Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Destruction of the Second Wave of the Chinese Revolution by Stalinist Comintern, Emergence of Maoism and the Struggle of Left-Opposition under Trotsky for Rearming of the Revolution!

- Rajesh Tyagi

Last decade of 20th century had been witness to crumbling down of decaying Stalinist regimes, in USSR and countries of Eastern Europe- i.e. Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and so on. The historic mission of Capitalism for a world conquest, cut halfway by the mighty tide of October Socialist Revolution of 1917, thus completed itself, towards the end of 20th century.

Amazingly, Leon Trotsky, the co-mentor with Lenin, of the Russian Revolution and the Third International (Comintern), had long ago predicted this end of the destiny of Stalinism. In no ambiguous terms Trotsky claimed that Soviet Russia under Stalin, would either degenerate or fall. Rather, he said, it would first degenerate and then fall. Soviet Russia had completely degenerated into a bureaucratic state during lifetime of Stalin himself, continued to decay further after him and ultimately fell to its destiny as predicted by Trotsky. Its satellite formations in Europe, which had copied its model, shared the same fate with it. China, the Asian model of Stalinism, has joined the voyage of world capitalism, with its bureaucratic apparatus and red flag.

The prediction of Trotsky, coming true, has renewed the interest of our more young generations, especially in backward countries, in the struggle of Leon Trotsky.

The miserable explanations, offered by the epigones of Leninism - Stalinists and Maoists, for collapse of the bureaucratic models of ‘actually existing socialism’, which they had proudly nurtured and defended for decades altogether, find no takers now.

Two generations now separate ours from Trotsky. These three generations, their students and youth, have been mis-educated by the epigones, on the basis of their false analysis of the meaning of Russian and Chinese revolutions, turning them away from the struggle to arm the working class and through it the vast peasantry, with a proletarian perspective.

The distortion and falsification of the history of Chinese Revolution at the hands of epigones, has virtually extricated its living soul- the unprecedented heroic role played in it by the young and inexperienced working class, despite the pernicious influence exercised over it by its opportunist leadership. There has been a well orchestrated attempt to present the history of Chinese revolution as a compendium of the politico-military genius of those who came to power in 1949 overturn, while causing all references to the heroic battles fought by the Proletariat in Chinese cities against its enemies, disappear in thin air.

Stalinists and Maoists, both, have maliciously suppressed the real essence and nature of the dispute which Trotsky had raised against the Stalinist degeneration of the Comintern, and instead continued to curse ‘Trotskyism’ and its ‘original sin’- the proposition of ‘permanent revolution’- and shell them with pure slanders, invented by them. As reader of this pamphlet, would himself see, the vicious propaganda against Trotskyism, conducted by its enemies, in the last more than three-fourth of a century, presents, but a warped version of this debate of extraordinary importance then going on within the world communist movement, between its two main trends, one led by Trotsky, the other by Stalin.

Struggle of Trotsky against the attitude of Comintern on the strategy of Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, is the crucial part of his overall struggle against its degeneration at the hands of Stalinist bureaucracy, and for re-orientation of the world communist movement. Writings of Trotsky on China (1925-1940), present a step by step account of the political struggle between the two camps inside the Third International – The Stalinists in control of Comintern on one side, and the left oppositionists, led by Trotsky, on the other. They show as to how Stalinist bureaucracy turned the Chinese revolution, with very bright prospects of success, into a big game of loser’s win. Menshevik quest of Stalinists for revolutionary bourgeoisie in China, led them in the first phase of Chinese revolution to capitulate and throw the Chinese proletariat bound hand and foot before the Chinese bourgeoisie, instead of seizing power by fighting against it. When this ‘revolutionary ally’ betrayed and butchered the proletariat, as foreseen by Trotsky, then in second phase, the same Stalinist bureaucracy forced the proletariat to stage untimely uprisings and thereby commit suicide. Destruction of the proletariat, inflicted by the Stalinist bureaucracy, however, raised this bureaucracy higher and higher among the desperate mass.

Destruction of Stalinist states in Soviet Union and East Europe, one after the other, and growing over of China to a bureaucratic-capitalist state, around the last decade of past century, has led to integration of the world under complete domination of Imperialism, though at a time when the gigantic productive forces unleashed by it, are already in head-on collision with its production relations, above all with nation state. Decline of Stalinism, eventually coincides with crisis of World capitalism itself, generating a vacuum to be filled by the revolutionary intervention of world proletariat.

The immense importance of Trotsky’s struggle on China lies in its focus upon the nature and the course of development of revolutionary process in the peripheral and backward regions of the World as integral part of the world socialist revolution. This struggle exposes the futility of the Stalinist programme of building of ‘Socialism in one country’, showing that the productive forces necessary for building socialism cannot be reconciled within a single country. Opposing the Menshevik policy of Stalinists, in assigning a revolutionary role to bourgeoisie in backward countries, Trotsky argued that unlike the European revolutions of the previous century, the revolutions in backward countries would not be carried by or in conjunction with bourgeoisie, but exactly in opposition to it. The proletariat, leading the poor peasantry behind it, would consummate the bourgeois-democratic tasks through its dictatorship, while crossing over to resolution of Socialist tasks. Trotsky conceived the question of revolutionary power- as dictatorship of the Proletariat, supported by peasantry. He ridiculed the old formula of ‘two class dictatorship’ and its further dilution by Stalinists and Maoists in the ‘bloc of four classes’, that includes bourgeoisie as well.

The Internationalist perspective of Marxism, upheld and elaborated by Trotsky in his theory of ‘Permanent Revolution’, stood in direct opposition to the reactionary nationalist perspective of the Stalinist bureaucracy. His writings on China, contain a splendid account of his struggle against the reactionary perception of Stalinism. 
Trotsky’s struggle on Chinese Revolution, is of immense significance for Marxists all over the world, particularly in backward countries, for a whole series of reasons: because the dispute on the attitude of Comintern towards the Chinese Revolution, is a vital part of Trotsky’s struggle against Stalinist degeneration of world revolution; because these struggle contains extensive elaboration of the theory and perspective of ‘Permanent Revolution’; because an understanding of the character and nature of the defeats, suffered by the Chinese proletariat in 1925-27, is crucial for understanding the subsequent evolution of CCP, Mao’s adaptation to the defeat of working class, and finally the character of the regime that emerged in China in 1949.

Disputes raised by Leon Trotsky, on China and Chinese Revolution, starting from 1925 till his elimination in 1940, unfold before us the true nature and meaning of the grandiose conflict, between its two opposite currents -Trotskyism and Stalinism, which took place in the Third International (Comintern) on the question of its attitude towards the Chinese Revolution. 

Writings of Trotsky on China encompass three historic phases of the Chinese revolution. In the first phase, Trotsky struggles against the forcing of Chinese Proletariat into an illegitimate alliance with Chinese bourgeoisie-the KMT-CCP alliance. During this phase, the young Chinese proletariat and its party CCP, is continuously forced by Stalinist Comintern to subjugate itself to the political will, program, principles and discipline of bourgeois-nationalist KMT, first with its right wing under Chiang Kai Shek and then with its left wing under Wang Ching Wei. First phase ends with butchering of Proletariat first by Chiang and then Wang. Second phase starts with the struggle of Left Opposition against coercing of Chinese proletariat, already dispersed and weakened, to untimely uprisings, by the Stalinists, in order to cover up their past misdeeds. This second phase ends with failed workers uprisings, where even the remnants of workers revolution stand completely destroyed. Then starts the third phase, as bureaucracy, the only surviving hope, spreads its wings to take advantage of the defeat and dispersal of the working class, substitutes itself for the working class, reorganises the Chinese CP into an apparatus subordinate to itself, staking its own claim to power. Trotsky fights against it till the end of his life. With elimination of Trotsky in July 1940, ends this third phase of his struggle.

The appeal of Chen-Tu-Shiu, that endorsed Trotsky’s views on Chinese Revolution but after its destruction, stands distinguished apart, for its importance in throwing light on the conflicts inside the CCP, during the crucial period.

In the literature, poured in bulk in the backward countries of the world, through the official channels of Soviet Union and China, during more than half a century, one would seek in vain, for a discussion on the disputes which came up before Comintern on the question of Chinese Revolution. While suppressing the essence of this historic debate, only slanders, against Trotsky and his theory of ‘permanent revolution’, were spread consciously. It is thus, all the more necessary for Marxists in backward world to comprehend the works of Leon Trotsky, to equip themselves with a more objective understanding towards the real meaning of the struggle waged by Trotsky against his adversaries, in an attempt to save the International communist movement, from the destruction that could be averted.

It is more important today than ever, to comprehend the revolutionary principles in defence of which Trotsky kept fighting for his entire life. It is the understanding of the disputes raised by Trotsky that alone can explain to us coherently how an entire era of proletarian revolutions was destroyed by Stalinist bureaucracy, which then itself perished under its own weight.

A brief narrative of eventful history of China, out of which arose the political discourse around the questions of utmost relevance and importance of our epoch, would not be out of place here. Similarly, the conflict of perspectives during three Russian Revolutions, must also find mention in short. 

We hope that publication of this Pamphlet, would succeed in presenting the more objective, real but hidden side of the Chinese Revolution, to its readers.

Chapter I

One cannot understand the essence of struggle of Trotsky against Stalinism, without tracing back to the origin and development of these two currents, which are embedded in the soil of three Russian revolutions.

Till 1905, the revolutionary process in the backward Orient, was viewed, primarily, as a national phenomenon, while the prospects of International proletarian revolution were viewed only as a sum total of these national revolutions in different countries. Even advanced proletarian revolutionary thinkers of that time like Plekhanov and after him Lenin, assessed the prospects of revolution in Russia in reference to different historical stages determined by the given level of economic development of the country, in isolation to the world. They all thus shared the common perception that the economic level of Russia, did not permit to go beyond the bourgeois stage of revolution.

This perspective prevalent in the Orient, had a justification in historical development of the time itself. The countries of the Orient, during 19th century, remained on periphery of world capitalism and were not integrated into it, organically. This continued till emergence of Imperialism around 1900, which rapidly turned the world into an integrated market. This change in economic structures demanded a revolutionary alteration in perspective and strategy, from revolutionary thinkers, specially the Russians, where all necessary conditions for a social revolution were maturing fast. However, the political consciousness of Russian revolutionaries lagged behind their times, remaining trapped inside the narrow nationalistic confines, which hardly overstepped bourgeois revolutionary frameworks.

Chapter II

The first Russian revolution of 1905, ridiculed the nationalist perspective as outmode, through its failure in a negative way, showing that the integration of the world markets under Imperialism at the advent of 20th century, in particular of the colonies to the metropolis of the world, has raised the world to an entirely new historic stage, the stage of export of finance. It demonstrated beyond any doubt that the bourgeois revolutions on the old European pattern have become the thing of the past, and that the national bourgeoisie has lost all its energy to carry out any revolution at all. This demanded an immediate shift in the strategy and programme of revolution, which hitherto was based upon the nationalist perspective. Russian, revolutionary thinkers, once again failed to answer this clarion call of history and continued in the old cocoon of political thought.

Both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, in their common perception, shared between them, proceeded from this old sectarian-nationalist viewpoint, assessing the nature of impending revolution in Russia within its national confines, i.e. in segregation from rest of the world. In their assessment, both of these currents, thus arrived at the common conclusion, that Russia was a backward, agrarian country, saturated with remnants of serfdom, where peasantry formed the bulk of population and proletariat was only numerous. From this common perception of obvious weakness of the proletariat, within the boundaries of Russia, both of them derived the common conclusion that the proletariat in Russia, and for that matter in all backward countries of the world, was not strong enough to take power on its own and for itself, as a class. This was essentially a nationalist perspective, which assessed the strength of proletariat within the confines of boundaries of separate countries and not as an international army of world proletariat. This conservative perspective led both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks to the wrong conclusion, that the revolution in Russia was democratic in nature, and not Socialist. For them, the proletariat of Russia was not strong enough to take the power and keep it in its hands and hence an impossibility of proletarian overturn.

