One of these factions crystallized into the so-called Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee led by Li Chi-shen. In a word, the structures of the Kuomintang regime were corroded from top to bottom and it could no longer stand up. The only remaining hope for Chiang Kai-shek was imperative aid from Washington. Prior to the Second World War, the most powerful and decisive influences in Chinese economy and politics were the Japanese, British, and American imperialists. With the end of the war, the influence of Japanese imperialism vanished.
British imperialism, because of its extreme decline, although still maintaining its rule in Hong Kong, has since completely left the political stage in China. The last one to attempt to control the country was American imperialism. For example, most of the materiel given by the U. On the other hand, the U. This was the purpose of Gen. Ultimately, the Marshall mission was a complete failure.
It was very clear, however, that the situation emerging from the Second World War would never permit this headstrong action. Had American imperialism pursued such a course, not only would all of its resources and energy have been drawn into the vast China quagmire, but a new world war would have been precipitated. American imperialism was completely unprepared for such a course of action, and, in face of the expected vehement opposition from its own allies, was not bold enough to run the risk.
The result was that the U. While these revolts had no real hope of victory, the armed forces they assembled were able to maintain their existence, develop, and carry on a durable peasant war. Other factors included the utter despair of the peasants and the incompetence of the bourgeois government. However, as a result of the outbreak of the war against Japanese imperialism this armed force secured the opportunity for an unusual development.
In particular, at the end of the war and right after it, the army made great progress in both numbers and in quality, becoming far stronger than in the Kiangsi period. This army thus grew into a strong military force. It made certain criticisms of the political, economic, and military measures of the latter during the war, and had put forward a number of demands for democratic reform.
It carried out agrarian reform, particularly in some regions of North China. The petty-bourgeois intellectuals and peasant masses in particular, in the absence of a powerful and really revolutionary party to lead them, lodged all their hopes in the CCP. But without aid from the Soviet Union, this victory would still not have been assured. Therefore, in addition to its support in political agitation, the Soviet Union actually gave the CCP decisive material aid. It also took away a part of them. Thus industry was brought almost to a complete halt.
It is estimated that these weapons could be used to rearm a million soldiers. Thus the cities and mines restored to Chiang Kai-shek did not benefit him, but on the contrary, became an insupportable burden, and finally turned into a trap. To begin with, Chiang had to send a huge army around a half-million soldiers with the best equipment, i. At the same time, the KMT had to provide for the enormous expenditures in the big cities and in the mines.
Having obtained this gigantic quantity of light and heavy weapons through the medium of the Soviet Union in addition to numerous Soviet and Japanese military technicians , part of the originally very backward peasant troops were modernized overnight. The bravery of the peasants and the military adroitness of the Communist generals, together with these modern weapons, then enabled the Communist army to transform guerrilla warfare into positional warfare.
This was fully manifested in the battles where the Communist troops gained complete victory in conquering the great cities and mines in Manchuria during the changing season between autumn and winter of This victory won for the Communist army an ample economic base.
Henceforth the strategic attitude of the Communist army fundamentally changed, shifting over from guerrilla warfare to positional warfare and an offensive toward the big cities. This change was undoubtedly a decisive factor in the victory of the CCP inasmuch as it depended on the peasant army alone to conquer the cities. From the above facts we can draw a. Its only supporter, American imperialism, deserted it in the end. The combination of all these objective and subjective factors paved the way for this extraordinary victory. If we give a brief description of the development of this military victory, the truth of these factors as stated above can be made more explicit.
As for the great cities and important military bases north of the Yangtze River, except for an encounter in Chuchao and Paotow, the others, such as Tsinan, Tientsin, Peiping, Kaifeng, Chengshou, Sian, etc. In the Northwest, in the provinces of Kansu and Sinkiang, there was only surrender. In the city of Taiyuan, there was a comparatively longer struggle, but this had no weight at all in the situation as a whole. As for the great cities south of the river, except for token resistance in Shanghai, the others were either given up in advance Nanking, Hangchow, Hangkow, Nanchang, Fuchow, Kweilin, and Canton , or surrendered upon the arrival of the Communist army as in the provinces of Hunan, Szechuan, and Yunnan.
