Left Opposition

The Left Opposition was formed around the person of Trotsky, especially after his expulsion from the USSR and the persecution of his comrades by Stalin. For many reasons - notably Trotsky's failure to understand that the 1930s were a period of profound counter-revolution, and his organisational opportunism - the Left Opposition failed to meet the challenge of World War II, when it betrayed the working class by supporting the democracies and the USSR in the imperialist war. The Left Opposition should nonetheless be distinguished from the Trotskyist current today.

Decadence of Capitalism (x): For revolutionaries, the Great Depression confirms the obsolescence of capitalism

There was no real recovery of world capitalism after the devastation of the First World War. Most of the economies of Europe stagnated, never really solving the problems posed by the disruption of war and revolution, by outdated plant and massive unemployment. The plight of the once powerful British economy was typified by the situation in 1926 when it resorted to direct wage cuts in a vain attempt to restore its competitive edge on the world market, provoking the 10-day General Strike in solidarity with the miners whose wages and conditions were the central target of the attack.

CWO pamphlet: Trotskyism was a proletarian current destroyed by opportunism

This short pamphlet, now available on the IBRP's website, aims to debunk the myths peddled by today's Trotskyists about the 'revolutionary' nature of their movement.

Trotskyism is in a state of disarray but retains influence, due in no small part to the status of Trotsky himself as the most important of the Bolshevik leaders of the Russian revolution to oppose Stalin. The CWO's pamphlet includes a lengthy section examining the positions defended by Trotsky and Trotskyism in the 1920s and 30s, contrasting their weaknesses and confusions to the much clearer contemporary struggle of the international communist left. It should therefore be welcomed as a useful propaganda weapon for groups of the communist left today.

1940: Assassination of Trotsky

Sixty years ago on 20th August 1940, Trotsky died, assassinated by Stalin’s underlings; the second imperialist war had just begun. In this article, we want not only to remember a great figure of the proletariat, sacrificing a little to the fashion for anniversaries, but also to use the event to examine some of his mistakes, and the political positions that he adopted at the beginning of the war. After a life of ardent militant activity, entirely devoted to the cause of the working class, Trotsky died as a revolutionary and a fighter. History is full of examples of revolutionaries who have deserted, and even betrayed the working class; few are those who remained faithful all their lives and died fighting, as did Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Trotsky was one of them.

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