Posted On: Saturday - August 26th 2023 9:03AM MST
In Topics:   Commies  The Russians  History  Socialism/Communism
Note: There will be plenty of China road trip posts to come, for those who like that sort of thing. I do want to keep those up before memories get lost, as I also rely on the many pictures I took to jog them. However, there are likely lots of Peak Stupidity readers who couldn't give a Year of the Rat's ass what's going on in China. We'll intersperse other posts here about 1 for 1. You don't have to read about China. Nobody's got a gun to your head, yet, or even an ice axe, for that matter... Speaking of...
He's Leon Trotsky, famous Russian Communist of (most of) the 1st half of the 20th Century.* Born in 1879 to a well-off Jewish Russian family of 5 (kids), Lev Bronstein, aka, Leon Trotsky**, became an ideological radical, as did others in his family, at a young age. At 19 y/o, after a year or so flirtation with being a "Narodnikism" (revolutionary agrarian socialist populism, per wiki), Trotsky's began his love affair with Marxism. He and Lenin were co-conspirators in the massive Russian Revolution against the Czar of 1917, but they were later rivals, with competing brands of Communism. (Solidarity didn't take, I guess.)
Peak Stupidity isn't here to go over the history of Soviet Communism, though. A reply (I think, as it wasn't specifically directed) to my a question of mine about any attempts at implementing Communism in America during the Great Depression 1.0 linked me to the direct words of Leon Trotsky from a 1934 article of his.
Let me get to that question, which would be a good subject for another post. If there was any time before the recent unpleasantness of the last half century and Long March through the Institutions when Communism was considered in America, it was probably not until the desperate economic times of the 1930s. Regular Americans, fairly unified at this time - remember, wisely, immigration had been nearly cut completely off since 1921*** - likely wanted nothing to do with an ideology like Communism due to the great limited government/free-market roots of the country. Yet economic conditions were terrible, and you figure many people didn't know what to make of this. All I know of from the '30s is Woody Guthrie songs, John Steinbeck novels and, oh yeah, the 4-term President of the US, Franklin Roosevelt. He pushed Socialist programs to "cure" the depression, and if not a Communist at heart, he sure put up with a lot of them in high positions in the US Gov't. (Was that oversight, political expediency - during the war - or purposeful policy?)
Well, the reply commenter going by the handle "Cagey Beast" included a short excerpt from a Leon Trotsky article. Appearing appropriately on Marxists.org, from the Fourth International dated August '34 (Vol 12, #2, if you have the magazines in your attic), is Trotsky's article entitled If America Should Go Communist. The article title says "If", but it reads as encouragement and a how-to guide.
I spent over an hour reading about this man on Wikipedia, so I'll intersperse a few pertinent facts about Leon Trotsky, as I fisk**** his proposition to mid-1930s Americans to Go Marxist!
History is full of surprises, to me at least. I would have lost lots of money on the Jeopardy Daily Double if the question - under "Retarded Marxists in History" - had the answer "This stupid Commie spent 6 months in America 107 years ago." First off, I'd probably have forgotten to phrase my answer in the form of a question, "Who is Groucho?" No, that's not the
So, Leon Trotsky knew America, because, you know, he spent half a year in The Bronx There you go. In this post today, I'll just paste in this most stand-out piece - to me - of his long exhortation to Americans to join in the Internationale Communist merry-making. The historically famous Leon Trotsky, co-founder of the USSR, in his own words:
Here is where the American soviets can produce real miracles. "Technocracy" can come true only under communism, when the dead hands of private property rights and private profits are lifted from your industrial system. The most daring proposals of the Hoover commission on standardization and rationalization will seem childish compared to the new possibilities let loose by American communism.Actually, I don't think I need to write much on this. This stupidity speaks for itself. There's plenty more where that came from, which Peak Stupidity will make light of in posts to come.
National industry will be organized along the line of the conveyor belt in your modern continuous-production automotive factories. Scientific planning can be lifted out of the individual factory and applied to your entire economic system. The results will be stupendous.
Lev Bronstein, aka, Leon Trotsky, came from a well-to-do family and was sent to good schools. He was to be a mathematician in college until he went political. There's no excuse for this stupidity. He wrote this drivel when he was 55 years old! Suffice it to say, that with all that genetic smarts and education, Leon Trotsky could not have lost any IQ points even with an ice axe jammed into the top of his head.
* Honestly, till reading what' I'll discuss here, I'd though he'd died well before he actually did - August of 1940, but he wasn't a big factor in Soviet Communism after the end of the 1920s.
** He lifted his alias from a guard at the prison he inhabited for a couple of years, with exile to Siberia, with his wife, and then 2 daughters there to follow. He escaped in the back of a hay cart. It was no Washington FS J6 dungeon.***** "Trotsky" got married again and had 2 sons by that wife.
*** The Immigration Act of 1924, as signed by Calvin Coolidge, did it, but from what I've read, the clamp-down started in '21.
**** We explained that term 5 years back - see 3rd paragraph there.
***** In fact, Trotsky escaped multiple times from punishment. Except during his time as a military leader - akin to Commander-in-Chief, part of the time - of the Red Army during the ~ 5 year-long Russian Civil war and leader of the Red Terror, he spent a lot of his life in self- and State- imposed exile.