The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution 1925-27

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018

Most people know about Mao’s rise to power in 1949, leading an army consisting predominantly of peasant recruits. Few are aware that in 1927 there was a mass revolutionary upheaval in China centered on peasant rebellions in the countryside and mass strikes in China’s new industrial cities. Stalin ordered the young Chinese Communist Party to enter the nationalist Guomindang and agree to submit to its discipline, even though its nationalist leader, Chiang Kai Shek, opposed workers’ and peasant demands. On March 21, 1927 six hundred thousand workers struck in Shanghai, effectively paralyzing the city. Chiang held back his advance some 25 miles outside the city while thugs under a local warlord assaulted the mass movement. When Chiang entered the city, he unleashed a reign of terror, crushing the workers’ movement, and forcing the CP out of China’s cities.

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