June 30, 2010

Revolutionary Spirit, Vol. #1, Issue #2

Anti-Imperialism: Nationalist and Internationalist Paths

            All too often we see many leftists oppose imperialism and social-imperialism based purely on "national" grounds. That is, based on the idea that the disappearance of a state automatically constitutes imperialism. This is the logic used when, for example, the Soviets moving into eastern Poland is labeled as imperialist. Indeed, even some leftists can use purely national reasoning in debates regarding this issue. This author is aware of a person who, during a debate on the subject of the Winter War between the USSR and Finland, took up the banner of the latter. His argument amounted to: "What right did the Soviet Union have in asking Finland to lease territory to the Soviets?" There was, of course, the issue of Leningrad being exposed to a German invasion and the overall pro-German foreign policy of Finland at that time, but he continued to claim "Finland deserved to defend itself" and "the Soviets were being imperialistic."
            This is where we run into one massive problem. You see, imperialism is about economic exploitation; it is not about national concerns. Lenin wrote that,
"[t]he various demands of democracy, including self-determination, are not an absolute, but a small part of the general democratic world movement. In individual concrete cases, the part may contradict the whole; if so, it must be rejected” (Lenin, Discussion on Self-Determination). The very reason self-determination is so relevant is that those peoples who rise up and agitate for independence are almost always the same types who are also collectively economically exploited as a group of people. When the people of Africa advocated and fought for self-determination, they fought, ultimately, for economic reasons and the battle between colonialists and anti-colonialists was waged with economic control in mind. On the mass level, of course, culture and the nation could not help but play a vital part in this struggle. The errors made by purely "national" arguments produce a worldview which is not based on historical materialism. Let us take the very founding of the Soviet Union as an example of "national" versus "international" disputes in regards to the issue of imperialism and self-determination.

            The Georgian Affair & the Definition of Imperialism

When the Russian Empire broke apart in the 1917-1918 period following the declaration of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (aka Soviet/Bolshevik Russia), self-determination was proclaimed for all oppressed nationalities within the former territories of the Russian Empire. Within the Czarist Empire, the various nationalities had suffered under a rule which was at best chauvinist in favor of Russian interests and at worst was outright colonialism within the areas of the Far-East and Turkestan. The Bolsheviks did not want to revive the Empire. They instead had in mind a union of various socialist republics grouped around the major nationalities of the former Russian Empire. With the springing up of other socialist republics such as the Ukraine, there was always the question of what form Russia itself would take within this new Union. The Russian Revolution was just that; a Russian revolution. There were plenty of Bolsheviks in other portions of the Empire, but it was very clear to Lenin, Stalin, and others that any Union would face initial Russian leadership. Such a history could only result in a paternal Russian attitude towards the more backwards Republics until they could, with Russian assistance, draw upon themselves for native government posts. In the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, native Turkmen were trained in Marxism and the administration of modern governments, and were also taught how to manage their own affairs, but within the Union itself there were nationalist elements that used the pretext of Russian chauvinism to forward their Republic's own agendas.

A good example of this was the "Georgian Affair." Georgia had been under a right-wing Menshevik Government up until 1921 when the native Bolsheviks, with Red Army assistance, were able to topple it. Let us ask a question: was this imperialist? Marxism would reply in the negative. Joseph Stalin’s book The Foundations of Leninism has this to say on the subject:

“This does not mean, of course, that the proletariat must support every national movement, everywhere and always, in every individual concrete case. It means that support must be given to such national movements as tend to weaken, to overthrow imperialism, and not to strengthen and preserve it. Cases occur when the national movements in certain oppressed countries come into conflict with the interests of the development of the proletarian movement. In such cases support is, of course, entirely out of the question. The question of the rights of nations is not an isolated, self-sufficient question; it is a part of the general problem of the proletarian revolution, subordinate to the whole, and must be considered from the point of view of the whole” (Stalin 72).

Why would the downfall of a bourgeois regime be considered an "imperialist" action? If one were nationally-oriented, then one would find much to condemn about the invasion, but internationalists would have little in the way of problems with it. Georgia had become Bolshevik; it joined the newly-formed Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic with Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1922 with the formation of the Soviet Union at that same time. The Transcaucasian experiment did not last. Nationalism inspired by economic differences and subsequent foot-dragging would cause its inglorious demise in 1936. A foreboding of this event would come in 1923 with the efforts of two Georgian nationalists, Makharadze and Mdivani, to secure a Georgia autonomous (or rather, practically exempt) from Transcaucasia. Stalin, then Commissar of Nationalities, stated the following:
            "The point is that the bonds of the Transcaucasian Federation deprive Georgia of that somewhat privileged position which she could assume by virtue of her geographical position. Judge for yourselves. [….] It is these geographical advantages that the Georgian deviators do not want to lose, and the unfavourable position of the Georgians in Tiflis itself, where there are fewer Georgians than Armenians, that are causing our deviators to oppose federation. The Mensheviks simply evicted Armenians and Tatars from Tiflis. Now, however, under the Soviet regime, eviction is impossible; therefore, they want to leave the federation, and this will create legal opportunities for independently performing certain operations which will result in the advantageous position enjoyed by the Georgians being fully utilised against Azerbaijan and Armenia. And all this would create a privileged position for the Georgians in Transcaucasia. Therein lies the whole danger. Can we ignore the interests of national peace in Transcaucasia and allow conditions to be created under which the Georgians would be in a privileged position in relation to the Armenian and Azerbaijanian Republics? No. We cannot allow that”
(Stalin, Speech to the Twelfth Congress).
            In this same speech Stalin also stated that:

            "The chief danger that arises from this is that, owing to the N.E.P., dominant-nation chauvinism is growing in our country by leaps and bounds, striving to obliterate all that is not Russian, to gather all the threads of government into the hands of Russians and to stifle everything that is not Russian. The chief danger is that with such a policy we run the risk that the Russian proletarians will lose the confidence of the formerly oppressed nations which they won in the October days, when they overthrew the landlords and the Russian capitalists, when they smashed the chains of national oppression within Russia, withdrew the troops from Persia and Mongolia, proclaimed the independence of Finland and Armenia and, in general, put the national question on an entirely new basis. Unless we all arm ourselves against this new, I repeat, Great-Russian chauvinism, which is advancing, creeping, insinuating itself drop by drop into the eyes and ears of our officials and step by step corrupting them, we may lose down to the last shreds the confidence we earned at that time. It is this danger, comrades, that we must defeat at all costs” (Stalin, Speech to the Twelfth Congress).
            The point of this, is that nothing was lost with the defeat of the deviators. A nationalist Georgia which sought to consolidate its Republic by deporting Armenians and Azerbaijanis does not seem particularly defensible from an internationalist point of view. Economic questions were not put forward. The entire debate was over nationalist reasons and as such, some misdirected figures may condemn Stalin for acting in an "imperialist" manner towards the Georgians, misunderstanding imperialism’s essential economic character as they do this.

The Case of Sultan-Galiev
            While the Georgian deviators were important to this question, a far more interesting figure was active at that same time. His name was Mirza Sultan-Galiev, a Tartar Bolshevik. Although he attacked the Soviet Union primarily from a cultural and rightist perspective, putting forward the revisionist thesis of "proletarian nations" exploited by "bourgeois" ones, he acutely predicted that the Union as it stood would be susceptible to Russian dominance regardless of the modernization of the various other nationalities and their Republics.
Sultan-Galiev put forward that Muslims were “proletarian peoples” and that bourgeois-national movements among them were actually socialist revolutions. He called for the Communist Party to integrate with Islam, for Muslims to come together in an autonomous Muslim Communist Party and for Muslim peoples to form what would essentially be a “Muslim Comintern.” As a rightist, Sultan-Galiev’s fate was unsurprising:

            "Sultan-Galiev, aware that Lenin had invited Trotsky to attack Stalin on the nationalities question at the April 23 Party Congress, approached Trotsky to form an alliance against Stalin. Trotsky was not interested... In April 1923, the center intercepted two conspiratorial letters written by Sultan-Galiev, which revealed he had Basmachi ties and indicated his willingness to exploit them to further his faction's agenda. With this evidence in hand, Stalin engineered Sultan-Galiev's arrest in May 1923 and his formal denunciation at the June 1923 TsK conference on nationalities policy” (Martin 230).

            Sultan-Galiev was arrested, tried and sentenced to imprisonment for nationalist tendencies, collaborating with Pan-Islamists against the Soviet Union and attempting to collaborate with the forces of Leon Trotsky. In examining these two cases of putting national concerns over socialism, the first case based purely on opportunist nationalism and the other on nationalism from a rightist angle, we can see that misinformed people seem to consider "national" incidents such as the "Georgian affair" based purely on borders and not class analysis.

The Baltic States & Poland
            We will now go to the years 1939-1948, wherein the charges of "Soviet imperialism" under Stalin are commonplace. It is also when a particularly "national" form of anti-imperialism emerges in defense of the sovereignty of the right-wing republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, along with the right-wing government of Finland and the overall reactionary government of Poland. A more fundamental discussion on the state itself is also in order. By 1939, the former Nationalities Commissar was now in control of the Union itself. In the previous years he had been focusing on the coming war between the USSR and Nazi Germany. In between these two states were the aforementioned Baltic States and the Poles, along with the pro-German Finland. Efforts at forming an anti-Nazi alliance between the USSR and the countries of Britain and France fell silent on the side of the latter two states, and the prospect of dealing with Nazi Germany itself was becoming increasingly inevitable.
            Grover Furr, Professor at Montclair State University, has written an excellent article on the division of Poland entitled “Did the Soviet Union Invade Poland in September 1939?” To summarize, he notes the following:

            1. The Germans wanted to invade Poland.
            2. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact established the Curzon Line as an area in which the Nazi forces would not be allowed to pass without breaking non-aggression.
            3. When the Nazis did invade, the Polish Government essentially fled in a panic and the Nazis declared that there was no one to negotiate with.
            4. Since the original protocols of the Pact involved Poland as a state, new negotiations had to be started (as they were by the end of September).
            5. Until this time the Nazis could have freely proclaimed a puppet government or protectorate in the territory of the former Polish state.

