Communism and stalinism in USA
Saturday 27 September 2008, by
Comrade Chairman, Comrades:
The formal dissolution of the Communist International is undoubtedly an event of great historical significance, even though everybody understands that it is simply the formal certification of a fact that was long since accomplished. Some of the bourgeois commentators and politicians may exaggerate a bit when they speak of the dissolution of the Communist International as the greatest political event since the beginning of the war. But, in any case, there is no question of its transcendent importance. This is recognized on every side, and the event has called forth discussion from every quarter.
There are two ways to view the question. One is from the standpoint of the United States and Allied capitalist powers in their war against the Axis powers, and their struggle to maintain the capitalist system of oppression of the workers in the home countries and enslavement of the great masses of the colonial world. The other standpoint from which the dissolution of the Comintern can be discussed is from the standpoint of the liberation struggle of the workers which has had a conscious expression now for 95 years, since the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848.
The discussion has all been one-sided so far. All the discussion outside our ranks begins from the premise of its effect upon the fortunes of American imperialism, with particular reference to the war. It is remarkable how so many people, in so many supposedly different camps, take this as their starting point in analyzing the burial of the Comintern. It was to be expected that the bourgeois press would take this point of view because all their interests lie in that direction. But we notice also that such labor leaders as have pronounced themselves show the same bias. They inquire, with straight faces, whether Stalin’s action is sincerely meant as a gesture of help and cooperation with our war leaders in Washington and London, or whether it is a mere maneuver. No other aspects of the question seem to concern them.
The same thing is true of the Social-Democratic press. You might think that people who used to have an International of their own would have something to say about the unburied corpse of the Second International, but they passed that over as a matter of no interest. Perhaps they are right in this respect. They sagely discuss the recent events in Moscow and put seriously to themselves - these "Socialists" - the question: Will this help America in the war or not?
Even the Stalinists, who up to a few days ago were the adherents and representatives - even if not formally, owing to the Voorhis Law - of the Communist International, solemnly discuss the action like imitation Congressmen. They defend the burial of the Comintern without reference to its effect on the struggle of the workers for better conditions and eventual liberation - the original aim of the Comintern - but solely from the point of view of the interests of the American ruling class. Browder writes a letter to the New York Times and attempts to reassure this extremely perspicacious organ of America’s Sixty Families that the action taken in Moscow is in good faith and in their interests, and that it is not quite sporting of them to raise a questioning eyebrow about the fact.
So far nobody has discussed the question from the point of view which brought the Communist International into existence, that is, of organizing and furthering the worldwide struggle of the proletariat for emancipation from capitalism. But it is this point of view which I want to bring to the discussion here this evening.
Of course, the announcement of the formal dissolution of the Comintern is simply the news account of a burial that is ten years overdue. It serves a certain purpose in that it puts an end to a fiction and clears the air of illusions and misunderstandings, to say nothing of very bad odors.
This belated burial of the corpse of the Comintern is a climax, we might say, to a long sequence of events which have extended over two decades. These events, in their high-lights, can be noted as: the death of Lenin; the promulgation for the first time in 1924 of the theory of socialism in one country; the bureaucratization of the Comintern and all of its parties; the expulsion of the Bolshevik-Leninist opposition, first in the Russian party and then in the other parties of the Comintern; the capitulation of the Communist Party of Germany, with its 600,000 members and its 6 million voters, without a struggle and without a fight to Hitler fascism in 1933; the organized, systematic betrayal of the proletariat of the world in the interest of the diplomatic policy of the Kremlin; the murder of the old Bolsheviks; the assassination of Trotsky; the betrayal of the proletariat in the second world war, first to Hitler and then to Roosevelt and Churchill.
Since the beginning of the war the Comintern, the unburied Comintern, was silent as the grave. Now it is formally buried, and that, at least, is a good thing. It is somewhat late, but the old proverb says, "better late than never." By the formal burial of the Comintern, Stalin, for once on the international arena, has unconsciously performed a progressive act.
