THIS Sunday’s rally marks the 68th anniversary of the assasination of Leon Trotsky, and the 39 years of the Trotskyist daily paper, first published on September 27th 1969 as the Workers Press and from May 1 1975 as the News Line.
Leon Trotsky was the co-leader of the Russian Revolution along with Vladimir Lenin.
He was also the first to grasp in 1904, one year before the 1905 revolution, that the revolution to overthrow the Tsarist autocracy would not only have to be led by the working class, but that the working class would not be able to halt after it had carried out the tasks of the bourgeois revolution. It would have to go forward to socialist measures, and that the success of this workers revolution would depend on the socialist revolution spreading to the more advanced capitalist states of Europe.
In fact, it was Marx who raised the banner of the permanent revolution, and it was Leon Trotsky who took up what was then a theoretical position and concretised it as the Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet in 1905, and the chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee, that organised the October uprising.
Nevertheless,Trotsky placed himself second to Lenin, since it was from Lenin that he learnt, the hard way, but the best way, the absolutely decisive importance of the revolutionary party, in the preparation of, and the prosecution of the workers revolution.
Trotsky had expected that the revolution would bring the Menshevik and Bolshevik trends closer together. In fact it drove them further apart, the Bolsheviks to lead the revolution, and the Mensheviks to lead the fight against it.
The Leninism that Trotsky learnt the hard way he never forgot. Lenin said of him that ‘there was no better Bolshevik’, after he joined the party in April 1917, on his return to Russia from exile.
After Lenin’s death it was Trotsky who took forward Lenin’s struggle, fighting the rise of the Stalinist bureaucracy and its theory, taken over from the Social Democrats, that it was possible to have socialism in Russia, while there was capitalism everywhere else.
He correctly analysed Stalinism as a counter-revolutionary force and in his work ‘the Revolution Betrayed’ correctly predicted that the Stalinist bureaucracy would seek to restore capitalism in Russia, and that the only way forward was through the victory of the world socialist revolution.
He founded the Fourth International in 1938 and characterised in its declaration that the crisis of humanity was the crisis of working class leadership.
He was assassinated in August 1940, by an agent of Stalin, who was very conscious that the world war that had begun would lead to revolutions as had the imperialist war of 1914-18. Stalin was determined to destroy the revolutionary leadership.
But Marxism and Trotskyism the Marxism of today is indestructible, because the revolutionary struggle of the working class and the laws of development of the historic process are indestructible.
The Stalinist bureaucracy has shown its counter-revolutionary essence through the regimes of Gorbachev, Yeltsin and now Putin, while the Russian working class has fought and is fighting to prevent the restoration of capitalism.
Now history has leapt qualitatively forward, and the capitalist system, which began its death agony with the First Word War is in its greatest crisis, literally choking on trillions of dollars of debt. The system is on its knees, and must be buried by the world socialist revolution and replaced by a socialist planned economy, producing for people’s needs.
However, everywhere the political descendants of the Mensheviks, the Browns of this world are rushing into action to try to preserve this rotten out of date system, and moreover to make the working class pay the full price for sustaining it.
But a new massive worldwide revolutionary situation has opened up.
The News Line and the WRP and the International Committee of the Fourth International are the political heirs of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. We now have to give revolutionary leadership to millions of workers to place world capitalism into its well deserved grave.
This will be the content of our rally this Sunday (see add page one). Make sure you are there.