Archive for the ‘John Podesta’ Category
July 9th, 2010 | Author: The Meister
Soros’s answer to America’s transformation involve more regulation and more government intervention in the marketplace. Soros pours billions of dollars into the following and commands Obama to perform.
1.) Promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
2.) Promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
3.) Opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
4.) Depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
5.) Promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
6.) Promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
7.) Promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
8.) Defending suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
9.) Financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
10.) Advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
11.) Opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
12.) Promoting socialized medicine in the United States
13.) Promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather … the demolition of technological/industrial civilization”
14.) Bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
15.) Promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
While the rest of the world financial markets were losing billions of dollars, Soros made billions of dollars for which he said, [he's] “having a very good crisis.” Some people speculate that Soros was responsible for the crisis by removing his large sums of money from institutions and betting against currency valuations.
George Soros Goal for the United States;
Creating a monetary crisis by uncontrolled spending by the Government to devalue the dollar thereby creating an opportunity for Soros to buy cheap dollars and when recovery comes – cashing out with multiple trillions. Leaving the rest of us to pay for the loss.
We prisoners had an unwritten rule, steal another man’s clothes and you’d get a hiding, steal a man’s bread and you’d die: The chilling testimony from the Gulags’ forgotten victims
The word Gulag is a actually an acronym, derived from the Russian for Main Camp Administration. Over the years, however, it has come to signify the whole Soviet slave labour camp system, a regime that reached its deadly peak under Josef Stalin’s despotic rule and saw millions of men and women transported to camps in Siberia and other outposts of the Red empire.
There, they had to endure sub-Arctic temperatures, undertake heavy labour at gunpoint and try to avoid starving to death. Between 1929 and 1953, the year of Stalin’s death, 18 million people passed through this Gulag system — many of them never to return.
Now a new book, Gulag Voices, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum, tells the stories of some of the survivors; harrowing reminders, told in their own heart-rending
ALEXANDER DOLGUN was an American, born in the Bronx in 1926. But in 1933 his father moved the family to the Soviet Union to take a job at the Moscow Automotive Works. When the family tried to return home, Soviet bureaucrats stopped them. Alexander’s parents never left the Soviet Union again. He grew up and started work as a clerk at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In 1948 he was arrested on suspicion of being a spy, with the violent interrogation he underwent in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison marking the beginning of a gruelling eight years in the Gulag.
IT WAS 3am and Sidorov, my interrogator, was angrier than ever. He had been showing me the same photographs over and over again, face after face of strangers. But he didn’t believe what I was saying.
‘I’m giving you another chance. Point out the ones you know! Why do you deny you know them?’
After almost a month of surviving on less than an hour’s sleep a day and already experiencing hallucinations, my fear was that I was going out of my mind. ‘It’s no use,’ I said, ‘we’ve done this over and over. I don’t recognise anyone. Not one!’
His fist came in hard and caught me on the side of the face with enough force to spin me out of my chair and onto the floor. I was dizzy with the shock. ‘Liar, liar, liar!’ he barked furiously.
Suddenly, I felt as if my right shin had been cracked open. I sat up and grabbed it, almost screaming, just as the toe of his hard high boot landed on the other shin.
The pain was terrible; I felt sick and my stomach began to heave. Determined to avoid another blow, I clambered back to the chair, slowly composing myself.
‘I’ll try,’ I muttered.
The next night was even worse. This time Sidorov didn’t even wait for a denial, wading into me with both fists, yelling that if I did not tell him everything he would kill me with his bare hands.
I hit the wall hard after a punch, and went down on my knees. I must protect my shins, I thought, I must protect my shins. He picked me up and dragged me to the chair, screaming obscenities and slapping my cheeks hard. I held my eyes closed against the shattering pain of the lights in the room.
‘Are you going to identify this man?’ he asked, thrusting another photograph under my nose and with a sudden quiet in his voice.
I couldn’t trust my voice, so mouthed the words: ‘I can’t.’
The shock when his boot hit my shin on top of the first bruise made me gasp. The next kick made me yell out loud.
‘Please! I’ll tell you any name. Boris, Andrei, I don’t know. Anything. Only don’t kick me again.’
The fist lashed out again and my consciousness swam away.
KAZIMIERZ ZAROD was a young Polish civil servant and army reservist who, with many others, fled east from Poland’s capital Warsaw when the Nazis attacked on September 1, 1939. But when the Soviets invaded Poland on September 17, he was arrested. After interrogation, he was sent to a Siberian forestry camp, which he knew only as Labour Corrective Camp No 21.
AT 3AM each morning, an alarm was beaten out on a triangle. Dressing was unnecessary as we slept in our clothes.
Tumbling off the hard wooden shelf on which I slept, I joined the queue for the one water bucket, where I filled a small soup container and splashed my face with a few handfuls. Soap, a tiny scrap of which we were issued with once a month, we kept for the evenings when we returned filthy from work.
By 3.30am, we were supposed to be in the square to be counted. On snowy mornings, this could be a long, cold, agonising business. Assuming the right number of bodies were present, the foreman of each working party was then dispatched to collect the bread for the day.
How much bread you got depended on how much timber you had cut the day before, a tally that really could be the difference between life and death. Those who met 100 per cent of the punishing targets — a physical impossibility for most men — earned 900g of bread (about 2lb), while those returning only 50 per cent of their targets got 300g.
Made from rye which had not been thoroughly cleaned, this black bread was the source of Gulag life and carefully hoarded throughout the day. A little with the breakfast soup; a few bites during the short dinner break at midday; more with the soup in the evening to stave off the inevitable pangs of hunger after 12 hours of cutting and stacking logs.
If a prisoner stole clothes or tobacco and was discovered, he could expect a good beating from his fellow inmates. But the unwritten law of this camp was that anyone caught stealing another man’s bread earned a death sentence. An ‘accident’ was not difficult to arrange in the forest.
