L. Trotsky’s Theory of Imperialism and the Universal Crisis of Capitalism

V. Serebryakov


Below we present a report submitted to a special session of the Leningrad section of the Institute of Economics of the Communist Academy in 1932 which was devoted to an analysis of the Trotskyite conception of imperialism. The value of the report given here is that it illumines the inextricable connections between the social-democratic understanding of imperialism and the allied notion of ‘decolonisation’ which underlay the thinking of both Kautsky and Trotsky and which are separated by a chasm from the theories of Lenin and Stalin. It is apparent that neither Kautsky nor Trotsky accepted that imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of the monopolies. The author of this article, V. Serebryakov, delineates in detail the rejection by Trotsky of the Leninist theory of imperialism and shows that the ideas of Trotsky are directly derived from the right-wing social-democratic notions of imperialism of Karl Kautsky, Karl Renner, Rudolf Hilferding, and Nikolai Bukharin. For Kautsky and others imperialism represents a specific political tendency, the aspiration of capitalism to stop the existence of small governments. By this reasoning the colonial system of imperialism, comprising of a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world in the colonial and dependent countries, is a political policy of capitalism. Imperialism itself is projected as a progressive tendency which builds a human economy on a world scale. It follows from this that once a colonial country is granted ‘political independence’ the metropolitan power no longer may be considered as imperialist and the ‘former colony’, despite its being still subjected to strangulation by the financial oligarchies of the metropolis, is no longer a colonial-type economy.

In tandem with the Kautskyite understanding of imperialism is the propagation of ‘decolonisation’ notions by which under conditions of imperialism and in the absence of a thoroughgoing democratic revolution finance capitalism was promoting ‘unbridled industrialisation’ in the colonial countries and ending the pre-capitalist forms, rather than in actuality retarding the development of the productive forces. Trotsky way back in the interbellum period argued that India was approaching the industrial level of Great Britain. Supporters of the ‘decolonisation’ theses in the Russian opposition in the same years argued that the Prussian path of development had led to the development of capitalism in Iran, China and India forgetting that capitalism in Prussian agriculture had developed in conditions where Prussia was among the three leading industrial powers in the world. While China became an industrial power after the 1949 revolution, elsewhere industrialization (production of the means of production) has yet to take place in countries such as South Africa, Brazil and India. As a consequence such countries preserve the survivals of feudalism and pre-capitalism and are prevented from the establishment of independent economic development.

The ‘theory’ of ‘permanent revolution’ then demands not the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolution as the preliminary stage but the direct establishment of workers’ power in the colonial countries. What is the contemporary significance of all this?

Trotskyism as an ideological trend has little or no direct influence in the revolutionary movement in the colonial-type countries such as India except amongst the older social-democratic parties which have traditionally advocated the socialist revolution. The views of the RSP or the SUCI which were established in 1948 were founded on the rejection of the Leninist understanding of imperialism and the colonial question and the acceptance of the notions of Kautsky and Trotsky with the end result that India in their view had become ‘independent’ in 1947 and that it was necessary to orientate towards ‘socialist revolution’. (Such views of ‘socialist revolution’, ‘proletarian revolution’, or ‘new proletarian revolution’ have also been revived by the thin reformist layers which broke with the Marxist understanding on the colonial question in the 1980s and which were inspired immediately by the views of Ram Nath, Moni Guha and others. These writers directly repeated ad nauseam the arguments of Trotsky and his supporters on the colonial question of the earlier decades).

The CPSU (b) in its discussion with the CPI leadership in 1951 had stressed the semi-colonial character of India whilst Stalin himself had argued that India remained an English colony. Such understandings were reversed after 1953. Mikoyan at the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 chided the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow for its studies on the financial dependence of India on imperialist capital. This presaged the new Soviet understanding that countries which were dependent on finance capital could be regarded as ‘independent’. This was an enormous victory for the ideology of Kautsky and Trotsky on the colonial question. The new

Soviet notions were warmly greeted by the CPI. Ajoy Ghosh from 1953 itself on a visit to Moscow had argued with a hostile Suslov that India had secured ‘independence’ in 1947. Within the CPI Parimal Dasgupta and others from 1953 itself then were compelled to begin struggle inside the CPI to retain the Marxist positions on the colonial question. This continued this fight continued in the criticism of the CPI M draft programme which had been adumbrated by Basavapunnaiah. After 1953 the CPI and the CPI M with varying emphases adopted the social-democratic understanding of the nature of imperialism and the ‘decolonisation’ process to deny the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of Indian society despite the great expansion of metropolitan finance capital in the country after 1947. The path of capitalist development after 1947 while not constructing an industrial system in the country nonetheless developed a medium level of capitalist development. The modification of semi-feudal landlordism and the strengthening of the thin kulak stratum has been presented as the establishment of capitalism in agriculture; while the industrial developments under the second and third five-year plans which have not actually resulted in the construction of the basis of industry, the production of machinery by machinery, have been painted as ‘industrialisation’ and so on. The perpetuation of the relations of finance capital and the semi-colonies mean that while a certain degree of industrial development takes in the colonial countries none of the countries which are considered ‘developed’, whether Brazil, South Africa or India have yet to incept the production of the means of production which Marx in Capital considered to be the essential feature which demarcated the industrial system from the manufacturing period.

The paper of V. Serebriakov on the defence of Leninism in relation to the understanding of Trotsky of the phenomenon of imperialism and the colonial question, despite all the intervening economic changes, retains its value for the evaluation of the contemporary world.

Vijay Singh


This booklet contains a transcript of com. Serebriakov’s report and com. Kasharsky’s responses read at the meeting of the Institute of Economics of the Leningrad branch of the Communist Academy on January 16 and February 2, 1932. The relevance and importance of the topic, to which these reports are devoted, are not subject to any doubt. With its theoretical statements the counter-revolutionary Trotskyism provided the international bourgeoisie with poisonous and widely used spiritual weapons. Due to rotten liberalism of some workers of the theoretical and publishing field the Trotskyist theory until recently got smuggled in a contraband way into the Soviet press, a vivid example of that is the last book of E. Preobrazhensky – ‘The Decline of Capitalism’ The Bolshevik merciless exposure of Trotsky’s theory in general and of the Trotskyist contraband in particular is one of the combat missions of the Communists – employees of the theoretical front. The extremely bright and clear indication to this effect is given in the letter of Com. Stalin to the editorial office of “Proletarskaia revoliutsiia.”

This booklet is dedicated to exposing one of the most important parts of the theory of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyism – its views on imperialism and on the general crisis of the capitalist system. Far from depleting this issue in detail, the authors trace the outline of the main arguments of Trotsky and his theoretical squire E. Preobrazhensky, show the essentially social-fascist character of the Trotskyist conception of imperialism and the general crisis of capitalism. Releasing the present book, Institute of Economics of Leningrad Branch of Communist Academy continues work in exposing the theoretical views of counter-revolutionary Trotskyism on the basis of the positive development of the main issues socialist construction and struggle of the international proletariat.

Institute of Economics


Com. Stalin’s letter, ‘About a Few Questions on the History of Bolshevism’ and the speech by Com. Kaganovich at the tenth anniversary of the ICP with extreme clarity and Bolshevik sharpness characterise the role of Trotskyism as the frontline of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie and reveal the specific new form of its sorties. They draw attention to Trotskyism and to the danger of an unhealthy liberalism towards this contraband theory, which borders on the betrayal of the working class. Com. Stalin’s letter also calls upon communists – workers of the theoretical front to raise all our theoretical work to a new and higher level.

The realisation of this task requires, first of all, a basic positive reworking of the actual problem of socialist construction in the USSR and the fight of the international proletariat. At the same time a deep critique and exposure of each and every bourgeois, social-fascist, Trotskyite and opportunist theory is a must. In particular, a detailed exposure of the theoretical views of Trotskyism is necessary, which, to date, has unfortunately, received very little attention in our theoretical work.

The present work should be considered as one of the links in the chain of the works exposing counter-revolutionary Trotskyism. Before getting down in earnest to an exposition of the theme, it is necessary to take into consideration three moments.

Firstly, my report is not the only one being presented here on this topic. That is why it does not seek to completely exhaust the theme. In particular, I am not dealing with the last work of Preobrazhensky, to which Com. Kosharsky’s report is dedicated. Secondly, that circle of questions, which my report will touch upon, will not be exhaustively treated. I look upon this work only as an introduction to the exposure of the views of counter-revolutionary Trotskyism on the question of contemporary capitalism. This introductory work should be followed up with a more detailed and intensive critique. In this context it is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that the evolution of Trotskyism, having now become the front line of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, is also linked to specific developments in its theoretical viewpoints. Trotsky has gone far ahead of those utterances which had a place then, when Trotsky was a still a leader of the opposition in the VKP(B). However, I will not here trace the development of Trotsky’s views in detail, all the more so since the general thrust of his views on modern capitalism has not undergone any change.

The last observation is related to the point of whether Trotskyism has a system of theoretical views at all, and views on the nature of imperialism and the universal crisis of capitalism, in particular. There is no argument over the fact that in Trotskyism there is a lot of eclectics, simple mazes and so on. Apart from that, a systematic ‘theory’ of Trotskyism has not been developed anywhere by its founder. Nevertheless, I propose that by tearing into the ‘fictive writings’ of Trotsky and his accomplices it is possible to reveal a well-known system of views, ultra-revolutionary in appearance and capitulatory in essence which are, in a specific sense, bound together. This is what I shall try to demonstrate here.

I will first deal with Trotsky’s positing of the problem of imperialism. This position is different at the core from Lenin’s, but is therefore very close to Kautsky’s. In this there is nothing surprising. Kautskyism and Trotskyism have proved themselves to be two variations of centrism; they have a great deal in common in methodology, in separate theoretical utterances, as well as in tactical objectives.

L. Trotsky’s Theory of Imperialism and the Universal Crisis of Capitalism

V. Serebryakov

The definition that Trotsky gives imperialism stipulates: ‘What is imperialism? It is – the aspiration of capitalism to stop the existence of small governments’.1 It is not difficult to see that here is a pure Kautskian formulation. The Kautskian theory of imperialism glosses over the more entrenched and core contradictions of imperialism that are tied up with the supremacy of monopoly. The contradiction between the social character of production and the private form of appropriation, the contradiction between monopolies and non-monopoly milieux, the contradictions between the monopolists themselves, etc., which are manifested in monopoly capitalism and which gives rise to them, are ignored by this theory.

It is precisely this ignoring of the contradictions of imperialism that Lenin had underlined with all his might, that is characteristic of Trotskyism. In the works of Trotsky and the Trotskyites imperialism is not interpreted as the last stage of capitalism, prepared by the march of the development of contradictions of capitalism and representing the stage of their further extreme sharpening and heating up, but only as some kind of a representation of actions, ‘born of the international pretensions of the national capital of the great powers’.2 Imperialism appears further not as a special stage of capitalism, but only as a specific political tendency, the temporal limits of which are quite blurred, and the spatial – very narrow. The monopolistic character of capitalism is either completely ignored or is left in the shadows.

To the extent that Trotsky speaks of the contradictions of imperialism, he completely identifies them with the contradiction between world economy and national states. The whole sum of deep contradictions and antagonisms of imperialism, according to his theory, is just an elaborate stating of the fact that national-state boundaries stand in the way of international economic relationships. ‘Imperialism’, formulates Trotsky, ‘is that capitalist-predatory expression of this tendency of the economy – to finally break out of this idiotism of national limitations as it had in its time got out of the idiotism of the village and regional boundaries’.3 It is not difficult to see how vague, unclear, limited and one can say toothless such an understanding of imperialism is. And it is not difficult to notice that the role of imperialism, in Trotsky’s view, essentially leads to the fulfillment of the progressive task of ‘breaking off from the idiotism of nationalist limits’ and to build a global economy. If this is felt clearly in the above quotation then this is even more obvious in other formulations of Trotsky. ‘Imperialism’, he writes, ‘is a capitalist-predatory expression of a progressive tendency of economic development: to build a human economy in global framework, freeing it of the embarrassing fetters of the nation and state’.4 And Trotsky posits this as a sign of equality between imperialism and the fight for international self-realisation.5

In all his formulations of the problem of imperialism, Trotsky ignores the contradictions of imperialism, fully identifying it with the theory of contemporary social fascism and decisively parting with the Leninist teaching on imperialism. For Trotsky the deep contradictions between the productive forces and capitalist relations of productions, the contradictions in the very base of capitalism, do not exist at all. He accepts in the best instance, only the presence of contradictions between the production forces and the state superstructure, even though this contradiction is interpreted as not being of a deep or core order. Even when Trotsky acts directly against Kautsky, he formulates the matter in the following way: ‘The powerful productive forces, this decisive factor of historical movement choked in those backward superstructural organisations (private property6 and the national state) in which they were enclosed by the preceding development’. (It must be noted that Trotsky does not see at all the active role of productive relations – V.S.)7

There is no doubt that between the growth of productive forces of the global economy and its partition into states, there exists a sharp and deep contradiction, the direct result of which was the World War (1914-1918). But firstly, one cannot separate this contradiction from the whole system of contradictions of imperialism. One cannot take it as anything but as an expression of the general conflict between the social character of production and the private form of appropriation, between production forces and production relations, which become fetters to their development. Secondly, it is not possible to formulate the deep contradiction between the growth of world production forces and national-state boundaries as an apologetic thesis that imperialism is the struggle for world assertion and is directed precisely towards the aim of breaking economy from the ‘the idiotism of national limitations’.

