Des­tiny Ig­nited by His­tory

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Li Xia

On July 23, 1921, the First Na­tional Con­gress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) con­vened in a res­i­den­tial build­ing in the French con­ces­sion area of Shang­hai, herald­ing the birth of the CPC.

More than seven decades ear­lier in Fe­bru­ary 1848, Marx and En­gels’ The Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo was pub­lished in Lon­don. The work an­nounced the aims and ten­den­cies of com­mu­nists openly for the whole world to un­der­stand. The book has be­come a po­lit­i­cal stan­dard stud­ied around the globe and cher­ished by com­mu­nist par­ties all over the world.

In the 19th Cen­tury, a cap­i­tal­ist tide swept across the West, cre­at­ing a mas­sive pool of work­ers sub­sist­ing on wages earned by sell­ing their la­bor. With the ex­ten­sive us­age of ma­chin­ery and spe­cific di­vi­sion of la­bor, work­ers be­came in­dis­tin­guish­able from ma­chines, as de­picted in Char­lie Chap­lin’s Mod­ern Times. The bour­geoisie be­gan ar­bi­trar­ily ex­ploit­ing the sur­plus value of la­bor­ers at the min­i­mal cost of ba­sic, nec­es­sary means of sub­sis­tence. Count­less work­ers fell into ex­treme poverty. As Marx de­clared in The Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo, “not only has the bour­geoisie forged the weapons that bring death to it­self; it has also called into ex­is­tence the men who are to wield those weapons—the mod­ern work­ing class—the pro­le­tar­i­ans.” The strug­gle of the work­ing class against the bour­geoisie emerged and has con­tin­ued ever since. Marx pre­dicted that the pro­le­tar­i­ans— cre­ated by the bour­geoisie— would bring about the lat­ter’s own demise while lib­er­at­ing mankind.

That pre­dic­tion came to fruition in Europe in the late 19th Cen­tury: Work­ing-class par­ties em­braced so­cial­ism and com­mu­nism at a stun­ning speed. Marx­ist the­o­ries were sys­tem­at­i­cally in­ter­preted and be­came the doc­trine of work­ing-class par­ties. Marx’s dec­la­ra­tion that the work­ing class, or­ga­nized by com­mu­nist par­ties, would cre­ate a glo­ri­ous fu­ture and ul­ti­mately emerge vic­to­ri­ous be­came widely ac­cepted. Rus­sia’s Oc­to­ber Rev­o­lu­tion of 1917 fur­ther con­sol­i­dated pub­lic con­fi­dence in the vic­tory of com­mu­nism. Af­ter the end of World War I in 1918, Europe was left in sham­bles. The revo­lu­tion­ary tide that started in Moscow swept across the world.

In the 19th Cen­tury, fol­low­ing re­lent­less ag­gres­sion by Western pow­ers and a chronic spread of cor­rup­tion among the coun­try’s feu­dal rulers, China was grad­u­ally re­duced to a semi-colo­nial, semi-feu­dal so­ci­ety. The land of China was laid to waste, the peo­ple de­scended into mis­ery, and the Chi­nese na­tion ex­pe­ri­enced suf­fer­ing on an un­prece­dented scale. In 1919, to protest against the ex­ploita­tive treaty im­posed on China at the Paris Peace Con­fer­ence, the May Fourth Move­ment broke out, stir­ring up another revo­lu­tion­ary tide in China soon af­ter the Rev­o­lu­tion of 1911.

Af­ter the May Fourth Move­ment, with myr­iad ideas and the­o­ries swarm­ing into China from abroad, Chi­nese in­tel­lec­tu­als de­ter­mined to over­throw im­pe­ri­al­ist and feu­dal rule and achieve prosperity grad­u­ally be­gan re­al­iz­ing that Marx­ism most ac­cu­rately iden­ti­fied the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man so­ci­ety and pro­vided the­o­ries for so­cial rev­o­lu­tion that would op­pose im­peri- al­ism and feu­dal­ism in fa­vor of build­ing a pros­per­ous, strong China. Even­tu­ally, ually, they em­braced Marx­ism as the ide­o­log­i­cal og­i­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal weapon which would serve as the foun­da­tion for the CPC.

