Cochran Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

E.R. Frank

The Imperialist War and Revolutionary Perspectives

Excerpts from International Report Delivered in the Name of the National Committee of the SWP
at the Eleventh Convention of the American Trotskyist Movement,
November 16, 1944

From Fourth International, Vol.6 No.2, February 1945, Page 56-61.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The outbreak of the second world war did not catch us by surprise. We knew that without successful socialist revolutions, it was inevitable. We knew it was coming. We predicted it. And by our whole rounded political struggle, for our principles and our organization, we had steeled a cadre. We had prepared for the imperialist war. We were ready.

But right in our own party, the strongest, the best organized Trotskyist party, with the most tempered and experienced leadership, right in our own party, the Shachtmanite petty-bourgeois section of our leadership and membership buckled and folded up under the pressure of bourgeois public opinion the minute war broke out; unceremoniously abandoned the program to which they had promised to remain loyal and true and for which they had promised to fight come what may; abandoned the program of the Fourth International and attempted to engineer a split throughout our movement. We survived the fight with the petty-bourgeois opposition and emerged out of that fight stronger, healthier, more homogeneous, a more disciplined, a more effective party. Comrade Trotsky and we fought that fight as the steward of the whole International movement. We were able to assume this responsibility because we still enjoyed a measure of democracy, and could conduct the struggle in thorough-going fashion right to the end. We went into the war period with no illusions, with our eyes wide open. We knew that we, like the other Trotskyist parties, would be temporarily isolated. And we attuned our tactical orientation, we adjusted our tactics for the uphill pull in our political propaganda, our literary and organization activities, our trade union work. We didn’t change our program, we didn’t alter, much less abandon our principles. We merely adjusted our tactics, as realistic revolutionists, as Leninists always do. We knew that the fumes of war, the hypnotic spell of “national unity” would not long prevail. While at first, the war may halt the radicalization of the masses, may adversely affect the revolutionary process, it would soon impart to it a powerful impulse. Trotsky pointed out to us again and again that this war was not merely a continuation of the last one; that many factors were now more favorable from the point of view of the revolutionary vanguard; that the economic position of all the imperialist states, including the US was infinitely worse today; that the democratic and pacifist illusions of the last war were to a considerable extent absent; that the experience of the first world war did not pass without deeply affecting the masses.

We were able to proceed in our revolutionary work with patience, with tenacity, with confidence, because we kept our perspective, we kept our heads. We did not lose our nerve. We knew that life was working in our favor.

In this, our movement was unique. I am not referring here to the sell-outs of the Social Democrats and the Stalinists. In contrast to the last war, nobody was surprised or caught off-guard by the betrayal. We had anticipated this treason and had taken it into account in formulating our plans. I am now referring to the petty-bourgeois hangers-on, to the fellow travelers of the revolution. The retreat of the left-wing intellectuals from Marxism was converted into a precipitous flight. They madly rushed onto the bandwagon of the imperialist war. Darkest pessimism reigned supreme in all the left-wing intellectual circles, as well as the emigré groups. Some thought that Hitler’s victories were definitive; that Europe had slipped back to the dark ages; that the revolutionary movement had been irretrievably defeated; that Europe, that all suffering humanity would have to begin the long, painful climb over again. Others saw in Hitler’s victories proof that a new class of managers, of bureaucrats, had emerged; that the new form of society superseding dying capitalism would not be socialism, but bureaucratic collectivism, the managerial society, that the Marxist program had proved a Utopia.

A Feeling of Blackest Pessimism

In all these intellectualistic petty-bourgeois circles there reigned, as I said, a feeling of blackest pessimism. The picture was all dark and hopeless. And, of course, the petty-bourgeois quacks and fakes of the Shachtman group, veering like a weather vane in response to the pressure and mood of bourgeois intellectualdom, these fugitives from Bolshevism proclaimed in their turn that the clock of history had been set back so far that the political scene in Europe would be dominated by the fight for national liberation and bourgeois democracy. We were back in the nineteenth century! This pressure was so strong, this mood of defeatism was so pervading, that it found its way even inside the ranks of the Fourth International. A group of German refugee comrades published a document called the Three Theses, a thoroughly revisionist document, a thoroughly anti-Marxist thesis, which took for good coin Hitler’s boasts that his “New Order” would last centuries. They too thought that Europe was thrust back a hundred years, that the working class had lost its preeminent role and must dissolve itself in the middle class in the fight for “a national democratic revolution.” Stripped of its verbiage and theoretical “profundities,” what was implied here was the necessity of new Peoples’ Fronts to fight for “bourgeois democracy.” We decisively rejected this defeatist, this revisionist, this liquidationist “theory” at our last convention in 1942. We set our course on the perspective of the rise of the proletarian revolution.