This apologetic thesis with pleasure repeats, on the heels of Trotsky, one of the more intelligent and cunning representatives of social- fascism, Karl Renner. In a special article ‘Nationalwirtschaft und Weltwirtschaft’ and later in the brochure ‘Nationalwirtschaft, Weltwirtschaft und Sozialismus’ Renner, in a verbose manner, expands theses which are not dissimilar to those of Trotsky. The basic contradiction of the contemporary world according to Renner – is the contradiction between the world economy and national states. The struggle of these two forces according to Renner will lead to the victory of capitalist international economy and the establishing of a new free developing international order. Whether this order will be of capitalism or socialism, Renner does not wish to elaborate.

‘State sovereignty’, writes Renner, ‘became a brake for the development of economy’.8 ‘National economy is staging a desperate battle against international economy, a battle with a doubtful, but often indisputable, outcome’.9 National economy and international economy have become two poles of antagonistic development. ‘We are experiencing a dialectical process, from which will emerge a new world order.’10 And from this chain of judgements, Renner comes to the conclusion that the working class should strive towards parting with the framework of national governments by supporting the League of Nations, pan-European union etc., and that the working class should fight for the development of the capitalist world economy.

Trotsky’s well-known slogan ‘United States of Europe’ is a slogan, according to Lenin, deeply reactionary, substituting the task of the struggle for socialist revolution with the struggle for the creation of a capitalist federative government. This idea corresponds closely to the statements of Renner and Hilferding.

If we follow the genesis of the theory, according to which the decisive and sole contradiction of the modern world is the contradiction between world economy and nation-state boundaries, then we will reach the ‘father’ of this social-fascist theory, Kautsky. And in the works of Kautsky we will read that the solution to this contradiction is not socialism, but ultra-imperialism.

Even Trotsky cannot get out of this conclusion. This conclusion flows out of Trotsky’s general positing of the problems of imperialism. And its outline even more concretely appears in Trotsky’s interpretation of specific problems.


The leitmotif of Trotsky’s theory of imperialism goes through all individual statements of Trotsky and his researchers. Not being able to talk about all these remarks, I will address the following key issues: 1) Ignoring the monopolistic nature of capitalism and lubrication the role of monopolies; 2) an original version of the Trotskyist theory of fading competition; 3) The theory of centralization and pan-European Trust, 4) perversion of the law of uneven capitalist development under imperialism and denial of the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country; 5) Trotskyist explanation of the reasons and results of the imperialist world war.

The general setting of Trotsky’s theory of imperialism predetermines the misunderstanding of monopoly, as the essence of imperialism, as a specific form of motion of contradiction between the social character of production and private form of appropriation. Speaking on the subject in one rank with Kautsky and Rosa Luxemburg, Trotsky reduces the whole problem of monopoly to the presence of monopolistic associations in the industry, and then assigns this fact to a subordinate and inconspicuous place in the overall system of laws of imperialism.

No wonder if these capitalist monopolies are depicted by Trotsky as quite harmless and gentle organization. About trusts and banks Trotsky wrote very little, but still all this reeks with apologetic embellishment. Here are two small examples. «Even close to the monopoly position Trust – says Trotsky – does not set itself the task to cover the whole market with its products at any given time. In boom times trusts often admit the existence of untrusted enterprises around, allowing them to meet the excess demand and saving themselves from this risky new capital investment.11 According to Lenin, the contradiction between the “cartels and trusts, on the one hand, and non-cartel industry, on the other hand,” is one of “the most profound and fundamental contradictions of imperialism”.12 Trotsky, however, following Kautsky glosses over this contradiction, drawing a picture of amicable relations between trust and outsiders; Trust does not set itself the task to oust the outsider, the latter in turn eliminates the trust of various unpleasant things.

The way Trotsky sees the relationship of monopoly capitalists, can be clearly seen from a hypothetical reasoning, which he holds in his speech in the Industrial and Economic Council of the Supreme Economic Council. Trotsky imagines a “prudent powerful banker who financed several competing with each other trusts” and depicts the mode of action of the banker. «”He wants to have a percentage from each of them (i.e. – trusts. VS.) ; they compete with each other; they may inadvertently (!) destroy each other; bankruptcy of the one is bankruptcy of another one, it entails the risk of loss, and it cannot be allowed. And so the whole policy of the banker is to ensure primarily his interest without destroying the course of competition, because this would lead to unification and emancipation of clients and would threaten the sovereignty of Banking. On the other hand, it is also impossible to allow to complete their mutual destruction, because it destroys his own profits ».13

So, the modern banker acts as a rather idyllic person taking care about his clients not to be destroyed, and not to be consumed by each other. Instead of the utmost brightness of the image of Lenin’s picture of governing monopolist capital, fiercely fighting for dominance, spreading “the relations of domination and associated violence” and forcefully falling on its competitors, including outsiders, from the pen of Trotsky appear good-natured vegetarians – the trusts quite satisfied by the existence of outsiders, and the banks making every effort to temper the competition and peacefully receive a percentage.

It is easy to see that this kind of image (or rather obscuring) of the role of monopolies already contains the setting of fading competition in the era of imperialism. There is no doubt that the statements of Trotsky on the competition represent a variant of bourgeois apologetic theory of softening and fading competition, other options of which (of the theory) we find in the writings of explicit bourgeois economists (Weber, Sombart, Saltz et al.), in the works of social-fascists (Hilferding, Kautsky, Loewe, Binshtok et al) and in the works of Com. Bukharin.

However, Trotsky is not satisfied with the arguments regarding the mitigation of competition in the domestic market, some examples of which I have quoted above. With a special zeal and passion he develops the thesis of fading international competition. Expression of this thesis is the Trotskyist theory, according to which the European countries are striving to stop mutual competition and merge into a single United States.

According to Trotsky, the guiding theme of the rulers of Europe is the formula: “beggars cannot be choosers”.14 Other expression of this thesis is the notorious theory implying that the USA acquire absolutely dominant position in the world economy, which excludes any competition from other countries, and put Europe on rations. «Now the American capital, according to Trotsky, commands and order's diplomats. It is prepared and it is going to order the European banks and trusts, the European bourgeoisie as a whole in the same way... it proceeds to this. It will cut the market into portions, it will ration the activity of the European financiers and European industrialists. If to clearly and distinctly answer to the question what the American capital wants, we have to say the following: he wants to put capitalist Europe on rations.15 The third expression for the same thesis is the statement that in relation to Europe, and especially to England, the USA prefer not the shape of a fierce struggle, but a peaceful form of cooperation. The fourth expression of the same setup, is the categorical assertion that a serious struggle between the USA and Japan is not possible, because “of course the United States and Japan will cope».16 Now, at the time of exacerbation of the US-Japanese struggle, this “theory” very clearly reveals its apologetic falsity, and it is highly characteristic that, in contrast to Trotsky, Lenin yet in his article “On Concessions” stressed the inevitability of war between Japan and the USA.

If you put together all the individual arguments of Trotsky on those or other contradictions between the imperialist powers, it is easy to see a thoroughly apologetic installation of fading international competition under all these arguments. Trotsky developed “originally” this idea by writing his “theory of allowance” and theory of “United States of Europe.” But these are only the patterns against the background of the general idea, entirely merging with the construction of the theoretical leader of the social-fascism Hilferding, fugitive Russian Mensheviks Binshtok G. et al.

From the theory of fading competition there is only one step to the recognition of the Hilferding thesis on universal global cartel, in other words, on the World organized capitalism. Trotsky, without revealing it straightly, essentially makes this step and accepts not only the theory of universal cartel, but the basic underlying mechanistic interpretation of interlocking trends of capitalism.

It is known, as Marx showed, that in the process of capital accumulation tendencies to concentration and centralization of production and capital develop immanently. The interlocking trend increases and reaches a huge development in the era of imperialism.

What is the last conceivable limit of this interlocking trend? “In any given society – says Marx – this limit would be reached only at the moment when the entire social capital would have been connected in the hands of a single capitalist or a single capitalist society".17 The same idea is stressed by Lenin, when he states: “There is no doubt that the development goes in the direction to a single trust, worldwide, absorbing all enterprises without exception and all states without exception”.18

What conclusion do the dialectical materialists draw here? The dialectical materialists – Marx, Engels and Lenin take the interlocking trend as one of the conflicting tendencies of capitalism, consider it in real and indissoluble, inconsistent unity with the entire set of historical tendencies of capitalism, show it against the background of heating up contradictions of the capitalist system, that lead the system inevitably to its downfall. No wonder why Marx shows how the centralization – the extent of capital is necessarily accompanied by their repulsion, as the development of the centralization, together with the whole process of the expanded reproduction, gigantically deepens the contradiction between the labour process and the process of the value increase, as the centralization becomes the material precondition for the transition from capitalism to socialism, as at a certain stage the centralization of the means of production and socialization of labour become incompatible with their capitalist integument, which must burst inevitably . No wonder why Lenin having emphasized that the development goes in the direction to the world trust, immediately defines:

“However, the development proceeds under such circumstances, at such a pace, through such contradictions, conflicts and upheavals – not only economic, but also political, national, and so on, that certainly before it comes to one world trust, to ‘super-imperialistic’ world association of national financial capital, imperialism will burst inevitably and capitalism will turn into its opposite”.

The Mechanist will approach the question quite differently. He will pull out the interlocking trend of the overall system of the trends and contradictions of capitalism. He will “distract” himself from the contradictions of the process of the centralization, holding this process as the sole one or at least as the basic process of capitalism. He will detach himself from this particular stage of centralization, he will jump logically across a number of incomplete stages and “thinking within the limits” will depict the interlocking trend in its final complete form which it can never reach. And from here The Mechanist will safely come to a theory of universal cartel, ultra-imperialism, organized capitalism. It was the path of Hilferding. It was the path of Kautsky. It was the path of Bukharin he who only got scared of the final step – from the national “state capitalist trust” to the universal world trust. And Trotsky goes along the same path.

As we have seen above, Trotsky reduces the whole being of imperialism”19 to the interlocking trend. Trotsky declared that “the centralizing tendency of the modern economy is the major one, and it must possess the full opportunity to truly fulfil its historic liberating mission: the construction of the combined world economy, independent of national frameworks and state-of customs checkpoints, subordinate only to the properties of the soil, the subsoil of the earth, climate and the needs of the division of labour ... It is necessary that the scope of the state as an economic, but not a national organization, spread, covering the whole capitalist (NB) Europe cut up by customs and borders and now being torn by the war.19 From this point Trotsky passes straight to the ultra imperialistic slogan: “United States of Europe – without monarchies, standing armies and secret diplomacy".20 This slogan that replaces the problem of the proletarian revolution by the problem of putting together a new, ultra imperialistic state, this slogan that deceives the masses’ assertion that the capitalist state might be possible without standing armies and secret diplomacy – this slogan is declared by Trotsky , “the most important part of the proletarian peace programme in 1917 (by this he does not give up nor in 1922 or later)”. And in contrast to Lenin, who stated with complete clarity : “The United States of Europe under capitalism are either impossible or reactionary.”21 Trotsky wrote: “If the capitalist countries of Europe managed to unite in the imperialist trust, of course, this step would mean a step forward in comparison with the current state. “. . In another article, “Natsiya i khoziaystvo” (“The nation and the economy”) (“Nashe slovo” – “Our word” July 3, 1915) he spoke about the “imperialist desire to overcome the limited scope of the national capitalist economy and by means of measures of military violence to create the world empire.”

