natalia in red
Natalia Sedova Trotsky

Natalia Sedova, Benjamin Péret & G. Munis

Open letter to the International Communist Party,
French section of the Fourth International

(June 1947)

Written: 24 April 1946.
Source: SWP Internal Bulletin, Vol. X No. 1, February 1948, pp. 22–33.
Copied from: The Escuela de marxismo Website.
Online Version: Natalia Sedova Internet Archive, April 2020.
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Esteemed Comrades:

Two years after the termination of the most devastating and reactionary war which history records, the French party faces a grave crisis, a concentrated expression of the crisis of the International, the latter in turn a reflection of the tremendous crisis the world labor movement is suffering each year more acutely. It is therefore necessary to judge the actual situation of the French party and to seek a solution in the operation of its two determinant causes, the Fourth International and the world labor movement

“The crisis of humanity,” we repeat a thousand times with L.D. Trotsky, “is a crisis of revolutionary leadership.” However many explanations may try to throw the responsibility for the defeat of the revolution on the objective conditions, the ideological backwardness or the delusions of the masses, on the potency of Stalinism or the illusory attractiveness of the “degenerated workers’ state,” they are erroneous and fit only for exculpating those responsible, diverting attention from the real problem and obstructing its solution. Given the state of the objective conditions today for the taking of power, an authentic revolutionary leadership must conquer all obstacles, overcome all difficulties, triumph over all adversaries. The condition of the party in France, center of Europe and even now the influential nucleus of the world is in no way satisfactory. To speak fully and explicitly, since it is necessary to speak fully and explicitly if we wish to make progress, the condition of the French party signifies for us, and consequently for the proletariat, the revolution and all of humanity; a major calamity. Having gone through an imperialist war which offered unsurpassable conditions for its transformation into Civil wars in the presence of an arch-reactionary policy of the Big Three conquerors; in the midst of a complete corruption of Stalinism and reformisms; with the decadence of capitalism which threatens to drag down the whole of humanity with it already begun; with a proletariat avid for social revolution in spite of the evanescence to which the Stalinist and reformist leaders subject it; the French party does not yet represent a hope for the masses. No subterfuge; the fault is in the political leadership. Remember the French revolution. In its culminating period it shot the generals guilty of defeat, rejecting extenuating and even exculpatory reasons, today we must mercilessly rout the policy and the exponents of the policy which brought about our defeat or even prevented triumph. Reasons much more imperious than those which compelled the French revolution to shoot the generals guilty of ineptitude demand this.

The world labor movement ought to have triumphed over the old capitalist world and the Russian counter-revolution during the imperialist war or immediately afterward. The war was simultaneously a result of the crisis of the world labor movement and the opportunity for its recovery and definitive victory. The ideological causes of the crisis and with them the organizations responsible for it should have been destroyed. But a reverse phenomenon has been produced. The organizations which caused and heightened the crisis have increased their organic power over the working class, binding it more strongly than before to the general system of the world counter-revolution. We, on the other hand, have nowhere attained the organic force, the ideological authority and the combative prestige which give a revolutionary party its qualification as such. This result cannot be in any way accidental and still less a product of the objective circumstances. The crisis of the world labor movement acquired official status in 1914, when the Second International deserted to the capitalist camp. The Russian Revolution, in 1917 vigorously started the recuperation. But shortly afterward the Stalinist Thermidor arrived to add its own factors of ideological crisis to the old reformist factor. Since then Stalinism has been continually deepening its degeneration, getting prestige from the country of the revolution and money and stringent orders from the caste which has destroyed that same revolution. The social-democratic desertion was serious, very serious, and costly to the proletariat, but the intransigence of the Bolsheviks diminished its importance and the triumph of the Russian proletariat doomed it to a certain and early defeat. By turning against tho Russian Revolution and chaining to itself the Third International, the Stalinist Thermidor coincided with the social-democratic desertion, obstructed the complete recuperation of the workers! movement and immediately itself deepened the crisis. From the Chinese Revolution to the Spanish Revolution, Stalinist foreign policy runs its degenerative cycle, which begins in complicity (ideological opportunism) with the petty-bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie of the Kuomintang and culminates in the destruction by its own hand (capitalist reaction) of a triumphant revolution, that of July 19, 1936. In this cycle there is a duplication of the evolution of Stalinist Thermidor in Russia which goes from the suppression of proletarian democracy and the Left Opposition tn the extermination of the Bolshevik Old Guard and tens of thousands of militants, the Moscow Trials and the assassination of Trotsky, a retarded effect of the trials. The Russian government and its external appendage, world Stalinism, left the old social-democracy far behind, both having converted themselves, closely united, into the most powerful and dangerous cause of the crisis of the world labor movement. A cause which, furthermore, has at its disposal the GPU, a police force internationally organized and subsidized with millions!

