In Defence of Trotskyism

In political soli-

Price: Waged: £1.00 Concessions: 50p

Number 2. Summer 2010

What is Trotskyism

In Defence of Trotskyism is published by the International Trotskyist Current. Contact: PO Box 59188, London, NW2 9LJ. Email: Unity is strength, L'union fait la force, Es la unidad fuerza, Η ενότητα είναι δύναμη, .‫ , اتحاد قدرت است‬đoàn kết là sức mạnh, Jedność jest siła, ykseys on kesto, યુનિટિ થ્રૂ િા., Midnimo iyo waa awood, hundeb ydy chryfder, Einheit ist Stärke, एकता शक्ति है, единстве наша сила, vienybės jėga, bashkimi ben fuqine, ‫ ,אחדות היא כוח‬unità è la resistenza, 団結は力だ", A unidade é a força, eining er styrkur, De eenheid is de sterkte, ‫ ,الوحدة هو القوة‬Ní neart go chur le céile, pagkakaisa ay kalakasan, jednota is síla, 일성은 이다힘힘, Workers of the World Unite!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 2

What is Trotskyism?
This is copied from the Wikipedia article; Trotskyism. http:// Like all political pieces it must reflect the unknown author’s own political outlook and so makes controversial analyses, but it is sufficiently balanced to give us a starting outline of what Trotskyism is, or should be or can become. - Gerry Downing

● 1 Definition ● 2 Origins of Trotskyism and the 1905 Russian Revolution ● 3 Theory of Permanent Revolution 3.1 The capitalist or bourgeoisdemocratic revolution 3.2 Weakness of the capitalists 3.3 The working class steps in 3.4 International revolution 3.5 Origins of the term ● 4 Trotskyism and the 1917 Russian Revolution ● 5 The 'legend of Trotskyism' ● 6 Degenerated workers' state ● 7 Founding of the Fourth International ● 8 Trotskyist movements 8.1 Latin America 8.2 Asia 8.3 Europe ● 9 Trotskyism today 9.1 The Fourth International 9.2 Committee for a Workers' International 9.3 International Socialist Tendency 9.4 Internationalist Communist Union 9.5 International Marxist Tendency 9.6 Others ● 10 References ● 11 Further reading ● 12 External links

Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and BolshevikLeninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party. His politics differed sharply from Stalinism, most prominently in opposing Socialism in One Country, which he argued was a break with proletarian internationalism, and in his belief in an authentic dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles, rather than an unaccountable bureaucracy. Together with Lenin, Trotsky was co-leader of the Russian Revolution and the international Communist movement in 1917 and the following years. [1] Today, numerous groups around the world continue to describe themselves as Trotskyist, although they have developed Trotsky's ideas in different ways. In the English language, an advocate of Trotsky's ideas is usually called a "Trotskyist" or, pejoratively, a "Trotskyite" or "Trot". [2]

Russia, and appeal to the working class in the advanced capitalist countries around the world. As a result, the global working class would to come to Russia's aid, and socialism could develop worldwide.

The capitalist or bourgeoisdemocratic revolution
Revolutions in Britain in the 17th Century and in France in 1789 abolished feudalism and established the basic requisites for the development of capitalism. Trotsky argued that these revolutions would not be repeated in Russia. In Results and Prospects, written in 1906, in which Trotsky outlines his theory in detail, arguing: "History does not repeat itself. However much one may compare the Russian Revolution with the Great French Revolution, the former can never be transformed into a repeti-

In 1905, Trotsky formulated a theory that became known as the Trotskyist theory of Permanent Revolution. It may be considered one of the defining characteristics of Trotskyism. Until 1905, Marxism only claimed that a revolution in a European capitalist society would lead to a socialist one. According to the original theory it was impossible for such to occur in more backward countries such as early 20th century Russia. Russia in 1905 was widely considered to have not yet established a capitalist society, but was instead largely feudal with a small, weak and almost powerless capitalist class. The theory of Permanent Revolution addressed the question of how such feudal regimes were to be overthrown, and how socialism could be established given the lack of economic prerequisites. Trotsky argued that in Russia only the working class could overthrow feudalism and win the support of the peasantry. Furthermore, he argued that the Russian working class would not stop there. They would win its own revolution against the weak capitalist class, establish a workers' state in

tion of the latter." [9] In the French Revolution of 1789, France experienced what Marxists called a "bourgeois-democratic revolution" – a regime was established wherein the bourgeoisie, overthrew the existing French Feudalistic system. The bourgeoisie then moved towards establishing a regime of democratic parliamentary institutions. However, while democratic rights were extended to the bourgeoisie, they were not generally extend to a universal fran-

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 3
chise. The freedom for workers to organise unions or to strike was not achieved without considerable struggle. Trotsky argues, countries like Russia had no "enlightened, active" revolutionary bourgeoisie which could play the same role, and the working class constituted a very small minority. By the time of the European revolutions of 1848, "the bourgeoisie was already unable to play a comparable role. It did not want and was not able to undertake the revolutionary liquidation of the social system that stood in its path to power."