Trotsky does not hide the fact that throughout his argument he directly argues against Lenin’s article “On the Slogan for the United States of Europe.” Indeed, we have here two diametrically opposed concepts. Lenin’s concept is the course for the proletarian revolution, for the victory of socialism firstly in several countries or in one country, for the energetic assistance from this country to the world socialist revolution. Trotsky’s concept is the policy of creating the ultra-imperialistic United States of Europe, that are logically bound to be followed by the global ultra-imperialism. Centrist Trotsky is quite in agreement with centrist Kautsky, no matter how many angry words he uttered in the name of the last.

Also today counterrevolutionary Trotsky is in the same camp with the counter-revolutionary, social-fascist Kautsky, whatever quarrels they may take place within this single camp of international counter-revolution. And the Trotskyite theory of the United States of Europe becomes the official theory of social fascism, written down in the programme of German Social Democracy..


Interlocking issue of assessing trends, the possibility ultra-imperialism, etc. are closely and inextricably linked to the issue of uneven capitalist development and in particular to the law of uneven capitalist development in the era of imperialism. In developing his thesis, Trotsky cannot but reject the Marxist doctrine of the uneven development of capitalism, cannot but start a battle against the law of uneven development under imperialism that was opened and reasoned by Lenin .

What is Lenin’s law of uneven capitalist development under imperialism? Deepening capitalist contradictions at a certain stage lead to a new form of movement being, thus, a form and a factor of their further aggravation to the monopoly. “Classic” capitalism turns into monopoly capitalism, into imperialism. Capitalist desire for monopolistic mastery of production, markets, sources of raw materials, application of capital items, and so on, enhances tremendously the uneven development of capitalism. Unevenness impulsiveness, hopping, conflict of development turns into a decisive force, becomes a pervading and characteristic feature of imperialism. Development of some enterprises is performed at the expense of others, through the bitter struggle and sharpest conflicts. Development of some industries takes place by the marginalization of others, and again in violent conflicts. Finally – and this is a particularly important aspect of the matter – the development of capitalist countries takes place in steps, some of them displace the other, the possibility of development of some of them under the territorial division of the world rests on the development of others, and there are inevitable conflicts and wars. The available in the world economy trend toward equalization, levelling of layers of capitalist development in different countries not only but diminish the unevenness, but perform both the background and the base of this non-uniformity, as the levelling trends cause conflicts all the time, thus the desire to align the level of the advanced countries and exceed this level makes the development more abrupt and discontinuous, because on the part of the “catching up” countries we have seen the same spasmodic and abrupt development, as finally all this leads inevitably to war – the highest expression of the unevenness of development and conflictness of imperialistic development. The law of unevenness, leading to conflicts and wars, is a powerful factor of the decomposition of capitalism, of its weakening and leads to the fact that it becomes easier for the revolutionary proletariat to break the world imperialist front.

From Lenin’s law of uneven capitalist development under imperialism directly follows the conclusion of the uneven development of the world proletarian revolution, the possibility of breaking the imperialist chain initially in one or in a few links and the possibility of victorious socialism in a single or in a few countries. “The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in different countries. It cannot be otherwise under commercial production. Hence it is irrefutable that socialism cannot be victorious simultaneously in all countries. It wins first in one or several countries, while others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.22

These are the main features of the Leninist law of uneven development under imperialism, so perfectly articulated by Comrade Stalin in the following words:

“Talking about this law,, Lenin proceeded from the fact that old, pre-monopoly capitalism has already turned into imperialism; that the world economy is developing in a frenzied struggle between the principal imperialist groups for territory, markets, raw materials, and so on, that the division of the world into spheres of influence of imperialist groups is already completed; that the development of the capitalist countries is not uniform, not so that one followed the other', or in parallel to another, but in steps, by ousting some countries who had gone ahead earlier, and the transfer of the new countries to the forefront; that this manner of development of the capitalist countries inevitably leads to conflicts and wars between the capitalist powers for a new division of the already divided world; that these conflicts and wars lead to the weakening of imperialism; that the world imperialist front becomes therefore easily vulnerable to its breakthrough in certain countries; that in view of this, victory of socialism in individual countries becomes possible.23

The interpretation of the law of unevenness by Trotsky is diametrically opposite to the setting of Lenin – Stalin. Trotsky knows that Lenin’s law was formulated with a special brightness exactly in controversy with Trotsky, that the point of this law is directed primarily against Trotskyism. And hiding behind the disputes with Stalin, he tries to take the revenge on Lenin.

First Trotsky argues that the law of uneven development is the “law of all human history,” or, as he even calls “the most general law of the historical process".24 Here, following the favourite device of the mechanists and repeating the behinds of bourgeois economics, he ignores all the qualitative facets, the specifics of capitalism and tries to make a live, specific pattern of capitalism to an ahistorical nothing, one of those platitudes over which mocked Marx.

Trotsky then proves that in the XIX century the unevenness was greater than in the XX century. Thus, rather than to present the law of unevenness as a decisive force of imperialist development, Trotsky reduces it to a perfect nothing, to something far less than the undeveloped unevenness of the era of “classical” capitalism.

Trotsky refers further to the fact that imperialism develops the “levelling tendencies.” Thus, discovering a thoroughly anti-dialectical methodology, he hides the most important circumstance, that consists in the fact that the levelling is only another controversial aspect of the unevenness, that the levelling itself boosts and forces the unevenness, that it is the exact binding of the levelling and unevenness that gives a sharply pronounced spasmodic, choppy and conflicting nature to the whole imperialist development.

Continuing his “theory”, Trotsky interprets the law of the unevenness as a formula of different levels of development of various countries. Trotsky thus reveals a thoroughly narrow-minded, thoroughly petty-bourgeois understanding of the Leninist law. The law of the uneven development under imperialism does not come from the recognition of increasing differences in the levels of development. On the contrary, there is no doubt that the difference in absolute levels of development of the capitalist countries gets reduced. But it is against this background those phenomena are deployed about which the Leninist law of the unevenness says: jumps, conflicts that characterize all the dynamics of imperialism. Any other setting and especially the Trotskyite statement regarding the increasing smoothing differences means rolling down to the Kautskyite position of ultra imperialism, as very clearly stated comrade Stalin.

Thus, all the arguments of Trotsky are thoroughly incorrect, stem from purely philistine ideas, show a complete misunderstanding (or unwillingness to understand) of the dialectics, obscure the deepest contradictions of imperialism, merge entirely with Kautskyism. All this does not prevent Trotsky to believe that he finished with Lenin and broke the Leninist teaching on the unevenness of imperialist development and the consequent victory of socialism in one country.

It is not accidental that the thesis of the possibility of victorious socialism in a few or even one single capitalist country was particularly detailed, sharply and strongly formulated by Lenin just in controversy with Trotsky, in the already above-mentioned remarkable article “On the Slogan for the United States of Europe “. Also there is nothing surprising in the fact that Trotsky hastened to oppose this very Lenin’s article, putting in his article “The programme of peace” the same arguments that he later many times repeated and repeated until today, clumsily hiding the fact that they are directed against Lenin.

In his article Lenin, on the basis of a concrete analysis of imperialism and of the law of unevenness, cheerfully calls to a breakthrough of the imperialist front initially at least in one country, noting that the revolution in one country will act as the beginning of the world revolution and the victory of socialism in this country will serve a mighty factor of the deployment of the world revolutionary process. Trotsky, on the contrary, in opposition to Lenin develops a deeply defeatist attitude according to which “... it is hopeless to think that a revolutionary Russia could hold out in the face of a conservative Europe or socialist Germany could exist in isolation in the capitalist world.”25

All the Trotskyist formulation of the question of the victory of socialism in one country is a combination of capitulation and adventurism, defeatism and lush “revolutionary phrase”, which, as we shall try to show still further, was the most characteristic feature of Trotsky. It is therefore natural that Trotsky, trying to wear the toga “of the leftists”, foretold the defeat of the Russian revolution and the impossibility of building socialism in the USSR. It is natural, that Trotsky, claiming to be the “leftist”, during the XV Party Conference prophesied that, in the best case, the building of socialism would take “at least” 30-50 years.26

And it is not by chance that now, at the outposts of the anti-Soviet front, Trotsky fights against the Soviet Union, which entered the period of socialism, completed the construction of the foundations of socialist economy, irrevocably solved Lenin’s question “who is who” in this country, in favour of socialism. To be fair to Trotsky: he coherently developed and implemented into the counter-revolutionary practice the thesis on the impossibility of the victory of socialism in one country; at the same time the party of Lenin not less consistently pursues and implements the Leninist thesis on the possibility of victory of socialism in one country.

Here it is necessary to briefly analyze certain latest quirks of Trotsky. Putting shame upon himself with the denial of Lenin’s law of uneven development, now Trotsky is trying to prove that he highly appreciates and understands the law, beginning from 1905, thus he formulated it before Lenin and should be recognized as the author. According to Trotsky, his notorious theory of “permanent revolution” is just based on the law of unevenness. “Anticipating that historically backward Russia could arrive at the proletarian revolution sooner than advanced England – Trotsky states importantly – is entirely based on the law of uneven development.”27

This result, pleasant for Trotsky, is achieved by the following tricks. Firstly, it appears as if the essence of the theory of permanent revolution lies in the fact that the proletarian revolution can occur in Russia earlier than in England, and as if this important discovery is namely made by Trotsky. Meanwhile, it is sheer nonsense. The whole theory of the permanent revolution is directed to a conclusion about the impossibility of a victorious proletarian revolution in Russia, to the conclusion that without immediate international revolution, the Russian Revolution was doomed to defeat. In this regard, the statement that Russia, in general, can come to a revolution before England, explains nothing, and to reduce the law of unevenness to this flat Trotskyite conclusion means to completely slur it.

Secondly, agreeing to admit that a revolution can happen in Russia earlier than in England, Trotsky carefully avoids another really important conclusion that socialism can win in Russia earlier than in England, and this is just another formulation of the thesis of the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country. Thirdly, Trotsky (not for the first time) throws out of the law of unevenness in the era of imperialism the moment of the conflictness of development, of imperialist struggle, of wars, etc., that is of everything that makes it possible to break the world imperialist chain and to achieve the victory of socialism initially in one or several countries. Thus having emasculated the law of the unevenness and reducing it to the super flat thesis that not everything is performed in the world at the same time, Trotsky “convinces” the reader that he clearly understood the law of the unevenness and applied it even 10 years before Lenin’s article “On the Slogan of the United States of Europe”.

But if Trotsky’s arguments can convince in something, then only in the fact that the confused renegade combines a complete lack of understanding of the law of the unevenness with the most shameless scam around this law.

And if until recently anyone could doubt that Trotsky caught nothing in the Leninist law of unevenness, now Trotsky dispels all doubts, stating in italics: “uneven development consists precisely in skipping over the stage.”

Trotsky made another quirk in the already cited article from Contre le Courant. Storming here as a criticism of the programme of the Comintern on Lenin’s famous quote from the article about the United States of Europe (Trotsky says nothing about where the quote is taken), he states that namely from the law of unevenness follows the impossibility of the victory of socialism in one country. The only “argument” in this case is that “sporadic and uneven development of individual countries ... in no way eliminates the growing economic ties and interdependencies of these countries”. Trotsky here makes it look as if he does not know that Lenin and Stalin not only denied the existence of the imperialist plexus of all countries, but also showed how the breakthrough of the imperialist chain in the weakest link was inevitable. Hence, then, he implies the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country.

Trotsky goes even further in the falsification of Leninism. He tries to “prove” that the teachings of Lenin and the Bolsheviks on the victory of socialism in one country come to the same conclusion as the pre-war social- opportunists, according to whom socialism will be built earlier in the most highly developed countries, and then in the rest. There is no need to explain that in reality the Bolshevik position diametrically opposed the social democratic. Trotsky himself knows it. But he never sinned with the excess of the theoretical and political integrity.


To finish with the main issues of Trotsky’s theory of imperialism, it remains to touch very briefly the point how Trotsky assessed the imperialist world war of 1914 – 1918 and what kind of policy in relation to this war he recommended to the international proletariat. In this regard, the following basic settings were characteristic of Trotsky:

1) The war represents «a revolt of the productive forces, nourished by capitalism, against the nation-state forms of their exploitation». 2) «The objective meaning of war is to destroy the current national economic nests for the sake of the world economy». 3) The proletariat must fight for peace, rejecting the slogan of defeatism and transformation of imperialist war into a civil one. 4) The proletariat must seek not the solution of the «national» problems: the overthrow of the tsarist regime, the resolution of the Balkan issue and so on, but the creation of the republican United States of Europe. 5) The main reason for the collapse of the II International was «the spirit of organizational inertia» ruling there.28

It is easy to see that all these Trotsky’s provisions are directly related to his overall interpretation of the imperialism. Similarly, it is easy to see that all of them not only diverge sharply from Lenin’s analysis of the war, but right set up against it.

