J.P. Cannon

Trotskyism Lives

Speech Delivered at New York Trotsky Memorial Meeting

(August 1941)

Published: The Militant, Vol. V No. 35, 30 August 1941, pp. 3 & 5.
Source: PDF supplied by the Riazanov Library Project.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
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Comrade Chairman and Comrades:

In his theoretical elucidation of the post-Lenin reaction in Russia which swept the Stalinist bureaucracy into power, Comrade Trotsky referred to the history of revolutions and derived his thesis from that history. Revolutions throughout history, in the ebb and flow of history, have always been followed by counter-revolution, but the counter-revolution has never succeeded in throwing society back to the original point of departure of the revolution. Every revolution has signified a permanent advance of mankind’s social organization. Trotsky never departed from this thesis, but reiterated it at every new turn of events.

The reaction against the great French bourgeois revolution which, after Napoleon, went even so far as the restoration for a time of the monarchy, never succeeded in restoring feudal property relations, and consequently the revolution remained essentially victorious in spite of the long sweep of reaction against it. Capitalism was firmly established toy the initial victory of the bourgeois revolution.

Here in America there was a tremendous reaction against our second revolution in the Sixties, the revolution which overthrew chattel slavery. The reaction in the South went a long way in the years and decades following the military victory of the bourgeois North. The emancipated Negroes were virtually deprived of all political and social rights. But the reaction never went back so far as to restore private property in human beings which had been destroyed by the revolutionary victory of the Northern armies. Chattel slavery was not restored.

If we keep these historical facts and this thesis in mind, we can see more clearly beneath the superficial appearance of things and understand what is taking place in the Soviet Union, what is taking place in the world. Reaction set in against the Russian revolution about 1923. The terrible event that we commemorate tonight, the assassination of the great leader of the Russian revolution, was itself a product of that reaction, which is still sweeping the world today. But if we keep our theory in mind, if we understand the teachings of all the great Marxists that the march of history, in spite of everything, is forward and not backward, we can find our bearings even in these heavy days. And only we can do it.

Reaction of 1917 Repeated Today

In many respects one can find a certain analogy between events that are unfolding today, and those of 24 years ago this summer, when it seemed, indeed, that the blackest time had come. The World War had been raging in Europe for three years, devouring men by the million in the bloody battle-fields of the war. The apparently invincible conquering army of the German Kaiser was then, like Hitler’s army today, in occupation of the Ukraine. A stalemate had come in the war of the imperialist powers, and they poured out the blood of a million men in the madness of Verdun in an attempt to break it. The United States had formally entered the war and the mad, patriotic mob spirit was running rampant in this country. Raids on radical labor organizations were taking place and the Department of Justice, under the same J. Edgar Hoover who is framing us today, was preparing the indictments against the IWW which were to be announced ‘in the early part of September.

Then, out of the night of that black reaction, that time of desperation, a few months later came the brightest light the world had ever seen – the light of the October revolution in Russia. Since that time we have lived by that light. And the whole world, friends and foes, whether they liked it or not, have also lived under the sign of the Russian revolution of 1917. With that victory of the workers under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, the world revolutionary movement came to life again. The movement which had been beaten into the dust by the war and the capitulations and the betrayals of all the traditional leaders – then as now – the world revolutionary movement rose again, raised its head and began to recruit a whole new army of young people inspired by the Russian revolution.

We felt it here in this country. We began again on the fundamental premise, established and demonstrated in Russia: that the way out of the madness of capitalist war is by the revolutionary victory of the workers; that the workers can and will accomplish that victory and free the world, not only from war, but from the horrible, decaying system of capitalism that breeds the war.

Twenty-four years have passed since that time. Those who have remained on the fundamental premise I have just mentioned – the premise of the adherents of the Bolshevik revolution – they can understand events today better than others, and they can see the prospect of new advances throughout the darkness of the reaction. They understand that the reaction has set back but not yet overthrown the Russian revolution. Those faint-hearts, those traitors who said the Russian revolution has teen killed, that the Soviet Union is not worth defending, are being answered on the battle fields of Russia today by millions of men in arms. Millions of Soviet soldiers, pouring out their blood, say the revolution still lives and and even Hitler’s army can kill it! That is the meaning of this thing that is inexplicable to all the others, this tremendous Soviet morale. What did they all say? First, they said the two systems – fascism and Sovietism – are so interlocked that Russia and Germany make natural partners against the “democratic” world. We heard such a monstrous thesis in our own party a little more than a year ago. We were informed by no less an authority than the great Professor Burnham that we Trotskyists were a “left cover” for Hitler because we wanted to defend the Soviet Union unconditionally. Burnham and his retinue never dreamed of the war that was to burst with full fury two months ago.