ELENA GLINKA, a 29-year-old engineering student, was arrested on false charges of treason, and spent six years in the Gulag. She was sent to one of the camps on the dreaded Kolyma Peninsula, where winter temperatures hover between -19C to -38C. Having disembarked at a small fishing village, she witnessed one of the mass rapes, nicknamed the ‘Kolyma tram’ because of the brutal manner in which they were carried out. As the youngest of the prisoners, Elena was ‘chosen’ for the exclusive use of the local miners’ Party boss — and thus spared the worst of an ordeal that still left her so traumatised she could write about it only in the third person.
‘WOMEN in Burgurchan!’ The news spread like wildfire and within an hour men began flocking to the town hall — first the locals, then men from farther afield, some on foot,
Cigarettes, bread, even lumps of cured salmon were tossed to the corralled women prisoners who, after two days at sea, swallowed the food without chewing.
Then bottles began to clink and the men, as if on command, retreated to one side to drink vodka with the guards. There were songs and toasts, but there was also a clear purpose to this debauch as, one by one, the women’s guards passed out, dead-drunk.
whooping and hollering, the men rushed the women and began to haul them into the building, twisting their arms, dragging them through the grass, brutally beating any who resisted. They knew their business; it was co-ordinated and confident. Benches were removed, planks nailed over the windows, kegs of water hauled in.
That done, whatever rags or blankets they had at hand — padded vests, bedrolls, mats — were spread out and the women thrown to the floor. A line of about 12 men formed by each woman and the Kolyma tram began.
When it was over, the dead women were dragged away by their feet; the survivors were doused with water from the buckets and revived. Then the lines formed up again.
LEV RAZGON was a Russian journalist whose marriage to the daughter of one of the founders of the Soviet secret police had helped him work his way to the heart of the Bolshevik elite in the 1930s. But in 1937, when Stalin’s Great Purge began, Razgon saw his extended family arrested one by one. They came for him and his wife Oksana in 1938. Oksana died in a transit prison. Razgon spent 18 years in the Gulag, where he became grimly fascinated by his jailers, the men and women who, one way or another, decided who lived and who died.
OUR transport had been walking for a week and as we finally neared our destination, Camp No 1 in Ustvymlag, my first camp boss was outside waiting for us. A tall man in a well-made overcoat with a blue NKVD [the Stalin-era forerunner of the KGB] cap and boots polished to an unbelievable shine, Senior Lieutenant Ivan Zaliva, surveyed us with a severe and condescending gaze — his hand placed firmly on the wooden butt of his Mauser pistol. Over the forthcoming months, I would learn that he was a man of astounding ignorance and rare stupidity, who stuck devotedly to his official instructions, regardless of the cost in human lives.
To curry favour with his superiors, he always bought the cheapest food, the poorest clothing and, after three days, always switched new arrivals — many of them weakened by months in prison and weeks in transit — to a diet that related to their output.
There were 517 of us in the Moscow transport when we arrived in August 1938. By spring, after some 20 to 30 had been transferred to other camps, only 27 remained. All the rest had died that first winter.
In November 1938, 270 nomadic Chinese had arrived, having inadvertently strayed over the invisible Russian border. Zaliva set them to hauling timber by hand — a job that none of us could endure for more than a week.
The Chinese, however, worked steadily and calmly day after day, and when they had finished their punishing days, returned to the barracks, which they kept scrupulously clean and where they spent their evenings repairing their ripped clothing.
By February 1939, just three months after their arrival, 269 of these Chinese had died. Only one remained alive, working in the kitchen.
HAVA VOLOVICH was a newspaper sub-editor who was arrested in 1937, aged 21, for being publicly critical of the damage done to Ukrainian peasants by the new collective system, which grouped together dozens of farms to make one giant super-farm. She remained in the Gulag for 16 years, where she became one of the tens of thousands of young prisoners to become pregnant and have a baby. Prison nurseries did exist, but malnutrition, restrictive breast-feeding schedules and astonishing cruelty often resulted in the child suffering an early death.
A number of men offered their ‘services’ — and I did not choose the best by any means. But the result of my choice was an angelic little girl with golden curls. I called her Eleanor.
There were three mothers in our barracks and we were given a tiny little room of our own. By night, we brushed from our babies the bedbugs that fell from the ceiling like sand. By day, we left them with any old woman who had been let off work, knowing these women would calmly help themselves to the food we left for the children.
Every night for a year, I stood at my child’s cot, picking off the bedbugs and praying, begging God to prolong my torment by 100 years if it meant I wouldn’t be parted from my daughter.
But God did not answer my prayer. Eleanor had barely started walking and had just uttered her first, heart-warming word — ‘Mama’ — when we were dressed in rags, despite the winter’s chill, bundled into a freight car and transferred to the ‘mother’s camp’.
Here, I was expected to work in the forest, felling trees as normal during the day — while my pudgy little angel with the golden curls, back at the camp’s infant shelter, soon turned into a pale ghost with blue shadows under her eyes and sores all over her lips.
I caught a chill on the bladder, terrible lumbago and shaved my hair off to avoid getting lice. My appearance could not have been more miserable and wretched. But in return for bribes of firewood, the guards let me see my daughter outside normal hours. But the things I saw!
I saw nurses shoving and kicking children out of bed before washing them in ice-cold water. I saw a nurse grab the nearest baby, tie back its arms and then cram spoonful after spoonful of hot porridge down its throat.
My little Eleanor began to fade faster. ‘Mama, want home,’ she cried one evening, her little body covered with mysterious bruises.
On the last day of her life, when I picked her up to breast-feed her, she stared wide-eyed into the distance, clawing and biting at my breast, begging to be put down.
