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Leon Trotsky 19390610 1917-1939

Leon Trotsky: 1917-1939

June 10, 1939

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 348]

The manifesto with which the sixth congress of the 'party (July 1917) finished its work proclaimed: "From the very beginning the Russian proletariat understood that for the success of the Russian Revolution an international uprising of the proletarians of Europe … was necessary." Let us remember that because of the absence of the party leaders, Stalin, along with Sverdlov and Bukharin, led this congress.

"The entrance of America into the war" — went on the manifesto "inspired the allied imperialists even more… They knew very well the value of this great democracy, which electrocutes its socialists, stifles small nations with gun in hand … and through the mouths of its diplomats, incomparable for naked cynicism, talks about eternal peace. The American millionaires, their cellars filled with gold. minted from the blood of those who are dying on the fields of a Europe laid waste, have joined their weapons, their finances, their counterespionage and their diplomats to crush their German colleagues in world plunder, and stretch tighter the noose round the neck of the Russian Revolution."

Although Russia was at that time certainly the freest of all democracies in the world, the manifesto branded the "defense of the fatherland" as betrayal. "The Russian petty-bourgeois democracy, in the person of the SR and Menshevik parties, has been drawn into the current of general imperialist policy. In this respect, there has taken place a complete equalization of the policy of the social patriots of all countries, who have finally in Russia turned into direct agents of imperialism."

It is sufficient to put just one of these extracts from the manifesto alongside not only the actions of Soviet diplomacy but even the documents of the present Comintern, to measure the difference between proletarian revolution and Thermidorean reaction!