THE IDEOLOGICAL ROLE OF TROTSKYISM AFTER 1924.
THIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO THE MANY THOUSANDS OF SOVIET
COMMUNISTS WHO RALLIED TO SUPPORT J.V. STALIN’S POLICY OF AIMING TO BUILD
SOCIALISM IN THE SOVIET UNION, WHICH NECESSITATED A STRUGGLE TO DEFEAT
TROTSKYISM IN THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION AND IN THE INTERNATIONAL
MARXISM-LENINISM regards Trotskyism as a form of
pseudo-leftism. Nowhere is this pseudo-leftism more consistently expressed as
over the struggle to build socialism in the Soviet Union after revolution was
defeated in several countries following World War One, which consequently led to
the isolation of the Soviet Republic.
Trotskyism, an ideological tendency born in opposition to
Leninism and Bolshevism, was again in opposition to Leninism in 1924, this time
in regards to Lenin’s theory relating to the international revolution and
socialism. The essence of the struggle during and after 1924 until the expulsion
of Trotsky from the CPSU in 1927 is known to all students of the Russian
revolution. This essence, without any possibility of refutation can be expressed
as the following.
- Lenin, in his writings, had postulated the possibility of socialism in
several or one country, as part of the international revolutionary process.
- From 1924 onwards Stalin, after the failure of revolution to spread was
forced to defend this aspect of Leninism from ultra-left elements in the
- Trotskyism became the principle ideological trend, which came out in
opposition to Leninism on the question of socialism in one country as part
of the world revolutionary process.
Thus any evaluation of Trotskyism after the death of Lenin in
1924 must be based on an interpretation of Lenin’s perspective and Stalin’s
upholding of this perspective in opposition to the pseudo-leftist elements in
the Soviet communist party and the international communist movement. To fully
understand the ideological role of Trotskyism after 1924, it is necessary to
grasp that Trotskyism’s opposition to Leninism led the former to play a
counterrevolutionary role in the Soviet Union. This is because it is not
possible to say that Trotskyism opposed Leninism on the issue of socialism in
one country, but did not play a counterrevolutionary role.
Inspite of the failure of revolutions in other countries, the
policy adopted by the CPSU was to build socialism in one country and maintain
the Soviet Union as a revolutionary inspiration and centre. Ranged against this
policy were the bourgeoisie and their Menshevik servants. Their political role
in the Soviet Union was to demoralise the Soviet Communists and working class
with the ideology, that socialism could not be built in one country. The aim of
the counterrevolution both internally and externally was the restoration of the
rule of capital.
For the counterrevolution, undermining the confidence of the
communist party and the Soviet working class was the essential element in their
strategy. Without recognising this, it is impossible to arrive at an objectively
correct view of the role of Trotskyism in the Soviet Union. No one can deny that
in opposing Leninism Trotskyism joined with the bourgeois-Menshevik
counterrevolution to smash the confidence of the Soviet Communists and working
class on the basis that socialism in one country was not possible.
This bourgeois attempt to undermine the confidence of Soviet
Communists and workers, had it succeeded would have led, without fail, to the
rupture of the worker-peasant alliance, and, consequently, the downfall of
working class political power. Therefore, it is clear, from the Marxist-Leninist
perspective, that after Trotskyism had transformed itself into a movement for
smashing the confidence of Soviet Communists and workers in their efforts to
build socialism in the Soviet Union, the defeat of Trotskyism became an
imperative necessity. From this standpoint, it is also clear that the struggle
against Trotskyism was, in essence, the struggle against the bourgeois
counterrevolution, dressed up as a ‘left-wing’ movement.
For Stalin, Trotskyism’s role was to
‘…weaken the determination of the Soviet proletariat
to go on building socialism, and therefore to hinder the unleashing of
the forces of the international revolution—thereby run counter to the
principle of genuine internationalism and the fundamental line of the
Communist International’. (J.V.
Stalin: The Opposition bloc in the CPSU[B]. in: Works 8; p.230; October
Trotskyism having joined with the Mensheviks and the
bourgeoisie for promoting defeatism in the Soviet communist party and working
class in respects to building socialism in the Soviet Union, made it clear that
these elements had to be defeated if the Soviet Union was to survive.
The role of Stalin in this process is equally transparent.
This role consisted in fighting the efforts of the bourgeoisie, Mensheviks and
the Trotskyites to undermine the confidence of Soviet Communists and workers. In
this way, Stalin defended the Leninist thesis that socialism was possible in the
Soviet Union as part of the world revolutionary process. Stalin’s struggle
against Trotskyist defeatism was recognised by communists everywhere. Thus, the
international communist movement rallied to support Stalin on the one hand, and
isolate Trotsky and his followers on the other.