To What Extent Was the Chinese Revolution, 1927-1949, a Socialist Revolution as Defined by Marx?

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1. Introduction To what extent was the Chinese revolution, 1927-1949, a socialist revolution as defined by Marx? This investigation will be comparing classical Marxist doctrine with Mao Zedong thought and the Chinese revolution, to see the extent that the revolution adhered to Marxist doctrine. Classical Marxism will be defined by the works of Karl Marx and Fedrich Engels and Mao Zedong thought will be defined by the works of Mao Zedong. The primary sources used for this essay are Selected Work of Mao Zedong and Marx and Engels: Selected Works. To investigate the Marxist nature of the Chinese revolution, I break down the revolution into three parts: cause, process and effect. To analyse these three parts, three consequential questions…show more content…
However a limitation of using Mao’s works comes in the political purpose it serves. During much of Mao’s early works about revolution was written with the background of a power struggle within the party. Thus a purpose of Mao’s works was to prove his worth to the party, making it directed more for popular appeal than academic purity as did Marx. Therefore when using this source, one must take party politics into consideration and not simply take it at surface value. Similar to Marx, Mao saw revolution as class struggle when one class becomes conscious of the exploitation of another class. However, Mao’s revolution was not one where the proletariat overthrows capitalism, but instead an amalgamation of “revolutionary classes” overthrowing imperialism and feudalism. Mao did not see the motive of the socialist revolution in industrial maturity but instead in economic backwardness. It is through this economic backwardness that will energize the “proletariat” as they suffer “three fold oppressions (feudalist, imperialist and bourgeoisie)” making them unable to move the economy forward, thus becoming the “most politically conscious class in Chinese Society” . The Chinese communist party will thus lead the proletariat and their example would bring consciousness to the masses and thus mobilizing them for a revolution. As compared to Marx, who saw socialist revolution as a reflex of the proletariat towards

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