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The Left Opposition

Trotsky, Left Opposition, 1923
Trotsky and leading members of the Left Opposition

Trotsky was a finished as a major political force. The Left Opposition was a noisy critic of the triumvirate but impotent against the Party apparatus, which was increasingly in Stalin's hands. This was confirmed at a meeting prior to Thirteenth Party Congress, in May 1924, when, on Krupskaya's insistence, Lenin's Testament was read out to the Central Committee and other senior delegates. Stalin offered to resign but Zinoviev and Kamenev persuaded the meeting to disregard Lenin's advice to remove him from the post of General Secretary on the grounds that, whatever offence Stalin had been guilty of, it was not grave, and he had made amends. The congress turned into a chorus of denunciation against Trotsky and calls for Party unity, against which Trotsky was unable to resist.

Removed from ministerial office in January 1925, Trotsky was expelled from the Party in November 1927, after he has tried to organize an independent demonstration commemorating the tenth anniversary of the October seizure of power. Exiled to Kazakhstan, he was deported from the Soviet Union in 1929.

Most of his supporters were expelled from the Party on a resolution by the Fifteenth Party Congress in December 1927 declaring 'opposition' views incompatible with Party membership. Zinoviev and Kamenev, who had joined the Opposition against Stalin in 1926, were expelled as well, though both admitted their mistakes publicly and were readmitted in 1928.

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