L. Trotsky

A Note on Max Eastman

(January 1933)

Source: The Militant, Vol. VI No. 4, 28 January 1933, p. 4.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2014. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

To the Editorial Board of the Militant:

Dear Comrades:

Recently I have repeatedly had opportunity to convince myself of the fact that Max Eastman is carrying on a systematic fight against materialist dialectics, the philosophical foundation of Marxism and scientific Communism. In its content and its theoretical tendency this fight does not differ in any way from the other varieties of petty bourgeois revisionism, beginning with Bernsteinism (in its philosophical-theoretical parts). If Eastman while so doing keeps his warm sympathy for the October revolution and even for the Left Opposition this crying illogicality is subjectively honorable for him but does not raise by one iota the value of his criticism of Marxism.

I could have left the Croton variety of revisionism silently to its proper destiny, if I had not been bound for a long time to Eastman himself by personal and literary ties. Eastman recently translated three volumes of my History of the Revolution into the English language. As is generally acknowledged, he has carried out this great work in an excellent manner. I have expressed to him my sincere thankfulness for this, and am prepared to repeat it here. But as soon as Eastman attempts to translate Marxian dialectics into the language of vulgar empiricism, his work provokes in me a feeling which is the direct opposite of thankfulness. For the purpose of avoiding all doubts and misunderstandings I consider it my duty to bring this to the knowledge of everybody.


With Communist greetings,
L. Trotsky

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Last updated on: 23 July 2015