Personality Study: Trotsky

Topics: Vladimir Lenin, Communism, Marxism Pages: 5 (1630 words) Published: August 28, 2008
Trotsky, being the Commissar Minister for War and the second most powerful man in Russia during the reign of Lenin, was sent to exile, and assassinated by an ice pick. His life was filled with honor, pride and most importantly, confidence. His gifted talent of public speak had an overwhelming effect on the people. He believed his theory of “Permanent Revolution” was the perfect structure of revolution suitable for Russia, it was suppose to bring hope and power to the Soviet Union, the communism will spread across the World and finally union the World under the control of Communism. However, this was never achieved, the Permanent Revolution was nothing but a dream of his, Trotsky was a naive idealist but not a practical revolutionary.

During the peace talk with Germans, Trotsky was assigned the main negotiator; it was clear to Trotsky that the Great War was undesirable and should be abandoned as soon as possible. In addition, on an ideological level, the war was one of capitalist where the only victims were the proletariat classes and the only winners were the capitalists. However on a practical level, the Russian Army was totally exhausted; the extent of the army’s capacity and morale had reached its limit. Nevertheless, Trotsky’s view was in hoping a wave of Communism would flow through other European countries and would overrun Germans’ government, making the treaty irrelevant.

However, the Germans were locked in for supporting the Soviet new government, a minimum of 3 million gold mark per month from the mid 1918 and it was contributed to the civil war effort. This idea of receiving benefits from other country by surrendering land itself is capitalist. And therefore this treaty itself was capitalist just like the Great War, however Trotsky disregarded this fact and signed the treaty due to his naive belief in the “Permanent Revolution”.

This Treaty event was ironic to the new government of they were using capitalism as an excuse to abandon the Great War effort. Nonetheless, Trotsky agreed on this treaty, in fact, he was the one who held the slogan “No peace, no war”, his support for this treaty was clear. His goal of hoping the Communism ideas could overrun the western European Government was also clear, but these were nothing but ideas, his IDEA was HOPING the “permanent revolution” could take place soon, but the truth was it never happened.

Despite the Treaty, Trotsky was sometimes practical, During the Civil War Trotsky had a positive approach towards the War and showed great leadership through the entire war process. Trotsky built the Red army into a fighting force of five million men, and strict discipline was brought out, appeals to the idealistic goals of revolution was also an important feature to Trotsky’s tactics. His aim was to counter the attacks from other European and capitalist countries, Trotsky believed through this process, the “Permanent Revolution” could be somehow spread across other countries. Trotsky’s determination of wiping away the concepts and ideas of capitalistic enemies was greatly effective, this event demonstrated his other side of contributing a practical approach to the “permanent Revolution” which is by creating stability and positions of the Communists within the country first

Trotsky once again showed a practical approach to the “Permanent Revolution”. On March 1921, an opposition arose, which was the sailors at the naval base of Kronstadt, they produced a list of grievances and complaints regarding the Communists, Trotsky was immediately alerted by this situation and led the army to destroy this “opposition”, on a practical level, these sailors were nothing but citizens making complains and hoping for a modification of a better government system could be brought out, however, on the ideology level, these sailors posed a serious threat to the revolution, their action was a capitalist one, and must be dealt seriously, any form of political opposition must be...

Bibliography: ¨“Course of events”,
¨ Modern History class note “Trotsky and Permanent Revolution” pg 73: “Stalin’s strength” pg 74-75 “Trotsky’s weaknesses” pg87-89 “Permanent Revolution”
¨ Modern History class note “Summary of Consolidation of Bolshevik Power”- ‘The result of War communism’, ‘Social’, ‘The Scissors Crisis”.
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