Jump to content
Soviet.ie | Sóivéid.ie
Sign in to follow this  
Laoch na nGael

Trotsky: Rise & Fall of a Revolutionary

Recommended Posts

I like this series, but I'd have to say it is too partisan in Trotsky's favour. There is no doubt that Trotsky was a commanding presence in the October Revolution and the Civil War. But, Stalin was always a much better politician. Even before the October Revolution, Stalin was editor of Pravda. Believe it or not, he even refused to publish several of Lenin's articles, because he regarded them as too extreme. As you can imagine, the editor of Pravda, with the ability to refuse even Lenin, was not a man of no consequence - as Trotsky later tried to present him, and as this film falsely states.

 

Also, in July of 1917, when Lenin was forced to go on the run, Stalin was chosen as the man to organize and maintain Lenin's safety. One can hardly imagine that Stalin didn't make sure he was the one chosen - as this meant the only contact between Lenin and the party - was through Stalin. We can imagine the power that that gave him. Also, the film is correct in saying that Stalin was against the idea of an uprising in the Summer of 1917. As it turned out, he was completely correct. The uprising got very little support, and the Bolshevik Party was nearly completely crushed. That would have been the end of any Revolution in Russia - if the Russian middle classes weren't even more disorganized than the Socialists were. I think the film is confusing Stalin's opposition to the July revolt with the October Revolution. But, I could be wrong on that. Stalin was a very careful man, who never made rash moves.

 

Then Stalin made sure he was chosen as General Secretary of the party. While Trotsky did the glamorous work - Stalin was the man who chose who got what job in the party. Again, this was the mind of a politician at work. Everyone who was anyone in the party at the middle ranking levels, owed their position to Stalin.

 

Again, in 1924, when it had finally dawned on Lenin that he was faced with a man who was, at least, as great a political mover as himself, i.e. Stalin, he gave Trotsky the means to destroy Stalin and take command of the party himself. But, Trotsky failed to act. Trotsky was so lacking in political awareness that he didn't even return from the countryside to attend Lenin's funeral. Stalin used the occasion to present himself to the people as Lenin's natural successor.

 

Again, Trotsky made a great error, in the late 1920s, when he went back on his own policy of 1920. He gave up on the idea of the USSR building up its own heavy industry, and said that the USSR should depend on imports from Germany. You can imagine the disaster this would have led to when the Nazis attacked.

 

That's not to say that Trotsky was not a great thinker, a great man, a great soldier and a great Revolutionary. He was. But, he was not a great politician. He was never going to defeat Stalin in the field of politics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this series, but I'd have to say it is too partisan in Trotsky's favour. There is no doubt that Trotsky was a commanding presence in the October Revolution and the Civil War. But, Stalin was always a much better politician. Even before the October Revolution, Stalin was editor of Pravda. Believe it or not, he even refused to publish several of Lenin's articles, because he regarded them as too extreme. As you can imagine, the editor of Pravda, with the ability to refuse even Lenin, was not a man of no consequence - as Trotsky later tried to present him, and as this film falsely states.

 

Also, in July of 1917, when Lenin was forced to go on the run, Stalin was chosen as the man to organize and maintain Lenin's safety. One can hardly imagine that Stalin didn't make sure he was the one chosen - as this meant the only contact between Lenin and the party - was through Stalin. We can imagine the power that that gave him. Also, the film is correct in saying that Stalin was against the idea of an uprising in the Summer of 1917. As it turned out, he was completely correct. The uprising got very little support, and the Bolshevik Party was nearly completely crushed. That would have been the end of any Revolution in Russia - if the Russian middle classes weren't even more disorganized than the Socialists were. I think the film is confusing Stalin's opposition to the July revolt with the October Revolution. But, I could be wrong on that. Stalin was a very careful man, who never made rash moves.

