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Zhang Wentian and the academy of Marxism and Leninism during the pre-rectification period, 1938-1941 Kornreich, Yoel 2009

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Zhang Wentian and The Academy of Marxism and LeninismDuring the pre-Rectification Period, 1938-1941byYoel KornreichB.A., University of Toronto, 2005A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THEREQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinThe Faculty of Graduate Studies(History)THE UNIVERSiTY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)February 2009© Yoel Komreich, 2009ABSTRACTThis thesis on Zhang Wentian (1900-1976) and the Academy of Marxism and Leninism(1938-1941) in pre-Rectification Yan’an has two primary objectives. First, contrary toprevious studies of Yan’an, which engaged in Mao’s rise to power, this study examinesthe period from the perspective of another senior Party leader Zhang Wentian. This studyseeks to explore Zhang’s background, his political position at the Party, his relationshipwith Mao, and the ideological differences and compatibilities between him and Mao. Itargues that Zhang was among Mao’s supporters and that he shared with him many ideas.In spite of their collaboration, Zhang and Mao had some major ideological disagreementsregarding the sinification of Marxism and Party history. Through the analysis of ZhangWentian, this thesis is intended to help “rescue” CCP history from the Maoist narrative.Second, this thesis explores diversity in pre-Rectification Yan’ an through the study of theAcademy of Marxism and Leninism where Zhang Wentian served as the principal. Theexamination of the Academy shows that the lecturers there held contending positionsregarding the sinification of Marxim and the periodization of Chinese history, and thatParty leaders of different political factions were able to lecture at the Academy. BeforeMao’s rise to supreme power in late 1941, Zhang, as the principal of the Academy, hadthe authority to shape the curriculum according to his approach to Marxism. In late 1941,however, with political power centralized in the hands of Mao, the Academy wastransformed into the Central Research Institute, and its members were expected toconducted research according to Mao’s approach. Consequently, diversity at theAcademy disappeared with Zhang’s diminished status.11TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT jjTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiAcknowledgements ivChapter 1: Introduction 1Chapter 2: Sources 9Chapter 3: Differences and Similarities between Zhang’s and Mao’s Approaches ofChinese Marxism 133.1 Zhang Wentian’s Background 133.2 Zhang’s Political Activities in the Party in pre-Rectification Yan’an Period 163.3 A Comparison between Zhang Wentian and Mao Zedong 22Chapter 4: Diversity Within The Academy of Marxism and Leninism 35Regarding the Application of Marxism to China 354.1 Political Stances Close to Zhang Wentian 364.2 Political Stances Close to Mao Zedong 404.3 Diverse Views Within the Academy of Marxism and Leninism 434.4 Challenges Zhang Wentian Faced as the Principal of the Academy of Marxism andLeninism 46Chapter 5: The Academy Becomes an Institute 505.1 The Disappearing of Diversity within the Institute 505.2 Zhang Wentian at the Institute 56Chapter 6: Conclusion 60Notes 63References 64111AcknowledgementsI am indebted to my supervisor, Professor Timothy Cheek, who suggested this topic tome. Frequent meetings with him as well as many other group discussions he organized,particularly the one with Professor Frederick Teiwes, furnished me with valuable insightsinto the Party’s history and the political dynamics in Yan’an. I am enormously grateful tohim for his patience, as the writing of this thesis took more time than initially expected. Ialso appreciate the help of Professor Glen Peterson, who read and commented on thefinal draft of the thesis. His seminar on20thCentury China provided me with richbackground knowledge to explore the proposed topic.I would like to thank my friend Lisi Feng, who spent many hours editing this thesis withme. I am grateful to her for the encouragement in the writing of this thesis and hersupport. I am also thankful for Jason Young for his useful critique. My colleagues at theChinese history program also provided me with an inspiring and exciting environment toconduct this study. I am particularly thankful to Wang Ying and Anna Belogurova forsharing with me their knowledge of the history of the Chinese Communist Party.ivChapter 1: IntroductionThis study seeks to find a way to ‘rescue’ the history of the Chinese Community Party(CCP), particularly during the Yan’an Period (1937-1946), from the ‘Maoist’ narrative. Itwill attempt to look at the period from the perspective of another senior CCP leader otherthan Mao in pre-Rectification Yan’an: Zhang Wentian. The other purpose of this study isto examine pre-Rectification Yan’an, prior to Mao’s ascendance to the position of theParty’s supreme leader. During that period, Zhang and other leaders also tried to shapethe communist movement in China according to their ideas. The Academy of Marxismand Leninism, which Zhang headed, and where divergent views with respect to theapplication of Marxism into China co-existed, is a case in this point.Scholars who wrote about Yan’an mainly engaged with two central questions. Those whowrote before Mao’s death were preoccupied with the question of which policies inYan’an allowed the CCP to grow and eventually win the Civil War. Those who wroteafter the Cultural Revolution were primarily interested in the reasons for Mao’s rise to thestatus of the supreme leader of the CCP. The study of the Rectification (1942-1944) wasusually their focus, as in this Campaign Mao was able to finally establish himself as theultimate leader of the CCP.Mark Selden (1971) singles out the Yan ‘an Way as the main reason for the CCP’s success.Selden applies Franz Schurmann’s ideas from Ideology and Organization in CommunistChina in order to explain Yan’an, arguing that the Yan’an period was about “rejectingdomination by an administrative or technical elite operating through a centralized1bureaucracy, it emphasized popular participation, decentralization and communitypower” (Selden 1971, 210). According to Selden, this process of curbing the power of theelite was accomplished through “organizational and educational methods” rather thanviolent ones (Selden 1971, 190).In Yen ‘an’s Shadow [Yan ‘an de Yingyin] (1990), Chen Yongfa dismisses Selden’sargument that Mao attained power primarily through peaceful means and describesSelden’s work as a reflection of young students’ romanticism. In his study of theRectification and Rescue campaigns of 1942 to 1944, Chen argues that Mao supportedKang Sheng’s inquisitional methods during the Rescue Campaign, and that these methodsallowed Mao to attain ultimate power (Chen 1990, 2-3).In addition to Selden and Chen, in The Emergence ofMaoism (1980), Raymond Wylieargues that Mao gained his legitimacy through establishing himself as the Party’s chieftheoretician; Mao presented himself as the one who was able to ‘sinify’ Marxism,translating this doctrine to suit China’s particularities. In this manner, Mao successfullydefeated the group of “returned students” from the Soviet Union, whom he labeled asdogmatic Marxists. According to Wylie, one of the Party’s leading intellectuals, ChenBoda, was Mao’s main assistant in forging Mao’s doctrine of communism, and themaking of Mao’s personality cult (Wylie 1980, 7, 66, 100, 269).In 1993, many internal sources were translated by Tony Saich in his book The Rise toPower ofthe Chinese Communist Party, which covers most of the history of the CCP2from its establishment in 1921 till the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.In the introduction, Saich focuses on Mao’s rise to power and the Rectification campaign.He points out that the documents from that period “reveal what a capable politician Maowas”, successfully outmaneuvering his political rivals (Saich 1993a, ixi). With respect tothe Rectification, Saich argues that this campaign allowed Mao to establish his ideas asthe Party’s orthodoxy, while suppressing alternative discourses (Saich 1993a, ixi-ixii).In 1994, Saich combined his impeccable skills as a historian of the CCP with Apter’smastery of both modern and postmodern theories. The outcome of this cooperation,Revolutionary Discourse in Mao ‘s Republic (1994), is a book that furnishes us with anargument that is similar to that of Wylie, yet much more detailed and sophisticated. Apterand Saich attribute Mao’s success to his ability to forge a unitary, logocentric discoursefor the communist Party (Apter and Saich 1994, 4-5). In this logocentric cultural system,Yan’an was like a spectacle, a revolutionary simulacrum, and a “New Jerusalem”, inwhich Mao was a revolutionary cosmocrat. This revolutionary discourse provided Maowith a symbolic capital through which he could establish his authority over the Party elite(Apter and Saich 1994, 7). Apter and Saich also view Yan’an as the “republic oflearning”, where the communists established many educational institutions to propagateMao’s works, which created an “exegetical bonding” of loyalty to Mao (Apter and Saich1994, 263-264).Unlike previous authors who discussed the importance of ideology and discourse inMao’s ascendance, in How Did the Sun Rise over Yan ‘an? A History ofthe Rectification3Movement [Hong taiyang shi zenme shengqide? Yan ‘an zhangfengyundong de lai longqu mai] (2000), Gao Hua, a Mainland scholar, shows how Mao’s political moves allowedhim to become the supreme leader of the CCP. In this book, which is inspired by TheRomance ofthe Three Kingdoms, Gao Hua, as an omniscient storyteller, provides anelaborate description of Mao’s repertoire of political tricks and maneuvers that enabledhim to defeat his rivals.In a more recent book, Marxist Philosophy in China: From Qu Qiubai to Mao Zedong,1923-1945 (2005), which revisits the emergence of Mao Zedong Thought, Nick Knightexplores the Marxist philosophy as developed by Qu Qiubai, Li Da and Ai Siqi before theendorsement of Mao Zedong Thought as China’s official version of Marxism in 1945.With respect to Yan’an, the author focuses on the collaboration between Mao and thephilosopher, Ai Siqi, in the project of sinifying the Stalinist orthodoxy: the NewPhilosophy. Unlike prior studies, this book is sympathetic to Mao. Rather thanelaborating on the means that allowed Mao to defeat his political rivals, this bookfurnishes us with a thorough analysis of the intellectual sources of Mao Zedong Thought,arguing that Mao’s engagement in philosophy did not only emanate from politicalambition, but also from a genuine intellectual interest. This book is important because itpresents a fresh perspective on the Yan’an period, yet, like prior studies, it is Maocentred.Unlike previous studies, which primarily focused on Mao’s rise and his vision of Chinesecommunism, this thesis examines the Yan’an period from the perspective of Zhang4Wentian. It seeks to explore the following questions: what was Zhang’s vision ofMarxism in China; what was the difference between his vision and that of Mao Zedong;and, how did Zhang implement his vision as the principal of the Academy of Marxismand Leninism.Actually, Zhang’s vision of Marxism shares much in common with Mao during the preRectification Yan’an. Zhang agreed with Mao on many issues, and even supported Mao’sleadership of the Party. Zhang sided with Mao on the issue of the United Front strategy in1937 and 1938. Zhang was also aware of the need to sinify Marxism in order to make itaccessible to the new Party cadres, as well as other Chinese audiences. The difference isthat Zhang’s approach to sinification was more conservative than that of Mao. WhileMao emphasized China’s “national form”, Zhang sought to assert the primary position offoreign culture as well as Marxist doctrine in the “new Chinese culture” that thecommunists were trying to establish. Zhang supported Mao’s leadership on the one hand;on the other hand, he was cautious to preserve a collective form of leadership so that hecould maintain his own power within the Party. His disapproval of the emergence ofMao’s personality cult created a serious tension between the two leaders on the eve of theRectification Campaign.The Academy of Marxism and Leninism, the highest institute of learning in Yan’an,reflected Zhang’s conservative view of Marxism in relation to China’s communism. Itfocused on the study of Marxist theory and classic texts, as well as the history of theSoviet Union and foreign culture. The program of studies also included lectures on5politics and Party work by leaders of the CCP. In the Academy, Zhang aspired to createan elite that was in his own image: both proficient in Marxist classics, but also inpractical affairs and the conditions in China.Apter and Saich considered Zhang Wentian, along with Ai Siqi, Kang Sheng and ChenBoda, as Mao’s main assistants in the creation of a Maoist discourse (Apter and Saich1994, 89). At that time, Zhang, as the head of the Department of the Cadre Education inYan’an, was responsible for the design of the curriculum in the Party