Then, when it happened, there was one universal expectation, one common prediction. Nobody believed in the fighting capacities of the Soviet army except the Soviet workers themselves – and the Fourth Internationalists. Stalin didn’t believe in the fighting ability of the Red Army which he had beheaded. The only reason he didn’t capitulate to Hitler and give him all the concessions he wanted, is that he didn’t get a chance. Hitler thought it would be so easy to smash the Red Army, he didn’t bother to parley about it. All the statesmen and military experts expected and freely predicted a Russian collapse on the French pattern in a few weeks. What they all overlooked was the one most important and most fundamental element in war, the one that was elucidated by Comrade Trotsky in our last talk with him in Mexico, fourteen months ago, the element of morale.

In the course of our visit of a week or more – this was at the time when the great battle of France was raging, before Paris had not yet fallen – we asked him more than once to give us his opinion of the military prospects of that fight. And again and again he repeated, “It depends on the morale of the French army. If the French army really has the morale to fight, Hitler cannot win, not even if he comes as far as Paris.”

But the French soldiers did not have the morale to fight. That was explained in an article in our magazine, Fourth International as well as by many other correspondents. Our own comrade who was there and had intimate contact with great numbers of French people in the course of his journalistic duties, explained it about as follows: The French workers and the French soldiers, if you asked them if there wasn’t some difference between the Hitler regime and the rotting bourgeois democratic regime in France, would say, “Yes, there is a difference, but the difference is not worth dying for.” That was one reason for the catastrophic defeat of the French bourgeois army.

The Russian Revolution Is Still Alive

Those who made an equation between Fascist Germany and the Soviet Union could not understand the psychology of the Russian workers and peasants. You can write all the books, wiseacre theses, explaining there is no difference between the degenerated workers’ state in Russia and the fascist regime in Germany. But the Russian workers and peasants think there is a difference, and they think the difference is worth dying for. They know better than all the renegades, better than all those who have turned their backs on the Soviet Union in the hour of danger, the hour when people are really tested as to the value of their ideas, opinions, theories and promises.

Trotsky said, more than once, that the beginning of a war of imperialism against the Soviet Union would undoubtedly arouse a veritable outburst of genuine revolutionary patriotism and fighting spirit in the Russian masses. That is precisely what we have seen there. And as we wait breathlessly from day to day, and even from edition to edition of the newspapers, to see what is the further course, the further fate of the armies locked in combat, we know one thing for sure. We know that by their tremendous demonstration of fighting heroism, the Russian masses have said once again that the revolution in Russia is still alive, and still has the possibilities of reinspiring the world and grafting a new upsweep of progress which revolutionary victory alone can bring.

The reaction against the Russian revolution presented so many complexities, phenomena entirely new in history, that it was not easy to understand the real course of events and their meaning. The great service of Trotsky to humanity, to history, was that he EXPLAINED to the revolutionary vanguard of the world the complex processes of the degeneration of the workers’ state, of the rise of the privileged bureaucracy, of the reasons for it, and of what remained fundamental and secure in spite of the reaction of the bureaucracy. He explained it, he led the fight against the reaction, and even more than that, he organized on a world scale the nucleus of the revolutionary party of the future, which will complete the work which remained uncompleted in Russia. Trotsky’s crowning achievement was the foundation of the Fourth International.

Of the American Trotskyist Movement

Here in the United States since 1928 we have fought under the banner of Trotsky. Thirteen years ago we raised that banner here. It seems but yesterday. The fight has been so intense, so uninterrupted, so full of interest and passion, we have never had time to reminisce about it. For thirteen years we have waged our struggle, and I think it is now clear to everybody, to friend and foe on both sides of the class barricades – it is now clear to everybody that the movement founded on the program of Comrade Trotsky in this country thirteen years ago, which is represented today by the Socialist Workers Party, is the authentic movement of Bolshevism, the movement that remains true to the Russian Revolution of October 1917, to the people who led it, and to the principles embodied in it.

