Two characterizations of Trotsky’s modus operandi

“Trotsky, on the other hand, represents only his own personal vacillations and nothing more. In 1903 he was a Menshevik; he abandoned Menshevism in 1904, returned to the Mensheviks in 1905 and merely flaunted ultra-revolutionary phrases; in 1906 he left them again; at the end of 1906 he advocated electoral agreements with the Cadets (i.e., he was in fact once more with the Mensheviks); and in the spring of 1907, at the London Congress, he said that he differed from Rosa Luxemburg on “individual shades of ideas rather than on political tendencies”. One day Trotsky plagiarises from the ideological stock-in-trade of one faction; the next day he plagiarises from that of another, and therefore declares himself to be standing above both factions. In theory Trotsky is on no point in agreement with either the liquidators or the otzovists, but in actual practice he is in entire agreement with both”

~LENIN, “The Historical Meaning of the Inner-Party Struggle in Russia”


“No one can understand Trotsky who sees in him nothing more than an ordinary opportunist. Comrade Trotsky is not a one-handed man. He has a right hand and a left hand. We already had the opportunity of seeing him in two roles in his interpretation of the “German October.”

And with Comrade Trotsky this does not happen by accident: it is a general rule. In actual practice he always represents two different “types” so to speak. One type deviates to the right, the other to the left. A superficial observer might conclude that Comrade Trotsky vacillates constantly between the two types. But this only appears to be the case. Comrade Trotsky is not a vacillating man. He generally adopts a definite—but wrong—course.

In reality the case is this: In his actions he deviates towards the Right, but he describes these actions in Left, very Left, terms. The Right type is the type of the man of action who speaks little, who does his work and says nothing about it. The Left type, is a man, anxious to play a prominent public role, a man who talks a great deal and does very little, and knows little about work except to describe it. But the descriptions given by the Left type differ entirely from the work actually done by the Right type.

Comrade Trotsky is not simply an ordinary opportunist. He possesses a finely developed sense of the æsthetic. He feels the æsthetic defects of the external form of opportunist policy. The external forms of politics please him more and more in proportion to their deviation to the Left.”

~O. W. KUUSINEN, “A Misleading Description of the “German October””

Stalin & the myth of the ”Old Bolsheviks”


One often hears Trotskyists, Anarchists and bourgeois propagandists accuse Joseph Stalin of killing all or at least most of the so-called ”Old Bolsheviks” and thus being able to allegedly distort the true meaning behind Bolshevism/Leninism. Here I won’t be getting into a thorough debate about what is or is not the real core ideology of Bolshevism but I would like to examine the accusation that Stalin ”killed the Old Bolsheviks”.

1. Who were the so-called ”Old Bolsheviks”?

According to the groups mentioned above, i.e. left-communists, Trotskyists, Anarchists and Right-Wingers the term ”Old Bolshevik” typically refers to people such as Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Rykov etc.

They allege that these people represented ”real Bolshevism” and that Stalin killed them to implement his ”Stalinist distortion of Bolshevism”.

But what makes these people ”Old Bolsheviks”? Sure enough some of them such as Zinoviev were long standing members of the Bolshevik party, but is that all that we’re talking about? Zinoviev, Kamenev & co. had numerous disagreements with Lenin, the founder and leader of Bolshevism so can they truly be called Bolsheviks at all? Second of all, there are many people who were also longtime members of the Bolshevik Party yet they don’t get the same status of being called ”Old Bolsheviks”.

We can only conclude that the Right-Winger, Trotskyist and their ilk define ”Old Bolsheviks” merely as people who were killed by Stalin. That is their only qualification.

2. The Real Old Bolsheviks

Interestingly Right and ”Left” critics of Stalin don’t seem to consider the following group of people Old Bolsheviks despite the fact that they obviously were – or at least ignore them when arguing that ”Stalin killed the Old Bolsheviks”.

Note: The Bolshevik faction ”RSDLP(B)” emerged in 1903-1907. The RSDLP itself was founded in 1898.

Stalin             (joined the RSDLP in 1899. Bolshevik as early as 1903)
Kalinin          (joined the party in 1898. Bolshevik at least as early as 1905)
Voroshilov    (joined the RSDLP(B) in 1903)
Orjonikidze   (joined the RSDLP(B) in 1903)
Sverdlov       (joined the RSDLP in 1902. Bolshevik as early as 1903)
Molotov        (joined the RSDLP(B) in 1906)
Kaganovich   (joined the RSDLP(B) in 1911)

These people were not killed by Stalin, in fact they were his allies and I would argue much better Bolsheviks then Zinoviev & co. However for some reason they do not seem to count.

Lenin, Voroshilov, Sverdlov, Stalin, Kalinin

3. Were Zinoviev, Kamenev & Bukharin really such good Bolsheviks?

I think it can be demonstrated rather easily that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Trotsky & co. were not particularly good Bolsheviks and for that reason calling them ”Old Bolsheviks” (that Stalin ’murdered’ to distort bolshevism) seems dubious.

Zinoviev & Kamenev:
Lenin himself wanted Z. & K. expelled from the Bolshevik party altogether due to their treachery on the eve of the October Revolution. Z. & K. opposed the revolution and criticized it in a bourgeois newspaper, thus revealing the Bolsheviks plan to overthrow the government to the class-enemy.

”When the full text of Kamenev’s and Zinoviev’s statement in the non-Party paper Novaya Zhizn was transmitted to me by telephone, I refused to believe it… I no longer consider either of them comrades and that I will fight with all my might, both in the Central Committee and at the Congress, to secure the expulsion of both of them from the Party… Let Mr. Zinoviev and Mr. Kamenev found their own party”
–LENIN, ”Letter to Bolshevik Party Members” (18th Oct. 1917)

Despite being known as a Right-Winger for his views on economic policy, Bukharinists used to be thought of as a Left-Communist faction in the party. This is in the main due to their adventurism and opposition to the Brest-Litovsk peace-treaty.

Lenin slammed the actions of Bukharin & the ”Left”-communists in ”Peace or War?”

”…he who is against an immediate, even though extremely onerous peace, is endangering Soviet power.”

He also attacked Bukharin on the economic front in 1921 in his work ”Once Again On the Trade Unions: On the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin”.

Mentioning Trotsky in this context is perhaps superfluous but I will do it for the sake of thoroughness. He joined the party only in 1917 and cannot be called an Old Bolshevik in any case. Initially he was a Menshevik (1903-1905), then a member of the ultra-opportunist August Bloch (1907-1913) which Lenin ridiculed, opponent of the Zimmerwald Left that Lenin supported (1914-1916) and finally the semi-Menshevik Mezhraiontsy which ceased to exist in 1917. His disagreements with Lenin are too numerous to mention.

He was a longtime enemy of Lenin prompting Lenin to refer to him as a ”Judas”, ”Swine”, ”Scoundrel”, “bureaucratic” helper of the liberal bourgeois and calling his theory of Permanent Revolution both ”absurd” and half-menshevik. Instead of providing quotations sources for the claims will be at the end or otherwise this section would be too lengthy.

Lenin also attacked Trotsky for his flip flopping on the Brest peace deal and his ridiculous economic policy & poor handling of the trade unions together with Bukharin.

4. The Bloc of Rights & Trotskyites

In 1921 at the 10th congress of the RCP Lenin argued for the banning of factional cliques in the Bolshevik party. This was accepted and factions were either expelled or they capitulated. However after his death various factional groups sprung up. In 1927 Trotsky, Zinoviev & Kamenev were expelled from the party for factionalism after organizing an anti-party demonstration, though Z & K. later capitulated to Stalin.

Trotsky was exiled from the USSR, while Zinoviev & Kamenev were marginalized. The Bukharinists also lost the debate against Stalin & the majority. By 1932 Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev & Bukharin had all lost their legitimate political power. Trotsky created a secret conspiratorial anti-soviet group which was joined by Z. & K. and later various Bukharinites. This group became known in the Soviet media as ”The Bloc of Rights & Trotskyites”.

This is the real reason for which these people were later arrested & executed. They wished to carry out destabilization against the Soviet government which was already worried about foreign Fascist invasions. All of this was denied by anti-soviet elements for decades but the discovery of various letters from Trotsky and his associates has proven it without a shadow of a doubt.

”…The proposal for a bloc seems to me to be completely acceptable.”
Trotsky to Sedov

”The bloc is organised, it includes the Zinovievists, the Sten–Lominadze Group and the Trotskyists…”
Sedov to Trotsky

One fights repression by means of anonymity and conspiracy…”
–Trotsky to Sedov

”As far as the illegal organisation of the Bolshevik-Leninists in the USSR is concerned, only the first steps have been taken towards its re-organisation.”
Trotsky (Dec. 16 1932)

Source: Library of Harvard College 13905c, 1010, 4782 quoted in Pierre Broué’s The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin

Whether or not you believe the actions of Trotsky & co. to be justified it is dishonest to claim they were framed or unjustly murdered for their so-called Bolshevism. They fought against the Soviet government and lost.

5. Conclusions: Will the Real Old Bolsheviks please Stand up?

Stalin did not in fact kill the Old Bolsheviks, he killed anti-Soviet renegades whose Bolshevik credentials were questionable at best. The real Old Bolsheviks were people like Kalinin and Voroshilov who supported Lenin since the beginning through thick and thin, not flip-flopping opportunists like Zinoviev who stabbed Lenin in the back when ever it was advantageous.


”…Trotsky’s (the scoundrel… this swindler … pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists.”
–LENIN CW 34 p. 400 (1909)

”At the Plenary Meeting Judas Trotsky made a big show of fighting liquidationism…”
–LENIN ”Judas Trotsky’s Blush of Shame” (1911)

Trotsky… proclaiming his absurdly Left ‘permanent revolution’ theory.”
–LENIN ”Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity” (1914)

Trotsky’s… theory has borrowed… from the Mensheviks…”
–LENIN ”On the Two Lines in the Revolution” (1915)

”The Bolsheviks helped the proletariat consciously to follow the first line… liberal bourgeoisie was the second… Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal-labour politicians in Russia…”
– LENIN, Ibid.

”What a swine this Trotsky is—Left phrases, and a bloc with the Right…”
–LENIN ”Letter to Alexandra Kollontai” (1917)

”It is Trotsky who is in “ideological confusion”… There you have an example of the real bureaucratic approach: Trotsky… Trotsky’s “theses” are politically harmful…”
–LENIN ”The Trade Unions, The Present Situation And Trotsky’s Mistakes” (1920)

”Comrade Trotsky is essentially wrong on all his new points… Trotsky and Bukharin have produced a hodgepodge of political mistakes”
–LENIN ”Once Again On The Trade Unions: The Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Buhkarin” (1921)



Leon Trotsky was a notorious liar and a revisionist counter-revolutionary. This is demonstrated by his bankrupt anti-Marxist theory of Permanent Revolution, by his actions, his opinions and countless demonstrable lies. Here are some of them:

Trotsky on Max Eastman:

In 1925 Trotsky criticized the notorious ultra-left liar Max Eastman. Ironically three years later he became best friends with Eastman and started spreading the same exact lies that he had debunked himself. After his exile from the USSR Trotsky lost contact with Soviet workers and began targeting Westerners who didn’t necessarily know about the reality of Soviet situation. This is the reason for this blatant seemingly ridiculous 180* flip-flop.


Eastman’s assertion that the Central Committee was anxious to conceal (that is, not to publish) Comrade Lenin’s article on the Workers and Peasants Inspection is equally untrue.”

Eastman’s quotation from the wording of the “Testament” is equally wrong… This was published by counter revolutionists.

Eastman’s assertions that the Central Committee confiscated my pamphlet… are untrue, and are based on fantastic rumors.”

Eastman is again wrong in asserting that Comrade Lenin offered me the post of chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, and of the Council of Labor and Defense”

“An attentive perusal of Eastman’s book would doubtless give me the opportunity of pointing out a number of other inaccuracies, errors, and misrepresentations. I do not, however, think that it would be of interest to go further.”
Leon Trotsky, “Letter on Eastman’s Book”, 1925


Trotsky was singing to quite a different tune three years later:


“Comrade Max Eastman… is a devoted friend of the October revolution… an absolutely irreproachable revolutionist”
Leon Trotsky, “On Max Eastman”, September 1928



The results of the 1st & 2nd Five-Year Plans: Soviet industrial revolution.

The following are economic statistics from the Soviet Union’s First and Second Five-Year Plans with my commentary giving some context and helping you better interpret the numbers.

The four periods depicted in these statistics are the following:

1) The last Czarist census of 1913. This represents the height of the economic development of the Russian Empire. The economy of the Russian Empire declined during WWI (1914-1917).

2) The NEP figures of 1929. These figures depict the state of the economy before planned economy was fully implemented. During the NEP industry was largely nationalized but farming was mostly done by private producers and there existed a private sector of capitalist manufacturers. The goal of the NEP was to rebuild the country after the devastating Civil War (1918-1922). At the beginning of the NEP the Soviet Economy was in shambles and production at a worse state then in 1913.

3) The First Five-Year Plan (1928-1932). The implementation of Planned Economy, Industrialization and the Collectivization of Agriculture. All sectors of the economy grew during this time especially industry but also food production, consumer goods production and military spending.

4) The Second Five Year Plan (1933-1938) Consolidation of Collective Farming, the completion of the vast industrial projects of the first plan, massive increase in military spending. The 1937 constitution: implementation of free healthcare, free compulsory schooling. Massive improvements in education: construction of thousands of schools, academies and institutions of higher learning, cinemas, theaters and cultural institutions for the common people.



