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The Communist Revolution of China:
A Marxist Revolution?

Charlie Ma

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          The Chinese Communists did not want to wait until conditions were ripe. They wanted the revolution to occur as soon it could. The shortage of manpower from within the cities limited any revolution in China to start only in the countryside. Cities are easier to defend against an army because close combat reduces the advantages of military training and organization, excellent weapons and marksmanship are not as important in close range situations, revolutionaries can easily hide amongst civilians, and the revolutionary forces are concentrated which makes them more effective. Rural areas cannot be effectively maintained by civilians because revolutionaries would be spread too thin, and many other factors which would allow an army to easily regain the area and eliminate the perpetrators.

          The most effective alternative was to form a guerrilla army. The Communist Army had to hide in northern China in the rural countryside in order to be safely out of reach of the Nationalist forces. The mountain regions in northern China gave them protection and shelter. From there, they exercised Communism with safety, and slowly spread their revolutionary ideas. There were occasional skirmishes whenever the Nationalists sent an army to fight the Communists, though guerrilla tactics gave the Red Army the edge they needed to win. Hiding in the mountain regions meant they were too far away from any industrial city to have any notable influence there. After World War II ended, the Red Army swelled to approximately two million troops, and became strong enough to take on the Nationalists. The Red Army eventually defeated the Nationalists militarily, and took control of China. This is drastically different from Marx's revolution since it was military might, not political power, that changed the governmental and economical system. Instead of a large scale proletariat revolt which overthrows capitalism, it was a peasant army which defeated the government militarily.

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