker democracy. He mainly succeeded due to his decision to offer a social liberation program to the peasant troops of Chiang Kai-shek, against whom he was fighting. When his armies entered the cities, workers occupied factories. Unusually, Mao ordered that the demonstrations that began be forcefully suppressed, and a number were shot. Initially, He was not interested in expropriating Chinese capitalists. Instead, he indicated that there was no socialist revolution. The only possibility was the creation of mixed economies hence capitalism. However, with the change in conditions and expectations, he eliminated capitalism. In the revolution, Mao’s peasant army managed to finish off capitalism and create a new order modeled on the Soviet Union (Meisner 7).
The political heat that was generated, student activism, and reformist wave of intellectualism that arose led to a new political awakening of national awakening called the May Fourth Movement. It created the New Culture Movement (NCM), an intellectualism that became a national characteristic between 1917 and 1923. Large student demonstrations witnessed on 4 May 1919 marked the high point in the NCM. Numerous students came back from abroad and called for political and social theories that ranged from total Westernization of the country to the adoption of the kind of socialism later on practiced by the Chinese communist rulers (King 41).