Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor Klaus Pringsheim
This thesis analyzes the development, interrelations, and the roles of the "Everybody-A-Soldier" Movement (EASM) in China between 1958 and 1964, which is a major cornerstone of the militarization of Chinese society, which, in turn, is seen as a unique strategy of Chinese Communist development.
The basic assumption of this thesis is that a strong political organization, to strengthen the capacity of a political system in order to promote political stability, political integration, and socio-economic development, is of primary importance. Most developing countries badly need but often lack political stability, integration, and satisfactory economic development in the process of modernization, which is a prevailing political theme in developing countries. According to this thesis, the EASM system, among other things, is likely to solve these problems.
It is contended that the EASM system did not happen just because Mao Tse-tung wished it. It was brought about by the contemporary internal and external political developments in China and by special historical circumstances that promoted the emergence of the system.
Any socio-political system necessarily affects, and is affected by, the environment in which it exists. The thesis thus analyzes the institutional factors of the EASM in order to explore its interrelationships with other systems.
In analysing the roles of the militia, this thesis finds that the EASM in China has helped the Communist Party of China to consolidate its political support and thus its political control in the countryside. It has halted political insurrections in the countryside, which used to be the hothouse of political insurrections.
The EASM, by enrolling the majority of the Chinese labour force in the militia organization, has helped the Communist Party of China to mobilize and organize coordinated actions of large numbers of people in pursuing economic development and other social reforms which are of primary importance to a capital-short country such as China.
The possible role of the EASM in future wars is discussed along with the military functions of the militia. According to the thesis, the militia has played a successful role in war and will continue to be useful in the future.
My analysis has to a considerable degree confirmed my propositions. I also perceived in the conclusion of my study that the militia organization would change toward a more limited role and insignificant status as the Communist Party of China becomes more routinized and institutionalized, and Chinese modernization makes significant progress.
Tien, Chen-ya, "The Everybody A Soldier Movement During the Great Leap Forward, 1958-1964" (1976). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 826.