Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution (part 1) | International Socialist Review
For Lenin and Trotsky these questions had to be met head on, the danger Trotsky points out in the speech, of the economic relationship between the .. Let us examine our weapons, our ways and means and methods. Two individuals dominated the Russian Revolution: Lenin and Trotsky. Historians have argued ever since who was the more important. The information below. In his short biography of Leon Trotsky, Paul Le Blanc, a longtime scholar and . of the Soviet economy's relationship to the world capitalist market. .. draw inspiration from — but tip-toes around controversial positions and.
During his years of exile: He also wrote in other Communist newspapers. He helped to form what Communists believed. As such, it was Trotsky who organised the November Revolution and carried it out.
After the Revolution, Trotsky became a member of the Politburo — the committee of 5 Bolsheviks who ran the government. Trotsky did not conduct foreign affairs in the old way. He was very blunt — he closed down the French Information Bureau because of its anti-Soviet propaganda, and arrested all Englishmen in Russia until the English released a Soviet journalist they had detained. The Politburo decided that they had to have peace with Germany, and ordered a ceasefire Nov 7.
Trotsky had to accept the very harsh terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk — but then he told the Germans that he would destroy them just as soon as Germany lost the war! Trotsky organised the Terror Actually, Trotsky opposed Terror — he said: Trotsky was put in charge, and began mercilessly to eliminate all enemies of the Revolution.
Cubo-futurist rendering of Trotsky, uncredited probably Yuri Annenkov, Our new issue is out now. This is an unconventional stance.
Trotsky had a specific, unique take on permanent revolution. Finally, Trotsky made original contributions to Third International Marxism, notably the united front theory and its political relevance to the struggle against the rise of Nazism in Germany.
Politically, the revolution would replace a feudal autocracy with a capitalist state, ideally, a republic. With these key bourgeois-democratic tasks solved, Russian social democracy would then press on and fight for socialism, just like their opposite numbers in Germany, France, and other advanced capitalist countries.
First lined out inTrotsky brilliantly forecast the course and outcome of the Russian Revolution. Le Blanc summarizes the idea as follows: The revolutionary struggle for democracy in Russia could only be won under the leadership of the working class, with the support of the peasant majority. This democratic revolution would begin in Russia a transitional period in which all political, social, cultural, and economic relations would continue to be in a flux.
This transition would be part of, and would help to advance, and must also be furthered by, an international revolutionary process. No one else shared them — not Marx, not Lenin, not Luxemburg, not Kautsky, not Parvus, not Riazanov, not Mehring — even though all were intimately familiar with Marxist methodology.
Trotsky thought that the victory of socialist revolution in Russia would inspire workers abroad to do the same. Without successful proletarian revolutions in the advanced capitalist West in the very near future, no transition to socialism in Russia is possible owing to peasant opposition to a planned economy or successful imperialist military intervention.
- Lenin Quotes
- Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution (part 1)
- On Lenin’s Final Struggle Against Bureaucracy
He was an outstanding orator and could sway those who heard him like no other tribune of the Russian Revolution. The praise is fully merited. Here, though, a sense of proportion must be maintained and all hero-worship avoided. Trotsky could only be in one place at one time in ; the Bolshevik Party was somewhere all the time, and was everywhere across Russia at the same time. Thousands of Bolshevik worker-leaders and educators fanned out among the workers, little Lenins and little Trotskys explaining what was happening and what needed to be done.
As commissar of defense, Trotsky led the Red Army in battle against the Whites. Socialism in One Country Victory in the Civil War thrust the Bolsheviks into new, hitherto uncharted waters. If such revolutions failed, the October Revolution would soon be reversed. But the unthinkable became thinkable.Trotsky Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary Documentary
Something which the theorist of permanent revolution had thought highly improbable became an actuality: Le Blanc says little about this unprecedented project, which Trotsky had never theorized before. In contrast, Le Blanc tends to discuss both contentious issues in abstraction from concrete policy questions. This is an analytically disabling weakness shared by many historians, Marxist and non-Marxist alike, who have studied this period closely. Trotsky did not call for inner-party democracy just to hear himself and others talk, of course.
He wanted to use freedom of discussion for a definite purpose, not admire its existence for no definite end. Only people wholly ignorant of Marx and Lenin could contest this victory.
The central issue domestically for Trotsky in the s was far more concrete and practical than Le Blanc and most Trotskyists allow: What was the best way to build socialism in Russia, under the NEP, until final salvation came from abroad?
To make a long and complicated story short, Trotsky proposed an industrialization program which, he thought, would more speedily develop the forces of production, converting peasants into workers, thereby strengthening the material foundations of socialism in the country.
The features of this program, along with the faulty assumptions which founded it, need not detain us here. Trotsky thus summed up his multifaceted political struggles throughout much of the s as the struggle against centrism, not against Stalinism.
The two terms are not interchangeable because the difference between them is not terminological but substantive. He is not alone.
Lenin and Trotsky
Stalinism only came into its own inwhen Stalin threw his centrism overboard by abolishing the NEP and launching the Five Year plans and collectivization. Only then can we properly speak of Stalinism as the eponymous term for a new mode of production, a new class society where the bureaucracy was able to link the factory floor and the agricultural kolkoz to the state sufficiently tightly to forcibly extract a surplus from the immediate producers on a regular basis.
This history leads us to the big question: And therein lays a tale. There is no demand for multi-party working-class democracy in the Platform of the 13 — saying otherwise is a gross misrepresentation on the part of Le Blanc and others. The United Opposition sought to achieve its programmatic goals at home — essentially, speedier economic development on the basis of the NEP — through the Communist Party, not outside it. None considered organizing independently to present a party-political alternative to it.
Nevertheless, the very existence of these oppositional currents does at least speak to the non-monolithic character of the Bolshevik party in the s. In fact, everyone had come out against this phenomenon — who could possibly be for it?
The solution to this puzzle is to be found in the historically specific circumstances under which Trotsky and the Left Opposition operated incircumstances that compelled it to distinguish itself from all other oppositions of the past not just theoretically, i.
Le Blanc does little to elucidate those circumstances because they show Trotsky and Trotskyism in a very bad light. What were those circumstances?