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||Trotskyism versus Stalinism
Trotskyism versus Stalinism
by Wolf Larsen
The socialist/communist world is divided into two camps: Trotskyism versus Stalinism. Trotsky and Stalin were enemies, they both had completely different politics. Leon Trotsky was co-leader of the October Revolution in 1917 with Vladimir Lenin. Joseph Stalin, on the other hand, later betrayed the goals of the October Revolution by aligning himself with the privileged Soviet bureaucracy. Joseph Stalin later had Trotsky and many other members of the original Bolshevik Party who led the October Revolution killed, exiled to Siberia, or imprisoned. Lenin, in his Last Will and Testament, warned about Stalin and the privileged bureaucracy. It is often said that if Lenin had lived longer Stalin would've had him killed.
The Trotskyists and Stalinists couldn't be more different! Trotskyists support gay rights. The Soviet Union under Lenin and Trotsky took anti-sodomy laws off the books back in 1919. It was Stalin who later reintroduced homophobia into the Soviet political climate. To this day Trotskyists support the struggle for gay rights, gay quality, and gay liberation. Stalinists, on the other hand, claim that homosexuality is some kind of mental illness. Considering the antics of some Maoist and formally Maoist organizations I hardly believe that the Stalinists are in a position to accuse others of mental illness. (Maoism is a form of Stalinism.)
The Trotskyists are strong supporters of women's rights. The Soviet Union under Lenin and Trotsky made abortion legal back in 1919. That same year women in the Soviet Union were given the right to vote, a full year before women in the United States got the right to vote. In the Soviet Union women got the right to free childcare, and the government began employing women in jobs traditionally held only by men. Under Stalin, some of these gains were reversed, but other gains were not. The bottom line is Trotskyists are strong supporters of women's equality.
Again and again the Stalinists have betrayed the struggles of the workers. The Soviet Union under Stalin ordered leftist Chinese workers to ally themselves with the bourgeois henchmen Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalist Kuomintang. The results of this was a horrible massacre were Chiang Kai-shek's forces murdered thousands of leftist Chinese workers on the streets of Shanghai in 1927 in cold blood. The Soviet Union under Stalin also encouraged leftist workers in Spain to ally themselves with some "progressive" forces of the bourgeoisie. Except there is no "progressive" force in the bourgeoisie. Virtually the entire Spanish bourgeoisie both "progressive" and conservative aligned themselves with General Franco. This same scenario of Stalinist illusions in "progressive" elements of bourgeoisie also proved fatal in Chile. Stalinists in Chile in the early 70s pedalled illusions in some class collaborationist front with a "progressive" section of the bourgeoisie. The result was a horrible bloodbath with General Pinochet massacring thousands of leftist students and workers.
The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg. The Stalinists have betrayed the interests of the workers worldwide again and again throughout history. The Stalinists for the most part practice class collaboration with the bourgeoisie, which is very dangerous for the workers and progressive students. The Stalinist "Communist" Party of the USA has been kissing the ass of the Democratic Party for years. The Democratic Party is the liberal wing of the bourgeoisie, and the politicians of the Democratic Party are just as committed to smashing unions, attacking civil liberties, oppressing black people, and waging imperialist war as the Republicans. The only difference is Democratic Party politicians say some pretty words about working people, black people, and peace before they get elected, but after they get elected they pretty much do the same as the Republicans.
The Trotskyists are different than the Stalinists. The Trotskyists do not believe in class collaboration. The Trotskyists believe that the working class must have its own party – a workers party. The Trotskyists believe that in countries like Britain political parties like "Labor" that claim to be for the working class are actually pro-bourgeoisie. In every country leftist workers, students, and intellectuals must build Bolshevik parties like the party of Lenin and Trotsky.
Not all groups that claim to be Trotskyists are actually Trotskyist. Sort of like a hamburger made out of mystery meat there are many "Trotskyist" groups that are actually not Trotskyist at all. Of course, this makes matters a little confusing. One thing to ask yourself about any group claiming to be Trotskyist: What was their position during the Cold War? ANY GROUP CLAIMING TO BE "TROTSKYIST" THAT DID NOT HAVE THE POLITICAL COURAGE TO DEFEND THE SOVIET UNION FROM AMERICAN IMPERIALISM DURING THE COLD WAR WILL CERTAINLY NOT HAVE THE POLITICAL COURAGE TO TAKE PRINCIPLED STANDS IN THE FUTURE. (When I say defend in this case, I mean with words not with guns.) Fake "Trotskyist" groups like the International "Socialist" Organization (I. S. O.) did not have the courage to defend the Soviet Union against American imperialism during the Cold War. They came up with some crazy "state-capitalism" theory to justify this betrayal. "Trotskyist" groups like the International "Socialist" Organization today use the "state capitalism" theory in order to avoid defending China against American imperialism. These fake "Trotskyist" groups are often allergic to taking unpopular stands on issues, and will betray the interests of workers just like the Stalinists.
While defending Stalinist countries from American imperialism Trotskyists call for those Stalinist regimes to be ousted in political revolutions by the working class. After a political revolution the workers in countries like China would replace the rotten Stalinist dictatorship with a workers democracy, however they would keep the planned economies that make these countries non-capitalistic.
Fake "Trotskyist" organizations like the International "Socialist" Organization celebrated the end of the Soviet Union. The end of the Soviet Union was an historic defeat for the working class. Although the Soviet Union was ruled by rotten Stalinist hacks the planned economy in the Soviet Union gave the workers the right to a job, the right to housing, the right to free medical care, the right to free childcare, etc. Now that Russia is capitalist the living standards of workers throughout the ex-Soviet Union has plummeted, as noted in the sharp decline of life expectancy throughout the ex-Soviet Union.
Real "Trotskyist" organizations seek to become workers parties on the model of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Trotsky.