Home LEADERSHIP Leaders Mao Zedung on Kemalism. January 1940

Mao Zedung on Kemalism. January 1940

Even though the petty Kemalist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie [9] did emerge in Turkey after the first imperialist world war and the October Revolution owing to certain specific conditions (the bourgeoisie’s success in repelling Greek aggression and the weakness of the proletariat), there can be no second Turkey, much less a “Turkey” with a population of 450 million, after World War II and the accomplishment of socialist construction in the Soviet Union. In the specific conditions of China (the flabbiness of the bourgeoisie with its proneness to conciliation and the strength of the proletariat with its revolutionary thoroughness), things just never work out so easily as in Turkey. Did not some members of the Chinese bourgeoisie clamour for Kemalism after the First Great Revolution failed in 1927? But where is China’s Kemal? And where are China’s bourgeois dictatorship and capitalist society? Besides, even Kemalist Turkey eventually had to throw herself into the arms of Anglo-French imperialism, becoming more and more of a semi-colony and part of the reactionary imperialist world. In the international situation of today, the “heroes”‘ in the colonies and semi-colonies either line up on the imperialist front and become part of the forces of world counter-revolution, or they line up on the anti-imperialist front and become part of the forces of world revolution. They must do one or the other, for there is no third choice.

Judging by the domestic situation, too, the Chinese bourgeoisie should have learned its lesson by now. No sooner had the strength of the proletariat and of the peasant and other petty bourgeois masses brought the revolution of 1927 to victory than the capitalist class, headed by the big bourgeoisie, kicked the masses aside, seized the fruits of the revolution, formed a counter-revolutionary alliance with imperialism and the feudal forces, and strained themselves to the limit in a war of “Communist suppression” for ten years. But what was the upshot? Today, when a powerful enemy has penetrated deep into our territory and the anti-Japanese war has been going on for two years, is it possible that there are still people who want to copy the obsolete recipes of the European and American bourgeoisie? A decade was spent on “suppressing the Communists” out of existence, but no capitalist society under bourgeois dictatorship was “suppressed” into existence. Is it possible that there are still people who want to have another try? True, a “one-party dictatorship” was “suppressed” into existence through the decade of “Communist suppression”, but it is a semi-colonial and semi-feudal dictatorship. What is more, at the end of four years of “Communist suppression” (from 1927 to the Incident of September 18, 1931), “Manchukuo” was “suppressed” into existence and in 1937, after another six years of such “suppression”, the Japanese imperialists made their way into China south of the Great Wall. Today if anyone wants to carry on “suppression” for another decade, it would mean a new type of “Communist suppression”, somewhat different from the old. But is there not one fleet-footed person who has already outstripped everyone else and boldly undertaken this new enterprise of “Communist suppression”? Yes, Wang Ching-wei, who has become the new-style anti-Communist celebrity. Anyone who wishes to join his gang can please himself; but wouldn’t that turn out to be an added embarrassment when talking big about bourgeois dictatorship, capitalist society, Kemalism, a modern state, a one-party dictatorship, “one doctrine”, and so on and so forth? And if, instead of joining the Wang Ching-wei gang, someone wants to come into the “fight Japan” camp of the people but imagines that once the war is won he will be able to kick aside the people fighting Japan, seize the fruits of the victory of the fight against Japan and establish a “perpetual one-party dictatorship”, isn’t he just daydreaming? “Fight Japan!” “Fight Japan!” But who is doing the fighting? Without the workers and the peasants and other sections of the petty bourgeoisie, you cannot move a step. Anyone who still dares to try and kick them aside will himself be crushed. Hasn’t this, too, become a matter of common sense? But the die-hards among the Chinese bourgeoisie (I am referring solely to the die-hards) seem to have learned nothing in the past twenty years. Aren’t they still shouting: “Restrict communism”, “Corrode communism” and “Combat communism”? Haven’t we seen “Measures for Restricting the Activities of Alien Parties” followed by “Measures for Dealing with the Alien Party Problem” and still later by “Directives for Dealing with the Alien Party Problem”? Heavens! With all this “restricting” and “dealing with” going on, one wonders what kind of future they are preparing for our nation and for themselves! We earnestly and sincerely advise these gentlemen: Open your eyes, take a good look at China and the world, see how things stand inside as well as outside the country, and do not repeat your mistakes. If you persist in your mistakes, the future of our nation will of course be disastrous, but I am sure things will not go well with you either. This is absolutely true, absolutely certain. Unless the die-hards among the Chinese bourgeoisie wake up, their future will be far from bright–they will only bring about their own destruction. Therefore we hope that China’s anti-Japanese united front will be maintained and that, with the cooperation of all instead of the monopoly of a single clique, the anti-Japanese cause will be brought to victory; it is the only good policy– any other policy is bad. This is the sincere advice we Communists are giving, and do not blame us for not having forewarned you.

 

Moreover, the “one doctrine” theory is an absurdity. So long as classes exist, there will be as many doctrines as there are classes, and even various groups in the same class may have their different doctrines. Since the feudal class has a feudal doctrine, the bourgeoisie a capitalist doctrine, the Buddhists Buddhism, the Christians Christianity and the peasants polytheism, and since in recent years, some people have also advocated Kemalism, fascism, vitalism,[13] the “doctrine of distribution according to labour”,[14] and what not, why then cannot the proletariat have its communism? Since there are countless “isms”, why should the cry of “Fold it up !” be raised at the sight of communism alone? Frankly, “folding it up” will not work. Let us rather have a contest. If communism is beaten, we Communists will admit defeat in good grace. But if not, then let all that stuff about “one doctrine”, which violates the Principle of Democracy, be “folded up” as soon as possible.

 

  1. After World War I the British imperialists instigated their vassal Greece to commit aggression against Turkey, but the Turkish people, with the help of the Soviet Union, defeated the Greek troops in 1922. In 1923, Kemal was elected President of Turkey. Stalin said:

A Kemalist revolution is a revolution of the top stratum, a revolution of the national merchant bourgeoisie, arising in a struggle against the foreign imperialists, and whose subsequent development is essentially directed against the peasants and workers, against the very possibility of an agrarian revolution. (“Talk with Students of the Sun Yat-sen University”, Works, Eng. ed., FLPH Moscow, 1954, Vol. IX, p. 261.)

  1. Vitalism was an exposition of Kuomintang fascism, a hotchpotch ghostwritten by a number of reactionary hacks for Chen Li-fu, one of the notorious chiefs of Chiang Kai-shek’s secret service.
  2. The “doctrine of distribution according to labour” was a high-sounding slogan shamelessly put forward by Yen Hsi-shan, warlord and representative of the big landlords and big compradors in Shansi Province.

 

Kaynak:

 

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

ON NEW DEMOCRACY

January 1940

 

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_26.htm

 

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