RE: Mark Selden and "The Yenan Way"

From "brian turner" <>
Date Tue, 19 Oct 2004 04:53:36 +0000

>From: Saul Thomas <>
>Subject: Mark Selden and "The Yenan Way"
>Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 07:30:58 -0500
>Does anyone here have any opinion of Mark Selden and "The Yenan Way" (or 
>later revision, "The Yenan Way Revisited")? I am curious as to how he and 
>work are regarded now by left and mainstream China scholars.

The new chapter (I think the same as "Yan'an Communism Reconsidered" an 
article in 'Modern China' around 1995) acknowledges that he overlooked 
Leninist/Despotic elements that were present even then, but argues that by 
in large the view of a populist party creating a more (not fully) democratic 
culture is right.

A cynic would simply declare that new evidence about CCP crimes in the war 
period proves they were always evil bastards, but a more interesting 
question, rejecting the simplistic cynical view, is why they went from 
genuine populists constructing something quite different from Soviet 
"socialism" to Soviet despotic bureaucrats.  Is it inevitable (the iron law 
of bureaucracy)?  Influenced by particular circumstances?  Chinese culture?  
Or was there a betrayal by those with power?

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