November 16, 2017

Marx and Engels and: "The Permanent Revolution", and, "Socialism In One Country"

INTRODUCTION

This issue consists of materials relevant to a recent discussion on the e-list of the "International Struggle Marxist-Leninist". At that site a discussion was initiated by Comrade Gazza who pointed out, that in a passage from a work by Frederick Engels, it seems that Engels believed that socialism in a single country was impossible.

This issue contains the following:

Firstly an annotated and edited version of three e-messages between comrades Gazza and Klo McKinsey ;

Secondly a commentary from Alliance; outlining the views of Marx, Engels, Then discusses Trotsky's distortion and differences from Lenin; and finally Stalin's evaluation of these differences. 
Thirdly, an Appendix of two relevant letters from Engels .

We feel that the discussion is of importance, not the least because with honest intent, there is an echo of an earlier distortion of the concept of "Permanent Revolution", by Trotsky. We stress that we have no concern that Comrade Gazza has any intent to re-tread Trotsky's path. But his isolation of an earlier quote from Engels deserves a fuller discussion, if only to remind all Marxist-Leninists of the history of the theory of "Socialism in One Country", and its' Trotskyite counter-part , the "Theory of Permanant Revolution".

TABLE OF CONTENTS


1) The e-list Correspondence between Comrades Gazza & McKinsey Upon the Question –Three notes; 
2) Commentary From Alliance, consisting of: 
a) The Early Views of Marx and Engels On "Socialism In One Country"; b) In What Sense is the "Revolution Permanent"? 
c) The Later Positions of Marx and Engels on Socialism In One Country; 
d) Marx and Engels on the Russian Prospects for Revolution; 
e) Trotsky's Distortion of Marx and Engels, the theory of "Permanent Revolution"; & Lenin's and Stalin's Critique of it. 
APPENDIX: Two letters of Engels 
___________________________________________________________________

PART ONE: 
THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN COMRADES GAZZA AND McKINSEY

The First Note: A Citation from Engels by Comrade Gazza: 
"Question 19: Will it be possible for this (communist - Gazza) revolution to take place in one country alone? 

Answer: No. Large scale industry, already by creating the world market, has so linked up all the peoples of the earth, and especially the civilised peoples, that each people is dependent on what happens to another. Further, large-scale industry has levelled the social development of all civilised countries so much that in all these countries the bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive two classes of society, and the struggle between them has become the main struggle of the day. the communist revolution, therefore, will be not only a national one; it will take place in all civilised countries, that is, at least simultaneously in England, America, France and Germany. (Emphasis inserted Editor Alliance) In each of these countries it will take a longer or a shorter time to develop depending on which has a more developed industry, more wealth and a greater mass of the productive forces. It will therefore achieve the slowest pace and be most difficult to achieve in Germany; it will be quickest and easiest to carry out in England. It will also exercise considerable influence upon other countries of the world, completely changing the hitherto existing mode of their development and accelerating it greatly. It is to be a world revolution, and will therefore, have the whole world as its arena." 

From Frederick Engels, "Principles of Communism"; Written October 1847; In Marx and Engels Collected Works; Volume 6; Moscow 1976; pp.341-358". 

The Second Note: Comrade Klo McKinsey to Gazza."You are misinterpreting Engels, as did Trotsky. Engels is talking about the communist phase, not the socialist. How do you square the above, as you are interpreting it, with the following comments by Lenin? " A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism -- until the time when the complete victory of communism brings about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, 
first, because it merges with socialism; 
second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world -- the capitalist world -- attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, stirring uprisings in those countries against the capitalists, and in case of need using even armed force against the exploiting classes and their states. The political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic, which will more and more concentrate the forces of the proletariat of a given nation or nations, in the struggle against states that have not yet gone over to socialism."
(V. I. Lenin, ON THE SLOGAN FOR A UNITED STATES OF EUROPE, LCW Progress Publishers, page 343)".

THIRD NOTE: From Comrade Gazza to Comrade Klo:"Hello All, 
Right, I have uploaded the quotation from Engel's "Principles of Communism", so that comrades can see that I was quoting directly from Engels and not engaging in any interpretation whatsoever.

As for Klo's assertion that Engel's is referring to the higher phase of communism - no one can infer that from what Engels is saying. ….. Engel's talks about the division of society into two classes, bourgeoisie and the Proletariat in the sentence before he talks about the communist revolution, so I can't see how you can interpret Engel's as talking about the higher phase of communist society. But, anyway, there really isn't any need to burst a blood vessel over Engel's quotation, Klo, because if you see the two quotations historically and logically, i.e., in dialectical development, you will see that there is certainly no "Trotskyist" taint on the point I am trying to make and by the way, thanks for quoting that passage from Lenin, as it enables me to make my point, namely:

Engels wrote that quotation in 1849, in the midst of developing capitalism. When the higher phase of capitalism, imperialism, kicked in at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and with the intensification of the law of uneven economic and political development of countries, the possibly of a world revolution became improbable, if not impossible, but the possibility of socialist revolution in several countries taken together or even in a single country only, became highly possible and quite probable in some cases. So, you see, there is no need to counter-pose Lenin to Engels. Engels was quite possibly correct in his own time, but with the development of capitalism into imperialism, his prognosis ceased to apply. The possibility of revolution succeeding in a single country in Engel's time was remote; in Lenin's time the possibility of world revolution became remote. So, there is no contradiction between Engels and Lenin - Lenin developed Engels views in the condition of imperialism. 

As for Lenin criticising the slogan of a "United States of Europe", yes, he was quite correct on that point, but its an entirely separate point from the point that Engels made in 1849, as Engels was talking about proletarian revolution, whereas Lenin, in your quotation, was making two points, namely, the possibility of revolution breaking out in several or even a single country, and secondly about the possibility of the formation of a "United states of Europe" or even of a "United states of the World", in the distant future when Europe and then much of the World had gone socialist, and maybe even entered on the higher phase of communist society.

As for Trotsky, well, his ultra-leftist, adventurist ideas on sacrificing the soviet revolution on the altar of world revolution was at best dogmatic, and at worst wholly reactionary. It reflected his inability to reason dialectically."

PART TWO: A BRIEF COMMENTARY FROM ALLIANCE.

Firstly; the practice of finding citations from the leaders of our movement is pervasive in our movement, and is on the whole a useful approach.

By this means, we can more fully understand lines of demarcation and it allows us to see by what steps our leaders arrived at their conclusions.

However, Secondly, no citation can be, or should be - treated by Marxist-Leninists as a "holy writ". Even our leaders may have made mistakes, and a cardinal principle of Marxist-Leninists is to acknowledge these if there are any, and to learn from them. No one is immune from such criticism or self-criticism.

