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groups directly, as well as from merchants' organizations.
It adopted a Political Bureau, again on the Russian model,
introduced "party discipline," and attached "party repre-
sentatives" to arsenals, factories, regiments, creating by all
these means unity in behalf of a common political aim. The
aim was not the Russian aim of communism, nor even
socialism, but merely national unity. But the tactics were
Russian.

For the greater part of a year, for instance, an impossible
strike situation in Canton was kept from breaking into open
conflict. Forty thousand strikers had moved over from
Hongkong and established their own government in the
heart of the populous city of Canton. They had courts and



jails; they arrested and sentenced offenders against theiil
self-made strike laws. I saw these things in action one
morning and was assured by the mayor of the city thai
same evening that "no such court or jail really exists; it i:
only a sort of strike hearing." Thus he saved the face of ;
city government dwelling side by side with the strikers
government. For months the situation was kept from con-
flict by the Political Bureau, which like Tammany Hall ir
New York, or the Politburo in Moscow, told its various
members in all these groups "how far they could go." Onlj
when the strikers began arresting the city commissioner ol
police did Chiang Kai Shek find it necessary to enter tht
arena and "clean out the Reds." The "Reds" in this cas
included a score of indiscreet Russian officers who had sided
with the strikers; they were shipped out of Canton the da>
after an abortive uprising.

THEN the drive north started. Now came into play
the newly perfected combination of force and propa-
ganda. A high diplomat would visit the general of the
near-by province and urge him to join the Nationalist cause
and help create a united China. If he agreed I have seen
the terms printed he might remain general of the troops
of his province. But the taxing power would be taken from
him and consolidated in the civil government of which he
would become only the honored servant. Also, all his
subordinate officers would be removed to other branches of
the army, thus effectually breaking any political machine he
might possess. Political instructors would be supplied to
teach his soldiers reading, writing and nationalism, and
"party representatives" would be permanently attached to
each section of his army. In other words, his allegiance
must be thorough and permanent; three months later, if he
wished to desert, he would have no army to take with him.
It was a hard alternative; but the other alternative was
as hard. Tea-parties were also going on with all his sub-
ordinate officers, together with friendly discussions of the
advantages of a united China and the particular personal
advantages to be gained by the bold officer who would help
their cause. If the chief general refused, he knew his leading
subordinate might seize the chance to desert to the Cantonese
and secure for himself the provincial command. Both these
outcomes occurred in different provinces.

THEN began the advance. With it went another
weapon, the general strike. Another example of the
careful study of past revolutions. Hitherto general strikes
have damaged the workers more than their employers;
they create only paralysis. But paralysis created where you
want it in your enemy's stronghold is a useful military
weapon. The Cantonese, with their policy of friendliness
toward labor unions and peasants' organizations, could ex-
pect the suppressed illegal unions in cities like Hankow and
Shanghai to strike, in aid of their approach, even though
this strike cost several hundred beheadings by the exasperated
military general opposed to them. Thus, with a minimum
of actual fighting and also with a very small amount of
munitions, in which they are very weak, they took province
after province.

At once they consolidated their gains, and here also the
Russian model helped them. There was no time to introduce
the complications of a ballot election. But peasants were
urged to organize by villages and workers by industries and
send delegates to the Nationalist Party. Before the northern



WHAT CANTON LEARNED FROM MOSCOW



141



rive started there were already 4,989 peasants' organi- merchant's hate of white competitors, and the student and

oi-ii-f-i; QnH OTn \vnrlrprc nrfrani7arinnc rp^^frni-y^H oc ittt-all/~i 1 1 - l_ . / * .



ations and 276 workers' organizations recognized as
kuomintang organizations in Kwantung province alone.
An epidemic of strikes breaks out following Nationalist

ictories; it broke out in Canton and later in Hankow.
5ut these are not the all-paralyzing general strike. They

re little strikes for wages. The Kuomintang policy is to
ay to the workers: "Don't wait for us to organize and pass
abor laws ; organize yourselves as unions and demand your

ights." The "rights" demanded are in some cases wildly
mpracticable but in most cases painfully simple: to reduce
Jhe seventeen-hour-day to thirteen hours, the sixteen-hour-
!ay to twelve, the fourteen-hour-day to eleven hours, and
o double wages for all those getting three dollars a month

Chinese money), with lesser increases for those getting
nunificent sums like thirty dollars monthly. Even with
hese simple, moderate demands, the method is revolutionary,
in that it gives the organized workers a sense of power as
veil as devotion to the Nationalists. It creates a fighting
>ody ready to hold the line with their lives against any
eturn of the former military ruler.

