Trotsky’s ‘Stalinism and Bolshevism’: A Brief Analysis

August 2021 Forums General discussion Trotsky’s ‘Stalinism and Bolshevism’: A Brief Analysis

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  • #219854
    MustaphaMond
    Participant

    Hello again friends.

    I have just published a new piece in collusion with a colleague who is a prominent member of the modern Indian socialist movement.

    https://philosophical-malady.blogspot.com/2021/07/trotskys-stalinism-and-bolshevism-brief.html

    Stalinism and Bolshevism

    We analyse one of Trotsky’s most prominent pieces, ‘Stalinism and Bolshevism’, in which he is extraordinarily frank about the way in which Bolshevism degenerated into Stalinism, but also defends his ideology fervently.

    We would be keen for your thoughts on Trotsky’s article.

    What mistakes did the Bolsheviks make, if any?

    – Mustapha Mond

    #219855
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    It is a nonsense to say as Trotsky did,

    “under the banner of Bolshevism the first victory of the proletariat was achieved and the first workers’ state established”.

    It was a victory for elite rule over the proletariat and peasants.

    #219856
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    No. 168 August 1918

    The Revolution in Russia: Where it Fails

    Is this huge mass of people, numbering about 160,000,000 and spread over eight and a half millions of square miles, ready for Socialism? Are the hunters of the North, the struggling peasant proprietors of the South, the agricultural wage slaves of the Central Provinces, and the industrial wage slaves of the towns convinced of the necessity, and equipped with the knowledge requisite, for the establishment of the social ownership of the means of life?

    Unless a mental revolution such as the world has never seen before has taken place, or an economic change has occurred immensely more rapidly than history has recorded, the answer is “No!”

    And it is extremely significant that neither Trotsky nor Litvinoff say a single word on this aspect of the situation.

    No. 176 April 1919

    As a matter of fact it is admitted by the staunchest friends of the Bolshevist movement that the election for the Constituent Assembly (an election based upon a popular franchise) resulted in a bourgeois majority. So far is it from being true, therefore, that the working class overthrew the Kerensky crowd, that the working class voted the bourgeoisie into power, and the Bolsheviks it was who squashed the Kerensky crowd by suppressing the Constituent Assembly.

    Correspondence. A “Bolshie” Critic

    #219861

    The only different between Trotsky and Stalin was their style of management of how to control and dominate the workers from the top to the bottom, even more when he was the Commissar of the Read Army, he was a despot. Both advocated for state capitalism

    It was not a workers state, ( the workers will never have a state, or an organ to oppress themselves ) it was the dictatorship of the party over the working class, and it was a bourgeois revolution , or a planned violent coup of the bolshevik to run capitalism in the same of the working class.

    With the Soviets and the Bolsheviks socialism did not advance one inch, on the contrary, they distorted completely the concept of socialism and Marxian theory and we are paying the consequences at the present time.

    Without the Soviet Union socialism would have been in a much better stand.

    The only one who had a real socialist stand was Julius Martov and he was a Menshevik, and they kicked him out, specially the opportunist Vladimir Lenin.

    Bolshevism did not degenerate into Stalinism when he was an old Bolshevik, and he always supported Lenin and the Bolsheviks point of view, and he knew what socialism really is as it was proven on his book on Anarchism, and he was the creator of concept of Marxism-Leninism, it is the opposite way: Stalinism is a consequence of Bolshevism and Leninism, and the first killing were done by Lenin and Trotsky.

    We have hundred of articles who debunk completely the myth of the Bolsheviks, Soviets, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, and Bukharin, who was one of the most apt of the Bolsheviks, and Lenin borrowed many conceptions from him

    #219863

    It is a nonsense to say as Trotsky did,

    “under the banner of Bolshevism the first victory of the proletariat was achieved and the first workers’ state established”.
    It was a victory for elite rule over the proletariat and peasants.
    —————————–
    The Bolsheviks were only between 1-10% of the working population recognized by the bolsheviks and by the wife of Lenin who was the party secretary and one of his biographer, and most of the peasants did not support the bolsheviks, they only wanted a land or agrarian reform, the populist slogan of the Bolsheviks was: Land, Bread and Freedom, they never advocated for a stateless, ageless, moneyless, leaderless society, and the common possession of the means of production, on the contrary the state became the biggest land and property owner, and they became the new ruling class. Trotsky advocated for the militarization of the workers at the point of production and they adopted Ford Assembly Line system

