Tuesday, December 7, 2010


ไฟล์:Mao Zedong portrait.jpg
Thirty-seven years ago, in the Hunan Provincial Library at Changsha, a 19-year-old farm lad for the first time in his narrow life looked at a map of the world. He studied it, as he later recalled, with great interest. Last week, the farm lad was redrawing that map with an iron pen dipped in blood. Mao Tse-tung was adding China to the domain of world Communism.

For the West, the event was a major disaster, still incalculable in its consequences. For Communism, it was the greatest victory since the Russian Revolution. For most of the Chinese people, it meant peace-but only in the sense that large-scale fighting would stop. It also meant the kind of war which the Chinese have often known-the silent, constant war which tyrannic governments wage upon their people.

For Mao Tse-tung, the peasant lad, the event meant great face. He was about to be master over the vast land which had bred him, over the cities and libraries, over half a billion tough, tired people, who listened last week as the Communist faithful sang Mao's glory:

Chairman Mao can be compared to the sun in the cast, Which shines over the world so brightly, so brightly. Heigh-ai-yo, heigh-heigh-heigh-yo. Without Chairman Mao, how can there be peace! Heigh-ai-yo.

Of Rice & Faith. Mao Tse-tung was born (1893) in Shao Shan, Hunan Province, where for years his world was the rice paddy, the village school, and his father's cane. Old Mao was a farmer, prosperous enough to hire a laborer. Unlike many another farm lad who later followed him, and died for the rice and the faith he offered, young Mao never knew hunger. Nor did he know abundance. Once every month, old Mao would give his farmhand eggs with his rice, but no meat. Recalls Mao: "To me, he gave neither eggs nor meat."

As a boy, Mao Tse-tung learned about tyranny. Old Mao was the Ruling Power in the family. Young Mao, his brother, mother and the hired hand were the masses. Says Mao: "My mother, a kind and-generous woman, criticized my attempts at open rebellion against the Ruling Power. She said it was not the Chinese way." Mao soon discarded his mother's simple gradualism. When his father bawled him out, he quoted a passage from Confucius, to the effect that the old should be kind and affectionate. Says Mao with sly humor: "The dialectical struggle in our family was constantly developing."

One evening, when Mao was 13, his father, in front of a group of guests, denounced him as lay and useless. This meant a terrible loss of face for young Mao; He ran-out of the house, his father in hot pursuit. Young Mao reached the edge of a pond and threatened to jump in if his father came any nearer. "Demands and counter-demands were presented for cessation of the civil war," Mao recalled. "My father insisted that I apologize and kowtow . . . I agreed to give a one-knee kowtow if he would promise not to beat me. Thus the war ended, and from it I learned that when I defended my rights by open rebellion, my father relented, but when I remained meek and submissive, he only cursed and beat me the more."

Young Mao remembered the lesson, and modified it. In his long march to power, he knew how to appear meek when the occasion demanded. But he himself was never moved by meekness. China's new master is no man to settle-permanently- for a one-knee kowtow from an opponent.

To Grasp the Future. Mao began to develop a social conscience. Once there was a famine in the Shao Shan district and the poor, asking help from the rich farmers, started a movement called "Eat Rice Without Charge." This seemed reasonable to Mao; but not to his father who, like other farmers, kept selling rice to cities despite the local famine. Young Mao read pamphlets about the Western powers -that were dismembering China. He read books that proclaimed China's need to modernize herself. He began to cut classes and teach himself from books. The principal reprimanded him and Mao said: "Though it will interfere with my own "study program, I will attend classes on one condition: If I ask a question a teacher cannot answer, will you fire him?" The principal pressed Mao no further.

Mao's father wanted to apprentice him to a rice merchant, but Mao again rebelled. He went to study in Changsha, where he hoped to find answers to many questions.

The old order in the China of Mao's youth was crumbling under the influence of Western civilization, like a broken mummy suddenly exposed to the harsh air. China tried to reproduce 500 years of Western evolution in a few decades. Twentieth Century China was to have bombers before it had a good red system, radios before it had more than a few telephones. Chinese shouted Communist slogans before they could read. Galileo and Einstein, Jefferson and Karl Mars came to China an at once. The nation's youth desperately wanted to grasp the future. What the future was, they did not know.

