how the revolution armed trotsky

Hence, sabotage, desertion, disorganization of all governmental and many social and private institutions, on the part of their leading technical and administrative staffs. (ISBN: 9780861510214) from Amazon's Book Store. Taking shape under conditions of the complete disintegration of small and medium industry and of the old capitalist ideology in Western Europe, Russian capitalism, which arose from the start in highly concentrated form, undoubtedly developed great economic strength and, along with this, the internal capacity to go over to an improved form of economy – that is, it created the basis for nationalization of the enterprises. Of course, the danger of a Kornilov affair is not ruled out. From the moment of the conquest of power, revolutionary violence takes the form of an organized army. We already knew that we lacked the needful organization and discipline, that is, the needful historical schooling. 1920 – year of the war with Poland. That moment was a notable date in the history of the Red Army. The revolutionary guerrilla leaders took supplies for their units from anything and everything that came their way. The Soviet Republic declared that it could not sign the enforced treaty, but neither would it fight, and issued an order for the Army to disband. 12. But it may well stumble through its own incapacity to cope with creative organizational tasks. And it was this stratum that bore the burden of the work in the first, most difficult period. Thus, at the fronts of the civil war the relation between the basic class forces of the revolution found expression more vividly than anywhere else: the peasant masses, for whose allegiance the landlord-bourgeois-intellectual counter-revolution contended with the working class, constantly wavered from this side to that; but in the end it gave its support to the working class. He who desires the end must desire the means. They were, predominantly, the literate sons of peasant families of the kulak type. In my distant past I read about the Revolution mainly through the eyes Anarchists (Emma Goldman among them), Rosa Luxembourg, and at Maknho (spelling? Hence their dissatisfaction with themselves. The superiority of our propaganda lies in its content. The masses were thrown on to the defensive and the Outstanding questions. How the Revolution Armed: The Military Writings and Speeches of Leon Trotsky Vol. The Southern Front II. Hence the flood of disorganising attitudes, individualistic, anarchistic, predatory tendencies which we observe especially in wide circles of the de-classed elements in our country, among the men of the former Army, and also in certain elements of the working class. From the theoretical standpoint this should not have been, and was not, unexpected by any of us. The political and organizational difficulties were incredibly great. ... Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914–1921. Many who, though honest, are weak-willed, easily yield to the suggestion that now, in this situation when the country has been weakened, when everything has fallen apart and been shaken loose, there is no point in displaying energy, because in any case it will not make any difference to the general economic state of the country: many people say to themselves: ‘What’s the point of my straining myself amid all this chaos?’. Trotsky rightly laid out the ways that Stalin and his clique had subverted the revolution. Under pressure from the German forces the Red Guard units left Ukrainian territory. How the Revolution Armed Vol. Trotsky quickly rose to a position of power in the party: just before the October Revolution, he was elected to the Bolshevik Central Committee.During the revolution, Trotsky oversaw Soviet military operations in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire. Year: 1973. We now need to transform the apparatus of the railways into a punctually-operating mechanism, and this is at the present time one of the most important political tasks of the Communist Party and the Soviet power. put it, ‘a roach’, part of a compact mass which lived and died just as a compact mass of locusts lives and dies. This, I say, is a quite natural and, so far as its origin is concerned, healthy revolutionary reaction. Only purely military leadership was left in the hands of the commander himself. We assiduously recruited former NCOs of the Tsarist army. We must, through the Party and the trade unions, instil this new attitude into the factories, bring into the masses this new awareness of labor-duty, labor-honour, and, relying on this awareness, must introduce labor courts, so that the worker who shows an apathetic attitude to his duties, who steals materials or deals carelessly with them, and the one who fails regularly to put in his proper hours of work, shall be brought to trial, so that the names of these violators of socialist solidarity may be printed in all Soviet publications, as the names of renegades. Men did not want to fight, considering that war had been altogether consigned to the past: the peasants were seizing the land, the workers were building their organizations and taking over industry. Individual military units (mostly regiments) dragged around after them armored cars and airplanes while they had no bayonets for their rifles, and often even lacked cartridges. At the moment of the October insurrection these men played their part as commanders, commissars of units, and so on. I have one such resolution in my pocket. [2]. This, except for the first word, which is ‘but’ instead of ‘and’, is how the phrase appeared when the speech was first published, as a pamphlet in 1918. But this same resolution points with equal alarm at another danger, namely, the drawing in of the generals, which, it says, is leading the country towards another Kornilov affair. 1. Isolated from the rest of France, the Commune lasted only 72 days, and was cruelly suppressed by the bourgeoisie, led by Thiers. The peasantry, taken by itself, is incapable of creating a centralized army. Everywhere there must be advanced executants of all functions, all tasks, all the requirements of the Soviet Socialist Republic, and in doing their work they must show all their devotion, all their enthusiasm. I repeat, we must, and immediately, take stock of the technicians and specialists we possess, and introduce the principle of labor service for them, while at the same time offering them a wide field of activity, under our political control. Similarly, the revolutionary army, as an army for action and not as an arena of propaganda, was incompatible with a regime of elected committees, which in fact could not but destroy all centralized control, by allowing each unit to decide for itself whether it would agree to advance or to remain on the defensive. