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Despite his historic role, Mao image tarnished by his successors and Western rulers alike

By Harsh Thakor* 

On his 130th birthday on 26th December, the Western media worked overtime to tarnish the reputation of late Chairman Mao Tse Tung. At the same time, his unparalleled role in the history of China from 1949 to 1976 has also been tarnished by the capitalist restoration in China, which has left the communists without a base area for the World Proletarian Revolution. The “Xi Jinping thought” and Xi’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics” are trying to replace all that Mao stood for.
What should however not be forgotten is, at every juncture, be it the Long March in 1935, the rectification movement in Yenan in 1942, The Socialist Construction Programme from 1949-56 the Great Leap Forward in 1958 and the Cultural Revolution from 1966-76, Mao strived to the utmost in escalating people’s revolutionary democratic power or striking power at a pinnacle, and never struggled for personal power.
The Ninth Congress of the CPC held in the leadership of Comrade Mao in 1969 provided a historic and comprehensive analysis about Mao Thought (now Maoism). He developed dialectical materialism, the proletarian philosophy, including the theory of knowledge. He developed the principle of contradictions and brought a conceptual leap. He suggested that the principle of contradictions, the unity and struggle of opposites is the fundamental rule of motion that controls the society including the nature and the thoughts of humans.
He said, “…Scientific socialism, philosophy and political economy are the three fundamental components of Marxism. Class struggle is the base of social science…”. He also developed a dialectical understanding towards forces of production, relations of production, between theory and practice, between economic base and superstructure, between matter and consciousness and other phenomena.
Mao made an in-depth critical analysis of Soviet economy, imbibed lessons from the positive and negative experiences of socialist construction in Soviet Russia. He said that proper balance must be maintained between the growth of forces of production and reciprocal change in relations of production through the slogan ‘walking on two legs’. He inferred that superstructure and consciousness could transform the base and that politics must be in command in all sectors to consistently develop the relations of production. Another important contribution of Mao is that bureaucratic capital is linked with imperialism and feudalism and possesses a comprador character.
Mao not only developed the Leninist concept of ‘revolution in two phases’ in the field of scientific socialism but also the principles of socialist transformation. His idea of new democracy targeted not only feudal system but also imperialism. It affirmed that bourgeois democratic tasks shall be completed in the present phase only in the leadership of the proletariat as a part of world socialist revolution. 
He established the concept of state with socialist transformation, constituted of the people’s democratic dictatorship of four classes as the first stage in the transformation to proletarian dictatorship. Later Mao also established the theoretical, political, cultural and economic basis for the transformation from democratic revolutionary stage to Socialist stage. Mao greatly explained the revolutionary understanding as to how to develop Socialism from its primary phase to its higher stage, Communism.
Mao formulated the concept of Protracted People’s War in the process of 28 years of revolutionary struggle in colonial, semi-colonial, semi-feudal China. He not only further developed Leninist understanding of the proletarian party and built a new kind of party on the base of democratic centralism but also built a new kind of party that can take up criticism-self-criticism, rectification campaign and can develop through two line struggle. He developed a comprehensive theory related to United Front and its principles. Mao handed over military theory to the international proletariat. He escalated the theory and practice of revolution to a new and higher stage with the concept of People’s War.
Urban and rural guerrilla warfare was being applied and armed people’s resistance was started right during World War II and in the initial period of fascism. All over Europe and especially in Italy, France and Spain, guerrillas mercurially fought back the fascist forces in guerrilla methods. Apart from Communists patriots also took part in this kind of struggle. Even after World War II, national liberation struggles could further crystallise, adopting guerrilla methods and basing on the strategy of People’s War. After World War II, the imperialists, especially the US imperialists received severe blows from the People’s Wars in China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba and Indo-China. These People’s Wars created permanent fear.
Today, people’s war groups are operating in countries such as Philippines, Turkey, India and Peru, seeking to withstand a strong state machinery by utilising guerrilla methods. The People’s Wars led by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties in Peru, India, Turkey and the Philippines are seeking to organise peasant movements.
Another new theory that Mao developed is that Party, Army and United Front are the ‘Three Magnificent Weapons’. He said, ‘Our experience of 18 years shows that United Front and Armed struggle are two fundamental weapons to defeat the enemy. The United Front is to continue armed struggle. Party is a daring warrior that takes up these two weapons of United Front and Armed struggle and tears apart the enemy bases. This is the way these three are mutually related’.
The concepts of ‘Serve the People’ and ‘Mass Line’ are the main ingredients related to understanding in the orientation of the entire works of Mao. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was waged to transform the party and the entire society to extinguish the feudal and bourgeois values within the bourgeois centres inside the party, enriched this experiment.
Mao led a qualitative leap in preserving and implementing proletarian dictatorship. He advocated ‘class struggle in superstructure’ with the slogan of ‘bombard the headquarters’. During the period, he developed the theory of continuing revolution in the dictatorship of the proletariat with the objective of preventing capitalist restoration in a socialist country.
Mao said, "The people in various countries have been continuously waging revolutionary wars to defeat the aggressors. The danger of a new world war still exists, and the people of all countries must get prepared. But revolution is the main trend in the world today."
Possibly Mao could not create sufficient grounds for dissent, erase poisonous weeds of capitalism, was unable to curtail his personality cult, erred in choosing Lin Biao as his successor, classifying Soviet Union as the greater danger than US, and wrongly dismantled the Shanghai Commune in 1968. Historians need to introspect into why Mao Tse Tung’s personality cult was so elevated, which vitiated the massline,,characters like Liu Shao Chi, or later Lin Biao, still remained in the fore, who were antagonistic to Marxism and why so promptly capitalism re-emerged in China, after death of Mao.
The International Communist or Maoist Movement is today fragmented, and plagued by sectarian and deviationist trends. Prominent are propagating that protracted peoples war path is a universal theory-even applicable to developed nations, claiming that Chairman Gonzalo was the founder of ‘Maoism’ and supporting his concepts of militarisation of party or path of unified peoples war which formulated combining urban armed actions with peoples war in villages and treating Maoism as a separate entity or rupture, from Leninism. Tendency of prematurely advocating formation of a Communist International Mao’s military theory of people’s war mechanically applied, over emphasis on military line, negating that the Great Proletarian Cultural revolution was the defining point of Maoism.
Major commemorative actions marking Mao Tse Tung’s 130th birthday took place in Ecuador, Brazil, Denmark, and in Germany -- in Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg ,Frieberg, Cologne and Bemerheven. Earlier they took place in Columbia.
*Freelance journalist


R N Jha said…
Western media! They must to survive theto survive their decaying Social structure. His Successor? No
.They ain't. Mao attained power due to power owing to the overwhelming support of the Chinese
people and used it for their liberation Where's his so called successors have been using it ruthlessly to keep them in power anyhow.


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