May 17, 2020

TROTSKYISM - IN SEARCH OF IDEOLOGICAL "RENOVATION"


Nikolai VASETSKY
Translated from the Russian by Vyacheslav SEMYONOV Translation edited by Selena KOTLOBAI

IN SEARCH OF IDEOLOGICAL "RENOVATION" 

In their famous Diary the Goncourt brothers wrote about a literary critic. “Do you know how I’ve managed to stay on the scene for twenty years?” he asked before explaining his method. “I changed my views every two weeks. If I always said one and the same thing, people would know what to expect from me without reading.”  Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, The Diary. Notes on Literary Life. Selected Passages in Two Volumes, Vol. I, Moscow, 1964, p. 88 (in Russian). 

This opportunist comes to mind when one hears about the Trotskyites’ activities in industrial capi­talist states. If they did not change their views and tactics like our “critic”, no one would pay any at­tention to them. They have mastered the art of po­litical adaptation, or to put it more simply, they are politically unprincipled. How else can their constant lapses into extremes and their sudden twists and turns be explained? The things they condemned in the harshest terms only yesterday are passed off on the next day as their own dis­covery and their “latest contribution” to the struggle against capitalism. 

That is why no one can say for sure whether each “new” Trotskyist “faith” means a renuncia­tion of their previous views.

"Flexibility” for the sake of self-preservation. In the 1970s and 1980s the Trotskyites in indus­trial capitalist countries have been ostentatiously renouncing the policy of “unbridled activism” which they followed in the years 1968-1969. This policy was reflected in the slogan “Everything is possible!” Disregarding the real situation Trotskyist leaders in those years declared: “Workers’ pow­er is in the streets”, and called for “insurgent strikes” and the immediate overthrow of capital­ism. 

As is known, the tactics of “aggressive actions” found no response among the overwhelming majority of the working masses. Even those who had fallen under the influence of left-wing adventurists began to withdraw from the extreme left-wing movement when they realised that it had no fu­ture. It was then that the Trotskyites hastened to “disassociate themselves” from these tactics by condemning them as “ultra-left and sectarian”. 

Today the Trotskyites no longer attempt to cap­italise on the sentiments of bourgeois adventur­ism, as they did in the 1960s. Instead, they take advantage of the natural feeling of dissatisfaction among many social strata in modern capitalist so­ciety. The Trotskyist leaders have decided that it would be “in the interests of the cause” for them to publicly denounce the actions of left extremists, such as those that took place in France in May 1968. In a burst of polemic fervour, a French group, calling itself “Workers’ Struggle”, even declared that the left extremists’ actions at that time were largely provoked by the government which had been looking for a pretext for unleash­ing repressive measures against the working people. See Lutte ouvriere, 7-13. VII. 1970, p. 14.

Nevertheless, the Trotskyites cannot deny the fact that one reason for the massive withdrawal of intellectuals, students and young people in general from the extreme left movement following the failures in May 1968 was its lack of a constructive programme of action. Commenting on the events of May 1968 Pierre Frank wrote that “the mili­tants [i.e., left extremists] who made up the revo­lutionary minority were handicapped by a consider­able gap in their political arsenal—the lack of a transitional programme.” International Socialist Review, September-October, 1968, p. 31.
This circumstance largely accounted for the fact that the Fourth International and its national “branches” have since adopted numerous program­ mes and statements. 

What are they? 

New words, old deeds. Some 10 to 15 years ago the Trotskyites loudly condemned the movement for the anti-monopolist transformation of capital­ist society, describing this movement as “renuncia­tion” of revolutionary struggle and “integration” into the capitalist system.  Quatrieme Internationale, 1969, No. 40, p. 8. 

If one were to listen to the same Trotskyist leaders today one might think that there is no more determined fighter for such a transformation as the Fourth Internation­al. 

However, a closer look at what is hidden behind the Trotskyist appeals will show that the Trots­kyites are least of all concerned with improving the workers’ living standards or working condi­tions. The opportunist character of their “declara­tions” is apparent from their statement that it is impossible to change the masses’ lot for the better without a “forcible overthrow of capitalism”. 

It is quite obvious that when Trotskyites speak in favour of general democratic transformations they are motivated by considerations of expediency. As usual they are trying to win over the working people, particularly those who are less experienced politically. 

