The Rising Revolutionary Wave and Trotsky Liquidation in China

Marx-Engels |  Lenin  | Stalin |  Home Page

The Rising Revolutionary Wave and Trotsky Liquidation in China



THE inevitability of the coming of a new revolutionary wave in China was clearly pointed out by the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of China which met in the summer of 1928. This epoch-making Congress, which first summarized the invaluable experiences of the Great Revolution of 1925-27, laid down, along Marxist-Leninist lines, the ideological foundation for the present stage of the Chinese revolutionary movement. The Congress clearly indicated that the bourgeois-democratic revolution was defeated, that imperialism still ruthlessly tramples China under its feet, and that the feudal classes have intensified their exploitation of the peasant masses. It further showed that the bourgeoisie, failing to get concessions from the imperialists and feudal forces, attack the workers more sharply than ever before. This gives the broad toiling masses no other alternative than a determined struggle. Hence, the Congress concluded that the coming of a revolutionary wave against imperialism, feudal forces, and the bourgeoisie, is inevitable.

Now, the revolutionary perspective is clearer every day. China has already entered the period of a profound general crisis. One of the unmistakable signs of this period is the outstanding fact that the position of the ruling classes has become extremely shaky. This does not only refer to the rapidly falling prestige and authority of the Nanking Government, but also to the increasingly unstable and precarious position of the semi-feudal landlords, gentry and native bourgeoisie as the governing classes in the country in general. This is not only shown by the rapid succession of one militarist war after another in recent months, but the rising wave of the labor movement, together with the rapid revival of the peasant movement,  particularly the guerrilla warfare, also point clearly to the coming of a new revolutionary upheaval that promises to uproot the Chinese semi-feudal bourgeois rulers from their present positions and establish the political power of the workers and peasants in the country.

* For a detailed discussion of the militarist wars and prospects of revolution in China, see the author's recent pamphlet, "Militarist Wars and Revolution in China" (in English), published by the Chinese Vanguard Publishing Co., New York City, 1930.


It is precisely this period that Trotsky designates as the "epoch of theoretical pre-occupation" and solemnly states that "what characterizes the young Chinese revolutionists at the present time is the passion to understand, to study, to embrace the question in its entirety" (Militant, January 25, 1930.-emphasis mine, R. D. ). Of course, no true Bolshevik scoffs at study or underestimates the importance of theoretical work. But what is important to point out here is that it is not accidental that Trotsky here solely mentions theoretical work as the foremost task of the Chinese revolutionists and entirely substitutes study for struggle "at the present time" in China. 


Trotsky sees no revolutionary perspective in China. His Men­shevik prejudices have rendered him completely blind to the facts -facts that are plain and simple to the naked eye. To him the "bourgeois counter-revolution" has "triumphed" in China (Mili­tant, December 22, 1929). Trotsky stubbornly refuses to see the predominance of the feudal element in Chinese economy and the glaringly evident feudalistic character of the present regime in China, especially in the local governments. Meditating over his past failures and mistakes, Trotsky does not only vainly try to justify his basically non-Leninist fantastic theories in regard to the Chinese revolution by picturing to himself a period of peaceful capitalistic development for China under the leadership of the triumphant bourgeoisie, but is also attempting to work out on the basis of his erroneous theories an ideological structure for a Trot­skyist Opposition in China. In a letter on the Sixth Congress of the Comintern, dated September 9, 1928, Trotsky unhesitatingly blamed the Sixth Congress for not "furnishing the Communist Party of China a program of action for the Stolphin period of Chiang Kai-shek through which China is now passing'' (Militant, March 15, 19299.-emphasis mine, R,. D.). 

In place of the nine fundamental slogans* which the Sixth Congress issued for  China, Trotsky proposed three slogans-the expropriation of lands belonging to the "landed gentry," eight-hour day, and abrogation of unequal treaties--as "absolutely necessary transitional slogans." Thus haunted by the perspective of a Stolypin period of capitalist development for China, Trotsky proposed a retreat for the Chinese revolution. He advised the Chinese revolutionists to drop such fighting slogans as "overthrow of imperialist domination," "the overthrow of the Kuomintang Government," "establishment of the power of the Soviets," and substitute them with a totally worn-out and utterly discredited Kuomintang slogan of the "abrogation of the unequal treaties" ! But Trotsky's unfailing confidence in the possibility ( or even inevitability) of a triumphantly successful capi­talist development for China does not stop here. He even goes so far as to dream of a parliament in China ! In the same letter, he said: "The struggle for these slogans ( the three transitional slogans which he proposed) carried on also in the parliament ( when the parliament is established) should lead, the moment the revolution begins anew, to the creation of Soviets and the battle for the dictatorship of the proletariat supported by the urban and rural poor ! " ( Emphasis original.) "When the parliament is established"! In China? This is so unbelievable that one is likely to be tempted to think that Trotsky is talking in his sleep! But unfortunately for him, he seems to be wide awake. He does not only stubbornly insist that he is right but also throws accusations about, charging others with misjudging the Chinese situation. 

