La 30-an de decembro 2020 forpasis Eduardo Vivancos en Toronto, urbo en kiu li loĝis ekde 1954. Li aĝis 100 jaroj. Plurfoje li aperis en Militrakonto. Ekzemple en teksto pri Senŝtatano, kie oni rakontis lian agadon kiel ĉefredaktoron de tiu esperantlingva organo de Junul-Anarkista Internacio. Ankaŭ en 2019, okaze de SAT-kongreso en lia naskiĝurbo, ni prezentis aron da programeroj pri la hispana milito (1936-39), en kiuj oni homaĝis lin diversmaniere. Ripozu pace.
Eduardo VIVANCOS García (Barcelono, 19-an de septembro, 1920 – Toronto, 30-an de decembro, 2020) estis esperantisto aktiva ĉefe en anarkiistaj rondoj.
Eduardo Vivancos (foje esperantigita kiel Vivankos) apartenis al familio de laboristoj interesitaj en kulturo kaj en politika kaj socia aktivado. En julio de la jaro 1934 li finis siajn studojn en la elementa lernejo kaj du semajnojn poste estis dungita kiel metilernanto, du monatojn antaŭ sia 14-a naskiĝdatreveno. En septembro de la sama jaro li komencis studi vespere en la Labor-Lernejo de Barcelono (Escuela del Trabajo). Tie li renkontis tre aktivan grupon de junuloj, membroj de Iberia Junul-Liberecana Federacio (FIJL), kaj baldaŭ li aliĝis al la grupo. Tio estis la komenco de lia aktiva partopreno en la liberecanaj medioj. Ankaŭ li aliĝis al Studenta Federacio de Liberaj Konsciencoj, FECL (Federación Estudiantil de Conciencias Libres).
En la jaro 1935, li membriĝis al sindikato Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT-AIT) kaj restis membro de tiu organizacio dum sia tuta vivo.
En septembro de la jaro 1936, dum plena revolucia etoso post la Hispana Intercivitana Milito, li eklernis Esperanton en kurso organizita en la Popola Enciklopedia Ateneo (Ateneo Enciclopédico Popular). La kursgvidanto estis samideano Surinyac, membro de PUIL. Li baldaŭ iĝis fervora propagandisto en la diversaj medioj en kiuj li aktivis, kaj havis korespondantojn en pluraj landoj.
En 1937 la respublika registaro kreis “Institutos Obreros”, liceojn por laboristoj. Post kvar severaj ekzamenoj li sukcesis esti akceptata kaj komencis la studojn la 20-an de decembro de la sama jaro.
Tamen, tio ne daŭris ĉar la milita situacio iĝis pli kaj pli malbona. Komence de aprilo de la jaro 1938 la faŝista armeo eniris Katalunion kaj la situacio iĝis kriza. Li kun grupo de liberecanaj studentoj de la Instituto, kun pli da entuziamo ol sperto, decidis aktive partopreni en la defendo de la Respubliko kaj volontule soldatiĝis en bataliono de la 26-a Divizio, eksa kolono Durruti. Surprize, la komandanto de la bataliono, Ginés Martínez, estis esperantisto kaj membro de ILES, kaj ili havis sian E-rondeton kaj regule ricevis “Informa Bulteno”-n de CNT-AIT-FAI. En la batalfronto de Monsec (Ilerdo), por la unua fojo li instruis la lingvon.
Ekde februaro de 1939, kune kun pluraj miloj da samsortanoj, li devis ekziliĝi kaj troviĝis en pluraj koncentrejoj en Francio. Tie ne ĉesis la Esperanto-vivo, ĉar ekzistis aktivaj esperantistoj en la koncentrejoj de Vernet d’Ariège, Argelès, Bram, Agde kaj aliaj lokoj. Dum pluraj monatoj, en la jaro 1940, Vivancos kunvivis en la sama barako de la koncentrejo de Bram kun elstara kataluna esperantisto Jaume Grau Casas, membro de la Akademio kaj aŭtoro de “Kataluna Antologio”.
Dum tiuj unuaj jaroj la familio estis disigita, kaj nur en 1947 lia patrino kaj fratino (la ankaŭ esperantisto Juliette Ternant) rerenkontiĝis kun Eduardo kaj la patro.
Post la fino de la Dua Mondmilito, en 1945, li translokiĝis al Parizo kaj iĝis membro de SAT. En Parizo li konatiĝis kun Ramona, filino de hispanaj ekzilitoj, kaj ili geedziĝis la 5-an de decembro de la sama jaro. Ili havis du gefilojn: Floreal (1947) kaj Talia (1948).
En tiu tempo la Hispana Liberecana Movado reorganiziĝis en Francio. Okaze de kongreso de FIJL en Tuluzo dum la jaro 1946, estis decidite krei provizoran komitaton por la starigo de Junul- Anarkista Internacio. Vivancos iĝis membro de tiu komitato kiel unu de la delegitoj de la hispana federacio kaj samtempe redaktoro de ĝia organo en Esperanto “Senŝtatano“, kun alia kompano el Hispanio Germinal Gracia (konata ankaŭ sub la plumnomo Víctor García).
Tio estis okazo por establi rilatojn kun liberecanaj esperantistoj el le tuta mondo. Inter ili Jamaga Taiĵi el Japanio, Lu Chien Bo (Lu Jianbo) el Ĉinio, Hartvig Johansson el Svedio kaj eĉ kun Lanti, tiam loĝante en Meksikio. Speciale kun Jamaga la rilatoj estis tre fruktodonaj. Kelkajn jarojn poste Vivancos tradukis hispanlingven lian version de la Daŭdeĝingo de Laozi, kun la titolo “Libro del Camino y de la Virtud”. La tradukita verko estis eldonita en la jaro 1963 fare de la eldonejo “Tierra y Libertad”, Meksiko.
Kiam evidentiĝis ke la fino de la faŝista reĝimo en Hispanio ne estis proksima, en la jaro 1954 Vivancos elmigris al Kanado kun sia familio. Unu jaron poste li iĝis SAT-peranto en Kanado kaj restis en tiu posteno dum pli ol 30 jaroj. Li ankaŭ aktivis en la Esperanto-Rondo de Toronto kaj en Kanada Esperanto-Asocio. En la jaro 1973 tiu SAT-kolektivo en Toronto organizis la 46-an Kongreson de SAT, kiu estis la unua kongreso de SAT okazinta ekster Eŭropo.
En Toronto Vivancos aliĝis al ADEC (“Asociación Democrática Española Canadiense”). Dum pluraj jaroj ADEC organizis diversajn aktivaĵojn denuncante la frankisman reĝimon en Hispanio. Tiu asocio ankaŭ organizis regule publikajn konferencojn en kiuj, inter aliaj, parolis Federica Montseny kaj Enrique Tierno Galván.
Post 37-jara foresto, en la jaro 1976 li faris vojaĝon al Hispanio kie kun granda emocio li renkontis malnovajn kamaradojn kaj familianojn. Aliaj vizitoj sekvis, inkluzive de prelego pri la hispana revolucio kadre de la 59-a SAT-kongreso en Sant Cugat, sed li plu loĝis en Kanado.
En la lasta periodo de sia vivo li estis plurfoje honorigita. En 2017 kadre de la UK en Seulo UEA rekonis lin per diplomo pri elstara agado. Samjare, Xavi Alcalde prelegis pri lia vivo en la 76-a Hispana Kongreso de Esperanto, en la inaŭguro de la renovigo de la pariza SAT-sidejo, kaj en la 90-a SAT-kongreso en Koreio. Sekve la gvidrezolucio de tiu lasta kongreso inkluzivis la jenan frazon: “aparte salutas la kamaradon Eduardo Vivancos, la nuntempa plej malnova kamarado de SAT, kaj agnoskas lian longdaŭran engaĝiĝon kaj kontribuon al la SAT-movado”. En oktobro 2017 dum la inaŭgura prelego de la 38-a Kataluna Kongreso de Esperanto okazinta en Àger, Alcalde memorigis la ĉeestantojn, ke 80 jaroj antaŭe en la apuda montaro de Montsec Vivancos batalis kun aro da junaj idealistoj, kaj ĝuste en tiuj tranĉeoj li unue instruis Esperanton. En la 15-a decembro de tiu jaro edukado.net aldonis lin al la Panteono de Esperanto. En 2018 la usona revuo Fifth Estate dediĉis al li anglalingvan artikolon pri Esperanto kaj anarkiismo,Beletra Almanako publikigis en Esperanto lian taglibron verkitan dum la hispana milito, kaj Humanitat Nova publikigis ĝin en la hispana. En 2019 tiu sama revuo publikigis kaj analizis satiraĵon lian verkitan en la koncentrejo Bram en 1940; samjare dum la 92-a SAT-kongreso en Barcelono oni homaĝis lin plurmaniere, inkluzive de publikigo de lia libro Unu lingvo por ĉiuj: Esperanto. Okaze de lia centjariĝo en 2020 kadre de Monda Festivalo de Esperanto UEA dediĉis al li la unuan tagon de veteranoj; krome aperis ampleksa artikolo pri lia vivitinero en la kanada bulteno La Riverego, kaj SAT publikigis verkojn liajn en Sennaciulo kaj Sennacieca Revuo.
Notoj el mia taglibro (1937-1938). Publikigita unuafoje en Beletra Almanako en 2018.
Ni ne bezonas ŝtaton, religion, partion kaj estron …
Ni uzas anarkion kaj parolas esperanton!
“kiam en mondo malsata povrulo dormas apud ferma pordo de luksa domo,
neniam tiu mondo havos pacon” Eugène Varlin – Eugxen’ Varlin –
“Mi ne aliris anarkiismon, ĉar mi legis librojn aŭ broŝurojn de Kropotkin aŭ de iu ajn alia; mi aliris ĝin pro la morala kvalito de la laboristoj, kiujn mi renkontis kaj traktis.” Diego Abad de Santillan
“Anarkiismo estas difinita intelekta fluo en la vivo de nia tempo, kies anoj rekomendas la abolicion de ekonomiaj monopoloj kaj de ĉiuj trudaj politikaj kaj sociaj institucioj en la socio.” Anarki-sindikatismo. – Rudolf Rocker
Israela ŝtato kaj Palestina nacia aŭtoritato pretendas defendi interesojn de sia popolo. Sed fakte ili nur defendas interesojn de siaj respektivaj elitoj kaj tiujn de siaj internaciaj aliancanoj.
Ne gravas via origino, via lingvo aŭ via religio
Nuna solidareco kun la loĝantoj el Gazao devas esti registrita kune ĉiuj popolaj ribeloj (Kolombio, Tigray, Mjanmao Honkongo, Rojava, flavaj veŝtoj, …) kiuj skuas planedon kaj etendiĝas je vasta lukto kontraŭ murdista sistemo. Tiel,nia solidareco fariĝos pli forta
– Oni kutime ligas historie la anarkion al la laborista movado, kiu sub nomo Internacio floradis fine de la reĝado de Napoleono la III-a . Tio malĝustas. La malamon kaj la insultojn, per kiuj Karl Marks, la granda profeto de l’science socialismo, persekutadis Mikaelon Bakunin, ne kaŭzis profundaj malakordoj intelektaj aŭ etikaj. Bakunin kaj ties amikoj estis forpelitaj de la Internacio, ĉar federalistoj, malcentralizemaj, insurekciemaj, malamikaj al la formo de Ŝtatisma konkero por la parlamentaj seĝoj, kiun estis aplrenonta la socialista agado. La amikoj de Bakunin, la federalistoj, proklamis sin kolektivistoj kaj iuj inter ili hodiaŭ riproĉas al la socialismo, ke ĝi akaparis tiun kvalifikon; ja federalistoj tradukis kaj disvatigis en la mediteraneaj landoj “la Kapitalo”-n, la ĉefan verkon de Marks. Certe, Bakunin estis anarkiemulo, ofte perforteme kaj foje profunde, sed se oni zorge studas la movadon de la Ĵurasa federacio (kaj foras de ni la penso mistaksi la agadon, kiun ĝi siatempe plenumis), oni en ĝi renkontos ĉiujn reaperojn de la iama socialismo: kredo je la egaleco, la frateco inter ĉiuj homoj; ideoj pri universalaj solidaro kaj amo, pri estonta socio, pri revolucio savonta kaj tiuj transformonta la homaron – konceptoj, kiujn la anarkiismo, kiel la aliajn, submetiĝas al la individua analizo kaj kiuj estas neniel specife anarkiismaj, Verdire, la federalistoj de la Internacio montriĝis anarki-emaj en la koncepto pri le taktiko kaj la organizado de la socialisma movado. Por la cetero, nenio diferencigis ilin de la tiamaj revoluciaj socialistoj.
Situante ekstere, eksterpartiaj, specoj de perditaj infanoj, vivantaj antitezoj de l’socialismo, la narkiistoj malakordas sur ĉiuj punktoj kun la nuna socio. (…)
Ĉar ĝi lokiĝas trans la kutimaj reguloj, trans la aŭtoritatoj, kiuj ilin regas, la anarkiismo ne estas nura doktrino, nura sinteno, ĝi estas vivo. Ĝi ne estas sistemo, kolekto el preskriboj, malfekunda filozofio, ĝi estas konstanta aplikado, realigado, aktivado ĉiutaga!
La anarkiisto negas la leĝon, stariĝas kontraŭ la aŭtoritato de ties reprezentantoj, kontraŭ la agoj de la plenumantoj de la socio, tial ĉar li asertas kapabli doni mem leĝon al si kaj trovie en si la forton necesan por ekzists kaj konduti, tio sen ekstera interveno, ankaŭ sen kompromitiĝo. Li konceptas neniujn aliajn societojn, ol asociajon el kamaradoj unuiĝintaj per komuna akordo kaj libera laboro. La societoj, en kiuj li vivas, bezonas, por pludaŭri, mil specojn de aŭtoritatoj: aŭtoritato de dio, aŭtoritato de leĝodonantoj, aŭtoritato de la riĉeco, de la konsiderindeco, de la respektindeco, de la prapatroj, de ĉiusepcaj programoj. La anarkiisto, elvokante sin mem, ekzamenas, konsideras ĉiujn aferojn, akceptas aŭ forĵetas laŭ tio, ĉu la proponataj aŭ prezentataj ideoj kongruas aŭ ne kun lia vivkoncepto aŭ kun liaj individuaj aspiroj. Ĉiuj homoj akceptas esti determinataj de sia medio; strebas la anarkiisto – kalkulante kun la neeviteblaj fizikaj kondiĉoj – unue sin determini mem, poste roli kiel determinanto de l’medio.
Konklude, la anarkiistoj prezentas al si:
a) homon idealon: La anarkiiston; la homaron unuecon neganta la aŭtoritaton kaj ties ekonomian korolarion: la ekspluatadon; la estulon, kies vivo konsistas el daŭra reagado kontraŭ medio, kiu nek povas nek volas lin kompreni aŭ lin aprobi, tial ĉar la konsistigaj eroj de tiu medio estas sklavoj de malklero, de apatio, de prapatraj difektoj, de la respekto al la establitaj aferoj;
b) homan ideolon: La konscian individuon, emancipoĝontan, sur la vojo al realigado de nova tipo: la homo sen dioj kaj sen mastroj, sen fido kaj sen leĝo, kiu sentas neniam bezonon pri reglamentado aŭ ekstera trudo, tial ĉar li posedas sufiĉe de volkapablo por determini siajn proprajn bezonojn, uzi siajn pasiojn por pli disvolviĝi, multigi la eksperimentojn de sia vivo kaj konservi sian individuan ekvilibron;
c) socialn idealon: La anarkisstan medion, socion, en kiu la homoj – izolitaj aŭ asociitaj – determinus sian individuan vivon, en siaj aspketoj intelekta, etika, ekonomia, per libre interkonsentita kaj aplikata akordo, bazita sur “reciprokeco”, antentante pri la libero de ĉiuj, bridante la liberon de neniu.
What is an Anarchist? by Emile Armand
An excerpt from the essay What is an Anarchist? written by French individualist Anarchist and supporter of nudism Emile Armand.
Anarchy is usually linked historically to the labour movement which flourished under the International and at the end of the reign of Napoleon III. This is incorrect. The hate and the insults with which Karl Marx the great profit of “scientific socialism” persecuted Mikhail Bakunin did not cause deep intellectual or ethical divisions. Bakunin and those friends who were expelled from the International because they were federalists, against centralisation and in favour of insurrection, were the enemy of the form of state conquest via parliamentary seats that was being celebrated as socialist action. The friends of Bakunin called themselves Collectivists and some of them today reproach socialism for appropriating that term; yes federalists translated and promoted Capital the chief work of Marx in Mediterranean countries. Certainly Bakunin was an Anarchist, often violently and deeply so, but if one studies the movement of the Jura Federation (and the thought of misjudging the action which it once performed is far from us) in it we will encounter the reappearance of socialism: faith in equality, brotherhood between all peoples, ideas about universal solidarity and love, about future society, about a revolution that will save humanity and transform it – concepts which anarchism, like the others, are subject to individual analysis and which are in no way specifically anarchist. It is true to say that the federalists of the International showed anarchic tendencies in the concept of action and organisation in the socialist movement. For the rest, nothing differentiated them from the revolutionary socialists of the period.
