Trotzky the Rebel

I

JUST a few days after the Russian Bolshevist Revolution had triumphantly celebrated its tenth anniversary, the Russian Communist Party expelled Leon Trotzky from the ranks of its members. Even historical dates can be dramatic, as one may recognize by comparing chronologically a few incidents in Trotzky’s career in those two fateful years, 1917 and 1927.

In September 1917, Trotzky swept into power as President of the Petrograd Soviet. He was borne up on the crest of the wave of stormy radicalism that swelled among the Petrograd workers as a result of General Kornilov’s unsuccessful effort to carry out a reactionary coup. In September 1927, Trotzky was expelled from the Executive Committee of the Communist International for persistent opposition to the policies of that body and for defiantly praising a group of opposition Communists who had established an illegal printing shop.

In October 1917, as President of the Petrograd Soviet and member of the Military Revolutionary Committee which was created to prepare and direct the Bolshevist uprising, Trotzky took a leading part in organizing the Petrograd workers and soldiers for the overthrow of the tottering Kerensky Government. In October 1927, for persistent contumacious violations of Party discipline, Trotzky was excluded from the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a body in which he has sat continuously for the last ten years.

In November 1917, the Military Revolutionary Committee swung into action. Most of Petrograd fell into the hands of the Bolsheviki without a struggle. Trotzky, amid bursts of applause, proclaimed to the assembled Soviet Congress that ‘the Provisional Government has ceased to exist.’ In November 1927, the two highest organs of the Communist Party, the Central and Control Committees, meeting in joint session, decided ‘in regard to comrades Trotzky and Zinoviev, who are the main leaders of all this anti-Party activity, which is clearly developing into anti-Soviet activity and undermining the dictatorship of the proletariat . . . to expel Comrades Trotzky and Zinoviev from the ranks of the AllUnion Communist Party.’

So a long circle has been completed. The fiery ‘tribune of the people’ of 1917, the inspiring and magnetic leader of the Red Army which grew up to defend the Revolution against foreign and domestic enemies, is now officially proclaimed a rebel against the Communist Party, is placed outside the pale of Bolshevism in the ranks of the Social Democratic critics of the Soviet régime.

For 1927 is not 1917. In place of the crumbling shadow government of Kerensky stands the Soviet régime, buttressed on a new social order and firmly held together by discipline and organization. The well-trained soldiers of the Red Army, performing their complicated evolutions on the Red Square before President Kalinin, War Commissar Voroshilov, and other civilian and military leaders, do not in the least resemble the mutinous, warweary soldiers of 1917, who were tearing the epaulettes from the shoulders of their officers and streaming homeward from the trenches in a great elemental tide. If 1917 was a year of revolution, 1927 was eminently a year of stabilization.

And this fundamental change in circumstances made Trotzky’s activity on November 7, 1927, only a pathetic caricature of the historic rôle which he played ten years ago. He coursed about the streets of Moscow in an automobile, trying to address throngs of demonstrators in various places; but the workers, now well drilled in Communist orthodoxy, howled him down. In 1917 Trotzky was borne along by the swift current of historical development; in 1927 he was doomed to make a vain, if gallant, effort to swim against it.

II

Of all the heretics who at different times and for different reasons have rebelled against the strict rules of the Communist Party organization, Trotzky is the first and the greatest. Trotzky’s disagreement with the principles that go under the name of Bolshevism or Leninism may be traced far back, to the days before the first unsuccessful revolutionary movement of 1905, when Lenin and Trotzky and other exiled revolutionaries carried on in the obscure places of refuge which they found in England and Switzerland and other European countries their endless arguments as to how the Tzarist system should be overthrown.

Even at that time, when no one could accurately foresee the moment and the means of the overthrow of the autocracy, Lenin laid down and strenuously championed certain methods of organization which very much govern the conduct of the All-Union Communist Party to-day. Lenin had little faith in the possibilities of a spontaneous popular revolutionary movement. He insisted that only a party of carefully selected revolutionists, held together by the strongest bonds of discipline, could direct the explosive discontent of the masses into the proper channels and really organize a permanently victorious revolution. Within the Bolshevist, or Communist, Party, as Lenin conceived and moulded it, iron discipline was an all-important characteristic. Every member was as completely at the disposition of the directing Party organs as the soldier in war is at the disposition of his commanding officer. Any decision adopted by a Party congress, or by the Central Committee, which guided the policies of the Party between congresses, was absolutely binding for every member, regardless of whether he might personally agree with it or not.

