Different nations profess different destinies at different stages of their
history. The United States had its "manifest destiny" of territorial expansion
from the War of 1812 to the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. In 1845,
influential columnist John L Sullivan published a piece entitled "Annexation"
in the Democratic Review, in which he urged the young United States to annex
the Republic of Texas, composed of all of present-day Texas, plus portions of
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado, because it was "our
manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the
free development of our yearly multiplying millions," which generally excluded
Native Americans, Mexicans and African Americans who were at the time mostly
In 1837, belligerent American settlers in the Mexican state of Coahuila y
Tejas, led by settler Sam Houston, a fugitive from Tennessee, won independence
from Mexico in a secessionist war instigated by the US, proposed voluntary
annexation to US president Martin Van Buren, who refused the request since the
US anticipated that it would lead to war with Mexico. Texas then withdrew the
annexation offer in 1838 to declare itself as an independent nation called the
Republic of Texas, recognized by the US, Britain, France and the Netherlands.
In 1843, Britain opposed US annexation of Texas, but president John Tyler
signed the treaty of annexation with the Republic of Texas in April 1844
despite Mexican leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's warning that annexation
would be "equivalent to a declaration of war". But the US senate overwhelmingly
rejected the annexation on June 8 by a vote of 35 to 16, failing the
constitutional requirement of a two-thirds majority in the Senate to confirm a
treaty with a foreign state.
James K Polk, a strong territorial expansionist, won the presidency in November
1844. Tyler, knowing the Senate would not ratify the annexation treaty, changed
course and had his allies in Congress submit an annexation bill of Texas as a
territory in a joint resolution in December. With president-elect Polk's quiet
support, Congress approved annexation of Texas as a territory on February 28,
1845, even though the Republic of Texas had been recognized by the US as an
independent state since 1843.
The March 1845 vote on the joint resolution in the Senate was passed 27 to 25.
Tyler signed the Joint Resolution into law, which called for annexation of
Texas to be concluded by the end of December 1845. On December 29, 1845,
president Polk approved Texas's admission to the Union not as a territory but
as a state. However, as this was done via a Joint Resolution of Congress,
rather than a treaty between states, some scholars believe the annexation is
unconstitutional and illegal under international law.
A factor in the Texas annexation discussions in the US was that the northern
states realized there would be two new slave-state senators after Texas was
admitted as a state. Although Mexico had outlawed slavery completely years
prior to Texas independence, slavery was allowed to continue in Mexican Texas
and continued to exist in Texas during its years as an independent republic.
Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the US in 1845 over the issue, which
eventually led to the Mexican-America War the following year. The Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war when the victorious US ratified the treaty on
March 10, 1848. The treaty allowed the US to purchase California and other
areas from Mexico on the condition that Americans would honor Mexican culture
and values, a condition US settler promptly ignored. The annexation of Texas
was highly controversial amongst the states and contributed to widening
American sectionalism leading up to the Civil War. Later, "manifest destiny"
served as moral justification for US imperialist expansion into Central America
and the Pacific during the Age of Imperialism.
Nineteenth-century Prussia viewed its destiny as the unification of the German
people into a modern nation state to overcome tribal rivalry encouraged by
foreign interference. Bismarck exploited German nationalism, which had been
frustrated by the failure of the revolutions of 1848, to unify a fragmented
Germany in 1871 to build a German empire to rival that of Britain.
British national destiny under Queen Victoria from 1837 was to transform an
island kingdom into a global empire, which would last for more than a century
until 1947. The destiny of France under Louis XIV in 1643 was to forge a
powerful nation state out of medieval feudalism. The destiny of Napoleonic
France in 1769 was the construction of a multinational continental world order
under French cultural and political leadership based on the ideals of the
The destiny of the Ottoman dominion during the 15th and 16th centuries was to
maintain peace in a multi-ethnic world under the aegis of Islam. The destiny of
the Holy Roman Empire in 962 AD was to establish and maintain a Christian
political order in Europe under an elected Holy Roman Emperor. The destiny of
Qin dynasty China in 221 BCE was to forge a unified Chinese nation.
The national destiny of modern China
China's The national destiny of modern China since the beginning of the 20th
century has been the restoration of the country to its rightful historical
position in the modern world order. Up until the age of Western imperialism,
which spanned from mid-19th century to mid-20th century, China had been a
continuous cultural fountainhead and economic dynamo throughout its recorded
history of four millennia without taking on the belligerent hubris of a modern
Today, New China has steadfastly declared that it will never assume the
aggressive role of a superpower. New China aims to spread the Chinese vision of
an equitable world order not by force of arms but by example of its commitment
to build an equitable harmonious society within its borders and in a world
order. The national destiny of New China is inseparable from China's socialist
root to protect and develop the common interest of working people even in
feudal dynastic days and from which it has derived invincible strength to
defeat Western imperialism.
