From Fourth International, July-August 1947, Vol.8 No.7, p.221.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Einde O’Callaghan in 2009 for ETOL.
The first great breach in this Tower of Babel will necessarily cause it to collapse entirely, and bury beneath its debris the authority of the Thermidorian chiefs. That is why it is for Stalin a life-and-death question to kill the Fourth International while it is still in embryo! Now, as we are here examining the Moscow trials the Executive Committee of the Comintern, according to information in the press, is sitting in Moscow. Its agenda is: The struggle against world Trotskyism. The session of the Executive Committee of the Comintern is not only a link in the long chain of the Moscow frame-ups but also the projection of the latter on the world arena. Tomorrow we shall hear about new misdeeds of the Trotskyites in Spain, of their direct or indirect support of the fascists. Echoes of this base calumny, indeed, have already been heard in this room. Tomorrow we shall hear how the Trotskyites in the United States are preparing railroad wrecks and the obstruction of the Panama Canal, in the interests of Japan. We shall hear the day after tomorrow how the Trotskyites in Mexico are preparing measures for the restoration of Porfirio Diaz. You say Diaz died a long time ago? The Moscow creators of amalgams do not stop before such trifles. They stop before nothing – nothing at all. Politically and morally, it is a question of life and death for them. Emissaries of the GPU are prowling in all countries of the Old and the New World. They do not lack money. What does it mean to the [Stalinist] ruling clique to spend twenty or fifty millions of dollars more or less, to sustain its authority and its power? These gentlemen buy human consciences like sacks of potatoes. We shall see this in many instances.
Fortunately, not everybody can be bought. Otherwise humanity would have rotted away a long time ago. Here in the person of the Commission, we have a precious cell of unmarketable public conscience. All those who thirst for purification of the social atmosphere will turn instinctively toward the Commission. In spite of intrigues, bribes and calumny, it will be rapidly protected by the armor of the sympathy of broad, popular masses.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Commission! Already for five years – I repeat, five years! – I have incessantly demanded the creation of an international commission of inquiry. The day I received the telegram about the creation of your commission was a great holiday in my life. Some friends anxiously asked me: Will not the Stalinists penetrate into the Commission, as they first penetrated into the Committee for the Defense of Trotsky? I answered: Dragged into the light of day, the Stalinists are not fearsome. On the contrary, I will welcome the most venomous questions from the Stalinists; to break them down I have only to tell what actually happened. The world press will give the necessary publicity to my replies. I knew in advance that the GPU would bribe individual journalists and whole newspapers. But I did not doubt for one moment that the conscience of the world cannot be bribed and that it will score, in this case as well, one of its most splendid victories.
Esteemed Commissioners! The experience of my life, in which there has been no lack of successes or of failures, has not only not destroyed my faith in the clear, bright future of mankind, but on the contrary, has given it an indestructible temper. This faith in reason, in truth, in human solidarity, which at the age of eighteen I took with me into the workers’ quarters of the provincial Russian town of Nikolaiev – this faith I have preserved fully and completely. It has become more mature, but not less ardent. In the very fact of your Commission’s formation – in the fact that, at its head, is a man of unshakable moral authority, a man who by virtue of his age should have the right to remain outside of the skirmishes in the political arena – in this fact I see a new and truly magnificent reinformment of the revolutionary optimism which constitutes the fundamental element of my life.
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Last updated on 16.2.2009