Greek communists infected by nineteenth century liberalism: ”development of nations for a national capitalism”

How is the “traditionally” and selfdeclared “vanguard” (the communist party: KKE) of the (only GREEK?) working class, leading the (only GREEK?) class-struggle to a revolutionary objective (of a GREEK revolution?):
“The statement of the PB of the CC of the KKE on the recent developments in Greece which was issued on the 7/6, stressed the following: “It is an encouraging fact that the people and the youth are on the streets demonstrating their anger which has built up. A more substantial militant mood could be created, if it develops into a decisive participation in the organized class-oriented popular movement, which struggles to repel and reverse the barbaric anti-people political line and not to change the individuals in government, or for small adjustments to be made to the memoranda of the monopolies. The government, the parties and the mechanisms of the system have every interest in the spontaneous mass anger retaining a vague orientation. That it be trapped in insipid slogans or in reactionary ideological constructs.
For the working class, popular and youth struggles to be effective and to have the power to erect barriers against the escalating barbaric measures they must target those responsible for the problems of the people, which are the business groups, the EU and the parties which serve them . To fight for the contemporary rights, to aim at necessary radical changes which are required at the level of the economy and power, so that the development serves the people’s needs and not the profits of big capital”.

On the 7/6 the Communist Youth of Greece carried out mass demonstration in Athens and Thessalonica, in which thousands of young people took part.

The Secretary of the CC of KNE , Theodoris Chionis, spoke at the rally in Athens and stressed that it is the “capitalist ownership of the means of production and land which hinders the utilisation of the wealth produced by the working class and the popular strata for their own needs. For this reason every business, every workplace, farm, port, airport, hospital popular neighbourhood, training and educational institute must become a fortress of the implacable struggle against capital and its parties, against the barbaric measures, with the aim that they become social property.” [1]

Not only the GREEK “government, parties and mechanisms of the system have every interest in the spontaneous mass anger retaining a vague orientation.” No, the WHOLE (at least already) EUROPEAN working class submitted to IDENTICAL austerity plans ordered by THE SAME IMPERIALIST FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS will “be trapped in insipid slogans or in reactionary ideological constructs.”.... as there is the “national revolution”, which is in Europe of today a slogan of nineteenth liberalism....which resulted in the nineteenth century in “GREECE” or ......“BELGIUM”.
This is NOT teaching how to handle IMPERIALISM in which the main-form of “
means of production” are GLOBAL integrated production lines; from all kind of natural ressources over the production of intermediary products and production-FACILITIES and logistics until the final endproduct-assembling and its distribution- and sales-lines, ready to be selled by which the build-up surplusvalue – alreay advanced along those productionlines by speculation and financial operations – will be finally realised whenever the product will or can be sold. You have to begin expropriation by breaking those productionlines – by take in posession All the refining-, logistic- and transport , and ressources and energy delivering MONOPOLIES in a whole VAST region (for example in the whole EU) For this, the working masse has to be organised, united and “armed” or “powered” to confront the reaction of the forces of the capitalist sistem: not only materially “armed” or “powered” but in the first place by a revolutionary CONSCIOUSNESS.
To propagate very general slogans to a - already by the beginning -
limited part of the working class (just those workers within a certain “nation” - as if capitalism today is national organised!!), you are misleading the workers and playing OBJECTIVELY the role of defending the capitalist interests (of CONTINUING the existence of imperialism). You are NARROWING the conscriousness of the workers:  of those in Greece to a irrational “GREEK revolution” and of the workers of the other “nations” who will never will feel INVOLVED to an “only” GREEK revolution. While the (for example) LUXEMBOURG working class will have to be focused on the .....Luxemburg-revolution !?.....or the Belgian working class on the BELGIAN revolution....
“We call the people to rise up, a new intensification of our strength and efforts for the sharpening of the class struggle. From tomorrow we will visit the workplaces, we will give our best, so that on the 15th of June next Wednesday on the day of the general strike that everything closes, that Greece comes to a halt, in order to break the bullying of the bosses and to smash the blackmail of the government. The demonstrations of PAME must be like surging torrents.
We are making a call to arms so that the organization of the people multiplies, changing wherever necessary the balance of forces, through mass and combative participation. We must wage the struggle everywhere in defence of the unemployed, young workers, youth in the training institutes and universities, the youth from ordinary families with as our goal a radical overthrow of the capitalist system.

Today there exist additional pre-conditions for the liberation of the people and youth from the bourgeois dilemmas and ambitions, as well as from the dead-ends of the system. There also exist traps. For this reason they must ally with the KKE. We will not pay for the crisis, the debts and the profits of capital. We struggle so that the working class and its allies becomes the boss in this country and in its life.” [2]
As now more or less spontaneously protest and mobilisation against austerity-plans is whole Europe is build up (not coincidentaly following the way protest is been build up in Tunesia, Egypt and so on) the problem is now: which strategy, what to do now, the “traditionally vanguard” is now losing the initiative, limiting themselves to “commenting” and “reporting” and FOLLOWING somehow the development of slogans or political ideas. They have no real elaborated and concrete analysis resulting in a concrete revolutionary strategy by which they can increase the consciousness of the masses already in struggle. They can only lament and complain about the “wrong” ideas, the “wrong” slogans “which are not in the interests of the workers”.
“On Friday the blogs which are guiding the movement of the “indignant” citizens published a statement of the “indignant” citizens in Syntagma Square that called on the left forces to leave the squares. Thus, the “anonymous” leaders of the “movement of the squares”, the “non-party aligned”, “spontaneous”, “non-politicised” citizens appear to be politicised and declaring themselves “anti-left”.
Perhaps that’s the reason why they are hiding behind their anonymity. Up until this point they declared as their enemy the policy that brings poverty and unemployment while their slogan was to get rid of the memorandum and the politicians that implement it. This element along with the fact that they organise mobilisations expresses a political position.

Now they are showing one more aspect of their political stance and practice attributing the barbaric policy that leads the people and the youth to destitution generally to all the parties -including the KKE. Of course, they do not demonstrate who benefits from this policy; they do not show the real enemies which are the monopolies, the capitalists.

They are against the organised class-oriented trade union movement arguing that the trade unions must leave the squares. But the trade union movement is not homogenous. Is there any relation between the government and employer-led trade unionism that assisted the adoption of the barbaric measures and PAME that organised strikes and mass rallies against them along with PASEVE, PASY, OGE and MAS?

The self-definition of “non-party aligned” that they have used so far, which was extolled by the media groups of the capitalists, as well as their logic concerning the issue of democracy, proves to be nothing less than hypocrisy. Likewise, their intention to allegedly unite the people even on the basis of the vague anti-memorandum content of “the movement of the squares” since positions like “out with the left”, “parties out”, “trade unions out” are divisive while they are not that democratic , or, to be more accurate, they are undemocratic.

