Mike Jones and Alistair Mitchell

Isaac Deutscher


Author: Mike Jones and Alistair Mitchell
Source: New Interventions, Volume 13, no 4, Summer 2011.
Prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive: by Paul Flewers & David Walters in 2017 & 2018
Copyright: New Interventions & Paul Flewers. Used here with permission.


Isaac Deutscher was born in 1907 in Kraków in Austrian Poland, at the corner where the three empires met. In an interview by Hamburg Television, Deutscher spoke of his childhood in this region where, as Jews and Poles, they lived among Czechs and Hungarians. His father was an orthodox Jew, in love with German culture, philosophy and poetry, and he tried to pass his views on to Isaac, who resisted his father’s wishes. Going to both a Polish school, with its strong Catholicism, and a rabbinical school, to be trained for the career of a rabbi, Isaac rejected both orthodoxies and became an atheist. His then hostility to things German owed itself to his Polish patriotism. It would be Marxism and the works of its greatest exponents which would give him his interest in German literature and philosophy, and he tells of his pride when Thomas Mann praised his grasp of his (Mann’s) work during the mid-1920s, after interviewing him in Warsaw. [1]

Following the collapse of the three monarchies, the establishment of the Soviet regime in Russia, the re-establishment of Poland, and all the consequent upheaval, it was a time of acute social, political and intellectual ferment. Isaac left home aged 18 and entered into this ferment in Warsaw. Here he would develop a passion for things Russian, and began his life-long interest in, and study of, the Russian revolution. He also joined the Polish Communist Party at this time, also at the age of 18.

In a broadcast on BBC radio marking the centenary of the first publication of Capital in 1967, Deutscher summarised his activity thus:

For years I was busy editing literary journals, writing political commentaries, illegal manifestoes and leaflets, addressing workers, organising even peasants, conducting as a soldier underground propaganda in Piłsudski’s army, and all the time dodging the gendarmerie and the political police. [2]

In 1931, Deutscher visited the Soviet Union on behalf of the Polish Communist Party, and saw at first hand the effects of the forced collectivisation and the beginning of the industrialisation.

During 1931-32, an opposition crystallised within the Polish Communist Party, on the basis of a critique of the current wisdom emanating from the Communist International and its effects on the party. Sectarian ‘slogans about “social fascism”, the “united front only from below”, etc’, but ‘also… the bureaucratic inner-party regime’, led to it ‘demanding the right of self-determination for the Polish Party’, and taking ‘a critical attitude towards the regime that was prevailing within the International and the Soviet Party’. [3] Although not Trotskyist in its origins, the opposition would gravitate towards Trotsky on account of his criticism of the situation in the Soviet Union and, particularly, because of his campaign for a united front of the workers’ organisations in Germany against the Nazi threat.

The opposition could count on a not insignificant minority of party members in Warsaw, and a large circle of sympathisers in the party organisations, but was much weaker in the provinces. As by this time the party itself had become isolated from the working class and was largely restricted to a petit-bourgeois fringe, this fate also befell the opposition. Deutscher was charged with exaggerating the danger from Nazism and with spreading panic within the workers’ movement, as a result of his authorship of the text ‘The Danger of a New Barbarism in Europe’, which resulted in his expulsion from the party in June 1932.

The ups and downs of that movement do not concern us here. Furthermore, according to Deutscher, by denouncing it as an agency of ‘social-fascism’, of fascism itself, and as a gang of ‘enemies of the Soviet Union’, the party leaders succeeded in gradually isolating it from its membership, so that by 1936 it had almost no contact with it. [4] Deutscher’s capacity for independent thought led him to challenge Trotsky in 1934, over his characterisation of the Piłsudski regime as fascist. He analysed it convincingly as a form of ‘pseudo-Bonapartism’. In August 1936, he wrote The Moscow Trial, a pamphlet denouncing and exposing the show trial then underway, situating it in its international framework. It was published in Światło, a legal journal of the Polish Socialist Party. Introducing this text to English readers almost 50 years later, Tamara, Isaac’s widow, writes: ‘One can feel that Isaac’s hand had been trembling with rage.’ She relates that when in Rome during the Easter of 1959, Isaac was called to the bedside of the dying Stefan Kurowski, former President of the Polish Supreme Court. Kurowski, a founder member of the Polish Communist Party, told him that he had been right in 1932, at the time of his expulsion, and that he had wanted to tell him this for a long time. Moreover, Kurowski told him that a few months before, his last act as President of the Supreme Court had been to quash the sentences of 10 years in prison and to release a group of people who, in 1948, had reprinted the 1936 pamphlet. The Deutschers sought it but never found it again, until a young man from Oxford studying in Warsaw University Library came across it, marked ‘not to be removed’. He transcribed it by hand and passed it on to Tamara in the spring of 1965. [5] When Trotsky insisted on founding a Fourth International in 1938 out of small groups of isolated militants, after catastrophic defeats for the workers’ movement, the Polish organisation voted to oppose the decision. The two delegates who attended the gathering presented the arguments drafted by Deutscher. Such independence of thought earned Deutscher the hostility of the most wooden brained Trotskyists, an hostility that still endures. The Polish organisation, though sceptical about Trotsky’s new International, decided to go along with it once it had been founded. Deutscher left the organisation with a minority.

In April 1939, Deutscher left Warsaw for England by way of Paris. In the summer of 1939, Sam Bornstein, a British Trotskyist, met him at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. The following Sunday Bornstein introduced him to Jock Haston, a leading figure in one of the Trotskyist groupings. Because of Deutscher’s poor grasp of English, they only exchanged a few words. By the autumn of 1939, it must have improved immensely as he was contributing a regular commentary on international political affairs, ‘From a Marxist Notebook’, in Workers Fight, the organ of another Trotskyist grouping, the Revolutionary Workers League, under the name of Jósef Bren. At the same time he began supporting himself as a journalist, submitting articles to The Economist, starting with one on Marx and Capital. After the RWL broke up, he volunteered for the Polish armed forces being organised in Britain and enlisted as a corporal. [6] Whatever he hoped to achieve there is not clear, and anyway his soldiering did not last long. He spent much of it locked up in the guard-house. Anti-Semitism and anti-communist ideas were widespread, hardly the best place for a man of Isaac’s background and outlook. His view on the war can be judged from the article ‘The Angels and the Devil’, in Workers Fight, no 5, May 1940, in which he expounds a Marxist analysis. [7]

From now on Deutscher put his main energy into working on his classic biographies, sustaining himself with political journalism. As he admitted to Hamburg Television, he was only now to come under the influence of the great English historians, after learning English, and finally finding his ‘world language’. [8] The young man whom his father hoped would follow in the footsteps of Goethe, who then chose Mickiewicz instead, and had a reputation as a poet in his youth, ended up compared with the best writers and historians in the English language.

