The Left Opposition’s fight against Stalinism (1923-1933)

Alexander Reznik’s Trotsky and Comrades: A false account of the emergence and politics of the Left Opposition

By Clara Weiss, 29 October 2019

Reznik’s book, while containing some useful information, constitutes a willful distortion of the history of the Trotskyist Left Opposition, undermining its prolonged and principled struggle against the Stalinist degeneration of the 1917 October Revolution.

The ICFI and the Crisis of Stalinism

By Barry Grey, 25 September 2019

This lecture was delivered to the Socialist Equality Party (US) Summer School on July 24, 2019 by Barry Grey, US national editor of the World Socialist Web Site and leading member of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.

Introduction to the Turkish language edition of In Defense of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky’s four fateful years in Prinkipo: 1929-1933

By David North, 23 September 2019

The following is the introduction to the recently translated Turkish edition of In Defense of Leon Trotsky, written by the book’s author, David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site. The book was originally published in 2013.

Preview the new publication from Mehring Books

Author’s introduction to Bolsheviks Against Stalinism 1928-1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition

By Vadim Z. Rogovin, 30 August 2019

Today we present the Introduction, written by the late Marxist historian and sociologist, Vadim Z. Rogovin, to the new English translation of the second volume of his seven-volume work, Was There an Alternative to Stalinism?

Vadim Rogovin, author of Bolsheviks Against Stalinism 1928-1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition

In memory of Vadim Z. Rogovin

By David North, 23 August 2019

In this 1998 tribute to Vadim Z. Rogovin, David North explains what made this Soviet historian a remarkable “prophet of historical truth.”

On the 79th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2019

Seventy-nine years after his assassination at the hands of a Stalinist agent, Trotsky remains a towering historical figure with immense contemporary political relevance.

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Part 2: Stalinism, communism and anti-Semitism

By Clara Weiss, 9 July 2019

Hanebrink’s false equation of Stalinism with communism leads to a significant and misleading omission in his discussion of the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe after World War II and internationally today.

Destroyed 1923 pamphlet on Red Army, commissioned by Trotsky, reprinted in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 27 June 2019

The reprint makes available, after almost 100 years, an important historical document, the fate of which reflects the violent repression by Stalinism of genuine Marxist thought and politics, represented within the Soviet Union by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

Eighty Years of the Fourth International: The Lessons of History and the Struggle for Socialism Today

By David North, 9 October 2018

On October 7, David North, International Editorial Board chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, delivered the following lecture to a well-attended public meeting in Colombo, organised by the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka).

Vadim Rogovin and the sociology of Stalinism

By Andrea Peters, 25 September 2018

September 18 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Soviet Marxist historian and sociologist Vadim Rogovin, the author of a seven-volume series on Stalinism and the Marxist opposition to the Soviet bureaucracy.

On the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International

By David North, 3 September 2018

The founding of the Fourth International on September 3, 1938, was an event of great historical significance and contemporary relevance.

Historic discovery of Left Opposition manuscripts from the early 1930s

By Vladimir Volkov and Clara Weiss, 27 August 2018

The discovery of hitherto unknown manuscripts of the Soviet Left Opposition is a blow to all attempts to falsify, belittle and slander the struggle of the Trotskyist movement against Stalinism.

Seventy-eight years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Eric London and David North, 21 August 2018

On August 21, 1940, Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Fourth International and the co-leader of the Russian Revolution, died from wounds inflicted the day before by an assassin, the Stalinist GPU agent Ramon Mercader.

The Falsification of David King’s work—Red Star Over Russia: A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55 at the Tate Modern in London

By Paul Mitchell, 19 December 2017

The latest British exhibition on the Russian Revolution is another reprehensible attempt to distort its history, including by excising Leon Trotsky.

Leaders of the Russian Revolution

Nikolai Muralov (1877-1937)

Part Two

By Clara Weiss, 22 November 2017

As part of the celebration of the centenary of the October Revolution in 1917, the World Socialist Web Site is publishing a series of profiles of leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Leaders of the Russian Revolution: Ivar Tenisovich Smilga (1892-1937)

Part two

By Clara Weiss, 1 September 2017

The is the second part of a two-part article on Ivar Tenisovich Smilga, a leading figure in the October Revolution and the Red Army who worked closely with Lenin and then with Trotsky as a member of the anti-Stalinist Left Opposition. The first part was posted on August 31.