The disorientation, the defeatism, the abandonment of the Fourth International program on the part of the German emigre comrades came about because they had lost all revolutionary perspective. They proclaimed the battle that had not yet started, already lost. We base ourselves on the rising working class revolution. They consider the European revolution already defeated.

We knew that out of the war would come a gigantic revolutionary explosion, above all in Europe, and we were confidently preparing for it. And less than a year after our 1942 convention, Italian fascism crashed to the ground. We saw in the downfall of Mussolini and the beginning of the Italian revolution the most striking confirmation of our analysis and program, and by the same token, an annihilating refutation of all the theories and speculations of our enemies. We immediately proceeded in our press to subject the Italian events to a thoroughgoing analysis and point to the road ahead.

We found no special difficulty in writing our plenum resolution on the European revolution, its perspectives and its tasks, any more than we found any special difficulty in analyzing the Italian events in our press. Do you know why? Because we were proceeding from a fundamental analysis. The Italian revolution represented for us merely the last link of a long chain that we had already wrought. We didn’t have to hunt for some new formulas. We didn’t have to devise new principles. We didn’t have to improvise, or proceed empirically from one step to another. We knew the answers ahead of time. I don’t mean the answer for every concrete problem that came up from day to day. There are no blueprints of that kind. But we had the general strategical answer and we understood the general trend and direction and meaning of the events.

Lenin, Trotsky and others established 30 years ago that capitalism on a world scale, and that European capitalism in particular, was no longer expanding but contracting. Its absolute decline had begun. In addition to the internal decline, the capitalist states of Europe were suffocating, because every one of them was hemmed in behind tariff walls and artificial state boundaries. The huge standing armies were eating up the substance of Europe’s wealth. The national state had become a reactionary fetter upon the economy of Europe. The first world war was itself testimony that European capitalism was in a blind alley. The war destroyed Europe’s hegemony, it impoverished the continent, and left it weak and debt-ridden, accelerating its decay. Economic hegemony had definitely passed into the hands of the richer and more powerful American imperialism. The war further disunited and dismembered Europe, further exacerbated its trade rivalries. The Versailles treaty created 17 new national states, raised up new gigantic tariff walls and further increased the standing armies.

The blind alley into which European capitalism was thrusting the peoples was answered by the October revolution of 1917, which wrenched one sixth of the earth’s surface out of the grip of capitalism and opened up the revolutionary era in Europe. The fierce, sanguinary, class struggles that swept Europe from one end to the other further weakened capitalism, further hastened its decline.

In contrast, American imperialism was still rising. Wall Street which had entered the war as a debtor emerged as a creditor. In addition to its tremendous material preponderance over Europe, American imperialism still enjoyed “national unity” at home. As against a Europe torn by revolutionary struggles, the US was the home of class collaboration par excellence.

Now all this is not some new revelation which our National Committee thought up just the other day. This analysis was made by Trotsky 20 years ago and was adopted at that time as the official position of the Communist International. Trotsky wrote:

“... the staggering material preponderance of the US automatically excludes the possibility of economic upswing and regeneration of Capitalist Europe. If in the past it was European Capitalism that revolutionized the backward sections of the world, then today it is American Capitalism that revolutionizes over-mature Europe. She has no avenue of escape from the economic blind alley other than the proletarian revolution, the destruction of the tariff and state barriers, the creation of the Socialist United States of Europe.”

And further:

“American Capitalism in driving Europe more and more into a blind alley, will automatically drive her onto the road of revolution. In this is the most important key to the world situation.”

It is this fundamental twin concept: Lenin’s concept that we live in the epoch of wars and revolutions and Trotsky’s analysis of the relationship between America and Europe that has guided our struggle all these past years.

By 1923, the revolutionary wave, evoked by the October revolution of 1917, receded. The defeat of the revolution in Germany in 1923 marked the turning point, and made possible the stabilization of Capitalism in Europe. The US came in with its Dawes plan, its loans and credits, and buttressed the shaken Capitalist system. But this very stabilization and the upturn in European economy that followed was on a far lower foundation than before 1914. This so-called stabilization proved of a not very enduring nature. This very stability was extremely unstable. Only six years later, a catastrophic economic crisis struck US imperialism, the largest, the strongest, the “healthiest” imperialist power of the whole world.

