James P. Cannon

Our Revolution

Written: July 1931.
First Published: Editorial Notes, The Militant, New York, Vol. 4 No. 15, 18 July 1931, p. 4.
Source: Microfilm collection and original bound volumes for The Militant provided by the Holt Labor Library, San Francisco, California. Additional bound volumes from Earl Gilman’s collection, San Francisco, California.
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The more clearly the unfolding of world events demonstrates that the conception of socialism in one country – the common theoretical bond of centrism and the right wing – is a strangulating noose for the international proletarian revolution, the more evident does it become that the banner of revolutionary internationalism belongs to the Left Opposition, which has been forged in the struggle against the new revisionism. And by that, increases the greatness of its historic responsibility and the magnitude of its tasks, which brook no delay and take no heed of the weakness of our forces.

Blockaded in Russia during the Chinese revolution and the English general strike, the Opposition had to confine itself to criticism and counterproposals within a closed circle and was deprived of direct influence on the events themselves. The new rise of revolutionary development coincides with a decisive change in the internal relations of the Communist movement. The Opposition, beaten down with the defeats of the international proletariat, which flowed from the ruinous policy of the right-centrist bloc, has awakened to new life with the revolutionary revival and confronts it with a worldwide organization and with all its fundamental principles confirmed in living experience.

It is now endowed with the possibility, and the inescapable historic necessity, of bringing these principles to the fore as a direct influence on the developing revolutionary events. Every section of the International – our own among them – must put its ranks in shape for this grandiose international endeavor.

From this point of view we should greet in the warmest manner, and in deeds as well as in words, the proposals of Comrade Trotsky in regard to the Spanish revolution, which stands today in the center of the stage. To intervene directly now, and on an international scale; to study the basic questions down to the bottom; to stir the Communist ranks with discussion over the problems of the Spanish revolution and mobilize international aid in time; to expose and drive out the revolutiondestroying policy of centrism and bring forward the Marxist alternative in the heat of events and directly upon them – such are the tasks envisaged for the International Left Opposition in Comrade Trotsky’s letter, which we print in the current issue of The Militant.

We have reason to hope that our detachment of the Marxian internationalists will do its part for the Spanish revolution. To a certain extent at least, we have seen the huge vista opened up by the events in Spain and understood that our weight in the scale might not be without influence in the final summing up. We have ventured to believe that, not because we deceive others or ourselves about the forces at our disposal, but because our strength is the strength of the Marxian doctrines crystallized in the international nucleus of the Opposition.

We have not seen the Chinese revolution as a subject for abstract study. The international class struggle, in its dynamic development, is posing the questions anew in Spain and raising the principled line of the Opposition against the line of centrism more insistently than ever. That is the way we see it. That is why we must strain every resource to make our mark on the situation while it is alive and fresh.

The Spanish revolution is our revolution. It is our task to make it the revolution of the American workers, and to inspire them to fight for it on the soil of America as our comrades fight for it on the soil of Spain.

Last updated on: 5.1.2013