Introducing a selection of the correspondence between Deutscher and Heinrich Brandler, who reached London in 1947, returning from Cuba, and was to strike up a relationship with the Deutschers, Tamara recalls their talks late into the night and how ‘a cordial bond of mutual respect, admiration and affection’ developed between the two men. [9] One can read this in Brandler’s letter of condolences upon Isaac’s death on 19 August 1967, as well as in Tamara’s reply to Brandler of 31 August. The letters between the two men discussing both historical and contemporary issues, illustrate just what impressive figures they were. In spite of originally different political standpoints, there is anyway quite an affinity, and when one is erring in one matter, the other pulls him back. One sees the two minds struggling to interpret events both actual and historical. [10]

From the appearance of his Stalin until his death Deutscher was being attacked by leading spokesmen for the communist parties, the orthodox and unorthodox Trotskyist chapels of every persuasion, and the CIA-financed anti-communist institutions. Not long before he died, he was offered a full professorship at one of the key British universities, which could have given him the necessary financial security to work on his Life of Lenin, but it was withdrawn after a sector of the senior tutors protested. To have upset all these worthy ‘experts’, Deutscher must have been saying highly unorthodox things. He did not fit in.

Talks, lectures and speeches to audiences of thousands were given in those years, some were issued later in collections of Deutscher’s essays. His George Macaulay Trevelyan lectures at Cambridge University in early 1967 were later published as The Unfinished Revolution, an analytical work which influenced a generation of socialists grappling to understand the evolution of the Soviet Union. Following the split in the Communist Party of Great Britain over the brutal Soviet repression of the Hungarian revolution of 1956, a ‘new left’ emerged, and Deutscher encouraged and wrote for them. He intervened when hard-line Stalinists gaoled and slandered Władysław Gomułka, who at the time represented a non-Stalinist tendency in Polish communism. This came to light when he wrote an ‘open letter’ to Gomułka and the Communist Party Central Committee, protesting against the gaoling of Ludwik Hass, Jacek Kuroń, Karol Modzelewski, et al, for issuing Marxist critiques of Polish communism. Deutscher was highly regarded in genuine communist circles in Poland for his stand in 1932, and for denouncing the dissolution and liquidation of the prewar Polish Communist Party and its historic leadership. From time to time, however, he would be denounced by the ruling communist parties in the Soviet bloc, and hard-line Stalinists prevented the publication of his works.

When Deutscher opposed the proclamation of Trotsky’s new International, he saw no possibility of its meeting a response in the working class. It was a period of the darkest defeats when Stalinism was demoralising those workers who would have provided a revolutionary vanguard. A new upturn was required. When Deutscher saw the chance of such an upturn, he left his study and pen in order to get personally involved. He was invited to speak to huge student audiences, and to mass protests against the Vietnam War in the USA. He also denounced the aggressive and chauvinist attitudes manifest in Israel shortly before his death. And this was from a man who had lost his family in Auschwitz. He was still seeing things from a class outlook. Fully in line with his outlook, when Bertrand Russell was seeking people of integrity and independence of thought to take part in his International War Crimes Tribunal, investigating the horrific actions of US imperialism against the tiny backward country of Vietnam, Deutscher put down his work in order to participate. Tragically, Deutscher died without completing his work on Lenin, just a slim volume on his childhood appeared. Surely a greater loss was his planned study on Europe since the 1840s. However, Deutscher left us with his written works and his example as an unashamed heretical Marxist, his integrity and independence of thought intact.

Deutscher’s Writings

Deutscher emerged as a writer of international significance with the publication of his biography of Stalin in 1949. The first edition covered up to 1948, later editions contain a further chapter covering the last five years of Stalin’s rule. The book was noteworthy not only for marking Deutscher’s rise to prominence, but also because it was the first appraisal of Stalin’s life which came from an avowed Marxist viewpoint and yet rejected Stalinism. Trotsky had written his own biography of Stalin before Deutscher, but, as will be said later, this was not completed by Trotsky before his death and is more of an indictment of or attack on Stalin than an objective study.

Deutscher’s Stalin appeared after the outbreak of the Cold War which in the field of literature and propaganda was marked by crude writings denouncing the Soviet Union from the one side, and equally crude and dishonest replies from the other. The times hardly encouraged the production of a scholarly and objective study of Stalin. This makes Deutscher’s achievement all the greater. Writing in a world that was dominated by the forces of imperialism ranged against those of Stalinism, Deutscher’s book sees him take up his position in the ‘watch-tower’, as he put it, to observe and advocate an independent view.

Some idea of the influence enjoyed by Deutscher’s Stalin and the responses to it can be gleaned from an amusing extract from Deutscher’s introduction to the 1961 edition, which also serves as testament for its balanced and objective account:

The book has been praised or blamed for the most contradictory reasons, either as a denunciation of Stalinism, or as an apology for it, and sometimes as both denunciation and apology. Thus, the late Moshe Pijade, Marshal Tito’s friend and associate, once explained to me why the government of which he was a member refused to allow a Yugoslav edition of Stalin: ‘You see’, he said, ‘the trouble with your book is that it is too pro-Soviet for us whenever we quarrel with the Russians; and it is too anti-Soviet whenever we try to be friendly with them.’ (‘In any case’, he added with a twinkle in the eye, ‘we cannot permit a Yugoslav edition to appear because if we did everyone would see at once from what source our great theorists have drawn most of their wisdom.)’ [11]

Deutscher is best known, however, for his three-volume biography of Trotsky. He had originally intended to write a one or two-volume study, but the complexity and scale of the subject forced him to extend the work to a trilogy. The first volume, The Prophet Armed, appeared in 1954, the second, The Prophet Unarmed , in 1959, and the final volume, The Prophet Outcast, was published in 1963. As the titles suggest, the first volume covers the rise of Trotsky to the peak of his powers in 1921. The second details his decline until his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1929, and the third surveys the final 11 years of Trotsky’s life in exile.

