“‘It is possible for an isolated Soviet State to maintain itself for an indeterminate period of time in an imperialist environment, within the constricting circle of Fascist counterrevolutions? The answer of Marxism is, No. The answer of the internal condition of the USSR is, No!… Outside of the world revolution there is no salvation’ (19). If we accept the issue posed in this way, history has completely demolished Trotsky’s position. If, however, we define Socialism as Mandel does as ‘a society without classes, commodities, money and State’ (p. 42), then by the very terms of this definition we are led to a different conclusion. If we are going to make a meaningful estimate of Trotsky’s political positions, we must avoid arbitrary definitions that take the issues out of their historical context and provoke idle semantic wrangles. The fact is that Mandel’s definition is at variance with the Leninist conception that was generally accepted by the Russia Communist Party. In ‘State and Revolution’ Lenin wrote of Socialism as synonymous with Marx’s first phase of Communism; representing the “conversion of the means of production into the common property of the whole of society. ‘Socialism’, he went on, ‘does not remove’ the defects of distribution and the inequality of “bourgeois right” which ‘continue to prevail’ as long as the products are divided “according to the amount of work performed” … The Socialist principle: “An equal amount of labour for an equal quantity of products”, is … already realized… There is still need for a state…. For the complete withering away of the state, complete Communism is necessary” (20). This distinction was amplified in ‘The ABC of Communism’ by Bukharin and Preobrazhensky, which from 1919 had been the basic Party textbook. “In Socialist society, which is inevitable as an intermediate state between capitalism and Communism’ they wrote, ‘money is needed, for it has a part to play in commodity economy… In Socialist society, this commodity economy will to some extent persist” (21). The society without commodities, money and state which Mandel defines as Socialism carries many of the characteristics that Party tradition identified with the higher stage of Communism. It is a red herring drawn into the discussion, for it not what Russian Communists understood when they set meant the organization of co-operative production on a large scale, which is the definition that Trotsky gave of Socialism in 1906 (22). Nor will Mandel be able to find any support for his claim that ‘even Stalin and Bukharin’ agreed that the Socialist economy that they believed possible in Russia ‘must have a higher productivity of labour than the most developed capitalist economy’ (p. 42) – as distinct from a far higher level of productivity than Russia had known under capitalism and the aim of catching up with and overtaking the capitalist world in productivity – the guarantee of the victory of Socialism ‘on a world scale'(23). Lenin’s Position: Mandel argued that the conception of ‘Socialism in One Country’ represents a rejection of elementary Marxist-Leninist theory, of ‘the whole heritage of Lenin’ (p. 43). This is a particularly misleading quarter-truth. What is true is that when the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917 they did so in the belief that hey were, in Lenin’s words, ‘on the threshold of a world proletarian revolution’ (24). For same time after the October Revolution, Lenin and the Bolsheviks thought (and Trotsky was very fond of marshalling quotations to prove it (25)): ‘Either revolution breaks out in the other countries, in the capitalistically more developed countries, immediately, or at least very quickly, or we must perish’ (26). However, with characteristic realism, Lenin noted already in March 1918, urging ratification of the humiliating terms of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty that Trotsky said would be ‘treachery in the fullest sense of the word’ (27), that although they eventually would see the world revolution, ‘for the time being it is a very good fairy tale’ (28). Since by 1921 it was clear to him that internationally ‘events did not proceed along as straight a line as we expected’ and it had ‘proved impossible to call forth revolution in other capitalist countries’ (29), he devoted himself more and more to considering the novel problem of the construction of Socialism in Russia in the contest of an indefinitely delayed international revolution” (pag 117-118) [Monty Johnstone, ‘Trotsky and the Debate on Socialism in One Country’, ‘New Left Review’, London, n. 50 1968] [(19) I. Deutscher,, ‘Stalin: A Political Biography’, London, 1949, pp. 286-287; (20) V.I. Lenin, ‘Selected Works’, hereafter S.W. (Moscow, 1937), VII, pp. 85-87. Italics in original, cf. also S.W., VIII, p. 239; (21) N. Bukharin E. Preobrezhenski, ‘An A.B.C. of Communisme’ (London, 1924), pp. 345-346; (22) L. Trotsky, ‘Results and Prospect’, p. 220; (23) Actually the average productivity of labour in the URSS today is equal to and even above that of most capitalist countries, whilst being still below that of the USA; (24) S.W.., VI, p. 225; (25) See, e.g., L. Trotsky, ‘History of the Russian Revolution’ (London, 1936), III, Appendix, I.; (26) S.W., IX p, 227; (27) Quoted by Lenin, S.W., VII, p.309; (28) S.W., VII, p. 297; (29) S.W., IX, p. 227] [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials] [LBM*]