Leon Trotsky

The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat. . .

All talk to the effect that historical conditions have not yet "ripened" for socialism is the product of ignorance or conscious deception. The objective prerequisites for the proletarian revolution have not only "ripened"; they have begun to get somewhat rotten. Without a socialist revolution, in the next historical period at that, a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of mankind. The turn is now to the proletariat, i.e., chiefly to its revolutionary vanguard. The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.

Transitional Program


Democracy a system of safety switches and fuses to guard against the violent shocks generated by national or social struggles....The over-loading of the current shows itself....in the European system. Under the too-high tension of class and international antagonisms, the safety switches of democracy fuse or break. This is the essence of the short circuit of dictatorship.

New Republic May 22, 1929