The Birth of American Trotskyism
FINALLY, and most curiously, American Trotskyism was born at the Sixth World Congress.
Trotsky needed help desperately from 1924 to 1927, when he was still able to put up a fight within the Russian Communist party. In those years he received least encouragement in the American party.
As we have seen, his first American sympathizer, Ludwig Lore, was driven out of the party in 1925. Lore's crushing defeat demonstrated that there was no future in Trotskyism for those caught up in the American factional struggle. Once the stigma of Trotskyism attached itself to Lore, his allies and associates fled from him as from a political leper.
In this period, however, Foster and Cannon focused their attention on American problems so wholeheartedly that the issue of Trotskyism annoyed them more as an extraneous nuisance than it disturbed them as an ideological heresy. Foster paid little more than lip service to the anti-Trotskyist campaign. At the Comintern's Fifth Plenum in 1925, Cannon was a member of the Political Commission that drew up a condemnation of Trotsky.1 Foster and Cannon depended on Bittelman, their Russian expert, to defend them on their anti-Trotskyist flank, and he fell to with a zeal that was the envy of his factional opponents.2