The Defence of Terrorism (Terrorism and Communism): A Reply to Karl Kautsky

By L. Trotsky | Go to book overview

Terrorism and Communism A Reply to Karl Kautsky

By L. TROTSKY


I
The Balance of Power

THE argument which is repeated again and again in criticisms of the Soviet system in Russia, and particularly in criticism of revolutionary attempts to set up a similar structure in other countries, is the argument based on the balance of power. The Soviet régime in Russia is utopian--"because it does not correspond to the balance of power." Backward Russia cannot put objects before itself which would be appropriate to advanced Germany. And for the proletariat of Germanyit would be madness to take political power into its own hands, as this "at the present moment" would disturb the balance of power. The League of Nations is imperfect, but still corresponds to the balance of power. The struggle for the overthrow of imperialist supremacy is utopian--the balance of power only requires a revision of the Versailles Treaty. When Longuet hobbled after Wilson this took place, not because of the political decomposition of Longuet, but in honour of the law of the balance of power. The Austrian president, Seitz, and the chancellor, Renner, must, in the opinion of Friedrich Adler, exercise their bourgeois impotence at the central posts of the bourgeois republic, for otherwise the balance of power would be infringed. Two years before the world war, Karl Renner, then not a chancellor, but a "Marxist" advocate of opportunism, explained to me that the régime of June 3--that is, the union of landlords and capitalists crowned by the monarchy--must inevitably maintain itself in Russia during a whole historical period, as it answered to the balance of power.

What is this balance of power after all--that sacramental formula which is to define, direct, and explain the whole course of history, wholesale and retail? Why exactly is it that the formula of the balance

-13-

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The Defence of Terrorism (Terrorism and Communism): A Reply to Karl Kautsky
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Publishers' Note *
  • Preface i
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 7
  • Terrorism and Communism A Reply to Karl Kautsky 13
  • Conclusion of the Report 154
  • In Place of an Epilogue 174
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