Appeal to All the Comrades of the Chinese Communist Party

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This letter contains Chen's most important suppressed letter which he wrote after being outsed as General Secretary of the CCP.

Since 1920 (the ninth year of the republic) I have worked with the comrades, in founding the party, in sincerely carrying out the opportunist policy of the International's leaders, Stalin, Zinoviev, Bukharin, and others. bringing the Chinese revolution to a shameful and sad defeat. Though I have worked night and day, yet my demerits exceed my merits.

Of course, I should not imitate the hypocritical confessions of some of the ancient Chinese emperors: "I, one person, am responsible for all the sins of the people"; take upon my own shoulders all the mistakes that caused the failure. Nevertheless I feel ashamed to adopt the attitude of some responsible comrades at times-only criticizing the past mistakes of opportunism and excluding oneself. Whenever my comrades have pointed out my past opportunist errors, I earnestly acknowledged them. I am absolutely unwilling to ignore the experiences of the Chinese revolution obtained at the highest price paid by proletarians in the past. (From the August 7 Conference [1927] to the present time, I not only did not reject proper criticism against me, but I even kept silent about the exaggerated accusations against me.)

Not only am I willing to acknowledge my past errors, but now or in the future, if I should make any opportunist errors in thought or action, I likewise expect comrades to criticize me mercilessly with theoretical argument and fact. I humbly accept or shall accept all criticism, but not rumors and false accusations. I cannot have such self-confidence as Ch'u Ch'iu-pai and Li Li- san. I clearly recognize that it is never an easy thing for anybody or any party to avoid the errors of opportunism. Even such veteran Marxists as Kautsky and Plekhanov were guilty of unpardonable opportunism when they were old; those who followed Lenin for a long time like Stalin and Bukharin are now also acting like shameful opportunists. How can superficial Marxists like us be self-satisfied? Whenever a man is self- satisfied, he prevents himself from making progress.

Even the banner of the Opposition is not the incantation of the "Heavenly Teacher" Chang [the Taoist pope]. If those who have not fundamentally cleared out the ideology of the petty bourgeoisie, and have not plainly understood the system of past opportunism, and decisively participated in struggles, merely stand under the banner of the Opposition to revile the opportunism of Stalin and Li Li-san, and then think that the opportunist devils will never approach, they are suffering from an illusion. The only way of avoiding the errors of opportunism is continually and humbly to learn from the teachings of Marx and Lenin in the struggles of the proletarian masses and in the mutual criticism of comrades.

I decisively recognize 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 dealing with the bourgeois Kuomintang. All the responsible comrades of the Central Committee at that time, especially myself, should openly and courageously recognize that this policy was undoubtedly wrong. But it is not enough merely to recognize the error. We must sincerely and thoroughly acknowledge that the past error was the internal content of the policy of opportunism examine the causes and results of that policy, and reveal them clearly. Then we can hope to stop repeating the errors of the past, and the repetition of former opportunism in the next revolution. When our party was first founded, though it was quite young, yet, under the guidance of the Leninist International, we did not commit any great mistakes. For instance, we decisively led the struggle of the workers and recognized the class nature of the Kuomintang. In 1921, our party induced the delegates of the Kuomintang and other social organizations to participate in the conference of the Toilers of the Far East, which was called by the Comintern. The conference resolved that in the colonial countries of the East the struggle for the democratic revolution must be carried out, and that in this revolution peasant soviets should be organized.

In 1922, at the Second Congress of the Chinese party, the policy of the united front in the democratic revolution was adopted, and based upon this we expressed our attitude toward the political situation. At the same time, the representative of the Communist Youth International, Dalin, came to China and suggested to the Kuomintang the policy of a united front of the revolutionary groups. The head of the Kuomintang, Sun Yat-sen, stubbornly rejected this, agreeing only to allow the members of the Chinese Communist Party and the Youth League to join the Kuomintang as individuals and obey it, denying any unity outside of the party.

Soon after the adjournment of our party congress the Communist International sent its delegate Maring to China. He invited all the members of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to hold a meeting at the West Lake in Hangchow, in Chekiang province, at which he suggested to the Chinese party that it join the Kuomintang organization. He strongly contended that the Kuomintang was not a party of the bourgeoisie but the joint party of various classes and that the proletarian party should join it in order to improve this party and advance the revolution.

At that time, the five members of the Central Committee of the CCP-Li Shou-ch'ang, Chang T'e-li, Ts'ai Ho-sen, Kao Chu~n-yu, and I-unanimously opposed the proposal.(185) The chief reason was: To join the Kuomintang was to confuse the class organizations and curb our independent policy. Finally, the delegate of the Third International asked if the Chinese party would obey the decision of the International.