The working class steps in
Instead, Trotsky argued, only the 'proletariat' or working class were capable of achieving the tasks of that 'bourgeois' revolution. In 1905, the working class in Russia, a generation brought together in vast factories from the relative isolation of peasant life, saw the result of its labour as a vast collective effort, and the only means of struggling against its oppression in terms of a collective effort also, forming workers councils (soviets), in the course of the revolution of that year. In 1906, Trotsky argued: The factory system brings the proletariat to the foreground... The proletariat immediately found itself concentrated in tremendous masses, while between these masses and the autocracy there stood a capitalist bourgeoisie, very small in numbers, isolated from the 'people', half-foreign, without historical trathe landless, and many other struggles which ditions, and inspired only by the greed for in some ways reflect the militant united orgain. – Trotsky, Results and Prospects [11] ganised struggles of the working class, and The Putilov Factory, for instance, numbered which to various degrees do not bear the 12,000 workers in 1900, and, according to marks of class divisions typical of the heroic Trotsky, 36,000 in July 1917.[12] The theory of peasant struggles of previous epochs. HowPermanent Revolution considers that the ever, orthodox Trotskyists today still argue peasantry as a whole cannot take on this that the town and city based working class task, because it is dispersed in small holdings struggle is central to the task of a successful throughout the country, and forms a hetero- socialist revolution, linked to these struggles geneous grouping, including the rich peasof the rural poor. They argue that the workants who employ rural workers and aspire to ing class learns of necessity to conduct a landlordism as well as the poor peasants who collective struggle, for instance in trade unaspire to own more land. Trotsky argues: "All ions, arising from its social conditions in the historical experience... shows that the peasfactories and workplaces, and that the collecantry are absolutely incapable of taking up an tive consciousness it achieves as a result is an independent political role."[13] essential ingredient of the socialist reconstruction of society. [14] Trotskyists differ on the extent to which this is true today, but even the most orthodox Although only a small minority in Russian tend to recognise in the late twentieth censociety, the proletariat would lead a revolutury a new development in the revolts of the tion to emancipate the peasantry and thus rural poor, the self-organising struggles of "secure the support of the peasantry" as part

of that revolution, on whose support it will rely. [15] But the working class, in order to improve their own conditions, will find it necessary to create a revolution of their own, which would accomplish both the bourgeois revolution and then establish a workers' state.

International revolution
Yet, according to classical Marxism, revolution in peasant based countries, such as Russia, prepares the ground ultimately only for a development of capitalism since the liberated peasants become small owners, producers and traders which leads to the growth of commodity markets, from which a new capitalist class emerges. Only fully developed capitalist conditions prepare the basis for socialism. Trotsky agreed that a new socialist state and economy in a country like Russia would not

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 4
be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world, as well as the internal pressures of its backward economy. The revolution, Trotsky argued, must quickly spread to capitalist countries, bringing about a socialist revolution which must spread worldwide. This was the position, contrary to that of "Classical Marxism" which by that time had been further illuminated by active life, shared by Trotsky and Lenin and the Bolsheviks until 1924 when Stalin, who along with Kamenev in February 1917 had taken the Menshevik position of first the bourgeois revolution, only to be confronted by Lenin and his famous April Thesis on Lenin's return to Russia, after the death of Lenin and seeking to consolidate his growing bureaucratic control of the Bolshevik Party began to put forward the slogan of "Socialism in one country". In this way the revolution is "permanent", moving out of necessity first, from the bourgeois revolution to the workers’ revolution, and from there uninterruptedly to European and worldwide revolutions. man of the Petrograd soviet, but this time soon came to lead the Military Revolutionary Committee which had the allegiance of the Petrograd garrison, and carried through the October 1917 insurrection. Stalin wrote: however (as did Trotsky also) the classical Marxist position that the peasantry formed a basis for the development of capitalism, not socialism. [19] But also before February 1917, Trotsky had not accepted the importance of a Bolshevik style organisation. Once the February 1917 Russian revolution had broken out Trotsky admitted the importance of a Bolshevik organisation, and joined the Bolsheviks in July 1917. Despite the fact that many, like Stalin, saw Trotsky's role in the October 1917 Russian revolution as central, Trotsky says that without Lenin and the Bolshevik party the October revolution of 1917 would not have taken place. As a result, since 1917, Trotskyism as a political theory is fully committed to a Leninist style of democratic centralist party organisation, which Trotskyists argue must not be confused with the party organisation as it later developed under Stalin. Trotsky had previously suggested that Lenin's method of organisation would lead to a dictatorship, but it is important to emphasise that after 1917 orthodox Trotskyists argue that the loss of democracy in the Soviet Union was caused by the failure of the revolution to successfully spread internationally and the consequent wars, isolation and imperialist intervention, not the Bolshevik style of organisation. Lenin's outlook had always been that the Russian revolution would need to stimulate a Socialist revolution in western Europe in order that this European socialist society