Now we can comprehend that it was under the specific conditions of a definite historical stage that the CCP, relying on a peasant army isolated from the urban working class, could win power from the bourgeois-landlord rule of Chiang Kai-shek. This was a combination of various intricate and exceptional conditions emerging from the Second World War. The essential features of this set of circumstances are as follows:. The whole capitalist world—of which China is the weakest link—tended to an unparalleled decline and decay. The internal disintegration of the bourgeois Chiang Kai-shek regime was only the most consummate manifestation of the deterioration of the whole capitalist system.
On the other hand, the Soviet bureaucracy, resting on the socialized property relations of the October revolution and exploiting the contradictions among the imperialist powers, was able to achieve an unprecedented expansion of its influence during the Second World War. This expansion greatly attracted the masses, especially of the backward Asian countries, who were deprived of hope under the extreme decline and decomposition of the capitalist system.
This facilitated the explosive growth of the Stalinist parties in these countries. The CCP is precisely a perfected model of these Stalinist parties. Meanwhile, placed in an unfavorable position in the international situation created by the Second World War, American imperialism was obliged to abandon its aid to Chiang and its interference with Mao.
This enabled the latter to modernize its backward peasant army. Without this combination of circumstances, the victory of a party like the CCP, which relied purely on peasant forces, would be inconceivable. Similarly, the situation would have been quite different if direct intervention against the CCP by American imperialism had been possible. Under either of these two circumstances the victory of Mao Tse-tung would have been very doubtful. Trotsky and the Chinese Trotskyists insisted that the overturn of the Kuomintang regime could not be achieved by relying solely on the peasant armed forces, but could only be accomplished by the urban working class leading the peasant masses in a series of revolts.
Even today, this conception is still entirely valid. It is derived from the fundamental Marxist theory that under the modern capitalist system—including that in the backward countries—it is the urban class that leads the rural masses. This is also the conclusion drawn from numerous experiences, especially that of the October revolution. This is precisely one of the fundamental conceptions of the permanent revolution, which we must firmly hold onto despite the present CCP victory.
Let us take India, for example. There we should insist on the perspective that the Indian working class lead the peasant masses in the overthrow of the bourgeois power dominated by the Congress Party.
Only this process can guarantee that this backward country will take the direction of genuine emancipation and development, i. We were unable to foresee the current victory of the CCP for the same reason that Trotsky and we Trotskyists were unable to predict in advance the unusual expansion that Stalinism underwent after the Second World War. In both cases our mistake was not one of principle. Rather, because we concentrated so much on principle, we more or less ignored the specific conditions involved in the unfolding of events and were unable to modify our tactics in time.
Of course there is a lesson in this, a lesson we should assimilate and apply to the analysis of future developments in those Asian countries where the Stalinist parties maintain strong influence such as Vietnam, Burma, etc. That should help us to formulate a correct strategy in advance.
At the same time, we must understand that the victory gained by a party such as the CCP, which detached itself from the working class and relied entirely on the peasant armed forces, is not only abnormal in itself. It has also laid down many obstacles in the path of the future development of the Chinese revolutionary movement. To understand this is, in my opinion, of great importance in our judgment and estimation of the whole movement led by the CCP as well as in determining our strategy and tactics.
For example, Comrade Germain says:. The ideas contained in this passage are obviously as follows: The CCP succeeded in conquering power, like the Yugoslav CP, under pressure from the masses, and in conflict with the objectives of the Kremlin. Let us first of all begin with these facts. The first period immediately after the war, from September to the end of , marked a considerable revival and growth of the mass movement in China.
In this period the working masses in all the great cities, with Shanghai in the forefront, first brought forward their demands for a sliding-scale increase in wages, for the right to organize trade unions, against freezing of wages, etc. They universally and continuously engaged in strikes and demonstrations. This struggle in the main did not pass beyond the economic framework, or reach a nationwide level. But it did at least prove that after the war the workers had raised their heads and were waging a resolute fight to improve their living conditions and general position against the bourgeoisie and its reactionary government.