Co-operative farming and use of modern technology allowed the cultivation of previously unused land. Area under crops increased both compared to the last Czarist census of 1913 and the NEP figures. The bad weather of 1932-33 caused a temporary decrease:

Area under crops in ussr 1913-1933.jpg


The trend of fast growth continued and intensified during the Second Five-Year Plan:

Areas under all crops in ussr 1913-38.jpg



Most of the land was cultivated by Collective Farmers while the remaining land was cultivated by private farmers and the State Sector:

Area under crops per sector 1929-33.jpg
The Collective Farm Movement that had existed in Russia since at least 1905 gained new energy after the October Revolution and fastened it’s pace even more during the NEP. In 1928 it became an official government campaign and reached a tremendous speed. The rate of collectivization in 1930-32 was blindingly fast, even too fast. Stalin said the Collective Farm Activists were being “Dizzy With Success”. In 1933-38 the speed was reduced to a more manageable rate:




The amount of food crops produced increased tremendously during both Five-Year Plans as did the production of industrial crops. Notice the fluctuation in the level of sugar-beet farming: The 1929 figure represents the aftermath of the devastating Civil War that destroyed the economy, production increased massively in 1930. In 1931-32 the sugar-beet sector was reorganized which also caused a temporary reduction. In 1933 production began to increase yet again:

Area under industrial crops in ussr 1913-1933.jpg



During the Second Five-Year Plan the growth continued at a more consistent rate. At first glance you might think the production of grain actually didn’t increase much however this is not true: the production of grain increased from 1929 and from 1933 figures which were lower then the 1913 pre-War numbers. Secondly although grain production was only 118,6% of the pre-War figures it was achieved with a vastly smaller work force. During the 1930s the USSR had gone from an agrarian country to an industrial country. Millions of people had moved from the countryside to the cities and an increasing amount of farmland had been harnessed for farming industrial crops. Despite all of this food production was greater then ever before!

gross production of grain and industrial crops in the ussr 1913-38.jpg


The amount of livestock decreased during the First Five-Year Plan. The reasons were twofold:

1) The sabotage by Kulaks and the Middle Peasants under Kulak influence. Almost all draft animals used to be owned by Kulaks. This allowed them to kill such a high number of them. (The idea that killing of animals was widespread among poor peasants is a myth, since the poor peasants typically owned no animals at all.) This caused serious economic damage to the USSR.

2) The breeding of animals was done almost exclusively by the Kulaks. It took several years for the Kulak animal breeding to be replaced by Collective Farm animal breeding since during the First Five-Year Plan most Collectives focused on crop production:

Livestock in ussr 1916-1933.jpg



During the Second Five-Year Plan the number of livestock increased as animal breeding was taken over by Collective Farmers. The number of horses increased less then other animals because draft horses were being replaced by tractors more and more:

livestock in the ussr 1916-38.jpg



The development of industry, construction of machine building plants greatly benefited agriculture. The number of tractors used by peasants went from basically nothing to tens and hundreds of thousands. The Soviet State setup Machine and Tractor Stations (MTS) which supplied the Collective Farmers with machinery:

Number of tractors used 1929-33.jpg


As new tractor plants were built the amount of tractors also increased in State Sector Farms:

Number of tractors in state farms 1930-33.jpg




Number of tractors in Tractor stations 1930-33.jpg


Amount of tractors used doubled during the Second Five-Year Plan:

Tractors employed in the USSR 1933-38.jpg


During the Second Five-Year Plan the amount of combines grew by 600%. Amount of lorries by more then 700%, cars by 240% and other vehicles by around 150%:

harvester combines and other machines used in ussr 1933-38.jpg


The 1930s Great Depression devastated the economies of the Capitalist countries but had little impact on the economically blockaded Socialist Soviet Union. On the contrary the USSR was developing at a staggering rate due to it’s policy of industrialization. Soviet GDP growth at the time was fastest in the world:




The growth was biggest in the industrial sector. While the Capitalist economies stagnated and collapsed the USSR’s output more then tripled that of the Russian Empire, UK, USA, Germany and France:

Industrial output 1913-33 official soviet statistics.jpg




The USSR’s industrial output doubled between 1929-1933!

Industrial output 1929-33 official soviet statistics.jpg



During the First and Second Five-Year Plans (1928-1938) the industrial output of the USSR more then quadrupled! During this time Capitalist countries had only negligible growth:

industrial output 1929-38.jpg

industrial progress of the ussr 1934-38.jpg




Industrial output by sectors. The bulk was State Industry but a substantial chunk belonged to worker Co-ops and a small amount to remaining private producers and foreign corporations with trade deals with the Soviet government:

Output of large-scale industry according to sector 1929-1933.jpg



By the end of the First Five-Year Plan big industry had become 70% of the GDP. The USSR had become an industrial nation!

Relative importance of industry 1913-1933.jpg


Machine and Factory Building compared to Consumer Goods production at the end of the First Five-Year Plan. Construction of machines doubled while production of consumer goods increased by 60%:

Relative importance of two main brances of industry 1929-1933.jpg

While in the Russian Empire most industry was involved in raw materials (mining and especially cotton) in the USSR Machine Building became the leading branch of industry:

Relative importance of various brances of industry 1913-1933.jpg





National trade. Steady increase in the sale of  consumer goods, commercial products, trade among collectives, co-ops and State enterprises:

Trade turnover in the ussr 1933-38.jpg


Freight traffic increased together with increased trade and as a result of the building of new roads, railways and channels:

Freight traffic in the ussr 1933-38.jpg


According to the last Czarist census of 1897 literate people made up 28,4% of the population while only 13% of women were literate. Among the rural population the number was only 19%. It is estimated that in 1917 around 30% of the population was literate but during the civil war the number decreased.

In 1919 the Bolsheviks began the literacy campaign Likbez. In 1926 51% of the population were literate. By the end of the Second Five-Year Plan male literacy was 90.8% and female literacy 72.5%.


Amount of elementary schools increased by four thousand between 1933-1939. Amount of secondary schools doubled. The number of public libraries, worker clubs and cinemas also increased. Before the industrialization & electrification campaign most people had never seen movies or had access to a library. In fact most people couldn’t even read.

rise in the cultural level of people in ussr 1933-39.jpg

The number of schools quadrupled as 16,000 were built between 1933-38!

number of schools built in ussr 1933-38.jpg


The amount of people graduating from the new Soviet Higher Educational Institutions doubled between 1933-1938:

young specialists graduated from higher education institutes in ussr 1933-38.jpg



In the 1937 Soviet Constitution healthcare was guaranteed as a human right.

According to the 1913 Czarist census life expectancy among the population was 32.3 years. By 1958 the life expectancy had doubled to 68.6 years.


After 1937 life expectancy increased rapidly:



Its quite dramatic that the Russian life expectancy has not really increased after the dissolution of the USSR! In the mid-late 90s it actually decreased. In 2012 Russian life expectancy was 69 years:



Russian imperial census (
Russia U.S.S.R.: A Complete Handbook New York: William Farquhar Payson. 1933. p. 665.
Stalin’s peasants New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 225-6 & fn. 78 p. 363. 

Official data of soviet statistical bureau
The Russian Federation Before and After the Soviet Union, Alexey Shumkov

Life expectancy

The so-called “Lenin’s Testament” and Trotskyist anti-communist mythology



One of the most frequent arguments Trotskyists use against Marxism-Leninism is that in his “Testament” Lenin ‘ordered’ Stalin to be removed from his post. It is also often claimed that Lenin even wanted Stalin to be replaced by Trotsky as the future leader of the party. Actually this couldn’t be further from the truth.

What Lenin actually said:

“Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate…”(Lenin – Addition to letter II to the congress)

Pay close attention to what is said: A) Stalin is too “rude” B) he should be replaced by some hypothetical person who is identical to him except less rude.

1) Lenin had no dictatorial control over this issue. The letter was merely a suggestion. The Congress considered it but voted in favor of keeping Stalin in his post. Even Trotsky and Zinoviev voted in Stalin’s favor.

As Trotsky pointed out: “Congress devoted the greatest attention to this and to the other letters, and drew the appropriate conclusions.” More about that later.

2) Stalin was the general-secretary but not the leader of the party. Lenin was the leader. Lenin didn’t want Stalin to be removed from the position of “party leader” because he was not one.

3) Lenin said nothing about putting Trotsky in Stalin’s place as leader or as general secretary.

The idea that Lenin wanted Trotsky to replace Stalin as “the leader” was introduced by an American Trotskyist, Max Eastman in his book. Its a myth. This is what Trotsky himself said about the book:

Eastman is again wrong in asserting that Comrade Lenin offered me the post of chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, and of the Council of Labor and Defense. I hear of this for the first time from Eastman’s book.”(Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book)

4) Lenin only suggested Stalin’s removed from his post as the General-secretary but didn’t say a word about him being removed from any other of his posts or from the Central Committee or Politburo.

FIRST CONCLUSION: Lenin did not want Stalin to be removed from positions of power or be replaced by Trotsky. He complained about Stalin’s rudeness but said he should be replaced by someone identical but less rude. Such a person didn’t exist, apart from Stalin himself.


The obvious question to ask would be why did Lenin suggest Stalin’s removal from this particular post?

In 1922 Lenin had a stroke and was forced to stop political work. He continued writing and even wrote significant works such as “On Co-operation” which argued in favor of the possibility of building Socialism in one country. However his condition deteriorated, he had another stroke and was confined to a wheelchair. He still tried to keep in touch with politics and dictated several letters and other documents until he eventually lost the ability to speak.

But what is this about rudeness? Stalin was made responsible of Lenin’s health by the Central Committee (Stalin, Trotsky, Dzerzhinsky, Kalinin, Molotov, Bukharin, Zinoviev etc.). The doctors ordered that Lenin was not to be involved in politics because he had to avoid stress. He was also prohibited from reading political documents.

Lenin didn’t like it one bit although he jokinly said to Stalin:“I am not allowed to read the newspapers”,”and I must not talk politics. I carefully avoid every scrap of paper lying on the table, lest it turn out to be a newspaper and lead to a breach of discipline.”
(Comrade Lenin on Vacation, notes)

As his condition worsened he grew agitated and frustrated. Stalin was constantly there making sure he wasn’t doing political work. Lenin eventually asked his wife N. Krupskaya and his sister M. Ulyanova to start smuggling him political documents which they did against the doctors orders. It is quite probably that this is the reason why Lenin was agitated with Stalin and probably emotionally unstable due to his severe condition.

Note that the part where Lenin criticizes Stalin’s rudeness was a later addition to letter II. In the original later he said nothing about Stalin’s rudeness. Having known Stalin for years it seems odd that he would suddenly become so concerned about his manners unless it was because of his illness.

I think its worthwhile to hear the opinion of Lenin’s sister Maria:

There was an incident between Lenin and Stalin which comrade Zinoviev mentions in his speech and which took place not long before Ilyich lost his power of speech (March, 1923) but it was completely personal and had nothing to do with politics. Comrade Zinoviev knew this very well and to quote it was absolutely unnecessary. This incident took place because on the demand of the doctors the Central Committee gave Stalin the charge of keeping a watch so that no political news reached Lenin during this period of serious illness. This was done so as not to upset him and so that his condition did not deteriorate, he (Stalin) even scolded his family for conveying this type of information. Ilyich, who accidentally came to know about this and who was also always worried about such a strong regime of protection, in turn scolded Stalin. Stalin apologized and with this the incident was settled. What is there to be said – during this period, as I had indicated, if Lenin had not been so seriously ill then he would have reacted to the incident differently. There are documents regarding this incident and on the first demand from the Central Committee I can present them.

This way, I affirm that all the talk of the opposition about Lenin’s relation towards Stalin does not correspond to reality. These relations were most intimate and friendly and remained so.”(26th July 1926. M. Ulyanova.)

I am compelled to believe Maria Ulyanova who was probably the most objective source imaginable on this issue.

It is worth noting that Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) was a long time comrade of Stalin’s but at the time a supporter of Zinoviev, although not a supporter of Trotsky.

Here is Krupskaya on Trotsky in 1925:

“Marxist analysis was never Comrade Trotsky’s strong point.”

“…when such a comrade as Trotsky treads, even unconsciously, the path of revision of Leninism, then the Party must make a pronouncement.”(N. Krupskaya – The Lessons of October, Source: The errors of Trotskyism)

Its worth noting that Zinoviev and Kamenev vacilated between Trotskyism and Leninism and in 1925 opposed Trotsky while in 1926 moving to his side.

SECOND CONCLUSION: Its very probable that Lenin only criticized Stalin due to his severe illness. Its very likely that his illness led him to be overly concerned about Stalin’s real or imaginary rudeness. Also, despite the fact that Krupskaya wasn’t a supporter of Stalin at the time she was not a supporter of Trotsky either. She was actually much more supportive of Stalin then Trotsky whom she openly and sharply criticized.

In fact, Krupskaya was eventually convinced of the correctness of Stalin’s policy:

“The masses can see how completely, tirelessly comrade Stalin is giving himself to this sacred work, the work of Lenin, the building of socialism, how he is carrying them forward towards a better life. Everybody can see that and they believe him, he is surrounded by their trust and love.

The Trotskyites and the Zinovievs did not think about the masses. They were not living in reality. They were thinking only about how to capture power” (N. KrupskayaWhy Is the Second International Defending Trotsky?)

Not to mention Krupskaya and Stalin had been comrades in the party for decades. Krupskaya had praised Stalin’s early works defending Leninism e.g. Briefly about disagreements in the party and Socialism or Anarchism? She only sided against Stalin on this one issue for a short period of time.


Modern Trotskyism and right-wing anti-communist propaganda considers it an established fact that:
1) Trotsky was Lenin’s rightful successor

2) Lenin indicated this in a Testament

3) Stalin banned and concealed the Testament

In fact none of those claims are true. As we’ve already established Lenin said nothing about Stalin being removed from positions of power, about Trotsky’s power being increased and its questionable how serious he was about Stalin being replaced by anyone as secretary-general.

These rumors (or rather lies and slanders) have a source. All of them can be traced back to a book by the American Trotskyist Max Eastman.

Conveniently for us Trotsky himself refuted all of these lies although later he himself began spreading them. Most Trotskyists probably learn these falsehoods from Trotsky’s autobiography and accept them as gospel truth. In any case they are pure fiction as you’ll soon find out.

Soon after Lenin’s death rumors about Eastman’s scandalous book began circulating. To Soviet communists the information in Eastman’s book was obviously false and because Eastman was a devout Trotskyist, mr. Leon Trotsky himself was forced to respond to Eastman. He had no choice but to distance himself from Eastman’s anti-soviet and unconvincing lies.

Trotsky originally refuted every single one of Eastman’s lies but later himself began spreading the exact same lies. The following section is going to seem somewhat schizophrenic. I’ll be quoting Trotsky from 1925 and 1928 and you’ll notice he is saying completely polar opposite things, contradicting himself at every turn. So without further ado allow me to present “Trotsky debates Trotsky”.

Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book, 1925: 

Eastman’s book to which you refer is unknown to me. The bourgeois newspapers that quoted it have not reached me. Of course, I deny in advance and most categorically any commentaries directed against the Russian Communist Party.”

“Eastman arrives at conclusions directed entirely against our party, which are likely, if given credence, to discredit the party as well as the Soviet government. “

“The bourgeois press, especially the Menshevik press, makes use of Eastman’s statements, quotes from his reminiscences, in order to emphasize his “close relations,” his “friendship” with me (as my biographer) and by such indirect means attaching an importance to his conclusions which they do not and cannot have.”

Let’s recap. Trotsky distances himself from Eastman saying that they were never very close nor friends. That Eastman’s conclusions don’t have and cannot have any importance. That his conclusions are anti-soviet lies.

Three years later he praised Eastman:

Trotsky – On Max Eastman,1928:

“I received your inquiry about comrade Max Eastman who is played up from time as a bogie by our press, being almost depicted as a hireling of the bourgeoisie, selling it the state secrets of the USSR. This is a shameless lie. Comrade Max Eastman is an American revolutionist of the John Reed type, a devoted friend of the October revolution. “

Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book, 1925:

“Eastman’s quotation from the wording of the “Testament” is equally wrong. This was published in the Sotsialistichesky Vestnik and was stolen from the party archives, so to speak, by counterrevolutionists. In reality the wording as published in the Vestnik passed through many hands before its appearance in this paper. It was “freshened up” again and again, and distorted to such an extent that it is absolutely impossible to restore its original meaning. It is possible that the alterations were made by the editorial staff of this paper.”

In 1925 Trotsky pointed out that the letters to congress were not a “testament” at all but merely letters of advice. He also points out that after Eastman leaked the contents to bourgeois newspapers they’ve been distorted beyond belief and used against the Soviet government.

In contrast see what he says here:

Trotsky – On Max Eastman, 1928:

“There was nothing at all underhand in such a utilization by Eastman of a newspaper for the sake of publicity. Even on the pages of a bourgeois newspaper the Testament of Lenin remains Lenin’s testament.

Suddenly he didn’t see anything wrong with releasing the letters for the bourgeois press to distort. In fact he doesn’t even mention that they were distorted at all. Also notice that while previously he said that the letters were not a “testament” of any kind he now himself uses the word TESTAMENT without quotation marks!

He goes on to say that it was correct to do this because Lenin gave interviews to foreign newspapers which apparently in Trotsky’s mind is the same as handing confidental documents about inter-party affairs to bourgeois newspapers which, to quote Trotsky, “is so much altered as to be almost unrecognizable” and use them to “discredit the party as well as the Soviet government”.

Trotsky – On Max Eastman, 1928:

“desiring at any cost to give the widest possible publicity to Lenin’s Testament, Eastman handed it over to an American bourgeois newspaper. Everyone of us, both before and during the epoch of the Soviet government, has had more than one occasion to resort to foreign bourgeois newspapers in order to give one bit of news or another the wide circulation which we could otherwise not obtain. Lenin on more than one occasion utilized such publicity in the form of interviews given to foreign journalists. One must also add that except for an absolutely insignificant minority, American workers read only the bourgeois press.”

Here’s some more:

Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book, 1925:

“Eastman asserts in several places that the Central Committee has “concealed” from the party a large number of documents of extraordinary importance, written by Lenin during the last period of his life. (The documents in question are letters on the national question, the famous “Testament,” etc.) This is pure slander against the Central Committee of our party. Eastman’s words convey the impression that Lenin wrote these letters, which are of an advisory character and deal with the inner-party organization, with the intention of having them published. This is not at all in accordance with the facts. “

Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book, 1925:

Eastman’s assertions that the Central Committee confiscated my pamphlets and articles in 1923 or 1924, or at any other time or by any other means has prevented their publication, are untrue, and are based on fantastic rumors.

Eastman is again wrong in asserting that Comrade Lenin offered me the post of chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, and of the Council of Labor and Defense. I hear of this for the first time from Eastman’s book.”

Trotsky – Letter on Eastman’s Book, 1925:

“During his illness, Lenin repeatedly addressed letters and proposals to the leading bodies and congresses of the party. It must be definitely stated that all these letters and suggestions were invariably delivered to their destination and they were all brought to the knowledge of the delegates to the Twelfth and Thirteenth Congresses, and have invariably exercised their influence on the decisions of the party. If all of these letters have not been published, it is because their author did not intend them to be published. Comrade Lenin has not left any “Testament”; the character of his relations to the party, and the character of the party itself, preclude the possibility of such a “Testament.” The bourgeois and Menshevik press generally understand under the designation of “Testament” one of Comrade Lenin’s letters (which is so much altered as to be almost unrecognizable) in which he gives the party some organizational advice. The Thirteenth Party Congress devoted the greatest attention to this and to the other letters, and drew the appropriate conclusions. All talk with regard to a concealed or mutilated “Testament” is nothing but a despicable lie, directed against the real will of Comrade Lenin and against the interests of the party created by him. “

Here Trotsky adequately points out the same thing that was said by everyone else in the Soviet Union at the time. The letters to congress were spefically adressed to the party congress and not ment to be published at all. There was no conspiracy to conceal anything.

However three years later he claims precisely that the letters which he now calls a testament were hidden and banned by “stalinist censorship” and that they should be published.

Trotsky – On Max Eastman, 1928:

“Stalinist censorship had placed a ban on Lenin’s Testament ”

While previously Trotsky said that he was not close with Eastman or a friend and that Eastman was spreading anti-soviet, anti-party falsehoods now he praises Eastman as an “irreproachable revolutionist” and a friend and supporter of the October revolution and the Trotskyist Opposition.

Trotsky – On Max Eastman, 1928:
“He [Eastman] is a poet, writer, and journalist; he came to the Soviet Republic during the initial difficult years of her existence, learned the Russian language here, and came into intimate contact with our internal life in order to defend better and with greater assurance the Soviet Republic before the national masses of America.”

“Eastman is an absolutely irreproachable revolutionist “

“To the extent that news has reached me about Eastman for the last year, he remains right now what he has been: a friend of the October revolution and a supporter of the views of the Opposition. “

There you have it. Judge for yourselves…

Only the most naive or ignorant people could believe Trotsky’s fairytales. He was nothing but a despicable liar and a tool of right-wing, anti-communist & anti-Soviet propaganda.


H.G. Wells on Joseph Stalin

“I confess that I approached Stalin with a certain amount of suspicion and prejudice. A picture had been built up in my mind of a very reserved and self-centred fanatic, a despot without vices, a jealous monopolizer of power. I had been inclined to take the part of Trotsky against him. I had formed a very high opinion perhaps an excessive opinion, of Trotsky’s military and administrative abilities, and it seemed to me that Russia, which is in such urgent need of directive capacity at every turn, could not afford to send them into exile. Trotsky’s Autobiography, and more particularly the second volume, had modified this judgment but I still expected to meet a ruthless, hard—possibly doctrinaire—and self-sufficient man at Moscow; a Georgian highlander whose spirit had never completely emerged from its native mountain glen.

Yet I had had to recognize that under him Russia was not being merely tyrannized over and held down; it was being governed and it was getting on. Everything I had heard in favour of the First Five Year Plan I had put through a severely sceptical sieve, and yet there remained a growing effect of successful enterprise. I had listened more and more greedily to any first-hand gossip I could hear about both these contrasted men. I had already put a query against my grim anticipation of a sort of Bluebeard at the centre of Russian affairs. Indeed if I had not been in reaction against these first preconceptions and wanting to get nearer the truth of the matter, I should never have gone again to Moscow.”

“I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest, and to these qualities it is, and to nothing occult and sinister, that he owes his tremendous undisputed ascendency in Russia. I had thought before I saw him that he might be where he was because men were afraid of him, but I realize that he owes his position to the fact that no one is afraid of him and everybody trusts him.”

~H.G. Wells –Experiment in Autobiography

See the full text here:

Check out H.G. Well’s interview of J.V. Stalin:

On the existence and character of the united bloc of rights, zinoviev-ites and trotsky-ites.

The following extracts are from a French Trotskyist historian, Pierre Broué in his book
”The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin”. I present the relevant passages with my brief commentary. The footnotes marked with an * are mine. The numbered footnotes are directly taken from Broué’s book although since I didn’t use all of his footnotes the numbers are different.

Note that as a life long Trotskyist Broue doesn’t accept that the bloc was really terrorist in character or guilty of Kirov’s murder despite the fact that members of it either confessed to it or named others who did. He only admits that the bloc indeed existed and indeed included the people tried in the so-called ”show trials” and that it was involved with at least information gathering in the USSR and had members who were legal members of the Bolshevik Party while secretly being Trotskyists and conspirators. He admits these things despite the fact that Trotsky always attested that the bloc was only a fiction and a lie invented by Stalin.

Trotsky and Sedov lied to everyone including their sympathizers, readers of Trotskyist publications and workers they tried to win over to their cause. Only the active conspirators in the bloc knew it’s true character.

”When we re-examine the Moscow Trials in the light of this recently discovered information, we find another problem raised. The indictment dates the conclusion of the bloc in 1932 as the starting point of the “terrorist activity” of the accused. From their side, Trotsky and Sedov denied that the bloc even existed.” ~ Pierre Broué

Riutin, a long time Menshevik Right-winger who had prior to coming under criticism by Stalin and the other Leninists employed terroristic tactics was involved with the bloc with his group. This Riutin ”Right-wing group” involved Bukharin-ites. This would fit with Bukharin’s testimony that he had heard younger followers of his group talk about murdering Stalin.

”Sedov’s letters make it appear that at that time he applied the term, “right-wingers”, to what historians call the “Riutin Group”, a new group which appeared precisely in 1932 … Riutin was an old Menshevik teacher, who joined the Bolshevik Party after October. He had been a pillar of the “Right” and had particularly distinguished himself in the struggle against the Unified Opposition in 1926–27 by organising “strong arm” squads, to terrorise everyone likely to sympathise with it. However, in 1928 he had been one of the first Stalin attacked … It was then that he had formed a group, with P.A. Galkin, the conspiratorial character of which no one denies. In this group were to be found elements from various currents, such as disciples of Bukharin,” ~ Pierre Broué

A united bloc of the Rights, Zinovievites and Trotskyites was very real as indicated by this letter from Trotsky’s secretary to Trotsky’s son.

”The letter from Van Heijenoort* to Sedov*, 3 July 1937

Dear Friend
I am sending you a copy of a letter […] Here are some indications which my uncle has dictated [1]:

… The question of the bloc was considered in the letter on the basis that some of the capitulators were becoming dissatisfied again with the official policy, without also joining the Left Opposition, …” (Library of Harvard College 13905 quoted in Pierre Broué’s ”The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin”)

*Trotsky’s secretary ~ M-L Theory
*Trotsky’s son ~ M-L Theory
1. “My uncle” meaning Trotsky

This letter from Trotsky to Sedov clearly demonstrates the existence and the conspiratorial character of this bloc and also the involvement of the Rightists. Trotsky says to Sedov that for the moment the bloc will restrict itself to collecting information (i.e. spying) on the internal affairs of the USSR.

”The letter from Trotsky to Leon Sedov

… The proposal for a bloc seems to me to be completely acceptable. I must make quite clear that we are dealing with a bloc and not a fusion …

… The opinion of the allies, according to which we should wait for the rightwingers to involve themselves more deeply, does not have my agreement, as far as our fraction is concerned. One fights repression by means of anonymity and conspiracy, not by silence. Loss of time is impermissible …

… How is the bloc going to express itself? For the moment, principally by the exchange of information. The allies keep us informed about what concerns the Soviet Union, as we do for them about what concerns the Communist International.”
(Library of Harvard College 13905c and 1010 quoted in Pierre Broué’s ”The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin”)

In this letter Sedov informs Trotsky that the bloc has been organized. It includes among others the Zinoviev group and the Trotskyists who capitulated to the party majority and therefore still remain inside the party. It also makes it clear that Smirnov and Preobrazhensky were in it but that their group has collapsed due to one of their people confessing to the police.

”Letter from Sedov to Trotsky

The (…)[1] is organised it includes the Zinovievists, the Sten–Lominadze Group and the Trotskyists (former ”…”)[2]. The Safar–Tarkhan Group have not yet formally entered they have too extreme a position; they will enter very soon. The declaration of Z. and K.[3]on the very grave mistake which they made in 1927* was made at the time of the negotiations with our people about the bloc, just before Z. and K. were deported.

The collapse of the I.N. (…) [4] Group, Preobrazh.[5] and Uf. [6](these three groups formed part of the centre) was provoked by a sick, partly insane man. They arrested him by chance and he began to talk. They have certainly found no document in the homes of I.N. or the others that could be “Trotskyist literature”. Some days before I.N. was arrested, he told our informant: “X. has betrayed and I am expecting to be arrested from one day to the next.”
(Library of Harvard College 4782, quoted in Pierre Broué’s ”The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin”)

1. The missing word has been cut out with scissors. It seems to be the word “bloc”
2. The missing word has been carefully erased. It seems to be “capitulators”.
3. Z and K are obviously Zinoviev and Kamenev.
*Capitulated to the Party majority instead of siding with Trotsky
4. The missing word has been carefully erased. It seems to be “Smirnov”
5. Preobrazhensky
6. Ufimtsev

”As far as the illegal organisation of the Bolshevik-Leninists in the USSR is concerned, only the first steps have been taken towards its re-organisation.”(Trotsky, letter of 16 December 1932)

To You Beloved Comrade’, Paul Robeson on Stalin in 1953

”Suddenly everyone stood – began to applaud – to cheer – and to smile. The children waved.
In a box to the right – smiling and applauding the audience – as well as the artists on the stage – stood the great Stalin.
I remember the tears began to quietly flow. and I too smiled and waved Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly – I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good – the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son Pauli to wave to this world leader, and his leader. For Paul, Jr. had entered school in Moscow, in the land of the Soviets.

