Leon Trotsky - Revolution Quotes
21 Sourced Quotes
The slanders poured down like Niagara. If you take into consideration the setting - the war and the revolution - and the character of the accused - revolutionary leaders of millions who were conducting their party to the sovereign power - you can say without exaggeration that July 1917 was the month of the most gigantic slander in world history.
Only the defeat of the proletariat in Germany in 1923 gave the decisive push to the creation of Stalin's theory of national socialism: the downward curve of the revolution gave rise to Stalinism, not to the theory of the permanent revolution, which was first formulated by me in 1905. This theory is not bound to a definite calendar of revolutionary events; it only reveals the world-wide interdependence of the revolutionary process.
Lenin's methods [of "hard" centralism and mistrust of the working class] lead to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a "dictator" substitutes himself for the central committee. … The party must seek the guarantee of its stability in its own base, in an active and self-reliant proletariat, and not in its top caucus … which the revolution may suddenly sweep away with its wing.
The dialectics of history have already hooked him and will raise him up. He is needed by all of them; by the tired radicals, by the bureaucrats, by the Nepmen, the upstarts, by all the worms that are crawling out of the upturned soil of the manured revolution. He knows how to meet them on their own ground, he speaks their language and he knows how to lead them. He has the deserved reputation of an old revolutionist, which makes him invaluable to them as a blinder on the eyes of the country. He has will and daring. He will not hesitate to utilize them and to move them against the Party. Right now he is organising himself around the sneaks of the party, the artful dodgers.
What, however, is our relation to revolution? Civil war is the most severe of all forms of war. It is unthinkable not only without violence against tertiary figures but, under contemporary technique, without murdering old men, old women and children... There is no impervious demarcation between 'peaceful' class struggle and revolution. Every strike embodies in an unexpanded form all the elements of civil war.