Living Marxism

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Stalinism and Bolshevism

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I’m reprinting here a classic article by Trotsky from August 1937 that defends Bolshevism from those accusing it of preparing the way for Stalinism. For those of us who see Trotskyism as the continuation of Bolshevism, but in need of refounding on the basis of the 1938 program, this article is as important today as it was in 1937.

. . .

Reactionary epochs like ours not only disintegrate and weaken the working class and isolate its vanguard but also lower the general ideological level of the movement and throw political thinking back to stages long since passed through. In these conditions the task of the vanguard is, above all, not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow: it must swim against the current. If an unfavourable relation of forces prevents it from holding political positions it has won, it must at least retain its ideological positions, because in them is expressed the dearly paid experience of the past. Fools will consider this policy “sectarian”. Actually it is the only means of preparing for a new tremendous surge forward with the coming historical tide.

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Written by raved

July 16, 2008 at 10:03 am

One Response

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  1. Very interesting post. I deal with that question often at rightist blogs.

    Renegade Eye

    July 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm


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