Trotsky's failed legacy

(CV #45, November 2010)

Seventy years ago, on August 21, 1940, Leon Trotsky was viciously murdered by agents of the state-capitalist Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union. Trotskyist organizations have commemorated this by putting out new editions of Trotsky's works and otherwise promoting his legacy.

Trotsky declared that his views were an alternative to Stalinism. And the bloody repression of the Trotskyists by the Stalinist regime reinforced the idea that Trotsky must have been a serious alternative.

Yet the Trotskyist movement never established a viable alternative to Stalinist revisionism, and most of the Trotskyist movement believes even to this day that the Stalinist state-capitalist regimes were "workers' regime", even if repulsive ("degenerated" or "deformed")  ones. Most Trotskyist organizations have also declared that diehard reactionary forces around the world are engaged in "anti-imperialist" struggle -- from the Taliban in Afghanistan to the clerical regime in Iran. They have also had expectations that the class-collaborationist labor bureaucrats and the reformist political leaders, despite their opposition to class struggle, would propel masses of workers into the class struggle.

The Russian revolution of October 1917 not only ushered in the first sustained effort to build a worker-run economy, but it brought Leninist theory to the most revolutionary section of working-class activists. Communist parties spread around the world; the working-class movement achieved its greatest revolutionary organization ever; and the working-class movement achieved its closest connection to the national liberation movement ever. But today, the rotten nature of the state-capitalist regimes that falsely declared themselves Marxist, as well as the long decline of the mass movements, have caused a crisis of revolutionary theory.

The Communist Voice Organization believes that the crisis of revolutionary theory must be taken seriously. Marxism-Leninism will revive as the banner of the militant working-class movement only if it deals with the new developments in the world situation as well as denounces the treachery of the state-capitalist regimes. This requires opposing both Stalinist and Trottskyist revisionism. 

The CVO website contains many articles dealing with both Stalinism and Trotskyism and contrasting their views to those of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism.

Articles against Trotskyism and Stalinism

– available at the CVO website --

An outline of Trotskyism's anti-Marxist theories: A four-part critique of the basic ideas of Trotskyism
( Also available as a pamphlet for $2 -- write CV, see address on inside front cover.

 Against both imperialism and fundamentalism! Against the Freedom Socialist Party's attempt to have it both ways in the class struggle, supporting both the Iraqi masses and their oppressors

Against the pro-draft stand of the League for the Revolutionary Party/Hidden history of the communist movement: Anti-militarism and the "armed nation".

PREOBRAZHENSKY--ideologist of state capitalism: Does the existence of nationalized industry prove that a country is socialist?

And more ... at

For articles against Stalinism, see Stalinism -- state-capitalism in "communist" disguise

For articles on the economic nature of the Soviet Union see
Russia: the state-capitalism of the former Soviet Union and its relation to the market capitalism of today

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Last changed on December 23, 2010.