This movement actually won considerable successes. Meanwhile, among the peasant masses, under the unbearable weight of compulsory contributions, taxes in kind, conscription, and the threat of starvation, the ferment of resentment was boiling. The students played a notable role, representing the petty bourgeoisie in general, in large-scale protests, strikes, and demonstrations in the big cities.
It already appeared to be tottering. Its power did not extend into North China for a certain period of time, especially Manchuria. It would have joined this slogan to other demands for democratic reforms, especially the demand for agrarian revolution. And it would have been able to swiftly transform this prerevolutionary situation, to carry through the insurrection, and thereby arrive at the conquest of power in the most propitious way.
Unfortunately, however, the fundamental political line adopted by the CCP in this period was quite different. The CCP tried its best to pull together the politicians of the upper layers of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie in order to proceed with peace talks under the sponsorship of American imperialism. The great student movement in the cities was handled as a simple instrument for exerting pressure on the Kuomintang government to accept peace talks.
Even then, this land reform was by no means thoroughgoing. It was also quite limited in its scope. Moreover, in its anxiety to accomplish its reconciliation with Chiang Kai-shek, the CCP dissolved the peasant army in Kwangtung and Shekiang, and removed only a part of it to North China. This caused great dissatisfaction among rank-and-file members within the party itself. In the meantime, he suppressed all the newly arising mass movements, especially the student movement.
Yet up to this moment the CCP had not given up its efforts at conciliation. Its delegates to the peace conference still lingered in Shanghai and Nanking, trying to reopen peace talks with the KMT through the mediation of the so-called third force—the Democratic League. But even at that time, it still did not dare to raise the slogan of the overthrow of the Kuomintang government.
Nor did it offer a program of agrarian reform to mobilize the masses. Was this change, then, the result of mass pressure? No, obviously not. With KMT agents active everywhere, thousands of young students were arrested, tortured, and even assassinated, and worker militants were constantly being arrested or hunted. The indisputable facts indicate that the CCP was compelled to make this change solely because Chiang had burned all bridges leading toward compromise and because it was confronted with the mortal threat of a violent attack designed to annihilate its influence once and for all.
In the course of this struggle, the CCP liquidated all the privileges previously granted to the landlords and kulaks, and reexpropriated and distributed the land among the poor peasants. It also deprived the landlords and kulaks of the posts they held in the local administration, the party, and the army. As a result of the previous compromising policy, a great number of landlords and kulaks had joined the party and its army, and even occupied certain important positions.
They were even permitted to criticize lower-ranking party cadres, some of whom were removed from their posts and punished. This opened the period of building up the so-called Democratic Front and the Peace Front. As the news spread the whole nation was at a peak of excitement and passion, thinking that this counterrevolutionary butcher was doomed at last and that a new era was dawning.
This amazing servile obedience of the Communist leadership toward the Kremlin not only stirred up discontent among the people in general, but also caused great disappointment and disturbances among its own members and followers. Having failed in its attempt to achieve a compromise with American imperialism, Moscow turned to a defensive strategy as a result of the cold war. After the war, the Soviet Union sent its ambassador to Chungking, accompanied by its secret agents, so that it could openly and legally establish regular contact with the Chinese Communist delegation and its special agents in Chung-king, to dispatch news and instructions.
Therefore we have sufficient reason to say that during the war the relations between the CCP and the Kremlin not only were not cut off, but on the contrary became closer than ever. As for the postwar period, since the Soviet occupation of Manchuria, and with so many Soviet representatives working in the CCP and the army, the intimacy between Moscow and the CCP has been too evident to need further clarification. If we make a comparison of the policies and measures adopted by the YCP and those of the CCP in the course of the events, the distance between them would be even more apparent.
