Lest we forget… Bolsheviks got the imperialist war right

Posted on  by c21styork (Reprinted from a couple of years ago)

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The first world war resulted in 40 million casualties: 15 to 19 million deaths and 23 million wounded. (Population of the world was less than two billion – so, in today’s terms, think 150 million casualties). 

It’s one of the major things on which it can be said ‘the Bolsheviks got it right’. They opposed the war as an imperialist one. 

Here’s (excerpts from) what Lenin had to say in a lecture ‘War and Revolution’, May 1917:

From the point of view of Marxism, that is, of modern scientific socialism, the main issue in any discussion by socialists on how to assess the war and what attitude to adopt towards it is this: what is the war being waged for, and what classes staged and directed it. We Marxists do not belong to that category of people who are unqualified opponents of all war. We say: our aim is to achieve a socialist   system of society, which, by eliminating the division of mankind into classes, by eliminating all exploitation of man by man and nation by nation, will inevitably eliminate the very possibility of war. But in the war to win that socialist system of society we are bound to encounter conditions under which the class struggle within each given nation may come up against a war between the different nations, a war conditioned by this very class struggle. Therefore, we cannot rule out the possibility of revolutionary wars, i.e., wars arising from the class struggle, wars waged by revolutionary classes, wars which are of direct and immediate revolutionary significance. Still less can we rule this out when we remember that though the history of European revolutions during the last century, in the course of 125–135 years, say, gave us wars which were mostly reactionary, it also gave us revolutionary wars, such as the war of the French revolutionary masses against a united monarchist, backward, feudal and semi-feudal Europe. No deception of the masses is more widespread today in Western Europe, and latterly here in Russia, too, than that which is practised by citing the example of revolutionary wars. There are wars and wars. We must be clear as to what historical conditions have given rise to the war, what classes are waging it, and for what ends. Unless we grasp this, all our talk about the war will necessarily be utterly futile, engendering more heat than light.

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We say: if you have not studied the policies of both belligerent groups over a period of decades so as to avoid accidental factors and the quoting of random examples if you have not shown what bearing this war has on preceding policies, then you don’t understand what this war is all about.

These policies show us just one thing continuous economic rivalry between the world’s two greatest giants, capitalist   economies. On the one hand we have Britain, a country which owns the greater part of the globe, a country which ranks first in wealth, which has created this wealth not so much by the labour of its workers as by the exploitation of innumerable colonies, by the vast power of its banks which have developed at the head of all the others into an insignificantly small group of some four or five super-banks handling billions of rubles, and handling them in such a way that it can he said without exaggeration that there is not a patch of land in the world today on which this capital has not laid its heavy hand, not a patch of land which British capital has not enmeshed by a thousand threads. This capital grew to such dimensions by the turn of the century that its activities extended far beyond the borders of individual states and formed a group of giant banks possessed of fabulous wealth. Having begotten this tiny group of banks, it has caught the whole world in the net of its billions. This is the sum and substance of Britain’s economic policy and of the economic policy of France, of which even French writers, some of them contributors to L’Humanité,[5] a paper now controlled by ex-socialists (in fact, no less a man than Lysis, the well-known financial writer), stated several years before the war: “France is a financial monarchy, France is a financial oligarchy, France is the world’s money-lender.”

On the other hand, opposed to this, mainly Anglo-French group, we have another group of capitalists, an even more rapacious, even more predatory one, a group who came to the capitalist banqueting table when all the seats were occupied, but who introduced into the struggle new methods for developing capitalist production, improved techniques, and superior organisation, which turned the old capitalism, the capitalism of the free-competition age, into the capitalism of giant trusts, syndicates, and cartels. This group introduced the beginnings of state-controlled capitalist production, combining the colossal power of capitalism with the colossal power of the state into a single mechanism and bringing tens of millions of people within the single organisation of state capitalism. Here is economic history, here is diplomatic history, covering several decades, from which no one can get away. It is the one and only guide-post to a proper solution of the problem of war; it leads you to the conclusion that the present war, too, is the outcome of the policies of the classes who have come to grips in it, of the two supreme giants, who, long before the war, had caught the whole world, all countries, in the net of financial exploitation and economically divided the globe up among themselves. They were bound to clash, because a redivision of this supremacy, from the point of view of capitalism, had become inevitable.

