Leon Trotsky Was No Friend of Socialism
An Open Letter by Punkerslut to
Information: LRP-COFI.org Homepage
I have spent some time perusing through the material of your work, "The Life and Death of Stalinism." If I could sum up my reaction to the entire work, in a single or half sentence, I'd borrow words from George Orwell: "...those who are loudest in denouncing the German concentration camps are often quite unaware, or only very dimly aware, that there are also concentration camps in Russia." ("Notes on Nationalism," Orwell, 1945) Communists have supported Stalin just because he wasn't Hitler, and your organization supports Trotsky, just because he's not Hitler or Stalin. But let's be frank: all three of these individuals are butchers of the innocent. Trotskyism is the means of Stalin used to justify the ends of Trotsky.
I'll grant to you that the number of people murdered by Stalin severely outweighs that of Trotsky, but this is an indication of another fact. Stalin remained in sole control of power for nearly three decades, while Trotsky had shared power with Lenin and the Politburo for less than one decade. Consider the mass slaughter of the Worker, Soldier, and Sailors Soviets by Trotsky. This, apparently, deserved only a small mention as a side note within your text on the brutality of Stalin -- how could you expose Stalin as a "capitalist-statist" when Trotsky was nothing but the same? From your text: "Severe measures necessary to defend the workers' state, like the suppression of the Kronstadt mutiny in 1921, later became the justification for armed repression of the workers' state's defenders." (Chapter 3.)
Why is that you, the League for the Revolutionary Party, a Trotskyist organization, would omit such a meaningful detail in Trotsky's life? As the organ of the repressed workers simply stated against Trotsky: "Our cause is just: we stand for the power of Soviets, not parties. We stand for freely elected representatives of the laboring masses. The substitutes Soviets manipulated by the Communist Party have always been deaf to our needs and demands; the only reply we have ever received was shooting." ("The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman.)
Now, this is curious -- the 115 million Russian peasants are apparently not "workers." Otherwise, the idea of the Lenin and Trotsky organizing a "workers state" would be a complete lie, wouldn't it? It would probably make you look worse if the soldiers Trotsky killed were the ones who brought him to power. Look at some of the demands of these Kronstadt mutineers: "To elect a commission to review the cases of those held in prisons and concentration camps..." (#6) and "...To secure freedom of assembly for labor unions and peasant organizations..." (#3).
If you believe Trotsky, then these demands are elaborate, political lies to trick the people into bringing a Tzar back to Russia. This is, of course, historically indefensible today. But, next time workers rise up against the government, I'm sure Trotskyists will bomb them. And why wouldn't you? It's what Trotsky did, isn't it? Now, unless I'm reasoning incorrectly, doesn't a Trotskyist believe in what Trotsky believed? -- or does the meaning of "Trotskyist" get rewritten like that of the Kronstadt uprising?
Other seemingly obvious contradictions abound throughout the text. Opposition to Stalinism takes the form of "...workers were disciplined not only by a strong police state but also by concealed economic pressures..." (Chapter 8) Does this policy differ from that of Trotsky? No free elections and no free unions. Allow me to explain the rule of Trotsky in the Urals during the 1920's...
The militarization of work: being absent from your job means you can be charged with a crime, imprisoned, or facing the gallows. This doesn't make it into your book, either. What selective Trotskyists you are! Almost like the modern day Christians who take the verses from the Bible about executing gays, but ignore the verses about executing old men who gather wood on Sunday.
Ah, and another opposition to Stalin from your book: "The Stalinists, of course, rely heavily on police measures to restrain the workers — as did Nazi Germany..." (Chapter 5.) When Emma Goldman went to the Soviet Union herself, just to see what kind of Revolution those Bolsheviks had stirred up, she met with the Bakers Union in Moscow: "The trade unions are the lackeys of the Government. They have no independent function, and the workers have no say in them. The trade unions are doing mere police duty for the Government." ("My Disillusionment in Russia," by Emma Goldman, chapter 15.) Stalin's secret police are to be cast out as the worst evildoers in history -- and Trotsky's secret police are to be cast out as not ever existing, or at least not worth recognizing.
Consider the case of Roman Dyboski, who detailed his internment in Russian, concentration camps managed by Trotsky. The sordid details can be found in "Seven Years in Russia and Siberia, 1914-1921." He was served bread that was made with horse dung, and soup that had fecal matter floating in it. And what awful crime did Dyboski commit, to deserve such miserable treatment? He was a professor of philosophy in Poland, who was drafted by the Germans and eventually deserted, later to become involved in the independence struggle for Poland. This was uncovered by a letter he sent to a Polish aid committee in the Soviet Union, which allegedly had the blessings of the Bolsheviks in helping to aid Poles displaced or effected by the First World War.
Bread with horse dung, and soup with fecal matter -- that is the concentration camp your Trotsky built up for those struggling for Polish independence. I think I can clearly see what you mean when you say in your party platform "Internationalism and interracialism are critical aspects of revolutionary strategy." Internationalism is not a critical "aspect" of revolutionary strategy -- it's just critical of Trotsky's strategy.
Thank you for reading this far. I patiently await a response.