* The fundamental slogans, through which the Party must seek to win over the masses, are the following: 

( i) Overthrow of imperialist domination.
( ii) Confiscation of foreign enterprises and banks.
(iii) Union of the country, with recognition of the right of each nationality to self-determination
(iv) Overthrow of the power of the militarists and the Kuomintang. ( v) Establishment of the power of Soviets of workers', peasants', and soldiers' representatives. 
( vi) The eight-hour working day, increase of wages, assistance to the unemployed and social insurance. 
( vii) Confiscation of all lands of big landlords, land for the peasants and soldiers. 
( viii) The abolition of all governmental, militarist and local taxes and levies; a single progressively graduated income tax. 
(ıx) Union with the U. S. S. R. and the world proletarian movement.­Thesis on the Revolutionary Movement in the Colonies and Semi-Colonies, adopted by the Sixth World Congress of the Communist International, 1928. 


Who misjudges the Chinese situation? "The Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek" ! This phrase tells a whole story. If we recall the Stolypin period in Russian history, we will fully understand the implications of this designation for China. "Stolypin period" is the name given to that period in Russian history which followed the defeat of the revolution in 1905. It was the period in which the Czarist minister, Stolypin, put through various reform measures, notably the land law, which, in the words of the Russian Marxist historian, Pokrovsky, "opened a wide gate for the development of industrial capitalism in Russia" (Pokrovsky, Outlines of the History of Revolutionary Movement in Russia, Chinese translation, Moscow Chinese Labor University Edition 1928, p. 116). Stoly­pin's reforms initiated a period of rapid capitalist development for Russia which postponed the approach of a new revolutionary wave for many years. A similar period of capitalist development for China is undoubtedly what Trotsky has in mind when he speaks of "the Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek." Such an understanding of the Chinese situation naturally deprives him of any immediate revolutionary perspective. This is how Trotsky understood the Chinese question in September, 1928.

It is true that the short interval between Chiang Kai-shek's "tri­umphant" march to Peking and the outbreak of the Nanking­ Kwangsi war in the spring of 1929, for about one year, presented a semblance of "peace and unity" for China and might have misled the superficial observer to conclude that a "Stolypin period" had dawned in China. However, the intensification of basic contradictions in China, as shown in the deplorable economic and political plight of the country and the utter failure of the Fifth Plenum of the Kuomintang and the Financial Conference which followed it to solve any of the burning economic and financial problems of the day, should have warned a true Marxist observer against entertaining any illusions about a stable and peaceful future for the reactionary regime in China ! 

Trotsky refused to heed this warning. He doggedly read the events in the light of his erroneous theories about Chinese economy. His basic misconception of the class content of the semi-feudal bourgeois regime of the Kuomintang militarists, which directly flows out of his underestimation of the feudal element in Chinese economy, naturally prevents him from having a correct understanding of the nature of class contradictions in China. Hence, his theory of a "triumphant bourgeois counter-revolution." Based upon this theory, he did not only build up an illusion of a "Stolypin period" for China but even blamed the Fourth World Congress of the Comintern for not sharing this illusion with him!

Almost a year and a half have passed since the Trotskyist theory of "the Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek" was advanced. Within this interval of time, much has happened in China. There were already two militarist wars to blacken the history of this period and a third one is just coming. The Chinese militarist generals and their imperialist masters have no consideration for Trotsky's theories. Amidst the clanking of their arms and the trail of misery and devastation which these militarist wars inevitably left, all of Trotsky's theories about "the triumphant bourgeois counterrevolution," "the Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek," and his dream. of a parliament in China, were dashed to pieces on the solid rocks of reality ! 