schools in Yan’an.The educational system created in Yan’an, as described by Wylie, “gave Mao the meansto exercise a degree of ideological control over the Party that had never been possiblebefore. It was this educational system that was to serve as the incubator for Mao’sRectification Movement” (Wylie 1980, 60). It was also argued by Apter and Saich thatthe educational institutions: “were the chief instruments through which Mao’s discoursewas transmitted, communicated, and taught” (Apter and Saich 1994, 224). This thesisdoes not attempt to refute these statements. Rather, it argues that the initial goals ofZhang were not necessarily to elevate Mao or forge the exegetical bonding between Maoand the students. Zhang interpreted Marxism in ways that did not always coincide withMao’s interpretation. Nonetheless, the educational infrastructure that Zhang establishedeventually facilitated the consolidation of Mao’s power during the Rectification.By studying the Academy, this thesis also shows that in the pre-Rectification period therewas a divergence of views among the CCP elite with respect to the application of Marxistdoctrine to China. Some of the lecturers at the Academy were Mao’s close associates,6who promoted Mao and participated in the project of sinifying Marxism. Yet, otherspreferred to focus on classical Marxist texts, and their views were closer to those ofZhang Wentian. In The Rise to Power ofthe Chinese Communist Party, Saich points outthat pre-Rectification Yan’an was marked by pluralism, and the Party did not have aunitary discourse (Saich 1995, ixii). Apter and Saich also argue that before 1942 “Yan’anhad a much more experimental atmosphere. There was greater freedom to try out newapproaches (Apter and Saich 1994, 144).” This study of the Academy in pre-RectificationYan’an expands on this theme to argue that there was a divergence of views among thelecturers at the Academy with respect to the issue of how to apply Marxism to China.The existence of divergent views was a consequence of the lack of an authoritative,paramount Party leader. As this study shows, it was not until late 1941 when Maomanaged to establish his authority over the Party’s elite that he was able to impose hisown ideas on the Academy. In late 1941, the Academy was renamed the Central ResearchInstitute (Zhongyangyanjiuyuan). Rather than study Marxist theory, the Central ResearchInstitute was dedicated to the research of China’s own situation. The agenda of theInstitute was set in accordance with Mao’s principle of “deriving truth from facts” and hisvision of establishing a “new Chinese culture” based on China’s ‘national form’.This study is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 identifies primary and secondarysources for the thesis, delineating their political point of views as well as their limitationsand ‘biases’. Focusing on Zhang Wentian, chapter 2 provides information on Zhang’sbackground and experience that helped shape his ideas, and also explains Zhang’s7position within the Party and the overall institutional structure in Yan’an. Then, it movesto analyze Zhang’s ideas, comparing them with those of Mao Zedong. To understand thedivergent views inside the Academy, chapter 3 examines the backgrounds and thoughtsof the main figures at the Academy with respect to the application of Marxism to China.Through the description of the everyday life at the Academy, this chapter explains howZhang endeavored to realize his own approach to Marxism at the Academy and thepolitical constraints for his aspiration. To conclude, chapter 4 summarizes someinstitutional changes since the conversion of the Academy to the Central ResearchInstitute, which reflected Zhang’s defeat and Mao’s rise.8Chapter 2: SourcesMy primary sources from the Yan’an period and the majority of my secondary sourceswere generated by CCP members. As for the primary sources, some were written byZhang and other members of the Academy. My secondary sources are mostly memoirs byformer members of the Academy as well as a biographical account which follows theCCP’s official line. The nature of the sources poses several challenges for those whostudy this period.The articles I employ as primary sources were published in pre-Rectification Yan’anperiodicals. The authors are Zhang Wentian, Mao Zedong and other intellectuals from theAcademy. The periodicals which I primarily cite are Jiefang [Liberation] and Zhongguowenhua [China Culture]. The main challenge in using these sources was to tease outZhang’s views and compare them with those of Mao. In two essays published inZhongguo wenhua in 1940 discussing the essence of the ‘new Chinese culture’ that theCCP was trying to create, both leaders used very similar concepts, such as the sinificationof Marxism, and a ‘democratic’, mass-based Chinese new culture. The differencesbetween their positions might seem negligible. Only after reading Timothy Cheek andDavid Holm’s discussions on “national”, “new” and “old” forms (Cheek 1984; HoIm1991), I realized that there must be some differences that are significant in the fact thatMao uses the term “national form”, whereas Zhang refers to “foreign forms”.My secondary Chinese sources were also challenging to analyze. These are collections ofreminiscences published during the 1980s and early 1990s by former lecturers and9graduates from the Academy or later the Institute. The main collections are the Yan ‘anzhongyangyanjiuyuan huiyilu [Reminiscences of Yan’an Central Research Institutej(Wen, 1984), and the Yan ‘an malie xueyuan huiyi [Reminiscences of Yan’an’s Academyof Marxism and Leninism] (Wu, 1991). Another source that I frequently cite is ZhangWentian zhuan [Biography of Zhang Wentian] (Cheng, 1993). All of these sources followthe Party’s official narrative regarding Yan’an. Those who wrote the reminiscences areold Party veterans, who were among the most influential people at the Party during the1980s and early 1990s but who were in rather precarious positions. The Party’s ideologywas in a crisis, and leaders from younger generations started to implement economic andpolitical reforms that would compromise the ideology for which the old generations hadfought throughout their lives. In their memoirs, these cadres tried to resuscitate ‘Yan’anspirit’ in order to restore their symbolic power within the Party and the state. They alsoromanticized the revolutionary passion during Yan’an period, which was in stark contrastto the ideological disillusion in the 1980s and 1990s. The narrative of the memoirs wasshaped by the authors’ traumatic experiences of the Cultural Revolution. Theynostalgically looked back at Yan’an period. Contrary to the violence and bitterfactionalism of the last decade of Mao’s reign, Yan’an was idealized as a period ofharmony among the Party’s elite with vibrant intra-Party democracy.Zhang Wentian was remembered favorably as an effective and righteous leader, as wellas one of the chief advocators of intra-Party democracy. In the Party’s Third PlenarySession of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1978, the successors of Mao approved ofZhang’s role in pre-Rectification Yan’an, and eulogized him for his contribution to10propaganda and cadre education (Wu 1991, 34; Cheng 1993, 782). They also praised himfor supporting Mao’s leadership throughout the Yan’an period and for promoting intraParty democracy. According to the sources used for this thesis, Zhang’s views at theAcademy were considered to be consistent with those of Mao. Zhang was rememberedfor his adherence to Party democracy not necessarily because of his role in Yan’an, butprimarily because, in 1959, in Lushan, along with Peng Dehuai, he was among the fewleaders who dared to criticize Mao for the excesses of the Great Leap Forward.To complement the limitations of these secondary sources, this thesis also looks at theworks of the Taiwan scholar, Chen Yungfa (1990), and the Mainland historian, Gao Hua(2000). While demystifying the official narrative that portrays Yan’an period asharmonious and democratic, their works show that there were significant frictions andtensions between Mao and Zhang. Even though they worked together, Mao was notentirely satisfied with Zhang’s work at the Academy. Another essay by Zeng Yanxiu(1985), one of Zhang’s assistants at the Academy, alludes to the tensions between Zhangand Mao. This essay was included in Huiyi Zhang Wentian [Remembering ZhangWentian], with most of its collection following the official Party rhetoric. Zeng, however,instead of idealizing the Yan’an period, highlighted the difficulties and frustrations thatZhang faced at the Academy when collaborating with Mao. With respect to the issue ofintra-Party democracy, this thesis shows that during the pre-Rectification Yan’an period,specifically before the Academy was converted to the Central Research Institute, theParty was far more democratic than in the Rectification period; Zhang, indeed,contributed significantly to this political environment. However, it is important to note11that “democracy” here refers to one in a Leninist, Bolshevik style, in which politicaldebates within the party are encouraged merely for the purpose of eventually achievingideological unity rather than pluralism.In summary, it is challenging to reconstruct a narrative from Zhang Wentian’sperspective by relying on both the primary and secondary sources for the followingreasons. First, in the primary sources, where Mao and Zhang agree on many issues andemploy similar concepts, the differences between them appear to be minor. The authorsof the secondary sources make deliberate efforts to dismiss the existence of any divergentopinions or tensions between Mao and Zhang. This essay provides an analysis of preRectification Yan’an period from Zhang’ s perspective, and the divergence between hisview and that of Mao.12Chapter 3: Differences and Similarities between Zhang’s and Mao’s Approaches ofChinese Marxism3.1 Zhang Wentian’s BackgroundAn examination of Zhang Wentian’s background is important for our understanding ofwhy his ideas and academy policies diverged from those of Mao. Zhang’s internationalbackground profoundly shaped his conservative version of sinification. He had richexperience as a Party leader, which taught him that theory should be applicable toChina’s real problems and accessible to the masses. A significant part of Zhang’spolitical life was spent in bitter factional struggles, which made it desirable for him tostrive for a leadership based on consensus.Few leaders in the communist Party had international background as rich as ZhangWentian. Born in 1900 in Jiangsu province, Zhang spenta few months in Japan studyingJapanese language in 1920, before he movedto San Francisco where he lived from 1922to 1924 (Kampen 2000, 22-23). From 1925-1927, Zhang studied at Sun YatsenUniversity in Moscow, which was established by the Soviet government for intensetraining of leading cadres from both the CCP and the Guomindang (Cheng 1993, 95;Sheng 1971, 61). Courses offered there included Russian language, history (notably ofthe Soviet, Chinese and Western revolutions), philosophy, political economy, economicgeography, Leninism and military science (Sheng 1971, 6 1-64). As a member of theTranslation Bureau there, Zhang took part in the translation of Marxist classics fromRussian to Chinese (Sheng 1971, 56-58; Cheng 1993, 96; Hu 1980b, 266).13Later in 1928, Zhang was enrolled in the Red Professors’ Institute, which was the highestacademic institution in the Soviet Union (Cheng 1993, 103; Fox 1997, 133). Trained inChinese history in the Red Professors’ Institute, he also lectured at Sun Yatsen Universityin Moscow while working on the translation of The Civil War in France by Karl Marx.He was also a fellow researcher at the Research Institute for Chinese Issues, which was asupplementary institution of Sun Yatsen University (Cheng 1993, 104-105; Sheng 1971,53-54). Such international training gave Zhang unique insight to Marxist classics, whichlater was reflected in the curriculum at the Academy in Yan’an.After he received his education in the Soviet Union, Zhang served as a senior CCP leaderbetween 1931 and 1935. In early 1931, he returned to Shanghai and headed the Party’sDepartment of Propaganda. Along with Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Zhou Enlai, he was oneof the most senior Party leaders (Cheng 1993, 131). In 1933, he moved to the ChineseSoviet Republic whose center was located in Ruijin, Jiangxi and served as a member ofthe Political Bureau. After his return from the Soviet Union, Zhang’s closest allies wereWang Ming and Bo Gu. However, at the Zunyi Conference of January 1935, Zhang sidedwith Mao against Bo Gu and was appointed to the position of the Party’s chiefadministrative officer (Wang 2002b, 413-415).Between 1925 and 1935, as both a student and Party leader, Zhang went through bitterinternecine struggles. While he was studying at Sun Yatsen University in 1925 and 1926,the CCP branch in Moscow kept strict control of the Chinese students. As a member ofthe branch, Zhang was observant of the Party regulations until the summer of 1926 when14he allied with other students to revolt against the branch (Sheng 1971, 111-112; Cheng1993, 97-98). He joined those