“There is a radical difference between Stalin and Mao… When Communists make mistakes, the Chinese Communist Party attempts to save them, based on the directive that ’95 percent of the cadres are healthy’ This is the exact opposite of the Stalinist work of destruction…Many Chinese cadres whose positions were very different from Mao remained in the party, and even on the Central Committee. Thus after the line they were supporting was rejected, Li Li-san and later Wang Ming remained members of the Central Committee. They were removed at the Ninth Congress, but they are apparently still members of the party…In Peking we were told that Chen Yi, who still held the title of Minister of Foreign Affairs but was no longer exercising the functions of that office, is supposed to have told Mao that he did not have the courage to attend the Ninth Congress because of what he feared was going to happen. ‘No, on the contrary,’ Mao replied, ‘you must go, you’ll represent the opposition’…Liu Shao-chi’s work, How to Be a Good Communist, became, as we have seen, one of the bases of every debate about the party. The basic texts of Khrushchev have been disseminated throughout China. The Chinese even say that Peking is the only city where you can find the complete works of Khrushchev-they are not available in Moscow…”
– Maria Antonietta Macciocchi, “Daily Life in Revolutionary China”
5 thoughts on “Maria Antonietta Macciocchi on Stalin and Mao”
What point are you trying to make with this quote? That the Chinese studied materials, discuss things and debate, and that they use criticism and self-criticism to resolve differences dialectically while still holding the party line in a democratically centralized way? Is this a bad thing.
I think this quote shows one piece of evidence that there was a tendency in the Communist Party of China, even noticed by such pro-Mao sources as Maria Antonietta Macciocchi, to forgive people who should not be forgiven. Mao himself one year said that people like Hitler, Chiang Kai-Shek and Tito should be killed as counterrevolutionaries. He was correct. Then, a few years later the Communist Party was back to supporting the Yugoslav puppets of U.S. imperialism as “good Marxists.”
Not to mention the tendency to forgive people like Deng Xiaoping, who was let back into the party several times after being purged for rightism and being a “capitalist-roader.” If we want to prevent counterrevolution in the future, it’s important we study the tendencies and prevailing ideology that allowed for the growth of such people as Deng Xiaoping.
May I also add that Mao secretly mourned for Chiang by locking himself in his room for the whole day of the Generalissimo’s burial, as mentioned by anti-Mao biographer Jung Chang.
Oh come on, John. Are you really going to believe Jung Chang, the violent anti-communist author, the Chinese Robert Conquest, on ANYTHING?
I suggest you read Mobo Gao’s The Battle for China’s Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution to see what a pile of lies Mao: The Unknown Story is.
Thank you very much indeed for recommending the book to me, Espresso Stalinist. I don’t necessarily believe Jung Chang all the way. I am just citing references.