 

Then Stalin made sure he was chosen as General Secretary of the party. While Trotsky did the glamorous work - Stalin was the man who chose who got what job in the party. Again, this was the mind of a politician at work. Everyone who was anyone in the party at the middle ranking levels, owed their position to Stalin.

 

Again, in 1924, when it had finally dawned on Lenin that he was faced with a man who was, at least, as great a political mover as himself, i.e. Stalin, he gave Trotsky the means to destroy Stalin and take command of the party himself. But, Trotsky failed to act. Trotsky was so lacking in political awareness that he didn't even return from the countryside to attend Lenin's funeral. Stalin used the occasion to present himself to the people as Lenin's natural successor.

 

Again, Trotsky made a great error, in the late 1920s, when he went back on his own policy of 1920. He gave up on the idea of the USSR building up its own heavy industry, and said that the USSR should depend on imports from Germany. You can imagine the disaster this would have led to when the Nazis attacked.

 

That's not to say that Trotsky was not a great thinker, a great man, a great soldier and a great Revolutionary. He was. But, he was not a great politician. He was never going to defeat Stalin in the field of politics.

 

I don't know enough about either Stalin or Trotsky to counter any of what you say but from what I know, I think Trotsky was a better man and revolutionary.

As for Stalin being a better politician, Hitler was also a great politician so I don't think that's a measure of who was right or wrong. (Not comparing Hitler to either bdw)

 

Its my belief that if Trotsky had got power rather than Stalin the Soviet Union would have been more successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know enough about either Stalin or Trotsky to counter any of what you say but from what I know, I think Trotsky was a better man and revolutionary.

As for Stalin being a better politician, Hitler was also a great politician so I don't think that's a measure of who was right or wrong. (Not comparing Hitler to either bdw)

 

Its my belief that if Trotsky had got power rather than Stalin the Soviet Union would have been more successful.

 

It would have been different, in many respects, but we shouldn't think that Trotsky was any softer on opponents than Stalin was. Just look at the fate of the Kronstadt sailors. Also, Trotsky had wanted to militarize the whole of the workforce, so that any worker who disobeyed a superior could be shot or sent to a gulag. Even Stalin thought that was going too far and opposed the measure - as did Lenin. As I said above, the really great mistake that Trotsky made was in thinking that the USSR could survive without having its own heavy industry. And this was an amazing turn about in his thinking, as he had very clearly seen in 1920 that this was not the case. This idea would probably have seen the USSR ending in 1941, and the Russian people still as slaves to the Nazi régime till this very day - as the Nazis would certainly have won WW2 if they had not been defeated in Russia. Even capturing the Russian oil fields would have meant that D-Day could never have been attempted from the West.

 

In regard to the point about Stalin being a better politician, its not really a question of right or wrong. Sadly, right and wrong rarely have any place in politics. My point really is that all those people who say that Stalin was a nothing, and that he sneakily took power from Trotsky, are completely missing the point. As far as I can see, the very fact that Trotsky was so easily out manouvered by Stalin, even with Lenin on Trotsky's side - and Stalin's political victory over Trotsky was utterly crushing - makes me wonder if Trotsky really was suitable to lead the country. As a second in command to a Lenin, yes, he was brilliant. As leader of the USSR? Well, that's something we will never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would have been different, in many respects, but we shouldn't think that Trotsky was any softer on opponents than Stalin was. Just look at the fate of the Kronstadt sailors. Also, Trotsky had wanted to militarize the whole of the workforce, so that any worker who disobeyed a superior could be shot or sent to a gulag. Even Stalin thought that was going too far and opposed the measure - as did Lenin. As I said above, the really great mistake that Trotsky made was in thinking that the USSR could survive without having its own heavy industry. And this was an amazing turn about in his thinking, as he had very clearly seen in 1920 that this was not the case. This idea would probably have seen the USSR ending in 1941, and the Russian people still as slaves to the Nazi régime till this very day - as the Nazis would certainly have won WW2 if they had not been defeated in Russia. Even capturing the Russian oil fields would have meant that D-Day could never have been attempted from the West.