The bourgeois press and public generally, the political leaders and spokesmen, are very well pleased with the recent pronouncement, even if they understand that it is only a formality. They have good reason to be pleased. The dissolution of the Comintern, and the cynical repudiation of internationalism and the international proletarian organization, is an ideological victory of vast importance for capitalism and reactionary nationalism. They have been quite true to their interests in hailing this action and pushing aside the quibblers who wonder if, after all, it isn’t another maneuver.
They have good reason to applaud the action of Stalin, taken through his puppets in the so-called Executive Committee of the non-existent Comintern, because the renunciation of internationalism is a renunciation of the basic premises of scientific socialism. It is a renunciation of the cardinal doctrine which has guided and inspired the struggle of the workers for generations, since Marx’s day. The modern movement of international socialism began with the Communist Manifesto in 1848, 95 years ago, with its battle of cry: Workers of the World Unite! The Communist Manifesto proclaimed the doctrine that the emancipation of the workers could be achieved only by their common actions on an international scale. Against the cardinal principle and battle cry of Marx and Engels, and of all revolutionary socialists since that time: - Workers of the World Unite! - Stalin has announced a motto of his own: Disband your international organization; give up all thought of international collaboration; support your own imperialists, and confine your activities to the national framework of the country in which you are enslaved.
Internationalism was not a dogma invented by Marx and Engels, but a recognition of the reality of the modern world. It proceeds from the fact that the economy of modern society is a world unit requiring international cooperation and division of labor for the further development of the productive forces. The class struggle arising from the class division between workers and exploiters within the countries requires class unity of the workers on an international scale. From the beginning the program of scientific socialism has called for the international collaboration of the workers and oppressed peoples in the different countries, with all their different levels of development, in order that each might contribute their strength as well as their weakness to a unified world program and world cooperative action. The Communist Manifesto called for common efforts of the workers in all countries for the common goal of workers’ emancipation.
After the downfall of feudalism, the national states played a progressive role as the arena for the development and expansion of the forces of production in the heyday of capitalism. But these very national states, whose sanctity is proclaimed by Stalin in 1943, became obsolete long ago. They have become barriers to the full operation of the productive forces and the source of inevitable wars. The whole pressure of historic necessity is for the breaking down of the artificial national barriers, not for their preservation.
Just as the petty states and principalities and arbitrarily divided sections of the old countries under feudalism had to give way to the consolidated, centralized national states in order to create a broader arena for the development of the productive forces, so, in the same way, the artificially divided national states have to give way to the federation of states. In the future course of development this must lead eventually to a world federation operating world economy as a whole without class and nationalistic divisions. From this it follows irrevocably that such an order can be created only by the international collaboration and the joint struggle of the workers in the various countries against their own bourgeoisie at home and against capitalism as a world system. So preached and so practiced the great founders of socialism, Marx and Engels; so preached and practiced their great continuators, Lenin, and Trotsky.
Among the immortal achievements of Marx as a revolutionist, side by side with his monumental work on Capital, will always stand his creative labor in the building of the first international organization of the workers, the International Working Men’s Association. From the time that the ideas of internationalism were propounded in the Communist Manifesto to their first realization in 1864 in the First International, up until the present time, the conflict within the labor movement between revolutionists and reformists has revolved around this fundamental question. At the heart of every dispute, socialist internationalism on the one side has been contrasted to nationalistic concepts on the other.
We can see in the whole period down to the present day, the deadly parallel between revolutionary internationalism, pointing the way to the socialist future, and opportunistic adaptation to the decaying order of capitalism. Marx and Engels were the champions of this idea of internationalism and of corresponding action. The nationally limited, narrow-minded trade union reformists of England and other places renounced the idea of internationalism. With the idea of gaining small favors for the day at the expense of the interests of the class al a whole and of the future, conservative trade unionism, even in Marx’s day, took a nationalistic form and had a nationalistic outlook. In the first World War of 1914-18 the great resounding struggle which took place between the revolutionary wing headed by Lenin and Trotsky on the one side, and Kautsky ¯ Co. on the other, had as its great criterion, its touch-stone, the question of international organization.