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The present war is a continuation of the policy of conquest, of the shooting down of whole nationalities, of unbelievable atrocities committed by the Germans and the British in Africa, and by the British and the Russians in Persia which of them committed most it is difficult to say. It was for this reason that the German capitalists looked upon them as their enemies. Ah, they said, you are strong because you are rich? But we are stronger, therefore we have the same “sacred” right to plunder. That is what the real history of British and German finance capital in the course of several decades preceding the war amounts to. That is what the history of Russo-German, Russo-British, and German-British relations amounts to. There you have the clue to an understanding of what the war is about. That is why the story that is current about the cause of the war is sheer duplicity and humbug. Forgetting the history of finance capital, the history of how this war had been brewing over the issue of redivision, they present the matter like this: two nations were living at peace, then one attacked the other, and the other fought back. All science, all banks are forgotten, and the peoples are told to take up arms, and so are the peasants, who know nothing about politics. All they have to do is to fight back! The logical thing, following this line of argument, would be to close down all newspapers, burn all books and ban all mention of annexations in the newspapers. In this way such a view of annexations could be justified. They can’t tell the truth about annexations because the whole history of Russia,   Britain, and Germany has been one of continuous, ruthless and sanguinary war over annexations. Ruthless wars were waged in Persia and Africa by the Liberals, who flogged political offenders in India for daring to put forward demands which were being fought for here in Russia. The French colonial troops oppressed peoples too. There you have the pre-history, the real history of unprecedented plunder! Such is the policy of these classes, of which the present war is a continuation. That is why, on the question of annexations, they cannot give the reply that we give, when we say that any nation joined to another one, not by the voluntary choice of its majority but by a decision of a king or government, is an annexed nation. To renounce annexation is to give each nation the right to form a separate state or to live in union with whomsoever it chooses. An answer like that is perfectly clear to every worker who is at all class-conscious.

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On the question of America entering the war I shall say this. People argue that America is a democracy, America   has the White House. I say: slavery was abolished there half a century ago. The anti-slave war ended in 1865. Since then multimillionaires have mushroomed. They have the whole of America in their financial grip. They are making ready to subdue Mexico and will inevitably come to war with Japan over a carve-up of the Pacific. This war has been brewing for several decades. All literature speaks about it. America’s real aim in entering the war is to prepare for this future war with Japan. The American people do enjoy considerable freedom and it is difficult to conceive them standing for compulsory military service, for the setting up of an army pursuing any aims of conquest a struggle with Japan, for instance. The Americans have the example of Europe to show them what this leads to. The American capitalists have stepped into this war in order to have an excuse, behind a smoke-screen of lofty ideals championing the rights of small nations, for building up a strong standing army

