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Online Lecture: Was Mao a Marxist?

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A session with Dr. Jenny Clegg on how Mao adapted Marxist ideology to drive the Chinese peasant revolution 1925-1949.

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Was Mao a Marxist? Mao and the Chinese peasant revolution (1925-1949)

One hundred years ago, on July 1st 1921, the Communist Party of China was founded by a handful of people who, for the sake of secrecy, held their first meeting on a boat on a lake to the south of Shanghai. Today, the CPC is a huge organisation with a membership of 91 million people.The CPC came to power with the support of the vast majority of the population: the peasants. The Party had come to understand that agrarian transformation was the main content of the Chinese revolution and the peasants its main force. Many on the Left still to this day under-rate Mao as little more than a peasant leader.This session will on the contrary discuss how Mao, through the sinification of Marxism, came to develop his distinctive policies and ‘mass line’ approach as he figured out ways to address the challenges of the Chinese revolution and social transformation through engaging in the revolutionary process in the countryside. Marking out the differences between Mao, Stalin and Trotsky, it will further consider the relationship between the national and the agrarian revolution.What are the lessons for us to draw on today from the Chinese experience of revolution?

Dr Jenny Clegg is an academic, activist and long term China specialist. Her PhD on China’s peasants in revolution was awarded by the University of Manchester in 1989. A revised version will be published later this year by Praxis Press.

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Organiser Marx Memorial Library

Organiser of Online Lecture: Was Mao a Marxist?

Since our foundation in 1933 the Marx Memorial Library has been at the heart of the British labour movement advancing education, knowledge and learning in all aspects of the science of Marxism, the history of socialism and the working class.

www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk

37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

020 7253 1485

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