In the course of the anti-imperialist national liberation movement during , the YCP already destroyed the bourgeois-landlord regime, step by step, and consummated its proletarian dictatorship in the first period after the war October , despite its somewhat abnormal character. Simultaneous with or a little later than the creation of the proletarian dictatorship , it succeeded in carrying out agrarian reform and the statization of industry and banking, and expropriated private property by law.
Meanwhile, on many important problems, the YCP had already formulated its own views, which were different from and independent of the Kremlin. It even tried to postpone carrying out the land reform to the latest possible date. Here we must note that the differences in attitude expressed by the YCP and the CCP in the course of the events are not quantitative, but qualitative. To assume therefore that the CCP has completed the same process of development as the YCP and ceased to be a Stalinist party in the classical sense of the word is to go entirely beyond the facts.
But what explanation should be given for these differences? First, since the CCP withdrew from the cities to the countryside in , it established a quite solid apparatus and army the peasant army. For these twenty years it used this army and power to rule over the peasant masses—as we know, the backward and scattered peasants are the easiest to control—and hence a stubborn and self-willed bureaucracy took shape, especially in its manner of treating the masses.
Even toward the workers and students in the KMT areas, it employed either ultimatistic or deceitful methods instead of persuasion. Second, in ideology the CCP has further fortified and deepened the theory of Stalinism through its treatment of a series of important events: the defeat of the second revolution, the peasant wars, and the Resistance War against Japan, etc.
This was especially true in its rejection of the criticism of its concepts and policies by Trotsky and the Chinese Trotskyists. Third, over these two decades the CCP has received special attention from the Kremlin, and it follows that its relations with the latter are particularly intimate.
The YCP on the other hand has traversed an entirely different course. This party was almost created out of the national anti-imperialist mass movement, and in a comparatively short span of time. It was not able to form a bureaucracy and Stalinist ideology as tenacious as that of the CCP. Since it was actually quite isolated from the Kremlin during its resistance war, it was more disposed to empirically bend to mass pressure.
Therefore, we must say that the conquest of power in these two cases has only an apparent resemblance. From this judgment and explanation, should we deduce a further inference, that the CCP will at all times and under any conditions resist mass pressure and never come into conflict with the Kremlin?
What we have demonstrated above is that the most important turns the CCP underwent in the past were entirely the result of pressure from the Kremlin, and in violation of the will of the masses. Accordingly, it would more or less concede to demands of the masses within certain limits and within the possibilities permitted by its own control; i. These are the solid facts of its yielding to mass pressure.
It is possible that this kind of leftward turn will appear more often and to a greater extent in the future. Also, for the same reasons we can believe that in the past certain differences or conflicts must have occurred between the CCP and the Kremlin. But these conflicts have not yet burst to the surface. For example, the dispute between Mao and Li discussed above may be a significant reflection of this existing conflict, which is not only unavoidable in the period ahead but will be further intensified.
So I must say that the error made by Comrade Germain, taken up earlier, is not one of principle, but of fact. Yet I must also point out that the mistake made on such an important question may not only give rise to a series of other mistakes—such as underestimation of the bureaucratism of the CCP, its Stalinist ideology and methods, and overoptimism on perspectives concerning the CCP, etc.
We cannot group events which are similar only in appearance under the same principle or the same formula, or force events into accommodation with a given principle or formula. First of all, we must examine and analyze the concrete facts of the events themselves, particularly taking account of whatever exceptional circumstances have played a decisive role in the events, and judge whether this event conforms to a certain principle or formula, whether it actually is the true expression of this principle or formula.
As Lenin said, the facts are forever alive, while formulas often tend to become rigid. Our movement has assumed and stressed that it is possible for the masses to pass beyond the boundaries of Stalinism, and that hidden, profound contradictions exist between various Communist parties and the Kremlin. This principle and this formula is correct in its basic theoretical premise, and has already been justified by the Yugoslav events or to be more exact, it is rather derived from them. This is exactly what has happened in China. We believe that similar events may possibly be repeated in other Asian countries Vietnam, Burma, etc.
