It is in this context that Trotsky's attack on Stalin must be understood. Trotsky's attack on Stalin was not directed against Stalin as an individual but against someone who during the course of struggle had emerged as the most representative spokesman of the Bolshevik Party which was upholding, defending, and applying Leninism. The main target of Trotsky's attacks, therefore, was not Stalin but the Bolshevik Party. It was revolutionary Bolshevism - Leninism - that was under attack. It was an attack on the metodhs and forms of organisation of the Bolshevik Party - an attack on the fundamental Leninist policies pursued by the Party.
It will be shown during the course of this pamphlet that this slogan [A general Election to kick out the Tories and to elect a Labour Goverment committed to Socialism] is opportunist and that in this instance there is nothing to choose between the revisionists and the Trotskyites; that they both are opportunists; that they are not Marxists but petty-bourgeois democrats with near-Marxist phraseology; that they both betray the interests of the working class and serve the interests of the bourgeoisie by acting as the conductors of bourgeois influence into the proletariat; and that differences of opinion and battles of words between them are of no more importance than the usual jealousy between two department managers in the same store.
The need, therefore, was for the Communist Parties to be ever-vigilant against opportunism and to weed it out by welding themselves ever more closely with the working class, by enlisting the support of the working class in thoroughly smashing all that remained of the old bourgeois state structure. This could only have been done by getting rid of bourgeois parliamentarism and putting into effect the principles of the Paris Commune; all officials to be fully elected and subject to recall; public service to be discharged at the wage rate of the working class uniting within its hands the legaslative and executive arms of the state; and breaking up the instrument of spiritual oppression, the power of the priests.