The Idealist. Mao wanted knowledge. He read advertisements of newly opened schools. In turn he enrolled in a police school, a soapmaking school a law school, a commercial school, an economics school. He finally wound up in the Hunan Normal School where he hoped to be trained as a teacher. He read translations of Adam Smith, Darwin, Rousseau, Spencer. Says Mao: "I was then an idealist."

Feeling the need to share his new knowledge with others, he inserted advertisements in newspapers inviting correspondence with fellow idealists. Four answered. Three of them later turned out to be "reactionaries" The fourth a skinny youth called Li Li-san ("who listened to everything I had to say and then went away") was soon to become Mao's rival for the leadership of Chinese Communism.

At that time (1910), China's revolution against the tottering Manchu dynasty was in progress. Swept along by the torrent, Mao clipped off his queue as an anti- monarchist demonstration. Other students promised to follow his example, but later reneged. This prepared Mao for party discipline-or what Lenin called "democratic centralism." Recalls Mao: "A friend of mine and I therefore assaulted them in secret and forcibly removed their queues a total of more than ten falling victim to our shears."

The Marxist. The Russian Revolution (1917) shook China with fear and hope. It gave Mao the simple answers he was looking for. Excitedly, he traveled between Changsha, Peking and Shanghai, doing odd jobs and organizing workers and students. In Peking he worked as a librarian and for the first time he sensed himself a proletarian. "I stayed in . . . a little room which held seven other people," he said. "I used to have to warn people on each side of me when I wanted to turn over. . ." He read the Communist Manifesto.

In Shanghai, in 1921, he attended the foundation meeting of China's Communist Party. Although he was impatient with friends who talked about girls or other non-revolutionary matters, he fell in love. According to old custom, his parents had married him to a village aid when he was 14. He discarded the aid back home, with whom he had never lived, and married Yang K'ai-hui, a professor's daughter and an active Communist. Friends celebrated their marriage as an ''ideal romance." She bore him two sons, both of whom were educated in Moscow. Yang was executed by Hunan's anti-Communist Governor Ho Chien in 1930.

When the Chinese Communist Party allied itself with Dr. Sun Yat-sen's nationalist revolutionary movement, Mao worked in the combined executive committees of the Communist Party and the Kuomintang. In this capacity he met a young Kuomintang leader who, like himself, was a country boy with the urge to take a hand in China's destiny. He was Chiang Kai-shek.

The Half-Trotskyite. The Communist Kuomintang alliance did not last long. Chiang was one of the first to realize that cooperation with the Communists is possible only by surrendering to them. Chiang preferred not to surrender. By 1927, the Chinese Communists were once more on their own In his native Hunan, Mao tirelessly tried to organize the peasants. But Li Li-san, Mao's noncommittal correspondent, was chosen by Moscow to head the Chinese party. In orthodox Marxist fashion, Li Li-san based his hopes on the urban proletariat; he considered China's peasant millions too backward to grasp the new revolutionary science.

Li's city rebellions failed bloodily. Moscow deposed Li as a "half-Trotskyite" and ordered him to Russia for corrective education. "Li Li-sanism" was declared incorrect by Moscow. Mao Tse-tung meanwhile formulated a simple but fateful strategy: in an industrially backward country whose whole life depended on the peasant", the Communists must win the peasants first, and give them arms.

When Mao succeeded Li as head of the Chinese Communist Party, he retreated with Communism's badly beaten bands to Kiangsi, in South China, where he managed to establish a Chinese Soviet. For three years, his headquarters were on Chingkan Shan, a nearly impregnable mountain stronghold which had been shared, uneasily, by bandits and Buddhist monks. Mao chased away the monks, welcomed most of the bandits into the party, and settled down to organizing the nucleus of the army which was to conquer China.

