History,  Trots

God is a Trotskyite

Revolutionary History is a magazine put together by a group of people sympathetic to Trotskyism and is written from “a Trotskyist viewpoint.” This political bias might suggest that the magazine should be immediately dismissed as worthless. This is not the case as Revolutionary History does contain some useful articles for those interested in revolutionary history, the subject that the magazine  not surprisingly deals with.

One of the most famous phrases from Karl Marx, if not the most famous phrase, was his claim that religion “is the opium of the people.”  Those who claim to be Marxist would not think much of religion or God. Some critics might argue that Communism itself is a religion where those that follow it quote Marx and Lenin as a vicar might quote from the New Testament. Instead of daily prayers, communists have their ritual meetings of ideological debate and instead of being forced to attend confession, communists stand outside Sainsbury’s for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon trying to sell a newspaper that nobody wishes to read.

As well as not rating God, Stalinists detest Trotskyists (or Trotskyites as they call them). Robert Conquest is most famous for his work on Soviet Russia but away from this, he also knows quite a bit of poetry.  He sent the following little ditty that the Stalinists used to sing about God to Revolutionary History. The editors published it in their Summer 1996 issue (Vol. 6, No 2/3):

Down With God

(To the tune of Three Blind Mice)

‘He sabotages the workers’ fight,

‘He’s always supporting the Fascist Right,

‘He’s a homosexual Trotskyite.

‘Down with God!’

Commenting in the same issue of Revolutionary History about this poem, Ted Crawford said, “The final and worst thing about the Deity, worse even than His unorthodox sexual orientation, is apparently His Trotskyite sympathies.” What Crawford did not mention but is implied by the poem is that Trotskyites support the fascist right. If anybody looked at some of the organisations that the British Socialist Workers Party aligned themselves with, they might realise that on this matter, the Stalinists had a point.