 

In regard to the point about Stalin being a better politician, its not really a question of right or wrong. Sadly, right and wrong rarely have any place in politics. My point really is that all those people who say that Stalin was a nothing, and that he sneakily took power from Trotsky, are completely missing the point. As far as I can see, the very fact that Trotsky was so easily out manouvered by Stalin, even with Lenin on Trotsky's side - and Stalin's political victory over Trotsky was utterly crushing - makes me wonder if Trotsky really was suitable to lead the country. As a second in command to a Lenin, yes, he was brilliant. As leader of the USSR? Well, that's something we will never know.

 

TBH its not worth putting too much effort into dwelling on the past and thinking about the "what ifs".

We should learn from mistakes made by all of the leaders and to correct them for the future.

 

I think that the ruling by an iron fist approach, taken by Stalin and Trotsky should be ruled out or at least be a lot more limited if there was ever a revolution. I don't think that it looks well on the leaders at all.

 

One thing I learned in the videos was about Trotsky setting up paramilitary's/militias. To me this contradicts the modern Trotsky as a SWP member told me at the weekend that armed struggle is never an option.

Surely if they are following Trotsky's example then the barrel of a gun should very much be part of the revolution?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBH its not worth putting too much effort into dwelling on the past and thinking about the "what ifs".

We should learn from mistakes made by all of the leaders and to correct them for the future.

 

I think that the ruling by an iron fist approach, taken by Stalin and Trotsky should be ruled out or at least be a lot more limited if there was ever a revolution. I don't think that it looks well on the leaders at all.

 

One thing I learned in the videos was about Trotsky setting up paramilitary's/militias. To me this contradicts the modern Trotsky as a SWP member told me at the weekend that armed struggle is never an option.

Surely if they are following Trotsky's example then the barrel of a gun should very much be part of the revolution?

 

One thing I notice about groups like the SWP is that they know very little about Trotsky, and they don't follow his policies at all. They only use the name Trotsky to separate themselves from anything to do with Stalin - and not because they know anything about Stalin either - they don't - but they know he's not "trendy." It would be more accurate to refer to the SWP as Cliffites, as they, more or less, follow the teachings of Tony Cliff, who founded the SWP. But, they dont follow him too well either, as he called the Muslim Brotherhood a fascist gang, controlled by MI6 and the CIA. Now we see that the SWP is supporting the MB. Makes you wonder if MI6 \ CIA is not controlling all of them, in one way or another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I notice about groups like the SWP is that they know very little about Trotsky, and they don't follow his policies at all. They only use the name Trotsky to separate themselves from anything to do with Stalin - and not because they know anything about Stalin either - they don't - but they know he's not "trendy." It would be more accurate to refer to the SWP as Cliffites, as they, more or less, follow the teachings of Tony Cliff, who founded the SWP. But, they dont follow him too well either, as he called the Muslim Brotherhood a fascist gang, controlled by MI6 and the CIA. Now we see that the SWP is supporting the MB. Makes you wonder if MI6 \ CIA is not controlling all of them, in one way or another.

 

Hmmm I was questioning the SWP on why they where against Gadaffi the other day but but arguments were atrocious lol. I don't think they support the MB, but rather democracy. Though it could be argued that its a false democracy set up by the west to suit their aims.

I definitely don't think that the SWP are controlled by the spooks. Duno why but I still quite like the SWP lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm I was questioning the SWP on why they where against Gadaffi the other day but but arguments were atrocious lol. I don't think they support the MB, but rather democracy. Though it could be argued that its a false democracy set up by the west to suit their aims.

I definitely don't think that the SWP are controlled by the spooks. Duno why but I still quite like the SWP lol.

 

Did you read this article a chara:

 

http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/177-trots-pandering-to-the-reactionary-petty-bourgeois-muslim-brotherhood/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×