Proceeding from the illusionary nationalist premises, of weakness of the Russian proletariat, the two trends, oriented themselves towards two different strategies, to adapt to this weakness. Mensheviks concluded, that the power in Russia be first taken by the liberal bourgeoisie through a democratic revolution, in which workers should only support their bourgeoisie, bringing a bourgeois republic to existence. And after undergoing a period of bourgeois parliamentary democracy, providing the capitalism with full opportunity to grow on western style, during which the proletariat should also grow and strengthen itself, the proletariat should then proceed to take power through a Socialist Revolution. Peasantry had no role to play in this revolution. Thus the Mensheviks, led by Plekhanov, postponed the question of seizure of power by the proletariat for distant future, surrendering it to liberal bourgeoisie for the time being. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, proceeding from the same paradigm of incapacity of the working class to take power on its own in Russia through a proletarian overturn, took a step forward in proposing that the Proletariat can take power immediately, but to be jointly shared in partnership with peasantry, through a ‘democratic dictatorship of two classes’ which they termed as ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’. Lenin, the architect of this formula, however, did not elaborate as to how this dictatorship of two classes- one proletarian, the other petty-bourgeois, would be realized in practice.

The common weakness of both the currents, stemmed from their essentially conservative point of view, in estimating the strength of Russian proletariat within confines of Russia, i.e. in isolation from that of the world proletariat. This explained their common inability to look at the Russian proletariat as a section of the integrated whole of the world proletariat. In their bid to make up this falsely assumed weakness of the proletariat, Mensheviks turned towards liberal bourgeoisie of Russia while Bolsheviks extended their arm towards the petty-bourgeois peasantry. Both, in this sense, called upon the proletariat for class collaboration, either with liberal bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie.

Leon Trotsky, the co-mentor of Russian revolution alongside Lenin, only 26 at that time, responded to this call of history in a different way, through his analysis and propositions already taking shape since 1904. In his work ‘Results and Prospects’, which completed in 1906 and thus could embrace the experience of first Russian Revolution of 1905 also, Trotsky called for a radical rupture with outmode nationalist perspective of revolution. He conceived the revolution in Russia as a part of the integrated process of world socialist revolution. He emphatically argued that the revolution in Russia cannot, but take place only as proletarian-socialist and not the bourgeois-democratic overturn. He ridiculed the idea of leadership of bourgeoisie in the revolution, insisting that it is only proletariat which would establish its hegemony over the revolution and develop it into its dictatorship after seizure of power. He refuted the two stage theory of revolution- first bourgeois-democratic and then proletairan-socialist, as thought by Plekhanov, saying that this compartmentalization on the pattern of European revolutions of 19th century, had lost its historic validity. On this proletarian internationalist premises, Trotsky developed his theory of ‘permanent revolution’.

It was Trotsky, who, through his theory of permanent revolution, for the first time, refuted the nationalist perspective and advanced the proletarian internationalist viewpoint. He argued that the working class of Russia, as a battalion of the army of the World Proletariat, can seize power on its own through the Soviets, followed and supported by the peasantry, establish its exclusive Socialist dictatorship and can start the Socialist revolution. Trotsky further argued that the working class in Russia can retain the power in its hands, with the aid of the Proletariat of the world, if proletariat succeeds in fomenting similar overturns in other parts of the world, specially in advanced countries. He, however, made it amply clear that the socialist revolution though can be started in a single country, but can be accomplished only on world scale. Socialism cannot be built in a single country as the gigantic productive forces, required for building a socialist society, cannot be reconciled inside an individual country, but on world scale only. This was the revolutionary Internationalist proletarian perspective which counted upon exclusively the strength of the world proletariat, instead of the weakness of Russian proletariat.

Chapter III

Then came February 1917. Overturning Tsarism, the Mensheviks came to power through the provisional government headed by Kerensky. Bolshevik leaders- Kamenev, Stalin etc. called for support of this Government. When Lenin returned to Russia from exile, he took no time in assessing the character of the February revolution and the role of Menshevik Government. Agreeing with Trotsky, Lenin severely rebuked the Bolshevik leaders and through his April thesis, called for advancing the revolution against the bourgeois Government. When Lenin read his April thesis to a meeting of Bolsheviks, he was openly accused of supporting Trotsky. It was in this April thesis, that Lenin virtually abandoned and dissociated himself from his old formulation of ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’ of which the Kerensky Government itself was an embodiment. Lenin in conjunction with Trotsky, called for the proletarian overturn of Kerensky Government, for establishment of socialist dictatorship of the proletariat. ‘All power to the Soviets’ was the battlecry of the impending revolution.

The dispute over the attitude towards the Provisional Government of Kerensky, divided Bolsheviks in two camps, with opposite approach. Mensheviks, who joined the Government, failing to see the reason, exhausted themselves with February revolution. Ultimately, the viewpoint of Trotsky and Lenin got the upper hand in the party (RSDLP) and the result was the success of Great Proletarian Revolution of October 1917. The three Russian revolutions, above all, demonstrated the weakness and resultant inability of the bourgeoisie of historically belated backward countries, to accomplish even the bourgeois-democratic tasks of the revolution, shifting the responsibility, thus to the shoulders of the proletariat.

In fact, after the turn in April thesis, there had remained no major conflict between Trotsky and Lenin, on the question of perspective and Trotsky joined the ranks of Bolsheviks. On his side Trotsky realized that his strive to strike unity between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was misplaced, as they had devised diametrically opposite strategies, though proceeding from the common premises of nationalist perspective. The April thesis, had already abandoned it.

Chapter IV

Immediately upon its advent, however the new proletarian Soviet power in Russia was coerced into the tangles of civil war and foreign aggression on all sides. This colossal engagement on two fronts- domestic and foreign- exhausted the economy of Russia to great extent. Only hope were the maturing and impending revolutions in Europe, especially Germany. This hope also shattered very soon with defeat of attempts at revolutions in European countries (1919-1924). These defeats, specially the debacle of Germany, created an overall situation of low ebb in the world socialist movement, pushing down the world proletariat to demoralization and dimming of the revolutionary fervent born out of the Great October Proletarian revolution in Russia. The Soviet Union, which had barely come out of the civil war and imperialist aggression, was now relegated to complete isolation, surrounded from all sides only by its enemies. Best of the revolutionary fighters had already perished in Civil war and foreign aggression in Russia. Same was the situation in other countries of Europe where the unsuccessful workers uprisings had resulted in bloody backlash at the hands of counter-revolution, which followed taking its toll upon best of the elements of first line in the revolution, the flowers of revolutionary movement. In the background of defeats of working class, thus, started to emerge the bureaucratic tendencies. Lenin was aware of it and had vowed to fight against them, but could not live to defeat them.

There came untimely demise of Lenin in 1924. Place of the first line fighters, who had perished, continued to be taken by those who had followed in second line. In the background of general defeat and demoralization of the working class, a wave of hopelessness gripped the Soviet Union. Scared by the defeats of working class and the bloody reaction that followed, a section of the second line leadership, which was now in command, started to lose faith in the great revolutionary agenda of ‘wiping out the capitalism from the face of the earth, through a world socialist revolution’ as set out by the Third International (Comintern) in its founding document. This section of leadership in Soviet Union, developed serious doubts about the concept of world socialist revolution and started to dissociate itself from this great battle-cry of world proletariat. Thus, overcoming the initial revolutionary fervent of working class, finding its expression in Trotskyism, generated by the tide of revolution around 1917, specially by the success of proletarian overturn in Russia, the reaction, now set-in to hold the ground inside Soviet Union, in the background of later defeats of proletariat in different countries. In the face of setbacks to initial attempts at uprisings, the then leadership prepared itself to surrender the avowed positions of striving for a world revolution, taking to confiding inside the Soviet Union. From strategic offensive against the world capitalism, thus began the degeneration to a strategic defensive. There started a reactionary current -from Proletarian Internationalism to Russian nationalism.

This reactionary nationalist tendency, then discovered its logical embodiment in the emerging bureaucracy, headed by Joseph Stalin, which had already gripped the ranks of second line leadership. Bureaucracy openly distanced itself from the idea of world revolution and turned to take all strings of the life in Soviet Union in its hands, by usurping the power inside Soviet Union for itself, i.e. in exclusion of the working class. It started with beating the retreat from the perspective of world socialist revolution on the pretension of building socialism within the confines of one country- Soviet Union. The program of world socialist revolution, for accomplishment of which the Third International (Comintern) was formed, was thus completely discarded. Instead of extending the revolution further over the globe, the bureaucracy set out to enjoy the fruits of victorious revolution of Russian Proletariat. Like all reactionaries of the world, the Stalinist bureaucracy, then stepped out to embrace everything that was rotten and outmode in Bolshevism and Menshevism, and was discarded since then by the revolutionary experience of three revolutions, taking it out from the dustbin of history.

Trotsky warned that the forces of socialism can only be reconciled on a world scale and not within the confines of one country, as Stalinists thought. But Stalin, the architect of this project, persisted in his day-dreams of building Socialism in one country. Gigantic resources were to be generated to touch even the level of capitalist countries of the west, what to say of building socialism. Only path to execute the cynical project of Stalin, was thus to hard press the working people of Soviet Union to the extreme, in order to generate the immense resources required for it. This execution was not possible through the power based on Workers Soviets. Thus a coercive apparatus was required over and above the proletariat. Stalinists, then carved out such power in the form of a bureaucratic apparatus. A bureaucratic crust first emerged to develop into a whole apparatus. The bureaucratic tendencies which had emerged during lifetime of Lenin as a shadow of pre-revolutionary Russia upon the Proletarian State and against which Lenin had vowed to fight in his last days, now found an opportunity to consolidate themselves in a tangible apparatus of bureaucracy.

Even after putting the working people to extreme hardship, the reactionary, sectarian-nationalist programme of building socialism in Soviet Russia, in isolation from rest of the world, started to suffer its destiny- debacle after debacle -and very soon turned into a hollow fantasy of conservative nationalism- the Stalinism. Resistance came from working people against their extreme exploitation, their deprivation from affairs of state and the failures of Stalinist project of building socialism in one country. Need arose thus, for more and more repression to put down the resistance of working people, which further strengthened the bureaucracy as the sole apparatus capable for such repression upon working people. Through the colossal machine of violence, in the form of armed forces of State, now at its disposal, bureaucracy now had a free hand to get rid of everything what was live and revolutionary in Soviet Union.

Taking benefit of its official position and power in Soviet Union, the Stalinist bureaucracy captured Comintern, the world party of proletariat and then started to divert all resources and forces at the disposal of world proletariat to strengthen its position inside Soviet Russia, instead of utilising the resources of Soviet Union for expansion of revolution to other parts of the world. Through Comintern, the Stalinist bureaucracy, took control of the Communist parties of the world and gradually converted them to its agencies, executing its bureaucratic commands. It transformed the Communist parties into bureaucratic apparatuses, directly subordinate to Kremlin, in the name of communist discipline.

