Monday, August 28, 2006

Trotskyite Decepetion Once Again

The tactics of deception and mis-representation to mislead the communist movement is the defining feature of Trotskyism. This method has been used over and over by a number of Trotskyites to propagate their bankrupt proposition of permanent revolution, which must be correctly categorized as 'permanent gloominess', to borrow the phrase from Comrade Stalin.
During a discussion with a group of Trotskyites, a small passage from the Ted Grant's book "Russia, from Revolution to Counter-Revolution" was pointed out to show statements of Lenin in support of the concept of permanent revolution. While this passage, filled with misquotations and misrepresentations, might be able to satisfy the thirst of philistines, it is no better than an example of opportunist writings for a Marxist.

The passage I am dealing with is "Lenin's internationalism" and is available at http://www.marxist.com/russiabook/part1.html

Quotations from 'Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) (1918):

Ted Grant wrote:
"On the 7th March 1918, Lenin weighed up the situation:
"Regarded from the world-historical point of view, there would doubtlessly be no hope of the ultimate victory of our revolution if it were to remain alone, if there were no revolutionary movements in other countries. When the Bolshevik Party tackled the job alone, it did so in the firm conviction that the revolution was maturing in all countries and that in the end - but not at the very beginning - no matter what difficulties we experienced, no matter what defeats were in store for us, the world socialist revolution would come - because it is coming; would mature - because it is maturing and will reach full maturity. I repeat, our salvation from all these difficulties is an all-European revolution." (LCW, Vol. 27, p. 95.)

He then concluded: "At all events, under all conceivable circumstances, if the German Revolution does not come, we are doomed." (LCW, Vol. 27, p. 98.)"

Ted Grant has completely misrepresented the conclusion that Lenin drew. One can easily observe the flawed methodology of Ted Grant by reading the complete article from which the quotations are taken.

Lenin was not waiting for the revolution in Germany at all. He wrote in "Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)" (the same article from where Mr. Grant is picking up his quotations):
"The [German] revolution will not come as quickly as we expected. History has proved this, and we must be able to take this as a fact, to reckon with the fact that the world socialist revolution cannot begin so easily in the advanced countries as the revolution began in Russia—in the land of Nicholas and Rasputin, the land in which an enormous part of the population was absolutely indifferent as to what peoples were living in the outlying regions, or what was happening there. In such a country it was quite easy to start a revolution, as easy as lifting a feather." (Lenin, Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.), 1918)

What is the conclusion that Lenin highlight? Is it, as Ted Grant points out, that if "the German Revolution does not come, we are doomed"? No, it is not. If we complete the second quotation of Lenin, as used by Mr. Grant in the afore-mentioned passage, we can see what Lenin is pointing towards:

"At all events, under all conceivable circumstances, if the German revolution does not come, we are doomed. Nevertheless, this does not in the least shake our conviction that we must be able to bear the most difficult position without blustering."(Ibid.)

Isn't it like saying that if the revolution in Germany doesn't occur then we are going to face some very hard times, yet if we try our best, socialism in one country can survive? This very obvious point has been deliberately ignored by Ted Grant. Many other philistines and opportunists, who are incapable to check from the original sources, who were finding it difficult to propagate their defunct ideas, are jubilated for the help that came from misrepresentations. Ted Grant, knowing that those who support him will never pay attention to what great Marxist intellectuals actually said, finds it convenient to quote randomly and inaccurately from the works of Lenin.

In the same article, Lenin sheds light on his stance on internationalism:

"One may dream about the field revolution on a world-wide scale, for it will come. Everything will come in due time; but for the time being, set to work to establish self-discipline, subordination before all else, so that we can have exemplary order, so that the workers for at least one hour in twenty-four may train to fight. This is a little more difficult than relating beautiful fairy-tales. This is what we can do today; in this way you will help the German revolution, the world revolution." (Ibid.)