The first point to understand in the world situation, without which understanding all the rest becomes fogged and action grows sterile, is that the present Russian state and government, far from having as its base or carrying along with it any remnant whatsoever of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, represents in respect to the latter the most ferocious and complete counter-revolution. By itself, alone the present Russian government has contributed much more to the defeat of the world revolution and to the state of prostration of the masses than all the old capitalist governments together. Yes, the politics of Russia, and world Stalinism, image of its economic interests, dishearten human hopes and aspirations much more severely than the finance capital of Wall Street and the City with their respective armies and police forces. Without Moscow and world Stalinism, the imperialist war would either not have begun, that is, it would have been prevented by the European Revolution, or it would have been rapidly and victoriously transformed into civil war. The spontaneous action of the masses under the Nazi occupation moved in the latter direction, but Stalinism and world capitalism, in a formidable show of unity, detoured them to the support of the imperialist war by means of nationalist movements. Thus we find ourselves today facing the most complete and reactionary domination of the world by the victorious Big Three, which means the continual threat of a new imperialist war and gives the masses a bitter sensation of frustration, a pledge of Stalinist and reformist domination. The crisis of the world labor movement thereby resolves itself into Stalinism’s organic capacity (social democracy is completely secondary) to nail the activity of the masses during and after the war into the sarcophagus built jointly in spite of their quarrels, by the old imperialisms and the Russian counter-revolution.

In its quality as regenerating nucleus, the Fourth International ought to have developed as the world party fighting for the transformation of the imperialist war into civil war and adapted its tactics, general arguments and slogans to the changes which were produced or clearly manifested during the war. Mistakes uncorrected in any of these aspects and persistence in tactics and slogans superseded by events must inevitably have resulted in grave political and organic injury to the International. It cannot be doubted for a single instant that the latter is the principal cause of our feeble development and the particular crisis which the International is undergoing, a crisis expressed by diverse tendencies and sub-tendencies with points of view contradictory and even radically opposed on the most important problems. Yes, the International, or its principal parties in the period in which it did not exist as a directing center, have committed grave errors and persisted in slogans which ought to have been abandoned. But the major error is that to this very day it does not appear disposed to correct past mistakes and to abandon outlived slogans. And against this everyone must be alert, because it could prove disastrous.

Let us take the main problems in chronological order.