To this end the Trotskyites have even devised a special “strategy of transitional demands” based on Trotsky’s notorious “Transitional Programme” which for a long time served as the ideological guide for the Fourth International in its activities. This strategy makes one think of a suitcase with a false bottom: what is unimportant for the Trots­kyites is in full view, while the essence of their real intentions is concealed. 

This strategy contains appeals to fight for wage rises, for a shorter working week without loss of pay, for the workers’ right to take part in the management of enterprises, and so on. However, these demands are not central to the “strategy”. The demands that lie at the heart of it are those which, according to the Trotskyites, cannot be “in­tegrated into the capitalist system”. They include the immediate establishment of complete control by workers over the capitalist economy, and administrative control over the capitalist state; disso­lution of police and the army and so on. See D. Bensaid, Portugal: la revolution en marche, Paris, 1975, pp. 290-292. 

Belgian Trotskyites, for example, demand that “all enter­prises that have been closed down or are threatened with closure be expropriated and be placed under workers’ control so that they could serve the popu­lation.” Maniteste electoral, 10 octobre, 1982, p. 8. 

At the moment these demands are obviously im­practicable. This means that the Trotskyist strategy with its built-in unattainable goals, will inevitably confuse the masses. In other words, it can demoralise them and eventually gives rise to pessimism and doubts as to the purpose of any mass struggle. 

The harm which such a strategy can inflict on the anti-monopolist movement can best be illus­ trated by the stand taken by the Trotskyites in France during the debate between left-wing parties over the implementation of the joint programme of the Union of the Left which functioned in France between 1972 and 1977. 

During the debate the Trotskyites made ground­less attacks against the French Communist Party. They maintained that the Party’s struggle for the carrying into effect of the programme of the Union of the Left and for a heightening of the anti-monop­olist tendency of this programme was of no im­portance for the working class. Does it make any difference how many factories are nationalised, as many as is proposed by the Communist Party or only one-third of this number as proposed by the Socialists, asked Alain Krivine, leader of the Communist Revolutionary League. And even if the So­cialists would support the Communists, the number of factories involved would be only 0.07 per cent of all enterprises, with a total workforce of only 120,000. This, he maintained, will not affect the alignment of class forces in the country, much less change the workers’ position. Crisis has been and will remain their lot. Politique hebdo, 3-9.X. 1977, No. 283, pp. 14-15. 

According to the Trotskyi­tes, the thing to do is not to gain “partial conces­sions” from the capitalists, but to give a “resolute rebuff to their plans.” Rouge, 15.III.1977. 

By reducing the problem to arithmetic, the Trotskyites not only oversimplify it, but also dis­tort its very essence. The point is not only how many factories will be nationalised, even though this is also important. The matter is one of prin­ciple: to encroach on private property, to put eco­nomic and, consequently, political restrictions on the scope of operations of all-powerful Big Busines is to strike at the very foundations of the capitalist system. 

The working class is in effect invading the eco­nomic and political domains traditionally under the exclusive control of the bourgeoisie. It is de­manding nationalisation of key sectors of the econ­omy as well as the major banks; democratic im­plementation of a financial reform; the establishment of workers’ and democratic control at all levels—from individual industrial enterprises to the country as a whole; regearing of the industry for solving the acute problems of unemployment and inflation; and guarantee of the rights and freedoms of working people. 

In dismissing these demands as “secondary” and “non-essential”, Trotskyism is in fact curtail­ing the anti-monopolist struggle. While it does all it can to pass itself off as the “resolute” champion of the working people’s interests, it actually becomes their opponent when it comes to supporting specific measures to improve the life of the mas­ses. 

Here it is pertinent to recall the following words from the article Anarchism and Socialism by G. V. Plekhanov: “Whenever the proletariat makes an attempt to somewhat ameliorate its eco­nomic position, ‘large-hearted people’, vowing they love the proletariat most tenderly, rush in from all points of the compass, and depending on their halting syllogisms, put spokes into the wheel of the movement, do their utmost to prove that the movement is useless.”  George Plekhanov, Anarchism and Socialism, Chicago, 1912, p. 134. 

The Trotskyites have no faith in the strength of the working people or in the ability of the revolutionary movement to force the monopoly bour­geoisie to accept democratic transformations. They would no doubt be delighted if socialism should triumph worldwide at once and without any preparations. Their revolutionary talk in fact conceals their complete helplessness in the face of specific revolutionary tasks. The Trotskyites have borrowed the tactics of “left-wing” doctrinaires of the 1920s which, in Lenin’s words, amounted to “waiting for ‘great days’ along with an inability to mus­ter the forces which create great events”. Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 16, p. 349. 