Lenin stressed most insistently that the war was an expression of the entire set of the contradictions of imperialism. «Capitalism has developed concentration to such extent – he wrote – that whole industries has been seized by syndicates, trusts and associations of capitalist billionaires, and almost the entire globe has been divided between these « lords of capital» in the form of colonies, or by enmeshing other countries in thousands of threads of financial exploitation. Free trade and competition are replaced by the pursuit for the monopoly, for the seizure of territory for the capital, for the export of raw materials, and so on».29 Lenin says «the inevitable connection between wars and the class struggle within the country», points out that «the imperialist capital has become the greatest oppressor of nations» and so on.

Thus Lenin deduces the war from all the binding of the imperialist contradictions and above all from the essence of the imperialism – from the monopoly. Trotsky acts quite differently. The war serves him as a means of resolving a single naked contradiction between the world economy and nation-states, the contradiction from which its essence is emasculated.

Hence, the difference in the formulation of the problem of overcoming the contradictions caused by the war. For Lenin, the genuine overcoming of these contradictions lies only in the ways of transforming the imperialist war into civil, in the ways of the proletarian revolution.

For Trotsky the outcome is much more simple, because the whole thing boils down to resolve the contradiction between world economy and a nation-state (I would stress once again: the contradictions are taken bare, in isolation, emasculated) . The proletariat does not have to organize a civil war. The proletariat should fight for peace. It is enough to throw out the following slogan:

No annexations.
No contributions;
Right of every nation to self-determination.
UNITED STATES OF EUROPE – without monarchs,
WITHOUT standing armies,
WITHOUT feudal ruling castes.
WITHOUT secret diplomacy ”.30

The whole context shows quite clearly that we are talking about bourgeois United States of Europe, a bourgeois democratic republic. “Leftist’ Trotsky does not count essentially on the proletarian revolution. No wonder, he throws a phrase that war, accelerating revolution, at the same time weakens it internally.31

And Trotsky not only opposes his pacifist centrist slogan to Lenin’s slogan. He conducts a truly permanent struggle against Bolshevism and its relation to war.

In a programmatic article on the anniversary of the Trotskyist newspaper "Your word" Trotsky writes: "Our word" had and have to wage an ideological struggle against extremism, as the ideological trend, which, represents an implacable reaction against social patriotism and wait-and- conciliatory formlessness, it searches against them often fictitious guarantees of ignoring the established previous development or generated by war political and national issues, in exaggeration of revolutionary slogans (" defeat of Russia -is the lesser evil", "not the struggle for peace, but civil war ") or in organizational separation from all other shades of internationalism.”32

I could quote many more citations, testifying for the fierce struggle waged by Trotsky against “extremism”, that is to say against Bolshevism. Trotsky “proves” that the slogans of defeatism are discarded by “all revolutionary internationalist vanguard of the Russian proletariat.” He is not shy to hint transparently enough at the fact that the Bolsheviks operate in favour of the German imperialism. He forcefully fights against the policy of turning war into a civil one. Finally Trotsky is particularly concerned that the Bolsheviks dissociate themselves from centrism with full clarity and organizationally. “Leftist” Trotsky is configured quite differently. Even criticizing Kautsky, Trotsky hurries to emphasize in italics that Kautsky is “our political ally.”33

The complete antithesis between Lenin’s and Trotsky’s attitude towards Kautsky is particularly striking here.

And after this still remain Trotskyist smugglers who allow themselves to say that Lenin did not conduct the irreconcilable struggle against centrism in general and against Kautsky in particular. Slutsky “made a little mistake”: he confused Lenin with his inspirer Trotsky.

But Trotsky is not limited to the fact that he fights against the “sectarianism” of the Zimmerwald left and advertises his alliance with Kautsky. He tries to give a “theoretical” justification for the collapse of the II International, which would gloss over the deepest roots of this phenomenon established by Lenin. Trotsky never mentions about the isolation of the labour aristocracy, its decay, and so on. The thing is to ensure that in the II International, dominated by the “spirit of organizational inertia” by virtue of which the old methods of work were transferred to the new conditions, where they were no longer valid. On this item again seen the exact opposite of setting of Lenin and setting of Trotsky

I tried to show the Trotskyist interpretation of the war of 1914-1918. We can only emphasize that these statements of Trotsky are not of a “conjunctural” nature. No wonder, in 1922, releasing the book “War and Revolution”, Trotsky defends his old position in the introduction. No wonder, arguing that the revolution eliminated the differences on this issue, Trotsky preferred to keep silent about who was right. And the whole context leaves no doubt that in 1922 also Trotsky was convinced of the correctness of his thoroughly centrist, thoroughly bourgeois-pacifist position.


I turn now from the general problems of the theory of imperialism to the range of issues that directly related to the post-war capitalism, to the capitalism era of its general crisis.

It would be hopeless to seek any clear distinction between the pre-war era of imperialism and imperialist general crisis of the capitalist system in the writings of Trotsky and his squires. Trotsky does not understand at all that imperialism is not only a certain political ploy, but represents a special and, moreover, the last stage of capitalism. Naturally, therefore, Trotsky and the Trotskyists are also unable to reveal the existence of separate stages within the imperialism. This leads them very often to the fact that only glowing contradictions of the general crisis are set to the general – less frequently valid, but more often contrived by the Trotskyists – the pre-war contradictions of imperialism. Sometimes, on the contrary, that is most clearly shown by Preobrazhensky, the specific features of the general crisis are transferred to the entire epoch of the imperialism.

Similarly, the Trotskyists fail to understand the difference and the ratio between the cyclical capitalist crisis and the general crisis of the capitalist system. If they talk about the general crisis of capitalism (and, as a rule, they prefer not to talk about it), the latter acts as a prolonged or chronic repetitive conventional economic crisis.

Finally the Trotskyists are absolutely unable to present the general crisis as a process of the collapse of capitalism , a process that represents the unity of the economic, political and other moments. Trotsky and the Trotskyists depict the collapse of capitalism as an automatic “purely economic” process. Such a formulation demobilizes the proletariat, in fact it invites to wait quietly for the natural death of capitalism, and at the same time, as soon as the signs of any development of capitalism are shown, it creates capitulation and alarmism.

This approach, of course, excludes the possibility of any approaching to the correct understanding of the phenomena of the general crisis of capitalism. This approach leads to a complete distortion of the real state of capitalism. This does not prevent, however, Trotsky and his associates to develop the whole, though not always harmonious, system of views on the post-war capitalism. The important components of the Trotskyist concept are as follows: 1) the thesis on stagnation, stagnation of the productive forces; 2) the cessation clause of cyclical development in contemporary capitalism; 3) the setting regarding the mitigation of international imperialist contradictions; 4) hiding of all binding contradictions arising from the struggle metropolitan colonies; 5) hiding the class struggle in post-war capitalism and its most acute manifestations; 6) the thesis about the irresistible dependence of the USSR on the world capitalist economy and the consequent distortion of the whole problem of the struggle between the two systems. We will analyze these major issues, inevitably leaving without considering a number of other ones.

Primarily, Trotsky distorts completely the main question that determines the nature of each stage of capitalist development, the question of how the contradiction between the productive forces and the bourgeois productive relations performs at this stage. Complex dialectics of productive forces and productive relations do not exist for him here. Therefore, he cannot imagine the sharpest contradiction between the productive forces and productive relations in the modern capitalism, except in the form that productive relations simply stop the development of the productive forces. Trotsky certainly remembers Marx’s proposition that, at certain stage of their development bourgeois production relations become the fetters of the productive forces. However, Trotsky cannot imagine it dialectically. Once the productive relations have become the fetters, it means stagnation, it means a complete stagnation. So, Hegel, here is both a book wisdom and the meaning of all the philosophy.

And Trotsky says: «From a theoretical point of view, socialism has a right to exist precisely because capitalism is unable to develop the productive forces. Our revolution has grown on the economic basis and we reached the revolution as the main part of the world economy. If capitalism discovered that it is able to break the productive forces, it would mean that we are basically wrong with the general diagnosis that capitalism is a progressive force.

That it develops its strength faster than we, that we appeared too early, and history acts very cool over the prematurely born.”34

This conclusion is strongly driven by Trotsky’s into the head of readers in a number of his works. “The European productive forces ceased to develop..., – he announces persistently when discussing issues of stabilization. – There is stagnation (stasis delay) with sharp, irregular fluctuations up and down, which make it impossible to even catch the market situation.”35

This conclusion follows from Trotsky’s concept in all his issues on imperialism. Ignoring the increase of the deepest contradictions of imperialism, discarding the Leninist law of the unevenness from the analysis of these contradictions, unseeing absolutely that monopolies necessarily generate the tendency to stagnation and decay and how this trend is intertwined with the development of the productive forces, Trotsky cannot properly assess the decay of the modern post-war capitalism. He can imagine only one of two things: either tendency to decay and stagnation acts (and this even Trotsky cannot but notice), then the development of the productive forces is excluded. Or the productive forces still develop somehow – then capitalism is progressive, then the victory of socialism is excluded . “If the capitalist world – says Trotsky – faced the possibility ofa new organic-lifting, it would find a new economic equilibrium ...then it would mean that we, as a socialist state, would perish.”36

At this point the most real capitulation appears with particular clarity from behind the apparent revolutionary spirit : In fact, as far as we see that the post-war capitalism lacks absolute stagnation of the productive forces – and this can see anyone, even a superficial observer, -then all the “revolutionary” theory of stagnation will turn to its rear part. “^s the further development of the productive forces within the framework of bourgeois society is inconceivable, then therefore the basic condition for the revolution – is here” – that is, so to say the “positive” formulation of the theory of stagnation. “If in the framework of bourgeois society it was conceivable to further develop the productive forces, the revolution would have been impossible in general” – this is a logically inevitable conclusion.37 And this conclusion crowns the whole theory. According to it, it is sufficient to detect the signs of development of the productive forces in the post-war capitalism, to lay down their arms, to recognize the revolution premature and to sit by a quiet sea in anticipation while the absolute stagnation comes and ushers in the coming of the era of the socialist revolution. Bottom line is clear. The theory of stagnation is the theory of defeatists and renegades. The theory of stagnation is a theory, the collapse of capitalism ad calendas graecas, that is to say, to the absolute automatic cessation of development of the productive forces. The theory of stagnation represents a variant of the theory of automatic collapse of capitalism, so vigorously exploited modern by “left” social fascism.

The theory of stagnation has yet another very interesting side. It represents decadence of capitalism in our times in the image and likeness of the decline of ancient Rome. Trotsky and his armour-bearer Preobrazhensky repeatedly and persistently carry out all sorts of analogies and parallels between modern capitalism and ancient Rome. Just as the productive forces of Roman society, cracked under the weight of ancient relations of production came to a state of stagnation, like this – believe Trotsky and Preobrazhensky – is the case now. But as soon as it is, along with the path of the proletarian revolution cannot be considered an exception and other Roman path – the path of death and decay of the whole society.

“... It does not always so happens – wrote Trotsky – that when a given social system is living itself out, i.e. when it becomes reactionary then there appears a new class conscious enough, organized and strong enough to overthrow the old masters of life and pave the way for new social relations. It does not always work that way. On the contrary in history it has happened more than once that the old society exhausted itself, such as Roman society, and before it, the ancient Asian civilizations, where the slave foundation did not open up the space for development of the productive forces ... but as... There was no new class that could take them onto a high road, they broke up, this civilization, the State, this society decayed. Thus humanity does not always move from down below upwards, going up a line ... Humanity is not standing still, its balance due to class and national struggle is unstable: if you cannot move up, the society falls down, and if there is no class that would raise it above, it breaks up and opens up the way to barbarism.’’

And then he talks about the fact that the bourgeoisie can be victorious over the working class and make socialism impossible.

“It would mean that Europe is doomed to economic and cultural decay, as it happened in the past with many countries, nations and civilizations”. According to Trotsky, history “says to the working class: you must know that if you are not able to strike the bourgeoisie down, then die under the rubble of civilization. Try to solve this problem.”.38

“How the monstrous- exploitative military machine of the ancient Roman Empire collapsed, in its own time, on its shrunken and exhausted economic base and got buried under the pressure of the barbarians “- and E. Preobrazhensky echoes in 1931., – so the exploitive pyramid of modern capitalism is ripe for the same fate and is just waiting for a sufficiently strong attack by the rebels of the proletarian masses”.39

The fact that the proletarian revolution and the victory of socialism, according to Trotsky, is not an immutable necessity, arising from whole historical development, but is only one of the possible ways, quite clearly sneaks in a number of his works. In “Lessons of October”, Trotsky insisted, albeit very cautiously, that if up to a certain point, the revolution did not happen, then further, the direction of the revolutionary movement will inevitably go downward and then the case is lost. And in the speech already quoted in the book “The world economy” Trotsky willingly admits that the United States may stall for a few centuries, a revolution in Europe.”