Located outside, partisan, kinds of lost children, living antitheses of socialism, the narcissists disagree on all points with the current society. (…)
Because it is located beyond the usual customs, beyond the rules that they use to reign, Anarchism is not only a doctrine, nor an attitude, it is life. It is not a system, a collection of prescriptions, a sterile philosophy, it is a constant application, realization, daily activity!
The Anarchist denies the law, stands against the authority of representatives, against the actions of the majority of society, this is because he asserts that he is capable enough to give himself law and to find within it the strength necessary to exist and behave, and without outside intervention or without compromise. He conceives of no other society other than an association of comrades united by common accord and free labour. The societies in which he lives need a thousand different types of authority; the authority of God, the authority of the legislators, of the rich, of the intellectuals, of the respectable behaviours, of the patriarchs, of programs of every type. The Anarchist turns to himself, considers every matter, accepts or rejects according to his reason, whether or not the proposed or presented ideas are consistent with his conception of life and individual aspirations. All people accept to be determined by their environment; the anarchist strives – calculating with the inevitable physical conditions – first to determine himself, then to act as a determinant of the environment.
In conclusion, the Anarchist presents himself:
A) Human Ideal: The Anarchist; the unity of humanity negates authority and its economic corollary: exploitation; the being whose life consists in a constant reaction against an environment that neither can nor wants to understand or approve of him, because the constituent elements of that environment are slaves of ignorance, of apathy, of ancestral defects, of respect for established things;
B) Human Ideal: The Conscious Individual; emancipatory, on the way to the realization of a new type: man without gods and without masters, without faith and without law, who never feels a need for regulation or external coercion, therefore because he possesses enough volition to determine his own needs, use his passions to further develop, multiply the experiments of his life, and maintain his individual balance;
C) Social Ideal: The Anarchist method; a society, in which the people – either in isolation or in association- would determine his individual life, in its aspects intellectual, ethical, economic, by a freely agreed and applied agreement, based on “reciprocity”, anticipating the freedom of all, curbing the freedom of no one.
La malvenko en Katalunio de la militista ribelo je la 18a de julio de la 1936a kunportis, ke la ŝtato, tenanto de la politika povo kaj la militista forto kaj garantianto pri la socia kaj ekonomia organizado de la lando, tute disfalis.
Per la dissplitigo de la ŝtato la laboristoj –aparte tiuj permanaj, kiuj faris decidoplenan rolon je la atingo de la venko sur la ribelintoj– atingis politikan venkon kaj komencis ampleksan kaj ĝisfundan revolucian transformon de la kataluna socio.
Tiu transformo, sinbazante sur la anarkiista kaj anarkisindikatista idearo de la NKL-IAF (1) (Nacia Konfederacio de la Laboro – Iberia Anarkiista Federacio), ĉar tiu organizo ĝuis plejmultan influon sur la laboristaro kaj klopodis realigi la principojn de la liberecana socialismo ĉe industria socio –kaj parte atingis tion–, okazigante originalan spertaĵon, nursolan je la mondo, kiu forestis tiom de la kapitalismo kiom de la ŝtatsocialismo.
Katalunio havis tiam loĝantaron el 2.791.000 homoj, el kiuj 1.791.000 loĝis ĉe la urbo Barcelono. 54% el la dungita loĝantaro laboris ĉe la industrio, elcento altiĝanta ĝis 68% ĉe la provinco Barcelono.
La kolektivisma spertaĵo disvolviĝinta en Katalunio de julio de la 1936a ĝis januaro de la 1939a, kvankam ĝi ne kapablis atingi plene siajn celojn kaŭze de la kondiĉoj kaj malfacilaĵoj, kiujn ĝi devis alfronti, konsistigas iun el la plej radikalaj transformoj je la 20a jarcento. Transformo, kiu tuŝis ĉiujn flankojn de la politika, ekonomia, socia kaj kultura vivo, kaj kvankam ĝi estas parto de la hispana revolucio, ĝi posedas specifajn kaj proprajn karakterojn parte malsimilajn al tiuj de la aliaj teritorioj de la respublikana Hispanio.
Ĉe la kataluna kamparo la eta proprieto kunestis kun la meza kaj granda proprieto, kiu estis ekspluatata sub reĝimo de farmo je duono (2). La farmistoj je duono, kiuj konsistigis la plejmultan kamparanan loĝantaron, eltenis ekde antaŭ ol la 1936a gravajn batalojn por plibonigi la kondiĉojn de siaj kontraktoj kaj celis je ĝenerale aliiĝi al proprietuloj de la kampoj, kiujn ili kulturis.
Ĉe la agra sektoro la sindikata unuarangeco apartenis al la UR (Unió de Rabassaires (3)) kaj la ĉeesto de la NKL estis malgranda. Ĉe tiu ĉi sektoro ludis gravan rolon la agraj sindikatoj (iuspecaj kooperativoj), al kiuj devige apartenis ĉiuj kultur-bienoj. Tiuj ĉi sindikatoj, regitaj de la UR kaj kun rimarkinda ĉeesto de la ĜUL (4), konsistigis gravan bremsilon por la disvolvo de la kolektivoj.
Ĉio tio kunportis, ke la kolektivigo de la kampo estu limigita. Malgraŭ ĉio oni kreis pli ol 400 agrajn kolektivigojn, kiujn oni starigis ĉefe kun bienoj konfiskitaj al la grandaj proprietuloj kaj al bienuloj partianoj de la faŝistoj kaj kun la alportaĵoj de la etaj proprietuloj, aliĝintaj al ili. Je ĝenerale tiuj ĉi kolektivigoj reprezentis neniun gravan ekonomian forton, ĉar iliaj anoj konsistigis nur parton el la kamparanoj de la municipo. Tamen estis gravaj eksceptaĵoj, aparte la kantonojn Malalta Ljobregato kaj Malalta Ebro (5), kolektivigoj, kiujn partoprenis ankaŭ anoj el UR kaj ĜUL.
La proceso de kolektivigo-socialigo en la industrio kaj la servoj
Sufokita la ribelo, kiam oni rekomencis la produktantan agadon, ĉar la mastroj forlasis siajn entreprenojn –je iuj okazoj– aŭ ne kuraĝis altrudi sian aŭtoritaton, ĉar al ili mankis la subpremigan forton de la ŝtato –je aliaj–, la laboristoj komencis tuje kaj meminiciate ekfunkciigi la kolektivigan proceson kaj prenis rekte ĉemane la kontrolon kaj la direkton de la plejmulto el la entreprenoj; estas rimarkinde, ke tion ili faris spontanee.
La spontanea karaktero de la kolektivigo signifas, ke tiu ĉi ne estis realigita sub agvortoj, instrukcioj aŭ direktlinioj de iu ŝtata direktorgano aŭ de iu partio aŭ sindikato, sed el la decido de la laboristoj mem. Tiuj ĉi pere de siaj organizoj de fabriko kaj sektoro realigis praktike la ideojn kaj konceptojn, kiujn ili havis rilate kiel devas organiziĝi kaj funkcii la socio entute kaj aparte la ekonomia agado; tiuj ĉi ideoj estis grandparte frukto de la liberecanaj instruado kaj propagando, kiujn disvolvis dum la antaŭaj jardekoj la laboristaj kluboj (6), sindikatoj, kooperativoj, ktp.
La kolektivigo de la entrepreno signifis, ke ĝia proprieto aliiĝis el privata al publika kaj ke ĝiaj laboristoj mem regis kaj administris ĝin. Sed tio laŭ la kolektivigistoj estis nenio krom la komenco de pli ampleksa proceso, tiu de la kolektivigo-socialigo, kiu el la kolektivigo de la entreprenoj endis antaŭeniri –kaj tiel okazis parte– al la kunordigado de la ekonomia agado laŭ industribranĉoj kaj teritorioj kaj el malsupro supren ĝis atingi la plenan socialigon de la riĉeco.
Tamen, baldaŭ okazis la rezigno klopodi plenumi la disvolvon de la proceso de kolektivigo-socialigo flanke de la gvidantaj organoj de la NKL-IAF, pledante ke tio ĉe la tiamaj cirkonstancoj signifus altrudi ilian diktatorecon. Tiu ĉi rezigno okazigis enajn alfrontojn kaj eĉ la iompostioman forlason de iliaj antaŭsupozaĵoj kaj principoj.
La menciita proceso, pelita kaj subtenita de la plejmulto el la permanaj laboristoj de la industrio kaj la servoj, trovis la kontraŭstaron de grava parto el diversaj sociaj sektoroj: la etburĝaro, la teknikuloj, la funkciuloj kaj la komercaj kaj administraj laboristoj, kiuj entute konsistigis gravan socian bazon ĉu laŭkvalite kaj laŭkvante. Tiuj ĉi, kvankam plejparte sintenis kontraŭ la militista ribelo, kontraŭstaris la kolektivigan alternativon, ĉu ĉar ili defendis la privatan propieton sur la produktrimedoj aŭ ĉar ili defendis la ŝtatan proprieton sur tiuj. Tiun ĉi kontraŭstaron kanaligis kaj defendis ERC (7), ACR (8), UR, PSUC (9) kaj ĜUL kontraŭ NKL, IAF, Liberecana Junularo kaj POUM (10), kiuj subtenis la kolektivismajn transformojn.
La proceso de kolektivisma transformo atingis grandan amplekson rilate al la unua ŝtupo –tiu de la kolektivigo de entreprenoj (el 70% ĝis 80% de la entreprenoj)– kaj ankaŭ atingis duan ŝtupon –tiu de la starigado de grupigoj–, kie ĝi haltis kaŭze de la malsukceso antaŭeniri al tria ŝtupo –tiu de la ĝenerala socialigo de la industriaj grupigoj.
Grupigo estis la unuiĝo aŭ koncentriĝo de ĉiuj aŭ parto de la entreprenoj de ekonomia sektoro kaj certa teritorio –municipo, regiono, Katalunio– en pli granda ekonomia unuo sub reĝimo de kolektiva proprieto kaj regata kaj administrata de la laboristoj mem. Sekve la entreprenoj, partoprenantaj grupigon, ĉesis ekzisti kiel entreprenoj kaj ties pasivo, aktivo kaj laboristoj apartenis al la nova produktunuo.
La grandaj kolektivigitaj entreprenoj, kiel la Kolektivigitaj Tramvojoj de Barcelono (transporto), la Hispano Suiza kaj la Rivière (metalurgio), CAMPSA (petrolo), La Industria Hispanio (teksaĵoj), Bierejoj DAMM (trinkaĵoj) ktp, kaj la grupigoj, kiel la Kolektiva Grupigo de la Barcelona Konstruindustrio, la Socialigita Ligno de Barcelono, la Grupigo de Kolektivigitaj Barbirejoj kaj Frizejoj de Barcelono, la Socialigitaj Publikaj Spektakloj de Barcelono, la Unuiĝintaj Elektraj Servoj de Katalunio, la Kolektivigita Fandaĵindustrio ktp, konsistigas la plej gravajn kaj rimarkindajn spertaĵojn de la kolektivigo de la industrio kaj la servoj kaj, ĉar la grupigo estas ties plej kompleksa kaj supera organizformo, ilia analizo estas fundamenta por la kono de tiu ĉi spertaĵo kaj el tiu oni povas eltiri gravajn erojn de la ĝenerala socialigo, al kiu aspiris la kolektivisma alternativo.
La proceso de kolektivigo-socialigo evoluis je la paso de la tempo, kaŭze de la propra ena logiko de la kolektiviga proceso kaj de la ŝanĝoj okazintaj ĉe la fortrilato inter kolektivigdefendantoj kaj -kontraŭantoj.
Tiuj ĉi evoluo montriĝis per kvar etapoj: la unua: ekde julio ĝis finaĵoj de oktobro de la 1936a, je kiu komencis spontanee la kolektivigo kaj disvolviĝis sen malfacilaĵoj la laborista memadministrado. Dum tiu ĉi fazo okazis la plejmulto el la entreprenaj kolektivigoj kaj komenciĝis la starigado de la plejmulto el la grupigoj.
La dua: ekde oktobro de la 1936a ĝis majo de la 1937a, ĝi ekis per la dekreto pri kolektivigoj –frukto el kompromissolvo, kiun interkonsentis la diversaj politikaj kaj sindikataj organizoj–, je tiu ĉi etapo oni antaŭeniris en la kunordigado de la kolektivisma ekonomio kaj ĝi estis la periodo, je kiu estis laŭleĝigita pli granda kvanto el kolektivigitaj entreprenoj kaj grupigoj. Tiel unuflanke estis disvolvata kaj fortikigata la kolektivigo- socialigo, sed aliflanke la uzado de ŝtataj organoj, malgraŭ la unuarangeco en ili de la NKL-IAF, kunportis gravan kontraŭdiron kun la principoj kaj antaŭsupozaĵoj de la kolektivisma alternativo.
La tria: ekde majo de la 1937a ĝis februaro de la 1938a, ĝi komenciĝas kun la perdo de la politika unuarangeco de la NKL-IAF, la subpremado realigita sur la LPUM kaj la plifortikiĝo de la povo de la Generalitat (11) kiel sekvoj de la “majaj okazaĵoj“. Dum tiu etapo kreskis la ŝtata regado sur la ekonomio kaj samtempe la NKL klopodis pliigi la sindikatan regadon el la supro malsupren. Ĉi-rilate estas signifoplenaj la rezolucioj de la Plenumo de Valencio je januaro de la 1938a: rezigno pri la defendo de la unika salajro, starigado de prilaboraj inspektoroj, punigaj proceduroj, ktp.
La kvara: ekde februaro de la 1938a ĝis januaro de la 1939a, ĝi sin karakterizas per la pliigo de la intervenemo de la registaro de la Respubliko, la pliigo de la atakoj kontraŭ la kolektivigo por favori la ŝtatigon kaj reprivatigon kaj la rezigno defendi la memadministradon, flanke de la direkcio de la NKL, kune kun ĝia akcepto de la ŝtatigo, kiel estas spegulita de la pakto ĜUL-NKL je la 18a de marto de la 1938a. Malgraŭ ĉio, ĝis kiam la frankistaj trupoj okupaciis Katalunion, funkciis daŭre granda kvanto el kolektivigitaj entreprenoj kaj grupigoj, danke al la defendado, kiun faris la laboristoj.
La grupigoj en la industrio kaj la servoj
La grupigoj montris plurajn diferencojn unu el la aliaj laŭ la karakterizoj de la ekonomia sektoro, al kiu ili apartenis, laŭ la teritorio, en kiu ili disvastiĝis, laŭ la koncentriĝtipo (nur horizontala aŭ horizontala kaj vertikala samtempe), laŭ tio, ke ili estis laŭleĝigitaj aŭ ne, ktp. Malgraŭ tio, estis ĉe la grupigoj aro de komunaj aŭ similaj eroj, tiel ĉe la organiza flanko –simila al tiu de la kolektivigitaj entreprenoj, kvankam pli kompleksa– kiel ĉe tiu ekonomia kaj socia:
Organizado kaj ena funkciado
• Ĝenerala Asembleo. Ĝin partoprenis ĉiuj laboristoj –permanaj, administraj, komercaj, teknikaj– de la grupigo, ĝi estis la supera decida organo. Ĉe ĝi oni debatis kaj difinis la ĝeneralajn agaddirektojn, elektis kaj siaokaze eksigis la anojn de la ĉiutagaj decidaj organoj kaj kontrolis la agadon de tiuj ĉi organoj.
• Entreprena Konsilo. Ĝi estis la organo taskigita pri la teknik-ekonomia ĉiutaga direkcio. Ĝiaj anoj ricevis nur la salajron, kiu respondis ilian profesian kategorion.
• Sindikata Komitato. Ĝi estis la organo taskigita pri la ĉiutaga defendo de la laboristaj tujaj interesoj –salajro, laborkondiĉoj, emeritiĝo, ktp.
• Aldone al tiuj tri ĝeneralaj organoj de la grupigo estis ĉe ĉiuj ties ŝtupoj –laborcentro, municipo ktp– similaj organoj, kiuj havis aŭtonomecon por solvi la aferojn, kiuj tuŝis nur ilian sferon.
• Oni donis ĉefan gravecon al la ena vertikala kaj horizontala interkomunikado kaj al tio, ke ĝi estu rapida kaj flua.
• Ĉe la laŭleĝigitaj grupigoj estis ankaŭ la Kontrolisto de la Generalitat, enoficigita de la Ministro pri Ekonomio laŭ la propono kaj kun la kunsento de la laboristoj, kiu taskiĝis elteni la rilaton kun la superaj organoj –Priekonomia Konsilo, Ministro pri Ekonomio, ktp.
Restrukturado kaj raciigo de la produkta agado
• Ili koncentrigis la produktadon en pli grandaj unuoj per malaperigo de laborcentroj.
• Ili pliigis la fakiĝon de la laborcentroj kaj la raciigon de la ĝenerala produktado ĉe la sektoro.
• Ili prilaboris statistikojn, ekspluatkontojn ktp cele al plani la produktadon.
