China shakes the world

Title China shakes the world
Author Jack Belden; introd. by Owen Lattimore
Publication Penguin
Size 688p
Language ENG ENG
ISBN 0140210199
Topics China--History--1912-1949 (Republic)
Civil war--China
Notes The first part of the book is based on eye-witness, participant reporting which leads the reader to the conclusion that the Communist dominated Border Region Government had the allegiance of local leaders. Belden devoted sections to village personalities: Gold Flower, the story of an abused woman; Field Mouse, a guerilla commander; The Beggar Writer; and the Guerilla Girl. Belden goes on to make a strong second point: while the local village revolution had the potential for democratic progress, Mao's national revolution had the potential for despotism. "The Communists", he reasoned, "took power by making love to the people of China," and "won the people to their cause" by meeting their needs better. But in order to do so, Mao and the Party built a "wholly new power apparatus." They may have sincerely intended to represent the interests of the common people but their new power apparatus would also "elude their intentions and tend to exist for its own sake." He warned that "there may arise a new elite, a set of managers standing above the Chinese masses", bringing a danger that "rulers not subject to democratic checks" may "confusing themselves with God", "expand their private viewpoints into an arbitrary vision of what society should be..., force their dreams on others, blunder into grave political mistakes and finally plunge into outright tyranny." Belden published China Shakes the World in 1949.
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