100 years ago, the 1921 Gregorian New Year, Changsha, Hunan, was full of heavy snow. More than a dozen young intellectuals, following the trend of national salvation spawned by the advanced culture of the May Fourth Movement, came to Chaozong Street Cultural Publishing House to hold the Xinmin Society Changsha Student New Year Conference.
The meeting was held in a small, unobtrusive house, but the topic of discussion was the method and purpose of transforming China and the world. Mao Zedong, 28, made two speeches at the meeting. These two speeches were later included in the first volume of Collected Works of Mao Zedong with the title”Speech at the Xinmin Society Changsha General Assembly”, which became the opening chapter of the book.
In April 1918, 13 people including Mao Zedong, Cai Hesen, Xiao Zisheng and He Shuheng established the Xinmin Society in Cai Hesen’s home. The purpose of the society is to”innovate academics, strengthen morals, and improve people’s minds and customs”. Members are required not to be hypocritical, lazy, waste, gambling, or prostitutes. From its founding in 1918 to the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1921, the Xinmin Society has been active for more than three years and has about 80 members. Most of these people later embarked on the road of revolution. This is the site of the founding meeting of the Xinmin Society.
Mao Zedong said in his speech:I am in favor of using the Russian-style revolutionary road, which is a road where no new invention can be made. He also compared methods such as social democracy and anarchism, and believed that”the communism of the”violent method”, the so-called labor peasantism, used The method of class dictatorship has predictable effects, so it is the most appropriate to adopt.”
took this speech as the opening chapter of”The Collected Works of Mao Zedong” because it marked Mao Zedong’s choice of the road of Marxist-Leninist revolution. In fact, a month ago, Mao Zedong wrote a long letter to Cai Hesen, Xiao Zisheng, etc., members of the Xinmin Society in France. The letter devoted a large amount of space to discussing the method and purpose of transforming China and the world. Mao Zedong said in the letter:Cai Hesen advocates the use of Russian-style revolutionary methods to transform China, Xiao Zisheng and others do not agree with the use of Russian-style revolutionary methods, and advocate the use of moderate revolutionary and educational methods. Mao Zedong made it clear that he deeply agrees with Cai Hesen’s propositions and disagrees with Xiao Zisheng’s propositions, “I think it’s impossible to use education methods. I think Russian-style revolutions are incompetent and impossible. Changing tricks is not a better way to abandon it, but to adopt this horrible method.” This letter of Mao Zedong was later included in the”Selected Works of Mao Zedong’s Letters” as the opening chapter.
”There is no way to go through the mountains and rivers.” Mao Zedong used ten characters to summarize the bitter mental journey of people with lofty ideals in modern times to explore the road to national rejuvenation. Since 1840, saving the country and finding a way out and national rejuvenation have become the basic political themes of modern China.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Chinese have made many attempts:the Westernization Movement, which only used some foreign guns and cannons and modern industrial technology, could not save China. The upper-class scholar-officials had hoped to rely on Emperor Guangxu’s The Wuxu Restoration Movement, which supported the reform, failed again, and the Boxer-style old-style resistance movement spontaneously set up by the lower classes also failed, led by Sun Yat-sen China’s bourgeois revolution failed to change China’s fate…
In July 1920, members of the Xinmin Society who went to France for a work-study program held a meeting in Mondalny, France, to discuss and confirm the purpose of the Xinmin Society”to transform China and the world.” As for the method of transformation, opinions are divided. Cai Hesen and others advocated accepting Marxism, organizing the Communist Party, and taking the road of Russian revolution; some other members advocated using education as a tool to implement a”moderate revolution.” In August, Cai Hesen, Xiao Zisheng, Li Weihan and others wrote to Mao Zedong to state their views. This is a group photo of the participating members.
Thousands of waters and thousands of mountains have no way to enter. The spiritual pain tortured generations of Chinese people with lofty ideals. Where is the way out for China?
In February 1899, No. 122″World Communique“For the first time, two names that are still unfamiliar to the Chinese appeared on the page, these are Marx and Engels. This article”Big Classmates”, translated by the missionary Timothy Li and written by the Chinese priest Cai Erkang, says that”it is known as the leader of hundreds of workers, and the British Marx is also”. Later, Zhu Zhixin, Chen Wangdao, Ma Junwu, Liu Shipei, Jiang Kanghu, etc. also wrote and translated Marx’s theory. A number of Japanese books introducing Marx’s socialism theory have been translated into Chinese and published in Shanghai.
The Marxist theory of revolution and socialism at this time was only introduced as a new trend of thought.
Only when thought is illuminated by practice can it fundamentally influence the historical choices of mankind.
In 1914, the first world war broke out in the history of mankind. This four-year war has clearly exposed the social contradictions inherent in the capitalist systems of Western countries in a more acute form than ever before. After the catastrophe, the devastation, economic depression and social turmoil have greatly disappointed those Chinese intellectuals who were once fascinated by Western capitalist civilization.
”The spirit platform has no way to escape from the gods, the storm is like a stormy homeland.” Just when the advanced Chinese intellectuals were struggling in the dark, in 1917, Russia achieved the The victory of the October Revolution established a labor and peasant government in which the working people are the masters of the country, and for the first time transformed socialism from a theoretical theory into a living reality. It is like the dawn of the new century, illuminating the future of China in the dark night.
So, taking the road of the Russian Revolution became the clear proposition of a group of advanced Chinese intellectuals at that time, and the spread of Marxism therefore became an important new trend of thought in the May Fourth New Cultural Movement.
In November 1918, Li Dazhao, Director of Peking University Library, published a titled”The Victory of the Common People” in Tiananmen Square“” and”The Victory of Bolshevism.” Li Dazhao enthusiastically told the world:The victory of the October Revolution in Russia is a victory for democracy and socialism. If you look at the future of the world, it must be the world of Chiqi.
On that day, among the audience at Li Dazhao’s speech, there was a 25-year-old Hunan youth Mao Zedong. From then on, Mao Zedong began to learn more about the October Revolution and Marxism, and he read many books on Russia. Mao Zedong later recalled to Snow:At that time, he read the”Communist Manifesto”, Kautsky’s”Class Struggle”, and Kokap’s The three books”History of Socialism” had a great influence on him and established his belief in Marxism. By the summer of 1920, he had become a Marxist.
On New Year’s Day in 1921, Mao Zedong convened 18 members of the Xinmin Society in Changsha to hold a New Year’s Conference at the Cultural Publishing House. The meeting lasted for 3 days. After intense discussions, everyone finally agreed that the purpose of the Xinmin Society was to”transform China and the world.” As for how to reform, Mao Zedong and He Shuheng and other 12 people agreed with Bolshevikism and expressed their belief in communism. This is a part of Mao Zedong’s speech at the conference recorded in the”Xinmin Society Meeting Affairs Report”.
Marx said:”The degree to which a theory is realized in a country always depends on the degree to which the theory meets the needs of the country.” No matter how correct, fresh, and propagated a theory, If people do not have a strong inner need, it will not become the object of historical choice. The revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism happened to give the Chinese advanced elements who were struggling to find a way at that time with a completely new answer.
In the summer of 1921, more than a dozen young people, including Mao Zedong, took up the ideological weapons of Marxism-Leninism, and with the spirit of changing the world, quietly unveiled a groundbreaking scene in China’s modern history in Shanghai. ——Establish the Communist Party of China.
The red ship of the Chinese revolution just set sail.
This small red boat carries the trust of the people and the hope of the nation. In the magnificent hundred-year journey, it has crossed the rapids and shoals and passed through the stormy waves. Become a giant wheel that leads China’s steady and long-term journey.
Author:is that the new language