At the same time, and while they oppose the memorandum and the horrible measures they do not say a word against the government, the EU, the political forces that agree with this policy. They are merely talking in general about the politicians who implement it with vague arguments while they equate the KKE with these parties.
The prevention of the political and ideological expression of the working people, who have the right to have their own point of view and express it openly and publicly in general and in particular within the movement, where the ideological political struggle unfolds, is not only at odds with democracy, especially within the movement, but it also muzzles it.

Furthermore, each movement, even the spontaneous ones but even more so the movement in the squares has an objective, no matter if one agrees with it or not. But this action reveals that the leaders of the movements of the squares have a point of view: either you come to the square with our ideological-political positions leaving yours out of the movement or don’t come at all, stay away from the squares.

It seems that it is a well elaborated tactic in order to draw dividing lines between popular forces which are organised in trade unions, parties, which do not conceal their ideology, their policy even their party identity and those who go to the squares, who are also ordinary people most of whom have believed in the bourgeois parties that betrayed their hopes for a better life, are disgusted with the bourgeois policy and are looking for a way out.

After all whom does the logic “parties and trade unions out” serve ? At this point, we will not repeat that those from the blogs are preparing a party with the name “Immediate Democracy” as stated on TV . But there is also one truth that they do not want to come to the fore, that they try to conceal as the bourgeois media do at times; namely that not all parties are the same, that the so called non-party movement of the squares is a political entity, which, although it calls itself non-party aligned, is a political entity and has a political position against the other parties irrespective of what it claims for itself.

From the first time that this form of mobilisations appeared we posed a question: Who is hiding behind the blogs and the internet? Why they do not appear? What does their anonymity mean? Shouldn’t this fact concern those who gather in the squares? Because they should know which forces invite them and organize these activities. Because the blogs are not enough, nor does everything begin spontaneously from a blog, even if they contribute to the mobilizations as does their huge promotion by the media.

But it seems that anonymity helps those who are behind the blogs and not only them. After all the experience of the people’s movement shows that there are also organised forces that appear as forces of the “movement” and oppose – no matter if they do it intentionally or not- the organised people’s movement while when they are in action they hide their faces with hoods.

Now the movement of those with no name has emerged. The people who are concealing themselves have a specific purpose, which they are also trying to hide. They present themselves as pro-people leaders but they do not point to the real opponent of the people.
The people who cover their faces with hoods oppose the state’s repressive mechanisms, the windows of shops and banks-they consider these to be their opponents and not the monopolies. Their activity fosters tendencies for the movement to lose its organized character, impede the participation of the people and does not cultivate a rebellious consciousness.

The procedures of direct democracy allegedly express participation from below in anti-memorandum activity. But which political force will impose its will so that the memorandum is abandoned? For them they are against politicians and political parties. So who will do it? Other politicians, and perhaps other organized forces with the political line which is being expressed in the squares, which are not against the monopolies and the capitalists. So we are talking about another reformed bourgeois system. Maybe this is their aim?

Of course, the specific view “parties out” makes some people from specific parties appear as defenders of their party line in the morning, they flatter those who express the “non-party position” despite the fact that these very people are leading party cadre, and in the evening they go to the squares as “non-party people”. This is hypocrisy on a massive scale, if not outright fraud. Ordinary people, young people participate in the squares to express their indignation, discontent, anger at the government, the EU, the Troika. But they do understand or do not accept the political line for the overthrow of the system. These working people must not be ensnared in the net which the system is preparing through the so-called “non-party” and spontaneous. The conflict with the monopolies is not colourless. There needs to be a plan, a strategy, ideals, contribution and sacrifices. It means allying with the KKE, the class-oriented radical forces, new forces, which are starting to mobilise overcoming their inertia and tolerance, must make this step forwards.

Ordinary people, young people participate in the squares to express their indignation, discontent, anger at the government, the EU, the Troika. But they do understand or do not accept the political line for the overthrow of the system. These working people must not be ensnared in the net which the system is preparing through the so-called “non-party” and spontaneous. The conflict with the monopolies is not colourless. There needs to be a plan, a strategy, ideals, contribution and sacrifices. It means allying with the KKE, the class-oriented radical forces, new forces, which are starting to mobilise overcoming their inertia and tolerance, must make this step forwards. It conceals the real opponent of the people, the monopolies, which have the power.

The worker is deluding himself if he believes that the mobilizations in the squares are enough to liberate him from the old and new problems which have been foisted on him, without a movement which begins from and is rooted in the factories and industries, in every workplace, against the capitalist class. When the movement is not strong in the factories, whatever mobilisations take place do not have solid foundations. The real arena of class struggle is the workplace, the industry. It is there where the workers come into daily uncompromising struggle with the big businessmen- which flows from their relative class relations, the relations of exploitation, because the wealth and profits of the capitalists are produced by the labour of the workers. Some say in the squares as well, and this is also necessary, but primarily in the place where the class opponents come into conflict. Here is the real core of the class-oriented political struggle.
The worker is deluding himself if he believes that people’s mobilizations must be far from all the parties or against all of them. Such a movement is condemned to be subjugated to the political line of the capitalists, to contribute to the perpetuation of exploitation.

The worker is deluding himself if he believes that the bourgeois political system can function in the people’s interests. The bourgeois political system cannot be corrected, only overthrown.

The worker is deluding himself if he promotes the demand to get rid of the memorandum, without accompanying this with the demand for withdrawal from the EU and the overthrow of the state of the monopolies in Greece.

The people needs the movement which gives it a clear prospect. This means an organized struggle allied to the KKE, a struggle through the class-oriented movements of PAME, PASY, PASEVE, OGE and MAS. Only these forces can oppose the strategy of the monopolies and their servants with the strategy for the people’s interests. Without such a strategy, the people will not find a way out.[3]

The KKE is deluding the worker if they mobilise not in the WHOLE EU-area against the “political line of the EUROPEAN organised capitalists“ of not only “perpetuation” but in INCREASING the level of exploitation.
The KKE is deluding the worker when they talk only GENERAL about “bourgeois political system”, while IN FACT in a DOGMATIC way focus the worker on the GREEK nation(-state) as the “bourgeois political systam” which has to be “overthrown”.
The KKE is deluding the worker when they mobilise for “get rid of the memorandum” and focus him on “radical reforms” AND isolate the GREEK worker by focus him on “ withdrawal from the EU” and that overthrowing imperialism can by done by an ISOLATED struggle of the GREEK worker to “ overthrow of the state of the monopolies in Greece”.