Now, although Trotzky has always been an orthodox Marxist in his political and economic thinking, there is a strain of intense individualism in his character that made him instinctively chafe against the absolute self-submersion which was demanded by Lenin’s programme of Party discipline. He took up the cudgels with Lenin in press and pamphlet, arguing that ‘formal discipline’ is not the highest virtue and that the revolutionary who differs with the majority of his party has the right and duty to express and advocate his views, even after a definite decision has been taken.

Besides this very important issue of Party organization there were certain theoretical differences which kept Lenin and Trotzky apart in the years before 1917. Under the influence of the 1905 upheaval, Trotzky propounded his socalled ‘theory of permanent revolution,’ which has long been regarded as one of the chief heresies in Communist theology. The substance of this theory was that the Russian Revolution, even if victorious, could not create a socialist order, because it would inevitably come into conflict with the property-owning instincts of the peasant majority of the population. Therefore Trotzky regarded the Russian Revolution as the starting point for an era of world revolution, which, by destroying the capitalist system in other countries, would make possible the creation of a socialist state in Russia. This theory was condemned by Lenin; and at the present time, when the Communist revolutionary movement outside of Russia seems to have subsided more or less indefinitely, Lenin’s attitude suggests a doubtful appraisal of the socialist character of the Russian Revolution.

The year 1917 brought Lenin and Trotzky together. Emotionally Trotzky is always a revolutionary; and in a time of turmoil and popular upheaval he was almost certain to come to the fore. He formally entered the Bolshevist ranks in the summer of 1917, played a great part in organizing the siezure of power in November 1917, headed the Soviet peace delegation to Brest-Litovsk, and found a post which seemed ideally suited to his temperament and capacity as War Commissar during the embittered civil conflict that raged in Russia until the end of 1920.

It is still not possible to say how far Trotzky was responsible for the strategic conduct of the civil war. But, like Carnot in the French Revolution, he fairly earned the title, ‘Organizer of Victory.’ His unfailing fiery eloquence, his boundless energy, which found expression in his constant rushing on special trains from one front to another, dashing off hundreds of dramatic orders, appeals, manifestoes, in the time which was spared from his actual military functions — all this played a great part in determining the issue of a struggle in which morale and enthusiasm were more important than ordinary technical military considerations.

During this period of intense revolutionary activity Trotzky, on the whole, worked in harmony with Lenin. There were two important occasions of disagreement. At the time of the BrestLitovsk negotiations with Germany, Trotzky, in common with a number of other leading Communists, was in favor of prolonging resistance to the German demands to the uttermost, in the hope that this would create sentiment for a ‘revolutionary war ’ among the Russian masses and kindle the flames of revolt in the German and Austrian armies. Lenin appraised the situation more realistically. He knew that no power on earth could drive the Russian soldiers back into the trenches which they had just left en masse, and he felt it was wrong to risk the fate of the young Russian Revolution on the doubtful chance of a revolution in Germany and Austria.

Trotzky’s next serious disagreement with Lenin was in the winter of 19201921, a time of severe crisis for the Communist Party as a whole. The system of ‘military communism’ which had prevailed during the civil war had proved a dismal economic failure, and there was still no clear indication of how and in what direction it was to be modified. Trotzky proposed to militarize the trade-unions, practically turning them into organs of state administration. Lenin objected on the ground that this would destroy an important link between the Communist Party and the trade-union masses. Soviet trade-unions, in Lenin’s opinion, should be not state administrative organs, but ‘schools of Communism,’ where the non-Party workers could be organized and educated along Communist lines. Lenin’s point of view prevailed, and the New Economic Policy, which was adopted in the spring of 1921, soon made the trade-union controversy seem outdated.

It was only after Lenin’s second and permanent breakdown in the spring of 1923 that the shadow of Trotzky’s past sins against the tenets of Bolshevism began to gather around him again. In spite of his visible eminence as War Commissar, Trotzky was always an isolated, lonely figure in the Communist Party. He had devoted followers and admirers, but no real associates. The most prominent figures of the ‘Bolshevist Old Guard,’ the men who had grown up with the Party from its origin and boasted of themselves as Leninists of twenty years’ standing, looked askance at Trotzky as an outsider, if not a rank interloper. Moreover, there was something in Trotzky’s proud, wayward, individualistic character that made it difficult for him to work with other men on a give-andtake basis. Lenin, whom he sincerely admired as the great genius of the Revolution, was able to use Trotzky and to work with him; but between the latter and Lenin’s disciples there was always an undercurrent of misunderstanding, if not of actual hostility.

