The armies of Chinese Stalinism are advancing on the Kuomintang capital at Nanking. The extent of social disintegration of the Kuomintang is even more rapid than the advance of the Communist Party armies and this factor alters the picture.
Even the bailiwick of T V Soong in Canton, which seemed so secure a few months ago, is no longer immune to the national tendencies. Of the hated Four Families who rule and plunder Nationalist China, T V Soong is perhaps the most favoured by America. In his direction of ECA in China, Roger Lapham distributed the bulk of it to South China, mainly in Kwangtung province, of which Canton is the capital and T V Soong the dictator.
The government cannot save itself. Its present condition is the direct consequence of its failure to solve a single one of the problems of the Chinese national revolution in which name it took 20 years ago. As a consequence of this failure, the Kuomintang has been isolated socially so that it represents only and is supported only by the feudal elements and bureaucratic capitalists whose links with feudalism are crucial.
All the pressures of a thousand years which are now grinding up and destroying the long-rotted fabric of this out-lived and bypassed social order are now operative against the Kuomintang as its chief political representative. Every class, except the feudalists, is bursting through the suffocating narrowness and undermining the Kuomintang in the process. What we are witnessing in China is the culmination of that process, begun in 1925, but gradually repressed after 1927. In this sense Stalinism is the heir of the Chinese revolution, in its own bureaucratic, anti-democratic fashion and for its own sinister purposes. That is why Stalinism speaks of a national, patriotic revolution of unity of all classes including bourgeoisie, lower gentry, middle class, peasants, workers, commercial classes — all except the Kuomintang itself.
Everything the regime undertakes fails. This characteristic of a class which has lost all control over its environment is the hallmark of the Kuomintang today. It has expended about four million men against the Stalinists to no avail. Recently it huge financial reform was instituted to no avail and with it a great programme of economic reform in the cities.
The only consequences were the grinding down of the middle classes who were forced to surrender their small savings and forcing the workers into hunger strikes, further alienating urban classes from the Kuomintang. The economic reforms were so devastating that that well-preserved ace-in-the-hole Chiang-Kuo, Moscow trained son of Chiang, publicly apologised for them.
In its own fashion, the Kuomintang has even attempted land reforms of a rather pitiful nature, in the province of Hunan. It may attempt more drastic steps before its final collapse but the solo effect can only be to further undermine itself. No one believes in its ability to do what is needed.
Indeed a contradictory evolution has occurred in the Kuomintang circles. The greater their dependence on the United States because of defeats at home, the greater their antagonism and openly expressed distrust. So, while begging shamelessly for American aid, the Kuomintang circles openly talk about American imperialism. They have worked out a rationalisation (which is indeed partly true) that if Roosevelt had not given Manchuria to Russia as a sphere of influence, and had not forced Chiang to sign the Sino–Soviet Pact then the present situation would not have occurred. This is considered the root cause of the crisis and this was compounded by Marshall’s policy of a coalition with the CP. Thus the Kuomintang even while offering all China in return for aid is turning on its potential savior in order to avoid accepting responsibility tor its own follies and failures.
December 6, 1948