[Marxism] My Article on Deutscher's Trotsky Trilogy

Paul Flewers rfls12802 at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Dec 6 16:07:22 MST 2018


List members might well be interested in an article that I've recently written on Isaac Deutscher's Trotsky trilogy. Here's the abstract:

'This paper investigates Isaac Deutscher’s Trotsky trilogy, concentrating upon the examples of Trotsky’s ideas and actions in which Trotsky was centrally involved of which Deutscher presented a critical assessment and for which he provided differing perspectives. These are i) Trotsky’s ideas concerning substitutionism; ii) his theory of Permanent Revolution; iii) the assumption by the Bolsheviks of a political monopoly after the October Revolution; iv) the substitution by the Bolsheviks of the rule of their party for the rule of the working class; and v) the chances of success for the Left Opposition, what remained of the October Revolution under Stalinism, and the possibility of political change within Stalinist society. This paper considers that although Deutscher’s perspective of the democratic self-regeneration of Soviet society was wildly optimistic and caused him, if reluctantly, to accept the victory of Stalinism, it also permitted him to show the problematic features of Bolshevism in power in greater detail than Trotsky was willing to do. The paper concludes by showing that Deutscher’s final thoughts on the nature of Soviet society implicitly undermined his perspective of the democratic self-regeneration of Soviet society and suggested a more critical stance on his part towards the Soviet élite.'

If you'd like a copy, please contact me off-list by e-mail.

Paul F



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