Deutscher’s trilogy restored Trotsky’s rightful place in the history of the Russian revolution. In the years to come, the Stalinist falsifiers, in the capitalist world at least, would have to try and come to terms with Deutscher’s account, on which point he said:

My account of Trotsky’s role in the Russian revolution will come as a surprise to some. For nearly 30 years the powerful propaganda machines of Stalinism worked furiously to expunge Trotsky’s name from the annals of the revolution, or to leave it there only as the synonym for arch-traitor… Trotsky’s life story is already like an ancient Egyptian sepulchre which is known to have contained the body of a great man and the record, engraved with gold, of his deeds; but tomb-robbers have plundered and left it so empty and desolate that no trace can be found of the record it once contained. The work of the tomb-robbers has, in this present instance, been so persistent that it has strongly affected the views of even independent Western historians and scholars. [12]

Nearly 40 years since these words were written, it may, in turn, now seem strange and come as a surprise that Deutscher had to make these points, so changed has the intellectual climate become. Yet his work can be seen as a major part of the process of change itself.

Deutscher’s Trotsky trilogy was highly praised by many reviewers when it appeared. Graham Greene wrote in the Observer: ‘The three volumes of Isaac Deutscher’s life of Trotsky… were for me the most exciting reading of the year. Surely this must be counted among the greatest biographies in the English language.’ AJP Taylor was to comment in the New Statesman that: ‘He has told the story more accurately and with fuller detail than ever before. His book is compulsory reading for anyone interested in the history of Soviet Russia and of international communism.’ Whilst Leonard Schapiro was to write in the Listener: ‘Mr Deutscher… does full justice to his hero. He tells the story magnificently.’

However, Deutscher does more than counter what Trotsky had called the ‘Stalinist falsification of history’ and restore the leader of the October insurrection and the founder of the Red Army to his rightful place. Deutscher’s trilogy is far from uncritical of Trotsky himself, and just as his Stalin was too ‘anti’ for some and too ‘pro’ for others, so has his Trotsky been received by many readers. If attempting to ‘rehabilitate’ Trotsky marks Deutscher as a ‘heretical communist’ in the eyes of the Stalinist ranks, he is no less a heretic in the view of many in the Trotskyist movement for daring to raise criticisms of their ‘Old Man’.

Deutscher ended the first volume, The Prophet Armed, with a chapter entitled ‘Defeat in Victory’ where he argued that Trotsky’s actions at the height of his powers as victor in the Civil War sowed the seeds of his later defeat. The story is told of how Trotsky operated under War Communism, how as a Commissar in the Bolshevik government he supported Lenin in first suppressing opposition parties and then in banning factions even within the Bolshevik Party. This provided some of the foundations on which Stalin later built, and Deutscher explains how by accepting the political monopoly of a monolithic Bolshevik party, Trotsky doomed himself to defeat.

Deutscher resumes the narrative in the second volume covering the years of Trotsky’s fall and the rise of the Stalinist machine.

Whilst retaining sympathy and admiration for his subject, Deutscher is far from uncritical, and he challenges some of the myths of the Trotskyist movement. For example, he shows how the Left Opposition only organised between 4000 and 8000 members out of a total Communist Party membership of 750 000, and he explains how the struggle was confined to the apparatus and involved about 20 000 in total, leaving the mass of the rank-and-file of the proletariat, in whose name the struggle was undertaken, cold. [13] Trotsky’s mistakes in the battle and his silence and inactivity at crucial times of controversy over foreign and domestic policy are also shown.

Deutscher intended to follow up his biographies of Stalin and Trotsky with one of Lenin. Unfortunately he died before this was completed, and all we have is a fragment telling the story of Lenin’s early years entitled Lenin’s Childhood, which was published after his death,

Although Deutscher is best remembered for his studies of the lives of two of the communist giants of the 1920s, he was far more than a biographer. His prolific output covered themes as diverse as the Cold War, diplomacy, literature, the causes of bureaucratisation, a collection of essays about the Jews, and a wide variety of reviews, studies, correspondence and interviews. Amongst the latter his interview entitled The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party and his correspondence with Heinrich Brandler on German communism are notable. A number of collections of Deutscher’s essays have appeared since his death.

However, after his biographies, the single biggest area of Deutscher’s interest and writings was the Soviet Union. Among the volumes where he develops his understanding of Stalinism are Russia After Stalin published in 1953, Heretics and Renegades in 1955, The Great Contest: Russia and the West in 1960, The Unfinished Revolution: Russia 1917-1967, and Russia, China and the West 1953-1966, which appeared posthumously in 1970. No assessment of Deutscher would be complete without at least a brief consideration of his views of the Stalinist states.

Deutscher was often attacked for allegedly providing apologies for the Stalinist regimes. However, the Stalinists themselves took a different view — a leading article in Pravda of 22 August 1968 castigated the Czechoslovakian newspapers who ‘willingly opened their columns to writings of such outright adversaries of Marxism-Leninism’ as Isaac Deutscher. So even a year after his death the Stalinists feared and opposed Deutscher.

Nevertheless, despite his proven anti-Stalinism, there was an undoubted ambiguity in Deutscher’s attitude towards the Stalinist bureaucracy. By this we do not mean that he doubted its reactionary essence, rather that he seemed to suggest at times that this bureaucracy might be peacefully put aside. In 1953, shortly after Stalin’s death, he wrote:

The economic progress made during the Stalin era at last brought within reach of the people a measure of well-being which should make possible an orderly winding up of Stalinism and a gradual democratic revolution. [14]

This evolutionist-cum-reformist restoration of Soviet democracy has been confounded by the course of subsequent events. In fact they had largely been confounded in Deutscher’s lifetime, yet he never wholly gave up his hopes for this type of solution. In his last book which was published before he died, he still said: ‘What seems possible in the near future is that society should be able to retrieve civil liberties and establish political control over the state.’ [15] What he didn’t face up to was how these civil liberties were to be retrieved, it was not as though they had been accidentally mislaid and were just waiting for someone to come along and pick them up, there was the no small matter of the whole repressive apparatus of the bureaucracy to be dealt with.

