Trotsky and Russian people

February 23 should recall Leonid Trotsky, People's Commissar for Military Affairs of the RSFSR, one of the founders of the Red Army. Particularly interesting is his attitude towards Russians. Some Russian leftists claim that he was not an enemy of Russia and the Russians.[1]Therefore, it is necessary to determine the loyalty / falsity of this statement.

In the article “The National Struggle and Unity of the Proletariat,” 1909, Mr. Trotsky writes that the Russians are the dominant oppressor nation. “The bourgeoisie of the dominant nation does not want national equality. The bourgeoisie of the oppressed nations does not dare to fight for equality. The national question, like the question of creating free living conditions and development for all the peoples inhabiting Russia, with all its weight falls on the proletariat. On you, the workers of Russia! Not the proletariat built this monstrous state. He does not bear any responsibility for it. He does not assume, like liberalism, any obligations in relation to “Great Russia”. The Russian Empire for the workers is the external shackles imposed on them by history, and at the same time the arena of their class struggle. We are standing here, on this crime impregnated soil, we did not create it, we did not choose it, it was given to us as a cruel fact - we want to clean it from blood and dirt and make it suitable for the peaceful coexistence of nations. ”[2] It also shows that for the revolution, Trotsky was already ready to destroy Russia as a state.

However, in 1918, Trotsky changes his rhetoric. In an unpublished appeal, “Not the inch of the earth without a fight!” He wrote the following:

“The Russian people wanted and want peace. But if the extreme imperialists of Germany defeat and, throwing away the last remnants of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the workers and peasants and all honest citizens of Russia, as one person, take the offensive, stand up against predators and oppressors. The slogan of the Soviet government will be - the struggle, the harsh, uncompromising, ruthless struggle - to the end, to the last drop of blood. "[3] The reason for this simple-Russian workers were not deprived of patriotic feelings. In addition, it was Trotsky who advocated the use of officers of the imperial army.

The 1919 article in general is called “What Does Russia Need?”

“Russia needs peace and peaceful work. The Russian people need to heal the grave wounds caused by the war caused by the king and the bourgeoisie. Labor Russia needs to restore the economy on a new, comradely, artel basis. ”[4]

As can be seen from the passage, the title of the article and its beginning coincide. Those. for propaganda purposes, the convinced internationalist Trotsky uses Russian nationalism.

Soviet-Polish war makes its own adjustments. “But in the world there is no bourgeoisie, more greedy, depraved, arrogant, frivolous and criminal than the gentry of the bourgeoisie of Poland. The Warsaw adventurers took our honest love of peace for weakness. The Polish government announced that it wanted to “liberate” Ukraine, that is, to occupy her with your troops, deprive her of her independence, enslave her, crush her, crucify her, return the lands to the pans, turn the Ukrainian into a slave. Belarus and Lithuania are already moaning under the landowner Polish yoke. Now the blow is directed to Ukraine * 130. At the same time, the Polish bourgeoisie demanded the Russian land almost to Smolensk itself. Tens of millions of Ukrainian and Russian proletarians and peasants should become the pack of cattle of the clever burglars.

But this will not happen! We all, workers, peasants, soldiers, citizens of a great country, which was the first in the whole world to break the chains of bourgeois slavery, we all swear, as one person, to defend the Soviet Republic from unruly Polish gangs. Our rebuff will be merciless and unstoppable. Death of the Polish bourgeoisie! Over her corpse, we will make a fraternal alliance with workers and peasants Poland. ”This is an excerpt from the proclamation“ Death of the Polish bourgeoisie! 1920. It can be stated that it was Trotsky who united communism and Russian nationalism in the form of national-Bolshevism in order to realize the idea of ​​the World Revolution. We note that Trotsky uses the word “Ukrainian,” not “maloros”. This means that despite his “patriotic” rhetoric, he considered Little Russians a separate ethnic group from the Russians (although the majority of the population would be against Soviet Ukrainization). Recall that this position has always been characteristic of the enemies of Russia.

