Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky (Russian: Лев Троцкий, ; 7 November 1879 – 21 August 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.

Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became a leader within the Party. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army as People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs. He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War (1918–20). He was also among the first members of the Politburo.

After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was successively removed from power (1927), expelled from the Communist Party, and finally deported from the Soviet Union (1929). As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile in Mexico to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism, in the late 1930s, Trotsky opposed Stalin's non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler. He was assassinated on Stalin's orders in Mexico, by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent in August 1940. (Most of his family was also killed.)

Trotsky's ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that is opposed to the theories of Stalinism. He was one of the few Soviet political figures who were not rehabilitated by the government of Nikita Khrushchev. His books, however, were released for publication in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. He was finally rehabilitated in 2001.

Read more about Leon TrotskyBefore The 1917 Revolution, Exile (1929–1940), Contributions To Theory, Trotsky in Art, Selected Works

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Famous quotes by leon trotsky:

    There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens.
    Leon Trotsky (1879–1940)

    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 (1879–1940)

    The Federated Republic of Europe—the United States of Europe—that is what must be. National autonomy no longer suffices. Economic evolution demands the abolition of national frontiers. If Europe is to remain split into national groups, then Imperialism will recommence its work. Only a Federated Republic of Europe can give peace to the world.
    Leon Trotsky (1879–1940)

    You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!
    Leon Trotsky (1879–1940)

    In a serious struggle there is no worse cruelty than to be magnanimous at an inopportune time.
    Leon Trotsky (1879–1940)