Chinese political culture is based on the principle of "great harmony" da tong,
in which individualism, both personal and institutional, is subordinate to
community as a natural order. This natural order has been derived from four
millennia of a living philosophical tradition in a nation with continuously
functioning political-cultural institutions, as the geo-cultural, multi-ethnic
center of the known world. Western capitalist democracy based on individualism
is antithetical to Chinese socio-political culture. Mercantile values have not
been highly placed in Chinese culture and society. Historically, over a period
of four millennium, every time China deviated from this socialist tradition,
the nation ended in decline.
Today, China is a modern nation state with one fifth of the world's population
and the longest continuous civilization and history. This is why China
continues to refer to herself culturally as zhong hua, which means
"centric civilization of opulence", and politically as zhong guo,
meaning "centric nation state". Modern China, organized politically as a
communist nation in the heyday of Western capitalism, is a fusion of
traditional Chinese communal political culture and Western dialectic
Mao Zedong, the greatest revolutionary leader in modern Chinese history, wrote
in his 1937 essay "On Contradiction":
According to materialist
dialectics, changes in nature are due chiefly to the development of internal
contradictions. Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the
internal contradictions in society, that is, contradiction between productive
forces and the relations of production, contradiction between classes and
contradiction between old and new. It is the development of these
contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the
supersedure of old society by new.
Does materialist dialectics exclude external causes? Not at all. It holds that
external causes are the condition of change and internal causes are the basis
of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes.
In a suitable temperature an egg changes into a chicken, but no temperature can
change a stone into a chicken, because each has a different basis.
There is constant interaction between the people of different countries. In the
era of capitalism, and especially in the era of imperialism and proletarian
revolution, the interaction and mutual impact of different countries in the
political, economic and cultural spheres are extremely great.
The October Socialist Revolution ushered in a new epoch in world history as
well as in Russian history. It exerted influence on internal changes in the
other countries in the world and, similarly and in a particularly profound way,
on internal changes in China. These changes, however, were effected through the
inner laws of development of these countries, China included.
In battle, one army is victorious and the other is defeated; both the victory
and the defeat are determined by internal causes. The one is victorious either
because it is strong or because of its competent generalship, the other is
vanquished either because it is weak or be cause of its incompetent
generalship; it is through internal causes that external causes become
In China in 1927, the defeat of the proletariat by the big bourgeoisie came
about through the opportunism then to be found within the Chinese proletariat
itself (inside the Chinese Communist Party). When we liquidated this
opportunism, the Chinese revolution resumed its advance. Later, the Chinese
revolution again suffered severe setbacks at the hands of the enemy, because
adventurism had risen within our Party. When we liquidated this adventurism,
our cause advanced once again. Thus it can be seen that to lead the revolution
to victory, a political party must depend on the correctness of its own
political line and the solidity of its own organization.
correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union as the inevitable outcome of
the revisionism of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The current global financial crisis that began in August 2007 is a
manifestation of the internal contradiction of the dysfunctional globalized
capitalist free market fundamentalism. On this "external cause" of global
financial crisis, the Chinese Communist Party will be well advised to heed
chairman Mao's warning about the importance of the correctness of its own
political line to respond to China's "inner laws of development" in the context
of external structural changes in the rest of the world.
Mao continued on the history of dialectics:
The dialectical world
outlook emerged in ancient times both in China and in Europe. Ancient
dialectics, however, had a somewhat spontaneous and naive character; in the
social and historical conditions then prevailing, it was not yet able to form a
theoretical system, hence it could not fully explain the world and was
supplanted by metaphysics.
The celebrated German philosopher Hegel, who lived in the late 18th and early
19th centuries, made important contributions to dialectics, but his dialectics
was idealist. It was not until Marx and Engels, the great protagonists of the
proletarian movement, had synthesized the positive achievements in the history
of human knowledge and, in particular, critically absorbed the rational
elements of Hegelian dialectics and created the great theory of dialectical and
historical materialism that an unprecedented revolution occurred in the history
of human knowledge. This theory was further developed by Lenin and Stalin. As
soon as it spread to China, it wrought tremendous changes in the world of
Modern Chinese thought has been impacted by
Marxism because, as Mao observed, external causes in the form of