chapter  6
30 Pages

Combating Thermidor

Only three days after Trotsky had signed his joint agreement with Kamenev and Stalin that would have made him head of Gosplan, he reneged on it. In the programmatic essay The New Course, written on 8 December and published after some haggling in Pravda on 11 December 1923, Trotsky denounced the increasingly bureaucratic leadership of the Party, asserting that the old, established leadership was in conflict with a younger generation. In one of those exaggerated parallels he loved, he compared the situation among the Bolshevik leaders with the time in the history of the German Social Democratic Party when the once radical allies of Marx and Engels slipped almost imperceptibly into a new role as the fathers of reformism. It was a nice image, but Kamenev, Stalin and Zinoviev were hardly going to relish the implication that only Trotsky was the true revolutionary and that they were mere reformists.