Leon Trotsky

Misfortune of an Intellectual

(July 1940)

Written: 29 July 1940.
First Published: Fourth International, Vol.1 No.5, October 1940, p.125.
Translated: By Fourth International.
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.

July 29, 1940

Dear Al,

Thank you for your letter of July 4th enclosing letter of Comrade X. My delay in answering has been caused by the judicial investigation which has taken up all of my time.

What you write about J. confirms my apprehensions that he may be completely lost for the movement. His misfortune is that he never belonged to the mass movement. He never learned the workers’ organization from the inside. He shares this misfortune with many others, only in a sharper form. His reasonings about the methods of organizing workers, etc. are purely speculative and without any basis or content.

During the last few months we were visited by our friends in Minneapolis. What a difference! These poeople are active, optimistic, sure of themselves and thoroughly revolutionary.

On the other hand, we were also visited by a group of seven minorityites. They have all the characteristics of the Russian Mensheviks at the beginning of the history of the party. Three of them, who seemed to us at first glance more stable, more firm, more serious, are abandoning the so-called Workers Party.

With best greetings,

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Last updated on: 22.4.2007