Geras and Trotskyism
The chapter examines Geras’s earlier writings on Trotsky and Trotskyism. Geras accepted the idea of permanent revolution, regarded Trotsky as a democratic figure, admired his prescient analysis of the rise of Nazism, and admired Trotsky as a literary figure. Cowling argues that this was one of the weakest aspects of Geras’s work. If he had applied his technique of rigorous analysis and thorough theoretical research, he might perhaps have reached his liberal Marxist position earlier. Cowling claims that Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution is vague, and not accepted by Lenin and Luxemburg. Trotsky’s own political practice, and that of Trotskyists generally, was and remains remarkably unsuccessful. Trotsky was not remotely a democratic figure when in power, and applied terror ruthlessly; he failed to criticize his past. He was more perceptive than other Marxists about the rise of Nazism, but his proposed strategy for dealing with it was inferior to that eventually adopted by Stalin. And sometimes his literary flourishes sound fine but are effectively meaningless.
- Applebaum, A. (2012). Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps (Kindle ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd.Google Scholar
- Berkman, A. (1922). The Kronstadt Rebellion. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/berkman/1922/kronstadt-rebellion/ch2.htm.
- Cohen, B., & Garrard, E. (Eds.). (2017). The Norman Geras Reader ‘What’s There is There’. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
- Deutscher, I. (2003). The Prophet Armed. London: Verso. (This is a Reprint of the Earlier Penguin Edition Which Geras Would Have Used).Google Scholar
- Geras, N. (1986). Literature of Revolution: Essays on Marxism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Lenin, V. I. (1899). The Development of Capitalism in, Russia. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1899/devel/index.htm.
- Lenin, V. I. (1920). The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky’s Mistakes. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/dec/30.htm.
- Lenin, V. I. (1921). The Tax in Kind (Vol. 32). Moscow: Collected Works.Google Scholar
- Lenin, V. I. (1922). Speech at the Opening of the 12th Party Congress (Vol. 33). Moscow: Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965.Google Scholar
- Lenin, V. I. (1924). On the Tasks of the People’s Commissariat for Justice Under the New Economic Policy (Vol. 36). Moscow: Collected Works, 1971.Google Scholar
- Thatcher, I. (2003). Trotsky. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Trotsky, L. (1906). Results and Prospects. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/pdf/prrp.pdf.
- Trotsky, L. (1921). On the Events at Kronstadt. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1921/military/ch61.htm.
- Trotsky, L. (1931). The Permanent Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1931/tpr/prre.htm.
- Trotsky, L. (1938). Their Morals and Ours. Retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/morals/morals.htm.
- Trotsky, L. (1967). The Revolution Betrayed. London: Park Publications.Google Scholar
- Trotsky, L. (1973). 1905. Harmondsworth: Pelican.Google Scholar
- Trotsky, L. (1975). The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Service, R. (2008). Lenin (Kindle ed.). Houndmills: Macmillan Publishers.Google Scholar
- Service, R. (2010). Trotsky: A Biography (Kindle ed.). Houndmills: Macmillan Publishers.Google Scholar