Max Shachtman

The other history of American Trotskyism

3 February, 2011 - 19:30

February Study Series from North East London Workers' Liberty

We live in a class society. Throughout history, economic and social crises have created huge clashes between the classes. We are living in such a time now, when the ruling class and the working class will lock horns and fight over the future of society. The big struggles of the past pose the big political questions for the movement of today.

The principal political question facing the working-class movement today is the problem of Stalinism. How did the Russian Revolution, the biggest expression of working-class democracy and solidarity in history, end in prison camps and tyranny? What is Stalinism and what does it mean for the workers movement today and the hope of a socialist future?

The only adequate answers to these questions have been the answers of the Trotskyist movement. This movement of working-class revolutionaries fought both capitalism and Stalinism to their deaths. In this educational series, we will look back on the debates of the early Trotskyist movement and what they mean for us today.

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1939-40: when the Fourth International split into two tendencies.

Max Shachtman

The “Report on the Russian question” which follows was a speech delivered by Max Shachtman to the New York membership meeting of the US Trotskyist movement, the Socialist Workers’ Party, on 15 October 1939.