In 1921, Mr .. Trotsky became one of the advocates of the changeover. Here is how it is written in the book of M.S. Agursky “The Ideology of National-Bolshevism“:

“A few days later, speaking at the II All-Russian Congress of Political Education, Trotsky raises the promotion of the Sovereign Soviet Union to the rank of state policy, emphasizing national-Bolshevism in it. “Smenovekhovtsy,” said Trotsky, “proceeding from considerations of patriotism, came to the conclusion that the salvation of Russia in the Soviet power, that no one can guard the unity of the Russian people and its independence from external violence in these historical conditions, except the Soviet power, and what is needed to help her ... They did not come to communism, but to Soviet power through the gates of patriotism. ” Trotsky recommended the widest possible propaganda of the “Change of Milestones”. It was particularly important, he said, to feed the military with these ideas. ”[5]

But in the article “Education of Youth and the National Question” of 1923, devoted to the explanation of the resolutions of the XII Congress of the Party, Trotsky writes differently. First, he points to the application of the class approach in national politics. “You say that the class criterion is supreme for us. Quite right, but only to the extent that it is really a class criterion, that is, since it includes answers to all major questions of historical development, including the national question. The class criterion minus the national question is not a class criterion, but its chunk approaching inevitably to craft industry, to trade unionism, etc. ”[6]

Secondly, even Trotsky was suspicious of military experts. “I remember that two years ago I read the reports of one former general serving in the service of Soviet power, about which Georgians are terrifying chauvinists, how little they understand Moscow internationalism and how many Red Regiments need to counteract the Georgian, Azerbaijani and others Transcaucasian nationalism. It is quite obvious that the old, violent great-power havoc was only slightly masked by this general with new terminology. And there is no need to confess: this general is no exception. In the Soviet apparatus, including in the military, such tendencies are strong to the last degree - and not only among former generals. And if they had the upper hand, the contradiction between our program and politics would inevitably lead to a catastrophe. That is why we raised the national question with an edge in order to eliminate such danger by exerting all the forces of the party. ”[7]

Thirdly, Trotsky considers Russian nationalism to be the main enemy and at the same time loyal to the national communism of non-Russian peoples.

“The basis of the matter is to clearly understand the historical roots of the great-power offensive nationalism of the Great Russians and the defensive nationalism of small nations. It is necessary to understand the real proportions between these historical factors, and this understanding should be the same in the head of Great Russia, Georgian and Ukrainian, for the very proportions do not depend on a subjective local or national approach, but respond - they must answer - to real the ratio of historical forces. An Azerbaijani communist working in Baku or in a Muslim village, a Great Russian communist working in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, should have the same concept in the national question. And this identical concept should consist in an unequal attitude to Great Russian and Muslim nationalism, in relation to the first - a merciless struggle, a stern rebuff, especially in all cases when it manifests itself administratively-government; in relation to the second - patient, attentive, painstaking, educational work. ”[8]

Thus, for the Bolsheviks all the Russians were guilty, not just the nobles and the bourgeoisie.

In the book “The Devoted Revolution: What is the USSR and Where Is It Going?” X. NUMX. Trotsky also speaks about his attitude to Russian society. In the chapter “Family, Youth, Culture” he writes about the Bolshevik policy towards the family:

“The revolution made a heroic attempt to destroy the so-called“ family hearth ”, i.e. This is an archaic, musty and inert institution, in which the woman of the working classes serves hard labor from childhood to death. The place of the family, as a closed small enterprise, was supposed to occupy a complete system of public care and services: maternity homes, nurseries, kindergartens, schools, public canteens, public laundries, dispensaries, hospitals, motels, sports organizations, cinemas, theaters and so on The complete absorption of the economic functions of the family by the institutions of a socialist society that binds all generations with solidarity and mutual concern should have brought a woman, and thus a loving couple, a real liberation from the millennial fetters. As long as this problem is not resolved, the 40 of millions of Soviet families remain, overwhelmingly, the nests of the Middle Ages, female bondage and hysteria, everyday children's humiliation, female and children's superstitions. No illusions on this score are permissible. That is why successive changes in the formulation of the family question in the USSR best characterize the actual nature of Soviet society and the evolution of its ruling stratum.

It was not possible to take the old family by storm. Not because there was not enough goodwill. And not because the family is so firmly held in their hearts. On the contrary, after a short period of mistrust of the state, its nurseries, kindergartens and similar institutions, the women workers, and behind them the advanced peasant women, appreciated the immeasurable advantages of collective childcare, as well as the socialization of the entire family farm. Unfortunately, the society was too poor and not cultural. The plans and intentions of the communist party were not answered by the real resources of the state. A family cannot be “undone”: it must be replaced. The actual liberation of a woman is not feasible on the foundation of “generalized need.” Experience soon discovered this harsh truth, which Marx formulated in 80 years before.[9]

