Leon Trotsky: the relevance of his legacy, 81 years after his assassination

Friday, 20 August 2021 12:39

August 21, 2021 marks the 81st anniversary of the physical disappearance of Leon Trotsky. The circumstances of his death are indicative of the relentless revolutionary struggle he waged until his last day. But Ramon Mercader, the agent of Stalinism who inflicted the fatal wound on him in his exile home in Mexico, was far from imagining that his act would only exalt the Bolshevik leader and prove that Stalin was leading the first Workers' State in history to counterrevolution. Stalinism celebrated having finally managed to get rid of the revolutionary authority of the old guard in order to kidnap the Workers State and put it at the mercy of its interests. But above all the imperialist bourgeoisie celebrated the great favor that Stalinism would do it, by assassinating the founder of the Fourth International -together with several of its most valuable cadres- and thus quenching, at least for a time, the light of the international organization of the proletariat in a party whose aim is to bury capital: the Fourth International. But the class struggle does not tolerate interruptions. The present situation shows once again the correctness of the revolutionary conclusions that Trotsky drew from the greatest events of history until his death and the revolutionary edge of the program of the Fourth.

Capitalist decadence and pandemic

The Transitional Program begins by stating: “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat. The economic prerequisite for the proletarian revolution has already in general achieved the highest point of fruition that can be reached under capitalism. Mankind’s productive forces stagnate. Already new inventions and improvements fail to raise the level of material wealth. Conjunctural crises under the conditions of the social crisis of the whole capitalist system inflict ever heavier deprivations and sufferings upon the masses. Growing unemployment, in its turn, deepens the financial crisis of the state and undermines the unstable monetary systems. Democratic regimes, as well as fascist, stagger on from one bankruptcy to another.”

And, in light of the events triggered by the SarsCov-2 coronavirus pandemic, we can say that this is still a fair characterization. Two years after the start of the pandemic, we have taken advanced lessons in how capitalism works and who are its guarantors and defenders. We were able to see everywhere in the world how bourgeois governments settled in their States to exercise a reactionary centrality to control the situation opened by covid, trying to safeguard their health systems and the interests of large industrial, pharmaceutical and service companies to the detriment of the living conditions of the great majorities.

We call that policy a “reactionary general rehearsal”, which was an attempt to dominate the situation in the midst of a world crisis that the pandemic came to accelerate. The quarantines, the idea of living with the virus, the state repression to guarantee confinements, the committees of experts and so many things imposed by bourgeois methods to further disorganize the proletariat and prevent it from even thinking of imposing its methods. For this the bourgeoisie had the invaluable help of the currents of class conciliation and especially of the trade union bureaucracy at world level.

The capitalist system showed its true face when it managed to get emergency approval for some vaccines against covid. Far from ensuring the inoculation of the whole world, the vast majority were hoarded by the imperialist countries in order to reactivate their economies as soon as possible and use the "diplomacy of vaccines" to have a greater interference in semi-colonial countries. Thus, they left a large part of the world's population without any vaccine. The big laboratories have been the great winners of the pandemic. In the meantime, variants, such as Delta, continue to spread throughout the world.

The capitalist system showed why it is exhausted as a system, since it cannot act as a bloc. Although it can, at certain moments, make progress in some economic sector over another, it does so on the basis of an anarchy that guarantees a greater pauperization of the living conditions of the great masses. In this pandemic we could see many phenomena of class struggle against the hardships to which they wanted to subject us, the processes in Palestine, the strikes in Italy, the mobilizations in the USA against the assassination of Floyd, the acute processes in Latin America such as Chile, Ecuador, Colombia to name a few.

We are living a stage of decomposition of imperialism. The recent events in Afghanistan are a clear example. After 20 years of U.S. occupation for a supposed war against terrorism, today their troops have handed over power to the Taliban.

And perhaps the most important thing we have witnessed in this pandemic is the decomposition of States as a form of domination. The State-capital relationship has entered into a historical contradiction.

To complete the program and put it into action

Given the circumstances that have arisen since the emergence of the pandemic and, fundamentally, faced with the rottenness of the bases of the capitalist system, we maintain that Trotsky's legacy confers on us a theoretical and political basis to act in this historic stage. To take on this task implies assimilating the revolutionary method he taught us to think with our own head the processes of assimilation of the former workers States, the imperialist decomposition and its course in the institutions created for its domination. This, mainly, to make progress in settling the crisis of revolutionary leadership. On this road we must replace the centrism that influenced layers of fighters by revolutionary Marxism, to provide the workers vanguard with a transitional program that leads to the construction of parties as a section of the reconstruction of the IV International.

From the TRCI we promote the need for an International Conference with the groups that still defend the dictatorship of the proletariat to advance in the tasks of the revolutionaries in the stage.

It is necessary to defeat this capitalist system, destroy the power of the bourgeoisie, organize the proletariat and develop the stages of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We must expropriate the expropriators. These tasks are inscribed in raising high the banners of the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution.


COR Chile - LOI Brasil - COR Argentina

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