Down with Trotskyism !
the 5 Classics of Marxism-Leninism !
Long live the
socialist world revolution !
What is Marxism ?
« Marxism is the science of the laws of nature `s and society `s development, the science of the revolution of oppressed and exploited masses, a science of socialism `s victory in all countries, the science of building the communist society» (I.V.Stalin).
What is Leninism ?
«The Leninism is Marxism of an epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution. More precisely: the Leninism is the theory and tactics of proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in particular» (I.V.Stalin).
What is Stalinism ?
«Stalinism is Marxism-Leninism in the period of transition from socialism " in one" country to socialism on a global scale, in general, and the period of transition from socialism "in one" country to communism in this country, in particular»
What is Hoxhaism ?
«Hoxhaism is Marxism-Leninism about the victory of the people`s revolution against fascist occupation and its successful transition into the socialist revolution and building up socialism in a small country under conditions of the socialist world camp of Comrade Stalin;
Hoxhaism is furthermore the Marxist-Leninist theory and tactics of antirevisionist, antiimperialist and antisocial-imperialist struggle in the period of revisionism at the power, in general, and the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat under conditions of a capitalist-revisionist encirclement, in particular.»
What is Stalinism - Hoxhaism of today ?
the theory and tactics of the world proletarian revolution, in general
the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the world proletariat, in particular.
What is the Stalinist-Hoxhaist World Movement ?
The Stalinist-Hoxhaist World Movement
- is the World Movement of the 5 Classics of Marxism-Leninism,
- is the revolutionary world proletarian movement
- for the victory of the socialist world revolution,
- for the destruction of world capitalism,
- for the establishment of the world proletarian dictatorship and
- for the creation of a socialist world.
( Comintern / SH)
THE STRUGGLE OF LENIN
AND THE CPSU
A Collection of Documents
OF LENIN ON TROTSKY
Lenin insulted Trotsky in his letters, telegrams and articles 219 times. How did Lenin call him? “Pustozvon” (“bell”, man who talks much and does nothing), “svin’ya” (pig), “podlec iz podlecov” (scoundrel of scoundlers), “iudushka” (“Judas”/traitor), “politicheskaya prostitutka” (political prostitute) and his most elegant phrase concerning Trotsky that became Russian proverb – “pizdit kak Trotskiy” – “to lie/bitch/bullshit like fu**ing Trotsky”.
“Trotsky is very fond of explaining historical events . . in pompous and sonorous phrases, in a manner flattering to Trotsky” (Lenin, SW #4 194).
Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism. He always contrives to worm his way into the cracks of any given difference of opinion, and desert one side for the other. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators. And these gentlemen do not stand on ceremony where the Party is concerned.
(Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 20 p. 448, 1914).
Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalist of the Ryazanov-and-co type. Either equality on the editorial board, subordination to the central committee and no one’s transfer to Paris except Trotsky’s (the scoundrel, he wants to ‘fix up’ the whole rascally crew of ‘Pravda’ at our expense!) – or a break with this swindler and an exposure of him in the CO. He pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists.
(Collected Works, Vol. 34, p. 400).
In the very first words of his resolution Trotsky expressed the full spirit of the worst kind of conciliation, ‘conciliation’ in inverted commas, of a sectarian and philistine conciliation, which deals with ‘given persons’ and not the given line of policy, the given spirit the given ideological and political content of Party work.
It is in this that the enormous difference lies between real partyism; which consists in purging the Party of liquidationism and otzovism, and the ‘conciliation’ of Trotsky and Co., which actually RENDERS THE MOST FAITHFUL SERVICE TO THE LIQUIDATORS AND OTZOVISTS, AND IS THEREFORE AN EVIL THAT IS ALL THE MORE DANGEROUS TO THE PARTY THE MORE CUNNINGLY, ARTFULLY AND RHETORICALLY IT CLOAKS ITSELF WITH PROFESSEDLY PRO-PARTY, PROFESSEDLY ANTI-FACTIONAL DECLAMATIONS.
(Notes of a Publicist, Collected Works, Vol. 16, June 1910, p 211).
The struggle between Bolshevism and Menshevism is… a struggle over the question whether to support the liberals or to overthrow the hegemony of the liberals over the peasantry. Therefore to attribute [as did Trotsky] our splits to the influence of the intelligentsia, to the immaturity of the proletariat, etc, is a childishly naive repetition of liberal fairy-tales.
Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, because he has never been able to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution.
Therefore, when Trotsky tells the German comrades that he represents the ‘general Party tendency’ I am obliged to declare that Trotsky represents only his own faction and enjoys a certain amount of confidence exclusively among the otzovists and the liquidators.
(The Historical Meaning of the Inner-Party Struggle in Russia, Collected Works, Vol. 16 pp. 374-392).
It is an adventure in the ideological sense. Trotsky groups all the enemies of Marxism, he unites Potresov and Maximov, who detest the ‘Lenin-Plekhanov’ bloc, as they like to call it. TROTSKY UNITES ALL THOSE TO WHOM IDEOLOGICAL DECAY IS DEAR; ALL WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH THE DEFENCE OF MARXISM, all philistines who do not understand the reasons for the struggle and who do not wish to learn, think and discover the ideological roots of the divergence of views. At this time of confusion, disintegration, and wavering it is easy for Trotsky to become the ‘hero of the hour’ and gather all the shabby elements around himself. The more openly this attempt is made, the more spectacular will be the defeat.
(Letter to the Russian Collegium of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, Collected Works, Vol. 17, pp. 17-22 – December 1910)
It is impossible to argue with Trotsky on the merits of the issue, because Trotsky holds no views whatever. We can and should argue with confirmed liquidators and otzovists, but it is no use arguing with a man whose game is to hide the errors of both these trends; in his case the thing to do is to expose him as a diplomat of the smallest calibre.