• Ili plibonigis kaj modernigis la produktan maŝinaron.
• Ili centralizis la administrajn, kontistajn kaj komercajn servojn.
• Ili forbalais la parazitajn perantojn kaj alproksimigis la produktadon al la konsumanto.
• Ili enkondukis ŝanĝojn je la produktaĵoj, kaŭze de la milito, la novaj sociaj prioritatoj, kaj la graveco, kiun ili donis al la etikaj kaj estetikaj principoj.
• Ili disvolvis politikon pri anstataŭigo de importaĵoj per sukcesa uzo de enlandaj produktaĵoj kaj fabrikado de novaj produktaĵoj.
• Ili stimulis la esploradon ligitan al la produktado.
• Ili plibonigis la labor-, higien- kaj sanfavorkondiĉojn ĉe la laborcentroj.
• Ili malpliigis la salajrajn diferencojn kaj foje atingis eĉ ties neniigon. Krome estis foje familia krompago, kiun oni fiksis laŭ la kvanto el homoj dependantaj de la la laboristo.
• Ili starigis servojn pri asistado –kuracista, malsanuleja kaj apoteka– kaj pri socia antaŭzorgo –malsano, akcidento, nasko, labora nekapablo kaj emeritiĝo– administritaj kaj kontrolitaj de la laboristoj mem.
• Ili agis kontraŭ la sendungeco per multobligo de la laborpostenoj kaj, kiam tio ne sufiĉis, per disdono de la laboro kaj la salajro.
• Ili realigis gravajn streĉojn por pliigi la pretecnivelon de la laboristoj ĉe la tri flankoj: fizika, intelekta kaj profesia.
• Ili atentis multe la interesojn de la konsumantoj: ili pliigis la kvaliton de la produktoj kaj servoj, de la higieno kaj de la sanfavoreco –frizejoj, laktindustrioj ktp–, plifaciligis la aliron al la produktaĵoj kaj servoj, ktp.
Je la 1936a Katalunio tute malhavis industrion, kiu dediĉiĝis al la fabrikado de armiloj, tial, por povi disponi pormilitan materialon, oni transformis la civilan industrion –aparte tiun metalurgian kaj ĥemian– en militindustrio, kion oni realigis per mallonga tempoperiodo.
Tiun transformon komencis la laboristoj mem tuj post la 19a de julio, enoficigante jam je la 21a de julio al Eugenio Vallejo, de la Metalurgia Sindikato, por kunordigi la organizadon de tiuj industrioj.
La 7an de aŭgusto la Generalitat starigis la Komisionon pri Militindustrio, taskita kontroli kaj kunordigi tiujn ĉi industriojn, kaj kiu estis akceptata de la NKL post atingi serion el garantiaĵoj. Praktike la kunlaboro, kiu stariĝis inter la entreprenaj konsiloj kaj la Komisiono, estis tre kontentiga. La Komisiono, krom kunordigi la entreprenojn aliiĝintaj al militindustrioj, starigis ankaŭ iujn novajn entreprenojn kaj starigis rilatojn kun tiuj, prilaborantaj helpproduktaĵojn por la milito de la sektoroj teksaĵa, optika, ligna, ktp.
Je oktobro de la 1937a la militindustrio kalkulis pli ol 400 fabrikojn kaj ĉ. 85.000 laboristojn kaj faris tre diversan kaj grandkvantan produktadon: kartoĉojn, pistolojn, vicpecojn por pafiloj kaj maŝinpafiloj, diversajn tipojn el eksplodaĵoj, man- kaj avibomboj, kirasitajn veturilojn, aviadilajn motorojn, ktp.
Tamen la registaro de la Respubliko ĉiam malfidis kaj bojkotis la starigadon de militindustrio en Katalunio, ĉar ĝi ne estis sub ĝia rekta regado. Regado, kiun ĝi ne atingis ĝis la 11a de aŭgusto de la 1938a, kie ĝi dekretis ties militistigon. Tion kontraŭstaris tiel la Generalitat kiel la laboristoj de tiuj entreprenoj, kio kaŭzis gravan malpliigon de la produktado.
La kolektivisma spertaĵo, disvolviĝinta en Katalunio, havis la fortikan subtenon de la ega plejmulto el la manlaboristoj, kaj tion pruvas interalie la defendo, kiun ili faris de la kolektivigaj atingoj, kiam tiuj estis minacitaj, kaj la malalta kvanto de labora malĉeesto. Krome ĝi reliefigis la egan kre-, organiz- kaj produktkapablon de la laboristoj, kiam la entreprenoj estas ĉe iliaj manoj kaj estas ili, kiuj decidas.
Je ĝenerale tiu ĉi spertaĵo atingis sunklare pozitivajn rezultojn ĉe la flankoj ekonomia –eĉ multenombraj entreprenistoj agnoskis tion– kaj socia. Bedaŭrinde ĝi estis venkita ĉe la kampo politika-militista de tiuj, kiuj kontraŭstaris ĝin kaj per sia venko je majo de la 1937a atingis bremsi kaj malantaŭenirigi la kolektivigo-socialigon, kaj finfine de la okupacio de la trupoj de Franco je januaro de la 1939a, kiuj atingis ties plenan neniigon.
Hispanlingva originala versio en la periodaĵo “Solidaridad Obrera”, kadre de jubilea numero eldonita okaze de la centjariĝo de CNT-AIT (2010) 18-19. Esperantigo kaj piednotoj de Jurgo Alkasaro.
1.- CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) – NKL (Nacia Konfederacio de la Laboro). FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica) – IAF (Iberia Anarkiista Federacio). Ekde la 1936a la sigloj de ambaŭ organizoj aperis kunigitaj.
2.- Aparcería aŭ katalune masoveria – farmo je duono. Aparcero aŭ katalune masover estis kamparano, kiu luis kampon, sub la kondiĉo donaci parton el la rikolto al la propietulo de la kampo kiel luon.
3.- Unió de Rabassaires – Unuiĝo el Rabassaires. Rabassaire estis kamparano, kiu farmis kampon, sub kondiĉo ke, kiam mortos la du trionoj el la vinberoj de li plantitaj, senvalidiĝos la farmkontrakton.
4.- UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores) – ĜUL (Ĝenerala Unuiĝo de Laboristoj)
5.- Baix Llobregat (Malalta Ljobregato) kaj Baix Ebre (Malalta Ebro), katalunaj regionoj, kiuj enhavas la delton de la riveroj Ljobregato kaj Ebro respektive.
6.- Ateneo – Laborista Klubo. La laboristaj kluboj estis klerigaj asocioj, plejparte maldekstremaj kaj liberecanaj, kiuj liveris al la laboristoj bazan ĝeneralan instruadon, socian kaj politikan kleriĝon kaj kunvenejojn por la socia agado.
7.- ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) – KRM (Kataluna Respublika Maldekstro). Burĝa naciista partio, kies plej konata gvidanto estis Lluís Companys.
8.- ACR (Acció Catalana Republicana) – KRA (Kataluna Respublika Agado). Plia burĝa naciista partio, kies plej konata gvidanto estis Lluís Nicolau d’Olwer.
9.- PSUC (Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya) – USPK (Unuiĝinta Socialista Partio de Katalunio). Kataluna filio de la Hispana Komunista Partio. Plej konata gvidanto: Joan Comorera.
10.- POUM (Partit Obrer d’Unificació Marxista) – LPMU (Laborista Partio de Marksista Unuiĝo). Kataluna marksista partio, kontraŭstarinta la stalinan politikon de la HKP. Plej konataj gvidantoj: Andreu Nin kaj Joaquim Maurín.
11.- Generalitat [Ĝanaralitat’] estas la nomo de la tiama kaj nuna kataluna reginstituciaro.
(excerpt from “BEYOND THE BOUNDS OF REVOLUTIONS: CHINESE IN TRANSNATIONAL ANARCHIST NETWORKS FROM THE 1920S TO THE 1950S” by MORGAN WILLIAM ROCKS)
In the 30’s, Esperanto still maintained a connection to anarchism and leftist activity in China at this time. Esperanto came to China in the first decades of the twentieth century, with a major entry point via the first Chinese anarchist groups in Pairs and Tokyo. Its early association with anarchism and radical thought would hold and the language would be viewed as a vehicle for language reform efforts by the likes of Lu Xun. From its initial entry into China via major urban centers of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, it spread to other parts of the country, most notably Sichuan, which would come to produce a number of influential Esperantists, including Lu Jianbo (Lu Chien Bo) 卢剑波 (1904-1991), who represents perhaps one of the most visible figures who continued to work in the 30’s as an anarchist . In the 1930s, after Lu returned to Sichuan in the aftermath of the consolidation of power under Chiang Kai-shek and the GMD Right, Lu published a number of Esperanto journals and study societies.
One significant journal Lu was involved with was Yuyan 《语言》 , which advocated the adoption of Esperanto and script reform for China. But Lu advocated more than just language reform and the adoption of Esperanto. Esperanto’s connection to anarchism and radical internationalism played an important part in one of Lu’s other periodicals, Chongjing 《憧憬》 (La Sopiro), which ran from 1933 to 1934.
In Chongjing, Lu published a manifesto introducing the Esperantist International Anti-Militarist Office, which was based in The Hague. He even provided the organization’s mailing address and encouraged interested readers to subscribe and join. Through these two journals and others, Lu Jianbo continued to engage with anarchist thought and practice and maintain links with anarchist comrades across the globe. He and many of his cohort at these journals would go on to issue Jingzhe in 1937.
Esperanto also played an important role in Lu’s connections to the global anarchist movement. Lu contributed Esperanto articles as to the state of anarchist activities in China to the journal of the Esperanto Stateless Association (SAT). He was an avid participant of the Esperanto movement in the 1920s and both Spanish and Esperanto would serve as his connections to the globe. These connections built through Esperanto also aided his endeavors in the late 1930s in running Jingzhe and its anarchist takes on the war, and they would continue to prove useful throughout the remainder of his life. In the early 1930s, Lu returned to Sichuan, having escaped possible imprisonment and execution by the GMD, after having been marked a leftist-communist agitator . He eventually landing a position as a teacher at West China Union Advanced Middle School 华西协和高级中学 . During his time at the school, eventually settling in and around the Chengdu area, published a steady stream of periodicals, some focusing on literature, some focusing on Esperanto, but all maintaining links, thoughts, and practices with larger global anarchist communities. He also formed numerous Esperanto societies.
In early 1937, as the conflict with Japan worsened and war seemed ever more likely, Lu first published Jingzhe 《惊蛰》 (The Awakening), an explicitly anarchist journal that translated anarchist and radical literary texts. More importantly, it translated anarchist reportage on the Spanish Civil War to its audience and developed an anarchist critique of what would be the Chinese war effort of those first few years. Jingzhe ran until early 1940, but during its nearly three years of existence, it represented a not insignificant effort by anarchists to propagate their vision. Further, it brought together and articulated a global anarchist voice on the war, connected China’s conflict with Japan to a global anti-fascist front, and emphasized that the conflict should not be fought as a contest between nation-states, but as a revolution for a new society.
In the second volume of Jingzhe, there were numerous advertisements for a series of translations Esperanto textbooks. Originally by the Esperantist, Varanko, this set of primers was aimed at teaching Esperanto and promoting Esperantist ideology. The books included were A Chinese-Esperanto Dictionary 《汉世辞典》 , Esperanto Sentence Construction 《世界语造句法》 , Esperanto Pronunciation 《世界语发音学》 , Guiding Discourse to International Language 《国际语导论》 , and Esperanto for Esperantism 《为世界语主义的世界语》 . Except for the dictionary, all books in this series were identified as translated by Lu Jianbo.
This promotion of Esperantism and Esperanto continued from Lu’s earlier journals in the 1930s. Over the course of Jingzhe’s run, Esperanto would play an important role in defining the publication’s identity. On each issue, the date was given in both Chinese and Esperanto. Moreover, much of the translated Esperanto material came from Informa Bulteno CNT-AIT-FAI, the Esperanto edition of the information bulletin of the spanish CNT-AIT-FAI. This bulletin gave information about the Spanish revolution, from the CNT-AIT’s anarchosyndicalist point of view.
Additionally, in many cases, throughout the translated texts, words and proper nouns that were difficult to transliterate into Chinese were also printed in Esperanto. Esperanto’s importance to Jingzhe cannot be overstated, however, it must also be placed in context. The journal, after all, was printed in Chinese, and Esperanto, though important as an input for the journal’s articles, was sparingly used as a medium of communication. As financial difficulties and physical limitations imposed by the war affected print and paper quality, Esperanto was seen less and less in Jingzhe’s pages. These difficulties aside, Jingzhe would not exist in its finished form without the existence of Esperanto-language materials and their exchange across the anarchist networks in which Lu participated.
Lu’s Esperanto connections were maintained after the Second World War and he evidently contributed to Senstatano, an Esperanto published by the Internacional Juvenil Anarquista, an international anarchist youth organization run by Germinal Gracia and Eduardo Vivancos.
Some articles published by Chinese esperantists anarchists in the 20’s esperanto press :
Anarkiista junulara federacio en Cinio : Deklaracio de la anarkiista junulara federacio en Cinio. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 4 (1928), no. 4: p. 29.
Li, Pai Kan [NBa Jin] : Laborista movado en Cinio / Li Pei Kan. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 1 (1926), no. 4: p. 65
Li, Pai Kan : La mallonga historio de la anarkiista movado en Cinio [= The History of the Anarchist Movement in China] / Li Pai-Kan. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 2(1926), no. 2: pp. 24-26
Lu, Chien Bo : La anarkiista movado en Cinio (1925-1926) / Lu Cien Bo. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 1 (1926), no. 5-6: n.p.
Lu, Chien Bo : Detaloj pri la moderna Ginio / Lu Cien Bo. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 3 (1927), no. 6: p. 42.
 Deng Jun, “Zhizao xiwang: 1920 niandai zhongdongsheng de shijieyu xiangxiang” 《制造希望： 1920年代中等生的世界语想象》 [Creating Hope: Mid-Level Students Image of Esperanto in the 1920s], Xueshu yuekan, 49, no. 9 (2017): 165
 See Gregor Benton and Gotelind Müller-Saini, “Esperanto,” in Chinese Migrants and Internationalism: Forgotten Histories, 1917-1945, ed. Gregor Benton (New York: Routledge, 2007), 92-114
 Bai Yangshu, “Shijieyu yundong zai Sichuan de fazhan” 《世界语运 动在四川的 发展》 [The Esperanto Movement’s Development in Sichuan], Tianfu xinlun, 15 June 1984, 26-29.
 Qi Ya’nan and Luo Yihe, “Lu Jianbo: Ba Jin yan zhong de Zhongguo ‘Gandi’” 《卢剑波 ——巴金眼中的中国甘地》 [Lu Jianbo: China’s Gandhi in Ba Jin’s Eyes”, Chengdu Ribao, 13 Feb 2012.
 Chongjing ran for a total of 24 issues and, according to its masthead, was sold in a variety of locations across Chengdu, including the Chengdu-branch of Kaiming Bookstore. The publication’s main contact was Li Jianmin, another veteran anarchist who had been involved with the Minzhong group. See Dirlik, Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution, 20.
 After the GMD White Terror in 1927, Jacques Reclus, a French anarchist and nephew of Elisée Reclus, who taught at Labor University helped Lu to safety after it became apparent GMD forces were targeting him
 These advertisements appeared in every issue of volume 2, except issues 1 and 6, which were the first and last of the volume. Issue 6 had advertisements for translations from Spain and another set of translations of anarchist thinkers.
 Essentially, on the cover page of each issue, the date would appear in Chinese either above or to the side of the featured artwork, and the date in Esperanto would appear below the artwork.
 This is not to say that Esperanto was the only roman script that appeared in the journal. Terms and concepts that were difficult to translate or transliterate into Chinese were rendered into roman script, most likely into the script of the original text. Further tracing is needed, but these bracketed terms in Esperanto and other European languages can possibly tell us the original languages of the texts used.
 Gracia and Vivancos were members of the Spanish CNT-AIT-in-Exile, and both had participated in the Civil War with anarchist youth groups. Gracia’s connections to Chinese and Japanese anarchists were apparently deep enough that he was able to publish short studies of anarchists in both countries. He knew Yamaga Taiji from Japan and MPT Acharya from India and was in contact with Lu Jianbo.
Gotelind Müller and Gregor Benton, University of Heidelberg / Cardiff University
La historio de Esperanto en Ĉinio estis dum longaj periodoj proksime ligita al anarkiismo. Tiu ĉi artikolo donas superrigardon de tiu kunligo en la jaroj ĝis 1920 kaj celas montri, kiuj grupoj uzis kiujn argumentojn por agitadi por Esperanto. Ĝi celas ĵeti lumon sur la komplikecon de la rilato inter lingvo kaj politiko en Ĉinio, precipe en la unua duono de la dudeka jarcento.
