Top critical review
Hagiography of a traitor to the revolution
26 August 2004
From the start, Trotsky always thought that revolution in any one country could only succeed if it received the active support of revolutions in other countries. But similarly, these other revolutions would also need to receive help from others: the Russian revolution could not survive without a revolution in Germany, but neither could a German revolution survive without a Russian. This mutual dependence meant that no country could ever start a revolution: it would have to wait on the success of another.
So to provoke these indispensable other revolutions, Trotsky was quite prepared to invade other countries. For example, in 1919 he wrote, "A cavalry corps of 30-40,000 horsemen must be formed to invade India."
Similarly, at Brest-Litovsk in February 1918, Trotsky made the Soviet revolution's very survival depend on the putative German revolution, risking total defeat by the German army on the throw of a revolution in Germany. He said, "We declare we end the war but do not sign a peace. They will be unable to make an offensive against us. If they attack us, our position will be no worse than now ..." This phrase-mongering did not frighten the German generals, who saw only that Trotsky was refusing to sign the offered peace. They then attacked, as he said they could not do, and seized millions of square miles of Soviet territory, making the Soviet position far worse than before.
In the 1930s, the Opposition leagued with Hitler. Churchill wrote, "The German government was in touch with important Russian personalities through the Soviet embassy in Prague. The plot aimed at overthrowing Stalin and introducing into Russia a new pro-German regime. Soviet Russia carried out a merciless but doubtless useful purge of political and economic circles. The Soviet army was purged of pro-German elements." Goebels admitted, "Stalin got rid of all the opposition circles in the Red Army and thus succeeded in making sure there were no more defeatist groups in the Army."
The Opposition fought against the programmes of industrialisation and collectivisation that made possible all the Soviet Union's heroic achievements. For instance, in April 1930, Trotsky's Bulletin of the Opposition said, "Put a stop to 'mass collectivisation'. ... Put a stop to the hurdle race of industrialisation. ... Abandon the 'ideals' of self-contained economy. Draw up a new variant of a plan providing for the widest possible intercourse with the world market." In 1938, Trotsky called for the collective farms to be closed down, and for Soviet enterprises to be handed over to foreign powers.
He consistently called on the Soviet people to overthrow the Soviet government when Hitler attacked. He called for a 'revolutionary uprising', an 'insurrection' against the Soviet government, when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. He wrote, "the impetus to the Soviet workers' revolutionary upsurge will probably be given by events outside the country." "The first social shock, external or internal, may throw the atomized Soviet Society into civil war."
He asked, "Can we expect that the Soviet Union will come out of the coming great war without defeat? To this frankly posed question, we will answer as frankly: If the war should remain only a war, the defeat of the Soviet Union would be inevitable. In a technical, economic and military sense, imperialism is incomparably more strong. If it is not paralysed by revolution in the West, imperialism will sweep away the present regime." "The defeat of the Soviet Union is inevitable in case the new war shall not provoke a new revolution. ... If we theoretically admit war without revolution, then the defeat of the Soviet Union is inevitable."
He wrote, "It would be childish to think that the Stalin bureaucracy can be removed by means of a Party or Soviet Congress. Normal, constitutional means are no longer available for the removal of the ruling clique. ... They can be compelled to hand over power to the Proletarian vanguard only by FORCE."
"Inside the Party, Stalin has put himself above all criticism and the State. It is impossible to displace him except by assassination. Every oppositionist becomes ipso facto a terrorist."
Trotsky lied to the 'Dewey Commission' when he told them that that he had not been organising an underground in the Soviet Union.
The leader of Trotsky's Fourth International, Ernest Mandel, openly applauded Boris Yeltsin, the key figure in the counter-revolution that finally restored capitalism in the Soviet Union. He wrote, "The reformer Yeltsin represents the tendency which wants to reduce the gigantic state apparatus. Consequently he follows in Trotsky's footsteps."
The Socialist Workers Party backed the US-organised and funded terrorists, which spawned bin Laden, against the people of Afghanistan. "Mujehadin victory will encourage the opponents of Russian rule everywhere in the USSR and Eastern Europe."