But Trotsky stubbornly refuses to learn his lesson from these facts which completely overthrew his ridiculous theory of a "Stolypin period" for China. Instead of either admitting his mistakes or else refraining from going further, he displayed even more energy in piling up his mistakes on the Chinese question. Toward the end of 1929 he began to take a direct part in organizing a Chinese Opposition group and raised the slogan of the "Constituent Assembly" for China. What does Trotsky mean by issuing the slogan of the "Constituent Assembly" for China? In a letter to the Chinese Oppositionists, dated December 22, 1929, Trotsky said: "The political task of the Chinese Communist Party, weakened and driven into illegality, is to mobilize not only the workers but also the broad social layers of the city and the country against the bourgeois-military dictatorship. It is to this end that the simplest and most natural slogan under present conditions, the Constituent As­sembly, must serve" (Militant, January 25, 1930). 

In the same letter he said: "The difference must be clearly understood between the general revolutionary perspective which we must tirelessly de­velop in articles and in theoretical and propaganda speeches, and the present political slogan under which we can, beginning today, mobilize the masses by actually opposing them to the regime of the military dictatorship. Such a central political slogan is the slogan ,of the Constituent Assembly,,." (Emphasis original.-R. D.) 

In other words, according to Trotsky, the Chinese masses are not yet ready for more direct and revolutionary slogans than that of the Constituent Assembly. Sitting at Prinkipo, basing his calculations upon his erroneous theory of a "Stolypin period" for China, he pictures to himself a "weakened" Chinese Communist Party trying to lead an extremely backward mass that has plenty of confidence and illusions in the stability of the present Kuomintang regime in China. He substitutes his own greatly exaggerated version of the "victorious counter-revolution" and his consequent faith in the stability of the Kuomintang regime for the highly revolutionary temper of the Chinese masses; therefore, he abandons all direct revolutionary slogans such as "Down with the Kuomintang Gov­ernment'' and "Establish the power of the Soviets" and timidly puts forward such a neutral slogan as that of the "Constituent As­sembly." Thus Trotsky's profound pessimism leads him to post­pone the "general revolutionary perspective" to the far, far distant future so that it becomes barely perceptible to himself and entirely beyond the horizon of the Chinese masses and proposes to "mobilize the masses" by a present political slogan "under which we can actually oppose them ( the masses) to the regime of the military dictatorship." Is the slogan of the "Constituent Assembly" strong and revolutionary enough to mobilize the Chinese masses of the present period, a period of general crisis, in which the developing mass movements, both in city and country, particularly the rapidly-spreading peasant guerrilla warfare, have already begun a desperate struggle against the existing regime? Do the Chinese masses need to be "actually opposed" to the military dictatorship? Have they not yet, by their desperate struggles in town and country and by numerous other clear and most unambiguous manifestations of profound discontent and hostility to the existing regime, already opposed them­selves to the semi-feudal bourgeois dictatorship? Trotsky evidently believes that they have not. Therefore, he said in the same letter: "The agitation ( for the slogan of the Constituent Assembly ­R. D.) must be supplemented by a propaganda that will make at least the most advanced sections of the proletariat understand that the road leading to the Constituent Assembly can only pass through the İnsurrection against the military usurpation and the seizure of power by the popular masses." (Emphasis mine.-R. D.) 

Thus Trotsky only seeks to make the "most advanced sections of the proletariat" understand the necessity of insurrection ! The slo­gan of insurrection as a slogan for the masses is indefinitely post­poned by Trotsky! Trotsky has not only joined Chen Du-Shiu but he has already landed himself in the camp of ,vang Chin-wei, Chen Kung P o & Co. The slogan of Constituent Assembly is exactly the central political slogan of the "Left" Kuomintang Re­organizationists, who in the summer of 1927 "liquidated" the last revolution by their betrayal

Now Trotsky has come forward to liquidate the Chinese Communist Party and its revolutionary po­litical line by proposing a slogan that coincides exactly with that of the Kuomintang Reorganizationists, and thus subordinating the political action of the -proletariat and peasantry to that of the representatives of the bourgeois opposition.

(Wang Chin Wei, Chen Kung Po & Co. now play the role of a national bourgeois opposition to the semi-feudal compradore bourgeois government of Chiang Kai-shek.)

