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Leon Trotsky Quotes


Leon Trotsky
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Lev Davidovich Bronstein
  • Born: 7th November 1879, Yanovka, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire
  • Died: 21st August 1940, Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Cause of death: Assassination courtesy of an ice pick
  • Alma mater: University of Odessa
  • Occupation: Revolutionary and political theorist
  • Citizenship: Soviet and then in 1932 stateless
  • Revolution name: Leon Trotsky
  • Height: 5' 8½" (1.74 m)
  • Trivia: The Russian revolution culminated with the Bolsheviks taking power on 7th November which is a date that would have meant a double celebration for comrade Trotsky as it was also his 38th birthday
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Socialism will open the possibility of great migrations on the basis of the most developed technique and culture"

Leon Trotsky

"Our planet is being turned into a filthy and evil-smelling imperialist barrack"

Leon Trotsky

"Everyone has a right to be stupid, but Comrade MacDonald abuses the privilege"

Leon Trotsky

"Tell me anyway - Maybe I can find the truth by comparing the lies"

Leon Trotsky

"The pillars of Hercules of the United States are vulgarity and stupidity"

Leon Trotsky

"Religions are illogical primitive ignorance. There is nothing as ridiculous and tragic as a religious government"

Leon Trotsky

"Capital was really safer in Russia than anywhere else. ... No true Marxist would allow sentiment to interfere with business"

Leon Trotsky

"Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full"

Leon Trotsky

"Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies"

Leon Trotsky

"The peasantry, having lifted itself up out of its medieval status, cannot politically generate it's own rage"

Leon Trotsky

"Root out the counter revolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps... Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service"

Leon Trotsky

"A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified"

Leon Trotsky

"The life of a revolutionary would be quite impossible without a certain amount of fatalism"

Leon Trotsky

"I felt the mechanics of power as an inescapable burden, rather than as a spiritual satisfaction"

Leon Trotsky

"You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you"

Leon Trotsky

"Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it"

Leon Trotsky

"As long as I breathe I hope. As long as I breathe I shall fight for the future"

Leon Trotsky

"Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man"

Leon Trotsky

"An ally has to be watched just like an enemy"

Leon Trotsky

"A sledgehammer breaks glass but forges steel"

Leon Trotsky

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Leon Trotsky Biography

Leon Trotsky was the radical student who rose up the revolutionary ranks to play a leading role in achieving the Russian revolution but more importantly stabilising it during its aftermath and the Russian civil war.

Before he met Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin the young Bronshtein was already organising illegal union activity in Nikolayev for which he was subsequently sentenced to four years exile in Siberia where he was to meet members of the newly formed Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to which he would become affiliated. He escaped his Siberian jail using forged papers bearing the name Leon Trotsky and he decided to keep his new found pseudonym for the remainder of his life.

The next few years were spent moving around Europe supporting the new socialist cause with his writing and occasional speeches. He was active in the October revolution of 1917 as the forces of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were all aligned in completing the Bolshevik takeover of power.



Trotsky's contribution to the revolution was appreciated by his then ally Joseph Stalin who was quoted as saying: "All practical work in connection with the organization of the uprising was done under the immediate direction of Comrade Trotsky, the President of the Petrograd Soviet. It can be stated with certainty that the Party is indebted primarily and principally to Comrade Trotsky for the rapid going over of the garrison to the side of the Soviet and the efficient manner in which the work of the Military Revolutionary Committee was organized".

However Stalin later expunged all Soviet records of anything remotely complimentary as Trotsky would become his political adversary. Trotsky played a major role in winning the Russian civil war by organising and effectively creating the Red Army which by 1920 would brush aside the threat of the anti-communist White Army. His successes were appreciated but short lived as in 1924 the death of Lenin would cause an internal power struggle where he lost out to his nemesis Joseph Stalin.

Trotsky was slowly eased out of all positions of authority and by 1929 he was sent into an exile that would see him move around until he reached his final destination Mexico.

Stalin had killed millions with his purges in the 1930's including all of the former Bolshevik leadership and even living in Mexico Stalin still viewed Trotsky as a political threat. After a few failed assassination attempts he finally got his man when a covert Russian agent called Ramón Mercader who befriended Leon killed him with a blow from behind using an ice pick.

His legacy lives on as his works have been studied and used by generations of left wing politicians who adopted his policies. He was a great writer and an inspirational orator who was also good for a one liner, so here is my compilation of 20 of the best Leon Trotsky quotes

Quotes About Leon Trotsky

The author Alan Woods talked about political life lines: "Trotsky explained that a nationalised planned economy needs democracy as the human body needs oxygen"

The eminent sociologist C. Wright Mills opined this during the Cold War: "Here's to the day when the complete works of Leon Trotsky are published and widely distributed in the Soviet Union. On that day the USSR will have achieved democracy"

Historian Geoffrey Swain was adamant who deserved the revolutionary plaudits by saying: "The Bolsheviks triumphed in the Civil War because of Trotsky's ability to work with military specialists, because of the style of work he introduced where widescale consultation was followed through by swift and determined action"

The Russian historian Vladimir Cherniaev touched on a political karma when he said: "Trotsky bears a great deal of responsibility both for the victory of the Red Army in the civil war, and for the establishment of a one-party authoritarian state with its apparatus for ruthlessly suppressing dissent"

Vladimir Cherniaev went on to say that: "Trotsky was implicated in many practices which would become standard in the Stalin era, including summary executions"

The Soviet military intelligence officer Viktor Suvorov summed up Trotsky's insights: "'Stalin finally untied Hitler's hands, as well as those of his enemies, and thereby pushed Europe towards war'. He said this at a time when Chamberlain was rejoicing that there would be no war, Mussolini was regarding himself as a peacemaker and Hitler still had no intention of issuing a directive to attack Poland, even less France. At the moment when Europe was heaving a sigh of relief in the belief that there would be no war, Trotsky already knew both that war would quickly come and who would be to blame for it"

Leon Trotsky image quote