III

The year 1923, which witnessed Lenin’s retirement from the political arena, was a difficult and trying period for the ruling Communist Party. The wheels of Russian industry were just beginning to turn again, and they creaked considerably in the process. The workers complained that their wages were paid in depreciating currency. The peasants had their grievances in the shape of heavy direct taxes and a glaring disproportion between the low grain prices and the high prices for manufactured goods.

Without Lenin’s guiding and balancing influence and in the face of these difficult problems, it was natural that sharp differences of opinion should develop as to just what measures would promise the best results. And it was perhaps equally natural that the forces of discontent within the Party should group themselves around the isolated but still towering figure of Trotzky.

For a time the disagreements smouldered behind the locked doors of the Communist Party Central Committee; but, in December 1923, Trotzky published an open letter entitled ‘The New Course.’ In this letter Trotzky criticized the Communist Party officialdom for pursuing bureaucratic methods calculated to stifle the initiative of the individual Party members, hinted that the old Party leaders were in danger of becoming fossilized, and demanded that the voice of the Party youth should receive more attention.

This letter was treated as a slander upon the Party leadership and as a direct attempt to undermine Communist discipline. Around it raged a prolonged and embittered controversy. At that time Trotzky was still a great name and he enjoyed a good deal of support, especially among the students. But the Party organization, which was then under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, Gregory Zinoviev, and Leo Kamenev, was too strong for him. Party conferences and congresses condemned Trotzky’s ideas as inconsistent with Leninism. A nation-wide campaign of speeches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and books was inaugurated to describe Trotzky’s differences with Lenin and to show that the views of the two men were fundamentally at variance. Under this persistent attack Trotzky’s prestige within the Party ranks steadily dwindled until only a small band of personal friends and followers remained loyal to him.

Stripped of all effective power in the War Commissariat, Trotzky took to writing history as an outlet for his energies. In the autumn of 1924 he published under the title ‘Lessons of October’ a historical review of the events which led up to the November Revolution, pointedly emphasizing the waverings of Zinoviev and Kamenev on the eve of the uprising. This was taken as ground for a new concerted attack, which culminated in Trotzky’s resignation as War Commissar in January 1925. It was at this time that the suggestion to expel Trotzky from the Party was first made; and this was done, curiously enough, by an adherent of Trotzky’s present-day ally and companion in expulsion, Gregory Zinoviev, who was then the most embittered of all Trotzky’s political opponents.

This extreme suggestion was rejected, and Trotzky lived in retirement for a time in a Caucasian winter resort. In the summer of 1925 two of Trotzky’s chief opponents, Zinoviev and Kamenev, had themselves fallen under a cloud of political disfavor and Trotzky returned to public activity, receiving several minor appointments as head of the Concessions Committee, head of the state electrical trust, and president of a commission which determined standards of industrial production.

But Trotzky’s return to state activity was not of long duration. The wheel of Communist Party politics took another turn, and he was led into a new career of opposition, which was destined to culminate in his final exclusion from the Party ranks. At the Party Congress, in December 1925, Zinoviev and Kamenev found themselves almost as isolated as Trotzky had been a year before. Stalin was the dominant figure at this gathering; and Zinoviev and Kamenev experienced the novel sensation of having their ideas and proposals rejected as mischievous and anti-Leninist.

For a time Trotzky preserved an attitude of cautious neutrality in the face of this new situation. But by the spring of 1926 it had become evident that Trotzky had made a more or less formal alliance with his old enemies, Zinoviev and Kamenev, for the purpose of opposing the existing Party leadership, in which the outstanding figures, after Stalin, were Premier Rykov and Nikolai Bukharin, editor of Pravda. The slogan of this new alliance was ‘back to Lenin’; it accused the Party leadership of losing its revolutionary character and demanded more drastic legislative and administrative measures in defense of the interests of the workers and poor peasants and more attention to revolutionary propaganda in foreign countries.