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Those interested in the socialist movement should read the Basle Manifesto of 1912 adopted unanimously by all the socialist parties of the world, a manifesto that was published in our newspaper Pravda, a manifesto that can be published now in none of the belligerent countries, neither in “free” Britain nor in republican France, because it said the truth about war before the war. It said that there would be war between Britain and Germany as a result of capitalist competition. It said that so much powder had accumulated that the guns would start shooting of their own accord. It told us what the war would be fought for, and said that the war would lead to a proletarian revolution. Therefore, we tell those socialists who signed this Manifesto and then went over to the side of their capitalist governments that they have betrayed socialism. There has been a split among the socialists all over the world. Some are in ministerial cabinets, others in prison. All over the world some socialists are preaching a war build-up, while others, like Eugene Debs, the American Bebel, who enjoys immense popularity among the American workers, say: “I’d rather be shot than give a cent towards the war. I’m willing to fight only the proletariat’s war against the capitalists all over the world.” That is how the socialists have split throughout the world. The world’s social-patriots think they are defending their country. They are mistaken they are defending the interests of one band of capitalists against another. We preach proletarian revolution the only true cause, for which scores of people have gone to the scaffold, and hundreds and thousands have been thrown into prison. These imprisoned socialists are a minority, but the working class is for them, the whole course of economic development is for them. All this tells us that there is no other way out. The only way to end this war is by a workers’ revolution in several countries. In the meantime we should make preparations for that revolution, we should assist it. For all its hatred of war and desire for peace, the Russian people could do nothing against the war, so long as it was being waged by the tsar, except work for a revolution   against the tsar and for the tsar’s overthrow. And that is what happened. History proved this to you yesterday and will prove it to you tomorrow. We said long ago that the mounting Russian revolution must be assisted. We said that at the end of 1914. Our Duma deputies were deported to Siberia for this, and we were told: “You are giving no answer. You talk about revolution when the strikes are off, when the deputies are doing hard labour, and when you haven’t a single newspaper!” And we were accused of evading an answer. We heard those accusations for a number of years. We answered: You can be indignant about it, but so long as the tsar has not been overthrown we can do nothing against the war. And our prediction was justified. It is not fully justified yet, but it has already begun to receive justification. The revolution is beginning to change the war on Russia’s part. The capitalists are still continuing the war, and we say: Until there is a workers’ revolution in several countries the war cannot be stopped, because the people who want that war are still in power. We are told: “In a number of countries everything seems to be asleep. In Germany all the socialists to a man are for the war, and Liebknecht is the only one against it.” To this I say: This only one, Liebknecht, represents the working class. The hopes of all are in him alone, in his supporters, in the German proletariat. You don’t believe this? Carry on with the war then! There is no other way. If you don’t believe in Liebknecht, if you don’t believe in the workers’ revolution, a revolution that is coming to a head if you don’t believe this then believe the capitalists!

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Also worth checking out is Lenin in July 1915 on ‘The defeat of one’s own government in the imperialist war‘. He gives Trotsky a serving for being a ‘social chauvinist’.

Lest we forget.

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25 thoughts on “Lest we forget… Bolsheviks got the imperialist war right

  1. Yes Barry Lenin was correct, Trotsky was wrong. Then Trotsky conceded that Lenin was correct, this was highlighted by his joining the Bolsheviks.
    Wikipedia entry on the subject
    “Vladimir Lenin and Trotsky were close both ideologically and personally during the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, and some call Trotsky its “co-leader”.[1] Trotsky was the paramount leader of the Red Army in the direct aftermath of the Revolutionary period. Trotsky initially opposed some aspects of Leninism,[2][3] but eventually concluded that unity between the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks was impossible and joined the Bolsheviks. Trotsky played a leading role with Lenin in the October Revolution. Assessing Trotsky, Lenin wrote: “Trotsky long ago said that unification is impossible. Trotsky understood this and from that time on there has been no better Bolshevik.”[4]

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  2. I’m not sure who calls Trotsky the ‘co-leader’ of the Bolshevik revolution. He spent many years opposing Lenin and other proletarian revolutionaries. Eventually he aligned himself with the Bolsheviks.

    Though even then differences did not take long to arise. Brest Litovsk treaty, the role of trade unions in a socialist society. It didn’t take long for Trotsky’s vain, glorious character to go to the forefront.

    Fortunately his support amongst the Bolsheviks was limited, thus he was was not able to totally impede the building of the world’s first socialist state. In the end he became a veritable anti-communist agent fantasising about the Nazis overthrowing the Soviet Union,with him returned as some sort of titular figure head. Grover Furr has done some wonderful work on this.

    Time to return Trotsky to the dust bin of history.

    Glen!