Dur­ing the May Fourth Move­ment, ve­ment, stu­dents, in­tel­lec­tu­als and ur­ban work­ers joined hands against im­pe­ri­al­ism lism and feu­dal­ism.

Chi­nese so­ci­ety started a long ng jour­ney to­wards mod­ern­iza­tion with the West­ern­iza­tion Move­ment dur­ing the late e Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911). China’s mod­ern odern in­dus­try sprouted dur­ing the move­ment ve­ment and com­pleted a gi­ant stride for­ward ward af­ter the Rev­o­lu­tion of 1911, cre­at­ing the coun­try’s first gen­er­a­tion of mod­ern in­dus­trial ndus­trial work­ers who be­came a ma­jor col­lec­tive llec­tive force in cities. Thanks to the de­vel­op­ment vel­op­ment of mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion around the Rev­o­lu­tion of 1911, a group of young in­tel­lec­tu­als ctu­als with new ideas and philoso­phies emerged, rged, some of whom be­came lead­ers who changed hanged the fate of China. Sens­ing the revo­lu­tion­ary ution­ary spirit and pow­er­ful strength of the he Chi­nese work­ing class, those in­tel­lec­tu­als s be­gan to dis­sem­i­nate Marx­ism amongst t Chi­nese work­ers and play an ac­tive role in n so­cial move­ments. Their en­deav­ors fa­cil­i­tated il­i­tated the in­te­gra­tion of Marx­ism and work­ers’ move­ments in China, lay­ing the ground­work for the even­tual found­ing of the CPC.

In Oc­to­ber 1920, Li Dazhao (18891927), a cen­tral found­ing mem­ber r of the CPC, es­tab­lished an early com­mu­nist unist or­ga­ni­za­tion in Beijing. Soon, com­mu­nist unist or­ga­ni­za­tions mush­roomed in cities in­clud­ing nclud­ing Wuhan, Chang­sha, Ji­nan and Guangzhou, angzhou, as well as amongst over­seas Chi­nese ese peo­ple

liv­ing in Ja­pan and France, cre­at­ing a strong or­ga­ni­za­tional foun­da­tion for the Party.

On July 23, 1921, with the help of the Com­mu­nist In­ter­na­tional, 13 del­e­gates rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­nist groups across China gath­ered in Shang­hai to con­vene the First Na­tional Con­gress of the CPC. The meet­ing ad­vanced the revo­lu­tion­ary pro­gram to “unite work­ers, peas­ants and sol­diers to over­throw the po­lit­i­cal power of the cap­i­tal­ist class” and con­firmed that the fun­da­men­tal po­lit­i­cal goal of the Party was to “carry out so­cial rev­o­lu­tion.” The con­gress marked the birth of a united pro­le­tar­ian party guided by Marx­ism-lenin­ism and fo­cus­ing on the re­al­iza­tion of so­cial­ism and com­mu­nism in China.

At a time of un­prece­dented so­cial cri­sis with the Chi­nese peo­ple smoth­ered by do­mes­tic tur­moil and for­eign ag­gres­sion, the CPC was born of an in­te­gra­tion of Marx­ism-lenin­ism and the Chi­nese work­ers’ move­ment. Its found­ing was the in­evitable re­sult of the evo­lu­tion of Chi­nese so­ci­ety and the de­vel­op­ment of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nist move­ment.

On July 1, 2016, in a speech at a cer­e­mony mark­ing the 95th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the CPC, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, com­mented, “The emer­gence of a com­mu­nist party in our coun­try was an epoch-mak­ing event, which pro­foundly changed the course of Chi­nese his­tory in mod­ern times, the fate and fu­ture of the Chi­nese peo­ple and na­tion, and the di­rec­tion and pat­tern of world de­vel­op­ment.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.