who denounced the supporters of Trotsky, who wasexpelled by Stalin from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in late 1927(Sheng 1971, 206-209; Cheng 1993, 102). In 1930, Zhang, along with Wang Ming andBo Gu, attacked the CCP leader Li Lisan for his militancy and labeled him as makingleftist errors (Cheng 1993, 110-113; Sheng 1971, 228-238). In 1933 and 1934, Zhangcriticized Mao’s recommendation to abolish the CCP’s previous classification of manyhouseholds in Jiangxi as landlord households, which, according to Zhang, was rightistopportunism (Gao 2000, 57-58). From this we can clearly see that prior to Yan’an, Zhanghad a rich experience of fierce political struggles. In Yan’an, however, Zhang acteddifferently, refraining from making public criticism of other political rivals.One explanation for his changed approach to politics might be that he considered politicalstruggles as undermining Party unity. According to Wu Liangping and Zeng Yanxiu,Zhang would try to make sure that all different opinions were expressed whenever hepresided over Party meetings and that the central Party made decisions based onconsensus1(Zeng 1985, 98-99; Wu 1992, 376). With Zhang as one of the most seniorleaders, the pre-Rectification Yan’an period was marked by cooperation among theleaders with little open factional struggles. It was not until Mao came into power thatZhang’s authority was undermined and fierce political struggles resurged.153.2 Zhang’s Political Activities in the Party in pre-Rectification Yan’an PeriodZhang’s policies of promoting intra-Party democracy and collective leadership were aconsequence not only of his bitter past experience, but also of political necessity. Duringthe pre-Rectification period, there lacked a paramount leader within the CCP that had fullauthority over the Party. In order to run the Party properly, several senior leaders sharedpower together and sometimes had to compromise with each other to arrive at consensus.After Zunyi Conference in January 1935, Zhang and Mao Zedong shared the Party’sleadership; Zhang being the Party’s chief administrative officer handling the Party’s dailyaffairs, and Mao in charge of military affairs (Kampen 2000, 75-76; Teiwes and Sun1995, 341; Gao 2000, 90-9 1). WhileZhang was officially the highest-ranked Party leaderbefore the Rectification, it was Mao that was the most dominant person in the Party(Teiwes and Sun 1995; Cheng 1993, 427-428). Yet, in spite of his power, Mao had torely on Zhang’s support to constrain other political rivals. According to Teiwes andCheng Zhongyuan, who was Zhang’s biographer, Mao’s main incentive to align withZhang was that Zhang “was highly disinterested in ultimate power” (Cheng 1993, 427-428; Teiwes and Sun 1995, 34 1-342). On the part of Zhang, as argued by Gao Hua, hecollaborated with Mao because of his concern about the Party’sfuture. The weakness inZhang’s personality was another factor that led to his alliance with Mao, according toGao. However, in spite of his personality, Zhang was resolved to remain at his leadershipposition once he achieved it (Gao 2000, 90-9 1). The evidence of collaboration betweenZhang and Mao, which is presented throughout this essay, shows that Zhang assistedMao to attain power without the intention of challenging Mao’s authority.16Nevertheless, rather than being Mao’s devoted loyalist, Zhang was able to challengesome of Mao’s initiatives during the pre-Rectification period. In 1937, Mao supportedLiu Shaoqi’s criticism of the performance of the Party leadership between 1927 and 1937as leftist errors. As Zhang was among the leadership back then, he refuted Liu’s criticism.Because of Zhang’s objection, Mao had to withdraw his support of Liu, since he neededZhang as his ally (Gao 2000, 95-96; Teiwes and Sun 1995, 341; Kampen 2000, 100-103).There was another incident in which Zhang succeeded in challenging Mao, as recordedby Gao Hua. In 1940, Mao was to carry out a cadre inspection campaign (shencha)among young intellectuals in Yan’an, in which the number of “secret agents” had beendecided even before the campaign started. However, he was unable to do that becauseboth Zhang and Chen Yun, the head of the Department of Organization, who advocated aliberal policy toward the intellectuals, opposed Mao’s proposed campaign (Gao 2000,459).In spite of the disagreements between Mao and Zhang, throughout most of the preRectification period, Mao allied with Zhang to consolidate his leadership position. InZunyi Conference, Mao and Zhang worked together to remove from power Bo Gu and LiDe2,who was the Comintern representative. Later, when Zhang Guotao challengedMao’s authority, Zhang assisted Mao in denouncing Zhang Guotao’s actions asillegitimate (Apter and Saich 1994, 42; Wu 1991, 102). In July 1937, the Anti-JapaneseWar broke out and Zhang supported Mao’s position to limit alliance with theGuomindang. Such a stance was in opposition to that of Wang Ming, Bo Gu, and Zhou17Enlai who advocated close military and political cooperation with the Guomindang(Teiwes and Sun 1995, 344). Since December 1937, Mao and Zhang had been in theParty’s Secretariat, which also included Wang Ming, Chen Yun and Kang Sheng who atthat time were not allied with Mao (Teiwes and Sun 1995, 342-344; Kampen 2000, 90).In early 1939 when Mao was nominated by the Comintern to be the CCP leader, themanagement of the Party’s regular affairs was gradually transferred from Zhang to Mao(Feng and Li 2000, 25-26). Mao was not in complete control of the Party’s leadership,though. Members of the Party’s Secretariat remained the same until the Rectification,which kept Mao’s power in check (Teiwes and Sun 1995, 342-344; Kampen 2000, 90).Moreover, back then there were sixteen members in the Central Party’s Political Bureauestablished in January 1941, and not all of them were Mao loyalists (Wang 1995, 426,482, 549). Thus, Mao had to rely on Zhang to maintain power, which made Zhang animportant figure in Yan’an period.During this period, Zhang was in charge of the Party’s propaganda and cadre education,thus had considerable influence in the realm of ideology. As the head of the Departmentof Propaganda and the Department of Cadre Education, he was responsible for the designof teaching materials and the appointment of personnel in the thirty-one cadre schoolsestablished in Yan’an during this period (Wang 1992, 207-208; Apter and Saich 1994,237-242, 33 5-336). As the head of the Academy of Marxism and Leninism, where theParty’s young intelligentsia was educated, Zhang had the power to shape the Party’sunderstanding of Marxism.18Throughout the pre-Rectification period, Zhang had his own small “kingdom” inLanjiaping at the outskirts of Yan’an, where the Party’s Secretariat, the Department ofPropaganda, and the Academy were located (Cheng 1993, 432, 444). In May 1940,Zhang and the Secretariat moved to Yangjialing, where Mao lived, in order to workclosely with him (Cheng 1993, 428; Wu 1985, 126).As the chief editor of the theoretical journals Jiefang [Liberation] and Gongchan dangren[The Communist] (Wang 1995, 48 1-484), Zhang had significant influence over theParty’s ideology, advocating a conservative application of Marxism to China. Despiteideological differences, Zhang’s periodicals promoted Mao as the Party’s head. But, thearticles in these periodicals did not always represent Zhang’s position; sometimes variouswriters presented conflicting views, reflecting the ideological divergence in preRectification Yan’ an period.Since Zhang was the editor ofJiefang (Cheng 1993, 428), a public CCP periodical ofpolitical theory with the official objectives to “establish national peace, strive fordemocratic rights, and conduct a war against Japan” (Cao 2001, 13), an examination ofthis periodical might attest to a collaboration between Zhang and Mao. Twenty-fouressays by Zhang were published in Jiefang, which also included Mao Zedong’s famousessays On Protracted War, Discussing a New Stage, and On New Democracy (Cao 2001,13). In one of his Jiefang editorials in 1940, Zhang made it clear that one of the objectivesfor the periodical was to “frequently publish great essays by the people’s leader — MaoZedong who enjoys worldwide respect” (Cao 2001, 13). But, this was pointed out only as19the fifth objective of the periodical. The fourth one was to introduce the works of Marx,Engels, Lenin and Stalin. In addition, even though the editorial highly recommended MaoZedong, it also mentioned the importance of including articles by other senior leaderssuch as Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Zhou Enlai, who were not always Mao’s staunchestsupporters (Jiefang 1940, 2). Mao publicly praised the work of the periodical. Yet, inspite of this mutual recognition between Mao and Zhang in Jiefang, there was sometension between them. As shown in the following sections, I argue that Zhang disagreedwith some of Mao’s suggestions in his essay On New Democracy, as expressed in hisessay The New Culture Movement Since the Anti-Japanese War and its Future Taskspublished in Jiefang (Cao 2001, 13). In addition, many essays that promoted a moreclassic-based version of Marxism were included in Jiefang by Zhang, which probablyhad upset Mao (Cao 2001, 221). Very likely, Zhang was offended by Mao’s critical viewof some senior Party leaders’ performance from 1931 to 1935. Mao’s criticism could befound in the first issue of Gongchandangren [The Communist] in October 1939 (Mao andSchram 1 992c, 252), the periodical which was intended to disseminate the directivesfrom the Party center (Cao 2001, 14).In addition to his editorial work, he was also dedicated to disseminating China’s recenthistory in official Party narrative among Party cadres. In 1937, Zhang Wentian edited thetextbook Zhongguo xiandai gemingyundong shi [The Histoty ofChina’s ModernRevolutions] on modern history of China for Party cadres, as well as laypersons. In orderto compile this book, Zhang established a “Society for the Study of the History ofChinese Revolution”, whose members included Liu Yalou, Zhang Aiping, Yang Lanshi20and Mo Wenhua. Zhu De also participated in some of its activities. Each member of theSociety contributed a chapter to be edited by Zhang (Cheng 1993, 449-450). Written in asimple and accessible language, the edited book became the standard textbook for thestudy of modern Chinese history in schools in Yan’an and circulated elsewhere as well.Zhongguo xiandai gemingyundong shi presents China’s modern history in the officialCCP narrative. For example, the Taiping Rebellion from 1851 to 1864 was portrayed asthe beginning of China’s revolutionary history. In the book, this peasant revolt wasperceived as a consequence of the influence of colonialism and capitalism, whichdestabilized China’s feudal system (Zhang 1939, 3-5). The book also discussed otherpolitical movements that resulted from the disintegration of the feudal order. It suggestedthat at present the imperialist Japan was the main enemy, the resistance of which requiredcooperation with the Guomindang. In this way, Zhang managed to justify the alliance ofthe CCP with the Guomindang in the Anti-Japanese War (Zhang 1939, 277).In the book, Zhang shared similar views with Mao Zedong. For example, like Mao,Zhang emphasized that the CCP should rely not only on the workers but also peasantsand petit bourgeoisie (Zhang 1939, 143-275). In 1927, Jiang Jieshi launched anunexpected attack to eliminate CCP members, most of who drew support from workers.Both Zhang and Mao believed that the CCP should learn from this attack the lesson thatthey should also ally with people from other classes (Zhang 1939, 143-275). Regardingmilitary strategies, Zhang’s view was close to that of Mao. According to Zhang, Chinawas divided among warlords and Japanese imperialists; therefore, he suggested that the21CCP should take over territories where the power of those warlords and imperialists wasabsent and establish guerrilla bases there. According to one scholar, Zhang’s insightcould be traced in Mao’s essay On the Problem of War and Strategy (Li 2000, 401).Besides, Zhang tried to avoid possible conflicts with Mao regarding Party history. Whiledescribing China’s history up to 1927, the book Zhang edited did not touch on the historyfrom 1927 to 1937 on the ground that Zhang and Mao had disagreement regarding theperformance of senior leaders. By not discussing this issue, Zhang refrained from havinga conflict with Mao.The above analysis of Zhang Wentian’s political activities shows that Zhang was one ofthe most influential politicians in pre-Rectification Yan’an period. While occupyingseveral important positions, Zhang was able to disseminate Marxist doctrine and makeChinese history in the official Party narrative readily available to the Party members.Despite some ideological disagreements with Mao, Zhang helped Mao to establish hisstatus as the Party’s highest leader.3.3 A Comparison between Zhang Wentian and Mao ZedongCold War historiography tends to portray the history of the CCP between 1931 to 1945 asan ideological two-line struggle between Mao Zedong and the “returned students”, or “28Bolsheviks”, most notably Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Zhang Wentian (Sheng 1971; Wylie1980). According to this