They have sung – sing now and will sing his praise – in song and story. Slava – slava – slava – Stalin, Glory to Stalin. Forever will his name be honored and beloved in all lands.

How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief.
But, as he well knew, the struggle continues. So, inspired by his noble example, let us lift our heads slowly but proudly high and march forward in the fight for peace – for a rich and rewarding life for all”

The full text at:

Stalin on the “cult of Personality”

”Finally, a few words about the letter written by the collective farmers of Bezenchuk. This letter has been published, and you must have read it. It is unquestionably a good letter. It shows that among our collective farmers there are not a few experienced and intelligent organisers and agitators in the cause of collective farming, who are the pride of our country. But this letter contains one incorrect passage with which we cannot possibly agree. The point is that the Bezenchuk comrades describe their work in the collective farm as modest and all but insignificant work, whereas they describe the efforts of orators and leaders, who sometimes make speeches of inordinate length, as great and creative work. Can we agree with that? No, comrades, we cannot possibly agree with it. The Bezenchuk comrades have made a mistake here. Perhaps they made the mistake out of modesty. But the mistake does not cease to be a mistake for all that. The times have passed when leaders were regarded as the only makers of history, while the workers and peasants were not taken into account. The destinies of nations and of states are now determined, not only by leaders, but primarily and mainly by the vast masses of the working people. The workers and the peasants, who without fuss and noise are building factories and mills, constructing mines and railways, building collective farms and state farms, creating all the values of life, feeding and clothing the whole worldt hey are the real heroes and the creators of the new life. Apparently, our Bezenchuk comrades have forgotten this. It is not good when people overrate their strength and begin to be conceited about the services they have rendered. That leads to boasting, and boasting is not a good thing. But it is still worse when people begin to underrate their strength and fail to see that their “modest” and “insignificant” work is really great and creative work that decides the fate of history.

I would like the Bezenchuk comrades to approve this slight amendment of mine to their letter.” 
(J.V. Stalin – Speech Delivered at the First All-Union Congress of Collective Farm Shock Brigadiers)

“I am absolutely against the publication of “Stories of the childhood of Stalin.”

The book abounds with a mass of inexactitudes of fact, of alterations, of exaggerations and of unmerited praise. Some amateur writers, scribblers, (perhaps honest scribblers) and some adulators have led the author astray. It is a shame for the author, but a fact remains a fact.

But this is not the important thing. The important thing resides in the fact that the book has a tendency to engrave on the minds of Soviet children (and people in general) the personality cult of leaders, of infallible heroes. This is dangerous and detrimental.

The theory of “heroes” and the “crowd” is not a Bolshevik, but a Social-Revolutionary theory. The heroes make the people, transform them from a crowd into people, thus say the Social-Revolutionaries.

The people make the heroes, thus reply the Bolsheviks to the Social-Revolutionaries. The book carries water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries. No matter which book it is that brings the water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries, this book is going to drown in our common, Bolshevik cause.

I suggest we burn this book.” (J.V. Stalin – Letter on Publications for Children Directed to the Central Committee of the All Union Communist Youth)

there is too much talk about the services rendered by chiefs, by leaders. They are credited with all, or nearly all, of our achievements. That, of course, is wrong, it is incorrect. It is not merely a matter of leaders . . . we must first of all learn to value people, to value cadres, to value every worker capable of benefiting our common cause. It is time to realize that of all the valuable capital the world possesses, the most valuable and most decisive is people, cadres . . . cadres decide everything” (J.V. – Stalin Address Delivered in the Kremlin Palace to the Graduates From the Red Army Academies)

”MOLOTOV (. . . stated that he is and will always he a faithful disciple of Stalin.)
STALIN (interrupting Molotov): This is nonsense. I have no students at all. We are all students of the great Lenin.” 
Unpublished Speech by Stalin at the Plenum of the Central Committee, CPSU October 16, 1952)



Trotsky VS. Lenin


I’ve been wanting to do a comprehensive comparison of Trotsky’s theories and views held by him, to the theoretical contributions of Lenin and the views held by him. I’m also going to be occasionally referring to Stalin’s role and what his views were but because of time constraints I’ll be focusing on Lenin and Trotsky.

So in the end we’ll hopefully come to a clearer understanding of where Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin fit in the Russian revolution and the fight for socialism in general.

Basically my motivation for this is that there is this seemingly endless debate between Trotskyists and Marxist-Leninists. Trotskyists claiming that Lenin agreed with Trotsky’s theories, that Trotsky was the co-leader of the revolution and the rightful successor of Lenin and that Stalin betrayed the revolution and that Stalin and Lenin were politically radically different. I completely reject all of that and I’ll give you the reasons why.

In my view Trotsky was just a semi-menshevik opportunist who wormed his way into the party by pretending to have changed his ways and accepted Leninism in late 1917, he had no special role in the revolution but never the less fought well for a brief period of time just like many anarchists, Left-Socialist Revolutionaries and many other non-bolsheviks did until he then once again began waging war against Leninism and the Bolshevik party. Stalin was actually the true follower of Lenin in theory and practice and Lenin actually didn’t really agree with any of Trotsky’s “original” theories and instead the theoretical views and policies put forward by Stalin much more closely reflected Lenin’s views and most of all were in line with Leninism.

Obviously I’m going to have to back up what I’ve said with evidence.

I’ve divided this into multiple sections based on theories and important historical events. There wont be nitpicking here, all of these are major events or major theoretical issues.

I could have taken a more polemical approach and only focused on the most juicy details but I decided I wanted to cover as much as I can so that I won’t have to respond to Trotskyists bringing up something I left out. Also I apologize in advance that this is going to contain a lot of quotations and some of them quite lengthy but in order to truly make my case and not to leave any room for interpretation or speculation I just had to include them.

We’ll start with history of the Party:

  1. The Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party and the two factions(Mensheviks and Bolsheviks)(1903-1904)

  2. The revolution of 1905

  3. Party Struggles of 1908-1917 (“Otzovism”, “Liquidationism” And The “August Bloc”)

  4. The preparation to October and the October Revolution(1917)

  5. The Foreign Interventionist Civil War(1918-1920)

  6. The New Economic Policy(NEP) and The Trade Union Debate(1920-1921)

Then we’ll go over theoretical issues:

  1. Permanent Revolution

  2. “Socialism In One Country”

  3. Democratic Centralism

  4. Lenin’s Testament & misc.

And then we’ll have a conclusion.

Anyway let’s get on with it. As I said we begin with history:

  1. Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party and the two factions (Mensheviks and Bolsheviks)(1903-1904)

The Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party(RSDLP) was founded in 1883. Lenin moved to St. Petersburg in 1893 and became a prominent figure in the party. At this time he had been waging struggle against Narodism and other non-marxist socialist tendencies. The RSDLP had a marxist program although revisionist factions would arise in it. I’m not going to go into all of them because many of them don’t have much to do with the question at hand.

Stalin joins the RSDLP in August 1898 at the age of 20. He hears about the Menshevik Bolshevik split in 1903. He manages to escape from Siberia where he was held in detention suspected of running a Revolutionary newspaper in Tifilis, and joins the Bolshevik faction of Lenin in 1904.

At this time Trotsky had just joined the editorial board of Iskra, a newspaper founded by Lenin. When the split happens he repays Lenin by siding with the Mensheviks.

The pre-split Iskra managed by Lenin is known as the “Old Iskra” and the post-split Iskra managed by Plekhanov who had at this point become a revisionist Menshevik is known as the “New Iskra”. In short the “Old Iskra” was an organ of revolutionary Marxism while the “New Iskra” was an organ of Menshevik opportunism.

Lenin argues for a smaller, well disciplined revolutionary vanguard party while the Mensheviks argue for a large less organized and less disciplined party. Stalin joins the Bolsheviks immediately but Trotsky joins the Mensheviks. Eventually Trotsky changes his position when the Mensheviks wish to openly ally with Russian liberals (Cadets) and instead chooses to refer to himself as a “non-factionalist”. In fact he was a Menshevik and even later in a faction of Left-Mensheviks called “The RSDLP(internationalists)” which opposed the Bolsheviks. He also went back and forth supporting the Mensheviks or some other non-Bolshevik group.

“Trotsky, however, possesses no ideological and political definiteness, for his patent for “non-factionalism”, as we shall soon see in greater detail, is merely a patent to flit freely to and fro, from one group to another.”

“Trotsky’s “non-factionalism” is, actually, splitting tactics

“Under cover of “non-factionalism” Trotsky is championing the interests of a group abroad which particularly lacks definite principles, and has no basis in the working-class movement in Russia

 Trotsky was an ardent Iskrist in 1901—03, and Ryazanov described his role at the Congress of 1903 as “Lenin’s cudgel”. At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i. e., he deserted from the Iskrists to the Economists. He said that “between the old Iskra and the new lies a gulf”. In 1904—05, he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now co-operating with Martynov . . . In 1906—07, he approached the Bolsheviks, and in the spring of 1907 he declared that he was in agreement with Rosa Luxemburg.

(Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity – V.I. Lenin)

  1. The Revolution Of 1905

Supporters of Trotskyism often speak of Trotsky’s pivotal role in the 1905 revolution because he was the chairman of the Petersburg Menshevik soviet at the time.

At the time Lenin and Bolsheviks were organizing uprisings in Moscow and the Caucasus which Trotsky and the Mensheviks condemned.

While Trotsky made theatrical speeches in Petersburg, the Bolsheviks organised the uprising in Moscow and the Caucasus, the two most important revolutionary events of the 1905 Revolution. The Mensheviks, including Trotsky, condemned the Moscow uprising and bitterly attacked the Bolsheviks at the time. [Stalin: Slander and Truth (C. Allen), A review of Isaac Deutscher’s Biography of Stalin]

“Mr. Deutscher writes:The Soviet (the St. Petersburg Soviet led by the Menshevik Trotsky ~ C. A.) called on the country to stop paying taxes to the Tsar.” This he calls the great “revolutionary heroism” of Trotsky. It may surprise Mr. Deutscher that even the Cadets in their Viborg Manifesto called on the people not to pay taxes to the Tsar. But the real revolutionaries were the Bolsheviks who organised the military uprising in Moscow. They were attacked from all sides, and not least by Trotsky.”[Stalin: Slander and Truth (C. Allen), A review of Isaac Deutscher’s Biography of Stalin]

  1. Party Struggles of 1908-1917 (“Otzovism”, “Liquidationism” And The “August Bloc”)

After the failure of the 1905 revolution the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions continue to separate. Eventually they emerge as fully separate parties, the RSDLP(B) and the RSDLP(M).

The Bolsheviks lead by Lenin hold a congress in Prague in 1912 and expelled the Mensheviks from their group. In response to this Trotsky and his followers, the Jewish bund and other Menshevik groups hold a congress in Vienna and attack Lenin’s actions as illegal. They join together to form the infamous “August Bloc”.

There were two main trends opposed to Bolshevism and Leninism at the time. Otzovism and Liquidationism.

The Otzovists were a group who wanted to boycott the Russian state Duma and abandon all legal work in the RSDLP.

The Liquidationists on the other hand wanted to ‘liquidate’ the underground party apparatus and only focus on the legal means of struggle. Obviously both of these tendencies were opportunist to the core.

These two joined together with the Trotskyists and the erroneous Jewish Labor Bund to form the “August Bloc” which claimed to be preserving party unity by working together with all the various splitter factions against Leninism.

Allow me to quote Lenin in his article “The Break-Up of the “August” Bloc”

All who are interested in the working-class movement and Marxism in Russia know that a bloc of the liquidators, Trotsky, the Letts, the Bundists and the Caucasians was formed in August 1912.

The August bloc—as we said at the time, in August 1912—turned out to be a mere screen for the liquidators.

The liquidators do have their own physiognomy, a liberal, not a Marxist one

“Trotsky, however, has never had any “physiognomy” at all; the only thing he does have is a habit of changing sides, of skipping from the liberals to the Marxists and back again, of mouthing scraps of catchwords and bombastic parrot phrases.

Trotsky assures us that he is in favour of combining immediate demands with ultimate aims, but there is not a word as to his attitude towards the liquidator method of effecting this “combination”!

Actually, under cover of high-sounding, empty, and obscure phrases that confuse the non-class-conscious workers, Trotsky is defending the liquidators by passing over in silence the question of the “underground”, by asserting that there is no liberal-labour policy in Russia, and the like.”

“And these near-Party people, who are unable to unite on their own “August” platform, try to deceive the workers with their shouts about “unity”! Vain efforts!

Unity means recognising the “old” and combating those who repudiate it. Unity means rallying the majority of the workers in Russia about decisions which have long been known, and which condemn liquidationism. Unity means that members of the Duma must work in harmony with the will of the majority of the workers, which the six workers’ deputies are doing.

But the liquidators and Trotsky, the Seven and Trotsky, who tore up their own August bloc, who flouted all the decisions of the Party and dissociated themselves from the “underground” as well as from the organised workers, are the worst splitters. Fortunately, the workers have already realised this, and all class-conscious workers are creating their own real unity against the liquidator disruptors of unity.

And in his Article:

“From the Camp of the Stolypin “Labour” Party – Dedicated to Our “Conciliators” and Advocates of “Agreement”” Published in 1911 right before the formation of the August bloc

This is what Lenin had to say about Stalin’s work against the “conciliators” who later formed the August bloc:

The correspondence of Comrade K. (Koba, and older pseudonym used by Stalin) deserves the profound attention of all who treasure our party. A better exposure of the Golos policy (and of Golos diplomacy), a better refutation of the views and hopes of our conciliators and compromisers it is hard to imagine.”

And now Lenin himself on the conciliators:

“Compare this fact with the methods employed by people like Trotsky, who shout about “agreement” and about their hostility to the liquidators. We know these methods only too well; these people shout at the top of their voices that they are “neither Bolsheviks nor Mensheviks, but revolutionary Social-Democrats”; they zealously vow and swear that they are foes of liquidationism”

Clearly Trotsky and his followers were not such ardent foes of liquidationism after all since they joined forces with them in the August Bloc.

