Ted Grant

Wainwright Blunders Again On The Chinese Revolution

Written: February 1943
Source: Socialist Appeal, vol. 5 no. 5 (February 1943)
Transcription: Harry 2007
Markup/Proofread: Emil 2007

William Wainwright, who has been selected by the Stalinists for the job of Hack-in-Chief, is still at the old game of lying and slander. It must be admitted that the Stalinists have chosen well. Wainwright seems to take a delight in wallowing in his filth, and returns to his distortions and lies like a dog returns to his vomit. It is positively embarrassing to have to reply to the “arguments” which he adduces.

For sheer unadulterated hypocrisy and deceit it would be hard even for Goebbels to beat Wainwright when on the job of “exposing” the Trotskyists. Nevertheless, in the latest batch of falsehoods, Wainwright, as usual with the tribe of Ananias, has given hostages to fortune. Any member of the Communist Party or any honest worker deceived by Wainwright, need just glance at the Socialist Appeal to see the unscrupulous mendacity of the leadership.

In his zeal to discredit the Trotskyists, Wainwright invents the story that Wang Ching-Wei, the Japanese Quisling, is…a Trotskyist! It is an old Stalinist trick to confuse the workers by denouncing every renegade and police agent as a Trotskyist, and thus engender a hatred and distrust of the revolutionary socialists. Says Wainwright in his latest outcrop of lies:

“Wang Ching-Wei, whose puppet government at Nanking has declared war on Britain and U.S.A., is a kind of Chinese Doriot.

“In 1938, Wang visited Europe. On his return he went over to the Japs. Instead of his ‘leftism’, he and his paper now shout about ‘Asia for the Asiatics’. One more example of Trotskyism being a cover for fascism.”

Poor Stalinist slanderer! It would have been better for him to have invented a more plausible tale, instead of one which will prove a boomerang to his party. This fool has wandered into a subject which the Stalinists would prefer to be forgotten—the Chinese revolution.

Needless to say, Wang Ching-Wei is a capitalist politician and was never in the working class movement. The closest he ever got was when, with Chiang Kai-Shek and the other leaders, the Kuomintang was accepted as a “sympathising section” of the Communist International, against the vote and protest of Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

During the Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, Stalin and the Comintern defended this Quisling creature, against the advice and warning of Trotsky, and thus doomed the Chinese workers to be butchered and slaughtered by him. Just as today Wainwright defends Churchill, De Gaulle, Sikorski, and other imperialist rulers from Leninist criticism and thus prepares, insofar as it depends upon him, a like fate for the British workers.

Here we reproduce a, quotation given by H. Isaacs in Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution, which shows the real position in China at that time:

“…addressing the Fifteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Chitarov, relating the events at Wuhan, said ‘…one thing was left out of sight in connection with this—that while the bourgeoisie was retreating from the revolution (!) the Wuhan Government (Wang Ching-Wei was head of this Government) did not even think of leaving the bourgeoisie. Unfortunately, among the majority of our comrades, this was not understood; they had illusions with regard to the Wuhan Government. They considered the Wuhan Government almost an image, a prototype of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.’”

But it was on May 18th at the Eighth Plenum that Trotsky had warned:

“The leaders of the Left Kuomintang of the type of Wang Ching-Wei and co. will inevitably betray you if you follow the Wuhan heads instead of forming your own independent Soviets. The agrarian revolution is a serious thing. Politicians of the Wang Ching-Wei type, under difficult conditions, will unite ten times with Chiang Kai-Shek against the workers and peasants.”

Stalin, on the other hand, told the workers to trust Wang Ching-Wei. In Stalin’s own words:

“…without a policy of close collaboration of the Lefts and the Communists inside the Kuomintang…the victory of the revolution is impossible.”

It was not at all surprising therefore, that Wang Ching-Wei could appear in person as guest of honour at the opening of the Fifth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Hankow on April 27th, and announce that he and his colleagues “gladly accepted the perspectives of the Communist International…”

Trotsky continued to warn the workers against the faith placed by Stalin in capitalist politicians of the stamp of Wang Ching-Wei. In the same speech he sounded the alarm:

“We say directly to the Chinese peasants. The leaders of the Left Kuomintang of the type of Wang Ching-Wei and co., will inevitably betray you if you follow the Wuhan heads instead of forming your own independent Soviets… Politicians of the Wang Ching-Wei type, under difficult conditions, will unite ten times with Chiang, Kai Shek against the workers and peasants. Under such conditions two Communists in a bourgeois Government became impotent hostages, if not a direct mask for the preparation of a new blow against the working masses.”

On May 28th, Trotsky had written in a letter to the Plenum:

“The agrarian revolution cannot be accomplished with the consent of Wang Ching-Wei, but in spite of Wang Ching-Wei and in struggle against him… But for this we need a really independent Communist Party, which does not implore the leaders but resolutely leads the masses. There is no other road and there can be none.”

But again his pleas and warnings were brushed aside, the Eighth Plenum of the Communist International condemned him for advocating Soviets, and adopted a resolution in support of the Wuhan Government, of which the following is an extract:

“The Executive Committee of the Communist International deems erroneous the point of view of those who underestimate the Hankow Government and deny its reality, its great revolutionary role…

“In the present conditions in China, the Communist Party is for the war waged by Hankow. It is responsible for the policy of the Wuhan Government, into which it enters directly. It is for facilitating the tasks of this government by every means…”

If it is “responsible for the policy of the Wuhan Government”, then it acknowledges responsibility for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers and peasants by this government in China, after the defeat of the revolution caused by this policy. All this, mark, in the interests of what they called “national unity against imperialism”. In China too, the C.P. acted as strikebreakers and tried to prevent the peasants from taking the land, in the interests of an agreement with the Chinese capitalists and their spokesmen. The results were horrible defeat and slaughter of the masses.

Throughout the world, and in Britain today, the C.P., having learned nothing from these events, carries out the same policy. Acting on Stalin’s same instructions, they curry favour with the capitalists in the interests of what they call “national unity.”

The results of such a policy cannot be different from the results in China. To those who teach the workers to place no reliance on the capitalists and their agents, they reply with slander and vilification. That is Wainwright’s job. But in doing it, he had better keep off history. On some future occasion we will reply to his lies on Doriot with facts and documents. But the mere fact that the C.P. have to resort to such methods, more befitting to fascist reaction, is an indication of their fear that our position is becoming known and sympathetically viewed by members of the Communist Party. Despite the lying Stalinist leadership, we will win to our banner the best elements in the Communist Party.