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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 - Postwar China.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Tong Lam

Postwar China ● Communism and the narration of liberation ○ 1949 - The nationalist were totally defeated, they established themselves in Taiwan and stayed there ○ Liberated from 1) Feudalism 2) Capitalism 3) Imperialism ■ People are now liberated (from feudalism) ● Everything up to this point was thought to be feudal ● China wasn’t actually feudal for a long period of time ■ Liberated people from the capitalists also ● Liberating the workers in the cities ■ Liberation from European Imperialism ● Lenin - Imperialism is the highest form of capitalism ○ ANother county as the market and labour ● Nationalists didn’t like them, but did collaborate with them ● Almost 100 years of western colonialism and humiliation ○ New political subjectivity ■ The past is considered a burden, people wanted to distance themselves ■ New kind of citizens ● Putting blame on capitalists, imperialism, Japanese etc. ● Trying to tell their own stories and narrative ■ “The dictatorship of the proletariat“ ● Class struggle ○ Now that the capitalists and western powers are gone, where is the class struggle? ○ Now everyone is a proletariat ■ The constant theme in politics for a while ■ “A new society” ● The Masses -- Classes ● land reform ● Unit (danwei) ○ Part of a certain group (you’re a member of a certain unit because you work for a school or factory, for example) ○ You live with your unit ○ Own healthcare, cafeterias, school ○ Monitored by the communist party ○ Units have their own structure ○ Assigned to a job after school, the system assumed that the system would work ■ Families ended up working in the same unit since they all lived there, children were taught the required skills and ended up taking the same job as their parents ● household registration ● Planned economy ○ Everything is planned for, like the size of families and the food they require ■ Red experts/Party cadre/a new Political class ● Party control worked along with a unit ● Party members assigned to a unit should also have experience with what they deal with it, they shouldn't just be a member of the party ● New supervising class ○ This ended up being more like confucianism than communism, the very thing they were trying to reject ● The liberation was important because they were trying to look at revolution in a larger context People’s Republic of China (1949-) ● Political consolidation ○ Territories and peoples inherited from the Qing ○ Multi-ethnic nation state (55+1=1) ■ Chinese (Han?) plus minorities ○ Adopted a lot of regions that used to belong to the Manchu empire ○ Issues with some of the territories they claimed (such as Tibet) Chinese Communism and the Cold War ● Mutual fear and distrust ○ 3 Ds ○ The allies wanted to make sure Japan didn’t turn into a communist country so they could have an ally ○ Similar fears on the opposite side ○ Had to make sure your friends and families weren’t working with the Capitalist ● Korean War (1950-1953) and a divided Korea ○ No longer a cold war ● A shortcut to modernity and an alternative modernity ○ “Surpassing the United Kingdom and the United States” ○ Still feelings of betrayal from self-determination ■ The west was no longer as attractive as it used to seem ● Communism seemed attractive ■ West seen as evil ■ Liberating from feudalism and capitalism Communism and Natinonalism ● National liberation ● Sino-soviet rift (late 1950s) ○ Nikita Khrushchev’s policy of de-Stalinization ○ The Russians never saw the Chinese as equal ■ Previous racism, like social Darwinism, was brought back
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