The fight against imperialist war

One can scarcely speak of the International in respect to this, because the international center, isolated, cut off from any contact with all the sections in Europe and Asia, was practically non-existent. But it is possible to speak, on the other hand, of the principal parties. The most visible of them all, the one which by its geographic position, its economic resources, its conditions of legality and its capacity to influence and attract, appeared automatically as exponent of the policy of the Fourth International, did that party maintain an intransigent revolutionary and internationalist attitude toward the imperialist war? Did it wage the necessary struggle against it? No, categorically no. Any other reply would only serve to render difficult a positive solution to our difficulties, if not to aggravate then. Faced with war, the American party had an opportunist attitude similar to that of centrism, not to that which must be ours. It itself defined this as non-support, transformation of the imperialist war into a genuine war against fascism, political opposition, etc. ... and in general, abstained from agitation and specific action against the war, as much in the rearguard, as in the vanguard. And the policy of this party appeared before the world for years as the official policy of the Fourth International! Furthermore, what then existed as an international center accepted it tacitly as sound. Evidently, the policy of the American party led all of the groups of the Fourth International in the world toward opportunism. By following its example, or at least taking shelter behind it, the English party itself, although in general to the left of the American party, weakened its policy toward war in a centrist fashion.

There were other opportunist manifestations, but we do not consider it necessary to speak of them here, it is sufficient to point to the fact for later discussions. Did our principal parties on the European continent maintain a completely internationalist attitude toward the war? There is nothing to reproach them with, up to the Hitlerite occupation. From then onwards, their policy is almost entirely unknown to us and therefore we wish to assert nothing one way or the other. We must note, nevertheless, that diverse indications and some documents suggest, in the French party, for example, the existence of non-internationalist attitudes. The comrades who continued the general struggle for the revolution around our ideas under frightful conditions during the occupation have become the creditors of the esteem and admiration of the entire International. To all of them, the fallen and those who survive, go our sincerest respect and friendship. This itself obliges us to point cut mistakes which today obstruct the growth of the organization and revolutionary progress in general. In order positively to resolve its crisis and to help to resolve that of the International, the French party must analyze its own conduct and that of the International during the imperialist war and condemn all opportunisms and vacillations.

The most serious error in this field proceeds from the new world leadership elected in the pre-Conference of April 1946. To date, more than a year having elapsed it has not arranged for a discussion of the politics of the principal parties during the imperialist war. Its error is all the more unpardonable since it had at its disposal from the instant of its formation important documents with which to open the discussion. Its error can be all the more fatal for our movement in so far as this new leadership resists placing as the first point on the agenda for the world Congress in preparation the attitude of our principal parties toward the imperialist war and the national movements. An error can be serious or even very serious; but a party which knows how to correct it will continue to progress toward the revolution. An uncorrected error produces theoretical consumption organic ossification, annulment, sooner or later. The Fourth International would demonstrate its inability to take itself seriously if, when the Congress is held, it did not place in the foreground the attitude of its parties toward the imperialist war and did not severely condemn the opportunisms manifested in its ranks. We are certain that the parties and groups will knew how to react.

The movements of national resistance under the Hitlerite occupation

There are positions of all shades in the International, from those who have openly supported the Committees of Resistance, demanding the entry of our parties into them, to those who opposed any compromise with them, leaving aside those who favored them more or less surreptitiously. Because the occupation – yesterday by the German troops, today by the Yankee, Russian and English – is a new phenomenon posed for the labor movement by the decomposition of capitalism, up to a certain point it was natural that many varied positions should arise in our ranks. They would certainly have appeared even supposing that all our parties had maintained an integrally internationalist attitude. But the latter has not been the cases; instead there have been opportunist tendencies which discarded revolutionary defeatism and internationalist tendencies which maintained it in every instance. All of the positions which arose round about the national movements can be catalogued under these headings, The opportunist tendencies supported and pronounced themselves more or less in favor, and the internationalist tendencies decidedly against. The former considered the fight against the occupation as a function of “the anti-fascist war”; the latter as a function of the imperialist war. As a consequence, the former saw in the resistance movements a positive element in the struggle against fascism, and the others an element of return to the imperialist war which the peoples had begun to transform into civil war. One group supported guerrilla warfare and sabotage, instruments of the national movements, while the other combated them as nationalist methods incompatible with the supreme objective of transforming the imperialist war into international Civil War.