Trotsky contrived in the same book to accuse Stalin of Russification: “However, it is impossible not to pay attention to the fact that 90% of the USSR editions are published in Russian. True, if this percentage is in glaring contradiction with the relative size of the Great Russian population, then it is perhaps more consistent with the general influence of Russian culture, both in its independent weight and in its role as an intermediary between the backward peoples of the country and the West. Doesn't it mean, for all that, an excessively high proportion of Great Russians in the publishing house (and not only in it, of course) their actual great-power privilege at the expense of other Union nationalities? Quite possible. But this hugely important question cannot be answered with the necessary categoricalness, because in life it is decided not so much by cooperation, competition and the mutual fertilization of cultures, as by peremptory arbitration of bureaucracy. And since the seat of power is the Kremlin, and the periphery is forced to be centered, bureaucracy inevitably takes on a great-power, russification hue, giving other nationalities the only indisputable cultural right: to glorify the arbiter in their own language. ” [10]

After such accusations, is it any wonder that in the article “On the Ukrainian Question” of 1939, Mr. Trotsky stands for the independence of Ukraine: “The Fourth International is obliged to give itself a clear account of the great importance of the Ukrainian question for the fate not only of South-East and East Europe, but and Europe as a whole. It is a question of a people who have proved their vitality, is equal in population to France, occupies an exceptionally rich territory, which is extremely important, moreover, in a strategic sense. The question of the fate of Ukraine raised to its full height. We need a clear and distinct slogan that meets the new environment. I think that at present such a slogan can only be: United Free and Independent Workers' and Peasants Soviet Ukraine!

This program is in irreconcilable contradiction, above all with the interests of the three imperialist states: Poland, Romania and Hungary. To think that the liberation and unification of Ukraine can be accomplished by peaceful diplomatic ways, referendums, decisions of the League of Nations, etc., can only be hopeless pacifist stupid. Of course, the “nationalists” who are going to solve the Ukrainian question by serving one imperialism against another are no better than them. Hitler gave an invaluable lesson to these adventurers, throwing (for how long?) The Carpathian Ukraine to the Hungarians, who immediately exterminated a considerable number of gullible Ukrainians. Since the matter will depend on the military strength of the imperialist states, the victory of one group or another can only mean a new dismemberment of the Ukrainian people and even more cruel enslavement. The program of independence of Ukraine in the era of imperialism is directly and inextricably linked with the program of the proletarian revolution. It would be a crime to make yourself any illusions on this score.

But after all, the independence of the united Ukraine means the separation of Soviet Ukraine from the USSR! - exclaim the choir "friends" of the Kremlin. “What's so terrible here?” - we will object, for our part. The holy awe of state borders is alien to us. We are not in the position of "one and indivisible." After all, the USSR Constitution also recognizes the right of the constituent nations to self-determination, that is, on the branch. Even the current Kremlin oligarchy does not dare, therefore, deny this principle. True, it remains only on paper. The slightest attempt to openly raise the question of an independent Ukraine would mean an immediate execution on a charge of treason. But it is precisely this disgusting duality, it is this merciless persecution of all free national thought that led to the fact that the working people of Ukraine, even more than Great Russia, regard the power of the Kremlin as monstrous violence. In this internal situation, of course, there can be no talk of the fact that Western Ukraine voluntarily joined the USSR, as it is now. The unification of Ukraine implies, therefore, the liberation of the so-called Soviet Ukraine from under the Stalinist boot. The Bonapartist clique will, in this matter as well, reap what it has sown. “[11]

Of course, Ukraine and Ukrainian national communism had no value for Trotsky: “Of course, an independent worker-peasant Ukraine could then join the Soviet Federation; but voluntarily, on conditions that she herself considers acceptable, which in turn implies a revolutionary revival of the USSR itself. The actual liberation of the Ukrainian people is unthinkable without a revolution or a series of revolutions in the West, which should eventually lead to the creation of the Soviet United States of Europe. An independent Ukraine could enter and would undoubtedly join this Federation as an equal member. The proletarian revolution in Europe would not have left, in turn, a stone unturned in the disgusting building of Stalin’s Bonapartism. In this case, the closest union of the Soviet United States of Europe and the revived USSR would be inevitable and would represent immense benefits for the European and Asian continents, including, of course, Ukraine. But here we turn to questions of the second and third stage. The first priority is to ensure the revolutionary unity and independence of the workers and peasants of Ukraine, in the struggle against imperialism, on the one hand, with Moscow Bonapartism, on the other. ”[12]

Trotsky in the Red Army

Thus, LD Trotsky was always the enemy of Russia and the Russians. As a politician, he advocated anti-Russian national politics. At the same time, Trotsky used Russian nationalism and patriotism for the realization of his political goals. In modern Russia, anti-Russian forces periodically resort to the same rhetoric. Therefore, Russian national conservatives should have the heads and not to fall into the words of left-wing liberal A. B. Chubais and national-Orange citizen Yegor Prosvirnin about patriotism and the Russian people, otherwise they are used and eliminated as unnecessary.







[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.


[10] Ibid.


[12] Ibid.

Peter the Great

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