(Trotsky’s Diplomacy and a Certain Party Platform, Collected Works, Vol. 17 pp. 360362).
Trotsky’s dirty campaign against Pravda is one mass of lies and slander… This intriguer and liquidator goes on lying right and left.
(Collected Works, Vol. 35, pp. 40-41).
But the liquidators and Trotsky,… who tore up their own August bloc, who flouted all the decisions of the Party and dissociated themselves from the ‘underground’ as well as from the organised workers, are the worst splitters. Fortunately, the workers have already realised this, and all class-conscious workers are creating their own real unity against the liquidator disrupters of unity.
(Collected Works, Vol. 20 pp. 158-161).
Needless to say, this explanation is highly flattering, to Trotsky… and to the liquidators… Trotsky is very fond of using with the learned air of the expert pompous and high-sounding phrases to explain historical phenomena in a way that is flattering to Trotsky. Since ‘numerous advanced workers’ become ‘active agents’ of apolitical and Party line [Bolshevik Party line] which does not conform to Trotsky’s line, Trotsky settles the question unhesitatingly, out of hand these advanced workers are ‘in a state of utter political bewilderment’, whereas he, Trotsky, is evidently ‘in a state’ of political firmness and clarity, and keeps to the right line!… And this very same Trotsky, beating his breast, fulminates against factionalism parochialism, and the efforts of the intellectuals to impose their will on the workers!
Reading things like these, one cannot help asking oneself. – is it from a lunatic asylum that such voices come?
(Collected Works, Vol. 20 pp. 327-347).
The obliging Trotsky is more dangerous than an enemy! Trotsky could produce no proof except ‘private conversations’ (i.e., simply gossip, on which Trotsky always subsists), classifying the ‘Polish Marxists’ in general as supporters of every article by Rosa Luxemburg…
Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism. He always contrives to worm his way into the cracks of any given difference of opinion, and desert one side for the other. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators. And thee gentlemen do not stand on ceremony where the Party is concerned.
(The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, Collected Works, Vol. 20 p. 447-8).
What a swine this Trotsky is – Left, phrases, and a bloc with the Right against the Zimmerwald Left!! He ought to be exposed (by you) if only in a brief letter to Sotsial-Demokrat!
(Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 285).
There is also a letter from Kollontai who… has returned to Norway from America. N. Iv. and Pavlov… had won Novy Mir, she says,… but … Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once ganged up with the Right wing of Novy Mir against the Left Zimmerwaldists!! That’s it!! That’s Trotsky for you!! Always true to himself, twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right, so long as he can…
(Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 288).
At the Plenary Meeting Judas Trotsky made a big show of fighting liquidationism and otzovism. He vowed and swore that he was true to the Party. He was given a subsidy.
After the Meeting the Central Committee grow weaker, the Vperyod group grew stronger and acquired funds. The liquidators strengthened their position and in Nasha Zarya spat in the face of the illegal Party, before Stolypin’s very eyes.
Judas expelled the representative of the Central Committee from, Pravda and began to write liquidationist articles in Vorwärts. In defiance of the direct decision of the School Commission appointed by the Plenary Meeting to the effect that no Party lecturer may go to the Vperyod factional school, Judas Trotsky did go and discussed a plan for a conference with the Vperyod group. This plan has now been published by the Vperyod group in a leaflet.
And it is this Judas who beats his breast and loudly professes his loyalty to the Party, claiming that he did not grovel before the Vperyod group and the liquidators.
Such is Judas Trotsky’s blush of shame.
LENIN ON TROTSKY
The Vperyodists and the "Vperyod" Group
Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity
The Trade Unions and Trotsky's Mistakes
Inner-Party Struggle in Ruusia
The State of Affairs in the Party
The New Faction of Conciliators, or the Virtuous
Trotsky's Diplomacy and a Certain Party Platform
The Vperyodists and the "Vperyod" Group
The Liquidators Against the Party
The Fifth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.
The Break-Up of the "August" Bloc
The Present Situation in the R.S.D.L.P.
The Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.
On the Two Lines in the Revolution
Seventh All-Russia Congress of Soviets
The Illegal Party and Legal Work
Letter to All Pro-Party Social-Democrats
Under a False Flag
The Party Crisis
Concluding Remarks to "Marxism and Liquidationism"
Notes of a Publicist
Eve of the Elections to the Fourth Duma
A Letter to Students at the Capri Party School
Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets
To Camille Huysmans
A Collection of Documents
“It is the duty of the Party to bury Trotskyism as an ideological trend.” – Joseph Stalin
Counter-Revolution in Disguise
Michael Sayers / Albert E. Kahn
Ponomarev 1938 - New York
printed in the USSR
1903 - 1917
Its significance for American workers
Bertram D. Wolfe
Austria - 1937
On Guard against
"Albania Today" 1972, No 5
First Secretary of the CC of the KPD/ML
28th of April 1986
an ideological and political petit bourgeois trend that is hostile to Marxism-Leninism and to the international communist movement and that conceals its opportunistic essence with radical, left-wing slogans. Trotskyism arose within the RSDLP at the beginning of the 20th century as a form of Men-shevism. It was named for its ideologist and leader, L. D. Trotsky (real surname Bronshtein, 1879–1940).
The theoretical sources of Trotskyism are mechanical materialism in philosophy and voluntarism and schematism in sociology. The methodological basis of the trend is subjectivism, which is characteristic of the petit bourgeois world view as a whole. Since Trotskyism is a reflection of the antiproletarian views of the petite bourgeoisie, it is characterized by an anticommunist tendency in its political positions, by abrupt shifts from an extreme revolutionary stance to one of capitulation to the bourgeoisie, by a misunderstanding of the dialectics of social development, and by dogmatism in evaluating the events and phenomena of social life.