Thirdly, Nonetheless, if any serious differences between the leaders on important questions are found, it is important to explore and understand with no pre-conceptions.

Therefore, in this context, we should ask and answer honestly the following question:

"Is there a difference between the Attitudes of Engels and Lenin upon the Question of Socialism In One Country? "

Superficially, at least based on this single citation, there does appear to be a difference between Comrade Engels and Comrade Lenin upon this matter. 

If there is a difference, what accounts for it? Who was right and who was wrong?

Comrade Gazza himself resolves the differences, as being largely due to the differing eras in which Lenin and Engels lived. That in which Engels was operating – was one of a developing and strengthening of capital:"Engels wrote that quotation in 1849, in the midst of developing capitalism". See above Third Note.

Comrade Gazza also suggested another underlying reason for the apparent difference, namely, that world revolution was less likely under Lenin’s day:"The possibility of revolution succeeding in a single country in Engel's time was remote; in Lenin's time the possibility of world revolution became remote". See above Third Note.

However, we believe that both comrades, have overlooked a couple of significant matters complicating a correct interpretation of this apparent difference. (NB After this article was largely written, Comrade Klo appears to have made some of the same observations as we have - Editor Alliance).

Firstly and most obviously, when comrade Engels wrote the piece in question, it was 1847. Marx and Engels were to write the Manifesto only one year later. This was an intense and formative period for Marx and Engels. We can hardly be surprised that certain features of their writings may not have been entirely accurate. After all, they had a lot of intellectual fish to fry in a very short period of time. Yet they formulated the key principles and analyses that Marxist-Leninists adhere to:

Including what drives change in society, the class nature of all human society following primitive communism, the societal epochs that mankind had formed, and the manner in which to bring about a better society.

It is hardly surprising if a few details were too rapidly formulated for lasting historical accuracy!

Secondly: Both Marx and Engels likely underestimated the resilience of capitalism. They both at a later stage somewhat ruefully admitted as much.

Thirdly: Perhaps most importantly from the point of view of this discussion, both Marx and Engels - even in their lifetime – revised their view according to more sustained and careful observation. 

By the time they died, we maintain, that there was NO inconsistency with the views of Lenin and Stalin upon this question.

One brief example of this can be seen in the following citation from a letter written in 1870, by Marx to Engels that directly contradicts the answer in "Principles of Communism", that Engels gave to Question 19.

"I agree with your marginal notes on the French Radical press. Not for anything was Proudhon the socialist of the Imperial period. I am firmly convinced that, although the first blow will come from France, Germany is far riper for a social movement and will grow far over the heads of the French. It is a great error and self-deception on their part that they still regard themselves as the ‘chosen people’." 
Letter: Marx to Engels, Dated 12 February 1870; London; In Collected Works; Volume 43; Moscow; 1988; p. 429.

We will proceed to adduce some further evidence to support our viewpoint. 

(a) The Early Views of Marx and Engels On "Socialism In One Country"
Comrade Gazza reminds us of the early views of Engels on this matter. But, it is just as pertinent to consider the early views of Marx. Marx and Engels had one primary theoretical purpose in the years leading from 1845-1848 - this was to clarify their analysis of class society. As a part way to achieving this, they wrote the famous work, "The German Ideology".

In this work, their primary purpose was to achieve a self-clarification. In his famous later note of 1859, Marx observed that:

"Frederick Engels, with whom I maintained a constant exchange of ideas by correspondence since the publication of his brilliant essay on the critique of economic categories (printed in the Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher, arrived by another road (compare his ‘Lage der arbeitenden Klasse’, in England ) at the same result as I, and when in the spring of 1845 he too came to live in Brussels, we decided to set forth together our conception as opposed to the ideological one of German philosophy, in fact to settle accounts with our former philosophical conscience. The intention was carried out in the form of a critique of post-Hegelian philosophy. The manuscript [The German Ideology], two large octavo volumes, had long ago reached the publishers in Westphalia when we were informed that owing to changed circumstances it could not be printed. We abandoned the manuscript to the gnawing criticism of the mice all the more willingly since we had achieved our main purpose -- self-clarification."  Karl Marx: 1859 "Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy"; 

In that joint work, Marx and Engels explicitly advocated the necessity of an international communist movement - "Empirically communism is only possible as the act of the dominant peoples "all at once" and "simultaneously which pre-supposes the universal development of productive forces and the world intercourse bound up with them".

The full citation is as follows:"5. Development of the Productive Forces as a Material Premise of Communism].

"This "estrangement" ["entfremdung"](to use a term which will be comprehensible to the philosophers) can, of course, only be abolished given two practical premises. In order to become an "unendurable" power, i.e. a power against which men make a revolution, it must necessarily have rendered the great mass of humanity "propertyless", and moreover, in contradiction to an existing world of wealth and culture, both of these premises presuppose a great increase in productive power, a high degree of its development. And, on the other hand, this development of productive forces (which at the same time implies the actual empirical existence of men in their world-historical, instead of local, being) is an absolutely necessary practical premise, because without it privation, want is merely made general, and with want the struggle for necessities and all the old filthy business would necessarily be restored; and furthermore, because only with this universal development of productive forces is a universal intercourse between men established, which on the one side produces in all nations simultaneously the phenomenon of the "propertyless" mass (universal competition), makes each nation dependent on the revolutions of the others, and finally puts world-historical,empirically universal individuals in place of local ones. Without this, (1) communism could only exist as a local phenomenon; (2) the forces of intercourse themselves could not have developed as universal, hence unendurable powers: they would have remained home-bred "conditions" surrounded by superstition; and (3) each extension of intercourse would abolish local communism. Empirically, communism is only possible as the act of the dominant peoples "all at once" and simultaneously, which presupposes the universal development of productive forces and the world intercourse bound up with them.

‘Communism’ - 
Moreover, the mass of workers, who are nothing but workers - labour power on a mass scale cut off from capital or from even a limited satisfaction [of their needs] and, hence, as a result of competition their utterly precarious position, the no longer merely temporary loss of work as a secure source of life — presupposes the world market. The proletariat can thus only exist world-historically, just as communism, its activity, can only have a "world-historical" existence. World-historical existence of individuals i.e. existence of individuals which is directly linked up with world history.

[18] Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence." 
Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: "The German ideology. (I). Feuerbach. Section [5] Development of the Productive Forces as a Material Premise of Communism"; In Collected Works; Volume 5; Moscow 1976; pp. 48-9. 

SUMMARY: There can be no doubt that early on, before their full maturity, both Marx and Engels thought that the revolution had to be virtually simultaneous in several countries around the world. 


2. In What Sense is the "Revolution Permanent"?

It is relevant to examine the views of Marx and Engels on how the movement should revive itself after the defeat of the 1848-9 revolutions.