Thereupon, for the sake of respecting international discipline the Central Committee of the CCP could not but accept the proposal of the Communist International and agree to join the Kuomintang. After this, the international delegate and the representatives of the Chinese party spent nearly a year in carrying out the reorganization of the Kuomintang.' But from the very outset the Kuomintang entirely neglected and resisted it. Many times Sun Yat-sen said to the delegates of the International: "Since the Chinese CP has joined the Kuomintang, it should obey the discipline of the KMT and should not openly criticize it. If the communists do not obey the Kuomintang I shall expel them from it; if Soviet Russia stands on the side of the CCP I shall immediately oppose Soviet Russia." As a result, a dejected Maring returned to Moscow. Borodin, who took over Maring's post in China, brought with him a large sum of material aid for the Kuomintang. It was then, in 1924, that the KMT began the policy of reorganization and alliance with Soviet Russia.

At this time the Chinese communists were not very much tainted with opportunism. We were able to lead the railroad workers' strike on February 7, 1923, and the May Thirtieth Movement of 1925, since we were not restrained by the KMT and at times severely criticized its compromising policy. But as soon as the proletariat raised its head in the May Thirtieth Movement, { the bourgeoisie was immediately aroused. In response, Tai Chi. t'ao's anti-Communist pamphlet appeared in July.'

At the enlarged plenum of the Central Committee of the CCP held in Peking in October of 1925,1 submitted the following proposal to the Political Resolution Committee: Y Tai Chi-t'ao's pamphlet was not accidental but the indication that the bourgeoisie was attempting to strengthen its own power for the purpose of checking the proletariat and going over to the counterrevolution. We should be ready immediately to withdraw from the Kuomintang. We should maintain our [public] political face, lead the masses, and not be held in check by the policy of the Kuomintang.

At that time both the delegate of the Comintern and the responsible comrades of the Central Committee unanimously opposed my suggestion, saying that it was to propose to the comrades and the masses to take the path of opposing the Kuomintang. I, who had no decisiveness of character, could not insistently maintain my proposal. I respected international discipline and the opinion of the majority of the Central Committee.

Chiang Kai-shek's coup d'etat on March 20, 1926, was made to carry out Tai Chi-t'ao's principles. Having arrested the communists in large numbers, disarmed the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee's guards for the visiting Soviet group (most of whom were members of the Central Committee of the AUCP) and for the Soviet advisers, the Central Committee of the Kuomintang decided that all communist elements should be removed from the supreme party headquarters of the KMT, that criticism of Sun-Yat-senism by communists be prohibited, and that a list of the names of the members of the Communist Party and of the [Youth] League who had joined the KMT should be handed over to the latter. All these conditions were accepted.

At the same time we resolved to prepare our independent military forces in order to be equal to the forces of Chiang Kai- shek. Comrade P'eng Shu-chih was sent to Canton as representative of the Central Committee of the Chinese party to consult the international delegate about our plan. But the latter did not agree with us, and tried his best to continually strengthen Chiang Kai- shek. He insistently advocated that we use all our strength to support the military dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek, to build up ( the Canton government, and to carry on the Northern Expedition. We demanded that he take 5,000 rifles out of those given to Chiang Kai-shek and Li Chi-shen, so that we might arm the peasants of Kwangtung province. He refused, saying:

"The armed peasants cannot fight against the forces of Ch'en Chiung-ming nor take part in the Northern Expedition, but they can incur the suspicion of the Kuomintang and make the peasants oppose it."

This was the most critical period. Concretely speaking it was the period when the bourgeois KMT openly compelled the proletariat to follow its guidance and direction, when we formally called on the proletariat to surrender to the bourgeoisie, to follow it, and be willing to be subordinates of the bourgeoisie. (The international delegates said openly: "The present period is a period in which the communists should do the coolie service for the Kuomintang.") 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.

After the coup of March 20, I stated in a report to the Comintern my personal opinion that cooperation with the Kuomintang by means of joint work within it should be changed to cooperation outside the KMT. Otherwise, we would be unable to carry out our own independent policy or win the confidence of the masses. After having read my report, the International published an article by Bukharin in Pravda severely criticizing the Chinese party on [the question of] withdrawing from the Kuomintang, saying:

"There have been two mistakes: the advocacy of withdrawal from the yellow trade unions and from the Anglo-Russian Trade Union Unity Committee; now the third mistake has been produced: the Chinese party advocates withdrawal from the Kuomintang." At the same time, the head of the Far Eastern Bureau, Voitinsky, was sent to China to correct our tendency to withdraw from the KMT. At that time, I again failed to maintain my proposal strongly, for the sake of honoring the discipline of the International and the opinion of the majority of the members of the Central Committee.