The views and principles of Trotskyism were formulated in opposition to those of Leninism on all fundamental questions concerning the strategy and tactics of the working-class movement. Trotskyism took as its point of departure the rejection of the Leninist doctrine of a new type of party. In the debate over the wording of the first paragraph of the party rules at the Second Congress of the RSDLP in 1903, Trotsky supported L. Martov’s wording, which opened the way for unstable elements to enter the party. On the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which was a most important thesis in the party program, Trotsky asserted, as did the leaders of the Second International, that the dictatorship would become possible only when the Social Democratic Party and the working class were virtually one and when the working class made up the majority of the population.
During the Revolution of 1905–07, the Trotskyists, distorting K. Marx’ idea of permanent revolution, propounded their own theory of permanent revolution, which they opposed to Lenin’s doctrine of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois democratic revolution and the doctrine of the transformation of this revolution into a socialist revolution. The Trotskyists repudiated the revolutionary nature of the peasant masses as well as the proletariat’s ability to establish a firm alliance with the peasantry; they ignored the bourgeois democratic tasks of the first Russian revolution and put forth the voluntaristic idea of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat as a result of the bourgeois democratic revolution. Their slogan was “No tsar, but a workers’ government.”
The Trotskyists claimed that the permanence of the revolutionary process and the fate of the socialist revolution in each country were dependent on the victory of the world revolution, and they therefore asserted that without state support of the European proletariat, the working class of Russia could not retain power. As V. I. Lenin pointed out, Trotsky’s theory in fact was helping the “liberal-labor politicians in Russia, who by ‘repudiation’ of the role of the peasantry understand a refusal to raise up the peasants for the revolution!” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 27, p. 81).
Trotskyism found little support in the Russian working-class movement. Few in number, Trotsky’s followers were Russian émigré intellectuals who had lost their connections with the proletarian movement and were attempting to profit politically from the differences of opinion between the principal trends within the RSDLP—Bolshevism and Menshevism. Lenin wrote: “Trotsky was an ardent Iskrist from 1901 to 1903. ... At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i.e., he deserted from the Iskrists to the Economists. ... In 1904 and 1905, he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now cooperating with Martynov (the Economist), now proclaiming his absurdly Left ‘permanent revolution’ theory” (ibid., vol. 25, p. 205).
During the reactionary period from 1907 to 1910, Trotskyism constituted a variety of Liquidationism. “Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalism” Lenin wrote in 1909. “He pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists” (ibid., vol. 47, p. 188). In 1912 the Trotskyists, playing the role of “party unifiers, ” organized the August anti-party bloc, which unified all the opportunists who had been excluded from the party ranks at the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP.
During World War I, Trotskyism was a component of international centrism, a social democratic trend that wavered between social chauvinism and petit bourgeois pacifism. The Trotskyists rejected Lenin’s conclusion that it was possible in the period of imperialism for the proletarian revolution to triumph first in a few countries or even in a single country. In opposition to Lenin’s slogan of transforming the imperialist war into a civil war, Trotsky advanced the slogan “Neither victory nor defeat, ” which essentially meant that everything would remain as before; consequently, even tsarism would be preserved. Lenin wrote: “Whoever is in favor of the slogan ‘neither victory nor defeat’ is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; at best he is a conciliatory petit bourgeois, but in any case he is an enemy of proletarian policy, a partisan of the existing governments, of the present-day ruling classes” (ibid., vol. 26, p. 290).
Lenin exposed the social roots of Trotskyism as well as the harmfulness of its political platform and actions. The Bolsheviks were responsible for the defeat of the August antiparty bloc, and they waged a persistent struggle against Trotskyism during World War I.
After the February Revolution of 1917, just as in 1905, the Trotskyists confused the bourgeois democratic stage of the revolution in Russia with the socialist stage; failing to recognize the bourgeois democratic stage, they demanded the immediate creation of a “true workers’ government, ” the leading role in which they assigned to conciliatory parties. They continued to advocate the alliance of the Bolsheviks with the opportunists under the aegis of Trotskyism, and they attempted to make the Mezhraiontsy, or “interfaction” Social Democrats, into a nucleus around which a united, centrist Social Democratic Party could be formed.
After the February Revolution of 1917, the Mezhraiontsy announced their agreement with the Bolsheviks, into whose ranks they were accepted at the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B). The Trotskyists who entered the party as Mezhraiontsy, however, continued to adhere to their former ideological positions and to struggle against Leninism. Even while preparations for the October Revolution were being made, the Trotskyists rejected the possibility of its victory, and they opposed the party’s decision to carry out an armed uprising. After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Trotskyists asserted that the victory of the revolution would be short-lived; they claimed that Soviet power would inevitably perish if socialist revolutions did not occur in the very near future in the other European countries and if the Soviet republic did not receive direct state aid from the proletariat of the West.
During the first decade of Soviet power, Trotskyism presented the greatest threat from within the ACP(B) since it sowed doubt among the ranks of the working class and the working-class party in the strength of the socialist revolution and in the cause of the socialist transformation of the country. The Trotskyists opposed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) and foiled the timely conclusion of the negotiations, thus exposing the still weak Soviet republic to the threat of German imperialist aggression. As a result, the Soviet government was compelled to sign a peace treaty at a later date and under worse conditions.
The Trotskyists viewed the raison d’être of Soviet power to be the fostering, or pushing, of world proletarian revolution by any means, including military measures. This interpretation was “completely at variance with Marxism, for Marxism has always been opposed to ‘pushing’ revolutions, which develop with the growing acuteness of the class antagonisms that engender revolutions” (ibid., vol. 35, p. 403). The thesis of pushing world revolution by means of war is also a tenet of present-day Trotskyism.
