Anarchism as an element of Our Time’s Heritage

"Belo-Ostrov, January 19, 1920. O radiant dream, O burning faith! O Matushka Rossiya, reborn in the travail of the Revolution, purged by it from hate and strife, liberated for true humanity and embracing all. I will dedicate myself to you, O Russia!

In the train, December 1, 1921! My dreams crushed, my faith broken, my heart like a stone. Matushka Rossiya bleeding from a thousand wounds, her soil strewn with the dead."(*1)

During her returning visit to the new born Soviet Russia from America with her comrade Sasha Berkman, Emma (as to be called only by first name according to the anarchist tradition) witnessed anarchism’s destiny standing at the historical turning point. In their interview with Lenin, whom they still regarded as their comrade. Lenin interrupted their inquiry of why were anarchists in Soviet prisons: "Anarchist? Nonsense! Who told you such yarns, and how could you believe them? We do have bandits in prison, and Makhnovtsy, but no ideological anarchist."

Emma and Sasha could also arrange a visit to Peter Kropotkin, the "anarchist prince" and one of the fathers of Russian Revolution (*2). Peter even received 250,000 Ruble from the Soviet Government Publication Department for the right to issue his literary work. Lenin himself highly recommended every library to purchase Peter’s _A History of the French Revolution_ (*3). Emma and Sasha "understood" that Lenin would not answer them frankly so they wanted an explanation directly from Peter: "Is there no one to speak out against it? No one whose voice would carry weight? Yours, for instance, dear comrade?"

My dear Emma, Peter smiled sadly: "You would know better after you have been awhile longer in the country." It was not fear. The main drawback, however, was the enemies surrounding Russia. Anything said or written against the Bolshevik was bound to be interpreted by the outside world as an attack upon the Revolution and as alignment with the reactionary forces. The blockade, the Allied support of the counter-revolutionary elements, the intervention, and all the other attempts to crush the Revolution had resulted in silencing every protest against Bolshevik tyranny within Russia itself. The anarchists in particular were between two fires. They could not make peace with the newly formed formidable power of the Kremlin, nor could they join hands with the enemies of Russia.

For this reason, at the early stage of the Revolution, almost all anarchists, especially those with significant political influence, voluntarily either assisted the Bolshevik (such as Makhno to Trotsky) or gave up their fight against the Bolshevik before the Bolshevik obtained dominant power. General N. N. Dukhonin, the chief of staff, was simply dismissed and right away lynched by Red Soldiers because he and the General Staff refused to start negotiation with the Germans in the same month of November 1917. The anarchists did rebel against the strengthening party dictatorship militarily -- at the last yet too late stage (such as Ukrainian peasants and Krontadt sailors).

However, as long as the Bolshevik-style one-party-dictatorship exists in any country, any significant political resistance within the country, including Trotsky, one of the system’s founder, has to be conflicted to the same discrepancy. Eventually, this discrepancy broken out in China in 1989 and that incident directly brought about the collapse of the world-wide communist power.

I have been frustrated by this contradiction since I arrived Japan three years before the 1989 Tiananmen Incident. Although Japan is claimed to be an independent sovereignty, every one from other Asian countries living in Japan knows that he cannot receive any legal protection if involved in political activity. This is true even though after the Incident Japan’s Premier Minister declared internationally that they would "protect Chinese students" in Japan. Everybody involved in the protesting activity knew that he must establish or "restore" some kind of connection with a state power.

Most Chinese people simply left the democratic movement. Since the Beijing regime itself was at the weakest point of its perceived legitimacy, it was not able to punish the mass population. Rather, it was happy to utilize this opportunity to "forgive" them. Tang Jiaxun, then the PRC Envoy to Japan, was in charge of handling this affair. He claimed that he had orders to destroy all petitions from Chinese students to the central government, so, to those who expressed their "regret" for participating the protection activity, "You really need not worry of your past mistakes." No one dared to question whether an envoy has the right to do so because the central regime in Beijing was more horrible.

After Deng Xiaoping’s public appearance in the CCTV, the Overseas Version of _People Daily_ reported that one Chinese representative in Tokyo area donated 300,000 yen to an education project in China. He successfully restored his royalty to the cults in power in Tokyo Embassy as well as in Beijing.

Another student representative in Tokyo area received support from Washington: he was appointed as a Washington Post correspondent in Tokyo. The Tokyo regime knows accurately how to treat him. This is not bad. The only problem is that we actually needed about thousands such positions while Washington could only offer one. Washington’s Beijing Embassy also offered another shelter for a couple of professors although we had millions for protection. Nonetheless, though he should better clarify the financial issue before his leaving, this no-harm option made the former representative safe and he needed not betray others to make his own fortune.