And it was not very long before all of Europe—all of the world — was again writhing in the grip of crisis. For ten years Europe was gasping and choking. The consuming economic crisis was only interrupted now and then by pitiful cyclical rises followed by new depressions. But the crisis itself was never overcome. The crisis again sharpened the class struggles, first of all in Germany, which was thrust into a new revolutionary situation. The question was sharply posed: either Fascism or Socialism. There was no third alternative. Through the base treachery of the Stalinist and Social Democratic leaders, the revolutionary situations were all dissipated and the potential revolutions aborted, one after another, first in Germany, then Austria, then France, then Spain. The Capitalists were permitted to regain the upper hand; the path was cleared for their plunging the masses of Europe and soon all humanity into the bloody maelstrom of the Second World slaughter.

And even super-powerful, super-rich, super-stable American Imperialism—the US—where they thought they had exorcized the class struggle, where they thought Marx had been refuted by Henry Ford, even this colossus writhed and twisted and shook for ten years in the toils of terrible economic chaos. For ten years Wall Street tried every device to overcome the crisis, but found that it could not extricate itself from the contradictions of decaying world capitalism. Finally it too plunged into the war with the aim of crushing its rivals and establishing its own world domination. It sought to solve the crisis by its exploitation of the peoples of Asia, of Africa and even of Europe; by making Wall Street the center of world tribute. American imperialism had reached its heydey and was already moving into its period of decline at a far faster tempo than any previous imperialism.

The crisis at home gave birth to the modern trade union movement, the largest, the best organized, the most volcanic trade union movement in the world. The class struggle, far from having been exorcized, emerged in America in full fury. Its young militant working class had not tasted defeat; it was vigorous, full of confidence and moving leftward.

In the last war, Europe lost its hegemony to America. But Europe is losing its very independence to America in this war. Europe’s decay was accelerated as a result of the first world war. But Europe is prostrate and ruined as a result of this one. America could stabilize Capitalism in Europe after the last war on a lower foundation and could permit its revival within sharply defined limits. American imperialism can enter and is entering Europe today with no other program but its dismemberment, its despoliation, to prevent Europe from reviving to a competitive level, to reduce Europe to a semi-colony, a vassal of the Wall Street banks ... (Here follows a discussion of Wall Street’s political program, bourgeois democracy, and the position of Morrow and Logan. See Frank’s Speech in December 1944 Fourth International.)

Once we understand the trend of events correctly; once we have a correct analysis of the European situation, a correct understanding of the nature and role of American Imperialism, a correct appraisal of the European revolution, then our answers, our programmatic tasks, fall into their proper place. They are properly guided.

Our program for the European proletariat is the program of the October revolution, the program of Lenin and Trotsky in 1917, the program of the Socialist revolution, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the Soviet power.

Our central unifying slogan is the Socialist United States of Europe. This is the revolutionary answer, the only alternative to the imperialist scheme of Balkanizing Europe and enslaving its peoples. It corresponds to the experiences and needs of the European masses, who are learning that it is necessary to destroy the reactionary and outlived state boundaries, and that only through the economic unification and socialist collaboration of the free peoples of Europe can the menace of recurrent devastating wars be abolished and freedom and economic well-being assured.

Our instrumentality to lead the revolution is the Bolshevik party. Lenin taught us the kind of party the working class must have to make the revolution.

Our basic tactics to mobilize the masses and lead them forward to the revolution we have likewise learned from Lenin and the October Revolution. These tactics have been carefully studied by our movement over a great number of years. They have been enriched and refined through the study of their application, or more often, their lack of application, in the revolutions in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, China and elsewhere.

This work of careful preparation and training, of mobilizing the Trotskyist cadres for the revolutionary tasks ahead was crowned in 1938 with the holding of the Founding Conference of the Fourth International, right on the eve of the second world war. This conference adopted a world program for the present epoch. It is not merely a restatement of socialist doctrine and fundamentals, but the tactical program showing how the Fourth International must proceed to mobilize the masses for revolutionary purposes and win them to the banner of the Fourth international.

Trotsky, the author of this document, approached the whole question from this point of view: economically, he said, the world is ripe and over-ripe for the proletarian revolution, for Socialism. Capitalism in every sphere is disintegrating and sees no way out. The proletariat, in millions of masses, again and again moves onto the revolutionary road. But each time it finds itself blocked by its own conservative leadership. The crisis therefore is one of leadership. A new leadership, adequate to the revolutionary tasks at hand, must be created. This means the Fourth International, this small cadre, must find its way to the worker mass.

