This chapter sets out to shed light on the contemporary significance of an ethos of resistance that appeared in the discourses and practices of the early Japanese socialist movement. With an eye to tracing the formation of the social forces that resist neo-liberal globalization today, this chapter analyses the currents of socialist thought and movement around the time of the high treason incident. In Japan, the left began losing traction in the 1970s and has declined steadily ever since. The collapse of the Cold War system marked a point of terminal decline such that now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the left is in its dying days. Here I use the expression, ‘the left’ to mean not only the so-called Old Left represented by the Japan Communist Party (JCP), but all sectors, including the New Left and anarchism, as well as all thought and action embedded in the oppositional dimensions and antagonistic impetuses within the process of Japan’s modernization from the onset of the twentieth century. Although the past century has witnessed the fragmentation of the left, until the early twentieth century the various currents of the left enjoyed a certain degree of worldwide theoretical and practical exchange. For example, anarchist notions of autonomy, cooperation, federation and mutual aid were strongly resonant with the ideals of versions of Marxism that emphasized ‘autonomy’ and the spontaneity of the people, such as Rosa Luxemburg’s council communism. What led to the convergence of these elements into a decisive, antagonistic relationship after the 1917 Russian Revolution was the bureaucratization of the state under the centralized socialist regimes that accompanied the rise of Stalinism, and the decline of internationalism that accompanied the bureaucratization of the Comintern. However, such deepening rifts in the left were not only caused by subjective factors within the left itself; they were also facilitated structurally. They were expedited by the formation of a ‘class compromise’ in the advanced capitalist countries, i.e. the consolidation of Fordist regimes of accumulation based on mass production and mass consumption, as well as by the political integration of workers through the provision of certain concessions made possible on the basis of the resulting ‘surplus’ accumulation, and by the increase in social

planning and organization brought about by the redistributionist policies of (European-style) social-welfare states. Such forms of ‘integration’ call to mind a passage in Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks:

In the East the State was everything, civil society was primordial and gelatinous; In the West, there was a proper relation between State and civil society, and when the State trembled a sturdy structure of civil society was at once revealed.