What the Kremlin fears is the victory of a genuine revolutionary movement of the workers, especially in the advanced countries, simply because it will not be able to control this victorious revolution, which will in turn threaten its very existence. If it does not face this kind of threat, and if its action will not involve immediate direct intervention by imperialism, the Kremlin would not give up an opportunity to extend its sphere of influence and would naturally permit a Communist party under its control to take power.
This is the lesson that can be drawn from the Chinese events and that we must accept. While this still falls under the heading of the conquest of power by a Communist party, we should at least see it as something supplementary to the lesson of the Yugoslav events. Only in this manner can we avoid falling into the mistake of transforming a principle into a rigid formula, of imposing this formula on every apparently similar event, and thereby producing a series of erroneous conclusions. We Marxists react toward events by analyzing the concrete facts of their development with our methods and principles, testing and enriching our principles through this analysis, or if necessary, modifying our principles and formulas, for the truth is always concrete.
We have selected four of the most representative articles in this controversy and translated them into English for reference. So in this report it is not necessary to recount in detail the points of divergence in their discussion.
I am simply going to give my personal criticism and explanation of the essential arguments, particularly those of the comrades with oppositional views. On the basis of our traditional conception of revolution and the experiences of revolutions in modern times—especially the Russian October revolution—they conceive of the revolution only in the sense that huge masses, especially the working class, are mobilized from bottom to top, go beyond the domain of the general democratic struggle to armed rebellion, directly destroy the state apparatus of the ruling class, and proceed to build up a new regime.
That we can call the beginning of the victory of a real revolution. As the facts stand, the CCP relied solely on the military action of the peasant army instead of the revolutionary action of the worker and peasant masses. From this, these comrades asserted that this victory is only the victory of a peasant war, and not the beginning of the third Chinese revolution.
We must admit that the traditional conception of revolution held by these comrades is completely correct, and the facts they enumerate are irrefutable. But they have forgotten a small matter. That is, that the epoch in which we live is not that of the victory of the October revolution, the time of Lenin and Trotsky. These are the main features of this epoch:. On the one hand, the capitalist world, having experienced two world wars, is in utter decay, while the objective revolutionary conditions have gone from ripe to overripe. On the other hand, the Stalin bureaucracy, by dint of the prestige inherited from the October revolution and the material resources of the Soviet Union, has done everything it can to retain its grip on the Communist parties of the world, and through them it attempts to subordinate the revolutionary movements of different countries to its own diplomatic interests.
These exceptional circumstances have not led universally to the frustration and defeat of revolutionary movements in various countries; in some countries the revolutionary movements have only been deformed. The victory of the movement led by the CCP is a prominent example of this deformation of its revolution. Further, it marks a great dividing line in modern Chinese history.
The destruction of the bloody twenty-year rule of Chiang Kai-shek and the blow dealt to the imperialist powers who have trodden on the Chinese people for centuries are quite sufficient to prove that this event can stack up with the first Chinese revolution Inasmuch as a sizable general land reform has been carried out no matter how incomplete , the feudal remnants that have persisted for thousands of years are for the first time being shoveled away on a wide scale.
And since this work is still being carried on, should we still insist that it is not an epoch-making revolutionary movement? The comrades in opposition contend that they have completely acknowledged the progressive aspects of this movement, but nevertheless, they are by no means identical with the initial triumph of a real revolution, or the beginning of the third revolution, since they have been achieved by military and bureaucratic means.
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In order to obtain a more precise understanding of this question of deformed revolution, let us recall the discussions on the nature of the states in the buffer countries of Eastern Europe. In these buffer countries, with the exception of Yugoslavia, the dispossession of the bourgeoisie from power, the land reform procedures, and the nationalizations of industry, banks, and means of transport and exchange were either not at all or only to a small degree carried out through the revolutionary action of the worker and peasant masses.
The statized properties and enterprises of the new regime have never been placed under the supervision and control of the masses, but are, under occupation by the Soviet army, operated and monopolized by the Communist bureaucrats of the Kremlin order.
