"Fukumotoism" and the Radical Communist Movement in Japan, 1925-1927

Date
2014-09-26
Authors
Kido, Pamela
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
Historically, the radical leftist intelligentsia has played a crucial role in the success of communist revolutions throughout different parts of the world. By definition, this group of politically motivated intellectuals collectively regarded themselves as the political vanguard or elite corps of the learned class. The fact that only a relatively small portion of the intellectual community championed immediate socialist revolution reinforced the extremists' own heightened sense of importance as a select band of forerunners at the forefront of the wave for radically progressive transformation of the world. The leftist intellectual vanguard in certain respects cherished its privileged, elitist position, yet its members assiduously dedicated their lives to the abolishment of rigid social stratification in order to achieve complete social equality and justice for all people. In fact, the radical leftist thinkers vehemently despised their comfortable "bourgeois" class origins and chose to abandon their own class interests for those of the common worker or peasant. For this reason these intellectuals clamored vociferously for the overthrow of the total social, political, and economic system that appeared to serve the selfish interests of the few affluent, propertied oppressors instead of the interests of the countless impoverished, propertyless masses. These revolutionary intellectuals, then, were radical leftists in the sense that they fervently adhered to socialist views that called for the immediate abolishment of the entire capitalist establishment. Instead of perpetuating the status quo, the radical leftist intelligentsia advocated extreme, fundamental transformation of the established order in the name of freedom, welfare, and happiness for the common man. The spectrum of the radical left's ideologies ranges from the variegated forms of anarchism to communism. In my study, however, I will use the term radical leftist intelligentsia primarily to refer to the Bolshevik communist intellectuals and their sympathizers.
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