(North America); July 2000
"UPON THE CURRENT SITUATION, UNITY, AND IDEOLOGY - AN OPEN LETTER TO LUDO MARTENS; "PARTI DU TRAVAIL" BELGIUM;
ALLIANCE (ML)(North America); COMMUNIST LEAGUE (Britain);
MARXIST-LENINIST COMMUNIST PARTY (Turkey).
Editor Hari Kumar; First Publication March 1996; Great Britain.
PART ONE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
TABLE CONTENTS (& original page numbers)
NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION FROM CHINESE SCRIPT. . . . . . .. .7
INTRODUCTION .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . ..7
THE ROLE OF IDEOLOGY - WHAT IS BEHIND DISUNITY? . . . ..11
1. THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
A) THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL - THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING MENS'
ASSOCIATION (FORMED 1867) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .14
(B) LENIN AND THE FORMATION OF THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 19
SEE PART TWO FOR:
2. UPON MAO ZE DONG "THOUGHT" & MARXISM-LENINISM 25
A) MAO AND STAGES OF THE REVOLUTION IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES ... . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. .. . . . .. .. . . . .. . . . .26
B) STALIN AND THE CHINESE REVOLUTION . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 33
SEE PART THREE FOR:
C) MAO ZE DONG ON NEW DEMOCRACY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 54
D) RELATIONS WITH THE KUOMINTANG AND THE USA . . . . .66
3. THE PRC AND MAO'S NEW STATE . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . ..76
A) THE CLASS ALLIANCE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY.
WHAT FACTIONS WERE THERE IN THE CCP?
i) No Marxist-Leninists left in the CC of CCP
ii) The capitalists who leaned to the "Soviet" Russian camp
iii) The uncompromising national Capitalist class
iv) The national capitalists who leaned to the USA
B) THE CCP CONSOLIDATES THE CAPITALIST CLASSES . . .. . . 79
i) In The Countryside
ii) In The City
C) DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FACTIONS . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 84
i) THE CULT OF PERSONALITY OF MAO ZE DONG
ii) MAOS ATTACKS ON THE PARTY
iii) MAO WEAKENS INDUSTRIAL FORCES OF CHINA
4. THE 20TH CONGRESS CRITICISM OF STALIN . . . . . . . .. . . . . .92
5. MAO'S FOREIGN POLICY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . .. . .98
A NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION.
We follow here, the pinyin system of romanization. This was introduced in the 1930's by Soviet East Asian users in the 1930's (J.Spence :The Search For Modern China; New York; 1990; p.xxv). This is now the official system employed in China itself (See: "The Politics of China"; Ed Roderick MacFarquhar; Cambridge; 1993; p.vii).
The older version of romanization was the Wade-Giles system. This has been in the main superseded in
most current texts.
This may lead to some confusion for comrades familiar with the previous transliteration. It means, for instance, that Mao Tse Tung is referred to in the text as Mao Zedong, except when quoting from the published work from Peking, (In pin yin this is Beijing) that is known as "The Collected Works of Mao Tse Tung".
Another exception is made, keeping with the Wade-Giles naming. This is where the names are much more familiarly rendered in Wades-Giles rather than the newer pin yin. Notably for instance, Canton, Peking (not Beijing), Kuomintang (KMT) (not Guomindang), and Chiang Kai-Shek. Admittedly this all may lead to some confusion for comrades more familiar with the previous transliteration form.
THEREFORE, TO ASSIST IN THIS MATTER, THIS PAGE CONTAINS THE TWO FORMS, IF THEY HAVE BEEN USED HERE IN THE PINYIN SYSTEM; SIDE BY SIDE, AS A REFERENCE.