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As the property relations in these countries have been fundamentally changed, i. But while maintaining this assertion, the International has not overlooked the detestable way the bureaucrats of the Soviet Union and the Communist parties of these countries are monopolizing all economic and administrative power and the way the police and the GPU are strangling the freedom and initiative of the masses.
But the CCP has not mobilized the worker masses. It has not pushed the revolution forward through the agency of the working class leading the peasant masses. In other words, because it substituted the military-bureaucratic methods of Stalinism for the Bolshevik revolutionary methods of mobilizing the masses, this revolution has been gravely distorted and injured, and its features are misshapen to such an extent that they are hardly recognizable.
However, we Marxists judge all things and events not by their appearance, but by the essence concealed under the appearance. We must understand that our epoch is a transitional one, lying between capitalism and socialism, the most consequential and complex epoch in the history of humanity.
Hence, many of the events and movements, under the influence of diverse factors, develop out of accord with the normal procedures of our logical thinking that are derived from historical experience or principles.
These people have nothing in common with Marxists. We Trotskyists must bear the responsibility for the coming revolution. And we must carry on an untiring fight in face of this situation to alter it in the course of the struggle and turn it toward our goal. The whole movement has been placed under its. This is an absolute reality, although distorted and contrary to our ideals. But unless we accept the reality of this movement, penetrate it, and actively join in all mass struggles, all our criticisms will be futile as well as harmful.
This task is, of course, extremely difficult and it will not necessarily proceed in tune with our efforts. But at least by participating in this movement we can lay down a basis for future work. Then, when we are faced with a more favorable situation, we shall be able to intervene and even to lead the movement. We would then quit the movement and the masses and finally, inevitably withdraw from all practical political struggles and be swept away by the historical current.
I must also point out that our oppositional comrades have committed another mechanical error by maintaining that the CCP-led movement was purely a peasant war and for that reason denying the significance of its mass character. But even more, behind it stands the great mass of the peasantry. Historical experience has shown us that once the peasant movement erupts, it is often involved in armed struggle.
This has become almost a law of the peasant movement. We must also note that the present army differs greatly from any former peasant army. It has been systematically organized and trained by the Stalinist party,. It has been endowed with a nationwide and up-to-date program of democratic reform as the general direction of the struggle, no matter how opportunist this program has been.
It is for this reason that we cannot call this movement simply a peasant war but an abnormal revolutionary movement, and only this designation is true to the facts and to dialectic logic. They exaggerate or even misinterpret the facts. This is just as harmful. This is not only mechanical, but is entirely contradictory to the actual facts, as I have indicated above. Moreover, Comrade Ma says:. This kind of exposition is exaggerated and also fundamentally wrong in its conception of the mass movement.
Here I would like to emphasize one point. In the second Chinese revolution, the majority of the working class was organized in such groups as the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee and the Shanghai General Labor Union which were then functioning practically as Soviets.
The workers were mobilized, and occupied the leading position in the nationwide movement, launching a number of general strikes and giant demonstrations. In addition, the working class engaged in several victorious armed revolts, such as the case of the worker masses in Hangkow and Chiuchiang, who seized the British settlements, and in Shanghai where they occupied the entire city with the exception of the foreign concessions. But in this movement of the CCP, from its beginning to the conquest of power, there has neither been the rising of the working masses in any city to the point of general strikes or insurrections, nor even a small-scale strike or demonstration.
Most of the workers were passive and inert, or at most showed a certain hopeful, attitude toward this movement. This is an indisputable fact. How can we compare this present movement with the revolutionary movement of the second Chinese revolution? This idealization of events will not only foster illusions but will objectively lead to wrong judgments. Both will be dangerous, because illusions are always the origin of disappointment or discouragement, while wrong judgments will inevitably become the root of erroneous policies. We should never overlook the extremely serious dangers implicit in the deformation of the third Chinese revolution fostered by the CCP: the tenacious opportunism, the imperious bureaucracy, the severe control over the masses, the hostility toward revolutionary ideas, and the brutal persecution of the revolutionary elements, especially the Trotskyists.