In the evening, when I came back with my little bundle of firewood, her cot was empty. I found her lying naked in the morgue among the corpses of the adult prisoners. She had spent one year and four months in this world and died on March 3, 1944.
- Gulag Voices, edited by Anne Applebaum, is published by Yale University
AROUND THE WORLD – SOCIALISTS ARE LOSING – WE HAVE TO STOP THE SOROS, PODESTA, JARRETT, OBAMA MOVE TO USA SOCIALISM
The crash of Sweden’s long-ruling Social Democrats to their worst defeat since 1914 highlights the decline of socialist parties in much of Europe, drained by social change, economic crisis and the rise of new issues.
The re-election of a center-right Swedish government for the first time in modern history and the entry of a hard-right anti-immigrant party into parliament show how far the times have changed, even in social democracy’s north European heartland.
How the center-left should respond, and whether it can regain the ascendancy in Europe at a time when loyalties are shifting across the political spectrum, are now being fought out in internal party tussles in Britain and France in particular.
In Sweden as in Germany, France, Denmark or the Netherlands, the main party of the center-left has hemorrhaged votes in all directions — to the hard left, the ecologist Greens, the populist far right but also to mainstream conservatives.
“Social democracy comes across as a victim of the crisis, when it should appear as a refuge or a hope after years of neo-liberal excess,” French political scientist Laurent Bouvet wrote earlier this year.
Technological change and globalization have shrunk the traditional industrial working class and the trade unions, made jobs more precarious and thrown up new issues such as climate change, population aging, immigration, obesity and drugs.
The mainstream left is torn between trying to reconnect with a lost popular electorate and reaching out to an aspiring new class in the knowledge economy.
Swedish Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin alienated some centrist supporters by agreeing to a formal coalition with the ex-communist Left party — a move that the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) continues to eschew.
In countries such as Britain, France and Germany, where the center-left was in government in the early 2000s, it is regarded by many voters as having been a zealous accomplice in financial deregulation and economic liberalism.
Rising income inequality gave a hollow ring to the left’s proclaimed ambition to redistribute wealth.
Now that most European countries are burdened with high deficits and debt mountains due to the financial crisis, the “big government” left is not seen as offering a credible answer to the question of where and how to shrink the state.
In many countries, public employees are the biggest bloc of socialist party members and constitute a brake on reform.
Socialists’ long-standing support for European unification, religious tolerance and integrating immigrants has made them vulnerable to right-wing populists like the Sweden Democrats, Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party or France’s National Front.
These dilemmas are the backdrop to the choice of a new leader by Britain’s opposition Labor Party this week, and of a presidential candidate by the French Socialist party next year.
In Britain, the choice is between sticking to the market-friendly New Labor ideology that marked Tony Blair’s decade in office from 1997, or shifting to the left to try to win back disenchanted working class and public sector voters.
“We need to become ‘effective state’ social democrats, not ‘big state’ social democrats,” Roger Liddle, one of the thinkers behind the New Labor project, said in a speech last week.
Former foreign secretary David Miliband embodies Blairite continuity, while his younger brother Ed, former cabinet minister Ed Balls and left-wing stalwart Diane Abbott offer varying degrees of the latter approach.
In France, the Socialists face a potential three-way choice between a social-liberal (International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn), an old-style socialist (current party leader Martine Aubry), and a left-populist (defeated 2007 presidential candidate Segolene Royal).
Aubry and Royal have vowed to reverse President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reform, which pushes back the retirement age from 60 to 62 and makes many work until 67 for a full pension. Strauss-Kahn says retirement at 60 cannot be a “dogma” when people are living ever longer.
An ecologist list ran neck-and-neck with the French Socialist party in last year’s European Parliament elections, siphoning off so-called Bobo voters (the bohemian bourgeois), while ex-communists and Trotskyists split another 10 percent.
In Germany, the Greens are snapping at the heels of the opposition SPD in opinion polls and may get a chance to lead a regional state government for the first time next year.
But the SPD has also lost support to the hardline Left party among working class and elderly voters who felt betrayed by its reduction of unemployment benefits and extension of the retirement age while in government over the last decade.
Where socialists are still in office, in Spain, Portugal and Greece, they risk alienating their core electorate by having to implement austerity measures mandated by the IMF and the European Union in exchange for financial support.
Only Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has managed to retain his lead in opinion polls so far despite eye-watering spending cuts — perhaps because his conservative opponents made such a shambles of running public finances until last year.
Manifest Destiny as is practiced today is a term used by the Progressives, Socialists, Elites and Communists that there is a widely held underlying belief among them , that they are the “chosen people,” had a divinely inspired mission to spread the fruits of their beliefs to the less fortunate and unwashed masses.
The idea of an almost religious Manifest Destiny is a common staple in the speeches and newspaper articles of the Progressives. Most of the exponents of Socialism were Democrats.
Critics see the Manifest Destiny rationale as a thinly veiled attempt to put an acceptable face on taking freedom from other peoples. Motives are often described as well-intentioned efforts to improve the lot of backward masses, but in truth the motivators were greed, power and control. The Manifest Destiny crowd are thinly disguised in wonderful names – such as Center for American Freedom.
The American people having derived their origin from many other nations, and the Declaration of National Independence being entirely based on the great principle of human equality and freedom, that we have, in reality, but little connection with anyone trying to take our freedom away. On the contrary, our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity with individual freedom.
Learn about this oppressive method and the people in history behind it. Be ready to reject and refute it when Comrade George Soros, Comrade Barak Obama, Comrade Valerie Jarrett and Comrade John Podesta use the Coming Debt Crises to force this system upon you.
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party. His politics differed sharply from Stalinism, most prominently in opposing Socialism in One Country, which he argued was a break with proletarian internationalism, and in his belief in an authentic dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles, rather than an unaccountable bureaucracy.
