Leon Trotsky on China


January 1928

The outcome and the lessons of the Chinese revolution, a revolution that constitutes one of the greatest events in world history, have been kept in obscurity, barred from discussion, and have not been assimilated by the public opinion of the proletarian vanguard. In reality the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party has prohibited discussion of the questions related to the Chinese revolution. But without studying the mistakes that were committed-the classic mistakes of opportunism-it is impossible to imagine the future revolutionary preparation of the proletarian parties of Europe and Asia.
Aside from the question of knowing who was directly responsible for the leadership of the December events in Canton, these events furnish a striking example of putschism during the ebb of the revolutionary wave. In a revolutionary period, a deviation towards putschism is often the result of defeats whose direct cause is to be found in an opportunist leadership. The Communist International cannot take a single new step forward without first drawing the lessons of the experience of the Canton uprising, in correlation with the course of the Chinese revolution as a whole. This is one of the main tasks of the Sixth World Congress. The repressive measures taken against the left wing will not only fail to correct the mistakes already made, but even more serious, they will teach nothing to anyone.

Published in English for the first time. Excerpted from "Appeal of the Deportees." Text from Contre le Courant (Paris), February 11, 1928. Translated from the French by Jeff White.



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