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  3. Hi Glen Trotsky clearly got somethings right and somethings wrong. On the wrong side was his opposition to Lenin’s policy of drawing strict demarcation lines between revolutionaries and reformists. He was allocated the task of signing a peace treaty with Germany and he made a hash of that.
    Things that he got right include a call to end War Communism which the party did a year latter. A call to industrialize which the party took up after he was in exile.
    Trotsky opposed the merger between the KMT and the CCP. The merger ended with the massacre of the CCP.
    Trotsky argued for a united front against fascism in Germany and against the Red Referendum which had the Communist Party and the Nazis Party on the same side.
    Trotsky argued for the Spanish Communist Party to uphold its own policy of Moroccan independence but the party reversed this policy. If you have an understanding of how dependent Franco was on his Moroccan troops its clear what an error this was.
    Trotsky argued that the Munich agreement made the Ribbentrop pact inevitable, he supported the USSR in the Winter war and when Germany invaded the USSR he declared defense of the Soviet Union to be the number one priority of every class conscious worker.
    Trotsky also predicted that the beaurocratic deformations of the CPUSSR would lead to power slipping away from them and a Capitalist restoration to occur which again was pretty accurate.
    For many years anti Trotsky groups have painted a cartoonish characterization of Trotsky based on the lie that he was in league with the fascists yet many years have passed since the USSR came into possession of the documents of the Nazi regimen and not a single shred of evidence has been found that supports these ludicrous assertions.
    Just a side note on Stalin. History allocated him 3 tasks of world historic appointments 1 to collectivize agriculture 2 to industrialize the USSR and 3 to defeat Nazi Germany. All 3 tasks were accomplished and he must be acknowledged as on of the most successful national leaders.

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  4. Glen if you dont mind I thought that I would just make another couple of random points. Now I support Stalin in achieving the goals of collectivization, industrialization and victory over Nazi Germany but it came at a price and the price was a very distorted society. There was a politburo meeting where Zhukov and an armed group stormed the meeting to arrest Beria put him on trial for being a British agent and put a bullet in his head yet no one in the Communist world says “hey isnt that a bit odd” Bukharin when arrested said you cant arrest me Im a politburo member but its on a whole new level arresting one during a politburo meeting.
    The 2 most successful Soviet generals were Zhukov and Rokossovsky both honored at the 1945 Moscow victory parade but its interesting to know that Zhukov always carried spare underwear with him in case he was arrested. Rokossovsky always carried a pistol because they wernt going to arrest him a second time.
    I cant help but think that Paul Robeson’s suicide attempt had something to do with him finding out that many of his friends had been eliminated.
    So all this happens and no one says a thing “everything is ok just move along” Its what Barry was complaining about being in the CPA ML really wierd stuff happens and people say nothing because of some distorted party loyalty. Hey CCP second in charge falls out of the sky. Yeah his plane ran out of fuel as he was on his way to the USSR. Nothing to see just keep taking the tablets.

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  5. Sorry my mistake I thanked Mr Spielberg when I meant to thank Mr Steven King who wrote Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont was the director and King and Darabont did the screen play. I recently listened to an interview with King who was talking to a person who dismissed him as only writing horror stories. When he countered with I also wrote Shawshank Redemption the other person responded with No you didn’t. (any way I think that its a funny story)

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    • Well what do you know I score another mistake. In the movie the music is Mozart and Morgan Freeman does a voice over. I watched both and the Soviet anthem mock up is way better.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. G’day Steve. Unsure about statements saying the view of Trotsky was based on a lie, or ‘not a single shred of evidence has been found ‘.

    For conspiratorial actions like Trotsky and his ilk engaged in, it is difficult finding material evidence as conspirators like this do their best to leave no physical evidence.

    The evidence, the statements, of the conspirators at the Moscow Trials condemned their own actions. The Anti-Soviet Right Trotskyist-Bloc, were linked to sabotage, assassinations, also establishing links with the Nazi’s & japanese militarists, hopefully of instigating an armed uprising, or supporting an invasion for the reward of some sort of titular leadership.

    Grover Furr has done many years of study on this period with access to primary sources like the Harvard Trotsky Archive shedding light on events. It appears more primary documents are being accessed; sadly others were possibly lost during Nazi bombing raids, with also of course the conspirators destroying evidence of their action/plans.

    The tale re Zhukov and Rokossovsky has a resonance. The Soviet Union experienced constant attacks on its right to exist, starting from the time of the Bolshevik revolution. The world’s first, then only, socialist power was encircled by hostile forces. The rise of Nazism/fascism very much encouraged by the West, put enormous pressure on the Soviet Union. Attempts by the Soviets to build alliances, treaties with the French, British, Poles all came to nought,as the Soviet Union remained besieged by its enemies. The presence of the Trotskyite fifth column compounded it. If the Soviet leadership were a tad paranoid, you wouldn’t need to wonder why.