Lenin, the Russian, living as an emigre in Switzerland, with no more than a dozen or two followers that he could name and place, rose up against the whole so-called Second International and the Social-Democratic German parties in the war. He rose up against the bourgeois world, and announced the necessity for the Third International in 1914. Similarly, in the period of the decline and eventual decay and death, up to the formal burial of the Communist International, the great dividing line between the real inheritors of Marx and Lenin on the one side, and Stalin and his cohorts on the other, has been this principle we are discussing here tonight - the principle of internationalism.
Since it was first proclaimed nearly a century ago, in the historic ebb and flow, the idea of internationalism and the organization of the international workers have suffered three great defeats. The organizations have been destroyed, but always the idea rose again after each defeat, corresponding to historical necessity, and found the necessary organizational form on higher ground.
The First International, that is the International of Marx and Engels, was founded formally in 1864. Seven years later came the tragic defeat of the Paris Commune. Along with that great defeat and the great impetus it gave to reaction on the continent of Europe, there was the unprecedented rise and expansion of capitalist industry. The productive forces began to expand and develop on a capitalist basis at an unprecedented rate. This temporarily weakened the revolutionary movement. It was the expansion of capitalism still reaching toward its apex of development which decreed the end of the First International by its formal dissolution in 1876. But the First International didn’t die like the Second or like the Comintern. It was dissolved with its honor unsullied. It remained an inspiration and an ideal which still continued to work in the vanguard circles of the workers and in time bore good fruit.
The Second International followed. It was formally launched in Paris in 1889, thirteen years after the formal end of the First International, and died as a revolutionary organization on the 4th of August, 1914. The 4th of August was the day when the Social-Democratic deputies in the Reichstag voted for the war credits of German imperialism. But between the manner and form of the end of the Second International and that of the First, there is a great contrast that we should not forget. The First International succumbed to external conditions, to the defeats, the spread of reaction and the expanding development of the capitalist productive system. It went down gloriously. The Second International, on the contrary, ended as a result of the betrayal of the leadership in a period when capitalism had already long passed its peak and had entered into its decline and bankruptcy. The Second International capitulated at a time when the necessity and urgency of international revolutionary organization were a thousand times more apparent than in the case of the First International.
The Third International was born of war and revolution and struggle against nationalism in March 1919, twenty-four years ago. This International, too, died ignominiously from a false theory, from capitulation and betrayal, and is buried in 1943, without honors, without regrets.
As far as the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat are concerned, the formal event was anticipated and nobody was taken by surprise. We have been struggling against the national degeneration of the Comintern for a long time. This struggle, as a matter of fact, began in 1923. That is twenty years ago. It is startling in these days, in contemplation of this final ceremony of burying the non-existent Comintern, to read the polemics of Trotsky written twenty years ago in Russia. At the very first signs of national degeneration, Trotsky, like a physician, put his finger on the pulse of the organization and detected the fever of nationalism and pointed out what it was and what it would lead to. He began a struggle twenty years ago in the name of internationalism against the theory of socialism in one country, against the conception that the workers could find any other way to salvation except through international organization and joint struggle against capitalism on a world scale.
This fight began in the factional and ideological disputes of 1923. The fight took international form in 1930 in the organization of the International Communist League shortly after Trotsky was exiled from Russia and began, from his refuge in Turkey, to communicate with co-thinkers on a world scale. In 1938, the unceasing struggle of Trotsky and his disciples was climaxed by the World Congress of the Fourth International in 1938.
Trotsky, the unfailing champion of internationalism, in the uncompromising struggle against every form and trace of nationalist degeneration, was finally assassinated by an agent of Stalin. But his imperishable ideas are incorporated in the new international organization of the communist workers, the Fourth International.