Later on, the Northern Expedition army set out. We were very much persecuted by the KMT because in Hsiang~tao we criticized the curbing of the labor movement in the rear, and the compulsory collection of the military fund from the peasants for the use of the Northern Expedition. In the meantime the workers in Shanghai were about to rise up to oust the Chihli-Shantung troops. If the uprisings were successful, the problem of the ruling power would be posed. At that time, in the minutes of the [discussion of the] political resolution of the enlarged plenum of the Central Committee I suggested:

The Chinese revolution has two roads: One is that it be led by the proletariat, then we can reach the goal of the revolution; the other is that it be led by the bourgeoisie, and in. that case the latter must betray in the course of the revolution. And though we may cooperate with the bourgeoisie at the present, we must nevertheless seize the leading power. However, all the members of the Far Eastern Bureau of the Comintern residing in Shanghai unanimously opposed my opinion, saying that such an opinion would influence our comrades to oppose the bourgeoisie too early. Further, they declared, if the Shanghai uprising succeeds, the ruling power should belong to the bourgeoisie and that it was unnecessary to have any participation by workers' delegates. At that time, I again could not maintain my opinion because of their criticism.

About the time the Northern Expedition army took Shanghai in 1927, [Ch'u] Ch'iu-pai paid great attention to the selection of the Shanghai municipal government and how to unite the petty bourgeoisie (the middle and small traders) in opposition to the big bourgeoisie. P'eng Shu-chih and Lo 1-nung were in agreement with my opinion, that the immediate problem was not the municipal elections. The central problem was that if the proletariat was not strong enough to win a victory over Chiang Kai-shek's military forces the petty bourgeoisie would not support us. Chiang Kai-shek, at the instigation of the imperialists, would be certain to carry out a massacre of the masses. Then not only would the municipal elections be reduced to empty talk, but we would face the beginning of a defeat throughout China. When Chiang Kai-shek openly betrayed the revolution it could not be just an individual action but would be the signal for the bourgeoisie in the whole country to go over to the reactionary camp.

At that time [P'eng] Shu-chih went to Hankow to state our opinion before the international delegate and the majority of the members of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and to consult with them on how to attack Chiang Kai- shek's forces. But they did not care very much about the impending coup in Shanghai. They telegraphed to me several -times urging me to go to Wuhan. They thought that since the Nationalist government was then at Wuhan, all important problems should be solved there. At the same time, the International telegraphed to us instructing us to hide or bury all the workers' weapons to avoid a military conflict between the workers and Chiang Kai-shek, in order not to disturb the occupation of Shanghai by the armed forces. Having read this telegram, [Lo] 1-nung became very angry, and threw it on the floor. At that time I again obeyed the order of the International and could not maintain my own opinion. Based upon the policy of the International toward the Kuomintang and the imperialists, I issued a shameful manifesto with Wang Ching-wei.

At the beginning of April I went to Wuhan. When I first met Wang Ching-wei, I heard some reactionary things from him, far different from what he had said while in Shanghai. I told this to Borodin; he said that my observations were right and that as soon as Wang Ching-wei reached Wuhan he was surrounded by Hsu Ch'ien, Ku Meng-yti, Ch'en Kung-po, T'an Yen-k'ai, and others, and became gradually colder. After Chiang Kai-shek and Li Chi-shen began their massacre of the workers and peasants, the [Wuhan] Kuomintang came to hate the power of the proletariat more every day, and the reactionary attitude of Wang Ching-wei and of the Central Committee of the Kuomintang rapidly hardened. At the meeting of our Political Bureau, I made a report on the status of the joint meeting of our party and of the Kuomintang:

"The danger involved in cooperation between our party and the Kuomintang is more and more serious. What they tried to seize on seemed to be this or that small problem; what they really wanted was the whole of the central power. Now there are only two roads before us: either to give up the authority of leadership or to break with them."

Those attending the meeting answered my report with silence. After the coup [May 21 at Changsha] in Hunan province, I twice suggested withdrawal from the Kuomintang. Finally, I said: "The Wuhan Kuomintang has followed in the footsteps of Chiang Kai-shek! If we do not change our policy, we too will end up on the same road."

At that time only Jen Pi-shih said, "That is so!" Chou EnLai said, "After we withdraw from the Kuomintang the labor and peasant movement will be freer but the military movement will suffer too much." All the rest still answered my suggestion with silence. At the same time I discussed this with [Ch'u] Ch'iu.pai. He said: "We should let the Kuomintang expel us; we cannot withdraw by ourselves." I consulted Borodin. He said: "I quite agree with your idea but I know that Moscow will never permit it."

At that time I once more observed the discipline of the International and the opinion of the majority of the Central Committee and was unable to maintain my own opinion. From the beginning I could not persistently maintain my opinion; but this time I could no longer bear it. I then tendered my resignation to the Central Committee. My chief reason for this was:

"The International wishes us to carry out our own policy, on the one hand, and does not allow us to withdraw from the Kuomintang on the other. There is really no way out and I cannot continue with my work."