            Days after the initial Nazi invasion, the Soviets entered what was generally considered to have been the territory of the former Polish state in order to uphold the Curzon Line as a still-valid border. As Stalin said to Dimitrov, Poland as a bourgeois state had ceased to exist.

“In a letter of September 7 [1939] to Georgii Dimitrov, the head of the Communist International, Stalin wrote that 'we are not against' a war between capitalist states in which they 'would weaken each other.' Hitler, nolens volens [aka unwillingly], was on his way to destroying the capitalist system. Poland, Stalin added, was just another 'bourgeois fascist state,' and 'What would be wrong if in the destruction of Poland [as a bourgeois state] we spread the socialist system to new inhabitants in new territories?” (Senn 21).

            But where is the imperialism? More specifically, where is the economic exploitation? Where is the persecution of the Polish people? "National" anti-imperialists point to the "dividing up of Poland" as proof of Soviet imperialism in this period, but just because a state falls does not mean that because of that whatever other country caused or hastened its fall must be imperialist. If one still considers the Soviet intervention to be imperialist; if one still has a "national" fixation on anti-imperialism, this should at least be kept in mind:

            "The Red Army stopped at the Bug River, which coincided with the Curzon line, and most Jews were sent to safety beyond the Urals. Among them was a young man by the name of Menachim Begun, later to become premier of Israel, and an inveterate enemy of all things socialist. Still, in his UN speech, December 10, 1945, Albert Einstein expressly noted that only the Soviet Union opened its borders to Jews in 1939 and saved tens of thousands from the Holocaust, almost at a time when a ship seeking safety in Cuba, under Batista, was turned back to Germany. In 1938 the Poland of the Colonels refused to repatriate thousands of Polish Jews from Germany, thus dooming most to death. Choose your morality: immoral to cross the Polish border or moral to save the lives of thousands of Jews?” (Bonosky 87).
            What of the Baltic Republics? A good overview of the whole period of 1917-1991 with focus on Lithuania can be found in a previously cited book, Phillip Bonosky's Devils in Amber: The Baltics. To summarize, the three Baltics got their start rather ingloriously. Independent from the Russian Empire and its assorted inequalities, a dilemma soon developed after the native Bolsheviks of all three states were defeated in civil war; namely, how to achieve self-defense. There is indeed some strength to the argument that if a country is incapable of defending itself that its basis of separate existence (though not the separate existence of a nation, obviously) can be called into question. While the Baltic States jockeyed for protection from Britain, Germany and in Estonia's case Finland, communists remained persecuted. The NSDAP came to power in Germany in 1933, and tensions arose not only between the Baltic states and the Soviet Union, since all three states were by 1939 led by anti-communist dictators, but in the case of Lithuania, even Germany and Poland. Poland had occupied the de jure Lithuanian capital of Vilnius since 1920, and Germany had claims to Klaipeda (Memel in German) on account of the region's significant German population.
            As Germany looked towards the east, it was clear that the Baltics were now free to either enjoy German fascism or autonomous status within the Soviet Union. As the Baltic States were incapable of self-defense and were impeccably anti-communist, they chose the former. "Lithuania stands under the protection of the German Reich," said the content of a treaty drafted by the Germans after the fall of Poland, successfully topping the previous annexation of Klaipeda by Germany months before as a sign of the pseudo-independence of the Baltic States. As part of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact it was decided to allow for the Soviets to intervene in Finnish and Baltic affairs without German interference. Both the Baltic states and Finland had significant Communist movements, and the ability of the USSR to work within both areas with the agreement of German non-intervention seemingly secured sounded like a good deal. When Poland fell and the few days later the Soviets moved in, Vilnius was given back to Lithuania by the Red Army.
            The Baltic States went quickly. Unable to defend themselves, their right-wing governments proved to be wholly dependent on outside support when it came to dealing with the Soviets. To use Lithuania as an example, the Soviets forced the pro-German government to sign a mutual defense treaty. Knowing that despite this the government was obviously still pro-German, Commissar of Foreign Affairs Molotov first called for the Lithuanian Government to dismiss its Interior Minister in order to provide for a more friendly figure to the USSR. When it became clear that the government was reactionary yet undermined by the abandonment of the Germans, Molotov a few days later called for the Lithuanians to form a new government which would work with the Soviet Union.
            As American journalist Anna Louise Strong reported: “The events of the previous days may be briefly summarized. In early June the Soviet Union had presented an ultimatum, demanding the formation of a government in Lithuania which would fulfill the treaty of mutual assistance signed the previous autumn. The ultimatum was accepted and, on June 15, a considerable force of the Red Army entered the country where smaller units had been present since the signing of the treaty. Tanks, cavalry, infantry in trucks rolled through the streets of Kaunas and passed on to appropriate camping places. They did not mix with the Lithuanians' internal life at all. The Red Army gave concerts and dances to the Lithuanian army, as allied armies should. Otherwise it was known to be out in the woods near the border.
            But long-oppressed Lithuanians, whose champions had been thrown into prison for the fourteen years of the Smetona dictatorship, took heart and began to talk and organize. President Smetona fled; Prime Minister Markys thus became president, appointed Justas Paleckis, a brilliant progressive journalist, as prime minister and himself resigned. Thus Paleckis in turn became president and appointed a cabinet of ministers consisting of well-known intellectuals, later adding a few Communists.” Strong continues: "Paleckis' first decree set free about a thousand political prisoners—including Communists and Communist sympathizers. Within a week after Paleckis came to power, the first of the big popular demonstrations took place. Tens of thousands of workers marched through the streets of Kaunas demanding the legalization of the Communist Party, and secured it."

            The end of Lithuania as a bourgeois state was imminent. Until then, however, the Lithuanian workers arose in unity. Elections were held in which women were given the vote. The communists won. Bonosky notes: “Of the 79 representatives in the new parliament only 38 were Communists. The final makeup of the new parliament (seimas) consisted of 24 peasants, 21 workers, 30 intellectuals, 4 soldiers. By national origin they broke down into 67 Lithuanians, 4 Jews, 3 Poles, 1 Russian, and 1 Latvian” (103). On July 21, 1940, after the previous days were spent pursuing the nationalization of land, the Sejm (legislature) voted to have the country become the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Under Soviet governance not only were the Baltic States allowed to retain their cultural values under an autonomous local government, but their economies grew on an all-round basis.

            But what of the Baltic economies before their admission into the Union? We'll let Bonosky have the last word: “Between 1920 and 1940, all three Baltic republics were ruled by the bourgeoisie—which meant, by the power of banks, international financial powers, by the clergy and landowners. At the very outset, those who called the tune took steps to cut not only political ties with Russia—to which they had been attached for centuries—but economic ties. Then, as now, the economy of the Baltic countries was intertwined with the economy of Russia. Industry had advanced noticeably in Latvia, with Riga, the capital, having 90,000 workers in a city of less than 500,000 population. The industrial plants manufacturing textiles, shipbuilding, canning, rubber and metal were supplied raw materials from Russia and it was to Russia that the finished products were largely exported.

            Obsessed by the drive to separate from Russia, the new rulers of Latvia abruptly cut vital industrial ties, disregarding the catastrophic consequences bound to follow. It was a case of the blind leading the blind—of cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Once the separation was made, key plants immediately shut down. In Riga, the Dvigatel car building plant laid off, or put on short time, 15,000 workers. The Becker wire-drawing factory which had employed 15,000 workers also fired most of them, leaving only less than a thousand on part-time. The Krenhold mills in Narva were cut from 12,000 workers to less than 2,000.
            Naively, the new lords of the nation had turned to the West, believing that what they had lost in the Russian market they could recoup in the West. But there is no charity in business. He who lags or falls behind is devoured by the wolves. And, although the West was ready to spend millions (not their own money but the people's) to support an interventionist army, when it came to business, even class loyalty had to yield to what the profit and loss columns said.
            Suddenly it was discovered that Latvia (and Lithuania and Estonia) weren't meant to be industrial nations after all. Except for Estonia's shale, they lacked all the necessary sources for building an industrial society—no deposits of coal (peat, yes), no deposits of iron ore, no inexhaustible sources of energy to power industry, no vast prairies for growing grain. Their natural bent was bucolic. It seemed—they were now told—that they had an inborn talent for raising pigs and cows. They were ‘potato republics’” (Bonosky 156).

Finland & the Winter War
            What of Finland? A more detailed article on Finland during this period was written for Alliance Marxist-Leninist entitled “The Soviet-Finnish War (1939-40).” For now, we believe that the Finnish situation can be summed in the words of M. Sayers and Albert E. Kahn:

