80 years since the assassination of Leon TrotskyFriday, 21 August 2020 13:07
80 years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky
On August 21, 1940, in Mexico City, Leon Trotsky was murdered by an agent of Stalinism. But despite this brutal attack on the development of the revolutionary line led by Trotsky, imperialism and its agents have not succeeded in getting rid of him. Today, 80 years after his death, when an economic crisis of historical characteristics is developing in the world, in the midst of a pandemic product of the relationship between capitalism and nature, the bourgeoisie continues to be haunted by the ghosts it believed were already well dead and buried. In its current decline, a class as parasitic as the bourgeoisie once again feels that it is in danger. And to some extent it is right, because the whole postwar scaffolding and the institutions and pacts with different states that sustained its world equilibrium have begun to break down. We are currently witnessing a decomposition of imperialism. The radicalized processes that took place in the U.S. after George Floyd's assassination by the police and which expressed a political crisis in the heart of imperialism, have not yet been able to be resolved. Trotsky's revolutionary ideas and action are still valid today as a guide for revolutionary Marxists of the 21st century, who assume the historic tasks of the struggle against capitalism.
Recovering the revolutionary legacy
Trotsky's theoretical and political legacy allows us to face these challenges from a revolutionary perspective. That is, to apply Marxism as a method of analysis of social relations in order to transform them; namely, as a guide for revolutionary action.
Updating Marxist theory means to move forward in the path taken by Trotsky in terms of the Theory of Permanent Revolution. That is, as he himself said: to develop the character of the revolution, its internal link and the method of the international revolution in general. This last point is the one we should develop in the heat of the elements of capitalist decomposition and the assimilation processes in the ex-worker states.
The permanentist idea that Trotsky incorporated and developed is one of the most important contributions to Marxist theory. It allows us to understand the development of concepts and their transitions, for the scientific study of the laws of capitalist economy, its institutions -the system of states and the forms of state, such as Bonapartism-, the processes of class struggle in the relation with socialist revolution and the stages of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This theory has been so forgotten, that those who tried to "update" it, actually updated the tactics in a reformist way to catch up to the post war epoch and the confrontation between two systems and, thus, to adapt to the current consciousness in that period.
Trotsky had to discuss, in the face of the betrayal of the Stalinized Third International, the recovery of the method and the mechanics of the program. That is why he elaborated the Transitional Program, which, as he said, leaves us on the threshold of revolution. He placed great emphasis on showing that this program was a system of transitional demands that aimed to attack the foundations of the bourgeois regime. That is, to develop one of the strategic premises of the Third International in its revolutionary phase, which was to disorganize the bourgeoisie.
For the reconstruction of the Fourth International
The formation of the Fourth International attempted to create a new revolutionary leadership, with a transitional program, which was the expression of the conclusions of the Russian Revolution for a whole process. It set out the historic tasks of the proletariat to destroy the capitalist system. And he expressed it in this way: "The Fourth International can be defined in these words: For the dictatorship of the proletariat!"
Drawing the programmatic lessons from the various centrist tendencies that led the Fourth International to its virtual demise is a necessary task to recover the Transitional Program from the statist, unionist and reformist influence that led many currents to degenerate and adapt to the capitalist system.
To rebuild the Fourth International is to attempt to settle the crisis of revolutionary leadership and prepare the struggle for power, to recover the transitional program and to deploy revolutionary action in the face of a world crisis that is still unfolding.
Continuing the revolutionary development
We revolutionaries are facing unprecedented historical processes, a process of decomposition of imperialism and a process of assimilation of the former workers’ states. But we have theoretical and political tools left over from Marxism. Marx and Engels' theory, the theory of the permanent revolution, the theory of imperialism, the theory of the revolutionary party, the program of the internationals in their revolutionary phase, the transitional program and so many programmatic lessons of living processes of class struggle.
The TRFI tries to develop its theory and practice with the firm conviction that we must intervene as a new generation of revolutionaries who break with the ideas of the post-war Trotskyist centrists in the need to regenerate the workers movement and forge a revolutionary vanguard that fights for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, since we believe that this is the only way to recover the Marxist strategy.
Reorganizing the forces of Trotskyism
Faced with this scenario of world crisis, pandemic and political crisis in the main imperialist powers, we call for the reorganization of the forces of Trotskyism that still stand for the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Latin American and US Conference, called by the FIT-U (Argentina) showed a great limit, since in its resolutions there is neither the perspective of the dictatorship of the proletariat nor the fight for the reconstruction of the IVth. The acceleration of the crisis imposes the call for an International Conference, but it is imperative that it takes up again the historical tasks and tries to tackle the crisis of revolutionary leadership in the heat of this convulsive world situation.