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Leon Trotsky 19350900 An Appeal

Leon Trotsky: An Appeal

Published September 1935

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 8, 1935-36, New York ²1977, p. 105 f.]

In the last two years our Biulleten has appeared less frequently than in previous years. The reasons were many, not the least being what are called “circumstances beyond our control.” We hope that in the future we will manage to bring out the Biulleten more regularly and more frequently.

The need for our publication to come out on a more normal basis is absolutely clear. The question of the Soviet Union, linked as it is with the growing danger of war, now assumes exceptional significance for the world workers’ movement. At the same time the internal contradictions of the workers’ state have reached an unprecedented sharpness. On the one hand we hear from reporters at the Seventh Congress of the Comintern that “the classless society” has already been built, that socialism has been completely and definitively established, etc. On the other hand the Soviet newspapers are full of news about hooliganism among the youth, barbarous family customs, desertion and neglect of children. Near the end of the second five year plan the government passed and put into effect a law allowing juvenile criminals to be shot. At the slightest show of critical thought the uncontrolled bureaucracy of the “socialist society” (!) replies with rabid terrorism. At the same time we note the fact, paradoxical at first sight but in reality profoundly natural, that the reformists and bourgeois democrats, who had a hostile attitude toward Soviet power in the first heroic years of its existence, now seek friendship with the Moscow bureaucracy, willingly declare themselves to be “friends of the Soviet Union,” and maintain a conspiracy of silence about the crimes of the Stalinist clique.

In these pages we propose to examine in Marxist terms the internal development of the Soviet Union, its conquests as well as its contradictions. The regroupment in the world workers’ movement has begun and it will go on at an accelerated pace. The last Moscow congress will give it a new impulse. The Russian Bolshevik-Leninists must once and for all shake from their boots the dust of the so-called “Communist International.” The Biulleten is the unofficial organ, but no less the genuine one, of the Russian section of the Fourth International, which is being built. We propose to examine in the pages of our journal the fundamental questions of the world workers’ movement. In addition, we reserve to ourselves the right to that principled intransigence which constitutes the finest tradition of Marxism.

In every country, without exception, the organizations of the Fourth International have powerful enemies, beginning on the right flank with imperialist reaction Get us recall the campaign, monstrous in its malignancy, of Hitler and the French bourgeois press in connection with the “discovery” of L.D. Trotsky at Barbizon), passing through the reformists Get us recall the recent expulsion of the leading group of the Bolshevik-Leninists from the organization of the French Socialist Youth), ending up with the Stalinists, with their amalgams, trials, and shootings. Moreover, first place in this concert of hatred goes unquestionably to the Stalinists.

Our friends at present are incomparably less numerous than our enemies. But we know how to be in the minority. We have confidence in the strength of our ideas. History has already shown in one case how a small minority, armed with a correct program, at the decisive moment came to the head of the entire people. The ebbing historic wave has thrown the revolutionary vanguard back. There is nothing to be done about it! We do not complain about history’s whims; we take it as it is. We rely on its inner forces and begin the new ascent.

Everywhere, our friends are in the minority. But they are genuine friends, tempered and tested. Their number grows steadily in every country of the world. The logic of events educates them and strengthens their resolve.

We firmly hope that our friends will help the Biulleten to carry out its task.

Collect subscribers for us! Organize the sale of single copies! Collect money! Use every trip to the Soviet Union for taking in the Biulleten, collecting information, and establishing connections. A great part of this work can be done successfully not only by the Russian comrades but by the foreign comrades as well.