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Trotsky encouraged terrorism and armed insurrection


From 1934 on, Trotsky  called over and over for the overthrow of the Bolsheviks, through terrorism and armed insurrection.

In April 1938, Trotsky  claimed that it was inevitable that there would be, in the USSR, attempts against Stalin and the other Bolshevik leaders. Of course, he continued to claim that individual terror was not a correct Leninist  tactic. But, you see, `the laws of history tell us that assassinations attempts and acts of terror against gangsters such as Stalin are inevitable'. Here is how Trotsky  put forward in 1938 the program of individual terror.

`Stalin is destroying the army and is crushing the country .... Inplacable hatred is accumulating around him, and a terrible vengeance hangs over his head.

`An assassination attempt? It is possible that this régime, which has, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, destroyed the best brains in the country, will ultimately suffer individual terror. One can add that it would be contrary to the laws of history that the gangsters in power not be suject to acts of vengeance by desperate terrorists. But the Fourth International ... has nothing to do with despair and individual vengeance is too limited for us .... In as much as Stalin's personal future concerns us, we can only hope that his personal lot is to live long enough to see his system collapse. He will not have to wait long.'


Trotsky,  Caïn Dougachvili va jusqu'au bout, p. 238.

Hence, for Trotskyists,  it would be `against the laws of history' that one would not attempt to kill Stalin, Molotov,  Zhdanov,  Kaganovich,  etc. It was an `intelligent' and `clever' way for the clandestine Trotskyist  organization to put forward its terrorist message. It did not say `organize assassination attempts'; it said: `the terrorist vengeance against Stalin is part of the laws of history'. Recall that in the anti-Communist circles that Tokaev  and Alexander Zinoviev  frequented, there was much talk of preparation for assassination attempts against the Bolshevik leaders. One can easily see what forces were being `inspired' by Trotsky's  writings.

Trotsky  alternated his calls for individual terrorism with propaganda for armed insurrections against the Bolshevik leadership. In general, he used the veiled and hypocritical formula of `political revolution'. During a debate with the Trotskyist  Mandel,  in 1989, we said that Trotsky  called for armed struggle against the Soviet régime. Mandel  got angry and cried out that this was a `Stalinist lie', since `political revolution' meant popular revolution, but pacific. This anecdote is an example of the duplicity systematically taken by professional anti-Communists, whose primary task is to infiltrate leftist circles. Here, Mandel  wanted to reach out to the environmentalist audience. Here is the program of anti-Bolshevik armed struggle, put forward by Trotsky: 

`(T)he people ... have lived through three revolutions against the Tsarist monarchy, the nobility and the bourgeoisie. In a certain sense, the Soviet bureaucracy now incarnates the traits of all the overthrown classes, but without their social roots nor their traditions. It can only defend its monstrous privileges through organized terror ....

`The defence of the country can only be organized by destroying the autocratic clique of saboteurs and defeatists.'


Trotsky,  Les défaitistes totalitaires, pp. 165, 169.

As a true counter-revolutionary, Trotsky  claimed that socialism united the oppressive traits of Tsarism, the nobility and the bourgeoisie. But, he said, socialism did not have as large a social basis as those other exploiting régimes! The anti-socialist masses could therefore overthrow it more easily. Once again, here was a call for all the reactionary forces to attack the abhorent, toppling régime and to undertake the `Fourth Revolution'.

In September 1938, Austria had already been annexed. This was the month of Munich, where French and British imperialism gave the green light to Hitler  to occupy Czechoslovakia. In his new Transitional Program, Trotsky  set out the tasks of his organization in the Soviet Union, despite the fact that he himself admitted `as an organization ...\ unquestionably ``Trotskyism''  is extremely weak in the USSR.'


Leon Trotsky,  The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International. The Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1974), p. 103.

He continued:

`(T)he Thermidorian oligarchy ... hangs on by terroristic methods .... the chief political task in the USSR still remains the overthrow of this same Thermidorian bureaucracy .... Only the victorious revolutionary uprising of the oppressed masses can revive the Soviet regime and guarantee its further development toward socialism. There is but one party capable of leading the Soviet masses to insurrection --- the party of the Fourth International.'


Ibid. , pp. 103--106.

This document, which all Trotskyist  sects consider to be their basic program, contains an extraordinary sentence. When would this `insurrection' and `uprising' have taken place? Trotsky's  answer is stunning in its honesty: Trotsky  planned his `insurrection' for when the Hitlerites  attacked the Soviet Union:

`(T)he impetus to the Soviet workers' revolutionary upsurge will probably be given by events outside the country.'


Ibid. , p. 105.

The next citation is a good example of duplicity. In 1933, Trotsky  claimed that one of the `principal crimes' of the German Stalinists was to have refused the united front with social democracy against fascism. But, until Hitler  took power in 1933, social democracy did its utmost to defend the capitalist régime and repeatedly refused unity proposals made by the German Communist Party. In May 1940, eight months after the European part of World War II had started, the great specialist of the `united front', Trotsky,  proposed that the Red Army start an insurrection against the Bolshevik régime! He wrote in his Open Letter to the Soviet Workers:

`The purpose of the Fourth International ... is to regenerate the USSR by purging it of its parasitic bureaucracy. This can be only be done in one manner: by the workers, the peasants, the soldiers of the Red Army and the sailors of the Red Fleet who will rise up against the new caste of oppressors and parasites. To prepare this uprising of the masses, a new party is needed .... the Fourth International.'


Trotsky,  Lettres aux travailleurs d'URSS, p. 303.

At the time that Hitler  was preparing war against the Soviet Union, the provocateur Trotsky  was calling on the Red Army to effect a coup d'état. Such an event would have been a monstrous disaster, opening up the entire country to the fascist tanks!


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Next: Stalin and the Up: Trotsky's rôle on Previous: Provocations in the

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995