Leon Trotsky‎ > ‎1938‎ > ‎

Leon Trotsky 19381011 To Our Friends and Readers

Leon Trotsky: To Our Friends and Readers

October 11, 1938

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 79 f.]

The first issue of Clave has met an unmistakably warm response by the advanced workers and revolutionary intellectuals of Mexico. All revolutionaries –that is, real revolutionaries and not charlatans or self-serving intriguers–have been waiting for the appearance of a Marxist journal.

The events of the present epoch are complex and of far-reaching significance. Mexico and Latin America as a whole cannot be considered apart from the maelstrom of world events. In Spain, Marxist literature is suppressed not only under Franco, but under Stalin-Negrin as well. Of all the Spanish-speaking countries, Mexico is virtually the only one where the necessary freedom exists for the dissemination of the Marxist word. This international situation assigns a leading role to Mexican Marxists not just with respect to Latin America, but with respect to Spain itself, as well as the growing Spanish emigration to all the countries of the Old and New World. Great opportunities imply great obligations. History has assigned serious responsibilities to Mexican Marxists.

The so-called "Communist" Party of Mexico suffers from the same degeneration as the other sections of the Comintern. It has been decisively transformed from the party of the proletarian vanguard into the party of the conservative petty bourgeoisie. One part of the petty bourgeoisie, as everyone knows, looks to the Pope in Rome for its salvation; another more adventurous part looks to the Fuehrer in Moscow. The theoretical value of Stalinism is not superior to the theoretical value of Catholicism. It is not without purpose that a recent encyclical from Moscow calls for the fraternization of the Stalinists with the Catholics. It is not without purpose that the mindless paper put out by the Stalinists changed its name from Machete, which was known to have a compromising past, to the respectable name, Voz de Mexico, which at one time was the name of the paper of the Catholic reaction.

The literature that Lombardo Toledano publishes on behalf of the CTM (but not in its interests) is not much better than the "Catholic-Communist" literature put out by Laborde and Company. Marxism is a scientific doctrine and at the same time a guide for action. In order to apply this doctrine correctly, one must study events conscientiously from the moment of their appearance and in the course of their development.

In our epoch the scientific study of the various tendencies of world imperialism is particularly important. This is now the historical factor with the greatest weight, the one that determines the destiny of both the advanced and the underdeveloped peoples, the one that is leading to the hurling of human civilization into the abyss of a new war. The Lombardo Toledano gang is ignorant of even the ABCs of Marxism and does not feel the slightest necessity to familiarize itself with it. These gentlemen set themselves the task of using Marxist formulations from here and there to hide from the workers the nakedness of their ambitions, appetites, and intrigues. This sort of literature compromises the very name of Marxism and poisons progressive public opinion.

Under these conditions a real Marxist forum is doubly necessary and important. It is necessary to restore the real face of scientific socialism. All thinking revolutionaries received the first issue of our magazine as a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere polluted by pseudo-Marxist imitations and falsifications. The sympathetic welcome accorded us by our friends and readers strengthens us and redoubles our confidence in following the road we have taken.

Many readers have complained about the poor typographical features of our publication; they have complained about the inconvenient format, excessively small print, etc. We recognize that these complaints are fully justified. The principal reason for the technical defects in Clave is the insufficiency of our funds. We receive no subsidies from either the Pope in Rome or the one in Moscow, or in general from any secret source. Unlike certain pseudo-Marxist publications, we can give our readers an accounting of every penny we have spent. (Unfortunately we have but little to spend.) Our funds are provided by the editors and their friends. With the firm conviction that the number of our friends will increase endlessly, we request, or, rather, we implore them to lend us their moral and material support. Under these circumstances, we will succeed not only in enlarging the contents of our magazine but in considerably improving its typographical aspect as well.

Friends of Clave, you have the floor!