Together with Lenin, Trotsky was co-leader of the Russian Revolution and the international Communist movement in 1917 and the following years. Today, numerous groups around the world continue to describe themselves as Trotskyist, although they have developed Trotsky’s ideas in different ways. In the English language, an advocate of Trotsky’s ideas is usually called a “Trotskyist” or, pejoratively, a “Trotskyite” or “Trot”.
American communist organizer James P. Cannon in his 1942 book History of American Trotskyism wrote that “Trotskyism is not a new movement, a new doctrine, but the restoration, the revival of genuine Marxism as it was expounded and practiced in the Russian revolution and in the early days of the Communist International.” However, Trotskyism can be distinguished from other Marxist theories by four key elements.
- Support for the strategy of permanent revolution, in opposition to the Two Stage Theory of his opponent.
- Criticism of the post-1924 leadership of the Soviet Union, analysis of its feature and after 1933, support for political revolution in the Soviet Union and in what Trotskyists term the deformed workers’ states;
- Support for social revolution in the advanced capitalist countries through working class mass action;
- Support for proletarian internationalism. On the political spectrum of Marxism, Trotskyists are considered to be on the left. They supported democratic rights in the USSR, opposed political deals with the imperialist powers, and advocated a spreading of the revolution throughout Europe and the East.
Theory of Permanent Revolution
In 1905, Trotsky formulated a theory that became known as the Trotskyist theory of Permanent Revolution. It may be considered one of the defining characteristics of Trotskyism. Until 1905, Marxism only claimed that a revolution in a European capitalist society would lead to a socialist one. According to the original theory it was impossible for such to occur in more backward countries such as early 20th century Russia. Russia in 1905 was widely considered to have not yet established a capitalist society, but was instead largely feudal with a small, weak and almost powerless capitalist class.
The theory of Permanent Revolution addressed the question of how such feudal regimes were to be overthrown, and how socialism could be established given the lack of economic prerequisites. Trotsky argued that in Russia only the working class could overthrow feudalism and win the support of the peasantry. Furthermore, he argued that the Russian working class would not stop there. They would win its own revolution against the weak capitalist class, establish a workers’ state in Russia, and appeal to the working class in the advanced capitalist countries around the world. As a result, the global working class would to come to Russia’s aid, and socialism could develop worldwide.
The capitalist or bourgeois-democratic revolution
Revolutions in Britain in the 17th Century and in France in 1789 abolished feudalism and established the basic requisites for the development of capitalism. Trotsky argued that these revolutions would not be repeated in Russia.
In Results and Prospects, written in 1906, Trotsky outlines his theory in detail, arguing: “History does not repeat itself. However much one may compare the Russian Revolution with the Great French Revolution, the former can never be transformed into a repetition of the latter.” In the French Revolution of 1789, France experienced what Marxists called a “bourgeois-democratic revolution” – a regime was established wherein the bourgeoisie, overthrew the existing French Feudalistic system. The bourgeoisie then moved towards establishing a regime of democratic parliamentary institutions. However, while democratic rights were extended to the bourgeoisie, they were not generally extended to a universal franchise. The freedom for workers to organize unions or to strike was not achieved without considerable struggle.
Trotsky argues, countries like Russia had no “enlightened, active” revolutionary bourgeoisie which could play the same role, and the working class constituted a very small minority. By the time of the European revolutions of 1848, “the bourgeoisie was already unable to play a comparable role. It did not want and was not able to undertake the revolutionary liquidation of the social system that stood in its path to power.”
Weakness of the capitalists
The theory of Permanent Revolution considers that in many countries, which are thought to have not yet completed their bourgeois-democratic revolution, the capitalist class oppose the creation of any revolutionary situation. They fear stirring the working class into fighting for its own revolutionary aspirations against their exploitation by capitalism. In Russia, the working class, although a small minority in a predominantly peasant based society, were organised in vast factories owned by the capitalist class, and into large working class districts. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, the capitalist class found it necessary to ally with reactionary elements such as the essentially feudal landlords and ultimately the existing Czarist Russian state forces. This was to protect their ownership of their property—factories, banks, etc.– from expropriation by the revolutionary working class.
Therefore, according to the theory of Permanent Revolution, the capitalist classes of economically-backward countries are weak and incapable of carrying through revolutionary change. As a result, they are linked to and rely on the feudal landowners in many ways. Thus, Trotsky argues, because a majority of the branches of industry in Russia were originated under the direct influence of government measures—sometimes with the help of Government subsidies—the capitalist class was again tied to the ruling elite. The capitalist class were subservient to European capital.
Instead, Trotsky argued, only the ‘proletariat’ or working class were capable of achieving the tasks of that ‘bourgeois’ revolution. In 1905, the working class in Russia, a generation brought together in vast factories from the relative isolation of peasant life, saw the result of its labour as a vast collective effort, and the only means of struggling against its oppression in terms of a collective effort also, forming workers councils (soviets), in the course of the revolution of that year. In 1906, Trotsky argued:
The factory system brings the proletariat to the foreground… The proletariat immediately found itself concentrated in tremendous masses, while between these masses and the autocracy there stood a capitalist bourgeoisie, very small in numbers, isolated from the ‘people’, half-foreign, without historical traditions, and inspired only by the greed for gain. – Trotsky, Results and Prospects
The Putilov Factory, for instance, numbered 12,000 workers in 1900, and, according to Trotsky, 36,000 in July 1917.The theory of Permanent Revolution considers that the peasantry as a whole cannot take on this task, because it is dispersed in small holdings throughout the country, and forms a heterogeneous grouping, including the rich peasants who employ rural workers and aspire to landlordism as well as the poor peasants who aspire to own more land. Trotsky argues: “All historical experience… shows that the peasantry are absolutely incapable of taking up an independent political role.”
