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Lesson 6: On New Democracy

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1 Lesson 6: On New Democracy on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:41 pm



The May 4th Movement was an anti-imperialist as well as an anti-feudal movement.


Its outstanding historical significance is to be seen in a feature which was absent from the Revolution of 1911, namely , its through and uncompromising opposition to imperialism as well as to feudalism.


The May 4th Movement possessed this quality because capitalism had developed a step further in China and because new hopes had arisen for the liberation of the chinese nation as China’ revolutionary intellectuals saw the collapse of three great imperialist powers, Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the weakening of two others, Britain and France, while the Russian proletariat had established a socialist state and the German, Hungarian and Italian proletariat had risen in revolution.


At that time it was not yet possible for this cultural movement to become widely diffused among the workers and peasants.


The May 4th Movement was a thorough-gong, uncompromising revolutionary movement against imperialism and feudalism. It was instrumental in bringing about the integration of Marxism with China’s labour movement, and it paved the way, both in ideology and in the matter of cadres, for the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. It ushered in China’s new-democratic revolution.


As soon as it developed into the June 3rd Movement, not only the intellectuals but the mass of the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie joined in, and it became a nation-wide revolutionary movement.



Raising aloft the two great banners of the day, ”Down with the old ethics and up with the new!” and “Down with the old literature and up with the new !” the cultural revolution had great achievements to its credit.

The cultural revolution ushered in by the May 4th Movement was uncompromising in its opposition to feudal culture; there had never been such a great and thoroughgoing cultural revolution since the dawn of Chinese history.


After World War I, the imperialists stepped up their aggression against China while the Northern Warlord government resorted to compromise and capitulation externally ad to ruthless oppression of the people internally, thus landing China in a grave national crisis.


The bourgeois intellectuals , who constituted the right wing of the May 4th Movement, mostly compromised with the enemy in the second period and went over to the side of reaction.


In the beginning the May 4th Movement was the revolutionary movement of a united front of three sections of people – communist intellectuals, revolutionary petty-bourgeois intellectuals and bourgeois intellectuals.


The May 4th Movement came into being at the call of the world revolution, of the Russian Revolution and of Lenin.


The government arrested a number of students, but under pressure from the masses, had to set them free.


Under the pressure of the nation-wide anti-imperialist patriotic struggle, the Northern Warlord government had to set fee the students it had arrested.

On May 4th, over three thousand Beijing students gathered in front of Tian An Men, and then held a demonstration , shouting slogans.


At that time, it was not yet possible for this cultural movement to become widely diffused among the workers and peasants.


Its shortcoming was that it was confined to the intellectuals and that the worker and peasants did not join in.


Large numbers of workers in Shanghai, Tangshan and else where went on strike and held demonstrations.


New Youth carried Comrade Li Dazhao’s article, in which he gave an account of the birth of May Day.


The Northern Warlord government called out troops and policemen to suppress the demonstration and over thirty students were arrested.


The students of Beijing formed groups of speakers and carried out extensive mobilization.


It is therefore not advisable to identify Asia with Europe or vice versa.


Hainan Island, which is almost as big as Taiwan, has abundant natural resources.


Yesterday afternoon , I met an old friend of mine, who said that he would go abroad the next week.


To promote the development of Sino-US relations, China needs to know the United States better and vice versa.


There are contradictions that we can use, conditions that are favourable to us, opportunities that we can take advantage of – the problem is to seize them at the right moment.


You are right. Our institute at present is carrying out basic research work. However, in doing so, we must overlook neither applied research nor the research for development.


The fact that Harvard was founded before the United States of American testifies to its position in the American history.


Veteran and middle-aged scientists are important, and so are young ones.


During those five years rural reform brought about many changes: gain output increased substantially, as did the peasants’ income, and rural enterprise emerged as a new force.


We must promote science, for that is where our hope lies.


China will never seek hegemony even if it grows rich and strong in the future.


Seven years ago, also in the month of March, we held another conference at which I spoke.


Our first objective was to solve the problem of food and clothing, which we have now done.


But the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone has achieved remarkable successes since it was established almost eight years ago.


To him, the birds sang, and the squirrels chattered, and the flowers bloomed.


Daylight comes from the sun, which is a mass of hot glowing gas.

World War II was more complex than World War I, which was a collision among the imperialist powers over the spoils of market, resources and territories.





the May 4th Movement 五四运动

left wing 左翼

communist ideology 共产主义思想

the paris peace conference 巴黎和会

to go on strike 罢工

hold a demonstration 示威游行

defend our sovereignty, punish the traitors 外争国权,内惩国贼

戊戌变法 the Reform Movement of 1898

中国新民主主义革命 China’s neo-democratic revolution

广大的无产阶级 the mass of the proletariat

文化革命 the cultural revolution

市民阶级 the urban intelligentsia

反封建运动 anti-feudal movement

第一次世界大战 World War I

民族危机 national crisis

废除二十一条 Abolish the Twenty-One Demands

统一战线 a united front

革命知识分子 revolutionary intellectuals

北洋军阀政府 the Northern Warlord government

辛亥革命 the Revolution of 1911

新民主主义New Democracy

新民主主义论 On New Democracy

北伐 the Northern Expedition

主力 the mainstay

七届人大第三次会议 the Third session of Seventh National People’s Congress

初步的共产主义思想 the rudiments of communist ideology

安理会常任理事国 Permanent members of the Security Council

反封建运动 anti-feudal movement

不妥协的 uncompromising

俄国无产阶级 the Russian proletariat

革命的小资产阶级知识分子 revolutionary petty-bourgeois intellectuals

提倡新道德 up with the new ethics

工农群众 workers and peasants

独立的力量 independence

做了准备 pave the way

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