Welcome back, and it’s time for housekeeping chores, as always. Here is the link to Part A of this series. If you are reading ALL 3 series from the beginning, then link to Part A, and that will contain a link to all the previous entries for Part I and Part II, which were penned some months back. Then read:
and then this one, which is III-D. There shall be one more after this one, and then we’re done. Got it?
We now continue with Part III of Professor Chase monograph “Trotsky In Mexico”. Which is a summary and medley of the Prof’s previous arias. Chase, in the first few paragraphs dismisses the notion that Trotsky’s eagerness for the U.S. consul to read his unpublished works on Comintern agents, was keyed on the recent home invasion or investigation of the murder of Robert Sheldon Harte.
And this is where the Prof recaps the major Leitmotif of his opera, which I henceforth dub the “Chase Publish Or Perish” Leitmotif.
Translating Paragraph #5 in full:
From the beginning of 1937 through the beginning of 1939, Trotsky and his supporters worked at full throttle to obtain an entry visa for him to the U.S. These attempts were undertaken under false pretexes, with Trotsky’s knowledge. The attempts of [Benjamin] Stolberg and [Suzanne] La Follette in 1937 to facilitate an entry (visa for Trotsky) were most certainly motivated in reality by their wish to have Trotsky appear before the Dewey Commission in New York; or, at the very least, create a precedent for a possible future residency permit. In March of 1939 Trotsky wrote to a fellow Party member: “Your suggestion to send an American doctor here [to Mexico] is not pertinent. There is nothing new to report [in my health], with the exception of some chronic dislocations [?]. The general term for my condition is called the Sixth Decade, and I am not convinced that [even] in New York you can find a specialist for this disease.” When his [requests for a visa on medical grounds] turned out to be unconvincing [to the American government], Trotsky switched tactics and, together with [Pelham] Glassford and the ACLU, returned to the same motivation he had used in 1933: to do historical research.
Publish Or Perish
And this is, in fact the entire theme of the Professor’s monograph. That Trotsky wanted into America, by hook or by crook. He wanted to move to America with his family, and he didn’t care what he had to do to obtain an entry visa. Even if it meant lying to the American government, betraying the cause he had lived and worked for all his life, and even throwing his American comrades under the bus!
But now we get to the two juicier arias, the ones that excited the remaining Stalinist sects worldwide: the Dies Committee testimony and the McGregor Memorandum. Two links in the same “chain of betrayal”, as the Stalinists would say. I mentioned before that the worldwide Stalinist factions, scholars like Grover Furr, various other not-so-scholarly Furrites, “Furries” and proto-violent grouplets like “The Red Youth” have insisted, all along, that every allegation Stalin made against Trotsky (as well as all the other Old Bolsheviks), was true. Discarding Trotsky’s own (and more sensible) theory that the Moscow Trials of 1936-37 were simply Stalin’s little way of getting Trotsky extradited back to the USSR — that’s just how much he missed his old friend — they insist that all the charges were true. That Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, and all the others had collaborated with the Nazis, with the Japanese, with all of the Soviet Union’s enemies, in their attempt to overthrow Stalin’s government and replace it with their own. And then, in his waning years, Trotsky and his home-boy Diego Rivera decided to collaborate with still another imperialist government, the United States, and with the same motive: to destroy Stalin and the entire workers movement; and to restore capitalism to the USSR.
Political Revolution vs Counter-Revolution?
The one kernel of truth in this ludicrous combination is that Trotsky did, indeed (after he gave up on the possibility of peaceful change), call for the violent overthrow of the Stalin faction and the Nomenklatura in the Soviet Union. Trotsky called such an event a “political revolution”, as opposed to a “social revolution” — the latter being something like the French or Russian revolutions which radically changes property ownership. A political revolution, in contrast, would leave socialistic property relations intact (as in, not restore capitalism), but replace the government with a new one, and the Communist Party with a new ruling Socialist Party. The bourgeois equivalent would be, say, a palace coup; or like, for example, if Donald Trump was impeached and replaced by Hillary Clinton. It wouldn’t change a damn thing in terms of the basic economic system, but it would certainly change a lot of things among the ruling elite in Washington DC.
After Trotsky’s death, future events in Eastern Europe (East Germany 1953, Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968) were to prove that political revolution against the Stalin Nomenklatura was possible but not desirable. Given the imperialist interest in such events, and that such uprisings, however spontaneous and sincere they start out to be in the beginning, are rather quickly, and inevitably, coopted by the United States and its NATO allies, for the purposes of capitalist counter-revolution, as opposed to reforming socialism. The pinnacle of this can be seen in the Polish eventsof 1980, where the mass trade union movement Solidarność fought for — not a better brand of socialism — but for capitalist restoration under the benevolent aegis of the Pope, Saint Ronald Reagan, and NATO. In a way, though, this sort or proved, indirectly, that Trotsky had been right when he insisted that the “political revolution” had to be led, not by trade unionists, but by a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party such as his own, the Fourth International. Without a political party to lead it, all uprisings eventually just go whichever way the laws of entropy take them. With the Imperialist economic system dominating Planet Earth, with its perennial meddling, and its perennial wars, it acts like a vast black hole, sucking in all light, and all hope, from the world. This is probably one of the reasons why the Chinese leadership are doubling down and tightening up their own Nomenklatura system: In self-defense!
[to be continued]