THE MARXIST THEORY OF THE STATE
imperialism, than the unplanned and gangsterist regime imposed by Yeltsin which had such disastrouseffects. Yanayev based his coup on the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June 1989 and the follow up.
In Section 5 Trotsky and the Possible Paths of Counter-Revolution we find,‘Trotsky’s thinking underwent a corresponding evolution, and increasingly saw the bureaucracy itself asthe principal source of internal danger. Indeed, his view that the Bukharinite right was “the main danger”and “the Thermidorian wing of the party” led the Left Opposition to refuse to countenance any bloc oninternal democracy. The characterisation of the Right Opposition as “the masked form of counter-revolution”, as the proxy for the kulaks and NEPmen, runs through many of Trotsky’s writings in Alma Ata.Whatever the merits of this position, the ease with which Stalin crushed the Right made this too anincreasingly less likely scenario’. This section does whiff slightly of Stalinophobic thirdcampism and doessuggest that Trotsky would have been correct to make a bloc with the restorationist Bukharin. A bloc of theleft and right against the centre, even on ‘democracy’ would have been correctly seen internationally asopportunism and would have invalidated his attempts to fight Stalinist betrayals in Germany and Spain inparticular. This issue came up at the time of the WIL split and provoked a sharp but brief interchange in aLTT meeting between RP and GD. The document correctly quotes Trotsky in relation on the invasion of Poland, the Baltic States and Finland in 1939 as a consequence of the Hitler-Stalin pact.“The primary political criterion for us is not the transformation of property relations in this or another area,however important these may be in themselves, but rather the change in the consciousness andorganisation of the world proletariat, the raising of their capacity for defending former conquests andaccomplishing new ones. From this one, and only decisive standpoint, the politics of Moscow, taken as awhole, completely retains its reactionary character and remains the chief obstacle on the road to the worldrevolution.”But the right of nations to self-determination cannot be allowed to undermine the gains of the workingclass; it is in the end only a tactic (although a very important one) used to advance the class-struggle. As Trotsky said (and the document acknowledges this) in relation to Georgia during the Civil War,“We do not only recognize, but we also give full support to the principle of self-determination, wherever itis directed against feudal, capitalist and imperialist states. But wherever the fiction of self-determination, inthe hands of the bourgeoisie, becomes a weapon directed against the proletarian revolution, we have nooccasion to treat this fiction differently from the other ‘principles’ of democracy perverted by capitalism.” The LTT document says,‘Today’s sectarians uphold a new programmatic norm: that the defence of a workers’ state always takesthe priority over the fight of national self-determination. This position proceeds from the pessimisticassumption that the majority of the working class does not, and will not, defend the workers’ state, andthat the action of the working class must be replaced by military means. Under Lenin and Trotsky, therevolutionary prestige of the Soviet state was such that the departure from the programmatic norm inGeorgia could be justified’. This is wrong. Trotsky, in In Defence of Marxism defends the Red Army’s invasion of Poland, the Balticstates and Finland in 1939, although this violated these nation’s right to self-determination, because of thesecurity of the USSR was threatened by Hitler and the Allies as WWII approached. Section 8 The AugustCoup and the End of the Soviet Union is also wrong in that it does not identify Yeltsin as imperialism’s mainagent and so the main enemy (apart from at the time of the coup) and does not defend the nationalisedproperty relations of the USSR,Leon Trotsky, I am confident in the victory of the Fourth International, Go Forward!Page