Of course, it is quite difficult to commemorate a giant like Trotsky with a short presentation on the 80th anniversary of his death.
The October Revolution of 1917 brought human civilization to the brink of a communist leap. Trotsky was one of the two leaders of this revolution, along with Lenin.
We are talking about an impressive leader, in every aspect.
Think about it… At the age of 26, he developed the theory of Permanent Revolution that drew the route of the success of the Russian Revolution.
He was a productive writer and theorist. He was the president of the Petrograd Soviet in the 1905 and 1917 Revolutions and the leader of the uprising working masses.
The October uprising was personally organized by him. He was the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs after the revolution. He wrote the Theses of the first four Congresses of the Comintern with Lenin.
He created the Red Army, which played a vital role in the fate of the revolution, from nothing, and also became the sword of the revolution by leading the most critical battles himself.
He then continued the struggle initiated by Lenin against the corruption of the revolution and became a living example of communist ideals.
He built the 4th International in place of the 3rd International organization of the world revolution, which was liquidated by Stalinism
He managed to build the Bolshevik-Leninist tradition all over the world, despite unique extermination campaigns that no revolutionary generation has ever seen
In the meantime, he continued his theoretical productions, analyzing fascism that swept the whole world with perfect clarity and forming the program of the struggle against fascism.
While Stalin and his cohorts pushed the world communist movement to its passivity against fascism, Trotsky called on the workers to form a united front and take up arms against the approaching danger of Nazism.
In short, the list is endless when we try to properly address Trotsky’s greatness.
But the aim of this speech today is not limited to commemorating the great works of a great revolutionary, a great leader who suffered injustice in the past. Trotsky is much more than that.
First of all, if Marxism has a meaning for the youth, women and workers today, we owe it to the struggle that Trotsky and his followers gave at the cost of their lives over the past century.
Trotsky does not only express the revolutionary legacy of the past; he guides us both today and towards the future. Trotsky’s side expresses the only revolutionary program today.
In 1917, the workers’ power in Russia shone like a star in the hearts of the working peoples of the world. Unfortunately, Stalin became the executioner of the workers’ state in the 1920s and 30s.
The victory of Stalin, that is, the defeat of socialism, was a turning point for the world socialist movement, for the oppressed and exploited.
Not only the showdown with capitalism was mired down but also, for a century, Stalin and his followers blocked the world socialist movement and the struggle of the working people.
Today is the time when the conditions for closing this account are reopened. After the 2008 crisis, the world went through turmoil. The year 2019 has passed with a global wave of rebellion from Chile to Sudan, from Iran to Lebanon.
While the system could not overcome one of the few crises in the history of capitalism, the pandemic became the system’s Chernobyl. It showed how rotten and unworkable this order was.
In 2020, even under pandemic conditions, public anger showed itself on the streets in the USA, Lebanon.
The need for a new system is quickly felt by the most dynamic elements of the movement.
If there is to be a new system, if we are talking about socialism, there is no alternative to Marxism.
Today, the main bearer of the flag of Marxism cannot be any other than Trotskyism. It is those who follow the path of Trotsky who keep alive the core values of the Marxist tradition against the bourgeoisie, who are trying to bill the sins of Stalinism against socialism and Marxism.
There is another critical issue. Today, it is not possible to be a socialist without defending Trotsky’s permanent revolution.
Look, the demand for democracy stands out alongside many demands in the rising protests around the world.
They want democracy in Sudan, they want democracy in Lebanon, they want democracy in Iraq,
They want democracy in Iran, they want democracy in Belarus ..
What kind of democracy? How will this democracy be achieved?
Let’s put Sudan aside, there is a regression in democracy all over the world. In historically weak places of bourgeois democracies, authoritarian regimes have taken the strings.
Look at the established one-man authoritarian regime in Turkey; They have conjugates in Brazil and India. The course is not different in central countries, they seem to be going backwards.