Curiously enough, Trotzky in alliance with Zinoviev attracted a smaller measure of popular support within the Party ranks than Trotzky himself had enjoyed in the winter of 1923—1924. There were several reasons for this. The condition of the country had substantially improved, largely as a result of the stabilization of the currency and the revival of industrial production, so that the opposition was unable to capitalize any very sharp popular discontent. Then the Central Committee majority, since the time of the first Trotzky controversy, had carried out an extensive campaign of propaganda and agitation, thereby supplying the rank-and-file Communists with arguments, facts, and figures to oppose to the heresies of the opposition. Finally, the alliance between Trotzky and Zinoviev, after their former bitter antagonism, seemed unnatural and unreal. The Central Committee majority took full advantage of this circumstance, reprinting and circulating in considerable quantities the antiTrotzky pamphlets which Zinoviev and Kamenev had written in 1924.

The ‘new opposition,’as the union of Trotzky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev came to be called, had as its nucleus the personal friends and adherents of these leaders. Most of its supporters were recruited from the Party intelligentsia and from students in Party and state universities. So far as can be judged from the results of the voting on Party resolutions, the opposition received little support from the working-class element in the Party to which it addressed its chief appeal.

The duel between the Party leadership and the opposition went on for about a year and a half before it reached a definite climax. For a long time, while they removed the opposition leaders from responsible posts and eliminated them from the Political Bureau, the inner council which guides the deliberations of the Party Central Committee, Stalin and his associates refrained from the extreme action of expelling them from the Party, or even from the Central Committee.

But in the autumn of 1927 the opposition, under Trotzky’s leadership, began to employ systematically and on a wide scale the illegal methods which had been used by all revolutionary groups and parties under the Tzarist régime. The political platform which the opposition was forbidden to publish began to appear in printed form and to circulate through mysterious channels. Speeches which Trotzky and Zinoviev delivered at closed sessions of the Central Committee were spread about in the same way. This surreptitious activity extended beyond the frontiers of the Soviet Union. In Germany there is a group of former Communists, headed by Maslov and Ruth Fischer, recruited from people who have been expelled or who have withdrawn from the German Communist Party for differences of opinion with its leadership and with the policies of the Communist International. This group shares the point of view of the opposition Russian Communists. And its weekly newspaper in Berlin began to receive and print various secret decisions and documents of the Russian Communist Party.

The Control Committee, which supervises discipline and possesses the right to reprimand and expel Party members, soon discovered the agencies through which the opposition was publishing its propaganda. In one instance a secret printing shop had been set up with the coöperation of several non-Party intellectuals, who carried out the technical part of the work. In other cases members of the opposition had added insult to injury by using state printing shops for the publication of their material.

Faced with this challenge to its authority, the Central Committee majority began to act much more vigorously. Whole groups of oppositionists were expelled; the papers were filled with the denunciations of the attempt to create a ‘second Trotzkyist party’ in opposition to the sole legal Communist Party. Trotzky assumed the fullest responsibility for all the activities of the opposition.

IV

The true dramatic close of Trotzky’s career as a member of the Communist Party came at the special session of the Central and Control Committees of the Party which met in the latter part of October. It was probably Trotzky’s last chance to address this highest Communist tribunal, and he made the most of it. Undeterred by the rising chorus of angry interruptions that often turned the whole assembly into a roaring tumult, Trotzky lashed out against Stalin and against the whole Party leadership with all the resources of his fiery eloquence.

Trotzky first aroused the ire of his audience, which, in its overwhelming majority, was made up of supporters of the existing Party leadership, by referring to the latter as ‘a faction of Stalin and Bukharin, which places in the inner prison of the Gay-Pay-Oo (State Political Police) such splendid Party members as Nechaev, Stickhold, Vasiliev, Schmidt, Fishelev, and many others.’ He defiantly added: —

‘We told you on the eighth of September that we would bring our platform to the knowledge of the Party, notwithstanding any prohibitions. We have done this and we will carry this work to the end.’

The storm increased when Trotzky dragged into the polemical arena one of the most delicate subjects of Communist Party politics: a letter which Lenin left with instructions that it be read at the first Party Congress after his death. In this letter Lenin commented with great freedom on the personalities of all the leading members of the Central Committee. He characterized Stalin as ‘too rough’ and advocated his removal from the post of General Secretary of the Party Central Committee. It was this letter that Trotzky invoked when he shouted: —

‘The roughness and lack of loyalty about which Lenin wrote are not simply personal qualities; they have become the qualities of the ruling faction, its policy and its régime. . . . That is why Lenin, foreseeing the prospect of his retirement from work, gave the Party the last advice: “Remove Stalin, who can bring the Party to break-up and destruction.”'