Origins of the term

All practical work in connection with the organization of the uprising was done under An internationalist outlook of permanent the immediate direction of Comrade Trotsky, revolution is found in the works of Karl the President of the Petrograd Soviet. It can Marx. The term "permanent revolution" is be stated with certainty that the Party is taken from a remark of Marx from his March indebted primarily and principally to Com1850 Address: "it is our task", Marx said, rade Trotsky for the rapid going over of the to make the revolution permanent until all garrison to the side of the Soviet and the the more or less propertied classes have been efficient manner in which the work of the driven from their ruling positions, until the Military Revolutionary Committee was orproletariat has conquered state power and ganized. – Stalin, Pravda, November 6, 1918 until the association of the proletarians has [18] progressed sufficiently far – not only in one As a result of his role in the Russian Revolucountry but in all the leading countries of the tion of 1917, the theory of Permanent Revoluworld – that competition between the proletion was embraced by the young Soviet state tarians of these countries ceases and at least until 1924. the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers. – Marx, The Russian revolution of 1917 was marked by Address of the Central Committee to the two revolutions: the relatively spontaneous Communist League [16] February 1917 revolution, and the 25 October 1917 seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, who Trotskyism and the 1917 Rus- had gained the leadership of the Petrograd soviet. sian Revolution During his leadership of the Russian revolution of 1905, Trotsky argued that once it became clear that the Tsar's army would not come out in support of the workers, it was necessary to retreat before the armed might of the state in as good an order as possible. [17] In 1917, Trotsky was again elected chairBefore the February 1917 Russian revolution, Lenin had formulated a slogan calling for the 'democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry', but after the February revolution, through his April theses, Lenin instead called for "all power to the Soviets". Lenin nevertheless continued to emphasise

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 5
would then come to the aid of the Russian revolution and enable Russia to advance towards socialism. Lenin stated: During 1922–24, Lenin suffered a series of strokes and became increasingly incapacitated. Before his death in 1924, Lenin, while describing Trotsky as "distinguished not only We have stressed in a good many written by his exceptional abilities – personally he is, works, in all our public utterances, and in all to be sure, the most able man in the present our statements in the press that… the socialCentral Committee", and also maintaining ist revolution can triumph only on two conthat "his non-Bolshevik past should not be ditions. First, if it is given timely support by held against him", criticized him for a socialist revolution in one or several ad"showing excessive preoccupation with the vanced countries. – Lenin, Speech at Tenth purely administrative side of the work", and Congress of the RCP(B) [20] also requested that Stalin be removed from This outlook matched precisely Trotsky's his position of General Secretary, but his theory of Permanent Revolution. Trotsky's notes remained suppressed until 1956.[25] Permanent Revolution had foreseen that the Zinoviev and Kamenev broke with Stalin in working class would not stop at the bour1925 and joined Trotsky in 1926 in what was geois democratic stage of the revolution, but known as the United Opposition. [26] proceed towards a workers' state, as hapIn 1926, Stalin allied with Bukharin who then pened in 1917. The Trotskyist Isaac led the campaign against "Trotskyism". In Deutscher maintains that in 1917, Lenin The Stalin School of Falsification, Trotsky changed his attitude to Trotsky's theory of quotes Bukharin's 1918 pamphlet, From the Permanent Revolution and after the October Collapse of Czarism to the Fall of the Bourrevolution it was adopted by the Bolsheviks. geoisie, which was re-printed by the party [21] publishing house, Proletari, in 1923. In this Lenin was met with initial disbelief in April pamphlet, Bukharin explains and embraces 1917. Trotsky argues that: Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution, writing: "The Russian proletariat is conup to the outbreak of the February revolufronted more sharply than ever before with tion and for a time after Trotskyism did not the problem of the international revolution mean the idea that it was impossible to build … The grand total of relationships which a socialist society within the national have arisen in Europe leads to this inevitable boundaries of Russia (which "possibility" was conclusion. Thus, the permanent revolution never expressed by anybody up to 1924 and in Russia is passing into the European prolehardly came into anybody’s head). Trotskytarian revolution." Yet it is common knowlism meant the idea that the Russian proleedge, Trotsky argues, that three years later, tariat might win the power in advance of the in 1926, "Bukharin was the chief and indeed Western proletariat, and that in that case it the sole theoretician of the entire campaign could not confine itself within the limits of a against 'Trotskyism', summed up in the democratic dictatorship but would be comstruggle against the theory of the permanent pelled to undertake the initial socialist measrevolution."[27] ures. It is not surprising, then, that the April theses of Lenin were condemned as Trotsky- Trotsky wrote that the Left Opposition grew ist. – Leon Trotsky, History of the Russian in influence throughout the 1920s, attemptRevolution [22] ing to reform the Communist Party. But in 1927 Stalin declared "civil war" against them: self to the Opposition: “Those cadres can be removed only by civil war!” What was a threat in Stalin’s words became, thanks to a series of defeats of the European proletariat, a historic fact. The road of reform was turned into a road of revolution. – Trotsky, Leon, Revolution Betrayed, p279, Pathfinder (1972) Defeat of the European working class led to further isolation in Russia, and further suppression of the Opposition. Trotsky argued that the "so-called struggle against 'Trotskyism' grew out of the bureaucratic reaction against the October Revolution [of 1917]".[28] He responded to the one sided civil war with his Letter to the Bureau of