The young and inexperienced Chinese Proletariat and its party, were the first to become casualty under the axe of this bureaucracy. Its leadership, working under direct command of Stalinist Comintern, was instrumental in eliminating the proletariat from political scene in China, despite the heroic fight waged by proletariat against its enemies. The Chinese proletariat was subjected, against its will, to the capitulationist and servile Menshevik policy of trailing behind the bourgeois-nationalists in KMT instead of conducting a class war against it. After this collaborationist policy was beaten, firstly by the right KMT under Chiang Kai Shek and then by the left KMT under Wang Jing Wei, bureaucracy found its positions weakened inside the Comintern and Soviet Union. In order to wash off its face of the stains of shameful defeats of its policy, one after the other, it forced the demoralised and wounded Chinese proletariat to enter into misadventures of extreme nature and commit suicide thereby. This opportunist policy, full of zigzags, alternating between capitulation and misadventure, in no time resulted in abortion of an apparently mature revolutionary situation in China during 1925-27, leading to brutal slaughter of the flowers of working class at the hands of its class enemies. The defeats followed by destruction, pushed the Chinese working class to the dungeons of history for decades to come. Bureaucracy prepared the defeats and defeats facilitated bureaucracy in occupying the positions vacated by the working class. Defeat of working class virtually unfolded itself as conquest for the bureaucracy, which advanced its own claim to power and captured it in 1949, using the banner of proletariat.

This catastrophic reversal of the proletarian revolution maturing in China in 1927, and consequent annihilation of revolutionary proletariat, demonstrated, however, as to how disastrous can be the consequences when the Menshevik policy is applied to a revolutionary situation.

The disputes raised by Leon Trotsky on China, from 1925 till his elimination by Stalin in 1940, present a splendid account of his unrelenting struggle against Menshevism, as exported to China by the Stalinist Comintern.

Chapter V

In the Communist Manifesto of 1848, the founding document of world socialist movement, one would seek in vain for even reference to the revolutions in agrarian parts of the world -Asia, Africa and Latin Americas. The Manifesto of 1848 had focused exclusively upon a Socialist Revolution in Europe with bright hopes of its architects, that the impending Proletarian overturn in the heartland of Capitalism, would, as a necessary consequence, automatically trigger a global revolution, with rest of the World following in the footsteps of Europe.

Proletariat of the West, which was assigned this historic task of uprooting capitalism on the very land of its origin, however, failed to accomplish it, well in time. This failure gave the World Capitalism sufficient spate of life to grow over to its Imperialist stage, expanding its roots to the backward regions of the globe, converting them to its colonies or semi colonies, and thereby strengthening itself immensely while further weakening the Western proletariat by dampening its morale and corrupting its revolutionary spirit through bribery- a share in booty collected from the colonies. Resultantly, the Western Proletariat left the centre-stage of World Revolution gradually to become lackey of World Capitalism. After a long period of calm, focus of revolution started to shift to the backward world, with the emergence of revolutionary Proletariat therein.

The second congress of Comintern under Lenin, held in Petrograd in 1920, had for the first time turned to the question of bourgeois revolution in Colonies and semi colonies, as condition precedent to further spread of the revolution in the West. It adopted the thesis presented by Lenin-‘The Colonial and National Question’ which observed that the countries of the West would collapse if deprived of their markets in China, India and Africa. It thus called upon the Communist Parties to set their aim at overthrow of colonial rule.

Europe, where was born the Internationalist perspective of world proletarian revolution, elaborated in the Communist manifesto of 1848, however had forgotten about the revolutions by then, while the Orient had yet to experience the one. Russian Proletariat performed this miracle. After Russia, it was turn for China to deal with the complicated questions arising out of the revolution in a backward agrarian country, with its historically belated development. The very rich experience of Russian revolution though was available to Chinese revolutionaries, but they, instead of utilizing it, permitted them to be misled by the false preaching of Comintern, thereby depriving them of the fruits of the experience. The path Comintern dictated to them, instead, led to tragic end of a mature revolutionary situation in China.

Chapter VI

China, in 19th century, having very little connections to outside world, was reeling, as before, under completely decayed and outmode dynasty of Manchu Emperors, who ruled through a bureaucratic network of civil servants, interested only in maintaining status quo, resisting any effort for development or change in China. Saturated by Peasantry, China was thus living in its cocoon, approximately isolated from the world. Its restricted foreign trade with Europe was highly imbalanced against itself, helping only to exhaust its finances, while China was forced to borrow from foreign powers to purchase even the basic necessities like iron and steel. The opium war imposed upon China by Britain in 19th century, drained all its silver reserves and forced it further to borrow for future trade against its will, from the western powers. In 1894 Japan made an attempt to usurp part of Chinese territory, but was thwarted by its rivals- Britain, France and Russia. Japan though got a sea-port and 35 million pounds as indemnity from China, for which China had to borrow 48 million pounds. Every time, it was peasantry which was burdened by the foreign loans. Already abominable conditions of Chinese peasantry hardly permitted it to bear anymore the ever increasing burden.

At the turn of 20th century, the oriental despotism of Manchu rule, decaying for long in China, had fallen almost to tatters, virtually collapsed. China faced chaos and division of its territory under barbaric domination of Landlords in rural areas, who engaged them in intense exploitation of peasantry with no form of redress. The foreign capitalists, taking advantage of this chaos and division in China, had snatched “concessions” on gun point, to establish their own industry in big cities and sea-ports of China, with policing rights of their own. The Manchu Dynasty, breathing its last, capitulating both before foreign powers and local warlords, had already abandoned the people to face their destiny i.e. to be exploited as cheap labour while continue to pay taxes for repayment of foreign loans, through their sweat and blood. This ruthless exploitation, continued to be answered by the unrelenting peasantry, through sporadic local peasant uprisings, which succeeded in creating breathing space for peasantry, but failed in uprooting the regime of exploitation, by consolidating the power on national scale. Thus, Manchu rule continued in China, with cities under the domination of different foreign powers, and the vast rural territories under control of warlords.

This was the time when Capitalism on world scale had already embarked upon the stage of Imperialism and the Bourgeoisie as a class had lost its revolutionary energy, to bring about a social revolution against the inertia of medieval societies. Early bourgeoisie, the local manufacturers and traders, were born at this time of overall decline of capitalism. The proletariat was yet a non-entity in China, and was yet to born as a social class.

More than a decade thus passed in this chaos, during which time numerous secret societies, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois, were formed in China to fight against Manchu Rule and foreign domination, but without any success. The abortive attempt by Sun Yat Sen in 1885 to carry out an uprising had failed.

In 1900, the abortive Boxer uprising, carried out by peasantry, resulted in imposition of protocols upon China by the European powers, compelling China to introduce thorough reforms on western patterns abandoning its old Confucian structures. Army was modernized. Western curriculum was introduced in education as well as in Civil services. Education for women was permitted in China and Chinese students started to go abroad for western studies. With this, new modes of thought started to enter into China.

Completely strangled by dynastic stagnation and intervention of foreign capitalists, the Chinese bourgeoisie, however, was forced to act. Taking advantage of the tensions among foreign imperialist powers on the eve of the World War-I, and with a ready to act force of rebellious peasantry at its disposal, the Chinese bourgeoisie set to take the power in its hands. It took to the banner of Nationalism, to mobilize the nation, especially peasantry behind it, with an agenda for unification of China as a modern nation into a democratic republic of western style, by overthrowing Manchu Dynasty and foreign domination, both. In 1905, various anti-Manchu movements joined hands to form a secret Society Tong Meng Hui, with Sun Yat Sen as its leader.

In 1909, Provincial Assemblies were established by Manchus and in 1910 a National Consultative Assembly was established, which though was to assist the Imperial Court but it frequently remained at odds with the Government.

The Manchu Dynasty was ultimately overthrown by a powerful peasant uprising carefully prepared under the leadership of liberal-democratic bourgeoisie, under banner of nationalist Tung Meng Hui. In total ten attempts were made in different provinces but the actual revolution began with uprising at Szechwan province in southwest China. The uprising started with narrow motivation of Capitalists against nationalisation of Railways, only to become a mass uprising against the Manchu dynasty as a whole. On August 24, 1911, students took to the street. Army tried to arrest leaders of the movement, leading to open conflicts between protestors and the army. 32 were killed on the spot. People took to arms and fought with army. Coming out of its narrow ambit, the movement had by now taken the form of a mass political movement, demanding end to the Manchu rule and establishment of parliamentary republic. On October 10, 1911, armed rebellion started at Wuchang city, capital of Hubei province, among discontented and modernised army units, who declared their support to nationalists. Wuchang was seized with little resistance, following which many other provinces also declared their cessation from Manchu Empire. By the end of November, about two-third of provinces had ceased from the Empire. In December 1911, a delegation from Central and Northern regions, resolved to constitute a republic and elected Sun Yat Sen, its provincial president. On January 1, 1912 the formal declaration of republic was made. However, Empire survived with its seat in Beijing, with Hunan and Hupeh provinces still remaining inside it.

Desperate for their survival, Manchus had to appoint Yuan Shi Kai as the Governor-General of these two provinces. Taking benefit of the situation, Yuan bargained with Manchus to concentrate maximum power in his hands. He forced the Manchus to summon the National Assembly, and got himself elected as Prime Minister. With support of 50 generals of the Empire, Yuan then succeeded in securing abdication of the Manchu Emperors.

Seeing the fall of Manchu dynasty imminent, Yuan then brokered a deal with the Nationalists, putting them under threat of a civil war in case of refusal. The weak Chinese bourgeoisie, relented without resistance.

Pursuant to the dual deal, Emperor abdicated on 12th February and Sun Yat Sen on 13th February. Yuan, thus succeeded in concentrating all power in his hands, by putting both the Nationalists and Emperors under threat of a civil war between them. On 5th April Chinese Republic was recognised officially by the United States. The Ministry he formed was full of cronies, while nationalists were almost excluded.

In February 1912, five secret societies, bourgeois and petty bourgeois, prominent among them the ‘Tung Meng Hui’ came together to form the Kuomintang (KMT) a nationalist party, to establish a bourgeois republic with western style democracy, and then peasantry was called to throw its forces behind KMT. In the elections to National Assembly, held in December 1912, KMT won majority seats. KMT planned to control Yuan through the Parliament and elected Government. Yuan tried to bribe KMT leader Sung Chaio Jen, failing which got him assassinated on March 20, 1913, when he was to leave for Peking to take leadership of new parliament and threatened the Parliament with troops. Parliament impeached Yuan. In July, provinces tried to secede from the Republic, but Yuan brought them in line.

Yuan forced the Parliament to elect him president in October 1913. The parliament then adopted a Constitution with cabinet system of Government, instead of presidential system, putting Yuan under the elected Government. By force of arms, Yuan dissolved the Parliament forever. A bourgeois Parliament, which tried to control Yuan, itself had become casualty to the corruption of its own members, who were bent upon filling their own coffers, above anything else. The bourgeois parliament had denigrated itself so much in the eyes of people, for the corruption and misdeeds of its leaders, that its dissolution by Yuan, met with no resistance from the people. The bourgeois republic, failing to organize people behind it, thus could not survive and virtually shattered under its own weight.

Yuan Shi Kai himself having no faith in principles of bourgeois democracy or republic of western style, staged a coup to become Emperor of China. KMT was banned and its leader Sun Yat Sen flew to Japan, where he remained in hibernation for about five years. Till 1916, Yuan remained virtual dictator of China. However, not satisfied with this, he attempted a coup to regain the dynastic rule with himself as Emperor, which failed. Though Yuan made the Parliament to vote in favour of establishment of Monarchy and got himself appointed Emperor by the provincial delegates in December, yet he failed to correctly estimate the anti-monarchic sentiments of people. Uprisings and secession  started. Under pressure of his aides, Yuan had to give up the dreams of Empire by March 1916, but it was too late by then. Taking advantage of the chaos which followed, the militarists under Yuan, set up themselves against Yuan, succeeded in usurping different territories all over Northern China. Humiliated and deserted, Yuan was forced to abandon his dreams of settling an Empire. Yuan died from ailment in 1916.