Stalin’s action, formally dissolving the Comintern, was taken in the midst of the Second World War, an appropriate time. The international organization which was presumably formed to enable the workers to take advantage of the difficulties of national capitalist states to promote the international revolution, is dissolved with a cynical explanation that it doesn’t fit the conditions of the war. Kautsky, in 1915, explaining the collapse of the Second International when the war started, said that the International is an instrument of peace, not of war. Kautsky was the originator of this monstrous theory. Stalin simply repeats it, nearly thirty years later when it is thirty times more false.
Lenin said in 1914: "Because of the war, we must build the Third International in order to coordinate the activities of the workers in struggling against the war and in all that will follow from it." Stalin says to the workers of the world in 1943: "Because of the war, dissolve international organization and confine yourselves to the framework of your own bourgeois fatherland." In this contrast between the words of Lenin, who thought the war was a means of underscoring and emphasizing the necessity for an international organization of workers, and the words of Stalin, who says the war is a sufficient reason to disband international organization - in this contrast you have the measure of the two men and of what they represent in history.
Already in 1914, the First World War had demonstrated beyond all question that the bourgeois national states, as an arena for the development of the productive forces of mankind, were already outlived and had to give way to a broader basis. National capitalism had already entered into its bankruptcy in that time, more than twenty years ago. The most tragic expression of the bankruptcy of capitalism was the fact that it could find no other way out of the conflicts between out-lived national states than in the explosion of the terrible war that cost ten million lives and crippled and maimed twenty million more.
And it was precisely the demonstration, by the terrible fact of the war; it was precisely the war, that caused Lenin and Trotsky, and such as they, to realize that even the Second International as it had existed before the war, as a rather loose federation of national parties, could not be rebuilt. Trotsky expressed it, that the war sounded the death knell of national programs for workers’ parties. They drew the lesson from the experience of the last World War, 1914-18, not only that the workers must reconstitute their organization on an international scale, but that they must base this reorganization on an international program and not on the sum of national programs.
Thus, the war of 1914, which signalized the bankruptcy of the national capitalist states, was, in the eyes of Lenin and Trotsky, the greatest motivation for an extension of the idea of internationalism in program as well as in form of organization. Now, a quarter of a century later, when the bankruptcy of capitalism has developed into its death agony, when an explosion takes place in the Second World War in even more tragic loss in human life and material culture - now, after this, Stalin and his traitor gang, have the cynical effrontery to tell the workers that there is no need of international cooperation and international organization.
There isn’t a shadow of logic or reason, if you proceed from the point of view of socialism and the cause of the proletariat, in any of the explanations given by the Stalinists for renunciation of internationalism. The explanation given by the bourgeois press and bourgeois political leaders is more correct and honest because it frankly proceeds from the point of view that is of interest to them, that is, to the capitalist world order, and they can see in it a very good thing. But that it is no good for the workers is quite obvious.
Even the bourgeoisie recognize internationalism in their, own way. The bankruptcy of national limitness has become so clear to the bourgeosie that all their most perspicacious leaders have been compelled to renounce the idea of national isolation altogether. Isolationism as a political tendency stands discredited in bourgeois politics. And in this situation, in this terrible war that is caused by the artificial prolongation of the life of national states as separate economic units, Stalin and his puppets tell the workers: "Confine your efforts to the national limits in which you find yourselves. Support one set of bandits against another set of bandits." That, workers of the world, heirs of Marx and Engels, heirs of Lenin and Trotsky and the Russian Revolution, that is your destiny in 1943, pronounced by Stalin and his gang.
This treacherous advice not only defies Marxist doctrine and tradition but it violates the most fundamental features of the prevailing world situation. It betrays the workers in the metropolitan centers and even omits any mention of the many million masses in the colonies and the semi-colonies who were awakened by the Russian Revolution and the Communist International to the struggle for life and freedom.
