STUDY GUIDE

If America Should Go Communist

By Leon Trotsky

Find the original document in our Introductory Writings.

What do Americans envision as a “Socialist America”? What do Americans fear will happen under socialism?

Note: Procrustes: A Greek robber who fitted victims to his bed by stretching them
or lopping bits off. Ergo: procrustean means enforcing conformity by violent
methods.

What are the material reasons why Socialist America would never be like Soviet Russia?

What are some characteristics of the American psyche that Trotsky says would actually help the revolution take place?

Why does Trotsky say the American communist revolution would be insignificant compared to the Bolshevik Revolution?

Who might the ruling class rally to its side in fighting against communism? Who does Trotsky name as those who would rally to the revolutionary movement?

Should American go communist, what would other advanced capitalist countries do? Kick the US out of the IMF? Bomb the hell out of the US? What?

What was Roosevelt doing in 1934 that some conservatives characterized as being “the soviet transformation of the US”?

In the technological world, what are the two greatest advantages the US has over the USSR?

What does Trotsky say about planned economy compared to managed currency?

What does Trotsky mean when he says that socialism succeeds in substituting administrative control for money? Then what happens?

Why and how will Soviet America, with its supplies of gold, avoid the problems of Soviet Russia?

What were some of the major drawbacks that prevented Soviet Russia from attaining a true democracy?

How will Soviet American avoid developing into a “monstrous bureaucracy”?

Of Trotsky’s list of the inevitable struggles among various interests, groups, ideas, etc., which three do you think are the most crucial? Most difficult?

How will we democratize the media?

Trotsky says Americans have an antiquated philosophic method. What does he say this? How will it affect our evolution into communism? Our handling of huge advances in technology and science?

Why is Trotsky’s vision of a “new breed of man” under socialism different from Hitler’s “pure Aryan race”?