Lenin continues:

Henceit is clear that Trotsky and the “Trotskyites and conciliators” like him are more pernicious than any liquidator; the convinced liquidators state their views bluntly, and it is easy for the workers to detect where they are wrong, whereas the Trotskys deceivethe workers, cover upthe evil, and make it impossible to expose the evil and to remedy it. Whoever supports Trotsky’s puny group supports a policy of lying and of deceiving the workers, a policy of shielding the liquidators. Full freedom of action for Potresov and Co. in Russia, and the shielding of their deeds by “revolutionary” phrase-mongering abroad—there you have the essence of the policy of “Trotskyism””

Atpresent Trotsky, together with Bundists like Mr. Lieber (an extreme liquidator, who publicly defended Mr. Potresov in his lectures and who now, in order to hush up the fact, is stirring up squabbles and conflicts), together with Letts like Schwartz,and so on, is concocting just such an “agreement” with the Golos group. Let nobody be deceived on this score: their agreement will be an agreement to shield the liquidators. “

And of course the formation of the August Bloc proved Lenin’s assessment to be completely correct.

This is what Lenin wrote pertaining to Trotsky’s actions in the 1911 Central Committee meeting.

“At the Plenary Meeting Judas Trotsky made a big show of fighting liquidationism and otzovism. He vowed and swore that he was true to the Party.

He was given a subsidy.

After the Meeting the Central Committee grew weaker, the Vperyod group grew stronger and acquired funds. The liquidators strengthened their position and in Nasha Zarya spat in the face of the illegal Party, before Stolypin’s very eyes. Judas expelled the representative of the Central Committee from Pravda and began to write liquidationist articles in Vorwärts. In defiance of the direct decision of the School Commission appointed by the Plenary Meeting to the effect that no Party lecturer may go to the Vperyod factional school, Judas Trotsky did go and discussed a plan for a conference with the Vperyod group. This plan has now been published by the Vperyod group in a leaflet. And it is this Judas who beats his breast and loudly professes his loyalty to the Party, claiming that he did not grovel before the Vperyod group and the liquidators. Such is Judas Trotsky’s blush of shame.”

[Judas Trotsky’s Blush of Shame] – V.I. Lenin

  1. Preparation To October and The October Revolution

During the February revolution Trotsky was living in New York. He arrived back in Russia in May and joined the Mezharaiontsy, a centrist conciliationist faction claiming to be between Bolshevism and Menshevism. After a failed uprising in Petrograd he was taken in jail. He was released 40 days later, after the so-called ‘Kornilov affair’.

The Bolsheviks gained the majority in the Petrograd soviet at which time Trotsky, ideologically defeated and without a substantial group of his own decided it was time to join the Bolsheviks. He was allowed into the party by the 6th Party Congress, presided over by J.V. Stalin on behalf of V.I. Lenin who was underground. To me its very doubtful he suddenly changed all of his positions to coincide with Bolshevism within this short period considering this is what he had said just two months earlier:

“I cannot be called a Bolshevik… We must not be demanded to recognise Bolshevism.” (Leon Trotsky, Mezhrayontsi conference, May 1917, quoted in Lenin, Miscellany IV, Russ. ed., 1925, p. 303.)

What mysterious revelation did he have within this short prison term?

Later Trotsky was again elected the Chairman of the Petrograd-soviet but not however elected to the practical center of the revolution about to come.

Much like in the case of the 1905 revolution Trotskyists claim that Trotsky played some kind of special pivotal role. Some even go as far as to say he was the “co-leader” of the revolution. Heck, some of them like Isaac Deutscher even say he was the sole leader.

In reality he was just the Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and under the direct leadership of the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Military Committee.

C. Allen explains this quite well in response to Deutscher’s book about Stalin:

“All the time Deutscher tries to belittle Stalin’s role in the October Revolution: “In the days of the upheaval Stalin was not among its main actors” (p. 166).

According to Deutscher, not only was Stalin not prominent in the October uprising, but he goes on to slander the whole of the Party: “This was the result of the ineffectiveness of the Central Committee” (p. 167).

If the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks showed such “ineffectiveness”, who, then, led the insurrection? Mr. Deutscher knows only one person: Trotsky. “Trotsky, who as President of the Soviet, dominated all its activity…. Trotsky—all the threads of the insurrection were now in his hands” (p. 161).

Even Lenin’s role is mocked at. “In the light of the actual rising his (Lenin’s, ~C. A.) first sketch looks like a somewhat naive essay in adventure” (p. 158).

Now let us look at some facts. Trotsky himself joined the Bolsheviks in July 1917. What happened to the Party up to that date, to the Party that led successfully the October Revolution? During the first imperialist war, between July 1915 and December 1916, the Party organised 480 strikes in Petrograd alone, with 500,000 participants. On February 14, 1917, the Bolsheviks organised the stay-in strike at the Putilov Works, with 30,000 participants. During January and February 1917 the Bolsheviks led 575,000 strikers. In Petrograd, early in 1917, there were no less than fifteen sub-district committees of the Party.

Who led all this work and built the committees and cells? People like Stalin, Sverdlov, Kalinin, Molotov and others, whilst Trotsky was a regular visitor to New York cafes and a constant contributor to Menshevik papers…

It is important to note that Lenin had the following to say about Trotsky in February 1917:

Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once came to an understanding with the Right-wing of Novy Mir against the Left Zimmerwaldians! Just so! That is just like Trotsky! He is always equal to himself—twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right, so long as he can.” (Lenin to Inessa ArmandLabour Monthly, September 1949).

…Deutscher’s picture that Trotsky solely led the insurrection can now be considered ludicrous. In a highly organised and centralised Party like the Bolsheviks, Trotsky, whatever he did during October, could only carry out the wishes and orders from the Central Committee of the Party.”

Allen correctly points out the important role of Stalin, Kalinin, Sverdlov and others.

The people elected to leadership of the Petrograd Revolutionary Military Committee were the following:

Pavel Lazimir, Joseph Stalin , Andrei Bubnov, Moisei Uritsky, Yakov Sverdlov and Felix Dzerzhinsky. No Trotsky.

This is what Lenin had to say to Alexandra Kollontai referring to the same instance as in his letter to Armand:

“What a swine this Trotsky is—Left phrases, and a bloc with the Right against the Zimmerwald Left!! He ought to be exposed (by you) if only in a brief letter to Sotsial-Demokrat!

Allen continues:

“One of the great weapons in organising the insurrection was Pravda, led and edited by Stalin. The paper gave the Party message to hundreds of thousands of workers, and led the masses. In the beginning of 1917 there were 23,600 members in the Party. By August 1917 there were 200,000. The Central Committee and Pravda played the key role in mobilizing the militant workers and soldiers into the Bolshevik Party. Trotsky had nothing to do with that.

On the eve of the Insurrection the C.C. of the Bolsheviks elected the first political bureau to lead the Revolution composed of Lenin, Stalin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Sokolnikov, and Bubnov. A Military Revolutionary Committee was elected on October 29 to direct the insurrection, and it was composed of Stalin, Sverdlov, Bubnov, Dzherzhinsky, and Uritsky. Trotsky as chairman of the Petrograd Soviet did, and spoke, what the Military Revolutionary Committee and the Political Bureau decided.

Let it be borne in mind that when the first Soviet Government was formed, Trotsky was assigned to the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs and not to any of the Defence Commissariats. On the other hand we find Stalin, at the side of Lenin, directing the orders to General Dukhonin, the Chief of Staff of Kerensky, and ordering the general’s dismissal. Stalin is the only Commissar at the time, who in addition to being a Commissar of a special department (Nationalities) was assigned many responsible positions, either at the front, or in organising a Party Congress, or putting matters right in the Ukraine or Georgia. From these assignments Lenin learned of his great military abilities.

This is the reason for Stalin’s outstanding role during the Civil War. Deutscher, as usual, distorts completely his role, and attributes victories of Stalin to Trotsky. Thus the famous Tsaritsyn victory is ascribed to Trotsky! Stalin, though not Commissar of War, was given by Lenin and the Soviet Government plenary powers to take decisions without consulting with Trotsky, the then Commissar of War.”

Trotsky had no special role in the uprising which was even sufficiently pointed out by Stalin himself at the time.

“I am far from denying Trotsky’s undoubtedly important role in the uprising. I must say, however, that Trotsky did not play any special role in the October uprising, nor could he do so; being chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, he merely carried out the will of the appropriate Party bodies, which directed every step that Trotsky took…the true facts, wholly and fully confirm what I say.

Let us take the minutes of the next meeting of the Central Committee, the one held on October 16 (29), 1917…The question of the uprising was discussed from the purely practical-organisational aspect. Lenin’s resolution on the uprising was adopted by a majority of 20 against 2, three abstaining. A practical centre was elected for the organisational leadership of the uprising. Who was elected to this centre? The following five: Sverdlov, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Bubnov, Uritsky. The functions of the practical centre: to direct all the practical organs of the uprising in conformity with the directives of the Central Committee. Thus, as you see, something “terrible” happened at this meeting of the Central Committee, i.e., “strange to relate,” the “inspirer,” the “chief figure,” the “sole leader” of the uprising, Trotsky, was not elected to the practical centre, which was called upon to direct the uprising. How is this to be reconciled with the current opinion about Trotsky’s special role?…This talk about Trotsky’s special role is a legend that is being spread by obliging “Party” gossips.

[Trotskyism Or Leninism? – J.V. Stalin]

“On the instructions of the Central Committee of the Party, a Revolutionary Military Committeeof the Petrograd Soviet was set up. This body became the legally functioning headquarters of the uprising.

“On October 16 an enlarged meeting of the Central Committee of the Party was held. This meeting elected a Party Centre, headed by Comrade Stalin, to direct the uprising. This Party Centre was the leading core of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet and had practical direction of the whole uprising.

[History of The Communist Party of The Soviet Union(Bolsheviks)]

The meeting fully welcomes and fully supports the resolution of the Central Committee and calls upon all organisations and on workers and soldiers to make all-round, energetic preparations for an armed uprising and to support the centre set up for that purpose by the Central Committee

[Meeting of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) October 16 (29), 1917] – Lenin Collected Works

  1. Foreign Interventionist Civil War

It is often claimed by Trotskyists that Trotsky played some incredible role in the civil war. That he was in this way the leader of the revolution. Let’s examine.

It cannot be denied that Trotsky’s role was important or that in general he was in agreement with Lenin in terms of military issues but he was hardly perfect. In fact he made quite considerable mistakes and despite generally being more in agreement with Lenin on this issue then perhaps any other issue, they still had significant disagreements.

One of the main blunders of Trotsky which also caused him to fall out of favor was his inability to deal with the white generals Kolchak and Dennikin who were defeated despite of him.

Stalin explains this very concisely:

“Among these legends must be included also the very widespread story that Trotsky was the “sole” or “chief organiser” of the victories on the fronts of the civil war. I must declare, comrades, in the interest of truth, that this version is quite out of accord with the facts. I am far from denying that Trotsky played an important role in the civil war. But I must emphatically declare that the high honour of being the organiser of our victories belongs not to individuals, but to the great collective body of advanced workers in our country, the Russian Communist Party.

Perhaps it will not be out of place to quote a few examples. You know that Kolchak and Denikin were regarded as the principal enemies of the Soviet Republic. You know that our country breathed freely only after those enemies were defeated. Well, history shows that both those enemies, i.e., Kolchak and Denikin, were routed by our troops in spite of Trotsky’s plans.

Judge for yourselves.

…Our troops are advancing against Kolchak and are operating near Ufa. A meeting of the Central Committee is held. Trotsky proposes that the advance be halted…The Central Committee disagrees with Trotsky…The Central Committee rejects Trotsky’s plan. Trotsky hands in his resignation. The Central Committee refuses to accept it. Commander-in-Chief Vatsetis, who supported Trotsky’s plan, resigns. His place is taken by a new Commander-in-Chief, Kamenev. From that moment Trotsky ceases to take a direct part in the affairs of the Eastern Front

The offensive against Denikin is not proceeding successfully…Trotsky is summoned from the Southern Front to attend a meeting of the Central Committee. The Central Committee regards the situation as alarming and decides to send new military leaders to the Southern Front and to withdraw Trotsky…Trotsky ceases to take a direct part in the affairs of the Southern Front…

Let anybody try to refute these facts.”

[Trotskyism Or Leninism?] – J.V. Stalin

This should be enough to dispel any ideas about Trotsky’s infallibility in military matters. However we don’t need to dwell on this further, as military strategy is not our main concern.

Lastly I want to discuss the question of the Brest-Litovsk Peace. Unlike disagreement purely in matters of military strategy this is a major political and theoretical issue.

Lenin argued that the Soviet State simply had to sign a peace-treaty with Germany in order to survive. The Soviet State had no army to fight with and was war weary. They simply couldn’t fight against Germany, it was not reasonable to risk the revolution. The Russian bourgeois on the other hand would have liked nothing better then an all out war between the Soviet Union and Germany

The left-communists led by Bukharin refused to accept these facts and advocated for a “revolutionary war”.

Trotsky realized that the red army wasn’t able to fight but refused to accept peace with Imperial Germany. He was convinced the German worker’s would rebel and therefore was prepared to risk the Soviet republic advocating for a slogan of “no war – no peace”.

Lenin’s position received 7 votes, Bukharin and Trotsky both received 4. The negotiations were delayed as long as possible but eventually a peace had to be signed although Lenin had argued for an immediate peace. On 18 February 1918 the German army launched a renewed attack on the Soviets. Following his erroneous policy of “no war – no peace” Trotsky refused to accept peace and yet observed a unilateral and complete seize fire against the German advance. However the peace had to be signed.

I wrote that if we refuse to sign the proposed peace, “very heavy defeats will compel Russia to conclude a still more unfavourable separate peace”. Things have turned out still worse, for our army, which is retreating and demobilising, is refusing to fight at all.”[“Strange And Monstrous”]

“The bitter truth has now revealed itself with such terrible clarity that it is impossible not to see it. The entire bourgeoisie in Russia is rejoicing and gloating over the arrival of the Germans. Only those who are blind or intoxicated by phrases can close their eyes to the fact that the policy of a revolutionary war(without an army …) brings grist to the mill of our bourgeoisie. In Dvinsk, Russian officers are already going about wearing their shoulder-straps.

