The theory of Permanent Revolution has been associated with Leon Trotsky for more than a century since the first Russian Revolution in 1905. Trotsky was the most brilliant proponent of Permanent Revolution but by no means its sole author. The documents in this volume, most of them translated into English for the first time, demonstrate that Trotsky was one of several participants in a debate from 1903-7 that involved numerous leading figures of Russian and European Marxism, including Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Franz Mehring, Parvus and David Ryazanov.
This volume reassembles that debate, assesses it with reference to Marx and Engels, and provides new evidence for interpreting the formative years of Russian revolutionary Marxism.
Richard B. Day, Ph. D. (1970), University of London, is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has published extensively on Soviet economic and political history, including
Leon Trotsky and the Politics of Economic Isolation (Cambridge, 1973).
Daniel F. Gaido, Ph.D. (2000), University of Haifa (Israel), is a researcher at the National Research Council (Conicet), Argentina. He is the author of
The Formative Period of American Capitalism (Routledge, 2006) and is currently working on the history of German Social Democracy.
Witnesses to Permanent Revolution provides much stimulating background material to the discussion of the prospects of the Russian revolution in the run up to the First World War. [...] to be recommended"
Marx & Philosophy, 14 March 2014
'[Es] gelingt den beiden Herausgebern mit dieser Dokumentation [...], in beeindruckender Weise zu zeigen, in welchem Umfeld und aufgrund welcher Anregungen die theorie der permanenten Revolution als Teil der marxistischen Debatten vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg entstand.' Reiner Tosstorff,
Archiv für die Geschichte des Widerstandes und der Arbeit 19 (2011) pp. 440-443.
'The publication of Witnesses to Permanent Revolution: The Documentary Record is a major event in the study of the theoretical foundations of the 1917 October Revolution. [...] Day and Gaido have produced a book that is indispensable for those who wish to understand the development of Marxist theory and revolutionary strategy in the twentieth century.' David North, World Socialist Web Site, 19 April 2010
'Since the world is again in the midst of an economic crisis, the arguments here are not without contemporary relevance, even if from today's perspective it is a polemic where everybody is right. Summing Up: Recommended.' A. Ezergailis, Choice Reviews Online, January 2010
"[Ce volume] se caractérise par la richesse du fonds documentaire réuni. Si la présentation de l’éditeur, traduite ci-dessous, indique que la plupart des textes sont présentées ici en anglais pour la première fois, il faut signaler que la plupart sont également inédits en français. De sorte que ce volume, au-delà de la volonté affichée de ses coordinateurs de donner une cohérence d’ensemble à la théorie de la révolution permanente - tâche dont ils s’acquittent avec grande honnêteté au demeurant - comblerait quelques lacunes importantes si il pouvait être traduit en français." Eric, Smolny, 14 December 2010
Table of contents
1. The Slavs and Revolution (1902),
Karl Kautsky 2. The Draft Programme of Iskra and the Tasks of Russian Social Democrats (1903),
N. Ryazanov 3. ‘Orthodox’ Pedantry (1903),
G.V. Plekhanov 4. To What Extent is the Communist Manifesto Obsolete? (First edition: 1903 – Revised edition: June 1906),
Karl Kautsky 5. Revolutionary Questions (February 1904),
Karl Kautsky 6. What Was Accomplished on 9th January (January 1905),
Parvus 7. Up to the Ninth of January (1905),
Leon Trotsky 8. After the Petersburg Uprising: What Next? (20 January [2 February] 1905),
Leon Trotsky 9. The Revolution in Russia (28 January, 1905),
Rosa Luxemburg 10. After the First Act (4 February, 1905),
Rosa Luxemburg 11. The Consequences of the Japanese Victory and Social Democracy (July 1905),
Karl Kautsky 12. Introduction to Ferdinand Lassalle’s Speech to the Jury (July 1905),
Leon Trotsky 13. Social Democracy and Revolution (25 November [12 November], 1905),
Leon Trotsky 14. The Revolution in Permanence (1 November 1905 - 25 November [12 November], 1905),
Franz Mehring 15. The Next Questions of our Movement (September 1905),
N. Ryazanov 16. Our Tasks (13 November, 1905),
Parvus 17. Foreword to Karl Marx, Parizhskaya Kommuna (December 1905),
Leon Trotsky 18. The Russian Revolution (20 December, 1905),
Rosa Luxemburg 19. Old and New Revolution (December 1905),
Karl Kautsky 20. The Sans-Culottes of the French Revolution (1889, reprinted December 1905),
Karl Kautsky 21. The Role of the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat in the Russian Revolution: Speech to the Fifth (London) Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (25 May 1907),
Rosa Luxemburg 22. The Driving Forces of the Russian Revolution and Its Prospects (November 1906),
Karl Kautsky 23. The American Worker (February 1906),
All those interested in Marxism, the history of the Russian Revolution of 1905, and the contribution of Leon Trotsky to revolutionary theory.