PIN YIN WADES-GILES
PEOPLE'S NAMES Mao ZeDong Mao Tse Tung
Liu Shaoqi Liu Shao-chi
Deng Xiaoping Teng Hsiao-ping
Zhou Enlai Chou En Lai
Peng Zhen Peng Chen
Zhu De Chu The
Peng Dehuai Peng Te-Huai
PLACE NAMES Yangzi Yangtze
UPON UNITY AND IDEOLOGY : AN OPEN LETTER TO COMRADE LUDO MARTENS; "PARTI DU TRAVAIL" BELGIUM
We recently received : "For The Unity of All Communists In Defence of Proletarian Internationalism"; a speech and Report to the Seminary March 1995, 9-12; India; given by Ludo Martens for the "Parti Du Travail" of Belgium (PTB).
Yeltsin's coup finally splintered the revisionist former USSR. Finally "extreme" right revisionism was given its death blow. Intense, and long overdue discussion in the Marxist-Leninist movement world wide ensued. On the many fronts of the "Marxist-Leninist" Left, the calls for unity of Comrade Ludo Martens and the "Parti Du Travail" (PTB) are well known.
The PTB called for a full discussion. Unfortunately, at a recent meeting, full discussion was not
permitted. Comrade Bill Bland Of the COMMUNIST LEAGUE (CL) (UK); had been invited to the May 1995 meeting in Brussels. But he was denied full speaking rights as he was not silent on the LEFT
REVISIONISM OF MAO ZE DONG. We re-print, the CL statement on this. No rebuttal by the PTB, is available that we can print alongside. What does this refusal to allow Bland to speak mean?
It suggests that discussion on Mao Ze Dong is "off limits" for some brands of Marxist-Leninists.
These Maoists are threatened by full and open discussion. This was eloquently expressed by the
MARXIST LENINIST COMMUNIST PARTY (FOUNDATION) [MLCP(F)]; OF TURKEY. This is also re-printed here. Again, we are not aware of any rebuttal from PTB that can be published here.
We applaud all this. But, we are puzzled why Comrade Martens stops where he does; having
exposed Mao Ze Dong on key issues, Comrade Martens still states Mao Ze Dong was a
Marxist-Leninists, including Comrade Martens, argue that Khrushchevism destroyed the ex-USSR.
To do so, Khrushchev and all revisionists distorted our history. It is essential, to correct these
distortions. Comrade Martens provides the start of a needed reassessment of Mao. We add to these
comments. We wish to assist the desire of Comrade Martens for unity, towards a new international.
But for us, the unity of Marxist-Leninists is only possible on the basis of a frank, factual and
principled discussion. Only then can this desire for unity, be cultivated into an edible fruit. Much
"manure" and fertiliser abounds. But hard work is needed - the soil needs tilling and watering.
Many comrades say that the great Internationals became great because the working class parties
were united. The refrain then comes: "UNITE! " Lenin fostered unity in the midst of a sea of
squabbles. But this world unity was built only on the base of a Communist Programme in Russia.
This was implemented following a long and intense discussion to hone the Iskra line. This gave rise
to the Third international. We do not have this base now. We must re-build it, using history. This does
not begin by ignoring facts. For Marxist-Leninists, history explains facts.
THE ROLE OF IDEOLOGY - WHAT IS BEHIND DISUNITY?
One cause of disunity is personality; where someone's ego demands authority. This exists in
quarters. But, it does not explain fully disunity. We reject this as a primary explanation. A Second
cause for disunity, is that in the previous pro-Russian revisionist "Communist Parties", workers were
discouraged from discussion. A period of confusion now, is unsurprising. But workers thirst for
knowledge about "What Happened to the USSR?" Therefore this is not a sufficient explanation for
The primary reason for division, amongst those who regard themselves as Marxist-Leninists is an
inadequate political level which permits demagogues to mislead the movement and sow disunity. It
must never be forgotten that the imperialists are rich and powerful, and that they are implacably
opposed to Marxism-Leninism and socialism, and that it is far easier and cheaper for them to disrupt
the building of a Marxist-Leninist party than to destroy such a party after it has been established.
Revisionism diluted ideological training, but this should not be so for Marxist-Leninists. Disunity
exists, it must be rooted in political differences, and these must be openly discussed. Otherwise,
petty personality opinions and authoritarian dictates will decide ideological differences.
