Chronicles of a revolution (11)

Opportunist (dogmatic, eclectic, sectarian, reformist,  pseudo-”Marxist” ...) analyse which is not been FOUGHT INSIDE the Communist Party (by “the struggle between two lines”) is serving the same BOURGEOIS and imperialist class-interests as the misleading “anti-imperialist” “internationalist” “revolutionary” rhetoric CONSCIOUSLY developed out of a BOURRGEOIS class-position in order to PREVENT the workers from overthrowing capitalism and the imperialist colonialist production-relations.

“As the winter of 1925 yielded to the spring, one by one the Communist positions were being eroded away. The great mass protests of 1925 throughout China had shown that it was no longer possible for foreign interests to hold China down by a show of military force, by gunboats on rivers or the shooting of demonstrators. The fear that all China would 'go up in flames' and 'become red' now pervaded Western business in China.
Chinese businessmen were assiduously wooded by British, American and other financial conglomerates. There were renewed promised of taking up the question of Chinese tariff rights and extra-territoriality (because of the unequal treaties of 1922 imposed since 1842[1]). The Washington Conference of 1922 had promised to 'look into the matter', but nothing had been done. Now a solemn declaration was issued to the Chinese merchants that tariff autonomy would be restored to China by 1 January 1930. Other lures were dangled before Chinese businessmen to wean them away from 'the Reds'. Suddenly British bankers and taipans[2] became 'concerned' about Chinese culture. 'Save the priceless heritage of China's ancient civilisation,' they clamoured. The Western community of Shanghai even did an unprecedented thing; it actually invited to dinner, at the Majestic Hotel, representatives of the Shanghai Chinese business community. 'The first time in history ... any such gathering has taken place,’ crowed the Anglo-American-owned China Weekly Review. At this dinner the American chairman of Shanghai's Foreign Municipal Council begged the countermeasures against Bolshevism. He asked: 'Why not take advantage of the extreme credulousness of the Chinese working classes .... take advantage of it for their goods and for ours.' he suggested that the Chinese businessmen present would make better 'leaders' of the Chinese society than these ' mad ... rebels’. Three weeks later, again making history, three Chinese members were admitted to the all-European Shanghai Municipal Council, which ran the International Settlement.
Through businessmen, secret societies, through a thousand and one strands of guile and corruption, seduction and deceit, approaches were made to all and sundry in Kuangchow. Foreign interests were then reassured by the secret societies, many of whose members were also agents of the European police in China, that 'our man' in Kuangchow would take care of the Communists when time came. That man was Chiang Kai-shek.[3]

OBJECTIVELY serving SAME class-interests: Reformists and Bourgeoisie
“Yet when Chiang stepped on the platform of the Third All-China Labour Federation Conference held in Kuangchow at the end of May 1926 ( with Liu Shao-chi and Li Li-san in charge), which represented 400 unions and 1.240.000 workers, of whom 800.000 had taken part in more than 200 political and economic strikes in the preceding year, he sounded wholeheartedly left. 'The  worker-peasant masses ... have swept away all counter-revolutionaries and consolidated the basis of the national government ... From this one can see that the workers and peasants are already able to fight imperialism with their own forces, without reliance upon the forces in the army,' said Commander-in-Chief Chiang Kai-shek, greeted with thunderous applause by the workers there. Chiang then clenched his fist and shouted: ’Long live the world revolution!' To anyone versed in Chinese ways of doing things, Chiang was warning his own adherents that the workers were still too strong; the comedy must be played a little longer. As Mao Tsetung said then: 'Chiang Kai-shek speaks well. Let us see what he will do.' What Chiang was doing was actually very clear. He was’ curbing' Communist influence.
On 15 May 1926, at the KMT Central Executive Committee plenary session, Chiang had introduced a special resolution to 'readjust party affairs'. It was designed to limit the role of Communists in the KMT party and its organisations. A complete list of all CCP members who were also KMT members was to furnished to him; directing posts in the KMT should not go to Communists; all instructions issued by the CCP to its own members were to be submitted first for approval to him. The response of the CCP leadership was abject. Chiang also asked to be apprised of all messages and directives of the Comintern to the CCP. Mao was the only one present to voice dissent. (...)
The KMT was being transformed from a nationalist party with revolutionary elements to a counter-revolutionary instrument in the hands of a military dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. From that time Chen Tu-hsiu, in fact if not in word, abdicated leadership in the united front, the Revolution, and even in the CCP. From that time the Northern Expedition to unify China was being subverted to become a military campaign to launch Chiang's rule.[4]

The First United Front was no mistake! It was the opportunist BETRAYAL which was wrong
“For decades controversy has rage over this First United Front policy of 1924-7.It has been asserted that Leon Trotsky, with his warnings of betrayal and his demands that the CCP 'come out of the KMT' and disrupt the united front, was right, while Stalin's recommendation to preserve the united front was wrong and led to the massacres.
There is no doubt that Stalin was not only misinformed on the Chinese Revolution but never understood its complexity. The Comintern, in its resolutions and directives, would become increasingly out of touch, and especially out of time, with the situation. But this does not make Trotsky's thesis correct. The 'left' of the CCP, like Chang Kuo-tao, followed Trotsky in their clamour  for a rupture of the united front; but a rupture of the united front would not cure the weakness within the Communist Party; it would have meant its extermination, and Chiang would then have brought in foreign troops to 'aid' in the liquidation. This would have meant the disintegration of the whole nationalist movement Sun Yatsen had given a lifetime to build up.
The substance of the matter was not the retention of the united front, but Chen Tu-hsiu's policy of capitulation, practically handing the leadership of the revolutionary movement to the counter-revolutionary leaders of the Kuomingtang. The importance of this United Front and this first betrayal, is precisely the lesson it gave to those capable of learning it.
Trotsky's condemnation of the united front was a repudiation of Lenin's thesis of 'temporary alliance' with bourgeois parties. Lenin had said in 1920 that the bourgeoisie would try to seize and keep control of the national revolutionary movements. However radical they sounded, they would betray and compromise with imperialism. Hence the Communist Party must preserve its own independence and keep the leadership of the workers and peasants in its hands. This strategy of the united front only Mao Tsetung seems to have understood. Ten years later, when the Second United Front was formed, he would hammer the terrible lesson of the first into the Chinese Communist Party.[5]

[1]    End of the first Opium War – the first unequal treaty imposed on China.
[2]    Big merchant princes – a word fallen into disuse since 1949.
[3] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[4] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890
[5] Out “The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution”, Han Suyin, http://www.amazon.com/morning-deluge-Tsetung-revolution-1893-1954/dp/0316342890

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