 It is clear that Trotsky, by issuing the slogan of the Constituent Assembly, proposes a retreat for the Chinese Communist Party from a revolutionary position to that of a "legal" opposition to the Chiang Kai-shek regime! No wonder the Political Bureau of the C. C. of the Communist Party of China, in a statement issued on October 15, 1929, called Trotskyism a "one hundred per cent liquidationist position." 



This liquidationist position of Trotsky is the logical outcome of his theory of the "Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek." So is his slander of the Comintern line in China as "adventurism"; and his monstrously ridiculous attitude toward the peasant guerrilla warfare in China. His confusion in regard to the question of guerrilla peasant warfare in China is so hopeless and his hostility toward these struggling Chinese peasants is so strong that he devoted a whole  special article to the subject, to which he affixed the title "What Is Happening in China?" * (printed in the Militant, November 30,  1929). Nothing reveals more glaringly than this article Trotsky's profound ignorance of the revolutionary character of the Chinese peasantry and his criminally malicious attitude toward the Comintern leadership. 

According to Trotsky's line of reasoning, a "Stolypin period" in China, of course, means a more or less temporary relief for the peasantry, hence guerrilla warfare conducted voluntarily and 
spon­taneously by the peasantry against the government is impossible ! 

* This article shows perhaps more than anything else that Trotsky's ammunition against the Comintern is near exhaustion. The counter-revolu­tionary character of all of his ideological and organizational attacks against the Comintern being totally exposed, Trotsky now resorts to slanders and lies. The effect of all such Trotskyist propaganda upon his followers, particularly his lies and slanders, is clearly seen in an utterly shameless and vicious letter written by a certain Charles Byrne of Youngstown, Ohio, to the Militant. (Militant, January +, 1930, page 8.) in this letter, this 
Youngstown renegade calls Comrade Earl Brower "Mr. Chiang Kai-shek Browder,'' "Stalin's Yankee Priest in China," and vomited such venomous lies to the effect that "even though Chiang Kai-shek was murdering the workers of China, Browder aided him until such time as Chiang thumbed his nose at Stalin." This is the result of Trotskyist propaganda among the rank and file. To spread slander and lies about the leaders of the international revolutionary working class, to plant hatred and lıostility among the masses toward the Comintern and the Communist Parties, to assist capi­talist attacks against the Chinese Revolution and the Soviet Union; these are the missions of Trotskyism and such sheets as the "Militant." 

But it is a fact that peasant guerrilla warfare is spreading throughout the countryside in China. Since this fact is out of the line of Trotsky's reasoning, some excuse must be found for its presence. 

Trotsky sarcastically asks: "Does this insurrection (guerrilla war-fare) spring from the situation in China or rather from the directions concerning the Third Period?" 

Thus Trotsky, following the example of the imperialist diplomats who always trace every revo­lutionary outbreak to "the order from Moscow," insinuates that the guerilla warfare must have been staged by orders from the Comintern. But Trotsky is not satisfied with this insinuation. He goes much further and makes the wildest and most insane accu­sations against the Comintern. He says:

 "But there is still another explanation possible, which is perhaps at the same time the most disquieting. Have the Chinese Communists risen İn rebellion be­cause of Chiang Kai-shek's seizure of the Chinese Eastern Rail­way? Has this insurrection, wholly guerrilla in character, as its only aim to cause Chiang Kai-shek the greatest possible uneasiness at his rear? If that is what it is, we ask who has given such counsel to the Chinese Communists?" 

Mr. Trotsky, you should have remembered that peasant guerrilla warfare was first fought in 1927, following the defeat of the revolution, and has been going on ever since then, two years before the Chinese Eastern Railway case was dreamed of! By trying to make political capital out of a flat and obvious lie, you make your­self an object of contempt to the international working class! 