China once again became fragmented with the warlords usurping Northern China, while South China remaining under domination of Bourgeois Nationalist Government having its seat at Wuhan, leaving cities under control of foreign powers. Triple power thus existed in China- South, dominated by KMT, North by different warlords and its cities under direct control of foreign powers.

Intervention of Yuan had aborted the bourgeois revolution, midway. Neither a republic, nor a Monarchy thus could settle in China. The dream of Chinese Bourgeoisie, to have a democratic republic on the pattern of western capitalism, stood shattered, as well, even before the dream of Empire. What now survived, was the bare desire to unify the country, minus the dreams of a democratic republic. This was possible with military methods, and the Chinese bourgeoisie was left with the only option to tread this path.

Chinese bourgeoisie utterly failed to accomplish its historic mission either of unifying China or liberating it from the shackles of medievalism and colonialism. Already on the path of decay, the Chinese bourgeoisie could not have delivered anything more than that. The responsibility, to accomplish the bourgeois-democratic tasks in China, which the bourgeoisie could not do, thus essentially fell to the shoulders of the very young Chinese proletariat.

Chapter VII

Towards the end of second decade of 20th century, China was still developing at a snail’s pace with a primitive economy and stagnated politics at its helm, which was frequently hit by famines small and big and it was only its highly rganizatio system of distribution that could save its population from perishing during those famines. Few cities with a population of over 50,000 could develop in China, habited by 6% of its people, 4% habiting small towns and over 90% still living in vast rural China. Production and distribution was highly rganizatio. While villages contributed mainly through agriculture produce and handicraft goods, towns contributed mainly through manufacture. Industry in China, having concentration in big cities and sea ports, was developed mainly by foreign capitalists. The tariff laws imposed on China prevented building of its own industrial base.

Foreign intervention had disturbed the centuries old static, self-reliant and balanced economy of China by introducing cheap manufactured goods and by disrupting the central organization of economy. Primitive and by then isolated economy of China faced total degradation with Imperialist advent. The foreign intervention, though had resulted in growth of industry, but only a little, while China as a whole remained a backward peasant country, reeling under the double yoke of domestic feudalism and foreign Imperialism. Yet this intervention made a great contribution by default, independent of the will of its perpetrators, by producing the real liberator of stagnated Chinese Society- the Proletariat.

The Proletariat was numerous, hardly half percent of the total population, mainly concentrated in Shanghai, Canton, Hankow and around Wuhan. Shanghai alone had 20% of total proletariat with 3,00,000 workers, Canton 2,00,000, Hankow 2,00,000 and 1,00,000 in and around Wuhan. Around half of the Proletariat was employed in foreign industry. However, the strength of proletariat cannot be measured by its numbers, as the same lies in its social position having core installations of modern capitalism in its hands-factories, Railway, transport, communication etc. and its vital role in backward countries as the natural leader of subjugated nation, especially its peasantry. Above all, the strength of proletariat lies in its existence as an international class.

Chapter VIII

In this scenario, approached the World War-I. China was forced to enter into it, against its will, on the orders of Allies, with apparent motive to seize the “concessions” given by China to Germany, for themselves. At the end of the War, the Allies, who succeeded in getting these concessions from ‘great powers’, tried to alienate them to Japan, through Versailles Treaty, which created a furore in China. Huge protests of students erupted against the Versailles treaty, forcing the Nationalist Government to refuse to sign the treaty. The demonstration which started on 4th May 1919, with 5000 students gathering at Tiananmen Square in Peking, spread over to 16 provinces involving 1,00,000 people, and went down in history of China as ‘4th May Movement’. Chen Tu Shiu, its leader, a professor in Peking University, became hero of the masses. This was the awakening and entry of a new generation of China, which turned towards the Proletariat to take the destiny of China, still in the stranglehold of the forces of old society, in its hands.

The 4th May Movement brought forward a leadership of different type, inspired by the Great October Proletarian Revolution in Russia, which consolidated itself into a small group of intellectuals by 1920 and formally organised itself under the banner of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921. CCP had about 50 members and a Central Committee of 3, with Chen-Tu-Shiu its Secretary. Journals including “The Communist” were published and mass organisations like the Socialist Youth League were formed. Small political groups were formed in Shanghai, Wuhan, Changsha, Canton and Tsinan. A group in Paris was also formed. A Committee of Workers’ Movement was organised in Shanghai. Mass organisations among workers, youth and women were working in 1920 itself. In its activities the CCP co-operated with nationalists and anarchist elements also.

During the making of the CCP, was organised the ‘Shanghai Mechanical Workers’ Union’- the first organisation of industrial proletariat, directly under the Communist influence. In January 1921 the Committee of Workers’ Movement was organised in Shanghai. At the same time Hongkong-Chinese Seamen’s Union was also organised which launched a nationwide, first really militant strike action, twelve months later in 1922. Around June 1921 a full fledged Labour Secretariat was established in Shanghai with its branches in other industrial cities of Wuhan, Tsinan, Peking, Canton and Changsha.

In October 1921 a big strike was organised against British American Tobacco Company. In Jan 1922, Chinese Seamen’s Union, with ten thousand workers struck in Hongkong. Other workers in Hongkong and Canton supported the strike. Nationalists also supported the strike. By February 1922 one lakh workers got involved, virtually paralysing the entire Hongkong. This strike forced the British to withdraw their offensive against the right to Unionise and to accept substantial increase in wages. In May 1922, was called the first Congress of the National General labour Union (NGLU), which came to represent one fifth of the total workers in China. It raised the slogan of 8 hour working day, mutual aid and overthrow of the Imperialists and Warlords.

7th February 1923 was the climax of strike wave. The Govt. in Peking crushed the strike organised by the Hankow Railroad Workers, by use of force. A gathering of 10,000 strikers was fired upon killing more than 40 on the spot, injuring above 300 and dismissing thousands from their jobs.

As one can see that by mid 1922 there was a developed working class movement in China, though only about 120 Communists were in touch with the national Organisation of the CCP existing in 16 provinces, having formal structure in only 10. Serious attempts were also made to organise among the peasantry. By 1923, CCP successfully led about 1,50,000 workers in hundred small and big strikes. CCP as well as the working class thus became a real force in China.

The Chinese bourgeoisie, however, failing to achieve its mission of establishment of a western style democracy in China on its own, turned towards United States in hope of aid to crush the warlords. But, like other Imperialist powers, the United States was interested in China only as a market and had vested interest against its unification and development as a modern country. Though intensely repulsive against Communism, Sun Yat Sen had to turn to Soviet Union for help. Lenin not only promised the requisite aid to KMT in the form of weapons, machines, advice, training etc. but also pledged to return the territories of China conquered by Tsars.

The Comintern under Lenin supported KMT nationalists, as at that time it was the only platform in opposition to the Imperialists and Warlords and no independent proletarian current existed in China. However, with the formation of the CCP, the political divide between the working class and bourgeoisie was sealed organisationally. Both hostile classes of modern world now existed in China face to face with each other.

Chapter IX

But, by the time the working class could consolidate to assert itself in China independent of the nationalist bourgeoisie, through its class organisations (CCP and Labour Unions) and class actions (Strikes), the leadership of the Comintern as well as that of Soviet Russia had fallen, unfortunately, to the hands of bureaucracy headed by Stalin. This bureaucracy, emerging out of the second line leadership of Russian revolution and riding to power in Russia in the background of defeat and debacles to the world proletarian revolution, was interested primarily in consolidating its own positions inside Soviet Union and was taking the Comintern for a ride in the power game, with interests of World Proletarian Revolution put on the back-burner.

The Comintern under Stalin-Bukharin, openly advocated that the Proletariat instead of contending for the leadership in the Chinese Revolution, has rather to perform the ‘coolie service’ in it, of which, according to them, national bourgeoisie was the leader. This ‘tutelage’ policy, becoming the official line of Stalinist Comintern, though belied again and again by the experience of three revolutions in Russia and further ratified by the course of events in China itself, was cynically imposed upon the CCP, forcing it to trail behind the bourgeois-landlord KMT, against its will. The ongoing revolution of China was bourgeois in nature- from this, the Stalinists, derived the wrong conclusion, drawing analogy with Mensheviks in Russia, which view was fully discarded by three Russian Revolutions- that the bourgeoisie was its natural leader and the proletariat had a role only subservient to it. This led the Stalinists to the ‘two stage’ Menshevik theory of revolution-first democratic and then socialist. The old Bolshevik, formula of ‘democratic dictatorship of proletariat and peasantry’, instead of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which was also discarded by the course of Russian Revolution and was abandoned by Lenin himself in his April thesis, was also pressed to service in Chinese Revolution by the Stalinist Comintern, re-dressing and stretching the same even further, to appear under a new slogan –‘bloc of four classes’ where in bourgeoisie was also attributed a revolutionary role. KMT for them was the real embodiment of this popular front, a living ‘bloc of four classes’- National bourgeoisie, Petty bourgeoisie, peasantry and in the last-Proletariat.

From the small numeric existence of the Proletariat inside China, epigones made a wrong estimation of the actual historic role and strength of the Chinese Proletariat and thus mis-oriented themselves on the question of mechanics of class forces in Chinese revolution. The official line of Comintern under Stalin, basing itself upon the essentially nationalist perspective, assumed the Chinese working class as incapable to provide leadership to democratic revolution in China and develop it to a proletarian overturn. They pinned their hopes on Chinese bourgeoisie under Kuomintang and advocated “tailism” as the only practical policy for proletariat. The policy of Comintern at that time can be no better reflected than in the words of Borodin, the then agent of Comintern in China, who told the Chinese Communists that at that stage they essentially have to do the ‘coolie work’ for Bourgeoisie.

The political inability of the Stalinists, to approach the question of Chinese revolution from an Internationalist perspective and estimate the strength of Chinese proletariat as integral part of world proletarian army, led to political bankruptcy, by artificially belittling the role of Proletariat in the assumed democratic stage of Revolution. The nationalist perspective, led the Stalinists to advocate ‘tailism’ for proletariat, as they assumed that Chinese proletariat was too weak to take the power in China. ‘Socialism in one country’ and the ‘Stagism’- the two stage theory of revolution, advocated by Stalinists in Russia, artificially confining the integrated course of history into separate compartments- the bourgeois-democratic and the proletarian socialist- one trailing behind another in history, both were offshoot of this reactionary nationalist perspective. This was the estimation at a time when after exhaustion of the bourgeois-democracy, which had crumbled in no time under its own weight, the stage in history was already set in China for the proletariat to establish its hegemony over the revolution and take the power in its hands. When this outmode and retrogressive policy backfired, attempt was made to cover it through putchism, using the proletariat as canon fodder for the misadventures of bureaucracy, resulting in complete destruction of young Chinese Proletariat. The policy proved to be abortive not only for impending revolution in China, but for the World Proletarian Revolution.

In its second congress in 1922, the CCP for the first time resolved to form a United Front with the KMT, while maintaining its independence. When Comintern, which supported KMT till now, proposed the United front between KMT and CCP, the leader of KMT, Sun-Yat-Sen, outright rejected the proposal, saying that he saw no role for communism in China. However, unable to afford to lose material support from Comintern and Soviet Russia, Sun permitted entry to communists in KMT on the condition of submission to the discipline of KMT by the communists. Maring, the Comintern representative in China at that time, agreed to the proposal of KMT. In August 1922, a meeting of leading communists, with Chen-Tu-Shiu at its head, considered and rejected this directive of the Comintern.

