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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War and the revolution

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Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, this explains how the Provisional Government worked to keep Russia in the First World War.


On 23 March [1917] the United States entered the war. On that day Petrograd was burying the victims of the February revolution. Twenty-five days later — during which time the soviets had gained much experience and self-confidence — occurred the 1 May celebration (1 May according to the Western calendar, 18 April Russian calendar).

This extract from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution explains how the Provisional Government worked to keep Russia in the First World War.

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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.

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

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What is the “social strike”?

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

A fetishisation of novelty can sometimes blind us to the fact that what’s required is not “new kinds of strike action”, or new forms of organisation, but rather a rediscovery and relearning of old lessons, ideas, and strategies, now forgotten or lost.

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The paradox of February

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Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. On 2 March 1917 a Provisional Government is formed; it has the support of the Petrograd soviet. Trotsky explains why the February revolution ended with a transfer of power to the liberal bourgeoisie.

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Trotsky explains why the February 1917 revolution in Russia ended with a transfer of power to the liberal bourgeoisie.

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On the eve of revolution: Trotsky in New York

Author: 

Paul Hampton

In October 1917 Leon Trotsky was a principal leader of the Russian revolution, leading workers to power and the establishment of their own state. Trotsky would become the Commissar for Foreign Affairs, responsible for taking Russia out of the First World War. Yet his year had begun in very different circumstances.

For ten weeks Trotsky lived in exile in New York. His time there is retold by Kenneth Ackerman.

Paul Hampton reviews Trotsky in New York 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution by Kenneth Ackerman.

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The revolution begins

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Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. Here Trotsky describes how the revolution begins.

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On the centenary of 1917, Trotsky's description of how the February revolution in Russia began.

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The 1905 prologue

Author: 

Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. Here Trotsky explains how the 1905 revolution — a popular revolt against the Tsar — was a “dress rehearsal” for the events of 1917.

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Trotsky explains how the 1905 revolution — a popular revolt against the Tsar — was a “dress rehearsal” for the events of 1917.

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“The privilege of historic backwardness”

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Leon Trotsky

We begin a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, telling the story of 1917. This extract explains Russia’s “combined and uneven” development how the country “skipped” historical “stages”.

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While the western barbarians settled in the ruins of Roman culture, where many an old stone lay ready as building material, the Slavs in the East found no inheritance upon their desolate plain: their predecessors had been on even a lower level of culture than they.

An extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution explaining how Russia’s “combined and uneven” development meant that the country “skipped” historical “stages”.

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