Leon Trotsky Volume 1, 1918 How the Revolution Armed Read This In E-Book Format! History has put sharply to the working class, to us as its representatives, the question: can you cope with all the difficulties which preceding decades and centuries have piled up for you, here and there tying them in Gordian knots, elsewhere offering them to you in the form of a quite chaotic state of ruin extending all over Russia? Nizhny-Novgorod was threatened. Leon Trotsky $19.34. 1920 – year of the war with Poland. As they approached Kiev a workers’ revolt broke out there, and on January 26 Kiev fell to the Soviets. I hope it is of interest to those who wish to study the events of 1917 in order to learn the lessons for today's struggles. Add to My Bookmarks Export citation. While yesterday the one most highly esteemed was he who was able with the greatest selflessness to live clandestinely, he who renounced all personal interests and feelings, he who was capable at any moment of sacrificing his life, now these same qualities of the Russian revolutionary which we used to acclaim must find new application in all posts, however prosaic these may look from outside. From the moment of the conquest of power, revolutionary violence takes the form of an organized army. The revolution could not stop halfway and would be impelled to move toward socialist goals. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921, By Isaac Deutscher. An elected board consisting of the very best representatives of the working class, but not equipped with the necessary technical knowledge, cannot take the place of a single technician who has passed through a special school and who knows how to do a particular technical job. It is reproduced here as the introduction to this work because it generalizes all the material which has now been printed in these volumes. This is the first priority task for our Party in all branches of its activity. How the Revolution Armed: Military Writings and Speeches of Leon Trotsky: 1918: the Founding of the Red Army (v. 1) [Leon Trotsky] on Amazon.com. The Red Army was built from above, in accordance with the principles of the dictatorship of the working class. In its way, this was colossal, but extremely chaotic. He spent much of two years in an armoured train visiting the troops. While, as the working class, we, in Marx’s words, cannot simply take over the old state apparatus in a mechanical way, this does not at all mean that we can get by without any of those elements which entered into the composition of the old state apparatus. In doing this the Left SRs were merely trying to raise the Army against the Soviet power which had created it. In the provinces of the Volga Region a strict regime was established, in accordance with the extent and acuteness of the danger. Trotsky quickly rose to a position of power in the party: just before the October Revolution, he was elected to the Bolshevik Central Committee.During the revolution, Trotsky oversaw Soviet military operations in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire. Here, it naturally came into being on the Kuban and the Don, and not in the environs of Petersburg and Moscow. The elective principle in the Red Army was almost entirely abolished by the regulations ‘on the procedure for appointment to posts in the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army’. By suppressing the Constituent Assembly the Soviets first and foremost broke politically the backbone of the intelligentsia’s sabotage. The idea of ‘power in the localities’ assumed an extremely chaotic character in the initial period. The Spanish Revolution Leon Trotsky. The first attempt to unite the work of the Party cells in the army was made at the end of March 1906, when a conference of the ‘military organizations’ was convened in Moscow. The role of the commander was thereby bisected, so to speak. There had never in history been such a case of a mighty offensive by an oppressed class which in such a planned and rapid way seized power from the possessing and ruling classes in all parts of the country, spreading its rule from Petrograd and Moscow into every corner, every cranny of Russia. Now, comrades, having overcome the political obstacles, we are faced in real earnest by all these organizational difficulties. Naturally, the civil war and the methods by which we broke the officials’ sabotage in all the institutions, had the effect, in themselves, of intensifying the state of collapse which was bequeathed to us by the war and by the first phase of the revolution. It had carried out a social revolution within itself, casting aside the commanders from the landlord and bourgeois classes and establishing organs of revolutionary self-government, in the shape of the Soviets of Soldiers’ Deputies. Of course, the danger of a Kornilov affair is not ruled out. The Rada arrived at an agreement with the Provisional Government regarding autonomy for the Ukraine and began to form national units. In the military sphere this army reflected, though in sharper forms, the process that was going forward in all spheres of the construction of the Soviet Republic. A special place in the development of the Red Army is held by the creation of the cavalry. Military Writings of Leon Trotsky, 1st Soviet Commissar of Military + Naval Affairs, Volume 1 (The Civil War in the RSFSR in 1918: Revolt of the Left SRs) Leon Trotsky: 1918 - How The Revolution Armed/Volume I (Revolt of the Left SRs) Yesterday the mass-man was nobody, a slave to the Tsar, the nobles and the bureaucracy, an appendage to the manufacturer’s machine. ... Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914–1921. Given the present regime in the Army – I say this here quite openly – the principle of election is politically purposeless and technically inexpedient, and it has been, in practice, abolished by decree. Hence the slightness of the political resistance which our bourgeoisie proved able to put up against us in October, November and the subsequent months, when in particular parts of the country there occurred the revolts of the Kaledinites, the Kornilovites and the Dutovites [10] and of the Ukrainian Rada. This resolution gives an excellent description of the difficulties that confront us. mind and organizing mastermind. For the first time, the method of mass mobilization of Communists was applied. Before the revolution, our Party possessed a military organization. The peasantry, taken by itself, is incapable of creating a centralized army. But in order to create such: an army we need qualified specialists, including former generals. We need to prosecute not only those who, directly or indirectly, are guilty of embezzling the people’s money, but also those who show tolerance towards any manifestation of indiscipline and depravity. great rational. The Ukrainian Rada and the fight against it. Since we have won our battle, power and leadership in this sphere has passed to us. Here I come to a ticklish matter which is at the present time, to some extent, a sore point in our Party life. But we cannot create an Army through an administrative mechanism alone – which is in our case at present as bad as it could possibly be. It appeared previously in No.8/1922 of the journal of the Chief Administration of Military Schools. Vikzhel meant Vsyerossiisky Ispolnitelnyi Komitet Zheleznodorozhnogo Professionalnogo Soyuza (‘All-Russia Executive Committee of the Railway Trade Union’), which united all the manual and office workers employed on the railways. For the first time, commissars were given in the units the status of revolutionary leaders and direct representatives of the Soviet power. That moment was a notable date in the history of the Red Army. and a great orator…’ but at times was overbearing and lead to his eventual ruin.Leon Trotsky had a prima function in the Bolshevik ictus of power in the October Revolution of 1917. [Originally six military districts were formed: Yaroslavl, Moscow, Orel, Ural, Volga and Northern Commune (White Sea).] I repeat, we must, and immediately, take stock of the technicians and specialists we possess, and introduce the principle of labor service for them, while at the same time offering them a wide field of activity, under our political control. It was formed in 1918 to defend the new regime during the Russian Civil War.In its formative years, the Red Army was assembled and organised by Leon Trotsky, the Soviet commissar for military affairs between March 1918 and January 1925. We could not build a centralized military apparatus, and an army to correspond, without drawing into the work many representatives of the old officer corps. [2]. I said that the compromisers’ camp, which set its fatal mark on the first phase of the revolution, appeared to itself and to others incomparably more powerful than actually accorded with the social nature of the stratum from which this camp was recruited: I mean the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois intelligentsia from which the compromiser parties drew not only their leaders but also their fighting cadres. Volume 2: 1919 - How The Revolution Armed - The Southern Front: Denikin's Offensive. Download. In the first period of the revolution we had at our disposal the material legacy of the imperialist war. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It cannot get beyond local guerrilla units, the primitive ‘democracy’ of which is often a screen for the personal dictatorship of their atamans. On January 18, with the capture of Orenburg, Dutov’s basic nucleus was liquidated. At the beginning, these reflected the general weakness of our military organization. Annotation is by Brian Pearce. A very large percentage of our locomotives are out of action, while those that are in good shape are not moving along the rails as they should (the war has thrown everything into disorder). The Red Army was built under fire, and consequently, far from always in accordance with a definite plan, and often by way of rather disorderly improvisations. The Military Writings of Leon Trotsky . The armed resistance of the bourgeoisie was smashed in a very short time. Analyzes the revolutionary upsurge on the land and in the factories leading to the Spanish civil war and how the Stalinists' course ensured a fascist victory. In Mexico Trotsky developed an interest in farming and started breeding chickens and rabbits. We must carry out a process of selection with iron ruthlessness, because in this sphere many dangerous and alarming symptoms are to be seen. Trotsky rightly laid out the ways that Stalin and his clique had subverted the revolution. Election of commanders by the units themselves – which were politically ill-educated, being composed of recently mobilized young peasants – would inevitably have been transformed into a game of chance, and would often, in fact, have created favorable circumstances for the machinations of various intriguers and adventurers. And here the Party’s task is, again, to deal quite ruthlessly with this sort of phenomena occurring in our own midst, for they are ruining the