Trotskyists differ on the extent to which this is true today, but even the most orthodox tend to recognise in the late twentieth century a new development in the revolts of the rural poor, the self-organising struggles of the landless, and many other struggles which in some ways reflect the militant united organised struggles of the working class, and which to various degrees do not bear the marks of class divisions typical of the heroic peasant struggles of previous epochs. However, orthodox Trotskyists today still argue that the town and city based working class struggle is central to the task of a successful socialist revolution, linked to these struggles of the rural poor. They argue that the working class learns of necessity to conduct a collective struggle, for instance in trade unions, arising from its social conditions in the factories and workplaces, and that the collective consciousness it achieves as a result is an essential ingredient of the socialist reconstruction of society.
Although only a small minority in Russian society, the proletariat would lead a revolution to emancipate the peasantry and thus “secure the support of the peasantry” as part of that revolution, on whose support it will rely. But the working class, in order to improve their own conditions, will find it necessary to create a revolution of their own, which would accomplish both the bourgeois revolution and then establish a workers’ state.
Yet, according to classical Marxism, revolution in peasant based countries, such as Russia, prepares the ground ultimately only for a development of capitalism since the liberated peasants become small owners, producers and traders which leads to the growth of commodity markets, from which a new capitalist class emerges. Only fully developed capitalist conditions prepare the basis for socialism.
Trotsky agreed that a new socialist state and economy in a country like Russia would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world, as well as the internal pressures of its backward economy. The revolution, Trotsky argued, must quickly spread to capitalist countries, bringing about a socialist revolution which must spread worldwide. This was the position, contrary to that of “Classical Marxism” which by that time had been further illuminated by active life, shared by Trotsky and Lenin and the Bolsheviks until 1924 when Stalin, who along with Kamenev in February 1917 had taken the Menshevik position of first the bourgeois revolution, only to be confronted by Lenin and his famous April Thesis on Lenin’s return to Russia, after the death of Lenin and seeking to consolidate his growing bureaucratic control of the Bolshevik Party began to put forward the slogan of “Socialism in one country”.
In this way the revolution is “permanent”, moving out of necessity first, from the bourgeois revolution to the workers’ revolution, and from there uninterruptedly to European and worldwide revolutions.
Origins of the term
An internationalist outlook of permanent revolution is found in the works of Karl Marx. The term “permanent revolution” is taken from a remark of Marx from his March 1850 Address: “it is our task”, Marx said,
to make the revolution permanent until all the more or less propertied classes have been driven from their ruling positions, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far – not only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world – that competition between the proletarians of these countries ceases and at least the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers. – Marx, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League
Trotskyism and the 1917 Russian Revolution
During his leadership of the Russian revolution of 1905, Trotsky argued that once it became clear that the Tsar’s army would not come out in support of the workers, it was necessary to retreat before the armed might of the state in as good an order as possible. In 1917, Trotsky was again elected chairman of the Petrograd soviet, but this time soon came to lead the Military Revolutionary Committee which had the allegiance of the Petrograd garrison, and carried through the October 1917 insurrection. Stalin wrote:
All practical work in connection with the organization of the uprising was done under the immediate direction of Comrade Trotsky, the President of the Petrograd Soviet. It can be stated with certainty that the Party is indebted primarily and principally to Comrade Trotsky for the rapid going over of the garrison to the side of the Soviet and the efficient manner in which the work of the Military Revolutionary Committee was organized. – Stalin, Pravda, November 6, 1918
As a result of his role in the Russian Revolution of 1917, the theory of Permanent Revolution was embraced by the young Soviet state until 1924.
The Russian revolution of 1917 was marked by two revolutions: the relatively spontaneous February 1917 revolution, and the 25 October 1917 seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, who had gained the leadership of the Petrograd soviet.
Before the February 1917 Russian revolution, Lenin had formulated a slogan calling for the ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry’, but after the February revolution, through his April theses, Lenin instead called for “all power to the Soviets”. Lenin nevertheless continued to emphasize however (as did Trotsky also) the classical Marxist position that the peasantry formed a basis for the development of capitalism, not socialism.
But also before February 1917, Trotsky had not accepted the importance of a Bolshevik style organisation. Once the February 1917 Russian revolution had broken out Trotsky admitted the importance of a Bolshevik organisation, and joined the Bolsheviks in July 1917. Despite the fact that many, like Stalin, saw Trotsky’s role in the October 1917 Russian revolution as central, Trotsky says that without Lenin and the Bolshevik party the October revolution of 1917 would not have taken place.
As a result, since 1917, Trotskyism as a political theory is fully committed to a Leninist style of democratic centralist party organisation, which Trotskyists argue must not be confused with the party organisation as it later developed under Stalin. Trotsky had previously suggested that Lenin’s method of organisation would lead to a dictatorship, but it is important to emphasise that after 1917 orthodox Trotskyists argue that the loss of democracy in the Soviet Union was caused by the failure of the revolution to successfully spread internationally and the consequent wars, isolation and imperialist intervention, not the Bolshevik style of organisation.
Lenin’s outlook had always been that the Russian revolution would need to stimulate a Socialist revolution in western Europe in order that this European socialist society would then come to the aid of the Russian revolution and enable Russia to advance towards socialism. Lenin stated:
We have stressed in a good many written works, in all our public utterances, and in all our statements in the press that… the socialist revolution can triumph only on two conditions. First, if it is given timely support by a socialist revolution in one or several advanced countries. – Lenin, Speech at Tenth Congress of the RCP(B)
This outlook matched precisely Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution had foreseen that the working class would not stop at the bourgeois democratic stage of the revolution, but proceed towards a workers’ state, as happened in 1917. The Trotskyist Isaac Deutscher maintains that in 1917, Lenin changed his attitude to Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution and after the October revolution it was adopted by the Bolsheviks.
