To build Socialism without the possibility of completing it; to build knowing that it cannot be completed-such are the absurdities in which Zinoviev has involved himself. In the course of the split in 1985, it was Cliff Slaughter who championed the national autonomy of the British section, rejecting the necessity of subordinating the factional struggle within the WRP to the clarification and building of the world party. Against this conception, Trotsky established that the struggle against imperialism, which enjoyed myriad ties to the native bourgeoisie, only intensified the class struggle. By our successes in building Socialism. Rejecting the internationalist foundations of this theory—verified in the experience of the October Revolution—the Stalin leadership based itself on a formal nationalist approach, dividing the world into different types of countries based upon whether or not they possessed the supposed necessary prerequisites for socialist construction. That is why the Fourteenth Party Congress rightly defined the views of the New Opposition as “lack of faith in the cause of Socialist construction,” as “a distortion of Leninism.”. In his autobiography, My Life, Trotsky explained the political psychology of what he described as “the out-and-out philistine, ignorant, and simply stupid baiting of the theory of permanent revolution”: “Gossiping over a bottle of wine or returning from the ballet,” he wrote, “one smug official would say to another: ‘He can think of nothing but permanent revolution.’ The accusations of unsociability, of individualism, of aristocratism, were closely connected with this particular mood. The accusation, apparently, hit the mark. Hence, the victory of Socialism is possible, first in several or even in one capitalist country… The Stalin leadership insisted that the imperialist oppression of China—and indeed in all the colonial and semi-colonial countries—welded together all classes, from the proletariat to the bourgeoisie in a common struggle against imperialism, justifying their unification in a common party. This basic fact alone invests the idea of a world communist party with a supreme reality.”. It was Stalin’s position that China was not yet ripe for a socialist revolution, that it lacked the “sufficient minimum” of development for socialist construction. And he has but one purpose, namely-to “improve” the resolution, and to amend Lenin “just a little bit.” It need hardly be proved that Zinoviev is mistaken in his calculations. “The struggle against imperialism, precisely because of its economic and military power, demands a powerful exertion of forces from the very depth of the Chinese people,” he wrote. Can this task be accomplished, can the final victory of socialism in one country be attained, without the joint efforts of the proletariat of several advanced countries? The origins of Stalinism itself lay in the contradictory emergence of the first workers state in an isolated and backward country. Will it last long? However, from 1917 to 1923 Lenin's standpoint on this matter underwent a complete reversal. As Trotsky summed up his theory in the 1939 article “Three Conceptions of the Russian Revolution”: “The complete victory of the democratic revolution in Russia is inconceivable otherwise than in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat basing itself on the peasantry. One or the other must triumph in the end. Socialism in one country began from the standpoint of socialism as a means of national development. But if after a whole year of discussion on the question of the victory of Socialism in one country; after Zinoviev’s viewpoint has been rejected by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee (April 1925) ; after the Party has arrived at a definite opinion on this question, recorded in the well-known resolution of the Fourteenth Party Conference (April 1925) -if, after all this, Zinoviev ventures to oppose the Party point of view in his book, Leninism (September 1925), if he then repeats this opposition at the Fourteenth Party Congress-how can his stubbornness, his persistence in his error, be explained if not by the fact that Zinoviev is infected, hopelessly infected, with skepticism as regards the victory of Socialist construction in our country? Is this not all that is necessary for the purpose of building a complete Socialist society? This divorcing of the prospects for the Soviet Union from the development of the world socialist revolution likewise constituted a frontal assault on the theory of permanent revolution, upon which the October Revolution of 1917 had been based. To counter this pressure, the Soviet state established a monopoly of foreign trade. While an indispensable instrument of defense, the monopoly itself expressed Soviet dependence on the world market and its relative weakness in terms of productivity of labor in relation to the major capitalist powers. And before that end supervenes a series of frightful collisions between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois states will be inevitable. If it were otherwise, Lenin’s call for seizure of power by the proletariat in October 1917 would be incomprehensible. Some 24 years later, The Permanent Revolution (1929) was written in response to an attack on the the theory by Karl Radek, a Soviet journalist and former Left Opposition member who advocated Stalin’s theory of “socialism in one country”. Here is what he said about the victory of Socialism in one country even before the October Revolution in August 1915: “Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. For what else is our country, “the country that is building Socialism,” if not the base of the world revolution? We mean the impossibility of having full guarantees against intervention and consequently against the restoration of the bourgeois order, without the victory of the revolution in at least a number of countries. The class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the masses of workers and peasants is not weakened but, on the contrary, it is sharpened by imperialist oppression, to the point of bloody civil war at every serious conflict.”. In the present epoch, to a much larger extent than in the past, the national orientation of the proletariat must and can flow only from a world orientation and not vice versa. Let us turn to Lenin. Where does Zinoviev stand on the question of the victory of Socialism in one country ? But does it not follow from this that skepticism regarding the victory of Socialist construction, the dissemination of this skepticism, will lead to our country being discredited as the base of the world revolution? This abrupt and gross revision of perspective reflected the growing social weight of the bureaucracy and its awakening consciousness in regards to its own specific social interests, which it saw as bound up with the steady development of the national economy. Trotsky wrote in his Results and Prospects: “The theory of socialism in one country, which rose on the yeast of the reaction against October, is the only theory that consistently and to the very end opposes the theory of the permanent revolution.”. The political tendency that was breaking with Trotskyism reproduced the nationalist outlook that characterized Stalinism from its origins, while those defending the historically developed perspective of the Fourth International did so from the standpoint of internationalism. The revolutionary party of the proletariat can base itself only upon an international program corresponding to the character of the present epoch, the epoch of the highest development and collapse of capitalism. In respect of the technique of production, socialist society must represent a stage higher than capitalism. Against Trotsky’s opposition, the Chinese Communist Party was instructed to enter the Guomindang and submit to its organizational discipline, while Chiang Kai-shek was elected as an honorary member of the Comintern’s executive committee, with Trotsky casting the sole opposing vote. No, this is impossible. In November 1982, in the summation of his “Critique of Gerry Healy’s ‘Studies in Dialectical Materialism,’” Comrade David North reviewed the political relations established by the WRP leadership in the Middle East over the previous period, writing, “Marxist defense of national liberation movements and the struggle against imperialism has been interpreted in an opportunist fashion of uncritical support of various bourgeois nationalist regimes.”, “For all intents and purposes,” he continued, “the theory of permanent revolution has been treated as inapplicable to present circumstances.”. Another aspect of Stalinist theory that Grant and Woods pick apart in this text is that of ‘Socialism in One Country’. Of course, Party resolutions are sometimes not free from error. socialist revolution but to capitalistically developed states. It is no use building Socialism without being sure that we can build it, without being sure that the technical backwardness of our country is not an insuperable obstacle to the building of complete Socialist society. T he object of the present essay is to examine one area of the debate recently engaged in nlr between Nicolas Krassó and Ernest Mandel—the question of ‘Socialism in One Country’. The exhaustion of the Russian working class as a consequence of the civil war, combined with the defeats suffered by the European working class and the temporary stabilization of capitalism, contributed to the growth of a nationalist outlook within the Soviet state and its ruling party. The underlying perspective that guided the WRP leadership was that of anti-internationalism. This also holds entirely for the party that wields the state power within the boundaries of the USSR. First he came to the conclusion that socialism could be built in an isolated Russia, although it would remain ‘incomplete’ in the absence of the world revolution. Permanent Revolution vs. Bourgeois Nationalism. Let us turn to Lenin. In other words, we can and must build a complete Socialist society, for we have at our disposal all that is necessary and sufficient for this purpose. 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