The Sino-Soviet Split

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, US History
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The Sino-Soviet Split

The Concepts 

Socialism: – Not just a theory  Theoretical expression of the interests of the bureaucracy of a workers' state. – Stalin – Created an unintended contradiction – A “Workers” state…one state – This became known as Stalinism

 The problem? Socialism could be spread to more than one state.

– Khrushchev and Mao exchange several insults regarding Stalin’s theory. – Khrushchev pulls aid from China in August 1960. The split begins.

Before we get started 

Stalin was in power from 1922 - 1953 – Believed in “Socialism in One Country.”

 Thesis developed by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and adopted as state policy by Joseph Stalin.  Held that given the defeat of all communist revolutions in Europe from 1917–1921 except in Russia, the Soviet Union should begin to strengthen itself internally.

– Was not so much a virtue as it was more a necessity – We have to strengthen within or we might fail altogether. Isolationist in nature. – Lenin said that revolution in one country is insufficient – Leninism. Stalin originally agreed, but realized it was not “doable”.



Khrushchev hated Socialism in One Country, Mao loved it.

And we continue Trotsky vehemently opposed Stalin.  Those who consider Stalin (as well as Mao Zedong) as the proper ideological descendants of Marx, Engels and Lenin, often countered Trotsky's arguments. 

– Trotskyist view is basically the same as asking the world's working class to "wait" while socialism is constructed in the most powerful and industrialized nations first, before even attempting socialist revolutions in non-industrialized areas, even if class tensions are at a good point for revolution in the latter

The Split 

The “content” of the split? – National at its source  The basic concept of who the bureaucracy should be controlled by…workers or farmers.

– Ramifications?  Spawned splits in other Communist parties around the globe.

– Created really 2 centers for Communism: Moscow and Beijing.

So why the split? 

Was it really national in origin? – Not so much:  The revolutions themselves were drastically different – Bolshevik Revolution of 1918 - Workers – Chinese Civil War which ended in 1949 – Peasants

 Consider the implications: – Workers – Where are they located? – Peasants – Where are they located?

Major differences in politics 

Geopolitical differences: – 1956-1960: Soviet national resources were at a point where they had to expand imports from other markets.  China was at an earlier stage in development

– Dominant role of peasantry in China vs. Workers in USSR – Different perspective in relation to imperialism - the USSR now felt less threatened, both internally and externally, but wanted trade with the West, while the Chinese rightly felt immediately threatened by imperialism.  the leaders of the Chinese Revolution were trained in the Comintern during the 'struggle against Trotskyism' and the purging of the Chinese Left Opposition and never questioned the fundamental correctness of Stalin’s line – Big ol’ mistake.

The Great Leap Forward 

Mao Zedong – 1958-1961  Makes Mao fairly controversial in China



The Basics: – It was a “leap forward” into industrialization in China. A shift towards industry away from agrarian interests.



Background – Following the end of the civil war, the Chinese redistributed land to the peasants. – The Soviets helped with the technical components of this. Why?

The Problem’s begin The Soviets needed the Chinese in the 40’s and 50’s, especially with the isolation of the global markets.  They had economic interests, political interests, and military interests (Think Vietnam and Korea here.)  In 1953, the Communist Party in China and government officials were all graded on a twenty-six level hierarchy, with information, privileges and salaries.  For the first time in history, China seemed to have a strong and stable national government. 

Problems continue: Khrushchev breaks with Stalin 

Denounces Stalin’s regime as criminal in 1956 – Denounces “personality cult.” – Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin’s crimes was perceived by the Chinese Stalinist leadership as extremely threatening  they were drawing the ideological justification for their policy from Stalin’s role in Soviet history

– Mao was attempting to wear Stalin’s pants just as Khrushchev was smearing Stalin’s pants with mud. 

Khrushchev basically says Stalin should not have purged the military ranks and upper party echelons…i.e. Trotsky.

On a side note: How was Stalin criminal? 

1937–1938 (the peak of the period known as the Great Purge) over one and a half million individuals were arrested for "antiSoviet activities", of whom over 680,000 were executed.

The Problem manifests itself 

Don’t forget – The Soviet economy had taken a turn for the worst.  They needed outside help

– This alarms Mao.  He felt like the Soviet economy was being allowed to fall behind and immediately blames Khrushchev.  He feels Khrushchev is identifying with the Imperialists by opening up trade policies and such.

– These policies meant for Mao that China had to be prepared to go it alone, and that the time was ripe for a 'Great Leap Forward'.

So the Great Leap Forward moves forward 

Borrowed Soviet elements – Forced “collectivization.”  This was borrowed from Stalin’s “3rd Period.”

– Ultra-centralization expressed through an exaggerated cult of the leader – Stakhanovism from the early 30s and workers' brigades from the “military communism” period. – Finally: the uniquely Chinese policy of establishing communes as relatively self-sufficient economic units, incorporating light industry and construction projects.

Implications of the first 5 years 

Success – led the Chinese leadership to believe that the perspective of 'catching up and overtaking' the capitalist powers could be achieved at break-neck speed. – The perspective also expressed the desire of the Chinese to secure their national independence by overcoming the legacy of backwardness.

Khrushchev, you aren’t helping… The policy of the “great Leap Forward” was imposing considerable hardship on the people.  It didn’t help them at all to have 'Comrade Khrushchev' encouraging other comrades to look critically at the historical dogma upon which the GLF was based on.  Hungarian uprising was practical proof of the conclusions that workers could draw from Khrushchev’s statements. 

Disastrous 



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The plan failed disastrously. Misconceived, based as it was upon bureaucratic command and the utopian perspective of building Socialism in isolation in a backward country. No regard for a planned development of all sectors of the economy. The entire population produced one commodity, symbolic of industrialisation - steel. Harvests were allowed to rot. Factories, schools and hospitals abandoned their work to smelt iron. Simultaneously, the peasants were collectivized. The collective farms were provided with ample food via communal canteens to ease the way. But stocks were soon exhausted, and by the time food ran out, it was too late to rescue the harvest. Ten million people died in one year as a result of the disastrous harvests. An estimated 30 million died of famine during the period of the Great Leap Forward. – Next page has a footnote for this:

Footnote! 

‘Official’ history, both Western and Maoist, puts the series of failed harvests down to an unfortunate series of natural disasters. Either way, no-one can draw any conclusion other than that the policy was ill-conceived. Khrushchev’s policies during the same period were very similar, and were marked by many of the same absurdities and resulting disastrous failures.

Great Leap Forward is over The ideological dispute rapidly escalated into a split.  Khrushchev withdrew Soviet technical support to China in August 1960.  This was the final blow for the Great Leap Forward, which was abandoned a few months later. 

After the Leap The failure of the Great Leap Forward was a huge blow for the CCP and Mao Zedong.  However, Chinese people had made their own revolution. 

– United the country and freed China from foreign intervention. – Thousand million members of the Chinese Revolution.  This represented an enormous social force, independent of imperialism and independent of the Soviet bureaucracy.  Within a couple of years of the abandonment of the Great Leap Forward, the Chinese economy was able to recover itself, and by the end of 1962 China was relatively peaceful, stable and economically sound.

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