historiography there was a serious ideological dissentionbetween these two groups regarding the sinification of Marxism: while the Maoist factionargued that in this process the original body of Marxist doctrine would be “creatively22developed”, the returned students contended that “existing Marxist doctrine would bedistorted or even destroyed” (Wylie 1980, 95). Post Cold-War scholarship, such asTeiwes and Sun (1995), or Kampen (2000), presents us with a more complicated picture,arguing that the group of ‘returned students’ from the Soviet Union was not homogenous,with some of them, like Zhang Wentian and Wang Jiaxiang, supporting Mao’s leadershipof the Party, while others such as Wang Ming and Bo Gu did not. Such a view that Zhangsupported Mao’s leadership was also shared by Gao Hua (2000), who neverthelessfurther pointed out that like most of the “returned students”, Zhang was also reluctant toaccept Mao’s vision of sinifying the Marxist doctrine.The comparison between pre-Rectification writings of Mao and Zhang Wentian revealsthat their ideas with respect to the development of the communist movement in Chinawere not necessarily antagonistic. In 1937 and late 1938, the circumstances of the Anti-Japanese War, and the need to recruit the masses of Chinese people to the communistcause made both leaders change their positions, adjusting their ideological convictions tothe new situations. In 1937, both leaders held similar positions with respect to the Partypolicy in the Anti-Japanese war, supporting a limited cooperation with the Guomingdangin the United Front against Japan. In 1938, both realized that in order to expand theCCP’s base of popular support, the CCP must introduce a more sinified version ofMarxism. In 1940, Zhang and Mao declared that in order to fight against the Japanese,the CCP must create a ‘new culture’ that would be both mass-based and scientific.23This section also compares Mao’s famous essay On New Democracy and Zhang’sKangzhanyilai zhonghua minzu de xin wenhuayundongyujinhou renwu [The NewCulture Movement Since the Anti-Japanese War and its Future Tasks], both of whichwere delivered initially as public speeches and then published in Zhongguo wenhuarespectively in February and April 1940 (Cao 2001, 14). These two essays reveal manypoints of agreement between them. The difference between them, however, is that Mao’sdeparture from orthodox Marxism had been more radical than that of Zhang.With respect to the United Front, both Mao and Zhang shared very similar perspective.Both of them thought that even though the CCP should cooperate with the Guomingdangin the struggle against the Japanese, they should maintain their organizational andmilitary independence. They opposed Wang Ming, Zhou Enlai and Bo Gu who advocatedcloser cooperation with the Guomingdang (Teiwes and Sun 1995, 343-344; Kampen2000, 88-91: Apter and Saich 1994, 57-5 8). Both Zhang and Mao wrote about the CCP’swar strategies. In Sept 1937, Zhang Wentian wrote Lun kangri minzu geming zhanzhengde tejiu xing [On the Protracted Nature ofthe National Revolutionary Anti-JapaneseWar]. In May 1938, Mao delivered his famous speech On Protracted War. A comparisonbetween the two essays shows some similarities. Like Zhang, Mao used the term“protracted war” to describe the nature of the Anti-Japanese War. Zhang explained thatthis war was going to be long-lasting because even though Japan was stronger than China,China had the advantage of vast population as well as international support. To Japan’sdetriment, Zhang pointed out that the Chinese were united in their resistance, whereas inJapan the war had a rather narrow basis of support (Zhang 1990, 355). In his speech On24Protracted War, Mao provided an almost identical argument (Mao and Schram 1992b,335). It is suspected that Zhang’s essay had significant influence on Mao’s famous speech(Cao 2001, 13).In 1938, prior and during to the CCP’s Sixth Plenum, both Mao and Zhang pointed outthe need to sinify Marxist theory in different rhetoric. Zhang wrote that “the Marxistprinciple and methodology are of international character, but since we do ourorganizational work in China, we must strictly take into account China’s politics,economy, culture, national habits, morals characteristic.” “What we need is internationalcontent and national form. We need to sinify our organizational work; otherwise we arenot members of the Chinese Communist Party” (Zhang 1990, 453). In an earlier speechin April 1938, Zhang also made a very similar pronouncement. He argued that one of thetasks of the CCP is to “take into account China’s tradition and characteristics, reshapeand develop them, so that they would meet the requirements of China’s revolution”(Zhang 1990, 430). Even though these remarks do not directly refer to the sinification ofMarxism they seem to coincide with Mao’s speech in the Sixth Plenum.Mao also stated in the Sixth Plenum that the sinification of Marxism—the application ofMarxist doctrine into China--should be done according to China’s national form3.Yet,unlike Zhang, Mao was quite critical of the current practices in the Party, arguing that“We must put an end to writing eight-legged essays on foreign models; there must be lesssinging of empty, abstract tunes; dogmatism must be laid to rest” (Holm 1991, 50; Maoand Takeuchi 1971b, 261). This dissatisfaction with the Party’s approach to Marxism25later led to its radical alteration by Mao during the Rectification, which was resisted byZhang. In 1938, however, both Mao and Zhang agreed upon the need to sinify Marxismin order to make it compatible with China’s current conditions and accessible to the vastmajority of the Chinese people. In spite of his criticism of the Party’s approach toMarxism, with Zhang, Mao emphasized the significance of studying the Marxist classics(Mao and Takeuchi 1972b, 259-260).The comparison between Mao’s celebrated essay On New Democracy, and Zhang’sKangzhanyilai zhonghua minzu de xin wenhuayundongyujinhou renwu [The NewCulture Movement Since the Anti-Japanese War and its Future Tasks] reveals that eventhough Zhang and Mao shared similar ideas, they also had some disagreements regardingthe application of Marxist theory to China, the integration of foreign culture, and theParty’s policy towards the masses. In his essay, Mao outlined the insufficiencies of thetraditional Chinese culture and argued for a new culture that would facilitate theresistance against the Japanese. His project was to create a “new democratic” culture thatwould be supported by the masses for China’s gradual transition to socialism. ZhangWentian, who was responsible for the Party’s education and propaganda, supportedMao’s notion of a mass-based “new culture”. Both Mao and Zhang agreed thatintellectuals should play a crucial role in disseminating the proposed new culture.Both Mao and Zhang defined the primary characteristics of the new culture that thecommunists should strive to develop. Like Mao who insisted that a “new democraticculture” should be mass-based, scientific and national (Mao and Takeuchi 1971c, 192),26Zhang also believed that a “new culture” should be national, democratic, scientific andmass-based (Zhang 1940, 4). The fact that Zhang mentioned democracy explicitly doesnot indicate that Zhang was more democratic. After all, the wording of “new democraticculture” used by Mao already includes the concept of democracy. Zhang, who employedthe term ‘new culture’, was yet to state explicitly the democratic nature of the advocatednew culture.Mao and Zhang’s definition of democracy were quite similar. Mao believed thatademocratic culture is “the masses of proletarians leading an anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist culture”. He also held that the “new culture” is democratic because it serves theneeds of workers and peasants, who are the majority of China’s population (Mao andTakeuchi 1971c, 192). Similarly, Zhang defined democratic culture as anti-imperialist,anti-feudalist and anti-tyranny, and suggested that it should be motivated by the desiresfor democratic freedom, democratic politics, democratic life and democratic working-style (Zhang 1940, 7). This notion of democracy does not differ much from that of Mao.Both leaders aspired to create an inclusive culture that would enable the Party to mobilizethe masses for the war against the Japanese.Zhang’s understanding of intra-Party democracy, as it appears in the essay, is quiteidentical to Mao’s previous statements regarding this issue. Zhang claimed that the Partyshould “organize various cultural, research and study groups, and advocate freedom ofresearch, freedom of thought, freedom of discussion in an active, lively and democraticmanner” (Zhang 1940, 14). Zhang also stated that “socialism should not be afraid of27freedom of discussion and freedom of criticism”, as these are the crucial premises for itsdevelopment (Zhang 1940, 9). In 1938, Mao made similar comments with regard to intraParty democracy. Mao argued that Party cadres should “dare to ask questions, expressviews, and criticize shortcomings with respect to the Party’s leading organs and cadres”(Mao and Takeuchi 1971b, 254). Mao contended that this intra-Party democracy isnecessary for maintaining a positive spirit among the Party members. These statementsobviously show that Zhang’s position regarding intra-Party democracy was quite similarto Mao’s.However, Mao departed from his position regarding intra-Party democracy on the eve ofthe Rectification in late 1941. Zhang’s justification for intra-Party democracy seems to berevealing. It is possible that Zhang’s statement about the need for freedom of discussionis related to his suspicion of Mao’s attempt to impose his own interpretation of Marxismon the Party. The fact that Mao left out any discussion of intra-Party democracy mightalso indicate his departure from his earlier position in 1938.With respect to the sinification of Marxism, both Mao and Zhang endorsed this projectand maintained similar views about the integration of Western culture in China. Theyopposed the notion of wholesale Westernization, arguing that China should incorporatethe positive things within Western culture (Mao and Takeuchi 1971c, 20 1-202; Zhang1940, 7). Their attitudes towards traditional Chinese culture had evolved, as reflected inthese two essays in 1940. Prior to 1938, both Mao and Zhang did not agree with ChenBoda who held Chinese culture in high esteem (Wylie 1980, 76, 79-84). In late 1938,28however, Mao joined Chen to applaud Chinese culture and history (Mao and Takeuchi1971b, 260-26 1). In 1940, Mao reiterated this position by emphasizing that there wereexcellent things in traditional Chinese culture, and that the ‘new culture’ should bedeveloped out of the traditional one (Mao and Takeuchi 1971c, 203). In his essay in 1940,Zhang also embraced Chen Boda’ s position by proposing that the Chinese should beproud of their cultural heritage and that the new culture should not completely repudiatethe traditional one; rather, it should strive to enhance the traditional culture (Zhang 1940,6).In spite of these similarities, Mao and Zhang had different concerns with respect to thesinification of Marxism and the development of a new culture. Zhang argued that thesinification of foreign culture is “not about making it China-centered, but making the bestcomponents of foreign culture to accommodate to the needs of the Chinese people in theAnti-Japanese War and the project of nation building. By applying the most advancedscientific theory and methodology to the study of China’s situations, the new culture isexpected to resolve China’s most practical issues” (Zhang 1940, 8). With the belief that“socialism is the most revolutionary and scientific doctrine”, he contended that in theChinese new cultural movement socialism should stand at the very front, and “play aleading role of a vanguard” (Zhang 1940, 8). Zhang also stated that one of China’sproblems was the shallow and weak foundation of Western culture that was introducedinto China not long ago (Zhang 1940, 13). These pronouncements indicate that eventhough Zhang supported the sinification of Marxism, he was concerned that the socialistaspects might be missed in Mao’s interpretation of Marxism.29In contrast, Mao Zedong had different concerns. He explained that although thepropagation of Marxist theory was crucial for a mass-based socialist revolution, currently“the essence of the people’s culture is not socialist, but new democratic because it is theculture of the masses fighting against imperialism and feudalism” (Mao and Takeuchi1971c, 202). This shows that unlike Zhang who stressed the importance of socialism,Mao believed that nationalism and mass culture were of primary importance. Writingabout the Marxist doctrine, Mao argued that its application should “aim at the nationalform.. .we should definitely not subjectively and formulaically apply it. FormulaicMarxists only make a joke out of Marxist theory and the Chinese revolution, and there isno room for them in the ranks of the Chinese revolution” (Mao and Takeuchi 197 Ic, 202;Mao and Schram 1992c, 368). In talking about formulaic Marxists Mao implicitlycriticized Zhang Wentian and other CCP members who preferred a conservative versionof