I AS for the peasants, one reason the Cantonese started
Y. north when they did is not generally known. Last
/ear the highest floods for fifty years burst through dikes
icar Hankow, long neglected by rapacious military rulers,
md flooded some thousands of acres. When the peasants
-eturned to their fields and saw the ruined dikes, they lost
lope for the future and sat down to wait in despair for the
greater floods which even ordinary high water would bring
this spring. Even the three Wuhan cities were threatened.

Canton knew the situation; the Canton that had learned
from Russian mistakes to consider the economic factors in
aeasant propaganda. The Wuhan cities were the heart of
their future empire; they started north in time to repair
those dikes. While talking anti-imperialism on the coast,
they talked dikes to the peasants. Is it surprising that some
peasant villages in Hupeh went to meet the advancing
armies with Chinese lanterns and processions? Today
seventy thousand peasants are working on dike repair, in a
race against the high water. They are working under an
American supervising engineer, O. J. Todd, of the Inter-
national Famine Relief Commission, and with a $3,500,000
budget raised by T. V. Soong.

The Nationalist program projected a steady drive north-
ward, along the lines and with the methods described.
Marshall Feng, the "Christian Bolshevik" general of the
northwest, has an agreement with the Cantonese, accepting
the rule of the Kuomintang and forming a joint military
program, which brings him into action on the road to Peking.
A contract with Mongolia also assures that she will return
to the fold "when the Chinese revolution is accomplished."
Manchuria is a harder nut, with the Japanese interests
combined with Chang Tso Lin, to be left till an indefinite
time in the future. Such are the plans, but there are many
incalculable elements in the way.



T



i. ., *nu HIV, 31UUC1JL <1I!U

intellectual s hate of white inequality-all these emotions
bine under the potent word anti-imperialism. But the
moment problems of consolidating a government are reached,
the d IV erse elements thus combined become apparent. In
Hankow, Chinese workers make demands that Chinese
merchants resent. Chinese land-owners look askance at
peasant congresses demanding reduced rents. The conflict
between civil and military power is indicated by the fact
that half the Kuomintang membership is in the army, and
its popular general resents dictation by the civil group. The
applied Russian tactics and slogans have up to the present
brought unity; they are beginning to breed division.
Workers stimulated to expect a "land fit for heroes" want
to be the heroes and to get the promised land. So do the
merchants, and the peasants, and the landlords. They can't
all have all they want; perhaps none of them can.

The split is real, and in the end inevitable. The only
question is whether it can be staved off or patched up till
they take Peking, and then assume the form of opposition
parties in the civil government. Strange as it may seem, it
is by no means certain that Russian influence is entirely with
the so-called "Reds." Responsible Chinese have told me
that on many occasions Borodin has prevented cleavages.
Many indications from Moscow itself indicate that they
wish to see, not chaos, but a united Nationalist government
in Peking, of which they will have been the "first friend."
The Chinese Communists themselves have signed a statement
that they have no intention of advocating a "dictatorship
of the proletariat" as a present possibility in China, but ex-
pect as a first step to aid the rest of the Nationalists in
establishing a "bourgeois democracy." In spite of these
declarations, dangerous splits are apparently widening.