Comrade Martens states that previous divisions between the various brands of »Marxist-Leninist«
(pro-Chinese; pro-Albanian; pro- Castro etc) - are irrelevant now. We need now... "unity.
COMRADE MARTENS BASES THIS CALL UPON THESE CONTENTIONS :
1. The pioneers of Communist history, Marx and Engels, then Lenin believed that Unity above all was
the first criteria for the First and Third International, respectively.
2. Marxist-Leninists follow Mao Ze Dong. Mao did make errors, but was a Marxist-Leninist; justifying
the term - "Marxism-Leninism-Mao Ze Dong Thought".
WE EXAMINE THESE CONTENTIONS BELOW.
First we will show that Marx and Engels; then Lenin made clear distinctions between progressive
and working class based views and retrogressive and petty bourgeois views, when forming their
internationals. This has obvious implications for us now.
Secondly we examine the justification of the term "Marxism-Leninism; Mao Ze Dong Thought".
IN BRIEF WE WILL ARGUE THAT MAO WAS FAR FROM A MARXIST-LENINIST.
In this introduction, only one key comparison between Mao and Marxist- Leninists is needed. Let us
compare the view of the STATE as seen by Lenin and that seen by Mao in his theory of the New
Democratic State. Whereas Mao states :
Here in contrast is Lenin :
Only states that establish the dictatorship of the proletariat will make a transition from capitalism to
socialism. All other states are variants of bourgeois states. If the state arising after a victorious
national democratic revolution, does not move from the first stage of the revolution, to the second
socialist stage, that state will only fulfill the democratic stage at best. Marxist-Leninists have always
argued to go to the second stage "uninterruptedly". Lenin said :
WE WILL ARGUE THAT:
1 . THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONALS
(A) THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL - THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING MENS' ASSOCIATION
How was the First International established in 1867, and how did it operate? Lenin recognised this
as a crucial question. The history of the First International shows us that intense ideological struggle
occurred, at the birth of the international movement.
The COMMUNIST LEAGUE, formed by Marx and Engels, was the first working peoples party in the world anywhere. (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels : 'Collected Works' ; Moscow, 1976: [Hereafter : M&E CW] Vol 6: p.96-103). Engels formulated articles of membership for this pioneering party. He brooked no compromise on the principles required to form a new party. These principles had been worked out, by Marx and Engels, in the heat of theoretical and practical battles with many enemies of scientific socialism.
In his "Draft Of A Communist Confession Of Faith" June 1847, Engels distinguishes upon an
ideological basis, the COMMUNISTS from the UTOPIANS. This Draft became known as the
COMMUNIST CREDO. (M&E CW; Vol 6: Ibid, p.477-519). Later the demands of the struggle forced Marx and Engels, to write a Programme : "THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO" of 1848.
The "Credo" and the "Communist Manifesto" underwent a very long gestation. This was the many
IDEOLOGICAL attacks launched by Marx and Engels against incorrect theories, such as those of
Proudhon, a French petit-bourgeois intellectual, whose views then carried some weight in the
French workers movement. These ideological and theoretical battles formed the background for
internationalism.(M&E CW: Vol 6 "Poverty of Philosophy"; 1847; p.105-212).
Marx and Engels then formed the "International Working Men's Association" in 1867, which rapidly
became feared by the bourgeoisie. Even then the ideological battle was not over. Within the First
International, fierce struggles were necessary against both right reformist trends with in the
International emanating in part from Trade Unionism; and against Left factional attacks from MIKHAIL
BAKUNIN and his anarchist ideology. Bakunin's views were a :
Bakunin having established a rival to the First International, then demanded the right of admission of his "International Alliance of Socialist Democracy" into the First International. How did Marx explain these anti-working class trends?
