On the 70th Anniversary of China’s Revolution

Mao’s Genuine Socialist Revolution of 1949-76…and The Counter-Revolution Being Celebrated by Today’s Capitalist Rulers of China

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This year on October 1, the world witnessed a sharp contrast: police in Hong Kong beating protestors, and even shooting one, while the authorities in China (which has authority over Hong Kong) “celebrated” the anniversary of the Chinese Revolution with parades featuring massive military armaments.

In actual fact, the revolution that won victory on October 1, 1949 has long since been betrayed – overthrown after the death of its leader, Mao Zedong, and the arrest of his followers over 40 years ago.  The current rulers have kept the name and some of the trappings of the revolution to bolster their claims to legitimacy.  But what was once a bastion of revolution now brutally exploits its people and competes with the U.S. to dominate the whole world.

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong declared the victory of the revolution at a celebration in Beijing. That victory was the culmination of more than 20 years of heroic struggle and sacrifice by tens and hundreds of millions of peasants, workers, and broad sections of society. This revolution shattered the domination of imperialism over China and broke the back of the oppressive landlord system and foreign-controlled capitalism. As this revolution deepened, it opened new vistas not just for the Chinese people but for oppressed humanity.

The conquest of power in 1949 was but the beginning of a complex process and struggle of transforming society and transforming thinking. Mao was leading people on the socialist road and hundreds of millions took up the cause of forging a society free of exploitation and oppression. But a new capitalist class arose within the structures of the Communist Party and the socialist state. Mao Zedong had made the unprecedented analysis of the danger of capitalist restoration under socialism. And he launched the Cultural Revolution to overthrow new bourgeois forces and prevent the restoration of capitalism and carry the revolution forward towards a communist world.

But in 1976, the forces of counterrevolution seized power. This new capitalist class has ruled China for over 40 years—while maintaining the veneer of socialism. China is a completely capitalist and thoroughly exploitative society. It is an imperialist power vying with U.S. imperialism for global dominance. The 70th anniversary celebration in China is a rabid nationalist display of military might—against a backdrop of growing repression, including the increasingly brutal onslaught against the just struggle of the people of Hong Kong (it was Mao who said, “it is right to rebel against reactionaries”).


The Chinese revolution, in particular the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, was the radically transformative high point of the first stage of communist revolution—beginning with the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, and then the Russian Revolution of 1917-56.

The excerpts from the Interview with Raymond Lotta take people through the inspiring history of the Chinese revolution: land reform, the formation of communes in the countryside, and the Great Leap Forward…the Cultural Revolution and the role of the Red Guards…innovations in socialist planning, health care, education, the new art that was created…and how women were unleashed to “hold up half the sky.” These excerpts show why China during the Cultural Revolution was a beacon for the world’s oppressed and exploited. These excerpts also dig into the controversies and expose the lies and distortions surrounding this revolution.   

Bob Avakian has analyzed the great breakthroughs and the problems of China when it was a genuinely socialist society, taking in questions of method and approach—and the reasons for the defeat of the revolution. He has qualitatively advanced the science of communism and the revolution to emancipate humanity. In 1975, being a communist meant following Mao and the path he forged. Today it means following Bob Avakian and the new path he has forged, the new communism. This is the basis to initiate a new stage of communist revolution in today’s world.  

China, 1950: New land reform law of 1950 is read out loud to peasants.

For the book in English:


See excerpts HERE

Updated pre-publication PDF of this major work available HERE

For the book in Spanish:


See excerpts HERE

Updated pre-publication PDF available HERE

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