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China Report Confirms Opposition

(March 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 17, 8 March 1933, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Foreign Policy Association, hardly known for its Communist leanings, has recently issued a very interesting report on the class forces and relations in China. The report issued over the signature of T.A. Bisson lacks the usual bourgeois bombast and makes the effort to confine itself to the actual facts. As such it deserves comment.

The central pivot of the Chinese situation, today, is the expanding influence of Communism in the interior of China, which the report declares, is the “key to political events in China”. The recognition of this fact is most significant to revolutionaries throughout the world. It points to the complete bankruptcy of the Chinese bourgeoisie to solve any of the needs of the Chinese people. In spite of all the material support the Chiang Kai-Sheks have received from the American imperialists they have not been able to alleviate the indescribable conditions of the Chinese masses even in the most elementary manner. They have not been able to consolidate China and consummate its internal unity. They have remained the compradores, the lackeys of foreign imperialism. Bisson states that the anti-foreign policy, the drastic social and internal reforms, which he claims “were being rapidly and easily achieved during the 1925-1927” period no longer obtain today. This clearly bears out the analysis made by the Left Opposition of the reactionary role of the Chinese bourgeoisie in the revolution. We have declared many times, not only on the basis of the experience of the Russian revolutions but of the particular class relationships, that exist in China, that the Chinese bourgeoisie could not be a progressive factor. Our analysis directly contradicted the revisionist policy of the Stalin-Bucharin leadership of the Comintern, which lost the Chinese Communist Party in the camp of the Kuo Min Tang, because the latter would “fight against imperialism” because it feared the consequences of the action of the toiling masses who would necessarily have to be brought into motion. At this point we disagree with Bisson, who says echoing the Mensheviks of the Stalin faction, that the Kuo Min Tang had set an anti-imperialist movement afoot in the 1926-1927 period. Innumerable facts have been adduced to prove the falsity of this statement. Events have incontestably demonstrated that the Kuo Min Tang bourgeoisie never fought against imperialism but against one or another imperialist nation with the support and sponsorship of some other imperialist nation.

The driving force of Communism still retains its vitality despite the defeat which Stalinism led it into and the four years of ruthless extermination of the flower of the movement by the butcher Chiang Kai-Shek and his hangmen. Bisson admits that under this danger of Communism “the Left and Right wings of the Kuo Min Tang – formerly quite distinct – have drawn so closely together as to become practically indistinguishable ...” We might add that so great is the apprehension of the Chinese generals of the spread of Communism in the interior of China that even under the impact of the blows of the Japanese imperialists, partitioning northern China, they could not spare any forces from their campaign against the Communists.

On the character of this Communist movement in China the statement of Bisson further vindicates the prediction and analysis of the Left Opposition. He characterizes the movement as having made “steady gains in China’s agrarian hinterland”. Not a word about the strength of Communism in the urban and industrial centers. And how can it be otherwise? Augmenting their criminal errors in the revolutionary period the Stalinist bureaucracy has turned its face away from the proletariat and has established what is virtually a peasants’ party drawing on the belated echo of the rural areas to the revolutionary upsurge that has passed and which has not as yet re-arisen in its real force.

The fundamental problem of the future of the Chinese people is raised by Bisson with singular clarity. “Capitalist domination of the Kuo Min Tang, however, has not suppressed the issue thus raised. With the progress of the Chinese Communist movement, the choice between reconstructing China on a socialist or a capitalist basis is pressed more and more insistently on Chinese leaders. On which of these bases shall China seek to satisfy its supreme political necessities – national unification, stability and security?” This is the crux of the Chinese “puzzle” just as it is of the chaos that reigns throughout the rest of the world.

But this problem has passed from the domain of pedantic inquiry to the plane of tested reality. In China, no sooner had the bourgeoisie seized the reins of government than it has found itself in a paralytic impasse, unable to solve any of the burning questions of its national economy, let alone the dire needs of the hungry masses. To put the question is to answer it ... Either capitalism will plunge the masses into the abyss of barbarism or the emergence of humanity on a higher plane will come through the triumph of the proletariat.

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