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HomeMirada semanalMao, half a century later

Mao, half a century later

In recent days, taking advantage of an occasional free moment, I dedicated it to reviewing in my messy library several piles of papers, loose or gathered in packages, which are texts from novels not yet published, or fragments of essays and studies, partially digitized, that refer to various topics of politics, history and culture and that I keep as a routine, due to that vice of a writer and historian, of accumulating papers, because they have already been useful, or because it is expected that at some point they will be disseminated and will be useful.

But what is important now about all this is that, reviewing them carefully, because they tend to be old papers, I found a group that was part of the scripts that I wrote to use them when analyzing anniversaries that I explained in detail in morning programs that I starred in daily on the state television nearly two decades ago. And while reviewing them I came across Mao Tse-tung, who died on September 9, 1976, that is, almost half a century ago. And I found the idea of ​​taking advantage of that coincidence to talk in this article about Mao, whose life and achievements I have analyzed many times in classes, forums and written texts, interesting.

My idea is only to rethink, starting from almost half a century ago, Mao's life and struggle for the liberation and sovereignty of that China that, thanks to his efforts and that of those who followed him, is not only free and sovereign today, but it has become the most prosperous and powerful country on the planet.

Mao Tse-tung (now the usual way to say Mao Zedong), was born in 1895 in the province of Hunan, in southeastern China, son of a middle-class peasant family. He studied in Hunan, but it was in Peking, where he made his debut as a young revolutionary in the great protest of May 4, 1919, which brought together all the Chinese people of that time against the decision of the Treaty of Versailles that closed the First War. , allowing the aggressor Japan to keep Chinese territories that it had appropriated both before and in the course of that colonialist and imperialist War. Mao did not participate in Shanghai in the founding of the small Chinese Communist Party in 1922, which was founded as part of the proletarian internationalism of the Russian Revolution. which determines, as expected, the political lines of that new party. But he soon joins and becomes one of its main leaders. In China there was already a democratic party, the Kuomintang founded by líder patriot Sun Yat Sen, who died shortly after, in 1925, aware of the failure of his struggle to incorporate that servile Chinese bourgeoisie into a patriotic project like his. But Sun is confident that he has left the leadership of the KMT to his disciple Chiang Kai-shek, who had been trained as a revolutionary politician in Moscow.

These projects collapse in the following decades because the líderThe Russians who control the CCP want it to adapt to Soviet policy, the one that dominates the USSR, which, despite still being a land with a massive rural majority, has instead a revolutionary proletariat in Leningrad and Moscow and has Its industrialization is underway at an accelerated pace, while China remains an almost entirely rural country that only has small working-class centers in southern coastal cities such as Shanghai and Nanking. The instructions of the Communist International to the CCP are to maintain the alliance with the KMT, although Chiang Kai Shek is increasingly oriented towards depending on the servile Chinese bourgeoisie, the European imperialists and the United States (US). Tension between the KMT and the CCP increases. The KMT breaks with the CCP. His betrayal led to him provoking a great rebellion in Shanghai and other cities in 1927, and the KMT drowning that rebellion in blood, deciding that its main strategic task was to crush Chinese communism.

I must highlight that, from the beginning, Mao has been a firm opponent of this alliance with the KMT and the passive subjection of the CCP to the Russian strategies that have been imposed on the Chinese Party, since he considers it a serious mistake to apply them without a necessary criticism of the reality of China that he knows and for which he has been fighting. In effect, Mao works in Hunan because he is concerned about peasant misery, and is aware of his rebellion and prospects for struggle; and so he begins to write and publish political texts about that situation and about the tasks of the future Chinese Revolution in which the leading role that the conscious and armed peasantry will play will be indispensable for the struggle.

And it is after the defeat of the workers' rebellions in Shanghai and Nanking, that their proposals begin to grow and gain followers and followers. The communist groups surviving the defeat take refuge in the mountainous area of ​​Ningán where they create a peasant military base of which Mao is one of the líderes and in which he is accompanied by Zhou En lai, a young revolutionary like him, and the experienced military leader Zhou Deh, who has become a firm revolutionary won by the Maoist ideas and project. Mao was already convinced that the main force of the Chinese Revolution would be the peasantry, who were the clear majority of the people and who wanted to fight their way out of the unbearable misery in which they lived, and who were already preparing and arming themselves to face it. But Mao's strategic vision wanted to change many things and imposing it will only be the product of years of internal struggle and sharp discussions about policies, organization and leadership, and also of new aggressions from the powerful and militarized KMT, which had to be faced by avoiding new and costly defeats to the Party. Imposing that line was not easy and Mao was only able to achieve it after intense internal struggle. And meanwhile, the revolutionary base grows, gains more peasant support, and becomes known as the Chinese Soviet Republic.

But Chiang Kai-shek is the owner of most of the country, he has the support of the Chinese surrender bourgeoisie, its military forces, and the colonial powers, including the US, which has filled the country with businessmen, spies and missionaries. Chiang counts on this support to crush the communist peasant base and against it he launches 5 fierce campaigns that he calls Encirclement and Annihilation. These Campaigns took place between the years 1931 and 1934. The communists managed to resist the first 4 of these campaigns with great losses, but the 5th forced them to retreat and undertake the famous Long March. This heroic retreat is carried out under the permanent attack of the KMT forces, which forces the Chinese guerrilla troops to face and overcome difficulties of all kinds. The cost in human lives is gigantic because of the 80 thousand who start it, only about eight thousand survive at the end of the journey. The journey that the survivors have made covers almost two thirds of the Chinese territory and they settle in the distant and almost border region of Yenan, where they build a new base that soon becomes the center of their power, which is out of political reach. and KMT soldier. But the most important thing about that journey is that along the way Mao manages to impose his political line, defeating his rivals and becoming the líder principal and leader of the Party. This was achieved in 2 meetings, one in the small town of Tomgdao in December 1934, and the other in the village of Zunyi. With the support of Zou En lai and Zou Deh, Mao displaces Wang Ming, Bo Gu, the two líderis Soviet, and the German Otto Braum and is designated líder and head of the party. And here, although always in the midst of dangers and threats, everything changes; and since then the guerrilla struggle points to the peasant victory that will take place after enormous effort about a decade and a half later.

We continue in the next article in which I will examine the triumphant Chinese revolution under the command of Mao, its achievements, failures and its final balance.

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