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New Left Review I/47, January-February 1968


Ernest Mandel

Trotsky’s Marxism: An Anti-Critique

Nicolas Krassó’s critique of Trotsky’s political thought and activities, which appeared in issue No. 44 of the New Left Review, provides a welcome occasion to unravel some of the misconceptions and prejudices about the historical role of the founder of the Red Army, which still haunt a large part of the ‘non-engaged left intelligentsia. The roots of these misconceptions are easily discovered. The public admission and denunciation of some of Stalin’s worst crimes by the present Soviet leaders is by no means accompanied by an adoption of the policies for which Trotsky fought during the last 15 years of his life. Neither in the internal organization of the ‘socialist’ countries, nor in their international policy (with the single exception of Cuba), have their leaders gone back to the principles of Soviet democracy and revolutionary internationalism which Trotsky defended.But historically, the very fact that Stalin has been thrown down from his pedestal, and that many accusations launched against him by Trotsky are now accepted as correct, represents a tremendous historical vindication of the man whom Stalin’s agent murdered on August 20 th, 1940 in Coyoacan.

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