Is the phenomenon of peasant guerrilla warfare so difficult to understand that slander and lies had to be resorted to for its explanation? No, not by one who is not afraid of the truth. The revolutionary character of the Chinese peasants, of which the guerrilla warfare is its racial expression, arises out of the unbearable misery and desperation of their conditions of existence. This constituted a strong impetus to the great revolution of 1925-27. Especially during the latter part of the revolution, tens of millions of the peasants of South China rose against their oppression;, the gentry and landlords, and turned the backward Chinese countryside into a hotbed of one of the greatest revolutionary upheavals in history. In many places the peasants actually took land over for themselves and completely expropriated the oppressors. When the history oi the Chinese agrarian revolution of 1926 and 192 7 is written, it will unquestionably constitute one of the most amazing chapters of the history of the international revolution. And then the counter-revolution came. Ruthlessly and with unprecedented terror, the ruling classes sought to wrest victory from the hands of the dauntless peasants. The peasant movement was crushed for some time but the strongest elements never yielded. With what-ever arms they had taken during the struggle, they formed detachments and escaped into the temporary shelter of the mountains, ever ready to come out and lead the struggling masses who stili remained in the villages and necessarily had constant conflicts with their landlords. Those who stayed in the villages are naturally those who are less ready to lead a guerrilla soldier's life, but they had also tasted power in the days of the revolution and are always ready to follow the lead of their more militant brothers in an attack or raid on landlords or government troops. These struggles usually develop from the over-strained relations between the peasants and their oppressors which are so serious that any conflicts between them often result in violence and bloodshed. The Chinese press of the last two years was full of lurid tales of the exploits of such "Communist Robbers," and one story after another of the failure of the government troops to "clear the villages." The most significant f eature of these stories of "Communist Robbers" is that they have always been able to rally enough mass support either to enable them to evade the government troops sent to suppress them or to def eat these troops. 

There are also reports to the effect that, in many instances, a part of government troops went over to the "Communist Robbers" and the rest were thus demoralized and routed. In several southern provinces, especially in Kwanktung, peasant Soviet districts have existed ever since the Canton uprising. Although such Soviet districts were raided and "cleaned" several times, the revolutionary peasants succeeded in recapturing power and the rule of the peasants in those areas is not only preserved up to the present day, but, as recent news reports indicate, it is greatly extended and strengthened and constitutes a great stimulus to the peasants in other parts of China. 

Chiang Kai-shek and Company are not unaware of the seriousness of the agrarian situation. But the logic of Nanking's reac­tionary power can afford no solution to the agrarian question, cannot even mitigate its difficulties. A twenty-five percent reduction of rent was introduced in Chihkiang Province following the bourgeois betrayal of the revolution as a measure to assist Chiang Kai­shek's lackeys in putting down the peasant movement, but as soon as the peasants appeared to have quieted down, the measure was abolished. The Nanking Government appointed a Commission to work out measures for agrarian reform, but it was so impossible for the Commission to work out any reform measures that its report was postponed for four years by the Kuomintang Executive Session of last June. The semi-feudal bourgeois regime found itself absolutely helpless in the face of this most important question. In the meantime the agrarian crisis not only in the North, where famine ravages the country, but also in South China, where there is a serous crisis without a famine, is becoming more and more menacing ! Millions of desperate peasants, especially the poor peasants, must either sit and starve or organize and .fight, trying to snatch a chance to live by expropriating the provisions ( in North) or land (İn South) of the rich. Is it surprising, then, that peasant guerrilla warfare has developed so rapidly and violently, especially in the last few months? 

Thus we see the "guerrilla movement" is not a series of artificial uprisings, manufactured by directions from Moscow, but it is essentially a spontaneous movement of the peasant masses, "springing from the actual conditions" in the country. The task of the Party in regard to tim question is not to shut its eyes to the situation, as Trotsky would have them do, but to lead the movement to the ,proper channels. The Party is fully aware of the possible dangers of such peasant detachments if their activities do not receive proper guidance from the proletariat. The Sixth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which met in the summer of 1928, formulated its tasks concerning the peasant guerrilla warfare in the following words:
"in places where the class contradictions and struggles in the villages have become very serious, every small daily struggle necessarily results in armed conflict. Hence, the guerrilla warfare has already become the main form of struggle. The Communist Party must actively and resolutely lead these struggles, and make them assume a more organized character and maintain a closer contact with the masses. (Emphasis mine, R. D.)
"The main tasks of guerrilla warfare are: ( 1) To realize slogans of the peasants' struggles ( confiscation of the land of the landlords and give it to the peasants; exterminate "tu-haos," gentry, landlords, ete.; establish peasants' delegate conferences and village Soviet power), and to motivate a larger peasant mass to the front line of revolutionary struggles; ( 2) to establish a Red Army by gradually drawing in brave youth, especially the proletarians and semi-proletarians, to take part in the guerrilla detachments and gradually extend them into a workers' and peasants' Revolutionary Red Army; and ( 3) to weaken the forces of reaction ( such as the disarming of the People's Corps," police, ete.)."
These, Mr. Trotsky, are the origin and perspectives of the peasant guerrilla warfare in· China. This is "what is happening in China." it is not that we have not "breathed a word" about this but that you have been sleeping and mistaken your nightmares for what is actually happening in China ! 