Quotation from "Third All-Russia Congress Of Soviets Of Workers', Soldiers' And Peasants' Deputies":

Ted Grant presents the following quotation of Lenin:

"We are far from having completed even the transitional period from capitalism to socialism. We have never cherished the hope that we could finish it without the aid of the international proletariat. We never had any illusions on that score. The final victory of socialism in a single country is of course impossible. Our contingent of workers and peasants which is upholding Soviet power is one of the contingents of the great world army, which at present has been split by the world war, but which is striving for unity. We can now see clearly how far the development of the Revolution will go. The Russian began it - the German, the Frenchman and the Englishman will finish it, and socialism will be victorious." (LCW, Vol. 26, pp. 465-72.)

The above quotation is taken from "Third All-Russia Congress Of Soviets Of Workers', Soldiers' And Peasants' Deputies", where it appears in a very different shape. Mr. Grant has combined different parts knowing that philistines will never bother to check the original sources.
The first part of the "quotation" is taken from what following excerpt:

"We are far from having completed even the transitional period from capitalism to socialism. We have never cherished the hope that we could finish it without the aid of the international proletariat. We never had any illusions on that score, and we know how difficult is the road that leads from capitalism to socialism. But it is our duty to say that our Soviet Republic is a socialist republic because we have taken this road, and our words will riot be empty words."(Lenin, Third All-Russia Congress Of Soviets Of Workers', Soldiers' And Peasants' Deputies, 1918)

The second part of "quotation" is taken from somewhere else, tough from the same article.
What does Ted Grant wants to suggest by using Lenin's quotations? According to Ted Grant, these quotations proved that "he [Lenin] thought that the October Revolution could not survive for any length of time."

Much to the dislike of Ted Grant and his friends, Lenin wrote in the same article that "The example of the Soviet Republic will stand before them for a long time to come. Our socialist Republic of Soviets will stand secure, as a torch of international socialism and as an example to all the working people." (Ibid.)

Perhaps, Ted Grant is firm that his work would be appreciated only by unscholarly opportunists, who have never bothered to read Lenin from the original sources.
In conclusion, the example of Ted Grant strongly reaffirms the observations of Lenin regarding Trotsky:

"Trotsky unites all to whom ideological decay is dear, all who are not concerned with the defence of Marxism; all philistines who do not understand the reasons for the struggle and who do not wish to learn, think, and discover the ideological roots of the divergence of views. At this time of confusion, disintegration, and wavering it is easy for Trotsky to become the `hero of the hour' and gather all the shabby elements around himself. The more openly this attempt is made, the more spectacular will be the defeat." (Lenin, Letter to the Russian Collegium of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., 1910)

2 comments:

MarxistFromLebanon said...

For starters, the letter written between the peak of clash between Martov, Lenin, and Trotsky (1910 quote).

Why not bring forth the quotes of Lenin's supporting the Revolutionary Committee with Trotsky at its head, better yet why not reading Ten Days That Shook the World by Comrade John Reed or On the Russian Revolution for Rosa Luxemburg. In the first book Stalin's name appears barely 4 times while Trotsky's over 100. In Rosa Luxemburg, states that the revolution was led by Lenin and Trotsky.

I never thought comrade Lenin would be in support of nationalism as he opposed all forms of "Fatherland" unlike his coffee barrier Stalin. Correct me if I were wrong, didn't Stalin and Kamenev oppose Lenin and Trotsky when they wanted a Bolshevic revolution and even denuonced it by Pravda (founded by Trotsky as well :P)

As for your other points, I will handle them later bit by bit, and since you are at www.marxist.com, why not check this:

http://www.marxist.com/History/stalin_death1.html

Enjoy

Hasta La Victoria Siempre
MFL

Umer A. Chaudhry said...

AS far as the quotations of Lenin regarding Trottsky are concerned, I can provide you with a whole list present at. You can have a good time reading them.