The one authentic movement is our party. The hatred of all traitors, of all deserters and renegades against Trotsky and the Trotskyists, confirms it. And it is now certified, so to speak, by the Department of Justice in Washington. Of all the parties and individuals in this country, the Roosevelt War Party, has singled out this group of disciples of Trotsky for special attention. Our organization is the first selected for persecution under the Smith Act and under another act passed in 1861 against the Southern Confederates.

We have suffered many blows since 1928. We have never lived or worked at any time without pressure upon us, without persecution against us, without hardships and material lacks. But a year ago today the hardest blow of all fell upon our movement in this country and the Fourth International throughout the world, including its Russian detachments. The hardest blow of all that could possibly be dealt to us was the assassination of Trotsky a year ago yesterday by an agent of the traitor and murderer, Stalin.

You remember when we gathered in the Memorial meeting a year ago, when we summoned all our courage and said, in spite of everything, we would survive that terrible blow because Trotsky had left us the program and the ideas and the example that will enable us to do it. Many people were skeptical. But we did survive. Just to have remained alive after such a calamitous loss, to have remained intact for a year, and not only in this country but on a world scale – that in itself would be a colossal achievement. But not only to have survived; to have made progress; to have gained in numbers and in activity – as we have done – that is the brightest promise for the future that this party which Comrade Trotsky founded cannot be destroyed!

Our Work Since Trotsky’s Death

In the past year we didn’t do sensational things, but we moved forward on every front. Our trade union work was developed, better organized, more widely extended; the party became more firmly established with a larger percentage of its members in the trade unions than ever before. Our press did not go down; it went forward – increased its circulation, increased its size, its effectiveness, its popularity, and its influence throughout the entire militant labor movement. Our organization grew a bit. We took a number of young men and developed them into professional organizers. We have today a bigger staff on the organizational side of the party than we ever had in our thirteen years.

We didn’t neglect our international obligations. Bearing in mind the more favorable position we occupy in the richest capitalist country in the world, we gave help to our Chinese comrades, to the refugees in Europe, to our comrades in Latin America – not by any means adequate, not by any means what we should have done, but more than we had been able to do before.

Mention has been made here tonight of our election campaign in New York. And indeed it is an epochal event that in the past year, on two occasions, we have raised the banner of Trotskyism in important selections. In Minnesota the Fourth Internationalists put a candidate in the field for United States Senate. They managed to get access to the radio, to carry on a fairly wide public activity, so as to arouse the interest of thousands of people and gain eight or nine thousand votes for Comrade Grace Carlson, Senatorial candidate of our party in Minnesota.

And now, if we are able for the first time to have a candidate on the ballot for mayor of New York, if on the eve of formal entry into the war and in the face of the indictments in Minnesota we are able to participate in the campaign with our own candidate on the ballot, we must say that for us it is a great step forward. It may not appear so important to others. If you judge things by comparative numbers, if you measure our party’s numerical strength beside that of LaGuardia and Tammany Hall, it may seem a little ridiculous that only a few thousand people vote for the program of the Fourth International. But only the superficial people, only philistines, say that; only those people who see today prolonged indefinitely into tomorrow.

I venture to say that we will get more votes in New York, proportionately, for the candidate of the Fourth International than the Bolsheviks got in Russia in their first elections. We do not expect to get great numbers of votes in this election. We expect to put our program on record. We expect to take advantage of the time that is left us between the filing of the candidates and the trial in Minnesota to make part of our public defense against their trial. Our “defense” will be to accuse the prosecutors of responsibility for the destruction of millions of human lives in the war; to proclaim the downfall of their system and the coming victory of socialism. That is our aim in the campaign.

Everything will naturally be concentrated on the question that dominates the world. That is, the question of the war which every month or so draws new territories and new peoples into its bloody vortex. This war is the expression of the incurable bankruptcy of an outlived system; that was the fundamental theme of Comrade Trotsky’s work in his last years – that capitalism is in its death agony. The great programmatic document of the Fourth International, adopted in the World Congress of 1938, written by him, bears that title, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Proletarian Revolution.

The War Clarifies All Issues

Comrade Trotsky never had the slightest confidence in the ability of world capitalism to escape from the war or to emerge from the war. He had no confidence in the ability of world capitalism to regain stability. He was not like those miserable social democrats, sceptics and renegades from radicalism. They are the only people who see a rosy future for capitalism. Not the capitalists themselves! Not in any of their parties or groups have they the slightest confidence; they live in fear of what the future will bring.