country, and disgracing and disorganising our Party. Serious experience of civil war very soon refuted these prejudices. Those who fought magnificently and heroically against the Kaledinites, Dutovites and Kornilovites, those who defeated these enemies of ours who were technically on the same level, gave in and felt utterly helpless when they came up against the German war machine. These have, as has been said, their historical explanation, which lies in the old ‘dense’ way of life of the muzhik; when he was not yet an awakened, free, independent human individual, but, as Gleb Uspensky [Author of a number of sketches of Russian peasant life, Uspensky lived from 1843 to 1902. The apparatus of military administration was built at that time, all across the country, in close combination with the local soviets of every province, uyezd and volost. The Soviet Republic declared that it could not sign the enforced treaty, but neither would it fight, and issued an order for the Army to disband. The psychological change-over from the destruction of the old army to the creation of the new, was achieved only at the cost of continual inner friction and conflict. We saw this and were clearly aware of it. Our propaganda invariably united the Red Army, while disrupting the enemy’s forces, not by any special technical methods or procedures but by the Communist idea which constituted the content of this propaganda. They now entered the army not as representatives of the old ruling classes but as henchmen of the new revolutionary class. We now need to transform the apparatus of the railways into a punctually-operating mechanism, and this is at the present time one of the most important political tasks of the Communist Party and the Soviet power. Lenin and Trotsky were both public figures, Trotsky having written prior to the revolution and after. Hence the extreme external weakness of the revolution in the first period. We consider that, since the further development of international relations may, in the very near future, once more subject us to severe military trials, we must forthwith create firm and reliable cadres for the Army, and these cannot be formed on the principle of universal compulsory recruitment because we shall not carry out such recruitment in the next two months. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he plotted a coup of the provisional government with Lenin and formed the Red Army, which defeated the anti-Bolshevik White Army in … If we do not overcome them, the country will be wrecked in the very near future, for there is no-one to take our place. [13] And we were right to do so. Revolution was not the product of overnight work. Leon Trotsky (whose real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein, 1879-1940, the son of wealthy Jewish parents), was exiled from Russia because of his part in the aborted revolution in 1905 and was a reporter for Novy Mir, a communist paper in New York, from 1916-17.He had an expensive apartment and traveled around town in a chauffeur-driven limousine. [Trotsky quotes from this 1918 speech in his pamphlet Terrorism and Communism (1920). Our factories and works are disorganised, owing, first, to the mobilisation and then to the partial, extremely incomplete demobilisation. This is what the comrades from the North-Western territory write about in the resolution mentioned, which gives an excellent description of the situation, and calls for draconic measures to be taken by the Party – measures for burning out these moral ulcers with a white-hot iron. Trotsky on Lenin. The selection and creation of commanding personnel involved a number of very great difficulties. Trotsky used dozens of other pseudonyms during his revolutionary career, including ‘Pero’ (‘The Pen’) in his early career and ‘Old Man’ towards the end. If such sweeping away of obstacles momentarily intensified the state of collapse, then all this must be made up for a hundred fold by the politically intense creative work in the economic field which the working class must get down to without delay once it had come to power. We should be both blind and poor-spirited, comrades, if we were to see in it some sort of fatal danger, some symptom of disaster. The November 1918 revolution in that country grew out of the Kiel mutiny in 1917 and the general strike in January 1918. For the purpose of my report it will be enough for me to say that, in so far as the fate of the Russian revolution depends on the world situation, it is bound up with the fate of the revolution in Europe. How the Revolution Armed Vol. Here also we see the effect of past centuries of Russian history, here too make themselves felt those ages when the mass of the people were bound to the land, robbed materially and spiritually, and kept without the opportunity to acquire the most necessary habits of government. How much arbitrariness, this resolution comments, is to be observed in the case of some Soviet representatives, how much slovenliness, even dishonesty and thieving – yes, thieving! Our railway carriages have been stripped and smashed up. This is why we are going to have to rely for the time being on the principle of voluntary enlistment, which will have, of course, to be cleared through the establishment of strict personal and political criteria for all volunteers. The revolution, which awakened the human individual out of his oppressed state, naturally, at the start, gave to this awakening an extreme, if you like, an anarchic character. 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