Again this was an early period in their political careers. Nonetheless, by now, they had not only participated in extraordinary theoretical achievements, but they had also been in the thick of mass movements. They had now a practical experience that allowed them to begin to formulate more precisely the theory of the mechanics of the proletarian revolution. In other words the practical implementation of the strategy and tactics of the revolution itself - How was the revolution to be brought forward?

They had already laid down principles in their theoretical works and in the great Communist Manifesto of 1848. But now they had a mass collective experience that they could analyse and draw upon. It was now 1850. Marx and Engels were mulling over the 1848 revolutions and the collective and international failure to ignite a proletarian revolution from the democratic sparks.

In their famous advice given to the Communist League, Marx and Engels used the word "permanent", to stress that the long term CLASS interests of the proletariat must always be considered - irrespective of what class alliances were necessary for the proletariat to undertake in achieving any short term goals.

Trotsky later warped this notion into an insistence that the proletariat dispense with any class alliances (specifically the peasantry in Russia); and that the Russian state could not be maintained as "socialist" in isolation.

Marx and Engels delineated clear differences in the ultimate aims of the proletariat - versus the progressive but entirely short lived aims of the petty-bourgeois democrats. These latter aims, are of a benefit to the workers. But the proletariat is interested in a revolution transcending the short-term aims. It has a more far reaching aim. It is in this sense that the revolution must be "permanent". 

However, it is still true that mixed in with this notion, in 1850 Marx and Engels do still convey the sense that an international solution must be found. This is highlighted in the following citation:

"The domination and speedy increase of capital is further to be counteracted partly by restricting the right of inheritance and partly by transferring as much employment as possible to the state. As far as the workers are concerned, it is above all certain that they are to remain wage-workers as before; the democratic petty bourgeois only desire better wages and a more secure existence for the workers and hope to achieve this through partial employment by the state and through charity measures; in short, they hope to bribe the workers by more or lessc oncealed alms and to sap their revolutionary vigour by making their position tolerable for the moment.

The demands of the petty-bourgeois democracy here summarised are not put forward by all of their factions and only very few of their members consider these demands in their aggregate as a definite aim. The further individual people or factions among them go, the more of these demands will they make their own, and those few who see their own programme in what has been outlined above would believe that thereby they have put forward the utmost that can be demanded from the revolution. But these demands can in no wise suffice for the party of the proletariat. While the democratic petty bourgeois wish to bring the revolution to a conclusion as quickly as possible, and with the achievement, at most, of the above demands, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent, until all more or less possessing classes are forced out of their position of dominance, the proletariat has conquered state power, and the association of proletarians, not only in one country but in all the dominant countries of the world, has advanced so far that competition among the proletarians in these countries has ceased and that at least the decisive productive forces are concentrated in the hands of the proletarians. For us the issue cannot be the alteration of private property but only its abolition, not the smoothing over of class antagonisms but the abolition of classes, not the improvement of existing society but the foundation of a new one. That, during the further development of the revolution, the petty-bourgeois democrats will for a moment obtain predominating influence in Germany is not open to doubt. The question is, therefore, what is to be the attitude of the proletariat and in particular of the League towards them:

1. During the continuance of the present conditions where the petty-bourgeois democrats are likewise oppressed; 
2. In the next revolutionary struggle, which will give them the upper hand; 
3. After this struggle, during the period of their preponderance over the overthrown classes and the proletariat." 
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: "Address of the Central Authority To The League"; [Communist League]; March 1850; Collected Works; In Volume 10; Moscow 1978; pp. 277-287; Quote from p. 281. [Emphasis - Alliance Editor].

In the highlighted section, it is perfectly clear that Marx and Engels still adhere to their "early" viewpoint expressed before in both the German Ideology" and the "Principles of Communism" - that an international revolution is required for an ultimate successful end.

But there is now, no sense that a simultaneous revolution is required. The sense instead is that the ultimate goal must simply not be forgotten ("UNTIL all more or less possessing classes have been forced out of their position of dominance") .

Of even more central concern to this article however, is the form of alliances that the proletariat should make with the democratically minded petty-bourgeoisie.

In other words, Marx and Engels pose the question of whether there should be an alliance of the proletarians with the "petty-bourgeois democrats"; for what period of time; and how to move to the second stage of revolution - i.e. to the socialist revolution ("2. In the next struggle which will give them the upper hand").

Marx and Engels are quite clear that the aims of the petty-democrats are different from those of the workers. The petty-bourgeois democrats wish only to have democracy for their own purposes:

"Far from desiring to transform the whole of society for the revolutionary proletarians, the democratic petty bourgeois strive for a change in social conditions by means of which the existing society will be made as tolerable and comfortable as possible for them. Hence they demand above all a diminution of state expenditure by curtailing the bureaucracy and shifting the bulk of the taxes on to the big landowners and bourgeois. Further, they demand the abolition of the pressure of big capital on small, through public credit institutions and laws against usury, by which means it will be possible for them and the peasants to obtain advances, on favourable conditions from the state instead of from the capitalists; they also demand the establishment of bourgeois property relations in the countryside by the complete abolition of feudalism. To accomplish all this they need a democratic form of government, either constitutional or republican, that will give them and their allies, the peasants, a majority; also a democratic communal structure that will give them direct control over communal property and a number of functions now performed by the bureaucrats."

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: "Address of the Central Authority To The League"; [Communist League]; March 1850; In Volume 10; Collected Works; pp. 277-287; Quote from p. 280. 

Nonetheless, even a temporary bourgeois democratic structure, will benefit the workers, and assists them to move on to the next stage. The formula that encapsulates the advice of Marx and Engels was:
"The relation of the revolutionary workers' party to the petty-bourgeois democrats is this: it marches together with them against the faction which it aims at overthrowing, it opposes them in everything whereby they seek to consolidate their position in their own interests." 
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: "Address of the Central Authority To The League"; [Communist League]; March 1850; In Volume 10; Collected Works; pp. 277-287; Quote from p. 280. 

Marx and Engels end this article, by exhorting the workers to remain on guard and NOT to cease their struggle independent of the "democratic petty bourgeois":
"If the German workers are not able to attain power and achieve their own class interests without completely going through a lengthy revolutionary development, they at least know for a certainty this time that the first act of this approaching revolutionary drama will coincide with the direct victory of their own class in France and will be very much accelerated by it.
But they themselves must do the utmost for their final victory by it clear to themselves what their class interests are, by taking up their position as an independent party as soon as possible and by not allowing themselves to be misled for a single moment by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic petty bourgeois into refraining from the independent organization of the party of the proletariat. Their battle cry must be: The Revolution in Permanence. " 

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: "Address of the Central Authority To The League"; [Communist League]; March 1850; In Volume 10; Collected Works; Quote from p. 287. 