            “The most intimate working relationship existed between the German and the Finnish High Commands. The Finnish military leader, Baron Karl Gustav von Mannerheim, was in close and constant communication with the German High Command. There were frequent joint staff talks, and German officers periodically supervised Finnish army maneuvers. The Finnish Chief of Staff, General Karl Oesch, had received his military training in Germany, as had his chief aide, General Hugo Ostermann, who served in the German Army during the First World War. In 1939, the Government of the Third Reich conferred upon General Oesch one of its highest military decorations […]. With the aid of German officers and engineers, Finland had been converted into a powerful fortress to serve as a base for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Twenty-three military airports had been constructed on Finnish soil, capable of accommodating ten times as many airplanes as there were in the Finnish Air Force. […] As the Mannerheim Line neared completion in the summer of 1939, Hitler's Chief of Staff, General Halder, arrived from Germany and gave the massive fortifications a final inspection.
            During the first week of October, 1939, while still negotiating its new treaties with the Baltic States, the Soviet Government proposed a mutual assistance pact with Finland. Moscow offered to cede several thousand square miles of Soviet territory on central Karelia in exchange for some strategic Finnish islands near Leningrad, a portion of the Karelian Isthmus and a thirty-year lease on the port of Hango for the construction of a Soviet naval base. The Soviet leaders regarded these latter territories as essential to the defense of the Red naval base at Kronstadt and the city of Leningrad.
            The negotiations between the Soviet Union and Finland dragged on into the middle of November without results. In order to reach some agreement, the Soviet Government made a number of compromises. ‘Stalin tried to teach me the wisdom of Finnish as well as Soviet interest in compromise,’ declared the Finnish negotiator, Juho Passikivi, upon his return to Helsinki. But the pro-Nazi clique dominating the Finnish Government refused to make any concessions and broke off the negotiations. [….] Prime Minister Chamberlain, who only a short time before had asserted his country lacked adequate arms for fighting the Nazis, quickly arranged to send to Finland 144 British airplanes, 114 heavy guns, 185,000 shells, 50,000 grenades, 15,700 aerial bombs, 100,000 greatcoats and 48 ambulances. At a time when the French Army was in desperate need of every piece of military equipment to hold the inevitable Nazi offensive, the French Government turned over to the Finnish Army 179 airplanes, 472 guns, 795,000 shells, 5100 machine guns and 200,000 hand grenades.
            While the lull continued on the Western Front, the British High Command, still dominated by anti-Soviet militarists like General Ironside, drew up plans for sending 100,000 troops across Scandinavia into Finland, and the French High Command made preparations for a simultaneous attack on the Caucasus, under the leadership of General Weygand, who openly stated that French bombers in the Near East were ready to strike at the Baku oil fields.
            Day after day the British, French and American newspapers headlined sweeping Finnish victories and catastrophic Soviet defeats. But after three months of fighting in extraordinarily difficult terrain and under incredibly severe weather conditions, with the temperature frequently falling to sixty and seventy degrees below zero, the Red Army had smashed the ‘impregnable’ Mannerheim Line and routed the Finnish Army.
            Hostilities between Finland and the Soviet Union ended on March 13, 1940. According to the peace terms, Finland ceded to Russia the Karelian Isthmus, the western and northern shores of Lake Lagoda, a number of strategic islands in the Gulf of Finland essential to the defense of Leningrad. The Soviet Government restored to Finland the port of Petsamo, which had been occupied by the Red Army, and took a thirty-year lease on the Hango peninsula for an annual rental of 8,000,000 Finnish marks.
            On the day that Finnish-Soviet hostilities ceased, […] the Finnish Government began to construct new fortifications along the revised frontier. Nazi technicians came from Germany to supervise the work. Large armament orders were placed with Sweden and Germany. German troops began arriving in considerable numbers in Finland. The Finnish and the German commands set LP joint headquarters and held joint army maneuvers. Scores of Nazi agents swelled the staffs of the German Embassy at Helsinki and the eleven consulates around the country”
(Sayers, and Kahn 348-350).

            Addressing the Sixth Session of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on March 29, Vyacheslav Molotov declared that, “The Soviet Union, having smashed the Finnish Army and having every opportunity of occupying the whole of Finland, did not do so and did not demand any indemnities for expenditures in the war as any other Power would have done, but confined its desires to a minimum…We pursued no other objects in the peace treaty than that of safeguarding Murmansk and the Murmansk railroad[…]” (Molotov, quoted in “Moscow News”).

            The above examples of Soviet internal matters and foreign policy—the “Georgian Affair,” the case of Sultan-Galiev, Poland, Finland and the Baltic States—are these examples of Soviet imperialism? Did Soviet involvement in these states constitute imperialism by the Marxist definition? What, exactly, is imperialism? Imperialism is, essentially, economic exploitation. It has little to do with "national" concerns. When anyone opposes imperialism, we should know well not to point to any extraordinary attributes in the cultures of anyone. We do not talk of "fair Lebanese” or "good-willed Zimbabweans." The capitalist system has imperialism as its highest stage; national discrimination that follows with a peculiar exploitation of entire peoples on such grounds as can constitute imperialism and neo-colonialism. These policies of the USSR’s that we have examined cannot be said to qualify as imperialism.
            With Stalin's death and the formation of the Warsaw Pact in 1955, one could see a far more significant basis for claiming Soviet imperialism. The USSR no longer looked at itself as an exporter of revolution, but rather as a defender of Soviet interests. The 1968 Czechoslovak invasion was a sign of Soviet social-imperialism to solidify the Soviet grip over the states which it dominated. The foundations of the anti-revisionist movement in the 1960s showed the ideological and economic degeneracy of the Soviet revisionists. In 1979 the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, an allegedly "socialist" nation, and killed the "socialist" leader Hafizullah Amin because he had wanted independence from the Soviet sphere. Though the Soviets under Stalin had employed treaties to undermine bourgeois regimes, the revisionists used these same tactics to unseat "disloyal" figures within revisionist pro-Soviet governments. The “international division of labor" as preached by Khrushchev and co. condemned economic diversification in favor of a Warsaw Pact economy that ultimately revolved around Soviet interests. The USSR, the fortress of international socialism under Lenin and Stalin, could not have been more bastardized.
            In the end it should be apparent that the support of native communist movements is the goal of all socialist governments. All communists should be wary of exporting revolutions, and especially of issuing top-down revolutions, if only because such revolutions run the risk of undermining the role of the native proletariat itself. Perhaps, then, it would be wise to follow the words of Stalin in 1936:

            “You see, we Marxists believe that a revolution will also take place in other countries. But it will take place only when the revolutionaries in those countries think it possible, or necessary. The export of revolution is nonsense. Every country will make its own revolution if it wants to, and if it does not want to, there will be no revolution. For example, our country wanted to make a revolution and made it, and now we are building a new, classless society. But to assert that we want to make a revolution in other countries, to interfere in their lives, means saying what is untrue, and what we have never advocated” (Stalin and Howard).
            At the same time, we Marxist-Leninists should keep in mind our internationalist perspective on imperialism, and we should not err on the side of bourgeois regimes and their "self-determination" to exploit the workers. The state is an organ of class struggle, so to speak of any "national" defense against "imperialism" as applied in the debates over the Baltic States and Poland would be in error. The issue of anti-imperialism should always be combined with and serving the interests of fighting and strangling capitalism.


            Sources cited:

            Bonosky, Phillip. Devils in Amber: The Baltics. New York: International Publishers, 2007. 87-156. Print.

            Lenin, V.I. The Discussion of Self-Determination Summed Up. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964. Print.

Sayers, M., and A.E. Kahn. The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War Against Soviet Russia. 1946. 348-350. Print.

            Molotov, Vyacheslav. "Report on the Foreign Policy of the Government." Moscow News 01 April 1940, Print.

            Martin, Terry. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939. 1st ed. New York: Cornell University Press, 2001. 230. Print.

            Senn, Alfred Erich . Lithuania 1940: Revolution from Above. New York: 2007. 21. Print.

            Stalin, J.V. Speech to the Twelfth Congress of the RCP(b). Vol. 5. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953. 197-285. Print.

            Stalin, J.V. The Foundations of Leninism. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1976. 72. Print.

            Stalin, J.V., and Roy Howard. Interview Between J. Stalin and Roy Howard. 14. London: Red Star Press Ltd., 1978. Print.



                1) One thing stands out in the minds of those who dispute the defensive nature of the conflict in regards to the Soviets: what of the Finnish Democratic Republic? This Democratic Republic was a stillborn attempt at achieving something akin to Lithuania in between the fall of Smetona and the declaration of Union Republic status, though this does not necessarily mean that Finland was on the road to becoming a SSR if this Republic had come to power. Recognizing the Democratic Republic as the legitimate government was an attempt to rally the masses of Finland against war. It was not really remarkable in comparison to the various popular worker-and-peasant-based governments set up by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War.
                The affiliated Peace and Friendship Society of Finland and the Soviet Union was founded shortly after, with around 35,000 members at maximum. It organized protests with the aid of 115 separate branches and became a fairly potent force as far as communist movements went. Patriotism, however, proved to be particularly strong in Finland. Indeed, Arvo Tuominen, head of the Finnish Communist Party, was selected as the leader of the newly constituted Democratic Republic. Instead Tuominen (then in Sweden) refused to cooperate and spent the rest of the war condemning the Soviet Union, Communism in general, and advocating the continuance of Finnish war against the Soviets. He died a right-wing social-democrat. With the prospect of open British intervention by the Western Powers and perhaps even German intervention in spite of the non-aggression pact, it was decided to simply agree to the terms previously negotiated which would give the USSR leases on various territories in which it could defend Leningrad against the prospect of a German invasion. The Democratic Republic unceremoniously ceased existence just as Transcaucasia had.

