chapter  V
The Generalisation of the Yan’an Heritage (1955–1956) 1
ByBill Brugger
Pages 21

This chapter demonstrates the contradictions generated by, an attempt to accelerate the process of transition to a Chinese equivalent of the 1936 Soviet model and, on the other, by a growing awareness of structural problems which were generated by that model itself. In all the discussions of the generalisation of the Yan'an heritage in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), however, there was one area about which virtually nothing seems to have been written—the people's militia. With the introduction of conscription, the militia had atrophied and yet there was clearly some kind of militia in existence in early 1956, for reference was made to militia activities in PLA regulations. The cost of China's mammoth industrialisation drive had to be borne by the peasants, and yet the Yan'an tradition of peasant support and peasant activism was still very much alive. Though the Yan'an model stipulated that directives should be general, they had to be consistent.