Pierre Monatte 1920

Letter to Trotsky

Source: French Section of Marxists Internet Archive;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor, 2008;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2008.

March 13, 1920
Dear Friend:

I am taking a chance and confiding this hasty note to an American comrade. Will it reach you? I very much hope so.

What news can I give you that you don’t already have? You know that the socialist minority – I mean the fraction that marches with Loriot – has made much progress. Ours – the syndicalist minority – is much less apparent, but just as big, if not bigger.

At the Lyons Congress we had with us 588 unions, and among them those most powerful ones numerically. Our strength comes mostly from the railroad, metal and construction workers. As a sign of approval of the last strike, we hope to see our friends take the leadership of the railroad workers federation at the next congress at the end of April. In the metalworkers our numbers are strong in the largest centers, but Merrheim’s persistent influence and the springing up of numerous unions make the balance tip in the other direction.

Nevertheless, we are very hopeful. We currently have much sympathy on all sides. The period is past where we were a handful, but the crystallization of our scattered forces is not yet accomplished. It will be the work of events whose occurrence will not be delayed.

The economic crisis, which worsens from month to month, and the bourgeoisie, increasingly aggressive, are rendering all reformist attempts impracticable, which is what is causing Jouhaux’s and Merrheim’s difficulties.

The French working class will soon rediscover its revolutionary spirit. Our ideas, today like yesterday, rest upon yours. You fight for yourself and for us. We fight for you and ourselves, ashamed to have not done more and for still being so weak. But better days will come. They are coming. Your triumph prepares and announces ours. The revolution will soon cease to be Russian and will become European. Think a bit about us, who think about you every hour of the day and night.

A hearty embrace, my dear Trotsky, for you and your family.

P.S. R[osmer]’s health isn’t good. He is currently in the Midi, in Toulon. He is doing a little better. I don’t know when he’ll be able to return to work.