Leon Trotsky


[Dictatorship versus Democracy]

A Reply to Karl Kautsky

Proofread by Chris Clayton in 2006 for the Leon Trotsky Internet Archive

This book was written by Leon Trotsky at the height of the Russian Civil War. While it is a polemical response to German social-democrat Karl Kautsky, it is also represents the Bolshevik defense of the extraordinary means the young workers’ republic had to take in order to defend itself from the almost two dozen armies that were on its soil trying to turn back the revolution. The version we use here, the facsmile of the inside cover in the upper left hand corner of this page, was printed by the newly formed Workers Party of America, the Communist Party of the United States as it was called in 1920. The American title Dicatorship vs. Democracy was not a title that Trotsky was fond of according to one of his American translators, Max Schachtman, and in fact, the work is republished only under Terrorism and (or) Communism in subsequent editions. We have kept true to the form of the style of English used in this edition of the book, making only some spelling corrections and, of course, using the contemporary title, Terrorism or Communism. Additionally we’ve kept both the Preface and Foreword by the American Communist editors to place the work in its political and chronological context.





The Balance of Power

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat



The Paris Commune and Soviet Russia

Marx and ... Kautsky

The Working Class and it’s Soviet Policy

Problems of the Organization of Labor, The Soviet Government and Industry

Karl Kautsky, His School and His Book

In Place of an Epilogue

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Last updated on: 27.12.2006