criticism of trotskyism
The main texts here are (1) M.J. Olgin’s outstanding study of Trotskyism which deals well with the political differences between Bolshevism and Trotskyism, (2) an article by Nadezhda Krupskaya (the wife of Lenin) on Trotsky’s distortions of the history of the October Revolution, and (3) an eyewitness account by Harry Haywood, the great African American Communist leader, of Trotsky’s ideological defeat by Stalin. The crisis of the European Union Read more... (c) League for the Fifth international - Join, League for the Fifth International Fri, 10/01/2020 - 12:27, International Secretariat, League for the Fifth International Wed, 05/06/2019 - 20:12, James P Cannon and the fight for communism in the USA, International Left Opposition, 1928-33; forging an international leadership. Hitler would have won the war. Criticism of the post-1924 leadership of the Soviet Union, analysis of its features; after 1933 also support for political revolution in the Soviet Union and in what Trotskyists term the deformed workers' states. At the same time Trotskyism’s mortal enemy, Stalinism, far from going into crisis as Trotsky had predicted, prospered and expanded, even making revolutions, albeit ones that ended in totalitarian dictatorship. Truly baffling… What Trotsky has proposed can be called as “overnight worldwide revolution”. “At the same time, it is obvious that the progressive growth of the industrial labour movement has not been accompanied by a corresponding development of the class consciousness of the workers. The Nomenklatura, created by the patrimonial system, first fostered by Lenin, criticized by Trotsky and solidified by Stalin, was to be a dragging force on the USSR’s economy, planning apparatus, progression and invention and is in contrary to the principle of WORKER control of the means of production, not the COMMISSAR control over the means of production. Its practical strategy (its real not its formal programme) diverged from that of Trotsky’s idea of “permanent revolution”. If Trotskyism is counter-revolutionary, what do people here at ML make of the bureaucratization of the Soviet Union? (18)(19) (20) This isn’t too say that there are not legitimate criticisms to be made of the communist tradition. I have dealt with the question of Trotskyism extensively in chapters 13 through 16 of the new book The ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2011. An analysis of the 1930s in the Soviet Union which sees the problems as arising from bureaucracy is, I think, not very convincing. Trotskyism is as much destructive and damaging as Capitalism is. Critics have argued that since the founders of neo-conservatism included ex-Trotskyists, Trotskyist traits continue to characterize neo-conservative ideologies and practices. Trotskyism is nothing but defeatist anarchy in disguise. On the other hand the reader may be moved to inquire what the proportion of their time Pham Binh or Louis Proyect spend on “struggles for tangible gains”. Stalin took the party from a revolutionary organization to a bureaucratic one. Criticism. Trotsky’s reason for believing the Left Opposition could “switch the points” in Germany in 1931 was related to the acuteness of the crisis, the rise of Hitler, the fact that millions of German Communists and Social Democrats knew Trotsky was the organiser of the October Revolution and that the Left Opposition was arguing for the antifascist united front, which many of them already realised was vital. The really decisive fact is that the revolution is a conscious act of a working class. was their only programme. Rather than putting unity above political clarity and organisational effectiveness, Trotsky rightly made programme the precondition of unity: “Unity is an excellent thing. And it applies to groups in Italy in the 1970s and elsewhere that were as plural, broad and without a programme as Pham Binh could wish. TROTSKY SHOULD BE DENIED BY THE REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE. A number of Trotskyists deny that there is a danger of extreme repression coming to the US, arguing that the ruling class supposedly only resorts to fascism when working-class revolution is … If indeed these “ideas, strategy and tactics” (otherwise known as a programme) are of “enduring value” one wonders why Pham Binh – whose central theme is the Trotskyists’ obsession with programme – does not explain how what was so valuable before 1940 became worthless and dangerous thereafter. This relates to one of Stalin’s main criticisms of Trotsky, namely that Trotskyism meant forceful attacks on all the world’s leading revolutionaries. Cannon, no more than Trotsky, Lenin or Marx, would not have contrasted the class struggle to programme. There is a tendency among people who recognize the mistakes of the Soviet Union or the Comintern to assume that, if Stalin was wrong, Trotsky was therefore right. The Unfinished Revolution,” the account of the International Brigade soldier and scholar of the Spanish Civil War Arthur Landis. But, I did have time to research your website and found it quite illuminating and correct. As Karl Marx said, “So long as the sects are (historically) justified, the working class is not yet ripe for an independent historic movement.”(Marx to Bolte Nov 1871) The tying of the working class to the bourgeoisie, whether through the US Democrats, the Peronists, European social democracy or Anglo-Saxon Labourism, explains in large measure the sect like existence of all subjectively revolutionary trends. Neither the WWP nor the PSL can be remotely accused of that sort of thing. The Leninist explanation is that both the false socialist parties and the false communist parties are a result of revisionism, of the influence of bourgeois ideas on the workers movement. It’s time for a hard line here, whatever that turns out to be. **** Readers might also be interested in the various articles written by Furr. A welfare state, rising wages and full employment seemed to validate reformism and disprove revolutionary Marxism. Criticism of Trotskyism in favour of ML Question I found this website and it contains a lot of quotations from Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky trying to show that ML is superior to Trotskyism. Clearly some other factor is at work condemning groups to marginality besides a supposed obsession with programme or too strict a “democratic centralist regime” – which Pham Binh adds later on as a cause of the Trotskyists’ impotence. Imagine what would have happened if, in 1941, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, it had been the same rural country it was in 1929. To help clearify these important points for the international communist movement, The Marxist-Leninist has put together this reading guide. Rather the party, like the Bolsheviks in 1917, turns its key elements into popular slogans: “all power to the soviets”, “Bread peace and land”, “Workers control of production”, etc. “The SWP’s 1939-40 debate over whether or not to defend the Soviet Union would have been relevant and important if SWP members were organising in the Soviet Union and had to figure out what to do with Stalin’s police state on the one side and the prospect of Nazi invasion and occupation on the other, a daunting challenge to say the least. Indeed, he says that Trotsky’s struggle “helped preserve and expand on the Marxist tradition – tradition meaning the ideas, strategy, and tactics that guide the actions of revolutionary socialists… That is above all else Trotskyism’s enduring value.”