Letter from Ba Jin to the CRIA

By Ba Jin (1949)

Revolt Library Anarchism Letter from Ba Jin to the CRIA

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(1904 - 2005)

Chinese Anarchist Writer and Critic of the Chinese Communist Party

: Ba Jin, one of the main figures of twentieth century Chinese literature, died in Shanghai on the 17th of October 2005. He was also a survivor of the Chinese anarchist movement which disappeared with the victory of the Communists. While he was required to 'repent', and purged and humiliated during the Cultural Revolution, he never embraced any other ideal. (From: Kate Sharpley Library.)
• "...the state relies on the system of private property to survive. So once we abandon private property we will easily overthrow the state." (From: "Nationalism and the Road to Happiness for the Chi....)
• "What horror! So much for the benefits that the State has brought us. Arrogating to themselves the resources that are the common wealth of our planet, the capitalists grind us into a poverty that denies us the right to live. Not that the State punishes them for it: worse still, it protects them through a battery of laws." (From: "How Are We To Establish A Truly Free And Egalitar....)
• "The blight upon the people's freedom is the State. Ever since the State came into existence, we have stopped being free. No matter what we do or say, the State sticks its nose in. All we ask is to live in love with our brethren from other nations, but the State would have us patriots at any price, enrolls us in its armies and forces us to murder our neighbors." (From: "How Are We To Establish A Truly Free And Egalitar....)

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Letter from Ba Jin to the CRIA

 Photo by Elvert Barnes, CC BY License

Photo by Elvert Barnes,
CC BY License

Dear comrade

Received your letter, for which I thank you. Apologies for the belated reply, but I have been very busy of late. Anyway, eight days ago I sent off my editions of the artwork of Sim and Castelao on the Spanish Revolution. The publications that you sent me from Paris have yet to arrive. I am delighted that you have sent me them.

I get the Japanese newspaper regularly and know of the proposal for a Far Eastern Congress. But I don’t reckon a congress is feasible, given current circumstances in Asia. For a start, there is no way of traveling abroad from here without the permission of the government and correspondence destined for Japan is subject to censorship here and over there.

I regret that I am not in a position to bring you news of the anarchist movement in China since, to be honest, there is no such movement in China. I am quite alone here, working and making propaganda as just one writer. I am in charge of the editing of Kropotkin’s Illustrated Complete Works in Chinese, four volumes of which have already appeared. I am also the publisher of the project. There was another comrade who translated Paroles … and who is translating Modern Science … for me, but he was a pro-Kuomintang anarchist.

Lu Chien-Ho is isolated in Chengdu, but there is his brother who is not a comrade but a sympathizer and who knows French. He is an indefatigable worker. However he publishes his newspaper, Thought, as a supplement to the Kuomintang’s daily in Chengdu (the editor being a personal friend of his), so it is not widely read. In Fukien, and only there, there is a libertarian movement. It is not huge but it is real. There is a school there founded by our comrades and a small publishing house that has published ten or so pamphlets including Malatesta’s article on anarchy, as translated by Lu, and part one of my Bakunin.

I shall write again on other matters.

With best wishes and a fraternal handshake.

Li Pei Kan

From: The CIRA archives in Lausanne, Switzerland. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.

From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/rxwfbt


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March 18, 1949
Letter from Ba Jin to the CRIA — Publication.

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February 2, 2017; 4:08:37 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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April 8, 2019; 5:58:15 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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