Leaders of the Russian Revolution: Ivar Tenisovich Smilga (1892-1937)

Part one

By Clara Weiss, 31 August 2017

The is the first part of a two-part article on Ivar Tenisovich Smilga, a leading figure in the October Revolution and the Red Army who worked closely with Lenin and then with Trotsky as a member of the anti-Stalinist Left Opposition.

75 years since the assassination of Trotsky: 1940-2015

Leon Trotsky’s place in history

By David North, 21 August 2015

Published here is a section of a lecture delivered on the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky. The full lecture is included in David North’s book, In Defense of Leon Trotsky.

Seventy-five years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Joseph Kishore, 20 August 2015

Seventy-five years after his death, Trotsky emerges ever more clearly as a world historical figure who not only influenced the course of the 20th century, but whose writings and ideas remain an essential guide for orienting the working class today.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part four

By Fred Williams, 4 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part three

By Fred Williams, 3 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part two

By Fred Williams, 2 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part one

By Fred Williams, 1 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

Interview with Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan, daughter of leading Soviet Left Oppositionist

By Clara Weiss, 27 October 2014

Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan (May 1919-September 2014) came from a remarkable family with longstanding revolutionary traditions. Not only her parents, but also her uncles and aunts were active participants in the Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent Civil War.

Interview with Tatiana Isaeva

By our reporter, 28 February 2014

Tatiana Isaeva is the granddaughter of the Marxist literary critic Aleksandr Konstantinovich Voronsky, a Bolshevik from 1904 and participant in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917 who later became an important figure in the Left Opposition.

Interview with Zorya Serebryakova

By our reporter, 27 February 2014

Zorya Leonidovna Serebryakova’s father, Leonid Petrovich Serebryakov, was a leading Bolshevik and Left Oppositionist. One of the main defendants in the Second Moscow Trial, he was found guilty and shot on February 1, 1937.

Interview with Yuri Primakov

By our reporter, 26 February 2014

Vitaly Markovich Primakov was a hero of the October Revolution and the Civil War and later an important member of the Left Opposition.

WSWS publishes interviews with children of the Left Opposition

By Fred Williams and Clara Weiss, 25 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing interviews with three children of Soviet Left Oppositionists—Tatiana Smilga, Zorya Serebryakova and Yuri Primakov—and with Tatiana Isaeva, granddaughter of the outstanding Marxist literary critic, Alexander Voronsky.

Interview with Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan

By our reporter, 25 February 2014

Ivar Tenisovich Smilga, the father of Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan, was one of the leading members of the Bolshevik Party during the October Revolution and one of Lenin’s closest confidants.

Assessing Leon Trotsky seventy years after his assassination

Report given at the annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies

By David North, 23 November 2010

Report given at the annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, November 21 2010.

Lecture 2

“Socialism in One Country” and the Soviet economic debates of the 1920s—Part 2

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2009

This is the second of two lectures delivered at an SEP summer school in August 2007 that deal with some of the crucial conflicts over economic policy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s.

Lecture 2

“Socialism in One Country” and the Soviet economic debates of the 1920s—Part 1

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2009

This is the second of two lectures delivered at an SEP summer school in August 2007 that deal with some of the crucial conflicts over economic policy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s.

“Socialism in One Country” and the Soviet economic debates of the 1920s—Part 2

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2009

This is the first of two lectures, delivered at an SEP summer school in August 2007, dealing with some of the crucial conflicts over economic policy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s.

“Socialism in One Country” and the Soviet economic debates of the 1920s—Part 1

By Nick Beams, 4 May 2009

This is the first of two lectures, delivered at an SEP summer school in August 2007, dealing with some of the crucial conflicts over economic policy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s

The Revolution Betrayed and the fate of the Soviet Union

By Peter Daniels, 26 February 2009

An understanding the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state—their rise and subsequent degeneration—is critical in politically arming the working class by learning the lessons of the twentieth century in order to prepare for the struggles of the twenty-first.

The Revolution Betrayed and the fate of the Soviet Union

Part one

By Peter Daniels, 25 February 2009

An understanding of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state—their rise and subsequent degeneration—is critical in politically arming the working class by learning the lessons of the 20th century in order to prepare for the struggles of the 21st.