Summary: Already in this text, the emphasis has entirely shifted, from a "simultaneous" revolution in several countries to one of a dogged persistence with the revolutionary agenda, in order to spread it world-wide.

The later relevance this article assumed, followed Trotsky's distortion of its main message. Trotsky did this in order to serve his own ends, to justify the "Theory of the Permanent Revolution".

We shall examine this distortion, after we have seen the later positions of Marx and Engels upon "Socialism in One Country". 

c). The Later Positions of Marx and Engels on Socialism In One Country

It is difficult for even the most ardent Trotskyite to deny, that Marx and Engels took a more sophisticated and clear-sighted view later in their careers on many issues, than they had taken earlier on. 

It is interesting that even Marx and Engels themselves were somewhat disparaging about at least sections of their earlier work. In 1888 Engels said this in a preface to "Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy":
"Before sending these lines to press, I have once again ferreted out and looked over the old manuscript of 1845-46. The section dealing with Feuerbach is not completed. The finished portion consists of an exposition of the materialist conception of history which proves only how incomplete our knowledge of economic history still was at the time." 
Frederick Engels: 1888 Preface to: "Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy" ; In Selected works: Volume 3: p. 357;

One case in point appears to be the matter of Socialism in One Country.

For there is clear evidence that in later years, both Marx and Engels had considerably modified their earlier view, of the need for a "simultaneous" and far-reaching revolution in several countries at once.

In the following letter written in 1882, Engels makes clear to Kautsky that the pace of revolution varies from country to country. In the context here, Engels is explicitly relating this thought to countries lacking independence, such as Italy, but especially he means Ireland and Poland:
 "Now it is historically impossible for a great people to discuss this or that internal question in any way seriously so long as national independence is lacking. Prior to 1859 there was no question of socialism in Italy; even the republicans were few in number, although they constituted the most vigorous element. Not until 1861 did the republicans begin to expand, subsequently yielding their best elements to the socialists. Similarly in Germany. Lassalle was on the point of giving up the cause for lost when he was lucky enough to be shot. It was not until 1866, the year that actually decided Little Germany's Greater Prussian unity, that both the Lassallean and the so-called Eisenach parties acquired any significance, and it was not until 1870, when the Bonapartist urge to interfere had been eliminated for good, that the cause gathered momentum. If we still had the old Federal Diet, where would our party be now? Similarly in Hungary. It wasn't until 1860 that it was drawn into the modern movement - sharp practice above, socialism below.
Generally speaking an international movement of the proletariat is possible only as between independent nations. What little republican internationalism there was in the years 1830-48 was grouped round the France that was to liberate Europe, and French chauvinism was thus raised to such a pitch that we are still hampered at every turn by France's mission as universal liberator and hence by its natural right to take the lead ......................
So long as Poland remains partitioned and subjugated, therefore, there can be no development either of a powerful socialist party within the country itself or of genuine international intercourse between Poles other than the émigrés and the rest of the proletarian parties in Germany, etc." 
Letter Engels to Kautsky; 7 February 1882; In Marx and Engels; Collected Works; Volume 46; Moscow; 1992; pp. 191-195. 


In yet another letter to Kautsky, also in 1882, Engels broaches the question of the colonial revolution in relation to English colonial policy. Engels disclaims precise description of how events will unfold, however he projects colonial revolutions where the "natives" are ruled. Of these countries he estimates that a revolution might begin in India - decidedly different to his anticipations of an earlier 1847:
"You ask me what the English workers think of colonial policy. Well, exactly what they think of any policy - the same as what the middle classes think. There is, after all, no labour party here, only conservatives and liberal radicals, and the workers cheerfully go snacks in England's monopoly of the world market and colonies. As I see it, the actual colonies, i.e. the countries occupied by European settlers, such as Canada, the Cape, Australia, will all become independent; on the other hand, countries that are merely ruled and are inhabited by natives, such as India, Algeria and the Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish possessions, will have to be temporarily taken over by the proletariat and guided as rapidly as possible towards independence. How this process will develop is difficult to say. India may, indeed very probably will, start a revolution and, since a proletariat that is effecting its own emancipation cannot wage a colonial war, it would have to be given its head, which would obviously entail a great deal of destruction, but after all that sort of thing is inseparable from any revolution. The same thing could also happen elsewhere, say in Algeria or Egypt, and would certainly suit us best. We shall have enough on our hands at home. Once Europe has been reorganised, and North America, the resulting power will be so colossal and the example set will be such that the semi-civilised countries will follow suit quite of their own accord; their economic needs alone will see to that. What social and political phases those countries will then have to traverse before they likewise acquire a socialist organisation is something about which I do not believe we can profitably speculate at present. Only one thing is certain, namely that a victorious proletariat cannot forcibly confer any boon whatever on another country without undermining its own victory in the process. Which does not, of course, in any way preclude defensive wars of various kinds." 

Letter Engels to Kautsky, 12 September 1882; In Marx and Engels Collected Works: Volume 46; Moscow 1992; pp. 320-323. 


It cannot be over-looked that the army and military specialist of the Marxist-Leninist movement – General Engels – advises against the export of revolution": Only one thing is certain, namely that a victorious proletariat cannot forcibly confer any boon whatever on another country without undermining its own victory in the process. And then there are the numerous works where both Marx and Engels examine Russia. These illustrate their changed view in more detail. 


(d). Marx and Engels on the Russian Prospects for Revolution (adapted From Alliance Issue 36, at )

It is apparent that Marx and Engels were extremely well informed about the position of the Russian movement and of Russian society in general. A bourgeois canard is still about that Marx and Engels "Got it wrong because they did not foresee that the proletarian revolution would begin FIRSTin a backward country like Russia, and not in a fully developed capitalist country, like Britain or Germany."

It is certainly true that early on in their writing, both Marx & Engels not only hoped for, but also thought it most likely - that revolution would break out in countries where capitalism was fully developed. But by the middle, and especially the end of their lives and careers, they had both correctly predicted that the weak link was likely to be Russia. This is linked to this article’s theme, since Marx and Engels predicted that the revolution would break out in Russia, and only then would be emulated following the stimulus in Western Europe.

