Article 1 of the Common Program
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Article 1 of the Common Program

The People's Republic of China is a New Democratic or a People's Democratic state. It carries out the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class, based on the alliance of workers and peasants, and uniting all democratic classes and all nationalities in China.
It opposes imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism and strives for independence, democracy, peace, unity, prosperity and strength of China.





This article of the Common Program determines the partners of the people's democratic dictatorship. These are the industrial labourers, the farmers, the small bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. They constitute ‘the people’. The farmers and the labourers are the 2 most important groups. They compose about 90 percent of ‘the people’ and the perception is that only when the cooperation between these two is good the socialist state can be achieved. During the transition period the role of the other 2 groups (also called the "petty bourgeoisie") is also of great importance. The composition of this group is unclear. "...(after)1949 revolution, however, the petty bourgeoisie became a nationally recognized class category with members locatable practically everywhere by officials and ordinary citizens alike. The petty bourgeois was widely understood to possess political and moral shortcomings harmful to nation-building in general and the socialist project in particular. White-collar workers, government officials, and students; shopkeepers, small factory owners, and small farmers; and even soldiers, laborers, and housewives categorized themselves or were categorized by others, sometimes on a daily basis, as petty bourgeois."
U Eddy (2016). Rise of Marxist Classes Bureaucratic Classification and Class Formation in Early Socialist China. European Journal of Sociology, 57, 1. Page 2
Also see Article 7. The petty bourgeoisie is the group between the exploited class and the exploiting class. They are described as posessing extreme individualism and self-interest.
Stalin advises Mao Zedong to "… not pushing away national bourgeoisie but drawing them to cooperation as a force capable of helping in the struggle against the imperialists. Therefore [we] advise to encourage the trading activities of the national bourgeoisie both inside of China and on the outside, let's say trade with Hong Kong and with other foreign capitalists."
Document: 26-04-1949 Stalin advices Mao on how to treat the Chines bourgeoisie
The small bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie are a part of ‘the people’ but at the same time exploiters of ‘the people’.
Rong Yiren
Rong Yiren (1916-2005) Industrialist. Owner of 20 textile factories and the employer of 80.000 employees
is one of the many national bourgeoisie person who benefits of these moderate and lenient politics. He welcomes the new regime and he does not flee to Hong Kong or Taiwan like other merchants and factory owners. The civil war has almost ruined his businesses. He is able to rescue his factories because the new rulers bring economic and political stability in Shanghai and the rest of the country. See also Article 35

Transition...

In June 1950 during the 3rd plenum of the party congress Mao Zedong calls "We should rally the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie under the leadership of the working class and on the basis of the worker-peasant alliance. The national bourgeoisie will eventually cease to exist, but at this stage we should rally them around us and not push them away. We should struggle against them on the one hand and unite with them on the other."
Document: 06-06-1950 Don't hit out in all directions. See also Yu Huai (1950). The National Bourgeoisie in the Chinese Revolution. People’s China
Already in 1940 Mao Zedong warns in his essay “on new democracy” that the transition to a socialist state will be a long process “But today is not yet the time to introduce socialism. The present task of the revolution in China is to fight imperialism and feudalism, and socialism is out of the question until this task is completed. The Chinese revolution cannot avoid taking the two steps, first of New Democracy and then of socialism. Moreover, the first step will need quite a long time and cannot be accomplished overnight.”
Document January 1940 Mao Zedong "On new democracy"
Whenever the national bourgeoisie misbehaves, they can be expelled and they will no longer belong to the people's democratic dictatorship. "For the leadership, however, members of the petty bourgeoisie were identical at the core, that is, each one was a threat to the transition to socialism."
U Eddy (2015). What Was the Petty Bourgeoisie? Cultural Positioning and Reification of Marxist Classes in Early PRC Discourse. Modern China, 41, 6. Page 591
This thread was dealt with during the Sanfan and Wufan campaigns in 1951 and 1952. See Article 18

Enemies...