But how? By a program of transitional demands. The present epoch, said Trotsky, is distinguished not for the fact that it frees the revolutionary party from day-to-day work, but because it permits this work to be carried on indissolubly with the actual tasks of the revolution. We do not discard, said Trotsky, the old “minimum” demands; we defend the democratic rights and social conquests of the workers, but we carry on this work within the framework of our revolutionary perspective, and that is why the old minimum program is now superseded for us by the transitional program, the tasks of which lies in systematic mobilisation of the masses for the proletarian revolution.

Now the job today in Europe is to take this program and apply it. In our opinion it is not necessary to hunt around for some new program, or new tactical schemes. We need only apply the Transition Program of the Fourth International. Of course, a program is not a blue-print, it is not a cure-all. You cannot become a master strategist of the revolution merely by memorizing a lot of slogans and rules, any more than you can become a master surgeon by memorizing the best text book on surgery. Other things are necessary. You must have experience. You must have talent. You must have the ability to correctly gauge and appraise a situation, to know what it is necessary to do at the particular moment. You must have the courage and heart of a revolutionary fighter to withstand all pressure and attacks from the camp of the enemy. You must have all of these things. But many of these things are beyond the scope of resolutions and cannot be supplied or imparted by resolutions. A resolution has got to provide a line. If it does that, if it provides a correct line, it is a good resolution, it does the job.

The Transition Program

The revolutionary party will win the confidence of the masses by its struggle for the program of transitional demands. Our transitional program does not have a propagandistic character but is invested with burning importance in Europe today. That means that the bridge to the fundamental slogans can be more or less rapidly crossed and that all immediate, minimum, democratic demands are of necessity intertwined with the transitional ones, the essence of which is contained in the fact, explained Trotsky, that they are directed ever more openly and decisively against the very bases of the capitalist regime ...

The revolutionary party that today has the firmness and strength to fight for its principles; to resist the pressure of bourgeois public opinion, which inevitably bears down in merciless fashion on the revolutionary vanguard; the party which resists the “temptation” to win the masses “the easy way” by watering down its program, will on the morrow have the opportunity of becoming the revolutionary leader of the masses. Because the masses want a decisive change, because they thirst for a genuine revolutionary leadership, because the catastrophic crisis is driving the masses ever more fiercely onto the revolutionary road. And as they grow disillusioned with their present misleaders, they will turn to the parties of the Fourth International.

* * *

We don’t have to say anything new about our programmatic position on the Soviet Union. That question was so thoroughly discussed and so magnificently illumined by Comrade Trotsky during our debate with the Shachtmanite petty-bourgeois opposition, that it retains all of its validity to this day in its basic, in its fundamental features. The Trotskyist position on the Soviet Union, an integral part of our world program for the world revolution, is the only position that has been vindicated by the events, that has proved its correctness in the struggle that provided correct guidance to the revolutionary vanguard through all the mazes, twists and turns of capitalist diplomacy, of war, of changing alliances and the like. All the other programs on the Soviet Union have already been consigned by events themselves to the dust heap.

Take as an example the most pretentious of the theories on the Soviet Union—Burnham’s theory of the managerial society. Burnham’s book, The Managerial Revolution, you may recall, enjoyed a passing vogue among capitalist executives, government bureaucrats and renegades from Marxism, both in the United States and England. Burnham told us that the proletariat did not possess sufficient inner strength to reorganize society on socialist foundations and that a new class of “managers” was emerging which would supersede dying capitalism and take over the helm to form a new exploitative class. On the basis of this theory, Burnham had no difficulty in foretelling that Stalin and Hitler, the two main representatives of this new class of “managers” which was destined to emerge all over the world, were united by an “affinity of ideologies” and had joined together “to drive death wounds into capitalism” . Hardly had the Professor spoken his prophecy, than Hitler threw his armed might against the Soviet Union and staked everything on crushing it. Burnham’s “theory” proved no more enduring than the Stalin-Hitler Pact.

Two years later, Mussolini, the very pioneer of Burnham’s “New society” , was deposed, more correctly dismissed, just as an employer dismisses his plant superintendent, when his services are no longer required. The precursor of the “new society” proved to be no more than a common adventurer and cutthroat in the service of the Italian bankers, monopolists and landlords. The Fascist regime simply fell apart like a rotten apple.