    Valid point re the Moroccans, and the victory of fascism in Spain. I’l need to reread it.

    Thanks Steve.

    Glen!

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  7. Glen with regards to Soviet history we know nothing, what we know is what is probable. Take the Kirov murder. Kirov out polls Stalin in an internal party ballot and he starts talking about not being so hash on the opposition. So his murder might be a random act of an ex party malcontent or part of the oppositions plan or part of the governments plan. The murderer gets assistance from officials so we can probably put a line through the random guy gets lucky theory. Now Kirov was a protégé/rival of Stalin so wheres the up side for the opposition? Hey lets kill a rival to our main opponent who is also arguing for us to get some relief. Doesnt sound probable.
    Now the 3rd probability is Stalin did it. Lets look at that.
    1 the killer tries to sneak a pistol into one of the most secure Soviet buildings, he is caught released and they give him his pistol back. (thats not the way I imagined Soviet security to act)
    2 the killer sneaks a pistol into the building again and this time manages to get past security
    3 the killer goes up to the floor that Kirov is on and what do you know 2 people are walking in the corridor and one is Kirov. The murderer walks past Kirov turns and blows his head off.
    4 The murder is taken into custody along with the second person in the corridor a quick trial and execution for the murderer and the second person well he dies in police custody.
    Well no one has ever got to the bottom of this crime. Initially some right wingers were executed for it and then the left opposition copped the blame.
    But what is probable?
    Its probably an inside job, Stalin was the person who benefited the most so its not unreasonable in a murder to cast suspicion upon who ever benefits the most.
    PS it was the Congress of Victors that gave Kirov a surprise bigger vote than Stalin. Karmas a bitch I think something like 90% of them were purged.

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  8. Thank Glen for pointing out Grover Furr to me Ive started with this

    In a couple of weeks I will have all my time to myself and can really get stuck in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve, Spain was a disaster. Morocco was a big factor in it.

    Of course the troops mobilised in support of Franco and the fascist were predominantly from Africa. Morocco and Spain have a long history. in the modern era Spain’s colonisation of Morocco from 1909, to make up the loss of Cuba, Philippines, etc. The Army based in Africa was more conservative than the one on the Spanish peninsula. Even in 1924 the army in Africa considered a coup against then dictator Primo de Rivera when they disagreed about the future of Spain & Morocco.

    The journey from Morocco to Spain is very close. The leaders of the army in Africa were not adverse to using the imagery of the ‘civilised’ Spanish forces overcoming the Moroccans with beating the progressive forces in Spain. In both examples it was about highlighting the traditional forces overcoming a challenge to this way of life. Franco was adroit in building Christian-Muslim links against the ‘godless’ Republican government. We’d already seen these troops brought across to crush the Austrias Revolution in 1934. The racist imagery of ‘savage’s, was something the Republican used in their propaganda. This played right into the hands of the fascists.

    I’m aware there were some brief uprisings in Morocco to challenge the fascists, but they were quickly put down. There were overtures made from comrades of the PCF with the Moroccan Action Committee to build a revolt in Morocco. Yet when overtures were made to the Spanish Government to support this the Prime Minister Largo Caballero refused to support it. Apparently the British and French governments put pressure on the Spanish re this.

    The Spanish government had hoped for support from the Popular Front government of Blum. It seems the Popular Front government was more worried about losing their African empire than supporting their Spanish comrades. The British government was more overt in their support of Fascists with the British naval base at Morocco being used by the fascists.

    Sadly Spain was a defeat, serious defeat. If there had been sufficient efforts put into mobilising the struggle from Moroccan independence the republic may have survived.

    Glen!

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  10. Hi Glen I think that victory in Spain revolved around 2 issues. One was Morocco and the other was land reform. The Spanish CP did not push for its own policy of independence for Morocco. I dont think that this mattered materially because when the crucial decision not even to meet with Moroccan nationalists the Spanish CP wasnt calling the shots but even so going soft on independence for an oppressed nation is a pretty awful mistake for a CP to make.
    Spain was a country that had large feudal estates and a large number of landless peasants and the Spanish CP never called for radical land reform thus the landless peasants were never given a reason to support the Republic.
    On both of these issues Trotsky was clear supporting Moroccan independence and a land to the tiller reform.
    The Spanish CP embraced neither, under the leadership of Stalin they forfeited their principles to curry favour with Spanish and French imperialists.

