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Jack Weber

Jap Advance Hits U.S.S.R.

League Price for Support of Japan Is
Assault on Fatherland of Workers

(March 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 15, 3 March 1933, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

With laudable thoughtfulness, the Japanese imperialists lay their plans in advance and then follow their schedule carefully. Many moons ago, a Japanese “surveyor”, engaged in political surveying in Inner Mongolia for the followers of Baron Tanaka, discovered an obscure prince, the “direct descendant of the great Genghis Khan”. This Mongolian prince could never have dreamed how fortunate was his fateful meeting with the awe-struck Jap. For lo and behold, the press already hints at the Japanese desire to restore this scion to his rightful place at the head of a new Mongolian state to be called Tayuankuo.

Thus the Japanese militarists continue to build a foundation for the ultimate struggle with the Soviet Union. Inner Mongolia will follow the road of Manchuria and Jehol, possibly after the conquest of North China. If the powers continue to jockey for position in the present situation, each hoping to reap the benefits while the other pays the piper; if there is no real pressure applied to Japan to halt her march into China, it is because they expect Japan to pay the price, military intervention in Siberia. Of course America and England are careful to establish the record that will be relied upon in the more distant future to solve their internal conflicts. But as yet, that is merely a record.

Russia and Japan

What is the order in which capitalist powers place their enemies? Read the careful, restrained press accounts of the Japanese advance into Asia, note the gentlemanly manner in which reference is made to their astute campaigning. Then recall the violent, almost insane, attacks made periodically in the decade after the October revolution on the Soviets and their leaders. The vituperation carried on by Hitler against the German Communists is tame compared to the vicious campaign of slander recorded in the capitalist press of the entire world against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the light of that experience, one can easily pigeon-hole the present quarrel with Japan as a family affair. Despite all the failures and blunders of the Stalin bureaucracy, the Soviets still remain the nightmare of capitalism, spelling the twilight of imperialism.

At bottom that is the explanation of the Stimson note to the League accepting its invitation to express on accord in view. For Stimson refuses to be solidly linked with Geneva and while agreeing blandly “in general” and “in principle” with the League’s position, he will not permit America to be pushed into war at this time. London will not reap the harvest if Washington can help it.

London again reveals her backing of Japan by declaring an arms embargo, whose patent fraud is recognized in the bourgeois press here and abroad. Present contracts are inviolable. And pray for how many years do the contracts run? How much has been allotted to Japan by Vickers-Armstrong? In the debate on the embargo that inimitable pooh-bah, Lansbury, reveals the inner hollowness of the social democracy. He states that it is impossible to exclude the possibility of war between Japan and Russia. But, he adds, it is not true that Japan is holding back the forces of Communism. No, says Lansbury, do not give Japan credit for that. The credit should doubtless go to the insipid Lansburys and the social democratic betrayers. Lansbury expresses faith that the U.S. will “act right”. Indeed she will! One hundred percent “right”, for American imperialism.

The attitude of Soviet Russia on the present situation is still being awaited, not only by the bourgeoisie but by the Communists of the world. Russian diplomacy under the blind, opportunist “guidance” of Litvinov, has tasted all the fruits of that shrivelled tree, socialism in one country. Again and again the lasting interests of the world proletariat have been sacrificed to the desire for immediate “benefits” for the Soviet Union. Russian diplomacy is again placed in the dilemma of deciding which road to follow. If the Soviets properly denounce the entire fraud being perpetrated by the League of Nations, the Russian “diplomats” feel that the chances for recognition by America will be jeopardized. If the Soviet Union agrees to “cooperate” with the League then in the immediate situation Russia again renounces her leadership of the proletariat. Can we hope for any change of policy? Or will we witness a new compromise?

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