During the difficult period of reconstruction after the Civil War of 1918–20, Trotskyism took shape as a petit bourgeois deviation within the RCP(B). The Trotskyists initiated an intraparty struggle during the trade union controversy of 1920 and 1921. They created a faction with its own political platform demanding the transformation of the unions into an adjunct of the state machinery and the reduction of the party’s guiding role in building socialism. They also attempted to impose upon the party wartime methods of leading the masses.
In 1923 and 1924 the ideological formation of Trotskyism was completed as an antiparty trend reflecting the attitudes of part of the urban petite bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intelligentsia and serving the interests of the remnants of the capitalist classes in the country. Trotskyism’s principal thesis was the rejection of the possibility of building socialism in the USSR. Echoing the leaders of the social democratic movement in the West, the Trotskyists declared that because of the capitalist encirclement of the USSR and the country’s technical and economic backwardness, the Soviet working class could not succeed in consolidating its power and in building a socialist society. The Trotskyists opposed the Leninist doctrine that the dictatorship of the proletariat was a special class form of alliance between the working class and the peasantry; instead they propounded the thesis that the peasantry was hostile to the cause of building socialism. The Trotskyists declared the Soviet socioeconomic system to be state capitalism, and they treated the New Economic Policy (NEP) as but a retreat toward capitalism. Considering the building of socialism in one country to be a sign of insularism and a departure from the principles of proletarian internationalism, they continued to advocate the adventuristic policy of pushing world revolution.
In 1922 the Trotskyists asserted that although the Soviet republic had defended itself as a state in the political and military sense, it was not approaching the creation of a socialist society; in their view a true socialist economy could not arise in Soviet Russia until after the victory of the proletariat in the major countries of Europe. In order to hold out until that time and to prepare the country for “revolutionary warfare, ” the Trotskyists during the reconstruction period proposed a “dictatorship of industry” intended to increase the USSR’s military potential; for the transition to a reconstructed national economy they advocated a policy of rapid industrialization at the expense of the peasantry, whom they called a colony of industry. The Trotskyists wanted to finance the industrialization by, for example, raising prices of industrial goods, lowering prices of agricultural products, increasing taxes on peasant farms, and extracting funds from the villages; such measures, however, threatened to break up the alliance between the working class and the peasantry and to bring about the downfall of Soviet power.
During the reconstruction period, in opposition to the general party line of pursuing a high growth rate of socialist industrialization, the Trotskyists advanced the theory of the “extinguishing curve” (polukhaiushchaia krivaia), which was intended to justify the country’s economic backwardness and hinder development. According to this theory, high economic growth rates were possible only during the recovery period; thereafter the rate of the country’s economic development should supposedly decrease sharply from year to year. The Trotskyists believed that until the victory of the world revolution the USSR would not be able to overcome economic backwardness by its own efforts and that the country’s economy was doomed to be an adjunct of the world capitalist economy. Hence, the Trotskyist platform contained such openly capitulatory proposals as the elimination of the USSR’s favorable balance of foreign trade and the carrying out of large-scale market intervention, that is, the intensified importation of industrial goods; these measures would have opened the USSR to foreign capital.
During the debate of 1923 and 1924 the Trotskyists attempted to revise the organizational principles of the party; pretending to defend intraparty democracy, they demanded freedom for factions and groups within the party, as well as the weakening of the role of the party in guiding the state machinery and economic construction. In order to cause a party split, they tried to disrupt the relationship between the party and the youth; they called upon the young people to express doubts about the correctness of party policy, and they set young party members against the nucleus of Old Bolsheviks.
In “The Lessons of October, ” an article published in the autumn of 1924, Trotsky distorted the history of Bolshevism and attempted to replace Leninism with Trotskyism. The Trotskyist leaders strove by any available means to remove their opponents in the Central Committee of the party and to take control of the Central Committee. Predicting the inevitable defeat of the USSR in the next war, they planned to use this defeat to overthrow the existing regime. Objectively speaking, the Trotskyist political and economic line would have led to the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. In 1926 the Trotskyist platform united all the opportunistic groups in the ACP(B)—including the Democratic Centralist faction, the Workers’ Opposition, and the New Opposition—to form the Trotskyist-Zinovievist antiparty bloc.
The debate that took place during the end of 1924 and the beginning of 1925 was mirrored in the Communist International: Trotskyist groups sprang up within the Communist parties of a number of foreign countries, including Germany, France, the USA and Czechoslovakia.
Lenin and the party continually exposed the capitulatory essence of the views and platform of the Trotskyists, who were invariably defeated in the debates they themselves began. Trotskyism was condemned at the Seventh, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Party Congresses, at the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Party Conferences, and at a number of plenums of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the party. The Thirteenth Conference of the RCP(B) in 1924 emphasized that the ideological essence of Trotskyism represented not only a revision of Bolshevism and a departure from Leninism but also an obvious petit bourgeois deviation. The Fifteenth Conference of the ACP(B) in 1926 pointed out that the Trotskyists’ views on the prospects for the socialist revolution were close to the views of the Western social democratic leaders, who denied the possibility of the victory of socialism in the USSR; the conference therefore described Trotskyism as a social democratic deviation within the ACP(B).
Of great importance in the ideological defeat of Trotskyism were the speeches made by General Secretary J. V. Stalin at party congresses and conferences, plenums of the Central Committee of the ACP(B), and plenums of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. Also important were his works “Trotskyism or Leninism?”, “The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists, ” and “On the Social Democratic Deviation in Our Party.”
The Trotskyists’ positions became increasingly anti-Soviet. The Fifteenth Congress of the ACP(B) in 1927 pointed out that the opposition had severed ideological ties with Marxism-Leninism, had become a Menshevist group, and had started down the path of capitulation to the forces of the foreign and domestic bourgeoisie; the congress stated that adherence to Trotskyism was incompatible with party membership. Completing the ideological and organizational defeat of Trotskyism, the congress approved the decision of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) of Nov. 14,1927, providing for the expulsion of Trotsky and Zinoviev from the party, and it expelled other active Trotskyists from the party as well. As of 1928, Trotskyism had no affiliation with the ACP(B). The Sixteenth Party Congress in 1930 stated that Trotskyism had completely embraced counterrevolutionary Menshevik positions, and the congress warned against any efforts at reconciliation with the Trotskyists.
