chapter  2
24 Pages

Revitalising the Party

In writing The New Course, Leon Trotsky not only insulted his Politburo colleagues but, in Bolshevik terms, he gave them the moral high ground. He had reached an agreement and then broken it. He had done the same with Lenin at the height of the Brest Litovsk crisis. By December 1923 Trotsky had begun to worry about the danger of a Thermidor reaction, although it would be a while before he adopted this term borrowed from the French Revolution. For Trotsky, three class elements operated in the Soviet Union: the workers, the peasants and the new bourgeoisie linked to the intelligentsia. Trotsky always denied he had written Lessons of October for the purpose of factional struggle, but it is hard to see what purpose it had other than to denounce those who had dared to brand him petit bourgeois.