Lenin on National Liberation

Chris, London 100423.2040 at compuserve.com
Wed Feb 14 15:52:35 MST 1996

Lou (Louis Proyect) wrote:

<< Stalin, through the Comintern, ordered the CCP to join the
Kuomingtang in 1923. Mao not only supported this policy but attempted to
justify it theoretically. >>>

This is an odd approach to history, ascribing such a lot to one man.
I doubt very much that Lou could produce evidence that Stalin 
personally "ordered" such a decision, and rather doubt that
his name along with others, could even be shown to be associated
with it to any special degree.  

What we are discovering by starting (we are almost only just at the 
start of) re-examining marxist history in a non-sectarian dialectical
way is that a number of  trends were taking shape whether 
Stalin was personally involved in them or not. Wolfgang has 
demonstrated this that by posting material on the 1924 pre=purges 
of the KPD-O which occurred without any evidence of Stalin's

Now even if you think that going into the KMT was a wrong decision
in 1923, because things turned out so bloodily in 1926, which I think
is a much more complex issue than Lou suggests, what we do have
historical evidence for is of the influence of another marxist
(and I do not mean exclusive influence but speaking for a trend; 
it would be a gross simplification to say he "ordered" either) - 

Lenin at the formative 3rd Congress of the Communist International
1921, just two years before the date Lou referred to.

"The labouring masses in the colonial and semi-colonial 
countries, who make up the vast majority of the world's population,
were awakened to political life early in the twentieth century,
particularly as a result of the revolutions in Russia, Turkey,
Persia, and China. The imperialist war of 1914-18 and Soviet power
in Russia are converting, once and for all, these masses into an 
active factor in world politics and in the revolutionary 
destruction of imperialism, although this is stubbornly disregarded
by the educated philistines of Europe and America, including the 
leaders of the Second and Two-and-a-Half Internationals.

British Inida stands at the head of these countries, and there the 
revolution is developing all the more rapidly, on the one hand, 
as the more considerable becomes the industrial and railway 
proletariat and, on the other, as the more savage becomes the 
terror of the British, who more and more frequently resort to 
wholesale massacre (Amritsar), public floggings, etc."

[and again]

"I should also like to emphasise here the significance of the movement 
in the colonies. In this respect we witness in all the old parties,
in all the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois labour parties of the Second 
Two-and-a-Half Internationals, the survivals of old sentimental 
conceptions - they are, foresooth, full of sympathy for the oppressed
peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies. 

The movement in the colonial countries is still regarded as 
an insignificant national and completely peaceful movement. However,
that is not the case. Great changes have taken place in this respect
since the beginning of the twentieth century, namely, millions
and hundreds of millions - actually the overwhelming majority of the 
world's population - are now coming out as an independent and active
revolutionary factor. 

And it is perfectly clear that in the impending decisive battles of 
the world revolution, the movement of the majority of the world's 
population originally aimed at national liberation, will turn 
against capitalism and imperialism and will, perhaps play a much 
more revolutionary role than we expect. 

It is important to stress that, for the first time in our International,
we are moving towards the preparation of this struggle. Of course,
in this vast sphere the difficulties are much greater, but at any
rate the movement is advancing and the mass of the toiling people, 
the peasants in the colonial countries, despite the fact that they
are still backward, will play a very important revolutionary role
in the coming phases of the world revolution."


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