There is also a group who does not belong to ‘the people’ and are not a part of the people's democratic dictatorship. They have no civil rights and are looked upon as the exploiters of the mass. Landowners, GMD members and bureaucratic capitalist form this group. Bureaucratic capitalists are GMD leaders who act as owners of state companies.They have mostly confiscated these possessions after the Japanese lost the war. In the 1930’s and 40’s the Japanese had confiscated these firms. The bureaucratic capitalists own about two third of all Chinese corporations and about 750.000 employees work in these enterprises. The main capitalists are 4 families: The
Soongs
Soong family A photo of the whole family taken in Shanghai in 1917. Soong Zi An (front); Soong Ching Ling, Soong Zi Wen and Soong Ai Ling (second row, from right to left); Soong Mei Ling, Ni Gui Zhen, Soong Yao Ru, Soong Zi Liang (back row, right to left).
, The
Kungs
Song Ziwen, Jiang Jieshi, Kung Xiangxi (1881–1967)
, the brothers
Chen
Jiang Jieshi, Chen Guo-fu (1892–1951),Chen Li-fu (1900–2001)
and the family of
Jiang Jieshi
Jiang Jieshi and Jiang Jiangguo
.
In his “on people's democratic dictatorship” Mao Zedong states that the CCP wants to eliminate these enemies of ‘the people’ and also “The state apparatus, including the army, the police and the courts, is the instrument by which one class oppresses another. It is an instrument for the oppression of antagonistic classes, it is violence and not "benevolence". He further remarks: "..there is no other way, China cannot be compared with western states. “There are bourgeois republics in foreign lands, but China cannot have a bourgeois republic because she is a country suffering under imperialist oppression. The only way is through a people's republic led by the working class. All other ways have been tried and failed.”
Document: 01-06-1949 Mao Zedong "On the people's dictatorship
The enemies of ‘the people’ are expressly excluded from 'the people' but they are citizens. They have the duties of citizenship but no rights of 'the people'. Mao Zedong defines the leeway the enemies of ‘the people’ have “As for the members of the reactionary classes and individual reactionaries, so long as they do not rebel, sabotage or create trouble after their political power has been overthrown, land and work will be given to them as well in order to allow them to live and remould themselves through labour into new people. If they are not willing to work, the people's state will compel them to work. Propaganda and educational work will be done among them too and will be done, moreover, with as much care and thoroughness as among the captured army officers in the past.”
Document January 1940 Mao Zedong "On new democracy"
In summary the people's democratic dictatorship is a democracy for ‘the people’ and a dictatorship for the enemies of ‘the people’. The intermediate position of the national bourgeoisie is of a temporarily nature and in June 1952 Mao Zedong decides to end this position. “With the overthrow of the landlord class and the bureaucrat-capitalist class, the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie has become the principal contradiction in China; therefore the national bourgeoisie should no longer be defined as an intermediate class.”
Document 06-06-1952 The contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie is the principal contradiction in China
This statement is in contradiction with the timepath Mao Zedong defined in 1940 (see above)

Protests...

Although the CCP sees himself as the vanguard of the working class that does not mean the working class blindly follows the party. In the period of May 1949 till May 1950 over 9000 labour disputes occur in Shanghai, mainly concerning wages and unemployment. The new regime quickly dismantles all independent labour organizations and already in November 1949 temporary measure are taken to control conflicts. On January 26, 1951 the government announces a labour assurance.
Document: 26-01-1951 labour insurance regulations 1951
It provides the payment of medical expenses, disability pensions, funeral costs and financial support for the families of workers killed in the workplace, retirement pensions and maternity leave
Bray, D. (2005) Social Space and Governance in Urban China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Pages 104-105
Protest still occurred "...during the period 1952 to 1957. During that time, …61 labor protest incidents which took place in more than a dozen cities (Shanghai, Taiyuan, Chongqing, Lanzhou, Anshan, Fuzhou, Shenyang, Luoyang, Tianjin, Hefei, Wuxi, Wuhan, and Huainan) and a few railway construction sites."
Chen Feng (2014). Against the State: Labor Protests in China in the 1950s. Modern China, 40, 5. Page 492


Conclusion...

The definition of the 'people’ is changing fast. Within two and half years after the establishment of the new government the national bourgeoisie is no longer part of this definition. In here lies the base for the worsening of the relationship between the CCP and the minzhu dangpai. It makes the realization of the Common Program even more difficult.

Literature Notes Documents...

1. U Eddy (2016). Rise of Marxist Classes Bureaucratic Classification and Class Formation in Early Socialist China. European Journal of Sociology, 57, 1. Page 2 Back
5.U Eddy (2015). What Was the Petty Bourgeoisie? Cultural Positioning and Reification of Marxist Classes in Early PRC Discourse. Modern China, 41, 6. Page 591 Back
10. Bray, D. (2005) Social Space and Governance in Urban China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Pages 104-105 Back
11. Chen Feng (2014). Against the State: Labor Protests in China in the 1950s. Modern China, 40, 5. Page 492 Back
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