From the beginning to the end, the International recognized the Kuomintang as the main body of the Chinese national democratic revolution. In Stalin's mouth, the words "leadership of the Kuomintang" were shouted very loudly (see "The Errors of the Opposition" in "Questions of the Chinese Revolution"). So it wished us throughout to surrender in the organization of the Kuomintang and to lead the masses under the name and the banner of the Kuomintang. This was continued up to the time when the whole Kuomintang of Feng Yu-hsiang, Wang Ching- wei, T'ang Sheng-chih, Ho Chien, etc., became openly reactionary and abolished the so-called three-point policy: to unite with the Soviet Union. to allow the CP to join the Kuomintang, and to help the labor and peasant movement. The International instructed us by telegram: "Only withdraw from the Kuomintang government, not from the Kuomintang."

So, after the August 7 Conference, from the Nanchang uprising to the capture of Swatow, the Communist Party still hid behind the blue-white banner of the left clique of the Kuomintang. To the masses it seemed that there was trouble within the Kuomintang, but nothing more. The young Chinese Communist Party, produced by the young Chinese proletariat, had not had a proper period of training in Marxism and class struggles. Shortly after the founding of the party, it was confronted by a great revolutionary struggle. The only hope of avoiding a very grave error was correct guidance by the proletarian policy of the International. But under the guidance of such a consistently opportunist policy how could the Chinese proletariat and the Communist Party clearly see their own future? And how could they have their own independent policy? They only surrendered to the bourgeoisie step by step and subordinated themselves to the bourgeoisie. So when the latter suddenly massacred us we did not know what to do about it. After the coup in Changsha, the policy given to us by the International was:

1. Confiscate the land of the landowners from the lower strata, but not in the name of the Nationalist government, and do not touch the land of military officers. (There was not a single one of the bourgeoisie, landlords, tuchtins, and gentry of Hunan and Hupeh provinces who was not the kinsman, relative, or old friend of the officers of that time. All the landowners were directly or indirectly protected by the officers. To confiscate the land is only empty words if it is conditioned by "do not touch the land of the military officers.")

2. Restrain the peasants' "over-zealous" actions with the power of the party headquarters. (We did execute this shameful policy of checking the peasants' over-zealous actions; afterward the International criticized the Chinese party for having "often become an obstacle to the masses" and considered it as one of the greatest opportunist errors.)

3. Destroy the present unreliable generals, arm twenty thousand communists, and select fifty thousand worker and peasant elements from Hunan and Hupeh provinces for organizing a new army. (If we could get so many rifles, why should we not directly arm the workers and peasants and why should we still recruit new troops for the Kuomintang? Why couldn't we establish soviets of workers, peasants, and soldiers? If there were neither armed workers and peasants nor soviets, how and with whom could we destroy the said unreliable generals? I suppose that we could have continued to pitifully beg the Central Committee of the Kuomintang to discharge them. When the Comintern representative Roy showed Wang Ching-wei these instructions from the International it was, of course, for this purpose.'

4. Put new worker elements into the Central Committee of the Kuomintang to take the place of old members. (If we had the power to deal freely with the old committee and reorganize the Kuomintang, why could we not organize soviets? Why must we send our worker and peasant leaders to the bourgeois Kuomintang, which has already been massacring the workers and peasants? And why should we decorate such a Kuomintang with our leaders?)

5. Organize a revolutionary court with a well-known member of the Kuomintang (one who is not a member of the CCP) as its chairman, in order to judge the reactionary officers. (How can an already reactionary leader of the Kuomintang judge the reactionary officers in the revolutionary court?)

Those who attempted to implement such a policy within the Kuomintang were still opportunists, of a left stripe. There was no change at all in the fundamental policy; it was like taking a bath in a urinal vessel! At that time, if we wanted to carry out a genuinely left, that is, a revolutionary, policy, the fundamental line had to be changed. The Communist Party had to withdraw from the Kuomintang and be really independent. It had to arm the workers and peasants, as many as possible, establish soviets of workers, peasants, and soldiers, and seize the leading power from the Kuomintang. Otherwise, no matter what kind of left policy was adopted, there was no way to realize it.

At that time the Central Political Bureau wired to the Communist International in answer to its instructions: We accept the instructions and will work according to their directions, but they cannot be realized immediately. All the members of the Central Committee recognized that the International's instructions were impractical. Even Fan K'e, a participant in the Central Committee meeting (it was said that he was Stalin's private deputy),'9 also thought that there was no possibility of carrying them out. He agreed with the telegraphic answer of the Central Committee, saying: "This is the best reply we can give."

After the August 7 Conference, the Central Committee tried to propagate the idea that the Chinese revolution had failed because the opportunists did not accept the Communist International's instructions to immediately change tactics. (Of course, the instructions were the above mentioned ones; besides these, there were no instructions!) We did not know: How could the policy be changed from inside the Kuomintang? And who were the so- called opportunists?