Down with Squash. In this task, Mao was joined by Chu Teh, now the second biggest star of Chinese Communism. A Yunnan officer and police commissioner, Chu Teh lived in a palatial home, smoked opium and kept several concubines. In 1922, to the indignation of all his friends, he sent his harem packing, broke himself of the opium habit. He went to Europe, studied in Moscow at the Eastern Toilers' Institute. In 1931, he was made commander in chief of the Chinese Red army, while Mao became political commissar. Chinese peasant legends, gleefully fostered by Communists, attribute superhuman powers to Chu-he could fly, he could see IOO li (33 miles) in all directions; he could stir dustclouds or winds against an enemy.

Mao looked after party discipline. In one year, he executed 4,300 politically unreliable comrades. Meanwhile, conditions on Chingkan Shan were becoming uncomfortable. Food was scarce and the Red army was forced for months to live on squash. The soldiers adopted a slogan: "Down with capitalism and squash-eating" Chiang Kai-shek, by then China's dominant figure, sent his armies against the southern Soviet "republics" and all but finished them in a series of "extermination campaigns." Once, when Mao went to the front to assume personal command, he exclaimed: "Aiya, how daring these bullets are! Don't they know that Chairman Mao is here?"

At this point the Japanese "intervention" in China drew Chiang's any's energies elsewhere. Mao and Chu, leading a Red armu of 80,000 men, were able to break through the Nationalist encirclement and flee to the northwest. Thus began what the Chinese Communists consider their great epic-the Long March

March with Mr. Soviet. The Reds marched 6,000 miles. They passed through twelve provinces, crossed 18 mountain ranges, and 24 rivers. Intermittently they fought with Nationalists, but they got away each time, with heavy losses. The marchers bad started out with a huge train of supplies, but they had to abandon most of it on the way. It is said that Mao Tsetung, then married to his third wife (Ho Tse-chun, a schoolteacher), abandoned their five children on the way, leaving them in the care of peasants.

The marchers lived off the land, though the Communists never mentioned plunder, spoke only of "confiscation committees." Provincial populations fled in terror before "Mr. Soviet," as the Red army became known. The Reds' first great obstacle was the Yangtze, where Chiang hoped to stop them. A Red detachment in captured Nationalist uniforms managed to take a samll river port which permitted the whole army to cross. But the most famous incident on the Long March was the crossing of the Tatu River, where a detachment of Communists swung across hand over hand on the bare iron chains of a half-destroyed suspension bridge, straight into Nationalist machine-gun fire.

Mao Tse-tung made the entire march on foot, except for a few weeks when he was ailing. After a year, the marchers arrived in bleak Shensi. Of the 80,000 who hadstarted out, only 20,000 reached their promised, unpromising land. Mao Tse-tung moved into a convenient cave in the cave city of Yenan, just below the Great Wall, and proceeded to build his beaten Communist remnants into a new Soviet state.

10% War. The year the Communists got to Shensi (I935), the world Comintern line swung to the "united front" policy which advocated solidarity among-all anti-fascist forces. Moscow instructed Yenan to seek a united front with Chiang Kai-shek against the Japanese.

In 1937, the Communists undertook formally to abolish the Soviet system, and to merge the Red army with Chiang's forces. To the rank & file, Communist leaders explained carefully that these were "temporary" measures to give the Communist forces a chance to recover from their "battle fatigue." Very clearly, Mao spelled out Communist strategy: "The war between China and Japan is an excellent lent opportunity for the development of our party. Our determined policy is 70% selfdevelopment, 20% compromise, and 10% fight the Japanese . . ."

The Reds carried out these instructions to the letter. When the Japanese were defeated by the Allies in 1945, the Communists scrambled to "accept" their surrender. They took over vast areas formerly held by the Japanese, seized huge amounts of Japanese arms.

At the same time, the Russians marched into Manchuria in their one-week war against Japan and for months prevented the Nationalist troops from entering the northern provinces. Li Li-san returned with the Red army from his Moscow exile and was established in Manchuria. He had successfully purged himself of Trotskyism, had married a Russian girl, and was said to be in high favor with Stalin.