Esperanto and Chinese anarchism 1907-1920: The translation from diaspora to homeland
The history of Esperanto in China was for long periods closely linked with anarchism. This article surveys the connection in the years up to 1920, and sets out to show which groups used which arguments to agitate for Esperanto, in order to throw light on the complexity of the relationship between language and politics in China, especially in the first half of the twentieth century.
keywords: Esperanto, anarchism, China, language politics, language reform
The history of Esperanto in early twentieth century China has been strongly – though not exclusively – linked with anarchism. This article looks at the origins and early phases of China’s Esperanto movement in Tokyo and Paris and at its groups of supporters and critics and their arguments for or against Esperanto, to support the claim of a strong connection between Esperanto and anarchism in China (and incidentally in all of East Asia). This relationship was less developed in, though not altogether absent from, the West, where anarchists generally showed less interest in language issues than their East Asian counterparts. This contrast points up important differences in cultural sensibilities. It must also be seen in the context of the historical setting in which anarchism was introduced to China: who developed an interest in it and why. We start by briefly summarising some basic facts about Esperanto as a language and a political movement.
Esperanto is a planned universalist language developed in the late nineteenth century by L. L. Zamenhof, a Jewish oculist, for use as a global second language. Zamenhof grew up in Poland under Russian occupation and experienced at first hand the linguistic, ethnic, national, and religious tensions among Jews, catholic Poles, orthodox Russians, and protestant Germans. He identified problems of communication as a main cause of conflict and constructed Esperanto as the remedy. He presented his work to the public in 1887. As a doctor, he wrote it under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto – the Hoping One. Subsequently, this name was transferred to the language. 
Zamenhof set out the structure of Esperanto in his Fundamento de Esperanto, published in 1905. It strove towards maximum simplicity. The grammar consisted of just sixteen rules, the spelling was “phonetic,” nouns were genderless, and verbs were regular and uninflected. The vocabulary was based primarily on Latin, English, German, French, and Russian. Zamenhof tested and developed the new language by translating works ranging from the Old Testament to plays by Shakespeare, Molière, and Goethe.
In the late nineteenth century, the Esperanto movement started to take off. Today, the Universala Esperanto-Asocio, founded in 1908, has members in over 110 countries and represents more than 100,000 Esperanto speakers, who send delegates each year to the World Esperanto Congress. More than one hundred periodicals appear in the language and more than 30,000 books have been published in it.
As it grew in influence and extent, the Esperanto movement was increasingly racked by internal conflict. Zamenhof himself tried to inject the idea of Esperanto with a quasi-religious meaning. Others saw the language as a neutral tool of communication. Officially, Esperantists set aside their differences and agreed on a vague general platform of understanding between peoples and world peace, but tensions in the movement continued. 
Socialists and anarchists saw Esperanto as a perfect vehicle for internationalism and world revolution. It also won strong support among internationally minded Chinese. Esperanto was imported into China by foreigners and initially had little impact. However, leading Chinese radicals outside China – primarily anarchists in France and Japan – passionately embraced the Esperanto cause and did their best to establish it in China and the diaspora.
In later years, Esperanto also won a following among Chinese communists. After the October Revolution, in the 1920s, networks of Esperantists in the Soviet Union set up a workers’ press. In 1921, at its inaugural meeting, a communist-supported but supra-party International Association of Non-Nationals (SAT: Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda) emphasised the use of Esperanto in class struggle and condemned the mainstream Universala Esperanto-Asocio as politically neutral. In 1931, the International of Proletarian Esperantists (IPE) was founded with the goal of sidelining SAT and supporting only the Comintern line. The IPE established its main support outside the Soviet Union in Germany, but it also had a flourishing branch in China. The Soviet experiment in Esperanto ended in tragedy in 1937, when its supporters were purged during Stalinist Russification, but it later revived.
Chinese anarchists in Tokyo and Paris began publishing journals, independently of one another, in the spring of 1907. The Tokyo group originated in the Society for the Study of Socialism (Shehuizhuyi jiangxihui), which Liu Shipei led. Liu’s Tokyo journal was called Tianyi (Natural justice). It was followed later by Hengbao (Equality), which had a somewhat different outlook. Together with his wife He Zhen, Liu called for social revolution incorporating feminism. Unlike the Paris group, which assumed that the universals of Western thinking were also valid for China, Liu and He were strongly attached to Chinese culture and believed that anarchist principles grew out of a Chinese cultural “essence” that would facilitate China’s transition to an anarchist future (Krebs 1998:29-31).
The Tokyo group of Chinese anarchists
The Tokyo Chinese anarchists believed it was necessary to express oneself as simply as possible to reach the widest number of people and supported the call for an international means of communication. Delegates at both the two big world congresses of radicalism in 1907, that of the Second International in Stuttgart and of the anarchists in Amsterdam, raised the question of Esperanto, but while the former did not consider the problem urgent, the latter responded with greater enthusiasm (Nomad 1966:86).
In Japan, the Japanese anarchist Ōsugi Sakae had learned Esperanto and was keen to pass on his knowledge, including to the Chinese anarchist Jing Meijiu, an occasional contributor to Tianyi. Esperanto made its first appearance in Tianyi – without comment or translation – in the title of a picture of the French anarchist Elisée Reclus. Tianyi nos. 16-19 published a picture of Zamenhof, the Esperanto anthem by Zamenhof, and an article by Liu Shipei on Esperanto. In the article, Liu argued that only an artificial language could be truly international and that a worldwide union would come about only if all goods were owned in common and there was a world language. Liu, whose knowledge of foreign languages probably did not extend beyond a smattering of Japanese, found Esperanto fascinating. Would it not solve the problem of communication in China, with its host of mutually incomprehensible dialects? According to Liu, Esperanto had much in common with Chinese and would therefore be easy to learn. (He had used the same argument for anarchism, to “prove” that it would not lead to cultural alienation; on the contrary, China would provide its worldwide vanguard.) Liu reckoned Esperanto could be learned in three months and if everyone agreed to adopt it, the revolutionary literature of the whole world would become available to people everywhere.
For Liu, Esperanto would be the sole foreign language. He accepted that it would be hard to abolish Chinese and he may never have intended to do so, given his attachment to Chinese tradition. In 1908, in an article for the magazine Guocui xuebao (National essence), he stressed that Chinese should be preserved as a unique cultural monument, for, being “archaic,” it could provide information about the evolution of human society. Instead of following the Japanese model of romanisation, the ancient Chinese dictionary Shuowen jiezi should be translated into Esperanto with guides to pronunciation, to make Chinese accessible to the entire world.
In 1908, the Japanese authorities closed down Tianyi after it published a translation of the Communist Manifesto. It was succeeded by Hengbao, which was dedicated to “anarcho-communism, anti-militarism, the general strike, reports about the people’s suffering, and links with the international revolutionary labour unions.” Hengbao frequently contained material in English and Esperanto and recruited participants for Ōsugi Sakae’s Esperanto courses. Its Esperanto section explained that Chinese anarchists in Japan suffered as a result of the language problem, for like most foreign revolutionaries in Japan they knew only their own language, and translating cost time and effort. Ōsugi, the driving force behind this Chinese campaign, promised that Esperanto could be learned in six months to a year.
The Paris group of Chinese anarchists
The Paris group of Chinese anarchists was led by Wu Zhihui, Li Shizeng, Zhang Jingjiang, and Chu Minyi, who had been recruited by French anarchists. In 1907, they launched the journal Xin shiji (New century). They believed in a world citizenship that would transcend conventional state and cultural frontiers and in the need for a world language. Esperanto was in vogue in Europe at the time, especially in the internationalist circles the Chinese anarchists frequented, and Paris was its stronghold. Xin shiji started life with an Esperanto subtitle, La Novaj Tempoj (new times). Its publishers saw Esperanto as a practical medium, simply constructed and easy to learn, and as a way of subverting the linguistic hierarchies of natural speech and of promoting internationalism.
Espousing Esperantism brought the Xin shiji group into contact with an even wider range of radical opinion. Esperanto particularly attracted Chinese in Europe, where they came up daily against a variety of languages. They were aware that Chinese, particularly the script, was considered exotic in the West. Liu Shipei’s interest in Esperanto was mainly practical, but Xin shiji saw it as a way of polemicising against the Chinese language as carrier and guarantor of Chinese tradition.
Xin shiji’s first article about Esperanto described the linguistic isolation of its author, who was lodging with monoglot Europeans of different national backgrounds, and of his admiration for the sole Esperantist among them. He wrote enthusiastically about the Second World Esperanto Congress in Geneva and claimed twenty Chinese were among its 2,000 delegates. A further article reported on the Third World Esperanto Congress in Cambridge, where Zamenhof described Esperanto as a bridge to peaceful coexistence and proposed making it compulsory in primary schools.
Xin shiji later went on to compare Esperanto and Chinese. Li Shizeng and Chu Minyi argued in separate articles that Chinese characters were an obstacle to communication and by definition elitist, since ordinary people lacked the money and time needed to master them. The result was illiteracy and the blocking of knowledge. A phonetic script would require the elimination of dialects, so it might be better to replace written Chinese with an international language like Esperanto.
Xin shiji summarised its advantages:
In many languages, the script diverges from the actual pronunciation, but not in Esperanto.
The accent is always on the penultimate syllable.
Each word can be identified infallibly as a part of speech.
Multiple meanings are impossible so interpretation is unnecessary.
Words can be easily looked up in dictionaries.
Xin shiji’s correspondent recommended the general use of Esperanto in China. He insisted his recommendation had nothing to do with a lack of patriotism, but quite the opposite: China was culturally retarded, so extreme measures were needed. Alphabets were useful in the natural sciences, for example in mathematics. Unlike Chinese characters, they corresponded to modern needs. Did not characters obstruct the acquisition of new knowledge? Did not Chinese homophony sow confusion? Did not dialects disfigure Chinese to the point of incomprehensibility? It was enough to open a Chinese dictionary to see how unfit this script was. Even the Japanese, despite developing their own syllabary, had failed to create a rational reference system. And how simple it was to look up words in an alphabetic dictionary. If China did not want to change to English or another natural language, it should opt for Esperanto, which was in any case superior to natural languages. The “barbarian” Chinese script system should be radically eliminated.
This thesis did not go unchallenged. A reader – perhaps Cai Yuanpei – argued that Esperanto could not be introduced into China overnight. Chinese must first be reformed. Particles could be used to signal parts of speech and characters could be simplified – to which Wu Zhihui, in an editorial comment, added that it would be best to limit the number of characters, as the Japanese had done, and that the simplifications should follow the handwritten short forms. Each Esperanto word should have a one-to-one Chinese equivalent. The script should be written horizontally from left to right rather than vertically from right to left. Finally, Chinese sentence structures should be adapted to Western ones, since Europeans are able to think clearly while Chinese sentence structures prevent Chinese from doing so. If Chinese were thus reformed, a Chinese could learn Esperanto in three months.
The article provoked a flood of letters in support of Esperanto as the solution to the problem of the Chinese script. One reader even criticised the proposal to reform Chinese as redundant and advised everyone to learn Esperanto instead and teach it to others. Wu Zhihui suggested setting up an Esperanto society and attending Esperanto courses in Europe, as well as introducing Esperanto in Chinese primary schools (though he predicted patriots would resist). He argued it was absurd to forbid the teaching of foreign languages in Chinese schools (as was being proposed at the time) when Chinese was so obviously unfit for acquiring knowledge. Why else was it necessary to import Japanese neologisms? And why use Japanese instead of the source language? After all, the Japanese themselves favoured English and had turned their backs on Chinese. Better switch directly to Esperanto, as the most perfect language. Government prohibitions and the views of self-appointed patriots could safely be ignored – the generation of the “over 30s” was in any case finished. But hope remained for the young, who should be the main target of the campaign to spread Esperanto.
Xin shiji’s strong defence of Esperanto provoked Zhang Binglin, editor in Tokyo of Minbao (People’s newspaper), the organ of Sun Yat-sen’s party. Zhang had even opposed plans to standardise the use of Chinese characters in the different countries of East Asia, so he would hardly accept a switch to Esperanto. Liu Shipei had spoken up for Esperanto but had never called for the elimination of characters, so Zhang had not bothered to react. However, Zhang saw the Xin shiji position as attack on China’s national identity and polemicised against it in Minbao and Guocui xuebao. In his opinion, Esperanto was not international at all, since its vocabulary was based on Western languages. It was a language “of the whites.” Without its language and script, China would lose its cultural identity and future. China had already suffered political humiliation: now, it would be subjected to language imperialism. Xin shiji should be ashamed of assisting in such a project.
Zhang dismissed the complaints about Chinese as groundless. Mastering characters was a simple matter of education. Were there not more illiterates in Russia than in China? Did not the Japanese manage with characters? To claim that an alphabet demonstrates cultural superiority was ridiculous – did not the Mongols have a phonetic script? The advantage of characters was that they were not directly linked to pronunciation and could be used across dialects and historical periods. So the Chinese were in the enviable position of being able to access ancient texts. Chinese dialects were not really a problem either, since they drew on the same genetic roots and could therefore provide the basis for a standardised pronunciation. Language was something that grew naturally and should be left alone. Emotions were attached to languages, so it was wrong to dissect them pragmatically and functionally. This was why it is so difficult to translate poetry. Zhang was in any case convinced that people would reject any attempt to manipulate the language in the ways Xin shiji proposed.
Zhang identified two fundamental errors in the demand for the abolition of characters and the introduction into China of the Esperanto form of the Western alphabet. Such a plan might work in Europe, since European languages are closely connected, but the situation in China was quite different. Moreover, the sound structure of the Esperanto alphabet would make differentiation difficult.
Even so, Zhang strove to make a contribution to defining the sounds of Chinese and (by using archaic characters) developed his own system of phonograms, defined on the basis of the pronunciation of the Tang period (618-907 AD). This system served as the model for the phonetic alphabet (called Bopomofo) still used in Taiwan and now attributed to Wu Zhihui. (This is a small irony of history, for although Wu did the final shaping, the basic scheme was Zhang’s.)
Zhang had thus recognised the problem of creating a standardised pronunciation of Chinese but rejected as redundant other changes suggested by Xin shiji, such as the grammatical adjustment of Chinese to European languages, for example by marking plurals. Primary-school pupils could already understand texts from the Han period (206 BC-220 AD). Why cut them off from tradition? Zhang believed that Xin shiji’s insistence on China’s backwardness was wrong and mocked its publishers for not knowing the heights of their own civilisation.
Wu Zhihui did not accept Zhang’s censure. He replied that language is nothing more or less than a means of communication. The confusion of languages was detrimental, and Esperanto was the way out. Nevertheless, Wu had apparently been convinced by the moderate proposals of the reader (Cai Yuanpei?) who had demanded in the first instance a “new Chinese.” He therefore proposed a three-stage process: first, create a standard pronunciation of Chinese, as the Japanese had done on the basis of Tokyo dialect; second, introduce mandatory instruction in a Western language as a qualification for admission to high school and mastery of two foreign languages for admission to university (also as the Japanese had done); third, replace Western languages with Esperanto once sufficient Esperanto teachers had been trained.
Wu accused Zhang of wishing to cultivate fossilised languages, thus preventing the acquisition of new knowledge and cementing the West’s superiority. It was egoistic to want to withhold from the West China’s contribution to world culture or to expect Westerners to learn Chinese, for knowledge is the property of all. That Chinese was so hard to translate proved that it failed to meet the requirements of the modern age. If to translate was to betray, an international language would make translation redundant.
Gradually, the Esperanto craze in Xin shiji died down. Reports about the annual Esperanto world congress and calls for China to found scientific magazines in Esperanto continued to appear, but it seemed that Esperanto had become a distant goal – rather like anarchism. So a reader from Scotland who argued for the abolition of Chinese within twenty years and asked Xin shiji to show more commitment was told that, while he was right in principle, Chinese could be abolished only in the medium term. The editor gave as an analogy missionary work, which was impossible without learning the language of the to-be-missionised. In any case, there was no point in worrying, since evolution would ensure that the best wins out. At present, reforming Chinese was the first step. Esperanto had therefore become less urgent. This relegation was reflected in Xin shiji’s masthead, which with no. 81 swapped its Esperanto subtitle La Novaj Tempoj for the French Le siècle nouveau.
In the final days of Xin shiji, the language debate again flared up when Zhang Binglin, writing in Minbao, returned to the attack with an article on Xin shiji’s idea of language revolution and its refutation of his earlier arguments. He accused the Paris group of being slaves of the whites and of wanting to cover up their own ignorance of Chinese culture. If a lingua franca was needed, the Asians could devise one (e.g., for use in the postal service). If the argument was about the perfectness of Esperanto, then in some fields, for instance kinship terminology, Esperanto was inferior to Chinese.
As in all European languages, the same term in Esperanto applied to several different sorts of person. As Xin shiji itself admitted, Esperanto would only be generally accepted after the establishment of an anarchist world society. Then, the family system would have been abolished, so kinship terms would no longer be important. Under such circumstances, Esperanto might perhaps become a world language.
In the meantime, Chinese had to be preserved. Beyond their purely practical function, characters were also aesthetic. They had been handed down and were therefore “natural.” Every language developed on the basis of a society’s experiences and was culturally specific. To introduce another language would be linguistic imperialism, as practised by the Russians in Poland. Xin shiji had anyway shown itself to be indifferent to the mother country’s fate. It allowed only the whites to retain their “national essence.” But China and the West had different roots, a divide that should be respected. The argument that Esperanto was practical was irreconcilable with Xin shiji’s claim to be scientific, for science looks for truth, not for what is practical.
