Michael Kidron

Letter to the Socialist Review

(March 1954)

From Socialist Review, Vol. 3 No. 8, April 1954.
Transcribed by Mike Pearn.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Socialist Review

14th March 1954

Dear Comrade,

I am sending this letter to both the Socialist Outlook and the Socialist Review. John Lawrence, editor of Socialist Outlook in his review article (Socialist Outlook, March 12th, 1954), presents Mao Tse-tung as the true disciple of Leon Trotsky, the unconscious disciple who brought about the realisation of the theory of Permanent Revolution.

But the Selected Works, Vol. 1, of Mao Tse-tung, recently published by Lawrence and Wishart, London, show exactly what this unconscious disciple thought of the conscious Trotskyists – “jackals of Japanese imperialism” etc. (p. 264). And the Fourth International, organ of the American Trotskyist organisation, showed how these thoughts were put into practice (see the article, Trotskyism in China. A Report, July-August 1947). Speaking of the Trotskyists in Mao’s Eighth Route Army, the Report states: “But as soon as they were discovered, they were shamefully shot, one after another.” The Report continues by describing how Cheong Li Ming, Trotskyist commander of 2,000 guerrillas in Eastern Chekiang, was caught by the Stalinists and beheaded, how his wife was shot together with other Trotskyist captives, and how his six year old son was drowned in the sea.

Of course, Mao may be the “unconscious agent of history,” but for a Marxist leadership to be “unconscious” at the time of what John Lawrence calls a “socialist revolution” (emphasis in the original), when the masses themselves are conscious of their social and historic role, is to make a travesty of Marxism.


Yours fraternally,
(Balliol College, Oxford)

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