The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution

Part 3

By John Chan, 7 January 2009

The rise and fall of the 1925-1927 Second Chinese Revolution was one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century. One cannot understand modern Chinese history without examining its lessons.

The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution

Part 2

By John Chan, 6 January 2009

The rise and fall of the 1925-1927 Second Chinese Revolution was one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century. One cannot understand modern Chinese history without examining its lessons.

The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution

Part 1

By John Chan, 5 January 2009

The rise and fall of the 1925-1927 Second Chinese Revolution was one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century. One cannot understand modern Chinese history without examining its lessons.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

Part Three

By Chris Marsden, 30 December 2008

Trotsky had argued that the very survival of British imperialism now rested not on the right-wing social democrats, but on the supposed lefts, without whom the right wing could not maintain its position in the labour movement.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

Part Two

By Chris Marsden, 29 December 2008

Bereft of any revolutionary guidance from the Communist Party of Great Britain, the working class had no possibility of arming itself against the role of the lefts who were being continually boosted under the Comintern’s orders.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

By Chris Marsden, 27 December 2008

More than 80 years on, the May 1926 British General Strike remains a defining moment in the history of the workers’ movement. Its lessons are essential for the development of a revolutionary strategy, not just in Britain but the world over.

The German October: The missed revolution of 1923

Part 3

By Peter Schwarz, 1 November 2008

Eighty-five years ago, in October 1923, the German Communist Party prepared an insurrection and then cancelled it at the last minute, prompting Leon Trotsky to characterize it as “a classic demonstration of how it is possible to miss a perfectly exceptional revolutionary situation of world-historic importance.”

The German October: The missed revolution of 1923

Part 2

By Peter Schwarz, 31 October 2008

Eighty-five years ago, in October 1923, the German Communist Party prepared an insurrection and then cancelled it at the last minute, prompting Leon Trotsky to characterize it as “a classic demonstration of how it is possible to miss a perfectly exceptional revolutionary situation of world-historic importance.”

The German October: The missed revolution of 1923

Part 1

By Peter Schwarz, 30 October 2008

In October 1923, the German Communist Party prepared an insurrection and then cancelled it at the last minute, prompting Leon Trotsky to characterize it as “a classic demonstration of how it is possible to miss a perfectly exceptional revolutionary situation of world-historic importance.”

Leon Trotsky - In Defense of October - 1932

By Leon Trotsky, 21 October 2008

Delivered before a meeting of Social-Democratic students in Copenhagen on November 27, 1932, this is a concise presentation of the main driving forces of the Russian Revolution. Trotsky defends the gains of October 1917, explains how it occurred ("Why did the proletarian revolution conquer in one of the most backward countries in Europe?") and addresses those who doubt the revolution because of its great costs ("Has the October Revolution stood the test of time?"). He illustrates the role of the peasantry, the national question, the war, and the Bolshevik Party; but more broadly, he evaluates the role of the October Revolution, not only in Russian and European, but world history.

Leon Trotsky and the post-Soviet school of historical falsification

A review of two Trotsky biographies by Geoffrey Swain and Ian Thatcher

Part 4: The relevance of Trotsky

By David North, 12 May 2007

Today we publish the first part of a four-part review of two biographies of Trotsky written by Professors Geoffrey Swain and Ian D. Thatcher. The first, second and third parts can be accessed here. Click here to download the entire review in PDF.

Leon Trotsky and the post-Soviet school of historical falsification

A review of two Trotsky biographies by Geoffrey Swain and Ian Thatcher

Part 3: The method of Ian Thatcher

By David North, 11 May 2007

Today we publish the first part of a four-part review of two biographies of Trotsky written by Professors Geoffrey Swain and Ian D. Thatcher. The first, second andfinal parts can be accessed here. Click here to download the entire review in PDF.

Leon Trotsky and the post-Soviet school of historical falsification

A review of two Trotsky biographies by Geoffrey Swain and Ian Thatcher

Part 2: The study of Trotsky after the fall of the USSR

By David North, 10 May 2007

Today we publish the first part of a four-part review of two biographies of Trotsky written by Professors Geoffrey Swain and Ian D. Thatcher. The first, third and final parts can be accessed here. Click here to download the entire review in PDF.