So a seemingly revolutionary theory of absolute stagnation of capitalism turns into a theory that capitalism can exist for a few more centuries, and socialism cannot occur.


I turn now to Trotsky’s theory of the withering away of cyclicity in post-war capitalism. This theory is a direct conclusion from the thesis of stagnation. As long as capitalism is in a state of stagnation, it cannot experience any surge or crises. There are of course irregular spasmodic fluctuations, but not more than that.

There was really a time when Trotsky, participating as a speaker at the III Congress of the Comintern, noted the inevitability of cyclical development of capitalism until its demise. But such a position does not jibe with the Trotskyist theory of stagnation, the first Trotsky revises his views on the dynamics of the post-war capitalism, producing a concept that fits the entire box of the social-fascist social theory of automatic collapse.

“Cyclic it is (the post-war economic development. VS) or acyclic? – Asks Trotsky. – Is it possible to establish a more or less regular cycle? I think: no.”40 And Trotsky replaces a vivid picture of a specific kind of the cyclical movement that takes place against the background of the general crisis of capitalism, by a lifeless theory of stagnation.

All this has a certain political meaning. Denial of cyclicity in post-war capitalism itself is linked with abstract tactical formulas of Trotsky that are abstract and ignore the specific situation in each time interval. It is directly linked to the persistent unwillingness that is “contrary to reason, in spite of the spontaneous forces” to recognize the period of partial stabilization of capitalism. It is directly linked to the adventurist propositions of Trotsky which at the very first look at the specific difficulties turns into helpless alarmism.

Linked, on the one hand, with a particular political tactic, the withering away of the cycle theory presupposes, on the other hand, a specific theory of crises. Trotsky understands that it is impossible to derive the thesis about a cycle-less dynamics from Marx’s theory of crises. He repeatedly suggests that reality does not follow Marx, at times saying that during the war period the conjuncture has not developed as Marx had thought, but by stewardship, and at times emphasizing that Marx’s theory is purely an economic theory. He directly opposes the basic methodological principles of Marx’s theory of reproduction. Marx, as is well known, sees crisis as an explosion and forced reconciliation of all the contradictions of bourgeois economy, showing how a crisis thus temporarily establishes equilibrium. Trotsky, on the contrary, says that “persistent violations and restoration of equilibrium constitutes crises and upswing.”41 For Trotsky, the crisis is a violation of equilibrium in which the capitalist economy rests for most of the time. And in the end, making some convenient manoeuvres,

Trotsky considers it necessary to announce that “Marx only suggests cycles; a full explanation of the industrial cycle, Marx did not have time to give. Some of his allusions, highly precious (graceful courtesy, but also nonbinding. VS), has been developed subsequently by Hilferding. Anyway cyclicity is undoubtedly connected fundamentally with the expansion and renewal of fixed capital of heavy industry – no doubt about it.”42

So is theory made ... Since Marx gave only hints, you need to come from someone else who has developed the theory of crises This other happens to be Hilferding with his revisionist concept of crises. With the help of Hilferding and Spectator, to whom Trotsky immediately refers, it is proved that the problem of cyclicity is reduced to the problem of expansion and renovation of fixed capital. And so on and on, again using Spectator (who is both an armour bearer of Kautsky and armour bearer of Hilferding, and as such is able in the best possible manner take the role of the theoretical advisor to Trotsky) he puts forward the thesis that there has been no renewal of fixed capital in the post-war era – and the concept is ready. On Marx’s theory all the necessary and sufficient operations have been made so as to lay the basis for the formulas of stagnation and of absence of cycles.

It is interesting to note here, “Mr. E. Preobrazhensky in his latest exercise in the most accurate manner follows on the same path. First, it is declared that Marx’s theory of crises is a bit of the vertebra and a piece of the legs (“hints”!), then the entire concept of crisis emanating from the conditions of renewal of fixed capital is formulated, and finally, out of here without any difficulty, with only a sleight of hand, difficulty of renewal of fixed capital in current conditions is substituted by its impossibility and the conclusion about stagnation is made. Everybody is happy, only Marx suffers, from whose holistic theory as a result of this whole operation nothing, neither a vertebra nor the feet, is left.

But if Trotsky and his followers treat Marx so severely , it does not mean that they do not at all want to borrow from anybody the concept of cycles and crises. Trotsky willingly draws from the storehouse of bourgeois theory of “big cycles.”

On the problem of the “bigcycles” Trotsky shows the most lively interest. For the first time he approaches it in his report at the III Congress of the Comintern, citing the curve from the “Times” and stressing the need to distinguish between primary and secondary (cyclic) movement of capitalism. Already then, Trotsky divides the entire trajectory of the development of capitalism into five major periods of 25 – 30 years each.

In more detail Trotsky returned to this issue in the article “On the curve of capitalist development.”43 Here Trotsky establishes the existence of stages of upswing, stagnation and decline. Trotsky argues in this case with a man whose aim in life was to provide a basis of long cycles in theory, and to fight against the Soviet regime in practice (a combination by far not incidental), with Prof. Kondratiev. Trotsky did not agree due to the greater cycles internal laws of capitalism. He insists – that -they are determined by such circumstances as “new countries and continents embracing capitalism, the discovery of new reserves natural wealth and, after that, more facts of “superstructural” order as wars and revolutions.” The same objections are made by Trotsky toward Kondratiev in the discussions at the Industrial economic council.

What do we have here: a radical critique of Kondratiev’s theory or just an amendment to it? Sure, only an amendment. Moreover, the amendment of the kind, which Kondratiev could have accepted. Firstly, in his article “Big cycles of conjuncture”, published in the collection “Questions of Conjuncture” Kondratiev wrote that his objective is only to establish statistically the existence of big cycles, but how to explain them – he does not know well himself. Secondly, the amendment makes Trotsky only admit that for example, the downward wave of the big cycle, which began around 1920, was due to war and revolution, and not anything else. But if so, then all the better for Kondratiev. After all, during the downward wave, according to his conception, revolution and war are impossible or very unlikely. It means that war and revolution, leading to periods of decline, automatically usher in a peaceful era in which neither wars, nor revolutions occur.

The thesis of large cycles borrowed by Trotsky – about whole undifferentiated periods of the upsurge, stagnation or decline – brightens up his theory of stagnation even more. The whole modern period becomes a continuous period of stagnation.

Here it should be noted that Hilferding, Spectator and Kondratiev do not exhaust the list of the spiritual fathers of Trotsky’s (and Preobrazhensky’s) theory of crisis. To this list we have to add Rosa Luxemburg, no matter how unpleasant it is to see the great revolutionary in such a company. Trotsky shared with Rosa the concept of automatic collapse. Trotsky, in the footsteps of Rosa, develops the thesis of the absolute impossibility of market expansion. The concept of extinction of cycles, of course, is also consistent with the spirit of the theory of R. Luxemburg. And Trotskyite M. Golman is in full agreement with his teacher when he constructs a theory of the general crisis of capitalism that represents a “synthesis” of Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg. To this must be added that the “Accumulation of Capital” by R. Luxemburg is forcefully promoted in the literature of West-European Trotskyism.


Let us move ahead: from the thesis of stagnation of modern capitalism naturally flows the idea of fading away of international imperialist contradictions. Against the background of a continuous stagnation, intensification of the struggle of the imperialists is impossible. In Europe all that everyone does is to seek peace. “So, on the one hand, Brian, and on the other hand, the Germans, who have shed rivers of blood in order to overcome the competitors and expand, are now talking about the United States of Europe. This means complete decay, lack of faith in the possibility of development, a consciousness of powerlessness in the face of the power of the United States. The petty bourgeoisie cowardly dreams about some sort of unification not to oppose, but simply in order to survive: it is not about thriving, but about surviving. This is the psychology of the current rulers of Europe.”44

Thus power in imperialist Europe is in the hands of the petty bourgeoisie, Aristide Briand enacts the role of the good-natured man in the street, who dreams only of how “to stay alive”, and, as a result all struggle comes to a halt.

The situation is no less favourable according to Trotsky, also when it comes to the contradictions between America and Europe, and America and Japan. The USA has put everyone on rations, having made sure that no one offends or ruins anyone else: The very process of acquiring world hegemony also passes pretty quietly and peacefully. “The United States won the top position without even brandishing the sword, without firing a single shot, all through a Washington conference.45 With England the USA have established peaceful cooperation.46 Finally, with Japan struggle is also not expected, as the United States can cope with it in a jiffy.

This is how international imperialist contradictions in the era of general crisis of capitalism, in an era of unprecedented aggravation of imperialist antagonisms look in the hands of Trotsky. This is the proposal that the “left” renegade uses to counter the programme of the Comintern, that emphasises the sharp aggravation of antagonisms within the capitalist sector of the world economy, a huge conflict between the USA and England, the Versailles and the Pacific knots of contradictions, and so on.

We have here two opposite and absolutely irreconcilable concepts. The programme of the Comintern step by step traces the huge growth of all the contradictions of capitalism, in particular the antagonisms between the imperialist states. Trotsky, in turn, step by step, under the guise of “left” phrases, glosses over all the contradictions of modern capitalism.

The difference between the two formulations of the problem of international imperialist contradictions by the way also affects the assessment of the question of the threat of a new war. According to Trotsky, who stubbornly keeps talking about the fading away of international antagonisms, the threat has nowhere to emerge from. And he allows himself in his “permanent revolution” mock the “mania” of the Comintern, which is simply imagining the military threat

This mockery can have only one meaning. It serves as a smokescreen that obscures a really impending war.

But it is not enough for Trotsky to establish the fading away of international imperialist contradictions. He must simultaneously glaze over the deepest antagonisms associated with the revolutionary and liberation struggles of the working people of the colonies and semi-colonies.

In the colonial and dependent countries, we find a complex interplay of antagonisms. The imperialist bourgeoisie from the metropolis competes against native capitalists. Native bourgeoisie confronts the feudal lords. The working masses of the colonies are fighting with the imperialist bourgeoisie, and with the native capitalists and landlords and nobility. Overall there is a complicated knot of very deep antagonisms.

According to Trotsky, the situation is quite different and much more “simple”. Above all, he casts aside the antagonism between the feudal lords and the bourgeoisie. He studiously ignores the largest remnants of feudalism, contesting their presence, and does not attach any importance to the class positions of the enslaved in the colonies and the semi-colonies.

Trotsky further blurs the contradiction between the metropolitan bourgeoisie and the local bourgeoisie. Any internal ground, any internal basis for capitalist development of the colonies Trotsky does not recognize. “In the colonies, – he states unequivocally, – capitalism did not develop on it own, but through the invasion of foreign capital.”47

Even speaking of Tsarist Russia, Trotsky manages to present it as a colony of foreign finance capital, the bourgeois development of which was determined by domination of imperialism of other countries. Even more determined he is on the question of the motive forces of capitalist development in the colonies. And from all this follows naturally the blurring role of the native bourgeoisie, ignoring it, and therefore those antagonisms from which it emerges.

According to Trotsky foreign capital has proven adequate for the economic development in the colonies. He says that financial capital in the colonies crushes all the old, pre-capitalist forms uprooting everything, and so on. In the writings of Trotsky etc.48 The social-fascist theory of decolonization stands in all its glory.

Thus in the most apologetic manner, the relationship between the actions of imperialism and the interests of the development of the productive forces in the colonies is perverted. In fact, foreign capital does not plant heavy industry in a colony, does not contribute to the transformation of the colonies into harmoniously developed and economically independent capitalist countries, and in no manner results in a particularly smooth and fast development of the productive forces. On the contrary, imperialism cripples economic development of the colonies. It, one-sidedly, imparts it with the direction on the lines dictated by imperialist pursuit of raw materials and markets. He turns colonial countries into ugly agrarian and raw material appendages of the metropolis. It puts numerous barriers to the development of productive forces in the colonies. It predatorily scatters these productive forces, and so on, And so on.

Ignoring feudalism in the colonies, Trotsky and obscures something very important for the whole set of class contradictions in the colonies — the fact that metropolitan imperialism bizarrely interlocks with feudal elements in the colonies, uses them in novel ways and to a certain extent based itself on them, and so on.

