Document 13734712

Geography and Social Conditions
• Shan-Gan-Ning Base Area: Capital in
• Extremely Poor, Hilly land on China’s
leoss plateau
• About ½ the size of the UK
• 1.4 million people
Explaining CCP Success During
the War—Historiography
• Peasant Nationalism: willing to go along
with Communists to fight Japan
• Social and Economic Gains: Communists
offered a better life for many peasants
• Institution/Organization Building:
Communists did this well, and got
peasants involved in building grass-roots
Rebuilding Power after the Long
• Political Challenges: Mao vs. Wang Ming
• Wang Ming: Soviet trained, Stalin-backed
Chinese Communist Party member
• Social Policy: Focus on Building local
government organizations: Revolutionary
associations, peasant associations
Political Issues and Strategy
• Second United Front: Cornerstone of
Communist Policy in Base Areas
• Three-thirds system: Communists hold not
more than 1/3 of local government
• Emphasis on flexibility and inclusion
• The “Yan’an Way”
Party Purification: The Rectification
Campaign 1942-1944
• Launched on Feb.1, 1942
• An intra-Party movement to enforce
discipline, ideological unity, and Mao’s line
• Emergence of Maoism as CCP’s leading
• Causes: Wartime economic and military
stress in base areas, diverse and rapidly
growing Party membership
• Voluntarism: the will and
desire of people, of
revolutionaries, can overcome
ALL obstacles (especially
through revolutionary struggle)
• Emphasis on “correct
ideological consciousness” as
the main tool to achieve what
China wants
• ALL Chinese, if instilled with
the right form of
consciousness, have
revolutionary potential
• “Mass line”: a faith in the
masses, the peasantry, often
at expense of top down
bureaucratic rule
Features of the Rectification
• 3 Main Targets:
• Those who worship Marxism/Leninism
without translating it to Chinese conditions,
into present day action
• Factions: Bureaucracy vs. peasant based
action, Mao distrustful of bureaucracy
• Formalism in the Party: Don’t get lost in
spouting theory, holding meetings-- keep it
Artists under fire
• Ding Ling (1904-1986) a famous woman author
who moves to Yan’an. She criticizes the
Communists for not keeping promises of
women’s liberation. Severely criticized by
Communist leaders, and sent to the countryside.
• Wang Shiwei
Wrote an essay called “Wild lilies” critical of
Communist leaders who were living better than
the masses, called for true egalitarian living.
Executed in 1947
Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Art
and Literature
• Very important speech Mao gives in May,
• Lays out the Party line on art for the next
30 years
• Art serves the Party, it must therefore
serve the peasants and workers:
emergence of social realism as the form of
art and literature
Rectification: Consequences
• Mao becomes undisputed leader, militarily,
ideologically, of the Chinese Communists
• Intellectuals and Artists critical of the Party
are silenced
• Tactics developed for future ideological
campaigns: being “sent down” to the
countryside, small and large group study
sessions, self criticism in small groups