Borodin himself left his job with the Soviet government
some time ago and went into the employ of the Cantonese;
no Soviet consul or ambassador has power to dictate his ac-
tions ; in fact, the Soviet consulate at Shanghai has informed
journalists that Borodin is a naturalized American citizen
from Chicago over whom they have no jurisdiction. Yet still
he is a Communist and he told me his view of China from
the international Communist's view of world revolution :

We are building here a bourgeois government. "Honest
government; jail the grafters; make China safe for business!"
those are our slogans [he said with a smile]. Do you wonder
why I, as a world revolutionist, take part in such endeavor?
Then listen. Honest government in China is the beginning of
world revolution. Stable government in China that turns back
foreign imperialists and refuses to let them use these four
hundred millions as a great unchecked slave mart. That act

ns the capitalism of the great powers back on themselves

face their workers at home. They can no longer use the

ve labor of China to beat down their workers, or the great
profits from China to bribe them. That's the importance of
a strong independent China, even a capitalist China, in t
strategy of world revolution.

Such were the views Lenin held of the nationalist move-
ments among suppressed peoples, borrowed now by Lenin's
disciple Borodin.

The Chinese themselves are not thinking of these

"TKp Rnians have helped us very much," I have



turns



views.



n



HE most incalculable factor of all is: how deep and . - -^ ^ - ^ ^ <<The Russjans

!ay they wish only to help us establish our own government
as we wish it, and to be our friends. If their statement i>.
true, it is well. If it is not true, we are able to get

T3,,ians" Possibly not, however, of all the ideas ti

the coolie's hate of the white man who kicks him around, J 1 f CQQ][K and peasants .

the worker's hate of the unreachable white employer, the Russians have started,



how serious is the inevitable split

themselves? Discordant elements have temporarily been
united by the powerful slogans of anti-imperialism and anti-
militarism. The ignorant peasant's hate of foreign devils,



Posters from Chinese Walls







MASS education by
means of posters is
one of the most quickly
learned and widely used
of Western ideas in
China. In the poster at
the left the large figure
in the headboard is lab-
eled The Tariff Confer-
ence, the two smaller
figures, Imperialists. A
free translation of the
text might read : "Breth-
ren, the Tariff Confer-
ence is a sort of head-
board. The Imperialists
are trying to put China
in the headboard. If we
wish to free ourselves
from imperialistic bond-
age, we must get tariff
autonomy for China"




A Peking Poster : "China bears the burden of the world"



IN the poster at the right, the char-
acters on the man's arm spell Workers,
those on the bell, Alarm. The notes
from the bell are :. Restore the Workers'
Federation in Shanghai ; We want free-
dom of speech and assembly, abolition
of unequal treaties, autonomy of cust-
Support the Canton government.



oms ;



r T~'HE frontispiece and the posters on
JL this and the facing page, are from
the collection brought home from China
by Lewis S. Gannett, associate editor of
The Nation, whose illuminating articles
have been republished as a pamphlet,
Young China ( twenty-five cents of The
Nation, New York City). While the
poster used on the cover was made for
the anti-opium campaign, it has a wider
significance in its portrayal of the giant
China bound by innumerable pygmy
enemies. It is used here through the
courtesy of the International Y.W.C.A.




As Labor Moves in China



By VERA KELSEY




Small boys working at night in a foundry at Nanking




direct cause of the recent break between
moderates and Communists in the Chinese
Nationalist Party was labor. That fact is
significant because it reveals the importance
to which the labor movement has grown in
in its five active years and prophetic because
it indicates that in all future issues in the development of
new and united China labor must be considered one of the
outstanding factors.

It typifies, too, the whole Chinese situation. The moder-
ates or right wing of the Nationalists represent those who
wish to see the new China founded on the three principles
laid down by Sun Yat-sen: political unification under a
national government; readjustment of international treaties;
betterment of the workers. The Communists or left wing
want to establish a Communism brought from Russia.

To many who sympathize with the Nationalists the break
coming at this time when they are engaged in a war with
the Northerners for control of the government, is a disaster.
Others welcome it. For the upheaval now in progress is
only the beginning of the struggle. China cannot become a
unified nation until all of her 400,000,000 think of them-
selves as units of a nation rather than of a family group.
As yet but a fraction think in these terms. A decade if not
a generation must pass before the ideas of political unity
can be generally accepted. For the Communists to reveal
at the outset that they would sacrifice the general good to
their own ends is a benefit rather than a hindrance. Their
withdrawal also frees the moderates from the necessity of
trying to reconcile two opposing viewpoints within the party
and enables them to concentrate on their own program.