Lenin was met with initial disbelief in April 1917. Trotsky argues that:
up to the outbreak of the February revolution and for a time after Trotskyism did not mean the idea that it was impossible to build a socialist society within the national boundaries of Russia (which “possibility” was never expressed by anybody up to 1924 and hardly came into anybody’s head). Trotskyism meant the idea that the Russian proletariat might win the power in advance of the Western proletariat, and that in that case it could not confine itself within the limits of a democratic dictatorship but would be compelled to undertake the initial socialist measures. It is not surprising, then, that the April theses of Lenin were condemned as Trotskyist. – Leon Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution
The ‘legend of Trotskyism’
In The Stalin School of Falsification, Trotsky argues that what he calls the “legend of Trotskyism” was formulated by Zinoviev and Kamenev in collaboration with Stalin in 1924, in response to the criticisms Trotsky raised of Politburo policy. Orlando Figes argues that “The urge to silence Trotsky, and all criticism of the Politburo, was in itself a crucial factor in Stalin’s rise to power.”
During 1922–24, Lenin suffered a series of strokes and became increasingly incapacitated. Before his death in 1924, Lenin, while describing Trotsky as “distinguished not only by his exceptional abilities – personally he is, to be sure, the most able man in the present Central Committee”, and also maintaining that “his non-Bolshevik past should not be held against him”, criticized him for “showing excessive preoccupation with the purely administrative side of the work”, and also requested that Stalin be removed from his position of General Secretary, but his notes remained suppressed until 1956. Zinoviev and Kamenev broke with Stalin in 1925 and joined Trotsky in 1926 in what was known as the United Opposition.
In 1926, Stalin allied with Bukharin who then led the campaign against “Trotskyism”. In The Stalin School of Falsification, Trotsky quotes Bukharin’s 1918 pamphlet, From the Collapse of Czarism to the Fall of the Bourgeoisie, which was re-printed by the party publishing house, Proletari, in 1923. In this pamphlet, Bukharin explains and embraces Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution, writing: “The Russian proletariat is confronted more sharply than ever before with the problem of the international revolution … The grand total of relationships which have arisen in Europe leads to this inevitable conclusion. Thus, the permanent revolution in Russia is passing into the European proletarian revolution.” Yet it is common knowledge, Trotsky argues, that three years later, in 1926, “Bukharin was the chief and indeed the sole theoretician of the entire campaign against ‘Trotskyism’, summed up in the struggle against the theory of the permanent revolution.”
Trotsky wrote that the Left Opposition grew in influence throughout the 1920s, attempting to reform the Communist Party. But in 1927 Stalin declared “civil war” against them:
During the first ten years of its struggle, the Left Opposition did not abandon the program of ideological conquest of the party for that of conquest of power against the party. Its slogan was: reform, not revolution. The bureaucracy, however, even in those times, was ready for any revolution in order to defend itself against a democratic reform.
In 1927, when the struggle reached an especially bitter stage, Stalin declared at a session of the Central Committee, addressing himself to the Opposition: “Those cadres can be removed only by civil war!” What was a threat in Stalin’s words became, thanks to a series of defeats of the European proletariat, a historic fact. The road of reform was turned into a road of revolution. – Trotsky, Leon, Revolution Betrayed, p279, Pathfinder (1972)
Defeat of the European working class led to further isolation in Russia, and further suppression of the Opposition. Trotsky argued that the “so-called struggle against ‘Trotskyism’ grew out of the bureaucratic reaction against the October Revolution [of 1917]“. He responded to the one sided civil war with his Letter to the Bureau of Party History, (1927), contrasting what he claimed to be the falsification of history with the official history of just a few years before. He further accused Stalin of derailing the Chinese revolution, and causing the massacre of the Chinese workers:
In the year 1918, Stalin, at the very outset of his campaign against me, found it necessary, as we have already learned, to write the following words:
“All the work of practical organization of the insurrection was carried out under the direct leadership of the Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, comrade Trotsky…” (Stalin, Pravda, Nov. 6, 1918)
With full responsibility for my words, I am now compelled to say that the cruel massacre of the Chinese proletariat and the Chinese Revolution at its three most important turning points, the strengthening of the position of the trade union agents of British imperialism after the General Strike of 1926, and, finally, the general weakening of the position of the Communist International and the Soviet Union, the party owes principally and above all to Stalin. – Trotsky, Leon, The Stalin School of Falsification, p87, Pathfinder (1971)
Trotsky was sent into internal exile and his supporters were jailed. Victor Serge, for instance, first “spent six weeks in a cell” after a visit at midnight, then 85 days in an inner GPU cell, most of it in solitary confinement. He details the jailings of the Left Opposition. The Left Opposition, however, continued to work in secret within the Soviet Union. Trotsky was eventually exiled to Turkey. He moved from there to France, Norway, and finally to Mexico.
After 1928, the various Communist Parties throughout the world expelled Trotskyists from their ranks. Most Trotskyists defend the economic achievements of the planned economy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s, despite the “misleadership” of the soviet bureaucracy, and what they claim to be the loss of democracy. Trotskyists claim that in 1928 inner party democracy, and indeed soviet democracy, which was at the foundation of Bolshevism, had been destroyed within the various Communist Parties. Anyone who disagreed with the party line was labeled a Trotskyist and even a fascist.
In 1937, Stalin again unleashed what Trotskyists say was a political terror against their Left Opposition and many of the remaining ‘Old Bolsheviks‘ (those who had played key roles in the October Revolution in 1917), in the face of increased opposition, particularly in the army.
Degenerated workers’ state
Trotsky developed the theory that the Russian workers’ state had become a “degenerated workers’ state“. Capitalist rule had not been restored, and nationalised industry and economic planning, instituted under Lenin, were still in effect. However, Trotskyists claim that the state was controlled by a bureaucratic caste with interests hostile to those of the working class. Stalinism was a counter-revolutionary force.
