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The Trotsky Legend Debunked.


Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, is still an icon of the far-left in many liberal arts departments in America’s Universities. Like many leaders of the American far-left, “Trotsky” was a spoiled brat rich kid who attended expensive schools.

Had Trotsky ever wielded the power that Lenin or Stalin had, his death toll would have been just as high.

From The Daily Beast

Two decades after the demolition of the Berlin Wall, nearly every icon of communism has been relegated to the garbage pit of history. Outside their own homelands, who would now deny that Stalin was one of the greatest murderers in history, that Lenin established a tyrannical state, that Cuba under Castro was and is an economic disaster, and that Che, the failed guerrilla, is now merely a fashion statement? A giant image of Mao still peers out on Tiananmen Square. But “the great helmsman” jailed or executed any party member he suspected of favoring the unabashed market society China has become.

Only Leon Trotsky retains a certain allure. The bushy-haired Russian Jew in the pince-nez was an ardent revolutionary but also a genuine democrat, or so the legend goes. He believed artists and writers could not produce their best work if they had to toe a party line. He devoured French novels, accepted Freud’s theory of the unconscious, and wrote a multivolume history of the Russian Revolution that remains a pleasure to read. Of course, after being exiled from the USSR, Trotsky became Stalin’s greatest enemy. In 1940, he was martyred at the tip of an ice pick wielded by a Soviet agent posing as an acolyte. Before and after his death, “The Old Man,” as Trotsky liked to call himself, attracted a brigade of brilliant admirers—Max Eastman, Irving Howe, George Orwell, John Dewey, and Diego Rivera among them. In his late 50s, he even had a brief affair with Frida Kahlo.

None of this impresses Robert Service. For him, Trotsky—aside from that literary talent—was no more virtuous a figure than Lenin or Stalin, whose reputation the Oxford professor sought to bury in previous biographies. In a sober narrative thick with political details, both fresh and familiar, Service deflates the notion that the Old Man offered either a humane or plausible alternative to his unlamented comrades. The only major difference between Trotsky and his fellow Bolshevik leaders was that he never got the chance to wield total power.

In the early 1920s, Trotsky defended “Red Terror” as essential to victory for his side in the Russian Civil War. For a time, he enjoyed exercising “unchecked administrative authority” as much as Stalin, whom he later condemned for erecting a personal bureaucracy to rule over the USSR. Trotsky was also the first prominent Bolshevik to advocate the forced collectivization of agriculture, a plan Stalin carried out after banishing his rival to a Turkish isle. When Trotsky belonged to the Soviet leadership, he made it chillingly clear what he thought about an electoral path to radical change: “What pitiful nonsense are speeches about the peaceful conquest of power by the proletariat by means of democratic parliamentarism!” he snarled at the German socialist Karl Kautsky. Service argues that, had Trotsky become the top Soviet leader, his unceasing advocacy of “permanent revolution” could have led to a European “bloodbath.” In contrast, Stalin, for all his butchery, at least understood that Hitler’s taking of power in Germany meant postponing the struggle for a communist world for years to come.

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Photos: Rival propaganda posters of Trotsky from 1918.

This 1918 Red Army poster depicts Trotsky as St. George. International supporters of the Red Army called Trotsky “The Greatest Jew Since Jesus Christ.”

However, this 1918 White Army posters shows a much different Trotsky. In this depiction, Trotsky is the devil leading an army of Asiatic people from Russia’s central Asian territories. Trotsky watches over the mass murder of Christian Slavs by his Asian army.

After the successful mobilization of ethnic minorities in Russia to fight the Christian Slavs, radical leftists in New York City launched the NAACP to turn America’s Negroes into a far-left voting block.