There were also several PRC passport holders who changed their passport to ROC (Taiwan) ones. This caused little problem to the Tokyo regime. It is also my first time to directly deal with this regime which still claims to be the "only sovereignty representing the whole China." I was invited by ROC Administrative Council (Cabinet) after the Incident. However, when I refused to sign a statement, which was apparently an insult to my personality, when applying for the visa, the ROC regime canceled the invitation and actually closed its door to me forever. After all, even a "junior brother" regime, like Taiwan, has plenty of lackeys to choose from. This is my first time to consciously distinguish myself from almost all other known overseas Chinese dissidents.

Another student representative from Kyoto University (regretfully, that was appointed by me) obtained an associate professorship of Law in Kobe University before graduation under the arrangement between the Tokyo and Beijing regimes for the purpose of "calming down" Chinese student political activities in Japan. His family were also sent out of China while the Beijing regime officially declared a new "law" restricting Chinese from going abroad. Although we do not have any forceful power, besides moral condemnation, do we have any right, either under the name of democracy or for the purpose of preventing further persecution, to punish such traitors?

I was caught. The only reminded option for me was to wait to watch what would come to me. First I lost my scholarship even though the Chinese Ambassador claimed that no Chinese student would be affected for political reason. This is not beyond expectation. Since the Japanese Congress and Education Minister claimed to compensate if any Chinese student is affected for the incident, I asked Osaka University. I would thank the officers who was so honest to tell me that those Japanese Congress and Ministry declarations are only lies to cheat international society. In fact, they were instructed to prevent any Chinese student from coming to them for help. Rather, Chinese students should go back to Chinese Embassy to apologize for their mistakes, I was advised so: "Your government has promised us that they will not persecute you."

Finally, when the Tokyo regime judged that I had been singled out by Tang Jiaxun to persecute (remember CCP’s traditional policy of "killing a chicken to scare monkeys?"), my life in Japan has been determined. Every research institute in Japan closed its door to me, in the name of "maintaining Sino-Japanese friendship" under the arrangement between the two regimes. The Japanese police, either local offices or secret koan iinkai (public security committee) followed me along my moves.

Like other beneficiaries such as Jiang Zeming (now PRC "President") and Zhu Rongji (now PRC Premier Minister), Tang Jiaxun now is China’s Foreign Minister, mainly through his "skillful" handling of this matter to persecute Chinese citizens in Japan. This is also an example of how the current ruling class obtained their power. From this process it is very clear to understand how they will run China, first and mainly for the purpose of maintaining their own status.

In the summer of 1994, when socialists became Japan’s Premier Minister as well as Congress speaker, I decided to flee out of this country. Although Beijing is my birthplace, the regime in Beijing, which has increasingly deteriorated into a marginal province of our time’s Roman Empire, deserves neither support nor opposition (*4). I must go directly to Roman Empire which actually determines both Beijing and Tokyo’s policy decision.

When the Japanese main media was listening my voice as a Chinese student representative, a U.S. counselor visited us and promised that "outstanding students like Zhao are always welcome to the United States." But now, time changed, and the same official "advised" us to stay in Japan to fight for China’s democracy. It is understandable for their denial of our visa application with the reason of "immigration intention" because they knew preciously that we cannot "return" to neither Japan nor China.

The journey to Roman took us more than one year. In the end of 1995, with the help of the humanist Edward Friedman at University of Wisconsin-Madison, I successfully arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.


*1. The above sentences and the following citations are from Emma Goldman’s "Living My Life," Marshall Shatz ed. _The Essential Works of Anarchism_, New York: Quadrangle Books, 1972.

*2. Another Russian Revolution father, G. V. Plekhanov, was found by the Red Guards near Petrograd soon after the Revolution and was welcomed the Soviet. He died in Finland as a great opponent of the Bolsheviks.

*3. Peter certainly rejected the offer. Anarchists are always sensitive to receiving financial support from any kind of authority rather than from individual’s voluntary willing. Refer to CPR 3’s essay in Chinese.

*4. Last year, Wang Che, who received doctorate degree in Political Science from Hawaii University, received a four-year prison from a Chinese local court after he published a returning-to-serve-our-motherland statement and returned to China. He was in the same situation as mine: without a Chinese passport which has been suspended due to our "anti-government" activities.

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