Leon Trotsky

A Letter About the Spanish Revolution

(July 1931)

Written: 30 July 1931.
First published: The Militant, Vol. IV No. 25 (Whole No. 84), 26 September 1931, p. 3.
Transcription/HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2013. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

According to the information of comrade N., the Central Committee of the Spanish Communist Party has made a decisive turn in its policy ...

From the words of comrade N., it follows that the Spanish Central Committee, which formally retaining the slogan of the “democratic dictatorship”, changes its policy decisively on two points: first, it takes the road of struggle for democratic slogans; second, it is ready to apply the policy of the united front.

We have here a clear and an indubitable victory of the Left Opposition. How deep and serious is the turn of the Spanish Stalinists, is another question. Moreover, any answer to it depends to a considerable degree upon our policy. But at any rate, the very fate of the turn is a direct fruit of the criticism of the Left Opposition ... Only the faction of the Left Opposition is a progressive force within Communism ... Upon its successes depend the successes of Communism, and particularly the successes of the Spanish revolution.

But how shall we react to the turn of the Spanish Stalinists? On this score, we already have a serious experience, true, primarily an experience in mistakes. When the French Stalinists, to a considerable degree under the influence of our criticism, decided to retreat from the fantastic policy of the “third period”, the old leadership of the Ligue declared in advance that adventurism is being replaced by opportunism and that the Left Opposition should go its way as if nothing had happened. At the time, we criticized this formalistic and lifeless policy, which had as its consequence the fact that the French Ligue missed a situation favorable to the highest degree for approaching the proletarian core of the party. Let us hope that this mistake will not be repeated in Spain.

In a brief letter, comrade N. underlines two facts, having an exceptionally important significance for the policy of the Spanish Left for the present period: the official party has taken, or at any rate, has proclaimed a series of steps directed towards the policy of the Bolshevik-Leninists; on the contrary, the leadership of the Catalonian Federation sinks all the deeper into the confusion of opportunism and petty bourgeois nationalism. The official party, heretofore, has done everything to identify the Left Opposition with the blunders of Maurin. At the present time, we are offered an exceptionally favorable possibility to dispel all misunderstanding ...

The Left Opposition should subject the turn of the Spanish Central Committee to a serious analysis – without naive credulity, but also without sectarian prejudices. Whatever is conquered by us should be clearly stated by us and taken into consideration. Where differences remain, they should be characterized without any softness and embellishment.

The faster and the more decisively the Left Opposition reacts to the turn in the direction of an approach to the party, the more advantageous it will be to the Left Opposition, to the party, to the Spanish revolution.

July 30, 1931


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Last updated on: 25.1.2013