The defeat of Trotskyism in the ranks of the ACP(B) was accompanied by the expulsion of Trotskyists from other Communist parties. In 1928 the ninth plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern determined that adherence to Trotskyism was incompatible with membership in the Comintern; this decision of the plenum was approved by the Sixth Congress of the Comintern in the same year.
After the Fifteenth Congress of the ACP(B), some Trotskyists continued to struggle against the line of the party and of the Comintern. For his anti-Soviet activity Trotsky was exiled from the USSR in 1929 and was stripped of his Soviet citizenship in 1932. Openly expounding his capitulatory views abroad, he spoke out against the first five-year plan, the industrialization of the country, and the collectivization of agriculture; during the 1930’s he predicted inevitable defeat for the USSR in a war against fascist Germany. During World War II the Trotskyists opposed the creation of an anti-Hitler coalition; they refused to accept that the coalition was engaged in an antifascist war of liberation, and they regarded both sides in the war as imperialist.
In September 1938 a conference of Trotskyist groups from 11 countries proclaimed the establishment of the Fourth International. This group never represented a unified entity; in the 1950’s it split into factions that fought among themselves, having lost all contact with the mass working-class movement. Since the 1960’s, Trotskyists have grouped around several centers, including the International Secretariat, the International Committee, the Revolutionary Marxist Tendency of the Fourth International, and the Latin-American Bureau. In spite of the discord among them, the centers are united in a struggle against the international communist movement. There are groups of Trotskyists in a number of countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, and Japan.
Attempts have been made to modernize the positions of Trotskyism and to adapt them to new conditions. Although the Trotskyists have had to acknowledge the progressive social changes in the USSR and other socialist countries, they do not consider these countries to be socialist; they use the notion of deformed workers’ states in their attempt to discredit the historically proven method of building socialism and to cast doubt upon the possibility of building communism in the USSR.
The Trotskyists reject the principle of peaceful coexistence between states having different social structures. Slandering the foreign policy of the countries of the socialist community, they continue to assert that war is the only means of eliminating capitalism. Certain groups of Trotskyists deny the leading role of the working class in the contemporary revolutionary process, and they attempt to prove that the proletariat in capitalist countries has lost its fighting spirit; they contrast the world socialist system and the international communist movement with the national liberation movement, which they claim is the driving force in the revolutionary process.
The existence of Trotskyism and its periodic activation in individual countries are traceable to various causes, among which are the following: the attraction into the revolutionary movement of large numbers of petit-bourgeois-minded and politically inexperienced intellectuals, students, peasants, and craftsmen, who easily fall under the influence of the “ultrarevolutionary” slogans of the Trotskyists; the antirevolutionary activity of “left-wing” and right-wing revisionists, whose views and actions often coincide with those of the Trotskyists; and the use and support of Trotskyism by forces of anticommunism and imperialism, which find in Trotskyism an ally in the struggle against Marxism-Leninism.
The Trotskyists render substantial aid to the bourgeoisie in its efforts to cause schisms in working-class and national liberation movements. During periods of mass demonstrations by working people, extremist factions among the Trotskyists carry out provocative acts that provide the forces of reaction with an opportunity to arouse the politically inexperienced portion of the population against the proletariat and its vanguard, the Communists. During the general strike of 1968 in France, Trotskyists and other “ultrarevolutionaries” supported the adventuristic idea of an immediate armed uprising. In Japan the Trotskyists gave the reactionary forces a pretext for the bloody suppression of the demonstrations in Shinjuku in October 1968 and in Yokosuka in January 1969. The Trotskyists have engaged in similar activities in other countries as well. The schismatic efforts of the Trotskyists in Chile aided the fascist coup there.
The Trotskyists attempt to penetrate mass revolutionary organizations for the purpose of destroying the organizations from within. They are particularly active in youth organizations, where they take advantage of some of the young people’s political immaturity and failure to recognize the true face of Trotskyism.
Under the conditions of the intensified ideological struggle between socialism and capitalism, the further struggle against the ideology and schismatic actions of the Trotskyists remains one of the important tasks of the world communist movement.
Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 1, pp. 680–82.)
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed. (See Index Volume, pp. 230–31.)
Kommunisticheskii Internatsional v dokumentakh: Resheniia, tezisy i vozzvanüa kongressov Kominterna i plenumov IKKI 1919–1932. Moscow, 1933.
Istoriia KPSS, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1964–71.
Stalin, J. V. “Trotskizm ili leninizm?” Soch., vol. 6.
Stalin, J. V. “Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov.” Ibid.
Stalin, J. V. “O sotsial-demokraticheskom uklone v nashei partii.” Ibid., vol. 8.
Stalin, J. V. “Eshche raz o sotsial-demokraticheskom uklone v nashei partii.” Ibid., vol. 9
Stalin, J. V. “Trotskistskaia oppozitsiia prezhde i teper’.” Ibid., vol. 10.
Basmanov, M. I. Antirevoliutsionnaia sushchnost’ sovremennogo trotskizma. Moscow, 1971.
Bor’ba kommunistov protiv ideologii trotskizma. Moscow, 1973.
Bor’ba partii bol’shevikov protiv trotskizma, 1903– fevr. 1917 g. Moscow, 1968.
Bor’ba partii bol’shevikov protiv trotskizma v posleoktiabr’skii period. Moscow, 1969.
Ivanov, V. M., and A. N. Shmelev. Leninizm i ideino-politicheskii razgrom trotskizma. Leningrad, 1970.
