One hundred years ago, Leon Trotsky, the great Russian revolutionary and leader of the October Revolution in 1917, left the Amherst concentration camp in Nova Scotia where he had been detained for almost a month. The story of the time that Trotsky spent in Canada, while not that well known, is a very interesting episode in Trotsky's road to revolutionary Russia, where he would aid the Russian working class in taking power later that year.

Pravda No. 32, April 27 (14), 1917. Published according to the text in Pravda.

N. N. Pokrovsky, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the present Vice-Chairman of the Central War Industries Committee, has become a member of the Board of the Russian Bank for Foreign Commerce. Count V. N. Kokovtsov, the former Chairman of the Council of Ministers, has also become a member of the Board.

Written before April 27 (14), 1917.

This document is a redraft of the appeal To the Soldiers and Sailors, and was adopted by the Petrograd City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks) on April 14 (27), 1917 during the discussion, out of order, of Point 6 of the agenda, namely, “The Hounding Campaign Against Pravda”.

Newspaper Report:

The old traditional formulas (dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry) no longer meet the changed conditions. A revolutionary-democratic dictatorship has been established but not in the form we envisaged: it is inter locked with the dictatorship of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The imperialist war has confused everything, turning the rabid opponents of the revolution—the Anglo-French capitalists—into supporters of the revolution for victory (the same applies to the lop army command and counter revolutionary bourgeoisie).

When the Russian Revolution broke out in early 1917, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov – better known as Lenin – the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP, was exiled in Zurich, Switzerland. As the first reports arrived of these extraordinary events, Lenin’s excitement was coupled with exasperation that he himself was separated from them by thousands of miles. “I am beside myself that I cannot go to Scandinavia!!” he complained bitterly, in a letter to his friend Inessa Armand. “I will not forgive myself for not risking the journey in 1915!”

The Russian Revolution of 1917 had a massive impact throughout the world. Bolshevik ideas inspired workers all over Europe and across the Atlantic in the Unites States. The events of October 1917 were the spark that ignited American communism, while also setting the stage for decades of oppressive anti-communist propaganda and 'witch-hunts' by the ruling class.

The aim of Lessons of October was to expose how the faction within the Communist International was politically responsible for the missed opportunity and failure of the German Revolution of 1923, by bringing out the essential lessons of the October Revolution. Here Trotsky's seminal work is presented in full.

Lenin stated that the October Revolution of 1917 could never have taken place without the previous experience of the Revolution of 1905. A study of this remarkable event is therefore of great importance for anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of revolution in general, and not just in a particular case. In the struggle for revolutionary ideology, a place of honour is occupied by the marvellous writings of Leon Trotsky. And among these, one of the most important is 1905, which we publish here.

The Russian Revolution (of 1905) came unexpectedly to everybody but the Social Democrats. Marxism long ago predicted the inevitability of the Russian Revolution, which was bound to break out as a result of the conflict between capitalist development and the forces of ossified absolutism. Marxism estimated in advance the social character of the coming revolution. In calling it a bourgeois revolution, Marxism thereby pointed out that the immediate objective tasks of the revolution consisted in the creation of “normal conditions for the development of bourgeois society as a whole.

The capitalist world enters a period of industrial upswing. Booms alternate with depressions – an organic law of capitalist society. The current boom nowise indicates the establishment of equilibrium in the class structure. A crisis frequently helps the growth of anarchist and reformist moods among the workers. The boom will help fuse the working masses.

Comrades, the internal causation and lawfulness of historical development was formulated for the first time by Marxist theory. The theory of Marxism, as Marx himself wrote in the introduction to his work Critique of Political Economy, established approximately the following proposition with regard to revolution: No social system departs from the arena until it has developed the productive forces to the maximum degree attainable under the given system; and no new social system appears on the scene unless the economic premises necessary for it have already been prepared by the old social system. This truth, which is basic for revolutionary policy, unquestionably retains all its meaning as a guide for us to this very moment. But more than once has Marxism been understood mechanically, unilaterally and therefore erroneously. Wrong conclusions may likewise be drawn from the foregoing proposition.