“Greek crisis” is not a problem of the Greek worker. IMPERIALISM is the COMMON problem of ALL the workers

What now is called the Greek crisis is just an expression of the overall overcapacity crisis in which global imperialism is since – lets say – 1974.
This crisis is fundamental and imperialism cannot offer a solution to come out of that crisis and then to go on – not without increasing the exploitation level of the worldwide working class to higher levels, nor without fierce competition to “destroy” capacities, increase productivity in the “remaining” capacities (in order to win as much of the “shrinking” or limited market as possible) and so come again to a overcapacity that will be AGAIN “be solved” by increasing exploitation-level and fierce competition in where capacities has to be destroyed and where they will be expanded again. And by the increasing exploitation-level of the global working-class less and less potential “buyers” of the in the imperialist production-system produced goods and products….while the NEEDS are many!
The market is composed by “buyers” with an income to buy. So with a world-population of 5 billion with all kind of NEEDS, you have “just” several hundreds of millions potential “buyers”of the produced goods and products. THAT is the anarchy of the imperialist production-sistem!. When the capacities are to big and so produce possible overproduction (when they would produce in full capacity), IN FACT you can say that there is to little income at the “buyers”-side to buy all production….or a lot of people with NEEDS have no income to BUY the by imperialist production- sistem “suggested” solution to those needs.

The problem of fundamental overcapacity is temporary “solved” by advancing to income-low but potential buyers of  their “possible” FUTURE (and pretended HIGHER) income, by banks (to pay back in the future with an interest/rent) So “buyers” with too LITTLE income will then buy AT HIGHER PRICES (the price plus the interest/rent), products which in fact they could NOT buy with their ACTUAL income. The idea/illusion is that in the future their income would be higher, so that “easily” can paid then, that higher price (price plus interest).
But in the fierce competition among the global monopolies, capacities (factories) are closed (production is centralised in larger and productive sites), and workers have been fired. In the remaining capacities; productivity is increased (so MORE is produced with LESS people – so workers fired) and exploitation level has been increased (so - instead of higher wage - LESS wage of which a part is included indirect wage sometime in the form of “corporate taxes” for funding social security, pension etc....)....
But now the former HIGHER prices (price plus credit-intrest) for those bought products has to be paid, AND meanwhile  necessary and vital products (and services seen as “products”) has to be bought.... with DECREASED income.
An overall wage-decrease can also be induced by the speculation-driven overall PRICE-INCREASES of vital products. In the stage of imperialism - where normally in “capitalism of the old days” prices would decrease by overproduction – prices can so INCREASE by speculation!
THIS is the origin of what is called “the credit-crisis or financial crisis”. But in fact it is just a part of the overall imperialist crisis in which still surplus-values will be extracted (and profits accumulated) ....but poverty by the workers is increasing.

So there is NO OTHER WAY OUT for the whole global working class (and all those who are negatively touched by the crisis) than tear down imperialism and in one way or another (in whatever phases or stages or local or regional first breakthroughs) finally go for the world-revolution.

That means that in as big regions as is possible (with the highest possible consciousness of the involved worker-masses) tear down (regionally) already as far as possible imperialist production-relations and to begin to build communist production-relations, by expropriating as much as possible the global integrated production-lines.
The crucial point is that through the experiences and the practice of class-truggle (in which what is called “the vanguard” is involved as integrated part of those masses) consciousness can as far as possible increased.
Therefore the worker have to understand what is CONCRETELY “imperialism” (the stage in which capitalism is today).
But what is traditionally called “the van-guard” or as they are declaring themselves - namely the communists or the communist parties - is plagued by dogmatism and is IN FACT not LEADING but “following” (by “commenting” and “lamenting”) the class-struggle.
This is what Lenin called “economism” and Mao called “taillism”. Lenin unmasked the opportunism behind this, naming it (but elaborated and concretely described) “Kautskyanism”,  “economism” and “Menchevism”, as Mao named that opportunism (but also elaborated analysed and characterised) “dogmatism and empirism”. They both said that at the end such opportunism lead to REVISIONISM – Bourgeois political “strategy” of not overthrowing imperialism but MAINTAINING imperialism.

The Greek communists are not leading the working class to revolution as the revolution will or cannot be “limited” to Greece. Leaving it to “the Greek workers” means that the austerity-plans in GREECE at the and will be go forth - street-protests and strikes to “put pression on the parliament” cannot stop this -  ....and then this will be repeated in Portugal, Spain, Belgium and then again Germany, France,...... to come after a round again to Greece to the next increasing of exploitation-level “needed” for “solving” the crisis, which cannot be solve by measures WITHIN the imperialist system. So imperialism will stay on rotting and parasiting until the workers will decide to tear it down.  So the “natural van-guard” is DIVIDING the working class in the EU  - which by the EU itself (!) is PRACTICALLY unified: ALL the workers of Europe will be submitted step by step to the SAME increasing of the exploitation-level dictated by imperialist capital.
At the same moment, the more or less spontaneous movements of “indignants” which put already in question the NATIONAL organised “parliamentary democracy” , is so already becoming a “border-crossing” movement (with indeed a still “naive political line). The so-called “natural or traditional vanguard” is DIVIDING the working-class along NATIONAL member-”state” borders and in the best way for VERY GENERAL revolutionary sounding slogans or otherwise for “radical”, “democratic” and “social” reforms WITHIN the national borders.  The “natural van-guard” can only lament and complain that the “new” movement for social improvement and 'real” people-democracy, is not really attracted to this dogmatism and generalism which lead at the end to the same REFORMISM of which they accused those “new movements”. And that is now the problem of those “national” organised “vanguards”, the “national-communist” parties.

[3]              http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2011/2011-06-07-arthro-syntaksis, ”Article of the Editorial Board of Rizospastis on the mobilizations of the “indignants”in Greece, published on June 5th. -  Parties and trade unions out or with the KKE and the class oriented movement? Editorial board of Rizospastis (First published in Rizospastis on 5/6/2011)


Chronicles of a revolution (7)

The 4 May movement(China, 1919), the actual uprisings in the Arab world, when are they a step towards revolution?
The 4 May movement in China of 1919 has some similarities with the actual uprisings in the Arab world which go about democracy (a chosen government not bound to external imperialist forces), against dictatorship and corruption (which means the interests of the -“dictatorial” or “corrupt”- rulers are not those of their citizens but those of the imperialist forces with which they are 'allied'), against planned measures deteriorating social security, for jobs and a for a a decent income.
The 4 May movement was against the warlord-government and their favouring of the imperialist powers, and their “easines” in which that “warlord-government” signed all kind of treaties which strengthened colonialist power over China. 

How can such uprisings be a step in the direction of revolution, even when those  uprising don't  have  direct material results  and are quiet down after some time?  And what  means “revolution”? What has  to be the tasks of those INVOLVED in those uprisings in order to increase the consciousness and the will to ACT of as much of people as possible?

The 4 may movement had his concrete historical context and its concrete dynamics
The May 1919 movement was not isolated from world events; what went on in the USSR as well as what went on at the Paris Peace Conference directly affected the Chinese youth revolt. In March 1919 the Third International had held its First Congress in Moscow, an event given much publicity in Chinese Marxist study groups in Peking, Changhai and later (April).in Changsha. The First congress had condemned the peace conference and called for a world revolution.
The praise of Marxism which characterised the 4 May movement, as well as its anti-Confucianism, its demands for 'democracy' and 'science', marked it as a turning point in the history in China. And truly nothing was the same afterwards.(...) 