Deutscher also held to an optimistic view of the evolution of Soviet society in the economic sphere. In his The Great Contest, published in 1960, he predicted that in 10 years’ time, that is to say by 1970, Soviet standards of living would be above Western European levels, that the USSR would achieve economic parity with the United States in the 1960s, and that by 1984 the Soviet working day would be down to ‘not more than four or even three hours’. The economic successes of the Soviet bloc would, he expected, lead to the workers in the West moving towards communism. [16]

It is probable that if he had lived longer Deutscher would have seen that this prognosis was erroneous, and now we, with the advantages of hindsight and the experiences of the last few dramatic years, can see how wrong he was. Far from keeping at the high levels of Deutscher’s time, Soviet economic growth rates slowed down and then stagnated. In his Russia After Stalin of 1953, Deutscher put forward three possible variants for the future development of the Soviet Union: a relapse into Stalinist dictatorship, military rule, or a gradual evolution of the regime towards socialist democracy. Trotsky had considered the possibility of a fourth: workers’ political revolution. We now know that none of these variants resemble the actual course of Soviet development. Neither Deutscher nor the prophet himself anticipated the stagnation and then collapse of Stalinism in the direction of market capitalism.

Contrary to what Deutscher had hoped for (and he shares this with the Trotskyists), the demise of the Stalinist systems has not seen the collapse of the bureaucracy, instead sections of it are attempting to reconstitute themselves as a capitalist ruling class. At the same time the Soviet working class, whilst developing new organisations, has not pushed itself forward as the rightful heirs. Instead it has stood aside, seemingly overwhelmed by the catastrophic collapse of the economy. Whilst some forms of democracy have been introduced, the old secret police is still largely intact and waiting to pounce if the need arises. Finally, nowhere has the stagnation of Stalinism in its last couple of decades left a more poisonous legacy than in the national conflicts that have been ignited by its demise.

Of course today it is so easy to criticise with the advantage of hindsight, and it must be remembered that Deutscher was writing at a time when Soviet economic growth rates and social progress were impressive, even if the official figures are treated with some scepticism. Similarly, expectations of gradual democratisation may have seemed to be the likely result of de-Stalinisation and liberalisation under Khrushchev. Deutscher died before the ‘years of stagnation’ under Brezhnev could be fully comprehended. Maybe the actual year of Deutscher’s death — 1967 — might tell us something. Had he lived another year he would have seen the suppression of the Prague Spring. Dubček’s ‘Socialism With a Human Face’ is reminiscent of Deutscher’s own hopes for the evolution of the Stalinist states. Had he lived to see these hopes crushed under the tracks of Warsaw Pact tanks maybe he would have revised his views.

Deutscher’s Differences With Trotsky

The sheer quality and depth of Deutscher’s writings have forced the Trotskyists to acknowledge their importance. However, any reviews or even passing references to Deutscher by Trotskyists usually feel obliged to include criticism of him over his differences with Trotsky. Nearly always these criticisms choose not to enlighten the reader, or the sect member, with any of the actual arguments involved in the dispute

Four of the key issues are sketched out below: Stalin and the degeneration of the Russian revolution; the question of Bonapartism; the prospects for workers’ revolution in the West; and the foundation of the Fourth International.

Stalin and Stalinism: Deutscher reviewed Trotsky’s biography of Stalin in July 1948 for the Times Literary Supplement. Deutscher explains that some of the problems with the book were the result of the editing that was required as Trotsky had only finished the first seven chapters by the time of his assassination. The rest was pieced together from Trotsky’s notes and edited, sometimes incorporating views contrary to Trotsky’s known opinions. Nevertheless, Deutscher is critical of Trotsky’s own contributions, saying that it ‘is not a biography but an indictment of Stalin’. [17]

In his Stalin Trotsky wrote:

Altogether different [to Hitler’s and Mussolini’s rise] was the nature of Stalin’s rise. It is not comparable with anything in the past. He seems to have no pre-history. The process of his rise took place somewhere behind an impenetrable political curtain. At a certain moment his figure, in the full panoply of power, suddenly stepped away from the Kremlin wall, and for the first time the world became aware of Stalin as a ready-made dictator. [18]

Here Trotsky denigrates Stalin, denying him even a ‘pre-history’. This despite Trotsky’s having had personal contact with Stalin in the Russian Social Democratic movement before the First World War. Whilst Stalin was not a leading Bolshevik before 1917, he was, however, well known. Deutscher writes:

… Stalin did not come to the fore like that. It is clear from Trotsky’s own revelations that ever since the October Revolution Stalin was one of the very few (the three to five) men who exercised power and that his practical, though not ideological, influence in the ruling group was second only to Lenin’s and Trotsky’s. [19]

Trotsky’s Stalin also says:

If the basis of comparison is sweep of personality, it is impossible to place Stalin even alongside Mussolini or Hitler. However meagre the ‘ideas’ of Fascism, both the victorious leaders of reaction, the Italian and the German, from the beginning of their respective movements, displayed initiative, roused the masses to action, pioneered new paths through the political jungle. Nothing of this kind can be said about Stalin. [20]

In response to this Deutscher says in his review:

These words, written while Russia was entering the second decade of planned economy — that is, several years after the collectivisation of 20-odd million farms — had a sufficiently unreal ring even eight or nine years ago; today they sound fantastic. [21]

To Deutscher’ s comments could be added Stalin’s leading role in the Soviet war effort, and his part in the creation of a political system which would be named after him that would soon be replicated in countries covering one-third of the globe. Anti-working-class certainly, but hardly lacking initiative, an ability to rouse the masses, or develop new political paths.

