National Sections of the L5I:

Trotsky: an introduction

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First published by Workers Power in 1996 and reprinted in 2000

Introduction

Since the dawn of civilisation, the history of humanity has been shaped by a constant struggle between classes. The haves and the have-nots battle for control of society’s wealth. This conflict is sometimes slow and dogged; at other times it bursts out in open rebellion, in civil wars and revolutions. Read more...

Chapter 1 - From prison to power

Trotsky was born Lev Davidovitch Bronstein in 1879 into a land seething with conflict. Nineteenth century Russia was a backward country. Unlike Western Europe and the USA, modern industry began to develop only late in the century. Read more...

Chapter 2 - Permanent Revolution

The theory of Permanent Revolution is one of the main contributions made by Trotsky to Marxism. Like all important theories it is often completely misunderstood. Read more...

Chapter 3 - Bread, Peace and Land

Many people today, filled with a justified suspicion for governments and politicians of all types, will wonder whether the Bolsheviks feathered their own nests, especially after they emerged from underground struggle to find themselves in positions of power and influence. Read more...

Chapter 4 - The civil war

Today, when Stalinism has collapsed and the crimes of the Soviet bureaucracy are well-known, the capitalists and their propagandists are desperate to cover up the real truth about Trotsky and the early years of the Soviet Republic. Read more...

Chapter 5 - The rise of Stalin

Today the word communism conjures up images of a grey world in which everyone is the same, where endless queues form for shoddy, scarce goods, no one can speak their mind for fear of the secret police, and everyone wears boring clothes. Read more...

Chapter 6 - Trotsky and the world revolution

Up until 1924, everybody in the Communist movement agreed that the victory of socialism in a single country was impossible – particularly in a country so isolated, underdeveloped and backward as Russia. Read more...

Chapter 7 - The struggle against Fascism

Fascism has spattered the blood of millions across the pages of twentieth century history. In Germany, between 1933 and 1945, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party set up the most savage and murderous dictatorship ever known. Read more...

Chapter 8 - The Fourth International

In 1923 Trotsky first raised the banner of revolt against Stalin. For the next 10 years he fought to rouse the Communist workers of the world in a fight for the complete reform of the Communist International (Comintern): the removal of the Stalin leadership and a return to the path of world revolution. Read more...

Chapter 9 - The transitional programme

Amidst all the struggles of the 1930s, Trotsky never lost sight of the most important condition for establishing a new International: Read more...