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

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.

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Trotskyism? - The Fragmented Tradition

By Sean Matgamna
Click here for the debate around this contribution.

19th and 20th century socialism is a house of many rooms, cellars, attics, alcoves, and hidden chambers (not to speak of private chapels and “priest-holes”.)

There are in it the utopian socialists of our pre-history reformists and revolutionists, parliamentarians and insurrectionists, “direct action” anarchists and union-building syndicalists, council communists and kibbutz-building utopian Zionists.

The 'Trotskyisms'

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The nature of Stalinist imperialism

By Hal Draper

THERE is a paradox - only an apparent one - in the development of Stalinist imperialism. Stalinism arose out of the counter-revolution in Russia under the slogan of building “socialism in one country” as against the perspective of “world revolution” represented by the Bolshevik left wing under Trotsky. An historic internal struggle took place within the party under these different banners, in which, as everybody knows, the Stalinist wing won out.

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Russia's 1917 Revolution: Kerensky, head of the government that Lenin ousted, debates Max Shachtman

SELDOM does history record the former head of a government, deposed by social revolution, facing up in an open debate 34 years later to a modern representative of the same ideological current which swept him from power. This was the situation in the February 8 [1951] debate at the University of Chicago where Max Shachtman confronted Alexander Kerensky, the head of the régime which was overthrown by the great Russian Revolution.

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Why for socialists the working class is central

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Max Shachtman

WE consider ourselves as heirs of the Trotskyist movement when it was a living movement in the full sense of the word, when it represented the imperishable tradition of revolutionary Marxism. And today, 25 years after the founding [in 1928] of that movement, looking backward with a minimum of maudlin sentimentality and a maximum of calm, objective and reasoned analysis — what do we celebrate on this 25th anniversary?

What remains valid in the Trotskyism of Trotsky's time?

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How not to quote Lenin

AS noted in the accompanying summary of the debate, Kerensky spent much of his time working over scraps of quotations from Lenin — from different periods, contexts, and articles indiscriminately, — la Boris Shub — under the heading of a discussion of the Russian Revolution and democracy.

While it takes at least ten times longer to nail one of these forgeries than it takes to reel off the distorted quotation, Shachtman was able to take them up effectively.

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The new Russian imperialism

By Max Shachtman

The best way of facing the facts and, thereby, answering the question “What do the Russians want in the occupied countries” is to ask “What do the Russians do in the occupied countries?”

Enough data has now been collected to establish the following outline of Russian economic policy in the occupied countries:

1. Russia strips the industries of machinery and other equipment and transports it to Russia. (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Korea and Manchuria.)

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The October Revolution Was Made For Freedom in equality!

By Max Shachtman

THE fortieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of November 7, 1917, has been celebrated all over Russia and in many other countries. The triumph of that revolution marked the most important dividing line in the history of mankind: between the end of the age of capitalism and the beginning of the age of socialism. That is how every thoughtful person judged it at the time, and the judgement remains fundamentally sound.

"The Russian Revolution marked the most important dividing line in the history of mankind: between the end of the age of capitalism and the beginning of the age of socialism. That is how every thoughtful person judged it at the time, and the judgement remains fundamentally sound."

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October was a true working class revolution

By Max Shachtman

THE Independent Socialist League does not subscribe to any doctrine called Leninism. It does not have an official position on the subject and I am pretty certain that nobody could get the League to commit itself officially on a term which has been so varyingly and conflictingly defined as to make discussion of it more often semantic than ideological or political.

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