The Origins of Chinese Communism

By Arif Dirlik | Go to book overview

1
Perspectives and Perceptions: May Fourth Socialism and the Origins of Communism in China

The early history of Communism in China often reads as the triumphal march of Marx-Leninism into Chinese radical thinking, in which Non-Bolshevik socialisms appear in a lurking, shadowy way. Historians have recognized their presence during these years but usually assigned them to the historical pale, as marginal encumbrances with no significant bearing on the central ideological developments of the time. The ultimate victory in China of a Marxistinspired Communist revolution has blurred in historical memory the important role of these other socialisms both in the origins of Chinese Communism and later in the Chinese revolution.

This blurring of historical memory is readily evident in the treatment historians have accorded anarchism. During the years around 1919, the May Fourth period, anarchism pervaded radical thinking on social and cultural change, and "communism" was identified with "anarcho-communism." Anarchism, moreover, served as "midwife" to Marxism; the majority of those who turned to Bolshevism after 1920 went through an anarchist phase in the course of their radicalization, as they acknowledged freely in later years. Yet students of early Chinese Communism have rarely tried to account for this "anomaly" in the Chinese attraction to Communism. Chinese historians portray anarchism as a residue of pre-Marxist petit-bourgeois intellectual inclinations that was rapidly marginalized when Marxism appeared on the scene. While in recent years there has been a tendency to attribute greater staying power to anarchism, they have continued to treat it as an undesirable intruder, a baneful influence that some could not purge from their minds. With a few exceptions, Western scholars have been even more adamant in treating anarchism in the May Fourth period as an inconsequential historical remnant. The two seminal studies of early Chinese Marxism that have done much to fashion our views of this period, Benjamin Schwartz's Chinese Communism and the Rise of Mao and Maurice Meisner's Li Ta-chao and the Origins of Chinese Marxism, scarcely mention anarchism. When they do, they merely relegate it to the past as (to paraphase Meisner) an anachronistic impulse that played no dynamic role in May Fourth thinking. 1 Even compelling evi

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Origins of Chinese Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 315

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.