1879 – 1940
Who was Leon Trotsky?
Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became a leader within the Party. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army as People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs. He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War. He was also among the first members of the Politburo.
After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was successively removed from power in 1927, expelled from the Communist Party, and finally deported from the Soviet Union in 1929. As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile in Mexico to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism, in the late 1930s, Trotsky opposed Stalin's non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler. He was assassinated on Stalin's orders in Mexico, by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent in August 1940.
- Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation.
- The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
- If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant.
- The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.
- In a serious struggle there is no worse cruelty than to be magnanimous at an inopportune time.
- Under all conditions well-organized violence seems to him the shortest distance between two points.
- Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser, and subtler; his body will become more harmonious, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above these heights, new peaks will rise.
- Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.
- Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain -- at least in a poor country like Russia -- and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.
- Life is not an easy matter. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
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"Leon Trotsky." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Oct. 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/leon_trotsky>.
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- Nov 7, 1879
- Also known as
- Lev Davidovich Bronstein
- Leon Trotzky
- L. Trotskii
- Ashkenazi Jews
- Jewish people
- Russian Empire
- Odessa University
- Aug 21, 1940
on July 23, 2013