In Rezhitsa, the bourgeoisie exultantly welcomed the Germans. In Petrograd, on Nevsky Prospekt, and in bourgeois newspapers(Rech, Dyelo Naroda, Novy Luch, etc.), they are licking their lips with delight at the impending overthrow of Soviet power by the Germans.

Let everyone know: he who is against an immediate, even though extremely onerous peace, is endangering Soviet power”

Although Trotsky didn’t outright admit it, he was actually willing to sacrifice the Soviet Union for the sake of the German revolution like the Left-Communists did:
In the interests of the world revolution, we consider it expedient to accept the possibility of losing Soviet power[Lenin quoting the Left-Communists resolution in his article “Strange And Monstrous”]

Trotsky refused to obey orders, refused to sign the treaty and was forced to resign as Comissar For Foreign Affairs.

  1. The ‘New Economic Policy'(NEP) and the Trade Union debate

At the end of the foreign interventionist civil war it became necessary to determine the best way to quickly revitalize the national economy which was completely devastated by war. Two views emerged.

  1. Lenin’s view, arguing for what he called the The New Economic Policy(NEP) or “nep which meant moving away from strict war-communism which existed during the civil war and ending the complete grain expropriation by the state and introducing a partial grain market as well as developing foreign trade, attracting foreign investment and using economic incentives to revive the ruined economy, end the grain and goods famine and simultaneously while the small peasant production was revitalizing move towards state-capitalism with large modern production. Lenin realized that backwardness and small production were the biggest obstacles to socialism and that state capitalism would be the necessary intermediary step for Russia to survive and develop socialism.

“Socialism is inconceivable without large-scale capitalist engineering based on the latest discoveries of modern science. It is inconceivable without planned state organisation which keeps tens of millions of people to the strictest observance of a unified standard in production and distribution. We Marxists have always spoken of this, and it is not worth while wasting two seconds talking to people who do not understand even this (anarchists and a good half of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries).”

[The Tax In Kind (The Significance Of The New Policy And Its Conditions)V.I. Lenin]

Try to substitute for the Junker-capitalist state, for the landowner-capitalist state, a revolutionary-democratic state, i.e., a state which in a revolutionary way abolishes all privileges and does not fear to introduce the fullest democracy in a revolutionary way. You will find that, given a really revolutionary-democratic state, state-monopoly capitalism inevitably and unavoidably implies a step . . . towards socialism. . . .

For socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly. . . .

State-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are no intermediate rungs”

[The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It V.I. Lenin]

  1. The Trotskyist view arguing for preserving of war-communism in time of peace and in some instances even tightening it’s control

“Early in 1920, Lenin came out firmly against my proposal. It was rejected in the Central Committee by a vote of eleven to four…I demanded that the “war” methods be applied properly and with system” [My Life, Chapter XXXVIII – Trotsky]

The question of NEP gave rise to another debate, a debate about the role of the trade unions. Here also Lenin and Trotsky were at odds. Trotsky held on to his support of “war-communism” and as a result of that proposed that military methods of organizing should be used in peace times as well and in civilian institutions, the trade unions. Trotsky was in charge of the Transport Worker’s Union Tsektran.

“The principles of war communism approved by the ninth congress were the basis of my work in the organization of transport. The trade-union of railway men was closely bound to the administrative machinery of the department. The methods of military discipline were extended to the entire transport system. I brought the military administration, the strongest and best disciplined at that time, into close connection with the transport administration”

[My Life, Chapter XXXVIII – Trotsky]

Trotsky’s view was that methods of coercion should be emphasized in trade union work and a military-like discipline maintained. Trade unions should be swallowed by the state.

“In the system of war communism in which all the resources are, at least in principle, nationalized and distributed by government order, I saw no independent role for trades-unions.”

Trotsky goes as far as to call Lenin a Kautskyite-Menshevike. This is certainly very classy coming from a long time Menshevike like Trotsky himself. Note that the tone is not exactly conciliatory despite how much Trotsky afterwards tried to whitewash the issue.

“The bare contrasting of military methods (orders, punishment) with trade-union methods (explanation, propaganda, independent activity) is a manifestation of Kautskian-Menshevik-Socialist-Revolutionary prejudices. . . . The very contrasting of labour organisations with military organisation in a workers’ state is shameful surrender to Kautskyism.”

(“The Role And The Tasks Of The Trade Unions” – Trotsky)

Trotsky had a whole host of erroneous views on the subject. Lenin made short work of him:

“My principal material is Comrade Trotsky’s pamphlet, The Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions. When I compare it with the theses he submitted to the Central Committee, and go over it very carefully, I am amazed at the number of theoretical mistakes and glaring blunders it contains. How could anyone starting a big Party discussion on this question produce such a sorry excuse for a carefully thought out statement? Let me go over the main points which, I think, contain the original fundamental theoretical errors.

Trade unions are not just historically necessary; they are historically inevitable as an organisation of the industrial proletariat, and, under the dictatorship of the proletariat, embrace nearly the whole of it. This is basic, but Comrade Trotsky keeps forgetting it; he neither appreciates it nor makes it his point of departure”

(The Trade Unions, The Present Situation And Trotsky’s Mistakes – V.I. Lenin)

“Trotsky quotes the perfectly clear statements of Lozovsky and Tomsky, who were to be his “whipping boys” and an excuse for an exercise in polemics. It turns out that there is, after all, no clash of principle, and the choice of Tomsky and Lozovsky, who wrote what Trotsky himself quotes, was an unfortunate one indeed. However hard we may look, we shall not find here any serious divergence of principle. In general, Comrade Trotsky’s great mistake, his mistake of principle, lies in the fact that by raising the question of “principle” at this time he is dragging back the Party and the Soviet power. We have, thank heaven, done with principles and have gone on to practical business. We chatted about principles—rather more than we should have—at the Smolny. Today, three years later, we have decrees on all points of the production problem, and on many of its components; but such is the sad fate of our decrees: they are signed, and then we ourselves forget about them and fail to carry them out. Meanwhile, arguments about principles and differences of principle are invented. “

(Once Again On The Trade Unions, – The Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Buhkarin – V.I. Lenin)

“Let me say this again: the actual differences do not lie where Comrade Trotsky sees them but in the question of how to approach the mass, win it over, and keep in touch with it. I must say that had we made a detailed, even if small-scale, study of our own experience and practices, we should have managed to avoid the hundreds of quite unnecessary “differences” and errors of principle in which Comrade Trotsky’s pamphlet abounds. “

Once again Trotsky demonstrates his disregard for the peasantry

“While betraying this lack of thoughtfulness, Comrade Trotsky falls into error himself. He seems to say that in a workers’ state it is not the business of the trade unions to stand up for the material and spiritual interests of the working class. That is a mistake. Comrade Trotsky speaks of a “workers’ state”. May I say that this is an abstraction. It was natural for us to write about a workers’ state in 1917; but it is now a patent error to say: “Since this is a workers’ state without any bourgeoisie, against whom then is the working class to be protected, and for what purpose?” The whole point is that it is not quite a workers’ state. That is where Comrade Trotsky makes one of his main mistakes. We have got down from general principles to practical discussion and decrees, and here we are being dragged back and prevented from tackling the business at hand. This will not do. For one thing, ours is not actually a workers’ state but a workers’ and peasants’ state. And a lot depends on that. (Bukharin : “What kind of state? A workers’ and peasants’ state?”) Comrade Bukharin back there may well shout “What kind of state? A workers’ and peasants’ state?” I shall not stop to answer him. Anyone who has a mind to should recall the recent Congress of Soviets,and that will be answer enough. “

And so if we are to raise this question of priority and equalisation we must first of all give it some careful thought, but that is just what we fail to find in Comrade Trotsky’s work; the further he goes in revising his original theses, the more mistakes he makes. Here is what we find in his latest theses:

The equalisation line should be pursued in the sphere of consumption, that is, the conditions of the working people’s existence as individuals. In the sphere of production, the principle of priority will long remain decisive for us”. . . (thesis 41, p. 31 of Trotsky’s pamphlet).

This is a real theoretical muddle.”

If we analysed the current political situation, we might say that we were going through a transition period within a transition period. The whole of the dictatorship of the proletariat is a transition period, but we now have, you might say, a heap of new transition periods: the demobilisation of the army, the end of the war, the possibility of having a much longer breathing space in peace than before, and a more solid transition from the war front to the labour front. This—and this alone—is causing a change in the attitude of the proletarian class to the peasant class. What kind of change is it? Now this calls for a close examination, but nothing of the sort follows from your theses. Until we have taken this close look, we must learn to wait. The people are overweary, considerable stocks that had to be used for certain priority industries have been so used; the proletariat’s attitude to the peasantry is undergoing a change. The war weariness is terrible, and the needs have increased, but production has increased insufficiently or not at all. On the other hand, as I said in my report to the Eighth Congress of Soviets, our application of coercion was correct and successful whenever we had been able to back it up from the start with persuasion. I must say that Trotsky and Bukharin have entirely failed to take account of this very important consideration.

(The Trade Unions, The Present Situation And Trotsky’s Mistakes – V.I. Lenin)

The rest of the party wanted to move on with peaceful construction and reorganize the trade-unions, introduce more democratic methods and abolish military methods. Trotsky opposed this.

Trotsky came up with a series of confused slogans to support his mistaken view and was rightfully exposed by Lenin.

Workers’ democracy is free from fetishes”, Comrade Trotsky writes in his theses, which are the “fruit of collective work”. “Its sole consideration is the revolutionary interest” (thesis 23).

Comrade Trotsky’s theses have landed him in a mess. That part of them which is correct is not new and, what is more, turns against him. That which is new is all wrong.”

Will any serious-minded person who is not blinded by the factional egotism of Tsektran

…will anyone in his right mind say that such a pronouncement on the trade union issue by such a prominent leader as Trotsky does promote the revolutionary interest ?

Can it be denied that, even if Trotsky’s “new tasks and methods” were as sound as they are in fact unsound (of which later), his very approach would be damaging to himself, the Party, the trade union movement, the training of millions of trade union members and the Republic?”

“Comrade Tomsky appeared before the Political Bureau in high dudgeon and, fully supported by Comrade Rudzutak, the most even-tempered of men, began to relate that at the Conference Comrade Trotsky had talked about “shaking up” the trade unions and that he, Tomsky, had opposed this—when that happened, I decided there and then that policy (i.e., the Party’s trade union policy) lay at the root of the controversy, and that Comrade Trotsky, with his “shake-up” policy against Comrade Tomsky, was entirely in the wrong.”

“This shows that the water transport workers, far from being censured, are deemed to be right in every essential. Yet none of the C.C. members who had signed the common platform of January 14, 1921 (except Kamenev) voted for the resolution[…]Among those who signed it was Lozovsky, a member of the trade union commission but not of the Central Committee. The others were Tomsky, Kalinin, Rudzutak, Zinoviev, Stalin, Lenin, Kamenev, Petrovsky and Artyom Sergeyev.)

This resolution was carried against the C.C. members listed above, that is, against our group, for we would have voted against allowing the old Tsektran to continue temporarily. Because we were sure to win, Trotsky was forced to vote for Bukharin’s resolution, as otherwise our resolution would have been carried.”

Trotsky claimed there was a deep disagreement about principles at play which justified his splitting activities

There being deep and basic disagreements on principle—we may well be asked—do they not serve as vindication for the sharpest and most factional pronouncements? Is it possible to vindicate such a thing as a split, provided there is need to drive home some entirely new idea?

I believe it is, provided of course the disagreements are truly very deep and there is no other way to rectify a wrong trend in the policy of the Party or of the working class.

But the whole point is that there are no such disagreements. Comrade Trotsky has tried to point them out, and failed. A tentative or conciliatory approach had been possible—and necessary—before the publication of his pamphlet (December 25) (“such an approach is ruled out even in the case of disagreements and vague new tasks”); but after its publication we had to say: Comrade Trotsky is essentially wrong on all his new points”

Trotsky continues with his phrase mongering. In order to justify his military type methods in civilian organizations Trotsky saidWe once had a war atmosphere. . . . We must now have a production atmosphere”

Once again Lenin exposed this for the nonsense it was:

Trotsky’s “production atmosphere” is even wider of the mark, and Zinoviev had good reason to laugh at it. This made Trotsky very angry”

“Comrade Trotsky’s “production atmosphere” has essentially the same meaning as production propaganda, but such expressions must be avoided when production propaganda is addressed to the workers at large. The term is an example of how not to carry it on among the masses.

In a strange turn of events, possibly out of desperation Trotsky accuses Lenin of simply politicizing the issue.

It is strange that we should have to return to such elementary questions, but we are unfortunately forced to do so by Trotsky and Bukharin. They have both reproached me for “switching “ the issue, or for taking a “political” approach, while theirs is an “economic” one.

“This is a glaring theoretical error. I said again in my speech that politics is a concentrated expression of economics, because I had earlier heard my “political” approach rebuked in a manner which is inconsistent and inadmissible for a Marxist. Politics must take precedence over economics.”

I could not help smiling, therefore, when I read Comrade Trotsky’s objection in his speech of December 30: “In his summing-up at the Eighth Congress of Soviets of the debate on the situation, Comrade Lenin said we ought to have less politics and more economics, but when he got to the trade union question he laid emphasis on the political aspect of the matter” (p. 65). Comrade Trotsky thought these words were “very much to the point”. Actually, however, they reveal a terrible confusion of ideas, a truly hopeless “ideological confusion”. Of course, I have always said, and will continue to say, that we need more economics and less politics, but if we are to have this we must clearly be rid of political dangers and political mistakes. Comrade Trotsky’s political mistakes, aggravated by Comrade Bukharin, distract our Party’s attention from economic tasks and “production” work, and, unfortunatelymake us waste time on correcting them

“Comrade Kamenev informed me of Comrade Trotsky’s announcement, during the discussion in the Zamoskvorechye District of Moscow on January 23, that he was withdrawing his platform and joining up with the Bukharin group on a new platform. Unfortunately, I heard nothing of this from Comrade Trotsky either on January 23 or 24, when he spoke against me in the Communist group of the Miners’ Congress. I don’t know whether this is due to another change in Comrade Trotsky’s platform and intentions, or to some other reason. In any case, his January 23 announcement shows that the Party, without so much as mustering all its forces, and with only Petrograd, Moscow and a minority of the provincial towns going on record, has corrected Comrade Trotsky’s mistake promptly and with determination.”