But Comintern did not relent. Stalinist bureaucracy inside the Comintern used their official position to put pressure upon the leadership of CCP to bend before Nationalists and enter KMT in their individual capacity. Stalinists, instead of recognising the KMT as a bourgeois party, termed it a “bloc of four classes”-national bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie, workers and peasants, which was but an extension of the old Menshevik formula of “Dictatorship of two classes-Proletariat and peasantry”. The formula was already discarded by the Russian revolutions. But the unwilling CCP was forced to enter the KMT, against its will and adhere to its discipline, abandoning all its independent positions and actions in practice. Though, the Chinese communists succeeded in having a reservation in retaining membership of CCP simultaneously, but for hardly any consequence in practice.

Trotsky marks this subjugation of the CCP to the discipline of bourgeois KMT, saying that the CCP was neither permitted to publish its political paper, nor to criticize the bourgeois-Confucian principles of Sun Yat Sen.

On 4.9.1922, with concurrence of Comintern, Sun Yat Sen proposed to re-organise the KMT and raise an armed force to defeat worlordism. In this re-organisation in January 1923, it was ensured by the bourgeois-nationalists that the Communists get completely excluded from the military rganization of KMT. However, this invited no objection from Comintern, which continued to support KMT as before. Chiang Kai Shek was sent to Soviet Russia to learn military organization and collect arms.

Third congress of the CCP, taking place in June 1923, debated the issue of Communists remaining inside the KMT, with majority proposing a come-out of it. Maring, the then agent of Comintern in China, dictated the maintenance of a status-co.

CCP at that time was leading militant struggles of working class and virtually needed an independent class policy, in place of servitude in shackles inside a bourgeois party. As the working class struggles were being fought under the banner of bourgeois KMT, the proletarian current remained dimmed as overshadowed by the bourgeois leadership of KMT. Trotsky opposed this policy of Tailism, being advocated by the Stalinist bureaucracy, and supported independence of action for the CCP. Stalinists instead forced the party to remain as a fraction inside the KMT.

In 1924, Whampoa Military Academy was established to train the armed forces of KMT, where Communists were permitted only in political wing and barred from military organs. The Chinese communists, about 1000 members of CCP by that time, united themselves with left wing of Nationalists against the rights. In 1924, there was a great urge from the leaders of CCP itself to abandon the KMT and take to the independent road, but the United front had to be preserved under the banner of KMT, under pressure from the Comintern.

In 1925 Sun Yat Sen died and with it escalated tensions inside the Nationalist KMT between its right wing under Chiang Kai Shek, the Commander of National Army and its left wing under Wang Ching Wei, the Chairman of National Government.

Chapter X

By this time, the CCP, relaxing its membership norms and becoming a mass proletarian party, had augmented itself to about 10,000. A fresh wave of powerful strikes swept Chinese cities, which put workers face to face with bourgeoisie. Tensions between KMT-CCP thus sharpened more and more, every passing day.

Start of 1925 was eventful and pregnant with revolutionary opportunities and prospects for Chinese proletariat. February saw big strikes taking place against Japanese Textile Mills. National Railroad Union again emerged after its ruthless suppression, to hold its second congress. Leaders of Chinese Seamen’s Union joined the CCP. 166 Workers’ Unions came to the platform of National General labour Union (NGLU) representing five lakh workers in different cities in China and held a congress. As the working class rganization grew it moved towards left, more and more.

During this period were formed the peasant associations under the lead of CCP. These peasant associations, by 1927 claimed about 90 lakh membership in 16 provinces. This was ready reserve for the CCP.

On 30th of May 1925, thousands of workers gathered on Nanking Road, in response to the call for a demonstration given by the Central Committee of CCP against killing of a striker on May 15th 1925, by armed guards in Shanghai Cotton Mills. The demonstration was fired upon by International Settlement Police under a British Officer, where twelve workers were killed and scores of others were either wounded or arrested. Proletariat responded to it by organising a bigger demonstration, culminating in a general strike on the next day. Then was organised the Shanghai General labour Union (SGLU). Strike spread to other regions. In Hongkong and Canton was total strike and blockade of ports. There was total disruption of normal life. On 23rd June, a general strike was called by NGLU and a huge demonstration was taken out in Shanghai, which was again drowned in blood by British and French troops stationed there, firing and killing 80 people on the spot. Strike intensified, making it a big showdown between the working class and the Imperialists. Hongkong was boycotted and evacuated by workers, bringing it to a virtual halt. Sailors threw their support behind the strike. This strike, longest in Chinese history, lasted for 16 months, with no ship moving in or out from Hong-Kong ports for more than a year. This movement, known as 30th May Movement in the Chinese history, brought the working class to centre-stage of political events.

Around a proletarian axis, a powerful centripetal force was already in motion by 1925, with following not only among the peasantry but in urban petty bourgeoisie too. This was the intensity of the actions of working class, which according to epigones, was not ready to take the leadership of revolution into its hands! Workers already possessed sufficient power to close down all the Imperialist Enterprises in cities, at once. It was the Workers’ Movement only which could have gravitated the petty bourgeoisie and even sections of bourgeoisie to the left and could have pressed them into real action against the Imperialists and Warlords. CCP by now was deeply rooted in the masses. Time had come for the Proletariat to move to overthrow the Foreign and Chinese Bourgeoisie, alongwith warlords, and take the power in its hands.

Proletariat and CCP were ready for this, but Stalinists were not. CCP was held back by the Comintern. Preparing for revolution first of all required departure from the bourgeois leadership of KMT, which Comintern resented. Trotsky consistently advocated for immediate and unconditional departure, but Stalinists prevailed. Trotsky argued against any United Front of Workers with Bourgeoisie. At the second congress of KMT both Chiang and Wang, leaders of right and left KMT, advocated for preservation of United Front, as the same resulted in servitude of Communists to the Bourgeois-Nationalists. Trotsky called for organization of Soviets of Workers and peasants, which Stalin opposed saying that there was no revolutionary situation in China and that KMT itself would act in place of Soviets.

Chapter XI

On 20th March, 1926, Chiang Kai Shek, staged a coup in Shanghai declaring Martial law, on the pretext of his abduction attempt, allegedly made upon him at Zhingshan warship. 50 CCP members alongwith Soviet advisors to KMT, were put under arrest on the charge of plotting against the KMT. This was the gift from bourgeoisie to the Comintern. Even now Comintern did not wake up. Instead of calling upon the CCP to leave KMT it still argued for preservation of united front with bourgeoisie. Chiang released communists and soviet advisors but imposed strict restrictions upon CCP. Chiang barred CCP from criticising the principles of Sun Yat Sen, it forbade Nationalists to join CCP without prior permission, asked for membership list of CCP and dejected communists from all leading posts in the KMT and Government. Still Borodin and Stalin asked Communists to bow down to KMT. All degrading conditions imposed by Chiang were accepted by Comintern, without shame. Circumstances were pressing for ending the United Front with Chiang, and prepare for an insurrection, but the Stalinists did not change their line. All attempts to leave KMT or even take it over in alliance with the left KMT were opposed by Stalin and Comintern under him. The CCP was subdued inside the KMT by maneuver of Chiang and treachery of Stalin. CCP at this moment resolved to raise its own armed forces and demanded from Comintern that 5000 rifles out of those supplied to KMT be given to it to arm the peasants of Kwangtung province who followed CCP, but Comintern refused saying that the armed peasants cannot participate in Northern Expedition against warlords, rather they would invite the suspicion of KMT and make the peasants oppose it. Stalinist Comintern openly commanded the CCP to follow the leadership of KMT and surrender to its discipline. The great opportunity was thus lost at will. Chen Tu Shiu wrote later that “By this time the party was already not the party of the proletariat, having become completely the extreme left wing of the bourgeoisie and beginning to fall into the deep pit of opportunism”. During all this time, Stalin continued to label Chiang as great revolutionary. As Chen wrote later, “without fighting against Stalin, one could not have fought with Chiang”.

In July 1926, started the Northern Expedition of KMT, in agreement with Comintern, with purported aim to unify China by defeating the Warlords through military means. Taking advantage, the CCP stepped up agitations alongside the route of Army, preparing the peasantry to seize lands of the landlords and organize armed uprisings. Comintern prevented it, aborting the social revolution itself, especially in rural China and thereby leaving the civil war through military expedition, under the command of KMT, as only option. CCP was forced by Comintern to hold back the peasantry from taking lands of KMT officers and small landlords. This punctured the entire purpose of the peasant uprisings. While Stalin was advising restraint to Communists, Chiang rejected all demands of peasants except for a cut of 25% in land revenue.

Same was the situation in Cities, where entire economy was destabilised by militant strikes, violent demonstrations and armed picketing etc. But as soon as the KMT came in control of cities, strikes were banned and pickets disarmed. CCP itself was forced by the Comintern to help end the strikes. The calling off Hong-Kong Canton strike in October 1926 by the CCP is glaring example of it. In fact, while remaining inside KMT, the character of CCP had undergone a sea change, and it had become a bureaucratic machine, on the patterns of bourgeois KMT itself, blindly executing the commands taken from the Comintern. It was more or less a national agency of Stalinist Comintern, in China.

In January 1927, KMT armies under Wang Ching Wei captured the city of Wuhan with the help of CCP, and declared it the new seat of Nationalist Government.

Stalin continued to call for use of the ‘revolutionary potential’ of the ‘revolutionary’ nationalist government, terming Chiang Kai Shek as great revolutionary leader, while himself exchanging pleasantries and portraits with him. Even on the basic question of land distribution, Stalin argued against breaking off the agreement with KMT, assuring that the KMT’s agrarian policy itself would foster an agrarian revolution. Trotsky vehemently protested against it, convinced that the Colonial bourgeoisie cannot advance the revolution under its leadership. Trotsky had warned that the Northern Expedition under the leadership of bourgeois KMT would soon turn into a campaign against the Proletariat. But Stalinists, blinding themselves by illusions in the role of Chinese bourgeoisie, failed to see through the real agenda. Leaders of CCP knew that the advice of Stalin was worthless, but they were forced to continue with United Front. The history, though, was forwarding clear option- either social revolution or united front. Trotsky called for immediate abandonment of KMT, while at the same time prepare the proletariat through its consolidation in Soviets to seize the power. But Stalinists were determined not to listen. Stalin opposed the idea of organization of Soviets on the ground that there was no revolutionary situation in China and that KMT itself was a substitute for Soviets.

At the end of February 1927, Chiang’s troops were approaching Shanghai. According to bogus and self abortive plan of Stalin, which permitted the proletariat to be used as cannon fodder, the CCP was asked to take control of Shanghai first, to hand it over to KMT as it approached the city. When Chiang’s forces were 25 miles away from the city, the CCP led SGLU began a series of strikes and protests against the warlords and imperialists who ran the city. Street fighting erupted, culminating in bloody repression of proletariat. Chiang calmly watched the butchering of proletariat, holding his forces back, instead of coming to its aid.

After mayhem of Proletariat, the strike was called off on 24.2.1927.

Again on March 21, 1927, the forces of KMT moved towards Shanghai and SGLU was again made to call for insurrection. Responding to the call of CCP, over 5,00,000 workers rose in unison, stormed the police stations, drove the warlords out of it and virtually seized the city of Shanghai. Blue flag of KMT was trampled underfoot by the workers. Worried by Shanghai insurrection, nationalists started repression upon communists in other cities, and Chiang stopped campaign against the warlords, deciding to break with communists. Comintern, however directed CCP to bury the weapons, stop the hostilities, applaud KMT in Shanghai, and handover the power peacefully to it. Following the command, Shanghai proletariat was then called upon by CCP to give rather a triumphant welcome to Chiang. With workers applauding the KMT, the CCP and workers’ organizations were effectively paralysed.