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    • I was going to let Steve’s comment pass – it is not on the topic of the Bolsheviks and the First World War. However, I have not read anything so wrong and inaccurate by him. The communists/Stalin knew that the united front could not be built in Spain at that time based on the seizure and redistribution of land, nor could it be built on the basis of burning down churches. It could be built on the basis of defeating the coup and the restoration of the elected government and basic democracy. The Trotskyists and anarchists have so much to answer for in Spain (and elsewhere). The consequence of their pseudo-leftism and destructive theory of ‘permanent revolution’? Nearly forty years of fascism.

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  11. Barry this thread did go off topic it started when you said
    “Also worth checking out is Lenin in July 1915 on ‘The defeat of one’s own government in the imperialist war‘. He gives Trotsky a serving for being a ‘social chauvinist’.”
    Now bringing up Lenin’s pre 1917 view of Trotsky is part of the campaign to denigrate this great revolutionary while ignoring Lenin’s post 1917 view that there is no better Bolshevik than Trotsky.
    Then Glen recycled the old lie
    ” In the end he became a veritable anti-communist agent fantasising about the Nazis overthrowing the Soviet Union,with him returned as some sort of titular figure head.”
    So Barry before you castigate me for writing non sense I think that you should check what you and Glen have written.
    If you think that I drag threads off topic Im happy for you to start a thread say what about one on the Red Referendum you know the Nazi initiated vote that the German CP was directed to support. I would love to discuss Stalinists and Nazis sharing a platform.
    Barry I dont think that you are a bad person on the contrary I think that you have been a better revolutionary than I will ever be but I also think that you carry around a lot of rubbish ideas from the past.
    All the best Steve

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  12. Steve when you trot out , ‘Glen recycled the old lie’. I’m not sure of the use of that type of language, nor its purpose.

    I’ m cognisant Grover Furr has sourced more available primary material showing the links between the Trotskyites and Fascist Germany/Imperial Japan. Trotsky, Bukharin,Kamenev and the various other Rightists were quite overt in their efforts to build alliances to overthrow the Soviet Government. Trotskyism has never had to worry about what to do when one achieves state power, far too easy to resort to lambasting the efforts of those who have managed to obtain state power and build a new society .

    As i said Spain was a disaster,with no party on the Left able to stop the Fascist victory. Mistakes were made,serious mistakes, with groupings like the POUM and the anarchists helping divide any sort of united counter to fascism .

    Glen!

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  13. Couple of things Glen can you recommend Grover’s best you tube clip I watched one but he didnt say anything persuasive he just restated his claims as if they were established facts. Have you read Homage to Catalina? You say mistakes were made but what were these mysterious mistakes? I think that the mistakes were failing to start independence negotiations with Moroccans and failing to break up the big estates in favour of the landless peasants.
    Barry did my link to an article about KDP collaboration with the Nazi’s go too far, is this where censorship starts on this site? Maybe just an oversight I thought that you were better than that Barry.

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  14. Hi Glen Ive listened to talks given by Grover and read some stuff of his posted on the net. He says that there is a lot of evidence linking Trotsky to the Nazis, the plan to help Germany invade the USSR and his assistance to fascism during the Spanish civil war. He says he has 3 volumes of evidence but Im finding it hard to identify any.
    You have read the books can you just tell me what his best evidence is?
    He makes a deal of finding that Trotsky was a liar but I would expect this to be the case. The charge is treason not dishonesty. Grover makes a big deal that Trotsky stated that he wasnt in communication with anyone inside the USSR by he was. But honestly would you expect him to tell the truth when the truth is a death sentence to anybody that he contacted.
    Grover relies on his oft repeated statement that the confessions at the trials were true but you must know that when statements were cross referenced like the Bristol Hotel meeting or the flight to Oslo that these facts were impossible. (The hotel was demolished years before the meeting and records at Oslo indicate no international flights on the day in question)
    If Trotsky had extensive communications and detailed agreements with Germany its just not credible that no hard evidence survived.
    Just do a thought experiment. Trotsky was the most prominent and most hated Jew in the world yet the mass murdering Nazi regimen was keen to protect his reputation.
    As the Red Army surrounded Berlin any archivist could get a free pass from the Red Army by preserving and producing documents that proved Trotsky’s guilt but no one did. They all destroyed the documents rather than have the reputation of this Bolshevik Jew be besmirched.

