[Classics] In Defence Of Marxism

A Letter to John G. Wright[1]

13 January, 1940

Dear Comrade Wright,

I agree completely with your appreciation of the pamphlet of Comrade Shachtman.[2] It is the weak Shachtman multiplied by factional passion. He lacks a small thing, which is called the proletarian point of view. He lives in the realm of literary shadows: when he stands with his face toward the proletariat and Marxism, his shadows are useful because they correspond more or less with reality; now he turns his back to the proletarian majority of the party and to Marxism and, as a result, every word he writes is a fantastic misinterpretation of facts and ideas. I am obliged now to lose again a couple of days to submit his absolutely extravagant document to a more attentive analysis. I hope to show to the party members, including the majority of the minority, that Shachtman’s document is in every line a pathetic rupture with Marxism and with Bolshevism.

Yours fraternally,

L. Trotsky


[1] This letter was written by Trotsky in English.

[2] The pamphlet referred to is ‘The Crisis in the American Party – An Open Letter to Comrade Leon Trotsky’, published in Vol. 2, No. 7 of the Internal Bulletin, dated 1 January, 1940.