To the left of common sense. Extreme left theories of the past are also reflected in the “selective” stand taken by today’s Trotskyites on the forms and methods of the workers’ class struggle. This applies above all to their rejection of the possible use of institutes of bourgeois democracy such as parliament in the anti-monopolist struggle. Here the line of reasoning of the Trotskyites is not particularly new; nor does it lead to any new con­clusions. 

In their view, the function of a bourgeois parliament is to arbitrate between the various sections of the bourgeoisie, with the role of the arbitrater being played by finance capital which has ultimate control over the interests of the entire bourgeoisie. As to the demands of working people, at best what parliament can do is to register those of the demands whose acceptance the working peo­ple have wrested for themselves by extra-parlia­mentary means. The Trotskyites, therefore, believe that participation in parliamentary activity is “un­necessary” and even “harmful”, as it leads working people to think that their struggle could be conducted within the confines of bourgeois democracy. The Trotskyites thus conclude it is necessary to abolish bourgeois parliament as soon as possi­ble. Members of the Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International declare, for instance, that this is “one way of mobilising the working class for the struggle to assert its own class interests and to establish its own government and its own workers’ democracy”. Informations ouvrieres, 18-25.X.1980, No. 970, p. 3. 

This parliamentary nihilism was most severely criticised by Lenin. He attached great importance to the parliamentary activities of Communists, and only rejected the bourgeois interpretation of par- liamentarianism according to which parliament was a tool for waging various campaigns by the ruling elite and for decision-making behind the backs of the masses. He therefore called on the workers in Western Europe “to create a new, uncustomary, non-opportunist, and non-careerist parliamentarian- ism”.  Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 31, p. 98. To him, the way out of bourgeois parliamentarianism did not lie through the “abolition of representative institutions and the elective principle, but [through] the conversion of the representative institutions from talking shops into ‘work­ing’ bodies”.  Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 25, p. 428. 

This is how Marxist-Leninists have always acted. They use parliament to defend political freedoms, to support demands by all social strata exploited by capital, and to publicise the Commun­ist parties’ activities aimed at achieving genuine democracy and uniting the working class and all democratic and patriotic forces. 

Communist parliamentarians make effective use of parliament in their offensive against the monop­ olies. In the 1960s and the 1970s French Com­munists proposed bills to nationalise monopolies in the aircraft, automotive, pharmaceutical and military industries. In the sphere of improvement of the working conditions and living standards of the masses, they called for the introduction of so­cial insurance, equal pay for equal work for women and men, job-training schemes and so on. The fact that such measures have been implemented is clear evidence that Communists can and should use parliament as actively as possible. 

Recently, the parliamentary activities have ac­quired another substantial dimension which has a direct bearing on the possibility for a peaceful de­velopment of the revolution, as proposed by Marx­ist-Leninists. A major component of such a pro­gramme is the election of genuine representatives of the people to parliament. 

Therefore, the question of what road the revolu­tion should take is one of the key issues in the struggle against petty-bourgeois revolutionism. 

The Trotskyites are trying to prove that the Com­munists’ orientation towards a peaceful revolution is “essentially wrong”. “Peaceful revolutions end in a bloodbath”, declares A. Krivine. A. Krivine, F. Zeller, Les chemins de la revolution, Paris, pp. 166-167. 

In saying this, the Trotskyites do not mention the fact that Marxist-Leninists do not regard a peaceful revolution as the only one possible. A rev­olution can be peaceful when the working class rallies around itself all democratic and progressive forces, i.e., when the majority of the people are ready to deprive the big bourgeoisie of an opportu­nity to unleash civil war. 

Accusing the Communists of limiting the scope of struggle, the Trotskyites declare armed struggle to be the only “correct” and “possible” way. In their opinion this could be set off by local or re­gional strikes, which will inevitably develop into a general “passive strike” and then into a general “active strike”; the latter will serve as a signal for staging an armed uprising. “The strategic prospect lies in armed struggle,” Correspondencia international, 1980, abril, No. 2, p. 33.  says Jorge Brunello, a leader of the Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International. 