Trotskyism: A History of Betrayal

            The American Party of Labor, and Marxism-Leninism more importantly, regards Trotskyism as pseudo-communism and a Fifth Column in the working class movement to de-fang and demoralize the struggle for socialism. It is the aim of this work to attempt to expose the counterrevolutionary nature of Leon Trotsky and the Trotskyites, their ultra-leftist and purist revolutionary rhetoric non-withstanding. Marxism and Trotskyism are irreconcilably opposed to one another.
            Those claiming to be Marxists must continue to educate and struggle against the widespread falsification of history that is occurring due to the purposeful efforts of the Trotskyites. This work is by no means to be considered a comprehensive history of the betrayal on the part of Trotsky himself or his present-day followers. We positively cannot present a complete and total examination of their views in one work. A book of considerable length would be required for such an undertaking. Instead, we seek to give a quick and hopefully convenient summation of Trotsky and Trotskyism's past betrayals of socialism and quote key parts and examples of them. By doing this we aspire to impart some further knowledge as to the political history and goals of Trotskyism. The American Party of Labor hopes to make its thesis crystal clear: Trotskyism must be exposed as a reactionary and anti-working class ideology. Trotskyism is not Marxism and certainly not Leninism.
            Trotskyism’s main foundation is not the foundation of socialism, but rather sabotaging socialism. No matter the conditions of the country, Trotskyites operate in the same manner—famous Trotskyist CLR James called the USSR a “fascist state” from his safe perch in the United States in 1941, at a time when overseas 26 million Soviet soldiers and civilians were giving their lives precisely to save the world from fascism. Whether Trotskyism manifests itself in Tony Cliff remaining “neutral” on US imperialism slaughtering millions in Korea or the Shachtmanites openly supporting the imperialist occupation in Vietnam, whether Trotskyism manifests in Trotsky himself calling for Stalin’s assassination and collaborating with the Japanese and Germans to do so, or in his friend Diego Rivera turning in Mexican “Stalinists,” or in George Orwell handing a similar list to British Intelligence (happily marking “Jew” next to certain names as we shall show), Trotskyites are the best friends of the bourgeoisie and the fascists.
            Briefly on Lenin & Trotsky
            One very popular myth is that Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky were comrades-in-arms and were very close both personally and politically. The origins of this idea, regarded in the West as an unquestionable historical dogma, come from the writings and claims of Trotsky himself. It is common to hear teachers in our American schools announce that it was obvious that Trotsky, and not Stalin, was the successor to Lenin, and even that Lenin had wanted Trotsky to be leader after he died. In this narrative, Leninism and Trotskyism are one and the same; Trotsky was the most brilliant Marxist to ever live next to Lenin himself; some go so far as to say Lenin was a Trotskyist. This fanciful myth states that Lenin and Trotsky were two sides of the same coin, that their political beliefs were more or less identical, and had Trotsky come to power rather than Stalin, the world would have somehow turned out for the better. This narrative ends with the tragic Shakespearean tale of Trotsky being deprived of his birthright and place in history as emperor of the Soviet Union by the low-class and mediocre personality of the Machiavellian Asiatic despot Joseph Stalin.
            Anyone who has made some study, let alone a deep study, of Lenin's works cannot help but know of the total falsity of this myth. This historical dogma is a brazen lie, a distortion of facts. As Lenin said:
            “Everybody knows that Trotsky is fond of high-sounding and empty phrases. [….] There is much glitter and sound in Trotsky’s phrases, but they are meaningless. [….] Trotsky is very fond of using, with the learned air of the expert, pompous and high-sounding phrases to explain historical phenomena in a way that is flattering to Trotsky” (Lenin, CW 20, 330-5).
            It was actually on Lenin's proposal that the Central Committee elected Joseph Stalin as General Secretary in April 1922. Leon Trotsky was a Menshevik who violently attacked Lenin and Bolshevism every step of the way until they seized power in Russia. Trotsky was the only major Communist Party leader who did not attend Lenin's funeral. He was never considered for the position of leader of the Party. Trotsky's program was defeated in a landslide at the 13th Party Congress in 1924 and at the 15th Party Congress in 1927, the latter by a vote of 740,000 to 4,000. Trotsky was expelled from the USSR and the Communist Party after trying to undermine the Soviet state with demonstrations and trying to create a faction in the Party after his program was defeated. Once exiled by majority vote, he planned coordinated sabotage and assassinations of Party leaders and called for a new revolution in the Soviet Union to place himself in power. He escaped to the West, where he served the imperialist powers, including the FBI and Gestapo until his execution at the hands of Ramón Mercader in 1940.
            Lenin saw through Trotsky's opportunism and spoke of him and his theories, including so-called Permanent Revolution, thusly:
“The old participants in the Marxist movement in Russia know Trotsky very well, and there is no need to discuss him for their benefit. But the younger generation of workers do not know him, and it is therefore necessary to discuss him. [….] Trotsky was an ardent Iskrist in 1901—03, and Ryazanov described his role at the Congress of 1903 as 'Lenin’s cudgel'. At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i. e., he deserted from the Iskrists to the Economists. He said that 'between the old Iskra and the new lies a gulf'. In 1904—05, he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now co-operating with Martynov (the Economist), now proclaiming his absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory. In 1906—07, he approached the Bolsheviks, and in the spring of 1907 he declared that he was in agreement with Rosa Luxemburg. In the period of disintegration, after long 'non-factional' vacillation, he again went to the right, and in August 1912, he entered into a bloc with the liquidators. He has now deserted them again, although in substance he reiterates their shoddy ideas” (CW 20, 346-7).
            “Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism. He always contrives to worm his way into the cracks of any given difference of opinion” (CW 20, 448-9).
            “Trotsky, on the other hand, represents only his own personal vacillations and nothing more.  In 1903 he was a Menshevik; he abandoned Menshevism in 1904, returned to the Mensheviks in 1905 and merely flaunted ultra- revolutionary phrases; in 1906 he left them again; at the end of 1906 he advocated electoral agreements with the Cadets (i.e., he was in once more with the Mensheviks); and the spring of 1907, at the London Congress, he said that he differed from Rosa Luxemburg on 'individual shades of ideas rather than on political tendencies'.  One day Trotsky plagiarizes from the ideological stock-in-trade of one faction; the next day he plagiarizes from that of another, and therefore declares himself to be standing above both factions” (CW 16, 391).
            Trotskyism is not a form of communism—it is a form of anti-communism, a form of the most opportunistic, Euro-centric, idealist and petty-bourgeois variety. Trotsky announced from the very beginning of the October Revolution that he was not a Marxist: “I cannot be called a Bolshevik... We must not be demanded to recognise Bolshevism” (Trotsky, “Mezhrayontsi Conference”). Lenin also did not consider Trotsky to be a Bolshevik: “Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, for Trotsky never has been able to get any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution. Much worse, however, is his distortion of the history of that revolution” (CW 16, 381).
            Through many open struggles and unflattering nicknames such as “Judas Trotsky,” Lenin made his opinions about Trotsky well-known:
“What a swine this Trotsky is—Left phrases, and a bloc with the Right against the Zimmerwald Left! He ought to be exposed if only in a brief letter” (Letter to Alexandra Kollontai).
            “Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once came to an understanding with the Right-wing of Novy Mir against the Left Zimmerwaldians! Just so! That is just like Trotsky! He is always equal to himself – twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right, so long as he can” (Lenin, quoted in “Labour Monthly”).
Lenin also criticized “Trotsky’s utter lack of theoretical understanding” (CW 16, 390) and said that the “reason why Trotsky avoids facts and concrete references is because they relentlessly refute all his angry outcries and pompous phrases […] Is not this weapon borrowed from the arsenal of the period when Trotsky posed in all his splendor before audiences of high-school boys?” (Lenin, CW 20, 346). The words of the father of the Russian Revolution carry over to this day when speaking of present-day Trotskyism. Like his followers today, Leon Trotsky was the friend of anti-Marxists.

     “Trotsky unites all those to whom ideological decay is dear, all who are not concerned with the defence of Marxism; all philistines who do not understand the reasons for the struggle and who do not wish to learn, think, and discover the ideological roots of the divergence of views. At this time of confusion, disintegration, and wavering it is easy for Trotsky to become the ‘hero of the hour’ and gather all the shabby elements around himself.  The more openly this attempt is made, the more spectacular will be the defeat” (Lenin, CW 17, 22). 
Trotsky too, was very clear in his opinions about Lenin and Leninism:
“The wretched squabbling systematically provoked by Lenin, that old hand at the game, that professional exploiter of all that is backward in the Russian labour movement, seems like a senseless obsession. […] The entire edifice of Leninism is built on lies and falsification and bears within itself the poisonous elements of its own decay” (Trotsky, Letter to Nikolay Chkeidze).
                “Trotsky concentrated his energies on fighting Lenin, the Bolsheviks. He frankly stated that he saw this as the main purpose of his political activity. The congratulatory postcard to Joffe (1910) is sufficiently widely known; in it Trotsky urged 'a great fight' against Lenin, and threatened that in it 'Lenin will meet his death.'” (Basmanov).
            The opportunism of Trotsky is presented here for all to see. Despite these obvious admissions of not being a Marxist, a Bolshevik, or a communist of any sort, and despite openly being an ardent opponent of Vladimir Lenin, Trotsky and the Trotskyites later tried their best to cultivate the image of the most “pure,” the most “proletarian” and the most “orthodox” Marxists, even going so far as to call themselves “Bolshevik-Leninists,” an ironic label for the followers of a man who had done his best to destroy the world’s first socialist state. Trotsky would go on to write whole volumes trying to set himself up as a loyal follower of Lenin after his death:
“…had I not been present in 1917 in St. Petersburg, the October Revolution would still have taken place—on the condition that Lenin was present and in command. If neither Lenin nor I had been present in Petersburg, there would have been no October Revolution: the leadership of the Bolshevik Party would have prevented it from occurring—of this I have not the slightest doubt” (Trotsky, Diary in Exile 46). 
            The truth is that Leon Trotsky was a reactionary, his theories lack a Marxist framework and only serve reaction. The issue of Trotskyism and ultra-leftism is important and still a disease plaguing the entire world left. This includes the precious gem of the Trotskyites, what Lenin called the “absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory.”
            “The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this, it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time” (Lenin CW 23, 80).
            “I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense” (Lenin CW 23, 9).
            Lenin frequently spoke about Trotsky and those like him:
            “The younger generation of workers should know exactly whom they are dealing with, when individuals come before them with incredibly pretentious claims, unwilling absolutely to reckon with either the Party decisions, which since 1908 have defined and established our attitude towards liquidationism, or with the experience of the present-day working-class movement in Russia, which has actually brought about the unity of the majority on the basis of full recognition of the aforesaid decisions” (Lenin, CW 20, 330-5).
            Trotsky violently disagreed with Lenin on many issues, including support of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which allowed Russia’s exit from World War I. The imperialist war had, up until that time, cost millions of Russian lives. Trotsky violated the democratic centralism of the party and unilaterally ceased negotiations, opening Russia up to invasion:
            “Trotsky threw up his hands, telling the Germans that he would never agree to what they wanted [in the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty] and urging Lenin to adopt a 'no war, no peace' policy in which Russia would neither continue to fight nor agree to Germany's terms […] The Ukrainian capital of Kiev fell to the Germans on March 1. Trotsky, furious, said that Russia should rejoin the Entente and resume the war. Lenin, fearing the capture of Petrograd and the destruction of his fledgling regime, moved his government to Moscow and said no” (Meyer 619-620).
                Even in his death, Lenin was crystal clear about his opinions regarding Trotsky:
            “[a]fter Lenin's death we, nineteen men of the Executive Committee, sat together and anxiously awaited the advice which our leader would give us from the tomb. Lenin's widow had brought us the letter. Stalin read it aloud to us. As he did so, nobody made a sound. When it came to speak of Trotsky, the letter […] said: 'His un-Bolshevik past is not an accident.' All at once Trotsky interrupted the reading and asked: 'What was that?' The sentence was repeated. These were the only words that were spoken during that solemn hour” (Ludwig 364).
            The conclusion is crystal clear: Lenin and Trotsky were not political allies. Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism from their very foundations were diametrically opposed to each other.
            Trotsky in World War II: “Stalinism” is the Main Danger
On September 24, 1938, with the Nazi Army invading and occupying Czechoslovakia, the leading editorial in the New York Trotskyist newspaper Socialist Appeal declared:
“Czechoslovakia is one of the most monstrous national abortions produced by the labors of the infamous Versailles conference... Czechoslovakia's democracy has never been more than a shabby cloak for advanced capitalist exploitation... This perspective necessarily entails the firmest revolutionary opposition to the Czechoslovakian bourgeois state, under any and all circumstances” (Kahn and Sayers 325).
            Leon Trotsky’s political line against the socialist Soviet Union is echoed to this day by all reactionaries in the classroom, television and in the CIA and Washington. Even in the few short years after Trotsky’s counterrevolutionary scribbles were published it became fashionable for big capitalists to abandon open hatred of communism and instead adopt the position of Trotsky, or criticizing the Russian Revolution “from the left.” While the world faced the full onslaught of blitzkrieg and the genocidal bombing campaigns of the Nazi forces in World War II, and when the USSR with the guidance of the Communist Party and Joseph Stalin was almost single-handedly fighting this threat on behalf of all of humanity, the left-opposition led by the exiled Trotsky did all they possibly could to sabotage and wreck the USSR, even openly advocating terrorism and massive military attacks against the Soviet Union to destroy the Bolsheviks.
            Trotsky in his own public pronouncements openly called for the overthrow of the Soviet state and speculated that a foreign invasion might provide the catalyst for a takeover by himself. Trotsky declared: “[t]he bureaucracy can be crushed only by a new political revolution” (Trotsky, “The World Situation”).
            “The reactionary bureaucracy must be and will be overthrown. The political revolution in the USSR is inevitable” (Trotsky, “Le gouvernement”).
            “I consider the main source of danger to the USSR in the present international situation to be Stalin and the oligarchy headed by him. An open struggle against them […] is inseparably connected for me with the defense of the USSR” (Trotsky, “Stalin After the Finnish Experience”).