Zhang’s attack appeared in Minbao no. 24, which the Japanese banned. Xin shiji therefore received it late, after Zhang had returned to Shanghai and written a letter that Xin shiji published. In it, he deplored Esperanto’s growing popularity in Shanghai. He repeated the accusation that Esperanto reduced the “world” to Europe and added that Esperanto was less creative than Chinese, which can produce an immense vocabulary on the basis of 3,000 frequently used characters. Esperanto was like a translation that clings to the foreign model. Chinese, on the other hand, was self-sufficient and self-determining.
Zhang resented what he saw as the arrogance with which Chinese students in Europe looked down on those in Japan and their apparent assumption that only the West had anything to offer. In truth, the only independent cultures in the world were those of China, India, and Greece – all else was a poor imitation.
Xin shiji rejected Zhang’s criticisms. It argued that Zhang was so fixated on China and Chinese that he was incapable of seeing a millimetre beyond it. But the law of evolution was implacable. The meaningful and the practical would win out regardless of one’s wishes. People could not afford to waste precious years learning such a complicated script. Wasn’t the popularity of Esperanto in Shanghai, which Zhang deplored, proof of this? If Zhang rejected Esperanto because it was based on European languages, he simply demonstrated that his horizon was limited by race. Who in the One World was interested in whether you were “yellow” or “white”? European languages were chosen as the source of Esperanto’s vocabulary mainly because they are alphabetic, whereas “eastern languages” are graphic. Moreover, Chinese has tones, which are impractical.
To call Esperanto inferior on account of its kinship terminology was nonsense. Kinship terms were simply an expression of social reality, which manifested its unfairnesses even in language. The problem lay not in language but in the family system. Doubts were also raised about Zhang’s competence to discuss foreign languages (properly so, for even his Japanese was shaky). Anyone familiar with Western languages would know that English takes at least five years to learn and French at least seven. Esperanto, on the other hand, could be learned in a year. The Chinese script was anyway a property of the elite, of those who could afford the time to learn it – not of the Chinese people.
Xin shiji stopped publishing shortly afterwards, but its final issue was dedicated to Esperanto. It quoted Tolstoy in support. Tolstoy believed that spreading Esperanto would bring humanity closer to paradise. Xin shiji concluded: all humanity would benefit from the abolition of the Chinese script; each of us should make a personal commitment to Esperanto rather than wait for other countries to do so; China would win respect if it replaced the Chinese script with Esperanto; foreigners would help spread Esperanto in China; the abolition of the Chinese script would influence other East Asian countries and bring datong, the era of great harmony, closer. So Xin shiji remained faithful to its ideals right to the end, even though they were gradually relegated to a more distant future.
In the debate, Xin shiji and Wu Zhihui argued chiefly on practical grounds. In evolutionary perspective, Esperanto was a crowning point of human ability, purged of the defects of natural language. Zhang Binglin rejected this functionalist view, on the grounds that language was historical and a component of national identity. He suspected that non-linguistic intentions lay behind attempts to manipulate language. His view of language was organic, whereas Wu Zhihui’s was mechanistic.
These debates, particularly those concerning Chinese, were marked by a failure to distinguish between the written and the spoken. Usually characters were the issue, but the linguistic structure of Chinese (including tonality) and the dialect problem also figured in the discussion, as did the question of the literary versus the colloquial. It was unclear whether Esperanto was meant as a lingua franca to replace English, or as a language for use in China like English in India. Probably no one imagined that people in China would converse solely in Esperanto, but the lack of clarity left room for doubt.
The discussion showed that the language problem was subordinate to the main issue, ideology. Zhang knew next to nothing about Esperanto (or any Western language), so he was vulnerable to the shafts Xin shiji aimed at him. On the other hand, how far members of the Xin shiji group mastered Esperanto is open to question. However, Esperantists were already active in China, as Zhang’s letter showed; so Xin shiji in Paris, like Tianyi and Hengbao in Tokyo, were not lone voices. Its main initial base was in Shanghai, though it later spread to Guangzhou and Beijing.
That there were Chinese Esperantists in Paris is evident from the pages of Xin shiji. When Chinese started going home from abroad after 1911, Esperanto in China received a further lift and several Chinese anarchists joined the movement. However, the early advocates of Esperanto around Xin shiji or Tianyi and Hengbao played no direct role in it.
Jiang Kanghu and Shifu
Jiang Kanghu, a Jiangxi intellectual who had studied in Japan and Europe, began organising the Chinese Socialist Party in China in 1911. Jiang was an advocate of state socialism, like Sun Yat-sen (Krebs 1998:77-85). He also supported Esperanto, and introduced it to the curriculum of a school he set up in Beijing. In 1913, many of Jiang’s followers deserted him because of submission (for opportunistic reasons) to then discredited Yuan Shikai (1859-1916), the autocratic first President of the Chinese Republic. The defectors united with other former members of the party’s anarchist wing.
Among those who left was the publisher of the socialist newspaper Rendao zhoubao (Human weekly), Xu Anzhen, who began to cooperate with the anarchist Shifu. The newspaper continued the close connection between Esperanto and socialism that Jiang Kanghu had pioneered and was one the first periodicals in China to carry an Esperanto column. The newspaper, subtitled Ĥina Socialisto in Esperanto, appeared in Shanghai, China’s Esperanto bastion at the time.
Shifu was China’s best-known and most influential anarchist. Born in Guangdong in 1884, he went to Japan to study and became a revolutionary. He converted to anarchism in 1912 in China, after reading Xin shiji, and set up the anarchist Xin she (Heart society) in Guangzhou. Its covenant forbade eating meat, drinking alcohol, smoking, using servants, riding in rickshaws, marrying, using family names, serving as an official, serving as delegate to an assembly, joining a political party, joining the armed forces, and following a religion (Krebs 1998:8). In 1914, Shifu moved to Shanghai and set up the Society of Anarchist-Communist Comrades.
The Shifu group was strongly committed to Esperanto, which Shifu adopted after reading Xin shiji. He and his friends learned Esperanto at a summer course run in Guangzhou in 1912 by Xu Lunbo, who had studied in France. Then they themselves organised further courses. Thus began a long-lasting connection between anarchism and Esperanto in China.
Several later influential leaders of Chinese anarchism joined the courses. They included Huang Zunsheng, Ou Shengbai, and Liang Bingxian. Shifu and Xu Lunbo set up an Esperanto society in Guangzhou, which became China’s second Esperanto centre (after Shanghai), and joined the Universala Esperanto-Asocio. While the Shanghai Esperantists kept in closer touch with Jiang Kanghu’s Socialist Party, in Guangzhou the main link was with anarchism.
In 1913, Shifu’s group founded a commune. The project failed, but Shifu continued to try to live by his anarchist principles. The group decided to acquire a printing press and launch Huiming lu (Cock-crow record), with the subtitle Pingmin zhi sheng (Voice of the common people) and the Esperanto title La Voĉo de l’Popolo (subsequently amended to La Voĉo de la Popolo). The magazine was later renamed Minsheng (Voice of the people). The aim was to use the magazine to connect physical toil with the labour of the heart.
The first issue came out in August 1913, at a time when Yuan Shikai was persecuting supporters of the “second revolution” against his despotic rule. Its goals were defined as promoting social revolution by anarchism and propagating Esperanto. The magazine had an Esperanto section from the outset, to inform comrades in other parts of the world about China. Shifu was far more committed than the editors of Xin shiji, and the magazines run by He Zhen and Liu Shipei, to an exchange of views and information with non-Chinese comrades.
The magazine’s eight basic maxims were communism, anti-militarism, syndicalism, a rejection of religion, a rejection of the family system, vegetarianism, the convergence of languages, and worldwide datong. By publishing the magazine bilingually, Shifu hoped to enable ordinary Chinese (the pingmin) to join a worldwide alliance in support of the “holy work” of revolution. Shifu demonstrated the importance of exchanges with foreign comrades by translating a letter from Havana about the political and social conditions in Latin America. He also introduced international Esperanto associations and the Esperanto magazine Universala Unuiĝo (Universal union), which he translated as datong.
Huiming lu’s Esperanto section contained translations of Chinese contributions and specially written articles of potential interest to foreign comrades. Even Confucius was called to witness, with his dictum that “an inhuman government is crueller than a tiger”. The Esperanto sections of later issues were designed not only for foreign comrades but also for Chinese learners. They included articles by Western authors translated into Esperanto and letters in the language.
During Yuan Shikai’s crackdown on dissidents, Shifu and his group fled temporarily to Macao, where they continued to publish under the name Minsheng. Their main focus was on translations, which supplied information about the worldwide anarchist movement and its anarcho-communist wing. Again, Shifu was keen to demonstrate that he had contacts everywhere, by translating letters from foreign comrades and listing all the magazines and correspondence he received. The main medium for this contact was Esperanto. Among the links he established (following the second maxim of the Heart Society) was one with the League of Esperantist Teetotallers.
In February 1914, when Yuan Shikai’s pressure began to reach Macao, Shifu’s group had to look for a new sanctuary. They chose Shanghai, where the international settlements offered cover and there was a ready-made Esperanto movement. As the focal point of Jiang Kanghu’s activities, Shanghai was home to many socialists and anarchists. After reaching Shanghai, Shifu had only a year to live. The final issue of Minsheng under his editorship appeared in August 1914. Shifu’s last few months were the high point of his anarchist work. The composition of the group in Shanghai was essentially the same as in Guangzhou. Zheng Bi’an had left and gone to Canada, Huang Zunsheng was in Japan, and Xu Anzhen had joined the Shifu group in Macao.
Shifu’s support for Esperanto was central to his anarchist commitment. Esperanto also had its advocates among anarchists in the West, but it lacked the solid basis it had in China. (The Anarchist Congress conducted its business exclusively in French, English, and German.) Shifu’s personal interest in philology was one reason for the special role that language questions played in East Asian anarchism. Most of Minsheng’s foreign correspondence was conducted in Esperanto. In an addendum to a translation from the British anarchist journal Freedom of an English article on “Esperanto and Anarchism,” Shifu argued against objections to Esperanto and its use by anarchists. As a language, it was neutral, yet Shifu could identify with the idealistic goals of Esperantism. World peace, Zamenhof’s main aspiration, was also a goal of anarchism. That anarchists must sometimes commit violent actions did not invalidate it. To counterpoise Esperanto as pacific and anarchism as destructive was wrong.
So Minsheng closely followed developments in the international Esperanto movement. Its Esperanto section was run by Sheng Guocheng, a prominent Esperantist and another ex-member of Jiang Kanghu’s party, who had previously done the same for Rendao zhoubao. Apart from Esperanto versions of articles in the Chinese section, Sheng wrote original contributions and inscriptions in Esperanto. As a result of its Esperantist policy, Minsheng’s contacts with Japanese anarchists deepened. The Esperantist Ōsugi was in correspondence with Shifu and arranged for his trusted friend Yamaga Taiji, another anarchist and Esperantist, to help Shifu with Minsheng, in the magazine’s most productive period (in 1914). Yamaga had often been in China and spoke some Chinese. Having worked for a while in Dalian as a typesetter using Latin script, he was a useful addition to the Minsheng staff. His arrival was among the first instances of material international cooperation between Chinese and foreign anarchists. As an Esperantist and a technically experienced worker, Yamaga’s contribution was invaluable. He left the group in the autumn of 1914, when it was on the point of financial collapse. At the time, Ōsugi needed him for his own new magazine, Heimin shinbun (Mukai 1974:39). However, Yamaga continued to liaise between the Japanese and Chinese anarchists.
In November 1916, Minsheng stopped appearing and was not revived until 1921. Zheng Peigang did his best to spread Shifu’s ideas by reproducing his most important articles in pamphlet form. In 1916, he and Sheng Guocheng brought out their own Esperanto magazine, La Ĥina Brileto/Huaxing (China star). Later, the Cantonese anarchist and Esperantist Ou Shengbai joined. Sheng had already launched China’s first Esperanto magazine, La Mondo/Shijie (The world), in November 1911, but it was a purely linguistic venture and folded after the first issue. La Ĥina Brileto was China’s first durable Esperanto magazine. It carried articles about language and the war. At more or less the same time, Ou Shengbai in Guangzhou published the Esperanto magazine Internacia Popolo/Shijie yuebao (International people/The world), in which he propagated anarchist ideas by means of Esperanto.
Around 1915, reform-minded Chinese scholars started to assert a new role for themselves as critics of Confucianism and champions of new-style values, including science and democracy. This New Culture Movement attacked the Chinese writing system and the use of classical Chinese and called for a literary revolution and the promotion of the vernacular, known as baihua. The educational debate and experiments in new styles of learning and living associated with the New Culture Movement made anarchism more acceptable in China, and helped it spread and diversify. The New Culture Movement culminated in 1919 in the May Fourth Movement, named after the date of strikes and demonstrations against the decision of the Peace Conference at Versailles to let Japan keep concessions in China previously controlled by Germany.
Nearly all the influential figures in China’s anarchist movement at the time had been connected with Shifu. As a result of their propaganda, a new generation of Chinese anarchists grew up. Linked with anarcho-communism as Shifu understood it were Esperanto and the idea of a strategic turn to the workers, which Shifu’s heirs vigorously pushed. Neither field was an anarchist monopoly, but each critically shaped the movement.
After Minsheng folded in 1916, the group restricted its communication to an occasional bulletin. Some members temporarily become workers. Others published works in Esperanto. Towards the end of 1916, however, Esperanto suddenly achieved wider fame when it became a topic of intense debate in Xin qingnian (New youth), the influential magazine of the New Culture Movement and May Fourth.
In November 1916, a series of reader’s letters and commentaries sparked off a lengthy debate about the merits and demerits of Esperanto. A letter from “T. M. Cheng” asked whether it was worthwhile to learn Esperanto, and raised arguments for and against. Chen Duxiu, editor of Xin qingnian, replied with a guarded yes. However, when the reader wrote again asking whether it would not make greater sense to learn French (given that Chen had praised the French for their contribution to civilisation), Chen conceded that learning Esperanto was not urgent.
The editors and principal contributors to Xin qingnian worked at Beijing University, led at the time by Cai Yuanpei, who had studied in France. Cai had come out in favour of Esperanto in the days of Xin shiji and endeavoured to learn it. It was probably Cai who had first discussed Esperanto in the context of the modernisation of Chinese, a big issue in later years. At the start of the Republic, as Minister of Education, Cai arranged for Esperanto to be taught as an option in colleges and universities. He saw its role as that of an auxiliary language in international commerce and as an ideal introduction to learning other Western languages. His actions briefly boosted Esperanto’s popularity in China. In 1913, the magazine Dongfang zazhi (“The Eastern Miscellany”) gave Lu Shikai, probably China’s first Esperantist and joint founder of the Chinese Esperanto Union, the chance to comment in detail on Cai’s views.
As President of Beijing University, Cai again took measures to promote Esperanto by appointing Sun Guozhang, a veteran of the Chinese Esperanto movement, to teach it. Sun knew about the connection between Esperanto and socialism and anarchism from his days in Shanghai, but he was on the movement’s “neutral” wing.
Through its anchorage at Beijing University, Esperanto was drawn back into the language debates that unfolded in Xin qingnian and elsewhere. One of the main participants was the linguist Qian Xuantong, who took up the Esperanto cause in a reader’s letter. A pupil of Zhang Binglin who had studied in Japan at the end of the Qing Dynasty and learned some Esperanto, Qian returned to the old debate between his mentor and Wu Zhihui. He considered Xin shiji’s call for the replacement of Chinese by Esperanto as premature, but unlike Zhang Binglin, he argued for the propagation of Esperanto as a second language in China’s schools. Also unlike Zhang Binglin, he was motivated by practical rather than aesthetic arguments. Even so, he believed that in the future One World, Esperanto would replace national languages.
Qian’s letter did not go unchallenged. The sociologist Tao Menghe attacked Esperanto as a form of alienation. Reiterating arguments of Zhang Binglin, he stressed the connection between language and national character. Esperanto was like a permanent translation of originals. Would the Westerners give up their languages? And if not, why should the Chinese? The future world must be one of unity in diversity, not of uniformity. According to Tao, Esperanto was as dictatorial as the Confucianism that Xin qingnian sought to overthrow. Moreover, it had no Asian components.
Chen Duxiu, to whom the letter was addressed, had previously signalled cautious support for Esperanto. He now praised Tao’s objections as a useful corrective to an exaggerated enthusiasm for the language, but he criticised Tao’s refusal to envisage a role for Esperanto in the future One World as nationalistic. Although Tao did not question the goal of datong, he had denied the need for a unitary language. For Chen Duxiu, however, this was Esperanto’s main value and attraction. Esperanto would offer a means of communication freed from the restraints of national character. What Tao deplored, Esperanto’s lack of maturity compared with natural languages, was for Chen its advantage: being artificial, it was free of baggage.