Trump is the ruler of the USA. The treatment of Yellow Vests in France is still in our minds, and the rise of the far right, which says we should ignore democracy, cannot be overlooked.
It is not the time for bourgeois democracy but for Putin, for Xi Jnping, for Trump; increased international conflicts; time they will increase imperialist aggression!
In other words, even the issue of democracy is not in a situation to be resolved within the system.
What did Trotsky’s thesis of permanent revolution put forward? We shall not stop halfway.
Stages, democratic transformations cannot save the oppressed, the workers.
Except for a socialist revolution, we have no salvation other than a struggle to spread this revolution around the world.
Every solution for the order means going back to the old times.
Look at the Arab Spring
The masses who shed blood to make Mubarek go ended up with Sisi because they could not undertake a more radical transformation.
It is impossible for an advanced bourgeois democracy to develop in the third world.
As the capitalist crisis deepens under the pandemic, there is no life for anyone but a handful of brothers under capitalism.
The millennium holds the potential of great revolts
Those who wholeheartedly want to get rid of capitalism must also prepare for a new era.
Extraordinary periods can only be responded to with a program ready for extraordinary events.
What did Trotsky say? “Comrades, we love the sun that gives us light, but if the rich and the aggressors were to try to monopolize it we should say: ‘Let the sun be extinguished, let darkness reign eternal night!”
It is such a determination and a determination to progress to the end for the revolution.
We need more than Syriza or Corbyn and Sanders, who give a radical image but are confined to the boundaries of the order.
If a program focused on defeating capitalism is indispensable, today this program has only one owner: Trotskyism.
Today, Trotskyism means;
- to be a working class revolutionary. Those who said that the working class had died, ended, integrated into the system saw that they hit the wall in the 2019 riot wave.
- As new revolts unfold, the effective power of the working class will become clearer.
- Trotskyism, by not allowing the propaganda of bourgeois hegemony against the working class, but with the awareness that the working class has the capacity to gather all the oppressed and lower classes of society under its leadership, means insisting on a working class-centered politics, the subject of the revolution.
Today, Trotskyism means;
The Leninist Party
While the bourgeois order has surrounded every corner, the oppressed, youth, laborers and women cannot go unorganized. It is not possible to overthrow this order with loose structures without a centralized combat organization.
It is an insistence on the struggle to create the revolutionary leadership of the working class with democratic centralism.
Today, Trotskyism means;
The defense of the proletarian revolution. There is no salvation under this order. intermediate solutions are nothing more than a deadlock.
Trotskyism today means;
– to build a world party and to fight for the international unity of revolutionaries, with the awareness that the fate of the working people of the world is interconnected and that revolutions will take place.
Trotskyism today means;
– workers’ democracy. Against Stalinism’s identification of socialism with an oppressive, authoritarian one-man-one-party regime, it is an emphasis that the workers ‘power can survive only through workers’ democracy, which runs through councils and soviets, which are made up of representatives chosen by the working people.
Trotskyism today means;
– of course the Permanent Revolution.
The vast majority of the peoples of the world live in countries that have met late with capitalism, known as the third world.
In these regions, those who rely on gradual democratic transformations instead of the struggle for socialism are doing a kind of reaction, wasting the revolutionary energy of the masses.
Look to Nepal in 2006, to Sudan last year. If the Permanent Revolution program stops halfway, the working class will lose everything; the working class and the lower classes once mobilized should not think of less than a socialist revolution.
Finally, a new wave of struggle is brewing around the world.
The people, whose anger has accumulated under pandemic conditions, will take to the streets, but with which discourse, with which flag, with which program?
In the face of Stalinist defamations, the endless propaganda of the capitalists take the advantage of Stalinist defamation and the fall of the world socialist movement under the ruins of the eastern bloc. And Trotskyism, which challenged the stalinism in USSR, which was destroyed in the hands of Stalin and its followers, is the only political alternative to raise the flag of socialism again.
Today, this task is ours, the comrades of the ISL,