Trotsky commits a very crude and, in fact, apologetic, perversion of the class struggle in the colonies when talking about the situation and problems of the workers in the colonies and semi-colonies. He conceals the struggle of the masses against the feudal elements and excludes them from the most important tasks of the revolutionary movement in the colonies. He ignores the national bourgeoisie, as an important factor of the class struggle in the colonies, which should be taken into account by the revolutionary movement of the masses, in relation to which this movement has a number of important tasks. He, finally, by transferring to the colonial soil his “theory of permanent revolution,” blurs the task of realising the unity of the colonial proletariat and the peasantry, he prefers the isolated action of the proletariat and ignores the specifics of the national-colonial revolution, as a revolution mainly of the peasants. We have here the expression of harmful and dangerous adventurism. But again as in all other Trotskyist constructs, the reverse side of this adventure that is likely at first glance to appear very revolutionary, is actually a capitulation. In fact, the numerously small proletariat of the colonies cannot win by leaping over the stage of the bourgeois-democratic peasant revolution and the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. And Trotsky, not satisfied with the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, proposes instead ....a constitutional assembly.


Trotsky tries hard to create the notion along and line of the (in)famous fading away of the class struggle in the post-war era.

Needless to say, this is done very carefully and in a masked manner. Just to convince anyone directly that the class struggle in contemporary capitalism has slackened is a hopeless task. Another thing, if the problem will be presented in a manner that this conclusion slowly makes its way in, was asking to be acknowledged. That’s to what comes Trotsky.

Let us, for example, take the question of fascism. As you know, fascism represents the most fierce and vivid form of offensive of the imperialist bourgeoisie on the working class. Fascism represents an open civil war against the working people. Fascism is a preventive (warning) counter-revolution, counterrevolution, striving, whatever the cost, whatever the means, to stifle the impending socialist revolution.

Moreover, fascism is actually typical of the whole situation of a general crisis of capitalism. Fascism is one of the hallmarks of the general crisis. As a product of the decay of the bourgeois state, which reflects the general decay of imperialism in the era of the general crisis, marking the instability of capitalism, fascism expresses the degree of such decay, when capitalism is sinking, when the class struggle takes on an extraordinary sharpness, when the struggle of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has reached its highest development in the struggle between the two systems.

Thus fascism expresses the great ferocity of class contradictions in contemporary capitalism. But if you listen to Trotsky, that is not the case. For him, on the contrary, fascism, reflects the tranquillity of the class struggle and, in general, represents something more comical than tragic.

“We see – informs Trotsky – how after the frantic post-war convulsions “calm” is being established, between vital functions of capitalist organisms some semblance of balance is established, the revolutionary perspectives seem to blur and fade, the bourgeoisie is filled with arrogance, and at its weakest Apennine link it establishes a dictatorship of a pea-worth of a jester. In a large-scale historical perspective, a jester is just a jester. So for today’s revolutionary struggle the jester, armed with the apparatus of the imperialist state – is a significant political factor. In this period between imperialism and the bloody dictatorship of a charlatan with a harlequin-clown mask history is accommodating the whole variety of means and methods of the exploiting class outliving itself.”49

This long quotation is clear and without any comments. We select only its basic ideas. They are as follows. First – fascism is an expression of the familiar “calm” and the restoration of the bourgeois balance. Secondly – Mussolini is not a most dangerous enemy, but only a pea jester. Thirdly – fascism, as a “clown mask” and so on, must be opposed to imperialism’s bloody dictatorship and, obviously, is itself not one.

That is Trotsky’s assessment, definitely leading to a blurring , in greatest depth, of the class contradictions of the era of the general crisis, to glossing over the role of fascism as a civil war, that has been unleashed by an agonizing bourgeois world that is unable to find a “balance” against the rising proletariat.

That such an assessment is not accidental becomes evident by the fact that in “Permanent Revolution”, six years after the quoted lines were written, Trotsky identifies fascism with Kerenskyism and considers it an expression of helpless and indecisive government of the petty bourgeoisie.

Now, when Trotsky speaks as an ardent preacher of the social fascist theory of “lesser evil” and clamours for defending Bruening-Bauer under the flag of a struggle against fascism – he continues to gloss over the danger of fascism. With regard to past actions of fascism, then according to Trotsky “fascism represents to a much greater degree a scarecrow in the garden of the bourgeoisie than a serious political threat“.50 When Trotsky speaks about the possibility of a fascist coup in Germany today, he consoles the workers that the Nazis are a small group and that to repel them is easy. One should just, on Trotsky’s the kind advice, support the Social Democrats.

In Trotsky’s speeches, we find, the same views on Bruening’s semi-fascist dictatorship are further developed. “Bruening’s dictatorship – says Trotsky in the last of his articles (Weltbuhne, March 1, 1932) – is a caricature of Bonapartism. This is an unstable, insecure, short-term dictatorship. Drawing directly on a tiny bourgeois minority, being tolerated by social democracy against the will of the workers, threatened by fascism, Bruening is capable of only hurling all sorts of regulations, but not of taking any more real actions. Dissolving the parliament with its own consent, issuing several decrees against the workers, decreeing a Christmas civil peace so as to, under this cover, pressurize the people, to disperse hundreds of meetings, confiscating a dozen newspapers, exchanging letters with Hitler worthy of a provincial chemist, – Bruening is just good enough for this. Doing something more is beyond his power.”

What is the meaning this tirade? Firstly, Bruening’s semi-fascist imperialist dictatorship is portrayed as some caricature, a semblance of Bonapartism – a regime deprived of a solid social base and a clear class character, and to draw an analogy between Louis Bonaparte and Bruning means covering up completely a particular imperialist class character of the modern German regime. Secondly, the argument that Bruening relies only on a tiny minority of the bourgeois, covers up the fact that the main social base of it is social democracy. Thirdly, by portraying as if Social Democracy just tolerates Bruening, Trotsky hides the fact that social fascists, and he himself, in a certain way, support Bruening and Hindenburg. Fourthly, it is maintained that Bruening produces only paper decisions, and does not really do anything more; this how monopolistic dictatorship is depicted that is breaking up the Union Red war veterans, has jailed communists, imposed untold hardships on the workers, is closing down the Communist newspapers, and is stifling any manifestation of the workers' movement.

All the Trotskyite talk about Bruening only disarms and demobilizes the proletariat in the face of severe coercion exercised by bourgeois democracy. Such a description of the Bruening government cannot be assessed otherwise than a support for it.

We find a similar blurring of class contradictions in other statements of Trotsky and the Trotskyists. In his old assessment of social fascism, as an illustration, Trotsky proceeds from the fact that social democracy is represented by a weak bourgeoisie, not yet corporatised, that is resisting imperialist capital.51 It reduces further the role of post-war social democracy to the fact that it “fills the gaps in state apparatus and helped establish a bourgeois-republican regime.”52 Finally, Trotsky believes that the role of European social democracy is to assist the actions of the USA in Europe and that all the forces of reformism are exhausted by the force of American support.

All these statements show that Trotsky never exposed the true nature of social democracy and its role in the era of the general crisis of capitalism – the role of the main social support for the tottering bourgeois dictatorship. It is quite clear, however, that today Trotsky has moved way “forward” as compared to earlier times; he himself now stands on the well- worn path of social fascism.

The closest link existing between Trotsky and Social-Fascists cannot be better illustrated than by his speeches calling for the support for the semi-fascist government of Bruening, for his call to support German Social Democracy, its agitation against the Communist Party-led plebiscite, whose aim was to overthrow the ‘Prussian government of the social-fascist O. Braun.

Trotsky, in all possible ways, tries to slander and tear apart the clear cut policy of uncompromising struggle being carried out by the German Communist Party, against both wings of fascism: an undisguised National fascism and the “moderate wing of fascism” – social-democracy. Trotsky feebly resents the fact that the German Communist Party does not take the bait of the notorious theory of the “lesser evil”, calling for the submissive protection of the bourgeois dictatorship of Hindenburg – Bruening. Trotsky sends out warnings against “adventurism” and recommends not to fight against fascism and social democracy at the same time.

“To say that in July-August 1931 the German Communist Party was so powerful that it could enter into an open struggle against the bourgeois society on both its flanks – social democracy and fascism, is possible only for a man who has fallen from the moon”.

So broadcasts Trotsky in his article “Against National Communism.” The moral of the fable is clear: against the Social-Democrats we should not fight, we must support it. And Trotsky preaches a united front with social fascism.

“We must- he states – openly tell the Social-Democrat Christians and party workers: fascists are a small minority, they want to overthrow the current government to seize power; we Communists (?), consider the current government as an enemy of the proletariat; but (excellent “but”— VS), this government relies on your trust and your votes; we want to overthrow this government in alliance with you, rather than through an alliance with the Nazis against you ... We offer you a united front of the working class against the Nazis.”

Hence the conclusion:

“and therefore we cannot come to power except by protecting if necessary, by force of arms, all the elements of workers’ democracy in a capitalist state”.

Sapienti sat [Latin: enough for the wise – RD.]... It is not hard to understand that Trotsky casually calls for unity with the social-fascist leaders, and not with the workers who are being cheated by their demagoguery. This constitutes the essence and the meaning of the diligent persuasions of the renegade. And it’s wonderful seeing the social fascists’ sincere gratitude for the support of Trotsky. In the January issue of «Gesellschaft» Rudolf Hilferding himself hastened to popularize the latest statements of Trotsky. Quoting them, Hilferding explicitly states: “ To these quotations there is really nothing to add in explaining the tactics of Social Democracy in relation to the government of Bruening”.53

Recognizing that Trotsky completely and in the best possible manner expressed the foundations of the Social-Democrats’ tactics, Hilferding praises Trotsky also for a spirited defence of the Social Democrats against they being equated with social-fascists. “Calling the Social Democrats fascists”, grovels Trotsky, with the approval of Hilferding, “it goes without saying is nonsense that confuses us and prevents us from finding a way to the Social-Democrat workers. Discard this nonsense is the best thing that we can do.”

Following Hilferding, Kautsky also hastened to open his arms for Trotsky. The old social-fascist fox understands that who is his enemy and who is a friend. “Communist Trotsky – with great approval reports Kautsky – already discovered the meaninglessness of this tactic (of the Communists. VS); it is required of the German Communists to have an agreement with the Social Democrats for a general resistance to nationalism .”54

“Trotsky was entirely right – writes further Kautsky, -when he considers that in the current stage in Germany a united front of the Social Democrats and communists is vital. Both parties are proletarian parties, both draw their strength from the proletariat. Even theoretically they stand on the same ground, on the basis of Marxism.”

Kautsky, as we know, calls for smashing the communists and inciting social-fascist police chiefs. He directly and unambiguously demands intervention against the USSR. He seethes with mad anger at the communist movement. But when it is needed, when it is necessary to deceive the workers, when it is necessary to save the bourgeois Germany and its “pillars” – Hindenburg and Bruening – then Kautsky does not mind wagging his tail, is not averse to using a revolutionary phrase. He is suddenly filled with tenderness towards the Communists, he suddenly declares himself their class friend that and a friend in theory and he uses a new manoeuver for the purpose of strangling the proletarian revolution. And in such a particularly heinous and vile “manoeuvre”, a better ally than Trotsky, Kautsky cannot find. If you want to portray the social-fascists as revolutionaries, if one must come up with arguments for luring workers into the clutches of bourgeois dictatorship, if one must ingratiate oneself with the revolutionary workers – here Trotsky is “on the job.” And mother of interventionists the vilest accuser, the mastermind of bloody activities every type: Tsergibeley has every reason to be satisfied with Trotsky.

Instead of accepting the clear fact that social democracy acts as a social support of the class “enemy” in class battles, that it is steadily on the side of the bourgeoisie, that the winning over of ordinary workers defrauded by social fascist demagoguery, not only does not exclude, but presupposes and requires a resolute struggle against social democracy – instead of all this Trotsky, who does not hesitate to call himself a communist, justifies the social-fascists. He conceals the modern class contradictions. He is trying to turn the Communist workers into servants of the bourgeoisie and to persuade them, under the banner of “protection of democracy” from fascism, to protect the bourgeois dictatorship and its social-fascist wing from the proletarian revolution.


We now turn to how Trotsky represents the most important, most decisive contradiction of the modern world – the contradiction between capitalism and the Soviet Union.

Needless to say that Trotsky does not explain this contradiction as the central and defining contradiction of the contemporary world and also needless to state that Trotsky ignores all the variety of its manifestation. For Trotsky everything is reduced to our market relations with the capitalist world. Here he develops a completely defeatist line that is, moreover, similar not only to the statements of the right (Sokolnik et al), but also to the lectures of professor-pests such as Kondratiev.

Trotsky’s main thesis is that the USSR is subject to all the laws of the capitalist world economy, that the USSR is trying in vain to get rid of foreign economic dependence and that the strain on the world economy will inevitably take its toll, unless the world revolution arrives.