Obviously the movement has developed since then. Equally obviously there are a number of "very diverse forms" that reflects the whole development of the movement and of revisionism.Internationally, there were a host of parties, just as there are now. How did Marx and Engels proceed against the different anti-proletarian trends? Inside Germany, an old enemy of Marx and Engels, FERDINAND LASSALLE had been exposed as an opportunist phrase monger. But Lassalle continued to exert influence in the German workers movement. The leaders of the SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC WORKERS' PARTY OF GERMANY (EISENACHERS), pandered to this influence, by trying to "Unite" with the Lassallean party, the GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN WORKERS. They proposed a new programme that would unite these two parties - the GOTHA PROGRAMME.
Marx and Engels, who had not been consulted on this step, were highly critical of this "dilution" of principle for paper unity. They rejected any compromise on principles in order to either form, or expand the party. They heavily criticised this bow to Lassallean views. They attacked the Gotha Programme:
Internationally, there were a host of parties, just as there are now. How did Marx and Engels proceed against the different anti-proletarian trends? Inside Germany, an old enemy of Marx and Engels, FERDINAND LASSALLE had been exposed as an opportunist phrase monger. But Lassalle continued to exert influence in the German workers movement. The leaders of the SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC WORKERS' PARTY OF GERMANY (EISENACHERS), pandered to this influence, by trying to »unite« with the Lassallean party, the GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN WORKERS. They proposed a new programme that would unite these two parties - the GOTHA PROGRAMME.
Marx and Engels, who had not been consulted on this step, were highly critical of this "dilution" of principle for paper unity. They rejected any compromise on principles in order to either form, or expand the party. They heavily criticised this bow to Lassallean views. They attacked the Gotha Programme :
These are not trivial matters! Engels concludes :
Now, Ferdinand Lassalle means little to us. But Lassalle posed important practical and theoretical obstacles for Marx and Engels. In resolving them, they formed our ideological foundations; and strengthened the International and the Peoples' Party. Later TROTSKY and PLEKHANOV posed different problems. In refuting these Lenin and Stalin forged the Bolsheviks, further laying a theory for us. Ideological analysis and debate, forms Marxist-Leninist theory.
BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL?
The English trades unions initially provided much impetus to the First International. But then the Bakuninist machinations were supported by the reformist leading elements of the trade unionists. Bakunin's demands had to be exposed. At the Hague Congress of the International, Bakunin and his ally Guillaume were expelled for:
Despite Bakunin's expulsion for factional activity, the anarchist-reformist bloc had enabled the reformist trade unionists to take this opportunity to attack Marx and Engels. Engels pointed out, despite the expulsion of Bakunin, there were major divisions in the International that forced decisive action:
The First International was therefore moved to New York. But this proved to be its dissolution. This dissolution was the end result of an un-holy alliance; a "Unity" of sectarian anarchist trends represented by Mikhail Bakunin, and social reformism of the Trade union aristocracy. Bakunin's factionalism, had forced the shift of First International away from Marx and Engels' direct control; and away from the radical influence of the masses of the workers in the English and German trades unions. Lenin described the new stage :
Lenin summarised the work of the First International :
(B) LENIN AND THE FORMATION OF THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL
The 2nd International was started in 1889 with the participation of Engels. However, it too was dissolved, in 1914. What was Lenins' assessment of The Second International?