Trotsky’s denigration of Stalin is not difficult to explain: the brutal treatment of Trotsky, his family and many thousands of supporters by the Stalinist bureaucracy took its toll of Trotsky’s ability to be historically objective about his persecutor. Less excusable is Trotsky’s contempt towards some other figures in the Communist movement which Deutscher also criticised elsewhere. [22]

However, and more importantly, Deutscher explained that:

It was not only Stalin’s personality which Trotsky also underrated. He underrated also the depth and strength of the social developments which had brought Stalin to the fore, though he himself had been the first to interpret those very developments to the world. [23]

In his Stalin, as elsewhere, Trotsky contrasts the earlier years of the revolution to the bureaucratic degeneration that followed it and accompanied Stalin’s rise to power. Whilst this was an important distinction to make, Deutscher identified a vital weakness in Trotsky’s account:

What Trotsky understated was the extent to which the change from ‘Soviet democracy’ to ‘bureaucratic control’ had occurred in the Leninist period. He distinguishes between the two phases of the revolution, but is reluctant fully to admit connection between them. It is true that Leninism was essentially non-totalitarian; but it is also true that by the end of the Civil War (say 1920 and 1921) it had, under the pressure of events, gradually, gropingly, almost unconsciously evolved towards totalitarianism. The birth of Bolshevik totalitarianism can be traced, with a high degree of precision, to the Tenth Congress of the party in 1921. It was on the foundations laid by the 1921 congress that Stalin built up his regime in later years. [24]

Unfortunately, Deutscher tends towards a view that these Bolshevik ‘gropings’ were just the inevitable consequence of the isolation of the Russian revolution and the devastation of the Civil War — the explanation goes no deeper. This can fairly be said, given Deutscher’s fundamental agreement with the Leninist/Trotskyist conception of the workers’ revolution, the vanguard party and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. This agreement can be illustrated by a brief quotation from Deutscher:

The idea that the working class is, or should be, the chief actor in social revolution determines the whole of Trotsky’s political thinking, his conception of the Soviet regime and of the Bolshevik party, and his entire struggle against the Social Democratic and Stalinist orthodoxies. ‘Proletarian Democracy’ is the key notion of all his reasonings and arguments. [25]

Deutscher does not trace the authoritarian measures implemented by Lenin and Trotsky to the Bolshevik conceptions of the party and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The Bolshevik party concept is based on Lenin’s well-known claim that socialist consciousness cannot be generated amongst the working class itself, but has to come from outside — from the Marxist intelligentsia. Connected to this is the need for a centralised, hierarchical and disciplined party to ensure that the mass of party members follow the lead of this intelligentsia and are not led astray by other forces or views. Instead of Marxism living in the mass workers’ movement and working to raise and develop what was positive about the existing workers’ consciousness, Bolshevism claims to be the guardian of the only correct consciousness in which it intends to instruct the working class. As Victor Serge said in his Memoirs of a Revolutionary: ‘Bolshevik thinking is grounded in the possession of the truth. The party is the repository of truth, and any form of thinking which differs from it is a dangerous or reactionary error.’ [26]

Similarly, the Bolshevik conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was of a party ruling on behalf of the class, in the name of the class, but over the class, not by it. It can be traced to a distortion of Marx by Plekhanov, possibly influenced by the Narodnik tradition. Readers who are interested in a full account of this particular point should consult Hal Draper’s book The Dictatorship of the Proletariat from Marx to Lenin. [27] Bolshevism adopted this revised view as it fitted in with its party concept — the Bolshevik party would control the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ to defend the working class from its own false consciousness.

Deutscher’s own attachment to these fundamentals of Bolshevism prevents him from identifying seeds of totalitarianism inherent in Leninism. In fact Deutscher approved of Trotsky’s abandonment of his earlier views, which are not so far removed from the criticisms made above. For an enthusiastic account of this conversion see Deutscher’s introduction to The Age of Permanent Revolution. Nevertheless, however limited his explanation for Leninist totalitarianism (that is, the ban on factions in the Bolshevik party, the creation of a one-party state, the suppression of opponents, the formation of an unaccountable secret police, etc), at least Deutscher recognised it and saw it providing Stalinism’s foundations. In so doing, his understanding was superior to Trotsky’s.

In Deutscher’s view the political, economic and labour measures Trotsky encouraged at the height of his power were to provide some of the bases for Stalin’s rule in later years. These included policies such as War Communism’s forced requisitioning of food from the peasantry, the proposals to subject workers to military discipline and labour conscription, to integrate trade unions into the state and remove their autonomy, and exhortations to workers to sacrifice themselves almost Stakhanovite-style on the factory floor. Deutscher writes: ‘Both Trotsky and Lenin appear, each in a different field, as Stalin’s unwitting inspirers and prompters.’ [28]

In short, we might say that whilst Deutscher did not see any of the contributory causes of totalitarian dictatorship in Bolshevik theories, he did see some of them in Bolshevik practice.

Bonapartism: Here, Deutscher differed with Trotsky in two important instances: over the latter’s analogy of Thermidor and Bonapartism in respect of Stalin’s rule, and over Piłsudski’s coup in Poland.

Deutscher and Trotsky shared a similar, Marxist, understanding of Bonapartism. Essentially, this was rule by the state bureaucracy or the military in conditions where normal political rule by the socially dominant class was no longer possible or reliable. Bonapartism comes in to expropriate politically the dominant class whilst preserving, in essentials, the social and economic position of that class.

Clearly, whether Stalinism was Bonapartism or not depends on one’s conception of the Moscow regime. Unlike these writers, Deutscher held to the fundamentals of Trotsky’s view that the USSR was a degenerated workers’ state. Yet even within this framework, Deutscher provides some serious criticisms of Trotsky’s view of Thermidor and Bonapartism.

Deutscher agrees that executive rule politically independent of the social classes in society could describe Stalin’s rule:

Yet, the equation only offers a very general and vague clue to the understanding of the phenomenon in all its complexity and contradictoriness. Stalin exercised his rule not so much through an ‘independent’ state machine as through the ‘independent’ party machine through which he also controlled the state. The difference was of great consequence to the course of the revolution and the political climate of the Soviet Union. [29]

The rule of the Bolshevik party provided continuity in the form of political rule from, say, 1921 (with the creation of a one-party state and a ban on internal factions, etc) to at least the years of the Great Terror in 1936-38. The expulsion of the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ oppositions were said to be justified by the ban on factions. Stalin’s personal rule did not become absolute until these purges, until that time there was a recognised ‘moderate’ wing around Kirov which had political differences with the Stalin group.