I think that the frankest and most heartfelt expressions of opinion by the chosen leaders of the democratic world bourgeoisie - Mr. Churchill and Roosevelt - really were off the record. They didn’t have the heart to put down in public print what they really think of Stalin and his order dissolving the Comintern. That could only make fun of the explanation that the time has come in 1943 to go back to the national boroughs and forget the world arena at the very moment when they, the leaders of the bourgeoisie, are looking over the whole world and talking only in global terms. Stalin’s explanation, intended to deceive trusting workers, can cause only the most cynical amusement to Churchill and Roosevelt, tinged with contempt plus a little appreciation for a very valuable favor. They at least have no illusions about national limitations either of economy or of politics, and certainly not of war. They have as little illusion on that score in their own way and from their own point of view, as Lenin had in this way, which was not the same way, and from his point of view which, needless to say, was not the same as that of Churchill or Roosevelt, or of Stalin.
If you take down from the bookshelf that imposing library of polemics, manifestos, appeals, analyses, written by Lenin from the 4th of August, 1914 on, you see running through the whole collection, like a red thread, the idea of internationalism. His manifesto, the manifesto of the Bolshevik Central Committee against the war, raised the demand already in 1914 for the creation of the new Third International. His attitude led him and the Bolsheviks to the Zimmerwald Conference in 1915, to Kienthal in 1916, and then to the revolution in 1917 in Russia.
Now, in all the plans of the Social Democrats, to say nothing of the imperialists, in 1914 - in all their plans to do away with international organization, to harness the workers to the war machine of their respective capitalist masters in the different countries, the one thing that was not counted upon occurred in Russia, a little surprise - merely a revolution. The revolution that first overthrew the Czar in February and then overthrew the bourgeoisie in October was one of those unheralded events of the past World War which upset all calculations.
We do not see any mention of that in the order of dissolution, as we may call it. There is no talk about revolution. There is no talk about socialism. There is no talk about anything except winning the war against Hitler. Lenin’s steps, from 1914 on, led through these events I have mentioned to the Russian revolution, the conquest of power by the proletariat of Russia, supported by the peasantry and led by the Bolshevik party of Lenin. That didn’t end Lenin’s fight against the theory of Kautsky that internationalism is an instrument of peace, not of war. In view of the collapse and bankruptcy of capitalism, as well as in anticipation of another war, Lenin and his party sponsored in 1919 the formation of the Comintern.
So, you see, throughout the whole course of Lenin’s work, his manifesto after the betrayal of the German Social Democracy, his participation in the conferences at Zimmerwald and Kienthal, in the revolution of 1917, and the formation of the Comintern in 1919 - every act of Lenin from first to last took place under the banner of internationalism. The premises of the Third International were that the dissolution and collapse of the capitalist world order made necessary the organization of the proletariat for the seizure of power in the capitalist states, the federation of the socialist states into a world federation, and the inauguration of the world socialist order.
Lenin saw the Russian revolution as only the beginning of this world-wide process. Lenin and Trotsky and the Bolshevik party as a whole understood that Russia could not stand isolated in a capitalist world; it could not remain as a national utopia. They saw it as a fortress of the world proletariat. Their policy was to unite the Soviet Union, representing the fortress of the world proletariat, with its allies in the world. And who were the allies of the Soviets as Lenin and Trotsky saw them? Not Churchill. And not even Roosevelt. Their allies were the world proletariat in the capitalistically developed countries and the colonial peoples. Under this leadership the workers of the war-torn countries lifted their heads again. They were reinspired with socialist: ideas. They reorganized their ranks. They formed new revolutionary parties. They made heroic attempts at revolution in Europe. The colonial masses were awakened for the first time to political life, to revolt against age-old slavery, and inspired to throw off the imperialist yoke altogether.
