Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line: Revolutionary History


What lies before you has been put together to provide some of the background to the recent events inside Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Our Eastern European material has been mainly selected from the accounts of participants who are able to impart the freshness of first-hand insight into their presentations. Our contribution from the Soviet Union is exclusively concerned with the re-evaluation of the historic role of Leon Trotsky, who for the first time since the 1920s is coming into focus there in something like a recognisable image.

We are all too aware, however, that our policy of devoting each issue of our magazine to a single theme unnecessarily restricts the range of what we have to offer. We have therefore added sections touching upon two other topics that tie some of the loose ends left by previous numbers.

Those who saw the consolidation of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and its spread into Eastern Europe after the Second World War as the rise of a new totalitarian order, and the beginning of an Orwellian age of darkness in the second half of the twentieth century, have been refuted, so it seems, by the events of the last two years. Leon Trotsky’s analysis of this peculiar state form as essentially a crisis phenomenon, so long ridiculed by the proponents of ‘new class’ theories, has now received confirmation. So has his own historic role, in the homeland of his revolution. And so has his prophecy, uttered at the height of the Moscow Trials: “truth, battling its way through every obstacle, will sweep away every obstacle, will sweep away many a reputation”.

A glance at the editorial board listed opposite will show that we have been joined by two other organisations and another veteran of our movement from the 1930s. Our influence continues to grow. But, like all other left wing theoretical and historical magazines, we do not make a profit, and are sustained by too narrow a financial base. Our boast that we are providing data that is almost unique to the English language is not unfounded, and our postbag shows that our efforts meet with appreciation. We would like to address an appeal to those who do value what we are trying to do to make donations to our work by addressing cheques to Socialist Platform Ltd. In this way they can ensure that this journal will not only appear for another year, but will be carrying on its necessary work for years to come.

Editorial Board
Revolutionary History

Updated by ETOL: 11.7.2003