Max Shachtman

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: 

Germany 1953: Workers rise against Stalinist rule. Workers' Liberty 3/40:

Sixty years ago, in June 1953, workers revolted against Stalinist rule in East Germany. We republish here analysis of the uprising by the “Third Camp” Trotskyists of the Independent Socialist League.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

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

WL 3/30

Author: 

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.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

This book is really about now

Author: 

Ed Strauss
The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism is not just a scholarly work about distant, long-ago arguments — it traces the development of patterns of thought and behaviour that shape how our movement thinks and works today.

Ed Strauss reviews The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism

The book is an amazing textbook. As a young student in the 1950s, I was reading some of the documents which are in the collection, I was coming in at the tail-end of some of these debates; but we had nothing like this.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Culture and Reviews: 

Orthodox Trotskyism reshaped Trotsky's ideas

Author: 

Ed Maltby
Ed Maltby discusses Paul Le Blanc's review of "The Two Trotskyisms".

Paul Le Blanc’s review of The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism: Fate of the Russian Revolution volume 2 (Solidarity 388) is a thoughtful and detailed piece.

Le Blanc defends The Two Trotskyisms against some on the left who deride the book as pointless obsessing over long-ago spats. He is right to do it: such complaints remind one of Homer Simpson, who, warned that he’s late for English class, sneers “Pff! English, who needs that? I’m never going to England!”

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Culture and Reviews: 

A socialist President in the White House?

Author: 

Eric Lee

Sixty years ago, the Socialist Party ran its last presidential campaign in the United States.

In its heyday, the party could capture upwards of a million votes, achieving this result in 1912, 1920 and again in 1932. The best result was the first one, when Eugene V. Debs led the party to six per cent of the national vote. But less than a quarter century after Norman Thomas won nearly 900,000 votes at the height of the Great Depression, the total number of votes the Socialist could muster nationwide was a mere 2,044.

If America wakes up on 10 February to learn that Bernie Sanders has won both Iowa and New Hampshire, it will represent a political earthquake. Sixty years after the disappearance of the Socialists from the main stage of American politics, they have made a triumphant return. A former YPSL member from Chicago, still talking about the same democratic socialism he learned in the party of Debs and Thomas, may be on his way to becoming the forty-fifth president of the United States.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

The Leningrad delirium

Among many other things, the new book published by Workers’ Liberty and edited by Sean Matgamna — “The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism” — digs out a dramatic lurch in the “Orthodox” Trotskyist movement in 1941, described in this excerpt.

The “Orthodox” were those who stuck to Trotsky’s formula of the Stalinist USSR being a “degenerated workers’ state” while, in the 1940s, the elements in reality on which Trotsky based that formula were changing dramatically. Along the way, they lurched one way and then another, never properly assessing their mistakes.

An excerpt from a new book published by Workers’ Liberty and edited by Sean Matgamna — “The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism” — describing a dramatic lurch in the “Orthodox” Trotskyist movement in 1941.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Beyond the fragments of the Trotskyist movement

Author: 

Paul Hampton
A review by Paul Hampton of The Two Trotskyisms confront Stalinism, edited by Sean Matgamna.

Why is the revolutionary left today in such a mess? Why are the politics of the SWP, the Socialist Party, the various Fourth Internationals and most of the splinters, grouplets and fragments so incoherent?

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Culture and Reviews: 

The two Trotskyisms

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

This month marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the murder of Leon Trotsky by an agent of the Stalinist USSR’s secret police. Next month, Workers’ Liberty will publish a second volume of documents from the movement which kept alive and developed the revolutionary socialist politics Trotsky fought for. Just before Trotsky’s death, the American Trotskyist organisation split after a dispute triggered by Stalin’s invasion of Poland. The majority was led by James P Cannon, the minority by Max Shachtman.

This month marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the murder of Leon Trotsky by an agent of the Stalinist USSR’s secret police. Next month Workers’ Liberty will publish a second volume of documents from the movement which kept alive and developed the revolutionary socialist politics Trotsky fought for.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Pages