Engaging with Trotsky
The influence of Trotskyism in Britain
in Against the grain
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Leon Trotsky became known in Britain after the Bolshevik Revolution in association with Lenin, as he did across the globe. Trotsky was a rich source of ideas and imagery for George Orwell, but he never accepted Trotsky's explanation of Stalinism or his defence of Leninism. Orwell's major posthumous influence was support for the most fervent anti-Communism because of his depiction of monstrous evil in Nineteen Eighty-Four; some Tribune socialists became adherents of a rival, more optimistic, analysis of Stalinism with roots in Trotskyism. Within a few years of one another, three of the Trotskyist entrist groups emerged from the Labour Party competing for attention as the Socialist Labour League, the International Socialists and the International Marxist Group. The perception that the Soviet Union in 1960 as dynamic and growing on the basis of the centrally planned, state-owned economy was not confined to elements of the left in Britain.

Against the grain

The British far left from 1956

Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

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