At the end of their Long March, the Communists had been a battered band, barely controlling three small barren provinces. At the end of World War II, a Communist army of 1,000,000 men controlled some of China's richest lands--and 50 million people.

Idylls of a Comrade. In 1946, the U.S. began its is-fated attempt to mediate between Chiang and the Reds, giving the Communists further time to strengthen their position. Special U.S. Envoy Patrick Hurley personally brought the reluctant Mao to Chungking. Before the plane took off at Yenan airfield, he nervously kissed his small daughter goodbye as though he were being taken to the executioner.

After six weeks, Mao flew hurriedly back to Yenan. Communist bigwig Chou En-lai, in charge of Yenan's public relations, remained in the big city as liaison officer until negotiations broke down. Chou is the smoothest, most urbane of the Communist leaders; in school he was famous for his female impersonations in theatricals, his most brilliant role being that of a sexy peasant wench in a play called One Dollar.

In Yenan, Mao Tse-tung enjoyed a starkly idyllic existence. In 1939 he had married his fourth wife, a pretty Chinese movie starlet. The Maos lived simply, in an adobe hut during the summer and during the winter in caves, which they kept changing regularly for fear of assassins. For many years, Mao's official vehicle was an ambulance donated by the American Chinese Hand Laundry Association. In the early mornings, U.S. visitors driving past Mao's residence would see him and General Chu Teh, like any Chinese peasants in the road with baskets and small shovels picking up animal droppings to fertilize the fields. Said Mao in a lecture to Communist writers: "Once I felt that only the intellectuals were clean, and that workers, soldiers and peasants were dirty . . . [Now I feel that] although the hands of workers and peasants may be black with dirt and their feet smeared with cow dung, they are still cleaner than the bourgeois and petty bourgeois."

U.S. visitors to Yenan described Mao as a heavy-set man (5 ft. 8 in., 200 lbs.) with the humor, the strength and often the manner of a Chinese peasant. He frequently sat with his feet propped on the table, and in warm weather he unceremoniously stripped to the waist. Once, in Yenan in the presence of General Lin Piao, president of the Red Academy, he took off his trousers for comfort while studying a military map. He smokes incessantly and tends his own tobacco patch. In 1938, the Party Central Committee gave him a $5 monthly raise so he could buy more cigarettes. Between noisy puffs, he chews melon seeds or peanuts. Until recently, when his doctors made him slow up, he used to wash down his heavy meals with kaoliang (grain liquor). Since then Mao has become something of a hypochondriac.

Mao was usually affable toward U.S. visitors. One U.S. authoress Agnes Smedley-reported this impression: "The tall forbidding figure lumbered toward us and a high-pitched voice greeted us. Then two hands grasped mine; they were as long and sensitive as a woman's ... Whatever else be might be, he was an esthete . . . He asked a thousand questions . . . We spoke of India; of literature; once he asked me if I had ever loved any man, and why, and what love meant to me . . ."

Exit into Sunset. Yenan's most remarkable form of entertainment was the "living newspaper" in which amateur mimes enacted' current events. Sample: General Eisenhower invading Normandy atop a human landing barge. Sugar-coated propaganda also pervaded the Saturday night dances regularly held in a Yenan apple orchard at which Mao appeared in simple peasant dress to dance with his wife, Mme. Chu Teh, Mme. Chou En-lai, or pretty Communist office girls. For these occasions, the Communists revived (and revised) an old, gay Chinese dance form called the Yang-ko. Sample: a shepherd is asleep by his flock. A girl in flowing robes enters, dances around him, and wanes him by provocatively brushing the hem of her gown over his face. In the old version, a flirtation then began. In the Red version, she says sweetly: "How can you sleep while foreign imperialists are sucking the blood of your people?" The shepherd rises, flexes his muscles, recognizes his duty, and exits with the girl into the sunset.

When the Nationalists captured Yenan in 1947, Mao was driven to wander again. He left the capital on the last day before Chiang's men came, withdrew to a small village where he set up headquarters in a straw tent. Once a Nationalist detachment came within ten miles and his staff urged him to leave. "What's the hurry?" asked Mao. "Wait until the firing starts."