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  15. Glen you asked who sees Trotsky as a co leader of the revolution well the answer is people who study the history

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  16. G’day Steve, i do have a sense of humour so i’m happy having a laugh at your June 1 posting. Almost Life Of Brian-ish.

    Re Grover Furr i wasn’t aware of the You tube stuff. Ta Steve.

    Do yourself a favour, peruse works of his such as Trotsky’s Amalgams 2015, (republished 2020), The Moscow Trials as Evidence 2018,or Trotsky’s Lies 2019. They’ll get the ball rolling. There are also nuanced, well researched articles such as those he has written with Vladimir Bobrov re Bukharin’s confession: please google these.

    Some Trotskyites would maybe know of ‘their’ historians like Pierre Broue, or Arch Getty. Back in the 1980’s this pair perused the Trotsky Archives held at Harvard University finding a lot of primary documents from the 1930’s were removed. Are these the missing documents that would sway the handful of people who are unwilling to accept the reality Trotsky, and his ilk, collaborated with fascism?

    Glen!

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  17. Glen I will follow up on the Grover Furr stuff that you recommend. If you come across any talk he gives where he explains his work rather than just proclaims that he has proven his argument I would appreciate you notifying me. I am reluctant to buy any of his books on the basis that his method seems to be to analyse other historians footnotes which would I think be beyond my capabilities to assess. Plus Im quite prepared to believe that most main stream historians are not much more than propagandists for an anti Soviet view. For ever people interested in large social change will return to the Trotsky/Stalin debate and most arguments will end up at this point. In this thread Barry could not resist a poke at Trotsky which lead me to put an alternate view to which you responded and we have admittedly deviated from discussing WW1. If there was an interest in discussing WW1 I would critisise our detour but seeing that we probably agree that the Bolsheviks got WW1 right then it would seem reasonable that we discuss stuff that is contentious. Honestly I have little interest in discussing stuff with people I agree with. May I suggest that you if you havent already read up on the 1931 Prussian Landtag referendum.

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  18. This series that looks at WW1 week by week as they also do for WW2 is excellent. They also do a great job covering the Russian Revolution and civil war.

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  19. Grove Furr Grover Furr I mean what is this guys deal. He argues if that is the right word that leaders of the POUM were assassinated because they were in league with fascism. OK people like Nin were murdered because they were actively involved in fascist plots like the May days in Barcelona that these fascist provocateurs under the direction of Leon Trotsky started the trouble in Barcelona. Who in their right mind believes such obvious nonsense. I get it just like princes from Nigeria they put out stuff to which only the most gullible will respond because thats their strategy first identify the most gullible. Now if I was to use Grover’s method I would just state that my case has been made and move on but unfortunately I just cant cite some obscure guys memoir and go case closed I have to put up some convincing argument so here goes. Unlike now in the 1930’s the telephone exchange was central to holding power and in 1937 Barcelona it was held by the anarchists. So any call that needed a connection had to get anarchist approval. Minister for Marine and Air Indalecio Prieto tried to phone the government in Barcelona only to be told by the anarchist telephonist that Barcelona doesn’t have a government. Plus who ever holds the exchange can listen and did to any phone call.
    OK the May days started when 200 Trotskyite/fascists attempted to seize the exchange and oust the Anarchists oh sorry it wasn’t 200 Trotskyite/fascists it was the government police. 200 assault guards attempted to evict the anarchists from the exchange.
    The obscure guy I want to cite is Eric Blair he was there and he wrote about it in Homage to Catalonia.

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