Again, this was a departure in two respects from the prognosis for revolution given by them in the early part of their career. Engels for example wrote:
"Apart from Germany and Austria the country on which we should focus our attention remains Russia., The government there, just as in this country is the chief ally of the movement. But a much better one than our Bismarck, Stieber and Tessendorf. The Russian court party, which is now firmly in the saddle, tries to take back all its concessions made during the years of the "new era" that was ushered in 1861, and with genuinely Russian methods at that. So now again, only "sons of the upper classes" are to be allowed to study, and in order to carry this policy out all others are made to fail in the graduation examinations. In 1873 alone this was the fate that awaited 24,000 young people whose entire careers were blocked, as they were expressly forbidden to become even elementary school-teachers. And yet people are surprised at the spread of "nihilism" in Russia. … It almost looks like the next dance is going to start in Russia. And if this happens while the inevitable war between the German-Prussian Empire and Russia is in progress- which is very likely - repercussions in Germany are also inevitable." 

Written London October 15th, 1875; Engels, Frederick; "Letter to August Bebel in Leipzig; In: "Marx-Engels: Selected Correspondence"; Moscow; 1982; p.282.

After the folding of the First International , there was a question as to when it would be right to form the Second International. In discussing this timing, Engels argued that the proletarian powder should be kept dry, until the battle began. He believed that this battle would begin in Russia, and that this would give the signal for the International’s "official" re-birth. This would be an action orientated, and not merely theoretical manifestation:
"We think that the time for … a new formally reorganised International would only call forth new persecution in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Spain… On the other hand the International actually continues to exist. There is a connection between the revolutionary workers in all countries, as far as that is feasible. Every socialist journal is an international center…. When the time for rallying of forces arrives it will therefore be a matter of but a moment and require no lengthy preparation… The names of the champions of the people in any country are well known in all the others and a manifesto signed and endorsed by all of them would create an immense impression… for that very reason such a demonstration must kept for the moment when it can have a decisive effect, i.e.; when events in Europe make it necessary. Otherwise the effect in the future will be spoiled and the whole thing will be only a shot in the air. Such events are however maturing in Russia where the vanguard of the battle will engage in battle. This and its inevitable impact on Germany is what one must in our opinion wait for., and then will also come the time for a grand demonstration and the establishment of an official, formal International which however can no longer be a propaganda society but only a society for action". 

Written London February 10th, 1882; Engels, Frederick; "Letter to Johann Phillip Becker in Geneva; In: "Marx-Engels: Selected Correspondence"; Moscow; 1982; p.328-329.

But perhaps the best illustration that Engels thought the revolution would start in Russia, comes from correspondence with Vera Zasulich. Engels clearly displays an exuberant optimism in the Russian revolution. Now it may be true that he was some 20 years too early! But, after all, he had clearly identified the motive forces of the "Old Mole" in Russia. He even made clear that so serious was the situation in Russia, that in a "certain" sense this might be a relatively unique situation – one where some degree of Blanquist theory, might be relevant.
"I am proud to know that there is a party among the youth of Russia which frankly and without equivocation accepts the great economic and historical theories of Marx and has definitely broken with all the anarchist and also the few existing Slavophil tendencies of its predecessors…. What I know or believe I know about the situation in Russia makes me think that the Russians are fast approaching their 1789. The revolution must break out any day. In these circumstances the country is like a charged mine which only needs a single match to be applied to it. Especially since March 13 (Editor- the assassination of Tsar Alexander 3rd) This is one of the exceptional cases where it is possible for handful of people to make a revolution, i.e., by giving a small impetus to cause a whole system (to use a metaphor of Plekhanov’s) which is in more than labile equilibrium, to come crashing down, and by an action insignificant of itself to release explosive forces that afterwards becomes uncontrollable. Well, if ever Blanquism – the fantastic idea of overturning an entire society by the action of a small group of conspirators – had a certain raison d’être, that is certainly so now in St.Petersburg. Once the spark has been put to the powder… the people who laid the spark to the mine will be swept along by the explosion …. Suppose these people imagine they can seize power, what harm does it do? .. To me the important thing is the impulse in Russia should be given, that the revolution should break out. Whether this or that faction gives the signal, whether it happens under this flag or that is a matter of complete indifference to me. If it were a palace conspiracy it would be swept away tomorrow. In a country where the situation is so strained, where the revolutionary elements have accumulated to such a degree, where the economic conditions of the people become daily more impossible, where every stage of social development is represented, from the primitive commune to the modern large scale industry and high finance, where all these contradictions are arbitrarily held in check by an unexampled despotism, a despotism which is becoming more and more unbearable to the a youth in whom the dignity and intelligence of such a nation are united-when 1789 has once been launched in such a country, 1793 will not be far away." Written London April 23 1885; 
Engels, Frederick; "Letter to Vera Ivanovna Zasulich in Geneva"; In: "Marx-Engels: Selected Correspondence"; Moscow; 1982; pp.361-363.

Lenin, naturally, made a particular study of the views of Marx and Engels upon Russia. He clearly saw the same inter-relation between Russian revolution and European revolution that Marx and Engels had. Here are some notes in his famous encyclopaedic "Notebooks on Imperialism" – and are drawn from two articles of Engels. A Postscript to the Engels article "On Social Relations In Russia" (1894) - ends with this:
"It - the revolution in Russia – will not only rescue the great mass of the nation, the peasants, from the isolation of their villages, which constitute their ‘mir’, their world, and lead them to the big stage, where they will get to know the outside world and thereby themselves, their own position and the means of salvation from their present state of want, but it will also give a new impetus and new, better conditions of struggle for the workers’ movement of the West, and hasten the victory of the modern industrial proletariat, with out which present day Russia cannot find her way, whether through the village commune or through capitalism, to a socialist transformation of society." 
Lenin, Vladimir.I ; "Notes on Engels’ ‘On Social relations In Russia’; Cited Lenin; "Collected Works"; ‘Notebooks on Imperialism’; Volume 39; Moscow; 1968; p.506.
"VI. The internal situation of Russia is "almost desperate"… "This European China" (21)… the ruin of the peasants after 1861… "This path of (of economic & social revolution = capitalism-in Russia) "is for the time being predominantly a destructive path" (21). Impoverishment of the soil, deforestation etc; in Russia. Russia’s credit falling. "It is not France that needs Russia, but rather Russia that needs France… If she had a little sense France could obtain from France whatever she liked. Instead, France crawls on her belly before the Tsar. . Russia lives by exporting rye-mainly to Germany. "As soon as Germany begins to eat white bread instead of black, the present official Tsarist and big-bourgeois Russia will at once be bankrupt". 
Lenin’s Notes on Engels’ article: Cited Lenin; "Collected Works"; ‘Notebooks on Imperialism’; Volume 39; Moscow; 1968; "Can Europe Disarm?" pp.501-502.