“All the basic processes of our economy – Trotsky emphasizes – not only come into contact with the respective processes, but are also subject to, in one degree or another, the laws governing capitalist development, including changing market conjuncture.”55 “The Soviet state exports, because it cannot do otherwise, and sells at prices that are determined by the current world economy. Thus, the Soviet state not only is increasingly coming under the control of the world market, but is also drawn into the sphere of market fluctuations of the capitalist world.”56 Thus it appears that in the economy of the USSR crises are inevitable, that pricing in the Soviet Union is in close and, moreover, still increasing dependence on the world market and that the economic laws of world capitalism dominate the economy of the USSR.

For Trotsky, this whole line is not only natural, but also absolutely necessary. Without it, it is very difficult to prove the anti-Leninist theory of the impossibility of building socialism in one country, particularly in the USSR. Conversely, if we could prove that the USSR is under the control of an irresistible world capitalist economy, then it could be argued that our economy is merely a particular type of capitalism, that we cannot build socialism, that is one must lay all hopes for immediate revolution on other countries that will destroy the world capitalism and put us under the control of the world socialist economy.

Trotsky develops this thesis with full diligence. He is not disturbed by the fact that it does not quite come together to make ends meet. From other statements of Trotsky, we learned that capitalism has plunged into a state of stagnation and has lost the configuration of cyclic motion. Now it turns out that capitalism is still so strong that it imposes on us all its laws. Further, it appears that it not only develops in cycles, but also spreads cyclicity onto our economy. So the apologetic zeal leads Trotsky’s to position that is somewhat ... uncomfortable. It turns out that capitalism is going through cycles, and that, at the same time, the capitalist cycle are transferred to the economy of the USSR.

Under the hands of Trotsky the complex struggle between the two systems is transformed into a one-way process, is to control the economic and guide us from the world of capitalism. And of course such a formulation follows the conclusion inevitable capitulation to the elements of the world market, the futility, of worthlessness aspirations for economic independence, the hopelessness of attempts to overcome the existing international division of labour. “The international division of labour – warns Trotsky – is not such a condition, which can be left out consideration.”57 “International division of labour, the dependence of Soviet industry upon foreign technology, the dependence of the productive forces of the advanced countries of Europe on the Asian raw materials so on and so forth., make the construction of an independent socialist society impossible in any of the countries of the world.58 And Trotsky is spoiling for a fight with the “reactionary utopia of a closed socialist economy, harmoniously developing the domestic basis under the protection of the monopoly of foreign trade”.59

The influence exerted on us by the world market is overblown, and mindful that the USSR does not achieve economic independence, Trotsky at the same time, ignores all the other points which are associated with the struggle between the two systems. We know that the struggle between the two systems is the basic antagonism of modernity. We know that through this fight the balance of power between capitalism and socialism is established and modified, which defines the basic direction of global development. We know further that the struggle between the two systems has been an important factor in the revolutionary struggle of the international proletariat. We know that the Soviet Union stands as the citadel of world revolution, as the shock brigade of the international proletariat. We know that each of our success is not only a further step towards the building of socialism in the USSR, but also in bringing about the victory of socialism on a world scale. We know, finally, what enormous advantages are inherent in our economic system and what a stark contrast it shows to the decaying, decadent capitalism.

The whole struggle of world capitalism and the Soviet Union represents the implementation of Lenin’s thesis that the proletariat of the country where socialism has triumphed, where organized socialist production exists, stands up against the ‘capitalist world, attracting the oppressed of all the countries, to rise in revolt against capitalism.

One does not even have to look for the reflection of the Leninist thesis in Trotsky’s work. After all, this thesis is part of the Leninist theory of the victory of socialism in one country. And it is against this thesis that Trotsky has focused and sharpened all the arguments concerning the struggle between the two systems.

To overturn the Leninist formulation, it is necessary for Trotsky to gloss over the enormous influence of the USSR on the build-up of the world revolution, it is necessary to conceal the international significance of the October Revolution and our socialist construction, it is necessary to prove that the relationship between the USSR and capitalism is reduced to the fact that we are bound to fall under the control and leadership of the world market.

By his formulation of the problem of struggle between the two systems Trotsky finishes the fight against the Leninist theory of the victory of socialism in one country. This theory consists of three main provisions: 1) the uneven economic and political development of capitalism, becoming particularly marked in the era of imperialism; 2) the consequent possibility of the victory of socialism in one country; 3) on this basis, the struggle between socialism and capitalism, in which the proletariat of a socialist country acts as a support for and the leader of the revolutionary struggle in the capitalist countries.

We have seen above, how Trotsky fights against the first two theses. We can now see how Trotsky opposed Lenin’s third thesis. The logic of this struggle was to come and Trotsky came to the camp of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. The fight against the Leninist doctrine of the victory of socialism in one country, the fight against the Leninist conception of antagonism between the two systems Trotsky has now transformed into a struggle against the proletarian dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Trotsky’s latest speeches are mostly devoted to vilifying the advantages that are inherent in our economic system, and belittling the achievements on the basis of the general party line that was developed from Lenin’s formulations.

Recently, Trotsky wrote a pretentious article “Progress of Socialism and danger of adventurism,” which I have already quoted above. Despite the title, this article in fact has nothing to say about the successes of socialism in the Soviet Union. Trotsky straightaway starts with the fact that it is not worth the while to even talk about this. And then over many pages he tries to create the impression that we have had no success. Of course, Trotsky – otherwise he would not have been Trotsky and would not have fulfilled his “social order” – specifies that he does not want to deny the achievements of the USSR. Of course, Trotsky was trying to ingratiate himself with the revolutionary workers through pompous phrases binding him to nothing. But the essence remains the same.

At first, Trotsky attempts to “prove” that the slogan of technically and economically catching up and surpassing the advanced capitalist countries is not sound and not achievable. The undoubtable fact that by the end of the first five-year plan we have produced sizable results on this course, Trotsky declares to be “product of fantasf’. And on this basis, he ridicules “bureaucratic pursuit of the pace” and recommends to moderate the claims a little. He tries to “prove” – although it was not possible to – that our rates unachievable. And here his hanger-on echo him, stating: “It is impossible to develop the industry and in general the Soviet economy as a whole at such military rate of growth under which success is achieved mainly as a result of impulse and enthusiasm of the masses”.60

This is the first point of the Trotskyists, the meaning of which is to disarm the Soviet Union in the face of the growing struggle between the two systems. The whole atmosphere of this struggle requires us to generate high rates. But that’s why the “hyperindustrializator” Trotsky asks us not to hasten.

Hence Trotsky goes on to refute the fact that the USSR has entered the phase of socialism. Trotsky strictly takes his place in the division of labour with the representatives of the Second International. Renner, Braunthal, Bauer argue that capitalism in the West is gradually being replaced by socialism; to Trotsky’s share falls the role to “explain” that in the Soviet Union there is no socialism yet. As a result, the problem of the struggle between the two systems should be acted out in a very favourable light for the bourgeoisie.

“We have to think – says Trotsky – that only such production can be called socialist, even ifonly in a foundational sense, which is only oriented towards immediate satisfaction ofhuman needs. Meanwhile, in spite of the horrific goods shortage in the country, heavy industry has given over the last year an increase of28.1%, and the light industry only 13.1. This means socialism is impossible under low production and that only preparatory steps for it are possible.”

Trotsky “forgot” that a Marxist is obliged to approach the socio economic system not from the demand side, and by the production. He did not say a word about the fact that the socialist sector in our economy has become absolutely predominant and has concentrated all its levers. Yet it is precisely this that means that we have entered the period of socialism has been fully proved so by comrade Stalin at the XVI Congress of the CPSU (b).

Having no opportunity to challenge it, Trotsky prefers simply to evade the issue. And as a result he states: “The Soviet form, based on Russian technology is only the first step in the struggle for socialism.” – “The Soviet Union – wrote Trotsky in another paper – has entered not the first stage of socialism as taught by the Stalinist faction, but only the first stage of development towards socialism”.61

But the first steps we have made more than fourteen years ago. Since then, we have enormously marched forward. Why Trotsky was silent about it?

It is clear that he is silent about this because dwelling on the subject for the bourgeoisie is unprofitable by means of extremely arrogant blurring the historical success of the USSR,

Trotsky encouraged his other mates to desertion and become renegades. And in 1931, the Trotskyists came to the assertion that the Soviet Union did not do anything beyond what was achieved by capitalism. Here is a sample of the corresponding arguments.

“Marxism believes that the foundation of a socialist society is in capitalism that has developed to the highest degree – without this socialism is impossible. The task of the proletariat is to transform the social structure of the capitalist economy by moving to ... ‘methodical organization of the economy, leading to a socialist society. It follows that those who claim that in the Soviet Union the foundation has been built, thus say that great progress is not achieved in comparison with capitalism; this is equivalent to saying that nothing has been done.”62 The renegades confused by such miserable sophistry are trying to cover up our greatest achievement – the completion of the foundations of a socialist economy.

Following the reasoning for the USSR entering the stage of socialism, Trotsky wants to prove that at least the five-year plan cannot be completed in four years. Since the facts indisputably point to the contrary, Trotsky limits his area of focus. With a serious and focused view, assuring the honourable public that he does not cheat, he takes out of his magic box, which a minute before was empty, as many as six “contradictions of the Soviet economy.” These are 1) the contradiction between town and country; 2) between heavy and light industry; 3) between the nominal and the real purchasing power of gold pieces; 4) between the party and the working class; 5) between the apparatus and the party; 6) inside the apparatus.

But the results have not pleased Trotsky. It is too clear that some of these “contradictions” have been simply invented by Trotsky, and others that we have inherited from tsarist Russia are being successfully overcome in the course of a victorious socialist construction. And then he decides to pull out of his magic box the most important contradiction between the Soviet economy and the world market.

The contradiction between the economy of the USSR and the world capitalist market does exist. But, first, it is only a part of the decisive antagonism of the modern world: the antagonism between a perishing capitalism and victorious socialism. Meanwhile Trotsky prefers not to look into this antagonism. He prefers to keep silent about the impact of Soviet successes in the further collapse of capitalism, to the revolutionizing of the working class, and so on. He bypasses the question of our economic impact on the capitalist world. Trotsky prefers to speak only about the impact that world capitalist market has on us.

Secondly, even in this area Trotsky completely distorts the real relations. I have already explained above the Trotskyist theory of “control of the world economy” over us. On the basis of this theory, he tries again to instill that the course of implementation of economic independence of the USSR is utopian and reactionary. He recommends that we deliberately continue having increasingly close relationship with the world ‘market. The path that Trotsky points to, is the way toward bondage to capitalism.

Renegade Trotsky is calling essentially for a capitulation to world capitalism and at the same time leveling monstrous accusations toward the CPSU (b) and the Comintern labeling them as “National Socialism” and betraying the interests of the working class. A wanton Trotskyist newspaper writes: “Stalin bases its entire policy on the theory of building socialism in one country. Anyone who is a proponent of this fundamentally wrong theory that rejects Marxist and Leninist internationalism, follows a political policy, which is a slap in the face for the proletarian revolution ... imperialist intervention should be avoided at the cost ofconcessions to imperialism”.63

Not limiting oneself to the outrageous reproach that the Soviet Union is making concessions to the imperialists, betraying the interests of the world proletariat, Trotskyist renegades throw in the face of the communist parties around the world charge, no more nor less, of fascism. “The theory underlying the policy of the Communist Parties, brings representatives of this theory directly to National Socialism.”64

<> On the one hand Trotskyists are trying to push us into an increasing economic dependence on the capitalist world, hence the need for concessions related to it. On the other hand, they are accusing the CPSU (b) and the Comintern of making alleged “concessions”. With one hand Trotskyists obscure the role and the danger of fascism. With the other hand they throw in the direction of Communist Party accusations of fascism. With one hand, Mr. Trotsky wrote an article in the newspaper, where fascists are employed (“Daily-Expression”), where he asceticised Hitler; Illustrated Courier tsodzen- ny “), and together with them is fighting against the communist movement. With his other hand he produces articles aimed at deceiving the revolutionary workers, in which he accuses the Communists that they allegedly are working in favour of the Nazis. That is disgusting “double entry bookkeeping” counter-revolutionary Trotskyism. That is his position in the fight between the two systems.

It is clear that in this struggle, Trotsky has a strong and responsible place in the camp of the international counter-revolution.


Let us sum up. I tried to show that, for all of Trotsky’s impassable eclecticism and confusion, there exists a definite system of views on imperialism in general and the postwar capitalism in particular.

