Josip Broz Tito

Trotskyism and Its Helpers

Written: 1939
Source: Josip Broz Tito "Sabrana djela", tom 4
Publisher: "Komunist" et al. (Beograd, Zagreb), 1982.
Translation: Zdravko Saveski (with Mike Bessler)
HTML Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online version: January 2007

For the purpose of performing its subversive activities in different organizations of the working class and in the other democratic parties and organizations, Trotskyism operates in different shapes, but always with one goal – to clear the road for the fascist-imperialist bandits.

When they conduct espionage and implement sabotages, diversions and other verminous activities in the USSR, the Trotskyist bandits and their disciples act for defeat of the USSR, for destruction of the country of socialism, the bastion of the international proletariat, the protector of the small nations and the biggest champion of peace. In China, the Trotskyists perform espionage service at the Japanese headquarters. There, those bandits change their clothes with the uniforms of the 8th Popular Army, kill and rob the peasants and the commanders of the 8th Army, deliver military plans to the Japanese conquerors and are trying by all means to make difficult the liberation struggle of the Chinese people. In Spain, the Trotskyists were the soul of the Fifth Column, they caused mutinies in the rear of the Republican People’s Army whenever Franco faced dangers on the front. And nowadays, lastly, when the generals [José] Miaja, [Segismundo] Casado and others were preparing treasonable surrender of the Republican Spain to the butcher Franco, the Trotskyists were the first who have helped that surrender and have targeted the Communists, who resisted that treason. They were operating as devoted servants of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler; they have helped the enslavement of the Spanish people.

During the occupation of Czechoslovakia the Belgrade Trotskyists were against the defense of Czechoslovakia. Now, in general, Trotskyists in every country have taken the mask of “pacifism” and conduct tireless struggle against the organizations of the resistance to the Fascist conquerors. In Slovenia and in other regions of our country, in these hard hours, they spread panics among the people, kill the faith in people that is capable to defend itself. Allegedly, they are against the bloodshed, but in reality they thus prepare the ground for the Fascist bandits to destroy freedom and independence of whole peoples without resistance. Espionage, diversions, provocations, murders, sabotages, denunciations – these are the forms of activity of the Trotskyist bandits. Breaking apart the single front of the working class, breaking apart the Popular Front and preventing the assemblance of the popular masses for defense of its independence – these are the tasks the Trotskyist bandits have received from their masters – the Fascist conquerors.

But the Trotskyists don’t operate so transparently that everyone can instantly read their intention. The first thing they do is camouflage themselves with revolutionary phraseology. If they are camouflaged in the Party or around the Party, then they in words accept the party line and declare their faithfulness to it, but they are doing so to conduct their job more easily: spreading demoralization in the Party, espionage for the enemy, denunciations of distinguished comrades, support and stimulation of unhealthy ambitions among various unhealthy elements, creation of factionalism with an intention of weakening the Party in that way etc.

But, the Trotskyists operate through literature too. Allegedly from some “scientific” aspect, they are causing confusion in the heads, especially of the young intellectuals and of some workers with their writings. Among us, the Trotskyists advance under the sign of revision of Marxism and Leninism. Some Richtmann[1] and company insist now on resurrection anew of the ruined theory of [Ernst] Mach, which Lenin has smashed into peaces in his book “[Materialism and] Empiriocriticism”. Some of our journals[2] are giving hospitality to types such as the surrealist Marko Ristić,[3] intimate friend of the Paris Trotskyist and bourgeois degenerate person [André] Breton. To that Ristić, who wanted to “enrich and complement” Marxism with Surrealism and who, nowadays, secretly denunciates the USSR and its popular culture, who publicly writes that the Spanish people have struggled for a dream, for outgrowth of subconscious, that Majakovsky and Yesenin have killed themselves because they have been alienated from the Russian reality (they were disappointed) etc. Hospitality is given to Richtmann, who has started with “corrections” of Engels’ and Lenin’s understanding of dialectics in nature, and has ended denunciating their best successor Stalin and defending the Hitler’s agent Bukharin. Or, for example, V. Bogdanov,[4] who has given shameless statements before police and court in 1929, and nowadays is trying to revise the Marx’s and Engels’ stance from 1848, a man who tirelessly and very craftily conducts his subversive labour on working class’s damage. These men and those like them, about whom we shall talk more if there is a need, conduct very craftily their destructive labour in the form of literary creation. For almost three years the courageous Spanish people were fighting for their independence and freedom. The progressive and democratic intelligentsia of the whole world insisted on helping somehow with that struggle, but these people were mute whole the time, as if this struggle doesn’t concern them.

