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Vanguard of the RevolutionThe Global Idea of the Communist Party$
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A. James McAdams

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196428.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Revolution Returns

The Revolution Returns

(p.337) Chapter 10 The Revolution Returns
Vanguard of the Revolution

A. James McAdams

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates how some of Mao Zedong's deputies had different ideas about what was, and was not, required for the successful construction of socialism. In fact, years later, in the late 1970s and 1980s, their conceptions of single-party rule would lead China down a path that was much less turbulent than the years of Maoist supremacy. Here, the difference between Mao's view of the party's destiny and a major strand of Marxist thought is not as great as it appears at first glance. At the heart of his thinking, Mao shared with predecessors like Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, and Leon Trotsky the instinctive distrust of all political organizations, the party included. Such human constructs threatened to sap the revolutionary moment's potential. Later, and even more than these iconic figures, Mao extended his animosity beyond the state to the party. But his target was the organizational party, not the idea of the revolutionary group that he had cultivated in Yan'an. Far from abandoning this conviction, he aggressively returned to it again and again after the People's Republic of China's founding.

Keywords:   Mao Zedong, Chinese Communist Party, CCP, socialism, organizational party, revolutionary group, human constructs

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