Trotsky was not Stalin

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The 1990s were particularly harsh when they decreed–almost without intellectual opponents–that what had ended in 1989 was not the Stalinist dictatorship but, above all, socialism itself. Capitalism would be the (a) historical and universal, permanent and inevitable destiny of humankind. Outside this ‘destiny’ there would be no alternative. An unhistorical nature, an assured destiny, the future would then be inescapable. In order to bring this ideology to life, a memory of the European past has been built that does not pass through the laboratory of history. History is not memory. In these article we will debate 3 dominant thesis: is that of Nazism as the work of a madman, concealing that the Nazi regime was the corollary of the explosion of an entire economic and social system, capitalism, in the crisis of 1929. The other recurring theme, which calls for social resignation, insists that all emancipatory attempts in the twentieth century would result in totalitarian societies, starting with the October 1917 social and political revolution itself. The idea that the European Union is the constructor of the European Social State is another myth disseminated amidst the illustrated common sense. Finally, the hypothesis that European social rights ended, with neoliberalism, because of the fall of the USSR in 1989–1991, is another widely disseminated myth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-576
Number of pages14
JournalCritique (United Kingdom)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • European Union
  • Neoliberalism
  • Socialism
  • Stalinism
  • Trotskyism


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