Why Is the Second International Defending Trotsky?

N. Krupskaya

‘Socialism cannot be built by orders from above. Its spirit is alien to the formal-bureaucratic mechanism; it is a live and creative process, built by the people themselves.’ – said Lenin in the very first days of our Socialist October Revolution. (Volume XXII, page 45).

While speaking on 6th May 1919, at the 1st All Russian Congress of non-formal adult education Lenin said, ‘If we call ourselves the party of communists, we must understand, that now, when we have done away with the external obstacles, have broken down the old institutions, before us lies, for the first time, the real task of the proletarian revolution – the organisation of tens and hundreds of millions of people.’ (Volume XXIV, pages 272-278).

When Lenin died, the masses came even more close to the party. ‘Lenin is no more but his work lives on’. The years went by and we witnessed how the organisation of thousands and millions of workers grew from day to day, workers who got immersed into the management of the country, into building socialism. The entire social fabric of our country of Soviets changed. From the midst of the mass of people thousands of organisers have grown. The Stakhanovite movement is an eloquent witness to this, so is the conference of the leaders of the party and government held last winter with the working organisations of the various productive spheres, the kolkhozniki, the workers, the combine operators and other collective farmers who have achieved high yields etc. Everyone can see, how the friendship between people is strengthening on the basis of the various economic organisations, how the masses have grown culturally. The masses can see how completely, tirelessly comrade Stalin is giving himself to this sacred work, the work of Lenin, the building of socialism, how he is carrying them forward towards a better life. Everybody can see that and they believe him, he is surrounded by their trust and love.

The Trotskyites and the Zinovievs did not think about the masses. They were not living in reality. They were thinking only about how to capture power even at the cost of an agreement with the Gestapo, with the most prominent enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat, thereby striving to re-establish a bourgeois structure and capitalist exploitation of the working masses in the country of the Soviets.

Towards the end of the 1920s there was a discussion about the role of the trade unions. Lenin wrote about Trotsky’s position on this, that he had ‘got entangled into a number of mistakes about the very essence of the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Even if one were to ignore this, it can be asked, why can we not work in harmony and friendship, which is so necessary at the given time. This is because of the differences on the methods of approach towards the masses, of taking possession of the masses, our connection with them. In this lies the essence.’ (Vol. XXVI, page 66.)

And it is not a coincidence, that Trotsky, who never understood the essence of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the role of the masses in building socialism, thinking that it can be built merely by an order from above, is now standing on the path of organising terrorist acts against Stalin, Voroshilov and other members of the Politburo, who are helping the masses to build socialism. It is not a matter of chance, therefore, that the unprincipled bloc of Kamenev and Zinoviev together with Trotsky have pushed them from one step to another into a deep abyss of an unheard betrayal of Lenin’s work, the work of the masses, the ideals of Socialism. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and their entire band of killers acted together with the German fascists, entered into a pact with the Gestapo.

That is why the country unanimously demanded that these mad dogs be shot. Reading about their depositions in the court the workers are saying: ‘they wanted to re-establish the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. They forgot about us, about the masses. They forget, would we have let them come to power, they also forget that ‘socialism is alive; it is a creation of the masses’. They forgot this and became the front ranks of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.

They wanted to create unrest in the ranks of the masses, kill the brain and heart of the revolution – Comrade Stalin himself. This did not happen. This despicable gang of scoundrels has been shot.

Now the masses are rallying around the Party even more closely. Their love for Stalin has grown.

Even people who are not members of the Party are writing that it is necessary to bring out the collected works of Lenin and Stalin as supplementary reading in newspapers which have a wide circulation. Social consciousness, a thirst for knowledge is rising further. A school in Pushkino for adults imparting higher education has been built. It is amazing, they are giving the finishing touches to the roof – this is what I was told recently by a senior economic manager, who was my student 40 years ago in a Sunday Evening School. He had served a term in the prison, had also created a collective already in 1918 in his native village and been conferred with the ‘million rouble’ prize for exemplary work in the collective farm where he was appointed as Director.

Yes, the Socialist structure is growing and so also the cultural requirements of the masses. We have to be in step with these requirements, strengthen the schools for adults, widen their network, widen the access to libraries, build centres of culture, clubs in the collective farms, museums. At the given stage the maximum importance should be given to the quality of education, to the libraries, the reader clubs and centres of culture.

With the organisers in various areas of production, with the collective farmers, workers, the combine workers, the beet growers etc. Everybody can see how on the foundation of these economic organisations the friendship amongst people is strengthening in this country of Soviets, how the masses have grown culturally. And millions of workers can see how selflessly, completely and without a break, comrade Stalin is giving himself to their vital work, the work of Lenin, the work of building Socialism, how he is leading them forward towards a better life. They can see this and they believe him and engulf him with all encompassing trust and love.

We already have a rich experience in this area. Through the years since the October Socialist revolution the key initiative in the field of culture has come from the workers and those areas which suffered a setback were because many difficulties were not taken into account, the ‘desired’ and the ‘anticipatory’ being looked  upon as  already existing  in the present. Now we have learned to look at life with a sharper eye, to hate the remnants of the past with  more vigour. We have strengthened our understanding that it is necessary to acquire deeper and wider knowledge and to learn to apply this knowledge correctly. We are seeing that the work of building socialism is not weakening for a single moment. It is carrying on with more strength and more harmony.

It is not a coincidence that the International is being torn to pieces, that the Trotsky-Zinoviev gang of killers is raising its shield in attempting to wreck the people’s front. The de Brouckères and the Citrine’s are supporting all kinds of subversive activities which the enemies instigate against the working class of the USSR, its party and leaders. They occupy the first place in screaming out anti-Soviet slogans, which are being voiced by the bourgeois world.

The Third International was created as a result of struggle with the Second International. The Second International was carrying out a violent propaganda against the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power with the help of the renegade Kautsky and Co. The Second International wishes to justify and defend the capitalist system, to blindfold the eyes of the working masses. That is why they are defending the Gestapo agent – Trotsky. It has not worked out.

Our country of Soviets has become powerful. The banner of communism is rising higher and higher, and moving ahead with firm steps on the path laid out by Marx, Engels and Lenin.

Neither the Trotskyites, nor the Zinovievs or the Second International will be able to hide the true facts, or will be successful in blowing dust into the eyes of the workers. The tense atmosphere brewing in the international front, the threatening danger of war – all these situations sharpen the vision of the workers. The People’s Front of the workers all over the world will grow and become stronger.

Izvestia, 4th September 1936, No. 224.
Translated from the Russian by Neelakhshi Suryanarayan.

An abbreviated version of this article was earlier published in RD Vol. XI, No. 2, September 2005.

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