In 1933 Trotsky dealt with the question of the relevance of democratic demands as the German working class was being crushed by the rise of Hitler. Here we publish an introduction to Trotsky’s article, Fascism and Democratic Slogans (July 1933) together with the original article. Written for an Iranian audience, it explains the need for Marxists to be in the forefront of the struggle for democratic demands, while at the same time explaining that the democratic aspirations of the masses can only be satisfied in the struggle for socialism.

"Worker-Communists, you are hundreds of thousands, millions, you cannot leave for anywhere; there are not enough passports for you. Should Fascism achieve power it will ride over your skulls and spines like a frightful tank. Your salvation lies in merciless struggle. And only unity in struggle with the social democratic workers can bring victory. Make haste, worker-Communists, you have very little time left."

"The present pamphlet is a contribution to the theoretical and political work of the Left Opposition. Now, when these differences confront everyone in the form of a great historical problem, it is possible to estimate their origins much better and more profoundly. For the serious revolutionary, for the true Marxist, such a study is absolutely essential. Eclectics live by means of episodic thoughts and improvisations that originate under the impact of events. Marxist cadres capable of leading the proletarian revolution are trained only by the continual and successive working out of problems and disputes." (Trotsky)