Qian Xuantong, who joined Xin qingnian in January 1918, pushed his argument against Tao even further. Language was mere symbol. What was dictatorial about an artificial lingua franca? Qian wondered whether misunderstandings might have arisen because of the Chinese rendering of the word Esperanto. The translation, literally “world language,” a Japanese borrowing, implied a wish to replace or to absorb all other languages. Tao had called for Chinese elements. For Qian, however, Chinese, with its characters and their inherent ambiguities, was unsuitable for integration. Apart from issues of transcription, for which Qian favoured romanisation, the Chinese vocabulary lacked the qualities of abstraction necessary for modern life. Western terms would have to be integrated into Chinese whether one wanted to or not, but on the basis of which Western language? Clearly, Esperanto was the best choice. Only in the classical field could Esperanto be enriched by Chinese culture – which would happen automatically if Chinese historical texts were translated into it. “World language” meant no more than lingua franca. Qian rejected other Chinese renderings of the word “Esperanto”, for example wanguo xinyu (“new language of the ten thousand nations”) and phonetic mimickings such as aisibunandu (“loved because it is not difficult to learn”).
Qian was drawn to Esperanto because of his dissatisfaction with Chinese, which he hoped in the long term to abolish. He did not fear the loss of China’s cultural heritage, since 99 per cent of it consisted of ossified Confucianism and Daoist magic-mongering, which Xin qingnian was pledged to wipe out. However, propagating Esperanto in the same way as Esperantists in Shanghai, by means of “international correspondence”, seemed to Qian narrow-minded and unimaginative.
Qian’s comments stung Sun Guozhang to reply. Writing in Beijing University’s daily newspaper, he stressed Esperanto’s neutrality and practicality and rejected Tao Menghe’s implication that “natural” languages were not human-made. He also took up Qian’s attack on the Esperantists’ flawed advocacy of their cause. Sun had no wish to replace Chinese – he wanted Esperanto as an international lingua franca. He criticised the Shanghai Esperantists for being too ideological (and for their poor teaching). For Sun, a “neutral” Esperantist, the debate should not stretch to extralinguistic issues, either cultural or sociopolitical. On this point, Sun therefore took a different position from the anarchist Esperantists.
The Chinese Esperantists had expressed no real opinion on the question of replacing Chinese, which was Qian’s goal. This perhaps explains in part why Qian gave up on Esperanto in later years. As a linguist, he did not react to Sun’s comments about the politicisation of Esperanto, although he himself had ties with the anarchist Ou Shengbai. Rather, he criticised the Esperantists for failing to make clear how much new knowledge Esperanto would make accessible. Tao Menghe, on the other hand, argued against Sun that Esperanto had gone out of fashion in the West. That people in China were still talking about it showed only that China lagged behind.
The Xin qingnian debate and Sun’s statement were also taken up by Esperantists in Shanghai. Lu Shikai, the nestor of the movement, discussed how to render the word “Esperanto” in Chinese. Arguing that content was the main thing, he proposed aishiyu (“the language that loves the world”). He pointed out that Esperanto was not just a language but a world view. Sun was unenthusiastic about Lu’s proposal and argued on pragmatic grounds for retaining the word shijieyu (world language). In any case, an accurate translation would be xiwangzhe (“the hoping one”). From another direction, anarchist Esperantists attacked Sun for criticising ideological Esperantism. Liang Bingxian said that datong and the anarcho-communist society remained the eventual goal of Esperanto, just as in the days of Xin shiji. He criticised Sun for trying to patent Esperanto, as if there was no room for pluralism.
This debate remained largely internal to the Esperanto movement. Xin qingnian seemed to have lost interest. Hu Shi, himself an Esperanto sceptic, thought enough had been said. Chen Duxiu remained undecided and continued to call for a unitary lingua franca, but he did not tie himself to Esperanto and seemed increasingly indifferent to it. However, Qian Xuantong put the topic back into the public eye.
At first, the sceptics in Xin qingnian seemed to have won the day. However, supporters of Esperanto started to write in, so a topic previously confined mainly to the letters page found its way into the main part of the magazine, usually linked with the problem of Chinese. Wu Zhihui, who had supported Esperanto in the early years of Xin shiji and was himself busy planning to reform Chinese, continued to take the part of Esperanto, though more reservedly than in the past. He saw it as a distant goal and recommended simultaneously integrating other major Western languages into the curriculum. Sooner or later, a world language would become generally accepted, in the form of an optimised or amplified Esperanto.
The younger anarchists were more determined. Ou Shengbai doubted whether Chinese was reformable and stressed (as a Cantonese) that making Mandarin the standard would create unfairness. Better to begin immediately with Esperanto. Huang Lingshuang asked which language should be adopted as world language, to take the wind out of the sails of Esperanto’s critics, and accused them of having only the haziest understanding of Esperanto and of being motivated by the nationalistic argument that Chinese had played no part in its construction. Huang brought the debate back on to linguistic grounds, by comparing Esperanto with Volapük and Idiom Neutral. Volapük was already out of the running in the West and Idiom Neutral had barely got going. Esperanto was evidently superior, and had the largest number of speakers.
In a further letter, Huang raised the question of Esperanto in connection with China’s “new thought” movement. Critics argued that there was too little literature in Esperanto so it was not worth learning. But the same could be said of the vernacular, which Hu Shi and others were trying to promote. To prove Esperanto’s worth, Huang translated an article by the Englishman Bernard Long, which had appeared in Japan and praised Esperanto as an ideal bridge between the English- and Japanese-speaking nations. It also radiated new hope for a future united world that would emerge in the postwar period. Huang pointed out the parallels between these arguments for Esperanto and China’s New Culture Movement. He nominated the following models for treating China’s ills: Tolstoy for literature, Ibsen for drama, Kropotkin’s “mutual aid” for science, and the revolution in Russia for society. In his view, Esperanto was at the forefront of the modern trend.
The Esperanto debate in Xin qingnian ended in February 1919, when Chinese disappointment at the outcome of the Versailles peace treaty led to a cooling of internationalist sentiment and a rising tide of political revolution that culminated in the May Fourth Movement. Now, even the discussion about Chinese gave way to social and philosophical issues. The language question had played an important role in the early stages of the New Culture Movement and in China’s modernisation debates (Morosoli 1998). However, since the principal discussants wrote not from an attachment to Esperanto itself but from a wish to abolish Chinese and equip China for the future, it is not surprising that Esperanto was dropped in 1919, when other causes started to look more promising.
The commitment to Esperanto became confined for the time being to China’s organised Esperantists and its anarchists, for whom Esperanto was an integral part of the social renewal they hoped to carry out. After it was imported into China from Tokyo and Paris, Esperanto had played its part as a major catalyst in the debates of the New Culture Movement of the late 1910s, in which issues of language reform and internationalism had figured prominently. In later years, starting in the 1920s, Esperanto became embedded in cultural and political bases in China itself, unlike the earlier movement, which had taken root chiefly in the anarchist diaspora. This transformation of Esperanto’s position in China’s cultural politics will be the subject of a separate article.
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Zhongguo wuzhengfuzhuyi he Zhongguo shehuidang 中國無政府主義和中國社會黨
Zhou Enlai 周恩來
Zhou Zuoren 周作人
Esperanto und Anarchismus in China (bis 1920)
Die Geschichte des Esperanto in China war über weite Strecken eng verknüpft mit dem Anarchismus. Dieser Artikel gibt einen historischen Überblick über diese Verbindung in den Jahren bis 1920 und will zeigen, welche Gruppen sich mit welchen Argumenten für das Esperanto stark machten, um die Vielschichtigkeit des Verhältnisses zwischen Sprache und Politik im China besonders der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zu beleuchten.
About the authors:
Gotelind Müller is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Her main interest is in history and the history of ideas in modern China (especially late 19th / early 20th century), Sino-Japanese cultural interchanges and modern Chinese Buddhism. Her most recent monograph (in German) is on China, Kropotkin and Anarchism: A Cultural Movement in Early 20th Century China under the Influence of the West and of Japanese Models (2001).
Gregor Benton is Professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He works on the history of the Chinese revolution and on the Chinese diaspora. His most recent book is Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu (2004, with Liu Hong).
1 We would like to thank an anonymous reader for various suggestions that we tried to work into this final version. We would also like to thank Ed Krebs, who helped us with advice, encouragement, and materials.
2 Forster 1982, ch. 2.
3 On the linguistics of Esperanto see Philippe 1991 and Blanke 1985.
4 On Esperanto as a movement see Forster 1982, Janton 1993 and Lins 1990.
5 The Spanish anarchist Angel Pestaña (1888-1937), a delegate to the Comintern’s Second Congress in 1920, tabled a motion calling for congress translations to be confined to Esperanto. The motion was referred to a committee (Riddell 1991, 2:772-773).
6 On the history of Esperanto in China see Hou Zhiping 1985.
7 On this process see Lins 1990.
8 Chenbao fujuan (Supplement to the Morning Newspaper), reprinted in Beijing in 1981 in 15 vols, at p. 337.
9 Chenbao fujuan, p. 499.
10 “Esperanto cili tongshi zongxu” (Foreword to the rules of Esperanto, with explanations), in Tianyi 16-19:655-664, at p. 655.
11 Tianyi 16-19 :655-664.
12 “Lun Zhongtu wenzi you yi yu shijie” (The Chinese script is of use to the world). See the reprint in Liu Shenshu xiansheng yishu [Literary device of Mr Liu Shenshu], tao 5, file 46, pp. 1b-3a.
13 Hengbao 1:2.
14 An Esperanto magazine, Internacia Socia Revuo, was being published in Paris at the time. In 1907, anarchist Esperantists published a pamphlet (Chapelier and Marin 1907) for the Amsterdam congress.
15 The claim that twenty Chinese attended cannot be verified.
16 Xing (=Hua Nangui?), “Wanguo xinyu” (Esperanto), Xin shiji 6:3; Xing, “Ji wanguo xinyu hui” (On the Esperanto Congress), Xin shiji 10:2.
17 Min, “Xu ‘Haogu zhi chengjian’” (More on “The prejudice of love for old things”), Xin shiji 30:2. On the language question as a whole, see Li Jinxi 1934.
18 Xing (=Hua Nangui?), “Xu wanguo xinyu zhi jinbu” (Continuation of “The progress of Esperanto”), Xin shiji 35:4.
20 Qianxing, “Bianzao Zhongguo xinyu fanli” (General rules for the construction of a new Chinese), Xin shiji 40:3-4.
21 Ran (=Wu Zhihui), “Xinyu wenti zhi zada” (Mixed answers to the problem of a new language), Xin shiji 44:2-3.
22 Ran (=Wu Zhihui), “Xu xinyu wenti zhi zada” (Continuation of “Mixed answers to the problem of a new language”), Xin shiji 45:2-3.
23 Zhang Binglin, “Hanzi tongyihui zhi huanglou” (The bleak vulgarity of the conference to unify characters), Minbao 17 (October 1907), reprinted in Taibei in 1957, at pp. 2789-2794.
24 Zhang had a close but problematic relationship with Liu Shipei (see Müller 2001, part 2, ch. 3).
25 “Bo Zhongguo yong wanguo xinyu shuo” (Refutation of the theory that China should go over to Esperanto) in Minbao 21 (June 10, 1908), in the reprint at pp. 3341-3364 (signed by Taiyan, Zhang’s sobriquet [hao]), as well as two sequels in Guocui xuebao 41 and 42 (May 20 and June 18, 1908), in the 20-vol. Taiwan reprint, 1974, at pp. 5403-5411 and pp. 5543-5560 (signed Zhang Jiang, his actual name [ming]).
26 Ranliao, “Shu ‘Bo Zhongguo yong wanguo xinyu shuo hou’” (Reaction to “Refutation of the theory that China should go over to Esperanto”), Xin shiji 57:11-15.
27 Sugelanjun (A gentleman from Scotland), “Feichu hanwen yi” (On the abolition of Chinese), Xin shiji no. 69, pp. 10-12, and no. 71, pp. 11-15.
28 Taiyan, “Gui Xin shiji” (Putting Xin shiji right), Minbao 24:41-65 (in the reprint at pp. 3787-3811).
29 Hou Zhiping 1985:20. The Shanghai Esperanto Society was founded in 1908. See 1908-nian chuangshi Shanghai shijieyu xuehui fushe shijieyu hanshou xuexiao guicheng (Rules of the Shanghai Esperanto Association, founded in 1908 and affiliated to the School for Esperanto Distance Learning), postscript dated 1933.
30 Shanghai Mujun, “Pi miu” (Clearing up a mistake), Xin shiji 118:10-14.
31 Shanghai Mujun, “Xu ‘Pi miu’” (Continuation of “Clearing up a mistake”), Xin shiji 119:14-15.
32 Mujun (possibly the same as “Shanghai Mujun”, though written with different characters), “Taosidaojun zhi jingjiaoshi shu” (Tolstoy’s letter to a pastor), Xin shiji 121:12-14.
33 A British man working as a consul in China is on the list of the first thousand Esperantists drawn up by Zamenhof in 1889, but it is not known whether he taught Esperanto to Chinese (Zamenhof 1889:6). Hou Zhiping 1985, p. 20, names Lu Shikai as China’s first Esperantist, who learned Esperanto from a Russian in Shanghai and then founded the first Chinese Esperanto Society.
34 See the archival materials in Zhongguo wuzhengfuzhuyi he Zhongguo shehuidang (Chinese anarchism and the Chinese Socialist Party), Jiangsu 1981:191-196. Zhou Enlai’s wife is said to have learned Esperanto at this school (Hou Zhiping 1985:24).
35 Excerpts from Rendao zhoubao 12 and 14-15 are reprinted in Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun, and Li Xingzhi 1991 , vol. 1.
42 W. H., “Malhumana regado pli kruela ol tigro” Huiming lu 1, Esperanto section, 4.
43 Minsheng 3:5-6.
44 Minsheng 17:5.
45 Zheng Peigang (in his memoir in Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun & Li Xingzhi 1991 , 2:945) mentions other correspondence in English and French.
46 Minsheng 6:8-9.
47 See Miyamoto 1988. For Japanese Esperantism in general, see Hatsushiba 1998. On “subversive” Esperanto in Japan, see Ōshima and Miyamoto 1974. Yamaga later wrote an autobiography, Tasogare nikki (Diary of the dawn), which Mukai Kō made the starting point of his life of Yamaga (Mukai 1974). See also Mukai 1973. On Yamaga’s connections to Chinese anarchists in general, see Sakai 1983.
48 For the reprints, see Zheng Peigang’s memoirs in Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun & Li Xingzhi 1991 , 2:949-950.
49 La Ĥina Brileto ½:17-20.
50 The first bulletin, dated April 1, 1917, is in the reprint Minsheng: Minshengshe jishilu (Bulletin of the Minsheng group), edited by Hazama Naoki and published in Kyoto in 1992.
51 Cf. Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun & Li Xingzhi 1991 , 2:1072-1073.
53 Das Esperanto, ein Kulturfaktor, vol. 3, Festschrift zum 8. Deutschen Esperanto-Kongreß, Stuttgart 1913:95. Dongfang zazhi (“The Eastern Miscellany”), 9/5 (1912):18-20; reprinted in Taibei, 1967-1980, at pp. 22338-22340.
54 Dongfang zazhi 9/7:9-22 (pp. 22723-22736 in the reprint).
55 Hou Zhiping 1985:121-124; or, in the Esperanto version, “Cai Yuanpei kaj Esperanto” (Cai Yuanpei and Esperanto), El Popola Ĉinio (From People’s China), July 1982:10-11.
56 Sources include Sun’s contributions to Beijing daxue rikan (Beijing University daily), starting in November 1917 (reprinted in Beijing in 1981, in 16 vols). This newspaper published a supplement with a title in Esperanto on February 20, 1918.
58 See Qian’s foreword to the “famous Esperanto works” collected by an anarchist Esperantist and reprinted in Chenbao fujuan, May 12, 1924:1-2. For Zhou Zuoren’s views on Qian, whom he had known since his Japan days, see Zhou Zuoren 1984.
59 Xin qingnian 3/4 (June 1917), especially pp. 2-4.
60 Tao’s letter appeared in Xin qingnian 3/6 (August 1917):1-4. For Chen Duxiu’s answer, see pp. 4-5.
61 The reply to Tao Menghe appeared in Xin qingnian 4/2 (February 1918):173-177 (pp. 201-205 in the reprint).
62 Cf. Qian’s letter to Chen Duxiu, Xin qingnian 4/4 (April 1918):350-356 (pp. 407-413 in the reprint).
63 Beijing daxue rikan, March 11, 1918:5-6, and March 12, 1918:5-6; and in Xin qingnian 4/4 (April 1918):357-362 (pp. 414-419 in the reprint).
64 Xin qingnian 4/4 (April 1918):362-365 (pp. 419-422 in the reprint).
65 Lu’s article “Aishiyu shiming” (Explanation of Esperanto) appeared in Beijing daxue rikan, October 31, 1918:3-4. Sun’s “Esperanto shiming” (Explanation of Esperanto) appeared in Beijing daxue rikan, November 11, 1918:3-4.
