Trotsky, 82 years later

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By Murat Yakın

Even if they get hit and fall in every siege, they are adventurous and they never die…

Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, died while attacked at his home in Mexico where he lived in exile on August 20, 1940. Just before the final blow, he had already narrowly avoided a series of assassinations. He had been aware for a long time that the circle around him was shrinking. In an age of reaction, when the positions of the world proletariat were crushed under the boots of Fascism and Stalinism, such a revolutionary symbol, whose fate was firmly tied to the dream of the working class and a classless society, had no chance of survival. In fact, his last great effort was not to survive but to ensure that the Fourth International, which was the only guarantee of a new Red October in another part of the world, cling to political life on stronger foundations.

While he was dying, he would succeed in neutralizing the murderer who was dozens of years younger than himself by breaking his arm and handing him over to his comrades. Consider for a moment the political figures who surrounded him the year he was killed. Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Franco… Today, it is difficult to even mention these names without a bad word. Nothing remains of them except the dark memory of the crimes that have destroyed human civilization.

Ramon Mercader, who was meticulously trained for the operation that would murder Trotsky, was so pathetic that you wouldn’t want to be in his place. His family belonged to the Catalan capitalist classes that had been dispossessed in the Spanish Revolution. Except for the successful attack, he contributed nothing to human civilization or socialism. After his imprisonment, he lived in Cuba for many years, and instead of returning to the Soviet Union, he conducted official correspondence to be accepted into Fascist Franco Spain. He is now buried at the Kuntzevo cemetery in Moscow, next to the British spy Philby, as a “hero of the Soviet Union.” What would Mercader do if he heard that his little cousins ​​are today soldiers of the international Trotskyist movement?

As for the Stalinists; for decades they claimed that Trotsky aimed to destroy the Soviet Union, that he was conspiring with the imperialists to break up the USSR. Trotsky was sentenced to death in absentia by the Soviet regime for these fabricated crimes. But, as Trotsky rightly warned at the time, it was the Soviet bureaucracy that destroyed the USSR.

Trotsky: Spirit of the Red October

Lev Davidovich Bronstein was a boy whose parents hoped he would become a successful engineer and a wealthy man. But he chose to join his destiny with the oppressed masses. He joined the Marxist ranks at the age of 19. He would experience three long exiles (1902-1905, 1907-1917 and 1927-1940) but would be among the main leaders of both great revolutions (1905 and October 1917). He collaborated with Lenin on the publication of the newspaper Iskra in London. Twice he assumed the presidency of the Petrograd Soviet.

In October 1917, as the head of the military revolutionary council, he led the military operations that brought the working class to power for the first time in world history.

It was he who founded and led the Red Army… The world’s first workers’ army, consisting of nearly 5 million men and women, would bring a counter-revolutionary army of 14 foreign countries’ soldiers to their knees under his leadership during the civil war. The famous armored train, which has been transformed into a propaganda machine loaded with cinematograph, telegraph systems and the most daring worker guards, is still one of the worst nightmares of the world bourgeoisie.

Together with Lenin, he wrote the first founding texts and declarations of the 3rd International, which was designed as the general staff of the world’s workers. After Lenin’s death, it was he who prepared the international struggle against bureaucratization in both the Soviet Union and the Third International and the political corruption symbolized under Stalin’s leadership.

This man of medium height, with dark curly hair and piercing blue eyes that was deeply affecting, spoke in a metallic voice and very quickly. With his words full of wit, excitement and grace at the same time, he could change the fate of the resistance in a city of workers that was about to fall, and win the white troops that set out to crush the revolution into the ranks of the revolution.

Trotsky was a true man of action, but his actions were intertwined with a wealth of theory and methodological depth. He was only 26 years old when he developed the “Theory of Permanent Revolution” in the light of the lessons of the 1905 revolution. This theory underlined a weak and incapable bourgeoisie in Russia, emphasizing that against the reaction of semi-feudal Tsarism, democratic tasks could inevitably be resolved under the leadership of the working class and its oppressed allies.

He foresaw the rise of Hitler and the costs that fascism would impose on humanity, the Holocaust, before the larger war broke out; He pointed out that the Stalinist regime in Russia was a transitional state that would result in the restoration of capitalism if it did not move towards a socialism based on workers’ democracy through the mobilizations and organizations of the working class.

If you had asked him, however, he would have told you that, of all the successes that can turn the head of the common mortal, his greatest achievement was the Fourth International, the foundation of which he gave power shortly before his death.

This organization, founded by rather weak forces, was the only stand for revolutionary Marxism against the Stalinist corruption on the one hand and the rise of fascism on the other. Thanks to this organization, revolutionary Marxist currents were able to overcome their own national limitations, and a Marxism had the chance to survive outside the Stalinist corruption.

For us, 82 years later today, Trotsky means that the abolition of capitalism is a necessity for humanity to live in a classless world without borders and exploitation. Because overcoming the total crisis that human civilization is experiencing today, from education to shelter, from hunger to health, is directly related to this vital task.

Trotsky means that Capitalism cannot be reformed, cannot be humanized.

Capitalism does not collapse on its own. Trotsky means a revolutionary party that has set itself the task of overthrowing capitalism, irreconcilable revolutionaries and the construction of a revolutionary program that will undertake the transformation of human civilization.

Capitalism, which is internationally organized, cannot be fought at the national level. If there is no international revolutionary organization, the International, which will serve as the General Staff of the working class and the oppressed masses, there is no chance of the collapse of the class social order.

Trotsky means that the revolution is current in today’s world, when capitalism is dragging the destruction of human civilization. Trotsky means that 82 years later today, anywhere in the world, there may be a new Red October.

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