Such was the course of development under Lenin’s leadership of the Comintern. Under Stalin’s leadership, which was tainted from the start with narrow-minded nationalism, the world movement was betrayed; the Soviet Union was isolated; the services of the Comintern and its parties were sold like potatoes on the market to the various camps of imperialists for dubious pacts, for dribbles of material aid, at a very cheap price. Lenin and Stalin - the creator of the Third International and its grave digger - these two represented ideas and actions which are in polar opposition to each other. They can in no way be reconciled. I notice that while they had the effrontery to refer to Marx, in the order dissolving the Comintern, they left unmentioned its founder. That at least was a wise omission, because Lenin’s name would have been out of place there, as Marx’s was also.
In the course of twenty years, from 1924, when the fatal theory of socialism in one country was first promulgated, to the sorry, dishonorable end of the Comintern in 1943; in that whole tragic degeneration, we can see above everything else the decisive role of theory in political action. Stalin didn’t begin with the dissolution of the Comintern. He began with the theory of socialism in one country. From this false theory everything else has followed - the betrayal of the world proletariat, the isolation of the USSR behind her national barriers, the purges, the Moscow trials, the mass murders, the assassinations, and, finally, the dissolution of the Comintern.
There is a profound lesson in this terrible sequence of events for all the generation of the young proletariat awakening to political interest and political life. Trotsky explained it in 1928 in his book, which was here referred to by the chairman. In "The Criticism of the Draft Program of the Comintern" he explained to the communist workers of Russia and the world that precisely this theory of socialism in one country, with its inevitable nationalistic implications, would inevitably lead to the degeneration and downfall of the Comintern. When this was written 15 years ago, the great majority of communists considered this a great exaggeration and even an insult to Stalin and his co-workers in the Russian party. But Trotsky, who did not impute design but only, ignorance to these people at that time, explained that good intentions cannot help you in politics if you proceed from a false theory. It is like a mariner setting a false course which can only lead the ship to an unintended destination.
The struggle against the theory of socialism in one country was conducted in the name of internationalism. And in the name of internationalism Trotsky and his disciples struggled against its disastrous consequences, as they began to reveal themselves in life. As the tragic course of events unfolded, Trotsky, step by step, analyzed, he explained, he threw the Marxist light on all the great events as they happened, before they happened, and afterwards he drew the necessary conclusions. He was not deterred by persecution; he was not dismayed by the few numbers that surrounded him, nor by the renegacy of others, nor by the sneers of philistines.
Trotsky did not consider in the first place numbers, popularity, success of the moment, any more than did Marx and Engels and Lenin. He considered historical necessity. He considered the task of formulating for the proletariat the program showing the shortest road to the realization of its historical goal. His work and struggle bore fruit in the creation of an international nucleus of revolutionary fighters, and eventually in the formal organization of the Fourth International, in the World Congress in. 1938.
At the time it was formed the great politicians of the mass parties of the Social Democracy used to sneer at Trotsky’s little handful and his insignificant Fourth International. The heroes of the London Bureau, the centrists who, if they could not organize mass parties could, at least, talk about them, used to argue against Trotsky that he didn’t have many followers. And the Stalinists, backed by the limitless material resources of the Soviet Union, with money, tremendous apparatus, a subsidized bureaucracy, and GPU murder machine at their disposal - with all this tremendous weight at their side, they hounded, persecuted and derided Trotsky and the Fourth International.
But in the brief period since the Founding Congress of the Fourth International, in a brief five years, every other international organization of the workers has been hurled down to ruin as Trotsky predicted they would be, without one stone left standing on another. This was the fate of the Second International of Social Democracy, of the London Bureau of the centrists, and now it is the fate of the Stalinists, admitted and acknowledged by themselves. They have all been destroyed by the war, as Trotsky said they would be. But the Fourth International remains. And with it lives the principle of internationalism which alone can show the tortured masses of the world the way out of war and slavery to the socialist future of humanity.
In this past period since 1864, each international organization of the workers in passing from the historical scene, left something accomplised, left something behind upon which its successor could build for the future.