            “Only the overthrow of the Bonapartist Kremlin clique can make possible the regeneration of the military strength of the USSR. Only the liquidation of the ex-Comintern will clear the way for revolutionary internationalism. The struggle against war, imperialism, and fascism demands a ruthless struggle against Stalinism, splotched with crimes. Whoever defends Stalinism directly or indirectly, whoever keeps silent about its betrayals or exaggerates its military strength is the worst enemy of the revolution, or socialism, of the oppressed peoples” (Trotsky, “A Fresh Lesson”). 
In addition to these quotes, an entire section of Trotsky’s famous tome The Revolution Betrayed called “The Inevitability of a New Revolution” is dedicated to supporting a revolution against the existing state of the Soviet Union. Trotsky claims he seeks to make this revolution in the name of “true” socialism. However, in calling for a revolution, he is advocating the overthrow and destruction of the existing state. The American Party of Labor believes the Soviet Union at that time was a socialist state in which the proletariat was the ruling class of society. Therefore, if one accepts this thesis, then clearly Trotsky’s plan was for the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. This would also be the dismantling of the Soviet state on the brink of invasion by fascist forces. If one needs further proof that Trotskyists are not communists, one only needs to look at their lack of preference for a socialist state over the bloodthirsty fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito and Franco. To further the bourgeoisie’s ends, Trotsky and his follows began the line of moral equivalency between fascism and communism.
“In the second World War both fronts, the democratic as well as the fascist, are likely to be defeated -- the one militarily, the other economically. No matter to which side the proletariat offers itself, it will be among the defeated. Therefore it must not side with the democracies, nor with the totalitarians” (Ruhle).
The word “totalitarians” in this case means both Hitler and Stalin. Of course, what are the “democracies” the author speaks of? Why, the free bourgeois-dominated lands of the UK, the United States and France of course! This is all par for the course with Trotskyism, which uncritically takes up the banner of the imperialist slur “totalitarianism,” a Cold War term invented by liberal intellectuals to find a way to equate the USSR with Nazi Germany. According to them, a socialist state is no better than the Axis Powers, and is much worse than the United States and Britain. Again, Trotskyites side with the imperialists and fascists against Leninism and socialism.
            “The American Communist Party had always argued that it had no connections whatsoever with the Soviet government, but the fact of the matter is that the American Communist Party is in the same relation to the Soviet government as the paid agents of Nazi Germany in the United States are to the government of the Third Reich” (Trotsky, “The Comintern and the GPU”).
            Despite this phrase-mongering and call for an overthrow, such a political revolution would never manifest. Indeed, Trotskyism has never had a revolution it can call its own. In contrast, all the successes of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics reveal the weakness of Trotsky’s theories and his exile, which left him so stricken with failure that he took money from the class enemies to desperately place himself in power. Marxism-Leninism defeated the Nazis while Trotskyism gave bourgeois academics another angle by which to attack socialism: must one ask which one has been more beneficial to the global proletariat?
            Trotsky's Phony Defense of the USSR
            To this day, the Trotskyites insist that Leon Trotsky did not, in fact, call for a revolution against the USSR and the restoration of capitalism for the benefit of the bourgeoisie and fascists. That story is a blatant lie concocted by Stalinists, they insist. Workers Vanguard, a Trotskyite newspaper, said that the “favorite charge of the Stalinists during this period was always that Trotsky allied with foreign powers to destroy the Soviet state. This was a bald-faced lie, as Trotsky always insisted that true Bolshevik-Leninists must unconditionally defend the historical gains of the October Revolution [...]. Every single programmatic document of the Left Opposition, the International Communist League and the Fourth International proclaimed the unconditional defense of the USSR against capitalist restorationist forces and imperialist attack” (“Workers Vanguard”). However, they immediately contradict themselves by admitting openly in the very same article that “defense of the Soviet state required above all the ousting of the Stalinist regime which consistently sabotaged that defense” (“Workers Vanguard”).
            As the quotes mentioned earlier prove, it is amazingly apparent in Trotsky’s writings that he supported not defense of the Soviet Union, but rather terrorism and wrecking against it. “Inside the Party Stalin has put himself above all criticism and the State.” Trotsky said. “It is impossible to displace him except by assassination. Every oppositionist becomes, ipso facto, a terrorist” (New York Evening Journal).
“After the experiences of the last few years,” he continued, “it would be childish to suppose that the Stalinist bureaucracy can be removed by means of a party or soviet congress. In reality, the last congress of the Bolshevik Party took place at the beginning of 1923, the Twelfth Party Congress. All subsequent congresses were bureaucratic parades. Today, even such congresses have been discarded. No normal 'constitutional' ways remain to remove the ruling clique. The bureaucracy can be compelled to yield power into the hands of the proletarian vanguard only by force” (Trotsky The Class Nature of the Soviet State).
            Trotsky insisted that “[t]he Soviet population cannot rise to a higher level of culture without freeing itself from this humiliating subjection to a caste of usurpers. […] No devil ever yet voluntarily cut off his own claws. The Soviet bureaucracy will not give up its positions without a fight. The development leads obviously to the road of revolution” (Trotsky The Revolution Betrayed, 215).
The testimonies of many co-collaborators speak vividly of Trotsky’s desire to destroy the Soviet Union, kill the leadership and restore capitalism.
            “Shortly before they left for Russia, Trotsky's emissaries, Konon Berman-Yurin and Fritz David, were summoned to special conferences with Trotsky himself. The meetings took place in Copenhagen toward the end of November 1932. Konon Berman-Yurin later stated: 'I had two meetings with him [Trotsky]. First of all he began to sound me on my work in the past. Then Trotsky passed to Soviet affairs. Trotsky said: 'The principal question is the question of Stalin. Stalin must be physically destroyed.' He said that other methods of struggle were now ineffective. He said that for this purpose people were needed who would dare anything, who would agree to sacrifice themselves for this, as he expressed it, historic task. . . .
            In the evening we continued our conversation. I asked him how individual terrorism could be reconciled with Marxism. To this Trotsky replied: problems cannot be treated in a dogmatic way. He said that a situation had arisen in the Soviet Union which Marx could not have foreseen. Trotsky also said that in addition to Stalin it was necessary to assassinate Kaganovich and Voroshilov. . . .During the conversation he nervously paced up and down the room and spoke of Stalin with exceptional hatred. . . . He said that the terrorist act should, if possible, be timed to take place at a plenum or at the congress of the Comintern, so that the shot at Stalin would ring out in a large assembly.'” (Kahn and Sayers).
The opportunism of Trotsky and his followers knows no bounds. After his exile, Trotsky began to immediately lay the ground for a century of equating Hitler and Stalin with pronunciations such as: “…the Soviet bureaucracy is similar to every other bureaucracy, especially the fascist” (Trotsky The Revolution Betrayed). But even though it was Trotsky himself who was advocating the destruction if the USSR and championing the colonization of all of Europe by Hitler, to his last breath he claimed that co-called “Stalinism,” a slandering term invented by Trotsky for Marxism-Leninism, the very ideology he claimed to be upholding, was actually complicit with fascism: “Fascism is winning victory after victory and its best ally, the one that is clearing its path throughout the world, is Stalinism” (Trotsky L'appareil, 238).
            It should not surprise anyone that Leon Trotsky’s infamous novel The Revolution Betrayed is among the most popular of books among capitalists, fascists and reactionaries, and is a fiercely sold volume in all of the world’s ruling imperialist countries. No Lenin or Stalin will dare be found in your average American bookstore, but Trotsky’s slander remains shelved. Trotsky’s writings have been consistent in their fan base from the start:
“Adolf Hitler read Trotsky’s autobiography as soon as it was published. Hitler’s biographer, Konrad Heiden, tells in ‘Der Fuehrer’ how the Nazi leader surprised a circle of his friends in 1930 by bursting into rapturous praise of Trotsky's book […]  'Brilliant!' cried Hitler, waving Trotsky's ‘My Life’ at his followers. ‘I have learned a great deal and so can you!’” (Kahn and Sayers 216).
            George Orwell's List
            To this day, it is still a practice of students in imperialist countries to be forced to read the mediocre novels of another Trotskyite, George Orwell, whom of course is always widely read and praised by Trotskyites not on the basis of art, but on the sheer basis of crude anti-communism. His writings Animal Farm and 1984 are still taken as an absolute dogma regarding the Soviet Union. The two fictional novels are taken as a realistic portrayal of what life under communism was truly like. This is in spite of Orwell admitting himself: “I have never visited Russia and my knowledge of it consists only of what can be learned by reading books and newspapers” (Orwell 366). The anti-Soviet and anti-communist streak of ultra-leftists with Trotskyite leanings such Orwell continues here unabated. After fighting in the Spanish Civil War with P.O.U.M. faction, Orwell fled Spain and submitted names of people he thought were to be communist sympathizers to the British Intelligence service and gave names of people he thought could be trusted to write anti-communist propaganda.
            Timothy Garton Ash, a writer for The New York Review of Books, was given access to the archives of the British Foreign Office and was allowed to see the original list. He wrote that “[t]here are 135 names in all…” (Ash). Of the list of his former comrades he betrayed to the British imperialists, ash notes that they were “especially important to anticommunist leftists like Orwell who were convinced, as he himself wrote, ‘that the destruction of the Soviet myth [is] essential if we want to revive the Socialist movement’” (Ash). This list was assembled at the request of the British government.
            “[O]n March 29, Celia came to visit him in Glouces-tershire; but she also came with a mission. She was working for this new department of the Foreign Office, trying to counter the assault waves of communist propaganda emanating from Stalin’s recently founded Comin- form. Could he help? As she recorded in her official memorandum of their meeting, Orwell ‘expressed his whole-hearted and enthusiastic approval of our aims’” (Ash). This was the same “Celia,” a British agent, whom “Robert Conquest, the veteran chronicler of Soviet terror, […] shared an office with Celia Kirwan and himself fell ‘madly in love’ with her” (Ash).
