Fokin A. A. “The Crisis of the Revolution and the Tasks of the Proletariat”: Source Evaluation of Documents Composed During the 1930s by the Bolshevik-Leninists (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: The paper examines a handwritten document composed in the 1930s by representatives of the Left Opposition in the Verkhneuralsk prison and found there in 2018. The text entitled “The Strategy of the Proletariat Revolution” is the first of the eleven documents grouped under the general title “The Crisis of the Revolution and the Tasks of the Proletariat”. The existence of these documents is the conclusive proof of the Left Opposition’s activities during their imprisonment. In the introductory paragraph, I provide a brief summary of the found texts and discuss the possibility of determining the authorship and the authors’ goals. I argue that, by writing the documents, the authors pursued two goals. On the one hand, the Left Opposition criticised the Stalinist model of the Soviet Union and proposed an alternative version of the country’s development. In their opinion, Stalin wrongly portrayed the idea of socialism, while the Left Opposition representatives were the advocates of the right Leninist tradition. On the other hand, an active group discussion brought the meaning to the authors’ lives during their imprisonment and created an impression of unity with other prisoners. The found document consists of three parts, in which the authors outline the theory of permanent revolution typical for Leon Trostky’s advocates. They also describe the Stalinist model of socialism as national socialism. Further, the authors note that the Left Opposition’s defeat also means the Trotskyists’ failure and the collapse of the Leninist party, which, in turn, leads to a crisis of revolution and sets new challenges for the proletariat.

 

Key words: Bolshevik-Leninists, left opposition, Verkhneuralsk political isolator, source study.

 

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