Leon Trotsky

On a “Socialist” Ally of Chamberlain

(May 1940)

Written: 14 May 1940.
First Published: Fourth International, Vol.1 No.5, October 1940, p.124.
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Transcriber’s Comments
This letter is a part of a series of letters published in this issue of Fourth International
under the heading of Trotsky’s Last Letters,
D.W., 2002.

(The following letter is in reply to one from Miss Suzanne LaFollette, requesting an article for the American Mercury. The title to be The Coming Peace. Miss LaFollette proposed that Trotsky’s article appear beside one by H.N. Brailsford, British Laborite, entitled Can Europe Federate?, which advocated something similar to the League of Nations but with “real power.” – Editor, Fourth International)

May 14, 1940

My dear Miss LaFollette, I would be ready to move heaven and earth in order to grant your request, but I cannot. I am writing now a large document for the Fourth International on the war and I must finish it during the next week.

But I must also confess that I felt a horror at the idea of seeing my article published at the side of one by Mr. Brailsford. When I publish an article in Life or in Liberty it’s the same as when I use the tramway: I am not interested in knowing who are the other passengers because nobody can identify me with them. An “opinion” magazine is quite another thing. Mr. Brailsford considers himself a left author, a kind of socialist and so on. But in my eyes he is only a petty bourgeois reactionary shadow of the conservative Mr. Chamberlain. Politically I prefer to deal with Chamberlain than with Brailsford. The idea itself, that I could have common ground with Mr. Brailsford is for me a thousand times less acceptable than would be an occasional contribution to the Hearst press.

I appreciate too highly your moral personality, my dear friend, not to tell you the whole truth – ”Hier stehe ich und ich kann nicht anders.

With my warmest greetings and wishes.

Cordially yours,
Coyoacan, D.F.

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Last updated on: 22.4.2007