The collapse of the Second International reflected the rise of opportunism :
This created the need for a new International. This need was fulfilled after the Bolshevik Revolution :
Its formation was greeted by dismay by the Opportunists. Lenin prefaces his reply to one Second International fossil, in its entirety. The 3 page article, written by MacDonald tried to "prove" that the Third International was a mistake. "RAMSAY MACDONALD, was "the well known leader, of the British so-called Independent Labour Party," which is actually an opportunist party.. and typical of the "Center", wrote Lenin. MacDonalds' vacuous arguments try to obscure the dividing line :
As Lenin comments :
Lenin exposes Macdonald's lies, ie. that the Bolsheviks only began to fight Kerensky after the Constituent Assembly, and that the Bolsheviks had not seen "the role of the Soviets". Having refuted this lie; Lenin turns to Macdonald's second lie :
The need for a new International was clear. But to establish it, the Third International depended on the success of the Bolshevik Revolution. This in turn needed clarity on issues of "Unity". The Russian workers movement was full of different opinions and views. How was the question of "Unity" handled by Lenin? Lenin believed that a full and open debate was needed before "Unity" was possible :
Yet Lenin saw the need for unity on Practical Issues. These were issues needing a Broad Front for practical work; and formed the backdrop for ideological strengthening of a Party. Lenin cited Marx's approach here and the episode of "The Gotha Programme" :
Lenin stresses the importance of theory to the party :
Lenin's "What is to be done?" laid the foundations for a professional revolutionary Party. Lenin stressed the urgent need for a newspaper :
TO CONCLUDE :
Ideological discussion and thorough understanding of our history was and remains important. Unity can only be forged on a principled ideological understanding otherwise it lapses into opportunism.
2. UPON MARXISM-LENINISM AND MAO ZE DONG "THOUGHT"
Once a self-confessed "extreme Maoist" (See Martens, p. 14: "In our Party it was generally acknowledged that in all realms" the ideas of Mao Ze Dong were "superior" to those of Stalin or even Lenin .. Our party accepted the idea often stated in the Chinese texts that Stalin, as opposed to Mao did not understand that class struggle continued under socialism"), Comrade Martens no longer feels that Mao is immune from critique. This is welcome. Honest and full self-criticism is a mark of genuine Marxist-Leninism. Despite this, Comrade Martens exhorts us that :
TO THE CONTRARY, WE REPLY: MAO ADDED NOTHING POSITIVE TO MARXISM-LENINISM.
We hope that Comrade Martens will engage in further discussion, on these matters, after re-examining the record.
A) LENIN AND STAGES OF THE REVOLUTION IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES
"For the first time in history Mao developed the theory and strategy of the national-democratic revolution in a large oppressed Third World country, as a preparatory step leading to socialist revolution."
("For The Unity of All Communists, In Defense of Proletarian Internationalism"; Report Presented to the Seminary, March 9-12 1995; India p.4).
But, we protest, that it was Lenin and Stalin whodeveloped this theory and strategy!
What attitude should Communists take to the bourgeoisie in a colonial-type country? On this, Lenin was divided from Trotsky; then Stalin and Trotsky were divided; then Stalin and Mao Ze Dong were divided!
Stalin, to the "University of the Toilers of the East", noted that there were two wings in the
native bourgeoisie :
This is the Line developed by Lenin. Lenin modified his "Theses on Revolution in Semi-Colonial Countries" in debate with MABENDRA NATH ROY; (M.N.Roy). Roy stressed the vacillating role of the national bourgeoisie. Lenin accepted this as an important correction.
The "Theses On The National And Colonial Question", were adopted At The 2nd Congress of The Communist International (CI), [Petrograd and Moscow: July 19th to August 7th, 1920]. The Theses were adopted after intense study by The National and Colonial Commission of the Congress; of both Roy's "Supplementary Theses"; and Lenin's original "Theses".
Roy had an unrealistic view of the strength of the workers movements in colonial countries. Roy concluded that the working class of colonial-type countries were in full conflict with the entire bourgeoisie; thus support of a "liberation movement" with any section of native bourgeoisie, must be rejected :
ROY'S FORMULATION CONTRADICTED LENIN.
Lenin thought that in the first stage of the revolution, the bourgeois democrats had some useful role to play and communists shoudl support them there:
Lenin deleted Roy's premise from the Supplementary Theses before they were put to the Congress. Roy deviated in other ways from Marxism-Leninism in his Draft Supplementary Theses.
Firstly Roy declared the revolution in colonial-type countries was "an economic struggle",
rejecting the political national-liberation content. Lenin amended this.
Secondly Roy declared that colonial-type countries exploitation was "the main" strength of developed capitalist countries. Lenin amended this to read that colonial type exploitation was " one" of the principal sources of strength.