Taken all in all, the theoretical root of Trotsky's mistakes is his erroneous theory of "permanent revolution." Underestimating the role that the peasantry can play in the revolution and also lack-ing in faith in the strength of the proletariat to lead the peasantry, Trotsky introduced a theory that, if sufficiently accepted by the masses, would side-track the revolution and throw it into the ditch. He does not understand the true function of the intermediary stage, the bourgeois-democratic dictatorship in the colonies and semi-colo­nies, which bridges over from a backward reactionary political power into the dictatorship of the proletariat. He cannot conceive of the possibility of a "growing over" from the Democratic Dicta­torship of the workers and peasants to the dictatorship of the pro­letariat. Hence, he advanced the theory that either the bourgeois democratic-revolution is completed by a victorious bourgeois revolution, or, if defeated, then the tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution must wait for the proletarian revolution for their solution. In regard to China, Trotsky said:
 "The real solution of the tasks of the bourgeois revolution in China is only possible through the dictatorship of the proletariat . . . . Such a revolution, however, cannot remain standing at the bourgeois stage. İt is transformed into a permanent revolution, that is, it becomes a link of the international socialist revolution and shares its fate." (Militant, December 28, 1929.)
Thus, Trotsky, with a sweep of the pen, omits for China the "preparatory stages" which the Program of the Communist International correctly considers it necessary to go through before China can transfer to the dictatorship of the proletariat and, by doing so, postpones the perspectives for a revolution in China to the indefinite future. Since China is not yet :ripe for the dictatorship of the proletariat, therefore, according to Trotsky, to speak of a revolutionary perspective at the present time must be "adventurism." Hence Trotsky invented a "Stolypin period" for China during which China could "prepare" herself for the nuptial night of a Trotskyist social revolution! What a perfect theory-from beginning to end -running like a thread! Unfortunately for Trotsky, but fortunately for China, the "Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek" proved not to be a fact but a farce. The "Stolypin switch" which Trotsky invented to side-track the Chinese revolution is smashed by Leninist theory and revolutionary events in China !

Aside from this bankruptcy of Trotskyism on account of the erroneous theory upon which it is based, there is another aspect of the question-although even this aspect is closely woven with his basic theoretical mistakes. I mean his wrong analysis of the Econ­omy of China. His underestimation of the role of the peasantry in the revolution leads him to grossly underestimate the most im­portant section of the economic structure of China, which, if correctly estimated, would necessarily enlarge the role which the peasants must play in the Chinese revolution. 

Trotsky, in his criticism of the Draft Program of the Comintern, said: "Of course matters would be quite hopeless (for Trotskyism-R. D.) if feudal sur­vivals would really dominate in Chinese economics, as the resolution of the E. C. C. I. asserts. But, unfortunately, survivals in general cannot dominate. .  However, not 'feudal' (more correctly, serf, and, generally, pre-capitalist) relations dominate but capitalist relations." ( Criticism of Fundamentals, published by the Militant, pp. 119-120.)

It is futile to quibble over the word "survival." A word cannot make the feudal element in Chinese economy weak. What is the feudal element in Chinese economy that dominates, the proper understanding of which is so important? It is the feudal form of exploitation in Chinese economy. It is true that capitalist relations have penetrated to the Chinese countryside, and the capitalist form dominates in the property relations of land ownership. But the feudal form of exploitation of the peasantry by the landlord class plays a really dominating role in the economic life of China. In proportion to the ruthless penetration of imperialist commodity economy into the village, which makes the village economy more decadent and the position of the feudal landlords more shaky, the feudal exploitation of the peasantry by the landlords also become more severe. The revolution of 1925-1927 dealt a blow to this exploitation, but it did not destroy it. As the revolution subsided, the old forms of exploitation are all revived. The domination of this form of exploitation puts the agrarian revolution, as the central feature of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in China:, first and foremost on the agenda, as the necessary precondition for the development of the socialist revolution. 

Trotsky doesn't like this, so he pushes to the background the feudal element in Chinese economy, magnifies capitalist development in the country, raises from obscurity the weak and toppling Chinese national bourgeoisie, and puts before them the tasks of a "Stolypin period of Chiang Kai-shek" ! But here again Trotsky is mistaken and falls a victim to his wrong theories. The Chinese national bourgeoisie did not and cannot live up to Trotsky's expectations. 