Once the party had committed such a fundamental error, a continual series of other smaller or larger subordinate errors were naturally inevitable. I, whose perception was not clear, whose opinion was not decisive, became immersed in the atmosphere of opportunism and sincerely carried out the opportunist policy of the Third International. I unconsciously became the tool of the narrow faction of Stalin. I could not save the party and the revolution. All this, both I and other comrades should be held responsible for. The present Central Committee says: "You attempt to place the failure of the Chinese revolution on the shoulders of the Comintern in order that you might throw off your own responsibility!" This statement is ridiculous. One does not permanently lose his right to criticize the opportunism of the party leadership, or to return to Marxism and Leninism because he has himself committed opportunist errors.

At the same time, nobody can take the liberty of avoiding his responsibility for executing an opportunist policy because the opportunism originated in high places. The source of the opportunist policy is the Comintern; but why did not the leaders of the Chinese party protest against the Comintern, and instead loyally carry out its policies? Who can absolve us of this responsibility? We should very frankly and objectively recognize that all the past and present opportunist policies originated in the Communist International. The International should bear the responsibility. The young Chinese party has not yet the ability of itself to invent any theories and settle any policy; but the leading organ of the Chinese party ought to bear the responsibility for blindly implementing the opportunist policy of the Comintern without a little bit of judgment and protest.

If we mutually excuse each other and all of us think that we have committed no mistakes, was it then the error of the masses? This is not only too ridiculous but also does not assume any responsibility toward the revolution! I strongly believe that if I, or other responsible comrades, could at that time have clearly recognized the falsity of the opportunist policy and made a strong argument against it, even to the point of mobilizing the entire party for a passionate discussion and debate, as Comrade Trotsky has been doing, the result would inevitably have been a great help to the revolution. It would not have made the revolution such a shameful failure, though I might have been expelled from the Communist International and a split in the party might have taken place. I, whose perception was not clear and whose opinion was not resolute, did not do so after all! If the party were to base itself on such past mistakes of mine or on the fact that I strongly maintained the former erroneous line, as grounds for giving me some severe punishment, I would earnestly accept it without uttering a word.

But these are the reasons given by the present Central Committee for expelling me from the party:

1. They said: "Fundamentally, he is not sincere in recognizing his own error of opportunist leadership in the period of the great revolution, and has not decided to recognize where his real past error lies, so it is inevitable that he will continue his past erroneous line." In reality, I was expelled because I sincerely recognized where the error of the former opportunist leadership lay, and decided to oppose the present and future continuation of wrong lines.

2. They said: "He is not satisfied with the decisions of the Communist International. He is obdurately unwilling to go to Moscow to be trained by the International."191 I have been trained enough by the Communist International. Formerly, I made many mistakes because I accepted the opinions of the Third International. Now I have been expelled because I am not satisfied with those opinions.

3. Last August 5,1 wrote a letter to the Central Committee in which there were the following sentences: "Besides, what is the continuing fundamental contradiction of 'economic class interests' between these two classes [the bourgeoisie and the landlords]?!" "Before and after the Canton uprising. . . .1 wrote several letters to the Central Committee pointing out that the ruling power of the Kuomintang would not collapse as quickly as you estimated." "At present, though there are some mass struggles it is not enough to take them as the symptoms of the coming revolutionary wave." "The wholly legal movement, of course, is an abandonment of the attempt at revolution. But under certain circumstances, when it is necessary to build up our strength, as Lenin said, 'except in eruptions of a white-hot intensity, we should also make use of all possible legal measures in this (transitional) period.'"

The Central Committee changed these sentences to read ambiguously:

"There is no contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the feudal forces." "The present ruling class is not going to be overthrown and the revolutionary struggle is not beginning to revive but is declining more and more." He advocates "the adoption of legal forms."

Furthermore, they put quotation marks around each sentence so as to make them seem like my original statements. This is another reason for my expulsion.

4. I wrote another letter to the Central Committee on October 10 saying: "The present period is not a period of the revolutionary wave, but a period of counterrevolution. We should elaborate democratic slogans as our general demands. For instance, besides the eight-hour-day demand and the confiscation of land, we should issue the slogans 'Nullify the unequal treaties,' 'Against the military dictatorship of the Kuomintang,' 'Convoke the national assembly,' etc., etc. It is necessary to bring the broad masses into activity under these democratic slogans; then we can shake the counterrevolutionary regime, go forward to the revolutionary wave, and make our fundamental slogans-'Down with the Kuomintang government,' 'Establish the soviet regime,' etc.-the slogans of action in the mass movement."

On October 26, Comrade P'eng Shu-chih and I wrote a letter to the CC saying: "This is not the transitional period to direct revolution, and we must have general political slogans adapted to this period; then we can win the masses. The workers' and peasants' soviets is merely a propaganda slogan at present. If we take the struggle to organize soviets as a slogan of action, we will certainly get no response from the proletariat." But the CC claimed that in place of the slogans "Down with the Kuomintang government" and "Establish the soviet regime" we wish to substitute as the present general political slogan the demand "Convoke the national assembly." This is also one of the reasons for my expulsion.

