Black Annals: Goldstein and the Negation of Tibetan History (part II)

In Marxist inspired narratives of feudal (or capitalist) states collapsing of their inherent contradictions, there should fittingly be a role for a revolutionary movement and perhaps even a revolutionary hero. Goldstein provides us a detailed thirteen-page account of the “Tibet Improvement Party”, which wanted to bring about a “revolutionary restructuring of the Tibetan government and society.” Goldstein lays out a great deal of information and material about this tiny organization, including a photograph of its three members, a full page reproduction of the Party emblem, a full page reproduction of the party’s membership card, and a partial reproduction of the party’s application form. The last was probably presented in reduced size to obscure the fact that half the text is in Chinese.

The “Tibet Improvement Party”, was a Chinese government financed organization. The Tibetan name, nub bhod lekchoe kyidug or West Tibet Improvement Association, provides a clue as to the original language in which the name was composed, since the prefix “west” ( nub in Tibetan or xi in Chinese) to describe Tibet is only used in the Chinese word for Tibet, Xizang. The founder and leader of the organization Rabga Pangdatsang was a Guomindang officer. Rabga’s house in Kalimpong, Reli View, has a photograph of him in Nationalist army uniform, alongside other Guomindang officers. …

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