Party History, (1927), contrasting what he claimed to be the falsification of history with the official history of just a few years before. He further accused Stalin of derailing the Chinese revolution, and causing the massacre of the Chinese workers: In the year 1918, Stalin, at the very outset of his campaign against me, found it necessary, as we have already learned, to write the following words: “All the work of practical organization of the insurrection was carried out under the direct leadership of the Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, comrade Trotsky…” (Stalin, Pravda, Nov. 6, 1918)

The 'legend of Trotskyism'

In The Stalin School of Falsification, Trotsky argues that what he calls the "legend of Trotskyism" was formulated by Zinoviev and Kamenev in collaboration with Stalin in 1924, in response to the criticisms Trotsky raised of Politburo policy. [23] Orlando Figes argues that "The urge to silence Trotsky, and all criticism of the Politburo, was in itself a crucial factor in Stalin's rise to power."[24]

During the first ten years of its struggle, the Left Opposition did not abandon the program of ideological conquest of the party for that of conquest of power against the party. Its slogan was: reform, not revolution. The bureaucracy, however, even in those times, was ready for any revolution in order to defend itself against a democratic reform.

In 1927, when the struggle reached an espe- With full responsibility for my words, I am cially bitter stage, Stalin declared at a session now compelled to say that the cruel massaof the Central Committee, addressing himcre of the Chinese proletariat and the Chi-

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 6

Degenerated workers' state
Trotsky developed the theory that the Russian workers' state had become a "degenerated workers' state". Capitalist rule had not been restored, and nationalised industry and economic planning, instituted under Lenin, were still in effect. However, Trotskyists claim that the state was controlled by a bureaucratic caste with interests hostile to those of the working class. Stalinism was a counter-revolutionary force. Trotsky defended the Soviet Union against attack from foreign powers and against internal counter-revolution, but called for a political revolution within the USSR to bring about his version of socialist democracy: "The bureaucracy can be removed only by a revolutionary force". [35] He argued that if the working class did not take power away from the "Stalinist" bureaucracy, the bureaucracy would restore capitalism in order to enrich itself. In the view of many Trotskyists, this is exactly what has happened since the beginning of Glasnost and Perestroika in the USSR. Some argue that the adoption of market socialism by the People's Republic of China has also led to capitalist counterrevolution. Many of Trotsky's criticisms of Stalinism were described in his book, The Revolution Betrayed. "Trotskyist" has been used by "Stalinists" to mean a traitor; in the Spanish Civil War, being called a "Trot," "Trotskyist" or nese Revolution at its three most important After 1928, the various Communist Parties "Trotskyite" by the USSR-supported elements turning points, the strengthening of the posi- throughout the world expelled Trotskyists tion of the trade union agents of British imfrom their ranks. Most Trotskyists defend the implied that the person was some sort of perialism after the General Strike of 1926, economic achievements of the planned econ- fascist spy or agent provocateur. For instance, George Orwell, a prominent Antiand, finally, the general weakening of the omy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s position of the Communist International and and 1930s, despite the "misleadership" of the Stalinist writer, wrote about this practice in his book Homage to Catalonia and in his the Soviet Union, the party owes principally soviet bureaucracy, and what they claim to essay Spilling the Spanish Beans. In his book and above all to Stalin. – Trotsky, Leon, The be the loss of democracy. [32] Trotskyists Animal Farm, an allegory for the Russian Stalin School of Falsification, p87, Pathfinder claim that in 1928 inner party democracy, Revolution, he represented Trotsky with the (1971) and indeed soviet democracy, which was at the foundation of Bolshevism, [33] had been character "Snowball" and Stalin with the Trotsky was sent into internal exile and his character "Napoleon". Emmanuel Goldstein destroyed within the various Communist supporters were jailed. Victor Serge, for inParties. Anyone who disagreed with the party in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four has also stance, first "spent six weeks in a cell" after a been linked to Trotsky. line was labeled a Trotskyist and even a fasvisit at midnight, then 85 days in an inner cist. In 1937 Trotsky wrote: GPU cell, most of it in solitary confinement. He details the jailings of the Left Opposition. In 1937, Stalin again unleashed what TrotskyTo maintain itself, Stalinism is now forced to [29] The Left Opposition, however, continists say was a political terror against their conduct a direct civil war against Bolshevism, ued to work in secret within the Soviet UnLeft Opposition and many of the remaining under the name of "Trotskyism," not only in ion. [30] Trotsky was eventually exiled to 'Old Bolsheviks' (those who had played key the USSR but also in Spain. The old BolsheTurkey. He moved from there to France, roles in the October Revolution in 1917), in vik Party is dead, but Bolshevism is raising its Norway, and finally to Mexico. [31] the face of increased opposition, particularly head everywhere. To deduce Stalinism from in the army. [34] Bolshevism or from Marxism is the same as
Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 7
to deduce, in a larger sense, counterrevolution from revolution. – Trotsky, Leon, Stalinism and Bolshevism 1937, in Living Marxism, No. 18, April 1990. Stalin put out a general call for the assassination of Trotsky [citation needed], and he was finally killed with an ice axe in Mexico in 1940, by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish supporter of Stalin, under direct orders from the GPU. [36] The Fourth International suffered repression and disruption through the Second World War. Isolated from each other, and faced with political developments quite unlike those anticipated by Trotsky, some Trotskyist organizations decided that the Soviet Union no longer could be called a degenerated workers state and withdrew from the Fourth International. After 1945 Trotskyism was smashed as a mass movement in Vietnam and marginalised in a number of other counas presiding over capitalist economies. By 1951, the Congress had concluded that they had become "deformed workers' states." As the Cold War intensified, the FI's 1951 World Congress adopted theses by Michel Pablo that anticipated an international civil war. Pablo's followers considered that the Communist Parties, insofar as they were placed under pressure by the real workers' movement, could escape Stalin's manipulations and follow a revolutionary orientation.

