“Chiang vs, Mao” by Thomas J. Christensen

J.V. Stalin was not a role model for Mao Zedong. On the contrary, Mao had to overcome the control of a group of Stalinist stooges usually referred to as the “Returned Students’ faction.” That struggle took place from 1931 to 1938.

Though Mao never held the title secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he did function as one after the short-lived reigns of Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Luo Fu between 1931 and 1938.

His rise to power was possible primarily because he held the reins of power during the Agrarian Revolutionary Civil War (1927-1937), the leading force of a vast peasant uprising.

Though this rebellion reached its apogee by the spring of 1932, it was still a force to be reckoned with in 1934, when its leaders attempted a “strategic shift” (aka: the Long March, 1934-1936).

That’s what Mao was doing when leaders of the CCP apparatus (Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping) were attempting to proletarianize what had been a peasant resistance.

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition


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