Titov, A. G., A. M. Smirnov, and K. D. Shalagin. Bor’ba Kommu-nisticheskoi partii s antileninskimi gruppami i techeniiami v posleoktiabr’skii period, 1917–1934gg. Moscow, 1974.
Trapeznikov, S. P. Na krutykh povorotakh istorii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Istoricheskii opyt bor’by KPSS protiv trotskizma. Moscow, 1975.
Trotsky's Day in Court
Apart from our academic courses, we received our first tutelage in Leninism and the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the heat of the inner-party struggle then raging between Trotsky and the majority of the Central Committee led by Stalin. We KUTVA students were not simply bystanders, but were active participants in the struggle. Most students -- and all of our group from the U.S. -- were ardent supporters of Stalin and the Central Committee majority.
It had not always been thus. Otto told me that in 1924, a year before he arrived, a majority of the students in the school had been supporters of Trotsky. Trotsky was making a play for the Party youth, in opposition to the older Bolshevik stalwarts. With his usual demagogy, he claimed that the old leadership was betraying the revolution and had embarked on a course of "Thermidorian reaction."1 In this situation, he said, the students and youth were "the Party's truest barometer."2
But by the time the Black American students arrived, the temporary attraction to Trotsky had been reversed. The issues involved in the struggle with Trotsky were discussed in the school. They involved the destiny of socialism in the Soviet Union. Which way were the Soviet people to go? What was to be the direction of their economic development? Was it possible to build a socialist economic system? These questions were not only theoretical ones, but were issues of life and death. The economic life of the country would not stand still and wait while they were being debated.
The Soviet working class, under the leadership of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, had vanquished capitalism over one-sixth of the globe; shattered its economic power; expropriated the capitalists and landlords; converted the factories, railroads and banks into public property; and was beginning to build a state-owned socialist industry. The Soviet government had begun to apply Lenin's cooperative plans in agriculture and begun to fully develop a socialist economic system. This colossal task had to be undertaken by workers in alliance with the masses of working peasantry.
From the October Revolution through 1921, the economic system was characterized by War Communism. Basic industry was nationalized, and all questions were subordinated to the one of meeting the military needs engendered by the civil war and the the intervention of the capitalist countries.
But by 1921, the foreign powers who had attempted to overthrow the Soviets had largely been driven from Russia's borders. It was then necessary to orient the economy toward a peace-time situation. The NEP (New Economic Policy) formulated at the Tenth Party Congress in 1921 was the policy designed to guide the transition from War Communism to the building of socialism. It replaced a system of surplus appropriation with a tax in kind which would be less of a burden on the peasantry. The NEP was a temporary retreat from socialist forms: smaller industries were leased to private capital to run; peasants were allowed to sell their agricultural surplus on free markets; central control over much of the economy was lessened. All of this was necessary to have the economy function on a peace-time basis. It was a measure designed to restore exchange of commodities between city and country which had been so greatly disrupted by the civil war and intervention.3 It was a temporary retreat from the attack on all remnants of capitalism, a time for the socialist state to stabilize its base area, to gather strength for another advance. A year later at the Eleventh Party Congress, Lenin declared that the retreat was ended and called on the Party to "prepare for an offensive on private capital."4
Lenin was incapacitated by a series of strokes in 1923 and could no longer participate in the active leadership of the Party. It was precisely at this time, taking advantage of Lenin's absence, that Trotsky made his bid for leadership in the Party. Trotsky had consistently opposed the NEP and its main engineer, Lenin -- attacking the measures designed to appease the peasantry and maintain the coalition between the peasants and the workers.
From late 1922 on, Trotsky made a direct attack on the whole Leninist theory of revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. He denied the possibility (and necessity) of building socialism in one country, and instead characterized that theory as an abandonment of Marxist principles and a betrayal of the revolutionary movement. He postulated his own theory of "permanent revolution," and contended that a genuine advance of socialism in the USSR would become possible only as a result of a socialist victory in the other industrially developed states.
While throwing around a good deal of left-sounding rhetoric, Trotsky's theories were thoroughly defeatist and class-collaborationist. For instance, in the postscript to Program for Peace, written in 1922, he contended that "as long as the bourgeoisie remains in power in the other European countries, we shall be compelled, in our struggle against economic isolation, to strive for agreement with the capitalist world; at the same time it may be said with certainty that these agreements may at best help us to mitigate some of our economic ills, to take one or another step forward, but real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries."5
At the base of this defeatism was Trotsky's view that the peasantry would be hostile to socialism, since the proletariat would "have to make extremely deep inroads not only into feudal but also into bourgeois property relations." Thus Trotsky contended that the working class would:
...come into hostile collision not only with all the bourgeois groupings which supported the proletariat during the first stages of its revolutionary struggle, but also with the broad masses of the peasantry with whose assistance it came into power. The contradictions in the position of a workers' government in a backward country with an overwhelmingly peasant population could be solved only ...in the arena of the world proletarian revolution.6
Therefore, it would not be possible to build socialism in a backwards, peasant country like Russia. The mass of peasants would exhaust their revolutionary potential even before the revolution had completed its bourgeois democratic tasks -- the breakup of the feudal landed estates and the redistribution of the land among the peasantry. This line, which underestimated the role of the peasantry, had been put forward by Trotsky as early as 1915 in his article "The Struggle for Power." There he claimed that imperialism was causing the revolutionary role of the peasantry to decline and downgraded the importance of the slogan "Confiscated the Landed Estates."7
As it was pointed out in our classes, Trotsky portrayed the peasantry as an undifferentiated mass. He made no distinction between the masses of peasants who worked their own land (the muzhiks) and the exploiting strata who hired labor (the kulaks). His conclusions openly contradicted the strategy of the Bolsheviks, developed by Lenin, of building the worker-peasant alliance as the basis for the dictatorship of the proletariat.8Further, they were at complete variance with any realistic economic or social analysis.
