[Marxism] Leon Trotsky on the Wisconsin recall vote

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 6 13:17:07 MDT 2012

There is one common feature in the development, or more correctly 
the degeneration, of modern trade union organizations in the 
entire world: it is their drawing closely to and growing together 
with the state power. This process is equally characteristic of 
the neutral, the Social-Democratic, the Communist and “anarchist” 
trade unions. This fact alone shows that the tendency towards 
“growing together” is intrinsic not in this or that doctrine as 
such but derives from social conditions common for all unions.

Monopoly capitalism does not rest on competition and free private 
initiative but on centralized command. The capitalist cliques at 
the head of mighty trusts, syndicates, banking consortiums, 
etcetera, view economic life from the very same heights as does 
state power; and they require at every step the collaboration of 
the latter. In their turn the trade unions in the most important 
branches of industry find themselves deprived of the possibility 
of profiting by the competition between the different enterprises. 
They have to confront a centralized capitalist adversary, 
intimately bound up with state power. Hence flows the need of the 
trade unions – insofar as they remain on reformist positions, ie., 
on positions of adapting themselves to private property – to adapt 
themselves to the capitalist state and to contend for its 
cooperation. In the eyes of the bureaucracy of the trade union 
movement the chief task lies in “freeing” the state from the 
embrace of capitalism, in weakening its dependence on trusts, in 
pulling it over to their side. This position is in complete 
harmony with the social position of the labor aristocracy and the 
labor bureaucracy, who fight for a crumb in the share of 
superprofits of imperialist capitalism. The labor bureaucrats do 
their level best in words and deeds to demonstrate to the 
“democratic” state how reliable and indispensable they are in 
peace-time and especially in time of war. By transforming the 
trade unions into organs of the state, fascism invents nothing 
new; it merely draws to their ultimate conclusion the tendencies 
inherent in imperialism.

Full: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1940/xx/tu.htm

More information about the Marxism mailing list