Here again labor must become a vital issue. The labor
movement now extends over such an area and through so
many strata that the success of the Nationalists will be



helped or hindered to a large extent by the attitude of the
workers. When one realizes that the labor movment was
not recognized as such until 1922, that the first union was
formed less than twenty years ago, and that there are now
between 800 and 1,000 unions with an estimated member-
ship of 750,000, the reason for this is evident.

In 1909 the mechanics of Canton, absorbing from the
West some inkling of organization, formed a union. The
"mayor" of Canton, not to be outdone in progressiveness,
endorsed it, but at the same time as a prudent official sup-
pressed its every effort to function. So it smouldered, doing
little more than adding to its local membership and establish-
ing a branch at Hongkong. The Hongkong branch in
1920, possibly as much to its own surprise as that of
native and foreign industry in the South, struck for higher
wages and secured an increase ranging from 20 to 32^/2
per cent for its members. When the Canton union would
have followed suit, the Kiangsi militarists, in control at the
time, forced the union to discontinue its meetings.

The Kiangsi faction was driven out in the fall of 1921,
and the Republic of China, with Sun Yat-sen as president,
took its place. Dr. Sun immediately encouraged education,
suffrage, personal liberty. Under this encouragement, all
the repressed ambitions of labor burst into exotic bloom.
Organizations spread throughout Hongkong, Canton, and
South China generally until almost every trade had some
semblance of a union. Other reasons made South China the
leader. The North was cold to labor, the northerners slow-
moving and conservative, while the Cantonese are enthusi-
astic, of greater initiative, more aggressive and at the same
time more open to western influences.

The labor movement, however, was not recognized until
1922 when the Hongkong seamen won a three-months



144



AS LABOR MOVES IN CHINA



145

strike during which every labor organization in the British the Hongkong men were idle. Yet when the
colony walked out in sympathy, and many others formed won, they demanded and received the same benefits This
unions. After that the workers in factories, mills, work- is but one instance of many. That by 1925 something had
shops, and railways organized, not only in the industrial been achieved was illustrated in the general strike followine
cities but for hundred of miles up the great rivers into the the shooting of Chinese students by the British With mor
interior. Naturally all this did not develop without oppo- than 158,000 strikers out, the Shanghai unions paid each
sition, from employers, governments, the military, and the worker from their relief fund one dollar (Mexican) a week.

The decision to keep labor out of politics was the fruit of
experience and most important. Strikers on the Canton-
Hankow railway and in the Hanyang arsenal, fomented by
militarists and politicians to embarrass their rivals, had
proved costly for the workers.

The year 1925 stands out in the history of Chinese labor.
Then the shooting of the Chinese students resulted in the
general strike in which the unions won the attention of the
industrial world. Then the second meeting of the unions,
known as the All-China Labor Conference, resulted in
organization of a National Federation of Labor, representing
165 labor groups and about a half million workers.



guilds. The story is checkered with suppression, confis-
cation, arrests, even death. But human nature is very human
even in China, and the opposition served only to strengthen
the movement.

With the union went the strike. In Shanghai, for example,
fifty strikes were carried out by sixty labor unions in six
months. Information concerning many strikes is never
allowed to reach the outside world, but during 1925 alone
it is estimated that 375,000,000 working hours were lost in
China through strikes. Higher wages, shorter hours, better
conditions were almost invariably secured.

In May, 1922, a National Labor Conference was called
in Canton. Of the 168 delegates who attended, repre-
senting theoretically 300,000 workers, all but forty came
from Canton and its vicinity. The conference, therefore,
was almost entirely under the leadership of the southern
members, informed and experienced in some measure at
least in local organization and in western industrial aims.
As a result, although the conference adopted some far-
sighted resolutions for a national industrial program, these
could not be considered typical of the progress of Chinese
labor as a whole.