Today, Hitler’s “new order” in Europe has already collapsed under the double blows of his military opponents and the struggles of the insurgent masses. And the downfall and total destruction of the Nazi regime is not far off.

That is how events themselves have dealt with this bit of pretentious humbug which for a few years “cut a big swathe” in capitalist “cultural circles” and in the editorial offices of petty bourgeois intellectualdom. And this “theory” , let it be remembered, was the only half-serious attempt to counter-pose some sort of unified logical conception to Trotsky’s Marxist analysis of Fascism as well as his analysis of the Soviet Union and the Stalinist bureaucracy.

So much for Burnham’s theory and its inglorious fate. Little need be said at this date of his shamefaced pupils and imitators of the Shachtmanite variety with their pathetic attempts to discover a new “managerial class” but limited solely to the Soviet Union. In a new form and in a different connection, this is a recreation of the anti-Marxist idea of national exceptionalism, with a vengeance.

It is an elementary tenet of Marxism that a class is not an accidental phenomenon, but emerges as an inevitable and necessary vehicle of a given stage of production. Every ruling class has in its own way represented a historically necessary and unavoidable stage of social development and could be overthrown only when it had exhausted its historical possibilities. Marxism knows of no historically unnecessary classes and certainly knows of no classes that are limited to “one country” . History has annihilated Burnham’s “theory” of the new bureaucratic class. It has disposed of his anemic Shachtmanian imitators in passing.

Now I said that our question on the Soviet Union is an integral part of our whole program of world revolution. It does not stand apart from it. From our political characterization of the Soviet Union as a degenerated workers state, we drew the conclusion that we must defend the Soviet Union unconditionally against any and all imperialist attacks. Now that program retains its validity. We don’t have to change it. But we always defended the Soviet Union in our own way, by our own methods, which had nothing in common with the methods of Stalinism. Only those methods, we said, were permissible that were not in conflict with the world revolution. Stalinist defense was carried on under the slogans: For the Fatherland! For Stalin! Our defense was carried on under the slogans: For Socialism! For the World Revolution! Against Stalin!

While our basic position retains all of its validity, naturally, we do not give equal emphasis to all sections of our program at all times. We invariably push to the fore that section of our program, that tactic, that slogan, which has the greatest application, which is required by the general political situation. That is the art of politics: to apply to the conditions of the day that part of your policy which has the most immediate, the most burning urgency. When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, we began hollering at the top of our voices for the unconditional defense of the Soviet Union. That was the most important problem of world politics: save the Soviet Union from imperialist attack. That was a key position in protecting and advancing the revolution, which we knew would inevitably emerge out of the war.

A Different Situation

Today, however, we face a far different situation. The Soviet Union is no longer in immediate military danger. The Nazi attack has been successfully repulsed. Hitler’s “New Order” has already been destroyed. The Nazi regime faces imminent collapse. The continent is now in the process of military occupation by the armies of England, the United States and the Soviet Union. The European masses are in revolutionary ferment. The European revolution is rising and the Anglo-American imperialists have entered into a conspiracy with the Kremlin bureaucracy to strangle the revolution and to prop up decaying capitalism. That is the true picture of Europe today.

Under these conditions, it would be the height of unreal-ism, it would betray a complete lack of revolutionary generalship to keep on shouting the slogan of yesterday: Defend the Soviet Union. We do not alter our program; we do not discard this slogan which at a later date may possibly again acquire importance. But in the present situation this slogan recedes to the background and we push to the fore that section of our program which today has greatest importance; that section compressed in the slogan: “Defend the European Revolution against All Its Enemies,” against the imperialists, against the Kremlin bureaucracy, against all its agents and agencies. As I said, we do not change our program, but we very definitely are shifting our emphasis today, in conformity with the needs of the situation, in conformity with the changed relationship of forces, in conformity with the new requirements.

As a matter of fact, we haven’t made this shift in our emphasis, this tactical adjustment, just today. Some nine months ago our committee discussed this very problem and came to the conclusion that it was necessary to change the emphasis of our propaganda because of the new conditions in Europe. The discerning reader will have noticed that we conducted our propaganda in this spirit for a good many months. We propose now to incorporate this tactical prescription in our resolution, in order to make unambiguously clear to all, the nature of our tactical adjustment and the reasons for it.

