Leon Trotsky‎ > ‎1935‎ > ‎

Leon Trotsky 19350918 Letter to Abraham J. Muste

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Abraham J. Muste

September 18, 1935

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p. 607 f., title: “Nothing in Common with the Decadent Comintern”]

Dear Comrade Muste:

The decisions of the [Workers Party’s] Political Bureau communicated in your letter of September 6 correspond completely to my own understanding of the situation. It is clear that my letters cannot in the least be considered as official or semiofficial documents. I have given expression to my views not only because various American friends asked my opinion. Formerly too, when it was a question of the [Communist] League, which was an official section of our international organization, I have always considered my letters as private advice intended for those comrades who were interested in this advice. This is especially so with regard to the WPUS, which is not organizationally connected with our Secretariat. A party which would accept pronouncements of individual comrades and not decisions of its bodies as “directives” would not be worth being regarded as a revolutionary party. I hope that the Fourth International in its whole structure as well as in its internal life will have nothing in common with the disgusting mores and customs of the decadent Comintern.

I am sending you a detailed treatise on the ILP. Recently I received a friendly letter from Fenner Brockway: he speaks with satisfaction of the meeting with Isaacs, sends me the New Leader, etc. I am taking this opportunity to get into regular correspondence with him. The Seventh World Congress [of the Comintern] will push the ILP or its greatest portion away from the Comintern. My article pursues the aim of hastening the development of the ILP toward the Fourth International. In publishing this article The New International could possibly prepare separate copies for our English comrades. In any case, please send Fenner Brockway the proper issue of The New International with an accompanying letter. Possibly in this way your leadership will get into relations with the ILP. This could be of great service.

Yesterday I received news from Spain. Our section there has fused with the Catalonian Federation and is now about to proclaim a new party for Spain. Our comrades assure us that the leadership of the Federation has come closer to us and they hope to be able to bring this organization on the path of the Fourth International.

With warmest revolutionary greetings.


L. Trotsky

P.S. It is possible that my criticism of the Oehler group seemed to some comrades to be much too sharp. If this is the case, I am naturally ready to make my sincere apologies for the form of the criticism. It must be taken into consideration, however, that it is not an American but a French and an international question; that our direct enemies, like Bauer, and the leading clique of the SAPites have been spreading rumors for months that the WPUS, under the influence of the Oehler group, considers our French comrades as capitulators and condemns them sharply. That this situation created and creates utmost difficulties for us precisely because of the authority of the WPUS, I need not go into at length here.

The article on the ILP will follow tomorrow.