5. I said in a letter that we should point out "the policy of treason or spoliation of the country by the Kuomintang in the handling of the Chinese Eastern Railroad," making the "broad masses still imbued with nationalist spirit able to sympathize with us and oppose the maneuver of the imperialists to attack the Soviet Union by utilizing the Kuomintang and making the Chinese Eastern Railroad problem an excuse." This was to help the slogan of defense of the USSR penetrate the masses. But the CC said I wanted to issue the slogan of opposing the spoliation of the country by the Kuomintang in place of the slogan of supporting the USSR. This is another reason why I was expelled.

6. I wrote the CC several letters dealing with the serious political problems within the party. The CC kept them from the party for a long time. Further, the delegates of the Comintern and the CC told me plainly that the principle is that different political opinions cannot be expressed in the party. Because there is no hope of correcting the mistakes of the Central Committee by means of a legal comradely discussion, I hold that I should not be bound by the routine discipline of the organization, and still less should comrades be prevented from passing my letters to others to be read. This is also one of the reasons why I am expelled.

7. Since the August 7 Conference, the CC has not allowed me to participate in any meetings, nor has it given me any work to do. Then, on October 6 (only forty days before my expulsion), they suddenly wrote me a letter saying: "The CC has decided to ask you to undertake the work of editing in the CC under the political line of the party, and to write an article, 'Against the Opposition,' within a week." As I had criticized the Central Committee more than once for continuing the line of opportunism and putschism, they tried to create some excuse for my expulsion. Now I have recognized fundamentally that Comrade Trotsky's views are identical with Marxism and Leninism. How would I be able to write false words, contrary to my opinions?

8. We know that Comrade Trotsky has decisively opposed the opportunist policy of Stalin and Bukharin. We cannot listen to the rumors of the Stalin clique and believe that Comrade Trotsky, who led the October revolution hand in hand with Lenin, really is a counterrevolutionist. (It may be "proved" by rumors created about us by the Chinese Stalinist clique, Li Li-san, etc.) Because we spoke of Trotsky as a comrade, the Central Committee accused us of "having already left the revolution, left the proletariat, and gone over to the counterrevolution," and expelled us from the party.

Comrades! The Central Committee has now invented these false reasons in order to expel me from the party and brand me as -~a "counterrevolutionist" without any proof. I believe that most of the comrades are not clear about this case. Even the CC itself has said: "There may be some who do not understand it!" But they expelled me and said I went over to the counterrevolution even though some comrades do not understand it. Nevertheless, I understand quite well why they falsely accuse us as "counterrevolutionists." This is a weapon created by up-to-date Chinese for attacking those who differ from them. For instance, the Kuomintang accuses the communists of being "counterrevolutionists" in order to cover its own sins. Chiang Kai-shek tries to deceive the masses with the signboard of revolution, portraying himself as the personification of revolution. Those who oppose him are "counterrevolutionists" and "reactionary elements."

Many comrades know that the false reasons I have cited, given by the CC for expelling me, are only the formal and official excuse. In reality, they have become tired of hearing my opinions expressed in the party and of my criticism of their continued opportunism and putschism and their execution of a bankrupt policy.

In any number of the bourgeois countries of the world, there are feudal survivals and methods of semifeudal exploitation (Blacks, and slaves of the South Sea archipelago, are like those of the prefeudal slave system), and there exist remnants of feudal LA forces. China is even more like this. In the revolution, of course, we cannot neglect this; but the Comintern and the CC unanimously hold that in China the feudal remnants still occupy the ~ dominant position in the economy and politics and are the ruling power. As a result, they consider these survivals as the object of the revolution and disregard the enemy, the suppressor of the revolution-the forces of the bourgeoisie. They pass off all reactionary actions of the bourgeoisie as those of the feudal forces.

They say that the Chinese bourgeoisie is still revolutionary that it can never be reactionary, and that all those who are?? reactionary cannot be the bourgeoisie. Thus, they do not recognize that the Kuomintang represents the interests of the bourgeoisie or that the Nationalist government is the regime representing the interests of the bourgeoisie. The conclusion must be that besides the Kuomintang, or the Nanking section of it, there is or will be, now or in the future, a nonreactionary, revolutionary bourgeois party Therefore, in tactics and in practical actions they now simply follow the Reorganizationists and do the military work of overthrowing Chiang Kai-shek.'92 In the platform they say that the character of the third revolution in the future must still be that of a bourgeois-democratic revolution, opposing anything that would antagonize the economic forces of the bourgeoisie and opposing issuing the slogan for the dictatorship of the proletariat.2 Such illusions in the bourgeoisie and such continual attraction to it are calculated not only to perpetuate the opportunism of the past but to deepen it. It must lead to a more shameful and miserable failure in the future revolution.