This total reliance on armed struggle derives from a profound lack of faith on the part of Trots­kyites in the possibility that the working class and its allies could achieve a decisive supremacy and thus prevent the monopolies from using force to suppress a revolution. 

Politics without the masses. The Trotskyites also betray their pessimism about the revolutionary po­tentialities of the working class when they call for the seizure of factories and for turning them into "islands of socialism”. Julio Posadas writes that the takeover of factories is necessary because of the “inability of the leadership [of the Commun­ist parties] to bring the struggle to a decisive com­pletion.”  Lutte communiste, 12.IX.1980, No. 431, p. 1.

Other Trotskyist leaders agree. “The workers’ struggle to seize the factories where they work shows which is the right road to take!” dec­lare the Belgian Trotskyites. Manifests electoral, 10 octobre, 1982, p. 6. 

This is where the Trotskyites go wrong. In call­ing for the “seizure of power” at factories, they not only fail to mention the need for the working class to win power in society as a whole, but delibera tely play down this issue. They thus discard Len­in’s important thesis, one which has been confirm­ed by revolutionary practice, that the class struggle is “fully developed .. .only if it does not merely embrace politics but takes in the most sig­nificant thing in politics—the organisation of state power.”  Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 19, p. 122. The Trotskyites try to localise working­ class actions and recognise as “revolutionary” only those forms of class struggle which are crude and immature. According to Daniel Bensaid, a factory under the “new power” will no longer be a fac­tory “in its proper sense”, i.e., a focus of alienated labour. If an industrial enterprise becomes at the same time a seat of power, he writes, it will then acquire “new functions” and serve as an agency which will not only have a formative influence on the workers themselves, but will also educate the rising generation and become a “cultural and ad­ministrative centre” planning both the industrial and social process in the development of society. Therefore, Bensaid concludes, this transfer of power will create “real conditions” for doing away with the division between mental and physical work, which is an “expression of the division of society into classes”, and for “eliminating all exploitation of man by man”. Bensaid, La revolution et le pouvoir, pp. 240-243

Similar views are held by Italian Trotskyites according to whom “proletarian social­ism can only be defined as ‘a system of self-gov­erning enterprises and organisations’ ”.. Le proletaire, 1982, No. 18, p. 19. 

It is hard to tell whether the Trotskyites are driven more by a desire to confuse the issue of revolutionary strategy and tactics, of the laws gov­erning the transition to the building of socialism, or by a deliberate attempt to distort this issue. One thing is clear: in the Trotskyist concept of “is­ lands of socialism” there are fully manifested such features of “classical” Trotskyism as dogmatic intransigence and lack of political principles, features that are peculiar to reactionary petty-bourgeois ideologists who, Lenin said, are only able to create “a caricature of theory”. Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 23, p. 65. 

This Trotskyist concept is utterly harmful politically. In the present situation marked by cut­backs in capitalist production and growing unem­ployment, the question of takeovers of factories by workers and of staging strikes for the purpose of keeping production going has become an exception­ally important one. The experience of such strikes in many capitalist countries has shown that the workers and office employees have mastered the art of “direct” management in industry. They have organised a basically different system of produc­tion, one without proprietors and overseers and founded on a voluntary basis. In some cases, hav­ing set out to fight for the right to work, the workers have been forced by circumstances to learn the “capitalist” system of accounting and deal with questions of what to produce, how and for what purpose. 

However, such strikes do not decide the outcome of the class struggle. They become fully significant and meaningful only in the context of an overall political struggle against capitalism. This was made abundantly clear by Antonio Gramsci who wrote: “.. .the pure and simple occupation of the factories by the working class, though it indicates the extent of the proletariat’s power, does not in or of itself produce any new, definitive position. Power remains in the hands of capital; armed force remains the property of the bourgeois state; public administration, the distribution of basic ne­cessities, the agencies disposing of credit, the still intact commercial apparatus—all remain under the control of the bourgeois class. The proletariat has no coercive means to break the sabotage of the technicians and white-collar workers, it cannot secure its own supplies of raw materials, it cannot sell the objects it produces. The occupation of the factories in and of itself—without the proletariat possessing its own armed force, having the means to ration basic necessities according to its own class interests, or having the means to punish physically sabotage by specialists and bureaucrats cannot be seen as an experience of communist so­ciety." Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Political Writings (1910-1920), selected and edited by Quintin Hoare, translat­ ed by John Mathews, New York, International Publishers, 1977, p. 327. 

