Trotsky Writes to the British New Leader

(October 1933)

Written: 2 October 1933.
Source: The Militant, Vol. VI No. 48, 21 October 1933, p. 2.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive ( 2016. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

October 2, 1933

New Leader

Dear Comrades:

In the Daily Worker of September 14th I found the letter of comrade S.A. Smith who defends the I.L.P. from the accusation that its delegates have participated in Paris in the building of a Two and one Half International. I have no basis whatsoever to interfere in the essence of this polemic. I must point out, however, that from the letter of comrade Smith the conclusion might be drawn that in Paris there was actually laid the foundation for a Two and One Half International, although without the participation of the I.L.P. I consider it necessary to dispel any misunderstandings that readers of the New Leader might have on this score.

It is true, that certain organizations which occupy an intermediary position between the Second and the Third International, such as the Norwegian Workers Party, the French P.U.P., the Italian Maximalists and others, have participated in the Paris conference. But precisely all these organizations expressed themselves against the new International. For the creation of the new International, not a Two and One half, but a Fourth International, were the following organizations: The International Left Opposition, the Socialist Workers Party (SAP) of Germany and two Holland Socialist parties, the Independent Socialist Party and the Revolutionary Socialist party.

I urge the readers of the New Leader, as however, also the readers of the Daily Worker to acquaint themselves with the Declaration of the named organizations On the Necessity and Principles of a new International. Here I shall quote only one paragraph (No. 8) out of eleven.

“While ready to co-operate with all the organizations, groups and fractions which are actually developing from reformism or bureaucratic centrism (Stalinism) towards revolutionary Marxian policy, the undersigned at the same time declare that the new International cannot tolerate any conciliation towards reformism, or centrism. The necessary unity of the working class movement cannot be attained by the blurring of reformist and revolutionary conceptions, or the adaptation to the Stalinist policy but only by combatting the policies of both bankrupt Internationals. To remain equal to its task the new International must not permit any deviation from revolutionary principles in the questions of insurrection, proletarian dictatorship, Soviet form of the State”, etc.

In conclusion I allow myself to say that the International Left Opposition (Bolshevik-Leninists) is much further removed from centrism (No. 2½) than the present Barbussized Comintern.


With revolutionary greetings,
L. Trotsky

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Last updated on: 5 January 2016