    #219867

    It was vanguardism which acted as a precursor to the “red bureaucracy” and allowed Stalinism to flourish: replacement of the old elite class with a new elite class. Any heightening of one group of people over the rest of the citizenry presents this danger
    ——————————————-
    Lenin What is to be done? is based on vanguardism and that a group of trained intellectuals must guide the working class, it contradicts Marx who said that the liberation of the working class must be obtained by the working class itself. The vanguard party concept is an inheritance from the Jacobins, Ferdinand Lasalle and the Second International. Lenin himself recognized his defeat when he saw that a big bureaucracy was emerging in the Soviet Union and he laid down the basis for that phenomenon. The Vanguard Party to lead was going to be a temporary measure only applicable to Russia
    ——————————————————–

    It has shown us time and again that the sprouting of socialism, anti-imperialism or other such movements in various nations is not sufficient to protect them from degeneration into totalitarianism,
    ———————————————-
    Anti imperialism was a concept created by the Bolsheviks ( and Bukharin ) in order to cover up their own nationalism, and their isolation, and for further development of the theory of socialism in one country which also contradicts Marx theory of world revolution and worldly socialism.

    That conception transformed Marxism from a revolutionary theory for the world working class, into a struggles to defend the national bourgeoisie of every country around the world and the working class becoming the allied of their own ruling elite.

    In every nation the working class does not have any common interest with their own ruling class, therefore, the workers does not have to defend the concept of the homeland,( fatherland ) the state, or any capitalist leader, or any so called socialist leader, or socialist homeland, and all states are fictitious. We did not support the so called patriotic and anti imperialist war of the Soviet Union

    We have two articles which show that Lenin was a theoretician of bourgeoise nationalism. The Chinese went further they said: Workers of the oppressed nations against the oppressor nations instead of workers of the world unite. We never supported the so called anti imperialism of the Vietcong because it was the struggles between two ruling class, and history has proven that we were correct because the Vietcong became the national ruling class.

    With the world development of capitalism we do not need the dictatorship of the proletariat, it was only a temporary measure applicable to the time of Marx and Engels when capitalism only existed in a few countries and it could have ended in state capitalism, personally, I think that Marx should not have created that conception it was a mistake, and also the wage slaves can not oppress to himself/herself

    #219869

    It is therefore infinitely appropriate for Trotsky to proclaim that “without a revolution in the West, Bolshevism will be liquidated either by internal counter-revolution or by external intervention, or by a combination of both”. This emphasises the prospect that the Stalinist doctrine of “socialism in one country”
    ————————————————–
    Russia was not matured for a socialist revolution, the only solution was state capitalism, and the economic exploitation of the working class to accumulate capital. The concept of socialism in one country was not created by Stalin, it was Bukharin and Lenin supported that concept too. It is also a false statement as the left has propagated that a workers revolution took place in France and Germany, in both places the workers only advocated for capitalist reforms. A socialist revolution has not taking place in any place around the earth, we do have the objective condition but we do not have the subjective conditions

    #219913

    Next we turn to the issue of worker control. Trotsky proudly proclaims that “Marxism found its highest historical expression in Bolshevism” and that “under the banner of Bolshevism the first victory of the proletariat was achieved and the first workers’ state established”. Indeed! And not soon after being established it was so rapidly destroyed.

    ———————————-
    It was the opposite, Bolshevism was a total distortion of Marxism ( or Marxian theory ) Marx and Engels never advocated for a so called workers state, for them socialism/communism was a world stateless society established democratically by the vast majority of the world working class. Socialism can not be established by a minority, by a coup, or by leaders, or by impositions as the Bolsheviks did

    #219923
    ALB
    Keymaster

    We were on to how the Trots had nothing to offer from the start, as this article from the Socialist Standard from 1944 shows:

    The Weakness of the Trotskyists

    #219924

    He condemns the reasoning of “certain left doctrines” as flawed when he describes their predictions of “the prohibition of other socialist parties, the repression of the anarchists, the setting up of the Bolshevik dictatorship” and the eventual “dictatorship of the bureaucracy” that followed.