If we consider the slogan "Establish the soviet regime" as a slogan of action, we can issue it only when the objective conditions have ripened into a revolutionary wave. It cannot be issued at any time at will 3 In the past, during the revolutionary wave, we did not adopt the slogans "Organize soviets" and "Establish the soviet regime" Naturally, this was a grave error. In the future, when the revolution takes place, we shall immediately have to organize the workers', peasants', and soldiers' soviets. Then we shall mobilize the masses to struggle for the slogan "Establish the soviet regime." Furthermore, it would be the soviet of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and not the soviet of the workers' and peasants' democratic dictatorship.

In the present period when the counterrevolutionary forces are entirely victorious and when there is no wave of mass revolutionary action, the objective conditions for "armed uprising" and the establishment of soviets have not matured. At the present time, "Organize soviets" is only a propaganda and educational slogan. If we use it as a slogan of action, and mobilize the working class at once to struggle in practice to "Organize soviets" we will be completely unable to generate a response from the masses.

In the present situation, we should adopt the democratic slogan, "Struggle for the convocation of the national assembly." The objective conditions for this movement have matured and at present only this slogan can take large masses through the legal political struggle and toward the revolutionary rise and the struggle for the "armed uprising" and the "Establishment of the soviet regime."

The present CC, continuing its putschism, does not do this. They consider that the rebirth of the revolution has matured,4 and reproach us for regarding the slogan of the "Establishment of workers' and peasants' soviets" as only a propaganda slogan; thus, they logically consider it a slogan of action. In consequence, they are continually ordering party members into the streets for ) demonstrations in workers' quarters, and ordering employed comrades to strike. Every small daily struggle is artificially blown up into a big political battle, leading to more and more defections from the party by the working masses and employed comrades.

More than that, at the Kiangsu representative conference recently, it was resolved "to organize the great strike movement," and "local uprisings." Since last summer there have been signs of small struggles among the Shanghai workers, but as they appear they have been defeated through the party's putschist policy. Henceforth, of course, they will all be crushed; if the resolutions of the Kiangsu representative conference are carried out, these workers' struggles will be destroyed. Our party is no longer the guide, helping the coming wave of workers' revolutionary struggles; it is becoming the executioner destroying the workers' struggles at their roots.

The present Central Committee, sincerely basing itself upon the bankrupt line of the Sixth Congress, and under the direct guidance of the Comintern,5 is executing the above bankrupt policy and capping the opportunism and putschism of the past by liquidating the party and the revolution. No matter whether it was the Comintern or the Chinese Communist Party that committed the opportunist errors in the past and made the revolution fail, it was a crime. Now these errors have been pointed out plainly by the comrades of the Opposition, but they still do not acknowledge their past mistakes and consciously continue their past erroneous line. Moreover, for the sake of covering up the errors of a few individuals, they deliberately violate the organizational norms of Bolshevism, abuse the authority of the supreme party organs, and prevent self-criticism within the party, expelling numerous comrades from the party for expressing different political opinions and deliberately splitting the party. This is the crime of crimes, the most stupid and the most shameful.

No Bolshevik should be afraid of open self-criticism before the masses. The only way for the party to win the masses is to carry out self-criticism courageously, never losing the masses for fear of self-criticism. To cover up one's own mistakes, like the present Central Committee, is certainly to lose the masses.

The majority of comrades have felt these mistakes and the party crisis to varying degrees. As long we do not simply expect to make our living through the party, as long as we have some feeling of responsibility for the party and the revolution, any comrade should stand up and resolutely make a self-criticism of the party in order to rescue it from this crisis. To silently watch, arms folded, while our party comes close to destruction would surely be criminal!

Comrades! We all know that whoever opens his mouth to express some criticism of the errors of the party is himself expelled, while the mistake remains uncorrected. But we should draw a balance. Which is more important: to save the party from danger or save ourselves from having our names dropped from the party list?

Since the August 7 Conference, which adopted the "general line of armed uprising," and the uprisings that followed in several places, I have written many letters to the Central Committee, pointing out that the revolutionary sentiment of the masses was not then at a high point, that the Kuomintang regime could not be quickly exploded, that uprisings that lacked objective conditions only weaken the power of the party and isolate it further from the masses. I proposed that we change from the policy of uprisings to a policy of winning and uniting the masses in their daily struggles. The Central Committee thought that widespread uprisings were an absolutely valid new line for correcting opportunism, and that to take account of the objective conditions for the uprisings and to consider how to insure the success of the uprisings, is opportunism. Of course, they never took my opinion into consideration and regarded my words as a joke. They propagated them everywhere, saying that it was proof that I had not corrected my opportunist mistakes. At that time, I was bound by the discipline of the party organization, and took a negative attitude, being unable to go over the head of the organization to wage a determined struggle against the policy of the Central Committee which was destroying the party.

