Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 46, 12 November 1932, p. 2.
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.
The Left Opposition is placed, from an organizational point of view, in unusually difficult circumstances; not a single revolutionary party has ever before had to work under such persecution. Apart from the reprisals of the capitalist police of all countries, the Left Opposition is exposed to the blows to the Stalinist bureaucracy, which shrinks from nothing. We repeat, from nothing.
Naturally, the Russian section has the greatest difficulties. Everybody remembers that Blumkin, who tried to establish a connection between Trotsky and his adherents in Soviet Russia, was shot to death. To find a Russian Bolshevik-Leninist abroad, even to fulfill only technical functions, is extremely difficult.
Thus and only thus is the fact to be explained that Mill was for a time in the Administrative Secretariat of the Left Opposition: a man was needed who knew the Russian language and was capable of carrying out the duties of a secretary. Mill had been at one time a member of the official party and in this sense could claim a degree of confidence.
His work in the Secretariat, however, soon revealed his utter practical incompetence, not to speak of the lack of any political schooling. In the latter respect Mill incidentally was a typical representative of the great and small bureaucracy formed by Stalin.
With these qualities were associated certain negative traits of a personal, or more correctly, of a moral character. After having reached, in the absence of a wide choice, a responsible even if technical post, Mill felt himself to occupy the role of a “leader”. With respect to a number of French comrades who are ten heads greater in stature than himself, he began to assert ridiculous claims. Under the mask of the offended Stalinist who had passed himself off as an “Oppositionist” appeared the personality of a little petty bourgeois from a distant small town of old Czarist Russia. Mill quickly went into opposition with the Parisian comrades, who in his opinion did not manifest sufficient respect to him and – this must be added – allegedly did not “attend” sufficiently to his welfare. These offenses were enough for the little Philistine to try to enter into a bloc with Rosmer and others, against whom he had – literally – only the day before carried on a bitter “principled” struggle. This unworthy, personally-motivated political turn led to Mill’s removal from the Administrative Secretariat. The sections, above all the Russian, corrected the mistake which had been committed, which they had had forced on them to a great extent, as said before, by difficult objective conditions. In the course of the last nine months Mill stood entirely outside of the ranks of the Left Opposition.
But this was by no means the end of his career. As the irritation over inadequate support had driven him to Rosmer, so his removal from the Secretariat led to his negotiations with the Stalinists: he handed in an official application for employment in Charkov, where his relatives live.
In the course of these tempting negotiations, Mill proposed his services to the Left Opposition, evidently already in the course of his new political functions. Now Mill is preparing to “unmask” the Left Opposition: that will in fact actually constitute his employment in Charkov or Moscow.
There is no reason to fear that the little Philistine, who was expelled from the midst of the Bolshevik-Leninists with a discourteous shove, will play any role iu the fight against the Left Opposition. The truth is not dangerous for us. And in the field of lying, the Stalinists have broken all and sundry records before Mill.
In one respect we can say the situation is becoming normal again: the Stalinist, somehow irritated by the other Stalinists, who temporarily fastened himself to the Left Opposition and was expelled from its ranks, comes back to the Stalinists. There he will be quite in his place.
Last updated on: 9 December 2014