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Leon Trotsky and the Struggle for Socialism in the Twenty-First Century

This is the preface for the upcoming book by David North, Leon Trotsky and the Struggle for Socialism in the Twenty-First Century. North is the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and the National Chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US).

The material compiled in this volume was written over a period of forty years. The first essay, Leon Trotsky and the Development of Marxism, was initially published in the late autumn of 1982. The last item, a letter to a youth organization founded by Trotskyists in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR, was written in February 2023.

Despite the many years that separate the first and last document, they are connected by a central argument: that Leon Trotsky was the most significant figure in the history of socialism during the first four decades of the twentieth century, and that his legacy remains the critical and indispensable theoretical and political foundation of the ongoing contemporary struggle for the victory of world socialism. The events of the last forty years have powerfully substantiated this appraisal of Trotsky’s place in history and his enduring political significance.


{His understanding of the world situation was derived from his analysis of the source of the crisis of capitalism: 1) the conflict between social production and private ownership of the means of production; and 2) the incompatibility of the capitalist nation-state system with the objective development of the world economy. Within the framework of capitalism, the crisis arising from these contradictions leads to the twin catastrophes of fascist barbarism and world war.

In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom. The United States will seek to overcome and extricate herself from her difficulties and maladies primarily at the expense of Europe, regardless of whether this occurs in Asia, Canada, South America, Australia, or Europe itself, or whether this takes place peacefully or through war.

U.S. capitalism is up against the same problems that pushed Germany in 1914 on the path of war. The world is divided? It must be redivided. For Germany it was a question of “organizing Europe.” The United States must “organize” the world. History is bringing humanity face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism.}

I mentioned this in my first post on Ukraine earlier. It can't be stated enough apparently. Here it goes again. Trotsky, as the technology era was moving in, well ahead of his time. 100 years later we're witnessing a replay. Despite the multiple warnings in regards to recessions, corporate bailouts, printing out money well beyond its worth, inequality growing tax breaks to the richest, since the great depression. Crimes gone unpunished benefit the ruling class and our representation. We stand alone pissing on ourselves while shitting on those beneath us. We're as much the hypocrites among ourselves as our representation is worldwide.

William_Mary 8 Apr 9
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