    _________________

    That is not true. Trotsky was part of the first killing and repression of the workers who opposed the Bolsheviks, and he was part of the repression and the killing of the Anarchists who opposed the Bolsheviks. The first killing of workers did not start under Joseph Stalin, it started during the time of Lenin and Trotsky when they were commissars

    This articles written by the SPGB/WSM summarize all actions committed by the Bolsheviks since the very beginning of their state coup. Everything about the Bolsheviks, Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky is a myth, the reality is that the Soviet Union was a brutal state capitalist dictatorship, or the dictatorship of the party above the working class. The day that the left and the Leninists accept this reality it will fall apart

    Russia, Lenin and State Capitalism

    #219969
    MustaphaMond
    Participant

    Thank you for your detailed responses, MovimientoSocialista – what do you mean by “we don’t have the subjective conditions”? Are you referring to the idea that the people are not ready for a socialist revolution?

    I think we have a similar conception of Bolshevism and Trotsky, and whilst I give him some credit, you prefer to condemn him from the start, for understandable reasons.

    #219972

    I have not found anything positive from the Bolsheviks and their leaders, but I might give credit to one Menshevik known as Julius Martov, probably, the only thing positive was that they motivated the end of World War One because they did not want to participate in the war, but because of them socialism has become a totally distortion and they retarded it for more than 75 years, we are paying the consequences.

    About your question, it means that the vast majority of workers do not have socialists consciousness, and they do not want socialism/communism yet, it must be wanted, and it must be understood, we need socialists in order to have socialism/communism, it can not be established by a leader

    The only ones who find positives conceptions from Trotsky are the Trotskyists and some Marxist Humanists writers

    https://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-spgb-and-trotsky-1936.html

    #219973
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    MustaphaMond – “Thank you for your detailed responses, MovimientoSocialista – what do you mean by “we don’t have the subjective conditions”? Are you referring to the idea that the people are not ready for a socialist revolution?

    Our Party have consistently explained that Socialism is only possible in a situation where the economic circumstances exist, i.e. a developed capitalist economy, and where a majority of workers understand and want a socialist society.

    In the case of the 1917 Russian revolution, objectively neither of those situations was possible. The Russian economy was generally pre capitalistic (there were pockets of capitalistic production but by and large Russia was a feudally based economy) and as was demonstrated by the outcome of the constituent assembly there was not a majority of workers who understood what socialism is and wanted it.

    Despite the romantic daydreaming of Trotsky and the attempts to manipulate, hoodwink and bellicose name calling of Lenin, the reality of material conditions (as any student of Marx will know) cannot be overcome by rhetoric and militancy. Our party knew that in 1917 and as a result the Bolshiviks and their comrades in arms did everything they could do discredit, intimidate and slander us. They failed to silence us in the same way that they failed to turn Marx’s theories upside.

    #219974

    Furthermore, Lenin wrote a book titled: The Development of capitalism in Russia ( which I have read ) where he shows that capitalism was not the prevailing mode of production in Russia, still was an agrarian society, therefore, he knew that it was impossible to establish socialism in a pre capitalist society.

    Socialism/communism is a post capitalist society, it is not capitalism within capitalism like the left-wingers and Leninists have propagated around the world, or public education, public transportation, and medical services run by the state, it has been done by several right wingers governments and social democrats in Europe and Latin America including Domingo Peron in Argentina

    Most peasants in Russia did not support the Bolsheviks and they were not socialist either, they just wanted an agrarian reform, like it was done in Mexico during the bourgeoisie revolution by Emiliano Zapata and Cardenas. The so called government of factories workers and peasants was only a lie created by the Bolsheviks. Everything about the Bolsheviks and Lenin is only a myth

    https://www.socialiststudies.org.uk/rr17%20legacy.shtml

    #219978

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/publications/trotsky-the-prophet-debunked/ The prophet debunked

    The wife of Trotsky known as Natalia Sedovia knew that the Soviet Union was a state capitalist country and due to her stand she was expelled from the Fourth International

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