Written: 1 November 1932.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 48, 26 November 1932, p. 1.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2014. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
To the Editors of the Militant
I fear that my greetings to the fourth anniversary of the Militant will arrive a little late. But my greetings are none the less hearty because of it. All our friends on this side of the ocean value highly the work which you have carried on during this long, and yet short, period.
Can we consider ourselves satisfied with the results of our work? Of course, this question concerns not only the United States but also all the other countries in which our adherents live and struggle. To answer this question is not so simple. As yet, the Left Opposition has nowhere become a mass movement. But it has assembled the revolutionary kernel which knows what it wants. Precisely in this field are the achievements of the Militant greatest. Not so long ago the Right Opposition in a number of countries seemed to be much stronger and more deserving of attention than the Left. From the very outset, we were of the opinion that the Right wing group will experience an evolution towards the social democracy; giving up some of its elements to us and some to official Centrism. The developments of the last year have completely confirmed this prognosis. In Germany, the Brandlerites have split, giving a considerable minority to the Socialist Workers Party which means to the Left social democracy. In Czechoslovakia, the Right Opposition went over to the social democracy; the minority, with the revolutionary elements, under the leadership of comrade Neurath, joined us. In Switzerland the Right Opposition is coming closer to the social democracy while among the better section of the workers sympathies are growing towards the Left Opposition. As far as can be judged from here, the Lovestone group in America can hardly boast of any successes. Their official organ, in the first place, is characterized by confusion. These people do not know what they want and are scarcely capable of foreseeing what shore they will be washed upon by the first strong wave.
In the camp of official Communism, confusion of no lesser degree. The resolutions of the Twelfth Plenum of the ECCI offer a terrible testimonial of poverty which the leadership of the Comintern issued to itself. In spite of the exceptional conditions of the economic crisis and a complete international impasse of imperialism, Communism barely moves ahead. In some countries (Germany, Bulgaria), it registers certain purely parliamentary successes, which do not, however, correspond in any way to the scope of the social crisis. In other countries, Communism retreats before the social democracy on every field of the working class movement (France, Czechoslovakia). In all countries without exception, the cadres of official Communism are most dissatisfied, disoriented, split into separate inimical groups.
The condition of the party apparatus in the USSR bears a most menacing character. No one really trusts the leadership there and the leadership has completely lost all faith in itself. Everything that the party contains of thinking revolutionary elements, is turning towards the Left Opposition. The forces on which Stalin based himself in the struggle against us, are turning over more towards the Thermidor. The situation in the Soviet Union is an extremely difficult one. In the political chaos to which the Centrist bureaucracy has brought the party, only the Left Opposition knows what it wants.
The political life of the United States is clearly approaching a turning point. Within the near future it will become clear that when Heraclitus the Dark said, “Everything flows, everything changes”, he had in mind also the republic of Hoover-Roosevelt. Old traditions, conceptions, prejudices, will go by the board. Through a period of ideological chaos and stress, the classes in American society will create for themselves a new modern ideology. A strong revolutionary kernel, welded by a uniformity of doctrine and political method, will be called upon in such a period to play a great role. The creation of such a kernel is the achievement of the Militant. So much the heartier is my greeting.
Last updated on: 9 December 2014