Trotsky on Britain

While doing politics over the last 4 years I have come across good people influenced by the writings of Leon Trotsky. Furthermore, once again we, the Labour Left need to have another think about our political practice. Here’s some of what Trotsky said about Great Britian. …

Links

  1. The Trade Unions in Britain
  2. Writings on Britain (an index)
  3. Problems of the British Revolution, CHAPTER III, The General Strike

On Dilettantism

A worker spends his day at the factory. He has comparatively few hours left for the party. At the meetings he is interested in learning the most important things: the correct evaluation of the situation and the political conclusions. He values those leaders who do this in the clearest and the most precise form and who keep in step with events. Petty-bourgeois, and especially declassed elements, divorced from the proletariat, vegetate in an artificial and shut-in environment. They have ample time to dabble in politics or its substitute. They pick out faults, exchange all sorts of tidbits and gossip concerning happenings among the party “tops.” They always locate a leader who initiates them into all the “secrets.” Discussion is their native element. No amount of democracy is ever enough for them. For their war of words they seek the fourth dimension. They become jittery, they revolve in a vicious circle, and they quench their thirst with salt water. Do you want to know the organizational program of the opposition? It consists of a mad hunt for the fourth dimension of party democracy. In practice this means burying politics beneath discussion; and burying centralism beneath the anarchy of the intellectual circles. When a few thousand workers join the party, they will call the petty-bourgeois anarchists severely to order. The sooner, the better.

Trotsky – In defence of Marxism 1938 USA

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