Trotskyism called an outbound direction of Leon Trotsky Marxism as well as a political rallying cry in pursuit of political opponents of Joseph Stalin and his successors in the second third of the 20th century.

  • 6.1 overviews and reference works
  • 6.2 Magazines for Trotzkismusforschung


Trotskyism in particular deviates from the predetermined by Josef Stalin Line of orthodox Marxism -Leninism from especially with regard to the theory of revolution and the party doctrine. A key component is the theory of " permanent revolution ", that is, the socialist revolution as a global, continuous process under the leadership of workers' councils.

By his own understanding Trotsky represented the original, internationally oriented Leninist teachings of the Russian October Revolution, in contrast to later twist by Stalinism ( socialism in one country ). He defined the term in the 1920s as " the proper application of Marxism to a new stage in the development of the October Revolution and our party. "

Contrary to the argument advanced by Stalin 's thesis of possible " socialism in one country" was Leon Trotsky for a consistent internationalism. According to his theory of permanent revolution, socialism can be used as transitional society to communism only work on an international level, which is why the whole world must be freed by a revolution of capitalism. Starting point for Trotskyism but especially the study of Trotsky in 1936 wrote The Revolution Betrayed. What is the Soviet Union and where they are doing? In it, he worked out an analysis of the bureaucratization of countries often referred to as degenerate workers' states, where a proletarian revolution had taken place. Trotskyists understand how many other Marxist currents also, as a representative of Leninism.

A method used, among other Trotskyist movements is that of the "entry ", the overt or covert involvement in political parties and organizations. Goal can be there to spread their own ideology to attract members to change the course of the organization, not to be in times of marginalization or prohibition of revolutionary organizations is completely isolated from the political process or to have a legal political work opportunity.

" Trotskyism " as a political term was used before 1917 for the characterization of Trotsky's views within the Social Democratic Party of Russia in the first place. For Stalin, the term served after 1923 as " a model for all forms of left-wing opposition in the communist movement and the Soviet Union ", and then after the mid -1930s, mainly in the political debate with the Left Opposition within the III. International to be used as combat and propaganda term. Dissenters from the party line of the CPSU were often referred to as Trotskyists, such as in the Moscow trials, in which among other former members of the Central Committee were sentenced from 1936 to 1938.


For the purpose of the "invention" of Trotskyism writes Trotsky himself in 1932 in " Lenin's Testament oppressed " continues:

In 1925, Zinoviev also boasted over Rakowski his successful tactics against Trotsky and only regretted " this capital to have poorly applied and wasted ".

Then From 1926 it came within the CPSU, the III. International and of its associated parties repeatedly purges of often called " Trotskyists " designated " deviants " by the ruling " general line " of the CPSU. Some of the supporters of the Left Opposition were removed from the party, others sent into exile and more went into exile.

After the expulsion from the party and the shock of the seizure of power by the National Socialists in Germany, the Fourth International was founded in 1938, which saw itself as Marxist global organization. The substantive basis was supplemented by works of Leon Trotsky.

The Fourth International in 1953 experienced a split into two wings, Pabloites and orthodox Trotskyists, who in 1963 were reunited in part. Splitter this cleavage founded partly own international organizations or take part also the title of the Fourth International.

Prevailing discourses in the " real socialism " referred to Trotskyism as " a petty-bourgeois flow " that Marxism- Leninism, the international communist movement and the socialist world system - especially the Soviet Union -. Hostile to "

Some Trotskyists have opened themselves ideologically and delimited in some respects from orthodox Marxism. After the student movements of the 1960s and 1970s to Trotskyists have made ​​the so-called " new issues " such as ecology, patriarchy and women's oppression and the like.

Known Trotskyists

Erwin Heinz plowman, Tariq Ali, Daniel Bensaid, Wolrad Bode, Pierre Broué, Alex Callinicos, James P. Cannon, Tony Cliff, Helmut Dahmer, Isaac German, Hal Draper, Raya Dunayevskaya, Chen Duxiu, Ted Grant, Anton Grylewicz, Duncan Hallas Chris Harman, Gerry Healy, Walter hero, Oskar Hippe, CLR James, George Jungclas, Frida Kahlo, Alain Krivine Arlette Laguiller, Ken Loach, Michael Lowy, Livio Maitan, Ernest Mandel, Jakob Moneta, Nahuel Moreno, Pierre Naville, David North, Michel Pablo, Juan Posadas, Christian Rakovsky, Vanessa Redgrave, Lucy Redler, Karl Retzlaw, Diego Rivera, Roman Rosdolsky, Leon Sedov, Max Shachtman, Peter Taaffe, Ta ​​Thu Thau, Lynn Walsh, Wang Fanxi, Janine Wissler, Winfried Wolf Alan Woods

Organizations and parties

Some of today's Trotskyist organizations claim to stand in the unbroken tradition of the Fourth International, which had either continuous inventory from their point of view or was subject to a re-foundation. Some of them have many similarities and overlap greatly in their orientation, also the number of members varies greatly. Certain directions, however, who see themselves as Trotskyist, argue that the Fourth International no longer existed, and they also seek no reconstruction. Others are of the opinion that the term " Fourth International " was discredited to an extent that a " Fifth International " must be established. Important distinguishing features are the relationship to social democracy and the ( ex-) Stalinism.

In German-speaking

Sections of the reunified Fourth International

  • Revolutionary Socialist Federation ( RSB ) - Germany
  • International socialist left ( isl ) - Germany
  • Socialist Alternative ( SOAL ) - Austria

Sections of the Fourth International (International Committee )

  • Socialist Equality Party - Germany

Sections of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)

  • Spartacist Workers Party of Germany

Sections of the Committee for a Workers' International

  • Socialist Alternative (SAV ) - Germany
  • Socialist Left Party (SLP) - Austria

Sections of the League for the Fifth International

  • Workers' power - Germany
  • League of Socialist Revolution - Austria

Members of the International Socialist Tendency

  • Marx21 - Germany
  • Left turn - Austria

Member of the International Marxist Tendency

  • The spark

Other organizations

  • International Bolshevik Tendency ( German Section)
  • Revolutionary Socialist Organisation ( RSO) - Austria, Germany, Switzerland
  • Revolutionary Internationalist Organization (RIO )
  • Movement for Socialism (FSO) - Switzerland
  • Trotskyist faction

Resolved Trotskyist organizations and parties

  • International Marxist Group (GIM )
  • Linksruck - Germany
  • Preview - Germany
  • Mole


See List of Trotskyist organizations