Firstly, what is rather interesting is that you base your arguments on the determinations of John Reed and Rosa Luxemburg, non of whom were members of the Central Committee and were far from the party when some very important decisions were being taken.

Comrade Krupskaya has highlighted a very good point about 'Ten Days that Shook the World':

"A certain Syrkin has put a very foolish interpretation of John Reed's book. Many people are of the opinion that we should not put John Reed's book into the hands of young people. It contains inaccuracies and legends. The history of the Party is not to learnt from Reed. Why then did Lenin recommend this book so warmly? Because in the case of John Reed's book this question is not the main point. The book gives an excellent and artistic description of the psychology and trends and feeling among the masses of the soldiery and the workers who accompanied the October revolution, and the clumsiness of the bourgeoisie and its servants. John Reed enables even the young Communist to grasp the spirit of revolution much more rapidly then the perusal of dozens of protocols and resolutions. It does not suffice for our youth to merely know the history of the Party, it is of equal importance that they feel the pulse of the October revoltion. How can you become Communists of they know nothing more than Party conditions in their narrower import, and do not feel what war and revolution have been?"(N. Krupskaya, 'The Errors of Trotskyism', London, CPGB, May 1925, pp. 365-671)

Secondly, to say that Stalin played no role in the Bolshevik party or was a "coffee barrier" of Lenin is another deception. You must be aware of the Stalin's article "Marxism on the National Question" written in 1913, which become the corner-stone Bolshevik policy in regard with the national question, and was defended by Lenin in his polemics.

Thirdly, to say that Stalin played no part in the uprising of October is incorrect. That was corrected by Stalin in "Trotskysim or Leninism" (1924):

"Let us take the minutes of the next meeting of the Central Committee, the one held on October 16 (29), 1917. Present: the members of the Central Committee, plus representatives of the Petrograd Committee, plus representatives of the military organisation, factory committees, trade unions and the railwaymen. Among those present, besides the members of the Central Committee, were: Krylenko, Shotman, Kalinin, Volodarsky, Shlyapnikov, Lacis, and others, twenty-five in all. The question of the uprising was discussed from the purely
practical-organisational aspect. Lenin's resolution on the uprising was adopted by a majority of 20 against 2, three abstaining. A practical centre was elected for the organisational leadership of the uprising. Who was elected to this centre? The following five: Sverdlov, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Bubnov, Uritsky. The functions of the practical centre: to direct all the practical organs of the uprising in conformity with the directives of the Central Committee. Thus, as you see, something "terrible" happened at this meeting of the Central Committee, i.e., "strange to relate," the "inspirer," the "chief figure," the "sole leader" of the uprising, Trotsky, was not elected to the practical centre, which was called upon to direct the uprising. How is this to be reconciled with the current opinion about Trotsky's special role? Is not all this somewhat "strange," as Sukhanov, or the Trotskyites, would say? And yet, strictly speaking, there is nothing strange about it, for neither in the Party, nor in the October uprising, did Trotsky play any special role, nor could he do so, for he was a relatively new man in our Party in the period of October. He, like all the responsible workers, merely carried out the will of the Central Committee and of its organs. Whoever is familiar with the mechanics of Bolshevik Party leadership will have no difficulty in understanding that it could not be otherwise: it would have been enough for Trotsky to have gone against the will of the Central Committee to have been deprived of influence on the course of events.

This talk about Trotsky's special role is a legend that is being spread by obliging "Party" gossips."

Fourthly, I would like you to realize that while sending a comment on my article you completely ignored the topic, which primarily dealth with the question of Permanent revolution.

Lastly, Pravda was a Bolshevik daily founded in April 1912. It was guided by Lenin from abroad and had J. V. Stalin in it's editorial board. Please see, "V.I. Lenin Against Revisionism", pg. 598. Trotsky was not even remotely associated with the Bolshevik Party or Pravda in 1912. How then can you say that Pravda was founded by Trotsky?

I will check the article you recommended as soon as I get some time.