(Publicado originalmente en www.marx21.net)
“This title must find an excellent reception among Spanish-speaking readers, not only because Trotski is always attractive and necessary, but because Choonara’s text is free from the vulgarisation it tends to fall into when, in a few pages, it tries to narrate something complex .
Choonara not only brings us the biography of a historical person, but also presents it to us as the biography of a revolutionary of history.
Trotsky, not only with his life, but with a concise theory, offers those who approach the anti-capitalist struggle the instruments to understand that communism is not Stalin and that Stalin is not the savior of communism. This is the main purpose of Esme Choonara and, therefore, of this collection of biographies: to create class consciousness to organize the class struggle. ”
From the foreword by Frank García Hernández, historian, sociologist, and coordinator of the 1st León Trotski International Academic Event, held in Havana in 2019.
Esme Choonara is a UK health worker, a member of the Socialist Workers Party. An anti-racist and socialist activist, she is also a co-author of the book Say It Loud: Marxism and the Fight Against Racism and an editorial member of International Socialism magazine .
- Posted by Marx21.net. First edition in Spanish: May 2020.
- Original title: A rebel’s guide to Trotsky . Bookmarks, London, 2007.
- Produced by Marxist militants21. Translation: Dani Romero, Kadijatu Dem Njie, Paty Gómez Medina, Rubén James Vargas. Coordination: Dani Romero. Review: Paty Gómez Medina. Design: David Karvala.
Prologue: Trotsky: provocative concert for restless book
- Trotsky for the 21st century
- Trotsky becomes revolutionary
- What kind of party?
- 1905: The first workers councils
- Permanent revolution
- The proof of war
- 1917: Revolution in Russia
- Beginnings of a new society
- Arming the Revolution
- Spreading the revolution
- The united front
- The rise of bureaucracy
- Socialism in a country
- The planet without a visa
- Fighting fascism
- The revolution betrayed
- Could Trotsky have defeated Stalin?
- Trotsky’s legacy
Revolutions are made by the peoples, the working class. But it is the organized revolutionaries who are sowing them through ideas and action.
Learning from history, experiences and revolutionary theory is an essential task for those of us who want to change the world.
Trotsky was one of the most outstanding revolutionaries in recent history, for his role during the Russian Revolution and his theoretical contributions throughout his life. The October 1917 revolution was, in effect, a practical application of his concept of permanent revolution. And this idea continues to describe the possibilities of a revolution in many of the least industrialized countries in the world today.
Similarly, the application of the “united front” managed to defeat the attempted coup d’état of the right in August 1917. Tragically, after the rise of Stalinism, this idea – which was developed and promoted by Trotsky, becoming a A key element of his thinking – was replaced by sectarianism or popular fronts, which failed and allowed fascism to take power in Germany and in the Spanish state, for example.
Today, the unitary fight against fascism is again essential, as a retaining wall of authoritarianism and fascism that grows all over the world and threatens the lives of millions of people, and the opportunity to achieve any minimal progressive change, not Let’s say move towards socialism. Perhaps it is one of the most urgent lessons to retrieve from Trotsky; Currently there are few Trotskyist organizations or groups actively working to build these movements. But reality shows that they work: the experiences of Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up To Racism in Great Britain, KEERFA in Greece or UCFR in Catalonia, even with their difficulties, have managed to defeat different fascist movements.
Apart from his merely theoretical contributions, Trotsky’s life is also an inspiration to all those who fight for a better world.
Trotsky lived many years of repression and hardship, after living an attempt of revolution in 1905, (he chaired the first workers council in history), and later, in 1917, living the first (and, for the moment, only) revolutionary victory of the working class against capitalism, and resist the fierce invasion of the capitalist powers that left a Russia in ruins.
From there, he suffered one tragedy after another. First, the rise of Stalinism and the counterrevolution, which banished all that had been achieved in 1917 and ended the life of most of the revolutionary leaders. Then, the victory of fascisms in various countries and the beginning of the Second World War. Trotsky lived his last years in exile, in one of the darkest times that humanity has known. But he never stopped fighting, writing, organizing a revolutionary alternative to capitalism and Stalinism. It is possible that in those moments everything seemed already lost; Stalin’s regime consolidated as Europe suffered under fascism and war. Trotsky could have given up, but his commitment and that of all those who continued to fight for socialism from below served so that today we can affirm that there is an alternative. That the USSR was not a socialist; that we are fighting for something radically different. The resistance that Trotsky symbolizes was, above all, a seed for the future. Today, we live in a present in which more than ever we need to make it sprout.
Dani Romero , Marx21