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Newly published speeches by Lenin, Trotsky, and Béla Kun

February 6, 2018

PA76An exchange on ultraleftism at the 1921 Comintern Third Congress

To read the speeches go to:
** Leon Trotsky, ‘Clear-headed revolutionary thinking is needed’
** Béla Kun, ‘The French Communists are guilty of opportunist conduct’
** V.I. Lenin, ‘Trotsky was a thousand times right’

The three speeches posted here constituted a turning point in efforts at the Communist International’s Third Congress, held in 1921, to reorient the movement away from adventurist leftism and toward the mass movements of working people. They were delivered June 16-17 at a pre-conference session of the Comintern’s Executive Committee.

All three speeches were first published in English in To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International alongside other contributions to this debate (pp.1108-1132). They are now posted here and in Marxists Internet Archive for the first time in digital form.

These documents have been added to Marxist Internet Archive as part of an ambitious effort: “Communist International New Translations Project.” The first instalment, now available, includes speeches by Lenin, Trotsky, Clara Zetkin, Max Bedacht, Nikolai Bukharin, Lev Kamenev, Béla Kun, Solomon Lozovsky, Georg Lukács, Karl Radek, Christian Rakovsky, M.N. Roy, August Thalheimer, and Gregory Zinoviev.

The speech by V.I. Lenin posted here is missing from editions of his Collected Works, presumably because Lenin’s expression of strong support for Leon Trotsky’s views offended the anti-Trotskyist editors of these collections.

The exchange begins with a speech by Trotsky given 16 June 1921 and continues with remarks made by Béla Kun and Lenin the following day.

The texts were translated by John Riddell from French and German texts in the Comintern archive, RGASPI, 495/1/37-8.

Click here for overviews of the Communist International Third Congress.


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