Soviet Bonapartism was the political rule of the party machine, not a social class, but as Deutscher says: ‘We have seen that the rule of the party machine had in fact been initiated at the close of the Lenin era.’ [30] Deutscher argued that Trotsky made an error by using an analogy to the French Revolution to explain the course of the Russian one:

We would have to imagine what revolutionary France would have looked like if the Thermidorians had never overthrown Robespierre, and if he had ruled France, in the name of a crippled and docile Jacobin party, throughout all those years that the historian now describes as the eras of the Directory, the Consulate, and the Empire — in a word, what France would have looked like if no Napoleon had ever come to the fore and if the revolution had run its full course under the banner of Jacobinism. [31]

Did Stalin bring in a Soviet Thermidor? Deutscher says that the period of Thermidor in the French Revolution brought an end to the Jacobin terror, but did not either reverse the revolution’s social and economic changes or extend them, rather it consolidated them. Politically it represented the interests of the bourgeoisie rather than the plebs. However, Stalin’s rise was not such a Thermidor: political terror increased, whilst economically the ‘most comprehensive and radical acts, the expropriation and collectivisation of all individual farmers, the initiation of planned economy, took place only after Stalin’s ascendancy’. [32]

Most importantly, Deutscher sees Trotsky’s Thermidor and Bonapartism analogy as confusing his Left Opposition in the 1920s. For example, Deutscher relates how in 1928 Trotsky warned about the dangers of Bonapartism in the USSR. However, Trotsky was calling for the gate to be shut after the horse had already bolted: all the features of Bonapartism, in the form of rule by the party machine, were in place by the last years of Lenin’s government. All that remained was for personal rule to provide its full consummation. [33] Once again, Trotsky could not see that the draconian measures introduced by the Lenin–Trotsky government in the Civil War and after had produced a victory, but a victory that also contained the seeds of his own defeat.

Deutscher’s other difference with Trotsky over Bonapartism occurred over Poland. In his 1934 article ‘Bonapartism and Fascism’ Trotsky wrote: ‘The question “fascism or Bonapartism?” has engendered certain differences on the subject of the Piłsudski regime among our Polish comrades.’ [34] Deutscher was one of these Polish comrades. This dispute is covered in the above-mentioned article by Trotsky, and from Deutscher’s side in his essay ‘The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party’ and in The Prophet Outcast. Trotsky had written:

Piłsudski came to power at the end of an insurrection based upon a mass movement of the petit-bourgeoisie and aimed directly at the domination of the traditional bourgeois parties in the name of the ‘strong state’; that is a fascist trait characteristic of the movement and of the regime. [35]

However, Trotsky qualified this by explaining that the Piłsudski regime was less repressive than, say, Mussolini’s or Hitler’s because ‘its specific political weight, that is, the mass of Polish fascism was much weaker than that of Italian fascism in its time and still more so than that of German fascism…’. [36]

According to Trotsky, Piłsudski’s mass movement, being weaker, forced him to rely more on the existing military apparatus, and made his regime less able to attack the working class, which could therefore offer more effective resistance in the absence of a stronger fascist movement.

Deutscher says that in his coup: ‘Piłsudski expropriated the Polish landlords and bourgeoisie politically in order to preserve their social domination over the proletariat and peasantry.’ [37] Here Deutscher and Trotsky agree, but this could be a feature of both fascism and Bonapartism. The key question was over the nature of the forces behind Piłsudski’s coup — was there a fascist mass movement of the petit-bourgeoisie?

The problems afflicting Poland in the interwar years were formidable. It faced all the difficulties of a new state having only just won freedom from the collapse of the surrounding empires. In addition, it was a backward society struggling with the traumas of industrialisation. Political instability was an almost inevitable feature. It was against such a background and particularly the impasse of successive coalition governments in an unstable parliamentary system that Piłsudski’s coup took place. Behind Piłsudski on the morning of his coup were several mutinous regiments of troops. The government resisted, which was perhaps unexpected by Piłsudski. However, he was at the point of no return, and after three days of fighting between loyal and rebel soldiers Piłsudski’s forces captured the key strategic sites in Warsaw. The government enjoyed more popular support in the country as a whole and the stronger forces, but, in the words of one historian, ‘the issue was settled by the socialist railwaymen whose strike paralysed communications and prevented reinforcements from reaching the capital’. [38]

Thus, Piłsudski won because the government could not organise their defences any more effectively than they had previously run the country. Piłsudski, it is clear from this account, had no ‘mass fascist movement’ behind him — only some mutinous regiments and striking railwaymen. Deutscher goes further than this to say:

Throughout the 20 years between the two wars, the objective conditions favourable to the rise of a real fascist dictatorship did not exist in Poland, if by ‘fascist’ we understand a totalitarian dictatorship based on a strong and clearly counter-revolutionary mass movement. [39]

What is more, Piłsudski did not proceed to set up a regime of personal dictatorship, but a ‘pseudo-parliamentary charade’. [40] Deutscher, in fact, did not characterise Piłsudski’s regime as Bonapartist, but rather as ‘pseudo-Bonapartist’ in acknowledgement of this parliamentary element. When Piłsudski took power in 1926, he was not the candidate of the right wing. Although it was misguided of the railwaymen, and certainly of the Polish Communist Party, to support his power bid, they did have some reasons for doing so — believing that he would follow his political expropriation of the bourgeoisie with a social expropriation of the ruling class. Piłsudski’s role was to try and consolidate Polish capitalist rule by, amongst other things, coopting sections of the Polish working class to support his rule. His role was not, therefore, to smash the workers’ movement by means of an open dictatorship.

Deutscher also explains the ‘pseudo-Bonapartist’ nature of the regime, pointing out that Piłsudski operated with different prime ministers in a multi-party system. [41] Clearly, it was not a fascist regime, and it did not come to power through a mass fascist movement of the petit-bourgeoisie.

The Prospects for Revolution in the West: Trotsky, as is well known, believed that whilst a revolution could take place first in Russia (as it was the weakest link in the imperialist chain), the task of building socialism itself could only follow successful revolutions in the Western countries. The expectations he had for these countries are therefore crucial.

