Sunday, September 7, 2014

On Leon Trotsky...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Leon Trotsky

Recently my curiosity over whether the USSR would have been a far different state had Trotsky succeeded Lenin rather than Stalin was renewed. A post over at Contra O'Reilly is responsible for this revived curiosity. Of course the question that is fun to consider is would have Russia (USSR) and the world been better for it. Of course we'll never know the answer to these musings but there certainly is a large volume of information for anyone interested in the life and times of Leon Trotsky.

Following is an interesting discussion with Hitchens and Service at the Hoover Institute.


31 comments:

  1. I think that early on, through his association with the Mensheviks and his emphasis on a more inclusive Communist party, Trotsky would have no doubt been preferable to Lenin and Stalin, but once he sold his soul and joined the Bolsheviks and the Lenin killing machine (just try being a peasant, a striking worker, a Cossack, or a Bourgeois member back then), they were all pretty much indistinguishable at that point.

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    1. Now, that assessment I agree with. Since in my consideration of Trotsky, I look more at what he did (rampaging armies in foreign lands, killing those who speak out) than what he said.

      Back before he did all this...before he "sold his soul: as you said... perhaps THAT Trotsmeister was different, and perhaps could have been better for Russia/USSR.

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    2. Neither Trotsky or Lenin were capable of starting the bolshevik revolution and, fighting, and defeating the white army all by their lonesome.

      What you're failing to acknowledge I think is the masses, who were essentially exploited by czarist Russia and the ruling bourgeois class, had had enough. It is these people, the bolshevik base if you will, that were responsible initially for that which you refer. No two men, unsupported by a large segment of their country's population could carry the day.

      Understanding what drives people to revolution, what the root cause is that gives them motivation for revolution is important for leaders to understand. Neither serfdom or the tyranny of communist USSR is the answer. Until we understand that revolutions will continue.

      The USA leadership (especially corporate) would do well to pay heed.

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    3. "Neither Trotsky or Lenin were capable of starting the bolshevik revolution and, fighting, and defeating the white army all by their lonesome."

      Yes, there were countless henchman willing to do their bidding, and even more soldiers willing to fight and receive the bennies of plunder and rape.

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    4. Nice dance around the main point and sticking with the time honored talking points that thus far have worked well. But, time may be running out. Sand trickles slow through the hour glass of time. Pay attention to the bottom dmarks.

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    6. Mind you, I am not criticizing the idea of revolution there. It did seem to going in a proper direction: in a provisional government that was moving toward democracy. It was this government that Lenin overthrew, not the Czars. Essentially the revolution was reversed in October. Back to czarism (only the leader was not called a czar) and back to something much more brutal and oppressive than the czars had, in every way.

      As for heeding the lessons of revolution here? Always a good idea. But those in power need to heed the lessons more than the "especially corporate" as they encroach on the Bill of Rights. Though it is true that greedy and violent people might want to steal from those who do business out of lust for material things, and the age-old jealousy of the lazy toward those who work hard and produce things.

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    7. Now you are being obtuse.

      Really? The truth is obtuse? How so?

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    8. I agree that the czar was a POS (getting his country into a war when 30% of the soldiers didn't even have a weapon and right after they had gotten their clocks cleaned by the Japanese 10 years earlier) but there were much saner (and less blood-thirsty) elements in the Provisional Government and even with some of the other socialist soviets that would have been significantly preferable to the Bolshevik killing machine, I think.

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    9. And let's not let Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George off the hook here, either, in that if it wasn't for those 3 idiots (Lloyd George probably being the smartest of the 3) literally bribing the Provisional Government into staying in the war (thereby creating massive chaos all throughout Russia), Lenin and band of merry misfits probably wouldn't have ever ascended to power in the first place....The unintended consequences of war, guys.

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    10. And I'm looking at some of the body counts here (stats from Ian Kershaw and Jim Powell); 8,000 Cossacks late in 1919, 6,000 more Cossacks in early 1920, 10,000 peasants in March of 1919, 4,000 striking workers (many of them killed by drowning) in just 3 days in 1919, 1,300 executions in Petrograd alone in September of 1918. I mean, this is some serious killing (accompanied by thousands of rapes as well, it appears) and the scary fact is that they were just getting warmed up.

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    11. Yes, Will, I think that the Provisional Government was the step in the direction of sanity. Not Trotsky... a man whose differences with Stalin were relatively minor.

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    12. And why didn't they just fire the striking workers and replace them with other people? Did they really have to tie weights to their necks and dump them in the Volga River?...I mean, I know that their goal was to intimidate folks but, damn.

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    13. As long as we continue to view the events through the rose colored glasses of our chosen paradigm(s) without understanding the cause and effect relationships we will continue to repeat the errs of the past.

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    14. Will, I guess we are supposed to overlook all that...

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    15. Les, I totally agree with you on the czar and like I said, the hamhandedness of leaders such as Wilson and Clemenceau absolutely contributed to it as well, but if there was ever an example of of the brutishness of statism, certainly killing 4,000 people simply for striking in less than 72 years kinda fits the bill, correct?

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  2. Always a good idea. But those in power need to heed the lessons more than the "especially corporate" as they encroach on the Bill of Rights.

    Someone should have explained this to GWB and the congress that enacted, and renewed the Patriot Act. Also, the socons and the neocons certainly could use some instruction on the true meaning of liberty.

    Americans are good at justifying behavior based on rationalizations that support their desires and or beliefs, I know, I'm one of them. Therefore the greatest challenge for humans being creatures of habit is to keep an active and involved mind. But you know that already.

    Declining economic conditions are by far more likely to cause social upheaval and internal strife than political conditions in a representative democracy. Yes they are lazy people who want to live off the labors of others. This is a small percentage, always has been. Economic opportunity and upward mobility to the level one desires is what the majority of individuals want. A vast majority realize they need to work to achieve want they want. Most want to work as well and it is also a matter of pride as work gives purpose to life.

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  3. I was referring to you speaking in riddles in a previous comment. Hard to discern any "truth" out of that one. But your later comment was crystal clear. So that is why I deleted my own comment on obtusity... as I felt your clear comment superseded the riddle.

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    1. Well dmarks, riddles can be fun and more often than not they are aimed at getting prplr to think beyond time honored paradigms and outside the box.

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    2. Anyway, events seem to rile up those poised to make the country far worse: those like Occupy, the militia movement, border vigilante's out to kill Mexicans, Farrakhan's Fruit etc.

      Where's the angry middle? It seems in most revolutionary environments, the awful extremists end up with the reins instead.

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  4. Last month I ate three dozen raw oyster's in one sitting and was rewarded with quite a Trotsky myself.

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  5. Hope everything came out all right Rusty.

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    1. "Hope everything came out all right Rusty."

      not something I care about, or wish happened one way or another. Such bowel-related musings are of course the bailiwick of certain banned, but always feverishly reading, individuals.

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    2. Are you suggesting I ban Rusty dmarks?

      Not that he has much to offer usually, aside from boilerplate or snark.

      BTW, I don't G.A.S. one way or the other either.

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    3. It's your blog and your rules, Les. But no.... I should have been more clear. I took Rusty's statement about his situation as a matter of fact off-hand comment. The type that someone else, already banned, might obsess over as a dead horse.

      As for Rusty himelf, I think he adds rather than subtracts.to the conversation. Unless he's on about Shaw's behind or something!

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  6. I wonder if Dennis is pining for a poster of me to place on his bedroom wall? He talks about me constantly - like an obsessed fangirl!

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    1. People just enjoy making sport of you, wd. It is quite literally nothing more than that. Please, get over yourself (and this bizarre notion that it's all about you).

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