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Leon Trotsky 19300630 Letter to Gerard Rosenthal

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Gerard Rosenthal

June 30, 1930

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 13. Supplement (1929-1933), New York 1979, p. 44, title: “The French Leadership”]

As for the situation of the French Opposition, I greatly rejoice at its progress. But I must admit to you that I would be happier to have some exact figures on the number of members of the League, on the sales of La Vérité, etc. One could easily be deceived about its influence by basing oneself on superficial echoes in the upper stratum of the workers’ organizations. So far as I know, the number of adherents in Paris is quite limited. I understand the objective difficulties, but there are also subjective mistakes which I will never tire of pointing out. The leadership is too heavily composed of literary types. The leadership sees publications too much as literary enterprises, and the organization as a mere appendage. A certain routine has developed. We don’t make concerted attempts to penetrate into a specific milieu, adapt the paper to it, etc. I have devoted not a few letters to this question without result, that is to say without either agreement or contradiction. I believe it is necessary to create a new relationship between the press and the Executive Committee, enlarging the latter with comrades directly linked to the ranks; that is the decision point on which the fate of the Opposition depends.

My best greetings,