The problem is not one of exclusively retrospective merit, the attitude taken today toward Russian and world Stalinism depends in great measure on the attitude taken previously toward the national movements, of which Stalinism was everywhere the principal inspirer, from Poland and Yugoslavia to France and Belgium. Even today Europe is totally occupied by the Big Three, It is therefore absolutely impossible to have a correct attitude toward the occupation by the Big Three without correcting the mistakes committed during the German occupation, because the occupation, despite quantitative differences, is not a characteristic result of this or that imperialism, but of imperialism as a world factor in the present epoch, the Russian counter-revolution being included under the imperialist denomination. The problem is indissolubly linked with that of the imperialist war and therefore both ought to be at the top of the discussion in each party and in the future World Congress. Without correcting the errors committed in these aspects we shall never be a genuine world revolutionary party and any organic progress will slip through our fingers as so much has slipped through the fingers of the centrist parties.

Unconditional Defense of the USSR

It is not, as some tendencies unfortunately seem to consider it, absolutely consubstantial with our movement. The criterion which has always determined our attitude toward this problem is: does the defense of the USSR in a war against foreign enemies help or hinder the world revolution? The answer depended naturally on the criterion held as to the social nature of the USSR, whether something of the October Revolution did or did not remain which merited its defense. It is impossible for us to analyze this problem here. We must proceed by declarations since we are attempting solely to make the entire International think and discuss. The development of Russian foreign policy while the armies of the Kremlin were advancing toward the west revealed a more and more acute contradiction with the degenerated workers state idea based on the remnants of the proletarian revolution, on which rested the idea of unconditional defense. With deep distress, because the world leadership is a part of our organization, a part of ourselves, we cannot refrain from saying that the International Secretariat failed in its most elemental duties by not bringing up for discussion on the day following its constitution the question of whether the “unconditional defense of the USSR” continued to be favorable to the world revolution or whether it seemed incompatible with it in the light of the tremendous supervening events. The IS simply ignored the tremendous events and continued tacitly to accept unconditional defense as sufficient, in which acceptance it devoted itself to influencing the International. Without doing anything here besides making assertions, we repeat, we declare to you, comrades of the French party, comrades of the International, that the “unconditional defense of the USSR” has revealed itself to be incompatible with the defense of the world revolution. Abandonment of the defense of Russia is of utmost urgency, because it is fettering all of our movements, blunting our theoretical progress and giving us in the eyes of the masses a stalinoid physiognomy. It is impossible to defend Russia and the world revolution at the same time. Either one or the other. We pronounce ourselves for the world revolution, against the defense of Russia, and we ask you to pronounce yourselves in the same way. Be careful, above all, of those tendencies which hide their opportunism towards the imperialist war and the present situation by boasting about their fidelity to the program of the Fourth International on the Russian question! A fidelity of this kind is a destructive fidelity, similar to that of the “old Bolsheviks” in 1917 in respect to the old theory, completely Bolshevik, of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry toward which Lenin appeared as a revisionist. In order to remain faithful to the revolutionary tradition of bolshevism, Lenin broke with essential ideas of bolshevism, effecting a prior revolution in his party which made possible the October revolution. In order to be faithful to the revolutionary tradition cf the Fourth International, we must abandon the Trotskyist theory of the defense of the USSR we shall thus bring about in the International an ideological revolution indispensable for the success of the world revolution.