However, Chiang Kai Shek had something else on his mind. He arrived in Shanghai on 26th March. On April 2, 1927 he secretly organized Central Monitoring Committee in Shanghai, hired the criminal gangs and organized rightist groups to attack the CCP. While Chiang was preparing himself for this violent showdown, Comintern was busy in preaching for preservation of the United Front. Before the sunrise of April 12, the gangs attacked the districts under control of workers- Zhabei, Nanshi, and Pudong, wounding and killing the workers. Chiang Kai Shek passed an emergency decree, declaring the workers’ militias illegal and the 26th Army under him disarmed the workers, wounding more than 300. When workers and students protested against it, the Army opened fire killing more than hundred and wounding hundreds. Chiang banned CCP and all its organizations. 5000 went missing, more than thousand were taken prisoner and more than 300 were executed on the spot. Communists in Canton, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Nanking, Hangzhou and Changsha, were arrested and killed. On April 28, the communists taking refuge in Soviet Embassy in Beijing were also killed. Chiang’s troops alongwith other reactionary secret societies, roamed the streets of Shanghai, executing the workers on the spot. Workers, who had applauded Chiang only few days back, were not in a position to fight back the armed assault, so demonstrations were ineffective. No preparations were made to arm the working class, even though Chinese communists were alarmed by Chiang’s refusal to support the workers’ uprising. Days before the Shanghai massacre, Comintern and Chiang were exchanging fraternal pleasantries. On 6th April, Stalin had expressed confidence in KMT and Chiang, saying that they cannot do otherwise except to carry assault against Imperialism. Chiang had deliberately kept his armies away from fighting the Imperialists and warlords in Shanghai, hoping to negotiate with them after the workers were crushed. When workers won the battle, Chiang led his army against them, into Shanghai. Chiang declared a new Government in Nanking, in opposition to the Nationalist government in Wuhan.

Northern Expedition, as Trotsky predicted much in advance, culminated into an expedition of bourgeoisie against the Proletariat. Trotsky still called for reversal of policy, demanding a war against bourgeois-nationalist KMT.

Still, fantasy of Stalinists about the united front with KMT, was far from over.

Stalin first kept silent on Shanghai coup, and then started to shift the blame elsewhere. Stalinists started to accuse in meetings the workers for committing ‘excesses’ provoking Chiang Kai Shek thereby.

On 27.4.1927, Comintern held a meeting of its Executive Committee, on China. M.N. Roy reported from China that the coup has strengthened the bonds between left KMT and CCP. Thus, the United Front was to continue now under the banner of KMT as ‘bloc of four classes’ with only change that the right KMT now under Chiang Kai Shek was to be replaced with left KMT under Wang Ching Wei and the government in Wuhan led by him. This was exactly the line adopted at the 5th congress of the CCP. Now Wang, instead of Chiang, was the great revolutionary leader, and communists must submit now to its discipline and domination as before Chiang, while Wang and Chiang both remaining inside the same party-KMT. The policy of Stalin thus remained unaltered. Trotsky severely criticised Roy’s report and demanded immediate withdrawal from KMT, which went unheard. Chen Tu Shiu, also sent report supporting withdrawal from KMT. But Bukharin, the then Chairman of Comintern, criticised the recommendation for withdrawal, advocating for continuance of work inside KMT, this time under Wang Ching Wei. CCP was now commanded to join the left wing of KMT under Wang Ching Wei and submit to its discipline. CCP was made to enter into the coalition Government under left KMT, with its seat at Wuhan in South China, with two Communist Ministers-Peng Shu Tse and Tang Ping Shan, as ministers for labour and agriculture.

This was the same Wang who had refused to move against Chiang at the time of Shanghai coup. Trotsky argued against relying upon the left-KMT, and called for organisation of Workers’ Soviets as the chief organ of proletarian power, ahead of the uprisings themselves. But Stalin declared, “the revolutionary KMT in Wuhan by a determined fight against militarism and Imperialism will in fact be converted into an organ of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry”. Similar things were being said about Chiang just two months before. Instead of Chiang, now Wang was being named as leader of the revolution. In any case CCP was to tail itself behind the bourgeois KMT. After the right wing, now it was the turn for its left. Rules to be applied were same- No agrarian revolution, no anti-KMT agitation, no excesses, no provocation. CCP Ministers were used to hold back the workers and peasants from revolution itself, instead of pulling the government to the left. Minister of labour was used to abort the strikes while the Minister of Agriculture was made to order firing upon the peasants seizing the lands of landlords. Revolution was once again paralysed. The idea of organizing Soviets, advanced by Trotsky, was mocked at by the Stalinists saying that Soviets can be organised only at the eve of uprising, and according to them, there was no such revolutionary situation in China.

The eve of revolution in China, however caught the Stalinists unaware, and the Chinese proletariat without the necessary drill.

Stalinists continued in their slumber, till Wang Ching Wei, also carried out a similar anti-communist coup in Changsha in Hunan province on 21.5.1927, before abandoning Wuhan, and the irreparable damage was inflicted, once again. This time by left KMT.

On 25.5.1927, Trotsky again warned that Chiang and Wang are the sides of the same coin, both are natural friends being agency of Chinese Bourgeoisie and that both are avowed enemies of working class. Trotsky now officially dissociated himself from the policy of Stalin in the meeting of Comintern (Second Speech on Chinese Question). Trotsky repeatedly warned against violent repression at the hands of Wang. But the same fell on deaf ears of Stalinist bureaucracy.

On 15.7.1927, Wang carried out bloodbath of communists, and brutally crushed the labour movement in Wuhan. The armies of Wang butchered a whole peasant army led by CCP around Wuhan, arrested CCP leaders and expelled all communists from KMT. This was the gift to Stalin from left KMT, which Stalin was terming as the organ of revolutionary democratic dictatorship. Proletariat was badly wounded and was bleeding profusely.

Chapter XII

Instead of accepting defeat and instead of changing the orientation and strategy, Stalin boasted before the 15th Congress of the Russian Communist Party in December 1927, that the Chinese revolution was not defeated but had moved to a higher plane. Trotsky said that the revolution stood completely crushed, both CCP and the labour organisations were destroyed and that a period of counter revolution had set in. On the contrary, Stalin now said that the time was now ripe for leaving KMT (after communists were already expelled from KMT!) and the time had come to organise uprisings of workers. Trotsky opposed this putschist policy, vehemently. Trotsky said that at the time when revolution was already crushed, the uprisings were merely a misadventure of extreme nature and a bureaucratic fantasy, aimed at concealing the disastrous consequences of the capitulationist line of Stalin, hitherto applied.

Trotsky warned that the Chinese working class, already defeated and crushed, would not be able to afford this bureaucratic luxury. He called for patience, saying that necessary preparations should be made for armed uprisings, keeping the uprising themselves in abeyance for the time being. Trotsky suggested arming and organisation of the workers on mass scale through Soviets, as a condition precedent for successful uprising.

The voice of left opposition once again went unheard. The Stalinists were in extraordinary haste to cover up their criminal past of collaboration with KMT which had led to total annihilation of revolution in China by then, with some miraculous victory. Stalinists were not in a mood to spare any time for making preparations. Chinese Proletariat was thus forced into the gamble of armed insurrection, against all odds. As history showed, the consequences were disastrous.

The uprisings were doomed to fail and they failed, but only after taking very big toll upon the working class. In the coming four months, from August to December during which the puschist policy was applied, the armed revolutionaries and advanced workers still alive, were completely eliminated, as the mass of workers remained passive due to its demoralisation in earlier debacles. First in Nanchung Uprising, then in Hunan-Hupeh harvest uprising, then in Haifing Soviet Movement and finally in the Canton insurrection in December 1927, one defeat followed by other, inflicting immeasurable damages. Six thousand revolutionaries were butchered by KMT in Canton alone. Surviving potential of the CCP, after Shanghai massacre, to go underground and re-organise the workers and peasants was now completely destroyed. The revolution which had suffered crushing defeat in April 1927, due to capitulationist and tailist policy of Stalin, was now killed completely through putchism and misadventures. CCP acting directly under the commands of Comintern, was virtually forced to commit suicide, as Chen Tu Shiu, its leader, conceded thereafter in his open Appeal.

As the events themselves revealed, not only the uprisings were called at the most inopportune moment, when the morale of the Proletariat, already mauled and wounded, was at its lowest ebb, but also no serious preparations were undertaken to ensure the success of the uprisings. Above all, no Soviets were elected among the Proletariat to consolidate the power and to become the organ of revolution. In Canton, a Soviet was conjured up out of the thin air, to be appointed from above at the eve of uprising, instead of electing it among the workers and permitting it time to earn legitimacy among the Proletariat. Consequently, it failed to play any role in the uprising. It was clear that the leadership had not undertaken the preparations seriously, rather had played at the insurrection.

However, despite the opportunism of its leadership, the Chinese proletariat showed unprecedented heroism, during Canton uprising. With the battle-cry against its class enemies, “Down with Kuomintang”, it trampled underfoot the emblem and flags of bourgeois-nationalists. Imperialists and warlords were driven out of Canton by the proletariat. Canton remained in the hands of Proletariat for four days, before proletariat was butchered by the armies of Chiang with the weapons supplied by Comintern.

In fact, the revolution did not fail, but was aborted at the hands of Stalinist bureaucracy. The crushing failures of 1927 still could have been used as a lesson, though at a very high price, to dissociate from the policy of class collaboration, but Stalinists still did not care. Instead of having a review of their servile and capitulationist policy in its entirety, Stalinists triggered the dirty blame game against those who questioned their policy.

After destroying CCP, Wang Ching Wei, fled to Europe, abandoning Wuhan to be taken over by Chiang. In June 1928, the warlord capital-Beijing, was also captured by Chiang’s army. Another massacre of communists and workers was then carried out in Tsinan.

Chapter XIII

In 1928, Trotsky was expelled from Russian Communist Party and then from Comintern, and was ultimately exiled from Russia. In 1929, Chinese Communist Party was also purged of all supporters of left opposition. Putting whole blame of the mess of 1927 on Chen Tu Shiu, for a crime for which he was in no way responsible, the Comintern expelled him in 1929 from the CCP, the party which he had founded.

Trotsky rightly claimed that Stalin was truly the gravedigger of the second Chinese Revolution. From beginning to the end, the Comintern under Stalin, remained saturated with illusions about the political character and position of colonial bourgeoisie. Its wrong assumption of weakness of Proletariat as a class, pushed it to the arms of Chinese bourgeoisie under the slogan –‘bloc of four classes’. It Recognized the KMT, under bourgeois domination, as embodiment for the ‘bloc of four classes’ and thus the only body for carrying out the ‘National Democratic Revolution’.

After missing the shots, the CCP misled and confused the working class and peasantry and finally pushed them to the knell of death. Having subordinated the Chinese working class to bourgeoisie, it put brakes on revolution, supported reactionary generals of bourgeois KMT, now the right KMT and then the left, prevented the appearance of Soviets, and liquidated those which appeared. Chen Tu Shiu, its leader at that time, later admitted that, “I decisively recognise that the objective conditions were second in importance as the cause of the failure of the last Chinese revolution. The main cause was the error of opportunism, the error of our policy in dealings with Kuomintang”.

The story of aborted proletarian revolution in China on the one hand is the story of unprecedented dare of young proletariat which took to itself the task of carrying out a revolutionary transformation of China, against all odds, but failed due to bankruptcy of its nationalist bureaucratic leadership, while on the other it is also narrative of the misdeeds of its leadership which forced the young proletariat to commit suicide. Taking advantage of their stranglehold over Comintern, unfortunately, Stalinists gained upper hand in China in absence of a revolutionary opposition. They ordered the Chinese Proletariat to march to the valley of death and then usurped its place at the head of peasant wars to steal the march to power in bureaucratic overturn of 1949.

