Mao Tse-tung: It (Xinhai Revolution)was only with Dr. Sun Yat-sen that a more or less clearly defined bourgeois-democratic revolution began.

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The excerpt is from the speech, The orientation of the youth movement, delivered by Comrade Mao Tse-tung at a mass meeting of youth in Yan'an to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the May 4th Movement. It represented a development in his ideas on the question of the Chinese revolution.

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the May 4th Movement, and the youth of Yan'an are all gathered here for this commemoration meeting.I shall therefore take the occasion to speak on some questions concerningthe orientation of the youth movement in China.


Thirdly, what are the lessons of the Chinese revolution? This question is also an important one for our youth to understand.

Strictly speaking, China's bourgeois-democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism was begun by Dr. Sun Yat-sen and has been going on for more than fifty years; as for foreign capitalist aggression against China, it has been going on for almost a hundred years.

During that century, there was first the Opium War against British aggression, then came the War of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, then the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, the Reform Movement of 1898, the Yi Ho Tuan Movement, the Revolution of 1911, the May 4th Movement, the Northern Expedition,and the war waged by the Red Army--although these struggles differed from each other, their common purpose was to repel foreign enemies or change existing conditions.

However, it was only with Dr. Sun Yat-sen that a more or less clearly defined bourgeois-democratic revolution began. In the last fifty years the revolution started by Dr. Sun Yat-sen has had both its successes and its failures.

Was not the Revolution of 1911 a success? Didn't it send the emperor packing? Yet it was a failure in the sense that while it sent the emperor packing, it left China under imperialist and feudal oppression,so that the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolutionary task remained unaccomplished.

What was the aim of the May 4th Movement? Its aim likewisewas to overthrow imperialism and feudalism, but it, too, failed, and China still remained under the rule of imperialism and feudalism. The same is trueof the revolution known as the Northern Expedition; it scored successes,but it too failed. From the time the Kuomintang turned against the Communist Party,China again fell under the domination of imperialism and feudalism.

The inevitable result was the ten years' warwaged by the Red Army. But these ten years of struggle fulfilled the revolutionary task only in parts of China and not in the country as a whole.

If we are to sum up the revolution during the past decades we may say thatit has won only temporary and partial victories and not permanent and nation-wide victory.

As Dr. Sun Yat-sen said "The revolution is not yet completed, allmy comrades must struggle on."

 The question now is: Why, after decades ofstruggle, has the Chinese revolution not yet attained its goal? What arethe reasons? I think there are two: first, the enemy forces have been too strong; second, our own forces have been too weak. Because one side was strong and the other side weak, the revolution did not succeed.

In saying that the enemy forces have been too strong, we mean that the forces of imperialism(the primary factor) and of feudalism have been too strong. In saying that our own forces have been too weak, we mean weak in the military, political,economic and cultural fields; but our weaknesses and our consequent failure to fulfil the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal task are chiefly due to the fact that the labouring people, the workers and peasants, constituting 90 percent of the population, have not yet been mobilized.

If we are to sumup the experience of the revolution of the past decades, we may say thatthe people throughout the country have not been fully mobilized and that the reactionaries have invariably opposed and sabotaged such mobilization.

Only by mobilizing and organizing the workers and peasants, who comprise 90 percent of the population, is it possible to overthrow imperialism and feudalism. Dr. Sun Yat-sen said in his Testament:

For forty years I have devoted myself to the cause of the national revolution with the aim of winning freedom and equality for China. My experiences during these forty years have firmly convinced me that to achieve this aim we must arouse the masses of the people and unite in a common struggle with those nations of the world which treat us as equals.



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