The Stalinist bureaucracy, which emerged about 20 years ago, lost faith in the European revolution and proclaimed it realizable to build socialism in the Soviet Union alone. Today the process of degeneration has proceeded so far, this bureaucracy is so hated by the Soviet masses, it is in such conflict with the nationalized economy and its requirements, that it dreads, it mortally fears and opposes the European revolution which is now rising. That is why Stalin has rushed headlong into the arms of Roosevelt and Churchill, that is why he conspired with them at Teheran to crush the revolution and to uphold capitalism throughout Europe. That is why the Red Army, an instrument of the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy, is used to prop up capitalism in Rumania, Bulgaria, etc. Stalin is preparing to repeat his hangman’s work in Spain on a Europe-wide scale.

Internally, we know that the bureaucracy has practically effaced all the basic political conquests of the revolution; it has destroyed the Bolshevik Party, the Soviets, the trade unions; it has murdered the generation of leaders who led the Russian revolution; it has reintroduced a savage despotism; it uses the Red Army as a gendarme of capitalist property in Europe. Politically, the bureaucracy has virtually gone the limit in its headlong drive toward reaction. Economically, nationalized property and planned economy, these basic conquests of the October revolution, still remain.

We know that the Kremlin bureaucracy does not represent a new class, which has a historic function to perform, but is a parasitic caste, thrown up because of a purely exceptional conjuncture of events, a caste that is transitory in nature.

Now if we assume that the Kremlin bureaucracy allied with the imperialists, succeeds in definitively crushing the European revolution, then the fate of Europe is sealed. It can only become the helpless vassal, a semi-colony of the Anglo-American brigands, a doomed continent. And sealed also is the fate of the Soviet Union. Because the path will be immediately cleared for the reintroduction of capitalism in the Soviet Union, either by internal counter-revolution or by external military intervention or by a combination of both.

If, on the other hand, the workers’ revolution emerges triumphant in any country, we can assume that it will more or less rapidly penetrate and make its influence felt among the Soviet masses and the Red Army troops. Once the Soviet masses are lifted to their feet, the very first thing they will proceed to do is overthrow the dictatorship of Stalin and his bloody henchmen and restore the Soviet Union on the principles and teachings of its founders—Lenin and Trotsky. In either case the Kremlin bureaucracy is doomed. The Soviet Union is in a transition period and that transition cannot too long endure. It is either: forward to Socialism or backward to Capitalism. It cannot indefinitely remain in its present form. And it is clear that its whole life is bound up with the fate of the European revolution. That is why we came back again to the same proposition: the fight to protect, to defend, to extend, to deepen the European revolution is in essence, and coincides with, the true defense of the Soviet Union itself ...

* * *

American imperialism, by its unbridled expansionism, by its attempt to displace all rival imperialisms—not only Japan and Germany, but also the defeated allies, such as France, and even its partner-in-arms, British imperialism—is destroying every semblance of stability in the Orient as well as in Europe, is exacerbating all the inter-imperial conflicts and is becoming the irritant provoking new revolutionary explosions. American imperialism, the greatest counter-revolutionary force of the whole world, with its program of Pax Americana, before which the ambitions of all previous imperialisms pale, with its mad schemes of dominating all the continents and all the seas, will become the very instrument of destroying the old equilibrium and provoking new rebellions of the exploited masses ...

We are going to have to pay a lot of attention to our international obligations in the period ahead. The revolution is rising and we must be prepared to aid our co-fighters in every possible way. We have already done quite a bit. But that is only a good beginning. The next period will see the extension and growth of the Trotskyist movement, especially in Europe, and our assistance will have to keep pace with the opportunities and the needs of the struggle. We must stand ready to give all possible help to our comrades who are on the firing line.

But the greatest aid that we can give our co-thinkers, the greatest of all contributions that we can make is to perfect our movement, strengthen our forces and redouble our fight against this predatory beast of American Imperialism, this international marauder, who would rob and subjugate the whole world.

We know the power of this Wall Street crew. We know that this gang of Wall Street freebooters is prepared to wade through rivers of blood to save its infamous rule. We know its armed prowess and its counter-revolutionary designs. But we are also aware of its insoluble contradictions. We know that our enemy will grow weaker and that, we will grow stronger and will conquer in the end.

The power of a revolution is a mighty power. Before its hot breath armies have been known to melt away and thrones come crashing to the ground. The flames of the European revolution which, once started, will surely spread throughout the continent like a prairie fire, will make their effects felt even here across the Atlantic. They will give a strong impetus to the process of radicalization of the workers that is already beginning, and they will inspire the coming class struggles here at home ...

B. Cochran Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 3.12.2005