Trotsky vs Stalin or Lenin vs Trotksy ?

Antonio Mota antonio_mota at
Tue Oct 1 00:40:43 MDT 1996

Hello all:

After saw so many post re these issues, co-incidental with some readings
I just finished, I've decided to post too some considerations.

Before that, as I'm going to do some translations from portuguese to
english, I want to excuse for my poor english (I've only had one year
english at school, so all that I know comes to me thru the imperialist
mass-culture of hollywood, tv, pop-rock and now the internet). As I know
that some people in this list is fluent in portugues, when I'm in doubt
about a translation I'll put the original in parenthesis so they can
correct me.

It seems all the antagonism between those two lines goes back to the
antagonism between the "internationalist" and the "socialism in one
country" approach of the revolution. However, this  antagonism had begun
not with Trotsky vs Stalin but precisely with Lenin vs Trotsky, and goes
back, at least, to the Brest-Litovsk peace treat (tratado?)(3 March

Back then, facing the war problem, and after the 28 October decret
(decreto?), the armistice (2 December) and the Brest-Litovsk meeting (9
December) in wich Germany stated their conditions (separation of the
baltic countries, independece of Polony and Ucrania), there were three
positions in confront. The one from Lenin - sign the peace treat as he
state in his "thesis about peace" (8 January) - the one from Bukharin
and the majority of the _sovnarkom_ - the rupture of the negociations
and the uprising (levantamento?) of the masses into the war - and a
third one from Trotsky - stop the war, demobilize (desmobilizar?) but
*not* sign the peace treat - that later joint with the Bukharin position
and it was presented to the Germans, *against* the opinion of Lenin.

This two points of view are at the core of the antagonism. Sign the
peace and proceeding to build the socialist society in one country -
Lenin - or risk the war against German imperialism (side by side with
Anglo-French imperialism!) hoping this will contribute to a proletarian
uprising of the german workers, condition sine qua non to the
"internationalisation" of the revolution - Bukharin and Trotsky.

The history speaks for itself. After Trotsy went to Brest to negociate
with germans, and fail, the geramns presented a ultimatum to the soviet
government (27 January), they refused following Trotsky thesis (10
February), and the germans went "in a country raid" (passeio?) to the
ports of Petersburg (18 February). Then the soviet government accept the
peace treat in the germans conditions, like Lenin wanted from the

This, ofcourse, was dictated by the circustances- "Give me an army with
100.000 mans, strong, disciplinated, that wont fear facing the enemy and
I will not sign the peace" said Lenin at 24 January, and quoting the
author, "Since it was given as improbable the internationalization of a
proletarian revolution, it turn out to be urgent put the "socialist
country" in state of defende itself". But history is build upon the
"realitie" and the actions we make upon that reality - like Lenin does -
and not upon the things we wish then to be.

The book I've quoted is "La Revolution Russe" from François-Xavier
Coquin, who throughout the book reveals his simpaty with Trotsky.

And thats that, for now.

Antonio Mota

     --- from list marxism at ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list