Trotsky said and repeated time and time again that the war will put an end to all pretenses, to all ambiguity; it will destroy all parties and groups which try to play tricks with principles and to cheat history. They will be demolished, there will not be left one stone upon another. International Stalinism and Social Democracy will be victims of the war which their betrayals made possible. And the “London Bureau,” that miserable centrist caricature which made its task in life to fight the “intransigence” of Trotskyism and its “sectarianism.” Where are their mass parties? Where is the mass party of the centrist London Bureau in the United States? It was represented once by a clique of bankrupt sharpers who never had any masses but were always issuing promissory notes to produce them in the future, the Lovestone group. Where are they now? I don’t think you could find them, because the group held a meeting and adopted a resolution to this effect: that the best thing We can do in the interest of socialism is to dissolve. And that was the first correct statement the Lovestoneites ever made.

I hear every week or so about some little pretentious sect that was more radical than Trotsky and bent on correcting the deviations of Trotsky, also, imitating the Lovestoneite example, “dissolving.” And others don’t even meet, they simply dissolve. And others make peace with capitalism, like the social democrats and the Stalinists. And others simply wither away, like the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas. We remain. We swim against the current. And that is not because of our personal superiority but because of the superiority of the program that we are organized to defend. Because we are the bona-fide representatives of the one viable political current in the world – the current that was released by the great Russian revolution of October 1917. The disciples of Trotsky are the people who really mean it when they say they defend the Russian revolution and its conquests. Our struggle against Stalinism has always been a struggle in behalf of the Russian revolution and all that it signifies.

Why The Trotskyists Have Been Indicted

Why, in the United States Senate, the other day, in that fountain-head of American political wisdom, you had the floor leader of the Roosevelt War Party explaining to the muddle-headed isolationists the difference between Stalin and Trotsky. And after all these years, even Barkley knows the difference. I am quoting from the Congressional Record of August 5, 1941. Senator Barkley said:

“hen they (the Russian people after the revolution of 1917) started out, they had a vague, fantastic notion that they would socialize or communize the world; and the fundamental difference between Stalin and Trotsky was over that question. Trotsky, as I understand the matter, was a world revolutionist, while Stalin took the position that the Russian Government owed its first duty to the Russian people ... the fight between Trotsky and Stalin revolved around the question whether they should undertake to revolutionize the world or should concentrate on Russia. Stalin won, and Trotsky had to leave the country.”

And they would not let Trotsky into this country because, while they never understood the difference quite so well before, they had a pretty good idea that Trotsky was the kind of a “counter-revolutionist” that would not do them any good.

We have been indicted. And the question is asked on all sides, why have they indicted the Trotskyists? Why didn’t they indict somebody else, or why did they indict anybody? Have they completely lost their heads in Washington? This is the theme of the social democrats and liberals, supporters of the Roosevelt administration, who want to sell the advanced workers a war for democracy, and are somewhat embarrassed by this attempt to scuttle democracy even before the war begins.

The Opposition to War That Won’t Stop

Well, we are indicted for definite reasons, for essentially the same reasons that they have indicted the proletarian revolutionists in the past. Not because of our numbers, not because of our immediate power, but for what we represent, and because of the masters’ fear of the future and the future things. They know in spite of all the noisy anti-war talk of the so-called isolationists, and pacifists, and Christian-Fronters and American-Firsters – they know that the only real and serious opposition to their imperialist war, the opposition that won’t stop when war begins, is represented by the Trotskyists.

They had an immediate occasion to attack us in Minneapolis as a result of a trade union conflict. One single union in the Teamsters International of 500,000, one union of 5,000 members, in a part of the country which is not decisive economically – it is on the edge of the prairie, it is away from the great industrial strategical centers – one single union came into conflict with President Roosevelt’s principal labor agent, Daniel Tobin, and left the Tobin organization and joined the CIO. And everybody in the country seems to understand, practically every newspaper that has commented on the matter mentions the fact, that the indictment represents a political favor to Tobin in his fight with Local 544-CIO. There is something in what they say. This is undoubtedly the immediate cause of the indictment.

