Marxism vs. Revisionism

Stalin’s article, Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism, reached me after much delay. After receiving it, for a long time I could not force myself to read it, for such literature sticks in one’s throat like sawdust or mashed bristles. But still, having finally read it, I came to the conclusion that one cannot ignore this performance, if only because there is included in it a vile and barefaced calumny about Rosa Luxemburg.

We publish a talk by Alan Woods on the Marxist's attitude to individual terrorism, given at the Socialist Appeal day school in London late last year. Of particular relevance following the assasination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan recently, socialism must oppose acts of indiviual terrorism - 'liberals with bombs' - because of the reactionary role they play in the labour movement.

This book demonstrates that the Russian Revolution, a model for a victorious, popular revolution in a semi-colonial country in the era of imperialism, required not a bourgeois-democratic, but a socialist revolution for the people to take power. The book goes back to basics, critically analysing and comparing Lenin’s and Trotsky’s own writings, which are sited in their source and inspiration - the Russian Revolution of 1905. It is shown that Lenin, in October 1917, adopted the perspectives of Permanent Revolution: that to finally rid Russia of autocracy, and legitimise the peasants’ seizure of the land, the Russian Revolution required the introduction of the dictatorship of the

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Fred Weston of the International Marxist Tendency, and editor of In Defence of Marxism, talks on Leon Trotsky's theory of the Permanent Revolution. This marxist concept constitued the main ideological opposition to Stalin's theory of 'socialism in one country', which came to be the dominant outlook of the Soviet bureaucracy, that grew out of the isolation and degeneration of the young workers state.

Alan Woods, editor of www.marxist.com and author of many books including Reason in Revolt and The Venezuelan Revolution: A Marxist Perspective, talks to the Oxford Brookes Socialist Society on the relevance of socialism in the 21st century.

The ideas of the International Marxist Tendency are very clear. We stand for the genuine ideas of Marxism and base ourselves on the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. You may agree or disagree with these ideas. Occasionally however, we encounter opponents who are prepared to go to incredible lengths to distort and falsify what we stand for. Just such a case came up earlier this year when the French language journal, La Vérité, published by the Lambertist group launched a vicious and dishonest attack on our positions. Here we explain what we really stand for.

Ted Grant remembers the day the news of Trotsky's murder came over the radio as he lay in bed in hospital. First published in Militant 17 August 1990.

An article by Israel Shamir, La saga de Woods, appeared on October 15, on the Spanish language web site Rebelión. Shamir brings out all his Stalinist venom against genuine Marxism – i.e. Trotskyism – but he also adds some of his own novel ideas. Alan Woods, basing himself on the classical writings of Marx, Engels and in particular Lenin, shows how Stalinism and Marxism are opposites.

Today is the 64th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Leon Trotsky by a Stalinist agent. We commemorate this event by publishing an article by his grandson, Esteban Volkov, which was a preface to the recent reissuing of Trotsky’s My Life. It is a fitting tribute to this great revolutionary who remains an inspiration to all those fighting for the emancipation of the proletariat.

In the three articles that Luis Oviedo has written in answer to my article published on January 7 (Marxism versus Sectarianism - Reply to Luis Oviedo) a number of very important issues are raised. These questions deserve the most careful consideration by Marxists in Britain, Argentina and internationally. However, in order to clarify the issues raised and to educate the cadres (which ought to be the aim of every polemic) it is necessary to avoid heated language, distortions and personal attacks that only serve to divert attention away from the political questions. Such an approach will only confuse matters

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My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist Appeal(in Prensa Obrera nº 826).Having read the article, I could not decide whether it was the product of bad faith or simple ignorance. Certainly, the method used is contrary to every basic principle of Marxism and above all Trotskyism, which comrade Oviedo and the Partido Obrero (PO) claim to defend.

One hundred and twenty years ago - on March 14 1883 to be precise - Karl Marx, one of the greatest figures in human history, died. Despite over a century of attacks, distortions and attempts to belittle Marx's contribution, no-one can doubt that he dramatically altered the course of human history.

Marxists study history not for the smugness of 20/20 hindsight, but in order to learn its lessons. Trotsky's insistent call for a united front of workers' organisations to defeat fascism in Germany went tragically unheeded.

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