Deutscher contrasts Trotsky’s prediction of revolutions in the West (Germany, France, Britain and the USA) with the actual developments where revolutions took place in the underdeveloped countries of the East:

The fault of this perspective (if this is the right term here) is closely connected with the Marxist assessment of the role of the industrial working class in modern society… Yet none of the social upheavals of the last two decades has been strictly ‘the work of the workers’. All have been carried out by closely knit military organisations and/or small bureaucratic parties; and the peasantry has been far more active in them than the industrial proletariat. [42]

In response to this Trotsky and the Trotskyists raise the question of the misleadership of the workers’ movement by reformists, Stalinists, nationalists, etc. Yet this merely begged the further question, and continues to do so today, as to why, if the proletariat desired the socialist transformation of society, did it continually tolerate misleaders? If it was only the betrayal of leaders holding it back then why didn’t the working class throw aside these leaders or create new instruments to by-pass them? Deutscher held similar criticisms:

No social class with a real and significant momentum of its own will allow itself to be diverted from its essential objectives by any outside influence. If Trotsky’s view that the influence of Moscow had acted as the decisive break on European revolution were correct, it would merely testify to the relative weakness of the revolutionary proletarian element in Western Europe. [43]

Trotsky’s faith — and we have to use this word, as it was a religious belief rather than a sober assessment of real situations and practical possibilities — in workers’ revolution in the West was a conviction he maintained until the end. Only one example will be given here, the one central to the expectations of all Bolsheviks — Germany.

Deutscher quotes Trotsky as saying that the failure of the socialist revolution in Germany at the end of the First World War was ‘improbable’. When pressed by those who doubted this Trotsky ‘dodged it’. [44] Revolution came in Germany alright, and the workers achieved their aims — but these were the ending of the war, the fall of the Kaiser, and the creation of a democratic republic. Socialist revolution was not the aim of the November 1918 revolution. As Deutscher says, both Lenin and Trotsky failed to see the significance of the defeat of the January 1919 rising in Berlin. It was a turning point. [45]

Furthermore, the January 1919 revolt failed above all because it only had the support of a minority of the proletariat. After the trauma of war and one revolution, the German masses wanted to rest — their aims, though not those of the Bolsheviks, had been won.

Deutscher in The Prophet Armed says that Stalin (before the latter became a dictator whose only comments about Trotsky were falsifications) claimed that Trotsky was at his best in times where the revolution gained momentum, but weak in times of retreat. [46] Deutscher also relates how ‘Krupskaya once made the remark, which in all probability she had picked up from Lenin, that Trotsky was inclined to underrate the apathy of the masses’. [47] Deutscher shared these views, and when one compares Trotsky’s expectations with actual events so many years later, it is surely very difficult not to agree with him.

The Fourth International: Deutscher’s most well-known dispute with Trotsky and Trotskyism was over the founding of the Fourth International in 1938. Deutscher covers this in full in The Prophet Outcast. [48] At the foundation conference of the Fourth International, the Polish section of the international Trotskyist movement, under the influence of Deutscher (who was not present), stated its opposition to its proclamation.

The first argument was that it would be ill-advised to found the Fourth International whilst the international workers’ movement was in a period of retreat. The previous Internationals had been formed during times of progress for the workers’ movement.

Secondly, the acute reaction throughout much of the world and the rise of repressive dictatorships would make it impossible to win workers to the ranks of the Fourth International through open work.

Thirdly, they argued that the Trotskyist movement was making a major error by underestimating the continuing hold of the Second and Third Internationals.

Deutscher claims that the arguments of the Poles were never addressed. Instead they were met with abuse — the label of Menshevism was thrown at them.

Trotsky was, of course, aware that the Fourth International was being founded in a period of defeats for the working class. He justified the foundation of the Fourth International because of his expectations, once again, of revolutionary developments that could be anticipated after the approaching war: ‘… in the course of the coming 10 years the programme of the Fourth International will gain the adherence of millions, and these revolutionary millions will be able to storm heaven and earth’. [49] The Trotskyists would need the high profile of their own International to attract the workers. However, the ‘revolutionary millions’ failed to come over to the Fourth International because the aspirations of workers in the various countries either never went beyond a desire for peace and the replacement of fascism by democracy, or where it was more advanced the mood was not strong enough to break through the continuing influence of social democracy and Stalinism over the movement.

Deutscher also criticised the decision to found the Third International in 1919 on similar grounds. Again the perspective of imminent revolution in the West was false: ‘It is doubtful whether Lenin and Trotsky would have founded the International at this stage if they had had a clearer perception of the condition in Europe.’ [50] Instead, without intending it, Lenin and Trotsky gave ‘an assortment of small political sects the high-sounding label of the International’. [51] Previously, as Deutscher relates, Lenin and Trotsky (in the time of Zimmerwald and Kienthal) had the view that a new International would supersede the Second and command the allegiance of the majority of the workers of the different countries, or the revolutionaries would remain as a Marxist wing of the existing movement. They did not see the International as a rival separate body competing as a minority to the majority one.

Whilst the Third International did win sizeable support despite being a minority current internationally, the Fourth International did not manage to do this.

Conclusion

What significance does any of this have for Marxists today? The momentous events of recent years in Eastern Europe where not only Stalinism but the Leninist heritage has been abandoned poses serious questions for the Leninist/Trotskyist current internationally. Those seeking to address those questions and critically to assess the record of the ‘revolutionary’ groups and their Bolshevik predecessors will probably come across the writings of Isaac Deutscher. In these writings they will find a treasure chest of Marxist analyses and accounts of lessons great and small from the history of the history of the international workers’ movement.

At the same time it must also be said that in Deutscher they should not expect to find a coherent alternative. This is so for two reasons. Firstly, it can hardly be expected that one man working alone and mainly outside of any movement could produce such an alternative. Secondly, Deutscher’s own political history started in the Polish Communist Party with its own traditions of Marxism in the Rosa Luxemburg school. Deutscher’s writings are rich in this classical Marxism. Also present, however, is influence from the Bolshevik tradition — especially its conceptions of the party and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

Isaac Deutscher’s contribution to revolutionary Marxism is immense. These writers find it difficult to name someone who has performed a comparable role in the postwar period. Trotskyism was a heresy for the official communist movement. Deutscher was, albeit to differing extents, a heretic for both schools.

Notes

1. Isaac Deutscher, Interview on Hamburg TV, 23 July 1967, the transcript of which was edited by Deutscher himself and printed in New Left Review, January-February 1968, reprinted as ‘Germany and Marxism’, in Tamara Deutscher (ed), Marxism in Our Time (London, 1972), pp 172-74.

2. Isaac Deutscher, ‘Discovering Das Kapital’, Marxism in Our Time, p 257.

3. Isaac Deutscher, ‘The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party’, Marxism in Our Time, p 153.

4. Deutscher, ‘The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party’, Marxism in Our Time, p 153. For a picture of this period see the account by Ludwik Hass in Revolutionary History, Volume 3, no 1, 1990, of the opposition within the Polish Communist Party up to 1945. Hass refers to the memoirs of Hersh Mendel, Erinnerungen eines jüdischen Revolutionärs (Berlin, 1979), for a description of the period.

