Trotskyism

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Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, which included his support for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class. His politics differed sharply from those of Stalinism, most prominently in opposing Socialism in One Country, which he argued was a break with proletarian internationalism, and in his belief in what he argued was a more authentic dictatorship of the proletariat based on working-class self-emancipation and mass democracy, rather than the unaccountable bureaucracy he saw as having developed after Lenin's death.

V. I. Lenin and Trotsky were close both ideologically and personally during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath, and some call Trotsky its "co-leader". However, Lenin also criticized Trotsky's ideas and intra-Party political habits. Trotsky was also the paramount leader of the Soviet Red Army in the direct aftermath of the Revolutionary period.

Trotsky originally opposed some aspects of Leninism. In his 1914 article “Disruption of Unity”, Lenin wrote, "Under cover of ‘non-factionalism’ Trotsky is championing the interests of a group abroad which particularly lacks definite principles and has no basis in the working-class movement in Russia. All that glitters is not gold. There is much glitter and sound in Trotsky’s phrases, but they are meaningless." Later, Trotsky judged that unity between the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks was impossible and joined the Bolsheviks. Trotsky played a leading role with Lenin in the 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."

Trotsky's Fourth International was established in France in 1938 when Trotskyists argued that the Comintern or Third International had become irretrievably "lost to Stalinism" and thus incapable of leading the international working class to political power. In contemporary English language, an advocate of Trotsky's ideas is often called a "Trotskyist"; a Trotskyist can be called a "Trotskyite" or "Trot", especially by a critic of Trotskyism.

Read more about Trotskyism:  Definition, Criticism

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