All these dangerous factors combined preclude any overoptimism in regard to the development and perspective of the third Chinese revolution that is now underway. They will make it extremely difficult for Trotskyists to work in this movement. Despite all these circumstances we should never adopt a sectarian or pessimistic attitude, nor give up our efforts and our revolutionary responsibility to try to push this movement forward or transform it. At the same time we must also reject all naive ultraoptimism, which always tends to disregard the difficulties in the movement and the hardships in our work.
At the beginning, ultraoptimists might throw themselves into the movement with great zeal. But when they encounter the severe difficulties in the course of their work, they will become disheartened and shrink back. However, with the entire perspective of our movement in sight, we Trotskyists always hold firm to our unbending faith and revolutionary optimism.
In other words, we profoundly believe that the victory of the proletarian revolution in the whole world and the reconstruction of human society can be accomplished only under the banner and the program of Trotskyism, the most enriched and deepened Marxism-Leninism of modern times. Yet we should not overlook the formidable roadblocks on the way from the present period to the eventual victory, particularly the obstacles laid down by Stalinism. We must first of all bring to light these obstacles, then overcome them with the most precise program, correct methods, and utmost patience and perseverance.
The sectarians find their excuses in the fact that the movement does not conform to their preconceived norms and they attempt to flee from it in advance. The naive optimists idealize the movement. But as soon as they discover that the movement does not follow the track of their idealization, they leave it. Revolutionary optimists have nothing in common with these two sorts of people.
Since we have the strongest faith in the victory of the revolution, since we understand the enormous difficulties lying on the road to this victory, we cut our path through the thorniest thickets only with revolutionary methods and absolute persistence to reach the ultimate goal. These controversies have produced certain unhealthy effects on the party. Though it is not possible for me to dwell in detail on a description and criticism of these controversial opinions, I should express my fundamental attitude toward this discussion especially since many Chinese comrades have asked me to do so.
It is altogether reasonable that a political organization, on the morrow of a great event, should examine and discuss its past policy carefully in order to readjust its political line. Therefore I do not agree with some comrades who object to this discussion. But I should also insist that we must proceed with the discussion in a fully responsible way, both for the revolutionary tasks and for our party, and in a circumspect, exact, and precise manner. The experience of history has already taught us that a political party is most susceptible to centrifugal tendencies under the pressure of a great event, especially in face of growing difficulties in its conditions of work.
Unfortunately, some of our comrades are not prudent enough in their criticisms of the policy we adopted in the past period. However, as a result, this attitude only stimulated strong protests and criticisms from another group of comrades. In reality, our party has maintained and struggled over long years for the traditional line of Trotskyism, the line of the permanent revolution. This presentation is not only exaggerated and a distortion of the facts, but it is actually an insult to the party.
Therefore it naturally has stirred up vehement indignation, outrage, and protests, and even, to a certain extent, confusion and vacillations among the comrades. It was with the premonition of such consequences that I forewarned our comrades not to be too hasty in making a degree turn. I have already pointed out that our party did not envisage the victorious conquest of power by the CCP. From this major error in estimating the whole event flows a series of mistakes on the evaluation of events in the course of their development, and certain tactical errors in our propaganda to the outside world.
These errors in estimation have affected our attitude to the entire event, which more or less tended to passive criticism and an underestimation of its objective revolutionary significance. This is what we seriously admit and must correct. But, as I have said above, these are mistakes in estimating the events rather than mistakes of principles, and therefore can be easily redressed.
Marxism is the most effective scientific method of predicting social phenomena. But it has not yet reached such exactness as meteorology in foretelling the weather or astronomy in astral phenomena, since social phenomena are far more complicated than those of nature. So Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky also made mistakes in their evaluation of events. What distinguished them was not infallibility in estimating any and all events, but their constant, cautious, and exact observation of the objective process of events. And once they realized that the development of events did not conform to their original estimates or that their estimates were wrong, they immediately readjusted or reestimated them.