And it was necessary for Lenin in other places, to point out in contrast to those who argued in 1905, that the Bolsheviks should not harbor "Jacobin" prospects for the 1905 revolution, that Russia was "too backward" for the proletarian revolution"; that Marx and Engels had argued against such a step as the first proletarian revolution, etc; etc; ....:"Take Marx’s letter of September 27 1877. He is quite enthusiastic about the Eastern crisis: 
"Russia has long been standing on the threshold of an upheaval, all the elements of it are prepared……. The gallant Turks have hastened the explosion by years with the thrashing they have inflicted…. The upheaval will begin secundum artem (according to the rules of the art) with some playing at constitutionalism et puis il ya aura un beau taupage (and then there will be a fine row). If Mother Nature is not particularly unfavorable to us, we shall yet live to see the fun!" (Marx was then fifty-nine years)." 

Lenin, Vladimir.I.; "Preface to The Russian Translation of Letters By Johanne Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Marl Marx and others to Friedrich Sorge and Others"; (April 1907); In Collected Works"; Volume 12; Moscow; 1962; p.376.
"Or take Marx’s letter of November 5th 1880. He was delighted with the success of Capital in Russia, and took the parts of the members of the Narodnaya Volya organization against the newly arisen General Redistribution Group. Marx correctly perceived the anarchistic elements in their views. Not knowing the future evolution of the General-Redistribution Narodniks into Social-Democrats, Marx attacked them with all his trenchant sarcasm:"These gentlemen are against all political-revolutionary action. Russia is to make a somersault into the anarchist-communist-atheist millenium! Meanwhile, they are preparing for this leap with the most tedious doctrinarism, whose so-called "principes cournat la rue depuis le feu Bakounine".We can gather from this how Marx would have appreciated the significance for Russia of 1905 and the succeeding years of Social-Democracy’s "political-revolutionary" action". 
Lenin V.I: "Preface to The Russian Translation of Letters By Johanne Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Marl Marx and others to Friedrich Sorge and Others"; (April 1907); In Collected Works"; Volume 12; Moscow; 1962; p.376.
"There is a letter by Engels dated April 6th 1887:"On the other hand it seems as if a crisis is impending in Russia. The recent attentates rather upset the apple cart. "The army is full of discontented conspiring officers (Lenin adds: Engels at that time was impressed by the revolutionary struggle of the Narodnaya Volya organization; he set his hopes on the officers and did not yet see the revolutionary spirit of the Russian soldiers and sailors, which was manifested so magnificently eighteen years later..) I do not think things will last another year; and once it (the revolution breaks out in Russia, then hurrah!"A letter of April 23 1887:"in Germany there is persecution after persecution of socialist. It looks as if Bismarck wants to have everything ready so that the moment the revolution breaks out in Russia, which is now only a question of months, Germany could immediately follow her example."
Lenin V.I: "Preface to The Russian Translation of Letters By Johanne Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Marl Marx and others to Friedrich Sorge and Others"; (April 1907); In Collected Works"; Volume 12; Moscow; 1962; p.377.
"Yes, Marx and Engels made many and frequent mistakes in determining the proximity of revolution in their hopes in the victory of revolution (e.g. in 1848 in Germany), in their faith in the imminence of a German "republic" (to die for the republic" wrote Engels of that period recalling his sentiments as a participant in the military campaign for a Reich constitution in 1848-9)….. But such errors – the errors of the giant of revolutionary thought, who sought to raise, and did raise, the proletariat of the whole world above the level of petty commonplace and trivial tasks - are a thousand times more noble and magnificent and historically more valuable and true than the trite wisdom of official liberalism, which lauds, shouts, appeals and holds forth about the vanity of revolutionary vanities, the futility of the revolutionary struggle and the charms of the counter-revolutionary "constitutional" fantasies." Lenin V.I: "Preface to The Russian Translation of Letters By Johanne Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Marl Marx and others to Friedrich Sorge and Others"; (April 1907); In Collected Works"; Volume 12; Moscow; 1962; p.377-378. 

Summary: There is therefore no justification for the view that Marx and Engels got it wrong by not foreseeing the Russian revolution. Moreover, their views in this regard buttress the fact that they had moved well beyond their early understanding of an absolute necessity of a "simultaneous" world revolution.


(e) The Distortion Of Marx and Engels by Trotsky: The Theory of the "Permanent Revolution"; and Lenin and Stalin's Critique of it. (Adapted from Communist League "Trotsky Agaisnt the Boslheviks" part One, dated 1976; see -----------------------------).

In November and December 1904, Trotsky Wrote a brochure on the necessity for the working class to play the-leading role in the capitalist revolution in Russia which, the following year, he entitled “Before the 9th. January” . This being the date, under the old Russian calendar, in 1905 when the first Russian revolution began with the shooting down by the. tsar's troops of an unarmed workers’ demonstration.

When he was in Munich, Trotsky was accustomed to stay at the home of Aleksandr Helfand a Russian Jew who then claimed to be a Marxist. Helfand published his own political review "Aus der Weltpolitik" (World Politics) and wrote articles for other magazine s especially Kautsky's "Neue Zeit" (New Life) and the "new "Iskra" under' the pen-name "Parvus”.

When Trotsky visited Munich in January 1905, he had the proofs of the brochure with him. Parvus was impressed with its contents and decided to put the weight of his, authority behind Trotsky by writing a preface to it. In this preface he stated a conclusion which Trotsky still hesitated to draw:"In Russia only the workers can accomplish a revolutionary insurrection. . . The revolutionary provisional government will be a government of workers' democracy." 
(Parvus Preface to: L, Trotsky: "Do 9 Yanvara"; Geneva; 1905).

In April 1905 Lenin commented on Parvus's theory that the capitalist revolution in Russia could result in a government of the working class, as it had been put forward in the brochure written by: “the windbag Trotsky". 
Lenin: " Social-Democracy and the Provisional Revolutionary Government", in. "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; 1946; p. 35).

Lenin declared about the theory, that:
"This cannot be . . . This cannot be, because, only a revolutionary dictatorship relying on the overwhelming majority of the people can be at all durable. . . The Russian proletariat, however, at present constitutes a minority of the population in Russia. It can become the great overwhelming majority only if it combines with the mass of semi-proletarians, semi-small proprietors, i.e. with the mass of the petty-bourgeois urban and rural poor. And such a composition of the social basis of the possible and desirable revolutionary-democratic dictatorship will of course... find its reflection in the composition of. the revolutionary government. With such a composition of the participation or even the predominance of the most diversified representatives of revolutionary democracy in such a government will be inevitable".
(V. I. Lenin; ibid.; p. 35).

In 1905, Leon Trotsky had been one of the leaders of the St.Petersburg Soviet. He was then held in prison on charges of plotting insurrection.

While in prison, Trotsky wrote "Results and Prospects" which was published in St.Petersburg in 1906 as the final chapter of his book "Our Revolution" a collection of essays on the Russian Revolution of December 1905.