In that April of 1919 Mao Tsetung had returned to Changsha, after seeing off his friends in Shanghai leaving for France, and immediately plunged into political agitation. He obtained a job as a lowly teacher at the Hsiu Yeh Primary School, attached to the Normal College and built within its precincts. (....)
Political agitation left him no time for the extra coaching of wealthy students which usually formed a teacher's chief source of revenue. His greatest worry was shoes, he could not afford them. In summer he wore straw sandals as the peasants did. He had returned to Changsha with two articles by Li Ta-chao, Victory of the Common People and The Triumph of Bolshevism, and gave a lecture on 'Marxism and the Revolution' under the aegis of his New People's Study Society. Mao Tsetwung's popularity had grown with his return from prestigious Peking and the political excitement of the times. The students, teachers, shopkeepers, the workers of Changsha, who in 1918 already had demonstrated against Japan on a very effective boycott of Japanese goods, now crowded to listen to Mao Tsetung. Mao's speech was a great success. It had ended with the assertion that only by studying Marxism could the Chinese people save themselves. In April 1919 the first Marxist study group in Hunan province was founded in Changsha.

Mao was already convinced that only a Marxist revolution could save China, although he was not yet a fully confirmed Marxist. The New People's Study Society, the Work and Study Society, the New Tide Society (Hunan branch) all turned to the study of Marxism. It is no exaggeration to state that Mao brought Marxism to Hunan, and did all the preparatory work prior to establishment of a Communist Party branch there.(....)

In the following weeks Mao's influence in Changsha expanded with the anti-Japanese and anti-warlord struggle in the schools. 'Hunan is the most radical province,' the newspapers claimed, Mao was blacklisted by the provincial governor, Chang Ching-yao, a pro-Japanese nominee of the Peking government. Chang tried to suppress anti-Japanese activity, but the students took to the streets to lecture about 'national betrayal', and such was the sway of public opinion that Chang Ching-yao  dared not arrest them. Mao formed the United Students' Association of Hunan in June 1919, to link student activities to the All-China Federation of Students. While in Peking his attendance at mass meetings against the warlords in November 1918, and the student conference against Japanese encroachment in January 1919, had provided him with many interprovincial contacts. He also maintained correspondence with Hunan students in France – Tsi Ho-sen, Tsai Chang and Hsiang Ching-yu; and knew of the revolutionary groups forming there[1].(...)[2]” 
The practice of the participation in the struggle and taking political and organisational initiatives in the struggle result in the development of a clear strategy for future revolution
Groups of three, five or more young people would get together, pass a resolution, and go out lecturing, teaching, 'arouse and wakening' the people. Mao urged them 'get organised': 'Arouse the people, give them their initiative.'  He was beginning to learn what 'the masses' meant. His style as a revolutionary was shaped then: a widespread stirring up, a multiplication of groups, societies, teams; a seeming chaos, out of which grow new ways of thought and behaviour. 'If we want a great union to oppose the mighty who do evil, it is necessary to have small unions of all kind as a base.' All Mao-inspired movements have the tendency to look wildly 'undirected' at the beginning, precisely because Mao feels that 'direction from above' will not do; it is the people themselves who must educate themselves in doing, practising revolution, shaping their own rules of conduct and a new order; but the leadership must keep an initiative of theoretical guidance, of ideas. The end is new cohesion and effectiveness. This is the key to the understanding of Mao's style, to 'trust the people', and it began during the first cultural revolution.
Under the slogan 'Use national products, resist Japanese goods', Mao addressed a rally of merchants and guilds in Changsha in July and urged them to form a committee to enforce the boycott. A 'unity of all circles' association, in which workers, shopkeepers, small craftsmen and intellectuals participated, was set up. He wrote numerous articles, addressed dozens of societies, committees, organisations; and began the Hsiang River Review (Hsiang Chiang Pin Lun), a weekly whose importance exceeded its short life. Founded on 14 July 1919, the weekly's manifesto was written by Mao; a week later (21 July) the first part of his article, The Great Union of the Masses of the People, which ran into three instalments, appeared. (...)
Mao Tsetung's Hsiang River Review became the Hunan students' favourite weekly. From the beginning it 'had a great influence on the student movement in South China’[3].[4]” 
 As I defend studying the texts of Mao Zedong placed in their historical context, now abbout the texts mentioned in the footnote (1): “On New Democracy, January 1940; see Selected Works, Vol II. See too, The May Movement and The Orientation of the Youth Movement, also in Selected Works, Vol. II. It is incorrect to aver, as some scholars do, that Mao was 'awaked' or 'came out of obsurity' because of the 4 May movement, or that he started his career with it. His career had already started. He had been the author of one of the first anti-Japanese denunciations, on 7 May 1915, the very day the Twenty-one Demands were published
What is concerning the texts about the lessons that Mao Zedong pull out of the “uprising” of 4 May 1919 in the development of a revolutionary strategy:
-         “ The May Movement”: see a large part of this text in http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150156958819985
-         “ The Orientation of the Youth Movement”,see a large part of this text (at the end of the note) in http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150181234194985
-         On New Democracy: here under

On New Democracy -  January 1940.
For many years we Communists have struggled for a cultural revolution as well as for a political and economic revolution, and our aim is to build a new society and a new state for the Chinese nation.
That new society and new state will have not only a new politics and a new economy but a new culture. In other words, not only do we want to change a China that is politically oppressed and economically exploited into a China that is politically free and economically prosperous, we also want to change the China which is being kept ignorant and backward under the sway of the old culture into an enlightened and progressive China under the sway of a new culture. In short, we want to build a new China. Our aim in the cultural sphere is to build a new Chinese national culture.
We want to build a new national culture, but what kind of culture should it be?
Any given culture (as an ideological form) is a reflection of the politics and economics of a given society, and the former in turn has a tremendous influence and effect upon the latter; economics is the base and politics the concentrated expression of economics.[5] This is our fundamental view of the relation of culture to politics and economics and of the relation of politics to economics. It follows that the form of culture is first determined by the political and economic form, and only then does it operate on and influence the given political and economic form. Marx says, “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.[6] He also says, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”[7] For the first time in human history, these scientific formulations correctly solved the problem of the relationship between consciousness and existence, and they are the basic concepts underlying the dynamic revolutionary theory of knowledge as the reflection of reality which was later elaborated so profoundly by Lenin. These basic concepts must be kept in mind in our discussion of China’s cultural problems (...)
Although the Chinese revolution in this first stage (with its many sub-stages) is a new type of bourgeois-democratic revolution and is not yet itself a proletarian-socialist revolution in its social character, it has long become a part of the proletarian-socialist world revolution and is now even a very important part and a great ally of this world revolution. The first step or stage in our revolution is definitely not, and cannot be, the establishment of a capitalist society under the dictatorship of the Chinese bourgeoisie, but will result in the establishment of a new-democratic society under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes of China headed by the Chinese proletariat.
The revolution will then be carried forward to the second stage, in which a socialist society will be established in China.