Founding of the Fourth International
Trotsky founded the International Left Opposition in 1930. It was meant to be an opposition group within the Comintern, but anyone who joined, or was suspected of joining, the ILO, was immediately expelled from the Comintern. The ILO therefore concluded that opposing Stalinism from within the Communist organizations controlled by Stalin's supporters had become impossible, so new organizations had to be formed. In 1933, the ILO was renamed the International Communist League (ICL), which formed the basis of the Fourth International, founded in Paris in 1938. Trotsky said that only the Fourth International, basing itself on Lenin's theory of the vanguard party, could lead the world revolution, and that it would need to be built in opposition to both the capitalists and the Stalinists. Trotsky argued that the defeat of the German working class and the coming to power of Hitler in 1933 was due in part to the mistakes of the Third Period policy of the Communist International and that the subsequent failure of the Communist Parties to draw the correct lessons from those defeats showed that they were no longer capable of reform, and a new international organisation of the working class must be organised. The Transitional tries. demand tactic had to be a key element. The International Secretariat of the Fourth At the time of the founding of the Fourth International in 1938 Trotskyism was a mass International organised an international conference in 1946, and then World Conpolitical current in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and slightly later Bolivia. There was also a subgresses in 1948 and 1951 to assess the exprostantial Trotskyist movement in China which priation of the capitalists in Eastern Europe included the founding father of the Chinese and Yugoslavia, the threat of a Third World Communist movement, Chen Duxiu, War, and the tasks for revolutionaries. The amongst its number. Wherever Stalinists gained power, they made it a priority to hunt Eastern European Communist-led governdown Trotskyists and treated them as the ments which came into being after World worst of enemies. War II without a social revolution were described by a resolution of the 1948 congress

The 1951 Congress argued that Trotskyists should start to conduct systematic work inside those Communist Parties which were followed by the majority of the working class. However, the ISFI's view that the Soviet leadership was counter-revolutionary remained unchanged. The 1951 Congress argued that the Soviet Union took over these countries because of the military and political results of World War II, and instituted nationalized property relations only after its attempts at placating capitalism failed to protect those

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 8
countries from the threat of incursion by the West. Pablo began expelling large numbers of people who did not agree with his thesis and who did not want to dissolve their organizations within the Communist Parties. For instance, he expelled the majority of the French section and replaced its leadership. As a result, the opposition to Pablo eventually rose to the surface, with an open letter to Trotskyists of the world, by Socialist Workers Party leader James P. Cannon. The Fourth International split in 1953 into two public factions. The International Committee of the Fourth International was established by several sections of the International as an alternative centre to the International Secretariat, in which they felt a revisionist faction led by Michel Pablo had taken power. From 1960, a number of ICFI sections started to reunify with the IS. After the 1963 reunification congress which established the reunified Fourth International, the French and British sections maintained the ICFI. Other groups took different paths and originated the present complex map of Trotskyist groupings.

