79 years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

Saturday, 24 August 2019 19:42

79 years ago, Leon Trotsky was murdered by an agent of Stalinism in Mexico city. His revolutionary ideas and actions are still in force as a guide for revolutionary Marxists in the 21st Century, who take over the historical tasks of the struggle against capitalism.


The assassination of this great revolutionary was executed by Stalinism, the political trend that betrayed the world proletariat once it gained control over the Soviet State and, since then, has provided a great service to the capitalist master in the maintenance of the bourgeois order. This counterrevolutionary trend has already won its deserved place in the dustbin of history.


Today, when an economic crisis of historical features is developing in the world, the bourgeoisie begins to see once again the ghosts that were thought to be dead and buried. This is because, in its decay, a parasitic class such as the bourgeoisie gets once again the feeling of being in danger. And in some way, it is right, for the whole structure of the postwar period, the institutions and agreements among different States that sustained the world order is beginning to crack down. We are now witnessing a decomposition of imperialism.


In these scenarios, revolutionary Marxists have a lot to say and do. Great historical tasks appear before us, with the imperative need to learn from the new phenomena and incorporate those learnings to the heritage of the Marxist theory and make it richer.


The theoretical and political legacy of Trotsky allows us to face these challenges from a revolutionary perspective. This is, to apply Marxism as a method of analysis of social relations with the aim of transforming them; that means, as a guide for revolutionary action. Different to what the whole of Trotskyite centrism did, as they limited to a mere analysis of readings.


Therefore, to update the Marxist theory requires to go further in the path traveled by Trotsky as regards the Theory of the Permanent Revolution. That is, like he said: to develop the character of revolution, its internal link and the method of international revolution in general. This last point is what we must develop in the heat of the elements of capitalist decomposition and the processes of assimilation of former workers’ States.


The Permanentist idea that Trotsky incorporated and developed is one of the most important contributions to the Marxist theory. It allows the comprehension of the development of concepts and their transitions, for a scientific study of the laws of capitalist economy, its institutions –the system of States and the forms of States, such as Bonapartism-, the processes of class struggle in relation to socialist revolution and the stages of the proletarian dictatorship. This theory has been so forgotten that those who tried to “update” it in fact only updated the tactics in a reformist way to keep it up with the postwar epoch of two systems and thus adapt to the consciousness that was in vogue in that period. On the contrary, we cannot forget the Permanentist idea of the party that Trotsky incorporates and that stablishes the base for the construction of the revolutionary organization on the historical task of our class, rather than on a determined present consciousness. The Permanentist dimension that Trotsky gives to the proletarian dictatorship has disappeared from the perspective of the main Left organizations, who dread to scare away public opinion; or, at best, they formulate it in a democratic form and limited to the national borders. They did not understand what Trotsky said about the proletarian dictatorship in Russia, that it was provisionally enclosed within the national borders, but he gave it an internationalist character and, therefore, permanent, when he said that that was a first episode of world revolution. This was one of the lessons of the Russian Revolution and its transition in the process of class struggle.



Our group is making an effort in order to move forwards in the field of theory and praxis, with the solid conviction that we must intervene as a new generation of revolutionaries and break up with the ideas of centrist Trotskyites of the postwar period, in the need to regenerate the workers’ movement and forge a revolutionary vanguard that fights for the reconstruction of the IV International, since we think that this is the only way to recover the Marxist strategy.


Trotsky had to discuss, due to the betrayal of the Stalinized III International, for the recovery of the method and the mechanics of the program. Therefore he elaborated the Transitional Program, that, as he said, leaves us at the doorstep of revolution. He emphasized that this program was a system of transitional demands that advanced the need to attack on the foundations of the bourgeois regime. That means, to develop one of the strategic premises of the III International in its revolutionary stage, that was to disorganize the bourgeoisie. Let us remember that the other two premises were: to organize the proletariat and, at last, to prepare the stages of the proletarian dictatorship. They could generalize the revolutionary experience of the epoch of crisis, wars and revolutions through the building up of the International and, with it, strategy gained international dimension and put our class before tasks that exceeded the national basis of our struggle. Trotsky defined the International as a school of revolutionary strategy.


Today we are witnessing the crisis of the trends that still vindicate the legacy of Mandel, Moreno, Ted Grant, Lambert and others; who cannot respond to the open processes and whose theories have expired, because they have been built up in a period that is already disappearing. They cannot respond to the fall of the Welfare States in Europe, because of their adaptation; neither to the processes of assimilation of the former workers’ States; nor to imperialist decomposition, because they have split economy from politics; nor to the challenges of class struggle, because they keep the idea of class conciliation as their guideline, without understanding the dynamics of Permanent Revolution, when the organized trends of the past are no longer there and the character of revolution becomes international, not national.


We are aware that new generations that are coming out to struggle do not carry with them the burden of the defeats of the proletariat, neither the influence of Stalinism; but they do have a significant confusion of aims. It is a task of revolutionaries to prepare the future, as Marx said, not with the vulgar criterion of “evolutionists”, that only see slow changes, but rather dialectically. “In events of such a magnitude, twenty years are more than a day –wrote Marx to Engels--, even though in the future there may come days in which twenty years are materialized.”


We are part of the struggles and we endorse the demands of those who have been fighting, with the strong conviction of helping the development of a vanguard, that we want to win over programmatically, in political battle, so it becomes the basic element of a revolutionary party that is able to uproot the problems of our class.


We keep thinking, 79 years after the assassination of Leon Trotsky, that: “Only by reviving the great traditions of revolutionary Marxism, by breaking up with class collaboration, socialpatriotism and the priests of submission within the labor movement and by taking the path of a resolutely offensive class struggle, by launching the assault against the fortress of capitalism, with the invincible weapons forged by our great masters, Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, can the exploited of the world move away from paralysis and defeat, marching forwards, as the solid phalange of the socialist future.” (Manifest to the workers of the world, published by the International Executive Committee of the IV International, 1938. Quotation translated from Les Congrès de la Quatrième Internationale #1, Paris, La Brèche, 1978.)


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