I accept responsibility for this. After the Sixth Congress, I still and a false comprehension and still entertained the illusion that the new Central Committee had received so many lessons from events that they themselves would awaken to the fact that it was not necessary after all to follow blindly the erroneous line of the Comintern. I still continued my negative attitude and did not hold any different theories that would have involved a dispute within the party, though I was fundamentally dissatisfied with the line of the Sixth Congress. After the war between Chiang Kai- shek and the Kwangsi cliques, and the "May 30 anniversary movement," I felt deeply that the Central Committee would obstinately continue its opportunism and putschism, and manifestly could not change by itself: that except through an open discussion and criticism by the party members, from the lowest to the highest ranks, the seriously false line of the leading organ could not be corrected. But all the party members are under the domination and restriction of party discipline, in a state of "daring to be angry but not daring to speak."

At that time, I could not bear to see the party (created by the warm blood of innumerable comrades) destroyed and ruined by the enduring and essentially false line. Thus I could not do otherwise than to begin to express my opinion, from August onward, in order to fulfill my responsibility. Some comrades sought to dissuade me, saying that the people in the Central Committee regard the interests of a few leaders as more important than the interests of the party and the revolution, that they have attempted everywhere to cover up their mistakes and could never accept the criticism of comrades, and that since I was criticizing them so frankly, they would use it as an excuse for expelling me from the party. But my regard for the party compelled me to resolutely follow the path of not caring for my own interests.

The Communist International and the Central Committee have for a long time opposed any review of the record of failure of the Chinese revolution. And now, because I have continued to criticize them, they have suddenly invented the following declaration: "He [i.e., I] is not sincere in recognizing his own error of opportunist leadership in the period of the great revolution and has not decided to recognize where his real past error lies, so it is inevitable that he will continue his past erroneous line."

These words are an accurate description of their authors. In reality, if I were to stultify my mind and care nothing about the interests of the proletariat, if I had not decided to recognize my real past errors and had been willing to do their dirty work and let them continue with their past false line, they would, as before, rely on the old opportunist's pen and mouth and use me to attack so-called Trotskyism in order to cover up their errors. How could they expel me from the party?

Am I, who have struggled against evil social forces for the greater part of my life, willing to do such a base work-to confuse right and wrong? Li Li-san said: "The Chinese opportunists6 are-' unwilling to absorb accurately the lessons of the failure of the past great revolution, but try to hide behind the banner of Trotskyism in order to cover up their own mistakes." In reality the documents of Comrade Trotsky censure me much more severely than do those of Stalin and Bukharin; and I could not but recognize that the lessons of the past revolution pointed out by him are one hundred percent correct, and I could never reject his words because he criticizes me. I am willing to accept the severest criticism of my comrades, but unwilling to bury the lessons and experiences of the revolution. I would rather be expelled now by Li Li-san and a few others than to see the party crisis without attempting to save the party, and be blamed in the future by the masses of the party members.

I would much rather have peace of mind while suffering oppression by evil forces in my struggle for the interests of the proletariat. I am unwilling to merely follow along with any cruel and corrupt bureaucratic elements!

Comrades! I know that my expulsion from the party by the Central Committee is the act of a few men for the purpose of covering up their errors. They not only want to save themselves the "trouble" of hearing my opinions expressed within the party and hearing me advocate an open discussion on political problems, but also to demonstrate by my expulsion that all the comrades must keep their mouths closed. I know that the masses of the party members never entertained the idea of expelling me. Though I have been expelled by a few leaders at the top of the party, yet there has never been any hostility or bad feeling between the masses in the ranks and myself. I shall continue to serve the proletariat hand in hand with all those comrades both in the International and in China who are not following the opportunist policy of Stalin's clique.

Comrades! The present errors of the party are not partial or accidental problems: As in the past, they are the manifestation of the whole opportunist policy conducted by Stalin in China. The responsible heads of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, who are willing to be the phonograph of Stalin, have never shown any political consciousness and are growing worse and worse: they can never be saved. At the Tenth Congress of the Russian party ~1921], Lenin said: "Only when there exist within the party fundamentally different political opinions and there is no other way to resolve them, then factional groupings are proper." Based on this theory he led the Bolshevik movement at that time.

Now, in our party, there is no other way permitted (legal or open discussion in the party) to overcome the party crisis. Every party member has the obligation of saving the party. We must return to the spirit and political line of Bolshevism, unite together solidly, and stand straightforward on the side of the International Opposition led by Comrade Trotsky, that is, under the banner of real Marxism and Leninism. We must decisively, persistently, and thoroughly fight against the opportunism of the Comintern and the Central Committee of the Chinese party. We are opposed not only to the opportunism of Stalin and his like, but also to the compromising attitude of Zinoviev and others. We are not afraid of the so-called "jumping out of the ranks of the party" and do not hesitate to sacrifice everything in order to save the party and the Chinese revolution!

With proletarian greetings,

Chen Duxiu

From the Militant (New York), November 15 and December 1, 1930; January 1 and 15, and February 1, 1931.

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