I deliberately did not dwell on the countless contradictions (not dialectical), of which Trotsky’s writings are full of.

There is hardly a single question amongst those addressed by Trotsky on which he does not hold significantly different views. But while some of the statements of Trotsky are fleeting and random in nature, others naturally follow from his general concept, internally linked with each other, and reflect the specifics of Trotskyism. These statements I have tried to highlight,

My task was to reveal the general logic of the Trotskyist views on questions of imperialism and, it seems to me that this logic is quite clearly discernable. Trotsky’s arguments on specific issues of imperialism represent links in a single chain. They, then, rest on a common methodological basis for all of them. And finally, they have a common political sense that lead to a quite definite political conclusions.

The starting point of all of the above is the blurring of the deepest contradictions of imperialism, reducing them all to the naked contradiction between world economy and national-state barriers. This necessarily implies ignoring the monopolistic nature of capitalism. It leads to blurring the contradiction between monopoly and competition and the idea of fading competition in the era of imperialism. On this basis, unfolds the mechanistic picture of the process of centralization, that obscures the internal contradictions of this process and leads to ultra-imperialist conclusions, to the theory of a pan-European trust. All this facilitates the necessary blurring of the law of uneven imperialist development that is expressing itself, and at the same time, sharpening the deepest contradictions of imperialism, the denial of the same law of uneven development (not a direct denial, but the hollowing out of its content) acts according to Trotsky as a base for a determined struggle against the Leninist thesis of the possibility of victory of socialism in one country. Against the same background Trotskyist conception of war is deployed that is entirely centrist, entirely anti-Leninist, covering up the explosion of imperialist contradictions in a war.

In the post-war capitalism, there occurs a huge aggravation of contradictions. The basic contradiction of capitalism – the contradiction between the social character of production and private appropriation – heats up to the extent of a conflict. Bourgeois relations vividly reveal that they have become intolerable fetters to the development of productive forces. The capitalist shell breaks in its weak link. On the stage of history emerges the new socialist system. Dying imperialism is torn asunder by a number of fierce antagonisms. Simultaneously with and following the antagonism between the two systems there is an exacerbation of the struggle of the working class against the capitalist class, the struggle against imperialist colonial oppression and antagonism between the imperialists themselves. Trotsky could not ignore all this altogether. But he reduces the consequences of these contradictions to the stagnation of capitalism, paints a picture of this stagnation and thus espouses a weakening of these contradictions. From the theory of stagnation follows directly the thesis of termination of the cyclic movement, the thesis, based on the blurring of contradictions that shape cyclic dynamics . Hence, too, the following conclusions about the easing of international imperialist antagonisms, the extreme “simplicity” of the colonial relations, and about the moderation of class contradictions. The most intense manifestations of ruthless class struggles Trotsky interprets as certain periods of moderation of this struggle. And the final chord in Trotky’s conception is that of the struggle between the two systems that leads him to the conclusion of the impossibility of victory of socialism in one country and the consequent hegemony of the laws of capitalism in the soviet economy.

This is the general skeleton of Trotsky’s theory of imperialism and the general crisis of capitalism, to begin with a centrist theory, and then, together with all its centrism, is naturally transformed into a direct counterrevolutionary concept.

The methodological basis of the whole concept is clear enough. It lies in the blurring the internal contradictions of capitalist development and ignoring the dialectics of imperialism. Trotskyist theory is through and through anti-dialectical. And because of this it is, for all affected revolutionary claims, with all its radicalism, an inevitably apologetic theory. It is this spirit that makes it so capable of serving the bourgeoisie.

Just as the practical activity of Trotskyism gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie tactical and organizational weaponry, likewise Trotsky’s theoretical constructs that we have analyzed have become theoretical and spiritual weapons in the hands of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.

Trotskyism is not just one of the combat units of the anti-Soviet front or one of the combat units of the international bourgeoisie. It performs a more specific and reliable role of the vanguard of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. It was he who, with his attempts to organise anti-Soviet demonstrations has provided the bourgeoisie a new tactical weapon. It was he, his practice of clandestine organizations, that gave the bourgeoisie a new organizational weapon. His concept of imperialism and the Soviet economy, became the cornerstone (the concept) of the doctrine of impossibility of victory of socialism in one country, and handed the bourgeoisie popular and widely used theoretical and spiritual weapons.

Therefore, the Trotskyist conception of imperialism and the general crisis of capitalism that we have analyzed above in its main provisions cannot be regarded simply as one of many anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist theories. The Trotskyist conception of imperialism and the general crisis should be rated as the most important theoretical weapon that the international bourgeoisie uses against the Leninist theory and practice, against Leninism’s victorious building of socialism in the USSR.

It should be especially emphasized that Trotsky, as in years of his past struggle against Bolshevism, now also, not just serves as one of the participants of the camp at war against Bolshevism and Leninism. Let us recall 1912 -1913. Trotsky had not only fought against Lenin together with all the other menshevik-liquidators. He did more than that.

He devoted his strength to the task of consolidation of all of the anti-Bolshevik and anti-Lenin Russian Social-Democracy of the period. It was he who – in this role which matched him perfectly, acted as the inspirer and organizer of the notorious “August bloc”, directed against the Bolsheviks.

It has been two decades since the time of the August Bloc. Russian Mensheviks, together with the international Mensheviks have transformed over this period into the main social support of the bourgeoisie, into a detachment of militant counter-revolution. Bolshevism has faced a difficult and glorious path of preparation and carrying out of the proletarian revolution, then carrying out of socialist construction and has led to our country entering the stage of socialism and to the completion of the foundations of socialist economy. Trotsky, having in that time managed to fight against the Bolsheviks during the war, and then come for some time into the Communist Party, did not fail to return to the camp of the international Mensheviks. And now he has again taken to his usual role of organizer of the anti-Bolshevik bloc and of a consolidator of all anti-Leninist forces in this camp with all the ensuing originality in the new situation.

The theoretical banner under which Trotsky speaks at the outposts of anti-Soviet front, the theoretical banner around which it seeks to collect all the units of renegades both international and of the Comintern is the Trotskyist concept of imperialism and the Soviet economy. Therefore, the task of in-depth critical exposing of the Trotskyite concepts and objectives, is feasible only on the basis of the mild nature of the class antagonisms.

V. Serebryakav, L. Kasharshii, ‘Protiv trotskistskoi kontseptsii imperializma,’ Leningradskoe otdelenie kommunisticheskoi akademii pri Ts I K SSSR, Institut ekonomiki, Partiinoe izdatelstvo, Moscow, Leningrad, 1932. Short extracts of this paper were translated from the Russian by Rashmi Doraiswamy and Tahir Asghar and published in RD Vol. IX, No. 1, April 2003.

Translation of the article has been completed from the Russian by Elena Lavrina and Tahir Asghar.


1. III Congress of the Communist International, Stenographic Report. GIZ, 1922, p. 42.
2. L. Trotsky, Basic Questions of Imperialism, GIZ, 1923, p. 44.
3. L. Trotsky, War and Revolution, Vol. II, p. 498. Trotsky’s schema of the village, regional and world economy has nothing in common with the historical materialism of Marx and Lenin and is only a rather bad copy of the bourgeois schemas of Byukher and Maslov.
Trotsky – together with the other Kautskyite Mr. Spectator – stands firmly on the base of these schemas. It is not surprising, therefore, if in the article ‘Le projet de programme du Comintern. Critique des fondements essentials’ (Contre le courant, December 1928) Trotsky openly identifies imperialism with ‘the epoch of world economy and world politics.
4. L. Trotsky, War and Revolution, Vol. I, p. 162, Trotsky’s emphasis.
5. Op. cit. p. 288.
6. Private property with Trotsky is located in the superstructure, i.e. it is reduced to a juridical category.
7. L. Trotsky. Osnovniye Voprosi Revolyutsii, p. 25.
8. K. Renner. Nationalwirtschaft und Weltwirtschaft Gesellschaft. 1927, No. 4.
9. Ibid, p. 311.
10. Ibid. p. 300.
11. L. Trotsky. Toward socialism or capitalism, p. 61.
12. V Lenin, Collected Works, vol. XIX, p. 166.
13. Mirovoe Khozyaistvo 1919-1925, TsUP, VSNKh 1926, p. 109.
14. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo, p. 118.
15. L. Trotsky. Europe and America, p. 21. Last words are underlined by Trotsky.
16. Ibid. p. 27.
17. K. Marx. Capital, vol. I, State publishing house (Giz), 1920, p. 643.
18. V Lenin. Nillected Works., vol. XVIII, p. 337.
19. L. Trotsky. War and revolution, vol. II, p. 498-499, italics are by Trotsky.
20. Ibid., p. 501.
21. V. Lenin. Selected Works., vol. XVIII, p. 231.
22. V Lenin. Selected Works, vol. XIX, p. 325.
23. XV Conference of VKP(b), p. 434.
24. L. Trotsky. February revolution, Granit, Berlin, 1931, p. 22.
25. Trotsky. War and revolution, vol. II, p. 505.
26. XV Conference of VKP(b), p. 531.
27. L Trotsky, Permanent revolution, p. 125.
28. All quotations are from Trotsky’s work, The War and the International.
29. V Lenin. Socialism and War. Selected Works., vol. XVIII, p. 195.
30. L. Trotsky. War and Revolution, vol. I, p. 151.
31. Ibid., p. 97.
32. Ibid., vol. II, p. 114.
33. Ibid., vol. I, P. 354.
34. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo 1919, p. 119.
35. L. Trotsky. To the issue of stabilization of the world capitalism. «Planovoye khozyastvo». 1925., 16, p. 176.
36. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo, p. 118 —119.
37. Both formulations are given verbatim from the book: L. Trotsky. Novii etap (New stage). Giz, 1921, p. 56.
38. L. Trotsky, Novii etap, pp. 54 – 55 and 58.
39. E. Preobrazhensky. Decline of Capitalism, p. 159. The thoughts of Trotsky and Preobrazhensky are exactly the same as the “discoveries of the social- fascist F. Shernberg. The latter writes “The socialist revolution can miss its time, i.e. come only when it will be impossible to stop the fall into historical nirvana.” See his “Der Imperialismus”, pp. 332- 337, and “Eine Umwalzung der Wissenschaft”, p. 108 and beyond.
40. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo, p. 104.
41. L. Trotsky, Novii Etap, p. 106.
42. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo, p. 106.
43. Vestnik Sotsialisticheskoi Akademii, No. 4, 1923.
44. Mirovoye Khozyaistvo, p. 118.
45. Ibid, p. 115.
46. L. Trotsky. Kuda Idyot Anglia, p. 11 and others; A. Ioffe, Anglia v Nash Dni, p. 22 and 58.
47. L. Trotsky. Vostok i zapad, p. 31.
48. Ibid, p. 33.
49. Osnovnie voprosi revolyutsii, p. 8.
50. L. Trotsky. Protiv Natsional-Kommunisma. Bulletin oppozitsii, Sentyabr 1931.
51. III World Congress of the Comintern, Trotsky’s report.
52. L. Trotsky. Uroki Oktyabrya. Cited according to the collection “Leninism ili Troskism”, p. 284.
53. R. Hilferding, Unter der Drohung des Faschismus. “Gesellschaft”, 1932, No. 1, p. 2. See also L. Trotzki. Gegen den Nationalsozialismus (Lehren des “roten” Volksentscheids) and similarly titled article in “Bulletin of the Opposition” October 1931.
54. K. Kautsky. Kommunismus und Sozialdemokratie. “Gesellschaft”. 1932. No. 2, p. 260, 277.
55. L. Trotsky. K Kapitalizmu ili Sotsializmu, p. 58.
56. L. Trotzki. Erfolge des Sozialismus un Gefahren des Abenteurertums. “Die Aktion”, April 1931.
57. L. Trotsky. K Sotsialismu ili k Kapitalizmu, p. 64.
58. L. Trotsky. Permanentnaya Revolyutsia, pp. 168-169. I am not even talking here that the cited formulation is so clumsy. How can the dependence of the Soviet industry be a proof of the impossibility of constructing socialism in one country?
59. L. Trotzki. Erfolge des Sozialismus und Gefahren des Abenteurertums. “Die Aktion”, April 1931, S. 11.
60. “La Verite”, 17 Juli. 1914. Article by M. Mill.
61. L. Trotzki. Entwurf einer Platform der internationalen linken Kommunisten zur russischen Frage “Die Aktion”, Juli 1931.
62. “Militant”, 2 and 15 June. Article by Genin.
63. “Fahne des Kommunismus” 8. Aug. 1931.
64. See also the cited article by L. Trotsky – Protiv Natsional Kommunizma.

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