Why and How the GPU Murdered Leon Trotsky - WSWS online interviews with David North October 3 and 10

The World Socialist Web Site and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding a series of meetings, “Why and How the GPU Murdered Leon Trotsky,” addressed by WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North. The meetings will be held in California and Michigan in the first two weeks of November (details below).

Seventy-five years ago, on August 20, 1940, Trotsky was assassinated by an agent of the Soviet secret police, the GPU, in Coyoacán, a suburb of Mexico City, where he was living in exile. Thus ended the life of the great Marxist theoretician of world socialist revolution and one of the towering figures of modern political history.

The assassination of Leon Trotsky ranks among the most politically consequential crimes of the twentieth century, with far-reaching implications for the international working class and the world socialist movement. And yet for decades the circumstances surrounding Trotsky’s assassination remained shrouded in secrecy. The massive scale of the Stalinist conspiracy against Trotsky was the subject of a carefully orchestrated cover-up.

In 1975, the International Committee of the Fourth International launched the first systematic investigation by the Trotskyist movement into the assassination. This investigation, known as Security and the Fourth International, led to the exposure of the network of GPU agents within the Fourth International that ensured the success of Stalin’s conspiracy against Trotsky’s life. The investigation was bitterly opposed by Pabloite and pseudo-left organizations, which denounced the exposure of spies placed inside the Trotskyist movement as “agent-baiting.” This has remained their position, despite the fact that state intelligence documents released following the dissolution of the Soviet Union confirmed the findings of the International Committee and vindicated Security and the Fourth International.

North has been a major figure in the international Trotskyist movement for forty years and played a central role in the Security and the Fourth International investigation. In this lecture series, North will speak on the significance of Trotsky’s assassination, the origins and development of the International Committee’s investigation, and its key findings.

Meetings in the US:

Berkeley, California
Tuesday, November 3, 8:00 PM
UC Berkeley
Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100
Area Map

Davis, California
Thursday, November 5, 7:00 PM
UC Davis
176 Everson Hall
Area Map

San Diego, California
Monday, November 9, 7:00 PM
San Diego State University
Aztec Student Union, Templo Mayor
6075 Aztec Cir Dr
Area Map

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 PM
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Angell Hall, Auditorium C
Area Map

Detroit, Michigan
Thursday, November 12, 7:00 PM
Wayne State University
Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights
471 W Palmer Ave, Detroit
Area Map

Meeting in Britain:

London
Sunday, November 22, 01:30 PM
University of London
Birkbeck Lecture Room B33
(entrance on Torrington Square)
London, WC1E 7JL

The featured speaker at the meeting is World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board Chairman David North. Others speakers are Peter Schwarz, secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International and Chris Marsden, the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK).

Available from Mehring Books

The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique

By David North

The polemical essays in this volume examine the complex interaction between history, philosophy and politics. The author defends historical materialism against contemporary anti-Marxist philosophical tendencies related to the Frankfurt School and postmodernism.

Among the topics covered are the irrationalist assault on the traditions of the Enlightenment, the reactionary character of modern utopianism, and the importance of a historically-directed consciousness in the understanding of objective political reality. The book evaluates the work of such neo-utopian theoreticians as Hendrik de Man, Ernst Bloch, Wilhelm Reich, and Herbert Marcuse.

Order online

The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

By David North

One hundred years after the outbreak of World War I and the Russian Revolution, none of the problems of the twentieth century—devastating wars, economic crises, social inequality, and the threat of dictatorship—have been solved. In fact, they are posed even more sharply today.

David North argues against contemporary historians who maintain that the dissolution of the USSR signaled the “end of history” (Fukuyama), or the “short twentieth century”(Hobsbawm).

Order online

In Defense of Leon Trotsky

By David North

This work contains a devastating refutation of biographies of Trotsky published in recent years by three British historians: Ian Thatcher, Geoffrey Swain and Robert Service.

Through a marshaling of facts and detailed analysis, North explains that these works continue the campaign of historical falsification against Trotsky first initiated by the Stalinist bureaucracy in the 1920s.

Order online