sinification.The differences between Mao and Zhang could also be seen in their discussion of“national form”, “new” and “old forms”. The issue of “forms” was a cause for debateamong communist intellectuals during the 1930s. Qu Qiubai advocated old, native,Chinese “forms” to popularize new and foreign contents among the masses, whereasZhou Yang claimed that the employment of the ‘old forms’ should be an expedient meansto approach the masses with the main objective to raise their cultural level through theintroduction of foreign forms (Cheek 1984, 25-30; Goldman 1967, 15-17; Holm 1990,33-37). First in 1938 and then in his speech On New Democracy in 1940, Mao talked30about the need to sinify Marxism according to China’s “national form” (Mao andTakeuchi 1971b, 261). Following Mao’s speeches, the debate regarding “forms”continued and its primary protagonists, Zhou Yang and Chen Boda, whose position wasclose to Qu Qiubai, used the rhetoric of “national form” to promote their own viewsregarding “new” and “old” forms (Hoim 1990, 52-57, 62-66; Wylie 1980, 76).Mao’s position regarding the “national form” was closer to Chen Boda than to ZhouYang (Holm 1991, 50, 52, 56). In 1938, Mao proclaimed that foreign models “should bereplaced with a fresh and lively Chinese style and Chinese manner pleasing to the ear andto the eye of the Chinese common people”. He also warned that internationalist contentshould not be separated from national form (Mao and Takeuchi 1971 b, 261; Holm 1991,50). In another passage, Mao also wrote that “Marxism in national form is Marxismapplied to China’s real environment of struggle” (Mao and Takeuchi 1971b, 261). In “OnNew Democracy”, Mao made similar remarks again that “the “national form” and the“new democratic content” are the new culture” (Mao and Takeuchi 1971c, 202). Thesewords indicate that Mao’s position regarding the question of forms was primarilyinformed by the need to have immediate access to the masses. The question of raisingtheir cultural level was not of central importance.In his discussion of “forms”, Zhang Wentian adopted a position different from Mao’s. Inhis essay in 1940, Zhang did not use the term “national form”. He wrote that “the newcontent of a new culture has to have new forms; as the new content of the new culture isbeing created, so are the new forms. The new culture should use (“ilyong“)some old31forms in order to express a new content. Yet the old forms should go throughconsiderable transformation. Only then would the old forms be appropriate to expressnew content. To cite Lu Xun, Zhang argued that “in search of new forms, we should firstadvance the old forms. This adoption (“caiqu”) [of the old forms] is the beginning of thenew form, and the transformation of the old one” (Zhang 1940, 10).In addition, Zhang advocated that “foreign forms” should be employed and that the ‘newculture’ should raise the cultural level of the masses (Zhang 1940, 9-10), the views ofwhich were supported by Zhou Yang in the early 1930s (Holm 1991, 35). Moreover,Zhang, in his discussion of “old forms”, chose the verb “use” (“liyong”), which inChinese has the connotation of cynical manipulation (Hoim 1991, 52). Such a choice ofword may indicate that like Zhou, Zhang was dissatisfied with the reliance on old formsin order to promote new content. Zhang’ s reference to the iconoclast May Fourth writer,Lu Xun, was revealing of his position. Highly critical of Chinese traditional culture, LuXun was concerned that its old forms would pervert new content (Cheek 1984, 28). ForLu Xun, the “adoption” of old forms should be an expedient means to approach themasses. The fact that Zhang left out the rhetoric of “national from” in his later discussionseems to serve as an indication of his dissatisfaction and concerns regarding the“nationalization” of Marxism. In contrast to Mao, Zhang was not an enthusiasticsupporter of the “national form”.In addition to the differences regarding the application of Marxist theory to China, Maoand Zhang had conflicting views over the Party’s history. Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi32were critical of senior Party leaders’ performance back in 1927 and 1937, and tried toofficially classify it as “leftist errors”. Zhang, who was one of the senior leaders between1931 and 1935, opposed Mao and Liu’s classification (Teiwes and Sun 1995, 341;Kampen 2000, 100-103; Gao 2000, 93-95, 200-201). In 1939, as the head of a specialcommittee responsible for the preparation of materials on the Party’s history, Zhang wasin a position to frustrate the Maoist faction’s efforts to revise Party history (Wylie 1980,117). It was not until December 1941 that Mao was able to officially establish his ownversion of the Party’s history with the publication of Since the Sixth Party Congress-Secret Documents (Saich 1995, 309-3 10; Kampen 2000, 100). The controversy over theParty’s history reflected not merely ideological differences, but also power dynamicsamong Party leaders. If the performance of Zhang and other leaders had been officiallylabeled by the Party as wrong, then Mao would have been able to undermine theirauthority.To summarize, both Mao and Zhang were practical leaders who constantly adjusted theirideology to the changing political circumstances. The two leaders believed that in orderto gain the hearts and minds of the Chinese people, the CCP would have to introduce aMarxist ideology in a manner that enabled the Party to mobilize patriotic sentimentsamong the Chinese. The main point of divergence between Mao and Zhang was that Maoput more emphasis on the “national form” of the proposed new Chinese culture, whereasZhang sought to maintain the centrality of “foreign forms”. Another source of contentionbetween Mao and Zhang was Mao’s attempt to establish his own version of the Party’shistory as the Party’s official history. Even though there were ideological differences33between Mao and Zhang, different views were tolerated in Yan’an by both leaders, whichcould be exemplified by the Academy of Marxism and Leninism where Zhang served asthe principal.34Chapter 4: Diversity within The Academy of Marxism and LeninismRegarding the Application of Marxism to ChinaWhen Zhang Wentian was the principal at the Academyof Marxism and Leninism,diverse views flourished at the Academy. For example, Mao Zedong lectured on the NewDemocracy and on Protracted War (Cheng 1993, 439). Mao’s chief rival at the Party,Wang Ming, lectured on the Fourth Plenary Session of the Party’s Sixth CentralCommittee in 1931, where Wang Ming became the Party’s dominant leader. ZhangWentian taught about Ten Years ofthe Soviet Movement 1927- 1937(Wu 1991, 123).Zhou Enlai, even though he held different opinions with respectto the United Frontstrategy from Mao and Zhang, lectured on the United Front Policy (Wu 1991, 220).Furthermore, Chen Yun was the instructor of a lecture series on the establishment of theParty. Liu Shaoqi, Deng Fa and other leaders also taughtthere (Wu 1991, 9 1-92, 107, 118,133, 200). In that manner, students at the Academy wereexposed to a variety of opinionsregarding the Party’s policy and ideologyIn addition to these leaders who lecturedat the Academy, the composition of thepermanent lecturers at the Academy also reflected diversity. Eventhough most of theselecturers were educated abroad, they did not necessarily share the same views. It may bediscerned that roughly two separate intellectual groups existed at the Academy. One ofthem, which included Wang Xuewen and Wu Liangping advocateda conservativeapproach to the application of Marxism to Chinese situations; they sought to follow anorthodox or doctrinaire view of Marxism. Some of these lecturers were previously amongthe founders of the League of Left-Wing Writers, an intellectual inheritor of the35iconoclastic May Fourth Movement, which was in favor of cosmopolitan Chinese culture(Holm 1991, 30-33). Their position was closer to that of Zhang Wentian than to that ofMao. In contrast to this group, the other group strongly advocated the sinification ofMarxism. Unlike the former, some intellectuals from this group were leaders of the NewEnlightenment Movement in 1936 and 1937 that resisted the League of Left-wingWriters’ hostility toward traditional Chinese culture (Wylie 1980, 28-36; Schwarcz 1986,222-230). Among the members of this group were Chen Boda, Ai Siqiand Yang Song.They held a position consistent with that of Mao. In addition to these two intellectualgroups, there were contending views within the Academy’s Departmentof History withrespect to the periodization of ancient Chinese history. Despite someof thesedisagreements, the intellectuals at the Academy collaborated with each other, as well aswith Zhang Wentian and Mao Zedong, in the projectof translating Marxist doctrine to besuitable for China.4.1 Political Stances Close to Zhang WentianWang Xuewen, the deputy principal of the Academy, was among the most importantlecturers to focus on the study of classical Marxist texts. Wang had lived in Japan from1910 to 1927 as a student of Marxist politicaleconomy and, later, became a professor.After his return from Japan, Wang was among the founders of the League of Left-WingWriters (Liu and Zhu 2002, 209-2 12; Wu 1992, 291). Atthe Academy Wang taughtpolitical economy with the Soviet scholar Leontiev’ s book, Political Economy (Wu 1991,124). His lectures were found by the students to be purely theoreticalwithout anyreference to China’s conditions (Wu 1991,128). Wang’s writings in the Yan’an36periodical, Zhongguo wenhua (China Culture) seem to be disconnected with the situationin China. Wang discussed the differences between the proletariat and the capitalistapproaches to political economy without saying anything about China and itsparticularities (Wang 1940, 35-4 1). While engaging in the discussion of theoreticalmatters with Mao, Wang was perceived by Mao to have a rather dogmatic attitude (Gao2000, 198).Another lecturer who also had an orthodox approach to Marxism was Wu Liangping,who considered Zhang Wentian to be his mentor and maintained a close relationship withhim. Like Zhang, Wu also studied at Sun Yatsen University from 1925 to 1929 inMoscow, where he cooperated with Zhang to translate The French Civil War by Marx(Liu and Zhu 2002, 120). He also translated Anti-During by Engles (Liu and Zhu 2002,124). After returning from Moscow in 1929, Wu co-founded the League of Left-WingWriters along with Wang Xuewen (Wu 1992, 289).His linkages with the League of Left-Wing Writers and close relationship with Zhang didnot preclude him from cooperating with Mao Zedong. After he joined the Ruijin Soviet in1932, Wu became the head of the Department of Economics and assisted Mao in devisingan economic plan for the Soviet. Wu was proud to claim that his translation ofAntiDuring was thought highly of by Mao (Wu 1992, 321, 327). In 1937, he acted as aninterpreter for Edgar Snow, the journalist, who interviewed Mao (Liu and Zhu 2002, 128).Wu Liangping also revealed that in Yan’an he was asked by Mao to review the drafts ofMao’s essays On Practice and On Contradiction (Wu 1992, 315). As an executive editor37for Jiefang, he also edited Mao’s several other essays such as On Protracted War and Ona New Stage (Liu and Zhu 2002, 129).Even though he worked with Mao, Wu’s interpretation of Marxism was close to that ofhis mentor, Zhang Wentian, rather than to Mao’s. In 1938, Wu collaborated with Ai Siqito write the textbook Kexue lishi guanjiaocheng [A Course in ScientfIc HistoricalPerspective] for cadres. Emphasizing that history and society should be understood froma materialist point of view, this book was intended to refute the idealist point of view. Itargued that human society had its scientific laws and only through the knowledge of theselaws could one act properly (Wu and Ai 1941, 4-5, 10-1 1). Focusing on the discussion ofMarxist theory, it touched on the current conditions in China and the Anti-Japanese War(Wu and Ai 1941, 1-2), but only briefly.In May 1940, Wu also published another book Lun minzhu geming (On DemocraticRevolution) (Liu and Zhu 2002, 131). Similarly to Mao’s ideas as expressed in his essayOn New Democracy, Wu also discussed China’s transition to socialism where theproletariat should collaborate with other classes (Wu 1946, 2). Whereas Mao emphasizedthat preceding socialism there was the stage of “new democracy” in which the CCP wasthe representative of the masses in governing the country, Wu discussed a bourgeois formof democracy before socialism was realized. Wu also defined a “new type of people’sdemocracy” as “New Democracy” (Wu 1946, 464). In spite of his reference to Mao’sconcept, however, throughout the book Wu adhered to an orthodox conceptualization of38social development in which a bourgeois democracy precedes socialism. His mainarguments were supported by considerable discussion of foreign revolutions.Also, unlike Mao whose primary concerns were with China’s conditions, Wu constantlycited Lenin to situate a process for social development in other contexts. He only brieflymentioned that because of China’s own particularities, Lenin’s ideas should be criticallyapplied to the analysis of China. Thus, it seems reasonable to suspect that he had anorthodox approach to the application