After all, three years earlier, at the 13th Party Congress, it was Trotsky who said, in an attempt at conciliation with supporters of Stalin after his own views had been defeated:
‘None of us desires or is able to dispute the will of the party. The party in the last analysis is always right, because the party is the single historical instrument given to the proletariat for the solution of its basic problems.
‘I have already said that in front of one’s own party nothing could be easier than to acknowledge a mistake, nothing easier than to say: “All my criticisms, my statements, my warnings, my protests – the whole thing was simply a mistake.” I cannot say that, however, comrades, because I do not think it. I know that one must not be right against the party. One can be right only with the party, and through the party, for history has no other road for being in the right.
‘The English have a saying: “My country – right or wrong.” With far more historical justification we may say: my party – in certain concrete cases – right or wrong … And if the party adopts a decision which one or another of us thinks unjust, he will say: just or unjust, it is my party, and I shall support the consequences of the decision to the end.’
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