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921, By Isaac Deutscher. Paperback. We derive from this assurance the most profound inner confidence in all our political work. [14], I ask you: has the principle of election been introduced everywhere among you, in the trade unions or in the co-operatives? This report was published separately as Trud, distsiplina, i potyadok spasut Sovetskuyu Respubliku (Work, discipline and order will save the Soviet Republic), Moscow 1918, by the publishing house Zhizn i Znanie (Life and Knowledge), as no.175 in their ‘low-cost library’. It has to be said also that many of the comrades working in the various departments and institutions have proved to be by no means always capable of organic, creative, sustained work. On January 18, with the capture of Orenburg, Dutov’s basic nucleus was liquidated. A most important role in the creation of a commanding apparatus for the Army was played by the institution of commissars. Commanders were selected and tested by the organs of the Soviet power and the Communist Party. The centralized army was declared to be the army of an imperialist state. Here, it naturally came into being on the Kuban and the Don, and not in the environs of Petersburg and Moscow. Our pacifist declaration introduced a ferment of disintegration into Hohenzollern’s army. Leon Trotsky. It is the misfortune of the working class that it has always occupied the position of an oppressed class. On the other hand, there have come in careerists, intriguers, yesterday’s failures, those who, under the old regime, were not good enough for the job. They were assisted by Comrade Berzin’s units, advancing from the Gomel-Bryansk area. This combination of measures of agitation, organization and repression brought about within a few weeks the turn that was needed. The revolution was entirely based upon mobility, the bold stroke, and maneuvering. This is the whole essence of the matter, and this we need to understand. Enlisting the scientific specialists is for us just as essential as taking over all the means of production and transport and all the wealth of the country generally. Now they call utopian our socialist prospect, our Communist programme. Later, no small number of revolutionary commanders emerged from the ranks of the commissars. Despite the fact that the subsequent development of the civil war led to collapse of the economy, the supplying of the army – thanks, on the one hand, to the direction given to the forces of industry, and, on the other, and mainly, thanks to the increasing degree of regulation of the war economy itself – became, and continues to become, more and more what is needed. War industry had stopped production at the end of 1917. Here also we see the effect of past centuries of Russian history, here too make themselves felt those ages when the mass of the people were bound to the land, robbed materially and spiritually, and kept without the opportunity to acquire the most necessary habits of government. This first period of struggle against sabotage consisted in ruthless smashing of the saboteurs’ organizations. From the standpoint of controlling troops in battle and of preparing them for battle, it was intolerable, monstrous, fatal. That would be madness. By the order of the People’s Commissar for Military Affairs No.104, dated January 28, basic provisions were announced ‘concerning rapid courses for preparing commanding personnel far the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army.’ The purpose of the training was to prepare military instructors who were in favour of the Soviet power. Even if temporarily driven from power, the proletariat would still be the leader of the immense majority of the laboring masses of the country, and a fresh oncoming wave would inevitably restore it to power. Download. [Trotsky quotes from this 1918 speech in his pamphlet Terrorism and Communism (1920). ‘Trotsky was a great decision maker. But what was most important was that the commissar was the direct representative of the Soviet power in the Army. As they approached Kiev a workers’ revolt broke out there, and on January 26 Kiev fell to the Soviets. The question of creating an Army is for us a question of life and death. Like a child’s measles, or like the pain felt when one is cutting a tooth, this is an organic malady of the growth of the class, the pangs accompanying the arousal of its class strength, its creative power. On the one hand, into the jobs vacated have gone our own Party comrades, who carried on underground work and passed through the school of revolution, the best elements – militant, utterly honest, disinterested people. But in order to create such: an army we need qualified specialists, including former generals. That is the very reason why the proletariat still remains in slavery. The means for emancipating the working people is revolutionary violence. Dictatorship vs. Democracy (Terrorism and Communism) a Reply to Karl Kautsky, by Leon Trotsky [Pseud.] The Military Organization carried on direct preparation for the rising and sent some active comrades from its membership to serve in the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, and later in the War Department (comrades Podvoisky, Mekhonoshin, Krylenko, Dzevaltovsky, Raskolnikov and many more). Do you elect your officials, book-keepers, shop-assistants, and cashiers, do you elect those of your employees who have a strictly defined trade? This military secret of ours we openly divulge, without fearing any plagiarism on the part of our adversaries. [15]. But the army did not want to fight. He tries to grab for himself everything that he can, he thinks only of himself, and is not disposed to consider the people’s class point of view. The first attempt to unite the work of the Party cells in the army was made at the end of March 1906, when a conference of the ‘military organizations’ was convened in Moscow. It cannot get beyond local guerrilla units, the primitive ‘democracy’ of which is often a screen for the personal dictatorship of their atamans. We have broken the old sabotage and cleared out most of the old officials. We needed them as representatives of their craft, as men who were familiar with military routine, and without whom we should have to start from scratch. Along with this, in Moscow and the Volga region an attempt was made to mobilize certain age-groups of the workers and peasants. If the Ukrainian Rada was and still is temporarily victorious over the Soviet power in the Ukraine, this fact is due exclusively to the help given it by the mighty machine of German militarism. Netflix's Trotsky is a sinister rewriting of history, intended to benefit the right-wingers who dominate modern Russian politics. Since we have won our battle, power and leadership in this sphere has passed to us. After the October Revolution the Corps wanted to ‘go home’, and the route chosen for their move was along the Trans-Siberian Railway and through Vladivostok. Trotsky, who was head of the Red Army during the years immediately following the revolution, led the Soviet Union to victory in the Civil War. Short courses lasting a few months produced, in the main, not commanders but merely middling Red Army soldiers. I decided I wanted to explore Trotsky. Just as in dead machines, so in these technicians, engineers, doctors, teachers and former officers there is embodied part of our people’s national capital, which we must exploit and utilise if we want, in general, to solve the fundamental problems that face us. 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