Leon Trotsky and the post-Soviet school of historical falsification

A review of two Trotsky biographies by Geoffrey Swain and Ian Thatcher

Part 1: Seventy years since Stalin’s year of terror

By David North, 9 May 2007

Today we publish the first part of a four-part review of two biographies of Trotsky written by Professors Geoffrey Swain and Ian D. Thatcher. The second, third andfinal parts can be accessed here. Click here to download the entire review in PDF.

Lecture nine: The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International

Part 3

By Peter Schwarz, 13 October 2005

The following is the third and concluding part of the lecture “The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International.” It was delivered by Peter Schwarz, the secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Parts one and two were posted October 11 and October 12.

Lecture nine: The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International

Part 2

By Peter Schwarz, 12 October 2005

The following is the scond part of the lecture “The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International.” It was delivered by Peter Schwarz, the secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in three parts. Part one was posted October 11.

Lecture nine: The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International

By Peter Schwarz, 11 October 2005

The lecture was delivered by Peter Schwarz, the secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lecture nine: The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International

Part 1

By Peter Schwarz, 11 October 2005

The following is the first part of the lecture “The rise of fascism in Germany and the collapse of the Communist International.” It was delivered by Peter Schwarz, the secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in three parts. (See Part 2 and Part 3).

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

Part 5

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2005

The following is the fifth and concluding part of the lecture “The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism.” It was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Part one were posted October 5, Part two on October 6, Part three on October 7 and Part four on October 8.

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

Part 4

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2005

The following is the fourth part of the lecture “The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism.” It was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in five parts. Part one were posted October 5, Part two on October 6 and Part three on October 7.

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

Part 3

By Nick Beams, 7 October 2005

The following is the third part of the lecture “The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism.” It was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in five parts. Part one were posted October 5 and part two on October 6.

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

Part 2

By Nick Beams, 6 October 2005

The following is the second part of the lecture “The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism.” It was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in five parts. Part one was posted October 5.

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

By Nick Beams, 5 October 2005

The following lecture was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lecture eight: The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism

Part 1

By Nick Beams, 5 October 2005

The following is the first part of the lecture “The 1920s—the road to depression and fascism.” It was delivered by Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia and a member of the WSWS Editorial Board, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture will be presented in five parts. (See Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5)

Lecture seven: Marxism, art and the Soviet debate over “proletarian culture”

By David Walsh, 30 September 2005

This lecture was delivered by David Walsh, the arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lecture six: Socialism in one country or permanent revolution

Part 3

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2005

The following is the third and final part of the lecture “Socialism in one country or permanent revolution.” It was delivered by Bill Van Auken at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture is being posted in three parts. Part 1 was posted September 27; Part 2 was posted September 28.

Lecture six: Socialism in one country or permanent revolution

Part 2

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2005

The following is the second part of the lecture “Socialism in one country or permanent revolution.” It was delivered by Bill Van Auken at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lecture is being posted in three parts. Part 1 was posted September 27.

Lecture six: Socialism in one country or permanent revolution

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2005

This lecture was delivered by Bill Van Auken at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lecture six: Socialism in one country or permanent revolution

Part 1

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2005

The following is the first part of the lecture “Socialism in one country or permanent revolution.” It was delivered by Bill Van Auken at the Socialist Equality Party/WSWS summer school held August 14 to August 20, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (See Part 2 and Part 3).

An apologia for Stalinism

Book Review: The Reds—The Communist Party of Australia from Origins to Illegality, by Stuart Macintyre, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1998

By Mike Head, 16 June 1999

In the first volume of a projected two-volume account of the history of the Communist Party of Australia, Stuart Macintyre purports to chronicle the CPA's evolution from its birth in 1920 until World War II, tracing its transformation from a fledgling organisation of dedicated and spirited socialists and revolutionaries into an appendage of the Kremlin.

A founder of American Trotskyism

Albert Glotzer dead at 90

By Fred Mazelis, 2 March 1999

Albert Glotzer, a founder of the Trotskyist movement in the US who was the reporter at the historic hearings of the Dewey Commission in Mexico in 1937, died on February 18 at the age of 90. He was the last survivor among the major American participants in the struggles of the Left Opposition and the Fourth International in the 1930s.

Leon Trotsky and the Fate of Marxism in the USSR

By Vadim Rogovin, 29 December 1998

This lecture was delivered by Professor Vadim Rogovin at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, on June 3, 1996