Trotsky's entire position reflected a lack of faith in the strength and resources of the Soviet people, the vast majority of whom were peasants. Since it denied the revolutionary potential of the peasantry, the success of the revolution could not come from internal forces, but had to depend on the success of proletarian revolutions in the advanced nations of Western Europe. In the absence of such revolutions, the revolutionary process within the Soviet Union itself would have to be held in abeyance, and the proletariat, which had seized power with the help of the peasantry, would have to hold state power in conflict with all other classes.
Behind Trotsky's revolutionary rhetoric was a simplistic social-democratic view which regarded the class struggle for socialism as solely labor against capital. This concept of class struggle did not regard the struggle of peasant against landlord, or peasant against the Czar, as a constituent part of the struggle for socialism. This was reflected as early as 1905, in Trotsky's slogan, "No Czar, but a Workers' Government," which, as Stalin had said, was "the slogan of revolution without the peasantry."9
Given the state of the revolutionary forces at the time, the position was dangerously defeatist. For instance, 1923 marked a period of recession for the revolutionary wave in Europe; it was a year of defeat for communist movements in Germany, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria. What then, Stalin asked, is left for our revolution? Shall it "vegetate it its own contradictions and rot away while waiting for the world revolution?"10 To that question, Trotsky had no answer. Stalin's reply was to build socialism in the Soviet Union. The Soviet working class, allied with the peasantry, had vanquished its own bourgeoisie politically and was fully capable of doing the job economically and building up a socialist society.
Stalin's position did not mean the isolation of the Soviet Union. The danger of capitalist restoration still existed and would exist until the advent of a classless society. The Soviet people understood that they could not destroy this external danger by their own efforts, that it could only be finally destroyed as a result of a victorious revolution in at least several of the countries of the West. The triumph of socialism in the Soviet Union could not be final as long as the external danger existed. Therefore, the success of the revolutionary forces in the capitalist West was a vital concern of the Soviet people.
Trotsky's scheme of permanent revolution downgraded not only the peasantry as a revolutionary force, but also the national liberation movements of oppressed peoples within the old Czarist Empire. Thus, in "The Struggle for Power," he wrote that "imperialism does not contrapose the bourgeois nation to the old regime, but the proletariat to the bourgeois nation."11
While Trotsky de-emphasized the national colonial question in the epoch of imperialism, Lenin, on the other hand, stressed its new importance. "Imperialism," said Lenin, "means the progressively mounting oppression of the nations of the world by a handful of Great Powers; it means a period of wars between the latter to extend and consolidate the oppression of nations."12
It was not until sometime later that I was able to fully grasp the implications of Trotsky's concept of permanent revolution on the international scene. The most dramatic example was in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39. The Trotskyist organization had infiltrated the anarchist movement in Catalonia and incited a revolt against the Loyalist government under the slogans of "Socialist Republic" and "Workers' Government." The Loyalist government, headed by Juan Negrin, a liberal Republican, was a coalition of all democratic parties. It included socialists, communists, liberal Republicans and anarchists - all in alliance against fascist counter-revolution led by Franco and backed by Hitler and Mussolini. The attempted coup against the Loyalist Government was typical of the Trotskyist attempts to short-circuit the bourgeois-democratic stage of the revolutionary process. The result was a "civil war within a civil war" and, had their strategy succeeded, it would have split the democratic coalition - effectively giving aid to the fascists.
In the United States I was to witness how Trotsky's purist concept of class struggle led logically to the denial of the struggle for Black liberation as a special feature of the class struggle, revolutionary in its own right. As a result, the American Trotskyists found themselves isolated from that movement during the great upsurge of the thirties. But all this was to come later.13
At the time I was at KUTVA, Trotskyism had not yet emerged as an important tendency on the international scene. I did not foresee its future role as a disruptive force on the fringes of the international revolutionary movement. At that point, I wasn't clear myself on a number of theoretical questions. It was somewhat later when my understanding of the national and colonial question -- particularly the Afro-American question -- deepened, that the implications of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution became fully obvious to me.
We students felt that Trotsky's position denigrated the achievement of the Soviet Revolution. We didn't like his continual harping about Russia's backwardness and its inability to build socialism, or his theory of permanent revolution. The Soviet Union was an inspiration for all of us, a view confirmed by our experience in the country. Everything we could see defied Trotsky's logic.
His writings were readily available throughout the school, and the issues of the struggle were constantly on the agenda in our collectives. These were discussed in our classes, as they were in factories, schools and peasant organizations throughout the country.
About once a month the collective would meet and a report would be given by Party representatives - sometimes local, sometimes from the rayon (region of the city) and Moscow district, and sometimes from the Central Committee itself. They would report on the latest developments in the inner-party struggles -- Trotsky's and Lenin's views on the question of the peasantry; the NEP, how it had proved its usefulness and how it was now being phased out; Trotsky's position on War Communism and Party rules; the dictatorship of the proletariat, and whether it could be a dictatorship in alliance with the peasantry or one over the peasantry. An open discussion would be held after the report. By that time the Trotskyists at KUTVA had dwindled to a small group of bitter-enders.
The struggle raged over a period of five years (1922-27) during which time the Trotsky bloc had access to the press and Trotsky's works were widely circulated for everyone to read. Trotsky was not defeated by bureaucratic decisions or Stalin's control of the Party apparatus -- as his partisans and Trotskyite historians claim. He had his day in court and finally lost because his whole position flew in the face of Soviet and world realities. He was doomed to defeat because his ideas were incorrect and failed to conform to objective conditions, as well as the needs and interests of the Soviet people.