This is the attitude of a real Marxist, and is the example we should try to follow. Though there has not been much discussion among the Chinese comrades on this question, some opinions exist among the comrades of the International that tend to deviate from the Marxist line. I therefore consider it necessary to raise this question for serious discussion and to make a definite appraisal that can serve as the premise in determining our position in relation to the CCP and its new regime.
About the nature of the CCP, virtually all the Chinese comrades have declared it to be a petty-bourgeois party based on the peasantry. This has been a traditional conception of the Chinese Trotskyists for the past twenty years, and is one defined by Trotsky himself. It threw its whole strength into village guerrilla fighting and therefore absorbed into the party a great number of peasants.
Furthermore during the prolonged period of living in the countryside they also assimilated the peasant outlook into their ideology, little by little. Not only has there been no fundamental change, but the petty-bourgeois composition represented by peasants and intellectuals has, on the contrary, been strengthened. The unprecedented growth of the CCP during and after the Resistance War was almost completely due to an influx of peasants and petty-bourgeois intellectuals.
Before its conquest of power, the party claimed about 3. Of this total number, the worker element was very weak and at most was not more than 5 percent including manual laborers. We can therefore confirm that up to the time it came to power the CCP still remained petty bourgeois in composition. Comrade Germain, for example, is of this opinion.
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This assertion is based on the argument that the nature of a party is not determined simply by the criterion of composition, but also by the role it plays. From the fact that the CCP has overthrown the Kuomintang bourgeois system and set up its own power, it is quite evident that the nature of the party has changed.
Unfortunately, this kind of reasoning leads to only a superficial resemblance to the truth, because the CCP overthrew the Chiang Kai-shek regime not through the revolutionary action of the working class leading the peasant masses, but by relying exclusively on the peasant armed forces. Therefore the newly established regime still remains bourgeois.
We will return to the characterization of this regime. So how can this fact be used as a criterion to judge the change in the nature of the party? On the contrary, we could say that the very fact that the CCP did not mobilize the working masses and depended solely on the peasant armed forces to conquer power reveals the petty-bourgeois nature of this party.
Has the nature of the party changed, then, after it came into the cities? The answer must again be in the negative. A political party can never change its composition in twenty-four hours, especially in the case of the CCP, which has an unusually large peasant base. We can be assured that up to now the CCP is still a party in which peasant members are predominant, and hence is still largely petty bourgeois in nature.
In fact, since this party has seized power and occupied the great cities, in its eagerness to seek support among the working class it has empirically stressed recruiting its members from the workers. At the same time, it has temporarily ceased to recruit peasants into the party. However, this is a future possibility and cannot replace the reality for today. This is really a very cautious characterization of the nature of the party. Therefore, from the revolutionary point of view, it is never possible for two classes to establish an equal weight in a common party.
Despite some differences in interpretation among the Chinese comrades, the general opinion is that this regime rests on a petty-bourgeois social foundation with the peasantry as its main element, and is a Bonapartist military dictatorship. In the last analysis, therefore, in view of its fundamental stand on property relations, it is a bourgeois regime. Here, however, some of our comrades hold a completely opposite view. Nelson Paperback -- April 1, Simon Paperback -- April 16, Elaine Davis Hardcover -- March 28, Who Wants Yesterday's Papers?
History and Historians: Selected Papers of R. History in Crisis? Wilson Paperback - December 31, Thorp Hardcover -- December 30, Perry Hardcover -- December 28, Barnes Hardcover -- December 15, Atwill Hardcover -- December 7, Ter Haar Hardcover -- December 1, Diplomacy by Robert Sutter Hardcover -- November 28, Curran Hardcover -- October 30, Smith Paperback -- October 30, Carroll Introduction Paperback -- October 30, Shaughnessy Paperback -- October 30, Meissner Hardcover -- September 30, The Chinese Army ?
Atwill Hardcover -- September 15, Edward Wang Hardcover -- September 6, Mahmud Ali Hardcover -- September Davidson Hardcover -- August 26, Chao Hardcover -- August 25, Mitcham Hardcover -- August