66 Bingxian, “Lun Esperanto” (On Esperanto), Laodong (Labour) 3 (May 20, 1918), pp. 56-59 in the reprint.
67 Xin qingnian 5/2 (August 1918):184-186 (pp. 204-206 in the reprint).
68 See, for example, the letter from a disappointed Esperanto student, Xin qingnian 5/4 (October 1918):416-423 (pp. 460-467 in the reprint), who described Esperanto as a dead language.
69 Wu Jingheng, “Bujiu Zhongguo wenzi zhi fangfa ruo he?” (By what means should one improve the Chinese script?), Xin qingnian 5/5 (October 1918):483-507 (pp. 535-559 in the reprint).
70 See Ou’s letter, Xin qingnian 6/1 (January 1919):75 (p. 85 in the reprint).
71 Volapük is an artificial international language, based chiefly on European materials, invented in 1879 by Johann M. Schleyer, a German priest. Idiom Neutral was devised by W. Rosenberg on the basis of Volapük and first published in 1903.
72 Lingshuang, “Shijieyu wenti” (The problem of a world language), Xin qingnian 6/2 (February 1919):196-203 (pp. 219-226 in the reprint).
73 Huang’s letter, Xin qingnian 6/2:232-236 (pp. 255-259 in the reprint).
En Ĉinio kaj inter la ĉina diasporo, Esperanto estis dum longaj periodoj proksime ligita al anarkiismo. La artikolo donas rigardon al la historio de la ĉina Esperanto-movado post la reveno de anarkiismo al Ĉinio en la 1910aj jaroj. Ĝi ekzamenas la politikajn ligojn de Esperanto en la ĉina kunteksto kaj la argumentojn uzatajn de ĝiaj subtenantoj por disvastigi la lingvon. Per esplorado de la rolo ludata de Esperanto en intermilita ĉina kulturo kaj politiko, ĝi helpas ĵeti lumon sur la komplikan rilaton inter lingvo kaj politiko en Ĉinio en la unua duono de la dudeka jarcento.
Esperanto and Chinese anarchism in the 1920s and 1930s
Anarchism and Esperanto in the late 1920s
Anarchism and Esperanto in China in the 1930s
Esperanto in China and among the Chinese diaspora was for long periods closely linked with anarchism. This article looks at the history of the Chinese Esperanto movement after the repatriation of anarchism to China in the 1910s. It examines Esperanto’s political connections in the Chinese setting and the arguments used by its supporters to promote the language. In exploring the role played by Esperanto in interwar Chinese culture and politics, it helps to throw light on the complex relationship between language and politics in China in the first half of the twentieth century.
Keywords: Esperanto, anarchism, communism, China, language politics, language reform
Socialists and anarchists saw at around the turn of the twentieth century saw the international language Esperanto as a perfect vehicle for the world revolution to which they aspired. It also won strong support among internationally minded Chinese. Leading Chinese radicals outside China – primarily anarchists in France and Japan – embraced the Esperanto cause and strove to establish the language in China. In later years, Esperanto also won a following among Chinese communists and other radicals.
Esperanto is a planned universalist language developed in the late nineteenth century by L. L. Zamenhof for use as a global second language. It was intended by its author as a remedy for problems of miscommunication and social conflict. In the structure of Esperanto, Zamenhof strove towards maximum simplicity. In the late nineteenth century, Esperanto started to take off as a cultural and political movement. Today, it has supporters throughout the world, more than 100,000 speakers, and more than one hundred periodicals.
As we explained in an earlier article (Müller & Benton 2006), iIn early twentieth century, the history of Esperanto was strongly linked with Chinese anarchism in Tokyo and Paris. Throughout the early period, the Chinese Esperanto movement retained a robust connection with anarchism, both in Chinese political communities overseas and in China itself. This relationship was less developed in the West, where few anarchists were as interested in language issues as their East Asian counterparts. This contrast points up important differences in cultural sensibilities. It must also be seen in the context of the historical setting in which anarchism was introduced to China — who developed an interest in it and why.
Chinese anarchists in Tokyo and Paris frequently published material in Esperanto as part of their campaign for world citizenship. Around 1915, reform-minded scholars in China itself started to assert a new role for themselves as critics of Confucianism and champions of new-style values, including science and democracy. They attacked the Chinese writing system and the use of classical Chinese and called for a literary revolution and the promotion of the vernacular, known as baihua. The educational debate and experiments in new styles of learning and living associated with this movement, known as the New Culture Movement, made anarchism more acceptable in China, and helped it spread and diversify. As a result of the sudden popularity of anarchism in China itself, the anarchist interest in Esperanto was quickly imported into the New Culture Movement and became a topic of intense debate in Xinqingnian (New youth), the movement’s most influential forum. However, the Esperanto debate in Xin qingnian ended in February 1919, when Chinese disappointment at the detrimental outcome of the Versailles peace treaty for China’s national interest led to a cooling of internationalist sentiment and a rising tide of political revolution. Now, the discussion about language reform gave way to broader social, political, and philosophical issues. Even so, interest in the language revived in the early 1920s, when anarchist organisations began to form in several of the main Chinese cities.
Numerous anarchist groups developed in China after 1919. The most important centres of anarchist activity were Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Central to these developments was the journalist Jing Meijiu, who had earlier been affiliated to the Tianyi group formed by Liu Shipei in Tokyo, and named after Liu’s journal Tianyi (Natural justice). Jing Meijiu was the sole personal link between the early and later anarchist organisations. In Beijing, starting in the autumn of 1922, Jing created a broader audience for anarchist thought by publishing Xuehui (Collected learning), a supplement to the daily newspaper Guofeng ribao (National customs). Xuehui was not purely anarchist, but it carried numerous translations and articles by anarchist authors. Many were taken from other publications, so Xuehui was more a transmitter than an innovator. Its non-Chinese authors included Kropotkin, Ōsugi, and Tolstoy, and it also published Eltzbacher’s outline of anarchism. But though many of the translations were not new, they now reached a far wider circle. The supplement tended to look to China’s own anarchist traditions, a concept elastic enough to include Laozi and Zhuangzi. Several authors argued that China was cut out for anarchism, and writers like Zheng Taipu and Jing Meijiu specifically recommended sinicising it. Some suggested a New Village strategy, an idea borrowed from Japan, where anarchists and others started experimenting in the late 1910s with communal forms of rural living. Mixing with the rural population like the Narodniks and building organisations from the bottom up was thought to embody an essentially Chinese style. Indeed, such ideas were carried out in some places. Others argued for a more radical line and exhorted readers not to ignore soldiers as targets of anarchist propaganda, since the ruling classes would not give up without a fight; or they argued for the need to recruit women.
Xuehui also talked about the role of Esperanto. Jing Meijiu had learned some Esperanto from Ōsugi in Japan and was interested in language issues. In Shanghai, where Jing lived until 1922, Esperanto had spread quickly, just as it was now spreading in Beijing. Earlier, Cai Yuanpei, Dean of Beijing University, had appointed Sun Guozhang, a veteran of the Chinese Esperanto movement, to introduce Esperanto to the curriculum. Although the first big Esperanto debate (in Xin qingnian) had subsided in 1919, Sun Guozhang continued to offer courses at the university and had no difficulty in attracting students. He had always stressed the practical advantages of Esperanto. The language received an added boost when Cai invited the blind poet and Esperantist Vasilij Erošenko to join the faculty.
Erošenko, who came from Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, had ties to East Asia and the international socialist movement. Born in 1890, he had gone blind at the age of four. He was a talented linguist and musician. He learned Esperanto and enrolled through Esperantist contacts at a blind school in London in 1912, to study music. He was expelled for “improper behaviour,” but not before learning English and seeking out Kropotkin and the British anarchists. In 1914, he left Ukraine for a second time, after hearing that in Japan blind people could learn to become doctors. Also through Esperantist contacts, he enrolled at a college in Tokyo and linked up with Ōsugi and other radical intellectuals, including the “proletarian” dramatist and Esperantist Akita Ujaku. Erošenko began to write and publish. After travelling through South and Southeast Asia between 1916 and 1919, he was expelled by the British colonial authorities as a “dangerous Russian.” Back in Japan, he was placed under police supervision.
In June 1921, the Japanese government expelled Erošenko on the suspicion of “Bolshevism.” However, he was unable to prove himself as a Bolshevik to the Soviet authorities, who refused him entry. Erošenko preferred anyway to go to China, where he arrived in October 1921.
In Shanghai, the writer Lu Xun (1881–1936) had already begun to publish translations of Erošenko’s work (from Japanese). Hu Yuzhi, the publisher of Dongfang zazhi and himself a prominent Esperantist, had also written about him (see below). Reports had already appeared in Juewu, the supplement to the Guomindang newspaper Minguo ribao (in which Jing Meijiu was involved) about Erošenko’s activities in Japan and his treatment by the Japanese authorities. After his arrival in Shanghai, the reports and translations multiplied. Erošenko had his biggest impact at Beijing University, where he was appointed in February 1922 to teach Esperanto. During this period, he lived in the home of Lu Xun and Lu’s brother Zhou Zuoren.
Esperanto, which Sun Guozhang had previously taught as a mere language, received a big boost at Beijing University after Erošenko’s arrival. Erošenko argued in his lectures – usually in English – that Esperanto had much to offer, including its own literature, and that it could not be identified with any given ideology. Esperantists were in principle humanists and pacifists. He spoke freely about his own ideals. He criticised the Bolsheviks for their many errors, but he accepted that they were inspired by love for the people and could be expected to succeed. He spoke positively about the nineteenth-century Narodniks and proposed them as a model for Chinese youth. Besides criticising Japanese imperialism, which went down well with his audience, he remarked that some Chinese intellectuals were prepared only to sacrifice others and not themselves. As a result, many started boycotting his lectures. He also won enemies among pro-Bolshevik students, who disliked his criticisms of the Soviet Union, and among the anarchists, for arguing against the use of violence. As an Esperantist, he supported the humanist wing, which Zamenhof had founded. Erošenko always retained a certain affinity for anarchism and preferred the company of anarchists, but he never joined an explicitly anarchist organisation. He was a socialist only in a very general sense, moved more by the longing for a pure, peaceful world than by dogma.
While Erošenko’s star at Beijing University was sinking, he set about founding his own Esperanto school in Beijing with the help of Wu Zhihui, Li Shizeng, Cai Yuanpei, and other members of the old Xin shiji group, and with the support of Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren (Fujii 1989:125–127). As a representative of the Chinese Esperanto Association, Erošenko attended the Esperantists’ world congress in Helsinki in the summer of 1922. This time, he was allowed to cross the Soviet Union, and the Japanese gave him a permit to cross Manchuria. On the way, Erošenko met the Japanese socialist Katayama Sen, who helped him gain entrance to the congress (Fujii 1989:154–158): the Esperantists were in the middle of a split and at first distrusted him.
On his way back to China, Erošenko was able to gain an impression of conditions in the Soviet Union. The experience did not fill him with enthusiasm. However, he held back in his criticism. Perhaps he realised that he would sooner or later return to Ukraine, particularly since he did not feel at home in Beijing. He may also have feared making further enemies in China.15 Erošenko left China in the spring of 1923. In the Soviet Union, he worked for a while as a Russian teacher and as a translator at the University for the Toilers of the East, but he was sacked in 1927 as “ideologically unreliable.” He later worked in blind education and died in his home village in 1952.
In Beijing, the new Esperanto school started to take off. At the end of 1922, while Erošenko was still in China, the Esperantists’ Association held a conference to mark Zamenhof’s birthday. Several prominent people expressed their support. Cai Yuanpei argued that Esperanto would allow Chinese to present China in a better light in the West. Cai requested the Chinese diplomat Wellington Koo (Gu Weijun) to send a message to the meeting in Esperanto.
As a result of the conference, Esperanto was much in the news at the end of 1922. Translations of Erošenko’s works by Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, and Hu Yuzhi played a big part in its restoration to visibility. As publisher of Dongfang zazhi, Hu Yuzhi promoted the language in various ways, including a special section on it. He said that international languages were not a substitute for national languages but a means of communication between peoples. In itself, language was neutral. Even so, international languages promoted internationalism and would end nationalism and racism. Since lack of communication led to conflicts, an international language would lead to peace and social progress worldwide. Which language would best serve this role? From the point of view of number of speakers, Chinese was an obvious choice, but Chinese was hard for foreigners to learn. Moreover, national languages were tied to nations, which lessened their efficacy as vehicles of internationalism. The best choice would be an artificial language, regularly constructed and therefore easy to learn. Esperanto was the most widely accepted such language, since it was linguistically superior and ideologically neutral. Zamenhof’s humanism should not be viewed as a binding philosophy. It was supported only by some Esperantists and was no more than an expression of universal love. Thus Hu Yuzhi presented Esperanto as the solution to the problem of international communication and Chinese isolation.
Another contribution to the special section was by Ou Shengbai and Huang Zunsheng, anarchists who had studied together in Lyons and run Esperanto courses at the Institut Franco-Chinois (designed chiefly by the Paris group of Chinese anarchists). The pair had attended a conference in Geneva in April 1922, called to discuss how to implement a proposal debated at the League of Nations the previous year to adopt Esperanto in schools. The conference accepted Huang’s suggestion to found a translation committee, so countries could translate their newest and most important discoveries into Esperanto and make them internationally accessible.
Huang, who lived in France until 1926, represented China at several Esperanto congresses in Europe, including a conference in Venice in 1923 on the need for a common trade language, where he represented the Chambers of Commerce of Beijing and Tianjin. In 1924, he accompanied Cai Yuanpei to the Esperantists’ world congress in Vienna. In 1925, he represented the Chinese Ministry of Education at a conference in Paris on the use of Esperanto in the pure and applied sciences and again at the Esperantists’ world congress in Geneva. In 1924, he was elected to the Language Committee and the Central Committee of the Esperanto movement, in which capacity he attended congresses in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia. He was the first Chinese to play a prominent role in the international Esperanto movement.
In China itself, Zhou Zuoren returned in the magazine Dongfang zazhi to the discussion about Esperanto and the reform of Chinese that had occupied intellectuals in the 1910s. Like Qian Xuantong, Zhou and Lu Xun had been pupils of Zhang Binglin. At Beijing University, Zhou had followed the Esperanto discussion in Xinqingnian. As a translator of foreign literature and a writer, he had an interest in the controversy about national languages and the pro and cons of the vernacular. He was close to Erošenko and a patron of the Esperanto school. Nevertheless, he remained lukewarm about Esperanto. He said in Dongfang zazhi that the time had come to sum up the language debate. The extreme demand, to abolish Chinese and replace it with Esperanto, was not just illusory but undesirable. Esperanto could act as a second language, but it was also necessary to improve Chinese. Zhou offered only limited support for the proposal, put forward by Hu Shi, that the new Chinese should draw on the vernacular-based novels of the Ming and Qing periods, since they lacked the rigorous logic China needed. On the other hand, it would be wrong to reject traditional writing out of hand, just as it would be wrong to reject regional expressions. The new Chinese must integrate foreign words to express modern themes and align itself with Western grammar. It was not his aim to Westernise by force, but he thought – after all, he was no linguist – that grammars could be artificially adjusted, at least within limits. The new national language needed a grammar and dictionaries that could be made compulsory in the schools and presses.
Zhou’s main criterion was practical. He still believed in the struggle for One World and thus in Esperanto, but not at the expense of national languages. On the other hand, the construction of a national language should not be at the expense of dialects. Just as everyone will learn a new high language alongside his or her native dialect, so he or she can also learn a foreign language or Esperanto. In a word, Zhou was calling for linguistic unity in diversity.
This relegation of the Esperanto question to an ever more pragmatic level helped secure the language greater acceptance. However, the anarchists continued to try to harness Esperanto to their schemes. The new Beijing school became a meeting point for anarchists and helped Chinese anarchists abroad distribute their publications. Jing Meijiu was not at first directly involved, but he published reports about the school in Xuehui. There were numerous contacts between Jing and young anarchists at the school. In late 1922, Yamaga visited Beijing on behalf of Ōsugi and met Erošenko, who introduced him to Jing by way of a Korean anarchist and Esperantist. Jing, who knew Ōsugi from Japan, had developed close ties with Sun Yat-sen, despite his own anarchist beliefs. Yamaga noted that Jing practised a style of anarchism all his own. Apart from his political promiscuity, he led a free and easy life and took opium. Yamaga, who was more familiar with the strait-laced anarchists of the Shifu group, was greatly surprised (Mukai 1974:85–88, Sakai 1983:38–39). Jing Meijiu was nevertheless a central figure in the Beijing anarchist scene, since he was an influential personality and had Xuehui as a forum for those interested in anarchism and Esperanto. Most young anarchists therefore flocked to his standard – and to the Esperanto school.
One young anarchist, Feng Shengsan, a student at Beijing University and occasional secretary to Erošenko, compiled an Esperanto reader for which Zhou Zuoren wrote a preface. Lu Xun protected Feng after his expulsion from the university for agitating against the raising of print-fees on student publications, and Qian Xuantong wrote an obituary on the occasion of his death in 1924. Although not themselves anarchists, the three professors were sympathetic to anarchism, whereas they kept their distance from Bolshevik students. In 1924, Jing Meijiu was appointed Director of the Esperanto school and published an Esperanto supplement to his Guofeng ribao (probably a sequel to the Xuehui supplement). Some Russians – like Erošenko, no Bolsheviks – also taught at the school, so Esperanto continued at the time to be seen either as anarchist or as a neutral language, but never as Bolshevik.