Trotskyist movements
Chávez as a Trotskyist, with some describing him as a bourgeois nationalist [41] and other considering him an honest revolutionary Trotskyism has had some influence in some leader who has made major mistakes because recent major social upheavals, particularly in During the 1980s in Argentina, the Trotskyist he lacks a Marxist analysis. [42] Latin America. party founded in 1982 by Nahuel Moreno, MAS, (Movimiento al Socialismo, Movement 2. Asia The Bolivian Trotskyist party (Partido Obrero Toward Socialism), claimed to be the "largest Revolucionario, POR) became a mass party in Trotskyist party" in the world, before it broke In Indochina during the 1930s, Vietnamese the period of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Trotskyism led by Ta Thu Thau was a signifiinto a number of different fragments in the and together with other groups played a cant current, particularly in Saigon. [43] late 1980s, including the present-day MST, central role during and immediately after the PTS, MAS, IS, PRS, FOS, etc. In 1989 in an period termed the Bolivian National RevoluIn Sri Lanka, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party electoral front with the Communist Party tion. [37] (LSSP) expelled its pro-Moscow wing in 1940, and Christian nationalists groups, called becoming a Trotskyist-led party. It was led by In Brazil, as an officially recognised platform "Izquierda Unida" (united left), obtained South Asia's pioneer Trotskyist, Philip Gunor faction of the PT until 1992, the Trotskyist 3,49% of the electorate, representing 580.944 awardena and his colleague NM Perera. In Movimento Convergência Socialista (CS), voters [39]. Today the Workers' Party in Ar1942, following the escape of the leaders of which founded the United Socialist Workers' gentina has an electoral base in Salta Provthe LSSP from a British prison, a unified Party (PSTU) in 1994, saw a number of its ince in the far north, particularly in the city Bolshevik-Leninist Party of India, Ceylon and members elected to national, state and local of Salta itself, and has become the third poBurma (BLPI) was established in India, bringlegislative bodies during the 1980s. [38] Tolitical force in the provinces of Tucuman, also ing together the many Trotskyist groups in day the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) in the north, and Santa Cruz, in the south. the subcontinent. The BLPI was active in the is described as Trotskyist. Its presidential Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez declared Quit India movement as well as the labour candidate in the 2006 general elections, himself to be a Trotskyist during his swearing movement, capturing the second oldest unHeloísa Helena is termed a Trotskyist who ion in India. Its high point was when it led in of his cabinet two days before his own was a member of the Workers Party of Brazil the strikes which followed the Bombay Muinauguration on 10 January 2007. [40] Vene(PT), a legislative deputy in Alagoas and in zuelan Troskyist organizations do not regard tiny. After the war, the Sri Lanka section split 1999 was elected to the Federal Senate. Ex-

1. Latin America

pelled from the PT in December 2003, she helped found PSOL, in which various Trotskyist groups play a prominent role.

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 9
into the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Bolshevik Samasamaja Party (BSP). The Indian section of the BLPI later fused with the Congress Socialist Party. In the general election of 1947 the LSSP became the main opposition party, winning 10 seats, the BSP winning a further 5. It joined the Trotskyist Fourth International after fusion with the BSP in 1950, and led a general strike (Hartal) in 1953. [44] [45] [46] In 1964 a section of the LSSP split to form the LSSP (Revolutionary) and joined the Fourth International after the LSSP proper was expelled. The LSSP (R) later split into factions led by Bala Tampoe and Edmund Samarakkody. The LSSP joined the coalition government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, three of its members, NM Perera, Cholmondely Goonewardena and Anil Moonesinghe, becoming the first Trotskyist cabinet ministers in history. In 1974 a secret faction of the LSSP, allied to the Militant Tendency in the UK emerged. In 1977 this faction was expelled and formed the Nava Sama Samaja Party, led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

3. Europe
In France, 10% of the electorate voted in 2002 for parties calling themselves Trotskyist. [47] In the UK in the 1980s, the entrist Militant tendency won three members of parliament and effective control of Liverpool City Council while in the Labour Party. Described as "Britain's fifth most important political party" in 1986 [48] it played a prominent role in the 1989–1991 mass anti-poll tax movement which was widely thought to have led to the downfall of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. [49] [50] Almost all of the large far left parties in the UK are led by Trotskyists, including the Socialist Workers Party (Britain), the Socialist Party (England and Wales), Respect – The Unity Coalition and the Scottish Socialist Party. The Socialist Party in Ireland was formed in 1990 by members who had been expelled by the Irish Labour Party's leader Dick Spring. It has had a sizable amount of support in County Fingal and has an MEP, Joe Higgins, representing Dublin. [citation needed] In the 27/09/2009 Portuguese legislative elections, the Bloco de Esquerda pt:Bloco de Esquerda won 558.062 votes, which trans-

lated into 9,82% of the expressed votes and the election of 16 (out of 230) deputies to the national parliament [51]. Although founded by severall leftist tendencies it still expresses much of the trotskyist thoughts upheld and developed by its current leader Francisco Louçã.

ICFI based in USA—— part of ICFI led by North. ICL(FI) — International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist), the Spartacists ICL — International Communist League , international supporters of the SWP [US] ICOT —International Center for Ortodox Trotskyism, in Spanish CITO, ICU — Internationalist Communist Union, Lutte Ouvriere international IST — International Socialism Tendency, SWP/Britain and others. Associated with Tony Cliff. IWL(FI) — International Workers’ League (Fourth International), in Spanish LIT, Moreno founded organisation MT — Marxist Tendency, unofficial name, tendency associated with Ted Grant and Alan Woods

Trotskyism today
The list of Trotskyist internationals shows that there are a large number of other multinational tendencies that stand in the tradition of Leon Trotsky. Some Trotskyist organisations are only organized in one country. COFI —Communist Organization for the Fourth International FI-USFI — United Secretariat of the Fourth International IBT — International Bolshevik Tendency. ICFI based in Britain—- part of ICFI led by Healy until his death.