The First International left an imperishable ideal, an unsullied record, as an inspiration for the workers from that day to this, a glorious memory.
The Second International died ignominiously through betrayal in 1914. Nevertheless, in the period from 1889 to that fatal day in August, 25 years later, it built great mass organizations of the workers, and handed on experience in organization of incalculable value, upon which the Third International was able to build. Also, the initial cadres of the Third International didn’t fall from the sky. They came right out of the heart of the Second International. Thus, in spite of everything, the Second International left a great heritage.
The Third International, which has ended now in shame and disgrace, has nevertheless left behind the richest treasures for the future. Its founders, Lenin and Trotsky belong to us; nobody can dissolve the tie that binds the new generation of revolutionary workers to Lenin and Trotsky, to their teachings, their example, their beautiful memory. The record of the long internal struggle from 1923 to this date, the struggle of Trotsky and his co-thinkers and disciples, belongs to the proletariat of the world. The record of that struggle is the basic literature upon which the whole new generation which is destined to lead the world will be educated and trained. The first four Congresses of the Comintern, held under Lenin’s leadership in 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922 - four congresses in four years - produced documents which are the basic program of the movement that we uphold today.
And, in addition to that, out of the Third International, before it died and long before it was buried, came the initiating cadres of the Fourth International. Thus, looking at the thing always from the standpoint of the international proletariat and disregarding no elements in the whole survey, whether they are positive or negative, we have a right to say that the balance sheet of the Communist International, in spite of everything, shows a great historical credit balance.
Stalin can bury the dead organization but he cannot bury the great progressive work the Comintern accomplished in its first years. He cannot bury the Fourth International which has risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the Third. We know very well and we don’t try to conceal the fact that the numbers of the Fourth International are small. But its ideas are correct, its program represents historical necessity, and, therefore, its victory is assured. Its program consciously formulates the instinctive demands of the workers and the colonial peoples for emancipation from capitalism, fascism and war.
Even today, striking workers who never even heard of the Fourth International, are denounced as "Trotskyists" whenever they stand up for their rights, just as the workers and soldiers in Russia in 1917 under Kerensky were denounced on every side as "Bolsheviks" and heard then, for the first time in the denunciations, the word "Bolshevik." Trotsky relates in his "History of the Russian Revolution" how they began to say to themselves, "If what they are accusing us of is Bolshevism, then we had better be Bolsheviks."
So it will be again wherever workers stand up for their rights, express their instinctive will to struggle for a better future, and are denounced as Trotskyists. In good time they will learn the name of the Fourth International, its meaning, its program, and ally themselves with it.
No one can dissolve the Fourth International. It is the real Comintern and it will keep the banner unfurled in the faces of all traitors and renegades. And we assert confidently that it will be strengthened and grow and triumph until its organized ranks merge with the whole mass of humanity. The song which no Stalin can render obsolete ends its chorus with the words: "The International shall be the human race." And this chorus has a profound political meaning. It is not merely a poetical expression.
The peoples of the world in the various countries, through coordinated international effort, will pass over, in their great historic march, from capitalism to socialism through the transitional period of the dictatorship of the proletariat. As they progress toward the complete classless socialist society, all the various workers’ organizations which have been instruments and mechanisms of the class struggle, that is, the parties, the unions, the cooperatives, the soviets, will gradually lose their original functions. As the classes are abolished and class struggles consequently ended, all these instruments of class struggle, will tend to coalesce into one united body. And that one united body will be the organized world society of the free and equal. The International shall really be the human race.
We disciples of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, we partisans of the Fourth International, retain undimmed that vision of the future. To see that vision even now, to see it clearly through the fire and the smoke of the war, is simply to be in accord with historical development, to foresee the inevitable march of events and to prepare for them. To fight for this vision of the socialist future, to hasten its realization, is the highest privilege and the greatest happiness for a civilized man car woman in the world today.