            Notably, Ash reported that George Orwell felt the need to ethnically identify his communist and pro-Soviet comrades for the benefit of their enemies. “One aspect of the notebook that shocks our contemporary sensibility is his ethnic labeling of people, especially the eight variations of ‘Jewish?’ (Charlie Chaplin), ‘Polish Jew,’ ‘English Jew,’ or ‘Jewess’” (Ash). Fittingly enough, one of the benefits Orwell received for writing and submitting the list was promotion of his work by both the British government and the CIA:
“In Orwell’s case, [British Intelligence department IRD] supported Burmese, Chinese, and Arabic editions of his Animal Farm, commissioned a rather crude strip-cartoon version of the same book (giving the pig Major a Lenin beard, and the pig Napoleon a Stalin moustache, in case simple-minded readers didn’t get the point), and organized showings in ‘backward’ areas of the British Commonwealth of a CIA-financed—and politically distorted—animated film of Animal Farm” (Ash).
            Aid to the Bourgeoisie & the FBI
            There is a wide range of evidence that Trotsky and his followers collaborated with fascism and foreign intelligence services for political gain. It would be naive to dismiss the countless examples that show Trotskyites collaborating with rightists. In recent years, much information has come out on the role Trotskyism has played internationally, from their work with the Japanese occupiers in committing acts of espionage against the Chinese Revolution to Trotsky himself working as an FBI informant. The journal Revolutionary Democracy quotes a Professor William Chase about Trotsky’s dealings with the FBI: By providing the US Consulate with information about common enemies, be they Mexican or American communists or Soviet agents, Trotsky hoped to prove his value to a government that had no desire to grant him a visa” (“Revolutionary Democracy”).
            Later, Trotsky accepted an invitation to appear in front of the infamous House Committee on Un-American Activities, a United States government group of witch-hunters linked with fascist figures and Senator Joe McCarthy. He never appeared only because he was denied a visa. The article also reveals that in 1940:
Robert McGregor of the [United States] Consulate met with Trotsky in his home…he met again with Trotsky on 13 July…Trotsky told McGregor in detail of the allegations and evidence he had compiled…He gave to McGregor the names of Mexican publications, political and labour leaders, and government officials allegedly associated with the PCM [Mexico and the USSR were the only countries in the world to materially support the fight against Franco's Fascism in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39]. He charged that one of the Comintern’s [the Communist international's] leading agents, Carlos Contreras served on the PCM Directing Committee. He also discussed the alleged efforts of Narciso Bassols, former Mexican Ambassador to France, whom Trotsky claimed was a Soviet agent, to get him deported from Mexico…Upon receipt, the State Department transmitted McGregor's memo to the FBI” (“Revolutionary Democracy”).
            In addition, the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera, the husband of Frida Kahlo and good friend of Trotsky, has been revealed as an FBI informant. Despite Rivera being a celebrated “socialist” painter who famously drew a mural of Lenin and Trotsky for the Rockefeller Center in New York City and helped usher in the Mexican Mural Renaissance, like Orwell and Trotsky, incontrovertible evidence exists that Rivera acted as a tool of the FBI. This information was discovered in the archives of the US State Department and FBI documents. “Rivera's FBI file number was 100-155423 [.…] Reed told the Independent the two academics had also uncovered some very damaging stuff about Trotsky” (Davison). The magazine The Independent  reported:
            “Two American academics researching for a book on Rivera’s friend Leon Trotsky have discovered that this artist-hero of the Mexican left worked for the United States as an informer.
He was thrown out of the Mexican Communist Party (not for the first time) when he objected violently to the 1939 Hitler-Stalin pact, and soon afterwards he started feeding information to the Americans: he supplied lists of Communist infiltrators high within the Mexican system and reported 60 political assassinations by officially-ordered death squads. He warned that Communist refugees from the Spanish Civil War had been trained by Moscow to set up cells on the Mexico-US border and infiltrate north. He told Washington that the Nazis and Soviets were jointly increasing their influence in Mexico and that the Mexican Communist Party was being financed largely by sympathisers north of the border.” (Davison).
            Friedrich Schuler’s book Mexico between Hitler and Roosevelt: Mexican Foreign Relations in the Age of Lázaro Cárdenas, 1934-1940 says the following about the anti-Sovietism of Diego Rivera:
            “A second, very serious blow to Mexico's left came when Trotsky and his Mexican followers disseminated the rumor that communists and Nazis had formed a coalition in Mexico to prepare a coup against the Cárdenas administration in the context of the approaching presidential elections. This rumor had first emerged in the U.S. Congress's Dies Investigative Committee, and it gained widespread popular attention on October 2, 1939, through a Ultimas Noticias newspaper article with the title 'Ofensiva Contra los Stali-Nazis.' It created a pro-Allied propaganda monster that, in the end, almost convinced Allied governments that its own propaganda were fact. In November 1939, the artist and sometimes Communist party member Diego Rivera reinforced existing fears when he stated that Mexico was already in the hands of the 'Communazis.' Right away, conservative Mexican anticommunist senators of Mexico's Congress jumped on Rivera's bandwagon and demanded the dissolution of the Mexican Communist Party and the denunciation of its members as traitors to the country. Against the background of the Soviet invasion of Finland, they argued 'that taking orders from Stalin and to agitate in such a manner as to be subversive in character and to undermine the framework of Mexican Governmental procedure' was un-Mexican!
            The debate received new fuel on April 13, 1940, this time during the German invasions of the Benelux countries and France. Again, Ultimas Noticias published an article about 'outstanding members of the Comintern in Mexico.' Quoting Diego Rivera, a German exile, and other confidential agents as sources, the article claimed that the Comintern's goal in Mexico was to foment a civil war through agitation, with the intention of distracting U.S. attention from Europe and, subsequently, preventing the United States from entering the European conflict. Most importantly, it claimed again that Russian and German agents were working together to start a revolt in Mexico” (Schuler 144).
            It is worth saying that Rivera was very close to Trotsky and there can be little doubt that Rivera acted in complicity with Trotsky. At the time, Trotsky was living in Rivera’s house and working in close proximity with him and Frida Kahlo (whom Trotsky would have an affair with). Rivera’s actions fit perfectly with Trotsky’s effort to gather favor with the American imperialists in order to obtain a visa and entry to the United States. The journal “Lalkar” reported that:
            “Many people were mutual friends of the two [Trotsky & Rivera-Ed], both of them worked in the same organisations such as the American Committee for the Defence of Leon Trotsky (ACDLT). Charles Curtiss was such a friend who sent Trotsky several reports of his meetings with Rivera: 'During my visit in Mexico, from July 4, 1938 to approximately July 15, 1939, I was in close association with Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky…I served as an intermediary between them,' (Writings of Leon Trotsky, 1939-40). Trotsky of course knew of this, thus helping Rivera in supplying information to the FBI…
            The source relevant to this particular revelation is US State archives - RG 84…According to the Professor [Chase], the information Trotsky provided to the FBI was a means to obtain a US visa. But as the Professor points out, 'By providing the US Consulate with information about common enemies, be they Mexican or American communists or Soviet agents, Trotsky hoped to prove his value to a government that had no desire to grant him a visa’” (“Laklar”).
As we have already pointed out, Trotsky intended this array of accusations to be brought before the anti-communist Dies Committee, otherwise known as the US Congress House Un-American Activities Committee. Eventually, Rivera’s treacherous politics became too much for even Trotsky:
            “Rivera (broke with) Trotsky in 1940. This was a presidential election year and Cárdenas's choice to succeed him was Manuel Avila Camacho, a former general who was more conservative than Cárdenas and a religious believer to boot. Though Cárdenas had welcomed Trotsky to Mexico, there was a strong Stalinist element among his followers. This faction included labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano and…David Alfaro Siqueiros. The Stalinist ring around Cárdenas caused Rivera, much to Trotsky's dismay, to attack Cárdenas as ‘an accomplice of the Stalinists.’ Rivera also decided to support Avila Camacho's opponent in the coming election, a general named Juan Andrew Almazán. Almazán was even more right-wing than his opponent, promising to bring the unions into line and enjoying the backing of Mexico's neo-Nazi movement” (Tuck).
            Collaboration & Aid to the Nazis & the Japanese
One of the most controversial charges leveled against Leon Trotsky is that in addition to calling for the destruction of the Soviet Union and betraying communists, he collaborated with the fascist Axis powers. The best sources of information for this charge are the second and third Moscow Trials, which contain the testimonies of members of the Trotskyite Bloc from the years 1936, 1937 and 1938. Of course, the Moscow Trials are universally labeled by Trotskyites and other anti-communists as “show trials” brought about by fabricated evidence and torture of the defendants. The American Party of Labor would like to point out that there is no evidence whatsoever of torture being used on the defendants, nor of their families being threatened. Because of these common charges however, the Trials have been dismissed out-of-hand and disregarded entirely, and thus all evidence of Trotsky’s collaboration is by association, dismissed. The fact is that a great deal of evidence exists to prove that Trotsky and his followers did collaborate with the Axis powers.
One of the defendants, Radek, said “Trotsky put the question in this way: the accession of Fascism to power in Germany had fundamentally changed the whole situation. It implied war in the near future, inevitable war, the more so that the situation was simultaneously becoming acute in the Far East. Trotsky had no doubt that this war would result in the defeat of the Soviet Union. This defeat, he wrote, will create favorable conditions for the accession to power of the bloc…” (Radek 239-40).
            By reading many similar admissions such as this, it becomes obvious that Trotsky’s political line towards the Axis was far more sinister than mere idealism such as is contained in his writings:
