The First World War was becoming a catastrophe for Russia. From the front line there was news of defeat after defeat. The breakdown of the economy produced a shortage of bread. Crowds of half-starved and desperate women queued outside shops for bread that never arrived. But at the top of Russian society things were very different.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. The apologists of capitalism, and their faithful echoes in the labour movement, try to comfort themselves with the thought that the collapse of the USSR signified the demise of socialism. But what failed in Russia was not socialism but a caricature of socialism. Contrary to the oft-repeated slanders, the Stalinist regime was the antithesis of the democratic regime established by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
Wellred Books proudly presents a work eighty years in the making. Leon Trotsky's unfinished biography of Stalin, the most extensive ever edition of the book completed from the original archive material. Here is the story behind the book.
On August 20th 1940 Trotsky’s life was brutally ended when a Stalinist agent brought an ice pick crashing down on his defenceless head. Among the works left unfinished was the second part of Stalin. Trotsky’sStalin.This work is probably unique in Marxist literature in that it attempts to explain some of the most decisive events of the 20th century, not just in terms of epoch-making economic and social transformations, but in the individual psychology of those who appear as protagonists in a great historical drama.
The crisis of capitalism today is leading more and more people to question the society that we live in. There is a widespread sense that something is fundamentally wrong in the world and that it must be changed fundamentally. According to the ruling class and reformists the events taking place today are merely the result of a series of unfortunate accidents and all that is needed is for everyone to act “rationally”. But this does not explain anything and it solves even less.
"The year 1848 is turning out well", wrote Engels. "By this glorious revolution the French proletariat has again placed itself at the head of the European movement. All honour to the workers of Paris!" That revolution spread across the whole of Europe, marking an important development in the class struggle.
In the fifth and final part of his series Alan Woods explains the significance of the Russian Revolution as the first attempt of humanity to break free from class society.
<< Part four | [end]
In this fourth part of the series, Alan Woods traces the history of feudalism from its rise to its inevitable downfall in the age of the bourgeois revolutions.
<< part three | part five >> (to be published)