The Kuomintang immediately suffered major military defeats and lost control of eastern China. It was only saved from total hopelessness or defeat by Japan’s suicidal decision to attack the United States and invasion of Southeastern Asia. But military rescue from Japan brought no significant improvement in the Kuomintang’s domestic performance in the political and economic fields, which if anything to get worse. Clearly the pre-Communist history of Modern China has been essentially one of weakness, humiliation, and failure. This is the atmosphere in which the CPC developed its leadership and growth in. The result has been a strong determination on the part of that leadership to eliminate foreign influence within China, to modernize their country, and to eliminate Western influence from eastern Asia, which included the Soviet Union. China was changing and even developing, but its overwhelming marks were still poverty and weakness. During their rise to power the Chinese Communists, like most politically conscious Chinese, were aware of these conditions and anxious to eliminate them.
Mao Tse-tung envisioned a mixed economy under Communist control, such as had existed in the Soviet Union during the period of the New Economic Policy. The stress was more upon social justice, and public ownership of the “commanding heights” of the economy than upon development. In 1945, Mao was talking more candidly about development, still within the framework of a mixed economy under Communist control, and stressing the need for more heavy industry; I believe because he had been impressed by the role of heavy industry in determine the outcome of World War II. In his selected works he said “that the necessary capital would come mainly from the accumulated wealth of the Chinese people” but latter added “that China would appreciate foreign aid and even private foreign investment, under non exploitative After Chiang Kai-shek broke away from the CPC they found themselves in a condition that they were not accustom to, they had no armed forces or territorial bases of its own.
It had no program of strategy other than the one that Stalin had compromised, who from the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern in 1928 to the Seventh in 1935 insisted, largely because the disaster he had suffered in China that Communist Parties everywhere must promote world revolution in a time of depression. The CPC was ridden with factionalism; the successful effort to replace this situation with one of relative “bolshevization” or in layman’s term this means imposed unity, which was ultimately made by Mao Tse-tung, and not by Stalin. Parallel with the Comintern-dominated central apparatus of the CPC in Shanghai, there arose a half dozen Communist-led base areas, each with a guerrilla army, in Central and South China. These bases existed mainly by virtue of the efforts of the local Communist leadership to satisfy the serious economic and social grievances of the local civilians, often violently, through such means as redistribution of land at the expense of landlords and the reduction of interest rates at the expense of moneylenders.
Of these base areas, or soviets, the most important was the one led by Mao Tse-tung and centered in the southeastern city of Kiangsi. Correspondingly, in return for such service Mao was elected chairman of a Central Soviet Government, who supposedly controlled all the Communist base areas in 1931. Before I tell about Mao Tse-tung, I will tell you about Maoism. By Maoism or “the thought of Mao Tse-tung” as the CPC would put it is the entire evolving complex of patterns of official thought and behavior that CPC has developed while under Mao’s leadership. It was very difficult to unscramble Mao’s individual contribution while not confusing it with other thinkers of this time period as many have done and are still doing to this date. It is also difficult to separate the pre-1949 and the post-1949 aspects and the domestic from the international aspects. The first basic and most important characteristic that I believe is a deep and sincere nationalism that has been merged with the strictly Communist elements.
Then closely resembling nationalism was his populism approach so full of strain that the CPC saw itself not merely as the Vanguard of the common people, plus as the progressive side of the middle class, but as representative of the people. This was important as it played the opposite position of the “three big mountains” (imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism) and still yet accept the passively the leadership CPC. Maoism still possessed two other points that are significant in understanding this ideology, it recognizes the decisive importance in history of conscious, voluntary activity and of subjective forces in more detail than the sometimes compared Leninism which was opposed to deterministic, objective forces. The last point it brings out is that Maoism stresses contradictions and struggle, or what might be called the power of negative thinking, to the point where it invents enemies of all types and comments on their size and calls them “paper tiger” as he did in a speech in 1950.