“Hitler’s soldiers are German workers and peasants…The armies of occupation must live side by side with the conquered peoples; they must observe the impoverishment and despair of the toiling masses; they must observe the latter's attempts at resistance and protest, at first muffled and then more and more open and bold…The German soldiers, that is, the workers and peasants, will in the majority of cases have far more sympathy for the vanquished peoples than for their own ruling caste. The necessity to act at every step in the capacity of 'pacifiers' and oppressors will swiftly disintegrate the armies of occupation, infecting them with a revolutionary spirit” (Trotsky, Writings 113).
Indeed, even though Trotsky was not known for particularly good Marxist analyses, this takes his anti-Marxism and de-facto service to fascism to a whole new level. Of course, this quote alone does not automatically prove the argument that he supported fascism; in fact it merely shows his lack of theoretical understanding. Yet, there is a plethora of evidence that later on the Trotskyites sought open collaboration with the Axis in order to become the new rulers of the Soviet Union. At a time when Japan created Manchukuo by force (1931), Italy invaded Ethiopia (1935), and Germany invaded Austria (1938), Czechoslovakia and Poland (1939), Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (1940), Trotsky helped to organize the “Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites” in the USSR. His plans continued when Mussolini invaded France and Greece, and in 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.
            Trotskyites and anti-communists have denied the bloc against the Soviet Union existed and maintain it was merely a ploy for power on Stalin’s part, an excuse to liquidate his political enemies. However, such a bloc in the leadership did exist, which has been proven by the archives of Trotsky’s own correspondence. Scholar J. Arch Getty noted in his book:
            “It is clear, then, that Trotsky did have a clandestine organization inside the USSR in this period and that he maintained communication with it. It is equally clear that a united oppositional bloc was formed in 1932. [….] There is also reason to believe that after the decapitation of the bloc through the removal of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Smirnov, and others the organization comprised mainly lower-level less prominent oppositionists: followers of Zinoviev, with whom Trotsky attempted to maintain direct contact” (Getty 121).
            “Although Trotsky later denied that he had any communications with former followers in the USSR since his exile in 1929, it is clear that he did. In the first three months of 1932 he sent secret letters to former oppositionists Radek, Sokolnikov, Preobrazhenskii, and others. Although the contents of these letters are unknown, it seems reasonable to believe that they involved an attempt to persuade the addresees to return to opposition.
            Sometime in October of 1932, E.S. Gol’tsman (a Soviet official and former Trotskyist) met Sedov in Berlin and gave him an internal memorandum on Soviet economic output. This memorandum was published in the Biulleten’ the following month under the title ‘The Economic Situation of the Soviet Union.’ It seems, though, that Gol’tsman brought Sedov something else: a proposal from Left Oppositionists in the USSR for the formation of a united opposition bloc. The proposed bloc was to include Trotskyists, Zinovievists, members of the Lominadze group, and others. The proposal came from ‘Kolokolnikov’ – the code name of Ivan Smirnov” (Getty 119).
            This evidence leads us to the conclusion that the Rightist-Trotskyite Bloc did exist in the USSR and that Trotsky had direct contact with it. It also shows us that by testifying before the Dewey Commission that the bloc did not exist, Trotsky had lied. Getty discovered evidence in the Trotsky archive of Harvard that Trotsky had “safe contacts in Berlin, Prague, and Istanbul” (Getty 28). Grover Furr has recently completed an excellent work on this matter. He says that in “January 1937 Trial defendants Piatakov, Radek, Sokol’nikov, and Shestov all testified to having been given explicit instructions by Trotsky himself concerning collaboration by either Germany or Japan” (Furr 58). Further, he concludes:
            “Trotsky would not have conspired with either German or Japanese officials in writing. As we have discussed above, it was Bolshevik practice that such deeply secret matters should be communicated only orally. We cannot rule out the possibility that Trotsky himself could have met with German or Japanese representatives. But it seems most likely that he would have done so either chiefly or entirely through his son Leon Sedov. Sedov had the motive, means, and opportunity to be his father’s main contact with German and Japanese representatives after 1929 when Trotsky left the USSR” (Furr 161).
            Trotsky's son Leon Sedov met with Golt'sman, a defendant at one of the Moscow Trials, at the Hotel Bristol in Copenhagen. Sedov, and the subsequent generations of Trotskyites which followed, denied this piece of evidence (and by proxy the entire proceedings of the Moscow Trials) by claiming the hotel did not exist. Included in this category is Robert Conquest himself. In fact, a café named the Bristol did exist in the place in which it was testified, in the same building as a hotel. This hotel, the place of the meeting, came to be known to foreigners as the “Hotel Bristol.”
            “There is a good deal of suggestive evidence to support [the above] hypothesis. Many of the men whose testimony about direct collaboration with Trotsky we have cited said they did so through Sedov. It was Sedov’s address book containing the addresses of Trotskyists within the USSR that Getty found in the Harvard Trotsky archives (Getty-Trotsky 34 n.16). Twelve people – Gol’tsman, Ol’berg, Berman-Yurin, Piatakov, Shestov, Romm, Krestinsky, Rozengol’ts, Uritsky, Putna, Shnitman and Tukhachevsky – claimed that they were in contact with Trotsky entirely or mainly through Sedov.
            The first is the testimony of those who like Nikolai Bukharin and Genrikh Yagoda admitted to participation in a bloc or alliance with others who had first-hand knowledge of Trotsky’s collaboration with Germany and/or Japan but who claimed no ties with Germany or Japan themselves.
            We have no evidence that any of the defendants in the three Moscow Trials were tortured. In the best-documented case we know as certainly as we ever can that Bukharin was NOT tortured. Steven Cohen, author of the most famous and influential book about Bukharin, has concluded that Bukharin could not have been tortured” (Furr 161).
            “Nikolai Bukharin heard details from Karl Radek about Trotsky’s negotiations and agreements with Germany and Japan. Bukharin never directly communicated with Trotsky or Sedov about this. However, there is no reason whatever to doubt that Radek did tell him about Trotsky’s collaboration. By corroborating Radek’s testimony on this point – Bukharin agrees that Radek did tell him this, as Radek himself had testified, so Bukharin attests to Radek’s truthfulness here– Bukharin also tends to indirectly corroborate what Radek said about Trotsky and what Radek claimed to have gotten at first hand, from Trotsky himself” (Furr 8-9).
            In the trials, the defendant Natan Lur’e claimed he had received orders and instructions from the Gestapo, Pyatokov claimed that Trotsky gave a directive to collaborate with and seek support from the “most aggressive” foreign states, including Germany and Japan, for otherwise the bloc could not come to power or hold it. In addition, Trotsky claimed he had already begun establishing the necessary contacts with the Germans and the Japanese by that time. There are also the testimonies from Radek, Sokol'nikov, Krestinsky, Rozengol’ts, Rakovsky, Bessonov, Shestov and Romm that testify to such activities.
            “Defendant Valentin Ol’berg claimed that he obtained from the Gestapo a Honduran passport to get into the USSR with the help of his brother Paul, a German agent. He further testified that he was given the money to buy it from the German Trotskyite organization because Sedov had told them to provide it” (Furr 45).
Valentin Olberg’s testimony said the following about Trotsky’s endorsement of such collaboration:
            “Confirming also my testimony of May 9 of this year, I emphasize that my connection with the Gestapo was not at all an exception, of which one could speak as of the fall of an individual Trotskyite. It was the line of the Trotskyites in conformity with the instructions of L. Trotsky given through Sedov. The connection with the Gestapo followed the line of organizing terrorism in the U.S.S.R. against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government. [….] I wrote a letter to Sedov in Paris telling him about the proposal made by the agent of the Gestapo, and asked him to inform me whether L. D. Trotsky would approve of an arrangement with such an agent. After some time I received a reply sanctioning my actions, that is to say, my understanding with Tukalevsky. Sedov wrote saying that the strictest secrecy was necessary, and that none of the other members of the Trotskyite organization was to be informed about this understanding” (“Pravda” 2).
            “V. Olberg arrived in the U.S.S.R. with the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras obtained with the aid of the German Secret Police (Gestapo). On this point V. Olberg, during examination in the office of the State Attorney of the U.S.S.R., testified: ‘. . . Sedov promised to help me to obtain a passport to return to the U.S.S.R. once more. But I succeeded in obtaining a passport with the help of my younger brother, Paul Olberg. Thanks to my connections with the German police and their agent in Prague, V. P. Tukalevsky, I, by means of a bribe, obtained the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras. The money for the passport – 13,000 Czechoslovakian kronen– I obtained from Sedov, or rather, from the Trotskyite organization on Sedov’s instructions.’” [Vol. XXI, p. 262]” (quoted in Furr, 45-46).
            Dreitser, later a trial defendant, said he had received a letter from Trotsky in 1934 about the need to assassinate Stalin and Voroshilov. This letter evidently said nothing about Germans or Japanese. V. Ol’berg, Frits-David, and K.B. Berman-Yurin testified to direct contact with Trotsky. Ol’berg claimed direct contact with Sedov as well. This contact too was about planning assassinations. E. Konstant, a Trotskyist, is quoted as saying that he had contacted Gestapo agent Weitz, but does not claim that Trotsky had urged him to do this” (Furr 47).
            There is further evidence of ties with the Japanese militarists to go with this evidence of collaboration with the Gestapo and the German fascists. Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, spoke of the Trotskyites' sabotaging of the Chinese Revolution by working with the Japanese:
            “[O]nly a short while ago in one of the divisions of the Eighth Revolutionary Peoples' Army, a man by the name of Yu Shih was exposed as a member of the Shanghai Trotskyist organisation. The Japanese had sent him there from Shanghai so that he could do espionage work in the Eighth Army and carry out sabotage work. In the central districts of Hebei the Trotskyists organised a 'Partisan-Company' on the direct instructions of the Japanese headquarters and called it a 'Second Section of the Eighth Army.' In March the two battalions of this company organised a mutiny but these bandits were surrounded by the Eighth Army and disarmed. In the Border Region such people are arrested by the peasant self-defence units which carry out a bitter struggle against traitors and spies” (Mao, quoted in “Revolutionary Democracy”).