In this essay Trotsky gave a fundamental statement of his views on the capitalist revolution the "theory of permanent revolution",

The term permanent revolution" was derived from the analysis of Marx and Engels in 1850 (see above):
"While the democratic petty bourgeois wish to bring the revolution to a conclusion as quickly as possible and with the achievement at most of the above demands it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent, until all more or' less possessing classes have been displaced from domination until the proletariat has conquered state power. . . Their (i.e., --the-German workers' ---Ed.) battle-cry must be: the permanent revolution". 
K. Marx and F. Engels: Address of the Central Council to the Communist League, in: Ibid;

Lenin broadly accepted this concept of the permanant revolution, although after Trotsky's publication, Marxists preferred to use the term "un-interrupted revolution" or "continuous revolution" in order to avoid confusion with Trotsky's perversion of the term in connection with his anti-Leninist theory of the capitalist revolution. In September 1905, Lenin wrote:
"From the democratic revolution we shall at once., according to the degree of our strength, the strength of the class conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass over to the-socialist revolution. We stand for continuous revolution". 
V.I. Lenin: "The Attitude of Social-Democracy towards the Peasant Movement', in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; 1946; p. 145.

Trotsky's theory of the capitalist revolution, as put forward in "Results and Prospects" was as follows:

1) The working class will be the active force in the capitalist revolution with the peasantry as supporters:"The struggle for the emancipation of Russia from the incubus of absolutism which is stifling it has become converted into a single combat between absolutism and the industrial proletariat, a single combat in which the peasants may render considerable support but cannot play a leading role.. .. .

Many sections of the working masses, particularly in the countryside, will be drawn into the revolution and become politically organised only after the advance-guard of the revolution, the urban proletariat, stands at the helm of the state.. . .

The proletariat in power will stand before the peasants as the. class which has emancipated it.. . . advance-guard of the revolution, the urban proletariat, stands at the helm of the state.. . . 
The proletariat in power will stand before the peasants as the. class which has emancipated it.. . . 
The Russian peasantry in the first and, most difficult period of the revolution will be interested in the maintenance of a proletarian regime (workers' democracy)". 
(L. Trotsky: "Results and Prospects", in: "The Permanent Revolution''; New York; 1970; p. 66, 70, 71-72).

2. Because the peasantry in the capitalist revolution is destined to play only an auxiliary role of supporters rather than allies of the working class, the democratic- revolution will place in power -- not an alliance of the' working class and peasantry, "the democratic dictatorship of the working class and peasantry- - but the working class, establishing the dictatorship of the working class, a revolutionary Workers' government:

"The idea of a proletarian and peasant dictatorship' is unrealisable. . ..

There can be no talk of any special form of proletarian dictatorship in the bourgeois revolution, of democratic proletarian dictatorship (or dictatorship of the proletariat and Peasantry). . .

Victory in this struggle must transfer power to the class 
That has led the struggle, i.e., the Social- democratic Proletariat. 
The question, therefore, is not one of a  'revolutionary provisional government' -- an empty 
phrase but of a revolutionary workers' government, the conquest of power by the Russian proletariat.". 
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 73, 80, 121-22).

3. Once in power the working class will be compelled to proceed with the construction of a socialist Society:
"The proletariat, once having taken power, will fight for it to the very end. Collectivism will become not only the inevitable way forward from the position in which the party in power will find itself, but will also be a means of preserving this position with the support of the., proletariat……..
The political domination of the proletariat is incompatible with its economic enslavement . No matter under what political flag the proletariat has come to power, it is obliged to take the path of socialist
policy. 
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 80, 101).

4. But the, construction of socialism will inevitably bring the working class into hostile collision with the peasantry and urban petty bourgeoisie:"Every passing day will deepen the policy of the proletariat in power,, and more and more define its class' character. Side by side with that, the revolutionary ties betwee n the proletariat and the nation will be broken. . .
The primitiveness of the peasantry turns its hostile face towards the proletariat. 
The cooling-off of the peasantry, its political passivity, and all the more active opposition of its upper sections, cannot but have an influence on a section of the intellectuals and the petty-bourgeoisie of the towns.

Thus, the more definite and determined the policy of the proletariat in power becomes, the narrower and more shaky does the ground beneath its feet become.. . . 
The, two main features of proletarian policy which will meet opposition from the allies of the proletariat are collectivism and internationalism" (L., Trotsky: ibid.; p. 76-77).

5. Thus, the working class in power now isolated from and opposed by the masses of the peasantry and urban petty bourgeoisie will inevitably be overthrown by the forces of reaction -- unless the working classes of Western Europe establish proletarian dictatorships which render direct state aid to the working-class of Russia:"Left to it’s own resources.., the working class of Russia: will inevitably be crushed by the counter-- revolution the moment the peasantry turns its back on it. It will have no alternative but to link the fate of its political rule and, hence, the fate of the whole Russian revolution, with the fate of the socialist revolution in Europe." 
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 115).

"Without the direct State support of the European proletariat the working class of Russia cannot remain in power and convert its 
temporary domination into a lasting socialistic dictatorship. 
Of this there cannot for one moment be any doubt." 
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 105)

6. The Russian working class government will, therefore, be forced to use its state power actively to initiate socialist revolutions in Western Europe and beyond:"This immediately gives the events now unfolding an international character... . The political emancipation of Russia led by the working transfer to it colossal power and resources, and. .. will make it the initiator of the liquidation of world capitalism. . . 
If the Russian Proletariat, having temporarily obtained power, does not on its own initiative carry revolution on to European soil, it will be compelled to do so by the forces of European feudal-bourgeois reaction. 
The colossal state-political power given it by a temporary conjuncture of circumstances in the Russian bourgeois revolution it will cast into the scales of the class struggle of the entire capitalist world". 
(L. Trotsky; ibid.; p. 108, 115).

Trotsky continued to put forward his theory of "permanent revolution" throughout his life. In his book "The Permanent Revolution", published in Berlin in Russian in 1930, he says:"I came out against the formula 'democratic dictatorship of the Proletariat and the peasantry'.. . . 
The theory of the permanent revolution.. which originated in 1905, . .".pointed out that the democratic tasks. of the backward bourgeois nations lead directly, in our epoch, to the dictatorship of the proletariat . . . . 
The socialist revolution begins on national foundations but it cannot be completed within these foundations. . 
The difference between the 'permanent' and the Leninist standpoint expressed itself politically in the counter-posing, of the slogan of the dictatorship of the proletariat relying on the peasantry to the slogan of the democratic dictatorship of ‘the proletariat and the peasantry.. . . . 
The world division of labour, the dependence of Soviet industry upon foreign technology, the dependence of the productive forces of the advanced countries of Europe upon Asiatic raw material, etc., make the 
construction of an independent.. socialist society in any single country impossible.".. 
(L. Trotsky: "The Permanent Revolution"; New York;' 
1970; P. 128,132, 133, 189, 280).