Trotsky defended the Soviet Union against attack from foreign powers and against internal counter-revolution, but called for a political revolution within the USSR to bring about his version of socialist democracy: “The bureaucracy can be removed only by a revolutionary force”. He argued that if the working class did not take power away from the “Stalinist” bureaucracy, the bureaucracy would restore capitalism in order to enrich itself. In the view of many Trotskyists, this is exactly what has happened since the beginning of Glasnost and Perestroika in the USSR. Some argue that the adoption of market socialism by the People’s Republic of China has also led to capitalist counter-revolution. Many of Trotsky’s criticisms of Stalinism were described in his book, The Revolution Betrayed.
“Trotskyist” has been used by “Stalinists” to mean a traitor; in the Spanish Civil War, being called a “Trot,” “Trotskyist” or “Trotskyite” by the USSR-supported elements implied that the person was some sort of fascist spy or agent provocateur. For instance, George Orwell, a prominent Anti-Stalinist writer, wrote about this practice in his book Homage to Catalonia and in his essay Spilling the Spanish Beans. In his book Animal Farm, an allegory for the Russian Revolution, he represented Trotsky with the character “Snowball” and Stalin with the character “Napoleon“. Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has also been linked to Trotsky.
In 1937 Trotsky wrote:
To maintain itself, Stalinism is now forced to conduct a direct civil war against Bolshevism, under the name of “Trotskyism,” not only in the USSR but also in Spain. The old Bolshevik Party is dead, but Bolshevism is raising its head everywhere. To deduce Stalinism from Bolshevism or from Marxism is the same as to deduce, in a larger sense, counterrevolution from revolution. – Trotsky, Leon, Stalinism and Bolshevism 1937, in Living Marxism, No. 18, April 1990.
Stalin put out a general call for the assassination of Trotsky and he was finally killed with an ice axe in Mexico in 1940, by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish supporter of Stalin, under direct orders from the GPU.
Founding of the Fourth International
Trotsky founded the International Left Opposition in 1930. It was meant to be an opposition group within the Comintern, but anyone who joined, or was suspected of joining, the ILO, was immediately expelled from the Comintern. The ILO therefore concluded that opposing Stalinism from within the Communist organizations controlled by Stalin’s supporters had become impossible, so new organizations had to be formed. In 1933, the ILO was renamed the International Communist League (ICL), which formed the basis of the Fourth International, founded in Paris in 1938.
Trotsky said that only the Fourth International, basing itself on Lenin’s theory of the vanguard party, could lead the world revolution, and that it would need to be built in opposition to both the capitalists and the Stalinists.
Trotsky argued that the defeat of the German working class and the coming to power of Hitler in 1933 was due in part to the mistakes of the Third Period policy of the Communist International and that the subsequent failure of the Communist Parties to draw the correct lessons from those defeats showed that they were no longer capable of reform, and a new international organisation of the working class must be organised. The Transitional demand tactic had to be a key element.
At the time of the founding of the Fourth International in 1938 Trotskyism was a mass political current in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and slightly later Bolivia. There was also a substantial Trotskyist movement in China which included the founding father of the Chinese Communist movement, Chen Duxiu, amongst its number. Wherever Stalinists gained power, they made it a priority to hunt down Trotskyists and treated them as the worst of enemies.
The Fourth International suffered repression and disruption through the Second World War. Isolated from each other, and faced with political developments quite unlike those anticipated by Trotsky, some Trotskyist organizations decided that the Soviet Union no longer could be called a degenerated workers state and withdrew from the Fourth International. After 1945 Trotskyism was smashed as a mass movement in Vietnam and marginalised in a number of other countries.
The International Secretariat of the Fourth International organised an international conference in 1946, and then World Congresses in 1948 and 1951 to assess the expropriation of the capitalists in Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia, the threat of a Third World War, and the tasks for revolutionaries. The Eastern European Communist-led governments which came into being after World War II without a social revolution were described by a resolution of the 1948 congress as presiding over capitalist economies. By 1951, the Congress had concluded that they had become “deformed workers’ states.” As the Cold War intensified, the FI’s 1951 World Congress adopted theses by Michel Pablo that anticipated an international civil war. Pablo’s followers considered that the Communist Parties, insofar as they were placed under pressure by the real workers’ movement, could escape Stalin’s manipulations and follow a revolutionary orientation.
The 1951 Congress argued that Trotskyists should start to conduct systematic work inside those Communist Parties which were followed by the majority of the working class. However, the ISFI‘s view that the Soviet leadership was counter-revolutionary remained unchanged. The 1951 Congress argued that the Soviet Union took over these countries because of the military and political results of World War II, and instituted nationalized property relations only after its attempts at placating capitalism failed to protect those countries from the threat of incursion by the West.
Pablo began expelling large numbers of people who did not agree with his thesis and who did not want to dissolve their organizations within the Communist Parties. For instance, he expelled the majority of the French section and replaced its leadership. As a result, the opposition to Pablo eventually rose to the surface, with an open letter to Trotskyists of the world, by Socialist Workers Party leader James P. Cannon.
The Fourth International split in 1953 into two public factions. The International Committee of the Fourth International was established by several sections of the International as an alternative centre to the International Secretariat, in which they felt a revisionist faction led by Michel Pablo had taken power. From 1960, a number of ICFI sections started to reunify with the IS. After the 1963 reunification congress which established the reunified Fourth International, the French and British sections maintained the ICFI. Other groups took different paths and originated the present complex map of Trotskyist groupings.
Trotskyism has had some influence in some recent major social upheavals, particularly in Latin America.
The Bolivian Trotskyist party (Partido Obrero Revolucionario, POR) became a mass party in the period of the late 1940s and early 1950s, and together with other groups played a central role during and immediately after the period termed the Bolivian National Revolution.
