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By Benjamin I Schwartz

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As history moved on into new periods these views would naturally be superseded. Such, in brief, were the views of L i Ta-chao on Marxism as late as M a y 1 9 1 9 . The other articles in the issue are, for the most part, dispassionate expositions of Marxist doctrine, many of them highly critical in tone. One hardly derives the impression from these articles that the Society for the Study of Marxism was indeed the forerunner of the Chinese Communist Party. In short then, at the outset of the M a y Fourth Movement we find that Li Ta-chao had accepted without reservation the messianic message of the Russian revolution, but had not yet accepted its doctrinal base although he felt in duty bound to investigate it, and that Ch'en Tu-hsiu had followed Russian events with great interest but still clung tenaciously to his faith in democracy and science.

I t was only with the help of such Comintern agents as Voitinsky, Y u r i n , and Maring that they were to come to some appreciation of the Leninist concept of party organization. W h e n Ch'en left the hostile environment of Peking for the freer atmosphere of Shanghai in 1919, he had not yet achieved such an understanding. Here too, as in Peking, the M a y Fourth Movement had aroused a febrile activity among the intelligentsia and every conceivable type of " a d v a n c e d " doctrine from the W e s t had found its coterie of supporters among the Shanghai intellectuals.

It was, however, precisely at the point where the Comintern began to assert its position of authority that the abyss between Ch'en and T a i revealed itself. T a i , the staunch nationalist, could not for a moment tolerate the interference of a foreign power in the internal affairs of a Chinese party. Viewed in this light, T a i ' s transformation from " C o m m u n i s t " to extreme "anti-Communist" does not appear as sweeping as might appear on the surface. It is significant that some of T a i ' s later polemics against the Communists still employed the categories of Marxism-Leninism.

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