When Chairman Mao Tse-tung made the Declaration of the People’s Republic of China in Tienanmen Square on the 1st October 1949 he ushered in one of the most important periods in the history of the international working class and peasantry, second only in importance to the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917.
The country with a quarter of the world’s population joined the country (the Soviet Union) with a sixth of the world’s land mass on the difficult journey towards Communism, along the difficult and often unknown road of the construction of Socialism. Fascism had been defeated in both Europe and Asia, principally at the hands of forces organised and led by Marxist-Leninists. There was real reason for the workers and peasants, the oppressed and exploited, the dispossessed and downtrodden of the world to be optimistic for the future.
And for just under 30 years the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, carried out the task placed upon them in an admirable manner. Mistakes were made but lessons were learnt from those mistakes. New ways were found to confront old problems. The aggression of capitalism and imperialism was faced down in many parts of the globe, with varying degrees of success.
Treacherous and perfidious revisionism, the bane of the revolutionary Marxist movement from the earliest of days, was able to gain a hold in too many minds of too many members of the world’s Communist and Workers Parties and the movement was split – the only winners being capitalism and imperialism.
In response to this Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China raised the banner of the Great Socialist Cultural Revolution in 1966 – an attempt to involve the mass of people in deciding which direction the country would follow, forward to Communism or backward to Capitalism. Although many successes were achieved and many new lessons learnt ((all valuable for those to come in future struggles) even that innovative revolutionary movement failed in its aims, the Chinese Revisionists (‘Capitalist-roaders’, as they were described in China) being able to gain power in a coup soon after Chairman Mao’s death on 9th September 1976.
However, before that setback the people of China had made great and innumerable strides forward in all aspects of life. Marxism-Leninism, the political theory exclusively the property of workers and peasants, was taken to the higher level of Maoism. The experience gained in socialist economics, first developed in the Socialist Soviet Union, in the fields of collective and state property relations were refined, developed and taken along new avenues.
The studying of new, revolutionary ideas in the field of philosophy by workers and peasants became a reality as they struggled against the ancient, backward and feudalistic way of thinking of Confucius. Art and literature was placed in the hands of the people and promoted so that they could develop a new form of expression, representing and championing their interests and aspirations. Women and youth were given a real and substantial say in how the society should develop, challenging the hierarchical structure so deeply embedded in so-called ‘traditional’ society. As in all true revolutions the Chinese workers and peasants ‘turned the world upside down’.
As did the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 40s the Chinese Socialist state produced many documents in order to educate and inform the people’s of the world of what was happening in the developing Socialist country and to encourage those oppressed throughout the world to follow the Chinese example.
Over a period of time the desire is to make many of those documents and pamphlets available on pages related to this one.
Areas of the history of the People’s Republic of China already on site:
The Writings of Chairman Mao Tse-tung – probably the most comprehensive collection of the writings of the Chairman available on the internet.
All the issues from 1958 to 1978 of the weekly political and informative magazine Peking Review;
Chinese Literature Magazine – (there are many gaps here, sometimes the whole year, other times just a few issues are available), 1951 (no issues at all for this year), 1952 (no issues at all for this year), 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 (no issues at all for this year), 1960 (no issues at all for this year), 1961, 1962 (no issues at all for this year), 1963, 1964, 1965 (no issues at all for this year), 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981.
International Relations – pamphlets which cover the relationships that the People’s Republic of China had with various other countries.
Lu Hsun – the life and works of the great socialist poet, essayist and author.
Medicine and health care in Socialist China – achievements and policies in the field of health.
Chinese Revolutionary Art – 1975 – a collection of posters produced towards the end of China’s Socialist period.
China Reconstructs – a magazine that was founded in 1952 which documented the building of Socialism and then, after 1976, the restoration of capitalism in the People’s Republic of China.
China Pictorial – a large format, photo orientated magazine which was first published on July 18, 1950, less than a year after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Government of the People’s Republic of China – with documents relating to the structure of Government, including the important Constitution of 1975.
Communist Party of China (CPC) – history, resolutions and documents – including documents from the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Congresses.
General Information about Chinese Society – with interesting background facts about the early days of the construction of socialism – to the mid 1970s.
China’s Socialist Economy – examples of how China developed its agriculture and industry for the benefit of the workers and peasants.
The Countryside and Collectivization – China’s efforts to create a new type of agriculture through the development of co-operatives and communes.
Women’s Liberation, marriage and family – the role that women played in the construction of Socialism in China before the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.
The Great Debate between Revolutionary China and the Revisionist Soviet Union – with important documents defending the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Marxism-Leninism.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China – the story of how revolutionaries fought to defend socialism in opposition to the capitalist-roaders.
Writings by the So-Called ‘Gang of Four’ – Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao, Yao Wen-yuan, and Wang Hung-wen, first victims of the 1976 coup d’etat.
Campaign to Criticize Lin Piao and Confucius – an integral part of the struggle against the capitalist-roaders during the Cultural Revolution.
Works for Children and Young Adults – including short stories for young adults as well as colour picture books for very young children.
The early years of the revolutionary struggle – Part 1 – 19th century – 1936 – from the time of the Opium War till just before the Japanese invasion.
The early years of revolutionary struggle – Part 2 – The War of Resistance Against Japan – 1937-1946 – leading to the defeat of the invaders under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
The early years of revolutionary struggle – Part 3 – The War of Liberation – 1946-1949 – the final struggle before the declaration of the Republic in October 1949.
Images and impressions of Pre-Liberation China – including images of of the people and the lifestyle in the countryside before the successful revolution.
Philosophy and Political Economy – and how the workers, peasants and soldiers in revolutionary China used them in the struggle to develop Socialism.
Studying history – the importance of studying history, from all countries, to be able to understand the processes developing within your own country.
Environment, Science and Technology – including a number of pamphlets (colour pictures) of the new archaeological finds made during the Cultural Revolution.
Art, Literature, Music and Culture in Socialist China – illustrations of the achievements and aims in the field of culture in Socialist era China.
The China Policy Study Group (CPSG) was a group of Left academics in Britain sympathetic and supportive of the Chinese Revolution.
The renegades, traitors and ‘capitalist-roaders’ within the Communist Party of China – writings of Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai and others.
The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding is a friendship association of people in Britain toward China which, in its first 12 years, supported the revolutionary development of the People’s Republic of China.