A Response on Trotsky
Le Blanc, Paulhttp://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4534
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21303
Paul Le Blanc's reponse to Alan Wald's book review of his work on Leon Trostsky.
While Trotsky represents invaluable resources that we cannot afford to set aside, the thrust of Alan's review demands a critical evaluation. This is required precisely because the struggle for a better world is a necessity. If we want to be effective, we need to learn all that we can - not only positive things to utilize but also lessons on what to avoid.
It is common to insist that the negative simply and decisively invalidates the positive - a position that serious activists cannot afford. But I believe, with Alan, that the negative needs to be identified, faced, and learned from by serious revolutionaries.
Reality is complicated. Embedded in some of his positive contributions, I believe, were negative aspects of Trotsky's practice - and Lenin's and the Bolsheviks' - that definitely undercut what Alan terms "the socialist objective."
I am against killing innocent people, and as he built the Red Army and led it to victory, Trotsky had innocent people killed. Some of these were young soldiers, terrified by horrifying violence and prospects of death, who therefore violated orders and ran away instead of doing battle with the enemy. Some were the military commanders and well-meaning political commissars of such units that disintegrated.