Trotsky on China


December 1927

4. Control in the party, and therefore in the country too, is in the hands of the Stalin faction, which has all the features of centrism, a centrism which is, moreover, in the period of decline and not of upsurge. That means short zigzags to the left, longer zigzags to the right. One can have no doubt that the last move to the left (the jubilee manifesto 70) produces the necessity of placating the right wing and its real supports in the country-not with words, but with deeds.

5. The zigzags to the left are not only expressed in hastily prepared jubilee manifestoes. The Canton rising is unquestionably an adventurist zigzag by the Comintern to the left, after the disastrous consequences of the Menshevik policy in China have made themselves fully apparent. The Canton episode is a worse and more pernicious repetition of the Estonian putsch of 1924, after the revolutionary situation in Germany of 1923 had been missed. 71 Menshevism plus bureaucratic adventurism have dealt a double blow to the Chinese revolution; we need not doubt that the revenge for Canton will be a new and longer zigzag to the right in the field of international politics, especially Chinese.

Published in English for the first time. Excerpted from "On the New Stage." Text from Die Fahne des Kommunismus (Berlin), December 21 and 28, 1928. Translated from he German by Iain Fraser.




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