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 10

PO/T/FIT — Partito Obrero/Argentina and co-thinkers. They used to be called the Fourth Internationalist Tendency

Trotsky in 1905, Pelican books, (1971) p295 (and p176)

ber Revolution issued in 1934, but it was expunged in Stalin's Works released in 1949. 19. "Peasant farming continues to be… an extremely broad and very sound, deeprooted basis for capitalism, a basis on which capitalism persists or arises anew in a bitter struggle against communism." Lenin Economics and Politics in the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat, October 30, 1919, Collected works, Vol 30, p109 20. Lenin, Report on the substitution of a tax in kind for the surplus-grain approriation system, Tenth Congress, March 15, 1921, Collected works, Vol 32, p215. This speech, of course, introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was intended to reinforce the basis of the second of the two conditions Lenin mentions in the quote, the support of the peasantry for the workers' state.

9. Trotsky, Leon, Results and Prospects, p TF — Trotskyist Faction (International Strat- 184, New Park publications (1962) egy), split of LIT, PTS/Argentina and others. 10. Trotsky, Leon, Results and Prospects, pp WI(RFI) — Workers’ International, Slaugh174–7, New Park publications (1962) ter-Nagy tendency 11. Trotsky, Results and Prospects, p183, New WIU (FI) — Workers’ International Unity Park (1962) (Fourth International), in Spanish UIT, 12. Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution, ('July Days': Preparation and beginning) References p519, Pluto Press (1977) 1. Lenin and Trotsky were "co-leaders" of the 13. Trotsky, Leon, Results and Prospects, p 1917 Russian Revolution: http://www.icl204–5, New Park publications (1962) -823.htm 14. Many would put, for instance, the Com2. Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus (1993)

mittee for a Workers’ International in this category of orthodox Trotskyists. See for 3. cf for instance, Trotsky, Leon, The Perma- instance, Che Guevara: A revolutionary nent Revolution (1928) and Results and Pros- fighter accessed 2007-10-07 21. Deutscher, Isaac, Stalin, p285, Penguin, pects (1906), New Park Publications, London, 15. Trotsky, Leon, Results and Prospects, p (1966) (1962) 204–5, New Park publications (1962). Trotsky 22. Trotsky, Leon, History of the Russian 4. Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed, 1936 adds that the revolution must raise the culRevolution, p332, Pluto Press, London (1977) tural and political consciousness of the peas5. What is Trotskyism (1973) Ernest Mandel antry. 23. See also Deutscher, Isaac, Stalin, p 293, 6. Figes, Orlando, A People's Tragedy: The Penguin (1966) 16. Marx, Karl, Address of the Central ComRussian Revolution 1891–1924, p803, Pimlico mittee to the Communist League 24. Figes, Orlando, A People's Tragedy: The (1997) Russian Revolution 1891–1924, p802, Pimlico 17. Trotsky, Leon, 1905, Pelican books, (1971) 7. Trotsky, Leon, My Life, p230 and 294, (1997). Figes, at Birkbeck, University of Lonp217 ff Penguin, Harmondsworth, (1971) don, is one of the UK's leading modern Rus18. This summary of Trotsky's role in 1917, sian historians 8. Milyukov, The elections to the second written by Stalin for Pravda, November 6, state Duma, pp91 and 92, is quoted by Leon 25. Lenin, Collected works, Vol 36, pp593– 1918, was quoted in Stalin's book The Octo98: "Stalin is too rude and this defect…
Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 11
becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post…it is a detail which can assume decisive importance." 26. Trotsky, Leon, The Stalin School of Falsification, pp89ff, Pathfinder (1971) 27. Trotsky, Leon, The Stalin School of Falsification, pp78ff, Pathfinder (1971) 28. Trotsky, Leon, The Stalin School of Falsification, Foreword to the Russian edition, p xxxiii, Pathfinder (1971) 29. Serge, Victor, From Lenin to Stalin, p70, Pathfinder, (1973) 30. Serge, Victor, From Lenin to Stalin, p70 ff, Pathfinder, (1973) 31. Deutscher, Isaac, Stalin, p381, Pelican (1966) 32. Trotsky, Leon, Revolution Betrayed, pp5 – 32 Pathfinder (1971) 33. "One of the most important tasks today, if not the most important, is to develop this independent initiative of the workers, and of all working and exploited people generally" Lenin, 'How to organise competition', Collected Works, Volume 26, p. 409 34. Rogovin, Vadim, 1937: Stalin's Year of Terror Mehring Books, 1998, p374. Also see the chapter 'Trotskyists in the camps': "A new, young generation of Trotskyists had grown up in the Soviet Union…lots of them go to their deaths crying 'Long live Trotsky!' " Until this research became available after the fall of the Soviet Union, little was known about the strength of the Trotskyists within the Soviet Union. 35. Trotsky, Leon, Revolution Betrayed, p288, Pathfinder (1971) 41. id_article=211 42. Sanabria, William, La Enmienda Constitucional, Orlando Chirino y la C-CURA 43. Richardson, A.(Ed.), The Revolution Defamed: A documentary history of Vietnamese Trotskyism, Socialist Platform Ltd (2003) 44. Ervin, W E, Tomorrow is Ours: The Trotskyist Movement in India and Ceylon, 193548, Colombo, Social Scientists Association, 2006.

