Nobody told Trotsky (was re: Lenin etc.)

Green Left Parramatta glparramatta at
Fri Dec 31 19:14:06 MST 1999

THAT SHOULD BE: In the 1940s, Leon Trotsky *DID NOT* believe that Lenin
ditched Stalin's criteria. In a description of the Bolsheviks'
debate with Austrian Social Democrats Otto Bauer and Karl Renner,
in which Lenin and Stalin played a leading role, Trotsky wrote:

``[Bauer and Renner] considered nationality independent of
territory, economy and class, transforming it into a species of
abstraction limited by so-called `national character' ... [Bauer
and Renner's] program of so-called `national cultural autonomy'
required that the citizens of one and the same nationality,
irrespective of their dispersal over the territory of
Austria-Hungary, and irrespective of the administrative divisions
of the state, should be united, on the basis of purely personal
attributes, into one community for the solution of their
`cultural' tasks ... That program was artificial and utopian, in so
far as it attempted to separate culture from territory and
economy in a society torn apart by social contradictions; it was
at the same time reactionary, in so far as it led to a forced
disunion into various nationalities of their class strength.

``*Lenin's position was the direct opposite.* [He regarded]
nationality as *unseverably connected with territory, economy and
class structure* ...'' Trotsky, *Stalin*, Panther Books, London,
1969, pp.227-28 (my emphasis <197> ND).

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