This is, beyond doubt, the most important question in dispute inside our movement, because all else depends upon it, in greater or less degree, if the tendency opposed to the defense of Russia can be accused of revisionism, its revisionism has the same character as Lenin’s revisionism in 1917. On the other hand, out of the tendency supporting the defense of Russia if it does not rectify itself, will emerge a new reformism, such as was already emerging from the “old bolsheviks” when Lenin intervened with his April theses. In fact, the supporters of defense come to the conclusion that the counter-revolutionary Russian caste, upon entering the countries of western Europe and Asia, “is obliged” to expropriate capitalism and put the economy on the road of adaptation to the forms of property existing in Russia, forms which they themselves still consider socialist, produced by the revolution. When Thorez, Togliatti and other Stalinist leaders referred to the “new routes” offered by achieving socialism without the need of revolution, they had in mind, grosso modo, this same idea. But the supposed expropriation of capitalism consists in nationalization – whether more or less complete, with or without indemnification, is not important – of the means of production, On one hand, the nationalization is an automatic result of the concentration of capitalism in its epoch of involution, that is to say, degeneration and decay. On the other hand, years ago the European proletariat became master of the means of production, by nationalizing these means the Russians performed – as did also the English and Americans, either by this procedure or by giving them back to private capitalists – an operation of expropriation of the proletariat. And thus it is that tho supporters of “unconditional defense” have presented the expropriation of the proletariat, carried out by Russian troops with the aid of the Stalinist parties and reformists, as a progressive act, almost revolutionary, something which the proletariat should defend. Herein is contained potentially – to say the least – a completely reformist tendency.

Stalinists-Reformist Governments and United Fronts with Stalinism

In France this idea is expressed concretely by the slogan of a CP-SP-CGT government, held in common by the Craipeau and Frank factions, which in addition share the potentially reformist theory of the defense of Russia and the majority of the ideas which are injurious to the French party.

On this question we must limit ourselves to declarations also since the analysis of each problem would not enter into the scope of an open letter. In its entirety, the petition on this slogan depends on the position on the defense of Russia, and in a more general way on the valuation of the present conditions of capitalism and the state of consciousness of the masses. When in 1917 the Bolsheviks enunciated the idea of a Menshevik government (oust the capitalist ministers from the government), they did it by taking into account on the one hand the deluded faith which the masses at that moment had in the Mensheviks and in bourgeois democracy; on the other hand they took into account the nature of the contradictions between the Mensheviks and the old classes which would cause the former, willy-nilly, to grant greater liberties to the masses and to the revolutionary vanguard in particular, which would allow the masses to condense their experience in organic forms and rise to higher stages of struggle. The existence of the soviets, legally allowed by the Kerensky government and in which the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Bolsheviks participated in a united front, permitted this development.

Do such conditions exist today? Decidedly not, as regards social democracy, and much more decidedly as regards Stalinism. We do not believe it necessary to point out here the conservative evolution of social democracy in recent years. It has been simply a case of going from bad to worse.

Stalinism is today a thousand times more dangerous for the revolution because it represents the ideas and interests of a triumphant counter-revolution in Russia which offers the world and more immediately Europe, its experience, its power and its particular solution against the proletariat on the march toward socialism. The Stalinist parties are today mere representatives and disciples of the counter-revolution installed in the Kremlin. Compared with them, the Mensheviks of 1917 were very revolutionary. The slogans of united front and government of the workers’ leaders constituted in Russia a whole at once inseparable from and derived from the forms of proletarian democracy existing in the soviets, which – this is of the utmost importance – were created and maintained with the collaboration of Mensheviks and revolutionary socialists. Stalinism is today absolutely incompatible with any proletarian democracy. Wherever organs of revolutionary power have emerged, from Spain to Warsaw, Paris and Milan, it has hastened to destroy them. Stalinism cannot allow the revolutionaries to speak. The tactic of a united front with it and the CP-SP-CGI government cannot facilitate in any way the creation of organs of democracy and proletarian power, and any government that is Stalinist or under Stalinist influence brings with it an imperious tendency to annihilate physically the revolutionary vanguard. It is therefore urgently necessary that the PCI and our international movement withdraw these two now outmoded slogans. Is not the example of eastern Europe eloquent?

