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"The Contradiction of Trotsky" - by Claude LefortHits: 981
Bjørn-Olav Kvidal [NemoEtomer]
on 2015-15-02 05:42
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Worth reading:


"Finally, it was in the last stage of the struggle between the Opposition and the Stalinist leadership, as this struggle became more violent, that the capitulations became more radical and more tragic. On two occasions, in October 1926 and in November 1927, the Left Opposition, which then had the support not only of Trotsky but also of Kamenev and Zinoviev, solemnly condemned itself, repudiated its supporters abroad and undertook its own dissolution. Finally, when there was no hope left for it, when Stalin had at his disposal a Congress (the Fifteenth) that obeyed him blindly, the Opposition made a final attempt to return to favour, and drew up a new condemnation of its own activity, namely, the Declaration of the 121. This is a document of the greatest historical importance, because it represents the last public action of the Left Opposition in Russia. The declaration begins by proclaiming that the unity of the Communist Party is the highest principle during the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We find the same terms that Trotsky had used in his speech to the Thirteenth Congress quoted above. The party is regarded as a divine factor in historical development, independently of its content and its line. The declaration thus underlines the danger of a war against the USSR and declares that there is nothing more urgent than to re-establish 'the combatant unity of the party' One may find it extraordinary that the Opposition was seeking above all to preserve the facade of party unity, whereas the gravest dissensions were setting it against the leadership of this party. But the 121 had decided to regard their dissensions with the party as insignificant. Of course, on several occasions, they repeated that they were convinced of the correctness of their views and that they would continue to defend them, as the organizational statutes allowed them to do, after they had dissolved their fraction; but at the same time they proclaimed: 'There is no programmatic difference between us and the Party' (23) And they bitterly denied that they had ever believed that the party or its Central Committee had followed a Thermidorian course. Now, not only had the party completely lost its revolutionary and democratic character in 1927, but it had adopted the perspective of socialism in one country, that is, it had in fact renounced the perspective of world revolution."


Trotsky did not support the view in Lenin's testament that Stalin and some others should be replaced from their power positions. In fact a measure not dealing with the basic problems related to the power structures of the regime. Trotsky did not support that Lenin's testament should be spread and read by all. As late as in January 1925 Trotsky wrote an article in the party newspaper Pravda where he denied there was a political disagreement between himself and Stalin.

To understand Trotsky's bureaucratic method to fight Stalin we must have in mind that the whole party was against power to the working class and the working class population. Against free elections to the workers and popular councils. They favoured one man rule in the factories and corporations - managers who were appointed by the economic departments of the state. The party including both Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin understood "socialism" as the task of an elite leading and ruling from above. Anything that put this very structure at risk was unacceptable and out of question. The reason Trotsky didn't want to take the debate to the masses - to the workers - was because he was integrated into the state apparatus.

On the other side can one ask why workers and working class people should bother to support some persons struggling for power in the top a leadership of a party responsible for dismantling the council democracy and sending Cheka troops against workers at strike or workers who demonstrated against the state before even this became impossible. A party which already had established labour camps for workers, peasants and oppositional people in the intelligentsia would of course not reach out. It was exactly these circumstances that made Trotsky to keep the struggle inside the same apparatus he was a part of.



Björn-Olav Kvidal,
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