5. See Tamara Deutscher’s introduction, Tamara Deutscher (ed), Marxism, Wars and Revolutions (London, 1984), pp xxii-xxiii

6. Sam Bornstein and Al Richardson, War and the International: A History of the Trotskyist Movement in Britain 1937-1949 (London, 1986), p 39. Bornstein and Richardson, in researching their two volumes on British Trotskyism, of which the above is the second, discovered Deutscher’s party pseudonym and the name which he used to append to his commentaries. Tamara Deutscher apparently knew no details of this and enquired of Richardson with a view to publishing these unknown texts by Deutscher. Richardson informed us that Deutscher had a commentary in Workers Fight from the autumn of 1939 until the spring of 1940. One of Bornstein and Richardson’s sources remembers (p 50, n 97) being introduced to Deutscher ‘about October 1940’, at the home of one of the RWL leaders.

7. Bornstein and Richardson, War and the International, p 50, n 97: ‘… this is not a war between democratic angels and fascist devils, nor is it a war for the rights of small nations, but exclusively a war for profits, waged by trusts and cartels, at the expense of the workers of all countries.’ The authors use the quote to refute a view that Deutscher adopted a Communist Party-style attitude to the war — democracy contra fascism — pointing out that it was written as both sides were violating Norwegian neutrality.

8. Deutscher, ‘Germany and Marxism’, Marxism in Our Time, p 175

9. See Tamara Deutscher’s introduction, Marxism, Wars and Revolutions, p xxviii. The complete correspondence is published in Hermann Weber (ed), Unabhängige Kommunisten (Berlin, 1981), only sections exist in an English translation.

10. Weber, Unabhängige Kommunisten.

11. Isaac Deutscher, Stalin (London, 1988), p 11.

12. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Armed (Oxford, 1987), pp v-vi.

13. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed (Oxford, 1987), pp 274-75.

14. Isaac Deutscher, Russia in Transition (London, 1969), p 168.

15. Isaac Deutscher, The Unfinished Revolution: Russia 1917-1967 (London, 1967), p 107.

16. Isaac Deutscher, The Great Contest: Russia and the West (London, 1960), p 80.

17. Isaac Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades (London, 1955), p 79.

18. Cited in Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, pp 83-84.

19. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 84.

20. Cited in Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 84.

21. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 84.

22. For an example of Trotsky’s personal denigration of others in the Communist movement, see his ‘Who is Leading the Comintern Today?’, in Challenge of the Left Opposition (1928-29) (New York, 1981), pp 182-211. Deutscher opposed such poisonous attacks and Trotsky’s tendency to concentrate on one particular failing rather than make a balanced assessment based on the record of the person’s whole life. See Deutscher’s comments in LD Trotsky, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1932) (New York, 1981), p 390 n 206: ‘He [Trotsky] was absolutely right in the substance of the controversy, but in the personal characterisation he allowed himself, in the heat of battle, to make some polemical overstatements. When you republish these remarks now, you ought to pay attention, in my view, to two circumstances. First, all these leaders whom Trotsky mentions were the founders of the Polish Communist Party, co-founders of the Communist International, active participants of the Zimmerwald and Kienthal movements, etc. In 1925 they all protested, in the name of the Polish Central Committee, against Stalin’s and Zinoviev’s first anti-Trotskyist campaign. Secondly, all of them perished in the Stalinist purges in 1938. Stalin never forgave them the protest against Trotsky's treatment. They were all denounced by Stalin as Trotskyists, spies, agents of the Polish political police, etc, and have all been emphatically rehabilitated in the post-Stalin era. Between 1925 and 1938, as émigrés in the USSR they did adjust themselves to the Stalin line. But they did so with many mental reservations and with much anguish; and some of them, whenever they could, advised Polish Communists, coming to Russia on short trips, to work quietly within the Polish party against the Stalinist line. To describe them now, as Trotsky did in 1926 or 1932, as ‘Menshevik types’ would be utterly wrong and unjust. Warski…, like Walecki, Lapinski and Kostrzewa, were in the end Bukharinists or near-Bukharinists, the leaders of the Right Opposition in the party, but not Menshevik types… There is no need to blur over the political mistakes they all made in their quasi-Bukharinist period. But when one gives an appraisal of their activity three decades after their martyrdom, one should take into account the whole of their record, and not merely one part of it; and one should treat them objectively and historically, without being too much affected by an epithet Trotsky threw out in a particular situation…’

23. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 84.

24. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 84.

25. Isaac Deutscher, ‘Introduction’, in LD Trotsky, The Age of Permanent Revolution (New York, 1970), p 26.

26. Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary (London, 1963), p 134.

27. Hal Draper, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat from Marx to Lenin (New York, 1987).

28. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, p 515.

29. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed , pp 462-63.

30. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed , p 463.

31. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed , p 463.

32. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 85.

33. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed , p 463.

34. LD Trotsky, ‘Bonapartism and Fascism’, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1934-35) (New York, 1974), p 56.

35. Trotsky, ‘Bonapartism and Fascism’, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1934-35), p 56.

36. Trotsky, ‘Bonapartism and Fascism’, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1934-35), p 56.

37. Deutscher, ‘The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party’, Marxism in Our Time, p 133.

38. Norman Davies, God’s Playground: A History of Poland, Volume 2 (Oxford, 1981), p 422.

39. Deutscher, ‘The Tragedy of the Polish Communist Party’, Marxism in Our Time, p 132.

40. Davies, God’s Playground, Volume 2, p 422.

41. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Outcast (London, 1963), p 276.

42. Deutscher, ‘Introduction’, The Age of Permanent Revolution, p 24.

43. Deutscher, ‘Trotsky on Stalin’, Heretics and Renegades, p 89.

44. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, p 246.

45. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, p 452.

46. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, pp 176-77.

47. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed , p 461.

48. Deutscher, The Prophet Outcast, pp 421-29.

49. Deutscher, The Prophet Outcast, p 426.

50. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, p 452.

51. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, p 452.

 


 

Last updated on 6 January 2018