This elicited a burst of angry outcries, such as ‘Old slander!’ ‘Shame!' ‘That’s a lie!’ As soon as he was able to resume his speech, Trotzky launched out on a bitter indictment of the Party policy, which, as he said, ‘shifted its class basis from left to right: from the proletariat to the petty bourgeois, from the worker to the specialist, from the rank-and-file Party member to the official, from the poor peasant and agricultural laborer to the rich peasant, from the Shanghai worker to Chiang Kai-shek. There is the very substance of Stalinism.'

Trotzky went on to accuse the Party leadership of carrying out a mere tactical manœuvre, or zigzag, in recently proclaiming the necessity for stronger measures against the rich peasants. The last words distinguishable above the growing din were: —

‘The “left" jubilee zigzag, as soon as it comes to realization, will encounter the fiercest resistance in the ranks of the Party majority itself. To-day the slogan is “Get rich,”and to-morrow . . . From the rich peasants bribes come easily. . . . Behind the backs of the extreme Party officials stands the bourgeoisie that is reviving within the country.'

He was not permitted to continue. His voice was submerged in the rising tumult; the presiding official declared an intermission, and the gathering dispersed. Trotzky’s swan song was over.

Later in the course of the session, Stalin, the Man of Steel, replied to Trotzky’s vehement charges in his customary cold, unemotional, selfpossessed style. In regard to Lenin’s letter Stalin declared that he had twice offered his resignation since Lenin’s death, but, since it had been unanimously rejected, he had no option except to remain at his post. Moreover, in this same letter Lenin had characterized Trotzky as ‘not a Bolshevik’ and observed that the ‘mistakes’ of Kamenev and Zinoviev at the time of the November Revolution (that is, their opposition to the armed uprising) were ‘ not accidental.’ Stalin added: —

‘It is characteristic that there is not one word or one hint in the letter about the mistakes of Stalin. Only the roughness of Stalin is mentioned. But roughness is not and cannot be a defect in the political line or position of Stalin.

‘They talk about arrests of disturbers who have been expelled from the Party and who carry on anti-Soviet work. Yes, we arrest and will arrest these people, if they don’t cease to undermine the Party and the Soviet power,’ he continued, amid applause.

And he coolly declared that if the Party could get on without Plekhanov, the pioneer of Marxism in Russia, who turned conservative in his later years, it could also get on without Trotzky and Zinoviev.

After this session of the Central and Control Committees it was a foregone conclusion that the Party Congress, meeting in December, would pronounce formal sentence of exclusion upon Trotzky and Zinoviev. Menzhinsky, head of the Gay-Pay-Oo, or secret police, raised a new and somewhat sensational count in the indictment against them. A former White officer, now acting as an agent of the GayPay-Oo, had got into touch with Sherbatchev, the non-Party intellectual who worked in the secret printing shop of the opposition, and obtained from him compromising information, indicating that Sherbatchev and his friends would welcome a definitely counterrevolutionary coup. It was not suggested that the opposition itself desired or planned such a coup; but Stalin and his associates pointed to the Sherbatchev incident as furnishing definite proof that the opposition, whether willingly or unwillingly, was becoming a centre around which all the forces of active discontent in the country would rally.

Trotzky did not care to wait for the inevitable decision of the Party Congress. Together with the other opposition leaders, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Rakovsky, Smilga, and Muralov, he displayed feverish activity, arranging special meetings of his adherents in private houses and school buildings, meetings which were quite irregular under the Party constitution and which sometimes led to exchanges of blows with followers of the Central Committee.

The last straw was the counterdemonstration on the streets of Moscow on November 7, the day when a million paraders with countless banners and floats marched in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevist Revolution. Little groups of oppositionists appeared in various parts of the city, carrying pictures of Trotzky and Zinoviev, and placards inscribed ‘Long Live Trotzky and Zinoviev, the Chiefs of the World Revolution,’ or ‘Back to Lenin.’

The counter-demonstration was not successful. In some places zealous partisans of the Central Committee pelted the opposition speakers with decayed apples and tore down their placards. Trotzky’s voice was drowned in the roar of the vast revolutionary anniversary, just as it had been lost two weeks before amid the angry interruptions at the meeting of the Central and Control Committees.