. That book has been explicitly rejected by the leaders of both WW and PSL as “Stalinist.” Why join a fake reformist, Stalinist or Guevarist party if there are real ones around? Only someone hidebound by pragmatism and formal logic could imagine that programme is embodied in a single document or that the Bolsheviks were too busy making the revolution to work out what they were doing. Should Trotsky have put unity with Nin and the Spanish POUM above the question of programme? What it does not excuse is continued sectarianism in the 1970s and 1980s or today. However, they seem to me much more focused on Socialist Worker and their monthly rather than building revolution. Soviet arms also made possible the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. Though becoming mass parties was their overriding objective, their adaptation to Bevanism in Britain, to Stalinism in France and Italy, to Maoism in Asia, and to Peronism, Castroism or Guevarism in Latin America brought them no breakthroughs. This is a great Anti- Trotsky Reading and Study guide Trotskyism must be smashed in all forms wherever it chooses to rear its sinister and ugly head. In fact it is no wonder that Pham Binh acknowledges Duncan Hallas (SWP ideologue) as the originator of many of his criticisms. Or are they taken out of context? One of the major points of contention between Stalin and Trotsky was in fact that Stalin insisted that the Soviet Union could carry out a program of socialist industrialization, while Trotsky insisted it could not. And I agree with you that Stalin’s purges were against all opposition, but not opposition to the Soviets for which they had belonged, but to the Stalinist faction of the Party. This is incontestably true, indeed a truism for a Leninist. A detailed study of Trotskyist theory is a large topic, which I and others have dealt with in a number of articles in the anti-revisionist journal, Communist Voice. Trotskyism internationally has historically represented splittism, and attacks on the socialist camp. In short, Professor Toad, even if they were to try and back off of the term Trotskyist at this point in their attempt to gain credibility within the international communist movement, it would be just a ploy. At any rate, I have never seen them try to back off of the term Trotskyist. If you send me an e-mail address I would like to send you an elaborated version of the theoretical resolutions in those chapters prepared for my anthropological and archaeological colleagues entitled Karl Marx’s Second Magnum Opus, Archaeology and Primitive Communism. Was that not counter-revolutionary? Pham Binh complains that part of the supposedly too high level of programmatic agreement demanded of membership was also wrongly based on “foreign” issues: This was a damning criticism which amounts to saying that three years before before the 1917 revolution, Trotsky did not consciously, that is concretely, understand what the real struggle was about in the Russian revolutionary movement. Let me know what you think about that. But there are other examples. Instead it was a way for Stalin himself to consolidate power and use it for his own purposes, not the people or the Soviets as originally intended. This “failure” applies not only to Trotskyists, with their supposedly obsessive concern with programme. The African American Marxist–Leninist Harry Haywood, who spent much time in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s, stated that although he had been somewhat interested in Trotsky’s ideas when he was youn… Furthermore in their doctrinal papers they always refer to Trotsky as a great revolutionary when in fact he was and is the Anti-Christ of the international Marxist movement, if you will. I can understand not agreeing politically with Trotsky as far as organisation is concerned, but how can anybody still think that Stalin did any good for the revolution? That represents progress for American socialism in the highest degree, for in the last analysis the programme decides everything. Pham Binh, an American socialist, has written a series of articles criticising far left groups on his Planet Anarchy website. Dear Professor: Thank you for your perspective. They played a key role in the armed uprising during the Bolivian revolution of April 1952. You can also found a recently posted old news article about the Dewey Commission from the journalist Carleton Beals. But there is one problem here. Try again later. In fact the whole subjective side of post-war Trotskyists’ weaknesses has been their insufficient appreciation of the “valuable ideas, strategy, and tactics” inherited from Trotsky. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the war against Hitler, and in fact defeated Hitler and brought socialism to much of Eastern Europe. The Trotskyist LSSP was the first mass workers’ party in Sri Lanka and led the 1953 general strike. The terrorist nature of Trotskyism in the Soviet Union, and its subsequent rout culminating in the Moscow Trials, is … There really was such an opposition, of course, and it really did plot a coup. That is what is being suggested of here, and why Trotsky is called a revisionist. Trotsky--brilliant publicist, enthusiastic speaker, organizer of the Red Army, eminent member of the Bolshevik Party during the first years of the Russian Revolution--has often been depicted as a romantic figure by biographers.Kostas Mavrakis does not see him in this light. Are these criticisms valid? It is split into two great camps. Enter your email address to subscribe to The Marxist-Leninist and receive notifications of new posts by email. As per this theory, all revolutions around the whole world, at least in a continent should be started together otherwise the world imperialist force will gather against the revolution and will crush it, basically defeatist and in short incapable to understand that win of workers in one country means win in a single front. The POR lacked neither influence nor revolutionary experience. Pham Binh seems to think this is a real knock down argument. There are significant political reasons that Trotskyism has failed to ever lead a successful revolution. I have to ask what Trots have in their tendency to form factions and the ML’s view of factionalism and open discourse? Update: I searched for some of the quotations found in this website and I couldn't find them. Although Interesting I am baffled by the Stalinism rampant on this site, and especially in this section. 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