On the other hand, the proletariat today does not suffer from any real delusions about bourgeois-democracy, social-democracy or Stalinism. What it does suffer from is the fact of finding itself imprisoned in the organic apparati of both tendencies, Stalinism first and foremost. The non-existence of a revolutionary organization which would inspire it with confidence and combative sureness contributes more than a little to this, that is, our actual policy contributes directly or indirectly. Yesterday it was indispensable for the proletariat to go through the experiences of governments set up by the leaders of the traditional organizations in order to understand that the revolution was the only possible way out. Not today; you have to cover your eyes obstinately with your hands not to see it. The experience has been long and painful. The proletariat understands that there is no solution to its problems other than the revolution, but it is pessimistic and somewhat inert in the hands of the traditional organizations because it sees no other organization which offers serious possibilities of making this revolution. It would hardly break away from this pessimism and inertia if we, to whom it looks with a little hope, without our succeeding in inspiring it with the necessary confidence to take action, say that it ought nevertheless to see a Thorez government. Let us hope it will never see it! In order to inspire confidence in the proletariat and persuade it to action and to a break with the organizations which imprison it, the thing most indicated would be the creation of a united front of all those minority labor organizations which oppose class collaboration and are supporters of the revolution and proletarian democracy in general, thus the proletariat would see a relatively solid nucleus which would break the asphyxiating circle drawn around it by Stalinism and reformism.

To sum up, the slogan of a CP-SP-CGT government such as has been used in France, the call for a Stalinist-reformist government in general, is today entirely false and will serve only to hold back the masses where they are, and also – it is painful but necessary to say it – develop the new potentially reformist tendencies existing in the Fourth International. We cannot refrain from telling you, comrades of the International Communist Party of France, that the crisis of your party in particular and that of the International in general will not be solved positively by supporting the Frank faction against the Craipeau faction, but rather by supporting the two factions which are against the defense of Russia and against the slogan of a CP-SP-CGT government. Fidelity to Trotskyism is not fidelity to the written word, but to the revolutionary spirit of Trotskyism. Between the two factions which today appear the strongest in France, the least bad will be that which offers the party a more democratic regime allowing it to carry out the political changes indispensable today through the widest and most democratic discussion.


From all the foregoing, our opposition to the slogan of nationalization can be logically deduced, It also belongs in the realm of the written word, and far from expressing fidelity to the revolutionary Trotskyist tradition, it expresses or at least aids that which we have designated above as the new potential reformism. In revolutionary movements, nationalizations have served the Russian counter-revolution as well as the counter-revolution of the purest bourgeois derivation to expropriate the proletariat as it was taking possession of the instruments of production, and in moments of passivity of the masses, to concentrate the property in the hands of the state, religious fetish and oppressor par excellence, so as to make strikes difficult, restrict democracy (Stalinist-reformist police in the French factories) and begin the creation of a corporative order. Against this senile slogan we must hoist that of the expropriation of capitalism and destruction of its State by democratically elected workers’ committees. Every one of the situations and conflicts which arises between the proletariat and capitalism must reinforce in the workers the idea that nationalizations far from favoring their interests and those of the revolution in general, only aggravate the situation. The slogan of expropriation must become more comprehensible to the proletariat all the time. We believe that, in so far as its general meaning is concerned, it is already so.

The International has not had a revolutionary policy during the war, more exactly, it has had no policy. It slept while its most visible parties, principally the SWP followed an entirely opportunist policy of “revolutionary triumphism” toward the war at the same time that they pretended to set themselves up as trustees of fidelity to the program (what part of the program is more important than the struggle against war?), raising as their camp colors the defense of Russia above all else. We tell these tendencies which are not absent from the French party, that they have violated the most essential part of the program and that only a thorough, honest and critically undertaken correction will permit them to speak of fidelity to the program without sowing confusion. But there are also other tendencies whose fidelity to the program is more “genuine” who ought to keep a watch on themselves, for they run the risk of facilitating the International’s remaining in the hands of the most opportunist tendencies which are dangerous on account of their organic strength – and this would, very probably, mean its ideological death. Our program must be adapted to the gigantic changes brought about by the war. It is here where fidelity to it lies and not in unchanging repetition, and even less in partial repetition, discarding revolutionary defeatism and interpreting the rest in right-wing fashion.