Anarchism and Esperanto in the late 1920s
Chinese communism had roots in anarcho-communism, but by the mid-1920s the two traditions no longer saw themselves as linked, by either past ties or a shared agenda. The split, says Peter Zarrow (1990:223), was “deep and bitter.” The differences, in China as elsewhere, concerned attitudes towards the state and the Soviet Union. Chinese anarchists were at first sympathetic to the Bolsheviks but by the mid-1920s they saw the regime in Moscow as oppressive. They polemicised against the CCP’s statist goals and promotion of “proletarian dictatorship” and “iron discipline.”
During the Revolution of 1925–1927, the CCP worked on Comintern instructions in a united front with the Guomindang, an authoritarian party populist in rhetoric but tied in practice to defending the interests of China’s business groups and rural elites. The terms of the alliance required the CCP’s subordination to the Nationalist leaders and the submersion of its membership.
The Chinese anarchists were divided on whether to join the united front. Wu Zhihui wanted to, but others favoured building their own constituency, independent of both parties. In 1925–1926, anarchists were reduced to passive observers both of developments in the labour movement, which came under communist control, and of the Northern Expedition launched by the Guomindang to reunify China. In 1927, when Chiang Kai-shek started a bloody purge against his communist “allies”, the anarchists faced a test. Some opposed Chiang, others supported him out of a deep-seated antagonism towards the communists. Still others favoured a third way. On the pro-Guomindang wing were veteran leaders like Wu Zhihui, Li Shizeng, Cai Yuanpei, and Zhang Jingjiang. At more or less the same time as the purge of the communists, its supporters launched three initiatives, the magazine Geming zhoubao (Revolutionary weekly), the Workers’ University, and Ziyou shudian (Freedom bookshop).
For a while, Geming zhoubao concentrated on anticommunist polemics and abstract theorising. In time, however, it reverted to a more overtly anarchist direction. Topics such as the relationship between revolution and morality resumed their traditional prominence. Esperanto also made a come-back, as the “third revolution” after anarchism and communism: while anarchism stood for political and communism for economic revolution, Esperantism stood for “spiritual” revolution. The aims of Esperantism were listed in fourteen points: for an anarcho-communist society, for a culture and science based on philanthropy, for an education in the same spirit, for human liberation, for permanent peace, for a morality based on philanthropy rather than on law, for the free association of peoples, for individual freedom, for an aesthetic life, for free love, against nationalism and militarism, against the need to struggle for existence, against every form of dictatorship, and against class dictatorship.
Anarchism and Esperanto in China in the 1930s
The tensions that arose in the anarchist camp in 1927 affected the entire movement.
After 1928, the Guomindang began to deal more harshly with the anarchists. Those who had previously ingratiated themselves with it now saw little hope for themselves. The Workers’ University and Geming zhoubao were forced to close down. Anarchists who had applauded the smashing of the communist-led labour movement now saw their own unions banned and had to retreat into “harmless” literary and educational activities. Even then, the authorities continued to interfere (Müller 2001a:600).
In Shanghai, the anarchist left around Lu Jianbo and his League of Young Chinese Anarchists and Anarcho-Communists were among those forced to retreat. By promoting Esperanto and his own brand of “proletarian culture,” Lu tried to preserve a base for anarchism, but his efforts were thwarted by frequent bans. He opposed the call for armed struggle, which he associated with “heroes from foreign novels,” and said anarchists should play the role of humble and patient servant.
These “foreign-style heroes” were probably a reference to the novels of Ba Jin, who had made foreign revolutionary heroes popular in China. Ba Jin’s “romanticism” was criticised by literary critics and anarchists alike. But although he and Lu had fallen out in 1927, they later became reconciled (Ba Jin nianpu 1989:2.1163). So Ba Jin, who had in the meantime gained fame as a writer, added his weight to Lu’s magazine Jingzhe, to which he contributed an article about the Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti and argued for a coalition of socialists, communists, anarchists, and anti-fascists (Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun & Li Xingzhi 1991:2.1021).
Whereas Lu Jianbo stood for China’s fast-disappearing anarchist movement, Ba Jin represented its cultural influence, which remained strong in the 1930s. He continued to identify with the anarchists but no longer propagandised for them, and he maintained his commitment to Esperanto. After returning to China from France, he acted as publisher in Shanghai of La Verda Lumo/Lüguang (Green light), the magazine of the Esperanto Association, and of Erošenko’s fables, particularly since he lived for a while on the Association’s premises. However, he had to move after the Japanese attack on Shanghai in January 1932, when the premises were destroyed. After that, he only rarely translated from Esperanto.
Ba Jin first wrote about Esperanto in the magazine Banyue (Half-monthly) in Chengdu in 1921, when he quoted Xin qingnian and praised the language as a means of spreading anarchism. In 1924, he applied to join the Tutmonda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senŝtatanoj (World league of the Esperantist stateless), an anarchist organisation that split from the Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda (World society of the stateless) (Forster 1982:195). His last publication in La Verda Lumo/Lüguang was in 1933. Ba Jin’s interest in Esperanto was perhaps reinforced by his close ties in France with Hu Yuzhi, a prominent Esperantist (Shimada 1983:10).
Ba Jin distanced himself from the Esperanto movement after 1932, at the same time as the link between it and anarchism began to fray. Previously, Esperanto in China had been associated mainly with anarchism. Now, Chinese communists began for the first time to take an interest. Developments in the Soviet Union led to the founding in China of the procommunist League of Proletarian Esperantists. Leading Shanghai Esperantists, including Hu Yuzhi, turned away from anarchism and towards the CCP. Under the motto “With Esperanto for the liberation of China,” large parts of the movement abandoned all pretence of neutrality and joined the CCP’s anti-Japanese campaign. Only Lu Jianbo clung to a recognisably anarchist line.
In the 1930s, Chinese Esperantists became more active in general language issues, particularly the latinisation movement, which received support from Soviet Esperantists. The Chinese Esperantists proposed the adoption in China of the system of romanisation (Latinxua Sin Wenz) created by the Soviets for their own Chinese minority, and thus paved the way for Hanyu Pinyin, developed in China in the 1950s (see Riedlinger 1989, Martin 1982:83ff., DeFrancis 1950 ch. 5, Ye Laishi 1983:125–129).
Because of Esperanto’s internationalist character, its procommunist supporters in China hoped by publishing propaganda in the language to harness foreign support to the anti-Japanese cause. The Guomindang opposed the campaign, not just politically but from the point of view of language policy, since it opposed romanising the Chinese script.
An outstanding example of a non-Chinese Esperantist who contributed to the anti-Japanese resistance was the Japanese woman writer Hasegawa Teru (1912–1947), who accompanied her Chinese husband to China in 1937. In Japan, Teru had been a member of the Klara Circle, named after Klara Zamenhof, the wife of the author of Esperanto, and the German communist Clara Zetkin, which worked to promote proletarian-Esperantist literature among women. From her new home in China, writing under her Esperanto name Verda Majo, she addressed an open letter to Japan’s Esperantists asking them to support the Chinese resistance and another to the Esperantists of the world urging them to boycott Japan.
“Anarchism,” wrote Krebs in his study on Shifu, “set the agenda for [China’s] dialogue on New Culture” in the 1910s. The topics raised in New Culture discourse – Esperanto, female equality, the dignity of labour, the importance of science, internationalism, and China’s role in the world revolution – had all been promoted, and often pioneered, by the anarchists. Their support for Esperanto was an expression of their “consistent advocacy of internationalism.” Their internationalism was at the same time a form of patriotism, for they saw worldwide revolution as the only way to destroy imperialism’s global underpinnings (Krebs 1998:161–164).
The course of China’s pre-1949 Esperanto debate, starting with Wu Zhihui’s utopian expectations and ending with the mobilisation of Esperantists in the romanisation campaign of the 1930s, was marked by a progressive shedding of social and political relevance. Shorn of its ideological pretensions, the Esperanto movement spread into wider areas of Chinese society. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 through until the late 1980s, China’s Esperanto Association was a stronghold of the World Association and Esperanto again prospered. Bookshops all over China put Esperanto titles on display and school children had easy access to Esperanto comic strips. However, this high tide was due largely to government backing, for which the price was submission to political control (Chan 1989 ch. 6). The welfare of Chinese Esperantism was always tied to political factors, whether the Esperantists wanted it or not. (Not surprisingly, it got nowhere in Taiwan under the Guomindang.)
What did China’s Esperantists hope to achieve? For most, Esperanto was a badge of internationalist commitment and belief. For some, it was a general key to the “West” that would spare China the need to engage separately with each Western culture and language. However, the First World War proved to radical Chinese of the May Fourth era that the West was far from homogeneous and even further from the One World ideal. Moreover, Esperanto failed to achieve the universal breakthrough its supporters dreamed of and banked on.
Many Chinese Esperantists emphasised the language’s international and neutral character. A lingua franca needs interlocutors, so the hopes of the Chinese movement were tied to its fate abroad. Esperanto had the advantage of being nationless. But nationlessness was also a disadvantage, for it deprived Esperanto of a noisy lobby and the material resources associated with state power. Esperanto was a vacuum filled with ever-changing ideals – but this further weakened its progress, for it came to be identified with sectarianism and quixotry.
When the communists came to power, the role previously played by Esperantists in language reform was recognised and rewarded. Hu Yuzhi and Ye Laishi were appointed vice-presidents of the script reform committee. In the event, however, reform was confined to the simplification of Chinese characters. In the early 1950s, China’s Esperanto movement was suppressed, following the Soviet example, but in the late 1960s it was allowed to revive. During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese Esperantists – like everyone in China with foreign contacts – tended to suffer discrimination and persecution as individuals, but official ties to the international Esperantist movement persisted. Books and magazines continued to be published (but their contents were naturally restricted to official propaganda).
The collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe robbed Esperanto of its main sources of political and financial support, and changes in China in the 1990s weakened it even further. With English more than ever rampant, the practical arguments of Wu Zhihui and others are less valid than they once seemed.33 Esperanto is back where it started, dependent on the idealism of individuals. It remains to be seen whether nativism, anti-Americanism, language purism, or some other form of ideologically motivated reaction will rebound on English34 and bring Esperanto back into the debate in China. Such a development cannot be entirely ruled out, especially in the computer age, when the idea of artificial languages acquires a new significance.
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Müller, Gotelind. 2001b. “Hasegawa Teru alias Verda Majo (1912–1947): Eine japanische Esperantistin im chinesischen anti-japanischen Widerstand.” In Denise Gimpel and Melanie Hanz, eds. Cheng: All in Sincerity. Festschrift in Honour of Monika Übelhör. Hamburger Sinologische Schriften 2. Hamburg: Hamburger Sinologische Gesellschaft.
Müller, Gotelind, and Gregor Benton. 2006. “Esperanto and Chinese anarchism 1907–1920: The translation from diaspora to homeland.” Language Problems & Language Planning 30/1.
Riedlinger, S. H. 1989. Likbez. Alphabetisierung bei den sowjetischen Dunganen seit 1927 und ihrZusammenhang mit den Latinisierungsbestrebungen in China. Bochum.
Sakai Hirobumi and Saga Takashi, eds. 1994. Genten chūgoku anakizumu shiryō shūsei (Collection of original historical materials on Chinese anarchism). 12 vols. Tokyo.
Sakai Hirobumi. 1983. “Yamaga Taiji to Chūgoku: ‘Tasogare nikki’ ni miru nitchū anakisuto no kōryū” (Yamaga Taiji und China: The contacts between Japanese and Chinese anarchists according to the “Diary of the Dawn”). Mōtōin (Owl), no. 2, pp. 30–49.
Shen Chengru. 1987. “Pordo por Ĉinio al scienc-teknika interŝanĝo kaj evoluo” (Door for China to scientific-technical exchange and development). Esperanto 80/7:143–144.
Shimada Kyōko. 1983. “Bakin no henshin no naka kara” (From Ba Jin’s replies). Ia (Chatter) 16 (September):3–14.
Tone Kōichi. 1980 . Teru no shōgai (Life of [Hasegawa] Teru). Tokyo.
Xu Shanguang and Liu Jianping. 1989. Zhongguo wuzhengfu zhuyi shi (A history of Chinese anarchism). Hubei.
Xu Shanshu, ed. 1995. Ba Jin yu shijieyu (Ba Jin and Esperanto). Beijing..
Ye Laishi. 1983. “Huiyi sanshi niandai kangri zhanzhengqian de ladinghua xinwenzi yundong” (Recollections of the movement for a new latinised script in the 1930s before the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance). Yuwen xiandaihua (Language modernisation) 6:125–129.
Zarrow, Peter. 1990. Anarchism and Chinese Political Culture. New York: Columbia U.P.. 1983. 298 ():
Some articles published by Chinese esperantists anarchists in the 20’s esperanto press :
Anarkiista junulara federacio en Cinio : Deklaracio de la anarkiista junulara federacio en Cinio. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 4 (1928), no. 4: p. 29.
Li, Pai Kan [Ba Jin] : Laborista movado en Cinio / Li Pei Kan. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 1 (1926), no. 4: p. 65
Li, Pai Kan [Ba Jin] : La mallonga historio de la anarkiista movado en Cinio [= The History of the Anarchist Movement in China] / Li Pai-Kan. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 2(1926), no. 2: pp. 24-26
Lu, Chien Bo [Lu Jianbo] : La anarkiista movado en Cinio (1925-1926) / Lu Cien Bo. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 1 (1926), no. 5-6: n.p.
Lu, Chien Bo [Lu Jianbo] : Detaloj pri la moderna Ginio / Lu Cien Bo. – in: Libera Laboristo : oficiala organo de Tutmunda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senštafanoj, 3 (1927), no. 6: p. 42.
 Sanbo, “Wo de shehui geming de yijian” (My views on social revolution), Xuehui nos. 62–63 (December 13 and 14, 1922). (Also in Ge Maochun, Jiang Jun, and Li Xingzhi, eds., 1991 , vol. 2, pp. 637–641.)
 After Erošenko’s departure, his lectures were published in Ailuoxianke 1923 (reprinted in Sakai and Saga, eds., 1994, vol. 12).
 “Zhishi jieji de shiming” (The mission of the intelligentsia), reprinted in Chenbao fujuan, March 7, 1922, p. 1.
 V. Rogov, “V. Erošenko,” El Popola Ĉinio, June 1958, pp. 195–197, at p. 197.
Beijing daxue rikan, December 22, 1922, pp. 2–3, and Chenbao fujuan, December 22, 1922, pp. 1–3.
 Fukang, “Shijieyu de guoji diweiguan” (On the international position of Esperanto), Dongfang zazhi 19/9 (May 10, 1922):71–74.
 “Guojiyu de lixiang yu xianshi” (The ideal and the realisation of an international language), Dongfang zazhi 19/15 (1922):77–82. For similar arguments, see Hu Yuzhi, writing in the organ of the Shanghai Esperanto Association, Ĥina Esperantisto 1 (January 1921):9–10.
 On the League of Proletarian Esperantists, see Ĉen 1978.
 Müller 2001b. For Hasegawa Teru’s autobiography, see Hasegawa 1982. For a biography, see Tone 1980 . On the movement for a proletarian-Esperantist literature, see Ōshima and Miyamoto 1974, chs 6 and 7. On Japanese Esperantism in general, see Hatsushiba 1998. For the open letter to Japanese Esperantists, see “Venko de Ĉinio estas ŝlosilo al morgaŭo de la tuta Azio” (China’s victory is the key to tomorrow for all Asia), in Flustr’el uragano (Whisper from the storm), Chongqing 1941, reprinted in Hasegawa 1982:374–376. For the open letter to the Esperantists of the world, see “Al tutmonda Esperantistaro “ (To the Esperantists of the world), written on December 15, 1938 (on Zamenhof’s birthday), reprinted in Hasegawa 1982:387–394.
Esperanto und Anarchismus im China der 20er und 30er Jahre
Die Geschichte des Esperanto in China war über weite Strecken eng verknüpft mit dem Anarchismus. Dieser Artikel gibt einen historischen Überblick über diese Verbindung und will zeigen, welche Gruppen sich mit welchen Argumenten für das Esperanto stark machten, um die Vielschichtigkeit des Verhältnisses zwischen Sprache und Politik im China besonders der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zu beleuchten. Dieser Artikel konzentriert sich auf den Zeitraum ab 1920.
About the authors:
Gotelind Müller is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Her main interest is in history and the history of ideas in modern China (especially late 19th / early 20th century), Sino-Japanese cultural interchanges and modern Chinese Buddhism. Her most recent monograph (in German) is on China, Kropotkin and Anarchism: A Cultural Movement in Early 20th Century China under the Influence of the West and of Japanese Models (2001).
Gregor Benton is Professor of Chinese History at Cardiff University. He works on the history of the Chinese revolution and on the Chinese diaspora. His most recent book is Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu (2004, with Liu Hong).