This is the fundamental characteristic of the Chinese revolution of today, of the new revolutionary process of the past twenty years (counting from the May 4th Movement of 1919), and its concrete living essence.(....) 
Before the May 4th Movement of 1919 (which occurred after the first imperialist world war of 1914 and the Russian October Revolution of 1917), the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie (through their intellectuals) were the political leaders of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. The Chinese proletariat had not yet appeared on the political scene as an awakened and independent class force, but participated in the revolution only as a follower of the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie. Such was the case with the proletariat at the time of the Revolution of 1911.
After the May 4th Movement, the political leader of China’s bourgeois-democratic revolution was no longer the bourgeoisie but the proletariat, although the national bourgeoisie continued to take part in the revolution. The Chinese proletariat rapidly became an awakened and independent political force as a result of its maturing and of the influence of the Russian Revolution. It was the Chinese Communist Party that put forward the slogan “Down with imperialism” and the thoroughgoing programme for the whole bourgeois-democratic revolution, and it was the Chinese Communist Party alone that carried out the Agrarian Revolution.
Being a bourgeoisie in a colonial and semi-colonial country and oppressed by imperialism, the Chinese national bourgeoisie retains a certain revolutionary quality at certain periods and to a certain degree — even in the era of imperialism — in its opposition to the foreign imperialists and the domestic governments of bureaucrats and warlords (instances of opposition to the latter can be found in the periods of the Revolution of 1911 and the Northern Expedition), and it may ally itself with the proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie against such enemies as it is ready to oppose. In this respect the Chinese bourgeoisie differs from the bourgeoisie of old tsarist Russia. Since tsarist Russia was a military-feudal imperialism which carried on aggression against other countries, the Russian bourgeoisie was entirely lacking in revolutionary quality. There, the task of the proletariat was to oppose the bourgeoisie, not to unite with it. But China’s national bourgeoisie has a revolutionary quality at certain periods and to a certain degree, because China is a colonial and semi-colonial country which is a victim of aggression. Here, the task of the proletariat is to form a united front with the national bourgeoisie against imperialism and the bureaucrat and warlord governments without overlooking its revolutionary quality.
At the same time, however, being a bourgeois class in a colonial and semi-colonial country and so being extremely flabby economically and politically, the Chinese national bourgeoisie also has another quality, namely, a proneness to conciliation with the enemies of the revolution.
Even when it takes part in the revolution, it is unwilling to break with imperialism completely and, moreover, it is closely associated with the exploitation of the rural areas through land rent; thus it is neither willing nor able to overthrow imperialism, and much less the feudal forces, in a thorough way. So neither of the two basic problems or tasks of China’s bourgeois-democratic revolution can be solved or accomplished by the national bourgeoisie. As for China’s big bourgeoisie, which is represented by the Kuomintang, all through the long period from 1927 to 1937 it nestled in the arms of the imperialists and formed an alliance with the feudal forces against the revolutionary people. In 1927 and for some time afterwards, the Chinese national bourgeoisie also followed the counter-revolution. During the present anti-Japanese war, the section of the big bourgeoisie represented by Wang Ching-wei has capitulated to the enemy, which constitutes a fresh betrayal on the part of the big bourgeoisie. In this respect, then, the bourgeoisie in China differs from the earlier bourgeoisie of the European and American countries, and especially of France. When the bourgeoisie in those countries, and especially in France, was still in its revolutionary era, the bourgeois revolution was comparatively thorough, whereas the bourgeoisie in China lacks even this degree of thoroughness. 
Possible participation in the revolution on the one hand and proneness to conciliation with the enemies of the revolution on the other — such is the dual character of the Chinese bourgeoisie, it faces both ways. Even the bourgeoisie in European and American history had shared this dual character. When confronted by a formidable enemy, they united with the workers and peasants against him, but when the workers and peasants awakened, they turned round to unite with the enemy against the workers and peasants. This is a general rule applicable to the bourgeoisie everywhere in the world, but the trait is more pronounced in the Chinese bourgeoisie.[8]

[1] On New Democracy, January 1940; see Selected Works, Vol II. See too, The May Movement and The Orientation of the Youth Movement, also in Selected Works, Vol. II. It is incorrect to aver, as some scholars do, that Mao was 'awaked' or 'came out of obsurity' because of the 4 May movement, or that he started his career with it. His career had already started. He had been the author of one of the first anti-Japanese denunciations, on 7 May 1915, the very day the Twenty-one Demands were published.
[2] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[3] Edgar Snow, Red Star  Over China, Gollancz, London, 1937 (first revised and enlarged edition, 1968).
[4] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[5] See V. I. Lenin, “Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Present Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin”, Selected Works, Eng. ed., International Publishers, New York, 1943, Vol. IX, p. 54.
[6] Karl Marx, “Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1958, Vol. I, p. 363.
[7] Karl Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach”, Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1958, Vol. II, p. 405
[8] Out “ON NEW DEMOCRACY”, “SELECTED WORKS OF MAO TSE-TUNG Volume II”,p. 339, FOREIGN LANGUAGES PRESS, PEKING 1 9 6 5. English translation of the second Chinese edition of the second volume of the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, published by the People’s Publishing House, Peking, in April 1960. From Marx to Mao ML © Digital Reprints 2006 / 2007.


Chronicles of a revolution (6)

4th May movement in China 1919 and the actual uprisings in the Arab world.(becoming part 6 of my study)
Was the 4 May-movement (1919, China)[1] ON ITSELF “revolution” or could it play A PART  in the revolution when certain conditions were fullfilled? A consideration that to my opinion can also been made in the analyses of the actual protest-movements and uprisings in the Arab world. 

