[Book] China: From Permanent Revolution to Counter-Revolution

This book is a comprehensive analysis of the revolutionary history of China, from the early 20th century to the present era of crisis, aided by a wealth of research which cuts across the many historical distortions both of bourgeois academia and of the Chinese Communist Party.

This book answers the questions:

  • What was the class composition and class nature of the Chinese Communist Party when it took power in 1949?
  • What forces pushed the Mao regime, despite its explicitly class-collaborationist strategy, to take measures which were objectively socialist and to establish the Chinese workers’ state?
  • The Chinese Revolution was a practical test of both Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution and Mao’s theory of uninterrupted revolution by stages. Which theory matched reality?
  • The degeneration of the Chinese People’s Republic to capitalism has been a second rigorous practical test of Trotsky’s analyses. Has his prognosis that without a political revolution to overthrow the regime, a Stalinist bureaucratic state would return to capitalism, been proved correct?

The author also argues that the policies adopted by the Chinese Communist party towards women were a direct measure of its revolutionary commitment. Throughout the book, how the activities of the CCP impinged upon the mass of Chinese women is used as a measure of its socialist credentials. This book also describes how the return to capitalism has meant that many of the gains made by Chinese women have been, and are being, taken away.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1

1. The First Chinese Revolution: Early Years of the Chinese Communist Party

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Conditions for the Chinese Peasants

1.3 Industrial Development in China

1.4 The First Chinese Revolution: Sun Yat-sen and Nationalism

1.5 The Communist International 1919-1923

1.6 Summary

Chapter 2

2. The Communist International, the Kuomintang and the CCP

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Communist International and Sun Yat-sen

2.3 The ‘Bloc Within’

2.4 Summary

Chapter 3

3. Stalin Sets the Pattern for the Chinese Revolution

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Russia after the October Revolution

3.3 Socialism in One Country

3.4 Stalinism and Egalitarianism

3.5 Women and the Family

3.6 Stalin, Mao, and Theoretical Innovations

3.7 Chinese Students in Moscow 1923–1929

3.8 Summary

Chapter 4

4. The Rise of the Second Chinese Revolution

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Chiang Kai-shek’s First Coup: 20 March 1926

4.3 The Northern Expedition: from Guangdong to Shanghai

4.4 Peasants and Workers Self-Mobilise

4.5 Summary

Chapter 5

5. The Defeat of the Second Chinese Revolution

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Chiang Prepares his Second Coup

5.3 Shanghai Massacre

5.4 The Wuhan Debacle

5.5 Summary

Chapter 6

6. From the Canton “Commune” to the Jiangxi “Soviet”

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Autumn Harvest Uprisings

6.3 The Canton Uprising and its Aftermath

6.4 The 6th Congress of the CCP

6.5 The Li Lisan Line

6.6 Red Unions

6.7 Wang Ming and the 28 Bolsheviks

6.8 Peasant Soviets

6.9 Summary

Chapter 7

7. From the Jiangxi “Soviet” to Yenan

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Soviets and Land Reform

7.3 Women’s Liberation and the Jiangxi Soviet

7.4 The Futian Incident

7.5 The KMT Bandit Extermination Campaigns

7.6 The Tsunyi Conference and the Long March

7.7 The Red Army Arrives in Yenan

7.8 Summary

Chapter 8

8. Yenan, the Second United Front, and the War against Japan

8.1 Introduction

8.2 The Second United Front

8.3 The Sian Incident

8.4 Wang Ming Returns

8.5 Women in Yenan

8.6 Yenan, the CCP and “Wild Lillies”

8.7 Summary

Chapter 9

9. The Final Collapse of the KMT: the CCP Assumes Power

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Mao Becomes Supreme Leader

9.3 Mao Attempts Compromise with Chiang

9.4 Chiang Breaks off Negotiations

9.5 CCP Land Policy: 1945-49

9.6 The PLA Cruises to Victory

9.7 Summary

Chapter 10

10. The New Democracy

10.1 Introduction

10.2 The New Democracy

10.3 The New Democracy and Industry

10.4 The New Democracy and Women

10.5 “Under the leadership of the proletariat”?

10.6 Summary

Chapter 11

11. The Unexpectedly Short Life of the New Democracy

11.1 Introduction

11.2 The First Stage of the New Democratic Regime (1949-51)

11.3 The Korean War

11.4 The Three-Antis and Five-Antis Campaigns (1951-54)

11.5 The End of the New Democracy

11.6 Can the Petty-Bourgeois be Revolutionary?

11.7 Summary

Chapter 12

12. Establishing the Chinese Workers’ State

12.1 Introduction

12.2 First Five Year Plan (1953-57)

12.3 The New Democracy – a Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Government?

12.4 Proletarian Peasantry and Revolutionary Stalinism?

12.5 Summary

Chapter 13

13. China under Mao: The Great Leap Forward

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom

13.3 The Great Leap Forward and the People’s Communes 1958-1962

13.4 Lushan Conference and the 1959 Campaign against Rightist Opportunism

13.5 Working, Living, and Dying on the Communes

13.6 Summary

Chapter 14

14. China under Mao: The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

14.1 Introduction

14.2 The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

14.3 The Shanghai People’s Commune

14.4 Summary

Chapter 15

15. China Marches Back to Capitalism

15.1 Introduction

15.2 A Cold Transition?

15.3 A New Economic Policy

15.4 Deng’s 1978 Turn

15.5 Tien An Men Square

15.6 “Socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics”

15.7 Integration into the World Economy

15.8 China Now World’s Second Largest Economic Power

15.9 The Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Capitalism

15.10 Summary

Chapter 16

16. A New Chinese Working Class

16.1 Introduction

16.2 The Making of a New Working Class

16.3 Distinctive Features of the Chinese Proletariat

16.4 Working Conditions

16.5 The Official Trade Union

16.6 The 2015 Labour Regulations

16.7 The Growth of Inequality: Woman After the “Reforms”

16.8 Summary

Chapter 17

17. Workers in Struggle

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Recent Workers Struggles

17.3 Women Lead and Students Join In

17.4 Overproduction and Recession

17.5 Revolution and the Question of Leadership

17.6 Summary

Chapter 18

18. Uninterrupted Revolution or Permanent Revolution?

18.1 Introduction

18.2 New Democracy – a Necessary Stage?

18.3 Mao and Uninterrupted Revolution

18.4 Permanent Revolution

18.5 Capitalist Restoration and Permanent Revolution

18.6 Summary



Financial interests of CCP leaders

How local CCP leaders became major capitalists

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