The Russian Revolution and Its Fate

The two Trotskyisms during World War 2: Workers' Liberty 3/48

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman.

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" through from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman.

Click here to download as pdf or read online.

The pagination in the pdf is correct, but, by a mishap, the pages of the printed version of Workers' Liberty 3/48, as a pull-out in Solidarity 347, are in the wrong order. Our apologies to readers.

Check the printed version with the pdf, or follow this guide:

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Workers' Liberty 3/22: Max Shachtman on Isaac Deutscher's "Trotsky"

Can socialism be built through tyranny? Max Shachtman on Isaac Deutscher's "Trotsky". Download as pdf (see "attachment")

Can socialism be built through tyranny? Max Shachtman on Isaac Deutscher's "Trotsky". Download as pdf (see "attachment")

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Socialism and Democracy: democracy, direct action and the class struggle

Was advocating extra-parliamentary direct action to bring down the elected Thatcher government anti-democratic? Are 'by democratic means' and 'by parliamentary means' identical concepts?

Socialism and Democracy: Workers' Liberty special issue (no.17), January 1994

Download the pamphlet as a PDF:

Former Labour leader Michael Foot has just died. While sending condolences to his family, friends and comrades, we republish this 1982 pamphlet, in which we debated him on whether direct action to bring down the Tories was anti-democratic.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Workers' Liberty 3/11: 1917 - revolution for freedom and equality

The Russian Revolution, the Stalinist counter-revolution, and the working class (Analyses from Labor Action and The New International, 1942 to 1957)
Download pdfs (without pictures): pages 1 to 8; pages 9 to 16, or read it on this website by clicking here.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

History of the Trotskyist movement

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

By the eve of Leon Trotsky’s death in August 1940, the American Trotskyist organisation, which was by far the most important group in the Fourth International, had split. Two currents of Trotskyism had begun the process of complete separation, but only begun.

It would take most of a decade before the evolution of two distinct species was complete.

For brevity they can be named after their chief proponents, James P Cannon and Max Shachtman. Trotsky’s political relationship to those two currents is one of the things that will concern us here.

Despite Trotsky’s continuing “defence of the USSR” in late 1939 and 1940, he had taken the giant step of accepting that the USSR, as it was, could be reconceptualised as a new form of exploitative class society.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Defending the Soviet Union

Author: 

Harry Braverman

From Fourth International, May 1944.

The collection of articles entitled The New Course was Trotsky’s opening gun in the struggle against the Stalinist bureaucracy.

From Fourth International, May 1944.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Why we needed a new theory

Author: 

Max Shachtman

From New International, August 1944.

Leon Trotsky’s name will be forever linked with the Russian Revolution, not of course as a Russian revolution but as the beginning of the international socialist revolution in Russia.

He fought for this revolution with pen and sword, from his study and from his armoured train in the Red Army. Between the start of his fight, under Tsarism, and its end, under Stalinism, there is a continuous line, the line flowing from Trotsky’s great contribution to Marxism, the theory of the permanent revolution.

From New International, August 1944.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

TUC silence on Russian aggression is nothing new

Author: 

Eric Lee

In an otherwise excellent piece on the TUC’s passing of an idiotic resolution on Ukraine, Dale Street writes that “for the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

That doesn’t sound right — and it isn’t.

In fact there have been several occasions since 1945 when European countries have been the victims of aggression by neighbouring big powers.

As post-Soviet Russia reverts to the traditional forms of imperialist expansion in eastern Ukraine, you would think that the left would have no hesitation about condemning that aggression.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Forum

Letters and debate from WL 39:

Download PDF

Against defeatism! Debate on the Workers' Government
Socialist re-action
1917: a bureaucratic revolution
State capitalism in the USSR?
Keep drugs illegal!
What drugs do to you

Letters and debate from WL 39

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Pages