of Marxism in China. Such suspicion might befurther confirmed by Mao’s dissatisfaction with Wu Liangping’s articles published beforethe Rectification in Liberation Daily, which included substantial quotations from Marxand Lenin (Gao 2000, 368). To redeem himself and regain the favor of Mao, during theRectification campaign Wu wrote an article in Liberation Daily in March 1942 to attackdogmatism (Liu and Zhu 2002, 132-133), which was widely studied by Party members,thus sparing him of criticism during the Campaign.Another member from the Academy who did not follow Mao’s line was Wang Shiwei.Wang was highly critical of the Maoist project of sinifying Marxism. In one articlepublished in Zhongguo wenhua, he attacked one of Mao’s close associates Chen Boda forhis advocacy of the “national form” (Wylie 1980, 149-15 1; Mm 1987, 327). According toChen, the communists should employ old forms of Chinese culture in order to transmitnew content. To criticize such an approach to Chinese culture, Wang wrote that ballads inold forms played by Yan’an musical troupes were traditionally sung in whorehouses bysing-song girls. Wang called these ballads ‘poisonous rubbish’, arguing that with them39“the ‘new content’ was submerged by the ‘old forms”(Hoim 1991, 73). Even though thisessay was a revised version in which some of the critiquetoward Chen Boda wasmodified (Cheek 1984, 28-29), Chen, his fellow at theAcademy, found it offensive (Dai1994, xxi, 34).4.2 Political Stances Close to Mao ZedongAs the head of the Department of History and Translationand Compilation, Chen becamea rival of Wang Shiwei because of his staunch supportof sinification in Yan’an. Havingstudied at Sun Yat-sen University inMoscow from 1927 to 1930 (Klein and Clark 1971a,122; Wylie 1980, 11-12; Wang 2002b,706), Chen was one of the leading figures in the“New Enlightenment Movement” in 1936and 1937 (Schwarcz 1986, 222-230; Wylie1980, 28-36; Chen 2005, 39-45). This movement startedas a reaction to the May FourthMovement in 1919 that rejected traditional Chineseculture. It also aimed as a response tothe League of Left-Wing Writers who followed theMay Fourth spirit (Holm 1991, 30-31,Gao 2000, 197). While re-evaluatingChinese tradition, members in this movementbelieved that the integration of Marxismand Chinese culture would facilitate thepropagation of Marxism in China (Wylie 1980, 28-36).In spite of the fact that it was Zhang Wentianthat introduced Chen to the Academy andlater to Mao (Ye 1993, 124-125), Chenhad close intellectual affinity with Mao, ratherthan Zhang. According to RaymondWylie, Chen’s essays had tremendous influence onMao’s ideas. In Chen’s article publishedon July 23, 1938, he discussed the need to sinifyMarxism, and criticized those whodogmatically applied it. He contended that Marxism40should be applied to China in accordance with the national form. According to Wylie,this essay had profound influence on Mao’s concepts of sinification andthe national form,which were first proposed in October 1938 (Wylie 1980, 85). Its discussionof newculture in which old forms were employed in order to promote new content was anothersource of inspiration for Mao’s proposition of “new democratic culture” that would bethe foundation of the New Democracy (Wylie 1980, 87-88). Because of such intellectualcompatibility, it was no wonder that Chen was later chosen by Mao as his secretary(Wang 2002b, 707).In addition to Chen Boda, another lecturer who had closeaffinity with Mao was Ai Siqi.From 1927 to 1931, Ai studied Marxist philosophy and Russian Language in Japan. Afterhe returned to China, he embraced the emerging Soviet philosophical orthodoxy ofMitin’s New Philosophy and published works on this philosophy (Knight 2005, 96-97).One of his most important works was Dazhong zhexue [Philosophyfor the Masses](1936), which explained materialism and refuted the idealist point of view (Fogel 1987,4 1-44). This book introduced sophisticated Marxist philosophical concepts such asdialectical materialism to laypersons through reference to objects of everyday life(Knight 2005, 94; Fogel 1987, 63-64). In 1936 and 1937, along with ChenBoda, Ai Siqiplayed an important role in the New Enlightenment Movementby writing in favor ofpopularization of mass culture (Fogel 1987, 62). By 1937 when he arrived in Yan’an, hehad been one of the most influential philosophers in China and later becamethe head ofthe Department of Philosophy in the Academy.41While in the Academy, Ai Siqi worked closely with Mao Zedong, who was impressed byAi’s abilities as a communicator and his organizational skills. Interested in the study ofMarxist philosophy, Mao was looking for a way to connect this philosophy to thecircumstances in China. Al’s capacity to communicate philosophy with the massesthrough his writings appealed enormously to Mao (Fogel 1987, 62; Knight 2005, 94). Alwas also willing to assist Mao in his attempt to establish himself as the Party’s primarytheorist without the intention of claiming credit for himself (Fogel 1987, 64). Anotherquality of Ai that was appealing to Mao was his dedication to organizing an associationin early 1938 for the study of the New Philosophy (Knight 2005, 106). In a sense, Ai wasinstrumental to Mao. Their close cooperation, however, did not negate the fact that therewere disagreements regarding the philosophical views of Marxism. According to GaoHua, while he appreciated Al Siqi’s popularization of Marxism, Mao also found hisinterpretation inflexible and his “conceptual tools as soviet dogmatism” (Gao 2000, 199).Yang Song, who was another lecturer at the Academy, did not have the chance to workclosely with Mao like Ai did, even though he agreed with most of Mao’s ideas. From1927 to 1931, Yang studied at Sun Yatsen University in Moscow (Hu 1980a, 179). In1938, he moved to Yan’an and worked with Zhang Wentian as the head of the secretariatat the Department of Propaganda (Hu 1980a, 190). Even though he worked closely withZhang in the same department, his understanding of Marxism was quite similar to MaoZedong, rather than Zhang’s. According to Raymond Wylie, Yang could be considered asone of the “proto-Maoist” intellectuals in Yan’an (Wylie 1980, 88), which was echoed inNick Knight’s comments that a “tendency to further Mao into the foreground” could be42discerned in Yang’s writings (Knight 2005, 210). In one of his articles published inZhongguo wenhua in July 1940, Yang frequently cited Mao (Yang 1940, 9). Yang agreedwith Mao on the concept of New Democracy and the needto apply of Marxism accordingto “China’s national form”. Moreover, with Mao, Yang was critical of rigid application ofMarxist doctrine. For example, he argued that the study of the Capitalby heart wasinsufficient. One must also know about China’s economic development. He dismissed theMarxist economists for their “malady of separating between theory and reality” (Yang1940, 9). His blunt critique regarding dogmatism seemedto have a counterpart in Mao’sspeech Reform our Study in 1941. Nevertheless, the relationship betweenMao and Yanggot sour at the Rectification campaign, when Yang, as the editor of Liberation Daily,disapproved of Mao’s attempt to monopolize political power. Accordingto Gao Hua, itled to Yang’s premature death in 1942 dueto the enormous psychological pressure fromMao (Gao 2000, 370-372).4.3 Diverse Views Within the Academy of Marxismand LeninismRegarding the Periodization of Chinese HistoryIn addition to diverse views regarding the applicationof Marxism to China, some of themembers of the Academy differed from each other in relationto the periodization ofChinese history. One ofthe central figures in this debate around how to divide differenthistorical periods was Fan Wenlan, who became the headof the Department of History inearly 1940 (Dong 2004, 102). At that time, the Department wasasked by Mao to write aconcise book of Chinese history (Dong 2004, 122). Thus,Fan and a team of otherhistorians worked on the first volume Zhongguo tongshijianbian[A Concise General43History ofChina], which was completed in May 1941. It covered Chinese history beforeHan dynasty. The second volume, covering the history from Han up to late eighteenthcentury, was published at the end of that year. It was not until 1946 when they were ableto finish the third volume.In fact, the preparation of the book was accompanied by the debate regarding how toperiodize Chinese history (Dirlik 1978, 180-228; Brook 1999, 33-35), which could betraced back to 1930 when Guo Moruo proposed an understanding of Chinese history infive stages, namely, primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and socialism4(Brook 1999, 134-135). Guo argued that slavery arose in Western Zhou Dynasty andfeudalism in Qin Dynasty (Dirlik 1978, 187-188). Such an argument was supported byYang Shaoyi and Yi Da (Yi 1940; Mm 1987, 327), who were members of theDepartment of History at the Academy. Yang even tried to convince Chen Boda, the headof the History Department and his successor Fan Wenlan that Guo’s thesis was correct.Yet, his efforts were in vain (Wen 1984, 70) because Chen and Fan were in favor ofanother prominent Chinese historian, Lu Zhenyu, who argued that slavery could be tracedback to as early as Shang Dynasty and feudalism to Western Zhou Dynasty (Wen 1984,70). Eventually, Fan, as the editor of Zhongguo tongshijianbian, decided to incorporateLu’s classification into this book.In discussing the resolution of this debate, we should take into consideration Mao’sposition regarding the issue of periodization, and his relationship with Fan Wenlan. In anessay from December 1939, Mao had already endorsed Lu’s position. He stated that the44transition from slavery to feudalism took place during the Zhou Dynasty (Mao andSchram 1992c, 281). According to the reminiscence of a former member of theDepartment of history, during his debate in 1940 with Yang Shaoyi, Fan supported Lu’sposition, and Mao’s agreement with Lu further strengthened Fan’s rejection of Yang’sview (Wen 1984, 71). Fan’s determination to side with Mao in this debate might berelated not only to Mao’s political status in the Party, but also to his close relationshipwith Fan. When Fan came to Yan’an, Mao endeavored to approach Fan. Mao invited Fanto his residence, attended some of Fan’s lectures, and also sent him notes that praised hisscholarship (Sun and Li 2003, 297-298).The above examination of the main lecturers at the Academy attests to the existence ofdiversity before the Rectification campaign in Yan’an. Some of the intellectuals, who hadclose affinity with Mao, advocated the sinification of Marxism, and considered thatfocusing on the Marxist classics was dogmatic. Others, whose views were close to that ofZhang, suggested a conservative version of sinification, emphasizing a doctrinaireapplication of Marxism. Within the Department of History there were other competingviews regarding how to classify Chinese history. Students at the Academy were exposedto a diversity of opinions regarding policies and Party history from leaders that lecturedthere. We can see that in spite of the divergence of political positions at the Academy,most of them were able to work together without explicit manifestation of frictionsexcept for Chen Boda and Wang Shiwei. This political atmosphere of diversity could beattributed to the inclusive leadership style of Zhang Wentian, as well as to the fact thatthe Party had not yet had an authoritative leader who could impose his will on the Party.454.4 Challenges Zhang Wentian Faced as the Principal of the Academy of Marxismand LeninismThe political situation that Mao had not yet attained ultimate power allowed Zhang theauthority to shape the curriculum at the Academy according to his conservative approachto the application of Marxism to China. The core of the program was the study of Marxisttheory as well as foreign culture. This program reflected Zhang’s belief that theoryshould be related to practice, as it included lectures on China’s current conditions. In thisAcademy, Zhang was trying to create a Party intelligentsia that was proficient in Marxistclassics and foreign culture. Due to limited resources and some political constraints,however, Zhang’s efforts were met with several challenges.At the Academy, Zhang aspired to provide training to familiarize students with Marxisttheory and foreign culture. In a document regarding cadre education issued by the PartyCenter, which is said to reflect Zhang’s position (Wu 1991, 34), it is stated that studentsof higher level schools should be encouraged to read the original works of Marx, Engels,Lenin and Stalin (Wu 1991, 40). Modeled after the curriculum at Sun Yat-sen University,courses offered at the Academy included recent Chinese history, political economy,Marxism, philosophy, Western Revolutions, Russian language, and the establishment ofthe CCP. For these courses students were required to read The Capital by Marx, PoliticalEconomy by Leontiev, Concise Reader ofthe History ofthe (Bolshevik) CPSU, TheGreat French Revolution 1789-1793 by Kropotkin, Two Types of Tactics ofSocialDemocracy in the Democratic Revolution, Imperialism and Left-Wing Communism: an46Infantile Disorder by Lenin, Socialism: Utopian and Scient,fIc by Engels, Introduction toLeninism