It is very important that exactly from those cycles came the angriest attacks against the stance that the working class should put its independent candidates on the list of Dr. Maček[5] during the elections of December 11th, 1938. It can be seen clearly from this that the destructive labour of these intellectuals isn’t limited to the literary field, but it is in politics too. This was a clear Trotskyist attack against the working class and our Party by some intellectuals who hide their Trotskyist face from the working class of Yugoslavia, because they know that it hates Trotskyism like plague. The Trotskyists are very eagerly using weapons like denunciation and discreditation in the public of comrades about whom they know that have some functions in the movement. Thus, they have made up that some comrade has stolen money from the Party in Montenegro without it being known, and they as “devoted” party members are obliged to inform about it. But, of course, they inform about it in corners, in cafés, and everyone whom they met. Furthermore, the Trotskyists conduct diverse provocations on the Communists’ account. They put shit on icons and churches in Montenegro and spread [rumors] among people that it is a Party directive.[6] Such provocations are frequent phenomena in other regions too, and all is done with a goal of causing discontent against our Party among the people.

The activities of the Trotskyists as Fascist agents are especially felt during severe political shocks. They assemble around themselves all political desperados, former capitulators, liquidators and traitors. Those elements under Trotskyist influence are activating themselves, of course, in the struggle against the Party. They emphasize “political” and “ideological” differences with it. Vaso Srzentić,[7] for example, has left our movement from liquidator reasons and he is now denouncing the USSR, Comintern and our Party on the most disgustful manner. The traitors from the so called Montenegrin process from 1936 (Kosta Ćufka and others)[8] nowadays start struggle against the Party and its policy, putting obstacles on every step. In Dalmatia some elements under influence of Trotskyists and their helpers from abroad are starting anew with factional struggles among themselves and the struggle against the Party. They don’t relent under Party decisions and conduct struggle against its functionaries. It is clear that in the future we’ll have to publish the names of all those men, so the honest workers and party members would know who those people are and whom they serve.

There can be successful struggle against Trotskyism, which is a form of Fascism, only if every party member every time knows to notice every phenomenon that leads to Trotskyism, whom they serve and are creating fertile soil for its subversive and verminious labour. Every factionalism, indiscipline, unhealthy criticism, denunciation, liberalism to known Trotskyists, vacillation in the struggle against them, vacillation in the struggle against all above mentioned phenomena, hypocrisy etc. is the most fertile soil for successful labour of Trotskyism.

It is necessary that our comrades and sympathizers in the struggle against Trotskyism keep in mind these matters:

The alien and rotten theory that is spread by the Fascists, sometimes also by various insincere reactionaries, social democratic and democratic elements, claiming that the struggle against Trotskyism in reality is ideological struggle between two currents in the workers movement, should be rejected. Today, Trotskyism isn’t an ideological current anymore; it is gang of spies, saboteurs and murderers, it is a form of Fascism, its avant-garde; instrument of the war provocateurs, the enemies of democracy, freedom and human progress. There is no struggle against Fascism without struggle against its Trotskyist form. That is why the Party should mobilize against Trotskyism not only the whole party membership, but also all sincere antifascists, all friends of culture and progress.

To make the struggle against that contamination more successful it is necessary to raise the theoretical level of the membership. It is necessary to inform the membership, sympathizers and all the friends of freedom, democracy and progress about the real essence of Trotskyism. The line of our Party should be learnt and Leninist-Stalinist persistence and consistence should be shown in the struggle against all deviations. There should be more personal self-initiative and resoluteness in the struggle against various Trotskyist and semi-Trotskyist elements; against all that creates a ground for Trotskyism. Every member of the Party should develop a Bolshevik alertness not only in the Party, but everywhere they operate: in trade unions, in various cultural and sport organizations, and should unmask the Trotskyist agents and provocateurs before workers and the other democratic strata of people. The actions against the Trotskyists should be implemented not only half-legally, but also through the press, lectures etc. in various workers, democratic, cultural and other organizations.

