A historical essay on the transition from Russian Revolution of the Soviets to bureaucratic dictatorship under Stalin, with special emphasis on the period extending from the February Revolution to the period of War Communism.
From the Russian Revolution of 1917 to Stalinist Totalitarianism – Agustín Guillamón
An essay on the Soviets published in 1932 by the co-founder of the Spanish POUM, sympathetic to Lenin and critical of the “profound errors committed, after the death of Lenin, by the leadership of the Communist Party”, that characterizes the Soviets as “a system of government that is infinitely more democratic than the freest bourgeois republic”.
The Soviets: Their Origin, Development and Functions – Andreu Nin
The origin and nature of the Soviets
A debate at the 2nd World Congress of the Comintern from July 19 to August 7, 1920 between Jack Tanner, Lenin and Trotsky over the specific position and point of the party and the role of the revolutionary minority. Raising left-wing objections to parties, and the problems it causes, especially in relation to ideological unity and leadership. Including a discussion of syndicalism and trade union relations with politics.
Jack Tanner (Shop Steward): Comrade Zinoviev placed the main emphasis in his report on the necessity of a Communist Party. This seems to me to be mistaken, as does the idea that the dictatorship of the proletariat coincides with the dictatorship of the Communist Party. What has now taken place in Russia cannot be a valid pattern for every country.
In Part One of this 1993 essay, Robert Kurz criticizes the largely unexamined assumptions underpinning the “vulgar Marxist” use of such political concepts as power, interest and domination; discusses the development of the more nuanced understanding of these concepts expressed in theories associated with the names of Weber, Michels, Trotsky and Freud; and assesses the role played by structuralism and systems theory in the establishment of an “apologetic” theory of subjectless domination which must be replaced by a “critical and revolutionary praxis” that is no longer Marxism of a “subjective-ideological type”.
Domination without a Subject*- Robert Kurz
On the Supersession of a Reductive Social Critique
Translator's introduction to the 1948 Chilean edition of Anton Pannekoek's Lenin as Philosopher - Lain Diez
A brief introduction to Pannekoek’s book on Lenin that defines the council communist tendency of Marxism as the long awaited bridge between Marxism and anarchism that promises to heal the rift of the Bakunin-Marx split in the First International. Written in the form of short “theses”, the text begins with a critical assessment of Trotsky’s opposition to Stalinism, supports Luxemburg’s and Mattick’s anti-Leninist critiques with regard to spontaneity and ends by agreeing with Karl Korsch’s negative identification of Leninism with social democracy as both being opposed to emancipatory socialism.
Translator’s Introduction to the 1948 Chilean Edition of Anton Pannekoek’s Lenin as Philosopher – Laín Díez
A few years before falling victim to an assassin’s blade, Trotsky placed the stamp of his opinion on Marxist literature in the following terms:
"..., despite the tremendous change, taken place around the world, there remain a lot of stagnant layers, that have not yet started to move and their inertia, their resistance weakens the raging struggle.
The Russian revolution in retreat, 1920-24: Soviet workers and the new communist elite - Simon Pirani
This critically acclaimed book, published in 2008, focuses on the retreat from the revolution’s aims in 1920-24, after the end of the civil war – and specifically, on the turbulent relationship between the working class and the Communist Party in those years.
A critical survey of the emergence of Russian working class politics and the historical role of Trotsky's pre-Bolshevik theory, including its anti-Leninist tendencies.
Two articles from the Decist dissident faction within the Bolshevik party on the expulsion of Trotsky.
apropos letters of group ''13" (Trotsky 21/10-28, Radek 15/10-28
"Granny took graybeard'' etc., Smilga "Anniversary of the platform" and others)
[i] The original source for this translation is the upload on scribd by Stephen Shenfield: Collection of documents on the Decists)
Ante Ciliga,Trotsky, and State Capitalism: Theory, Tactics, and Re-evaluation during the Purge Era, 1935-1939 - Michael S Fox
Michael S. Fox on Trotsky and state capitalism during Stalin's purges. In PDF format.
From Class against Class