Why the Trotsky Debate is Irrelevant in China

Goddamn Trotskyites and all arrogant Western pseudo-socialists!


I have recently participated in a Marxist conference in China (in Shanghai – not the one in Beijing mentioned in an earlier post). Many are such conferences in this part of the world, and they are increasing. But this one was a little different, for it involved a group of visitors who may be described as international Trotskyites. Some, but not all, appeared to feel that they were coming here to teach the Chinese a lesson or two about Marxism. They might be called ‘chauvinistic Marxists’, without any experience of actually being part of socialism in power.

However, their positions simply did not make sense to the Chinese participants. The whole history of struggle between Lenin versus Trotsky, or indeed Stalin versus Trotsky, still informs and shapes many parts of the international Left today. But it did not register with the Chinese Marxists present, so much so that they…

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