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 1905 prologue

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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.

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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Marxist Theory and History: 

“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”.


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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Marxist Theory and History: 

The democracy of others

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Martin Thomas

“No-one combats freedom; at most they combat the freedom of others”, wrote Karl Marx sarcastically, in an article defending the freedom of the press. For a long time now, in politics, “democracy” has had the same status.

In the turmoil around the revolutions of 1848 Engels and Marx came to understand that a formal, merely-political democracy was possible, which would preserve the rule of profiteers and of profit in economic life.

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Stop Trump: On the streets against the “Muslim ban”

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Editorial

Organise, on the streets and in the labour movement! Argue for socialist, democratic, internationalist ideas which offer a real answer both to Trump’s rancid, right-wing, regression, and to the discredited status quo. That is how we can block Trump.

Against a determined push by Trump, the liberal bourgeoisie will not safeguard the mild cosmopolitanism on which it prides itself. It falls to the labour movement to defend even the limited bourgeois ameliorations.

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Around the world: 

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History minus the workers

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John Cunningham

Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with Sebag Montefiore’s three-part documentary on Vienna (broadcast December 2016). His approach to his topics is somewhat predictable and conservative. But when I lived in Hungary for nine years I tasted some of the splendours of the architecture and the cultural inheritance of the Hapsburgs, not to mention its many contradictions and unpleasantries, in Budapest, Pécs and elsewhere.

A review of Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream, BBC4.

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Culture and Reviews: 

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Around the world: 

Is socialism against human nature?

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Our recently published book Can Socialism Make Sense? takes on the arguments against socialism. In this abridged excerpt a critic of socialism (B) is answered by a socialist (A) on the question of human nature.

B: You can’t change human nature. Humanity remains an animal. Human nature — competition, individualism, selfishness, predatoriness — produces, protects, and preserves capitalism.

In a world of material well-being, of democratic collectivism, individualism would flower in a way it can never flower under capitalism.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Civilisation, backwardness and liberation

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

What is the attitude of Marxists to "backward" and "underdeveloped" countries and peoples who are being assaulted, occupied, or colonised by a more advanced but predatory civilisation?

No-one expressed it so clearly and so forcefully as Leon Trotsky:

What is the attitude of Marxists to "backward" and "underdeveloped" countries and peoples who are being assaulted, occupied, or colonised by a more advanced but predatory civilisation?

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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