[Marxism] Uyghur Communist interrogated by the OGPU

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 14 11:08:13 MST 2016

In the early 1920s, long before Stalinism took control of the Russian 
state, the USSR and China concluded a treaty that among other things was 
based on an understanding that Chinese CP'ers would not stir up trouble 
in Xianjing. In 1932, an uprising of poor Uyghur peasants erupted that 
was led by non-Communists. In this transcript of an interrogation of a 
Uyghur Communist, you can glean the same "anti-imperialist" 
counter-revolutionary mindset that is found in articles about Ukraine 
and Syria from the likes of Stephen F. Cohen and Patrick Cockburn. The 
Uyghur obviously is taking pains not to appear conciliatory to a 
"feudalist" movement that would wreck the friendly relations between the 
USSR and China.

Once again, from David Brophy's dissertation:

B (Uyghur): Previously I never thought that in such a backward country, 
such a great mass of people was capable of rising up in revolt.

R (OGPU): How do you know about the uprisings?

B: I know it from the newspapers.

R: And what is written in the newspapers?

B: The newspapers have written that the movement is developing, and that 
England and Japan are leading it.

R: Is it possible, in your opinion, to say that in regards to its 
internal class forces this movement has some kind of revolutionary 
perspective, and what are these perspectives?

B: Right now it's hard to say about perspectives. The movement is still 
very young. But among the rebels there is a bourgeois-democratic 
tendency. There are, without question, left tendencies. They are led by 
students and others who ran away from here, who lived in Soviet 
territory for a long time. Among them are Shamsutdinov, a former student 
of KUTV, and former teacher in Andijan. He stands at the head of a 
significant armed force in Kashgar. I'm sure, that if at the moment he 
is yet to achieve his goals, then in the future he will carry out his 
plan. Without doubt signs of national-liberation are appearing in the 
movement. This can be seen from the fact that the Chinese regime has 
been overthrown and it has passed into Uyghur hands.

R: If this is, as you say, a national-liberation movement, then how does 
it struggle with imperialism?

B: The question of the struggle with imperialism has not yet been posed.

R: If this tendency, as you say, is bourgeois-democratic, then I am 
interested as to how it poses the land question?

B: The land question, as far as I know, has not yet been put forward.

R: See how it works out with you. A bourgeois-democratic movement, but 
without posing the agrarian question. A national-liberation movement, 
which doesn't carry on struggle with imperialism, and doesn't orient to 
the USSR. Can I ask another question: what is the nature of this 
movement—reactionary or revolutionary?

B: The leadership of the movement is still for the feudalists. But one 
cannot call the movement reactionary. There are representatives in it of 
left tendencies. These left tendencies have not yet consolidated 
themselves. But I am sure that they will fulfill their plan.

More information about the Marxism mailing list