36. Isaac Don Levine, The Mind of an Assassin, 1960, p.34. For an online account, see 45. Y. Ranjith Amarasinghe, Revolutionary also 'Forty Years Since Leon Trotsky’s Assas- Idealism & Parliamentary Politics – A Study sination', Militant International Review Sum- Of Trotskyism In Sri Lanka, Colombo (1998) mer 1980 accessed online 20 June 2007 46. Leslie Goonewardena, A Short History of 37. Alexander, Robert J., International Trot- the Lanka Sama Samaja Party accessed online skyism, 1929–1985: A Documented Analysis June 19, 2007 of the Movement, Duke University Press 47. The combined Trotskyist vote was (1991) 2,973,600 (10.44%) compared to 1,616,546 38. History of the PSTU (5.3%) in 1995 39. Atlas Electoral de Andy Tow 48. Crick, Michael, The March of Militant, p2

40. BBC News, Chavez accelerates on path to 49.BBC' One this day' retrospective is" 1990: socialism, Nathalie Malinarich, accessed online 19 June 2007 one in five yet to pay poll tax"

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

50. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993) pp848–9 51. http://www.legislativas legislatives 2009/ Further reading ● Alex Callinicos. Trotskyism (Concepts in Social Thought) university of Minnesota Press, 1990.

● Belden Fields. Trotskyism and Maoism: Theory and Practice i n France and the United States Praeger Publishers, 1989. ● Alfred Rmer.Trotsky and the Origins o f Trotskyism. Republished by Francis Boutle Publishers, now out of print. ● Cliff Slaughter. Trotskyism Versus Revisionism :A Documentary History (multi volume work, now out of print)
Communist International before the victory of counter-revolutionary Stalinism. No to popular fronts with the political representatives of any capitalist class to defeat fascism, stop war or for any other reason. No to sectarian abstention from the class struggle.

External links ● Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line ● The Leon Trotsky Internet archive containing a large number of Trotsky's written works ● TheLubitzTrotskyanaNet,dealingwithLeon Trotsky,TrotskyismandTrotskyists

Socialist Fight: Where We Stand
We stand with Karl Marx: ‘The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. The struggle for the emancipation of the working class means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies but for equal rights and duties and the abolition of all class rule’. We see democratic soviets/workers’ councils as the instruments of participatory democracy which must be the basis of the successful struggle for workers’ power. We are for the nationalisation and expropriation of capitalist private property without compensation and under workers’ control. The capitalist state must be overthrown and smashed to achieve socialism. The revolutionary process of transition to communism is based on the struggle to form an international federation of workers’ states and such a federation is required in order to overcome the domination of global capital. We defend the heritage of the Russian Revolution and critically support the revolutionary thrust of the first four Congresses of the Third

whole nations with their direct intervention in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and their proxy wars in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc. We demand of all governments a world plan to combat climate change and the degradation of the biosphere which is caused by the anarchy of capitalist production for profits of transnational corporations. Ecological catastrophe is not ‘as crucial as imperialism’ but caused by imperialism so to combat this threat we must redouble our efforts to forward the world revolution.

We recognise the necessity for revolutionaries to carry out serious ideological and political struggle as direct participants in the trade unions (always) and in the mass reformist social democratic bourgeois workers’ parties despite their proWe support Trotsky’s Transitional Programme of capitalist leaderships when conditions are fa1938 in its context. We always practice the vourable. method embodied in that document because it is We aim to develop a programme for the emanci- the Marxist method of mass work as advocated pation of the specially oppressed. We support by Lenin in Left Wing Communism, an Infantile the right of women, Black and Asian people, Disorder in 1920. lesbians and gay men, bisexuals and transgender As revolutionary international socialists we suppeople to caucus inside the unions and in social port Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution democratic parties. and its applicability to the present era of globalWe fight racism and fascism. We support the isation. right of people to fight back against racist atWe are for the refoundation and reconstruction tacks. Self-defence is no offence! of the Fourth International as the world party of We oppose all immigration controls. Internasocialist revolution and will fight for the fusions tional finance capital roams the planet in search and splits necessary for this in our international of profit and imperialist governments disrupts work. the lives of workers and cause the collapse of

The Press of the Permanent Revolution Collective and its sympathising organisations. More information of the CoReP can be obtained at,

Subscribe to Socialist Fight or In Defence of Trotskyism Four Issues: UK: £12.00 EU: £14.00 Rest of the World: £22.00
Cheques and Standing Orders to Socialist Fight Account No. 1. Unity Trust Bank, Sort Code 08-60-01, Account. No. 20227368.

Contact us at:
PO Box 59188, London, NW2 9LJ

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful