Trotsky Quotes on Self-Determination

You know what they say…a broken clock is right twice a day.

— Espresso Stalinist

“We do not only recognize, but we also give full support to the principle of self-determination, wherever it is directed against feudal, capitalist and imperialist states. But wherever the fiction of self-determination, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, becomes a weapon directed against the proletarian revolution, we have no occasion to treat this fiction differently from the other ‘principles’ of democracy perverted by capitalism.”

(L. Trotsky. Between Red and White, Chap. IX. 1922.)

“In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of ‘fascist’ Brazil against ‘democratic’ Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!”

(Trotsky. Anti-Imperialist Struggle is Key to Liberation, interview with Mateo Fossa, September 1938.)

2 responses to “Trotsky Quotes on Self-Determination

  1. Thomaidis Yiannis

    I think the importance of the theoretical work of Trotsky is its demagogic character and the deception of the real revolutionaries. And this conclusion has to do with the relation of Trotsky as political person – from the start of his political actions – with the proletarian revolution. Everybody can find the counter-revolutionary political history of Trotsky in Lenin works. This is the Trotsky’s relation with proletarian revolution and its vanguard, the Bolsheviks.
    I think you have the obligation to explain publicly about this advertisement of Trotsky and trotskism.

    PS. I’m sorry for my English

  2. crimesofcolonialism

    Thanks for the quotes, I’m going to use them in an article debunking the ISO position on Syria. Most Trotskyites don’t even qualify as followers of their beloved Trotsky, generally, they are Kautskyite in nature.

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