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‘After the Petersburg uprising: What next?’ (Munich, 20 January [2 February] 1905)

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Chapter Summary

Leon Trotsky began writing this chapter late in 1904, learned the details of Russian events mainly through the European press, and completed the work just eleven days after the tsar's troops fired on Father Gapon and the St. Petersburg workers. Trotsky writes of the treachery of Russian liberals and of the general strike as the ultimate weapon in toppling the autocracy. Contrary to Karl Kautsky's assessment in 'Revolutionary Questions', he also makes the case that armed struggle and the mass strike are inseparable elements of a permanent revolutionary process. When Trotsky portrayed striking workers as the only significant actors, he was projecting the tactic of permanent revolution that he and Parvus hoped would culminate in a government of 'workers' democracy'. The chapter explains Parvus's influence on Trotsky and the commitment he and Trotsky shared to the strategy of permanent revolution.

Keywords: Lenin; Leon Trotsky; Parvus; Petersburg Uprising; Russian Revolution



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