by Stalin and his essay on dialectical and historical materialism (Wu 1991, 14-15, 124; Apter and Saich 1994, 157). In order to introduce these texts in Chinese, Zhangset up the Department of Translation and Compilation in the Academy, which was thefirst Party organ specializing in translation (Dai 1994, 86-87, 185-187). Books availablein the Academy’s library included not only the works of Marx and Engels, but also thoseof Shakespeare, Baizac, Stendal and Hugo, which gave students some access to Westernliterature(Wu 1991, 136, 138, 140,221).The studies at the Academy covered theoretical works as well as practical issuesregarding politics and Party policies. Lectures were delivered at the Academyby seniorleaders regarding practical political issues, for example, Mao Zedong on the NewDemocracy, Deng Fa on security work, Wang Ming on the Fourth Plenary Session of theParty’s Sixth Central Committee in 1931, Li Fuchun on economic policy, Wang Shoudaoon agrarian policies (Wu 1991, 123), Peng Zhen on the Anti-Japanese War, the CCP Warstrategy, Zhou Enlai on the United Front (Wu 1991, 220), Zhang Hao on the LaborMovement, and Wang Heshou on Party underground work behind enemy lines (Wu 1991,199-200). Moreover, the guideline for the work of the Department of Cadre Education,which was headed by Zhang Wentian, pointed out that the Department was responsiblefor the compilation of reading materials concerning actual affairs (Wu 1991, 25). Theguideline also specified that the Party should hold small group meetings twice a week todiscuss the Party’s periodical Gongchangdanren (Wu 1991, 32-33). While the study of47Marxist classics remained the core of the program, these lectures were a significant partof the curriculum.However, there were several challenges facing Zhang in providing adequate training forprospective Party intelligentsia. Initially, one third of the students at the Academy werecadres who participated in the Long March, with another third being cadres from areasunder the Guomingdang control. The rest were young intellectuals who joined the Partywhen the Anti-Japanese war broke out in 1937 and they had to pass the entrance exam inorder to be admitted into the Academy (Zeng 1985, 132-133; Wu 1984, 15). Since cadreswere admitted without having to pass any exams, they had various levels of education.Therefore, lecturers had to accommodate this disparity in education (Wu 1984, 147).Another major problem in the training of Party members was due to limited resources.Even though there were books available at the library by Marx and other authors, thenumber was minimal (Zeng 1985, 135). Furthermore, the teaching of foreign languageswas hampered by the fact that few were competent to teach. Even though Zhang was ableto convince Shi Zhe, who studied and worked in the Soviet Union from 1925 to 1938 andwho later served as Mao’s interpreter, to teach Russian at the Academy (Shi 1991; Shi1992), a significant number of students dropped out of the classes (Wu 1991, 61).This might be due to the fact that students were discouraged from learning Russian due tothe inadequacy of teaching resources (Wu 1991, 61).48Another challenge for Zhang was the number of political meetings that students wererequired to attend by the Party. It was recorded that Zhang managed to reducetheexcessive amount of mandatory political meetings so that studieswould not beinterrupted (Li 2000, 387). He specified that studentsshould spend eight hours per day onreading and should minimize extracurricular activities (Wu 1991, 34,40). As recalled byone of his students, however, every week students had to attend the Party’s small groupmeetings and self-examination (jiantao) meetings. Zhang, who had expected the studentsto dedicate more time to study, was upset by the fact that he was unableto cancel all ofthese political meetings (Zeng 1985, 134-135).These political challenges in shaping the program of study accordingto Zhang’sapproach became tougher in late 1941. Before 1941, in spiteof his dominant status withinthe Party as well as his close relationships with Chen Boda, AiSiqi and Fan Wenlan,Mao was not able to impose his political ideason Zhang and other intellectuals at theAcademy. Later when power became centralizedin the hands of Mao, he succeeded inturning the Academy into the Central Research Institute,and all of its members were thusexpected to follow Mao’s interpretation of Marxism. Since hisapproach to Marxism wasnot approved by Mao, Zhang was no longer able to propagatehis political views and runthe Institute in the same manner as in the Academy.49Chapter 5: The Academy Becomes an Institute5.1 The Disappearing of Diversity within the InstituteIn the spring of 1941 when Mao started to establish his authority over the Party, Zhangwas no longer able to run the Academy according to his own agenda. It was Mao and hisfollowers that controlled the research work at this institution. Rather than to studyMarxist doctrine, the Institute was aimed at the training of researchers who wouldunderstand the actual conditions in current China. Research work at the Institute now hadto be conducted according to Mao’s principle of “seeking truth from facts”. As thesuccessor to the Academy, the Institute became rather intolerant of diverse political views,the main reason of which was that Zhang Wentian was losing his power within the Party.Until the spring of 1941 Zhang was an important political asset for Mao, who had to relyon Zhang in order to limit the power of Wang Ming, Mao’s main rival in the CCP.During the Anti-Japanese war, Wang Ming adopted a strategy of close cooperation withthe Guomindang, who later turned out to be against the CCP by attacking its New FourthArmy in Anhui in early 1941. Such a plot by the Guomindang was a heavy blow forWang and severely damaged his position within the Party (Kampen 2000, 100; Gao 2000,266). With Wang’s damaged position, Mao considered Zhang Wentian as a majorobstacle to his rise to power, thus started to alienate himself from Zhang so that he couldtake control of the Party’s ideology (Gao 2000, 195).Zhang was the main opponent to the Maoist narrative of Party history. By 1941, WangMing had already pointed out that the Party leadership made mistakes in 1933 and 1934.50By admitting these mistakes, Wang Ming embraced Mao’s position regarding the Party’shistory (Gao 2000, 201). In September 1941, in order to stifle Zhang’s opposition to hisversion of Party history, Mao gave a speech at the Politburo meeting to discuss themistakes of the CCP leaders in the past. At the meeting, it was also decided that a specialcommittee be set up with Mao as the head to resolve issues regarding Party history. InDecember that year, Since the Sixth Party Congress-Secret Party Documents waspublished by this committee, which reaffirmed the correctness of Mao’s line and themistakes of other leaders (Kampen 2000, 102-103).Meanwhile, in order to minimize Zhang’s influence over the Party’s ideology and cadreeducation, Mao began to attack the programs of study in cadre schools as organized byZhang in Yan’an. In May 1941, Mao delivered a speech Reform our Study to criticizepeople within the Party who were ignorant of Chinese history, or in Mao’s words, who“are left with only Greek and foreign tales” (Mao and Schram 1992c, 749). Mao alsodirectly criticized those Party members who received overseas education but who could“only parrot a stock of undigested foreign things”. For Mao, those Party members“function as gramophones but forget their responsibility to create something new” (Maoand Schram 1 992c, 749). Mao considered it a “malady” that “has infected the Party”(Mao and Schram 1 992c, 749). He also mocked cadre schools in Yan’an as places where“seventeen and eighteen year old babies are taught to nibble on the Capital and AntiDuring” (Mao and Schram 1992c, 749). Mao’s critique of the cadre schools kept Zhangfrom directing cadre education and the curriculum at the Academy according to his ownagenda.51In July 1941, the name of the Academy was changed to the Research Institute ofMarxism and Leninism. In August that year, the guideline on Decisions regarding Surveyand Research was issued by the Party to require that the study of Marxist doctrine shouldbe situated within Chinese context (Wen 1984, 7). In order to highlight the role of theresearch of China’s contemporary issues, the component of Marxism-Leninism was laterdropped from the name of the Institute. Consequently, the name of the previous Academybecame the Central Research Institute (Wen 1984, 10-11).Meanwhile, new departments were created to engage in research closely related toChina’s particular conditions, which was what Mao had suggested. These newdepartments included Chinese Politics, Chinese Economy, Chinese History, ChineseCultural Thought, Chinese Art and Literature, Chinese Education and Chinese Journalism(Wen 1984, 6-7), with each having a research plan in accordance with Mao’s vision (Wen1984, 265-29 1). While the Department of Politics researched on China’s political systemsand thoughts (Wen 1984, 265-266), the Department of Chinese Economics focused on theeconomic conditions under the control of CCP, the Guomingdang and the Japanese (Wen1984, 267-268). Researchers at the Department of Educationfocused on variouseducation systems within China, such as those set up by the Japanese puppet regime, theGuomindang, the warlords, and the Communist Shaan-Gan-Ning government. They alsoresearched on approaches to education in China, such as those from Tao Xingzhi, JamesYen and Liang Shuming (Wen 1984, 270-277). No longer thecenter to teach Marxist52classics, the Institute was turned into the research base to produce knowledge at theservice of the Party’s new orthodoxy - Mao Zedong Thought.In the Central Research Institute the personnel also changed. Wang Xuewen, WuLiangping and Yang Song left. It is said that they had to leave due to their heavyworkload, rather than being removed from their positions (Zeng 1985, 136). In May 1940,Wang Xuewen, who lived and studied in Japan for many years, was recruited to theposition of the head of the Enemy Work Department (Gao 2000, 313). In May 1941,Yang Song became the general editor of Liberation Daily. The workload there did notallow him to spend time lecturing in the Academy (Hu 1980a, 191). As for Wu Liangping,the work as the deputy-editor for Jiefang (Liu and Zhu 2002, 129-130), together withother translation assignments, prevented him from taking up teaching responsibilities atthe Academy. Such personnel changes led to the recruitment of Mao loyalists such as LiWeihan, Lu Dingyi and Zhang Ruxin, which gave Mao the opportunity to consolidate hispower within the Institute.Li Weihan, one of Mao’s supporters, was draftedas the head of the departments ofJournalism and Education and the deputy director of the Institute. Born in Hunan, he hadknown Mao since 1917 (Hu 1980c, 3) and was introduced to the CCP by Mao in 1922(Hu 1 980c, 9). Having studied in Moscow from 1931to 1932, Li came back to Chinaand at the Zunyi Conference he supported Mao, thus gaining Mao’s trust (Hu 1980c, 17,Gao 2000, 521). Even though he worked with Zhang Wentian as the editor forGongchandangren and the deputy at the Department of Propaganda (Ru 1980c, 4,9, 17;53Gao 2000, 520-523; Wang 2002a, 8 1-88), he was not particularly close to Zhang.According to Gao Hua, Li was sent to the Department of Propaganda by Mao so as toreport back to Mao about Zhang’s work (Gao 2000, 314). During the RectificationCampaign, Li played a significant role in leading the Campaign at the Institute todenounce Wang Shiwei (Dai 1994, 103; Gao 2000, 521).Together with Li Weihan, Lu Dingyi also worked at the Department of Education. From1929 to 1930, Lu studied in Moscow (Wang 2002b, 653) and later worked as an editor inthe Ruijin Soviet. From 1935 to 1940, he held several propaganda positions at the RedArmy (Wang 2002b, 654-655). Early in the Rectification Campaign, Lu showed staunchsupport of Mao by citing Mao frequently in his articles to reiterate Mao’s declared goalsof eradicating dogmatism and subjectivism (Lu 1942a; 1942b). Like Mao, Lu was alsocritical of Yang Song, who was the editor of Liberation Daily. In August 1942, he wasappointed the editor by Mao to replace Yang Song (Gao 2000, 371). Liberation Dailythus became a tool for Mao to accurately convey his political views as well as an avenueto circulate local and national news, rather than international ones (Gao 2000, 372-375).Another supporter of Mao that joined the Institute was Zhang Ruxin, who became thehead of the Department of Chinese Politics. From 1926 to 1929, he studied at Sun YatsenUniversity in Moscow (Liu and Zhu 2002, 289) and wrote five books on MarxismLeninism and dialectical materialism from 1929 to 1931 (Liu and Zhu 2002, 292-293).He later taught at the Anti-Japanese University in Yan’an, where he met Mao who wasimpressed with his work (Liu and Zhu 2002, 296-297). In March 1941, Zhang Ruxin54wrote an article in Gongchandangren to introduce the term of “Mao Zedong Thought”,recommending the works of Mao as “the best expressionof the sinification of Marxism”(Liu and Zhu 2002, 298-299). In another article Move Forward underthe Banner ofComrade Mao Zedong in March 1941, he considered