The 4th of may movement was not a sudden spontaneous protest movement, it was prepared and organised

“The first cultural revolution of China's twentieth century began with the
4 May 1919 movement. It has been described as a 'literary renaissance', especially in the United States, where the influence of the late Dr Hu Shih denied its fundamentally political nature. But the changes which affected Chinese literature cannot be dissociated from the politico-social upsurges of the period. The literary revolution was part of the political process. This first cultural revolution was a precursor of the Communist Revolution, in which Mao Tsetung      was to play a leading role, and his political radicalization was hastened by it.(...)
At the time, the question of utilizing the vernacular and abolishing the literary language was ardently debated, and Hu Shih approved of lecturing and writing in the vernacular rather than in the classical style, as this would 'broaden education'. But Hu Shih failed to comprehend that the fundamental question was not a change of style but a change of content and of system, a political and social revolution rather than a literary revolution alone.
The debates then current concerning language and literature were symptoms of a great upheaval. Hu Shih condemned all ' violence' and 'excesses' and argued that 'students must study and not concern themselves .... with political affairs'. But there is no traditional separation of the 'literary' from the 'political' in China[2]; this was a purely Western viewpoint which Hu Shih, unconsciously perhaps, imported into a Chinese situation. He was thus out of the historical movement before it had begun, as his acrimonious correspondence with several university associations two year before the 4 May movement testifies.
The origins of the 4 May movement are traceable to the Twenty-one Demands made by Japan upon China. During World War I Japan sought to replace all other colonial powers in China. The Twenty-one Demands crystallized  patriotic indignation among the students and  the intelligentsia  into a lucid, definite anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement. The literary, political and social aspects of the movement became merged into impetuous national protest. After October 1917, the success of the Russian Revolution led to the spread of Marxism, in which Li Ta-chao was a leading figuree. A nationwide boycott of Japanese imports began. Within this context the literary revolution also took place. Informing the people became an imperative duty which could only be performed by a radicalized intelligentsia using the vernacular, expressing political and social events in language intelligible to ordinary people. Already in 1917 Mao in Changsha was using the vernacular in his workers' evening classes. (...)
Li Ta-chao's essays on Marxism, begun in the spring of 1912, and his translations of Lenin and Marx had set the trend of radical though. Student societies (among them the New People's Study Society founded by Mao Tsetung) organised centres for the production and dissemination of Marxist literature. These revolutionary groups fostered a large contingent of young intellectuals for the 4 May movement. (...) 

No study of Mao Tsetung's development can be complete without some knowledge of the 4 May movement, Mao's role in it, and his analysis and understanding of the event which shaped China's future more definitely than anything else at that time.
Undeterred by student agitation, Japan in 1917 and 1918 gave loans of about 150 million Japanese yen to Tuan Chi-jui, then president of a coalition of warlords an militarists forming the Peking government. Tuan agreed to secret pacts an military conventions which turned North China into a Japanes satellite.
The students learned of these deals through the Soviet-Union press, and demonstrations against Tuan's government occurred in May 1918; Several thousands students in Peking assembled in front of the presidential palace, demanding to know the contents of the “Sino-Japanese military mutual assistance conventions” and other pacts. The merchants guilds denounced Tuan Chi-jui, asked for a stop to the civil war then raging in various provinces between warlords, and for resistance to Japanese encroachement upon China. In the summer of
1918 a Student Society for National Salvation was founded on an all-China base, linking provincial student associations into united action. A section of industrialists and merchants supported the students. 
In November 1918, the end of World War I, the establishment of the League of Nations, and the declarations of Woodrow Wilson were received with great rejoicing. “The Chinese people were jubilant”, writes Chow Tse Tung[3]. They hoped the shameful unequal treaties imposed by the Western powers and Japan ever since 1842 (the first Opium War) would be abrogated in aequitable settlement in the peace treaty. (....)
But when the Paris Peace Conference opened on
18 January 1919, it became evident that promises were merely vague assurances, unsubstantial words which would never see performance.(....)[4]” 

The following could just be a report of an “uprising noticed in China”. (....to compare with just actualised reporting of uprisings today in the Arab world)

“ On 3 May, students in Peking learned that the Paris Peace Conference granted none of the Chinese Demands. On the contrary, Shantung province, Germany's previous 'sphere of influence',was now given to Japan.
“We at once awoke to the facts that foreign nations were still selfish an militaristic, and that they were all great liars.” “ We concluded that a greater world war would come.” “ We must struggle.” Thus spoke the students.
It was decided to hold a mass demonstration on 7 May, National Humiliation Day, the anniversary of Japan's ultimatum of 1915. but the demonstrations started earlier. On 4 May in Peking 3.000 students representing thirteen academic institutions circulated a manifesto written in vernacular and mached to the house of a pro-Japanese official; the police and army who were mobilised, arrested some and proclaimed martial law. Within the next twenty-four hours the students turned to rallying and organising all they could reach. Since the whole nation was shocked and indignant, a great alliance of merchants, workers, petty shopkeepers, craftsmen was formed very swiftly. And thus a massive united front was created, not only against imperialism, but against the Chinese warlords who had “sold out” the Chinese people. The newspapers and magazines printed articles in support of the students. 

On 10 May began a general strike in all the schools and academic institutions. On 2, 3 and 4 June, arrests of teachers and students occurred. This prompted strikes and demonstrations on 5 June, in which girls participated as well as boys, even from primary schools.
National indignation found itself through student organisations. Mobile groups of ten teamed to carry out street propaganda, put up posters, direct strikes, demonstrations and the burning of Japanese goods found in stores. Teachers and university professors joined in the student demonstrations. On the morning of 6 June, all the business firms and factories in Shanghai went on strike. The strike spread like a prairie fire. By noon it covered the whole city and the suburbs. Textile plants, railways, public utility enterprises – more than one hundred companies and factories, involving about 90.000 workers, including many women workers, shut down. Even restaurant, the brothels and singsong girls' houses of Shanghai closed. In the streets, the only activities were meetings – hundred of students speaking to listening crowds around them – and protest marches, banners flying, on the main roads. Even police units had gone on sympathy strikes.
Up and down Yangtze, river transport stopped. Labour unions, until then proscribed, suddenly blossomed. On 28 June, the date of the signature of the peace treaty at Versailles, Chinese students,  workers and overseas Chinese in Paris surrounded the Lutetia Hotel, where the delegation from Peking resided, and prevented the delegates from leaving the hotel; thus the Chinese government did not sign the Versailles Peace Treaty.[5]

But the evaluation of the revolutionary character is done by history itself

“The demand for abrogation of unequal treaties went on through the next three decades; only in 1949, thirty years later, when Mao led the Chinese Revolution to its all-China victory, were the aims of the 4 May movement achieved at last.[6]” 

And how could then the aims of the 4 May movement finally be achieved?

Mao Zedong in 1939 about the 4 May movement of 1919:

“On this very day twenty years ago there occurred in China the great historical event known as the May 4th Movement, in which the students participated; it was a movement of tremendous significance. What role have China’s young people played since the May 4th Movement? In a way they have played a vanguard role—a fact recognized by everybody except the die-hards. What is a vanguard role? It means taking the lead and marching in the forefront of the revolutionary ranks. In the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal ranks of the Chinese people, there is a contingent composed of the country’s young intellectuals and students. It is a contingent of considerable size and, even if the many who have given their lives are not included, it now numbers several million. It is an army on one of the fronts against imperialism and feudalism, and an important army too. But this army is not enough; we cannot defeat the enemy by relying on it alone, for when all is said and done it is not the main force. What then is the main force? The workers and peasants. Our young intellectuals and students must go among the workers and peasants, who make up 90 per cent of the population, and mobilize and organize them. Without this main force of workers and peasants, we cannot win the fight against imperialism and feudalism, we cannot win it by relying only on the contingent of young intellectuals and students. Therefore, the young intellectuals and students throughout the country must unite with the broad masses of workers and peasants and become one with them, and only then can a mighty force be created. A force of hundreds of millions of people! Only with this huge force can the enemy’s strongholds be taken and his last fortresses smashed.

