On Trotskyism (Routledge Library Editions: Political Science, Volume 58)
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Trotsky--brilliant publicist, enthusiastic speaker, organizer of the Red Army, eminent member of the Bolshevik Party during the first years of the Russian Revolution--has often been depicted as a romantic figure by biographers. Kostas Mavrakis does not see him in this light. Mavrakis submits Trotsky, his thought and work to a severe but fair critical examination. Among the issues reassessed by this controversial scholar are Trotsky's incapacity for concrete analysis, the 'economism' he shares with Stalin, his concepts of 'permanent revolution' as compared with those of Lenin and Mao, his views and those of Stalin, on the Chinese Revolution, the fundamental traits of Trotskyism and of the different trotskyist organizations.
itself to its anti-feudal objectives.’ (24) Anyone who takes the trouble to check this will find that Lenin said exactly the opposite in ’Two Tactics of Social De m o c r a c y ’ : 23 Chapter 2 The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry has a past and a future. Its past is autocracy, serfdom, monarchy and privilege ... Its future is the struggle against private property, the struggle of the wage-worker against the employer, the struggle for socialism. (25)
spoken, it is for the listener to take advantage.1 Thus democracy is at the heart of centralism and vice versa, since it is necessary to centralise the ideas of the masses and to help the latter fto carry out all their correct ideas in the light of the circumstances1. (24) In other respects, an individual or a group wanting to make a revolution can only attain their end in the framework of a disciplined activity. This discipline is therefore the concrete form of their freedom. Conversely, if they
(and continuously revived in its most diverse forms) bourgeois ideology spontaneously imposes itself upon the working class still m o r e . ’ (35) Stalin went even further since he acknowledged that in the long run the spontaneous movement of the proletariat would achieve revolution even without social democracy. (36) Clearly, this is a scholastic hypothesis. In fact, the existence of a proletarian movement always encourages the appearance of Marxist intellectuals. Dialectical and historical
only social-democratic intellectuals ’possess the necessary means and leisure’, for the scientific elaboration of this consciousness, (c) this consciousness is introduced into the working-class movement from without by these intellectuals and the Social-Democratic Party, and (d) when making its propaganda, the party meets with ’an instinctive striving towards socialism’ among the proletariat. (37) In all his later writings in the polemic against the Economists, Lenin constantly emphasised not the
thought (but not for much longer) that the peasantry would be the social basis of this Bonapartism as it had been for Napoleon III: ’The enriched muzhik or the muzhik who only seeks to get rich ... is the natural agent of Bonapartist tendencies’; (89) and also: ’The problem of Thermidor and of Bonapartism is in essence the problem of the k u l a k ’. (90) But the facts obstinately refuse to comply with his schemas. Trotsky characterised his own destiny very well when he wrote that ’a