(Once Again On The Trade Unions, – The Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin – V.I. Lenin)

Although the defeated Trotsky claims he later came to his senses:

“Lenin shaped the first and very guarded theses on the change to the New Economic Policy. I subscribed to them at once. For me, they were merely a renewal of the proposals which I had introduced a year before. The dispute about the trade-unions instantly lost all significance. At the congress, Lenin took no part in that dispute, and left Zinoviev to amuse himself”

Oh, so Lenin simply allowed Zinoviev to “amuse himself”. The trade union dispute immediately lost all significance? I see, so Lenin himself must also have been merely joking when he wrote this too:

The issue was bluntly and properly stated by Comrade Zinoviev in his very first speech on December 30, 1920, when he said that it was “Comrade Trotsky’s immoderate adherents” who had brought about a split. Perhaps that is why Comrade Bukharin abusively described Comrade Zinoviev’s speech as “a lot of hot air”? But every Party member who reads the verbatim report of the December 30, 1920 discussion will see that that is not true. He will find that it is Comrade Zinoviev who quotes and operates with the facts, and that it is Trotsky and Bukharin who indulge most in intellectualist verbosity minus the facts.”

(Once Again On The Trade Unions, – The Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin – V.I. Lenin)

It is true that Trotsky was eventually forced to abandon his old position but he didn’t seem too keen to do so unlike he would have us believe. In his letter dated November 30 Trotsky said:

“the Central Political Administration of Water Transport . . . cannot possibly be dissolved within the next two or three months.”

Clearly he didn’t want it to be dissolved.

Yet six days later he himself voted in favor of dissolving it. Now why would he do that? He did so to quietly move from his old position because he was defeated and wanted a compromise rather then complete defeat. He was one of the 8 who voted for abolishing the Central Political Administration of water and rail transport while the other 7 insisted that this was not enough and that the entire composition of the Tsektran(the Transport Worker’s Union lead by Trotsky) had to be changed. Trotsky thus chose the lesser of two evils.

Conclusion of history

We have now dealt with the history of Lenin and Trotsky, Lenin and his unending struggle against Trotsky to be exact. Of course I’ve only scratched the surface and focused on only the most important issues and events.

Now we will go through the various Trotskyist theories and how they compare with Leninism. I’m not going to engage in a prolonged refutation of these theories here because of time constraints, I will only demonstrate that they’re anti-Leninist and make some short remarks here and there.

1. Permanent Revolution

Here Trotsky makes his anti-Leninist view which is hostile to the peasantry clear. In one of his most celebrated works on the “Theory” of Permanent Revolution.

“it would enter into hostile conflict, not only with all those bourgeois groups which had supported it during the first stages of its revolutionary struggle, but also with the broad masses of the  Peasantry, with whose collaboration it – the proletariat – had come into power.(Preface to 1905 – Trotsky)

For some reason this ended up not happening. How can this be? Of course there were elements of the peasantry which switched sides but by en large the poor peasantry was an ally of the proletariat while the kulaks were it’s enemy. The key component thus became the middle peasantry and with carefully planned policy the Bolsheviks were able to win it to their side isolating the kulak while Trotsky wanted to treat as equally bad and thus making his own prediction come true by making the middle peasants hostile to the revolution with his anti-peasant political line and handing the kulak a powerful ally.

Again more of the same

“the proletariat can neither calculate on the ignorance and prejudices of the peasantry, as did the lords of the bourgeois regime, nor presume that the customary ignorance and passivity of the peasantry will be maintained in the period of the revolution.”(Preface to 1905 – Trotsky)

Trotsky even launches an attack directed personally to Lenin

“The wretched squabbling systematically provoked by Lenin, that old hand at the game, that professional exploiter of all that is backward in the Russian labour movement, seems like a senseless obsession”

(“Letter to Chkheidze April 1913” – Trotsky)

Lenin shows that Trotsky is advocating the Menshevik view and that the Mensheviks are clearly wrong.

“While fighting Narodism as a wrong doctrine of socialism, the Mensheviks, in a doctrinaire fashion, overlooked the historically real and progressive historical content of Narodism as a theory of the mass petty-bourgeois struggle of democratic capitalism against liberal-landlord capitalism, of “American” capitalism against “Prussian” capitalism. Hence their monstrous, idiotic, renegade idea (which has also thoroughly permeated The Social Movement) that the peasant movement is reactionary” (Letter to I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov – V.I. Lenin)

Lenin unlike Trotsky understood that mass support was needed

“The greater the extent and scope of historic events, the greater the number of people that take part in them and the more profound the change we desire to bring about, the more necessary is it to rouse interest in these events, to rouse a conscientious attitude towards them and to convince millions and tens of millions of the people of the necessity for them.”(Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, Part II – V.I. Lenin)

On the “theory” of Permanent Revolution itself

At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i.e., he deserted from the Iskrists to the Economists. He said that ‘between the old Iskra and the new lies a gulf’. In 1904-05, he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now co-operating with Martynov (the Economist), now proclaiming his absurdly Left ‘permanent revolution’ theory.”

(Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity – V.I. Lenin)

“To bring clarity into the alignment of classes in the impending revolution is the main task of a revolutionary party. This task is being shirked by the Organising Committee, which within Russia remains a faithful ally to Nashe Dyelo, and abroad utters meaningless “Left” phrases. This task is being wrongly tackled in Nashe Slovo by Trotsky, who is repeating his “original” 1905 theory and refuses to give some thought to the reason why, in the course of ten years, life has been bypassing this “splendid” theory.”

*(The words “left”, “original” and “splendid” are used ironically)

Again Lenin makes it absolutely clear that Trotsky’s “original” theory is an incorrect and a semi-menshevik theory.

“From the Bolsheviks Trotsky’s original theory has borrowed their call for a decisive proletarian revolutionary struggle and for the conquest of political power by the proletariat, while from the Mensheviks it has borrowed “repudiation” of the peasantry’s role.”

“Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal-labour politicians in Russia, who by “repudiation” of the role of the peasantry understand a refusal to raise up the peasants for the revolution!”

(On the Two Lines in the Revolution – V.I. – Lenin)

We can now conclude that Trotskyism is utterly hostile to Leninism on this question. Trotskyism with it’s “theory” of Permanent Revolution neglects the revolutionary role of the peasantry and is hostile to it. As a continuation of this subject we will now deal with the ‘Theory of Socialism in One Country’ which was first suggested and elaborated by Lenin and later further developed and further implimented be Stalin.

2. “Socialism In One Country”

Lenin advocates Socialism in Russia despite what other countries are doing.

“I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense.”

(Speech delivered at a joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Moscow Soviet, 14th May 1918 – V.I. Lenin)

Contrast this debate between Trotsky and Lenin with the later debate between Stalin and the

“New Opposition” of Zinoviev and Kamenev who of course when defeated joined with Trotsky again.

“Thus, according to Zinoviev, to recognise the possibility of completely building socialism in one country means adopting the point of view of national narrow-mindedness, while to deny such a possibility means adopting the point of view of internationalism.

But if that is true, is it at all worth while fighting for victory over the capitalist elements in our economy?

Does it not follow from this that such a victory is impossible?

Capitulation to the capitalist elements in our economy—that is what the inherent logic of Zinoviev’s line of argument leads us to.”

Stalin was arguing the clear Leninist line while Zinoviev leading the “New opposition” before joining with Trotsky’s “Left Opposition” was arguing the eroneous permanentist capitalationist line.

Complete and final victory on a world scale cannot be achieved in Russia alone; it can be achieved only when the proletariat is victorious in at least all the advanced countries, or, at all events, in some of the largest of the advanced countries. Only then shall we be able to say with absolute confidence that the cause of the proletariat has triumphed, that our first objective—the overthrow of capitalism—has been achieved.”

i.e. Lenin was perfectly aware as Stalin was that although Socialism could be built in one country only when the revolution became global and strong enough to defeat capitalism internationally they could consider it to be the final and complete victory of socialism.

He continues:

“We have achieved this objective in one country, and this confronts us with a second task. Since Soviet power has been established, since the bourgeoisie has been overthrown in one country, the second task is to wage the struggle on a world scale, on a different plane, the struggle of the proletarian state surrounded by capitalist states.

This situation is an entirely novel and difficult one.

On the other hand, since the rule of the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, the main task is to organise the development of the country.”

(The Achievements and Difficulties of the Soviet Government – V.I. Lenin)

He makes this point clear here also, denying the victory of Socialism in a single country is a bourgeois lie, yet the final victory is a global victory of Socialism.

“…when we are told that the victory of socialism is possible only on a world scale, we regard this merely as an attempt, a particularly hopeless attempt, on the part of the bourgeoisie and its voluntary and involuntary supporters to distort the irrefutable truth. The ‘final’ victory of socialism in a single country is of course impossible.”

(Speech to the Third All-Russia Congress of Soviets, 1918 – V.I. Lenin)

Lenin makes it clear that Socialism is in his view perfectly possible in one country while arguing against Trotsky on his slogan “for the United States Of Europe”

A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism—about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible”(On the Slogan for a United States of Europe – V.I. Lenin)

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world—the capitalist world”

“free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn   struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states.”

Again Lenin makes this absolutely clear

The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this, it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.’”

(The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution: I – V.I. Lenin)

The worker peasant alliance (so despised by the Trotskyists)and co-operatives lay the necessary foundations for future socialist construction in a single country

As a matter of fact, the political power of the Soviet over all large-scale means of production, the power in the state in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc, …is not this all that is necessary in order from the co-operatives – from the co-operatives alone, which we formerly treated as huckstering, and which, from a certain aspect, we have the right to treat as such now, under the new economic policy – is not this all that is necessary in order to build a complete socialist society? This is not yet the building of socialist society but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building.”

(“On Cooperation,” 1923 – V.I. Lenin)

During several years of construction NEP Russia will become Socialist Russia

Socialism is no longer a matter of the distant future, or an abstract picture, or an icon. We still retain our old bad opinion of icons. We have dragged socialism into everyday life, and here we must find our way. This is the task of our day, the task of our epoch. Permit me to conclude by expressing the conviction that, difficult as this task may be, new as it may be compared with our previous task, and no matter how many difficulties it may entail, we shall all—not in one day, but in the course of several years—all of us together fulfil it whatever happens so that NEP Russia will become socialist Russia” (Speech At A Plenary Session Of

The Moscow Soviet November 20, 1922 – V.I. Lenin)

3. Democratic Centralism

Through his political life Trotsky has opposed the Leninist form of organization. Sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly.

Here are examples of overt opposition to the Party of a Leninist type.

“The entire edifice of Leninism at the present time is built on lies and falsification and bears within itself the poisonous elements of its own decay”

(“Letter to Chkheidze April 1913” – Trotsky)

Although Trotskyists nowadays consider this to be proof of Trotsky’s genius since they believe Stalin to fit this description perfectly it actually demonstrates the opposite. Here he is calling Lenin a dictator. Trotsky opposed the Leninist type of party and it’s leaders whether they be Lenin or Stalin.

“In the internal politics of the Party these methods lead, as we shall see below, to the Party organisation “substituting” itself for the Party, the Central Committee substituting itself for the Party organisation, and finally the dictator substituting himself for the Central Committee“(Our Political Tasks – Trotsky)

Of course later Trotsky pretended to have changed his mind but the facts reveal this not to be the case. Trotskyists themselves further try to distort the fact of the matter. Take a look at this paragraph from an article on for example, it is referring to the Bolshevik/Menshevik split on organization and the issue of the editorial board of Iskra.

“The so-called “soft” tendency represented by Martov emerged as a minority and after the Conference refused to abide by its decisions or to take part in the Central Committee or the Editorial Board. All Lenin’s efforts to find a compromise solution after the Congress failed because of the opposition of the minority. Plekhanov, who at the Congress had supported Lenin, proved incapable of standing up to the pressures of his old comrades and friends. In the end, in early 1904, Lenin found that he had to organise “majority Committees” (Bolsheviks) to salvage something from the wreckage of the Congress. The split in the party had become an accomplished fact.

Initially Trotsky had supported the minority against Lenin. This has led to the false account that Trotsky was a “Menshevik”. However, at the Second Congress, Bolshevism and Menshevism had not yet emerged as clearly defined political tendencies. Only a year later, in 1904, did political differences begin to emerge between the two tendencies, and these differences had nothing whatsoever to do with the question of “centralism” or “no centralism””(“In Memory of Leon Trotsky”)

Indeed that particular incident was not about organization, the split about organization actually began earlier. Also how is it an argument in Trotsky’s favor that the issue for which Trotsky left was not party discipline and organization but over the war and Menshevik’s support of the liberals? In other words, how is it relevant to mention that the incident was not over organization when its clear that Trotsky was not opposed to the Mensheviks on organization and split with them over that issue?

As our Trotskyist points out Trotsky supported Menshevism i.e. The Martov group against democratic centralism, limiting the membership of the party to devoted revolutionaries and reducing the number of people in the editorial board of Iskra.

This is Lenin in One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – The Crisis In Our Party (Written: Feb. 1904)

“The accusations are levelled against “the system of autocratic and bureaucratic government of the Party”, against “bureaucratic centralism”, which, as distinct from “genuinely Social-Democratic centralism””

“What is the implication of “autocracy” in the Party, about which the dissatisfied “editors” clamour? Autocracy means the supreme, uncontrolled, non-accountable, non-elective rule of one individual. We know very well from the literature of the “minority” that by autocrat they mean me, and no one else

“You are a bureaucrat because you were appointed by the Congress not in accordance with my wishes, but against them; you are a formalist because you take your stand on the formal decisions of the Congress, and not on my consent; you are acting in a grossly mechanical way because you cite the “mechanical” majority at the Party Congress and pay no heed to my wish to be co-opted; you are an autocrat because you refuse to hand over the power to the old snug little band who insist on their circle “continuity” all the more because they do not like the explicit disapproval of this circle spirit by the Congress.”

Our Trotskyist:

“As soon as the political differences emerged, Trotsky broke with the Mensheviks…”

I’d venture to call the above mentioned issue of democratic centralism a political difference.

