Trotsky on China


May 28, 1927

What is happening in Hankow now? We can only judge from the fragments of dispatches that TASS does not give to the press. The left Kuomintang continues to chew the cud of the theory of the solidarity of the workers, peasants, and the bourgeoisie in the "national revolution" and recommends to the workers and peasants to observe discipline-toward the bourgeoisie. The Central Committee of the Communist Party (or the Executive Committee of the Kuomintang?) calls upon the trade unions to mind "their own affairs" and to leave to the authorities of the Kuomintang the struggle against the counterrevolution. The leader of the Communist Party, Ch'en Tu-hsiu, adjures the peasants to wait for land until the external foe is conquered.

From Moscow comes the warning not to create soviets "prematurely." In the meantime, imperialism exerts pressure upon Chiang Kai- shek, and Chiang Kai-shek, through the bourgeoisie of Hankow, upon the left Kuomintang. The left Kuomintang demands discipline and patience from the workers and the peasants. This is the general picture. Its meaning is completely clear. What is the Moscow leadership doing these days? We know nothing about it. But we need not doubt that under the influence of the recent extremely disquieting dispatches from Hankow, Moscow is sending advice there with approximately the following content: "As much of the agrarian revolution as possible, as many of the masses as possible in the Kuomintang," and so forth. The communist ministers transmit these counsels to the government and to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang.

In this manner, the work of the Communist Party is divided into two parts: aloud, it implores the workers and peasants to wait; but in an undertone it whisperingly adjures the bourgeois government to make haste. But the revolution is a revolution precisely because the masses do not want to wait. The bourgeois "radicals" are afraid to make haste precisely because they are bourgeois radicals. And the Communist Party, instead of bringing the masses to their feet, instead of occupying the land, and building soviets, loses time with sterile counsels to both sides, in accordance with the sacrosanct prescription of Martynov on the bloc of four classes and on the replacement of the revolution by an arbitration committee. The collapse of this policy is absolutely inevitable. Unless we correct it sharply, instantly, and resolutely, the collapse will take place in the immediate future. Then a lot of papers, with the Moscow advice in them, will be brandished before our eyes: "As much of the agrarian revolution as possible, as many of the masses as possible in the Kuomintang." But then we will repeat just what we say today: Such counsels are humbug. The whole revolution cannot be made dependent upon whether or not the pusillanimous bourgeois leadership of the Kuomintang accepts our well-meaning advice. It cannot accept it.

The agrarian revolution cannot be accomplished with the consent of Wang Ching-wei, but in spite of Wang Ching-wei and in struggle against him. That is why the first task is to free our hands, to withdraw the communist ministers from the national government, to call upon the masses to occupy the land immediately, and to build soviets. But for this we need a really independent Communist Party, which does not implore the leaders, but resolutely leads the masses. There is no other road and there can be none.



Hosted by