But that doesn’t really explain the thing fundamentally at all. The question one must ask is, why did Tobin have a fight with the leaders of 544, and why did he try to drive them out of the union in Minneapolis? And then you come to the real nub of the matter. Tobin is a right-hand man of the Roosevelt administration, his chief “labor lieutenant,” and a member of the “Fight for Freedom, Inc.” – an organization which is campaigning for an immediate declaration of “shooting war.” Tobin couldn’t line up the Trotskyists in Minnesota for the war. The Trotskyists are that breed of people who don’t line up. They are stiff-necked about principle. And when Tobin tried to put the pressure on them to be good fellows, to get in line, and to go along “with the war,” they said, “No, we do not believe in your war. We are going to fight against it.” That was what prompted the struggle with Tobin which was followed by the indictments against us.

Roosevelt’s Precedent for the Indictment

There is a parallel in our American history for the prostitution off the presidential powers to help trade union conservatives against Radicals. In 1917 when the IWW was making some headway in different parts of the country as against the AFL, Gompers, who was the chief labor agent of Wilson in lining up the labor movement for the war, received as his price for support, the prosecution of the IWW. That was a notoriously known fact at the time. It was common gossip among labor leaders that Gompers finally “got” Haywood through the Department of Justice. I was reading Bill Haywood’s autobiography again the other night, and he refers to the same thing. This is the historic precedent for Roosevelt’s assistance to Tobin and the prosecution against us.

One of the counts in the indictment alleges that we advocate the formation of workers’ defense guards, and that where we have the opportunity, having sufficient union support, we actually organize such defense guards, who make it their business to declare war on fascist bands and train and drill the workers to fight fascism. That is true, and our policy is 100% correct. There isn’t any other anti-fascist tendency in the whole country that really intends to fight fascism. We do. The Minneapolis unionists did actually organize a defense guard.

Don’t think for a moment, however, that President Roosevelt and his Biddles in Washington are foolish enough to imagine one group of defense guards or 29 people were immediately threatening the government. No, that is a part of the frame-up. The ideas, and the knowledge that these ideas can really grow and become powerful when the conditions mature for them – that is what they are really shooting at. They want to put us in the penitentiary because we alone really proclaim the socialist society and summon the workers to fight for it. We alone counterpose to this bankrupt system of capitalism an alternative system of classless socialist society. That idea they want to outlaw.

Of course what they are doing is against the Bill of Rights, against that part of the Constitution, those amendments to it, which were designed to secure the rights of the people to free speech and a free press. The indictment violates the Constitution, violates democracy. But do not have any illusions that because it breaks their own Constitution, and because it breaks down their own pretensions to free speech and democracy, do not have any illusions that they are not going to go through with it. They are not interested in formality or consistency. They are interested in stamping out opposition to the war. They are interested in suppressing people who can’t be brought into line.

Why They Frame a Small Group

The Social Democrats don’t care very much about democracy except as a slogan to dupe the workers and farmers into a war in Europe. The Social Democrats who are supporters of Roosevelt, with a greater enthusiasm than Roosevelt himself in his sober moments could ever display, are somewhat at a loss to explain this indictment and they call it fantastic. “This little sect of 29 people are going to overthrow the government? Ridiculous!” – and so on. They would like to make a joke but of it and lull us with the idea that because in their eyes it is utterly fantastic, nothing will come of it. Well, I will tell you something. If we were strong enough to be a “real and present menace” to the government, Roosevelt wouldn’t be indicting us, he would have been disposed of a long time ago. If we were strong enough to threaten the Democrats or Republicans or the fascists, they would not be indicting 29 people, things would be at a far more serious pass, and the social crisis and the rise of fascism would have developed to a point where the transitory figure of Roosevelt would have been expunged from the political scene. The Social democratic philistines pretend not to know that revolutionists who are persecuted and put in prison are always minority groups, as a rule small minorities. When we get big enough, we won’t let them put us in prison.

The prosecution is no joke for us. The Haymarket martyrs represented a group no bigger than we. Sacco and Vanzetti represented a very small group. The IWW in 1917 was by no means a powerful, million-strong movement. Neither were the pioneer Communists in 1919–20. All the cases in American history of persecution, of workers being arrested and thrown into jail and penitentiaries for long terms have always been cases involving small groups; from the point of view of the relationship of forces, “fantastically” small.

The FBI is not joking in our case. They know very well that we were not “conspiring” to overthrow the government. That is the frame-up part of the indictment. And frame-up is an inseparable part of American bourgeois justice. Why, do you remember, it is just fifteen years ago tonight that Sacco and Vanzetti, two very good and honest friends of the working class, forfeited their lives to American justice? Fifteen years ago tonight they were put to death in Massachusetts on an absolutely false conviction for crimes they had no connection with.