Thirdly Roy declared, that super-profits from a colonial type country could be used to give concessions to the entire working class of the dominant developed capitalist country. Lenin amended this to read the super-profit from a colonial-type country was used to give concessions only to a stratum of workers in the developed dominant capitalist country.
Fourthly, Roy's Draft Supplementary Theses declared that socialist revolution was not possible in the developed capitalist countries, without prior successful national-democratic revolution in the colonial type countries. Lenin amended this :
Only one change to Lenin's original Draft Theses was adopted by the congress. This clarified that the working class in a colonial type country should support a bourgeois-led movement only if it was genuinely revolutionary. The term "bourgeois democratic" was replaced by "nationalist-revolutionary":
BUT ROY DID CONTRIBUTE TO MARXIST- LENINIST THEORY :
Firstly he drew attention to the existence of the tendency within the bourgeoisie of these countries, to compromise with imperialism :
Despite Roy's dismissal of ALL the bourgeoisie - a Trotskyite error - Lenin saw the positive factor in Roy's view.
This was that a distinction had to be drawn within the bourgeoisie of a colonial-type country between a section which favoured national-revolutionary struggle against foreign imperialism (later called the "national bourgeoisie") and a section which favoured compromise with imperialism and while it might profess support of the national liberation movement, in practice objectively served imperialism by damping down national-revolutionary struggle (later called "comprador bourgeoisie" ).
Secondly Roy in his "Draft Supplementary Theses", saw that if the revolutionary process in a colonial type country were under the leadership of the working class, such a country could avoid a period of capitalist development.
Lenin agreed with this, a concept not in his own Draft Theses:
"A rather lively debate on this question took place in the Commission, not only in connection with the theses which I signed but still more in connection with Cmde Roy's Theses which Cmde Roy will defend here and which with certain amendments were adopted unanimously.
The question was presented in the following way:
Can we recognise as correct the assertion that the capitalist stage of development of national economy is inevitable of those backward countries which are now liberating themselves?.. We reply to this question in the negative. If the revolutionary victorious proletariat carries on a systematic propaganda amongst them, and if the Soviet governments render them all the assistance they possibly can, it will be wrong to assume that the capitalist stage is inevitable for the backward nationalities. The CI must lay down and give the theoretical grounds of the proposition that, with the aid of the proletariat of the most advanced countries the backward countries may pass to the Soviet system and, after passing through a definite stage of development, to Communism, without passing through the capitalist stage of development."
(Lenin, Report of the Commission, Ibid, p.243)
Hence Marxist-Leninists, see that if the working class gains leadership of the national-democratic revolution; this revolution can be transformed relatively uninterruptedly, into a socialist revolution. Mao disagrees with this key point.
Thirdly, Roy recognised that in some colonial-type countries - such as India and China - a significant native working class existed, objectively capable of gaining the leadership of the national-democratic revolution there:
"Both in his speeches and his theses (at the 2nd Congress of CI-ed ) Lenin has in mind the countries where :
In the absence of a significant working class in the colonial country, a different leadership was necessary. Lenin in his Report and Theses at the 2nd congress of the CI saw here, the leadership of the national democratic revolution being exercised by the working class of the developed capitalist countries, in particular by the working class of Soviet Russia :
Finally, Roy thought that the whole bourgeoisie in colonial-type countries is counter-revolutionary. This was incorrect. But it contains an element of truth. i.e. When the working class is seen to win the leadership of the national-democratic movements, even the national bourgeoisie will desert the national democratic revolution and go over to the imperialist counter- revolution. They prefer even a subordinate exploiting position under imperialism, to the possibility that the working class will use its leading position, to transform the national-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution. This Marxist-Leninist position was put in the "Theses on the Eastern Question", adopted by the 4th Congress of the CI in November 1922.
Roy's contribution on the vacillations of the native bourgeoisie, was later to be ignored by
WE CONCLUDE THE CORRECT LINE ON THE TWO STAGE REVOLUTION IN COLONIAL COUNTRIES WAS FORMED BY LENIN AT THE COMINTERN
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