By furthering the ideas of workers’ seizures of factories with the aim of turning them into “is­lands of socialism”, the Trotskyites only confuse the working class. Separating the struggle for eco­nomic demands from the political struggle to over­throw capitalism as a system, they are trying to revive, on the one hand, such destructive anarcho- syndicalist manifestations in the workers’ move­ment in capitalist countries as indifference to pol­itics and corporativism and, on the other, the prin­ciples of “classical” and technocratic reformism about the “neutrality” of the bourgeois state, about its being above all classes in society and its “non-interference” in the political struggle. 

The Trotskyist slogans help to spread the illu­sion that workers’ management of factories is pos­sible without radical socio-economic transformations in the whole of society. 

Trotskyism thus denies that the working class should conduct political struggle. When it sets the goal of attaining “socialism” within the framework of individual factories without support from the majority of the people and from organised politic­al movement of the masses, it displays irrespon­sible adventurism and merely makes a pretence of working for revolution. This has nothing to do with the ideals of the revolutionary working class. Reaction’s Trojan horse. Having no close links with any class or social stratum, Trotskyism has always been contemptuous of the striving for unity among the masses in their fight against the mo­nopolies. The position of today’s Trotskyites in this matter has changed little. They ostentatiously de­clare that their attitude towards the struggle for common democratic goals is the same as that of their prewar predecessors towards the idea of a Popular Front. 

“The experience of the Popular Fronts set up in France and Spain in the 1930s, the Resistance Movement in France and Italy, and the People’s Unity Government in Chile all meant the submission of the proletariat to the bourgeoisie,” de clare the leaders of the Committee for the Recon­struction of the Fourth International. VeritS, 1973, janv.. No. 559, p. 95. Such statements turn the actual state of affairs upside down: thus the Trotskyites stress that “the formation of anti-monopolistic alliances ignores the ABC of the class struggle, for the bourgeoisie, weakened by the masses’ actions, agrees to cooperate with the workers’ parties”. Ibid., 1980, janv.. No. 597, p. 128. 

If one were to follow this Trotskyist logic, one would think that it is not the working class, but the monopolistic bourgeoisie that is interested in greater unity between the anti-monopolistic forces. In favouring unity within the anti-monopolistic movement, Communists are guided by Lenin’s analysis of class divisions under imperialism. Lenin stressed that the socialist revolution “cannot be anything other than an outburst of mass struggle on the part of all and sundry oppressed and discontented elements”. He invariably drew the revolutionaries’ attention to the need to broad­en the social base of the anti-capitalist struggle. “Inevitably, sections of the petty bourgeoisie and of the backward workers will participate in it— without such participation, mass struggle is impos­sible, without it no revolution is possible—and just as inevitably will they bring into the movement their prejudices, their reactionary fantasies, their weaknesses and errors. But objectively they will attack capital.. .” Therefore, Lenin concluded, 

. .the class-conscious vanguard of the revolution, the advanced proletariat, expressing this objective truth of a variegated and discordant, motley and outwardly fragmented, mass struggle, will be able to unite and direct it, capture power, seize the banks, expropriate the trusts which all hate (though for different reasons!), and introduce other dictatorial measures which in their totality will amount to the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the victory of socialism.”  Lenin, Coll. Works, Vol. 22, p. 356. 

Lenin stressed that one of the conditions for victory over the bourgeoisie must be the ability of the revolutionary parties “to link up, maintain the closest contact, and—if you wish—merge, in certain measure, with the broadest masses of the working people—primarily with the proletariat, but also with the non-proletarian masses of working people”.  Ibid., Vol. 31, pp. 24-25. 

These Leninist propositions are particularly important today as the proletariat’s vital tasks be­come more and more closely linked with the major problems facing society as a whole. Today the historical role of the proletariat as a force working for common national progress and rousing all progres­sive forces to the struggle against monopolies, man­ifests itself more clearly than ever before. 

In this situation the working class does not at all lose its independent political line; nor does it dissolve its own interests in the general demo­cratic movement, as the Trotskyites state. In rous­ing the exploited sections of the population to ac­tion, it creates the most favourable conditions for the fulfilment of its mission as leader of the revolutionary movement. Rejection of the struggle (both as a slogan and as a stage in the revolu­tionary movement) to unite the majority of the peo­ple and draw them into practical action amounts to rejection of the idea of socialist transformation of society. 