The most outstanding cases of persecution of labor people, and unpopular sects in America have always been frame-ups. The real crime in our case is quite clear. It is only the sceptics, the wiseacres on the fringes of the movement, the apologists for the Roosevelt administration – only such people profess ignorance as to what it is all about. The prosecutors know what our real crime is. They have absent-mindedly put it in the indictment in one place; to remove any doubt. Paragraph 12 of the first count of the indictment gives the real crime of the SWP and the leaders of Local 544. If you haven’t read it, I advise you to read the whole indictment in the August issue of the Fourth International.

The Principles of Lenin and Trotsky

Paragraph 12 reads:

12. The said defendants and their co-conspirators would, and they did, accept as the ideal formula for the carrying out of their said objectives the Russian Revolution of 1917, whereby the then existing Government of Russia was overthrown by force and violence, and the principles, teachings, writings, counsel and advice of the leaders of that revolution, chiefly of V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, would be, and they were, looked to, relied on, followed and held out to others as catechisms and textbooks directing the manner and means by which the aforesaid aim of the defendants could, and would be, accomplished; and accordingly, certain of the defendants would, and they did, go from the City of Minneapolis, State and District of Minnesota, and from other cities in the United States to Mexico City, Mexico, there to advise with and to receive the advice, counsel, guidance, and directions of the said Leon Trotsky.”

Count 12 – that, is right. That point is no frameup. That is no false accusation. That is what they really accuse us of, and that is what we are really guilty of! And we are proud of it, and we are going to continue to be guilty of that crime as long as we live, whether we are in jail or out of jail!

“The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the advice and directions of Lenin and Trotsky” – yes, that is what we stand for. And that is the only way of salvation for America! We know we are right, arid we know that rtobody can stop us. No Roosevelt and no Biddle and their whole hypocritical treacherous gang can stop the march of history that is represented by the Fourth International. This rotten bourgeois deriiocracy, trying to crush our movement in this prosecution, will deal itself some blows from which it will never recover: It will be exposed in the eyes of tens of thousands of workers as a rotten, hypocritical fraud.

A year after Trotsky’s death we remember his words and we remain faithful to his teachings, inspired by his memory. We will have our say at the trial to Messrs. Roosevelt and Biddle and their war party. We will go into the court and answer to their indictments not as defendants but as accusers, accusers of them and of the system that they represent. We will put them on trial and accuse them of conspiracy against mankind by trying to plunge the people into another war, a war which will devour people by millions and destroy a large part of the cultural heritage of civilized people accumulated through so many centuries.

We shall go into the court confident because we Trotskyists have no doubt of our historic mission. We have no doubt of the destiny of the class we represent to be victorious. And we know we are the only party that can represent this class.

The Alernative: Socialism or Fascism

Comrade Trotsky himself had a vast contempt for all other political organizations whether bourgeois or petty-bourgeois or so-called workers parties. In our last meeting with him a little more than a year ago we took occasion to discuss these questions with him – how in spite of all their adaptation and compromises, the reformist and centrist parties couldn’t make any headway in this country. How the single party that showed continuous, even if modest, growth and stability, and retained its self -confidence, is our party – the party of Trotskyism. He said these other parties are completely hopeless because they all stand on ground that is crumbling away beneath their feet – the ground of bourgeois democracy, They do not stand on the rock of principle which alone could assure their future. They suffer by sympathetic action from all the diseases of bourgeois democracy and must perish with it. One blow of war can disperse their parties.

The real alternatives in America are Roosevelt’s party – or we. That is what Comrade Trotsky said to our delegation a year ago. And then he corrected himself and said that is not exactly precise. Because Roosevelt’s party is a transitory thing which will be ground to bits as the social crisis develops. The real alternative in America, the real show-down, will be between the American fascists and the American Fourth Internationalists.

We believe that, and we are sure of our right to victory. Historical progress is not finished, but on the contrary is only beginning. Comrade Trotsky taught us to believe that. He taught us to believe in man, and his communist future. The memory of Trotsky, of all that he was and all that he left to us; the man, the teacher, the comrade; the memory of Trotsky which we and those who come after us will keep forever green, is our strongest support, our greatest heritage. Holding on to that heritage, we ourselves are strong and invincible. We can face any persecution, we can face any foe, with confidence that the future belongs to us. The future belongs to the Fourth International which has the name of Trotsky written on its banner!

Last updated on 22 May 2016