changed his mind. In all essentials the thesis of the permanent revolution (though not, of course, its somewhat bookish nomenclature) was adopted by his party.'(26)
Thus, to declare Trotsky correct, we must attribute to Lenin a crude opportunist error in 1905 which then enables us to falsify Lenin's positions in 1917 in the opposite direction. Finally, let us admire the 'of course' which saves Deutscher from having to explain to us why Lenin did not take over the term 'permanent revolution' if it were true that it corresponded to a scientific concept. Was Lenin afraid of Marxist terms; was he afraid of Marxist works?
All the false and nonsensical Trotskyist constructions are summarised in a short note of Ernest Mandel's:
Between 1905 and 1917 the Bolshevik Party was educated in the spirit of achieving the 'democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants', i.e. in the spirit of a formula with its eye on the possibility of a coalition between a workers' party and a peasant party . . . Only in 1917 did he (Lenin) realise that Trotsky had been correct back in 1905 when he predicted that the agrarian question could only be solved by the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialisation of the Russian economy.(27)
Lenin has long since refuted this interpretation of his political line in 1905 by showing that the problem of class alliances cannot be reduced to that of alliances between parties - which completely undermines Trotsky's objection that there could not be an independent peasant party:
A 'coalition' of classes does not at all presuppose either the existence of any particular powerful party, or parties in general. This is only confusing classes with parties . . . The experience of the Russian revolution shows that the 'coalitions' of the proletariat and the peasantry were formed scores and hundred of times, in the most diverse forms, without any 'powerful independent party' of the peasantry.(28)
Mandel could have disputed this argument of Lenin's. He decided that it was more prudent to pass it over in silence, hoping that his readers would not come across it in Lenin's voluminous works. In fact, Mandel not only claims that Lenin's policy was wrong, he falsifies this policy by arguing that it presupposed a coalition between parties. Mandel also repeats the old Trotskyist confusion between socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, between the character (the social content) of the stages and the class nature of the power.(29) This is what enables him to conclude that, after the 'April Theses', there was no better Trotskyist than Lenin.