IN fact, to speak of the activities of China's workers
during these years as a "labor movement" is about as
fitting as to call a youth in his most salad days a man.
Those who came in contact with it labelled it with cautious
comprehension, "industrial unrest." In one large plant where
conditions were exceptionally good, the men struck because
they did not have bubbling drinking fountains. When
questioned, they confessed they did not know what a drinking
fountain was, and as none of them could have been induced
to drink cold water, the demand obviously was the sug-
gestion of some embryo agitator. At the same time in
Shanghai, the northern boiling point of the industrial un-
rest, the workers in a factory where conditions could not
have been worse, had heard nothing of the new movement.

Lopsided or short-sighted as some of the activities growing
out of the first Labor Conference may have been, there
were others equally farsighted in their understanding of the
basic needs of Chinese labor. Of these the most out-
standing provided for supplying the workers with funds
during strikes and keeping the movement economic rather
than political. The first was designed not so much to enable
the strikers to hold out as to develop sympathy and co-
operation among the members. Sympathy and under-
standing of other men's problems are among the least
known characteristics of the Chinese. In a country where
over one-third of the population lies on or below the poverty
line, where provincial wars, brigands, famines, floods,



FOLLOWING this the chief executive offices remained
in Canton, but a branch was opened in Shanghai. City
federations were organized in Shanghai, Nanking, Foochow,
and other industrial cities. By the end of July the Shanghai
Federation included 117 organizations with a membership
of 218,859. Unions were further strengthened by combi-
nation, as for example when the Shanghai Wharf Coolies'
Union was united with the wharf coolies' section cf the
Shanghai Federation under the name of the Shanghai
Transportation Union.

With the general strike, the growing influence of the
Soviet advisers to the Nationalist party became apparent,
and the beginning of the rift between the moderates, who
wished to better conditions under the existing order, and
the Communists, who wanted a new order. To strengthen
their position, the latter joined with the left wing of the
Kuomintang and the decision to keep the movement out of
politics went to the heaven of good ideas. Perhaps it should
be said here that the Kuomintang did not seek the Soviet.
On the contrary. Soviet envoys came to China prepared to
win over the intelligentsia through organization and propa-
ganda. But the intelligentsia were too firmly grounded in
the ideas of China's social organization to prove amenable.
At the same time Dr. Sun found himself with his political
program outlined, on fire with ideals for a unified country,
but with no machinery for putting them in force. The two
forces combined after 1921 and Dr. Sun placed Russian
advisers in the most important departments of the new
government. Doubtless, remembering the Chinese tendency
to extract from outside influences only those features of
direct benefit to themselves, the Southerners thought to
discard the Russians when they had absorbed the principles
of organization and propaganda. But in this case they un-
loosed forces they could not control.

THE Soviet advisers to the labor unions found among
the ignorant, inexperienced workers the right medium



line, wnere provincial wars, ungauus, louu i, >.. . j _ u k. i: ..... i . i

earthquakes, and droughts have been visitants for centuries, for spreading their doctrines and woul,

the people in self-prese'vation have encrusted themselves in As an observer of the ; C mese : mdus d s tu no sa d



a coating of indifference to the misery of others. As a
result, loyalty to any group outside the family had no roots.



The really rich field for the sort of thing that grew up
Russia from Lenin's harmless Marxian seed, is a land
illiterate men who have been deliberately



in
peopled



146



AS LABOR MOVES IN CHINA



little knowledge, together with a good deal of spiritual
room, acts like a goblet of synthetic gin." So it proved.
Opposed to capitalism as represented by the West and
religion, these leaders lighted the smouldering resentment
against "unequal treaties" and all that they suggest of
western education, religion, industry. They seized upon
the May 30 shooting to organize unions among the farmers,
and when it is remembered that 75 percent of the Chinese
are in agriculture, the importance of this cannot be over-
estimated.

THEY organized domestic and personal service groups.
Anyone who has seen reliable servants turned out on
an hour's notice, can appreciate their need for protection,
but the example of the Wuchang Foreign Servants' Union
is sufficient to show that their organization was not effected
for the best interests of the servants. The wage scale is
raised beyond the capacity of foreigners, especially mis-



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