Life is not an easy matter

Life is not an easy matter… You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.

Leon Trotsky

4 thoughts on “Life is not an easy matter”

  1. Nice quote, until you think about what he really meant. Trotsky’s “great idea” murdered and immiserated millions. It’s like Freddy Krueger advising us to keep dreaming.

    • From Wikipedia:

      Trotsky’s contribution to the Russian Revolutin:

      Vladimir Cherniaev, a leading Russian historian, sums up Trotsky’s main contributions to the Russian Revolution:

      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… He was an ideologist and practitioner of the Red Terror. He despised ‘bourgeois democracy’; he believed that spinelessness and soft-heartedness would destroy the revolution, and that the suppression of the propertied classes and political opponents would clear the historical arena for socialism. He was the initiator of concentration camps, compulsory ‘labour camps,’ and the militarization of labour, and the state takeover of trade unions. Trotsky was implicated in many practices which would become standard in the Stalin era, including summary executions.[93]

      Historian Geoffrey Swain argues that:

      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.[94]

      Lenin said in 1921 that Trotsky was “in love with organisation,” but in working politics, “he has not got a clue.” Swain explains the paradox by arguing that Trotsky was not good at teamwork; he was a loner who had mostly worked as a journalist, not as a professional revolutionary like the others.

      He was an absolutist ideologue. Much like today’s Jacobins.
      “Big ideas” above everything else.

      • Anyone can handle the big ideas. It’s a few levels down where it takes talent, competence, and imagination to accomplish things.

        • And anticipating consequences.
          Ideologues expect opponents and bystanders to meekly accept whatever tbey come up with. And of course, they never allow for the law of unintended consequences. Everything is unicorns and fuzzy bunnies on paper but when it comes to the real world it usually comes down to blood and bullets.

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