Mao’s essays “exceptionallybrilliant and creative Marxist writings” (Liu and Zhu 2002, 299-301: Zhang1941).Other Mao loyalists such as Fan Wenlan and Ai Siqi remained in the Institute.FanWenlan became the head of the Department of Chinese History, which was expandedfrom eight to eighteen members. Among the new arrivalswas Lu Zhenyu (Wen 1984, 73),one of the famous historians that participated in the debate regarding the periodization ofChinese history in the 1930s. He argued that slaverystarted in Shang Dynasty, a positionthat was endorsed by Fan Wenlan in Zhongguo tongshijianbian (Dirlik1978, 187-188,Brook 1999, 134-135). This expandedteam of researchers completed the writing of thesecond volume of Zhongguo tongshijianbian at the end of 1941. Invited by Mao, theyalso compiled Zhongguo guowen xuan [A SelectionofChinese National Literature], anabridged volume of classical Chinese literature cateringto readers at medium culturallevel (Wen 1984, 75).Ai Siqi, the former head of the Departmentof Philosophy at the Academy, was then thehead of the Department of Chinese Cultural Thoughtat the Institute. His team ofresearchers was expanded. Used to being the only lecturerof philosophy at the Academy,Ai had seventeen new researchers at the Institute (Wen1984, 53). As requested by Mao,they worked on the publication of Sixiangfangfalun[On the Methodology ofThought], a55book including extracts from the writings of Marx, Engles, Lenin and Stalin. Thepassages selected for this collection were to deliver Mao’s message of relating theory tofacts, which served to justify Mao’s agenda (Wen 1984, 45-47). Published in February1942 (Wen 1984, 44-45), this was the book prescribed by the Party to be read during theRectification Campaign (Fogel 1987, 63, Knight 2005, 107).In short, Mao loyalists played significant roles during the Rectification campaign indisseminating Mao’s idea and eliminating dissident opinions among the Party elite. All ofthem actively participated in the denunciation of Wang Shiwei, who was highly critical ofMao for taking advantage of his political position for personal interests. Wang alsocomplained about the lack of democracy within the Institute (Dai 1994, xxii). Such acomplaint offended Mao’s supporter Li Weihan, who organized a forum in late May andearly June 1942 to discuss the political mistakes by Wang Shiwei (Dai 1994, 43).Together with Li, Fan Wenlan and Ai Siqi also dismissed Wang as a Trotskyite and“reactionary within the Party” (Dai 1994, 102, 105, 113). In early June, Zhang Ruxin alsowrote an article to publicly label Wang Shiwei as a Trotskyite (Dai 1994, 32). Such apolitical backlash against Wang Shiwei marked an era that diverse views were no longertolerated, with Mao’s supporters occupying key positions within the Institute.5.2 Zhang Wentian at the InstituteWhen political attacks on Wang Shiwei were launched by Mao’s supporters in thesummer of 1942, Zhang Wentian, who had been an avid advocate for diversity within theAcademy, had already been away from Yan’an for several months. He was blatantly56mocked in Mao’s speech Reform Our Study for his approach to education at the Academy.In late 1941, he was also often scolded by Mao, who categorized him as a dogmatic (Gao2000, 267; Shi 1991, 176). Because of the enormous pressure from Mao, his position wasquite precarious. Even though he remained the Institute’s principal, Zhang could nolonger run it according to his principles for fear of offending Mao. In early 1942 he hadto leave Yan’an in order to avoid being further attacked.In addition to pressure from Mao, Zhang’s political position was also undermined bysome institutional changes initiated by Mao. Zhang’s authority as the chief editor ofJiefang and gongchandangren was constrained by the establishment of editorial boards inMarch 1941 within these two periodicals (Wang 1995, 484). Some of the board memberswithin both periodicals were Mao loyalists: Ru Qiaomu and Chen Boda in Jiefang, andLi Weihan and Li Fuchun in gongchandangren (Wang 1995, 55 1-552). Furthermore,Zhang’s power over the direction of cadre education was curtailed by Mao, who from thespring of 1941 claimed the power to veto all the documents drafted by Zhang regardingcadre education (Gao 2000, 266).The Central Office of Research and Survey established in July 1941 further reducedZhang’s authority. Its declared objective was to research China’s domestic political,social, cultural, economic and military conditions, which overlapped with those of theInstitute (Feng and Li 2000, 59). The Office also included the departments of ChinesePolitics and Chinese Political Economy (Wang 1995, 549-550), which researched thesame issues that were the concerns of their counterparts at the Institute. Furthermore, the57Department of Translation, which was so dear to Zhang, was integrated into the Office(Dai 1994, 187). As the Party’s paramount leader, Mao was the director of the Office,which had surely become more important than the Institute headed by Zhang (Feng andLi 2000, 52-53). Such institutional arrangements significantly compromised Zhang’sstatus as both one of the senior Party members and the nominal principal at the Institute,which was a major hurdle to his political career.In January 1942, Zhang left Yan’an to conduct a rural survey with the excuse that heshould follow Mao’s dictum of seeking truth from facts. His principal’s position wasfilled by Li Weihan. There is no evidence that Zhang left Yan’an as a protest or in orderto avoid rectification. Considering the following circumstances I, nevertheless, assumethat this was the case. Zhang Wentian realized that under the Rectification Campaign hewould no longer be able to influence cadre education and Party theory. He would have toeither follow Mao’s dictates or relinquish his senior leadership position. Since theRectification campaign looked for targets for attack, Zhang’s disagreement with Mao onmany issues and his resistance to the personality cult could have made him a major target.Zhang expected that the Rectification would end everything he built while he was theParty’s chief administrative officer and the Principal of the Academy - a leadership basedon broad consensus, intra-Party democracy, and divergence of ideas with respect toMarxist doctrine.Since the Rectification campaign started in March 1942, there has been little researchwork done by the Institute (Wen 1984, 43, 60). In early 1942, the Institute was harshly58criticized by Mao, who called it a “camp of dogmatism”. Mao and his secretary, HuQiaomu, also publicly denounced the “red professors” there (Gao 2000, 313-316). InMay 1943, the Institute was closed with some departments being transferred to theCentral Party School.In March 1943, Zhang returned to Yan’an from the rural survey. No longer one of theParty’s Secretariat, he remained to be a member of the Central Committee PoliticalBureau. According to his biographer, Zhang’s workload was light, and his lifewas “relaxed and happy. In his leisure time he played chess and grew strawberries,tomatoes, etc.” (Cheng 1993, 497) Like demoted scholar-officials of imperial China,Zhang might have been able to find happiness in small things, yet that might have beenonly a partial consolation for the loss of political power.59Chapter 6: ConclusionThis study of the Academy of Marxism and Leninism from 1938 to 1941 and of itssuccessor, the Central Research Institute sheds some light on the political dynamicsbefore the Rectification campaign in Yan’an. Prior to Mao’s rise to become CCP’sparamount leader, divergent views with respect to Marxism existed within the Party.Before the campaign, some intellectuals such as Ai Siqi and Chen Boda supported Mao’sapproach to Marxism but not all of those at the Academy. Even though some prominentintellectuals such as Wang Xuewen, Wu Liangping, and Wang Shiwei disagreed withMao’s political views, at least they were tolerated. Differing views regarding theperiodization of Chinese history also existed within the Academy and opponents of thethesis endorsed by Mao were not discriminated against. The inclusion of externallecturers at the Academy also reflected the existence of diversity in that period. Some ofMao’s political rivals lectured there and introduced different views to the students. Withhis close relationships with Chen Boda, Ai Siqi and Fan Wenlan, Mao was able to exertconsiderable influence over the intellectual life at the Academy. He, nonetheless, couldnot entirely control it.In the summer of 1941 when Mao managed to defeat his main contenders for power atthe Party; he was then also able to impose his will on the Academy. Consequently, thisschool was transformed from an Academy, in which diverse opinions were exchangedand debated, into an Institute for conducting research and producing knowledge inaccordance with Mao’s vision of putting the study of the conditions in China at the centerof the Institute’s work. This Institute did not carry out much research work, though. In60early 1942, all of the members were preoccupied by the study of Rectification documents,which practically eliminated alternative thinking among the intellectuals at the Institute.Such centralization on Mao’s approach is in stark contrast with an inclusive atmospherewhen Zhang Wentian was the principal of the Academy and the Party’s chiefadministrative officer before the Rectification campaign. Having experienced bitter Partystruggles in the Bolshevik style, Zhang was cautious to avoid them. He tried to achieveParty unity through consensus and compromise. These effortsby him enabled theexistence of divergence inside the Academy. In examining Zhang’s vision of Marxism,this thesis shows that Zhang and Mao agreed on several ideassuch as “New Culture”based on the masses and the need to sinify Marxism. He agreed with Mao that Marxistdoctrine should be related to practical issues. However, Zhang’s agenda of ‘sinification’was conservative. Whereas Mao argued for the “nationalform” in the new culture, Zhangemphasized the importance of studying Marxist doctrine and of integrating foreign “newforms” into the new Chinese culture. Both leaders also disagreed on the performance ofsome senior Party members from 1927 to 1937. Zhang opposed Mao’s attempttoestablish that his line had always been correct and others were wrong. Zhang was amongthe main opponents to the emergence of Mao’s personalitycult.This study of the Academy attempts to understand the history of Yan’an from Zhang’sperspective rather than that of Mao. One of the main challenges in doing so is that theCCP has written its history in a Maoist narrative and triedto discount other narratives. Inhis book Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and the Evolutionofthe Chinese Communist61Leadership, Thomas Kampen gives an account of the rise of Zhou Enlai to prominence.As argued by Kampen, in 1945 in order to pledge complete allegiance to Mao Zedong,Zhou publicly admitted his mistakes in the past that were thus omitted in the Party’sofficial narrative (Kampen 2000, 121-123). Such experience of Zhou Enlai was similar tothat of Zhang Wentian in the sense that Zhang’s name was not associated with incorrectpolicies in CCP’s official discourse (Kampen 2000, 112-113). If more sources andinternal documents related to Zhang from the pre-Rectification period become accessibleto the public, we might be able to further “rescue” CCP history from the Maoist narrative.62Notes1. Both Zeng Yanxiu and Wu Liangping comment that Mao mocked Zhang for that,calling him a ‘gentelman’, (mingjun).2. Li De’s original German name was Otto Braun. But, since the Chinese sources use theChinese name Li De, other English sources also refer to him in that name.3. The question of the essence of the ‘national form’ had been a source of controversyamong Party leaders and intellectuals in Yan’an. I will elaborate on this very soon in theessay, as I discuss Mao and Zhang’s divergent views with respect to ‘forms’ in 1940.4. During the early 1920s and 1930s, Soviet scholars debated the validity of Marx’snotion of the “Asiatic Mode of Production” with to the analysis of Chinese history. Thisconcept embodied the difference in their understanding of the conditions in China andEurope. While Europe had progressedfrom slavery to feudalism and then to capitalism,China, throughout the entire imperial period remained, maintained the same political andeconomic structure, where the state dominated society, forestalling advancement (Dirlik1978, 192-193, Fogel 1988, 57-61). Chinese communists disliked this conceptualizationof China and tried to describe it according to universalistic schemes of development, inwhich China be portrayed as equal to Europe. Guo Moruo in 1930 was the first topropose the five-stage development scheme for Chinese history.63ReferencesApter, David Ernest, and Tony Saich. 1994. Revolutionary discourse in Mao’s republic.Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Brook, Timothy. 1999. Capitalism and the writing ofmodern history in China. New York:Cambridge University Press.Cao, Guohui. 2001. Zhang wentian yu Yan’an baokan (“Zhang Wentian and the Yan’anpublications”). Chuban Ziliao (Publication Materials) (1): 13.Cheek, Timothy. 1984. 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