After crushing of the Canton Uprising in December 1927, the proletariat had gone into shades of history, disabled for the time being to march at the head of the revolution in China and provide it the leadership. A period of short lull thus set in. But the Chinese peasantry, crushed under double yoke of medievalism and Imperialism, by then itself was in dire need for a real revolution. On its own, peasantry could not have set a revolution in motion at national level, it could only have brought sporadic uprisings, which it was already doing. These uprisings, however, needed to be consolidated on a national level into a real revolutionary upheaval. Proletariat, the natural executor and leader of this process, due to its decimation after its crushing in Canton, was not in a position to perform this historic task. Deprived of the natural leadership of the proletariat, the peasantry needed another force to consolidate its actions on the national level. The bureaucracy, which had organised itself under the banner of CCP by then, succeeded in winning over the confidence of rebellious peasantry, through deception, by posing itself to be the legitimate heir of Chinese proletariat, whose heroic actions in Chinese cities in recent past, were fresh in the memory of peasant mass. Bureaucracy also succeeded in claiming to its credit, the Great October Revolution in Russia. Using this camouflage, the bureaucracy first established its hegemony over the peasant wars already ongoing since long time in remote rural areas, aligned them under its command, raising an Army, and rode to power in 1949.

Though the working class was crushed in cities, yet the heroic battles it had fought against its enemies, irrespective of the blunders of its leadership, were sufficient and bound to shake up the peasantry from its slumber, the proletarian tide of the past continued to spread in waves in the peripheral remote peasant regions of the country. The heroic actions of city proletariat, continued for a long time to find their belated echo in the form of sporadic peasant uprisings, against the power of local and foreign oppressors, in the vast and underdeveloped territories of China.

After 1927 devastation, which had completely uprooted the Chinese CP as a political Party, the surviving cadres, escaped to rural regions of China to save their lives. Those who had fled the cities in the wake of counter-revolution, carried with them the stories of heroic action of the city proletariat and spread it into peasantry.

The retreat of CCP from cities to the rural areas, leaving the cities under control and domination of the KMT and the city proletariat at the mercy of bourgeoisie, led to a virtual divorce between the Chinese CP and the proletariat. Instead of fighting for reversal of defeats suffered by it because of incorrect orientation of its leadership, the CCP adapted itself to those defeats, abandoned all the work among city proletariat leaving it to suffer its own destiny and beat the retreat into rural regions. It then placed itself directly at the head of rural petty bourgeois peasantry, instead of taking its leadership through proletariat.

Work in cities, as well the urban proletariat, were consciously abandoned, leaving the cities and their proletariat without leadership and under terrorist dictatorship of KMT. Under the new strategy, rural peasantry was declared to be the revolutionary class capable on its own to accomplish the democratic revolution in China, without leadership of the urban proletariat as a class. Small peasant bands were then organised into varied formations of peasant armies, which continued engagement in partisan warfare.

After complete destruction of the old CCP, at the hands of Stalinists, the party started to be re-organised under direct command of Stalinist Comintern, exclusively from the peasantry-the rural petty bourgeoisie, instead of the Proletariat. It continued to swell its ranks from among the peasant cadres, distancing more and more from its earlier proletarian base and composition. More it associated itself with peasantry, the more it dissociated itself from the working class. Through the purges designed in the aftermath of the tragic failure of revolution, Comintern harnessed the CCP as a bureaucratic apparatus, with a self serving motive. Within no time CCP emerged again as a full-fledged bureaucratic apparatus, with make-up of a peasant party in its slogans, appearance and composition. To be able to place itself at the head of rebellious Chinese peasantry, the bureaucracy needed to claim to its credit the heroic legacy of City Proletariat, which was though destroyed as a political force by the bureaucracy itself. Thus, it took to the red banner and the name of Chinese CP, and thereby deceiving the peasantry to follow its lead, succeeded in placing itself directly at the head of peasant armies. This CCP was now totally different from the original CCP, and was more a bureaucratic machine subservient to Stalinist Comintern, rather than a political party.

Bureaucracy easily succeeded in its cunning  maneuver, as the legitimate claimant of this leadership of agrarian revolution, the city Proletariat, was completely crushed by December 1927, and was thus unable to consolidate itself to provide leadership to widespread peasant unrest. Thus, the time was most conducive for the Stalinist bureaucracy to push down the proletariat from the political stage, and take advantage of the situation by consolidating itself into an apparatus like machine in place of it, in the name of CCP, under the red banner of Marxism which could claim great moral authority and prestige being the banner of victorious proletariat in Russian Revolution and the banner of recent militant struggle of Chinese proletariat itself.

New CCP was re-organised and swelled in size during the period of a general decline of revolution, victory of the counter-revolution and complete destruction of the Chinese Proletariat. Trotsky wrote in “The Chinese Question after the Sixth Congress” on October 4, 1928, that ‘after losing its proletarian nucleus, the CCP did not remain in conformity with its historic destiny’. What survived was the banner of old CCP, under which bureaucracy organised itself in the name of CCP, which completely abandoned the cities and proletariat both. At the time of its coming into power in 1949, the party had a total membership of 3.5 million, of which hardly not even one percent was proletarian. The new CCP adapted itself to the defeats of Proletariat, by abandoning it.

And in what way contradiction between the class composition of CCP, recruited mainly from petty-bourgeois peasantry on the one hand and its Red banner –the banner of Revolutionary proletariat, on the other hand, was resolved by the bureaucracy? It was resolved by it by imposing itself as a bureaucratic supra-class organisation in the name of CCP, holding balance among the four classes and thereby depriving both the Proletariat and the Peasantry, of any actual role, power or authority, inside the Chinese CP. This, by logical corollary, meant that the role of the CCP was now to maintain the equilibrium among the different social classes, a political status-quo by holding back the proletariat and the peasantry from advancing against the combined forces of Bourgeoisie and landlords, i.e. the KMT. This apparently opportunist policy was executed by CCP under the class collaborationist slogan of –‘bloc of four classes’, in which even the balance continued to be held by bourgeois leaders like Chiang and Wang, with CCP doing its cherished ‘coolie service’ in it.

For historic reason also, the bureaucracy did not find it difficult to have its foothold over the peasant wars in China. The Chinese society as a whole, customarily, had a slavish adherence to the bureaucratic rule, as the dynastic empire in China, for centuries together, had ruled through a network of civil servants. The bureaucracy, thus, had to its service, both a long standing tradition, and a settled taste for it, in the Chinese society, which had become accustomed to follow a tailor-made structure of command. The proletariat, which was bound to rebel against the bureaucratic rule, was pacified by its untimely uprooting, by the disastrous policy of Comintern-alternating between capitulation and misadventures.

The Chinese proletariat, badly destroyed at the hands of Stalinist Comintern in 1927, continued to be pushed back by Chinese bureaucracy through  maneuvers, and was prevented from consolidating itself in opposition to bureaucracy. In absence of Proletariat, which was the only legitimate claimant for the leadership of Chinese nation, the bureaucracy seized the opportunity for itself. While deliberately keeping the working class at bay, first, the bureaucracy with red banner in its hands, got itself at the head of the peasant war, established its domination over it, and then got itself catapulted to power in 1949 overturn, using the peasant war as a lever to capture the power.

Chapter XIV

Those who could escape from cities of Shanghai and Canton, after the defeat of insurrection, took shelter in Hunan, Shanwei and Kiangsi, where peasant movement were started and armed bands were organized in larger formations, to establish a guerilla army with temporary base. Till 1931-34, Kiangsi Soviet existed as the seat of CCP, with an area under its control of more than 30,000 sq. kms.

KMT then launched five encirclement campaigns, one after the other, against these bases prepared by CCP amongst peasant regions. First four were fought away by peasantry, but the fifth, inflicted very heavy casualties, and was ready to annihilate all forces of CCP and Kinagsi Soviet. All attempts to break off the cordon to escape, failed after taking heavy toll. Top leaders and big formations were annihilated while attempting to escape. Escape became possible only as the secret military plan (the iron bucket plan) prepared by Chiang was leaked to CCP, by one of the KMT high official, Mo Xiong, who was sympathetic to revolutionary cause. Disguising himself as a beggar en-route to CCP headquarter inside the KMT ring, he delivered the secret plan to CCP. The CCP then planned to abandon the base region and retreat in long march to escape the annihilation. The long march, started on October 16, 1934, after a force of 1,30,000 strong, carried out surprise attack at KMT lines at Yudu, broke it successfully and marched out of the KMT ring. The escape took the KMT forces by surprise, who arrived the region after 16 days of the escape, with full preparations for total annihilation of CCP.

It though, was not a single march but in fact several formations had marched through separate routes from south to north and west. Long march concluded in October 1935, with different formations arriving in Yenan in Shaanxi, at different times. Of the 86,000 who proceeded on the march only about 7,000 could survive, including the new recruits during the march. Nine tenth forces perished in one year. In Yenan, fresh recruits again reinforced the armies, which now organized themselves as regular formations of red armies.

Though as a peasant war, this civil war in China, fought between 1930-37, had a progressive character on the side of the peasantry, being a war fought against the bourgeoisie and landlords, but as a peasant war only, that too under the command of Stalinist bureaucracy, instead of the Proletariat. The civil war was devoid of any revolutionary perspective and was doomed to fail as a revolutionary war capable of triggering a social revolution in China. However, bureaucracy itself was not interested to trigger a social revolution in China.

Chapter XV

However, in Japanese invasion of China, the CCP once again found the opportunity to extend its friendly embrace to the nationalists. Second United front was struck between KMT-CCP to fight the foreign invasion, again with domination of KMT and Chiang as its leader. In relation to war, the policy of bureaucracy was again saturated with collaborationism. Bureaucracy presented the invasion as a national event confronting all the social classes in China in the same way, devoid of its class refraction. This was to further reinforce its policy of collaboration with Chinese bourgeoisie, this time in the name of National war against Japan. CCP forced the peasantry to stop agrarian movement against the landlords including seizure of lands inside rural China. Trotsky vehemently opposed it saying that the war against foreign invasion in no way diminishes the class contradictions in China, but flares them up to their zenith. He advocated deepening of class struggle, instead of its abandonment. In his work ‘The Chinese Revolution and the Thesis of Comrade Stalin’ Trotsky wrote-‘Imperialist yoke is being supposed to serve as justification for the policy of bloc of four classes. To proceed from an abstract conception of National oppression, without its class refraction in China, would be false’. He warned that Proletariat is the only consistent fighter against national oppression, while all sections of bourgeoisie, are connected to Imperialism through so many strings and thus would dwindle in struggle. Very first assault of Japan on nationalist Capital Nanking in Decemebr 1937, endorsed this prognosis of Trotsky. This assault which went down in history as ‘rape of Nanking’, succeeded with little resistance of two days only, after the bourgeois-nationalist armies of KMT flew from Nanking, leaving the people open to brutalities of Fascist invaders. The assault counted –more than one lakh men murdered and one lakh women raped. Japan took control of China and CCP stopped all class struggle.