The criminal destruction of the Spanish revolution principally at the hands of Stalinism and the subsequent beginning of the imperialist war mark the end of a stage which opened with the end of the former imperialist war and the triumph of the Russian revolution. Everything has undergone changes of great importance, the old capitalism and Stalinist Russia, the general attitude of the masses and their ideas or beliefs with respect to bourgeois democracy and traditional organizations. Europe is a vast prison, a torture-camp whose guards and torturers are sometimes German or Italian at other times Russian, American, English or French. A new stage has appeared in the implacable struggle of our epoch to find a revolutionary solution to its conflicts. Our program cannot be exactly the same as in the former stage. If it is to continue being equally revolutionary, it must be modified.

We do not doubt for a single instant that the fundamental cause of the crisis in the French party and the International can be summed up in the opportunisms of yesterday toward the imperialist war and the resistance movements plus ideological inertia in changing in time what needed to be changed. Today this inertia continues in full on the part of the new world leadership. The crisis will only be aggravated if it is not solved by adopting the changes indicated in this letter.

The Frank faction has had the party occupied for nearly a month in discussing an article entitled The Party in Danger. As a matter of fact, the French party is in danger. But its crisis, as we pointed out at the beginning, is an expression of the crisis of the International, in turn connected with that of the labor movement. It is a problem of very concrete ideas and slogans of -which the principal ones are explained in this document. The Frank faction is fully co-responsible for the crisis of the French party and of the International, and the PCI would be in as much or more danger if its leadership passed from the Craipeau faction to that of Frank. The danger stems from all these tendencies which have shown themselves indulgent toward the opportunisms committed during the war by the American party or by any other, and who continue to proclaim themselves supporters of the defense of Russia, a Stalinist-reformist government, a united front with Stalinism and nationalizations. The most important of those tendencies internationally, to which has been added the Frank faction, are the same which had an anti-fascist attitude and not an internationalist during the war. In no decisive aspect does the Frank faction differentiate itself from the Craipeau faction. Their real differences do not even merit separation into distinct factions. If one is opportunistic toward Stalinism, the other is opportunist toward Stalinism; if one finds something progressive in the counter-revolution of the Kremlin, the other also, etc. They are indiscriminately part of the right-wing of the International.

The next congress of the International Communist party will have enormous importance for the future of our world movement. It is necessary that the problems posed here be duly discussed in order to save the party, it is necessary that the entire party, including the Craipeau and Frank factions, realize the urgency of radically changing their positions on the points herein indicated; it is necessary to reconsider our transitional program in general and to put ourselves in a position energetically to aid the International in effecting its own ideological revolution. Whatever the divergences are between the two factions opposed to the defense of Russia and the slogan of a Stalinist-reformist government, through them can be glimpsed a positive solution to the crisis of the French party, a most important premise for solving the crisis of the International. It is the duty of these two factions to get along together and not help false left-wings in the International.

Once mores: fidelity to Trotskyism is not the literal repetition of what Trotskyism said yesterday, even supposing it were not distorted in a right-wing manner. Fidelity to Trotskyism is the firm, sincere, and courageous rectification of some of the assertions it made yesterday. The revolution also is revolutionary; it requires shifts, modifications and radical negations of its own former assertions. Yes, the revolution is also revolutionary!

Down with “Trotskyist” conservatism! Down with “Trotskyist” fetishism! Out with “unconditional defense” of the USSR! For an ideologically firm and renewed International! Long live the French proletarian revolution! Long live the world revolution! Long live the Fourth International!


Natalia Sedova-Trotsky, Benjamin Peret, G. Munis
Mexico, D.F., June 1947

Natalia Sedova ArchiveMarxist Writers Archive

Write Natalia Sedova Archive Administator

Last updated on: 6 April 2020