[Marxism] Re A sectarian approach

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sun Nov 13 06:00:06 MST 2005

Mark Lause wrote:

> Ethan,
> I think you're conflating what Trotsky sought to do with what what
> actually happened.  Remember that most of the history of "Trotskyism"
> during his life (the 1920s until 1937 or 1938) was aimed at
> reestablishing what he saw as Lenin's politics inside the wider
> Communist movement--or introducing them into the Social Democracy.  This
> wasn't aimed at setting up separate Trotskyist groups to go out and
> become the party of revolution themselves.  I don't even think this was
> his intent in the last few years of his life (1938-40).

"The Party Is Everything

Dear friends, we are not a party as other parties. Our ambition is not only 
to have more members, more papers, more money in the treasury, more 
deputies. All that is necessary, but only as a means. Our aim is the full 
material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and exploited through the 
socialist revolution. Nobody will prepare it and nobody will guide it but 
ourselves. The old Internationals -the Second, the Third, that of Amsterdam, 
we will add to them also the London Bureau, are rotten through and through.

The great events which rush upon mankind will not leave of these outlived 
organizations one stone upon another. Only the Fourth International looks 
with confidence at the future. It is the world party of Socialist 
Revolution! There never was a greater task on the earth. Upon every one of 
us rests a tremendous historical responsibility.

Our party demands each of us, totally and completely. Let the philistines 
hunt their own individuality in empty space. For a revolutionary to give 
himself entirely to the party signifies finding himself.

Yes, our party takes each one of us wholly. But in return it gives to every 
one of us the highest happiness: the consciousness that one participates in 
the building of a better future, that one carries on his shoulders a 
particle of the fate of mankind, and that one's life will not have been 
lived in vain.

The fidelity to the cause of the toilers requires from us the highest 
devotion to our international party. The party, of course, can also be 
mistaken. By common effort we will correct its mistakes. In its ranks can 
penetrate unworthy elements. By common effort we will eliminate them. New 
thousands who will enter its ranks tomorrow will probably be deprived of 
necessary education. By common effort we will elevate their revolutionary 
level. But we will never forget that our party is now the greatest lever of 
history. Separated from this lever, everyone of us is nothing. With this 
lever in hand, we are all...

Ten years were necessary for the Kremlin clique in order to strangle the 
Bolshevik party and to transform the first Workers' State into a sinister 
caricature. Ten years were necessary for the Third International in order to 
stamp into the mire their own program and to transform themselves into a 
stinking cadaver. Ten years! Only ten years! Permit me to finish with a 
prediction: During the next ten years the program of the Fourth 
International will become the guide of millions and these revolutionary 
millions will know how to storm earth and heaven."

Leon Trotsky
October 1938


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