Leon Trotsky on China


August 30, 1926

Dear Karl Berngardovich:

1. I'm writing to you on the question of the Chinese Communist Party in the Kuomintang. This question deserves attention and elaboration. I agree entirely with what you wrote in this regard. But it must be made concrete for the uninitiated readers, and that is essentially everyone. It is extremely important to organize the basic factual data on the development of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party (the areas where they have spread; the growth of the strike movement, the Kuomintang, the Communist Party, and the trade unions; the conflicts within the Kuomintang; etc.).

It is very important, in my opinion, to compare the situation in China with the situation in India. Why is it that the Indian Communist Party is not joining a national-revolutionary organization? How are things going in this regard in the Dutch Indies?

The fact of the matter is that the existence of national and even colonial oppression does not at all necessitate the entry of the Communist Party into a national-revolutionary party. The question depends above all on the differentiation 6f class forces and how this is bound up with foreign oppression. Politically the question presents itself thus: is the Communist Party destined for an extended period of time to play the role of a propaganda circle recruiting isolated co-thinkers (inside a revolutionary democratic party), or can the Communist Party in the coming period assume the leadership of the workers' movement? In China there is no doubt that the conditions are of the second order. But this must. be demonstrated, perhaps if only in a very general way, but with an accompanying selection of the essential factual material. Do not forget that at the party conference Bukharin will give a report on questions of international policy, and the question of the Kuomintang will also undoubtedly come up there.

2. How are "questions and answers" going?

Did you write the letter?

On the agenda of the party conference is the question of trade unions. As far as I know, you have been following Trud and the trade union press. It is very important to expand this work and systematize it in view of the exceptional importance of the question.

I am writing a little, receiving guests, being photographed with comrades at the spa, and shooting quail, which I hope you are doing too.


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