As we have seen, Lenin analysed the revolutionary process in tsarist Russia as essentially one of two successive stages -- 
Firstly, the stage of democratic revolution; 
Secondly, the stage of socialist revolution, but with the possibility of uninterrupted transition from the first stage to the second if the working class were able to win the leading role in the first stage. 
The resemblance of Lenin's viewpoint to that of Marx and Engels is quickly apparent, by a simple comparison of his viewpoint with the advice that Marx and Engels gave to the Communist League as cited above.

The Trotskyite theory of "permanent revolution" rejected Lenin's concept of two stages in the revolutionary process in tsarist Russia, and postulated a single stage, that of the proletarian-socialist revolution leading directly to the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
Lenin saw the revolutionary process in colonial-type countries also as essentially one of two successive stages -- Firstly, the stage of national- democratic revolution, secondly, the stage of socialist revolution, but with the possibility of uninterrupted transition from the first stage to the second if the working class were able to win the leading role in the first stage.

Trotsky logically extended his theory of "permanent revolution" to colonial-type countries, here also postulating a single stage in the revolutionary process, that of proletarian- socialist revolution leading directly to the dictatorship of the proletariat.
"In order that the proletariat of the Eastern countries may open the road to victory, the pedantic reactionary theory of Stalin . . . on 'stages' and 'steps' must be eliminated at the very outset, must be cast aside, broken up and swept away with a broom. With regard to . . . . the colonial and semi-colonial countries, the theory of the permanent revolution signifies that the complete and genuine solution of their tasks of achieving democracy and national emancipation is conceivable only through the dictatorship. of the proletariat. The Comintern's endeavour to foist upon the Eastern countries the slogan of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, finally and long ago exhausted by history, can have only a reactionary effect". 
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 248, 276, 278).

Lenin was, of course, strongly opposed to what he called:"Trotsky's “absurdly 'Left' theory of 'permanent revolution'" . 
(V. I. Lenin: "Violation of Unity under Cover of Cries for Unity", in: "Selected "Works" Volume London;. 1943; p. 207).

Analysing Trotsky's "Results and Prospects" in 19070 Lenin pointed out:"Trotsky's major mistake is that he ignores the bourgeois character of the revolution and has no clear conception of the transition from this revolution to the socialist revolution". 
(V. I. Lenin: "The Aim of the Proletarian Struggle in our Revolution', in: "Collected Works", Volume 15; Moscow; 1962; p. 371).

At the end of 1910, we find Lenin saying:"Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, because he has never been able to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution". 
(V.I. Lenin: "'The Historical Meaning of the Internal Party Struggle in Russia", in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; 1946; p. 505).

And in November 1915, Lenin says:
"Trotsky repeats his ‘original’ theory of 1905 and refuses to stop and think why, for ten whole years, life passed by this beautiful theory.
Trotsky's original theory takes, from the Bolsheviks their call for a decisive revolutionary struggle and for the conquest of political power by the proletariat, and from the Mensheviks it takes the 'repudiation' of the role of the peasantry.. . .
Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal labour politicians in Russia who by the 'repudiation' of the role of the peasantry mean refusal to arouse the peasants to revolution."
(V. I. Lenin: "Two Lines of the Revolution", in:
"Selected Works', Volume 5; London,; 1935; P. 162, 163).

In November and December 1924 Stalin made a more comprehensive theoretical analysis of Trotsky's theory of "permanent revolution":
"Trotskyism is :the theory of 'permanent' (uninterrupted) revolution. But what is 'permanent revolution in its Trotskyist interpretation? It is revolution that fails to take the poor peasantry into account as a revolutionary force. Trotsky's 'Permanent' revolution is, as Lenin said, ‘skipping’ the peasant movement, playing at the seizure of power'.
Why is it dangerous? Because, such a revolution, if an attempt had been made to bring it about, would inevitably have ended in failure, for it would have divorced from the Russian proletariat its ally, the poor peasantry. This explains the struggle that Leninism has been waging again Trotskyism over since l905".
(J. V, Stalin: "Trotskyism or Leninism?", in: “Works", Volume 6; Moscow; 1953; p. 364-65).

"What is the dictatorship of tbe proletariat according to Trotsky?

The dictatorship, of the proletariat is a power which comes ‘into hostile collision’ with ‘the broad masses, of the peasantry’ and seeks, the solution of its 'contradictions’ only ‘in the arena of the world proletarian revolution’.

What difference is there between this ‘theory of permanent revolution and the well-known theory of Menshevism which repudiates the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat? 
Essentially, there is no difference. . .

'Permanent revolution' is not a mere underestimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the peasant movement. 'Permanent revolution' is an underestimation of the peasant movement which leads to the repudiation of Lenin's theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Trotsky's 'permanent revolution’ is a variety of Menshevism.

Trotsky’s, ‘permanent revolution’ . . . means that the victory of socialism in one country, in this case Russia, is impossible ‘without direct state support from the European proletariat', i.e., before the 
European proletariat has conquered power.

What is there in common between this 'theory’, and Lenin's thesis on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one capitalist country taken separately"? 
Clearly, there is nothing in common.

What does Trotsky's assertion that a revolutionary Russia could not hold out in the face of a conservative Europe signify? 
It can signify only this: firstly, that Trotsky does not appreciate the inherent strength of our revolution; secondly, that Trotsky does not understand the inestimable importance of the moral support which is given to our revolution by the workers of the East and the peasants of the East; thirdly, that Trotsky does not perceive the internal infirmity which is consuming imperialism today. . . 
Trotsky's 'permanent revolution’ is the repudiation of Lenin's theory of proletarian revolution; and conversely, Lenin's theory of the proletarian revolution is the repudiation of the theory of 'permanent revolution' . . .

Hitherto only one aspect of the theory of 'permanent Revolution’, has usually been noted -- lack of faith in the revolutionary potentialities of the peasant movement. Now, in fairness, this must be supplemented by another aspect -- lack of faith in the strength and capacity of the proletariat in Russia.

What difference is there between Trotsky's theory and the ordinary Menshevik theory that the victory of socialism in one country, and in a backward country at that, is impossible without the preliminary victory of the proletarian revolution in the principal countries of Western Europe? 
Essentially, there is no difference.

There can be no doubt at all. Trotsky’s theory of 'permanent revolution' is a variety of Menshevism . . . . 
'Honeyed speeches and rotten diplomacy cannot hide the yawning chasm which lies between the theory of 'permanent revolution and Leninism." 
(J. V. Stalin: “The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists", in: “Works”; Ibid; p. 385-61, 389, 392, 395-96, 397).