But to go out on the streets with opposition slogans was a heinous and unprecedented offense against Party discipline. Four days later Trotzky and Zinoviev were again haled before the Party Supreme Court — the joint session of the Central and Control Committees. When they defiantly refused a pledge to refrain from further subversive activity they were expelled from the Party.

V

So Bolshevism cast out Trotzky. And, like Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost, he has carried hundreds, if not thousands, with him in his fall. Maximilian Jaroslavsky, Secretary of the Control Committee, announced shortly after Trotzky’s expulsion that about five hundred Communists had been excluded from the Party for opposition activity; and this number will quite possibly grow considerably before the process of purging is fully completed.

Some day, when Trotzky belongs to history, along with Danton, the man whom he perhaps most resembles in the French Revolution, his career may be the theme of a great novel or a great drama. And perhaps in the perspective of time it will be realized that a significant cause of Trotzky’s decline and fall was the fact that in him was something too much of the eternal rebel. The fiery spirit that made him a great tribune of the revolutionary masses in 1917 and a great leader of the revolutionary armies in the years of civil war could not adjust itself to the slow and prosaic processes of economic reconstruction.

Trotzky has shown himself a man who works best under the powerful stimulus of revolutionary exhilaration. Once this is removed, his mind almost inevitably begins to move along critically destructive grooves. He sees the defects and inconsistencies in the Soviet State order more clearly than the achievements which have been reached on the road to socialism. Eager to quicken the pace of Russian economic progress, he is led into views irreconcilable with the realities of the case.

So, in 1920, Trotzky believed that it would be possible to reconstruct Russia’s ruined industries by turning the armies of the civil war into labor armies and setting them to work under military discipline. The scheme proved a disastrous failure and was quickly abandoned. In 1923, when the country was in the first stages of reconstruction, he advocated the temporary closing of the big Putilov works and of other factories in Leningrad. This suggestion might have been defensible from the purely economic standpoint, but it would have involved unemployment for thousands of Leningrad workers who had always been a bulwark of the Communist Party and the Soviet power. At the present time Trotzky and the other opposition leaders propose to counteract the tendency of the peasants to hold back their grain and other products from the market by collecting a forced grain loan — a measure which would certainly be politically undesirable and which would most probably only accentuate the difficulties of the problem.

The Tzarist Government sent Trotzky into exile; the Kerensky régime put him in prison, but could not keep him there; now the ruling Communist Party has decided that banishment to a small village in Central Asia has solved the question of how to eliminate Trotzky’s subversive influence without making a martyr of him. Politically his future seems dark. If his opposition gained little support in the Party while it was still to some extent lawful, it can scarcely hope for more success when it has fallen under a ban of outlawry, when it is officially classified with the activities of Mensheviki, Social Revolutionists, and other antiCommunist and anti-Soviet parties.

Partly because of his brilliant, vivid personality, partly because he is known to be in conflict with the established powers, Trotzky is undeniably popular with the Russian obivatyel, or ‘man in the street,’ and with certain elements of the bourgeoisie and intelligentsia who, under the Soviet system, have little voice in the political life of the country. Herein lies the explanation for the fact that when Trotzky’s picture is thrown on the screen during the showing of historical films it attracts a hearty round of applause, accompanied by a few disapproving hisses from orthodox Communists. But one should not attach undue significance to this. In the first place, these classes were thoroughly subdued by the November Revolution. In the second place, it would be at once laughable and pitiable for Trotzky, who thunders against the Central Committee for not being sufficiently revolutionary in its policies, to become the centre of a bourgeois movement against the existing order.

But although he has been banished, perhaps forever, from the political councils of Soviet Russia, it would be a grave mistake to regard Trotzky as a broken and disheartened man. People who have seen him recently (in accordance with the strict rules of Communist polemics he has been debarred from stating his case directly to foreign journalists) testify that he is looking physically better than at any time during the last few years.

For now he is back in an atmosphere that must suggest almost a revival of his youth — an atmosphere of secret meetings, defiant saying of forbidden things, surreptitious circulation of illegal literature. And although the Party in its mass may reject him, although Communist congresses and local organizations all over Russia may condemn him bell, book, and candle, he knows that there is a faithful remnant of Communists and ex-Communists who keep his picture on the walls of their rooms and who will follow him wherever his path may lead.

Trotzky the Soviet War Lord, the imperious Commissar, is only a fading memory. Trotzky the Rebel remains.