“…and remained formally independent from both factions until 1917.”

heavy emphasis on the word formal since as I have already demonstrated time and time again he was in the August Bloc, the RSDLP(I) and so on.

The Issue Of The So-called “Lenin’s Testament”

Despite numerous people already sufficiently dealing with this the issue keeps coming up. The issue of the so-called “Lenin’s Testament”.There are several aspects to cover:

1) Why was it “held secret?”

This is a question often presented by Trotskyists who imply that the text contained such crushing criticism against the evil stalinist bureaucracy that it was suppressed. Although one should remember that it wasn’t Stalin alone who rallied against Trotsky’s faction, it was everyone. Zinoviev who later switched sides even wanted Trotsky to be expelled from the party as early as 1925.

The answer to this question is simple. It was not published because it was not meant to be published. That’s it. No mystery. Lenin had issued this letter to the Central Committee and it was not meant to be published.

2) What exactly was said in this “Testament”

Unlike many people seem to think it didn’t contain much criticism of Stalin. In it Lenin was mostly concerned with avoiding a split in the party which he knew to be inevitable.

He criticized Tomsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev too but I don’t have to go into that here.

He criticized Trotsky saying:

he has displayed excessive self-assurance and shown excessive preoccupation with the purely administrative side of the work.

This obviously after Trotsky had been corrected or forced to reject his incorrect views on all the previous issues. Lenin clearly anticipated a split but didn’t indicate that he believed Trotsky would actually return to his old theories after Lenin was dead.

Lenin’s criticism of Stalin was actually not more substantial but actually very much less so. Lenin expressed that Stalin was too rude. That this was an issue that otherwise wouldn’t be of importance but in this time when a split was possible it was of importance. Also that he being the General secretary a post of immense prestige and authority he could because of his rudeness escalate the situation.

“Comrade Stalin, having become Secretary-General, has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution.”

Unlimited here being a figure of speech and authority referring to not legistlative power but influence and prestige.

“Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post”

Trotskyists often make an awful lot of this quote but Stalin himself had wished to resign from his position in 1924, 1925, 1927 and 1952. Every time his request was denied. Even Trotsky had opposed that Stalin leave his post. This should also be understood in the context of the looming split.

“It is said that in that “will” Comrade Lenin suggested to the congress that in view of Stalin’s “rudeness” it should consider the question of putting another comrade in Stalin’s place as General Secretary. That is quite true. Yes, comrades, I am rude to those who grossly and perfidiously wreck and split the Party. I have never concealed this and do not conceal it now. Perhaps some mildness is needed in the treatment of splitters, but I am a bad hand at that. At the very first meeting of the plenum of the Central Committee after the Thirteenth Congress I asked the plenum of the Central Committee to release me from my duties as General Secretary. The congress itself discussed this question. It was discussed by each delegation separately, and all the delegations unanimously, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev, obliged Stalin to remain at his post.”

[The Trotskyist Opposition Before And Now – J.V. Stalin]

“safeguards against a split and from the standpoint of what I wrote above about the relationship between Stalin and Trotsky it is not a [minor] detail, but it is a detail which can assume decisive importance.” – Lenin

Lenin was completely right about the significance of the conflict between Stalin and the Central Committee one hand and Trotsky on the other although Stalin’s rudeness ended up having not much to do with it.

In fact this issue of rudeness may have it’s roots elsewhere. Stalin had called Lenin at Gorki and when his wife had answered Stalin had insulted her because she was always answering the phone and apparently listening to the conversations and telling about them to Zinoviev and Kamenev. Kruptskaya had also allowed Lenin to dictate a letter to her which Stalin considered to be too risky for his health. This argument was originally a personal matter between Stalin and Lenin’s wife Krupskaya who didn’t get along well. Its worth mentioning she was also part of the group led by Zinoviev at the time.

Despite it being a private matter and Kruptskaya having told Stalin she would forget it Lenin later learned of the incident.

“Dear Comrade Stalin:

You have been so rude as to summon my wife to the telephone and use bad language. Although she had told you that she was prepared to forget this, the fact nevertheless became known through her to Zinoviev and Kamenev.”

I ask you, therefore, to think it over whether you are prepared to withdraw what you have said and to make your apologies, or whether you prefer that relations between us should be broken off.

Respectfully yours, Lenin”

(Letter to Comrade Stalin, 1923 – V.I. Lenin)

Although this was a completely personal matter Zinoviev later disgrafully brought it up publicly in a joint Plenum of the CC and the CCC in 1926 to attack Stalin. This was at a time when he had switched from the Central Committee’s side to Trotsky’s side once again. Lenin’s sister Maria wrote to the Plenum to respond to Zinoviev that Stalin had indeed made an apology and that was the end of it.

This question and the way it played out says much more about the character of the Zinovievite-Trotskyite opposition who resorted to usign this as a political weapon then that of the character if Stalin’s and also the criticism in Lenin’s Testament of Trotsky and particularly of Zinoviev and Kamenev were far graver then the criticism of Stalin as being rude especially when you consider that the criticism of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and the rest were general and the criticism of Stalin was only in context of the threat of a split.

For example:

“I shall not go on to characterise the personal qualities of the other members of the Central Committee. I shall merely remind you that the October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was, of course, not accidental, but that they can be blamed for it personally as little as Trotsky can be blamed for his non-Bolshevism.”

[“Last Testament”Letters to the Congress – V.I. Lenin]

The Georgian Affair

Also the criticism of Dzerzhinsky and Georgians Stalin and Orjonikidze as impartial in the question of Georgia is not actually nearly as serious because once again its very context sensitive and not a general criticism of Stalin or the others being untrustworthy like Kamenev, Zinoviev and Trotsky were unlike Trotsky tries to claim in his autobiography.

“That affair is now under “prosecution” at the hands of Stalin and Dzerzhinsky and I cannot rely on their impartiality”

exemplary punishment must be inflicted on Comrade Orjonikidze (I say this all the more regretfully as I am one of his personal friends and have worked with him abroad)

(Letters to the Congress – V.I. Lenin)

“A lack of “impartiality” – does not this imply, indeed, that same lack of loyalty?”
My Life – Trotsky

He asserts that although Lenin calls Zinoviev and Kamenev schemers and him a non-bolshevik he also implied that Stalin was just as trustworthy because he as a Georgian was impartial in the question of Georgia. Needless to say this is a very weak argument. Stalin, Orjonikidze and Dzerzhinsky were severely mistaken and according to Lenin inadvertantly pursued a Russian nationalist campaign when they fought against the socialist-nationalist Mensheviks who were in control of Georgia and refused to join or cooperate with the other Soviet Republics. They were mistaken, but this has nothing to do with loyalty.

Quotation Mongering

One last word on an interesting term I heard from a Trotskyist. I heard him referring to “Stalinist quotation mongering”. I assume that is exactly what I’m doing. Instead of an actual refutation of anything Trotskyists attempt to make light of the issues quoted. They try to make it seem like what Lenin actually said doesn’t really matter. How am I to demonstrate beyond any doubt what Lenin actually said without quoting him?

I used to think quoting the people you’re referring to or responsing to was the correct thing to do to make sure you’re not distorting what they say. Apparently Trotskyists don’t agree. While reading Trotsky’s autobiography I did notice that Trotsky is a bit less strict when it comes to quotations. He doesn’t bother to offer any sources or quotations for half the things he says, he instead writes lines like Lenin had once expressed his moral confidence in me” and Lenin felt as if a weight had been lifted from his chest”. Of course he can write as many syrupy tales about Lenin and himself (something that Stalin never bothered to do) but unless he can prove what he is saying, its all empty talk.

The reason why Trotsky avoids facts and concrete references is because they relentlessly refute all his angry outcries and pompous phrases.

I also noticed that while Stalin always considered himself merely one of the many pupils of the Great Lenin, Trotsky talks of himself and Lenin as equals and even in a tone that suggests that Lenin the old man constantly needed guidance from the infallable Trotsky. Trotskyists seem to share this view point (I refer you to Isaac Deutscher and some of the people at “In Defence Of Marxism”)

This is just my opinion but I think the reason Trotskyists don’t like quotations is because they don’t like to hear the truth and they(including Trotsky) don’t like to back up their tall tales.

I also find this accusation of quotation mongering extremely funny, because although generally Trotskyists don’t quote Lenin’s works, almost in every debate where this issue comes up they will quote Lenin’s testament. Out of the mass of material and theory Lenin wrote they have this one document that they think proves their point and they quote it constantly. They’re the worst kinds of quotation mongerers because they only quote one or two lines (which I’ve already dealt with) without even truly understanding what it is they’re quoting, because as I’ve demonstrated the “Testament” actually doesn’t support their view at all.


We can safely conclude that Trotskyism is a revisionist distortion of Marxism that runs counter to Leninism and serves counter revolution with it’s adventurism, left-deviationism and right-deviationism. Trotsky himself was an opportunist that switched sides and as Lenin put it:

“Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism.” – Lenin

Trotsky fought Lenin tooth and nail for decades, back stabbing and slandering him and only decided to temporarily pretend to have forgotten his old revisionist theories and changed his ways on the eve of the Bolshevik revolution. Of course later he acted like he was Lenin’s biggest supporter when he only agreed with Lenin on one important issue, the organization of the military.

He acted like Stalin and the other Bolsheviks were all opportunist who played up to Lenin when he was the one doing it. This is a fact demonstrated by his complete reversal of his positions and opinions right before October and the fact he returned to his old tricks covertly in Lenin’s life time and overtly after Lenin’s death.

He goes as far as to claim that everyone else disagreed with Lenin more but were afraid to speak out, particularly Stalin. That is, he implies that he was Lenin’s most vocal opponent simply because he was the most principled and courageous. Therefore the most vocal and outspoken anti-Leninist is the best student of Leninism?

“when I disagreed with Lenin, I mentioned it aloud, and, when I thought it necessary, even appealed to the party”

Of course this doesn’t in anyway prove that Stalin actually secretly opposed Leninism like is implied nor does it change the fact that Trotsky did oppose Leninism publicly. He tries to fool people with this unfalsifiable hypothesis of Stalin’s secret disagreements with Leninism.

they disagreed with Lenin, which happened much more often than in my case, usually … kept silent about it

He also tries to argue that this is all a mistake and a distortion. That really he didn’t disagree with Lenin on anything substantial but what has been presented against him are merely “polemical expressions”

“organization of an historical and literary nature was established for the sole purpose of distorting the history of our mutual relations. It has been done chiefly by painting a picture of a constant struggle between two “principles,” by isolating from the past the moments when we disagreed, by making a great deal out of individual polemical expressions ” – Trotsky

I don’t see what Trotsky means by this. Obviously a picture of constant decades long struggle between principles is going to emerge because its the truth. I don’t need to repeat myself, I covered both historical and theoretical aspects so you could accurately see that the struggle was both constant and over issues of great practical and theoretical importance.

It is true Lenin used polemical flair but that doesn’t mean when he calls Trotsky “a Judas” he doesn’t mean what he says. Was Kautsky also not in disagreement with Lenin but only a victim of polemical expressions when Lenin called him a “Renegade” to marxism in his book “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky”?

The evidence is there, excuses are useless. I’m not going to go into everything Trotsky said which isn’t even particularly substantial. He doesn’t even most of the time deny what he is accused of but tries to dismiss it as non-important or that the matter has been exaggerated.

“my stand at that time was one of “under – appreciation of the peasantry,” and one almost hostile toward the New Economic Policy.”


He disagreed with Leninism organizationally, theoretically and in practice, on war, on peace, on the question of national-self determination, on new economic policy, on trade unionism, on tactics, on the role of the peasantry, on the question of permanent revolution etc. etc

His theories are all in contradiction with Leninism and are not in line with material reality.

I’m not going to go deeply into what modern Trotskyists believe or why I think they even advocate Trotskyism but I’m going to mention one thing:

Its not really about theory or a more profound understanding of Lenin or Marx, Trotskyism simply spreads the same lies as the bourgeoisie does about Lenin, the Soviet Union and Stalin and therefore its more palettable to gullible and idealistic people with a poor understanding of Marxism.


The Break-Up of the “August” Bloc – V.I. Lenin

“From the Camp of the Stolypin “Labour” Party – Dedicated to Our “Conciliators” and Advocates of “Agreement” – V.I. Lenin

Judas Trotsky’s Blush of Shame (1911) V.I. Lenin

V.I. Lenin To Inessa Armand (1917)

Lenin to Alexandra Kollontai (Feb. 17. 1917)

The “Zimmerwald Left”

Trotskyism Or Leninism? – J.V. Stalin

History of The Communist Party of The Soviet Union(Bolsheviks)

Meeting of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) October 16 (29), 1917

The Revolutionary Military Committee

Stalin: Slander and Truth – C. Allen

Peace or war? – V.I. Lenin


Position of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks) on the Question of the Separate And Annexationist Peace – V.I. Lenin


Strange And Monstrous – V.I. Lenin



The Social-Democractic Deviation In Our Party – J.V. Stalin

‘Preface’ to ‘The Year 1905’ – Trotsky (1922)


[The Tax In Kind (The Significance Of The New Policy And Its Conditions)V.I. Lenin]


[The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It V.I. Lenin]


(The Trade Unions, The Present Situation And Trotsky’s Mistakes – V.I. Lenin)


(Once Again On The Trade Unions, – The Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Buhkarin – V.I. Lenin)


Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty

(Preface to 1905 – Trotsky)

(Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, Part II – V.I. Lenin)

(Letter to I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov – V.I. Lenin)

(Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, Part II – V.I. Lenin)

(On the Two Lines in the Revolution – V.I. – Lenin)


(Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity – V.I. Lenin)

“Letter to Chkheidze April 1913” – Trotsky

(The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution: I – V.I. Lenin)

(Speech to the Third All-Russia Congress of Soviets, 1918 – V.I. Lenin)


(The Achievements and Difficulties of the Soviet Government – V.I. Lenin)

(Speech At A Plenary Session Of

The Moscow Soviet November 20, 1922 – V.I. Lenin)

(“In Memory of Leon Trotsky”)

Lenin, Miscellany, IV Russian edition

[“Last Testament”Letters to the Congress – V.I. Lenin]


(Letter to Comrade Stalin, 1923)