Japanese occupation continued in China till the end of WW-II, resulting in eventual defeat of the Axis forces and surrender of Japan, after atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Russian forces entered Manchuria, the most industrialized part of Chinese territory, ousted Japanese, seized their weaponry and took the control. Another important consequence of WW-II, was the extreme weakening of KMT in continuous engagement with Japanese armies. Added advantage was the exposure of the corruption and misdeeds of KMT officers, including its collaboration with Japanese Imperialists, before Chinese people, during more than a decade. This all, made it convenient for the CCP to take power in its hands, with the help of Soviet Union. The arms seized from Japanese in Manchuria, were given by Soviet Union to the Red army under CCP, to fight KMT. Though it was apparently clear that the motivating factor behind this aid, was simply the national interest of Russian bureaucracy, which could have hardly afforded presence of the power of KMT, friendly to US and thus potentially hostile to it, alongside its extensive southern borders. On its side, United States saw no prospects at that time in continuing with the very costly aid to armies of KMT as the Soviet bureaucracy itself was ready to do everything to doubly assure the bourgeois states, that it stands no more for the perspective of world revolution. KMT had to leave China to cross over to Taiwan, where it found its new seat. Thus, came the CCP to power in 1949, with Mao Tse Tung as Premier.

Chapter XVI

When Mao-Tse-Tung himself proclaimed the foundation of Peoples’ Republic of China, on October 1, 1949, at Tiananmen Square, he made no mention of the dictatorship of proletariat. Rather, he conceived the overturn as achievement of ‘Chinese People’, instead of the world proletariat. Following the bogus concepts of ‘stagism’ and ‘multi-class democratic dictatorship’, power was assumed in the name of ‘bloc of four classes’, which included Chinese bourgeois. In this coalition, proletariat however was to remain mute spectator, and the bureaucracy to be the master of all, being the balance holder among the conflicting interests of different social classes.

Bureaucracy had come to power in China in 1949, not as an agency of world socialist revolution but as a balance-holder among the antagonistic interests of various national classes in China. While getting power in the name of ‘bloc of four classes’, it deliberately shut its eyes towards the antagonistic class position of different classes.

The regime of this bureaucracy, established in 1949 in China, after the peasant armies led by Mao-Tse-Tung overthrew the US backed Nationalist government of Chiang, represented a power, bourgeois in nature, basing itself primarily upon the fictitious ‘bloc of four classes’, instead of proletariat. This Bonapartist regime, deceptively painted in red, consciously preserved various forms of capitalism instead of destroying them, and ultimately grew over to full-fledged agency of world capitalist order. It fought with Chiang’s KMT and defeated it, not because of its class hostility to it, but as the national interests of Soviet bureaucracy so demanded, which was in control of CCP. The Russian bureaucracy could not have afforded to tolerate the presence of a US backed regime next door to it. Both the regimes- Soviet as well as Chinese- had adopted a purely nationalist outlook, in opposition to proletarian internationalism. Relationship between Russia and China, itself, was determined by purely nationalist considerations, like their relations to other countries of the world. Their friendships, as well as conflicts with each other and the rest of the world were inspired and depended upon only these narrow national considerations. Mao-Nixon friendship, at the height of mayhem by US in Vietnam, is the burning example of it. None of the two, even dreamed about the world proletarian revolution, rather engaged themselves only in the defence of their national regimes.

And how this regime dealt with the Proletariat after the power fell to its hands? The bureaucracy, from the very inception did not permit the proletariat or even the peasantry to carry forward the revolution. Blanket ban was imposed on workers’ strikes, not only in the nationalized enterprises but in private too. It blatantly denied any improvement in wage structure, rather demanded from workers surplus labour for added working hours, on the pretext to raise ‘national productivity’. By a decree, it forbade the efforts of the workers to seize the industrial and commercial lands of landlords. In ultimate land distribution, it was the same previous landowners, who as if by way of a fiction, got back the best lands for their use. Relying upon the apparatus of the party and the Red Army, the Maoist bureaucracy blocked all initiative of the working people, asking them to become mute spectator of its deeds. When it failed to persuade, it used force for compliance. It crushed the resistance wherever it came. Proletariat, when resisted the policy, was fired upon and whole massacres were carried out.

Changes which were carried out, after 1949 overturn, were strictly confined to the bourgeois framework, having no proletarian edge at all. Very big bourgeois enterprises were only nationalized, consciously sparing the middle and small. In countryside, peasant movement was thwarted from taking more lands. This confirmed the prediction of Trotsky that the third Chinese revolution either would come as a Proletarian revolution or no revolution at all. The coming into power of bureaucracy in China in 1949, virtually proved abortive of the impending social revolution. The regime of bureaucracy did never attempt to overstep the bourgeois framework, to take to proletarian path.

Chapter XVII

But, the ball of history could not have rested on the top head of the social pyramid for long. The emancipation of productive forces during more than two decades of civil war and fight against foreign aggression in China, in the background of the immense advance of world capitalism, in the aftermath of World War-II, unleashed a rapid growth of Capitalism, through the changed relations of production. This naturally swelled the ranks of middle classes and provoked wild petty bourgeois aspirations inside them. As petty-bourgeoisie continued to grow, its upper layers developed a strong aspiration for Capitalist road and apathy for proletarian path. Chinese bureaucracy became the agency to serve the interests of this new bourgeois class in China.

Strong resistance came from lower rungs of the Society, also, especially from the proletarian layers, which smelled the bourgeois nature of new regime and still more strong bourgeois currents hidden inside the party and the Government. The party itself, due to its petty-bourgeois composition, started to dwindle and was torn apart by a developed political crisis. The leaders of various factions, inside the CCP, however, used this antagonism among social classes and the general unrest among the mass, to settle their factional accounts with each other. The factional struggle inside the party, which did not reflect or correspond to the antagonism among the social classes of its time, dominated the party, while the party continued to alienate itself from the working people and developed more and more to an apparatus based on command structure.

Adhering to the model of Stalinist Russia, the 1949 regime in China, imbued with a nationalist perspective, instead of focusing upon destruction of World Capitalism, took to building of Socialism in China, a country dominated by peasantry. Very soon it became clear that the far backward productive forces in China even as compared to Russia, what to say of the advanced Capitalist West, would not permit the making of Socialism in China by itself, unless the revolution is spread to the advanced Capitalist countries of the West. But the Maoist regime, instead of realising its mistake and making a retreat towards the perspective of World Proletarian Revolution, persisted in the bogus Stalinist project of building Socialism in one country, in isolation to the World Proletarian Revolution.

In its zeal to achieve the farcical target of building of Socialism in China, which according to it could not be achieved through ordinary economic and political measures, it made the Chinese proletariat and peasantry, the scapegoat for its cynical projects. First it resorted to blind cooperatisation, which failed in no time. Then was launched the purely bureaucratic project- The Great Leap Forward, in 1958, setting the target before itself to surpass the industrial tempo of US and Britain by 1972. As was destined beforehand, the Great Leap Forward proved to be a real Great Leap backward. The move badly failed. Economy was shattered and China lost what it could achieve even after the 1949 overturn. The failure of the Great Leap, an apparent misadventure of Maoist bureaucracy, was a virtual jolt not only for Maoists but for China as a whole. But instead of making a review of its strategic positions, the bureaucracy still persisted in its cocoon. It now started the peoples’ communes, which could gather no moss and were dismantled.

The failure of Bureaucracy in touching upon even the lowest levels of World Capitalism of its times, leave aside the Socialism, resulted in its general degradation in the eyes both of its friends and foes. Factional conflicts inside the party were accelerated further. Maoism was degrading itself by virtue of its failures whenever an application of the same was made. Sino-Soviet conflict arose after Khrushchev tried to wash off his hands from the failures of Chinese bureaucracy. Mao in turn started to criticise Khrushchev as revisionist.

In its zeal, to find a way out of the situation, where the party bureaucracy, unfolding itself by that time as agency of Capitalism, stood totally degraded in the eyes of working people, who eventually showed a rebellious mood against bureaucratic degradation, a new  maneuver was started in the name of ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’. Instead of changing its perspective, even now, to that of the World Proletarian Revolution, as the left oppositionists had advanced against Stalin, the Chinese Stalinists devoted themselves this time to start what they termed as ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’ in China, a country dominated overwhelmingly by the illiterate peasantry. To execute this cultural revolution, schools, colleges and universities were closed down for more than four years, thereby depriving the populace now even of literacy. Libraries were burnt down and literature destroyed. This obviously was an absurdity and stupidity at its extreme.

This venture also utterly failed. After ‘Great Leap’ it was ‘Great Cultural Revolution’ which had completely failed. Both the attempts of bureaucracy to deviate the loaded train of Capitalism from its tracks, met with no success at all. But they succeeded in yet other motive. During this entire period, purges continued to take place where the Chinese Stalinists taking advantage of the unconscious mass unrest, used the same against the left oppositionists and against each other, as well.

The meltdown however continued, and the flames of peasant upheavals were doused by bureaucratic froth of ‘actually existing socialism’, starting a march to capitalism under the banner of Socialism. With passage of time, both the Red flag and the Red Armies vanished into thin air, clearing the way for unbridled Capitalism, which holds sway in China of today.

When the mass of the people in China demanded freedom from the stranglehold of bureaucratic regime, by now fully integrated with world Capitalism, they met with violent repression at the hands of Chinese bureaucracy, then under Deng Xiao Ping. Tienanmen was the reply of Chinese bureaucracy to the people, the same Tiananmen which witnessed the start of 4th May movement in 1919. It goes without saying that Deng Xiaoping and the capitalist roaders like him, who made it to top positions in the party and the Government headed by it, did not come as a bolt from the blue, but were nurtured inside the shell of the party itself, which held the red Banner in its hands only to deceive the toiling masses. Deng Xiaoping was the true inheritor of Mao regime.


Pursuing its collaborationist policy, Stalin dissolved the Comintern in June 1943, to appease and assure the capitalist leaders of the world of his collaborationist intentions. The world party of revolution – the third international – formed by Lenin and Trotsky, with avowed objective ‘to wipe out Capitalism from the face of the earth’ was thus annihilated by the epigones of Leninism. 

Trotsky who was expelled from CPSU, was then banished from Soviet Union and then ousted from Comintern in 1928, continued his fight from within and then without the Comintern. After Hitler rose to power in Germany, Trotsky and the left oppositionists found their struggle inside the Comintern to be insufficient and formed the Fourth International with the objective to fight fascism, Imperialism and Stalinism.

The destiny of Trotskyism had remained inseparably bound with the tides and ebbs of the wave of world proletarian revolution. It staged an upsurge with tides of December 1905, February 1917 and October 1917. It relegated to the background, only with low ebbs in the proletarian revolutions around 1920’s. Contrary to it, Stalinism, the reactionary tendency, leaned towards the right-reaction of movement. Its rise and fall remained inversely proportional to the rise and fall of the world proletariat. It had emerged and taken ground, in the background of the defeats suffered by the world proletariat around 1920’s, while its destruction started and continued with crisis of world imperialism, spiraling since 1991. Stalinism had come to existence as product of an adaptation between the bureaucracy and reactionary nationalism, in opposition to the idea of proletarian internationalism. Both bureaucracy and nationalist perspective had simultaneously emerged in Soviet Union, complementary to each other, as a result of demoralization of the world proletariat after the temporary debacles of 1920’s, which could have been reversed very soon, if a consistent Internationalist policy would have been adopted.

Trotsky’s critique of the Comintern and CCP, from 1925 till 1940, presents an insightful and eye-opening account of the true nature and role of the Comintern under Stalin. It passes like a golden thread through the unfortunate story of Chinese Revolution where the young Chinese Proletariat, which performed heroic action in Chinese Cities, was butchered at the hands of its enemies, because of the bogus policies of Comintern - alternating between capitulation and putschism. Writings of Trotsky show how the Stalinist bureaucracy taking advantage of destruction of proletariat at its own hands, placed itself at the head of peasant wars and rode to power in 1949. The theory of permanent revolution, as against the reactionary formula of ‘two stage theory’, thus received but a negative confirmation in what can be termed as a monstrous revolutionary catastrophe- the abortion of Chinese revolution.

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