Read Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It (Barvas Politics) by Leon Trotsky Free Online
Book Title: Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It (Barvas Politics)|
The author of the book: Leon Trotsky
Edition: Barvas Books
Date of issue: December 10th 2016
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Trotsky admits that fascism is a middle class(which he calls the petty bourgeoisie) movement that grows out of a collapse of capitalism. It is opposed to both the upper crust of the bourgeoisie and a proletarian revolution. Developed countries with a large middle class are resistant to a proletarian revolution(e.g. Germany and Italy). Underdeveloped countries with a small middle class are susceptible to a proletarian revolution(e.g. Russia, Cuba, etc.).
Trotsky asserts that the Comintern(Communist International) was run by a bunch of idiots, especially Stalin, who didn't know political strategy. Trotsky focuses on the German elections between 1928 and 1930. During that time the Communist Party in Germany grew by 1.3 million votes and declared a Soviet Germany. However, in the same time the NSDAP grew from 800,000 votes to over 6 million votes. Trotsky says the NSDAP overwhelmingly won over the middle class by only focusing on the middle class, and in doing so won over some sections of the proletariat. On the other hand, the Communist Party embraced a theory called "social fascism" which declared war on the social democrats. This theory came from the mouths of the Comintern, which ultimately led to the Communist Party's downfall.
At the Sixth Congress of the Comintern in 1928, the end of capitalist stability and the beginning of the "Third Period" was proclaimed. The end of capitalism, accompanied with a working class revolution, was expected and social democracy was identified as the main enemy of the communists. This Comintern's theory had roots in Grigory Zinoviev's argument that international social democracy is a wing of fascism. This view was accepted by Joseph Stalin who described fascism and social democracy as "twin brothers", arguing that fascism depends on the active support of the social democracy and that the social democracy depends on the active support of fascism. After it was declared at the Sixth Congress, the theory of social fascism became accepted by the world communist movement.
Trotsky argued against the accusations of "social fascism" and in the 'Bulletin of the Opposition' of March 1932 declared: "Should fascism come to power, it will ride over your skulls and spines like a terrific tank... And only a fighting unity with the Social Democratic workers can bring victory". However, Trotsky said in the same essay that any cooperation with the social democrats was only tactical and temporary and that in the final analysis the social democracy would have to be defeated and subverted by the revolutionary faction:
"The front must now be directed against fascism. And this common front of direct struggle against fascism, embracing the entire proletariat, must be utilized in the struggle against the Social Democracy, directed as a flank attack, but no less effective for all that... No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike, and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself... No retraction of our criticism of the Social Democracy. No forgetting of all that has been. The whole historical reckoning, including the reckoning for Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, will be presented at the proper time, just as the Russian Bolsheviks finally presented a general reckoning to the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries for the baiting, calumny, imprisonment and murder of workers, soldiers, and peasants."
Trotsky then states that the middle class is incapable of forming an independent policy and must choose between the policy of the big bourgeoisie or the proletariat, but I beg to differ. Trotsky must have been unfamiliar with Robert Ley's German Labor Front and their theory of "Einheitsgewerkschaft". According to the Comintern, the middle class is indissoluble from the big bourgeoisie and the former is a caricature of Jacobinism. Trotsky disagrees with this and brings up the Paris Commune of 1871 as an example of the middle class siding with the proletariat.
According to Marxist doctrine, the most developed capitalist country is supposed to be the first country to have a proletarian revolution. So when Germany went to the NSDAP and not the Communist Party, this baffled Trotsky and spent the rest of his life trying to figure out the nature of fascism.
So how does Trotsky suggest fighting fascism? With armed proletarian militias. Trotsky says the proletariat should confiscate and seize the weapons of the fascists in this struggle to the death.
Trotsky was banned from the Soviet Union in 1929 and went to France, Norway, and finally ended up in Mexico. From Mexico, he would continue to write critically of the Soviet Union and continue his fascination with fascism. He was assassinated by Stalin's NKVD agent while in Mexico in 1940 and never lived to see Germany invade the Soviet Union.
This book contains excerpts from his two major works on fascism, "The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany" and "Leon Trotsky On France".
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Read information about the authorSee also Лев Троцкий
Leon Trotsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. He was one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution, second only to Vladimir Lenin. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War. He was also among the first members of the Politburo.
After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party and deported from the Soviet Union. An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism, Trotsky also opposed Stalin's peace agreements with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, and was eventually assassinated in Mexico by Ramón Mercader, a Soviet agent. Trotsky's ideas form the basis of Trotskyism, a term coined as early as 1905 by his opponents in order to separate it from Marxism. Trotsky's ideas remain a major school of Marxist thought that is opposed to the theories of Stalinism. He was one of the few Soviet political figures who were never rehabilitated by the Soviet administration.