Prophets Unarmed: Chinese Trotskyists in Revolution, War, Jail, and the Return from Limbo (Historical Materialism)

Prophets Unarmed: Chinese Trotskyists in Revolution, War, Jail, and the Return from Limbo (Historical Materialism)

Language: English

Pages: 1269

ISBN: 1608465543

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Prophets Unarmed is an authoritative sourcebook on the Chinese Communist Party’s main early opposition, the Chinese Trotskyists. Opposed from Moscow by Stalin, and by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong in China, the Trotskyists were China’s most persecuted political party. Though harassed nearly out of existence their standpoints and proposals—reproduced here—are not without relevance to China’s present political moment. Drawing on dozens of oral history interviews with survivors, this study of Chinese Trotskyism is exhaustive and groundbreaking.

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at the time of his expulsion, that ‘democracy is a necessary instrument for any class that seeks to win the majority to its side’ and that suppressing dissident views would lead to a régime of bureaucratic centralism.57 Until Mao’s rise to power in the late 1930s, it was plagued by factionalism, both self-inflicted and imported. All its leaders after 1927 used methods learned from Moscow, plus some they invented independently, to resolve conflict and crush minority opinions. Each new candidate

found in Chinese translation in Tuoluociji 1947 [1927], pp. 36–53; the passage cited is on p. 47. This document is not in the Russian original, so it is not included in the supposedly definitive collection of Trotsky’s writings on China (Trotzki 1990). 10  Trotsky 1973 [1924], p. 8; Wang Fanxi 1990, pp. 14–15. Editor ’ s Introduction 5 centre purged of right-wing elements’. For several months, Wang Jingwei preserved the alliance with the Communists. Thousands of Communist survivors fled

Trotskyists are against the Guomindang, so you are friends of our Communist Party. You are poor, you should concentrate on survival. Don’t write any more of this kind of article. Find a proper job’. Zhou Lüqiang also said that the police told him the Trotskyists were the Communist Party’s friends, although they should stop their activities. This suggests that in the early days after Liberation, the prevailing view of the Trotskyists was relatively relaxed. On 22 December 1952, however, everything

Longyan wrote to tell us that they had led a demonstration of all the local primary schools and had set up a checkpoint for Japanese goods outside town on the road to Zhangzhou. They had also invaded the Chamber of Commerce, where they had banged on the table, brandished teacups, and sworn at the chairman. But we students in Zhangping had barely lifted a finger. True, pupils of the New People’s Primary School run by evangelists outside the West Gate marched into town on one occasion, and the

give the ratio between Peng’s followers and followers of the Zheng-Wang group among those arrested (Wang Fanxi, letter, February 9, 1994). 41  Chang Kuo-t’ao 1971–2, Volume 2, p. 115. 42  Ren Jianshu and Tang Baolin 1989, Volume 2, p. 65. 14 Benton means.43 Because of Chen’s special standing and the sympathy he enjoyed in all circles, the ccp treated him cautiously, at least until after the return to China of the arch-Stalinist Wang Ming in late 1937.44 At the time of their Unification

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