Trotsky has never realized that the national bourgeoisie of China, due to its extreme weakness, is not only incapable of playing any independent role but that it is so weak that it is even incapable of forcing without the help of the proletariat and peasantry, any concession from the imperialists or the feudal elements in the country. This is clearly shown by the fact that, while during the revolution of 1925-1927 the national bourgeoisie with the support of the workers and peasants, was able to route the feudal forces and to extract many concessions from the imperialists, ever since its betrayal in 1927, it had to fall into the arms of the feudal war lords and completely capitulate to the increasing encroachments of the imperialists. Chiang Kai-shek's Nanking regime has never been a pure bourgeois power, and it never will be. And for this very fact - the fact that the Nanking Government, ever since its inception has never been a pure bourgeois regime, and that the Chinese national bourgeoisie can never be strong enough to establish such a regime-Chiank Kai-shek's "triumphant'' march to Peking did not and can never bring peace and unity for the country. But peace and unity are the prerequisites for a "Stolypin period" ! Thus, owing to his gross overestimation of the Chinese bourgeoisie and mistaking the Nanking regime for a regime of "bourgeois coun­ter-revolution," Trotsky never understood the meaning and significance of the militarist wars in China! Is it an accident then that his various articles and letters dealing with the Chinese situation, Trotsky never mentioned the militarist wars in China? He ignores entirely this most important phenomenon of the Chinese situation. Probably he ignores it because he does not understand it. Trotsky's wrong line now leads him to further his crimes against the revolution by building up an Opposition group in China and thus attempting to disrupt the activities of the Chinese Communist Party and introduce confusion into the ranks of the Chinese revolutionary workers and peasants. 


But Trotsky is destined to fail in China just as he has failed in the Soviet Union and in the capitalist countries. No successful Party can be built upon the sandy basis of a wrong theoretical orientation. Even a simple Chinese farm laborer will never trust a party whose basic theoretical orientation contradicts the realities in the country. The slogan of the Constituent Assembly can be nothing but a joke to the revolutionary workers and peasants of China. The liquidationism which this slogan implies can serve a useful purpose for the revolution, however, by exposing the true nature of Trot­skyism to the international working class in general and the Chinese working class in particular. It will not liquidate the Chinese revolution, but it will liquidate Trotskyism in China, as it has already liquidated Trotskyism in the Soviet Union and other countries ! 


The ultra-Right wing opportunist character of the theoretical as well as practical conclusions of Trotsky in regard to the Chinese question might be a shock to those who erroneously understood Trotskyism as merely "leftism." But Trotsky was never a consistent "leftist." He has always basically been a Menshevik and an opportunist who covers up his opportunism with left and revo­lutionary phrases. On this question he has openly discarded his "leftist" cloak and comes out with an openly opportunist and coun­ter-revolutionary line in China. Therefore, it is not a bit surprising that Trotsky should welcome into his own ranks the notorious symbol of opportunism İn China, Professor Chen Du-Shiu. This seems to be a period of rendezvous for all shades of opportunism.

In Mexico the right wing renegade, Diego Rivera, who fought against the Party because "he couldn't live 'without his salary from the Government," quickly transformed himself overnight into a "left" Trotskyite and was accepted with open arms by Trotsky's American agent, Cannon, without any "embarassing" questions re­garding his relations with the fascist Rubio. Jim Cannon is enjoying a "spiritual union" with Jay Lovestone in America. Across the ocean, the Trotskyists of Germany are repeating the slander and malicious lies of the Brandlerites that Comrade Neumann is an agent of the German police. Both the Brandlerites and Trot­skyites are carrying on a vicious campaign against the policy of the Comintern on the August First anti-war demonstrations and the March 6th unemployment demonstrations. But this is not encour­aging news for opportunism. The frequent rapprochement between the "left" and right opportunists shows that both brands of opportunism have exhausted their own possibilities for development. They are bottled up by their own contradictions and weaknesses. In a frantic search for an outlet, they bumped into each other and found themselves in the same bottle of poisonous opportunism that has no outlet. Their predicament is thus fully exposed to the world. The revolutionary proletariat and struggling oppressed masses in the colonies can only laugh at the embarrassment and doomed fate of these renegades.

From The Communist Volume 9, 1930