In assessing the youth movement of the past from this viewpoint, we should call attention to a wrong tendency. In the youth movement of the last few decades, a section of the young people have been unwilling to unite with the workers and peasants and have opposed their movements; this is a counter-current in the youth movement. In fact, these people are not at all bright in their refusal to unite with the masses who make up 90 per cent of the population and in going so far as to oppose them outright. Is this a good tendency? I think not, because in opposing the workers and peasants they are in fact opposing the revolution; that is why we say it is a counter-current in the youth movement. A youth movement of that kind would come to no good. A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I noted:
In the final analysis, the dividing line between revolutionary intellectuals and non-revolutionary or counter-revolutionary intellectuals is whether or not they are willing to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants and actually do so.
Here I advanced a criterion which I regard as the only valid one. How should we judge whether a youth is a revolutionary? How can we tell? There can only be one criterion, namely, whether or not he is willing to integrate himself with the broad masses of workers and peasants and does so in practice. If he is willing to do so and actually does so, he is a revolutionary; otherwise he is a non-revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary. If today he integrates himself with the masses of workers and peasants, then today he is a revolutionary; if tomorrow he ceases to do so or turns round to oppress the common people, then he becomes a non-revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary.
Some young people talk glibly about their belief in the Three People’s Principles or in Marxism, but this does not prove anything. Doesn’t Hitler profess belief in “socialism”? Twenty years ago even Mussolini was a “socialist”! And what does their “socialism” amount to? Fascism! Didn’t Chen Tu-hsiu once “believe” in Marxism? What did he do later? He went over to the counter-revolution. Didn’t Chang Kuo-tao “believe” in Marxism? Where is he now? He has run away and landed in the mire. Some people style themselves “followers of the Three People’s Principles” or even old stalwarts of these Principles; but what have they done? It turns out that their Principle of Nationalism means conspiring with imperialism, that their Principle of Democracy means oppressing the common people, and that their Principle of People’s Livelihood means sucking the people’s blood.
They affirm the Three People’s Principles with their lips but deny them in their hearts. So when we assess a person and judge whether he is a true or false adherent of the Three People’s Principles, whether he is a true or false Marxist, we need only find out how he stands in relation to the broad masses of workers and peasants, and then we shall know him for what he is. This is the only criterion, there is no other. I hope that the youth of our country will never allow themselves to be carried away by this sinister counter-current but will clearly recognize the workers and peasants as their friends and march forward to a bright future......[7]”       

[2] The whole of Chiinese history is evidence of the close relationship between politics and literary production, to a far greater extent than in any Western country.
[3] Chow Tse-tung, “TheMay Fourth Movement: Inellectual Revolution in Modern China, Oxford University Press, London 1960.
[4] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[5] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[6] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[7] Out of “THE ORIENTATION OF THE YOUTH MOVEMENT, May 4th 1939”, in “Selected works of Mao Zedong, volume II”, From Marx to Mao ML © Digital Reprints 2006 / 2007

Chronicles of a revolution (5)

The ripening of the conceptions “What is to be done?” and “How to organise for which objective?”

An organisation “
in which people would debate new ideas and create for themselves a new 'personality' by discussion, debate, self-analysis and action.

“In the summer of 1917 Mao set out across Hunan province on foot, journeying through many counties, accompanied by one of the  Siao brothers[1]. In the farmhouse where they rested, receiving hospitality from the peasants, Mao inquired of conditions, of crops and rain, of rent and landlords, a peasant talking to another peasants, but also budding social scientist and researcher.  Mao kept notes of what he had been told and remembered the peasants' names. He walked over three hundred miles on this trip.
Then in the autumn of that year of 1917 Mao Tsetung founded with his friend, Ho Shun-heng[2], the Hsin Min Hui, or New People's Study Society. The significance for the Chinese Revolution to come of this society cannot be overestimated, nor what it represented as training in leadership for Mao. For about a year he had entertained the idea of organising a society in which people would debate new ideas and create for themselves a new 'personality' by discussion, debate, self-analysis and action. The idea of becoming changed by argument and debate, by contact with 'reality' and by personal experience, he was later to expand, refine and apply to the making of revolutionaries. 'Feeling expansive and the need for a few intimate companions,' he inserted an advertisement in a newspaper, signed with the pseudonym under which he wrote his articles, Twenty-eight Strokes[3]. In this advertisement he explained his project for the organisation of a society of young men, active resolute and patriotic. ‘I specified youths who were hardened and determined and ready to make sacrifices for their country.'
Mao's New People's Study Society was only one of the many such student groups, but it grew into something else, the core of a political party. From the start it stipulated action as well as debate. It would not only talk revolution, but practice it, first of all revolutionising its own members, turning them into 'new men'. Even if it had no political label, nor any stated aim but the pursuit of truth and knowledge and their translation into deeds, 'the nucleus was formed of what later was to become a society that was to have a widespread influence on the affairs and destiny of China'.
Already in creating the New People's Study Society, Mao held the germ of the idea which would come to full blossoming at the Cultural Revolution: 'the conscious remoulding of man and his outlook, which in turns transform the world'. (.....) 

In later years all thirteen of the original members of the society were to join the Chinese Communist Party, founded in 1921. By 1919 there were eighty members, of whom over forty were to join the Party.
All these activities of Mao Tsetung would acquire their historical signification in the massive involvement of the student population of China in the
4 May 1919 movement. Mao was already influential before May 1919 explosion, with a considerable following not only among the intelligentsia but also among the factory workers of the city of Changsha.[4]” 

So studying, analysing, searching, discussion, organising, to have influence on “the uprising” which you cannot “predict”…. but will once be a fact

“Mao becomes involved in
1918 in a Hunan branch of the Society for Work and Study in France. Started in 1903 by two Chinese scholars, one of them a French-educated biologist, by 1908 it had branches in several cities. After 1913, dismayed by the debacle of Sun Yatsen's revolution, many students and teachers went off to France under the society's auspices. Hsu Te-li started a branch of the society in Changsha and asked Mao to help him. Mao and Tsai Ho-sen helped select students to be sent to France, but Mao wanted recruiting standards changed and engaged in a combative correspondence with the headquarters of the society in Peking. Mao did not feel that aptitude of languages alone should qualify for recruitment. He urged assessment of conduct, ideals and especially 'willingness to serve the country'.
It was Mao who suggested that women should also be recruited.... (....)
Mao's insistence that woman were also human beings inspired him to write lengthy articles championing their cause, notably The Woman’s Revolutionary Army, in the Hsiang Chiang Review; which he was to found in Changsha. Its first issue was on
14 July 1919. In the third issue he appealed to women's suffrage, railed against the unequal demand of women's chastity – 'Where are the arches of chastity to men?[5]'
It was a social revolutionary if not a Marxist, a fighter against traditional oppression, a challenger of abuses, the unpaid teacher of workers and small clerks, a speaker, a debater, a writer of articles, a champion of women's rights, an ascetic athlete and a patriot that MaoTsetung, in those five years at the Normal College, exercised a growing influence upon his contemporaries.[6]” 

