The dissolution of the Soviet Union


US President George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev formally recognizing the dissolution of the Soviet Union

On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union — which had emerged out of the socialist revolution of October 1917—was formally dissolved by the Stalinist bureaucracy.

The Trotskyist movement, organized in the International Committee of the Fourth International, was the only political tendency at the time that was not taken by surprise by the events unfolding in the USSR. Basing itself on Leon Trotsky’s analysis of the counterrevolutionary role of Stalinism, the ICFI, from the very beginning, provided an extraordinarily prescient analysis of the crisis of the Stalinist regimes. The Trotskyist movement also intervened powerfully in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It fought for the defense of the conquests of the October Revolution through a political revolution by the working class against the bureaucracy, and the international extension of the revolution, as the only alternative to capitalist restoration.

The ICFI developed this work based on the political and theoretical conquests made in the aftermath of the split with the national-opportunists of the Workers Revolutionary Party in 1985-1986. The expulsion of the Pabloites from the Fourth International provided the basis for a renaissance of Marxism within the ICFI.

On this page, readers will find the most critical documents from this intervention. This unique record testifies to the power of the Trotskyist perspective and Marxist analysis. Three decades later, in a new period of social and political upheavals, it will help educate new generations of revolutionaries in Marxism and the critical experiences of the working class in the 20th century.

Timeline Gorbachev’s “perestroika” and the crisis of Stalinism

When Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, proclaimed the policy of “perestroika” (“reconstruction” or “restructuring” in English) in 1985, virtually the entire petty bourgeois left hailed it as a move toward a “self-reform” and toward genuine socialism by the Stalinist bureaucracy. 

The ICFI developed an entirely different assessment: Basing itself on Trotsky’s analysis of the nature of the Soviet Union and the counterrevolutionary role of Stalinism, it recognized that, with perestroika, the bureaucracy was preparing the wholesale restoration of capitalism.

World Socialist Web Site for more

Comments are closed.