            Since Leon Trotsky sought to bring himself and his followers into power in the Soviet Union, he foresaw the possibility of riding fascist tanks into power by helping them take out Stalin and the leadership of the CPSU. In Trotsky’s own published writings there is admission of provoking Japanese imperialism to attack the USSR under the excuse that it was militarist and was going to attack the Soviet Union anyway. Trotsky accomplishes this by revealing Soviet spying techniques to the enemy. Refering to the article titled The Tanaka Memorial, the editors say: “[Comrade] Leon Trotsky has told for the first time the story of how the ‘Tanaka Memorial’ was secured by the Soviet intelligence service from the archives of the Japanese government” (Trotsky, The ‘Tanaka Memorial’).
            Trotsky reveals the secrets of Soviet Intelligence to the Japanese militarists by going into detail about how the document was obtained through spies in the Japanese government while he was in the Politbureau. The document gives Japanese war plans to occupy several countries, including China and Indonesia. Trotsky claims that  “[…] the writer of these lines is able to vouch for the following facts. The ‘Tanaka Memorial’ was first photographed in Tokio [sic] in the Ministry of Naval Affairs and brought to Moscow as an undeveloped film” (Trotsky, The ‘Tanaka Memorial’). He goes on to say he was one of the first persons to see this film and the translations of the resulting transcription of the Japanese war plans. Trotsky also tells that the USSR had the document published through the American press, admitting to the world that the USSR has spies in Japan and leaked Japanese war plans to the United States.
            “From Dzerzhinsky I learned that the GPU enjoyed the services of a very trusted functionary who had direct access to the secret archives of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a period of more than a year he had already provided some very valuable information and was marked by great precision and conscientiousness in fulfilling his obligations as a foreign spy. [….] Why do the Japanese authorities pronounce the ‘Tanaka Memorial’ a Chinese forgery? They were obviously unaware of Moscow's role in the publication of this document” (Trotsky, The ‘Tanaka Memorial’).
            Here, Trotsky has committed treason by revealing Soviet spies stationed in the Japanese government as well as Soviet intelligence-gathering methods to the fascists and imperialists. However, the work gets much worse. Trotsky openly admits his revelation in the journal could cause severe difficulties for the negotiations between the Soviet Union and Japan, who at that time in 1940 were trying to forge a non-aggression pact.
            “To be sure Moscow had ample reasons in its day to hide its participation in publishing and exposing the ‘Tanaka Memorial.’ The prime consideration was not to provoke Tokio. This explains why the Kremlin took the round-about way in making it public. [….] One has to assume that operating here is the excessive caution which often drives Stalin to ignore major considerations for the sake of secondary and petty ones. It is more than likely that this time too Moscow does not wish to cause any annoyances to Tokio in view of the negotiations now under way in the hope of reaching a more stable and lasting agreement. All these considerations, however, recede to the background as the world war spreads its concentric circles ever wider” (Trotsky, The ‘Tanaka Memorial’).
            Trotsky admits here that the reason Stalin hasn’t revealed the document is because it would provoke the Japanese into war with the USSR. So what does Trotsky do? Why, he reveals it to the world of course. To top it all off, he says he cannot be sure he isn’t revealing Soviet spies still active in Japan. As this evidence will show, the methods of Trotsky and the Trotskyites are nothing more than the arrogant, counterrevolutionary posturing of anti-communist philistines.
            Present-Day Trotskyism
            Since the time of Lenin, Trotskyites have engaged in so much falsification of history that they are rendered unable to produce anything viable. It is no wonder there has never been a Trotskyist revolution anywhere on the planet. Scholars have shown that Trotskyites bear the responsibility for “the creation of an anti-Bolshevik bloc in the pre-October period, the formation of factions in the Party in the twenties, anti-Republican maneuvers in the years of the Civil War in Spain, actual co-operation with the forces of fascism on the eve of the Second World War [as well as] provocations in Peru between 1963 and 1966 and in France in 1968” (Basmanov). The list continues:
“During the Korean War (1950-3) the supporters of the Trotskyite Tony Cliff maintained a strict neutrality and blamed US imperialism and ‘Russian imperialism’ equally for the war. In the light of recent revelations of US-backed incursions into North Korea before the war and US atrocities against Korean civilians during it, such a position seems outlandish” (Hearse).
            Trotskyism as an ideology infiltrates the ranks of the working class movement as a willing agent of the ruling class. It is used to the advantage of the enemies of the proletariat as much this day as it was in the past. Trotskyites today still support the same political program as the bourgeoisie. Trotskyites are in fact bourgeois politicians and work for the imperialists—still, they find themselves unable to team up with anyone in America or whichever country they inhabit, so they choose to act like communists and claim the crown of communism.
            The Trotskyite stances on the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for example, are identical to those of the American government and right-wing reaction. Right-wingers, from the Tea Party Protestors to John McCain, support the “mass uprisings” in Iran, and so do Trotskyites. Right-wingers despise the Jucheist state of the DPRK, and that's right, so do the Trotskyites. Right-wingers think Stalin was a bloodthirsty dictator and yes, so do the Trotskyites. Two articles by the Trotskyite sect Solidarity should demonstrate this. An article on their website, supposedly on the US imperialist occupation of South Korea and the puppet government there, spends over half the article smearing the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea in the north: “A longer-term result of the Soviet collapse has been the removal of the obstacle of Stalinism” (Sheppard).
            Everyone who studies their political line knows no Trotskyist article is ever written without attacking “Stalinism” and the bourgeoisie equally. Here, they express a love for the counterrevolutionary lines of Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin, by saying that the liquidation of socialism in the USSR led to the “removal of an obstacle” for the Trotskyist movement in Korea. In other words, the restoration of capitalism was a good thing. The article, which again is supposedly on the political situation in South Korea, goes on to hail the DPRK as “the worst of Stalinists”:
            “[The North Korean leadership] increasingly adopted a personality cult around Kim Il-sung. The regime is among the worst Stalinists in terms of opposition to workers' democracy and political strategy. They don't understand that South Korea is capitalist, for example…[they] orient toward a mythical struggle against feudalism, claiming that South Korea is semi-feudal” (Sheppard).
Of course, Solidarity can offer no proof of what it says. No quotes from the North Korean government saying that South Korea is “semi-feudal” can be found, most likely because it is not true. The Trotskyites move quickly from smearing to outright treason soon enough: “We would like to have contact with North Korean workers, but there is no dissident group of revolutionary workers. What dissidents there are have no base in the working class. Workers so far are absolutely controlled by the party” (Sheppard). Not only does this quote show that Trotskyites are actively trying to overthrow the anti-imperialist government of the DPRK in service of the bourgeoisie, but it also shows that despite their wishes, the Korean people are unanimously behind the Workers’ Party of Korea. Once again they favor imperialism over “Stalinism.”
The Trotskyites once again enter into open unity with Washington on the question of Iranian politics: “It should go without saying that socialists anywhere in the world must stand on the side of the Iranian popular democratic resistance to election fraud, violent repression and tyranny” (“Crisis, Repression and Coup in Iran”). The “violent repression and tyranny” in this case means the kind visited upon the pro-US and pro-Mousavi protestors by the Islamic Republic of course, and conveniently not the neo-colonial violence and tyranny that would be visited upon the nation of Iran and its people should the pro-American reformist candidate be allowed into office. The article, written by a person identified by Solidarity only as “David,” goes on to insist that: “The U.S. ruling class has no role to play in the struggle for Iranian democracy and freedom” (“Crisis, Repression and Coup in Iran”).
            In other words, while they insist they do not support the United States interference in Iran, they seek to support a pro-American candidate. Not to mention this assertion is false—the American financing of the Iranian comprador bourgeoisie is very well-known. The imperialists have had their eye on Iran for quite a number of years now, and just like Operation Ajax, the CIA-funded coup that took down Iran’s Mosaddeq, this protest should be seen in the larger context of the world. The Trotskyites continue to whitewash the attempted imperialist coup in Iran and to undermine Iran’s right to self-determination by accusing them of “ballot box stuffing [and] unmonitored fraudulent counting” (“Crisis, Repression and Coup in Iran”), all without citing a single source for such things. This accusation also implies that if it could be proved there was not any ballot stuffing or fraudulent counting, then the bourgeois election would be legitimate.
True Marxist-Leninists do not care one whit about capitalist elections or bourgeois democracy—Marxists believe that the bourgeois state is a dictatorship no matter what form it takes, from republic to oligarchy. The winning of 51% of the population does not fundamentally change this relation, and it is anarchist to say so. The cardinal issue is not whether the voting was “legitimate” by Western liberal standards, but which candidate is anti-imperialist and which has the support of the progressive sectors of society.
            The collection of evidence the American Party of Labor has presented above is by no means complete. The information above barely skims the surface in exposing the true anti-communist stance of Trotsky and Trotskyism which they share globally with the imperialist powers and the bourgeoisie. Trotskyism has always sold out the proletariat for an alliance with reactionaries and always will. Trotskyism’s treachery stems from its anti-Marxist foundations and its political strategy, which allows for infinite opportunism as it pleases the Trotskyite. Leon Trotsky’s treachery has forged a weapon to be used against the proletariat by wrapping anti-communist slander of the worst kind in a red flag.
            Trotskyism does the work of the bourgeoisie for them and gives them a tool with which to undermine the workers movement, to inspire defeatism and to advance its agenda of crippling workers’ power the world over. Just as Marxist-Leninists rejected the opportunism of the Second International, workers the world over have rejected Trotskyism, seeing it as a vague and hollow theory, with no achievements to its name to back up its lofty rhetoric.

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