In Brazil, as an officially recognised platform or faction of the PT until 1992, the Trotskyist Movimento Convergência Socialista (CS), which founded the United Socialist Workers’ Party (PSTU) in 1994, saw a number of its members elected to national, state and local legislative bodies during the 1980s.Today the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) is described as Trotskyist. Its presidential candidate in the 2006 general elections, Heloísa Helena is termed a Trotskyist who was a member of the Workers Party of Brazil (PT), a legislative deputy in Alagoas and in 1999 was elected to the Federal Senate. Expelled from the PT in December 2003, she helped found PSOL, in which various Trotskyist groups play a prominent role.
During the 1980s in Argentina, the Trotskyist party founded in 1982 by Nahuel Moreno, MAS, (Movimiento al Socialismo, Movement Toward Socialism), claimed to be the “largest Trotskyist party” in the world, before it broke into a number of different fragments in the late 1980s, including the present-day MST, PTS, MAS, IS, PRS, FOS, etc. In 1989 in an electoral front with the Communist Party and Christian nationalists groups, called “Izquierda Unida” (united left), obtained 3,49% of the electorate, representing 580.944 voters. Today the Workers’ Party in Argentina has an electoral base in Salta Province in the far north, particularly in the city of Salta itself, and has become the third political force in the provinces of Tucuman, also in the north, and Santa Cruz, in the south.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez declared himself to be a Trotskyist during his swearing in of his cabinet two days before his own inauguration on 10 January 2007.Venezuelan Troskyist organizations do not regard Chávez as a Trotskyist, with some describing him as a bourgeois nationalist and other considering him an honest revolutionary leader who has made major mistakes because he lacks a Marxist analysis.
In Sri Lanka, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) expelled its pro-Moscow wing in 1940, becoming a Trotskyist-led party. It was led by South Asia‘s pioneer Trotskyist, Philip Gunawardena and his colleague NM Perera. In 1942, following the escape of the leaders of the LSSP from a British prison, a unified Bolshevik-Leninist Party of India, Ceylon and Burma (BLPI) was established in India, bringing together the many Trotskyist groups in the subcontinent. The BLPI was active in the Quit India movement as well as the labour movement, capturing the second oldest union in India. Its high point was when it led the strikes which followed the Bombay Mutiny. After the war, the Sri Lanka section split into the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Bolshevik Samasamaja Party (BSP). The Indian section of the BLPI later fused with the Congress Socialist Party. In the general election of 1947 the LSSP became the main opposition party, winning 10 seats, the BSP winning a further 5. It joined the Trotskyist Fourth International after fusion with the BSP in 1950, and led a general strike (Hartal) in 1953.
In 1964 a section of the LSSP split to form the LSSP (Revolutionary) and joined the Fourth International after the LSSP proper was expelled. The LSSP (R) later split into factions led by Bala Tampoe and Edmund Samarakkody. The LSSP joined the coalition government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, three of its members, NM Perera, Cholmondely Goonewardena and Anil Moonesinghe, becoming the first Trotskyist cabinet ministers in history.
In France, 10% of the electorate voted in 2002 for parties calling themselves Trotskyist.
In the UK in the 1980s, the entrist Militant tendency won three members of parliament and effective control of Liverpool City Council while in the Labour Party. Described as “Britain’s fifth most important political party” in 1986 it played a prominent role in the 1989–1991 mass anti-poll tax movement which was widely thought to have led to the downfall of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Almost all of the large far left parties in the UK are led by Trotskyists, including the Socialist Workers Party (Britain), the Socialist Party (England and Wales), Respect – The Unity Coalition and the Scottish Socialist Party.
The Socialist Party in Ireland was formed in 1990 by members who had been expelled by the Irish Labour Party’s leader Dick Spring. It has had a sizable amount of support in County Fingal and has an MEP, Joe Higgins, representing Dublin.
In Portugal‘s September 2009 parliamentary election, the Left Bloc won 558.062 votes, which translated into 9,82% of the expressed votes and the election of 16 (out of 230) deputies to the national parliament. Although founded by several leftist tendencies, it still expresses much of the Trotskyist thought upheld and developed by its current leader, Francisco Louçã.
There is a wide range of Trotskyist organisations around the world. These include but are not limited to:
The Fourth International
The Fourth International derives from the 1963 reunification of the two public factions into which Fourth International split in 1953: the International Secretariat of the Fourth International (ISFI) and the ICFI. It is often referred to as the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the name of its leading committee before 2003. It is widely described as the largest contemporary Trotskyist organisation with sections and sympathizing organizations in over 50 countries. Its best known section has been the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire of France, but today there are also sizeable and influential sections in Portugal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Pakistan and several other countries.
In many countries its sections work within working-class parties and alliances, in which Trotskyists are a minority.
Committee for a Workers’ International
The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) was founded in 1974 and now has sections in over 35 countries. Before 1997, most organisations affiliated to the CWI sought to build an entrist Marxist wing within the large social democratic parties. Since the early 1990s it has argued that most social democratic, as indeed socialist parties have moved so far to the right that there is little point trying to work within them. Instead the CWI has adopted a range of tactics, mostly seeking to build independent parties, but in some cases working within other broad working-class parties.
International Socialist Tendency
Internationalist Communist Union
In France, the LCR is rivalled by Lutte Ouvrière. That group is the French section of the Internationalist Communist Union (UCI). UCI has small sections in a handful of other countries. It focuses its activities, whether propaganda or intervention, within the industrial proletariat.
International Marxist Tendency
The founders of the Committee for a Marxist International (CMI) claim they were expelled from the CWI, when the CWI abandoned entryism. The CWI claims they left and no expulsions were carried out. Since 2006, it has been known as the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). CMI/IMT groups continue the policy of entering mainstream social democratic, communist or radical parties.
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