….learning the achievements of an already reasonable successful revolution that has taken place

“Mao had spent only 160 Chinese dollars (this sum included his numerous registration fees) during his five years at the Changsha Normal College, one third on newspapers and journals. He did not ask for money from his father to go to Peking, but borrowed from friends. He went much of the way on foot, and managed to walk round Lake Tungting – at low level a circumference of
155 miles. On his trip he did also social investigation and research, for he stopped in farmhouses earning food and lodging by lending a hand in the labour, or writing calligraphic slogans of good omen, to paste on doors or festivals. (...)
When Mao arrived at Peking there were a good many Hunanese intellectuals already there. Soon he was calling on Professor Yang  Chang-chi, who was overjoyed to see him. (....) Yang (...) introduced Mao Tse-Tung to Li Ta-chao, then university librarian at Peking University. Mao was penniless and needed a job; Yang Chang-chi asked Li Ta-chao to help him.
Mao admired Li Ta-chao, whose articles in New Youth he had read; but Li Ta-chao seems at first to have paid little attention to him.(...) 

Li Ta-chao, eminent, brilliant, mercurial, was the first intellectual in China to praise the Russian Revolution of October 1917; he is described as having the first to introduce Marxist thought to China's intelligentsia. Although young – Li Ta-chao was thirty when Mao was twenty-five- he had a great reputation for progressive ideas and personal courage. He believed that a renaissance could be achieved only by discarding the suffocating moralities and values of the past. He likened the hampering of thought which the classics imposed upon the minds of students to 'bound-foot' women. At first attracted by the Western liberal democratic system, he had turned away from it because of the contradiction between the pious homilies of Western democracy and its ruthless exploitation of China. He denounced the economic stranglehold of Western finance; was one of the first to write and lecture about Lenin and to translate Lenin into Chinese. He was especially impressed by Lenin's The State and Revolution. Like Lenin, Li Ta-chao stressed the need for arousal of 'awareness' in the masses. 'Education of the masses' was essential for revolutionary results of a lasting kind. Li Ta-chao wrote and talked about this a great deal, and Mao Tsetung had certainly been influenced by Li's ideas, and through Li, by Lenin to a greater extent than by any other philosopher of Communism. (...)
Li Ta-chao was killed in 1927[7], possible unaware that the diffident young Hunanese man who had come to him for a job would be leader of the revolution Li Ta-chao ardently desired and died for. (...)
In the library of Peking University Mao's job consisted in fetching books required, checking the titles, writing  down the names of borrowers and those who came to read newspapers or magazines.(...)
This job provided Mao with insight into the vanity and egotism of the intellectual who talked of humanism and socialism yet cut himself off from the wretched masses of the poor. Abstract terminology the intelligentsia dealt with skilfully, but they would never have dreamed of investigating the beggars' hovels in the filth and garbage just outside the city walls, where Mao went. (...)
'I joined the society of philosophy and the journalism society.' These gave him the right to sit in on courses at the back of the lecture rooms, coming in quietly after all the others.[8]” 

A conscious choice of being or becoming a part of the exploited is essential for your later revolutionary ideology

“Mao thus met Chen Kung-po, a fellow student then, who became a Communist but reneged and became a Chang Kai-shek supporter; Tan Ping-shan, who became a Communist and later a member of a 'third party'; Shao Piao-ping, very earnest, very excitable, somewhat anarchistic (but in those early days this tendency was easily acquired), who helped Mao greatly and was killed in 1926; Chang Kuo-tao, who became a Communist, bitterly opposed Mao during the Long March, later defected to the Kuomintang, and is now in Canada; Kang Pei-chen, who joined the Ku Klux Klan in California; Tuan Hsi-peng, later to become vice-minister of education in Chiang Kai-shek's government. Once Mao tried to talk to the famous Dr Hu Shih, but the latter ignored him. And he met Chen Tu-hsiu, the prestigious editor of New Youth, the magazine which had radicalised a whole generation, the magazine Mao Tsetung read from cover to cover and for which he had already written articles under his usual pseudonym, the twenty-eight stroke man.
Many years later, in an interview, Hu Shih would say to some American friends: ' Mao Tsetung was quite remarkable ... All young people then were members of a Young China Study Society[9]; they were all interested in politics. Mao Tsetung was one of them. When I was at Peking University, he asked to be allowed to sit in on classes. As a prose writer, Mao was superb. No one could equal him.'
Mao Tsetung read all that Li Ta-chao wrote on Marxism and joined the Marxist Study Group,
founded by Li, towards the end of 1918. 'Under Li Ta-chao, I developed rapidly towards Marxism.' He also acknowledged his debt to Chen Tu-shiu, who was then thirty-nine years old. 'He influenced me perhaps more than anyone else.' For a long time Mao Tsetung thought Chen Tu-hsiu an outstanding revolutionary. Chen was to be the first, but not the last, of Mao's disappointing experiences with 'bourgeois radicals', revolutionaries and friends he would look up to and trust, and find to be unscrupulous opportunists. (....)
Mao began a series of social investigations among workers on the Peking-Hankow railway. Mao visited them, going as far as Chang Hsin Tien railway station, nine-three miles south. Today in one of Peking’s important machine plants, the 7 February plant, there are still old workers who recall how Mao Tsetung came to see them. Some of these workers became Communist trade unionists and took part in the Communist-led railway strikes of the 1920s. Some were sent to France by Mao on the work and study programme in 1921. (...)
It was then April 1919[10]

[1] Siao Yu,author of Mao Tsetung and I Were Beggars, op. cit.
[2] Ho Shu-heng was to be a founder of the Chinese Communist Party. He was executed in 1935 by Chiang Kai-shek.
[3] The three ideograms of his name, Mao Tsetung, are written with twenty-eight strokes of the brush.
[4] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[5] It was the custom to erect an arch to a virtuous widow who had remained chaste all her life; also to a young girl who, once betrothed,, remain unwed and virgin till her own death if her husband-to-be died before the wedding.
[6] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[7] He was strangled in the wave of massacres of Communists that swept over China in that year.
[8] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[9] A society founded by Li Ta-chao, to which Mao adhered.
[10] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chines Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890