For over a year he shifted from town to town, usually in the rugged, desolate mountain country around Hsingsien. By last fall, he was in Shichiachuang, the Reds' administrative center on the western edge of the rich North China plain. Then, following the Red army's advance, he returned home to his Yenan cave. His popularity among his followers was greater than ever. Everywhere Mao went, his words were noted down by breathless disciples. Some observers feel that Mao is getting too popular-and too powerful -for his own good.

Last summer, in Harbin, Asian Communist delegates met to receive certain instructions from Moscow. One of the speakers was Li Li-san, Mao's old rival, and now presumed to be Red boss of Manchuria. Said Li ominously: "Some of our comrades in Asia have been in error . . . We must avoid at all costs the spread of nationalistic Communism in Asia We cannot tolerate a Tito in Asia"

There is a chance that Mao may turn Tito, especially if Russia should use Manchurian industry for her own, rather than for China's recovery. But so far, Mao has slavishly squeezed himself through every needle eye of Moscow policy.

The New Democracy. What kind of master will Mao be to China? For years, the Communists (aided by many U.S. correspondents) have faithfully fostered the story that Mao and his Chinese are just "agrarian reformers." The story went around Washington that, during a Moscow conference, Molotov once cracked to an American: "The Chinese Communists are not Communists They are oleomargarine. They are imitation Communists."

Mao is no margarine Communist. In a pamphlet entitled "The New Democracy" (1940), Mao carefully explained how he intends to rule China. The pamphlet is a clear statement of the "soft" line which the Reds use in a "given historic phase," i.e., until they are strong enough to use brass knuckles. China, says Mao, is still largely a "feudal" country. Before it can have its Communist revolution against the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie must first have its revolution against "feudalism." These two separate steps (which occurred centuries apart in Europe) can, in China, be blended into a continuous process. But the first step is not democracy in the Western sense: "The coming democratic republic of China should he nothing other than a democratic republic of the dictatorship of all anti-imperialist, anti-feudal sections."

Because China needs industrial developing, Mao is ready to collaborate with small and medium capitalists.' But bourgeois "diehards" are out. ("Goodness, do we not know what they would do with the destiny of our nation?. . .")) Land mustbe "equalized'" and capital "controlled." Warns Mao: "Whoever dares to turn in the opposite direction will ... get his head broken against the wall . . . The sun of the new China appears on the horizon, we clap our hands and hail it. Raise your fists, new China will be our!"

Plain Chinese, who have fled Communist areas by the millions, have observed the "new democracy" at work in every visage the Communists have taken. The Chinese say that the Reds have a "three head policy." The first stage is the "nod head," when they are polite to the people and want to make friends. The second stage is the "shake head," when they begin to refuse the people's requests The third stage comes when they are in full control; it is called the "chop head."

The Charming Earth. Mao Tse-tung will have to chop off many a Chinese head in trying to rule China, probablythe biggest task ever taken on by Communism. As he has put it, "A revolution is no invitation to a banquet ."

The Chinese people hve borne, driven off or absorbed, many a conqueror-the Hun's and Mongols, the Tartars and Manchus. But the conqueror who, in the name of a grandiose world conspiracy, prepared to take over China last week could rival all of these. Mao Tse-tung knew that. Once, while flying over a civil war battlefield on which his men fought blindly for what they thought was the end of misery, Mao had written a poem. Excerpt:

In clear weather The earth is so charming Like a red-faced girl clothed in white. Such is the charm of these rivers and mountains Calling innumerable heroes to vie with each other in pursuing her. The emperors Shih Huang and Wu Ti were barely cultured, The emperors Tai Tsung and Tai Tsu were lacking in feeling, Genghis Khan knew only how to bend his bow at the eagles, These all belong to the past--only to- day ore there men of feeling.

Mao was a man of feeling, all right, but as tough and tyrannical as any emperor who had preceded him in the rule of his great and long-suffering land.


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