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Sam Gordon

New Developments in Far East

Western Imperialists Register Protests as Japs Hold on to Booty

(February 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 6 (Whole No. 102), 6 February 1932, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

While Japanese warships are continuing to bombard Shanghai, at the same time hanging martial law over Nanking and laying waste the Chinese Woosung fortresses at the mouth of the Whangpoo River, the imperialist government at Tokio is tenaciously clinging to every inch of ground it has seized since the start of the Manchurian adventure.

The brigand powers of the West have quite naturally become alarmed over the enormous advantages gained by their Eastern rival during the last few months. Under the sanctimonious mask of the Pact of Paris – the United States, of course, leading – four powers drafted a “peace formula” pretending to have the interests of pacifism at heart, but whose sole aim was to create a check to the successful robber activities of the Nipponese competitor.

Was it at all strange that Tokio refused to accept the now famous “Point 5” in the peace formula – “to settle all outstanding controversies between the two nations”? It was, as a matter of fact, to be expected. Japan considers the “outstanding controversy” in Manchuria settled. And Tokio said as much, slyly offering a “satisfactory” apology for the Chamberlin incident, replacing the naval command at Shanghai with the more acceptable Admiral Nomura and deftly withdrawing her troops from the U.S. “Marine Zone”. Interference with her already well established conquests, she will not, however, tolerate.

With the exception of a few ultra-jingoist papers, notably the Hearst press. American “public opinion” is hardly inclined to kindle the war spirit against the imperialism of the East just yet. The present line-up of the powers is hardly a stable one. France, of late one of the instigaters of the Japanese adventure, Great Britain, the traditional ally of Japan, are hardly to be counted on. Their interests are not at one with those of Wall Street. But England does need the aid of American finance for the time being. That explains her role as mediator in the present tension.

A flare-up in the current Far Eastern tangle is not excluded. But the relationship of forces we are witnessing now, will have to go through a rather sharp transformation, before matters come to a head.

In the meantime, the outcome of the class conflict in Germany remains, as before, of decisive importance to all turns of world politics. And it is interesting but sad to note that this determining factor is left altogether out of sight by the official Communist press, which instead, indulges in all sorts of tortuous acrobatics around those poor “growing contradictions”, which they are unable to understand.

The 17th Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is meeting in Moscow. There was a time when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union justified its leading position in the Communist International by far more than the fact that it possesses state power. That was in the Leninist period, when it was the veritable leader of the world proletariat.

Today, when the flames of social conflagration are spreading from West to East and from East to West, the Stalinized C.P.S.U. has nothing more to offer the international working class at a Conference – than the latest figures on the Five Year Plan. (To which we shall yet come back!) The oppressed and plundered masses of China, the starved and restless proletariat of Germany, are waiting for a word from the Soviets, from the land of light. Stalin has nothing to say to them.

The toilers of the world will not forget this. The workers will begin to demand an accounting. It is to take care of this task that the International Left Opposition under the Leadership of Leon Trotsky is preparing itself.

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Last updated: 17.5.2013