Leon Trotsky

Workers' Liberty 3/30: The 1939-40 split in the Fourth International

WL 3/30

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Two documents by Max Shachtman

In 1940 the Trotskyist movement split over attitudes to Stalinism. The participation and victory of Stalin's USSR in World War 2 as an imperialist power would make that split a fundamental political dividing-point.

In 1940 the Trotskyist movement split over attitudes to Stalinism. The participation and victory of Stalin's USSR in World War 2 as an imperialist power would make that split a fundamental political dividing-point.

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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")

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The origins of the Petrograd soviet

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Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. Here Trotsky describes the inception and initial political and social character of the Petrograd soviet. For most of 1917 the soviet backed the bourgeois Provisional Government.

Read the rest of the series

Trotsky describes the inception and initial political and social character of the Petrograd soviet.

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Trotsky and 21st century socialism

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Sean Matgamna

“I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence and enjoy it to the full.”
Leon Trotsky, April 1940

The October Revolution showed for all time what the working class is capable of achieving, what working-class socialists, democratically organised and clear-headed, can do. It proved that the idea of working-class socialism is no delusion.

Trotsky's ideas and his legacy, from the introduction to The Fate of The Russian Revolution

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The Spanish Revolution and the Civil War, 1936-9 - A "Diary" of Events, by Leon Trotsky

Though Leon Trotsky’s writings on Spain fill a large volume, he wrote no concise overview of the Spanish revolution. Our “diary” is culled from the commentaries he produced all through the last decade of his life: the last item here is dated 20 August 1940, the day Trotsky was assassinated.

25 May, 1930

The Primo de Rivera dictatorship has fallen without a revolution, from internal exhaustion. In the beginning, in other words, the question was decided by the sickness of the old society and not by the revolutionary forces of a new society…

Leon Trotsky on the Spanish revolution, from 1930 to 20 August 1940, the day he was assassinated by a Stalinist agent.

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Trotsky on the national question

By Leon Trotsky
Note:
Leon Trotsky was murdered by an agent of the Stalinist USSR in August 1940. Leon Trotsky was a great defender of the traditions pursued by the Bolshevik Party when they made a revolution in Russia in 1917. One of the Bolshevik’s great contributions to socialist ideas was their approach to the national question.

Trotsky on trhe national question and the politics of the Bolsheviks on national questions.

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From “leftist impatience” to servility

The Third International After Lenin, a critique of Comintern policy which Leon Trotsky wrote in exile in Alma Alta in 1928, was addressed to the Sixth Congress of the Communist International.

In it he tells in outline the story of the share of the Communist International and the British Communist Party which obeyed the International’s instructions in the responsibility for the defeat of the British general strike. It is a model of how Marxists analyse a political situation.

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Factory bulletins are essential tools

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Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky discussed factory bulletins, and their place in the overall work of a revolutionary organisation, in a letter to his French comrades of January 1938.

Leon Trotsky discussed factory bulletins, and their place in the overall work of a revolutionary organisation, in a letter to his French comrades of January 1938.

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Trotsky's courtroom speech "In Defence of Insurrection"

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Leon Trotsky

The 1906 speech of Leon Trotsky, on trial for his life, to the Tsarist court; introduction by Sean Matgamna.


The “war on terrorism” being waged by George W Bush’s US hyperpower and its political satellites, such as Tony Blair’s Britain, poses strongly the question of the attitude of Marxists toward political violence.

Naturally, we are against, unequivocally against, both the objectives and the methods — indiscriminate slaughter of civilians — of the terrorists of political Islam, who now hold the centre of the political stage.

The 1906 speech of Leon Trotsky, on trial for his life, to the Tsarist court; introduction by Sean Matgamna.

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Who was Leon Trotsky?

Becoming a revolutionary in his teens, Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) led
the Soviet (workers' council) in St Petersburg during Russia's 1905
revolution. From 1903 through to 1917 he was active in the Russian
socialist movement (mostly from exile), but outside the two main
factions, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. In 1917 he joined the Bolsheviks
(the party led by Lenin). He was the main leader of the revolutionary
uprising in October 1917, and the main organiser of the Red Army
which defended the new workers' government against Russian

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