Giving several examples of the destructive labour of the Trotskyists and the necessity of struggle against them, at the same time we have to emphasize that it would be harmful for the Party and for the assemblance of all honest and democratic elements for struggle against the Fascist danger if we put in one Trotskyist basket everybody who really from ignorance and uninformedness makes some mistake, or by time falls under influence of the Trotskyist elements. Their mistakes and delusions should be patiently explained to them, they should be helped to get acquainted with the real essence of Trotskyism and the methods of their destructive labour.

Cleaning the rows of our Party from all Trotskyist and semi-Trotskyist elements, in the same time we are obliged to conduct struggle for expulsion of Trotskyists and their helpers from all other workers and democratic popular organizations, because in that way we shall secure the unity of the working class and we shall contribute to the victory of peace, democracy, freedom, independence and brotherhood among peoples of Yugoslavia.


Translator’s Notes

[1] Zvonimir Richtmann (1902 – 1941) was a Croat physicist. From 1932 to 1940 he published several articles, for which he has accused of being adherent of Machism. In 1941 Richtmann was arrested by the Croatian Ustashas, imprisoned in the Kerestinec camp and then shot.

[2] The allusion is primarily directed towards the journal “Pečat”, edited by Miroslav Krleža, the most important Communist writer in Croatia and in the former Yugoslavia, especially between the two world wars, who was critical towards both the “Socialist Realism”, and also towards Stalin’s Purges. “Pečat” was published from 1939 to 1940, and among his contributors were: Marko Ristić, Milan Dedinac, Zvonimir Richtmann, Oskar Davičo and Vaso Bogdanov.

[3] Marko Ristić (1902 – 1984) was a Serbian poet, surrealist. His article “The Dream and the Truth of Don Quixote”, published in the first edition of “Pečat”, in February 1939, caused severe reactions among the orthodox wing of the Communist literary public in Yugoslavia.

[4] Vaso Bogdanov (1902 – 1967) was a professor of the Zagreb University and member of Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. He joined the Communist Party while he was a student. In his works about the 1848 Revolution, especially in his study from 1936, “The National and Social Conflicts of Vojvodins and Hungarians in the 1848-1849 Revolution”, Bogdanov disagrees with the Marx’s and Engels’ opinion that the Croatians and Serbians have played counterrevolutionary role.

[5] Vladko Maček (1879 – 1964) was a Croatian politician, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party. For a long time he was an opponent of the centralist regime in Yugoslavia and in the 1935 and 1938 parliamentary elections he was leader of the opposition electoral list, the Block for People’s Contract. In 1939 he managed to gain major concession from the ruling regime by forming Banovina of Croatia, and entered into the Yugoslav government. The government that was then formed, known as Government Cvetković – Maček, in March 1941 will sign an agreement for joining into the Axis Powers.

[6] The editors of the Tito’s “Collected Works” here give the following note: “The editors [of the “Works”] couldn’t determine the subjects and the time of these concrete events that are mentioned in the text.” In other words, the Tito’s remark in the text is probably an insinuation.

[7] Vaso Srzentić (1895 – 1959), was a journalist. He became a member of the Communist Party in the beginning of the 1920-s. However, after establishment of the dictatorship in Yugoslavia in 1929, he retired from the movement.

[8] During the spring and summer of 1936 more than 250 Communists were arrested in Montenegro. During the so called “Montenegrin process” in February 1937 a group of 21 Montenegrin Communist was sentenced to jail. Kosta Ćufka was a member of the Land Committee of CP Yugoslavia for Montenegro from 1934 and he was sentenced to two years in jail during the Montenegrin process. He was expelled from the Party for having a weak attitude while he was questioned in the police. In 1948 Ćufka supported the Cominform’s Resolution against Tito’s regime in Yugoslavia.

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