However, Communists do not regard an anti-mo­nopolist alliance as an end in itself. This alliance cannot guarantee the workers’ victory. Rather, it is a means of mobilising the broad masses for the struggle to implement a programme that embodies the democratic demands and the interests of the parties and organisations in the alliance. To be ef­ficient, this alliance must have something it is against and something it is for. It must be an al­liance between all working people oppressed and exploited by finance capital and united against the handful of monopolists who have grabbed the wealth of society for themselves. 

Thus, the Trotskyites distort the essence of an anti-monopolist alliance when they describe it as a “means of beating back the rising revolutionary wave and of protecting the existing regime”. Verite, 1980, juin. No. 592, p. 127. 

While opposing an alliance between the demo­cratic forces, however, the Trotskyites cannot openly declare their real intentions. Since the ideas of unity are being increasingly accepted by the masses, the Trotskyites, being afraid to be left “Out of the game”, begin to speak of the need to consolidate unity”. We can see the sort of unity they have in mind from the correspondence be­tween Informations ouvrieres, the organ of the French Internationalist Communist Party, and its readers. 

In a letter to the editor a rank-and-file member of that party writes: “What you are saying about unity is not bad. However, what worries me is the question ‘What is this unity based on?’ ” 1 It is a good question, especially if we consider that it is asked by many other people. Another reader writes: “You say you are revolutionaries. How do you then explain your attacks against the Com­munist Party and your complete silence about the Socialist Party?” 2 This question is also to the point. The editorial board, in fact, evaded a direct answer. Saying that the “leaders” [of the Com­munist Party] “do not want unity” which is de­sired by the workers and the young, it calls for a struggle for unity on the theoretical foundations of the Fourth International. “Any organisation which recognises the Trotskyist ideology must be absolutely clear on this point,” the leaders of the Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International admonish its wavering members.3
1 Informations ouvrieres, 27.IX.-4.X.1980, No. 967, p. 8. 
2 Informations ouvrieres, 13-20.IX.1980, No. 965, p. 7. 
3 Verite, 1973, janv.. No. 559, p. 96. 


Thus, unity as the Trotskyites understand it is an alliance of like-minded people based on the strategy of “one class against another”. According to the Trotskyites, only in this way could the proletariat be “saved” from subordination to the bour­geoisie, and any other approach to solving the problem of unity only “obscures” it. 

Countering an anti-monopolist alliance with the slogan of “one class against another”, the Trots­kyites interpret the slogan in a sectarian manner by saying that the “workers must light everybody else”. All social-democratic organisations are thus declared the “mainstay of the bourgeoisie”. The Trotskyites do not differentiate Socialist workers from their opportunist leaders. Not surprisingly, such tactics not only makes it difficult to achieve unity within the working class, but it also impedes its contacts and cooperation with the non-proletarian strata in the anti-monopolist struggle. 

From the Trotskyites’ interpretation of the policy of “one class against another” it follows that their aim is to oppose the working class to the other working people and social strata, to prevent mutual understanding between them and to per­petuate existing differences. 

Trotskyism does all it can to set the working class apart from the non-proletarian strata; for when the working people are in a state of social isolation they would be less open to the influence of scientific socialism. 

However, people are becoming more knowledge­able and are gaining political experience. Even those who are still under the influence of Trotskyist ideas will sooner or later realise where the strategy of “one class against another” is leading them and will then understand that they have been wasting their time and effort. In his letter, one of the former leaders of the Communist Revolutionary League writes: “Like the reformists we cannot propose any specific steps to counter the monopo­lies’ offensive against the workers’ interests. That our position is ‘to the left of the Left’ makes no real difference. Never before in its short history has the ‘Communist League’ fallen so low and its pro gramme has become so opportunistic.”Rouge, 7.IX.1978.

What we have said shows that today’s followers of Trotskyism remain loyal to the traditions of “classical” Trotskyism and continue their subver­sive operations against the anti-monopolist move­ment behind the smokescreen of “left-wing” claptrap. This is one of the reasons why modern Trotskyism is supported by the ruling bourgeoisie to whom the Trotskyites have been and remain the Trojan horse it has been trying to smuggle into the camp of revolutionary fighters. 

Nikolai VASETSKY
Translated from the Russian by Vyacheslav SEMYONOV Translation edited by Selena KOTLOBAI