It was my great misfortune to be out of the dormitory when the Black students were invited to attend a session of the Seventh Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, then meeting in the Kremlin in the late fall of 1926. I was out in the street at the time and couldn't be found, so they went without me. I missed a historic occasion, my only chance to have seen Trotsky in action. I was bitterly disappointed. When I arrived back at the dormitory, Sakorov, my Indian friend, told me where they had gone. Returning in the early hours of the morning, they found me waiting for them. They described the session and the stellar performance of Trotsky.
Stalin made the report for the Russian delegation. Trotsky then asked for two hours to defend his position; he was given one. He spoke in Russian, and then personally translated and delivered his speech in German and then in French. In all, he held the floor about three hours.
Otto said it was the greatest display of oratory he had ever heard. But despite this, Trotsky and his allies (Zinoviev and Kamenev) suffered a resounding defeat, obtaining only two votes out of the whole body. The delegates from outside the Soviet Union didn't accept Trotsky's view that socialism in one country was a betrayal of the revolution. On the contrary, the success of the Soviet Union in building socialism was an inspiration to the international revolution.
Otto told me that this point was made again and again and again in the course of the discussion. Ercoli (Togliatti), the young leader of the Italian Party, summed it up well a few days later when he defended the achievements of the Russian Party and revolution as "the strongest impetus for the revolutionary forces of the world."14
The American Party united across factional lines in support of Stalin. The Trotsky opposition, already defeated within the Soviet Union, was now shattered internationally. From there on out, it was downhill for Trotsky. I witnessed Trotsky's opposition bloc degenerate from an unprincipled faction within the Party to a counter-revolutionary conspiracy against the Party and the Soviet state. We learned of secret, illegal meetings held in the Silver Woods outside of Moscow, the establishment of factional printing presses -- all in violation of Party discipline. Their activities reached a high point during the November 7, 1927 anniversary of the Revolution.
At the Tenth Anniversary, Trotsky's followers attempted to stage a counter-demonstration in opposition to the traditional celebration. I remember vividly the scene of our school contingent marching its way to Red Square. As we passed the Hotel Moscow, Trotskyist leaflets were showered down on us, and orators appeared at the windows of the hotel shouting slogans of 'Down with Stalin.'
They were answered with catcalls and booing from the crowds in the streets below. We seized the leaflets and tore them up. This attempt to rally the people against the Party was a total failure and struck no responsive chord among the masses. It was equivalent to rebellion and this demonstration was the last overt act of the Trotskyist opposition. During the next month Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev were expelled -- along with seventy-four of their chief supporters. They, along with the lesser fry, were sent into exile to Siberia in Central Asia. Trotsky was sent to Alma Alta in Turkestan from where, in 1929, he was allowed to go abroad, first to Turkey and eventually to Mexico.
Later, many of Trotsky's followers criticized themselves and were accepted back into the Party. But among them was a hard core of bitter-enders, who "criticized" themselves publicly only in order to continue the struggle against Stalin's leadership from within the Party. Their bitterness fed on itself and they emerged later in the thirties as part of a conspiracy which wound up on the side of Nazi Germany.
Throughout this whole struggle, we Black students at the school had been ardent supporters of the position of Stalin and the Central Committee. Most certainly we were Stalinists -- whose policies we saw as the continuation of Lenin's. Those today who use the term "Stalinist" as an epithet evade the real question: that is, were Stalin and the Central Committee correct? I believe history has proven that they were correct.
1. During the French Revolution, on July 27, 1794 (the ninth of Thermidor, according to the revolutionary calendar), a group later called the Thermidorians seized power, executing Robespierre, Saint-Just and more than eighty other radical Jacobins. This began a counter-revolutionary trend which led to Napoleon's coup in 1799 and the restoration of several European monarchies in 1815.
2. Stalin, Works, vol. 5, p. 394.
3. History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) -- Short Course (New York: International Publishers, 1939), p. 257. In this work, the Central Committee of the CPSU(B) sums up Lenin's views on the NEP:
A certain freedom of trade would give the peasant an economic incentive, induce him to produce more and would lead to a rapid improvement of agriculture...on this basis, the state-owned industries would be restored and private capital displaced...strength and resources having been accumulated, a powerful industry could be created as the economic foundation of Socialism, and then a determined offensive could be undertaken to destroy the remnants of capitalism in the country.
4. Ibid., p. 257.
5. Quoted in Stalin, Works, vol. 6, p. 393.
6. Quoted in Stalin, Works, vol. 6, pp. 383-84.
7. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), vol. 21, pp. 418-19. It is here that Lenin shows, in opposition to Trotsky, that imperialism and especially war "strengthened the economic and political factors that are impelling the petty bourgeoisie, including the peasantry, to the left."
8. Stalin, Works, vol. 6, p. 384. Stalin pointed out that "Lenin speaks of the alliance between the proletariat and the labouring strata of the peasantry as the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Trotsky sees a 'hostile collision' between the 'proletarian vanguard' and the 'broad masses of the peasantry.'"
9. Stalin, Works, vol. 6, p. 382.
10. Ibid., p. 385.
11.Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 21, p. 419.
12. Lenin, "The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination," ibid., p. 409.
13. In the fifties and sixties, many communist parties dropped their revolutionary principles and launched vicious attacks on Stalin, opening the way for a temporary resurgence of Trotskyism. A new generation learned first-hand how Trotskyism uses revolutionary phrases to cover its attacks on every progressive movement, taking every opportunity to slander socialist China. They promoted slogans like "All Indochina Must Go Communist" as an excuse for their opposition to the popularly supported National Liberation Front of Vietnam. In current struggles in the Black liberation movement, they have liquidated the necessity for a revolutionary program of struggle, promoting instead reliance on the courts and other brands of reformism.
14. International Press Correspondence, January 12, 1927, p. 63.
The Stalinist-Hoxhaist World Movement
smashes all Trotskyite movements in the world !